Humanity and Diety of Christ, Part 2

THE HUMANITY AND THE DEITY OF JESUS CHRIST IS A SUBJECT OF SUCH A VAST SCOPE, WE COULD EASILY FILL A HALF DOZEN ISSUES OF THE CONTENDER AND STILL NOT SAY ALL THAT COULD BE SAID ON THE SUBJECT, BUT WE WILL ENDEAVOR TO SAY ENOUGH IN TWO ISSUES TO HELP ALL THOSE WHO LOVE TRUTH, AND DESIRE TO HAVE THEIR REVELATION LINE UP WITH THE SCRIPTURES. FAR TOO MANY WHO ACTUALLY BREAK TIES WITH DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES, JUST CARRY MOST OF THEIR TRADITIONS RIGHT ON WITH THEM WHEREVER THEY GO. IT IS LIKE SOMEONE SAID, WE HAVE COME OUT OF BABYLON, BUT WE STILL HAVE TO GET BABYLON OUT OF US. BABYLON IN THIS SENSE SPEAKS OF CONFUSION, AND THEREFORE, THE ONLY WAY TO GET RID OF CONFUSION IS TO LEARN THE TRUTH, SO THAT IS WHY WE FEEL LED TO PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE. MAYBE IT WILL GET RID OF SOME BABYLONIAN TRADITIONS THAT GOD’S PEOPLE HAVE BEEN HANGING ON TO.


TRUTH OR TRADITION


Many of you who have come in the knowledge that there is no such thing as a trinity in the Godhead, still have a tendency to lean toward extreme oneness which in most cases is just as (pic. Of John baptizing Jesus) detrimental to spiritual growth as the former. Neither trinity nor extreme oneness ever leaves any room for revelation truth to penetrate their denominational walls, simple because they already have their articles of faith written, and that is all they are going to believe. That is why we say, God is not going to revive those places; instead He is just pulling His foreknown children out of those places; so, He can deal with them apart from their former traditions. Actually all of the spiritual perversion you could ever find in the world today can be traced right back to the Catholic church. They say that tradition is the word of God. But Jesus pointed his finger at the scribes and Pharisees, and said, You teach for doctrines the commandments of men, and we know that what they were teaching was their traditions. Of course they called it the law of Moses, but what it really was, if you will examine it closely, was a little of Moses commanded, and a lot more of what they had added to it. That made it the traditions of men, rather than the word of God. Men’s interpretations of the Bible have produced hundreds of different religious organizations, or denominations in the world, but have you ever stopped to realize that if all men actually received a revelation of the scriptures there could not possibly be more than one? True revelation of the word of God will point all that receive it in the same direction. Now, How many of you actually know what I am getting at? It is simply this, Just having the same Spirit that the early church had is not enough; we have to have the same doctrines, the same motives, and the same yielding to that Spirit for leading in all the affairs of our lives. This is what holds the body of Christ together. This is how we are perfected. You will never take on any of the stature of Jesus Christ as long as you continue to make your own plans and go your own way. Therefore if you are persuaded by the scriptures that you are called to be in the bride of Christ, then let those same scriptures teach you how to be led by the Spirit, just like He was. The voice from heaven which said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” did not come just merely because Jesus was baptized; it was spoken to Him because His whole life had been led by the Spirit of the Father. He did not just start letting the Spirit lead Him when He was thirty years of age, He had always been subject to that perfect will of the Father. Now some may say, How do you know that? Well, you read the message, for that is what we are dealing with, as we look at the human as well as the divine side of Jesus Christ.


HARMONY OF THE SCRIPTURES


We concluded part one speaking along the lines of what was involved in the apostle Paul’s statement to the Colossians when he wrote, “For in Him (Jesus Christ)dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Naturally the human mind has a tendency to look at scriptures as though God just dumped all of Himself into that little vessel of clay and left the heavens vacant. But that is not the case at all. It simply means that He was incarnated with all the fullness of the Father to fulfill His office work upon earth as prophet. He did not exercise Himself in the role of Priest, nor King, at that time, even though it was prophesied that He would fulfill every prophecy that included these offices. I think most of you understand that, but let me just say once again, he has now been exercising Himself in the High Priest’s office for almost two thousand years through this age of grace, and it is drawing nigh to the time when He will come back to earth as King of kings. But there was no way for Him to fulfill every prophecy that was spoken of Him, all at the same time. In studying the scriptures, what we really need is an understanding of the various writers, and especially so in the New Testament, for God did not write these various epistles on the wall so they could just copy it down; He impressed their minds, but they had to use their own words and terms to describe what they saw in the Spirit. That is why we find terminology in some epistles that we do not find in others; it is because of the difference in the makeup of the writers. But there is one thing we can depend upon; they all had the same doctrine. You will not find anything in Peter’s teaching, that is contrary to what Paul taught, nor any of the others. But you will find that they each had their own way of expressing what they believed concerning the common faith. Now the Old Testament prophets spoke, “Thus saith the Lord,” by the unction of the Spirit that was upon them, which was quite different than what we read in the New Testament epistles, but we still have to realize that God did not cause them to speak words that were foreign to their own particular dialect and terminology. That would have created confusion, and it has never been the will of God for His people to be confused. It is only what carnal minded men do with the word of the Lord, that causes confusion. They get their minds upon one particular thing, and read right over many of the great details that actually put the picture together. Just like we said in part one. The Catholics teach that Jesus (as a boy growing up) was out creating birds and so forth, but if they would read the scriptures closely, they would discover that His first miracle was when He turned the water into wine, at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. I know that there are a lot of people who do not want to hear this, but it is the truth anyhow. Like I have said already in this message, If we have a genuine revelation of the scriptures, ourselves, we do not have to be afraid to speak the truth, for God Himself will vindicate it in due season.


BORN AGAIN


Let me go now, to the 3rd chapter of John’s gospel, where we will pick up the testimony of John the Baptist, concerning Jesus the Christ whom he had recently baptized. In the first half of this chapter we read where Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews came to Jesus at night for fear of being seen by persons he did not want to know what he was doing. But in the conversation with him, we find Jesus using a term that has become so very common in our day, “born again.” Many people think a person is born again just by shaking a preacher’s hand, and becoming a member of their organization, but that is a far cry from what Jesus meant when He said to Nicodemus,  “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” It takes a son of God, or a daughter of God to see the kingdom of God, for it is a spiritual kingdom, and just merely joining some man made organization does not qualify you. As we have said many times, To be born again is to be baptized into the body of Christ, and this is the very act that seals a person into that body and gives them the eternal security that so many people fight so hard against. That is the reason Jesus went ahead and said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” simply because that is what puts us into that great spiritual kingdom. Everyone likes to use verse 16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” But it seems that so very few people who quote that verse, actually have a spiritual revelation of the depth of those words. Just merely believing Bible stories about Jesus will never gain you that promised everlasting life. You have to get it the same way those three thousand Jews in Acts 2, got it, by believing with the heart and obeying from the heart. Verse 19, lets us see where the real key to Bible salvation lies, for unless we recognize and follow that light, we remain in our sins condemned and unclean. Notice, “And this is the condemnation, that LIGHT is come into the world, (That light was in Jesus,) and men loved darkness rather than light, (why?) Because their deeds were evil.” Our deeds were evil because of an inherited nature to sin, but all who recognize and follow that true light, have their nature changed so that their deeds are no longer evil, but righteous. Actually though, if you would go to the Greek, and check this particular usage of the word evil, you would find that in this case, it applies only to those who are beyond all hope of believing, those ungodly men who actually hate God. That is what Jesus was saying in verse 20 and 21. But now we want to pick up verse 22, where the setting changes, and hear what John the Baptist had to say about this one he was sent to forerun and introduce to the nation of Israel.


THE SPIRIT WITHOUT MEASURE


Jesus is no longer in Jerusalem where He encountered Nicodemus, for verse 22 says, “After these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judea; and there He tarried with them; and baptized. And John (the Baptist) also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: (All of those people wanted enough water to bury those who came for baptism, for the Catholic’s had not yet come into the picture with their sprinkling.) And they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.” In other words, some of those fellows who had failed to catch a revelation of what was taking place were still hanging onto John. That would be just about the same thing as trying to be a good Baptist after having received a revelation of the Godhead and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. When John introduced Jesus, the spiritual one’s left John to follow Jesus. That is as it should be, for God expects us to follow all the truth we have. If we try to lag behind, we will always be in some kind of squabble, just like these disciples of John. “And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, (They are referring to the baptism of Jesus, and the phenomena that followed it.) To whom thou bearest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.” What they said makes it sound like they were really feeling sorry for John, because the large crowd that once followed him was now following Jesus. From a human standpoint you can see how they must have felt, at least they ought to give John a little credit for what he has been doing, John did not feel like that though, for notice verse 27, “ John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him.” John knew that it was the will of God for those who had followed him, to follow Christ (the anointed One) when He had introduced Him, so this did not disturb John at all, at least not at this time, for he went ahead to say, “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” In other words, the best man is happy, because the groom is happy about getting a wife. John’s terminology fits the occasion perfectly, and John is happy, because he knows he is on the right track, and doing the right thing. He knows that he is to fade out of the picture and allow the one he was sent to introduce to get the attention of the people, so he goes ahead speaking, and says, “He that cometh from above is above all.” Now, Brothers and sisters: This is really the verse we have been building up to. All these others were just for a background setting, to allow you to see why John made such a statement. But the statement itself is what falls right into the scope of what we are dealing with in this message on the humanity and the deity of Jesus Christ. Because of the many statements like this, made by Jesus and others, a lot of people have the idea that Jesus, the flesh Son of God, had a former existence with the Father, and then left that place somewhere in the heavens, to come down to earth to suffer and die for the sins of lost mankind. I hope we are able to convince you, from the scriptures, that all such thinking is strictly man’s ideas, and certainly not revelation from the scriptures. Therefore let me say it once again, That human physical body of a man, that walked out into the water, and was baptized by John, did not come down from heaven any more than any other fleshly body. It was made of the very same elements of the earth that your body, and my body are made of. Is that understood? It was the life of that body that came down from above. We are dealing with two different substances, one flesh, and the other spirit, so it is the spirit which is the life of that body that came down from heaven, and John knows that, so listen to him. “He that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what He hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony. He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the Spirit by measures unto Him.” The Father in Him has opened up an unlimited flow of revelation and authority and He is now a walking voice that the omnipresent Spirit is speaking to man through. When John said, He is testifying of all that He has seen and heard, it simply meant that whatever the Spirit of the Father in Him desired for men to hear, that He spoke, for He was completely one with the Father., Therefore that which He spake was the true unadulterated word of God, and there would never be any need for anything that He spoke to be changed, nor ignored. Let me read that 34th verse again. “For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” As we read the New Testament we are made aware of the fact that what we receive as a seal, to seal us in the family of God until the day of our redemption, is a measure of the same Spirit that Jesus Christ had without measure. The Holy Ghost we receive is the same Spirit that was in Him, but just not in the same measure. That is the earnest, or first installment of our promised inheritance. But it is more than sufficient to enable us to overcome all the forces of evil that are forever trying to destroy us. In one place Jesus said, “As my Father hath sent me, so send I you.” How did the Father send Him? By getting inside of Him. That is the very same way Jesus sends us out into a lost and dying world of sinful mankind with a message of redemption. By getting inside of us. When He sends us he will do the talking, and we will never have to arm wrestle anyone to an altar to pray. What man needs to realize, is that the efforts of our fleshly zeal are vain, as far as having any spiritual benefit. God does not need our help as some people foolishly claim, for surely we ought to realize that a God who could create by His own word, would not have to depend upon that which He had created, to the extent that He would be helpless if we fail to do certain things. He allows His redeemed children to be partakers of His great work of redemption, but that is a privilege for us, and it is by His own choice, and if we fail to do what we have opportunity to do, that will not defeat the plan and purpose of God, for He will just get someone else. These feelings of desperation are prompted by those who try to serve God without a revelation of His word. We know assuredly that this apostolic revelation did not originate in a theological seminary, and we should know by now that God is not working through those schools of religious theology to straighten out the mess that Gentiles have made trying to teach His word. It is being straightened up by the Holy Ghost working through some men who will no try to run ahead of Him in an effort to make a name for themselves. Yes, Even though we only have the Spirit by measure, that measure is all we need in order for God to give us a revelation and work through our lives for the benefit of other hungry souls.


PERFECT LOVE IN ACTION


Let us continue reading here in John 3:35, where John is bearing witness to the fact that God’s only begotten Son had received the Spirit without measure, therefore he says, “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” As we have already stated, that simply meant that all things pertaining to the redemption of lost mankind had been committed unto Him. Verse 36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John knew that everything they had been doing through the Law age was coming to a close. All those sacrifices and religious observances had been pointing to the very One that God had sent him to introduce. Therefore anyone who would come to God from this time on would have to come to Him through this Son, and those who refused and rejected Him would have no part in the eternal life He would impart to those who believed. That is the reason the apostle Paul said in Colossians 3:27, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” From now on this is the only name that God will recognize. Why? Simply because the name JESUS is a compound name that identifies God with His people. “Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” In Acts 4:10-12, we find Peter speaking under the anointing of the Spirit to the elders and rulers of Israel, and saying, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole. (This was the lame man that lay at the gate of the temple daily, begging.) This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (Speaking of Jesus) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Is that not exactly what John the Baptist was saying as he stood there that day with a bunch of Jewish religious leaders listening? Those Scribes and Pharisees could only see Jesus as Joseph the carpenter’s son, but to those who believed Him to be the Son of God, was granted everlasting life. I have heard people (and you have too) with the same spirit on them that was on those Scribes and Pharisees, say, I do not see how anyone could believe that Jesus was God, when the Bible plainly states that He was the Son of God. You see, they are without revelation. They believe that Jesus is the second person of a trinity. They cannot catch the true revelation from scriptures that serve as keys to this great revelation of the Godhead. Take John 14:26, where Jesus said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you, and read it with John 17:6, where Jesus was praying to the Father, and notice what the redemption name of God the Father is. He says, I have manifested THY NAME unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world.” In other words, in one place you will find Jesus saying, It is my name, and then in another place He says, it is the Father’s name. So I ask you, Which is it? Is He confused? Should we be confused? Absolutely not. We should simply recognize the compound quality and scope of that name, and realize that the flesh man to which this name was given, was a walking, talking vessel in which the omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient God of all creation walked among His people. Those Scribes and Pharisees could not see Him as the anointed Messiah, the incarnate God, the Son of God, the perfect man upon whom was laid all the sins and iniquities of the whole human race, but, Praise God! There, were some that did. Hallelujah! He carried that old cross up Calvary’s hill, hung there on it, and died like any man would, but on the 3rd day, He arose from that tomb of death, in the power and authority of the eternal God of all ages. Did He not say, No man taketh my life, I lay it down? Brother, when the hour arrived for that obedient Son of God to die like a lamb, then brother, He could not rely on those deity powers, He laid them aside and submitted unto death willingly, but not without some human feelings. Yes it is true, He could have called angels of heaven to save Him, but then, He would have ceased to be that perfect and obedient Son that had a mission to accomplish, and we would all still be lost in our sins, and without hope of salvation. When you read John 3:16, the next time, do not look at it from the standpoint that the Father as a person, sent His Son to give His life a ransom for man’s sins, simply because the Father loved us. You should also see the love of the Son of God who willingly took upon Himself our sins and our iniquities, that we might be set free and enter into the joy of eternal life. Now in 1 Corinthians 15:56, Paul said, “The sting of death is sin,” and Jesus had no sin of His own, but when He went to that old cross He had the weight of all the sins of the whole world upon Him, so you can believe me; It was an act of love on His part, love for the Father, and love for those whom the Father had given Him out of the world.

 

TWO MINDS—- BUT ONLY ONE SPIRIT


Now let us go to John 5:17, where we find Jesus Himself doing the talking. He had healed a man on the Sabbath day, and in verse 16, we read, “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day.” It looked to them like He was just deliberately trying to cause trouble. It seemed that just about everything He did was just the opposite of what they expected out of the Messiah of the Jews. They looked for the Messiah that was to come, but they sure never expected Him to act like this man did. Jesus knew full well, that He was fulfilling everything that their Sabbath, and their sacrifices and holy days pointed to, but to them, it was a reproach. They thought the world would be better off without such a troublemaker as this, so they tried to kill Him. That same spirit is present in denominational religion yet today. You just let some fellow stand up and preach something that is a little contrary to their hand-me-down traditions, and they will cry out, Get him out of here; we don’t need that kind of preaching around here. They will say, That is of the devil, simply because it is contrary to their traditions, even if he is the most Holy Ghost anointed man that has ever walked in shoe leather this side of the Dark Ages. Brothers and Sisters: That is why you have heard me say, Do not be too quick to call something of the devil, just because you have never heard it before. W e are living close to the hour when the true bride of Jesus Christ is going to hear a number of things that she has never heard before. We are living close to the hour when the true bride of Jesus Christ is going to hear a number of things that she has never heard before, but you can count on this one thing, No man that is anointed of God to speak on His behalf will ever speak anything that will be contrary to what God has inspired other men to speak, and He will never go contrary to His written word. I will say this though, You will certainly have to have the Holy Ghost yourself to be able to know what is Thus saith the Lord. Those scribes and Pharisees could not recognize who Jesus was, because they had the wrong spirit, therefore they sought to slay Him, and get Him out of their way. But notice here in verse 17, what Jesus says to them. “But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto and I work.” Now what did He mean by a remark like that? My Father is showing me something to do, and I am doing it. That is the best I can explain it, for the Father was in Him, showing Him to do these things. He never did just go around looking for something to do. Everything He did was something that was designed by the Father to accomplish a specific purpose. That is why He could say, It is not I that do these works, yet He could turn right around and speak of the works that the Father had given Him to do, saying, “That I do”. All through the gospels we will find Jesus speaking in such a way that the natural mind cannot receive it, for in one place He will speak as the Son of God, and then turn right around and speak something as though He were the Father. In other words, As the Son, He would say, I will pray the Father, and He will do so and so. Then He would say something like, Ask what you will, and I will do it. Do you see the difference? One is from the human side, and the other from the divine Spirit of the Father that in dwelled Him, yet both statements came out of the same mouth, and by the use of one set of vocal cords. Alright now, verse 18, “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.” To those pious Jews that sounded like blasphemy, but are we not encouraged by the apostle Paul to think the same way? Notice Philippians 2:5-8, “ Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” What form was he referring to? Spirit form of course. He was a true, sinless Son of God, and of the same substance as the Father. You have to look beyond the flesh to see that, for the Father did not Himself have a fleshly body to make the Son like unto. So Paul says that, being in the form of God, He thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but what did he say next? “But made Himself of no reputation; and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” That shows He did not come to be a King at that time, or He would not have assumed the role of a humble servant. Instead of riding white horses as a kingly type would do, He chose to be a servant to lost mankind. In other words, He never used any of the deity power and authority for Himself, it was always to portray the Father to the sea of lost humanity around Him. “And being found as a man, He humbled Himself, and because obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”


FROM MORTAL TO IMMORTALITY


Now to those who always say, If Jesus had been God, He could not have died, let me say this. When you speak of death, what are you thinking of? The death that Paul was speaking of is simply a time when the Spirit of life leaves the body of flesh. The moment this occurs, the body is dead, for the spirit is the life of the flesh. The part of Him that was God could not die any more than that part of you and me could die. When we receive the Holy Ghost, we have something within us that can never die, our spirit. But I can promise you this, If time stands long enough, that eternal spirit of life will withdraw itself from our old bodies of clay for a season, and that fleshly body will be dead, and rot, and return back to the elements from which it came, and remain so until time for the resurrection of those who died with the hope of Christ in them. That brings us to Romans 8:11, where Paul said, “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (give life to) your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Naturally those who do not have the Spirit of God indwelling them when they come to the hour of death, will have to remain in the earth until after the Millennium, when the wicked dead are raised up, and judged, at the great white throne judgement of Revelation 20:11. There is where the term, the second death, is applied, for all the righteous ones that are rejoined to their bodies in the resurrection before the Millennium, will never be separated from them again. Our resurrected bodies will be given immortality. That simply means that they are no longer death doomed. The spirit of life will never leave them again.


THE EYES OF THE FATHER


Let us return to the 5th chapter of John now, where in verse 19, we find Jesus speaking these words, “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” This is a confirmation of the fact that before His baptism, He never did perform any miracles, for that is when the Father incarnated Him. From that time on, the Father would show Him a vision of what He should do. That is why He could say, What the Son seeth the Father do, He does likewise. That is how He saw Nathaniel sitting under the fig tree, a far distance away. The natural eye of the Son was limited to a certain distance of straight vision, just like the rest of us, but you have all read the account there in the 1st chapter of John, where, after Jesus had called Philip to follow Him, Philip went to find Nathaniel, and said unto him, “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph.” Nathaniel replied, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? (That little town did not have a very good reputation in those days.) Philip said unto him, Come and see.” As they approached Jesus, He said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile!” (No deceit) That startled old Nathaniel, and he said, “Whence knowest thou me?” (We would say, How did you know me?) “Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou was under the fig tree, I saw thee.” How did He see him? It wasn’t with natural vision or Nathaniel would not have responded as he did. It was by a vision of the Spirit of the Father that in dwelled Him, and Nathaniel knew that he was standing in the presence of someone that was not just another man. He recognized the source of what had been displayed, and answered Jesus, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” Nathaniel received a quick revelation. Not only that Jesus was the Son of God, but that He was the King that all Israel had waited for, even though His role as King would be more than two thousand years off yet. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” What did He mean by that? What greater things was He speaking of? This same Spirit that had manifested this through the only begotten Son of God would one day dwell in some other sons, redeemed sons, and manifest the same things through many sons that was at that time being manifested through only one. Furthermore, I believe what He said about the angels of God ascending and descending, give more proof of the fact that angelic beings work in the realm of the spirit, executing the divine plan of God among mankind. But above all that we could see, or say about the depths of such a statement, Nathaniel as well as the rest would see greater things than this, manifested through Jesus a little later on. Was it not a greater thing, when He took a little boys lunch and multiplied it to feed thousands of hungry souls that had been following them for days without eating? Was it not a greater thing when He defied the law of gravity, and walked upon the water? I believe so.


AUTHORITY RELEASES POWER


In verse 20, of John 5, Jesus says, “For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.” (He is speaking of spiritual quickening in this particular instance, for He has been invested with the authority to do so.) “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son: (Brother and Sister: As we study the three judgements of God, the judgement seat of Christ where saints are judged for rewards, the judgement of the nations where Millennial subjects are chosen, and the judgement of the great white throne where all ungodly mankind is judged and condemned to final destruction, that is exactly how it is; Jesus is in control of the judging.) That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him.” You have to realize He was speaking to Jews that had always been accustomed to worshiping the great eternal Spirit. (The Father) and only Him, for that was according to the commandments, but notice what Jesus says in that next verse; things are going to be different from now on. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, HATH EVERLASTING LIFE, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” This passing from spiritual death unto spiritual life is the quickening that He was referring to in verse 21, so notice verse 25 now. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.” (They will come alive with and through a revelation of what God is doing through His only begotten Son.) “For as the Father hath life in Himself; (He is the source and fountain of all life) so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgement also, because He is the Son of man.” We need to pay close attention to this word AUTHORITY, for many times the word POWER, is used, when actually it should be rendered authority. It just makes good spiritual sense to realize that if the very Son of God could do nothing except by the authority of the Father, then no other one has any supernatural power other than what is hinged upon the authority of the Father. You say, What about the devil and his gang? Well, what about them? Those demons that serve the purpose of Satan, are actually serving a purpose of God while they are doing what they are doing, and they cannot do any more than what God allows them to do. God has authorized them to deceive people who have no love for the truth. God has authorized them to chasten the flesh of those who go astray from the right path. Surely you must realize by now, There is no power but of God, for He has created everything there is. Satan has perverted God’s creation, but even that was allowed by God the Father who knew that it would happen even before He ever created the first angel or anything else. There are no surprises with God, he already knows about every idle remark that you will ever make in your whole lifetime, and He has already purposed to forgive you when you repent of it.


SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES


In verse 28, Jesus finally comes to the resurrection of the bodies of those who have suffered physical death for one reason or another. Listen to Him. “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; (all these will be raised in the three phases of the first resurrection, before the Millennium) and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (These will be raised and judged, after the Millennium, and cast into the lake of fire.) I can of mine own self do nothing: (This is the Son speaking.) As I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just: because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” Just as Jesus always did that which He knew to be the will of the Father, so should we likewise endeavor to do the will of the Father in all things. That is the reason the apostle Paul said, Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23) He was dealing with the problem some of them were having about eating meat that had been offered to idols when he said that, but it simply means that we should examine everything we do, say, or allow, in the light of the scriptures, and be fully persuaded in our minds that we are not going contrary to the will of God. Our love for Jesus is tested by whether we keep His commandments or not, and His commandments are the commandments of the Father. Now let us skip down to verse 36, where He again confirms the fact that what He does is what the Father has sent Him to do. “But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.” Please notice that the word works, appears in the verse we have just read. That speaks of all the miracles He would perform during the entire 3 ½ years of His earthly ministry, from the time right after His baptism when He turned the water into wine up to the time after His resurrection, when He already had the fish on the fire to feed His hungry disciples that had fished all night. Every one of those miracles were performed at the will of the Father who desired to bear witness to the fact that He was the very God of creation, and therefore could do with that creation any thing that He purposed to do. The natural man Jesus, was not put here on earth to walk on water, nor to turn water to wine, nor to raise the dead, nor any other of the miracles that were performed during His ministry, except to bear witness of the Father that was in Him, and that the Father in Him might bear witness of the Son, for everyone knew that only God could do those things. Verse 37, “And the Father Himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. (Notice this) ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape.” (An omnipresent Spirit does not have a shape.) John the Baptist, one day when he was preaching, said, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” It is written in the scriptures, that Moses was allowed to see the hinder part of God, but certainly we all know that what Moses saw was not the permanent form of the eternal God which is Spirit.


 WHAT DID MOSES SEE?


That was only a temporary manifestation of His presence, to convey a message to an earthly recipient. Now in verse 38, notice what He (Jesus) said to those Jewish religious leaders who thought they were the only ones who had the word of God. “And ye have not His word abiding in you: for whom He hath sent, Him ye believeth not.” This next verse is one that has been long debated by many, but its meaning is very clear, for Jesus is speaking to men who pride themselves upon the fact that they know the law of Moses. You could compare them to a lot of people in our day that take such delight in being able to quote scripture, chapter after chapter, without ever missing a word, so let us hear what He said to them, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Now allow Me to paraphrase that verse for you. Go back and search the scriptures, for if you truly understood those scriptures you trust in, you would surely recognize me, for I am the one they are pointing you to. The types and shadows throughout the Old Testament continually pointed forward to the time they were then living in, and they failed to recognize what they had been looking for, when it came walking down the road. Do you know why? Simply because He did not come like they wanted Him to. It is the same with people who seek the Holy Ghost year after year. They have a picture in their mind of how they should receive, and they will not settle for anything else. If they believe they can only receive by speaking in tongues while lying under a pew somewhere, they will run to every prayer line they can get to, always looking for that particular experience, and God is not obligated to fill any such order as that. If you want the Holy Ghost, you just obey the word of God from your heart, repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and God will do the rest . He will give you the Holy Ghost, but the manifestation will be according to His choosing. Those Jews wanted their Messiah to come riding a great white horse, smiting their enemies with a sword, and solving all their problems; therefore when He came riding in on a donkey one day, those theologians knew immediately that He was not what they were looking for, so they just waited for the right opportunity to get Him out of the way forever. But their scheme backfired on them; He didn’t stay in that tomb. Three days later, He was right back with His disciples. He was raised by the power of the very same Spirit that caused the waters of the Red Sea to open up, so Moses could lead the people of Israel across the dry ground.


WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH JESUS CHRIST?


Denominational people through the years have pictured what they refer to as God the Father as an old white haired man, with a long white beard, sitting on a throne somewhere up in heaven, with His Son Jesus sitting upon another throne at His right side. Is that not right? Most of you have come out of those systems just like we did, and you know what I am talking about. But, Hallelujah! We now know that the Father is a Spirit, and had never had any permanent form, yet He had manifested Himself in theophany form on various occasions through time, like in Genesis chapter 18, where He appeared to Abraham in the form of a man. But Jesus the Christ is the only man that He ever incarnated to demonstrate His power, His nature, and His purpose and through which He would reveal His redemption name, His word and His works. No wonder Paul wrote what he did to Timothy, concerning Jesus Christ whom he had come to know personally after being struck down on the road to Damascus where he was going, to persecute Christians. Listen while I read a few verses starting in 1st Timothy 6:13, “ I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, (you can read the prior verses to get the commandment.) unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in His (Jesus) times He shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; ( Jesus) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; (Now that light which no man can approach unto is the present Spirit which is the Father) whom no man hath seen, NOR CAN SEE: ( You cannot see a Spirit) to whom be honor and power everlasting.” John said, “In Him was life; (eternal life) and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” All those religious Jews could see, was the son of a man named Joseph, claiming himself to be the Son of God, and it so provoked them, there was no possible way for them to see that light of the Father radiating from Him. Just about 90 percent of the time, He was doing things contrary to what they believed, and I will say this, If Jesus Christ came walking into our present day society, as He did that Jewish society, two thousand years ago; almost everything He would do, would be contrary to modern day church formalities, simply because church formalities are mostly just a bunch of manmade traditions, like theirs were. Those first century Jews were privileged to have the very God of all creation walk with them, and talk with them, and they were so wrapped up in traditions, they called Him a devil. He gave sight to a blind man on the Sabbath day, and the Jews said. “This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the Sabbath day.” The blind man that was healed, said to them, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshiper of God, and doth His will, him He heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, He could do nothing.” Do you know what they said to him? You were altogether born in sins, and now you are trying to teach us. So they cast him out. They did not want to hear such talk. Now it was the natural hands of Jesus that anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, but it was done by the authority of the invisible Spirit of the Father that dwelled in Him. On the other hand, when He kneeled there in the garden to pray before Judas betrayed Him, that was not the mind of the Father that cried out, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” That was the mind and emotions of the Son, reacting to what He could see just ahead. He had all the physical senses, nerves and emotions in His human makeup that any other human has; therefore He could react to death as any man would.

SCRIPTURE BEING FULFILLED

Let us go the 10th chapter of John’s Gospel, and notice verse 15, where Jesus is speaking of a certain relationship between Himself and the Father. “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” Jesus is actually saying to them, I am going to have to give my life. Naturally that statement came from the mind of the Son, for as we said earlier, The Father dwelling in Him could not die. It simply means that the spirit of life in the Son will leave the body of flesh, and the body will be as dead as any other body that the spirit of life goes out of. From the standpoint of the Spirit substance of Jesus Christ, you need to realize that there were not two spirits in Him, for that which was the Father was so blended with that which was the Son, that as far as Spirit substance, they are only one Spirit, yet we do have to remember that there was two minds involved. But even though there was two minds involved, they were in such perfect unity, they operated as one. Brothers and sisters: I know this is hard for us to visualize with our natural mind, for we were all born in sin, and we all had a mind of our own, that we exercised to do our own will, but I want you to know for sure, that God is going to have some people upon this earth, and I believe it will be in our generation, that will take on the mind of Jesus Christ and be subject to all the will of God just like He was. The Bible tells us that He is going to present to Himself a glorious church, that will be without spot, or wrinkle, and that will be holy and without blemish. Brother, let me tell you something, That church will not be any of the denominational churches of this world; it will be one universal body of believers that has cast off all their denominational traditions, and allowed the Holy Ghost to wash them clean with the waters of the pure unadulterated word of God. Naturally Jesus was speaking to Jews when He said , I lay down my life for the sheep; so when He said, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd,” that included us Gentiles, which before then were without God, and without hope in the world. “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it (His life) from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power (authority) to lay it down, and I have power (authority) to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” Now what this really boils down to, is that He has this authority of revelation from the Father, but He will not go through with it until the mind of the Father says, Now is the time. He knew exactly when to go up to Jerusalem for this occasion, and He knew exactly how to present Himself. As the time approached for these things to be fulfilled, Jesus left Galilee with His disciples, to journey to Jerusalem. He went through every town and village along the way, preaching the gospel, and healing the sick, during which time, He told His disciples, The Son of man goeth to Jerusalem, and shall be delivered into the hands of wicked men, or cruel men, and shall suffer many things, and be crucified, and on the 3rd day He shall arise from the dead. Then He told them, I will meet you in Galilee. Why was He talking like that? Because the mind of the Father, which is omniscient, is causing all the scriptures that foretold this event, to become activated. This is what made Jesus Christ, the living Word of God. As long as those prophecies were just on paper, that is all they wee; but once they were spoken from a mind that had been invested with a pure revelation, and authority to speak them, they became the living Word. From the human side, the Son knew full well that He was speaking like this, because He had been invested with the full understanding from the mind of the Father, of these things, and He was completely yielded to the mind of the Father, so He did not speak out of turn, nor speak amiss. Therefore as the mind of the Father flowed into, or through Him, that is what made Him the living Word of God. To the average Jew standing there, what Jesus said just set his head in a spin. His mind became so clouded with questions and confusion, he could not catch a thing Jesus said, so notice verse 19. “There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad, why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” He was speaking truth, but it was contrary to their traditional ways, so all they could think of was, He has a devil in him; why do you even listen to what he is saying? It is no different today, You let a man get anointed by the Holy Ghost, and start preaching revealed truth from the word of God, and you will hear those very same words spoken, that were heard that day. Natural minded men will always speak evil of that which they do not understand, in the realm of religion. But there were some others listening to Jesus that day. Maybe they did not claim to know very much themselves, but they could recognize that this man was speaking with authority. He sounded like a man that knew what He was talking about. Furthermore, what devil could restore sight to eyes that were blind?


THE SPIRITUAL REALITY OF BEING ONE


Now go with me back to the 14th chapter of John. This time, we will start with verse 1, where Jesus is speaking to His disciples as He approaches the closing weeks of His earthly ministry. “Let not your heart be troubled; (He was speaking to Jews, and the Jews had always believed in God. They believed that He was a Spirit that could come upon men like Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and men like that, and they also believed that He would be upon their Messiah when He came, but they had their own interpretations of the scriptures that gave them such a promise, and the plain truth of the matter is, What they thought He would do, and what He actually did, were almost completely opposite. Even His disciples still had a lot of those old Jewish ideas in the back of their mind, so that is why He spoke to them as He did.) ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you into myself: that where I am, t here ye may be also.” Oh how you hear this passage of scripture used at almost every Gentile funeral. They speak of it as though they believe God actually lives in a house. Brother! Listen to me! God is a spirit. He doesn’t need a house. Heaven is His throne, and the earth is His footstool. God’s house is His true people; He dwells in them. A child of God could get into a space vehicle, and travel a million light years into space, but, do you know what? God would still be right there in Him. This earth is only a very small speck in God’s domain. That man out there in space could say, God, Do you see me now? The answer would be, “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry.” Bro. Jackson: If God is a Spirit, how can He have eyes and ears? Saints: these words were written to humans that need to hear something they can identify with. That is the very thing we are dealing with here in John 14:1-3. David also said in Psalms 34:16, “The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth,” but that does not give God a face in the sense that you and I think of a face. It is simply an expression that declares a fact, and allows our human mind to grasp what is meant. When Jesus said, I go to prepare a place for you, He could just as well have said, I am going to intercede for you, that you may have a portion of the same substance that I am, that I have of the Father. For He is in me, and I in Him, and I will prepare the way for you to be as I am with the Father. That place is prepared for us, but I can tell you for sure, It is not a great mansion in the heavens, or as some might say, next door to Jesus. That is a carnal picture of a beautiful spiritual reality. He has prepared the way for us to have a place in His Father’s great domain, free of sin, and of spiritual darkness. Through His intercession, we are reconciled back to that great eternal Spirit, so that we can have a spiritual dwelling place in the domain of Him who fills all of His creation. One day, when redemption is completed, every redeemed child of God will walk the face of this earth in a body that is immortal. In that day, every one will be invested with all the eternal authority and glory of the indwelling Father. God will again be in all His people in the fulness of Himself. In that day, there will be no need for the sun, nor the moon, for the glory of God will be the light that shines so bright, the sun and the moon cannot be seen, but they will still be there. They were out there before Adam and Eve ever sinned, and God is in the process of redeeming the earth back to what it once was. That is when Jesus will take his place at the head of the family, as our elder brother. But for the present time, He is still active in His intercessor’s office, interceding for all those that God foreknew from before the foundation of the world. That is the reason he could say, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” The Father and the Son were of the same substance on the Spirit side; therefore when redemption is completed, and we are blended (by His Spirit) into that same substance, then, what Jesus said in John 17, will be a completed reality. The Father in Him, and He in the Father, and all the redeemed children of God in Him, and all blended into the same Spirit substance that the Father is; that is what makes it like that. When He said, “That where I am, there ye may be also,” it actually has a compound meaning. He is truly coming again to catch us away from this old earth for a little while, but the spiritual depth of His statement pertained to the completed mediatorial work that makes us all of one Spirit. He went ahead to say, “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” But Thomas, one of His disciples evidently thought He was speaking of a journey around the world, or something like that, and he said, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Now I ask you, Saints, Is Jesus speaking of a literal trail that a person could follow? Of course not. These are parabolic, spiritual terms, that He is using. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” What is the Father? He is a Spirit, What is the Son? He is a spirit also, but He has a physical body, and when the Spirit which is the Father, actually incarnated the physical body of the Son, the Spirit of the Father, and the spirit of the Son became blended into one Spirit; therefore there will come a day, when because of the shed blood of the Son, and His mediatorial work since then, that same Spirit will blend into every individual one of His redeemed children, and that will complete the process that makes us all one in Jesus Christ, and one with the Father. You just simply have to clear your head of all natural interpretations of these scriptures, in order to truly see the beautiful reality, and spiritual benefit of them.


 THE SON DISPLAYING THE FATHER


The Father is the source of all intelligence, and authority, and He has invested in the Son those same attributes, so that when Jesus the Son walked among men upon earth, they could see the Father. He went about demonstrating, or displaying the Father for all humanity to see. Therefore He became the way, the gateway to the Father. We can only see God in the fulness of His love, power, and authority, as our eyes are opened to see Him through the Son. Just imagine what He did in only 3 ½ short years upon earth, exemplifying the attributes of the Father. After John recorded just so many of the acts and deeds of Jesus, he concluded by saying, “There are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be recorded every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” We could read every verse here, but there is one particular verse we want to call attention to, verse 11. Maybe we should read verse 10, first, because the disciples were still baffled by His terminology. Philip even said, “ Lord, show us the Father, and it will be sufficient.” But Jesus simply told them, that he that had seen Him, had seen the Father, and in verse 10, we read these words. “Believeth thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works.” They were looking at Him strictly as a flesh and blood man standing there with them, but Jesus wanted them to look beyond the flesh, and see the actual life of that flesh. Not only were His words in the words of the Father which dwelled in Him, but even all the works that He had been doing among them were the works of the Father. Then to further emphasize His position. He said to them, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake.” You see, that was just backing up His previous statement. In other words, He could have just said it like this, You have seen me walk upon the water, and certainly you should know that a thing like that is not normal for a man to do. Only He who has all authority could defy His own law of gravity like that. You have seen me feed five thousand men besides the women and children with five little loaves, and two small fishes. Could not only the Father of all creation do a thing like that? Now I will admit, I used to think that little boy had been to the grocery, and was coming home with an armload of bread and fish, and just caught up in that huge crowd of people, but that was not a true picture at all. That little boy had just brought a little lunch along with him when he came out to hear Jesus, something the others had failed to do. But I am fully persuaded that this was all in the plan of God from the very beginning, for He had purposed to show Himself to lost mankind through His only begotten Son Jesus, which was the Christ. I can just visualize this scene out there on a hillside overlooking the sea of Galilee. Here stood 12 disciples of Jesus, 10 of them holding half of a little loaf of bread which was probably not much larger then a hot dog bun, and the other 2 each had a little fish in their hands. Jesus looked toward heaven and prayed a short prayer of blessing upon that food, and then He looked toward the 12 disciples, and said, Go feed the people. Now brothers and sisters, follow my thought for a moment. When He told them to, Go feed the people, all they had in their hands was a little boy’s lunch. It was not multiplying there in their hands, into a great amount of food. They had to step out there by faith, and start breaking off a piece of what they were holding, and hand it to those that came by. But do you know what? That which they were breaking off of never got any smaller. When they would break off a piece and hand it to someone, they would look back and they still had just as much in their hand as they did before they broke off a piece. Do you get the picture? God just kept on doubling the size of what they had left in their hands each time they broke it in half, and He multiplied what they handed the people. Brother Jackson: I always thought Jesus was the one that did the miracle. That is a natural way of thinking, but Jesus said that it was the Father dwelling in Him, that did the works, and we know that is right, but to the natural eye, it was the man Jesus, that did it all. That crowd of people no doubt really enjoyed eating, that day, for they were eating from an unlimited supply. That same omnipotent God that gave the children of Israel manna in the morning, and quail in the evening, for 40 years, was on the scene. Brother, I want you to know, There has never been that many quail in the Middle East since then. But for 40 years they ate quail. Now 1400 years later, the God of that pillar of fire that followed them, or that went before them, was standing there in the form of a man doing the same thing. Only this time, it is the bread and fish, and it was only done that one day, at that particular time, but the miracle was the same, for it fed all those hungry souls from a supply that they did not even know was available. When they were finished eating, Jesus told his disciples to gather up what remained uneaten, and I suppose they probably thought it would just be a few crumbs, and they could just put them in their pockets. But when they each got their hands full, they had to start looking for some baskets to put them in, and they each came back with a basket full of leftovers. Did all those people recognize God in what took place there that day? No. But some of them did, and it was for them, that God did it. It is just like Jesus said about the rain, It falls on the unjust as well as the just. The same rain that waters the wheat, waters the tares also.


THE FATHER’S NAME


Now let us go once again, to the 17th chapter of John, for a closer look at the prayer Jesus prayed. Remember, He is praying to the self existent, omnipresent Spirit, the Father of all creations, and He has perfect understanding that the embryo from which He was born, was created in the womb of Mary His mother by the spoken word of this great eternal Spirit, and He knows that the name Jesus, which was given to Himself at birth, is the redemption name of the Father, and carries a compound meaning that encompasses all the attributes of this great God. Therefore let us notice verse 6, where He says, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me: and they have kept thy word.” We realize of course, that the only name that was manifested, or put on public display, was the name JESUS, and we also know that the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesian Christians said, that this is the name by which the whole family in heaven and earth is called, and he also said in another place, that there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved; therefore the spiritual mind will accept the fact that the name JESUS, is the family of the whole redeemed family of God. T his is the name which Jesus revealed, for there was no other name involved in anything He did, or taught. It was not that He went around saying, JESUS is the name of the Father. He just simply impressed upon their minds that whatsoever He Himself did, was the works of the Father, and whatever He said, was the words of the Father, and of course everyone knew that His name was JESUS, and all those of whom He spake, also knew what Isaiah, and also the angel of the Lord said that name implied, “God with us.” The religious leaders did not accept it, but those that the Father had given Him, to manifest that name to, believed, and received that name, gladly. Naturally that brings out another truth that denominational people reject, and argue about, but predestination is an established fact of the scriptures just the same, whether they want to believe it or not. That simply means that only those who were foreknown in the mind of the Father, before the world was ever created, can believe. They believe and accept truth as it is revealed, and all the rest out here in this vast realm of religion are make believers. Do I know who they all are? No. and neither does any other mortal man, but God does. The most important thing though is that God knows every predestined son and daughter of His. That is still locked up behind the denominational walls of those make believers. He knows how to set them free, when the time is right. That is how we got free; it was not by our own doing, for God had to first show us something to get our attention, before we would even consider leaving all of that. Therefore what we are seeing here, (if we could just use a natural term that we all understand) is that Jesus was given a list of names of all the predestined family of God, and He must keep on interceding before the throne of the Father until that last one is born and comes to the hour of accepting his, or her family name. I know some of you do not like to hear this, but I did not write the Bible. I only tell you what is already written therein. Verse 7, “Now they (those predestined ones in that day) have known all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.” In other words, none of this originated from the human nature of the Son of God, but rather from the Father that in dwelled Him. “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me: and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” That simply means that those true disciples which followed Him, were beginning to get a revelation that He was not just another prophet, born of sinful conception, like those prophets which were before Him, but that He truly was who He confessed to be.


 GOD OR A DEVIL


In verse 26, Jesus says, “And I have declared unto them THY NAME and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Hallelujah! That is why that name JESUS is so important, and that is why the devil works so hard against it. Because it is the redemption name of the Father, which was made known unto the early church in the book of Acts. That is why they only baptized in that name. They knew there was no other name which carried authority to remit sins, except the name of the very God that had been sinned against. That name was given to the Son, and His disciples knew Him by that name. Therefore when they finally did receive the revelation of who He was, they could still meet Him on the street and say. Good morning JESUS, or Good morning Father. With the natural eye, all could behold the acts and deeds of this man called Jesus. But with the spiritual eye, those that were predestined could see beyond the human flesh, and see the Father working through this vessel of clay, to contact His lost children. But Jesus knew that those who received this revelation would not go without persecution. So in chapter 15, we find Jesus warning them of what to expect, and we will pick up in the middle of verse 20. “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my NAME’S sake. Because they know not Him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: (For they were keeping their traditional version of the law of Moses.) But now they have no cloak for their sin (because God has changed the order and they have refused to accept the change.) He that hateth me, hateth my Father also. (Now He re-emphasizes what He had just got through saying.) If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.” What is He actually getting at , by a remark like that? He had healed a blind man that had been born blind, and that just upset the Sanhedrin Court. He healed crippled people, raised the dead back to life, and did all sorts of miracles before them. Yet they still would not believe. They are guilty of unbelief, because He had manifested the works of God before them, and they called Him a devil. God does not send people to hell for drinking, smoking, cursing, and so forth. He sends them to hell because of their sin or unbelief, and all these sinful habits are just merely things that people who are on their way to hell, do while passing through this life. Some of the most religious people that could be found upon the face of this earth, are headed for damnation, because their religion is manmade, and they have rejected the true way of eternal life. That is why I hate to hear people say, I believe exactly what my saintly old grandmother believed, and I know there has never been a more dedicated Christian upon this earth than she was. For the sad truth is, grandmother did not have an opportunity to hear the truth of God’s restored word to this age, so God accepted her for living what she had revealed to her, but people of our day cannot make it in on that. Because new light has been shined upon their pathway that puts them in the same category with those Scribes and Pharisees that rejected Jesus. In John 5:26-27, which we have already read, Jesus said. “For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself: and hath given Him authority to execute judgement also, because He is the Son of man.” Therefore by that same authority, He said to Peter, in Matthew 16:19, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” What were these keys? The revelation of how man could be reconciled back to God. Where are they today? Every man of God that holds a true revelation in his heart of God’s plan of redemption, is holding these keys and every man that is called of God to preach His Gospel, has that same authority to bind and loose, that was given to Peter. Therefore when God, by His Spirit anoints a man to preach that gospel to you. It will do one of two things, it will either open the door of eternal life to your, or bind you up with the rest of the tares, to be burned. Not necessarily at the moment you hear it, but that is the final result of rejecting present truth. Whether you die before He returns, or live until He returns is not the important thing; it is whether you accept or reject the revealed truth of God’s word for your particular hour of time. Those who reject truth are judged already, by their unbelief, but those who reject truth, and still remain alive when heaven is opened, and Jesus descends to earth upon a white horse, arrayed in a vesture dipped in blood, smiting ungodly men with the sword of His mouth. I am here to tell you, you are going to see some judgement executed. Naturally these terms are symbolic terms, but there will be no symbolism in the wrath of God that is poured out upon this old earth in that day; it will be literal, and it will be too late to plead for mercy, for there will not be any mercy. That is why the Bible says, Today is the day of salvation. When the Spirit of God calls an individual for salvation, that person does not have the option to schedule it for a future date. God does not operate like that. You just simply do not say, God I want to continue in unbelief for a while yet, but when I am ready, I will be a Christian. NO! Today is the day of Salvation.


PREVIEW OF JESUS’ FUTURE GLORY


In order to clear up something else that has been a puzzle to a lot of people, let us go to St. Matthew 16:27-28, and then on into chapter 17. Jesus is speaking to His disciples about taking up their cross, to follow Him, and so forth, and in verse 27, He says, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works.” We know that Revelation 20:12-13, describes what will happen at the great white throne judgement, where the books are opened, and wicked mankind is judged according to what is recorded concerning his works upon earth. The righteous are not judged here; this is strictly for the unrighteous, but this is what Matthew 16:27, pertains to, and that causes many people to wonder about the next verse, where Jesus went on to say, “Verily I say unto you. There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom.” Did He mean that some of those disciples standing there with Him would not die before the great white throne judgement takes place? No, that is not what He said, nor what He meant, for as we read right on over into chapter 17, we can see what He was speaking of, for His transfiguration was a little preview given to Peter, James and John, of His future glory that was two thousand years in the future. Nevertheless, though by a vision, they did see Jesus as He will be seen in that day, so let us read a few verses here. “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart.” That means, He separated these three men from the multitude, and from the other 9 chosen disciples, that they might witness what was about to take place. The Son had a specific reason for this, but the Son did not make the choice from His own mentality, it was made by divine leadership of the Father which was in Him. He was led to go up to this place to pray, just like He was led into the wilderness to be tested, after his baptism by John. So let us watch what happened after they got up there, Verse 2. “And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was as white as the light.” This lets us know that the Spirit of God made a display, or manifestation of the future glory that was to be imparted to, or bestowed upon His Son. Those disciples were allowed to see Jesus as He will appear in His Millennial glory, when the Father has invested in Him all authority to rule and reign, and to execute judgement literally, both physical and spiritual. Not only will He slay wicked men with the sword of His mouth, He will raise them back to life one thousand years later, pronounce their spiritual judgement upon them, and cast them alive into the lake of fire. That will be their second death, which saints will never have to face. Not because we are worth of God’s mercy, but because we believed the gospel, and accepted His Son Jesus, the Christ. According to John’s description, even Jesus’ clothing was changed to display this majestic glory. They were not just white, like a white piece of cloth, they were as white as the light. In other words, If any mortal man ever saw such a light as this, he would be turned stone blind, just like Saul was, when that great light shined down upon him, a light which he describes as being brighter than the sun. Anyhow, no matter what His apparel might have been that day, the majestic glory of the Father that surrounded Him made it appear to be whiter than the light.


JESUS’ PRAYER IN GETHSEMANE


As these disciples watched all this great phenomena, they saw something else. Notice verse 3. “And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias (Elijah) talking with him.” Luke goes a little further with this than Matthew did, and tells what they were speaking of, when Moses and Elijah talked to Jesus there that day. He says they spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Moses and Elijah did not come to talk with Peter, James and John which were caught up in this great vision, and awestruck by what they were witnessing; they came to talk with Jesus concerning the things which He would have to suffer at Jerusalem. Those disciples did hear what was being said though, or Luke would not have written what he did. I believe this was the Father’s way of preparing the mind of the Son for what was ahead. It is yet a few more months before the cross, but to the mind of the Son, has been added the knowledge of what is going to happen. On the way down from the mountain, Jesus instructed those disciples not to tell the vision to anyone until after He was risen from the dead. So now, let us go to the 10th chapter of Mark, verses 32-34, where Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem with His disciples, and tells them what is ahead of Him. ”And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem: and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed: and as they followed, they were afraid. And He took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen to Him, saying. (Now notice what He tells them. You will not find this written in the Old Testament. Neither in the Psalms. This is the details of the events that will transpire when He gets to Jerusalem, and I believe this is what they heard there on the mount of transfiguration.) Behold, we go up to Jerusalem: and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the Scribes: and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles: and they shall mock Him, and scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him: and the third day He Shall Rise Again.” Hallelujah! Praise God! He knows the finish of it all, even before it is set in motion. Isn’t it wonderful how everything just falls into place according to the word of God? This was not a man reading scripture, trying to bring something to pass. This was a man speaking with authority. He knows the mind of the Father, and it is the mind of the Father that is to be fulfilled, and He is completely submissive to it. No wonder people would say, Never has there been a man before, that spake like this man, for He speaks with authority, and not as the Scribes and Pharisees, Who has brought Him to this hour? The Father, the great eternal Spirit, the one that caused Him to walk on the water, to turn water to wine, to multiply five little loaves and 2 small fishes to feed more than five thousand hungry people, and the one that caused Him to raise Lazarus from the dead, after he was already stinking. All these things were done that the Father might be revealed through the Son. But now this unusual man is in Jerusalem facing another great hour, so let us turn to the 26th chapter of Matthew, where we will start reading in verse 36. “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.” This garden of Gethsamane was sort of like a public park in those days. It was a place in the valley of Jehoshaphat, or Kidron, which lay right in line with the road worshiping people traveled between two mountain peaks. From Bethany, one would come over the Mount of Olives and descend down into the valley, and across the floor of the valley, and then up the eastern slopes of Zion into the temple gate, to the place where they were to worship the Lord. This little park like place called Gethseamane, was where people would say, Come, and sit under the Olive trees and see the beautiful flowers. It is written that many times Jesus resorted there to pray. So this day, Jesus has come to this place to pray before His betrayal, and He has brought with Him, apart from the others, these three chosen disciples, Peter, James, and John. Let us read verse 37, “And he took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith He to them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry ye here, and watch with me. And He went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying. O my Father, If it be possible, let this cup pass from me? Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” When He said, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death, that word sorrowful, is a word that describes deep depression, inner loneliness, or extreme sadness. Have any of you ever had feelings like that? It is just like there is a great vacuum inside of you. Well that was the human nature of Jesus reacting to this cruelness and death that He soon must suffer. Our emotions react like that when a heavy load is placed upon us. Many times you can just read it on peoples faces when you meet up with them. Some people just simply cannot hide their inner emotions. I believe we could have seen it on the face of Jesus that day, for He had in Him every muscle and nerve that any other normal human would have. The big difference is, here is one man that will not completely submit to all this discouragement, and just give up, saying, What is the use of trying to go on, like so many other people have done. He couldn’t give up in that sense, for He knew what lay beyond all this. He knew what glory would one day be His. Praise God, Saints. We should also take courage likewise. If He could look beyond all that grief and sorrow, and see the glory that lay beyond this great trial, then we likewise should, for the scriptures declare that if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him. Hallelujah!. You will not need a whip, you will rule with authority.. Now Saints, the point I am trying to bring out of this, is that this Son of God must go through the valley of decision, and come out victorious on the other side of the trial, in order to set a perfect example for you and me. He was born perfect, and He lived a perfect life, but He was not a perfect example for us until He had faced and overcome these certain tests in His life.


THE FATHER NEVER LEFT JESUS


After He submitted completely to the will of the Father, Jesus came and found those three disciples asleep, and said to Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? He did that three times, and each time prayed that if the cup of death could not pass from Him, then let the will of the Father be done. In Mark 14:36, it is expressed like this, “And He said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” What a beautiful picture. You say, What is He crying about? Death is just ahead. Is He afraid to die? Yes, Death is a fearful thing. Remember: This man was not born to die for you and me. In other words, He had no death reigning in Him. In the mind of the Father, He was as a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, but from the standpoint of perfect human, He was not born to die. For the sake of illustration, let us just suppose He had never come to the Jordan to be baptized, and had just continued on as He had for the previous 30 years. He would have lived a perfect man through out all eternity, but you would never have seen any miracles from Him? He would have just been a perfect man to live, live, live, never to die. It is hard for us to imagine anyone living, and never having to worry about tuberculosis, heart trouble, arthritis, cancer, and all those diseases of the whole human race, but I assure you, He would never have had any trouble like that. In the 41st verse, of Mark 14, it says, “And He cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.” He had prayed three times, and now His mind was made up. He knew what must happen, and He was now ready to face it. Now you have heard me say many times, You need to read all the Gospel accounts of these various events, in order to get a more complete picture of what actually took place, for each writer brings out some little detail that the others did not put in. Therefore let us go to Luke’s account for a verse or two. In verse 43, chapter 22, Luke says that while He was praying, “There appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony He prayed the more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Do you see why I wanted to include Luke’s account of this event? Do you really see? Let us look at it like this, If God the Father is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, why did He need to send an angel to minister to His grieving, sorrowful Son? To me, it is further proof that angelic beings, are helpers with God in all of His works upon earth. Luke says, in verse 45, “And when He rose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow, and said unto them, Why sleep ye? Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. And while He yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” He was taken from the garden to Caiaphas’ judgement hall, where all night long they ridiculed Him, struck Him, and blasphemed. Had the Father left Him? Absolutely not. Did He not put the ear back on the servant of the high priest, when one of His disciples cut it off with a sword? That was still the works of the Father which was still in Him. The Father could not leave Him: they were now one Spirit. The Father just did not exercise His mind in this matter; He left Jesus to do the choosing from His own human mind. It was the human that faced Caiaphas; deity remained silent. Yet Jesus said to them, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” He could have done that, but if He had, that would have ended the whole process. That would have been as far as He could have went, for once He gave in to the demands of the flesh, He could never have finished the redemption work that was given Him to do. You see my point, do you not? He could not call angels to rescue Him from this situation, lest He kill the whole process, but that did not keep the Father from sending angels to comfort Him during His hour of great suffering. You must see though, that the angels just ministered to His Spirit. It is your spirit that works through your physical mental makeup. That mental part of you is like, we will say, your communication board between your flesh and your spirit, because your spirit is the very origin of intelligence. Therefore the angel came and strengthened His spirit, and encouraged Him. But through it all, the Father was still just as much in Him as He had ever been. Even when Jesus cried out from the cross, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The Father had not forsaken Him; He was still right there. As long as the spirit of life remained in that body of flesh, the Father was still right there in Him. But when the spirit of life left the body, and went down into hell, where was the Father? They were one Spirit; they never were separated. Do you catch my point? Down in the corridors of hell, He preached to those imprisoned spirits by the authority of that same commission, and He had the authority to set those captives free. Then on the third day He was raised from the dead by the authority of that same omnipresent, eternal Spirit that was one with Him. That is why the apostle Paul could use words like, Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. The only thing that kept that body in the tomb for three days, was the fact that it had to be that way to fulfill the scriptures; therefore when the time was right, He who has complete control over all creation, just simply raised it right up from that tomb and rejoined body and Spirit, and it will not be one bit harder to do the same for every other person that has ever died having that eternal Spirit in them, when the time arrives for it to be done.


HE IS NOT HERE: FOR HE IS RISEN


Now before we bring this message to a close, we want to look at some scriptures that deal with what happened after the cross. If you will open your Bibles to the 28th chapter of Matthew, verse 5, where the angel that rolled back the stone from the entrance of the sepulchre is speaking t the women that came early to the tomb on the 1st day of the week. “I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. ( The angel is inviting them to come on over and take a look for themselves.) And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him; lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepluchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus me them, saying, All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.” In this particular setting we have something that sounds like a contradiction. But we need to try to see what is portrayed here. For as this moment they hold Him by the feet and worship Him. “Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go unto Galilee, and there shall they see me.” Remember now, They were to go back to the disciples and tell something. Let us go to the 20th chapter of John, and notice the very first verse. “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciples, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid Him. Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: ( Peter and John) and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. (John was in a hurry to get there, but he did no to inside.) And he stopping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin that was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw and believed. (John just refers to himself as that other disciple in his gospel account of what happened.) Verse 9, For as yet they knew not the scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: (This lets us know that she had followed Peter and John back there, but had been a little slower arriving.) And as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre. (This was her second visit here.) And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have lain Him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She, supposing Him to be the guardner, saith unto Him, Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell where thou has laid Him, and I will take Him away. ( This lets me know that Jesus was speaking in a different voice than what they had become accustomed to hearing, or she would recognized Him immediately.) Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni: which is to say, Master. (When He spoke her name, she recognized Him, But we know that He also walked along the road to Emmaus with two disciples, talking to them, and they only recognized Him by the way He brake the bread later.) Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them. I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” This lets me know, that somewhere between His early arrival from the tomb, and the time when some of His disciples saw Him later, there must have been a transition of His person whereby His role as high priest was fulfilled in its first stage. He offered Himself on the cross; His blood was shed for the sins of lost mankind, but that did not complete the offering. The type is in the Old Testament. After the blood is shed from the sacrificial animal, out on the altar, the blood had to be conveyed by the high priest into the holy of holies, to make it a finished work for atonement. There, in the holy holies, is where the acceptance took place. Therefore Jesus, from this standpoint, after being the blood, and now being risen from the dead, He must assume the duties of the high priest, and cannot be touched until first , He has presented Himself unto the presence of the Father for the purpose of conveying this shed blood into the heavenly holy of holies. He was not yet going there to be the eternal high priest, but this part had to be finished before He could present Himself tot his disciples, and allow them to touch Him. That part should not be to hard to understand, knowing how the earthly high priests had conducted themselves fulfilling, or should I say, setting the type of that which Jesus was to fulfill with His one offering. That is the only thing you can get out of what He said to Mary, knowing that this part had to be fulfilled, and also, knowing that, in the other accounts, we read that they held Him by the feet, and worshiped Him. Now there certainly should be no contradiction, since we know the process by which this offering should be made, and knowing that none of these Gospel writers were obligated to give every detail that the others included in their record. I hope that is understood, for only carnal, argumentative minds go around looking for contradictions in the scriptures without ever trying to place them in proper context.


THE GREAT COMMISSION


Now, let us go back to the 28th chapter of Matthew for what I want us to see next. Jesus has sent word to His disciples, that He will meet them in Galilee, and those that guarded the tomb have gone into the city and made their report, and there is much confusion about what has really happened, so let us go to verse 16, and start reading. “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (Watch these words here, Something has happened. A transition has taken place, for now He is saying, All power.) Is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” What kind of power could this be? What is He talking about? Brother, those words He spoke earlier, “Father, glorify thou me,” have been fulfilled. That could not be granted unto Him until after He had hung on that old cross and fulfilled all of that part. Can you see that? That power, or authority lay in Him giving Himself as a finished work of sacrifice for the sins of man. Now He has been granted that which He prayed for, and that brings us down to the great commission in verse 19. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” and so fourth. But I want you to know for sure, that the name which He was referring to, was the only name that has any redemption authority, the name JESUS. Let us go back to John 20:19 now, so we can see that these words were all spoken at the same time, and not at two different times. It is in this chapter that He said, Touch me not, when He was actually referring to what He must do in order to complete the sacrifice. Then in verse 19, it is now evening time, not early in the morning, so something had definitely taken place during the day, that has changed the picture. Watch what happened that evening. “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them. Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.” This was in the evening, but it was still the 1st day of the week, the day He arose, so after they recognized Him, He again says, “Peace be unto you: (and adds) as my Father hath sent me. (That would be pointing back to His earthly ministry.) Even so send I you.” That links right up with Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” What actually is He commissioning them to do? They are to go forth into all nations and continue doing the works of the Father among mortal mankind, even as He has been doing for the past 3 ½ years. That is why He said, “These works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works than these shall ye do, because I go unto the Father.” Now He certainly did not mean for anyone to think He would be defused, and cease to exist in bodily form as some believe. He has gone into the heavenlies, into the presence of the omnipresent, eternal Spirit, to mediate between God and man, but He still has His bodily form, and we shall see it when He comes for us, but in the meantime we walk by faith. Now notice John 20:22, what He said, after saying, “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose so ever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose so ever sins ye retain, they are retained.” The Catholic church really leans hard upon that verse of scripture, but I assure you, Saints, that does not authorize the pope to forgive sins. Jesus was simply authorizing His disciples to perform the rite of scriptural baptism in water for the remission of sins of the flesh upon repentant sinners. Therefore if they had some reason to refuse to baptize a man, then it just stands to reason that his sins would be retained. But please keep in mind the fact, that baptism does not remit the SIN of UNBELIEF, the blood of Jesus Christ takes care of that the very moment we believe. You simply cannot be a believer, and an unbeliever both at the same time. So water baptism is for the purpose of remitting the sins of our flesh, and that can only be properly administered after we repent and believe the Gospel. Therefore let it be understood, that the disciples, at that particular time, did not receive the Holy Ghost. This was only a preparatory command, preparing their understanding, so they would accept the great commission, but keep everything in its proper perspective. The Father sent Him (Jesus) by getting inside Him, and leading Him, and that is the very same way Jesus was going to send them, but first they would have to have that experience of receiving the Holy Ghost, up there in that upper room where they were waiting. He prepared their minds for what was to be expected of them, and then He ascended into heaven, and left them standing, looking up, watching Him go from them. Since that time, He has been fulfilling the 110th Psalms, “Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” But the word forever does not apply to time without end, for we do certainly know that there will come a time when He will cease to function in His office as high priest, for He cannot be high priest and King both at the same time.


GENTILES HEAR THE GOSPEL PREACHED


Let us go now to Acts, chapter 10, and see how the disciples preached this great revelation. We find the apostle Peter in the house of Cornelius, preaching to Gentiles. This is the first time Gentiles have had the Gospel preached to them. Listen, as we start reading here in verse 34, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of persons: But in every nation he that fearth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.” Brothers and sisters: Peter had walked with Jesus. What he knew, he had received first hand. He was the spokesman on the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were accused of being drunk on new wine. It was to Peter, that the keys to the kingdom, were committed. He had the authority to unlock the great mystery of the kingdom of God, and here he is, preaching to Gentiles, something he never would have dreamed of doing, but he is being led of the Spirit of God. (You can read it, in the previous verses here.) “The word which God sent unto children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached: (He is just pinpointing the time when Jesus Himself first began to preach. Not until after He was baptized by John.) How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: (authority) who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.” (He was in Him.) Peter was a Jew, and he had a perfect understanding of the Godhead. Would you not agree? He is really saying these things as only a Jew would say them. I have always said, It takes a revelated Jew, to really tell the story. That is why God has ordained that two Jewish prophets go, and preach to the nation of Israel when the Gentile dispensation is completed. You can be sure of one thing, No Trinitarian is ever going to convert that Jewish nation, no matter how hard they may try. Listen, “And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead.” Praise the Lord, old Peter knew how to tell it. He should have, he stood right there and watched it all.


PAUL REVEALING THE UNKNOWN GOD


Let us go quickly to chapter 17, where Paul can be heard. He is on Mars’ hill, preaching to a bunch of Greek philosophers. (The world is full of this kind today.) They were always looking to hear something new, and they were pagan worshipers, but listen to Paul tell them about the God He knows. Verse 22, “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.” He had viewed that great shrine with all its garnished work, and faces of all kinds of deities, (gods). Those Greeks had dozens of gods they worshiped. Paul had viewed all those many faces and forms of their gods, and then he had seen this sign they had erected just to be on the safe side, and not neglect any god. It was to the UNKNOWN GOD, and that was all Paul needed, to get himself a sermon topic. He said, (just to paraphrase) I am going to tell you something about this UNKNOWN GOD, that you have been ignorantly worshiping, Listen to him, verse 24, “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth life to all, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood (Noah’s all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, He was even familiar with their poetry.) For we are also His offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the off spring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Brother, here was another Jew that could really tell the story, and he had not even walked with Jesus, as all the other apostles had. I assure you of this one thing though, When he spoke, those who heard him, knew they were hearing a voice of authority. He spoke of the Godhead, and also of the fact, that God in reality has no need of anything that man can do for Him. A sovereign Spirit has no need of man’s hands, yet He will use them, when they are dedicated to following His perfect will.


PROPHET—- PRIEST—-KING


In Hebrews, chapter 1, we find Paul again speaking. Actually this is his epistle to the Hebrew Christians, but I just want you to see how those early disciples spread this good news around the world. Verse 1, “God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (In chapter 2, we are made to understand that God used angelic beings to convey that word to them. 2:2-3) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, (for we know that the only person involved here is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.) And upholding all things by the word of His power, (authority) when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” He walked upon the earth demonstrating the attributes of the Father, and then went into the garden and cried like a man. He walked up Calvary’s hill and died like a man. But then He went into hell, and said something that no other man could say, and three days later, His body was out of that tomb, and He is alive for ever more. He had been in His prophetic office for 3 ½ years. Now he has been in His high priest’s office two thousand years, and He will soon come back to earth to rule and reign in His Kingly office for another one thousand year period of time, but between now, and then, He will call His little bride away from this old earth for a little season, and when He returns to rule and reign, she will be right with Him. Revelation 19 shows Him returning to earth with His wife, and crowned, and robed, and smiting the nations with the sword of His mouth. What is He now? King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. The great tribulation has run its course, all the martyrs have shed their blood, and it is now time for them to be resurrected, to reign with Christ and His wife through this one thousand year period of restoration, while the earth is being returned to its former state as it was before the fall of man. This only begotten Son of God has been faithful to perform all the perfect will of the Father, and now He is back on earth, in power and glory. God’s oneness has been displayed all the way through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and this Son has put the AMEN, to every prophecy that has ever been spoken of Him, and yet multitudes have perished without ever seeing God in any of this. Has God been surprised by any of it? Absolutely not, He knew every bit of it, before there ever was a star.


LOOKING TO THE END


Let me just sort of conclude this message by calling your attention to a few important points. We have dwelt on showing both the humanity and the deity of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, but many have asked, What was the difference between Adam and Jesus? Were they both Sons of God? Yes, the first Adam (as Paul describes them)was God’s only created son. But please remember, God is one Spirit, not two. He has displayed His oneness in every bit of this. To portray the beauty of His oneness, He gave Himself only one creation, one created son, one created earth, and so forth. He gave His created son a commission to replenish and subdue the earth. But in the very beginning, that commission was altered by sin. Sin brought death both physically and spiritually to His created son, and that death sentence was passed through God’s hereditary law upon all men, causing a separation from God, yet it was, and is, the purpose of God to have a family of people that He can dwell in, and fellowship with, as He did with Adam, in the beginning. Every living thing received its life from God, but it was utterly impossible for any man to begat a son free from the penalty of sin and death, and yet it would take such a Son of God to undo what had been done. What was God to do? He could not create another son, that would have marred the beautiful testimony of His oneness. (He knew what He would do all along, but mankind did not.) Nevertheless, there had to be a Son that would fulfill the will of the Father, and fill the earth with sons and daughters that God could have this desired relationship with. Therefore in process of time, He gave Himself one begotten Son. His name was JESUS. He merely created an embryo in the virgin womb of a young Jewish girl, and allowed His Son to be born of a woman through the same process of birth that all other babies pass through, only the conception was different. That made this Son not only the Son of God, but also the seed of woman, and you will recall that it was the seed of the woman that was to bruise the head of the serpent. When did He do that? Mainly, and most importantly at Calvary. Was the Father truly in Him? Absolutely. But not until after John baptized Him, when He was about 30 years of age. ( I would say, when He turned 30.) Who is the Father? The omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient Spirit that created all things. When the Father incarnated the Son, it was not to give the Son more life, but rather to embody Him with all the attributes of His Father. Did the Father ever leave the Son? Never, He and the Son were completely blended into one Spirit, just like smoke from two fires close to each other. Once that smoke from those two fires mixed together, they are from then on one smoke. That is exactly how it was with the Father and the Son; they were most emphatically, one Spirit. Yet that did not keep the Son from being able to exercise His own mind, as is evidenced in His prayers, and in much of His talk with His disciples, or maybe we should say, most of His talk. Yes the Father and the Son were one Spirit, even to the very moment that the Spirit left the body, there at Calvary, and went into Hell, to free imprisoned saints, and convey them into a heavenly paradise, and they were still one Spirit 3 days later, when by the authority of the Father, Jesus slipped back into that body, and presented Himself to His disciples who were waiting in Galilee. What was it all done for? To conquer death, hell, and the grave, and set redemption in operation. It is very evident that Satan is still loose in the earth today, but he is soon to be bound up for one thousand years, while this glorified Son of God completes the final phases of the process of redemption and restoration. That will bring us out, over in chapter 20,of the book of Revelation, and when that great white throne judgement is completed, and all the wicked and ungodly are cast into the lake of fire, we will be right on the threshold, ready to enter back into the garden of Eden. What you see pictured there in Revelation 22, is exactly what Adam and Eve fell from, when they disobeyed God. That holy city, the New Jerusalem seen coming down from God, out of heaven, in chapter 21, is none other than the redeemed bride, all having the eternal light of God shining forth from them. It is a beautiful picture Saints, and it thrills my soul just to think about it, and even more, when I realize how close we are getting to the next major phase of this great plan of God. May we keep our spiritual eyes and ears open and be very sensitive to the Spirit of God in these days ahead, is my prayer. Praise the living God! Amen.

The Body of Christ (1986), Part 2

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WE ARE ON A MESSAGE DEALING WITH THE TRUE BODY OF CHRIST, WHAT IT IS, HOW IT FUNCTIONS, WHO IS IN IT, AND WHERE IT WILL FINALLY END UP, AND IT IS GOING TO BE A LENGTHY MESSAGE, REQUIRING A NUMBER OF VOLUMES OF OUR PAPER TO PRINT IT ALL, SO READ IT PRAYERFULLY, AND ALLOW THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO MAKE IT MEANINGFUL TO YOU. WE ENDED PART 1, IN VERSE 7, OF 1ST CORINTHIANS, CHAPTER 13, SO THAT IS WHERE WE WILL PICK UP FOR THIS PART, AND FINISH THE CHAPTER OUT, BEFORE WE START DEALING WITH THE NINE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT, GIVEN TO THE CHURCH TO EXEMPLIFY JESUS CHRIST, WHO IS THE HEAD OF THAT MYSTICAL BODY. I WILL NOT TRY TO RUSH THROUGH ANY OF THIS, FOR I FEEL THAT IF IT IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH AT ALL, WE NEED TO DEAL WITH EVERY ASPECT OF IT, THAT ALL LOOSE ENDS MAY BE TIED TOGETHER BEFORE WE FINISH. BY THE TIME WE FINISH THIS MESSAGE, WE SHOULD BE WELL ABLE TO RECOGNIZE THE TRUE BODY OF CHRIST, AND FIND OUR PLACE IN IT. GOD ALREADY KNOWS OUR PLACE, BUT WE MUST LEARN HOW TO BE LED INTO IT. HE ALREADY KNOWS WHAT WE WILL DO, BUT WE STILL HAVE TO FIND OUT; SO LET US STUDY THESE SCRIPTURES TOGETHER, AND ALLOW THE HOLY SPIRIT TO GUIDE OUR THINKING, AND WE WILL ALL PROFIT BY IT.


LOVE BELIEVETH ALL THINGS


We were talking about how the love of God in a true believer, enables him, or her to believe all truth, no matter how strange it may sound at first. As I said, We are using the word L-O-V-E, instead of the word C-H-A-R-I-T-Y, as we read these scriptures, for the word charity, does not mean the same to us, as it did to those who translated the King James version of the Bible. In their day, it meant love; but in our day, when we hear the word charity, we think of making a donation to some cause. Many organizations today, are referred to as charitable organizations, simply because our language structure is different than it was three or four hundred years ago. Therefore we say (verse 7) “Love believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” God cannot lie, and God is love. Therefore when the Spirit of God is in us, it enables us to recognize truth, and believe it, even though it may sound very strange to us at first. When I was still a Methodist, I heard Bro. Branham say a lot of things that were totally strange to me. My natural mind just simply could not understand, but the love of God in me, helped me lay those things up, until such time as my understanding was opened, without rejecting any of them. It is the Holy Ghost that helps us believe all things, and naturally we are talking about all truth, not a bunch of lies. That same love in you, will enable you to try every spirit that speaks, to see whether it is speaking truth or lies. That is how we grow in grace and knowledge, by believing all truth. Then we come to the word HOPE. In our modern terminology we say, I hope it does not rain today, and all such as that. But in the scriptures, when it says love hopeth all things, it is referring to that inner feeling that causes us to believe everything is going to turn out alright. Not to have that kind of hope is to be pessimistic, always looking at the negative side of things. No farmer has any guarantee that he is going to have a good crop of corn, but he just has to be optimistic enough to plow his fields and plant his seed corn anyhow. If they did not have that kind of optimistic hope, there would never be one stalk of corn grown, and the corn cribs would be empty. So the best way I can describe that kind of hope, that hopeth all things, is just to say, It is that inner feeling of optimism, that motivates us to do what we do. It is that inner something, that causes us to look at all the uncertainties of life, and our walk with God, with an optimistic feeling that everything will work out right. Why? Because God’s word says so. He does not paint the picture clear for us, and show us every little detail ahead of time, because He expects us to walk by faith, with that inner hope to lead us on. That hope gives us a forward look, in the midst of all uncertainties.


LOVE WILL ENDURE


Now the last thing in verse 7 is, “Endureth all things.” That means we equip ourselves to deal with every situation, no matter how rough it gets for us. That does not mean that we just tolerate it, but we must master it. Remember, Jesus said, He that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved. Therefore we must realize, that the man that endures, always has to be able to cope with adversity. Did not Jesus say, In the world, you will always have trials and tribulations? He also said, That in Him, we would have peace and joy, that the world cannot give. That is what helps us endure all of this evil and filth that is all around us. We are in the world, but we are not of the world. That love of God that is in you, is what motivates you, and causes you to be able to endure all things. Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. The weapons of our warfare are not guns and knives, but they are mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong holds. Therefore Paul says, Love never faileth. Why? Because it is guided by all the other purpose of God, for our benefit. In the gospel of John, Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, when ye have love one for another.” It is sad, but there are thousands of church-goers that do not look for true disciples under that kind of identity. They are concerned about whether you have spoken in tongues, or something like that. If you speak in tongues, they will declare that you have the Holy Ghost, no matter what your life is like. The Pentecostal movements in the world today, have hung their plaques on evidence. They have characters that can speak in tongues from daylight till dark, and then go to sleep with someone else’s wife, and they still claim to have the Holy Ghost. Recently I received a letter from a young man in jail, where some of the other fellows receive our literature, and he had gotten hold of our issue on the Two Laws of Eden, and read it, and wrote to me saying, This serpent seed doctrine is out of the pit of hell; I would not let my children read it for anything. He went ahead to say, I have the Holy Ghost, with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues, and I believe in the trinity, and so on. I did not write him back, but I did think to myself, You are just like thousands of others; you think speaking in tongues is the thing that makes you so spiritual, and you are ready to teach others, but you are as blind as a bat. A true disciple of Christ will love God first, and hunger for the truth of his word, and then all these other things will fall in place in due time. As we get closer to the end, you are going to find out that there are thousands of people that do not really love God. They say it with words, but in reality, they are far from it. “Love never faileth.” The true love of God will never fail to lead you to truth. God puts that desire within you, or it would not be there. But when God puts that love, and that hunger in your heart, you just simply cannot get enough.

PROPHECIES FAIL – TONGUES CEASE


Alright now, this next part of verse 8 is what the Church of Christ likes to read and dwell upon. “But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease.” They will really bear down on those two things. Brother they will all agree on that. Stay away from those holy rollers; for this scripture proves that all of that ceased with the death of the early apostles, they will say. But notice the rest of that verse: “Whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” Now if the first part of that verse means what they say it does, so does the rest of the same verse, so that makes them a bunch of morons. You cannot know as much as they claim to know, if knowledge vanished with the apostolic age. I say, If you are going to interpret one phrase literally, you have to interpret all of it literally, and that last phrase really gets them. They are supposed to be giving out so much truth, and they do not have the knowledge to do it with. Brothers and Sisters: Paul was not even suggesting that any true prophecy would ever fail. On the other hand, some exhortative prophecies are given, with certain conditions attached to them, and when the conditions are not met, the prophecies naturally fail. That should not be hard for anyone to understand. God presents some people with certain opportunities, but when they fail to meet the conditions, they fail to receive the benefits offered. Even Cain was given the opportunity to claim firstborn heirship, but he would not meet the conditions God laid down for him. After his offering was rejected, he was sitting with his lips all drawn down, his countenance all gone, and God said to him, “Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? But if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” God was speaking His will to Cain, but Cain was too bitter to take heed, and that was because of his very nature. As I said, God was actually speaking to him of the law of heritage which would fall to the firstborn, and it was being offered to him, but he just did not take heed, nor understand. Thou shalt rule over him, and his desire shall be unto you, meant, He will be jealous of you, and will want your place. God did not have to say, Thus saith the Lord, but He was truly offering him everything he needed right at that time, to do the right thing. Well, he missed it, and became even more jealous; therefore the prophecy did him no good at all. Because He failed to meet the condition, he did not get to rule over Abel, and the moment he slew Abel, God’s judgment fell upon him. God just reversed the whole thing, and Cain had to leave the area because his guilt, and his punishment was too great. He could not remain in the presence of Adam and Eve after that, so he left them, and went to the land of Nod. Therefore let me say this, those written prophecies of the old prophets, concerning future events, never fail, but those conditional prophecies sometimes do, simply because the conditions are not met. I hope I have made that clear to all of you, so let us move on now. “Whether there be tongues, they shall cease.” Now tongues never did cease to exist, so what did Paul mean by that? Well in the 14th chapter, he explains how tongues in the Church were a sign to the unbelievers. As unbelievers would come in and hear this; to them, it was an unusual, miraculous thing, to hear people speak a dialect they did not know, and then hear someone else interpret it. This was a miracle, and it was a sign to those unbelievers. But there came a time, when some of those unbelievers had sat in that environment so long, that tongues ceased to have that affect on them. It no longer means anything to them to hear tongues and interpretation. I will never forget the first time I heard tongues and interpretation. I had been in the Methodist Church, where you never even hear of any such thing, and then I get into one of those Holy Ghost meetings, and heard a message in tongues. Brother that was just like setting a beagle hound after a rabbit in a brush pile. I felt like all heaven had turned loose. You would too, if you had sat in a Methodist Church for years, and never been exposed to anything of the supernatural. You know you would. It is supposed to have that kind of affect on you. That is what their function is primarily for. Instead of scaring me, and running me out, it scared me, and made me run to the Lord. The next thing I knew, I was down in the old cow stable praying, Lord I want everything you have for me. Hallelujah! Praise His Name! I have never seen the day since then, that a supernatural move of the Lord failed to stir me, but some do. That is why Paul wrote this. Sooner or later, God requires a person to either get in, or get out, but the tongues do not cease to exist. Neither is Paul saying that knowledge will vanish away from those that have it, He is only pointing out that the manifestation of that imparted knowledge that comes by the gift of knowledge, will not always be ever present. In other words, Those who have knowledge will still have it, even when the manifestation of the gift of knowledge has ceased to function among them. In other words, These gifts of the Spirit did more or less, go into obscurity through the ages, but we are living in a day when I believe we will see a full restoration of them all, used the right way. They have their place in the revelated body of Christ, but God never meant for any of them to be used as a moneymaking gimmick, as is so obviously being done in this present age.


THINGS DONE IN PART


In verses 9 & 10, Paul says, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” No prophecy ever fills in all the details, but it does give a profile of that which it pertains to, and other prophecies many times, will add to prior prophecies, but still without filling in all the details. Therefore we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but that which we have is always sufficient for what God requires out of us in our day. The gift of prophecy will always bring a comforting, edifying affect, wherever it is exercised properly, regardless of what it pertains to, and even though they do not fill in all the details. Nevertheless until we reach that place of perfection, we will only know in part, and be able to prophesy in part. But like I said earlier, Perfection is not a sudden thing. There are phases of perfection, and there are also various areas of perfection. We will reach maturity in some areas, before we do in others. Every individual child of God must move with the leading of the Spirit, to ever reach that stage of perfection Paul speaks of so often. Actually verse 11 lets us see that he really is pointing to a time of spiritual maturity, and he goes on to say, “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Love never fails. Of course he goes right ahead in chapter 14 to say, Follow after love, and desire spiritual gifts, but let love be the motive behind it all. Now this really points us back to the first part of chapter 12, where we will take a look at the nine gifts of the Spirit. As I said, We have all experienced manifestations of the various gifts of the Spirit at times, but we have not yet seen the Church of the living God in action. We came through various denominational systems to reach the hour we have come to, and in many ways, those denominations did do us harm. For there was a time when that sectarian spirit was so strong, Methodists did not know whether Baptists were saved, and Baptists did not know whether Methodists were saved, and there was no way the Assemblies of God could ever accept the idea that the United Pentecostals were saved, because to them, that oneness of God doctrine was out of the pit. That is why when God sent a messenger to the age, He did not send him to any certain denomination, nor to any certain non denominational group, for Christianity was in dispersion and confusion, and true believers had to be called out of all those systems, and back to the word of God. Therefore we have to realize that the true body of Christ is an organism of people that are free from all of those systems. They are Bible believing, Spirit filled children of God, every one standing before God as an individual, yet God deals with them as a body of people, and they are called the body of Christ. Through the years God has dealt with that body in various ways, and He is now in the process of culling and sifting, to purify it, as we approach the end of the age. Therefore we can expect Him to deal with individuals of that body in various ways, as He perfects His purpose in them. I have said many times lately, God will not let them drag on for another 40 or 50 years; we are seeing the signs of the end time. The image of the home has already been destroyed, governments are failing, and society in general is going to the dogs. America, that was founded upon Christian principles, no longer wants God in the picture. Oh yes, there are multiplied thousands going to some kind of religious service every Sunday, but they are like Paul spoke of, they have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof. Young women of our day are no longer interested in being keepers of the home, as the Bible says they should be. They want to have a baby, to fulfill that motherhood part of their makeup. But after a few weeks, they are ready to toss the little thing into the hands of a babysitter, and pursue a career of some sort. Brothers and Sisters: It is the trend of the times we are living in, and I realize that economic circumstances force a lot of mothers to work, that would like to be at home with their little children, but I am speaking of those that would rather pursue some career, than to be a homemaker. They would never want to listen to a preacher like me. To them, I belong to a museum someplace: my ideas are so outdated. Nevertheless I know what the Bible teaches about these things, and that is what I base my remarks upon. As I have said many times, This society is fast returning to what the world was like two thousand years ago, when the gospel first came to the Gentiles. In other words, our ancient forefathers were a pitiful mess. That is why Paul started out like he did, here in 1st Corinthians, chapter 12, where we want to pick up with verse 1.


WHAT GENTILES ARE LIKE


These Corinthians had recently been converted from paganism, so Paul says, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, (This was to be his topic.) I would not have you ignorant. (That simply means ill informed.) Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.” He knew what they were before they received the gospel, for he was the one that led them to receive the plan of salvation in the first place. Saints, I have been privileged to be in the ruins of old Corinth, where the guide pointed out various places that pagan temples stood. In those days, Corinth was a metropolitan city, much like Louisville, Kentucky and Chicago, Illinois. They had a temple housing some kind of pagan god for every type of circumstance of life. That is what Paul was reminding them of; they were carried away unto those dumb idols, and it was all through ignorance, so he goes on saying, “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed; and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” In other words, Paul is saying to them, No true child of God will be found using the name of Jesus Christ in a vain way. They may have used the names of their idols in cursing, prior to becoming Christians, but no Holy Ghost filled person is going to use that holy name in a slanderous or blasphemous way. I imagine when some of those pagan people got mad, it was about like it is out here in the world today, they probably used the names of those gods in some pretty vile ways, and that no doubt, is what caused Paul to speak as he did here. How is it today, Gentiles whose lives have been brought into contact with a Christian influence, when they mash a finger, or get mad for some reason? Brother they will blankety-blank the name of Jesus Christ, or God, and just carry on something awful. You never hear them use the devil’s name like that, so why do they have to use God or Jesus in their vile language? Do they actually feel that this will accomplish something? The devil just sits back and laughs. He really likes to hear that kind of talk. But Paul says, No Holy Ghost filled person will use the name of Jesus like that, and he also says, that only Holy Ghost filled people, can truly say that Jesus is the Lord. The word Lord, here, really takes on the thought of master, my Master. The Spirit of God in us is our teacher, therefore we must yield to the fact that He (Jesus) is the master of our lives. Now something had come up, in that Corinthian church, that caused Paul to write as he did. He was not speaking these things verbally to them, he was writing this letter to the congregation, to explain some things to them. Therefore when he comes to verse 4, he says, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” This is why I stressed the difference between the gift (singular) of the Spirit, and the gifts (plural) of the Spirit. There is within this GIFT of the SPIRIT, nine spiritual gifts, nine different manifested attributes of that same Spirit. There are nine different manifestations, but they are all operated by that same Spirit that is in you. Not nine different spirits within one God. A lot of people get confused when they read in the scriptures, of the seven spirits of God. But that is not speaking of God actually being seven spirits, but only that there are seven certain attributes expressed from the one God who is a Spirit. This no doubt, is where ancients of the past as they lost their revelation of the true God, through centuries of time, began dividing God up into spirits, then into idols and so forth. They had a god of fertility, a god of wisdom, a god of love, and all such as that, one for every situation. So Paul says, There are diversities of gifts, but they are all of the same Spirit. None of the gifts are exactly alike, but they are grouped in categories of three sets of threes, and there is three distinctions made concerning them, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same SPIRIT. And there are differences of administrations, but the same LORD. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same GOD which worketh all in all.” The word changed from Spirit to Lord, and then to God, in those three verses, but we know for sure that Paul is not speaking of three different beings, nor three different spirits. What was the Spirit in the first illustration, then takes on a higher meaning in the second illustration. You realize that the Spirit is to be in the church, and the church is in the believers, therefore the object of attention is to be none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. You will not recognize Him after His flesh, but you must definitely see him by that Spirit, in all of His characteristics and attributes. All of that, is to know what He was, and what He became to man, after He was baptized by John in the river of Jordan. For three and one half years He manifested something to the human race. He revealed God, the Creator, whom man had never seen at any time. That is why Jesus said, in John 16:14, speaking of the Comforter that was to come, “He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” A lot people read that, but they never even stop to think what he meant. But it lets us know that the Church was to be an extension through time, of everything Jesus was in the 3 ½ years after His baptism. There was to be a continuation of the manifestations of God through His church, but in the office work of the Holy Ghost, and through the office work of the Holy Ghost, all attention must be pointed toward Jesus the Christ. Thereby He is recognized, not only as your Savior, but also as your Lord and master. Just as He sought to glorify the Father, the Holy Ghost will seek to glorify Him, and it is doing through His Church. Therefore Paul takes some time to break this thing down, before actually going into the nine gifts themselves, saying, that, just as there are nine gifts, and all by the same Spirit, there are also differences of administration, so let me try to explain what the word administration means, for we must see what it is point to. There are differences of administrations, but the same Lord, or master operating them, to whom just be given all attention. Because it is the Lord that operates these gifts, not the instrument in which they are placed. Therefore He is the one that should be seen at all times. But the nine gifts are broken down into three categories, when you think about it. You have three vocal gifts, or utterance gifts, prophecy, tongues and interpretation. Then you have three power gifts, faith, healing and miracles, and after that, three intellect, or revelation gifts, which are wisdom, knowledge and discernment. These last three work through the intellect of the person through which the Spirit is operating them. Therefore the administration is different, because the anointing is different. The anointing for these intellect gifts is much different than the anointing for the utterance gifts. The Spirit uses the vocal organs of the individual, more or less bypassing the intellect of the person through which the gift is being operated. This way, I believe we can see what it means by, there are differences of administrations. For when you consider the anointing for the power gifts, you find that it is altogether different than the anointing for the others. Well the point is, even though the administrations are different, it is still the same Lord operating them, and He is the one that is to be glorified through it all, so let us look at the term diversities of operations, in verse 6.


GUIDELINES FOR SEEKING GIFTS


There are nine specific gifts mentioned, and we must realize that it is the Spirit of God, that has placed them within the body, and He is the one that divides to every person severally as He wills, so the operation of every gift is designed to cause the believers to worship God. The Spirit of God knows exactly how to deal with the flesh as well as spirit of every individual believer, therefore He is the one that divides the gifts among the body of Christ severally as He wills. Regardless of what the gift or gifts may be, the individual receiving them, has to go through a little schooling process, in order to learn to recognize the specific anointing, and how to yield to it. But it is still the Spirit of God that gives the gifts, and does the schooling. No preacher is spiritual enough, smart enough, nor dedicated enough, to walk the aisles and pass out spiritual gifts. That sort of thing has been done, but as you well know, God was never glorified in any of it; only the flesh of the individuals involved benefitted momentarily. One thing we should remember, is that every person who has the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is that Spirit of eternal life, is a potential candidate for any of these nine gifts mentioned here. But not everyone learns how to present themselves to God, so that He has opportunity to cultivate these things in their lives. Administrations therefore, is how the Spirit deals with individuals in administering the gifts, and operations points to how the individuals are used in the operation of them, but all to the glory of the eternal Spirit, the Creator of all things. Always remember this, You cannot pass your anointing on to someone else. God will anoint someone else, if you fail to yield, but you cannot yourself, pass that anointing on to them. In the 5th chapter of 1st Thessalonians, Paul wrote “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things: hold fast that which is good.” That feeds into the general picture of what he is dealing with here. For it is a well known fact, many times we are literally scared of the Spirit of God. We should not be, but many times when the anointing begins to get hold of someone, the person begins to get scared, and that puts the mind of the individual into a frame of fear. They do not want to make a mistake; and of course no one does, but that is why I try to take these other categories, and teach on them, in order that we may see Paul’s guidelines for seeking the gifts. He uses all those various illustrations, showing how people with inferiority complexes, will allow the devil to kick them around, and make them feel unfit to be used by the Spirit of God in any way. If you are always fighting a battle about whether you are holy enough to be used of the Spirit, you probably never will be, for you will never learn how to yield yourself to Him. Therefore let me say this to you: When you know with all your heart, that you have surrendered your life to God, and you have done your best to obey the things His word requires, and you have purposed in your heart, that you are going to live a clean, godly, holy life in obedience to Him; then do not allow the devil to sit on your shoulder, and lie to you. There is no reason to put up with that. You just begin to meditate upon the sweet presence of the Lord, and cultivate that presence with a sincere desire in your heart to be pleasing to Him, and that inferiority complex will be overridden. God desires to be worshiped, and it is His will for these gifts of the Spirit to be a part of that worship, so do not feel that you are being selfish, or trying to be super-spiritual, if you have a desire for one or more of these gifts. Just be sure it is the love of God that is motivating you, and then earnestly desire whatever you feel led of the Spirit toward. If your heart is right before God, you do not have to be concerned about getting in the flesh, with the operation of a gift you just leave that up to the Holy Ghost. I am not telling you that you will not have some measure of fear, when that anointing first begins to come upon you, for I did myself. But I am telling you that as you yield yourself a few times, that fear will diminish. I have already mentioned the first time I ever gave a message in tongues in the Branham Tabernacle, but I did not tell how I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost without speaking in tongues, and had to seek God for the tongues at a later time. But first let me tell you this, The greatest battle you will ever go through concerning these gifts, is after you yield the first time, if someone makes a remark against it, or gets up and stomps out of the assembly. That is what happened to me at the Tabernacle. So let me say this, right now, If any of you ever jump up and stomp out of here when a gift is operated, I will point my finger at you and say, Do not ever come back, as long as you feel like that about these things that are precious to the Lord. The devil is always sitting close by saying, Are you sure that is of the Lord? What if that is just fleshly zeal causing you to do that, and all such as that? Well saints, you just have to realize that there will come a time when you will recognize a certain anointing, but at first you just have to yield to the Spirit, and if you do make a mistake, realize that the Lord does not condemn you for it. He will teach you through those mistakes. But as for people, someone will find fault, no matter how perfectly a gift is operated. That is why you just have to commit yourself to the Lord, and not worry too much about what people will say. As I said about myself, The first time I spoke a message in tongues, up jumped about three women, and stomped out of the tabernacle, and the remark was made by someone else, if that had really been of the Lord, those people would not have left. But I just happened to know that those people did not like tongues, and they did not want to have anything to do with people who spoke in tongues. That is why they left. Of course we realize that in Pentecost there have been a lot of fanatical things take place, and that sort of thing is all some people ever see. But we are not talking about fanaticism, for that is what follows people who have never been taught anything. We are here to learn how to yield ourselves to the Spirit of God, so that somewhere along the way, we can find our places in the body of Christ. Therefore let me say, The difference between administration and operation, is how the anointing moves for the operation of the gifts.

 

 

YOU MUST SEEK GOD


Now I started to say earlier, when I received the baptism, I did not speak in tongues at that time. But I was so thankful to God for the experience, for it made the whole outlook for my future, completely different. I had been around Pentecostal people though, that would not believe you had the Holy Ghost unless you spoke in tongues. Well that gives me the desire to speak in tongues, and I began to seek the Lord for that experience. But I did promise the Lord two things. I said, I am not seeking this, just to prove to those people that I have their evidence, and I promise you also, that if you will let me speak in tongues, I will never teach it as being the evidence of the Holy Ghost. I could already see that just speaking in tongues was not getting anyone any place. It takes more than just that. May I say this though, I truly did have to seek God with my whole heart, before I received what I was looking for, and I will say also, It is the same way with every gift of the Spirit. You do not just sit on a band wagon somewhere, and the Lord forces the gifts upon you. That is why Paul said, Covet earnestly the best gifts. In other words, Seek with your whole heart. I have actually heard people say, Well I would speak in tongues, if the Lord would put it upon me. Well saints, I do not want to belittle that kind of statement, but sometimes that is just an excuse people use, when they will not go into their bedroom, get down on their knees and seek God. You just have to know, God is not coming down the road forcing us to do things we do not want to do. Some people are so busy seeking after things of the flesh, they have no time to pray and seek God. They have every intention of living for God, but somehow there is just still a lot of flesh to deal with, and not enough time to seek God for spiritual depth. If your whole attention is given to ball games, tennis, golf, and such like, you are never going to partake of these spiritual gifts. Can you just imagine God’s prophet always concerned with things like that? No. Somewhere there has to be some time for seeking after God. Now you may say, Oh, Bro. Jackson: Brother Branham liked to squirrel hung. Yes, and I have heard him say many times, I do not go squirrel hunting just to kill squirrels. He said, I go out into the woods, just to get away from everything else. I remember one time years ago, when he came down home. It was one of those drizzly days, and they stayed all day with us. That evening we went out into the woods, and do you know what he did? He found a big old Beech tree, and sat down at the roots of it, and went to sleep. When he awakened, God gave him a sermon. Then he said, Well my day out there was worth it all, for God gave me a sermon while I was sitting there. It just lets us know that wherever he was, or whatever he was doing, his mind was still on the Lord. Brothers and Sisters: If you think the only important thing is just going to church and believing the right thing, and going through the regular functions of the services, you are badly fooled. None of these things that really produce any spiritual depth are going to come to you, until you begin to desire to be found portraying the image of Christ in your life. In other words, you are not just going to coast into glory, dragging the world behind you. But please do not get the idea that I am just up here preaching against ball games, and such like; that is nonsense for a preacher to do that. But I will say this, if things like that is what occupies all your time, the next time you get into trouble and run to the preacher, maybe he should just say, Go, play ball. It is a wonderful thing to feel that someone can pray the prayer of faith for you, when you have a problem, but do not just depend upon that. Your preacher is not a man with super words. He has a part to play in your spiritual growth of course, but do not depend upon him to do all of your praying for you. Pray that the Lord will help you be a little more like Him every day, for growing up into His image is what the Christian life is all about. If we have no desire to be like Him, His love is not really in us. I hope you are all following what I am saying to you, for this is serious business.


GOD ACTS SOVEREIGNLY


Alright now, it is not just what Raymond Jackson says, but what the Bible says, that counts, so let us read verse 7. “But the manifestation (or display) of the Spirit is given to EVERY MAN (or to every true child of God) to profit withal.” Those words were written in the apostolic hour (in the first church age) but they were not just for them; they were for all Christians, in every age. In every little assembly back then, these gifts were cultivated, and exercised. That is why Paul could say, All along the way, the Holy Ghost bare witness that he should not go up to Jerusalem. One big difference between then and now, is that every one of those churches were made up of nothing but Holy Ghost filled people. That was before the tares got in. However the fact remains, every individual Christian person, regardless of how important you may, or may not feel, should be seeking these gifts of the Spirit. That is how the Lord desires to operate His church. Do not ever get the idea that prophesying, speaking in tongues, and interpreting, is all there is to it, for it is the purpose of God for all nine of these gifts to operate in the church. I am not saying that we should be like popcorn in a popper, but we should be in a place with God, where He can use us when He desires. World achievements should not be allowed to rob our minds of all spirituality. You can become just like a shell of some kind, that always looks like it should be more than what it really is. Sooner or later, every individual should manifest something of the Holy Ghost. As you read the book of Acts, you read of a man named Phillip. He was referred to as an evangelist, but he had four daughters, that prophesied. I realize it would be hard for our young girls today, to prophesy, for their attention seems to be more on their outward appearance, than on their inward appearance before the Lord. A good Holy Ghost girl, or boy, will come to church with Jesus on their mind, instead of worrying and fretting about how they are dressed, and so forth. They will comb their hair, and take care of all those other little details, before they come to the house of God. Our purpose for gathering together, should be to worship God, and present ourselves as vessels He can use. Then we can experience the reality of what we are dealing with. Verse 8, “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit, to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.” There you have the whole list of gifts of the Spirit, so let us look at the various ones for a little while. The distribution of them is the administration we were talking about. This distribution is made by the Holy Ghost according to the will of the Lord, among those that covet the gifts for the right reasons, and love is the most important of all reasons. Your love for God, and your love for each other will cause you to want to be used of the Lord in a way that will glorify Him, and be a blessing to your brothers and sisters of the faith.


THE WORD OF WISDOM


Now the first gift mentioned, is the word of wisdom. That is an intellect gift. It will not start your tongue to running, just speaking in a tongue of some sort. The Holy Ghost can make you do that, but that is not the word of wisdom in operation. The word of wisdom is that which is given by the Spirit of God many times, when the natural mind is faced with a situation it strictly does not have the answer to. He will take your mind and run it back and forth, until you know exactly what to say. Furthermore the word of wisdom does not need to be spoken in a large vocabulary of words, that take an hour and a half to speak them. Just think, God has sent angels at times to speak a few words, that men have preached on for years. In a very few words, God can say something that it takes us forever, trying to explain. The word of knowledge is the same way. These gifts can be either for your own benefit, or for the benefit of someone else, as the case may be, especially the gift of knowledge, when God just takes over your intellect, and causes you to know what to do, in a certain situation. But let me say this, The word of knowledge, and the word of wisdom, as we are reading here, is not something you have twenty four hours a day. These came by an anointing, and whatever we have twenty four hours a day, is a natural thing, something we learn in life. Bro. Branham had these gifts operating in his ministry, in the highest caliber, but they were still by the anointing that came upon him. It was not something he had naturally. God can use a person to speak a word of wisdom one minute, and the next minute, that same person can be completely ignorant about other things. That is why I say, You do not have to have educational degrees, in order for God to work those gifts through you. But the main thing is, let us be in a place with God, where He can use us, if He sees fit to do so. I will never forget Bro. Allen’s testimony, about how through natural circumstances, he was planning to go out west a few years ago, with some other fellows. In his mind he was just trying to do the right thing, but the Spirit of God intervened, and showed him enough to cause him to know better than to go with them. God uses many ways to accomplish His purpose in these things. He can give you a dream, a vision or just simply take control of your intellect. Let me say also, These intellect gifts are not operated in the person who is all emotionally charged up, they operate in a much calmer atmosphere. God has to be able to deal with your mind.


HOW GOD DEALT WITH ME


Many of you will remember hearing me tell how God dealt with me in April 1955. That was the year He spoke to me about starting this church. Up until that time, if anyone had mentioned anything to me about starting a church, I would have replied, That is the last thing on earth I want to do. That is how I felt about it. But one April day, when I was plowing for corn, sitting there on that old farm tractor, I heard the Lord speak to me. Not by an audible voice, but I knew it was Him anyway. Something just dropped on me, and took over my mind; just literally took my thoughts all day long. I could hear these words over and over, Now is the time to start the church; Now is the time to start the church; just like a tape recorder. When I came in to eat that day, I said to my wife, There is something going on inside of me; I cannot get it off of my mind. Monday morning, I must go to town and see what I can do about it; I must find out. I went ahead and plowed, the rest of that day, (Friday) and all day Saturday, and that was all that was on my mind, the whole time; Now is the time to start the church. When Monday morning came, I said to my wife, We are going to town. I did not know how to go about it, but I knew I had to make some physical effort to set it in motion. I left her off in a store in New Albany, and in my mind I said, I am going to run every street in New Albany if I have to, looking for a suitable building, and I started up Main Street. But no sooner than I got started, something took my mind again, saying, Don’t do that, go to a realtor. He did not say which one, so I went to Cora Jacobs. The lady at the desk asked, What can we do for you? I said, Would you have a building for rent, suitable to start a mission work in? She said No, but if you will go right around the corner to Bernard Weber, he might be able to help you. I did so, and as I walked in the door, something within me said, 904 State Street. His receptionist asked, May I help you, and I asked her the same question. She said, There is one at 904 State Street, owned by a man named Potter. Well needless to say, That is where this church got its start, and we moved three times, but we have been right here for 18 years now; and have no thoughts about moving again. Now brothers and sisters: I realize these are small illustrations, but there is one thing sure, It is important that the body of Christ realize the importance of being sensitive to the Spirit of God. We cannot just coast on through life, right into the rapture. We all have a part to play, in how ever much time we have left here, and our natural wisdom and knowledge will not always be sufficient to enable us to walk in the perfect will of God. We will need that imparted wisdom and knowledge from time to time, as we go along. But remember, We do not have to be in church, in order for God to speak to us, He can talk to you in the corn field, or any other place, if your mind is open to Him. If I had been thinking only on getting a new tractor, and more fields to farm, and all such as that, He never would have spoken to me as He did, but my mind was upon Him. That is what makes the difference. I was definitely concerned about what my life was going to be like in the realm of Christianity, and in the calling I felt that the Lord had placed upon my life. I had been earnestly seeking the will of God for my life. Just a little more than a year before that, I had already been rejected as pastor material for the Methodist Church, I really needed some guidance, and I am thankful to God for granting it to me. I have gone for months, even years since the, without having anything like that taking place. Some people think you are supposed to have something like that going on all the time, but I do not feel that we have any right to expect it that way myself. When people get to the place where they feel that they just have to have something every week, they have a tendency to become very slothful in their attitude about such things. Well God is never going to turn His Church into a vending machine. He is very jealous over everything that pertains to His true Church. He wants it to be respected. He wants His people to learn to be wise in a spiritual way.


HOW GOD GOT MY ATTENTION


In October last year, when we had that little meeting here, I told of a dream that I had during the week before. I saw myself in a way that made me aware of the shortness of time, and that I must redeem the time. There was a lot about it, that I did not understand, but realizing I was supposed to preach Sunday morning, I went home Saturday night, with that on my mind, and had a dream that night, wherein I saw myself come in here, and a sheet of paper had been passed up and down the aisles, and back and forth across the church, and the only thing written on it was Luke 17:30. Now I had expressed in a limited way, many times, how I felt about that verse, but I had no idea of the far reaching effect of the teaching that others had been doing on that one verse, so that is how God got my attention, to deal with the subject, The Son of Man, Who is He? A lot of people had been affected by that teaching, and they had tried to get free from it, but somehow or other just never could, because it had been hammered into them. Anyhow it was after that dream, that the message really opened up to me, and I could see from the Bible, the importance of dealing with it. I made a few references here on Sunday morning, and later, one sister was crying, and said to me, Bro. Jackson: You will never know what that message meant to me this morning. She said, I have been so confused, and so worried over that very thing. Where they live, different ones are always hammering on the idea that Bro. Branham was the Son of man of Luke 17:30, and a lot of people have tried to get free from that thing, but just never could grasp the real truth, and spiritual significance that could help them break from it completely. The sister said to me, That has helped me so much. We went to Mexico right after that, and it was the same way down there. They had been hearing that for the last 15 years, so it just made me realize why it was so important that I should have an understanding of the total significance of that terminology. It had to be more than just explaining a verse of scripture, to get this thing straightened out satisfactorily. But when I could take Paul’s own testimony, how God had separated him from his mothers womb, that He might reveal His Son in him, not the Son of man, but the Son of God, it was God’s way for the thing to be cleared up. The whole gospel that Paul preached and wrote about, was always pointing every Gentile to Jesus Christ, the crucified Son of God. Paul’s life did truly exemplify Jesus Christ in all of His characteristics, as Paul lived and demonstrated the gospel he preached. But look what the devil did with that gospel, after Paul left the scene, through the Gentile church world. He tore the true revelation all to pieces. Jesus Christ was made the second person of a trinity, and the Catholic Church declared Mary to be the queen of heaven. In other words, The gospel of Jesus Christ has been minimized. The Reformation was ordained of God to begin a restoration of the gospel message, but it became harnessed by later generations, and the church world as a whole, is not really preaching the gospel of the crucified Son of God, the way Paul preached it. That is why God sent a little man to this age, filled with the Holy Ghost, and anointed in a way that no other man had ever been, this side of that apostolic hour. He was an uneducated man, but he spoke as a man unctioned by the Spirit of God, things that men could not learn through their education. His phraseology was not even good English, but his simple illustrations made the Bible come alive, as you sat and listed to him. The Holy Spirit used him to discern people, just like Jesus did. The word of knowledge worked through him, so that he would stand on the platform and tell people their name, their city and state, and even their street and house number. Yet that did not make him Jesus Christ, nor the Messiah, nor the Son of man, nor any of those things that some are declaring he was. Therefore brothers and sisters, I believe you can see why God had to deal with me like He did; this Son of man thing needed to be set straight, for the honest hearted souls that desired to be set free from that spirit. Bro. Branham was not THE Son of man; he was A son of man, just like the rest of us, in the sense that he had to be redeemed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, just like all of us did. Yes he had those gifts, those attributes of the Lord Jesus Christ, but God wants us to have them too. They are to be distributed to the whole body, according to the sovereign will of God by the Holy Spirit, to those who earnestly seek after them in the right way, and with the right motive. God used that little simple man, to take the gospel Paul preached, and put it back together, after it had been ripped to pieces for so many centuries, and He vindicated his ministry with those gifts of the Spirit, to this age of intellectualism. Preachers from almost every denomination came and sat under his ministry, and a lot of them jumped right on that Son of man wagon, when it passed by, and many of them that used to believe in the gifts, no longer feel that we need them. They feel that the revelation he brought is all they need, so they are contented to preach Bro. Branham instead of Jesus Christ. His ministry should have set some people on fire for God, and it should have caused them to seek to glorify God in their own lives by yielding themselves to God like he did. They should be seeking the same Holy Spirit that worked those gifts in his life and ministry, but no; They feel that what he did was sufficient for all of them, and they dare not seek what he had. Well those disciples that walked with Jesus, did not feel like they were doing wrong, when they received a measure of what He had, did they? How many of you, can see what I am getting at? The whole body of Christ is supposed to be like that.


WHAT SOME PEOPLE SAY


One of the brothers in that prison in Pennsylvania, sent us a mimeographed copy of a little tract that is being printed and distributed by a group called, The Christian Gospel Hour, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They have taken excerpts from the Spoken Word books, statements made by Bro. Branham, and compiled them into a little tract, and the heading is, Bro. Branham, A Prophet of Satan. Then on one page it says, If you follow this man William Branham, you are following Satan, because he worshiped Satan. Brothers and Sisters: Things like that are prepared by people who never knew the man; they only go by what they have heard from others. You can just pull out excerpts from any book, and make them say just about anything you want them to say. That is how the Church of Christ people do the Bible. They can take the Bible, and by using certain select verses of scripture, taken out of context, disprove everything I have said about 1st Corinthians 12. They can explain it all away, but when they have done that, what have they accomplished? They are still sitting right where they were, with nothing to build a revelation on. They will even tell you that not all of those 120 disciples in the upper room spoke in tongues; only the apostles spoke in tongues. Religion just goes from one extreme to the other, and attention is being focused on that fact, and investigations are being made by certain officials, so we had better know that what we believe is right, for there will come a day when we will have to defend it. Paul had to stand before the Sanhedrin Council and defend what he believed. His reply to them was, In the way that is called heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers. He knew his revelation was right, so he was willing to die for it if necessary. Of course I do not want anyone to get the idea that I think I have all the answers. I only want to say, by the grace of God, what I feel that He has put on my heart to say. God is never without a voice in the land; but He does not force anyone to listen to that voice. However those that are truly hungering and thirsting after God, will always recognize truth when they hear it, and God’s five fold ministry of this end time, is where that truth is going to be coming from. He will have them scattered strategically around this world, so that every bride person will have access to everything they need. Furthermore as we deal with these verses of scripture, I believe you are going to see that He desires to deal with every individual person of the body of Christ, through the gifts of the Spirit, in various situations. What the apostle Paul wrote, was not just for his hour of time; it was written to be applied at all times. So as we look at these gifts, let us be aware that God desires to be in touch with all of His people, all of the time. Now that does not mean that we will have the gifts operating in our individual lives twenty four hours a day, every day, but if we are sensitive to the Spirit of God, what we need, will be there when we need it. These nine gifts of the Spirit will cover every area of our lives; therefore we should never feel that our situation is too difficult for God to handle. As I said, many times we are faced with situations where there just seems to be nowhere to turn. God lets that happen from time to time. But that gift of wisdom, and of knowledge, is His way of showing us what to do, and even when to do it, not in every detail, but certainly enough to get us started in the right direction.


INTELLECT GIFTS


Another illustration of wisdom, was how King Solomon handled that situation where two women were claiming the same baby. They were both harlots, both had a child, and both slept in the same bed, but one smothered her child to death, and took the other woman’s as her own, and that caused them to get into a fight, and the issue was brought before King Solomon to be settled. The testimony of both of them sounded convincing enough; therefore no decision could be made on the basis of what they said, so Solomon called for a sword. His method was very crude, but it revealed the true mother of the little baby. The king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other. Then the real mother spake, saying, Oh my lord, give her the living child, and in now wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. That let the king know which one was the mother of the child, for a true mother would rather see someone else have the little thing, than to have it’s life taken from it. Therefore the king said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it; she is the mother thereof. After that, it says, “And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king; for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.” The wisdom of God did not let him know which one to believe, just by listening to them tell their stories, but the wisdom of God was present anyhow, and Solomon was enabled to make a right decision. He was allowed to see a mother’s compassion displayed, and that let him know which one to believe. Now that kind of wisdom is not learned from a school book; that comes from the Spirit of God. That is why Jesus said to His disciples. (Luke 12:11-12) “And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto the magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” In other words, Let the Spirit of God take over your intellect, and you will confound the gainsayers. It will do you no good in a court of law, just to tell how you read the Bible, nor to tell all the dreams you have had. Those lawyers and judges will not be impressed with any of that; it will take the Holy Ghost to leave them speechless. When He gives you something to say, they will listen, and take heed. That is how the word of wisdom works; through the intellect, by the anointing of the Spirit of God. You do not necessarily fight the devil in your immediate problem by being able to quote scripture verses. If you are being tempted to go against, or contrary to the scriptures, then it is needful to throw the scripture in his face, but that is not always the case. When Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness, the devil was trying to get him to go contrary to the scriptures; therefore Jesus just threw those scriptures right back at him, and that was sufficient, but there are many situations in life where a person needs words of wisdom, beyond that of just quoting scripture. The word of knowledge is the same way. It is an intellect gift, and the manifestation is for a certain situation, and once it is over, you could not get it to work that way again if you had to. It is not something that you can put in your pocket, and carry around. You may plan to do the same thing again, and this time, God may just let you go through it by your own practical understanding. He is sovereign; He can do either one, but what He does, usually depends upon our attitude and motive, and whether we are a person that He can speak to, and lead in the direction He wants us to go, or not. As I said, The anointing for these intellect gifts is completely different than the anointing for the vocal gifts. Because when God uses the intellect, He can use it while the person sleeps. If that is the way He does it, then it is a dream.


THE GIFT OF DISCERNMENT


All right, there are three gifts in each category, and in the Bible, they are not listed in that order, but the other intellect gift is the gift of discernment. It is referred to as discerning of spirits, and the manifestation of this gift will never be seen as long as everything is going well. It is for times when things just seem to go a little contrary to the way they should. You do not always possess the knowledge of whether something is of God or not; therefore this gift of discernment will work through your intellect, by the anointing of the Holy Ghost, to let you know the difference, so let us look at a Bible illustration of what I mean. When the apostle Paul went into Macedonia, with some other brethren, they were followed by a certain young woman that kept crying out, These men are the servants of the most high God, which have come unto us, to show us the way of salvation. Now as far as who they were, and what they were there for, you would have to say she was right, but to Paul, there was something that was just not quite right about what she was doing. A lot of people would have just loved what she was saying, because they would have thought she was doing them a service. But what she was actually doing was trying to get the officials of the city alerted to what they were there for, and possibly get them thrown into jail. It was all a plot of the devil, for she was a fortune teller in that city, and these men were just about ready to upset her apple cart. Let us open our Bibles to Acts 16:16, and we will read of the incident. “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation. (What she was saying was true, but there was just something about it, that vexed old Paul’s spirit, and it was the gift of discernment that came into operation to deal with the situation.) And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.” She had been selling this fortune telling gift, and the Bible says, She had masters that profited from it. Therefore when Paul cast that demon spirit out of her, they lost their money making gimmick, and that made them mad. They had them arrested, and beaten with many stripes, and then thrown in jail. But it all worked for the glory of God, for that is when the old Philippian jailor and all of his family turned to God, and was baptized. You all know the story of that, but it was the gift of discernment in operation, that I wanted to call to your attention. It is that other intellect gift that can work one minute, and the next minute you are back to what you can discern naturally. When a person speaks by that anointing, they absolutely speak the mind of God, and God never makes a mistake. But like I said, when that thing is over, you are left with just your natural discernment. Something else could come along, and God might not show you a thing. You may just have to let it kick up its heels. God will never let the devil make a fool of His Church though, you can believe that.


Now I want to tell of a personal experience, where the operation of that gift of discernment worked. Years ago, there was a man that would come here, from a certain other area. He always seemed to have a good testimony, but there was just something about the way he conducted himself, and the way he went about saying things, that always gave me an uneasy feeling. Then one time his wife, who had never been here, called me on the telephone, long distance, and bawled me out because he had told her I do not allow the Spirit to move here, as he thought it should. After that, I really had a strange feeling about the man. So he came again, and this time he wanted to go home with us and spend the night, so I took him home with us. I said, God, I do not want to be a hypocrite, but I just simply do not feel right about this man. When he talked to you, everything sounded great, but I still had that feeling, and I said once again, God, I just do not feel right about this man, and I do not like that cramped feeling. Well that night I had a dream, and saw the man characterizing his exact mode of spiritual life. I will not go into details, because I do not want it on the tape, but the man was trying to live in the realm of something he had seen somewhere in the realm of Pentecost, and thought it should be like that everywhere. God showed me that he only lived on old bread. He was always standing, waiting until they were ready to give the old bread away. He was always waiting for his loaf. I knew immediately what it meant, and after that, I knew he would never walk in truth, no matter what he heard. He was still living back in some previous hour of time, and was not going to walk on with God. So God has His ways of showing us things, and He desires to deal with His Church more and more in that way, but first the Church has to desire spiritual gifts, and cultivate a God-like kind of love that will cause everything to be kept with a right balance. The true body of Christ will seek to glorify God in the use of every gift of the Spirit, and not use them for self edification.


WHAT FAITH IS


Well just as there are three intellect gifts, there are also three power gifts. There is the gift of faith, and gifts (plural) of healing, and the working of miracles. We ended chapter 13 when we were over there, by reading the last verse, and then just going right on into verse 1, of chapter 14. But chapter 13, verse 13 says this, “And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” The reason I am calling your attention to that verse, is to say this, The word faith, in chapter 13, is not the gift of faith. Faith over there is that attribute of the Spirit of Christ, that fortifies your life in the Spirit. That is the faith we grow by. It is what keeps us walking with God. But this gift of faith is something else altogether. The manifestation of the gift of faith is usually only a momentary thing, to meet a specific need, and it can be either for your own personal life, or someone else, or even for the whole assembly. As we look back in the book of Acts, and check the ministry of the various men of that apostolic hour as they prayed for the sick, more than just a few times, what you are reading of is the gift of faith, coupled with the gifts of healing, and miracles, all working hand in hand. Why? Because they are three gifts all within the same realm of anointing. Faith in both instances, is a revelation. One we grow by in our every day life, and the other is a momentary impartation for some specific need. Again when you are found in a situation, where it looks like there is just no way out, God can impart faith to you in such a way, that without anything else to go on, you know within you, that everything is going to turn out all right. It is an inner assurance that overrides all natural circumstances. You could face the greatest storm of all storms, and by faith, know, not assume, that everything will turn out right. It is not something that can be put up on a billboard, but when it is in operation, it is as solid as anything you have ever seen. Every person must learn to recognize their own anointing though, for there is no one else that can tell you when it is there. Well what is faith in the every day realm? It is what God gives a measure of to every believer, and it grows from day to day, as it is exercised toward the word of God. It is something that grows a little every time you see a promise of God fulfilled. But without God imparting a measure of it, we could not even believe the gospel in the first place. This faith is a progressive thing, that increases with your understanding of the word of God. From the time you become a child of God, until the day you are laid in the ground, you are going to live by faith. Where do we get it? God gives it, but only in a sufficient measure. He is the one that gives us the ability to believe, and then He rewards us when we believe, so how can we help but love a God like that? Now you will never have more faith than you need, no matter what kind of testimonies you may hear, but if you are a true child of God, you will always have enough. God is the faithful one. He is the one that watches over His word to perform t. That is why I use that verse in 1st Corinthians 10:13, it shows God’s faithfulness. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but GOD IS FAITHFUL. (We can rest our faith on that) who will not suffer (or allow) you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Your faith exercised in these promises of God, will grow every time it is invested, for God will not fail. But like I said, There are levels of faith, for faith and revelation of the word of God go hand in hand. Saints I just have to say, I thank God for the way He has taught His word to me. I would not trade it for anything in the world. Many times there have been verses of scripture that I could not seem to understand. I had heard the thoughts of others projected on them, but for some reason I would not be satisfied to try and preach on them myself, so I would just leave them alone. But when the time is right, God always deals with me in a way that I know it is Him. The man that was found among the wedding guests, not having on a wedding garment was one of those verses that I am speaking of, (Matt. 22:11) which a lot of men had preached on. But I just never could believe that this was a heavenly setting, so I would just avoid answering questions on it, and I certainly was not going to preach on it until I knew for sure what it was. Then came the time when I was in Texas, some years ago now, and they asked me about the king that prepared a wedding feast for his son, and asked how the man without a wedding garment on, was thrown out. I somehow managed to avoid answering them, but it bothered me something awful, because I did, so I just kept it turning over in my mind. I could not accept the idea that he was thrown out of heaven, for I knew God never makes a mistake, but what could it be? I said to myself, That has to have an earthly setting somehow, for God would not take a man to heaven, and then suddenly decide that He had made a mistake. Well they took me to the airport on Monday morning, and I caught a plane for home, but as soon as the plane leveled off, that parable popped back into my mind, but now it was coming to me, what it was. I said, Praise God! Thank you Lord! That could never have come out of a Bible school. After that, I preached on the parable, and we have it in print, but until the Lord showed me what it was, I just stayed away from it. That is progressive growth. God never reveals everything to a man as soon as He calls him to preach. The Bible tells us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and growth takes time, but that is the way God ordained it to be. By faith we receive salvation, and revelation adds to our faith. Do you see how beautiful that is? Brother when you know the truth, you do not have to sell your testimony for some little old church program. Those that major on church programs are not looking for truth anyhow; they are satisfied with what they have. Let me say this though, There is soon coming a day when God will cause that which is in you, to really shine, so just let this world of religion call you a heretic, or a cult, or whatever, for now. Our day is coming, and it will be glorious. If I am still alive then, I want to be walking with God in every truth he has made available to me.

GIFTS OF HEALING


After faith, comes the gifts of healing. In other words, It is not one gift that you just use to heal everyone you meet up with, but the anointing works as individuals are prayed for. Some get healed, and some do not. If it was one gift of healing, and you had it all the time, then every time you prayed for someone, they should be healed. I hope you see the difference. You pray, and God supplies the anointing, but not every person that you pray for gets healed, so what makes the difference? The difference is, GIFTS of healing, according to the sovereign will and purpose of God. Bro. Branham had those gifts operating in his ministry, like no other man I have ever seen or heard of, this side of the apostolic hour, but he prayed for people that never did get healed. I have even noticed the gifts of knowledge and discernment worked on some that never did get healed. As he prayed for the sick, I could not help but notice, it was usually the gift of knowledge working in harmony with the gifts of healing. Some people thought when he was under that anointing, every sickness and disease that stood before him was healed, but the gifts of healing were imparted according to the individuals. In the apostolic hour, those apostles did not line people up, and discern them, and tell them the secrets of their heart. No. They just prayed for the sick, and the anointing of the Spirit of God did the healing, as He was allowed to express Himself through those vessels. Even as we examine the ministry of Jesus, not everyone got healed. One place He would go, maybe one person would get touched; and in other places, whole multitudes were healed. It is all in how the Spirit purposes to work. Paul stayed in one place for over two years proclaiming the gospel, and they brought handkerchiefs and aprons for him to touch, and they went and laid them on their sick folks and they were healed. There were no gifts of knowledge and discernment in operation, on behalf of these that were healed in that way though, and that just proves that we cannot dictate rules and regulations for these things, for God works according to His plan and purpose. When a certain anointing comes upon a man, then he can know what to do, but without that anointing, we just have to pray and trust God. In other words a certain anointing may cause a person to know how to approach certain situations, but it does not always work like that. Therefore we just have to see that the gifts of healing operate according to how God sees each individual case, and we cannot just say that Bro. So and So has the gift of healing, and believe that everyone he prays for is going to be healed, for it is all controlled by the Spirit of God.


MIRACLES


Now we come to the other power gift, the working of miracles, and here again, we are looking at a manifestation of the Spirit of God. These miracles are not put on display, for monetary gain, like some men would have it. Many times, they come about in ways that are the least expected. I just have to thank God for the way He does things. We received that letter a while back, concerning that little girl that we sent the anointing handkerchief to, last October. A man and his wife from the area of West Virginia, came and stood here for that little girl. I believe it was a kidney condition she had, if I remember correctly. They had told us about the little girl’s condition on Saturday night, and said that the doctors had given her up; there was nothing else they could do, so they asked if we ever send out prayer cloths, and we said, yes. So the next morning they stood here, and we anointed a handkerchief, and they took it and placed it on the little girl. We later received a letter stating that she was doing fine. Oh how I praise God for His wonderful grace. When the doctors say, there is nothing else we can do, and then all of a sudden the condition is reversed, you just have to say, That was a miracle. Well God does not do these things just to please our flesh; He has a much higher purpose. He does not always do things that way, but when He does, it is wonderful. But many of you can relate similar situations, where you would just have to say, What happened here was nothing short of a miracle. It happens somewhere all the time, but you cannot calculate it ahead of time. I have colds, I have had the flu, tooth aches, and all sorts of things, but when I had that bad wreck years ago, that brought me within an inch of my life, God performed a miracle, or miracles on my behalf. When I came out of the army, I had had Malaria Fever, and continued to have attacks of that thing, right on up until I had the wreck. Saints, if you have never had anything like that, it may be hard for you to realize just how grateful I am. When that fever rises in your body, it just seems like it could burst the thermometer. It shakes you all to pieces, you get chills, you get sick and vomit, and feel like you are just coming to pieces. I remember the last time the doctor gave me some medicine to take for it; he said, You will need to take this, for that condition will just lie there in your bloodstream, and can pop out any moment, and I just thought to myself, Do I have to go through life plagued with this thing? Then I had the wreck, that almost took my life, and half scalped me, and the doctor said I would never be able to close this eye again. Well, I can close it, and that in itself is a miracle. Dr. McCulley, one of the best surgeons around, at that time, said, There is no way he can close that eye, for all the leaders have been cut out. But, praise God, I can close it, so that was a miracle. But what makes it even better, I have never had an attack of Malaria Fever since then; God took that away too. I still get sick as a horse, in other ways, but thank God the Malaria is no longer a problem in my life. Now Saints, there are just some illustrations of what miracles are, but miracles can go into major dimensions, like when Peter was in jail, and an angel tapped him on the shoulder, and said, Follow me, and he walked out through locked gates. We may be approaching an hour such as that; who knows? An angel of the Lord told Phillip to leave Samaria, and go into the desert, and there he met the Ethiopian eunuch, explained the scriptures to him, and then baptized him, and then the hand of God just picked Phillip up, and sat him down in another city. That was a miracle. Phillip’s obedience brought about that manifestation of God’s miraculous power, and God is the same today that He was then, but we just have to wait, and see what He will do, in every situation. As far as the gift itself, it is not an anointing that gets a person worked up in an emotional way. Yet the anointing for faith, miracles, and healing does require that the vessel being used, be sensitive to the Spirit of God, to recognize it when it comes. You may not show any emotions at all, but you will recognize the presence of that anointing when it is there, if you are a person that God uses in these gifts. Now of course our illustrations have been more to show you what miracles are, than to demonstrate how the gift works, for that is something God deals with every vessel He uses, in a particular way, to activate the gift.


REVIEW OF CHAPTER 13


Before we take the last three gifts of the Spirit, I want to go back into chapter 13, and back to verse 8, and finish the chapter out, for through the week, these things have been rolling over and over in my mind. As I said, In chapter 13, Paul is illustrating to the believer the proper motive one should have when they set out seeking for the gifts and things he has been dealing with in chapter 12. He is not discrediting any of those things, he is just showing by illustrations, the proper motive of life. In other words, Love must always be the focal point of everything, whatever we do. He is stressing the point, that nothing should ever exceed the pure love of God. Just like Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, when ye have love one for another.” When Jesus said this, the disciples were all in one accord, as to what He had said, and he knew that the Holy Ghost would take what He had said, and lead them into a fuller understanding, so we would have to say, The early church was all in one accord. That is why Paul stressed that in one of his epistles, Let this mind be in your which was also in Christ Jesus, and also, Be ye all of the same mind. Therefore the Church of the living God was never meant to be just a mass of people believing anything they chose to believe, nor was it to allow anything to supercede that Godlike quality of love. So in verse 8, Paul says, “Love never faileth.” Why did he express it like that? Because that kind of love is what keeps us in tune with God. It is not how much we know, but the quality of that inner love and feeling toward God, that really counts. If we have the right kind of love toward God, we will automatically love our brothers and sisters in Christ with that same kind of love. Therefore love never faileth, it will always keep you pressing on. “But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” As we have already said, It is those prophecies that are spoken to individuals, that may fail to come to pass, if that person fails to meet the conditions that the prophecy was hinged on. Paul is not trying to create any negative thinking about prophecies, he is just merely pointing to the fact that there are things about them that can fail, but that this pure love of God will never fail. Let me restate also, that no prophecy of the scriptures will ever fail. Paul was not even talking about those prophecies here. Those prophecies of the scripture, state things that are sure to come to pass, for God never fails. Now in these personal prophecies, God always speaks to the highest potential, and makes an allowance for His permissive will in the matter, but some people even fall short of God’s permissive will. Flesh gets in the way, and tries to work things out in a carnal way. Nevertheless, even though they sometimes fail, Paul was not trying to discredit prophecy. For to the Thessalonians he wrote, “Despise not prophesyings, quench not the Spirit, prove all things, hold fast that which is good.” So we would have to say, Paul always spoke everything in a positive way, but at the same time, faced reality. That is why, when we come to the part about tongues ceasing, and knowledge vanishing away, we have to look at those from the standpoint of time itself. Tongues was a gift in the Church, and in early Christianity they never ceased at all. But history will tell us that as the centuries passed, tongues ceased to have its place in the average assemblies. Tongues, as a manifestation of the gift itself, has had its fragmental use in every century, but there came the time, when tongues did cease to have their place in the average assemblies. Paul did not know what the church ages was going to lead to, in time, but he wrote these things as he was moved by the Spirit to do so, and he was already gone from the scene before tongues ever ceased to be in operation in any assembly, but we can look back at history, and see where they did cease to be a part of the regular church services, and remained so for centuries.


DID KNOWLEDGE VANISH?


Well what about knowledge vanishing away? Was he referring to the gift of knowledge, when Paul said that? No, he was referring to that progressive knowledge that comes as the believer grows in the grace of God from day to day. From time to time, as we live for God and study His word, the Holy Ghost imparts knowledge to us as a progressive thing, and that is the knowledge that Paul was referring to here. God does not withdraw knowledge from those who have it, but as time moved on, and other generations came to be what was looked upon as the Church, that knowledge of the pure revelation of Jesus Christ vanished away. Time itself brought the Church to the place where she has lost everything. She lost the revelation of the Godhead. She lost the true formula of baptism. She lost the usage of the gifts of the Spirit, and the knowledge of every other true doctrine. They were all replaced by carnal knowledge, which just became mere tradition. Therefore there was no way for what was called the Church in the Dark Ages, to reflect the true love of God, because all they had was a carnal love. Their whole church system was ruled and dominated by fear, and in no way was Jesus Christ exemplified. You cannot ever convince me, that anyone can become spiritual by burning old wax candles, praying the rosary, and repeating what they call, the apostles creed. That is all a product of the flesh of carnal mankind. No, God did not take knowledge from anyone, mankind just simply lost contact with it. People were forced by the sharp tip of those Crusaders swords, to become Christians, but it was in name only. That virtue of the pure love of God was not among them. They were called Christians, but they knew nothing of the pure love of Christ. There was nothing among them, that even remotely resembled the first Church, that we see in the book of Acts. But was God going to leave it like that forever? Absolutely not. That is what the Reformation was for. God restored His word to the Church. Many times you hear people say, God restored His word. No. His word has always been the same, but it had to be restored to the Church. That is what the Reformation gradually did. God had no intention of just restoring knowledge, and nothing else, as the Church of Christ would have you believe. From a fundamental viewpoint, they will try to convince you that they are the true Biblical New Testament Church, saying, We are not a denomination, nor organization; every church is independent. But regardless of what they say, they do not all believe alike, as the true Church of Christ in the book of Acts did. Well regardless of what anyone says, the Church that leaves here in the rapture is going to be just like that first Church, except for one thing. She will know more than they did back then, because the book of Revelation was not even written until 96 A.D., and most of that first Church was gone by then.


PROPHESYING IN PART


Alright, verse 9 says, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.” That has been true in every age. God has never revealed a complete picture of His eternal plan for the ages, to anyone, at any time. Therefore regardless of what anyone has ever known, no matter how much knowledge they may have had, it has only been in part, as far as God’s whole plan and purpose is concerned. People through the years have asked questions about things that we are not even supposed to know yet. We have no right to play with the mind of God. Our knowledge is progressive, but we can only attain knowledge as God allows us to. Therefore there are some things we would be better off, just to leave alone. There is quite a bit written about the Millennium, yet there is so much about it that is not written, who could even begin to describe what it is going to be like? We will just have to wait until we get there, and see. Then on the eternal age, about all we have is Revelation 21 and 22, so can we even think of exploring the endless ages of it, with so very little to look at? No. God will not allow it. We are still too carnal. You can look back at history, and see what carnal minds will do, over a period of time. Therefore I say this, Whatever God imparts to us, let us be grateful for it, knowing how second and third generations will play with it. Naturally we believe that we are the generation that will see the coming of the Lord, and that God will continue to reveal His word to us, but let us not become matter of fact about it, and fail to be grateful. After what Noah and his sons saw, when it rained for forty days and nights, you would have thought they would have taken those little children that were born later, and really kept all of that fresh in their minds, but less than three generations later, they were building idols, and sacrificing to devils, and trying to build a tower to heaven. Brothers and Sisters: I am so thankful that God knows what He is doing. He always knows when to step into the picture, to keep things from going too far. He just came down and confused their language, and that brought the building of their tower to a halt. Well let me get back to the subject, we know in part. Paul knew exactly what he was talking about. Even with all that he knew, he only knew in part, but he sure knew how to teach those Corinthians and Galatians, to lift them up out of their pagan ways. What a knowledge he is imparting to them, and at the same time showing them how vain it would be to have this great storehouse of gifts, if love were not the motivating force of their lives. If love is in the forefront, all these other things will fall right into place. Yet we only know in part, and can only prophesy in part as long as we are still here in this mortal flesh.


THAT WHICH IS PERFECT


Verse 10 says, “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” We have two things to look at here. One is how certain men apply that verse, and the other is how it really should be applied. A lot of people say that Bro. Branham was the perfect one, and that he brought the perfect word to us; therefore that is all we need. Well let me say with all sincerity, I know who Bro. Branham was, and what he was, but he was not the perfect one. The perfect one is Jesus the Christ. The Bible does not tell you that you are going to be made into the image of Bro. Branham. It says that we are predestined to be conformed into the image of the Son of God, and that is none other than Jesus the Christ. Then in 1st John 3:2, we read these words, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He (Jesus Christ) shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see him as He is.” A lot of us know what the fleshly person William Branham looked like. I also know that he had headaches, and carried a little box of aspirins with him. You say, Bro. Jackson: I don’t believe that. Nevertheless we were rabbit hunting together one time, when he showed them to me. You may not want to believe the prophet would take an aspirin, but I say there are a lot of things that are very immaterial, when we are talking about the prophet. But one thing is sure, he was not the perfect one. The One he was pointing us to, is the perfect One, but He is invisible, and we cannot see what He is like, but the Bible says that even though we do not know what we will be like, we will be like Him. Hallelujah! You have not yet seen what immortality looks like. Immortality does not die, nor lose teeth, but Bro. Branham had lost some teeth. I only say these things to make a point. If you think William Branham was that which is perfect, you have missed the boat somewhere. Alright then, what was Paul talking about? He was talking about something that is still ahead of us yet. The Church is made up of mortal people, and no matter how great the Holy Spirit may work among them, they will only know in part, and prophesy in part, according to the scriptures. No mortal human being can ever do anything in that kind of completeness, to be looked upon as perfect. Therefore even though this end time element of the body of Christ will have all the gifts working among them, they will still only know in part, and prophesy in part, but there will come the time when she (the Church) will reach the peak of all of that, and that will be when the perfect One comes to take her to be with Him. But until that time comes, the Church still has a job to do down here, exemplifying Christ, and it will be done through love, faith and hope. That is why Jesus said, When the Comforter is come, He will take the things of mine and show them unto you. It would be Jesus on display, through the Church. While He is in His high priestly role, the church is to reflect to the world, what Jesus did when He was here, and she will do that right up to the time for Him to come for her. But when that time comes, and Jesus takes His bride church to be with Him, there will no longer be any need for that kind of example to be presented. Then when the bride comes back to earth, to rule and reign with Christ for a thousand years, there will be no more prophesying in part, for her. So let us read that verse again, and know what it pertains to. “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part, shall be done away.” That is talking about the coming of Christ, for His Church. When He takes her unto Himself, then that which is in part shall be done away. Why? Because when we are changed into immortality, we will know, even as we are known by Him, Jesus laid aside His prophetic role when He ascended to heaven to take up His role as high priest, and He will never be a prophet again. Well would we say He has gone into a lesser position? Absolutely not, for He has gone into the very presence of that eternal life, whom no man hath ever seen, nor can approach unto. What a position for Him to be lifted up to! Yet it is only for a period of time, and then He will assume another role. The Bible says He will be King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is going to be invested with attributes of the eternal Spirit, that have never yet been manifested. In other words, He who conquered death, hell, and the grave for us, will one day come invested with all the wisdom and omnisciency of the mind of the great eternal Spirit, to judge and rule all nations with a rod of iron for a thousand years. But the Bible tells us, that we are going to be lifted up also, to be made kings and priests, and that we shall rule with Him. Where? Right here on earth. Now if that be true, and we know it is, then we should see also, that this immortal, incorruptible Church is going to be lifted to a place where she will not just know anything in part. Her knowledge will be complete.


MATURE CHRISTIANS


In verse 11 Paul goes ahead saying, “When I was a child, I spake as a child.” You do not expect a child to know what a forty year old person would know. The Creator ordained that we be born into this world with a little ball of matter in the top of our heads, that is capable of learning and retaining things, but it has to be taught. He ordained also, that in our Christian life, it is to be much the same way. But in both cases, a lot of things are learned by practical experience. You can tell a child to stay away from a hot stove, and it may forget it, but you let the little thing touch that stove when it is red hot, and I guarantee you, it will never forget that. This is just an example of what we call practical experience, and it is the same way in one’s Christian life. Many times a person has to get caught up in some kind of adverse circumstances, before they will ever learn to be discerning, so we do learn by practical experience. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Through their stages of learning, children do not always grasp everything the first time. They just have to learn the hard way. Then we could say, Sometimes their thinking is very foolish, and they just do not take things serious enough. But under normal circumstances, when they grow up, all of that changes. Those childish traits are left behind. Now saints, do not get the idea, that Paul is saying, to seek after the gifts is childish. He is only pointing to the fact that those who have the gifts, should grow up, in the use of them. Appreciate them, and do not play around with them. Conduct yourself in an adult manner, instead of being childish with them. You give a six year old child a hundred dollar bill, and just see what he does with it. That example may be a little on the extreme side, but I believe it will get the point across, and that same example applies to spiritual things. We do not need to be childish with them. Alright, then Paul says this, “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” What we see spiritually at present time, is as though we are looking through a darkened glass. When we look at Jesus, through the scriptures, we only see a profile, but when that which is perfect comes, then shall we see Him face to face. Our vision will be cleared up, and our knowledge will be made perfect. That is what immortality will do for us. We will know, even as we are known. Paul is just sort of comparing the present life with what it shall be later, so he says in verse 13. “And now abideth faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” This is that progressive faith that God imparts to every soul, to enable them to start believing on Him in the first place. In another place, Paul calls it, the measure of faith, therefore faith and knowledge is a progressive thing, that should continue to be enlarged all the time. Then as I said earlier, the word HOPE, no longer carries the same meaning that it carried back in the 16th century. It is used here, with the thought of conveying an optimistic outlook on things. What you are looking at, may be a very dismal picture, but this kind of hope will enable you to have a positive attitude and outlook about it. Something inside of you just lets you know that everything is going to be all right. The opposite of that is to be a pessimist, always looking at the dark, negative side of everything. I do not even like to be around people like that; they will even make you feel bad. Therefore through eyes of faith, let us look for the best of everything, and let love be the motivating force behind all that we do and say, and we will fulfill the perfect law of God. That divine love of God should be the greatest desire of our hearts.


THREE VOCAL GIFTS


We have three other gifts left here in chapter 12, verse 10. They are the three vocal, or utterance gifts of the Spirit. Of course we realize that Paul did not group these gifts in chronological order of three threes; he just wrote a letter, and man has divided it up into chapters and verses, as translations were made. Therefore when we read verse 10, we find one of the intellect gifts listed there among the vocal gifts, but we have already talked about it, along with wisdom and knowledge, so we just want to catch these three vocal gifts now. As I said, the anointing for these vocal gifts, is a completely different kind of anointing, than the anointing for the intellect gifts or power gifts. These last three have been grossly misused, it is true, but that still does not diminish from them, the importance they have in the true body of Christ. Let us read verses 10 and 11 now, and you will see that it is the same Spirit both administering and operating all of them. “To another the working of miracles: (We have already had that) to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; (We covered that) to another divers kinds of tongues; (that means different kinds) to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit dividing to every man severally as He will.” You see, it is God that does the distributing; man cannot control that. When the Bible was translated into what we call the King James Version, the usage of a lot of words and terms was a lot different than what we have now, but there is still no reason for us not to catch the true thought expressed. Therefore verse 11 simply means that all nine gifts are distributed among the Church according to the sovereign will of God, and then He gives the anointing for that operation of the particular gifts according to His own will and purpose. The important thing for us to understand, is that up until the first advent of Christ, no one knew exactly how God wanted a Godly minded person to portray himself. The old prophets were able to portray certain things that set them apart as holy men, but man in general, did not know how to portray Godliness. It took the man called Jesus, to really live and demonstrate to mankind, a true example of a Godly life. He was the manifestation of the righteousness of God. Those who saw Him, saw a God man, a man invested with the fulness of God. They saw no human faults in Him, because He did not have any. He was the perfect Son of God.


CHRISTIANS PORTRAYING CHRIST


My daughter just handed me a magazine article, in which it states that certain groups are wanting to change every verse in the Bible, that discriminates in any way against the sex of humans. They may just as well throw the Bible away, as to do that. A man is still a man, and a woman is still a woman, no matter how many scripture verses they change. God knew what He was doing, when He inspired holy men to write those scriptures. When they say man, or son, that is exactly what God meant for them to say. Why don’t some of these people fuss at evolution. If they believe they got here by a process of evolution, and they are all that unhappy, I say, Let them fuss at evolution. One bunch does not want God in the picture at all, and another bunch wants to talk about God, but they do not like the mention of man, him, his, nor any term that might not include the female. (It is strange, you never hear of animals fussing about sex discrimination.) They will take a verse that speaks of Jesus being the Son of God, and change it to say that He was a child of God. How do people like that expect to get anywhere in eternity, when they refuse to give the very Son of God His proper recognition? Brothers and Sisters: We are at the end. No wonder the apostle Paul said there would be a falling away. Man in his fallen state, does not want truth. He wants to interpret the Bible to fit his flesh, so he can glory in his own carnal achievements. Brother, the Bible says, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. That is the state of lost mankind, before God seeks them out, and changes their lives, and those who truly partake; of God’s great plan of salvation, are not always trying to change the Bible. They know the hope of their salvation lies in the fact that the Bible is true. If this is not the word of God, then why bother about it at all? Jesus Christ set the perfect example of what God is after. That great eternal Spirit that had never been seen by man, took possession of His perfect Son, and controlled His thoughts, His emotions, spoke through His lips, saw through His eyes, healed through His hands, and only those that God gave a revelation, saw Jesus as the anointed Messiah. All the rest just looked at Him as another Jew, trying to be something. But in John 14:11, Jesus said, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” Multitudes of church people read that verse, and never see a thing. The Jewish nation was judged, and cut off from accessability to the gospel, because they could not see it. They every one had an opportunity to recognize Him. They saw the miracles, listened to Him preach, and yet their traditions outweighed what they had witnessed, so they turned away from every bit of it, and cried, Crucify Him! The Church started out with converted Jews, but compared to those that just simply rejected Him, these were only a minority, and most of these were not the ones that had witnessed so many miracles, and heard him preach. They were Jews from other nations, that had come to Jerusalem to worship, as this feast of Pentecost drew nigh. Now what they heard did not make them Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, and such like, but it did give them access to God’s throne of grace. Then when the Spirit of God turned from the Jews, and began to work among Gentiles, the Gentiles were given every one the same gospel the Jews had received. Jesus Christ was the central figure, and every revelation was built around Him, and still there was no reason to divide off into denominations. The gospel message was to convict lost sinners of their unbelief, and turn them to the righteousness of God. Therefore the Spirit that fell on the day of Pentecost and started the Church, is the same Spirit that operates these 9 gifts that we have been studying about. Through those spiritual manifestations, the very attributes and character of Jesus was still seen, just like it was when He walked among them. Gentile pagans were lifted up out of their paganism, and given the very nature of the man that was crucified for them. How did God do that? By a constant process of renewing their minds, and placing a revelation in their hearts. Gentiles have never had the opportunity to know Christ after the flesh, we only know Him through eyes of faith, as the Holy Ghost takes the things of Christ, and illuminates Him to our understanding. Nevertheless the important thing is that we see that the Gentiles received the gospel in the same magnitude and characteristics of Christ that the Jews had it. These vocal gifts were definitely manifested, as well as all the others, throughout the first century of Christendom. Even on into the second and third centuries, they were still in operation, but in a lesser degree, as Satan was already working his plan to gain control of the Church. As I said, There definitely did come a time when these gifts of the Spirit ceased to operate in the average assembly, and even today, after all that has been restored back to the Church, there are still a lot more churches without the gifts in operation, than there are with them.


HOW PROPHECY COMES


Alright let us try to give some explanation, concerning these vocal gifts. Prophecy is one of them, and the anointing of the Spirit of God is what causes that gift to operate, just like all the others. Now I grant you, it is possible to hear all sorts of prophecies, but they may not necessarily be uttered by the anointing of the Holy Spirit; therefore you have another situation where something that is called prophecy, can fail. That is the reason Paul said prophecy should be judged. If someone speaks a prophecy to you, it is your responsibility to judge it, if it requires you to do something to activate it. I have heard people stand up and prophesy doom and destruction upon certain ones, unless they would do certain things, and a spiritual person would know for sure that it was only a prophecy of selfish carnal flesh, yet other immature Christians might have a tendency to become fearful. That is why they have to be judged. As far as the gift of prophecy, that is something a person must desire, in order for the Spirit to anoint you for it. God knows the ability of every person. He also knows our psychological makeup, and our desire to be a vessel He can use, so do not think you can just sit there in your pew with the idea. Well if God wants me to prophesy, I will. Unless you have a desire in your heart to be used of God, you may as well forget about it. That is why Paul taught as he did in the 13th chapter. That is also why the first verse of chapter 14 says, “Follow after love, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” Now brothers and sisters, I am not telling you that you have to do this, that, or something else, but Gentile time is running out, and I am convinced that something is soon going to hit this old world, that will cause us all to realize just how short time is. Therefore should we not be seeking to find that place with our God, so that He can use us if He sees fit? What is the gift of prophecy? It is the Spirit of God using a Holy Ghost filled Christian to foretell something, and I believe we are right on the threshold of conditions requiring that, for the benefit of the Church. As I said, The administration is how God allots the gifts, and the operation is how He uses them, but every individual has to learn how to be sensitive to the Spirit, or there will be no gifts in operation. Some people actually do believe that God will just simply reach down, and drop the Spirit of prophecy upon certain people, without them ever doing one thing to cultivate it, but that is not right. If you believe like that, chances are, that unless you change your way of believing, you will go right on through life, never knowing one thing about spiritual gifts. There is an old saying, you cannot play the game, unless you know the rules. Well, this is not a game we are playing, but you still have to know the rules to participate. The anointing for these gifts works in your spirit, much the same as the Spirit of conviction. When conviction is working on you, no one need tell you what is taking place, you know it immediately. That is why Jesus said, No man can come to me, except the Father (which is Spirit) draw him. How does He draw you? By putting conviction upon you. A person definitely has to feel conviction, before they will come to God. Well where do you feel it? In your spirit. Your thumb does not ache, nor your ear turn red, nor your back hurt, but inside your soul, you begin to feel miserable, and you know what it is. Let me say also, Holy Ghost conviction is not something you can run from. There is not a hole deep enough for you to hide in, once that Spirit of conviction zeroes in on you, to draw you to His purpose. What does it affect? It affects your spirit. You feel something in your spirit that you just cannot describe. One day you may feel good, and have your mind set on doing a certain thing. But if God has other plans for you, He comes on your spirit in a way that causes you to feel bad, until He gets what He wants. No matter what you do, to try to get away from it, the hurting is still right there. Brothers and Sisters: I am not saying that the anointing to prophesy is necessarily something like that, but it will definitely affect your spirit in much the same way, once the gift is cultivated and it is nothing to fear either. It is just the way God has chosen to get our attention. Sometimes when people are a little on the timid side, have a tendency to be a little shy, they have to feel a strong anointing before they will ever open their mouth to say one thing, so do not look at me and say, Bro. Jackson: We are not supposed to go by feelings. It is true, we do not base our salvation, our walk with God, necessarily on feelings, but when the time comes, that the Spirit of God wants to use you in this way, you had better get your mind off of that kind of idea, or you will go right on down the road of life running from everything. When that anointing begins to be felt, just know that it is the Spirit of God getting ready to use you, and cultivate His presence. I know how I have felt many times, but over a period of time, as you allow yourself to become sensitive, you begin to learn what is going on. When that feeling starts to move upon you, the first thing you do is search your mind, and be sure everything is clear between you and God. If it is, then you know it is an anointing, and not the Spirit of conviction. First it will work on you to lift you up, and get you ready to use, and then you will begin to relax and entertain it. That does not mean that you will be saying anything; it just means that you will cultivate His presence. Then as the anointing builds, it will begin to have some affect on your physical, fleshly makeup. Your nerves begin to act up, and sometimes you may get to feeling like you could explode. But do not allow that to hinder you from obeying God: for I read in the Bible, how some of the old prophets fell down like dead men, when that anointing came upon them. I am not telling you that you necessarily need to feel like that; I am only reminding you that it could be like that. But the first thing is to realize that there is an anointing working on you, and then if you get to feeling like your heart could just simply leap out of you, do not get scared, just yield your vocal capacity to whatever He desires to use it for. If you begin to feel like that, and your life is clean before God, just entertain it, and keep your mind upon Him until He gets your spirit ready to manifest whatever it is for. The anointing may have to get so strong it almost picks you up, but that is all right, just as long as you do not fight against it. Then when your mouth does fly open, you may not even understand what you are saying, until it is all over. But please, saints, I am not laying down rules for you to follow, I am only giving all due respect to the sovereignty of God, and trying to get you to understand that the individual makeup of people are not all the same. Our spirits are not all alike. Our mentality is not all the same, and neither are our emotions. Therefore we every one must learn how to recognize the anointing when it comes to us for whatever purpose it comes for. Remember this, prophecy will always be spoken in the language of the people it is being spoken to. I mean, If they are English speaking people, the prophecy will be spoken in English. Because the prophecy is the Spirit of God speaking directly to the people of the assembly, or to an individual, as the case may be.


THREE KINDS OF PROPHECY


Alright then, we introduced the gift of prophecy by saying that it was the Spirit of God foretelling something that is to be. But it is not limited to that. The Spirit of prophecy can deal with past, present, or future; therefore it is not necessarily foretelling things that are to be in the future. In chapter 14 Paul said, “but he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” Then over in verse 24 he said, “If all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all he is judged of all: and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest: and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” The greatest percentage of the prophecies given by the prophets of the Old Testament, were present tense prophecies of exhortation and rebuke to the children of Israel, for their rottenness. Even far reaching prophecies were hidden in present tense prophecies and rebukes a lot of times. While exhorting and rebuking, they would reach way into the future, and pull it right in with the other, thereby hiding it from those who heard it. That is how God many times, concealed those far reaching prophecies. Prophecy can even reach back into the past, and we know that, because of the way some of those prophets of old spake. Just for example, that Spirit of prophecy would say, Am I not the Lord God that brought thee out of the land of bondage? Did I not deliver thee, at the Red Sea? That is speaking in the past tense, but it is by that Spirit of prophecy. So in every generation of people, God sometimes finds it necessary to go back and remind the people of what they have strayed from. But prophecy that goes into the future tense, is prophecy of the highest magnitude, and that is what we desire, when we think of prophecy. Regardless of what kind of prophecy God may use you for, that still does not make you a prophet like those old Testament prophets, for we are talking about a gift of prophecy, that may be a one time thing in some instances. We just have to leave it for God to deal with people however He chooses.

VARIOUS TONGUES


Now we have the gift of different kind of tongues to consider, and Paul speaks of this, the manifestation of the gift of tongues in the assembly, as being a sign to the unbeliever, for man, as a general rule, learns only one language. But the Church began 1900 years ago, with a great manifestation of speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. When that 120 disciples came out of the upper room where they had been waiting for the promise of the Father, they were all speaking in other tongues. No they were not unknown tongues, they were just unknown to those speaking them, and to those local jews, that had hardened their hearts toward the things of God. Pentecost in this century, has said, This is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but no, you have gone too far when you say that. God was fulfilling a prophecy of Isaiah, and Paul mentioned it in 1st Corinthians 14:21, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will He (God) speak to this people.” That is Isaiah 28:11, and Paul mentions it and says, “And yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.” Those old hard hearted Judiastic Jews had gathered there in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, and all of a sudden, there came this 120 Galileans out of an upper room, all speaking in other tongues. None of them were speaking in Hebrew or Aramaic, therefore the local Jews did not know what was being said. But there were Jews present, from 16 other nations, and every last one of them heard someone speaking in their native tongue, and magnifying God. Those from Rome were hearing Latin, and those from Athens were hearing Greek, and so on, and it says that every one of them heard some of the 120, speaking in their own tongue the wonderful works of God. Every Jew there could have understood Hebrew, their mother tongue, so God just spoke to those that were there from other nations, and bypassed those who had been privileged to hear Jesus for 3 ½ years, and then rejected Him. Those Galilean Jews had no control over what they were saying; it was a sovereign operation of God. Well this causes a lot of people to say, I just do not understand tongues. But if you are a true child of God you should believe in them anyway. Do not forget, God was the one that came down and confused the language, when all men after the flood did speak the same language, and decided to build them a tower that would reach into heaven. Therefore if God is the one that caused all these different languages to be spoken in the first place, why could He not reverse the process if it would suit His purpose? The truth is, God anoints yielded vessels to speak in tongues, and he anoints yielded vessels to interpret those tongues, and it is a sign to the unbeliever that God is truly in the midst of you.


ILLUSTRATION OF TONGUES


Let me just say, for the sake of illustration, that I was born in Athens Greece. I know the Greek language, because it is my native tongue, but if I am a Jew, I also know Hebrew, the mother tongue of all Jews. That is the one thing that has helped keep the Hebrew people together through the centuries, their mother tongue. They do not always use it, except in religious functions, but they all know it. So here I am in Jerusalem, and my native language is Greek, and all of a sudden, there appears these Galileans who do not know Greek, and they are speaking to me in my native language. I have to know that there is something strange taking place, for I am hearing of the wonderful works of God, spoken to me in my own language. This same scene was being repeated all over the place, and it caused the question to be asked, What meaneth this? Now naturally those local Jews, that had not heard one word they could understand said, These men are full of new wine. It sounded like just a lot of jabbering to them, maybe much like a drunk person. But to those of other nations, it was as clear as a bell to them. That statement fired up old Peter though, and he stopped it all right there. While the other apostles stood right there with him, he began to say, “Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.” He went on to tell them, that this was the fulfillment of prophecy, and preached Jesus to them, and reminded them of how they had crucified the one that should have been their Messiah. Brother every Jew standing there heard Peter’s words because he was speaking in the Hebrew tongue. None of it meant anything to that local bunch though, for in their hearts they had already rejected Jesus, but there stood three thousand devout Jews from other nations, that Peter’s words did mean something to, and they gathered around and asked, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Peter’s answer was, Repent every one of you, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. They believed his words, and obeyed his instructions, and the Church was more than three thousand strong, that first day, and it was all triggered by a manifestation of the Spirit of God. There was a similar manifestation of speaking in tongues, in the house of Cornelius, when Peter preached Christ to them that day, and they were Gentiles. Then in the 19th chapter of Acts, when Paul laid hands on some men that had just been baptized, they not only spake in tongues, but some of them prophesied. Therefore if you are going to have to have evidence, it could be prophecy, just as well as tongues. But thank God, we do not base our experience with God on those vocal manifestations.


Alright now, let us pull our thoughts back to the gifts of speaking in tongues. I have read how at various times, as God wanted to show His supernatural power as a vindication among groups of people, He would move upon some person to speak in another dialect. It was unknown to the person speaking, but someone in the congregation, usually a stranger, would be understanding every word. The interpretation would come forth, to allow the rest to know what God had said, but many times the stranger would ask, Can you explain to me why that person spoke in that certain dialect, and then someone else stood up and repeated it in English? That happened at the Branham Tabernacle years ago. There was a minister sitting present in the service, that had sort of backslid and gone away from God. He went up to be prayed for that morning, and this message in tongues came. The interpretation that followed was speaking directly to the man, and he just broke down and wept, and his wife screamed and said, That is right. When the service was over that morning, and everyone was going out the door, there was a man standing just outside the door. He had come into the service late, had just been passing by, and stepped inside in time to hear what was going on. The man right in front of me stopped to shake hands with him, and he asked this question, Can you tell me why that person spoke in German, and then it was interpreted in English? I understood every bit of it, he said. Now I just used that to say, Do not ever try to understand everything about why God would use something like that. You can wrestle with it, but you will still not know, for God has many reasons for doing things a certain way. Furthermore if you question things too much, Satan will fill your mind with unbelief, and you will be out of the picture, as far as any gifts are concerned. One thing is sure enough, No individual can speak in a tongue that they have not heard unless the Holy Ghost anoints them to do so. However, many people, after they receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, are able to speak in tongues in prayer. You do not know what you are saying, but you can communicate with God in that manner, because He hears you from the depths of your soul. That is not the gift of tongues, that is to be used in the Church. The anointing for the gift of tongues will affect you much the same way as the anointing to prophesy. I do not like to be specific about feelings, but there definitely are some feelings that go with it, and every individual has to learn to be sensitive to those feelings. There have been times when I felt like, if I did not speak, I would pass out. But I do want to say again, the anointing for those vocal gifts affect your feelings in a much different way, than the anointing for the intellect gifts, and it is different with each person, so just seek God for your own experience, and do not try to receive someone else’s experience. Most of you could not speak German under any circumstances, apart from the Holy Spirit anointing you to do so. But when that anointing does come, all you have to do is open your mouth and let it come out, and it will come out all right. On the other hand, I have seen people pray for people to speak in tongues when they are seeking the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and I do not mean to belittle them for doing that, but I am fully persuaded that God does not need any help, when He chooses to deal with someone in that way. God is unique, He has his own ways of doing things.


INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES


We come now to the last gift, the interpretation of tongues. What is it? It is the anointing for someone to speak out, in the language of the people present, the interpretation of a message in tongues. A lot of people feel that an interpretation coming forth, should be word for word of the tongues, but there are some things to take into consideration. Languages differ one from another, and it does not take the same amount of words to say the same thing. Interpretation is conveying the thought of what was said, rather than trying to have the same amount of words. Bro. Strommen explained to me, that their Norwegian language does not even have words to convey the true meaning of every English word. That is why many times, when he is interpreting for me, I will say a dozen or so words, and the interpretation may not require half that many. Therefore do not allow yourself to get hung up on the idea that an interpretation should be exactly the same length, and the exact amount of words, or you will miss God completely in it all. It is the thought of what was said, that is the important thing. The main thing is to say, in the language of the people present, what was said in the tongues, in a way that they can understand. When the Lord first began to move upon me in this way, I was sort of shy, when I was away from my own little mission. But I went to a meeting over in Louisville, with another preacher, and we sat on the back row. The evangelist preached, and then started to pray for the people. But then he stopped and gave a message in tongues. The older preacher that was with me stood up, and gave the interpretation. Then the evangelist gave acknowledgment to the Spirit of the Lord, and went right back to praying for the people. He soon stopped again, and started giving another message in tongues, and as soon as he started, I could feel that anointing start to stir around within me. But I was in a strange church, and there was a lot of people present, and I was shy, so I said, No, Lord, Not me. When he finished speaking, I said, Lord let him interpret it, but nothing happened. I was sitting there wanting to sink lower down in my seat, but I could not get away from that feeling. Then the thought came to me, I feel like I could literally explode if this does not leave me. The thought came to me then, If he says just one more time, Speak Lord, I will speak, and as soon as I thought that, he said, Speak Lord. Then I could not do anything but open my mouth and begin to speak. There is no reason to explain all the feelings I had, for they were my feelings. Yours may be different altogether, and you will have to yield accordingly. Again I will remind you, that the apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, Quench not the Spirit, and despise not prophesying, prove all things, and hold fast that which is good. Every true gift of God is good, so let us be sensitive to the leading of His Spirit, and seek to be used by Him, and we will have that true joy that the scriptures speak about. We still have some more to say, so look for a continuation of this message in our next issue.

The Body of Christ (1986), Part 1

THERE IS SOMETHING GOING ON IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, THAT CAUSES ME TO FEEL IMPRESSED TO DEAL WITH A MESSAGE WE WILL TITLE, “THE BODY OF CHRIST.” THE THING I AM REFERRING TO: IN ONE WAY, IT IS HID TO THE WORLD, AND YET IN ANOTHER WAY, IT IS NOT. YOU WILL SEE WHAT I MEAN, AS WE GO ALONG. WE HAVE ALL BEEN MADE VERY MUCH AWARE OF THE GREAT FAMINE IN ETHIOPIA, AND HOW UNTOLD THOUSANDS OF THEM ARE SUFFERING, AND DYING OF STARVATION, AND HOW VARIOUS EFFORTS ARE BEING MADE TO RELIEVE THE SITUATION. BUT THE THING THAT REALLY BEGAN TO GET MY ATTENTION, WAS WHAT I HAVE BEEN READING AND HEARING ABOUT THE JEWISH ELEMENT, AND HOW THEY ARE BEING AFFECTED. THOUSANDS OF THEM HAVE FLED TO THE COUNTRY OF SUDAN, WITH THE HOPE OF FINDING SOMETHING TO HELP, AND NOW WE LEARN THAT ISRAEL HAS TAKEN IT UPON THEMSELVES TO BRING ABOUT A MASSIVE AIRLIFT, TO BRING THEM TO ISRAEL. THEY WERE TRYING TO KEEP IT HID FROM THE WORLD, AND ESPECIALLY FROM ETHIOPIA AND THE ARABS, FOR ETHIOPIA IS ALREADY UNDER A COMMUNIST FORM OF GOVERNMENT, AND YOU ALL KNOW HOW THE ARABS FEEL ABOUT JEWS. BUT THE NEWS MEDIA GOT HOLD OF THE STORY, AND BLEW THE WHOLE OPERATION, LEAVING AROUND 1700 MORE, YET TO BE BROUGHT OUT. ISRAEL WAS USING THE BELGIAN AIR LINES FOR THE OPERATION, AND WHEN THE SPOTLIGHT WAS TURNED UPON THEM, THE WHOLE THING HAD TO BE SOMEWHAT CURTAILED. NEVERTHELESS ISRAEL IS DETERMINED TO GET THE REST OF THEM OUT OF THERE, AND TO ISRAEL. (THIS MESSAGE WAS STARTED DURING THAT TIME.) THESE PARTICULAR JEWS REFER TO THEMSELVES AS BEING OF THE TRIBE OF DAN, AND I AM CONVINCED, THEY KNOW MORE ABOUT THAT, THAN YOU AND I KNOW. JUST REMEMBER, THOSE TEN TRIBES WERE CARRIED AWAY INTO CAPTIVITY IN THE YEAR 728 B.C., SO THEY HAVE HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO MIGRATE THE WORLD OVER. REMEMBER ALSO, THIS NATION OF AMERICA IS ONLY 500 YEARS OLD, FROM THE TIME IT WAS DISCOVERED, AND LOOK WHAT ALL HAS HAPPENED IN THAT 500 YEARS, SO DO NOT QUESTION WHAT COULD HAPPEN IN 2600 YEARS. (YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, THAT IS A LONG TIME.) BUT THAT IS NOT THE END OF WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT, FOR FROM INDIA, CAME THE CRY OF ANOTHER 7000 JEWS, THAT WANT TO COME HOME, AND AN OFFICIAL FROM THE ZIONIST ORGANIZATION WAS SENT TO WORK OUT IMMIGRATION PROBLEMS FOR THEM. THEY CLAIM TO BE OF THE TRIBE OF MANESSAH, AND THEIR RECORDS SHOW THAT THEY MIGRATED INTO BURMA IN THE 1700’S FROM CHINA, AND SO ON. IT IS VERY STRANGE, THERE WAS AN ARTICLE IN THE JERUSALEM POST ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO, TELLING ABOUT THE DAYS OF THE SETTLING OF OUR WEST, AND HOW IT WAS LEARNED THAT SOME OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE THAT CAME HERE, HAD A JEWISH TORAH SCROLL.


SOME OF YOU MAY HAVE READ STORIES ABOUT THE BUILDING OF RAILROADS OUT WEST, AND HOW CALIFORNIA, AT THAT TIME WAS ALREADY SETTLED, AND HOW MANPOWER TO WORK ON RAILROADS WAS VERY SCARCE. VERY FEW WANTED TO WORK ON RAILROADS. THEREFORE THEY SENT TO THE ORIENTS FOR WORKERS, AND THEY CAME BY THE THOUSANDS, AND MOST OF THEM NEVER DID GO BACK. THAT IS HOW SO MANY CHINESE CAME TO BE AMONG THE EARLY SETTLERS OUT WEST. BUT THESE PARTICULAR ONES THAT HAD THE TORAH SCROLL, CLAIMED TO BE FROM A PROVINCE IN CHINA, THAT HAD BEEN CONVERTED TO JUDAISM, BY THE JEWS THAT LIVED THERE, AND I BELIEVE THEY SAID IT WAS IN THE 1700’S. THIS MAN THAT WROTE THAT ARTICLE IN THE JERUSALEM POST, HAD MADE A TRIP TO A MUSEUM OUT WEST HERE, WHERE THAT TORAH SCROLL FINALLY ENDED UP, AND THAT IS WHY HE WROTE THE ARTICLE AT THE TIME HE DID. WELL ANYHOW, MY POINT IS THIS, THOSE TEN TRIBES HAVE MIGRATED ALL OVER THE WORLD IN THE 2600 YEARS OF THEIR DISPERSION, AND ACCORDING TO HOSEA, THEY WERE NEVER TO RETURN BACK TO THE LAND OF ISRAEL, AS TRIBES, UNTIL THE END TIME, JUST BEFORE THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH. I JUST THOUGHT TO MYSELF, AS I READ THAT STORY, WITH ISRAEL’S ECONOMY IN THE SHAPE IT IS IN, THEY HAVE TO HAVE HELP FROM A FRIENDLY NATION, OR NATIONS, IN ORDER TO GET THESE VARIOUS ELEMENTS OF JEWS BACK INTO THEIR NATION. BUT WE DO KNOW, THAT IF WE ARE TRULY LIVING JUST BEFORE THE WINDUP OF GENTILE TIME, WE HAVE TO EXPECT GOD TO WORK IN WORLD CONDITIONS, TO BRING ABOUT WHATSOEVER IS TO BE DONE BEFORE THOSE TWO JEWISH PROPHETS APPEAR ON THE SCENE IN ISRAEL. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE TO STAND AROUND AND WAIT FOR THOUSANDS OF JEWS TO BE BROUGHT HOME, SO THEY CAN PROPHESY TO THEM, TO FULFILL REVELATION 7, AND REVELATION 14. EVERY REPRESENTATIVE OF THOSE TWELVE TRIBES, THAT ARE TO BE SEALED BY THEIR MINISTRY, WILL ALREADY BE THERE. NEVERTHELESS WE NEED TO BE AWARE OF WHAT IS TAKING PLACE, FOR EVEN THOUGH THE WORLD KNOWS ABOUT IT, THEY HAVE NO CONCEPT OF THE SCRIPTURAL FULFILLMENT IN THESE VARIOUS THINGS. JUDAH AND BENJAMIN HAVE BEEN THE TWO TRIBES THAT HAVE MORE OR LESS HUNG TOGETHER THROUGH TIME. THEY ARE THE ONES THAT SETTLED IN EUROPE, AND THAT HAVE BEEN MAINLY REPRESENTED IN THE NATION OF ISRAEL SINCE THEY HAVE HAD THEIR LAND BACK, OR AT LEAST PART OF IT BACK. ANYHOW SAINTS: WE SURELY HAVE TO BE LIVING CLOSE TO THE END, BUT THE WORLD IS ASLEEP, AS FAR AS THE SIGNS OF IT ARE CONCERNED. I CANNOT HELP BUT BELIEVE, THAT GOD IS GOING TO ALLOW SOME CATASTROPHIC SHAKING TAKE PLACE, THAT WILL CAUSE A LOT OF ATHEISTS TO WISH THEY HAD NEVER BEEN BORN, AND ESPECIALLY REGRET SOME OF THE TEXT BOOKS THEY HAVE WRITTEN.


FACTS ABOUT RELIGION


Brothers and Sisters: I want us to look at some scriptures, and consider some things that are going to affect the Church before she leaves here in the rapture. I have said many times, We have never yet seen the true church of Jesus Christ in action. But when I say that: Do not think that I am talking about some great earth shattering development in the Church. The Church will always be a people in the minority category, yet I do believe God will work a work that will allow the world in general to know who the true children of God are. Even though they have called them heretics, and cults, and all of that, they are going to see, before the end, who really has the favor of God. Religion in general, doctrinally tries to calculate certain things that are to take place, but they are as far from reality, as the Jews were, in trying to place Isaiah and Malachi, according to their Judiastic traditions and doctrines. In other words, even as religious as they were, God did what His prophets had foretold that He would do, and Judaism missed it. Likewise religion as a whole will miss what God does in these last days, for they are expecting Him to work according to their traditions, and He is going to work according to His word. There are literally millions of Gentile people, that are dedicated to some kind of church program, but they are no more dedicated to God, than a lost sinner out here in the world. In fact, they will fight God, for when you fight against revealed truth, that is exactly what you are doing. When you reject truth, you are rejecting God, whether you are willing to admit it or not.

 

 

JESUS CHRIST IN HIS CHURCH


I will finally get to our text scriptures in 1st Corinthians, chapter 12, verse 12, in a minute, if you want to be opening to it. But let us be aware of the fact that the body of Christ we are going to talk about, is not just a physical man. Jesus Himself was a perfect physical man, and millions of people only saw a man, but we are going to look at something that goes beyond what the one physical man was. When the Church was born, on the day of Pentecost, thousands of Jews saw that 120 disciples that came out of the upper room, speaking in tongues and glorifying God, but the greater majority failed to see anything at all, that would make them want to become a part of what was taking place. So is it also today. Nevertheless three thousand souls did see something that made them want to shed those shackles of tradition and unbelief, and they stepped up to Peter and the others, and said, Men and brethren, what must we do? They were pricked in their hearts, convicted by what they had just heard, yet you would have to admit that every one of them were already religious, so what was the difference? They were at Jerusalem because they were religious. They were doing all they knew to do, but they did not have closed minds, like those other thousands had, so God was able to deal with them, and show them some truth that they had not seen before. At least not with a spiritual eye. Therefore as Paul uses the term body of Christ, he is referring to the functioning of something that goes beyond what the natural minded man is able to comprehend. It takes the Holy Ghost to cause the individual members of this body to function, and there is no way that natural minded men can duplicate the true functioning of this body that actually ministers on the behalf of Jesus Christ Himself. Where do they get the authority to do that? From Jesus Himself. In John 14:12, Jesus said, “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do: because I go unto my Father.” But we do not work as individuals apart from everyone else; we work as a body; some doing one thing, and others something else, but all in unity. Jesus Himself, was a person the invisible God could talk to and talk through. God used all the faculties of that perfect man for the last 3 ½ years of His physical walk among men, and some saw something, and others saw nothing. Then when He was ready to go away, He said to the disciples, concerning the Holy Ghost, the Comforter that was to come (John 16:14-16,) “He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that He (the Holy Ghost) shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you. A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.” The church world reads that verse, or these verses, and never sees a thing. But the truth is, when the Holy Ghost came to the Church, on the day of Pentecost, He came carrying every attribute of the character of Jesus Christ, and every manifestation that had been exemplified in the personal ministry of the physical man Himself. In other words, When Jesus ascended to glory, to be high priest, He would not be a prophet any longer. Neither would he heal the sick, and raise the dead any more; but He did commit every bit of that to the Church, through the enablement of the Holy Ghost. When the Holy Ghost is present, everything that Jesus did, is a potential in our midst, but these churches that do not believe He is any longer in the picture, are as void of the power of God as they could possibly be. Oh they claim to have the Spirit of God, but their very attitude and actions, prove beyond any shadow of doubt, that they do not. Some of them deny the supernatural power of God in our day, and others want no part of God except the supernatural, miracle working part, and they are both void of the reality of God, for He is as He always was; it is just that His purpose in doing certain things is different than it was some two thousand years ago. I just have to say, The world is going to hell, and much of what is called “The Church,” is going right along with it, and except for the grace and mercy of God, we would be too. But because of His grace and mercy in allowing us to see truth, and walk in it, He is molding us into vessels of honor, even into the very image of His only begotten Son. But my real point is this, If Jesus the Christ, was a vessel that the invisible God could be seen through, so also is His church. It reflects something that the world cannot see. Did not Jesus say, Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me, for I will be with you, even in you? How would He be with us, even in us? By His Spirit, of course. The same Spirit that was in Him, is now in the church, (His body) doing the very same things. That is why Paul used this particular terminology to describe the function of the church, yet many people wrestle with the simplicity of it, and become very technical and legalistic.


JESUS’ MANY MEMBERED BODY


Let us read 1st Corinthians 12:12 now. “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” We will read some more later, but let us look at something here first. The body is one body, made up of many members. We have two sets of four fingers and a thumb attached to two members called hands, and they are attached to two poles called arms, and so on, but all of these together make up only one body. Paul uses this illustration to show what the mystical body of Christ is made up of. Every individual person who is born of the Spirit of God, is compared to some member of the natural human body, for all members do not perform the same function, just like all members of our human body do not perform the same function. Every member of the body of Christ has their particular place and function, in order for the body to fulfill its calling upon earth. Paul is not saying that Jesus Christ is many people; he is only saying that the body that becomes His mystical representation on earth, is made up of many individual people, through which the Holy Spirit exemplifies Jesus Christ Himself, in character, attitude, motive and purpose. God instills in us, through a revelation of His word, something that causes us to take our place in representing our blessed Lord, in this evil age of perversion and ungodliness. Education and worldly prestige do not represent the living Christ, as many would like to believe. It takes a dedicated heart, and a life of simplicity to do that. I am not against education; but it is of very little spiritual benefit, to those who major in it. In one sense, you could say; It takes an uneducated person to truly humble themselves, and accept the simplicity of the gospel. No I am not saying what it may sound like I am, for God can save kings and potentates of every sort, but how many such people do you know of, who are willing to count all of their worldly achievements as nothing, in order to follow Christ in a revelation of truth? You can memorize every verse of scripture in the Bible, and still miss God completely. Judiastic Jews could quote the Torah, and recite memorized prayers all day long, but when the one whom all that should have been pointing to, came upon the scene, they cried, Crucify him! Crucify him! That sort, could never be in the body of Christ, for they are of that other spirit.


EVERY MEMBER IS IMPORTANT


Notice verse 13 now. “For by one Spirit we are baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; or have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” This scripture was written before the Church ever went into the Dark Age period. At that time, Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists and all of that, had never been thought of. It is true, the church was made up of people from many religious backgrounds, some from Judaism, and others from different forms of paganism, but when they obeyed the gospel, they all came the same way. There were no cheap ways offered, in those days. It is the baptism of the Holy Ghost, that puts us in the body of Christ, and there is no other way to get in. The Holy Ghost is that same Spirit that was in Christ, only in the Church, it is working to reconcile lost mankind back to God. It is by that Spirit in us, that God is able to mold us into the image of His only begotten Son, so that, in the end, it can truly be said, He (Jesus) is the firstborn among many brethren. He was the firstborn of the family of God, but the rest of that family is looked upon as one body, and that body has a function, a duty to perform. We have to look at this, as the apostle Paul saw it, in that apostolic age. We do not get into that one body by having some priest place a little wafer on our tongue; we are baptized (immersed) into it by the Holy Ghost. Every individual has had their own particular experience with God, and it is God Himself who gives the experience. The gospel came to the Jews first, but every Jew, and every Gentile got into the body of Christ the same way, by the baptism of the Spirit of God. That is why Paul also wrote, In Christ, we are not respected because of our race, or color of skin, or who baptized us; it is the blood of Jesus Christ that makes the difference. In other words, Now that the Gentiles have been included, no certain ones have any priority. All must come the same way, whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free. Then he says, “For the body is not one member, but many,” and then goes into various illustrations to make his point clear. Some people sit in the church for years, claiming to be Christians, but never really gaining any confidence in God. You will hear them say, God would never do such and such for me, for I am just no good. I just have to say, to such people, What are you doing here then? Does that sound cruel? I have to talk like that, in order to open up some minds. Do not sit in the church forty years, saying, I am no good, I don’t know why God saved me. That is not the Christian life. God did not save us, to push us back into a corner, so to speak. He does not push our face in the mud every day; that is the devil that does that. He is the one that constantly tries to defeat every Christian, rob you of your joy, and keep you from fulfilling your place in the body of Christ. That is why Paul went ahead to say, “If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not the body; is it therefore not of the body?” It is true, the foot is not as pretty to look at, as the hand. But does the hand bear the burden the foo bears? Is the body complete, without the feet? Of course not, and neither is the body of Christ complete without you, if you are truly ordained to this great salvation. Oh yes, you may get more abuse than someone else, but think of this, Is it your right hand, or your foot, that runs into the door at night? Some of you know what I am talking about; it hurts something awful. But you must realize also, when your foot suffers, the whole body suffers, for no member of your body stands apart from all the others, and neither is it so, in the body of Christ. Therefore when Paul speaks of the foot saying thus and so, he is comparing it to those insignificant feeling saints who are always running themselves down; Who am I, that God would ever do anything for? You just have to realize, God did not save you because you were handsome. He was not looking at your nose, nor your feet; he was looking at your soul. Therefore in the eyes of God, you are important, and He will not withhold any good thing from you, for any reason, except for your perfection. You just have to learn to trust Him. Should the foot feel unimportant, when the truth is, it is carrying the whole body? Saints: Are you getting the picture? You cannot look at your inabilities, and justify your attitude, by saying, Well, I am just not as important to God as So and So. Maybe you are a toe on the foot: I do not know. But you must realize this, When the grace of God came to you, and convicted you of sin, and made you realize your need for Jesus Christ as your Savior, that was God’s beginning point in your life. Therefore no matter how many times the devil knocks you down, you must get up, and say, Devil: I am going on. You must determine to tell the devil he is a liar. A toe can get hit, turn purpose and swell up, but with a little time you will not even be able to tell it was ever hit.


EVERY MEMBER SUFFERS


Is the hand always without hurt? How many of you have ever hit your finger with a hammer? Or have a door shut on one? Did it hurt? Did the whole body suffer? You know it did. Every member suffers at some point in time, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with the importance of that particular member. As far as beauty goes, I have always felt like, if people would spend as much time pampering their feet as they do their face and hands, they might have beautiful feet. But the point is, God is not looking at physical beauty. That has nothing at all to do with our function in the body of Christ. Every member of the body of Christ is a person with a disposition, and if God has saved you, He will give you enough grace to overcome the devil. It is all in recognizing what God has done for you. He has set you in the body, and He has no plans for cutting you out. Some people are born with fewer capabilities than others, and in the secular world you are measured accordingly, but in the family of God, that makes no difference at all. God never asks anything from anyone unless He is willing to make that person capable of doing, or giving what He asks for. We just have to realize that there is a Creator behind every birth; therefore if we are bound by certain limitations, God knows all about it, and He will never require you to rise above those limitations. It is natural man, that makes those demands upon you, and tries to make you feel insecure and unimportant, because of it. In some of these church organizations, the moment they get you converted to their organization, they put you to work, and you never have a free moment again. They will work you half to death, always pushing you to do something else, whether you have any capabilities or leading in that direction or not. They keep you so worn out, you could not even hear what the preach had to say, even if he said anything worth hearing. In those places though, all you ever get is an old trinity popsicle shoved in your mouth, so you could never grow very much on that, even if you got it. What I am saying is, you can get so wrapped up in church activity, you forget all about any true revelation of Jesus Christ. We should go to church to worship God and enjoy fellowship with each other, and to be fed with something we can grow on spiritually. Furthermore if everything is as it should be, the preacher can get as much out of what he has to say, as anyone else. Many times he will read a passage of scripture, not even knowing ahead of time what he is going to say, and the Holy Ghost just takes over. I like it, when it is like that, for you realize that you are not the preacher at all. The real preacher is in you. Saints: He not only wants to do that with the preacher, He also wants to do that with every individual child of His. I do not mean to say, He wants you all to preach; He wants to guide your lives in that very same way. He wants to teach you some things that does not necessarily need to come through your preacher. That is why it is wrong to try to program a worship service. We ought always to be subject to His leading. When you print up an order of service program, you have just slammed the door in the face of the Spirit of God, for God will not work within the limits of your preprinted programs. You may come to church with your mind in one direction, and the Spirit of God may take the service, and go in the opposite direction, if He is allowed to.


SOME SOUND SPIRITUAL ADVICE


I realize we cannot stay on the foot forever, in a message like this, but there just seems to be so much to say concerning these things, for that is exactly where so many people are today; always condemning themselves. God did not save you to cultivate an inferiority complex; He saved you to mold you into the image of His Son Jesus, the Christ. Many people are just simply bound by the characteristics of their old natures, because the devil will always try to get you to cultivate that, if he can. Brother: God wants to put a smile on your face, joy in your heart, and a song in your soul. Sure you are going to have trials; every true child of God does. But your trials are not for your destruction; they are for the testing and cultivation of what God desires to see in your life. Trials are never for your destruction; they are always for your benefit, even though they are hard on the flesh. Nevertheless if we can accept trials, and recognize them when they come, I will guarantee you one thing, God will never let you go 40 years of your life living a trial. Somewhere He will lift you above your trials, and allow you to see that there has been something accomplished through them. You will begin to have some confidence and stability, and be more apt to recognize God’s goodness to you. Above all, do not ever look back, except to count your blessings. If you look back at failures, you are only cultivating more failure. Do not live in the past, or you will always be defeated. You may make a mistake; this flesh is full of imperfections; but do not allow the devil to rob you because of it. When your realize your mistake, repent of it, commit it into the hands of your heavenly Father, and do not spend the next ten years looking back, belittling yourself for being such a failure. Look back, only to say, Thank you Lord. Every time I look in a mirror, I look back and say, Thank you Lord. I would not change this scar on my face, for it brought me to Christ. No I would never say, God give me another one, but every time I see this one, it reminds me that I could be six feet under the ground today, instead of here enjoying the goodness and mercy of God. For thirty some years, my soul has rejoiced in the mercy and grace of God, because He took that opportunity to turn me around. Oh yes. There have been days of disappointment, but oh, I praise God, because He brings us through every day, and teaches us not to live in the past. What happened yesterday, should not be the end of our goal, but rather, what lays beyond tomorrow. Therefore a foot is never to be looked upon as something unimportant. A foot in the body of Christ, is as important to God as a hand. Paul really covers a lot of every day reality in this Corinthian epistle, if we will just let it speak to us. Do you really appreciate the grace of God, or are you guilty of complaining because you are not just exactly like someone else? Let us read the rest of these verses, and just notice what he is really emphasizing: the importance of every member of the body of Christ realizing that they have an important function in the overall picture of God’s great redemption work. “And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath GOD SET THE MEMBERS every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body.” An ear may not be very pretty to look at, sticking out there on the side of our head, but if you are like me they have sure saved you from big trouble many times. The ears can hear things the eye cannot see, like a car roaring up behind you, or someone shouting, Look out! But then, the eye can see things the ear cannot hear, like a deep hole in the ground, you are about to step into, or uninsulated electric wire you are about to touch, and so on. Likewise the nose, as ugly as it may happen to be, can bring you enjoyment, warn you of danger, and help you in many ways, so the body would not be complete without it. You have probably heard people say, Look at the big crooked nose on So and So! Well regardless of how ugly it may be, it has an important function in the complete makeup of the body. You seldom, if ever, hear anyone say, Look at that beautiful nose, or Look at those beautiful ears, yet they are as much a part of the body as the eyes, that some people are always raving about. In other words, Paul is saying, Do not try to be something you are not made to be. But rather, recognize what you really are, and take advantage of every potential. Do not be envious of some brother or sister, that is able to stand and give a beautiful testimony, nor of those who are blessed with a beautiful voice to sing. Just be ready to say Amen to truth, and thank God for giving you the privilege of hearing it. Be loyal with whatever you have, a smile, a friendly handshake, a visit to some sick person, or just to should Hallelujah; when the Spirit of God blesses your soul. All of this is important, if the body of Christ is to function as a complete, healthy unit. Some people get the idea, that in order to serve God, they have to preach to everyone they meet, when the truth is, they have not been called of God to preach. They would be of more service to God, if they would just consecrate their efforts to living a dedicated life that truly portrays what God has done for them. Some times others are more impressed with what you are, than with what you say. The mere fact that you are speaking truth, does not necessarily mean that God is pleased for you to be doing it. He will anoint you for whatever He wants you to say along that line. The most important thing is for every Christian to recognize themselves as children of God, and refrain from comparing themselves with their brothers and sisters of the faith. When you look at someone else as being more spiritual than you, what are you actually looking at? Is it the way they talk, the way they dress, the way they pray, or what? If you are doing the very best you can do with whatever ability you have: are you sure that some other certain brother or sister is more spiritual than you? Do you see everything as God sees it? If we were all just exactly alike, where would be God’s variety? Furthermore how could we ever recognize the grace of God? Take for instance, a character that has been out here in sin all of his life, as ornery as he could possibly be, and not able to speak ten words without cursing, and then let the grace of God get hold of him, wash him in the blood of Jesus Christ, clean up his language, and put a praise in his heart. There is no way he could suddenly be exactly like some old saint that has been walking with God for years. He has some growing to do first. But he can be just as clean, just as justified before God. He could have been left wallowing in the pit like a snake, but the grace of God saw fit to make him into a vessel of honor. He may not be able to sing, play an instrument, testify, nor any of the many other things that saints are enabled to do, but he can sure lift his hands and say, Thank you God, for saving my miserable soul. That is all God will require of him at first, but forty years later, if that is all he can do, we would just have to say, There is a fellow that has spent his whole life looking back, for God does expect us to grow in the stature of our blessed Lord from year to year. Not just to be like some other brother or sister, but to be more like Jesus. He is our example in character, attitude, motive and obedience. Do not pray, Lord let me be like Brother So and So; pray that He will help you to be more like Him.


A GREAT EXODUS IS NECESSARY


We started this message talking about some things God is doing among the Jews, and the nation of Israel to fulfill His word for these last days. But let us realize also, that He is doing some things in the Church, to fulfill His word for these last days. Just as the scattered tribes of Israel must be restored to the land of their fathers, to fulfill the word of God, so must the scattered body of Christ be restored to the faith of their fathers, for Jesus is not coming to take a few Catholics, a few Baptists, a few Lutherans, and so forth. He is coming for a body of people that has been called out of those denominations, to follow the revealed word of God for this hour of time. The early church walked in all the truth of their hour; but the Church of our day knows things that were not even revealed to the Church in the days of the first apostles. What we know from the book of Revelation, was not even given to John until 96 A.D., therefore as great as the apostle Paul was, there are simply little saints around the world today, that know spiritual truth he did not know. That does not detract from the apostle Paul in the least, for he knew everything he was supposed to know in his day, and he was faithful to the complete revelation of that day. Neither does it make us more spiritual than he, for a person cannot be more spiritual, than to be true to all that is revealed to them. Jesus was faithful to all that the Father showed Him, and when He ascended to glory, He sent His Spirit to earth to seal a mystical body of people that would carry on His very work among lost mankind. The Son of God Himself did not do anything that the Holy Ghost in us cannot enable us to do, to fulfill the purpose of God. But now, when you start thinking about walking on water, multiplying bread and fish, and raising the dead, just remember this, Jesus said, It is not I that do these works, but the Father that dwelleth in me. He also said, All things are possible to him that believeth. But we do know that the power of God is not a toy to be played with, and none of us can be any more than what the Spirit of God in us, enables us to be. Naturally I am talking about true children of God, for I realize that Satan also enables his children to do many deceptive things in this life. He appears as an angel of light, and puts on displays that look exactly like something God would do. But the end of it all is evil, and those who are fooled by it, will perish with it. That is why the apostle John said, (1st John 4:1) “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” If that was true in 90 A.D., when the gospel was still in its original form, what do you suppose we should look for today, after 1900 years of the devil’s perversion? The church is to have the mind of Christ, just like Jesus had the mind of the Father. He had a mind of His own, just like all the rest of us, but He absolutely refused to exercise His own mind above that of the Father. Now do you see any way that we, as a church, could exemplify Jesus Christ, and still exercise our own natural thinking about everything? That early Church would not preach theology, and neither would they preach any of their old traditions; they preached only what the Spirit of Christ in them, revealed to them. Every characteristic of Jesus Christ was expressed in that early church, which was made up of sinners saved by the grace of God, just like it still is today. It is Christ in you, that is the hope of glory, and if He is in you, the world ought to be able to see it, without you having to put on some special display to prove it. Most of what we see displayed on television, called the Church, is not the Church at all. That also applies to most of what you see worldwide today; not only on television, but in the church world as a whole. As I said, the Church is like Israel. She has been scattered to the four winds, and just as it will take a mass exodus to get the twelve tribes of Israel fully represented back in the land of Abraham’s covenant, so will it take a mass exodus to bring the church of the living God back together, and back to the true revelation of God’s word. We are not called upon to fulfill the total ministry of Jesus Christ as individuals, but as a body of people, all believing the same thing, and all with the same goal, to be led completely by the Holy Ghost. You do not need to fear that you will be a failure in what God has called you to do. Would He call a person to do something, and then not enable that person to fulfill his calling? Just remember this, If you are doing a true work of God, it is not you that is doing it, but Him. Saints, this applies to every one of us, but I am especially trying to say something to encourage the true ministry of this evil hour. We experience many discouraging things as we go along, but remember, it is the purpose of God that must prevail, and it will, not matter what obstacles we encounter. It is not necessarily what you and I want, but what God wants, that counts. There are times when, even though we feel that what we are doing, is what God called us to do, when we see no fruit from our labors, we tend to become discouraged, but that is because in our minds, we set a time in which we feel that certain things should happen, if they are ever going to, but that is wrong to feel like that, for God is not bound by our time schedule. Most of the time, when things turn out like that, it is because we have been influenced and programmed by the ideas of others, but many times, that is God’s way of testing our loyalty to our calling. That is why we should not suddenly jump into anything, without being sure that what we feel has been layed before the Lord, and His perfect will sought in the matter. Once you have done that, and can feel good in your spirit about what you are anticipating, you just have to wait upon the Lord’s time to see the results.


WE MUST WAIT UPON GOD


I will never forget when we first started out, down here on State Street, in New Albany, just a little old mission, and for 4 long years, just the same little group of people. Over and over, just the same little group, service after service. Many times I felt, This is no good; we are just not seeing any results, no growth whatsoever. Then about that time, a missionary would come by, and we would feel a little encouragement for awhile. We would usually get in touch with them through the Branham Tabernacle, and they would without fail, bring in that scripture about, Pray the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth reapers, or laborers into the vineyard, because the harvest is white already. Usually though, by the time they would get through preaching, I would just simply feel that I was doing far too little, and not really willing to make a sacrifice for the Lord’s work. Many times, I was just about ready to sell everything, go somewhere, and try to do something for the Lord, but it just never did go quite that far. However in 1957, I was privileged, by the grace of God, to spend a month in Cuba, before Castro took over. That was in the month of December. Brothers and Sisters: It just took that one month to let me know that I should go back home and shut my mouth, and wait upon God to give the results, while I did what I was supposed to do. We did not just start that little mission because we felt that New Albany needed another church. Most of you have heard me tell, how that as I would ride that old farm tractor, I could hear a voice over and over, It is time to start the church. That is why I started it; I felt that I had heard the voice of God in the matter. Well I came back home, and continued on as before, and after that, I began to see things start to develop that eventually changed the situation. One thing I will have to say though, Everything that has transpired from that time until now, was not my plans; it was the plan of God. By circumstances, we have been moved along to where we are now. God has His own unique way of moving us from one phase to another, until He gets His will accomplished. Therefore for whatever it may be worth, you may feel at times that you are just not doing anything for God; but I say, Stop letting the devil kick you around. For if God does not open the door wide enough to show you what to do, what good would your efforts be anyhow? Just stop wrestling with yourself, and stand willing to do whatever God shows you to do, and you will not feel so defeated all the time. That goes for every one of you; not just for the ministry. In denominationalism they always harp on how you have to be willing just to step out by faith, and make a sacrifice for God. But for every one person that has found the will of God like that, there have been ten that have not. Are you beginning to see why I said, You have not yet seen the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ in action. You have seen her scattered, and brought through denominational systems, but you have never seen her in action, as she will be seen here in the end of the age. She will not be looking back; she will be looking straight to the leading of the Holy Ghost. I just want to take a moment to remind you of what happens when people desire only the power of God, and have no love for His word. Most of you have probably heard of the Welsh revival, that struck just before the break of the century. My, what an outstanding display of God’s convicting power. I do not know of the convicting power of God ever being displayed anywhere else, like it was in the Welsh Revival. Many denominational people will look back and say, Oh that god would send us another Welsh Revival. Every time God has ever sent a revival with a true moving of His Spirit, it has always brought more truth, or maybe I should say, more light upon the scriptures. But it is when people just want to look back for the power of God, and are not willing to go any further in the word of God, that the movement eventually dies off. The movement itself, literally died with those that were benefitted by it. The younger generations were left only with a religious form. That is man’s way of doing things. That is why you have denominational religious systems in the world today. They draw up their articles of faith, write their creeds and put a period to it, and the Bible becomes a closed book, as far as any further revelation is concerned. They do that, trying to keep the devil from getting in, but when you lock the devil out that way, you also lock out the Spirit of God, and no further light is possible. Well, the early Church was not a denomination; therefore when Paul spoke of the body of Christ, he was not talking about Catholics, Baptists, Assemblies of God, nor any of man’s brands; he was talking about true believers, that had been washed by the blood of the Lamb, and sealed in the body of Christ by the baptism of the Holy Ghost. No. He was not talking about super individuals that have been made so holy they literally float through the clouds; he is talking about redeemed souls like you and me, that still have to maintain our natural lives here on earth every day. That is the reason Jesus payed in John 17, Father, I pray not that you would take them out of the world, but that you would keep them from the evil that is in the world. In other words, The Holy Ghost does not make us immune to sin, but He does enable us to overcome Satan and all of his devices, when we have our minds made up to do so. Who does that apply to? Every member that God has set in the body, no matter how small.


LET GOD’S PURPOSE BE ACCOMPLISHED


Let us read a few verses from the 12th chapter of Romans, and then we will come back to the 12th chapter of 1st Corinthians. Here in Romans 12, Paul is writing to people who know that they have been redeemed, and made a part of the body he is referring to. He is writing to brethren, but that also includes the sisters. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE. And be not conformed to this world: (though you must still live in it) but be ye transformed (How?) By the renewing of your mind, (Why?) That ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. (The permissive will of God was not even considered in those days; they wanted only the perfect will of God for their lives.) For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Now he talks about the body.) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not he same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” He goes on into the gifts from there, but let us go back to the scriptures we were on, in 1st Corinthians 12:18, I believe that is where we left off, talking about how it would be, if every member of the body of Christ were exactly alike. Then Paul says, “But now HATH GOD SET THE MEMBERS EVERY ONE OF THEM IN THE BODY, AS IT HATH PLEASED HIM.” Well now, if God is the one that has set us in the body according to His own pleasure, who are we complaining against, when we complain? There is no graduation process in the body of Christ, whereby we can graduate from a foot to a hand, and then to a mouth. Wherever God set you in the body, right there is where you are going to stay. That does not limit your growth in any way, but it does limit your calling. If you are a foot, you just need to learn to be faithful in all that a foot is supposed to do. That is all God requires of you. He did not save any of us because of good looks, nor because of good deeds, nor because you were some outstanding person; He saved us because He loved us, and He did not put qualifications upon those that believe the gospel. All of the qualifications are in Christ Jesus, because of what He suffered at Calvary. A bank robber can be saved just as quick as a chicken thief, or a drunkard. A lot of people think a real bad person would have a more difficult time getting saved, than one who was not quite so bad. Brothers and Sisters: let us thank God for His grace and mercy, for that is the reason for our salvation. None of us were worthy to be saved. If you want God’s blessings, stop wrestling with those ideas of who is more worthy. Romans 3:23-24 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being JUSTIFIED FREELY by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (Let us read verses 25 & 26 also.) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Right there is your only qualification for God’s great salvation; you must believe in Jesus. But that believing must be with your heart, and not just with your head, and God sets you in the body, in the very place He has already ordained for you to be. Therefore when you begin to feel like you are nothing, just remember that you are a child of God, and that He has set you where you are. That is why Paul said, “And if they were all one member, where were the body?” In other words, If every member were a hand, who would do the preaching? Or if every member were a mouth, who would do all the other things that must be done? Trust God; for when He placed you in the body, He knew exactly what your qualifications were, but the important thing is, He accepted you. Do not let the devil sit on your shoulder, and lie to you. He will rob you, if you allow him to. “But now are they many member, yet but one body.” How could such a thing work? That is the beauty of Christ being the head, rather than some earthly man running it. Denominations are run by earthly heads, that have lost sight of what their founding fathers saw in the word of God. But the true Church of the living God has never been a denomination. It has always been a free people; but constantly buffeted by the devil. The beauty of it all is the fact that the Holy Ghost will only allow the devil to go so far. He is never allowed to go beyond the purpose of God. You may think at times, that god could not possibly have a purpose in some of the things the devil is allowed to do, but I assure you: He does have.


LEARN HOW TO BESTOW GRACE


This many membered body of people called the Church, is to represent Jesus Christ in their generation; therefore they must move with the times, but they cannot cater to all the fads and fashions of the world, and still fulfill their commission. People are caught up in a spirit of pride, especially in how they look and dress. God does not want us to come to church looking like a bum; but there is one thing sure: when you spend all that time before a mirror primping, and then put on some worldly looking apparel, and trot off to the church, you have not presented yourself before God as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to Him. You cannot glorify God, looking like something the devil drags up and down the street every day. As a matter of fact: If that is what you have in your heart, God is not in there. Now Bro. Jackson: That is hard. I know it is; but I feel that every person who claims to be a Christian, needs to check up on their values. What is uppermost in your minds? How far are you willing to go, to be pleasing to God? The fact is, When the word of God says, “Present your body a living sacrifice,” that is exactly what it means. You cannot please God and natural minded people, both at the same time, so a true child of God does not have a multiple choice in these matters. Alright now, verse 21, “And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay; much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary.” We have two extremes here, false pride, and an inferiority complex. False pride might cause the more notable members to look upon others as not being very important in the family of God; and an inferiority complex could cause certain individuals to feel that way about themselves; therefore Paul uses these illustrations to help you see that you are something, and you are not justified to condemn yourself, belittle yourself, nor place yourself so low, and think that God does not love you. He wants to mold us, and show Christ in every one of us. You are just as important as anyone else in the body of Christ. Do not even think about what you have been in the past, nor where you have been; for God wants us to look ahead. You may be prone to question how God ever worked in denominationalism, so let me remind you, God was not perfecting the Church in those systems, He was only using them to keep the Church alive, for her journey through time. But perfection is a picture of what He will bring His true children to, here at the end. Because as He separates His people out of those systems, I just have to say, That is when true Christians, according to Daniel 12:3, will shine as the brightness of the firmament. Well anyhow, I like the way Paul used the members of the natural human body, to illustrate the true body of Christ. The eye is a very outstanding member of the human body. It is the eye that beholds to beauty of God’s creation. It is with the eye that we see where to put our feet. It is also with the eye, that we see where to put our hands. So the eye being such an outstanding member of the body, represents certain individuals in the body of Christ. They are essential and important, but their attitude should never be, that some other member is not important, nor needed. They should never reach a place where they would say, I tell you, God has been so good to me, I don’t see why Bro. So and So does not do what I am doing. I just wish he, or she, (as the case may be) would shake himself. Brothers and Sisters: Don’t talk like that! That is something for God to take care of. We have all come a long way, but we also, all fell short somewhere along the way. Therefore when we realize that we are falling short, and we come face to face with reality, that is the time to shake ourselves, but it will be the convicting Spirit of God, that causes us to realize that. Furthermore Paul even goes so far as to show us the importance of our being able to bestow grace, or honor, ourselves. God has already given His part, but He asks you and me to bestow grace also, to those who, in the natural, seem to be very unimportant, but in His eyes, are very precious. There is where it takes a lot of grace on our part, for us to be able to extend it like that, with the right motive. It is like massaging your tired aching feet, realizing how important it is to your whole body, to take care of your feet, for they are needful. Did you ever try climbing a mountain on your head and hands? Aren’t you glad to be able to do that with your feet? God knew what He was doing, when He gave us feet, and designed them the way they are. They may not be very attractive, just by themselves but that is why you do not put a 300 dollar suit of clothes on the trunk part of your body, and tennis shoes on your feet. If someone came in here dressed like that, you would have to wonder about him. Now I realize there are parts of the world where there would need to be an exception to that, but try to realize that I am just making a point with such an illustration. Where you have the choice, it would be better to buy a cheaper suit, and a better pair of shoes. The point is, Everything should be looked at in the proper proportions, with the right spiritual insight, recognizing each member of the body, as a soul that God has accepted, and made a joint heir with you in every spiritual blessing, so notice verse 23. (May God help us see the depth of what is written here.) “And those members of the body, WHICH WE THINK to be less honorable, UPON THESE we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.” These that we feel this way about, might be individuals that are not prone to be quick, learning truths, and such like. Many times, people will say, Bro. Jackson: I believe everything you teach, but I have such a hard time understanding it all. Does that mean I am not spiritual? Not at all. Just be thankful you have something in you that can say Amen, to truth, whether you understand it all or not. Understanding all of the details of everything that is taught, is not what determines whether you are a child of God or not, nor whether you are spiritual. The main thing is that you are able to take what you do understand, and allow the spirit of God to apply it to your life. God never meant for every individual member of the body of Christ to be able to explain every detail of everything they know is truth. Some people say, Oh I would just give anything to be able to catch things like others do. Saints: Do not fight it like that; you will only defeat yourself, if you do. Just yield yourself to God and allow Him to work in your life. He knows exactly what you need. Some people set certain goals, that actually rob them in the long run; like reading the Bible all the way through in one year. We received a letter from a dear soul that has leukemia, desiring that we pray for her, for she had taken so much medicine, it had made her sick, trying to ease her pain. But she also said, Bro. Jackson: Would you please write and tell me, how I can read the Bible through in one year. I wrote back and said, Sister: There are 66 books in the Bible, and only 52 weeks in the years. Therefore I feel that if you try to program your mind to read one book and part of another, each week, you are going to read so many words, you will probably not catch the thought at all. It is better to read three verses and meditate upon them, than to read a whole chapter, and just have a lot of words pass through your mind.


WHEN ONE MEMBER SUFFERS, ALL FEEL IT


I knew a man years ago that lived a pretty rough life, and when the Spirit of God got hold of him, he somehow felt that it was absolutely necessary to read so many chapter os the Bible each and every night, and he would fall asleep trying to do it. Therefore he was always saying, Bro. Jackson: Pray for me that I can stay awake; I just feel that I have to read so many chapter of the Bible every night. The last I heard from that man, he was in a mental institution. Do not let the devil drive you like that. A lot of people who do not have the learning ability to grasp things like others do, try to make up for it by doing various things like this; but God never meant for you to be like that. Sometimes people even get to feeling like God is a respecter of persons, because they are not able to learn like So and So, but that is not right. God gives you enough grace to carry you through. What He requires, is that you understand enough to make you live a clean dedicated life, and then He will supply grace for the rest. Upon these we bestow more abundant honor. The fact that it sometimes seems like certain ones are just tagging along, does not mean that they are dabbling in sin, hanging out with the world. Those kind of people, if they are children of God, are just as determined to walk with Him as you are. A less honorable person is not someone you have to constantly be kicking, to get them to go to the house of God. It just simply means that they do not have the ability to grow like others do, in a spiritual way. So when it says, Upon these WE bestow more abundant honor, it means, give them enough attention to keep them encouraged. Do not ignore them, as though they are nothing. (We will see this even clearer, as we get on over into th gifts of the Spirit a little later.) Comely and uncomely are words that mean attractive and less attractive, so just give what Paul says, a spiritual application, and you will see that it points to individual members of the body of Christ. A strong Christian does not need to be pampered, but on the other hand there are always some who require a little extra attention to keep them encouraged. For the devil is always telling them, You know you do not fit in. Therefore they just have a tendency to exclude themselves, and that causes the stronger ones to need to bestow more grace upon them, or more attention. A strong Christian will always have a deep appreciation for the way God reaches down to bestow grace where it is needed most, so verse 25 says, “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” That means, Do not show partiality; do not become divided, or look down upon anyone, no matter what the spiritual level may be. A divided people can never get anything done. “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.” In the natural body, you can mash your finger, and I tell you, it just sets the whole body on edge, or you can be following someone through the woods, and get slapped in the face with a tree limb, and the whole body will suffer likewise. So that is the way a healthy Church should be. When you see someone suffering a hard trial of some sort, you feel it. Your spirit feels the pain of that suffering member. Likewise when the Spirit of God does something outstanding for a member of the body of Christ, that causes that person to receive extra attention, all the others should be glad, and rejoice with the honored member. But many times, this is where carnal people get jealous, and envious. Maybe God will move upon some young person to give a message in tongues, and the first thing you know, a bunch of old cranks will rise up and say, Who does he think he is? I will never forget when we first started going to the Branham Tabernacle years ago, and Bro. Branham was talking about speaking in tongues and he looked straight toward me and said, It is good for the Methodists too. I said to myself, if it is good for the Methodists, I want it. That is why for months after that you could find me down in the old cow stable praying. You could find me riding an old farm tractor, plowing corn, praying. Lord I want everything you have for me. Well when I finally did receive what I was praying for, I had an experience with some of those old cranks. One Sunday morning I did speak in tongues in the church, and all of a sudden a bunch of old heads rose up and began to pour on their cold waters of accusations and unbelief, and I just thought to myself, You sit right here in this congregation and you are as dead as you can be. If they had been what they professed to be, they would have rejoiced to see the Spirit of God move upon someone. At a time like that, a person can become very discouraged, but I said within me, I will not judge this whole congregation by your actions, for I came here to hear this man of God and that is what I am going to do. Now that brings me to say this, If you see someone in here, that you do not think acts very much like a Christian, do not judge the whole body of people by what you see out of that one. If you do, you yourself are going to miss God. I do not come here to judge any of you; if for some reason you are falling short, that is something for God to take care of, and He will in His time. He may let you drag on in your condition for quire awhile, just to be an aggravation to someone He wants to cultivate some patience in. A lot of people live on the corner of Narrow and Short. They are short on patience, and narrow minded, because they already have everything all planned how it should be, and anything else to them, is wrong. Well these attitudes are not in harmony with What Paul said the body of Christ was to be like, are they? Of course we all realize that the church is not perfected yet, but every one of us should look at these scriptures, and allow the Spirit of God to work on us in whatever area we are falling short. Furthermore if any of you are here, looking for a perfect Church, you will never find it, for perfection is not a sudden thing, it is something that takes place a little at a time, and when the Church finally reaches its hour of perfection, it will be ready to leave here. Therefore let us yield ourselves to the Spirit of God, so that He can mold us as He sees fit to do so.


THE CHURCH WAS BORN IN PERSECUTION


Now as we go past verse 27 we are entering into verses that deal with the gifted ministry in the body of Christ, and then we will want to go back to the verses that deal with the gifts, so may the Lord help us, as we look at these scriptures together, to see exactly how the true body of Christ is to function and how we are to exemplify the invisible Jesus with our very own lives. When we read the book of Acts, we realize that we are reading a history of the Church, for approximately the first thirty years of its existence. You cannot read the book of Acts without being amazed at how the people could survive all that came against the church in that hour. Christians were martyred, put in jail, fed to the lions, persecuted in every way imaginable, yet believers were added to it daily. God supernaturally spared each Christian’s life, until it was that person’s time to go, and then He would give them up to martyrdom. There was no let up, hardly a breathing spell in all of it, yet the church grew and set an example of unity and oneness of purpose, that one cannot help but notice. The Spirit of God would baptize people right out of raw paganism, into the body of Christ, and they would take their place in the body for whatever their lot held for them. In a very short interval of time, many of them were greatly used of the Spirit of God, for the edifying of the total body. They truly had a ministry that was projected forth by the living God, and no one had to stand around for years wanting to do something for God, and there was nothing for them to do. There was plenty for every God called man to do, because no one had a program they were trying to follow. So now we are almost two thousand years this side of the book of Acts, but we are looking at scriptures that were written in that day, telling us how Christians should conduct themselves, what the ministries are, and also what the gifts of the Spirit are, and their proper use. Sinners believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, not because they can see His literal person, but because they see Him exemplified in His people. The Church is none other than the mystical revelation of the invisible Christ Jesus. The world has never seen Jesus, yet He said the believer would see Him; they would see Him in His Church, which is His body, as He works among them in the office of the Holy Ghost. Therefore as we go into verse 28, we are leaving the part that speaks of individuals in the body, and going into leadership within the ranks of that body. Paul, at this time though, is not going into specific details about all of the calling, or even the gifts. He is just merely grouping certain things together, to give us a broad overall picture, so let us read now, and may God help us in the breakdown of these verses. “And God hath set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers.” At this time, Paul does not even mention the other two, of the five fold ministry, like he does in Ephesians 4; he is only giving a general introduction. In Ephesians 4:11 we find him saying, “And He (Christ) gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers; (what for?) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” There you have the ministry in its full recognition. When you read the book of Acts, it is this ministry that you are reading about. They went forth with the great revelation of who Jesus Christ truly was, and what His work at Calvary had accomplished for lost mankind. The apostles were the ones that were authorized to hold a line on what was taught, and to present the full revelation, but many of the others went forth preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. It was the apostles also, that decided how certain issues were to be dealt with, and even the denominational church world knows that; therefore when they hear the mention of apostles in our day, they go straight up in the air, for they already have their committees chosen, to make the decisions for them. That is why they say, Well who do they think they are, talking like that?


THE EARLY CHURCH BELIEVED ALIKE


Brothers and Sisters: It is my desire to present this message strictly from the scriptures, regardless of what the denominations have to say about it. With all of their theological training and all of their studying, you cannot get them to even admit nor accept the fact that there ever was a Gentile prophet. They will acknowledge that there were apostles and prophets in the early church, but they think that was just to get the church started; they see no scripture, nor any need for such a ministry in the church today. It is because of this blindness that they do not even have a revelation of the true picture of the body of Christ. They will work their heads off to get a degree and also to get converts to their system, but they do not know the first thing about the true body of Christ, nor how the Lord adds to that body Himself, such as should be saved. He never did authorize any of His true ministry to arm wrestle anyone into joining up with a system of religion, but they believe that is how it should be done. Well you can rest assured, God will never make that first move to ever perfect a denomination. Of course the reason perfection is such a vital part of end time Christianity is because we are dealing with a different generation of people. The people in the first century of Christianity had been lifted up out of Judaism, and paganism, and given a true revelation of Jesus Christ and what He had accomplished for them; therefore it did not take them years to learn how to be spiritual. They were converted, filled with the Holy Ghost, and by the guidance of the Holy Ghost, they were taught by those ministries, and the first thing you knew, they were on fire for God, and led into their own particular ministry. The goal of the early church was survival, but today the goal is for perfection, and in both cases it had to be the Holy Spirit leading. I pray to God that somehow He will get hold of our young people, and get them on fire for Him, for the world in general knows very little about God. But that does not change the promise of God; for He will still have a perfected Church in the end. Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that the early Church had no tape recorders, no televisions, no radios, and no newspapers, and yet they did a better job of relating what they had heard then, than you can find in our day. Just think of all the men that sat under the ministry of Bro. Branham, and then think of all the different revelations they think they received from listening to him. When you read the four gospels, you do not find a conflicting story being reported, even though they did not all record every detail of what they were writing about. When you study the writings of those four men, you find harmony in what they wrote. Those eleven apostles that walked personally with Jesus, all caught the same revelation from what they saw and heard, but you will not find it that way today. That brings me to say something that some of you may not like to hear, but it is the truth anyhow. Those tongue speaking Pentecostal preachers that came out of their denominational churches and sat under the teaching of Bro. Branham, and then went every which way causing nothing but confusion, when the man was taken from us, did not have the Holy Ghost, no matter how much they talked in tongues and prophesied among us. The Holy Ghost does not give two dozen different revelations of the same thing; He is not a spirit of confusion. He is not guilty of causing what we see out here in the ranks of this following today. The sooner we accept the fact that those men did not have the Holy Ghost, the sooner we will realize that they can not be a great authority, speaking the very word of God. Naturally I am talking about the ones that promote these deity ideas about Bro. Branham, and those who closed the door of grace to Gentiles, when Bro. Branham left the scene and all such as that. They have been teaching that there would be no more revelation given to the church after Bro. Branham’s death, and yet the Holy Ghost has given much revelation in the last twenty years, and it can be proved by the Bible, for the Holy Ghost does not go contrary to that blessed old time tested book. So we have two extremes out here today, all claiming to be the voice of God, and the truth is, none of them are. How can denominations accept Ephesians 4, if they refuse to accept Malachi 4? Then on the other hand, how can these Branhamites accept Malachi 4, and turn right around and make that Elijah, God? Someone has their wires crossed up somewhere. God has permitted all of this confusion for some purposes though. One thing, it is a test for those who are true believers and have various ones pulling on them. As for foolish virgins, they will sit in those denominations until it is too late, just like the Jews that remain in the nations, when the call is out to come home. Both will be caught in the great slaughter of the Antichrist, when that great tribulation hour comes. What a bloodbath, yet how can they avoid it?


FIVE FOLD MINISTRY IN OPERATION


God is on the verge of raising up a ministry that will really pull the Church together, and not a one of them will learn their revelation from a Bible school or seminary. The early Church had no such places; those young preachers sat under an anointed ministry in places such as this one right here. No diplomas were given out, and no one was referred to as Dr. So and So. Timothy, Titus, and young men like them just simply learned from the older saints, until such time as the Spirit of God projected them forth. One thing is sure though, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, is the only ministry that the Lord Jesus Christ in His high priestly work, set in the church, and when you study the lives of those men, you will see that they were all simple men, very ordinary, but with a genuine revelation in their bosom. Now not every one of these men had the same ability though. An evangelist did not need to know everything the apostles knew, in order to be effective as an evangelist. A general knowledge of the revelation set that evangelistic spirit in him on fire, and he did not necessarily deal in all the depths of the full teaching, as the apostles did. It is all a matter of being led by the Spirit of God, and being right on time. Not six months too early, nor a year too late, but right on schedule. God uses different vessels to accomplish different things. An evangelist might come along and say the same thing your pastor has said many times, and it would just click with someone. The difference is in the way it is presented. Many times the evangelist just has a certain way of presenting things, that gets people’s attention. That is the way it is supposed to be though; that eliminates the one man show. Every man’s ministry is centered around the Lord Jesus Christ as it should be. Did not Paul refer to Jesus as the apostle and high priest of our profession? Why did he say that? Because Jesus was a man sent forth with a message. Everything He said, was the perfect word and expressed thought of the mind of the eternal God. Jesus was not some religious character running the road trying to make a name for Himself. He had one objective, to express the mind of God to those who heard Him. Yes He definitely was a man with a message. That is why, when He came to the end of His ministry, He could say, I have finished the works (the miracles) that thou gavest me to do, I have delivered unto them, thy word, and I have revealed unto them thy name. That was the three primary things He was sent to do, when the Father incarnated Him at age 30 years. Therefore when the Holy Ghost came to indwell believers, He came with every bit of that same potential that Jesus in person possessed, and was able to do the same works through those believers that Jesus had done. The big difference is, He is doing the same thing through many men, that He had been doing through only one. They preached the full word of God for their hour; they revealed the true God to those who were ordained to receive that revelation, and they did many miracles, all by the same Spirit that was in Jesus. But not a one of them ever had to carry around a big sign saying, I am an apostle: everyone open the doors for me. It was more likely to be just the opposite of that. They were more likely to end up in jail, with stripes on their backs and left to die, until the Holy Ghost would intervene. Then they would just wash their wounds a little bit and go right back to preaching again. They also had a message to deliver and a revelation to project forth.


WHAT AN APOSTLE DOES


Now I have read books of Trinitarian denominational men that had great faith, and I am sure many of you have too, but they did not have the proper revelation to preach and teach. I read one book about a man of great faith that was sent to India years ago, and referred to as the apostle to India. Of course no one could deny that the man had great faith, for it told of the times he had prayed for God to supply the things he had need of, and how many times it was by a miraculous means that his needs were met. So we would have to say, God supplied the material means for what the man went there to do, and it seemed like whenever he preached, the convicting power of God was present to put people under conviction, but the one thing I noticed was that there was no depth of revelation of the word of God preached, and he could not preach on the Godhead, for he was a Trinitarian. Yet he was called an apostle. In other words, when you read the book you could easily say, That man had as much faith as the apostle Paul or Peter, or any of them, but his revelation of the word of God was very shallow. Why? Because of the hour he lived in. God was not, at that time, dealing with the Church from the standpoint of it’s primary scriptural position. He was dealing with it as it went through it’s cycle, bringing it to the place where it stands today. None of the Reformers even had very much revelation of the overall doctrine of Christ, but they every one served in their hour, to bring the Church one step further from the Dark Age period she had gone through. Therefore God would require no more from any of them, than what he had committed to them. So it is one thing to be an apostle in the sense that this man was, but scripturally, an apostle is one who holds a line on the revelation of the word of God. People give the definition of an apostle as ONE SENT, and from their standpoint, many men qualify to be called apostles, but if you want a true definition, you must go back to what the first apostles were, and what they were sent out with. They did not carry the message of some denomination when they went forth; they carried the true message of Jesus Christ; who He was, what He was, and what He had done for lost mankind. So the apostle Paul, as he writes here, is giving a general picture of what kind of ministry Jesus set in the Church, to carry on the work of redemption. Apostles were first, but then he gives prophets second place in authority, and he is not talking about Old Testament prophets like God raised up in centuries past, to deal with Israel in the law age. God used those Old Testament prophets to rebuke, to correct, to exhort, and also to prophesy of future events to take place. Some of them spake prophecies of things that were hundreds of years away. It was those prophets, who prophesied of the first coming of Jesus Christ. It was those prophets also, that first spake of the second advent of Christ and even of the Millennium, though the word Millennium is not found in the Bible. However those old prophets did look down through their great binoculars of God, and see a kingdom age coming into existence, and the knowledge of the Lord covering the earth. But like I say, These are not the prophets Paul was referring to here in this Corinthian letter. He is talking about prophets who have committed to them a portion of the prophetic ministry like Jesus had. You read in Luke, of the time Jesus came over the hill, looked at Jerusalem and wept, saying, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, (This is a prophecy,) that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” Some might have thought He was just talking, but in a very simple way, He was prophesying of something that was to come upon that city, and it would not be too far off. It hit in a generation from the time it was given, so we can look back and see that it was a perfect prophecy. It lay right there and later, when the disciples pointed to the temple and remarked of it’s beauty, Jesus said to them, “The days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Then they asked Him, “When shall these things be?” He told them of quite a few things that they should watch for, and then He said, (Luke 21:20) “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains, and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.” All of those things were prophecies, dealing with present tense conditions that were related to the body of disciples. But in Matthew 24, in the same setting, you find a more detailed account of all that Jesus said to those disciples, and it covers not only present tense conditions, but also reaches all the way to the end of time. But even though Jesus did speak far reaching prophecies, when that prophetic Spirit was dropped into the church, it was more for prophecies concerning present tense conditions. In the first Church, there were three men that stood out, with those prophetic ministries, Agabus, Silas, and Judas. It was Agabus that went to Antioch one time and stood up, signifying by the Spirit that there was going to be a great drought throughout all the land, and the scriptures say that this was accomplished in the days when Claudius was the Roman emperor, which according to history, was of a short duration after that. That is when the Christians in other outlying areas began to take up offerings to send to Jerusalem, for it was obvious that they were the hardest hit and they suffered much.


PAUL GOES TO JERUSALEM


In later years, when Paul was on his way to Jerusalem determined to visit the saints there, Agabus came into a little prayer meeting where Paul was present in Caesarea, and walked over and picked up Paul’s coat, or belt, and proceeded to bind his own hands and feet with it, saying, “Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.” Then all the disciples there, started crying and begging Paul not to go up to Jerusalem, but Paul was determined to go and said to them, “I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Then all of them saw how determined he was, ceased crying and begging, saying only, “The will of the Lord be done.” Actually if you study this thing out, you will discover that Paul’s going to Jerusalem was not by the leading of the Lord at all; it was just something that Paul wanted to do. God is not going to lead you to do something, and then turn right around and use prophets to warn you not to do it. When God starts warning you, that there is trouble ahead, He is usually doing it for one purpose, to change your mind, and turn you around. It was while Paul was at Corinth, after having that great revival at Ephesus, that he wrote the epistle to the Romans, and it was in that letter to the Romans that he wrote of this great revelation given to him of how the Jews were blinded in part, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. No doubt, as he experienced this great moving of the Spirit of God among the Gentiles, he had been hearing also that things were letting up in Jerusalem, cooling off. But him being a Jew himself, and still having a great burden for them and desiring to see those old patriarchs of the faith, Peter, James, and those others, it just put a burning desire in him to want to go to Jerusalem at least one more time. Well, even though he was a great man of God, and responsible for the larger percentage of the New Testament epistles, he was not always led by the Lord on everything he did. After he spent three years in the Arabian desert, following his conversion, he went up to Jerusalem, and wanted to stay there and give his testimony, but he was warned by the Spirit of God; they will not receive your testimony here, you must leave. Then to stress my point a little further, when he wrote to the Romans, he said, “Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you.” Then he went ahead to say, “But now I must go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.” He was taking an offering up for the poor saints at Jerusalem, but all along the way he was warned not to go. Now of course he desired to go to Spain because he knew there was a large element of Jews there. In old Toledo, the ancient capitol of Spain, right today, they will take you on a tour to the old Jewish quarter. The old synagogue, which is several centuries old, is still there. It is a historical monument. But in that old city of Toledo, there were many Jews, and Paul always sought out the Jews, wherever he went, because he said, The gospel is to the Jew first. So at Corinth, when he wrote this Roman letter, he fully planned to go to Spain after he made his trip to Jerusalem. Well the point is, he never did get to Spain. He got to Rome, but not the way he had planned. He went as a prisoner. That is what you have to look at as you study these scriptures. He was bound and determined to go up to Jerusalem, and all along the way, he was warned not to go. It seemed like in every little assembly, the Holy Ghost would speak through someone warning him not to go, that trouble was ahead for him. So I believe Agabus was the last one that was used to warn him, which gets us back to what we were on; Agabus was truly a New Testament prophet. Yes they have a ministry in preaching the word of God, but it is the way the Spirit uses them, that makes them what they are, and this type of prophet is not used to speak of those far reaching things of the future. Theirs is in relation mostly, to things of their generation, things that affect either the church, or individuals. Silas and Judas, being prophets, were chosen by the Church at Jerusalem, to accompany Paul and Barnabas back to Antioch, after they had come to the elders at Jerusalem, concerning the question that had arisen at Antioch concerning circumcision. There is not much written concerning them, but there is enough to allow you to see that they were used of the Holy Ghost to bear witness of the apostles decision on that matter.


TEACHERS AND EVANGELISTS


Now the third ministry that Paul mentions in his Corinthian letter, is teachers, so let us ask the question, What is a teacher, in this five fold ministry? He is definitely a man with the Holy Ghost ability to take a subject from the scriptures, and explain it in such simple terms, that it is easy to understand and also edifying. People are able to grasp the truth of what he explains. That is completely different from the work of an evangelist. A teacher will most likely take one subject, and go into every little detail of it, where the evangelist will more or less just take the general overall thought of the subject, and deal with it along the line of soul salvation, and such like, to the point where conviction comes upon people. So let us just say that this type of teacher is a man, called of God, to teach and explain the scriptures of depth. You will notice also, that even though Ephesians 4 lists all five offices, and mentions teachers last, in this Corinthian letter, the teacher is rated thirdly, after apostles and prophets. But we do know for sure that it takes all five of these offices to make up the total ministry that God expressed in the man called Jesus, the Christ. A pastor is a preacher, but he has to be more than just a preacher. He has to be a man that is content to stay in one place for a period of time. He must also be able to lead a congregation of people and minister to their needs. He must be able to give spiritual counseling as well as good common sense answers to other questions, and a man that can gain the confidence of his people. A man with a roving spirit always with the heebie jeebies and can’t be stills, could never be a pastor to fulfill this office. Now I was asked the question in Mexico, Bro. Jackson: Can a man be an apostle, and yet be a pastor? I said, Yes. Remember in the book of Acts, that is how the various churches got started. The apostles of that hour would go out, and more or less evangelize, until they got a group of people converted to the faith, and then they would stay and pastor them, until they were established enough to be left, usually after they had ordained elders among them. Paul stayed in Ephesus for over three years, preaching, teaching, and pastoring the flock. Then he ordained elders, or appointed elders, before he left them, and we know that because when he returned, he called for the elders to meet him. But Saints: Please do not allow yourselves to become too technical about these things, God can handle every situation, without you being so technical about every little detail. Let us just be simple with it, if we really desire the favor of God. But as I have said all of this, my real point is, We have not yet seen the body of Christ in action. We have only seen the Spirit of God, and what a wonderful privilege it has been, but we have not seen it all yet. Through the years, in many areas of the world, there have been outstanding moves of the Spirit of God and people were benefitted by it in their hour. It affected lives, changed lives completely, yet the overall affect of it has not remained alive, to be a lasting, living thing in others, from generation to generation. They managed to hold on to the revelation, but not the type of ministry that brought it, nor the way the Spirit of God worked it. Now God does not necessarily want to repeat Himself, because He has always got something new, that He can do for people who seek after Him, but my point is, The life of every great move has died out, usually with the next generation. But I believe with all my heart that world conditions are going to necessitate the Spirit of God to work in our lives for our spiritual growth, and our ability to overcome and keep the victory, as we move toward the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. I also sincerely believe that it is this type of ministry, that is definitely ordained to lift the bride up to a spiritual plateau wherein every individual will be perfected. Then God will see the whole body perfected, walking as a unique group of people, while the world rocks on in their evil ways. That which the world looks upon as a cult, will one day be the perfected bride of Jesus Christ.


A MINISTRY IN UNITY


Denominations will never accept the teaching of Bro. Branham, nor even acknowledge that he was any more than any other preacher. But what that man brought, has sowed seed in some hearts, and it is going to lay right there as a record of God’s truth, until He raises up some men that will take that truth and go forth with it. This end time ministry will not ignore what God anointed that little man to bring to this age. They will pick up the revelation, even if God had to deal with some of them, like He did Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. But, Brethren: Won’t it be wonderful to see some from India, some from Africa, some from Scandinavia, and other parts of the world, never having known each other, but all having the same revelation and understanding of the word of God? No, they will not learn it from the seminary, nor a Bible school, but they will see it written someplace, and when the time comes, the Spirit of God will quicken it to them. That is when God will truly put a people together, because by that time, world conditions will necessitate it. That is why we need to be making up our minds, as to whether we are going to live for God or not. Let me say this though, We cannot hurry the plan of God, nor neither can we hinder it. For just about the time you get your plans laid, and think you can change something, He will just simply take you out of the way. His plan must go on, and on schedule. Brothers and Sisters: I am so thankful that God is faithful to perform all of His word. Just think about all of these great evangelists like Billy Graham, Jimmy Swaggart, and so many, that have such little true revelation of God’s word, and yet they have great multitudes following them. Billy Graham’s teaching on the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, is as far from right, as daylight is from dark, yet there are thousands that believe every word he utters. They will sit right there in their denominations looking at that, while the bride moves on to glory. I am fully persuaded though, that before she goes, the man of the world is going to look at her and say, There is a group of people that God is truly with. I believe world conditions will bring it about.


PAUL WRITES TO THE ROMANS


Alright then, Paul speaks only of three of the five fold ministry, apostles, prophets, and teachers, and then he goes right to the gifts saying, “After that, miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” He spoke of a whole category of gifts in just a few words, so let us take that to the 12th chapter of Romans, and compare it with what he wrote there. There is now ay under the sun that a man, or a system of men, can take this Bible, and this subject, and put a Church together, and make it function properly, if they do not have an overall revelation of God’s complete restored word. The Spirit of God will not work apart from the truth of His word. He will not work, to back up a trinity teaching. Nor will He work to confirm the word of someone who wants to fight against predestination, or eternal security, nor anything like that. The Spirit of God is putting together a body of people who are each one willing to accept the fullness of His revealed word, and that body of people will not be a denomination. So in Romans 12:3, Paul says, “For I say, through the grace given into me, (his revelation) to every man that is among you, (This is to the Romans, and he has never been there.) Not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.” In other words, No matter how spiritual we may be, we are only what we are, because of the grace and mercy of God. It is when people begin to feel exalted and important, that they mar the beauty of Jesus. People then see the flesh of that person, but they do not see the invisible Christ, the one that ought to be seen. It is the people who are willing to make of themselves nothing, that Jesus Christ can really be seen in. Jesus Himself set the perfect example, by making no reputation of His own, that the eternal God might be seen in Him, by all of whom He was revealed to, so let us finish that verse now. “But to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” It is that measure of faith that brings us into the plan of salvation. So no matter how weak we may feel, or how insignificant, let us not allow the devil to defeat us. The battle may be hard, the trials of life may be severe at times, but these are not for our destruction, they are testings whereby the Lord allows our faith to be tried. No He is not trying to take it away from us, He just wants us to realize like Job did, that, though God slay me, yet will I trust Him. Many times it seems like you almost have to look death in the face, before you will make a confession and commitment like that, and see the hand of God work on your behalf. As the song goes, just hold to God’s unchanging hand, and before you know it, the glorious rays of sunshine and deliverance will break through, and you can stand and glorify God saying, It is worth it all, praise God! Do not ever allow yourself to say, I just do not have any faith, sufficient for us to overcome our common enemy, the devil. God never cuts us short of what we need, we just simply have to learn how to use the faith we have. Faith is something that grows with exercise, the more you use what you have, to take hold of a promise of God, the more you will have. Alright now, verse 4, “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another,” We all belong to each other. No. He is not talking about a bunch of Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians getting together for an ecumenical meeting, he is talking about true children of God, that are not called by any of those brand names, all being of the same body, and members in particular. “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.” You cannot help but notice that Paul is just speaking in general terms. He is not getting specific about anything. “Prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching.” Now that is good advice. It was hard for me to realize years ago, that God usually requires us to wait upon our ministry. When God first begins to spark something inside of you, and you feel that you have been called to preach, you are just like a young colt, you are ready to run at everything, and sometimes God really wants you to just wait. For nine long years, I rode that old farm tractor, with big tears streaming down my face, crying, Oh God, the world is going to hell. I could just see a lot of people going to hell, and I thought I had a burden to give my life to the world in an evangelistic type of ministry, and God just had to let me flounder around through a lot of things, before I ever got so I could recognize His true leading. What that is, most of the time, is our flesh being worked on, our nature being tested; so if we can just learn to sit still and be patient, we prove our learning capabilities in that way, and we learn to recognize God’s true leading. God is not looking for a high flying, hyperactive type of preacher, that is always running, and tries a dozen different things, and misses most of them, most of the time. No. God does not want that, He wants us to wait until He leads us into our particular calling. In other words, Whatever God has called you to do, or be, the time will come when that opportunity will be there. But people will say, Well Bro. Jackson: I see such a need though. Well God knows all about it, and when everything else is right, He will have you in the right place, and at the right time. Now, “Or he that exhorteth, or exhortation: (wait for the right opportunity) he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity.” Most of us are working people, with a certain contributing potential toward the work of God. But there are areas of the world, where God may raise up a work for His kingdom, that may not have that potential among them; therefore God will also raise up someone with a material means to contribute to the work of that church, but Paul stresses the fact, that giving ought to be done with simplicity. In other words, Do not give, expecting everyone to salute you for it. Give it as unto the Lord, and pray that He will multiply it, and make it a blessing for His kingdom. Then the next thing there is, “He that ruleth, let him be diligent.” That has a combined meaning with what Paul said in Corinthians, when he mentioned helps. It is helping in a way that is essential and necessary for the benefit of that local church. In other words, When he says helps and governments, he is referring to men who are called to be deacons. They are an arm of the ministry, to more or less deal with the materialistic function of the church, so the ministry can give themselves more to the word of God, and attend to spiritual matters, without having their minds all bogged down with a lot of the other problems. Therefore these helps and governments are needed in the church.


COVET THE BEST GIFTS


We are back in 1st Corinthians 12 now, to finish these verses, and we are talking about helps and governments, and then diversities of tongues, and then in verse 29, Paul says, “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?” Sometimes when you turn on the television you might think so, if you did not know the truth. It seems like every preacher like that, wants to portray himself as some great man of God any more. Over in the book of Revelation, we read where the church at Ephesus tried those men, who claimed to be apostles, and found them to be liars. It seems like every year since Bro. Branham’s death, this sort of thing has just ran rampant. Ever so many men have raised up, claiming to be God’s last day prophet. Why would they do that? It is a working of Satan, designed to detract from the one who truly was God’s last day prophet, and the church world in general did not recognize it. The devil sends them out two or three at a time, just crisscrossing the road of life, sowing their revelation in the church world, and multitudes are following them. Saints: I am thankful that God knows what He is doing. Are all apostles? No. Are all prophets? No. Are all teachers? No. Are all workers of miracles? No. The point is, If they were all the same thing, God’s variety would be lost, and that cannot be. If they were all the same thing, and all speaking the same thing, there would not be room for all of them. Do you know what thrills me? When we have a convention here, and one brother will take a passage of scripture and deal with a subject: then later on, another brother that was not here to hear the first one, will get up, and lay another message right alongside that one, not a repeat, but in perfect harmony with it. That is the beauty of being Holy Ghost led, and not just trying to do something great to edify flesh. The Spirit of God knows the minds of the people, and therefore knows what is needed. “Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?” The obvious answer to all three, is, No. We will go back to the first part of this chapter a little later, and look at the gifts, and talk about their place in the Church, but for now, let us go on here. “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.” These gifts are just as much for our day, as they were Paul’s day. When we were in denominationalism, we were ignorant of these gifts, and their place in the Church, but Paul says we should covet the best gifts. Now that does not mean that everyone should covet only those gifts that seem to be the most important; it means that we should covet those gifts that seem to be the best gifts for us. God gives us certain leadings and our coveting of these gifts, should be in harmony with the leading of the Spirit in your life. To covet is to desire. So let us study, and pray for those gifts that would be useful in connection with what God has placed in your life already. Of course, when Paul said, Covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way, some people take that to mean that he is discouraging us from seeking those gifts, but that is not the case at all. Covet earnestly the best gifts, is the peak of it all, and a proper translation of the rest of that verse should have been, and I will show unto you the way to do it. For he goes right ahead in chapter 13, exalting love as the proper motive of everything we do. In other words, chapter 13 is really an explanation of this 31st verse, and when Paul finishes explaining how love ought to be the motive for all that we do, in the 13th chapter, then he goes right into chapter 14 saying, Follow after love, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. That is because prophecy lifts up and edifies the whole church, more than some of the other gifts.


GIFT OF SPIRIT – GIFTS OF SPIRIT


Now when we speak of the gifts, some people get confused between the gift of the Spirit, and the gifts of the Spirit, so let me explain the difference. In Acts 2:38, when Peter said, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the GIFT (singular) of the Holy Ghost,” he was talking about receiving the Holy Ghost in the new birth experience. That gift, which is the Holy Ghost, is what seals us into the body of Christ. That is your eternal security. But the gifts (plural) of the Spirit, are those nine gifts listed in the first part of chapter 12, in this Corinthian letter. Through these nine gifts, placed in the church, the Holy Spirit is able to minister to the universal body of Christ, the same way Jesus ministered in person, when He walked upon earth in fleshly form. Therefore the gift of the Spirit is eternal life itself, and the gifts of the Spirit are for ministering the various attributes of the living Christ among the body of believers. So when Paul said, Yet show I unto you a more excellent way, he was really saying, Let me show you what the motivation behind all of those gifts ought to be, and that of course, is love. You just have to realize that this has been translated from the Greek language, and many times the translators were not given the best terminology, to explain, or phrase something that would be easily understood hundreds of years later, when so many words have taken on a different meaning in our modern day language. For instance, they used the word charity instead of love, but to us, charity speaks more of giving something to someone, than it does of love, so let us proceed a little further with this 31st verse, and then we will take a look at chapter 13. When Paul said, But covet earnestly, that means, seek for, long for, and desire, and allow yourself to be led toward. When you are coveting a new car, do you just sit around in the bushes somewhere, and twiddle your fingers? No, you begin to look at new cars, and think about the kind that would best suit your needs. You go to the showrooms and car lots, and check them over, until you begin to form in your mind exactly what you are looking for, and then you proceed to find the one you will acquire, but you do not just sit down, and hope that the right one will come to you. That is not the way to go about it. The word COVET, is an important word; it expresses action on our part. God is not the one that has to covet; we are the ones that must do that. But remember this, if there is something in us, that causes us to covet, there has to be something somewhere, that can fill that desire, so let us pray and seek the will of God in everything we do. Then let me ask you this, How did Paul tell us to covet? Covet EARNESTLY. To covet earnestly, means that we should really get down to serious business with our desires, our yearnings, and not just slouch around waiting for God Himself to force something upon us. You covet earnestly by expressing yourself to God, in your own individual way of expressing yourself. It is God Himself that bestows the gifts, I cannot give them to you. So to covet earnestly, means to desire with a motive, and allow your mind to dwell upon what you desire. You never see a person who is seriously looking for a new car, just sauntering around over town, looking in department stores; that is not where you find a car. I just say it like that, to make a point. To covet earnestly the best gifts for you, is to get yourself into some sincere frame of thinking, and then it is God that knows your thoughts and motives, and bestows what you desire, according to your ability to handle it. But to be earnest, is to excel aggressively, showing an expression of determination. Seek and long for, with an aggressive, determined attitude. In other words, just for instance, When a person is seriously looking for a new car, that is uppermost in their mind. Every time you get around them, that is what they are talking about. They spend more time looking at cars, than anything else. Therefore let us just transfer that same thought over to what Paul is speaking of here. Naturally we will still have other obligations that require us to give our attention to, but aside from them, our attention is usually given to the desires that are uppermost in our mind, and that is what Paul is dealing with here, so these words, COVET EARNESTLY, must not be taken lightly, for he is definitely putting emphasis upon it. But we are to have the right motive in it all, or all will be in vain. The Church of Christ, (denominational) and many of the fundamental movements today, will take this 13th chapter, and explain away, all that has been mentioned in chapter 12. Therefore those who sit and listen to them, have no desire to seek for anything in the way of spiritual gifts. That is why their organizations are dead; there is no life of the Spirit of God among them.


MOTIVE FOR SEEKING GIFTS


Another thing to remember, is when we are hungry for God, He guides our thinking. He is the one that leads us to desire the gifts that are best for us, and it is the Spirit of God that divides to every person severally as He wills, so we can see why our desires must be in accordance with the way He has been leading our lives. You will remember that Romans 11:29, says, “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Therefore when the gifts are bestowed upon us, God does not then feel that He made a mistake; He knows that He has done the right thing. You could say also, The Spirit of God does not lead your thinking in one direction, and then give you a gift that would take you in another. Sooner or later, He causes your mind to lock in, and dwell upon something that is best for your particular makeup. No mortal man can tell you what you need to seek after, so do not come to me and say, Bro. Jackson: Do you think I should seek to prophesy, or to speak in tongues, or interpret? I do not know. That is between you and your God. One thing is sure though, The business of God is not a haphazard, chancy sort of thing; what he does is sovereignly in accordance with His perfect will. After you receive a gift though, there is a certain growing process that you must go through, in order to allow the Spirit to lead you in the proper use of that gift. Not everything you see in the ranks of religion is truly of the Lord, and neither is everything that is truly of the Spirit of God properly used, but I will say this, Whatever is of God, will serve a purpose in the overall growth of the body of Christ, even in the immature use of a gift. So let me rephrase verse 31, once again, and use words that are more commonly used in our day. But covet (or desire) earnestly the best gifts for you, and I will show you the proper way to go about it. Then he goes into what we call the 13th chapter, but when Paul wrote the epistle, it was not divided into chapters and verses; it was just a letter, written in much the same way as any of us would write a letter. So the first verse of chapter 13 is just carrying right on with the same subject he is on, only he is starting to use some comparison, that will lead the true believer into the proper frame of mind in seeking spiritual gifts. Now as I read this, I am not going to use the word charity as it is written here, for to us, charity is what we give to the Red Cross, the Goodwill organization, or some such organization that helps the needy, but regardless of where the word can properly be used, we do not use it in place of the word love. Can you just imagine me performing a wedding ceremony, and saying to the bridegroom, Do you promise to charity her as long as you both shall life? I believe you know what I mean, so we will insert L-O-V-E in place of C-H-A-R-I-T-Y, in these verses we are going to read.


EVERYTHING SHOULD BE MOTIVATED BY LOVE


Verse 1 says this, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love (the love of God) I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” That in no way discredits his original or previous statement, “Covet earnestly the best gifts.” No. He is telling us how to seek these gifts, so that we will not fall into error. These guidelines help the believer to realize that whatever is done in a service, if it is not done to glorify the Lord, and motivated by a Godlike kind of love, it will be just like a little bell ringing, as far as the good it does. People who come to church only to speak a message in tongues, and have no time to fellowship in the rest of the service, are being motivated by the wrong spirit. When we come in here, we ought to be ready to sing together, pray together, testify for the glory of God, and then settle down and feed upon the word of God that is preached. We are a body of people. We are a part of each other. Therefore the gifts are not just for the edification of the one operating the gift; the whole body should be strengthened through them. Jesus is not among us in a physical body; therefore He does, through the gifts, what He would do if He were present in bodily form; therefore when it is all over, we definitely should have seen Jesus manifested among us, and not just someone’s flesh. When I was down in Mexico, I was asked, Bro. Jackson: Do you want to go back into another room, and wait until it is time for you to preach? No, brothers and sisters, I come to church to fellowship; not just to deliver a little sermon and go home. That may be alright for some people, but for my part, I love to fellowship my brothers and sisters throughout the entire service. Of course I could not sing Spanish, but I could clap my hands, and enjoy their singing. Life is too short for me to be left out of that part of the service. As for time to pray and meditate, I always feel that I should do that before I come to Church, that few minutes in a back room is liable not to be enough time to get hold of God, and get what you need. I sometimes recheck my scriptures before service, and come in a little late, but I like to be a part of all that is taking place, when it is possible. But the whole point is, None of us should ever allow ourselves to be just a tinkling cymbal in the service. We should have the love of God in us, and our mind upon Him, and pray, Lord, if you see something in this vessel, you want to use for your glory, then help me to yield, to that extent. When we have that attitude, we can rest assured, He will use whoever He wants to and He will use them at exactly the right time, so there should be no unnecessary fretting about whether we will recognize His anointing or not. If we truly love each other, with a God-like kind of love, we will have nothing to fret about; we can just yield to the Spirit of God, and allow Him to run the service. That thought takes us right back to the gospel of John, where we are made aware of the fact that Jesus Himself never sought to do anything apart from what the Father showed Him to do. Did you ever really stop to think that if the very Son of God Himself, did not exercise His own mind on spiritual matters, there must have been a reason? His will was to do the will of the Father; therefore I ask you, Should we be any different? Of course not, and that is what Paul is getting to, for when true love is your motivating force, God’s will is upper-most in your mind. So he says, in verse 2, “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have no love, I am nothing.” That is exactly what it would all lead to, as far as any spiritual benefit is concerned, if love was not the true motivation. Notice now, “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.” Does that remind you of anything that has taken place lately? I thought of how so many of these rock stars had gotten together and recorded a song to be sold to raise money, to help relieve that terrible famine in Africa. Every day that famine got worse, and the need is definitely there, but if those people who participated in that endeavor, think it is going to merit them any favor with God, they have another thought coming. Those unbelievers will burn in hell, just like all other unbelievers, no matter how much money is raised through their album, for that cause, because their motive was not a God like kind of love. They did it for attention, more than for a concern born out of true love. Now saints, I am not trying to be foolish; that is exactly what this verse of scripture points to. The world looks at those people as stars, but in the eyes of God, it is a much different story. Regardless of how much money is raised for that cause, those people have not really contributed anything out of their bank accounts. If they were willing to reach down into their bank accounts, and slip something into the treasury for that cause, and go their way, and never let it be known, then God might reward the effort somehow, but these have already received their reward for what they did, in the praise they got for doing it. The individuals that have really sacrificed to help those people are the poor missionaries that have gone into those regions years ago. When so many of them were still half savage, and have sacrificed to preach the good news of the gospel to them. That has brought a lot of them out of darkness, and into an hour of understanding of how to live. So the point is, What good is any of the things you do, if someone somewhere does not see the love of God exemplified. Paul says it is of no profit; it amounts to nothing. Then he goes ahead to explain how love behaves itself. “Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.” When unjust things are thrown at you, and the pressures about you get so rough you sometimes feel that you could explode, it is the love of God in you that actually stabilizes you, and calms the storm. It is love, not your flesh, It is love, not your mentality, It is love that suffers long. The true love of Christ can see through the circumstances, and cause you to keep your balance. Then the true love of Christ is kind, and it is a pure kindness. Some religious people have harnessed this verse to the point where they have so much love, they can never see anything wrong. They close their eyes to evil, and pretend it is not there. That is not the love of God. The Bible keeps this whole thing balanced. The virtuous side of love suffers long, is kind, and does not envy. Love in its true balance will not allow you to feel left out, because someone else is excelling a little more than you are. To envy, is to want something someone else has, but God’s love in you will not allow that. Brothers and Sisters: Let us not strive for what someone else has; we should strive to be in the place where we can receive what God has for us. Just to use a carnal illustration, suppose God gave you the largest pearl, and only saw fit to give me a little ruby, or something maybe not even worth half as much, love will cause me to thank God for what He gave me, rather than to envy you because of what you received. God knows what we are capable of handling; and we need to have enough confidence in His judgment to believe that what He does is best for us. You see envy in every walk of life, but it is definitely not of God. “Love vaunteth not itself.” That means that true love will never brag, and exalt oneself above measure. Envy causes people to brag and exalt themselves, always trying to outdo someone else, and it will usually cause some silly carnal act, that turns out to be an embarrassment many times. So to vaunt yourself, is to exalt yourself above others, but the love of God, if it is allowed to lead our lives, will not allow us to do that. When you hear someone bragging, it is one of two things, Either it is by the wrong spirit, or out of an immature carnal nature, that has not yet been crucified with Christ. Love will not allow us to be puffed up, and feel that we are better than everyone else. The Bible says, Condescend to men of low estate. As we put ourselves down. That is why you read in the Philippian letter, Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. He knew who He was, but He did not go around bragging about it. He never did put on a show, just to demonstrate who He was. Everything He did, was to glorify the Father that was in Him. He made Himself of no reputation. Every illustration Paul used here was characterized in Jesus Christ. He was love personified, and He was our example. Let us read some more. “Love doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” Love will cause us to behave ourselves properly, and will keep us from seeking something just for ourselves. It will not allow us to be easily provoked, and it will not allow us to imagine evil. It will cause us to rejoice in truth, rather than iniquity, and it is a strength to you. It will help you bear burdens, that your natural fleshly makeup could not handle. But when you read the part that says, “Believeth all things,” you must realize that this is pointing to the truth that is preached and taught, whether you understand it all or not. The Holy Ghost in you, will keep you from setting up against truth that is preached, even if it is necessary for you to sleep on it for awhile. That verse certainly does not mean that love will cause a person to believe a lie, but it will cause you to believe all truth.


Saints: this is going to be a long message, requiring us to use more than one edition to print it, so we will just stop here for now, and pick it up in our next issue.

The Four Horsemen

BILLY GRAHAM PUBLISHED A BOOK A FEW MONTHS AGO ON THE FOUR HORSE RIDERS OF REVELATION, CHAPTER 6. IT WAS HIGHLY ADVERTISED, AND RECEIVED QUITE A BIT OF ATTENTION, AND I JUST THOUGHT, AS I SAW IT ADVERTISED, I SURE AM THANKFUL TO KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THOSE FOUR HORSEMEN. I REMEMBER YEARS AGO, WHEN I WAS A CHILD, WE LIVED IN A COMMUNITY WHERE THE JEHOVAH WITNESSES WERE VERY STRONG. I REMEMBER SEEING SOME OF THEIR LITERATURE, SHOWING THESE HORSE RIDERS. THEY SHOWED THEM STRUNG OUT ACROSS THE HEAVENS, ALL RIDING AT THE SAME TIME, AND PORTRAYING TERRIBLE CATASTROPHIC EVENTS THAT IS SUPPOSED TO ENVELOPE MANKIND RIGHT AT THE END OF TIME. THE SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS ALSO HAVE THEIR VERSION OF IT IN PRINT, AND THEY ARE JUST AS FAR OFF BASE WITH THEIR VERSION AS THE JEHOVAH WITNESSES ARE WITH THEIRS, AND BILLY GRAHAM LIKEWISE. THAT IS WHY IS SAY, I SURE AM THANKFUL THAT WE CAN KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THAT THE TRUTH CAN SET US FREE FROM FEAR AND CONFUSION.


SAINTS: I AM FULLY CONVINCED, THAT GOD HAS SOME PEOPLE IN THE EARTH TODAY, THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW THE TRUTH OF HIS WORD. THEY WILL RECOGNIZE THE TIME WE ARE LIVING IN, AND THEY WILL KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT. WE ARE LIVING IN A DAY, WHEN EVEN LOST SINNERS THAT DO NOT EVEN PROFESS TO BE CHRISTIANS, ARE MAKING REMARKS BASED UPON THINGS THAT ARE WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION. THE FOUR HORSE RIDERS, AND THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON ARE THE TWO YOU HEAR THE MOST. BUT THE MOST DISTURBING THING IS WHEN YOUR GREAT BIBLE SCHOLARS OF THIS DAY, TAKE IT UPON THEMSELVES TO TEACH ON THESE SUBJECTS, AND THEN PUT IT IN PRINT AND IT BECOMES SOMETHING THAT THEY FEEL GOD MUST ABIDE BY. WELL I HAVE NEWS FOR THEM GOD ALREADY HAS HIS OWN PROGRAM SCHEDULED, AND IT IS ALMOST THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEIR PICTURES PORTRAY TO THE WORLD, AND HE IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE ANY PART OF WHAT HE HAS ALREADY PURPOSED TO DO, JUST SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY HAVE WRITTEN THEIR BOOKS, AND THEY ARE MEN OF REPUTATION IN THE WORLD. GOD COULD NOT CARE LESS ABOUT THEIR GREAT REPUTATIONS, FOR HE IS CONCERNED WITH THOSE THAT WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES, AND ALLOW HIM TO SPEAK TO THEM BY HIS SPIRIT, TO GIVE THEM A TRUE REVELATION OF HIS WORD, INSTEAD OF JUST A HEAD FULL OF MAN’S THEOLOGY. THEREFORE I ASK THAT YOU WOULD PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER WHAT WE WILL ENDEAVOR TO BRING FORTH FROM THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD CONCERNING THESE FOUR HORSE RIDERS OF REVELATION, CHAPTER 6.


JOHN’S COMMISSION TO WRITE


In order to get our setting for the subject we want to deal with, I will ask you to open your Bibles to the first chapter of the book of Revelation, where we will read verse 19. John was on the isle of Patmos, where he had been in exile because of the testimony of Jesus Christ he held to be the most valuable thing of his whole life. He was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and he heard a great voice come from behind him, a voice as a trumpet, and that voice said, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; then the voice names the seven churches that are to receive what John will write. So as John turns to see who is speaking to him, he sees the Lord Jesus Christ, portrayed in His high priestly role, and symbolized to John, as standing in the midst of seven golden candlesticks, clothed in a garment down to His feet, with hair as white as snow, and eyes as a flame to fire, and He is speaking directly to John. At first glimpse, John fell at His feet as a dead man, but He laid His right hand upon him, and said, Fear not: I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell and of death. Then he says to John, verse 19, “Write the things which thou hast seen,” as well as present and future things, but they will all be related in the book of Revelation, and they will be things directly concerning these seven churches of Asia, for that is the area John has been in. The Lord is just simply going to remind John of how these things looked to Him. He wanted John to know how He looked upon what was going on in those churches. So he was not only to write of the things which he had already seen, but as we read the rest of the verse, notice also that he is to write, “the things which are, (things that were going on right then) and the things which shall be hereafter.” It was because of what was going on right at the present hour, that caused the Lord to visit John when he did. John was the last of the original twelve apostles, and in 96 A.D., I am convinced that the Lord knew he would not live much longer, and He wanted some things written by him, and sent to these seven churches while he was still alive. Now John could have written many volumes on the things which he had seen already, for he is the one that concluded his gospel account by saying, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” He was a personal disciple of the Lord Jesus, and he had seen those miracles that He had performed throughout His ministry, but what he is to relate in these letters, are the things he has seen take place in these seven churches of Asia. Furthermore he was not even permitted to put it in his own vocabulary, for the Lord told him exactly what to write.


HOW MEN ARE INSPIRED TO WRITE, OR SPEAK


There are two ways to look at inspiration. A man can see something that disturbs him in his spirit, and the Lord can just anoint and unction him to speak against it, using his own vocabulary and intelligence to express it. That is mostly what we see in the Epistles of the New Testament. But when we come to the book of Revelation, we find inspiration of the greatest magnitude, because, when the Lord said, Write, He took John, and showed him various things in symbolic pictures. Things that John could not possibly have had the vocabulary to write of using his own human terminology, so he writes exactly according to the instructions the Lord gave him. Therefore up through chapter 3, we find what those seven churches were, how they were founded, how they had grown in the revelation, what they were known to the Lord by, and the conditions that were then present in them. It was the present conditions, that had put those churches in a very bad state, and limited the work of the Lord through them in future days. The Lord spoke to Ephesus, for example, “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars; and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake thou hast labored, and hast not fainted. (Notice now) Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” When a person, or a church loses the fervency of their experience with the Lord, and then just simply continues doing the right things out of habit, instead of being moved by the Spirit of God to do them, they have lost their effectiveness as instruments in the hands of God on behalf of lost mankind that still has need of a Savior. In other words, You can go to church every time the doors are opened, go through all the functions of the service, and still be almost dormant in your spirit. When you get like that, you need to be revived, and your soul set on fire anew with the reality of God’s great salvation plan, that you are a part of, for you are not worth two cents as an instrument of God, when you are just merely drifting along in a state of dormancy. I must cut this part short though, for I want to get into the part that moves from the past tense, and the present tense, into the future tense, because that is where we get our setting for the four horsemen, that we want to look at.


JOHN TRANSPORTED INTO HEAVE IN A VISION


God with me now, into chapter four, and notice the very first verse. “After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” Now the things that must be hereafter, are what we are primarily interested in, as we go on into this message. The first three chapters give us a spiritual history of the seven local churches up to that point, and we already know that the conditions existing in those seven churches then, portrayed conditions that would characterize the seven church ages, or seven particular phases that the church of the living God would pass through during the dispensation of grace, and Laodicea was the last one. We actually see a type of the rapture of the church set, right here. For as John finished writing the letter to the church of Laodicea, or we should say, As the Lord finished speaking to Laodicea, He called John to, “Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” He could have showed John everything He was going to show him, without John moving one inch from where he was, spiritually speaking of course. But this was no spur of the moment thing that the Lord did here, for there was a type to be set for those that would later have a spiritual eye to see it, so He lifted John up from the earthly setting, where he had showed him the past and present things he was to write, and conveyed him by the Spirit into heaven, so notice what John says here in verse 2. “And immediately I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” Now saints, I seriously doubt that John’s physical body went anywhere. It was still right there on the isle of Patmos, but by a spiritual vision John was transported into heaven. God had literally taken control over his intellect. He was totally taken over by the Spirit of God. Let me say this also. John was an old man, and in the natural it is very hard for a person that old to remember everything they see and hear. But when John came out of that experience, he remembered every detail of what he had seen and heard. But let us be sure we catch a very important point here. There was only ONE throne in heaven, and there was only ONE there to sit on that throne, not three. Of course all of you here, already know that, but perhaps this message will fall into the hands of some who do not have a one God revelation, and every point could help them. This modern church world of our day, seems to take great pride in making the Bible say things that it really does not say at all. They can see three persons in the Godhead so plain, they brand anything that believes God is one, as a cult. That is one of their main gauges that they use to identify a cult. Look out for those that deny the blessed holy trinity, they will tell their members, for they are a cult. It is very simple. Their teachings are Antichrist, and cannot possibly be vindicated by the Bible, and they hold their members under bondage all the days of their lives, by fear tactics, and their secret deeds are evil and ungodly. On the other hand, I will take the scriptures and back up everything I teach.


JESUS SITS UPON A THRONE IN HEAVEN


Alright now, verse 3, “And He that sat (on the throne) was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” Now some will say, Bro. Jackson: If that one sitting upon the throne was the Lord Jesus Christ, how is it that John describes Him as looking like that? Jesus did not look like that when He walked on earth for 33 ½ years. Saints: You just have to realize that these symbolic descriptions are to convey the reality of the investment of authority that the eternal Spirit has bestowed upon His only begotten Son. The characteristics of the Ancient of Days (which is the sovereign, eternal Spirit of all creation) are shown here as a vindication of that investment of power and authority that now rests upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Did not Jesus say, in His closing words to the church at Laodicea, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne?” Of course He said that, but that does not make two persons sitting upon thrones in heaven, for the Father is not a person; He is a sovereign Spirit, just like it says in St. John 4:24. Therefore the only person John saw sitting upon that throne in heaven was the Lord Jesus Christ (still in His mediatorial work as high priest) invested with all the authority and attributes of the great eternal Spirit. The rainbow round about the throne symbolizes the covenant God made with mankind. It is a sign of His presence, and has nothing at all to do with a flood, at this time. Verse 4, “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.” Now if there is only one Spirit which is God: what are the lamps, and why are they referred to as the seven Spirits of God? Certainly they have to be symbolic of something, but we know God is one Spirit, and definitely not seven different Spirits. If you fail to get this symbolic terminology straightened out, you will be dealing with gods again, instead of one God, for you simply cannot take a plurality, and make it singular. Well these seven lamps speak symbolically of those seven great deity attributes that pertain to Jehovah. Throughout the Old Testament God was made known on various occasions by one of these seven deity names that speak of a particular attribute of the one true God. Then when you get over to the New Testament, where the only begotten Son of God is indwelt with the fulness of this one Spirit which possesses these many attributes, you have to realize that He (the Son) is the embodiment of all that the Father is. In other words, All that the Father is, now dwells in the Son of God in full measure, so He now possesses these seven deity attributes. Just like Paul said, in Colossians 2:9, “For in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” That is why Paul went ahead and said, “And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.” Through this one Son, Jehovah purposed to reconcile the world back to Himself. By Him, through Him, and with Him, He has purchased all things. Then when Jesus was preparing to depart from His disciples, He promised to send them a Comforter, one that would lead them into all truth, and that Comforter that came to dwell in those that believe, was the same Spirit that dwelt in Jesus. Now the Church is to reflect the indwelling Christ to the world, in seven distinct ages within the dispensation of Grace. We find also, that each age had a star messenger through which this Spirit of Christ would be characterized, so we certainly have no difficulty recognizing the fact, that God is in sevens. Seven is a number that speaks of completeness.


JOHN SAW PROPHECY BEING FULFILLED


Do not give an ear to these false teachers of what is supposed to be men following Bro. Branham’s message, if they start telling you that what John saw in heaven was the seven church age messengers, standing before the throne of God. It never was, and never will be. We must keep the symbolism as it was in the Old Testament. They are seven lamps of fire that symbolize the eternal flame of the seven spiritual attributes of Jehovah. Men are born, but God was not born; He is eternal. Men die, but He who is eternal will, never die, and that which God is, has been reflected to mankind through these seven attributal names, all down through time. It seems that carnal mankind always wants to glorify the flesh of some man, and the reason for that, is the fact that they cannot see beyond the flesh of the instrument God uses in an extraordinary way, in their hour of time. “And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before a behind. And the first beast (Notice now, as John sees these beasts, and as he records what he saw, he has them in the exact order in which they will function when the events of chapter 6 come into focus.) Was like a lion, (the lion was absolutely first, and we wills how you why later) and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him.” Every bit of this can be found in Ezekiel. When Ezekiel saw the glory of God, he saw these four living creatures. Brother, I want you to know, The scenes Ezekiel saw transpire, all pointed to the future, to the time when Christ would literally be positioned in the very place John saw Him in, in this fourth chapter of Revelation. Furthermore I am thankful to God, that this scene has never changed from that day until now. Therefore what Ezekiel saw was a preview of what John saw as a fulfilled reality. When Ezekiel saw it, and wrote it, it was a prophecy; but when John saw it, and wrote about it, it was being fulfilled. Alright “the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne saying, thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Alright now saints, we see here, that all those elders were bowed before the throne worshiping Jehovah, the Creator of all things, but the person they are bowed down before, is Jesus the Christ, the only begotten Son of God in whom He (the Father-Jehovah) now dwells, and He is fulfilling His office as high priest. Those elders knew exactly what they were doing. That is why it is expressed like this. That is why we, in this New Testament dispensation, worship God through the person of His Son. Jehovah could not be seen, but the Son in whom He dwells could be seen, and God ordained that this Son be a vessel that would exemplify all of His attributes, even to the natural eye of mankind, but only those that had spiritual eyes would ever really know what they were seeing. That is why so many of those that actually witnesses the miracles described in the four gospels, later turned against Jesus, and desired to see Him crucified; they just simply did not have spiritual eyes to recognize who and what they were seeing. That is why all through time, good has been called evil, and evil called good. It is not the true saints of God that gives these adverse opinions, it is carnal mankind, that judges everything according to their own ideas and traditions.


ONLY ONE SEAT – AND ONLY ONE SEATED


Let us go into chapter 5 now, and get the complete setting before us, before we actually approach the four horsemen, which we find in chapter 6. “And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book (scroll) written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, (scroll) and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.” Let me take time right here, to remind you of some things, that you really need to be sure you get straight in your mind. First of all, Be sure you know beyond any shadow of doubt, that the one sitting upon this throne is the Lord Jesus Christ, invested with all the authority and attributes of Jehovah, the Creator, the Father of all living creatures. Then be sure you realize that John saw Him in the process of performing His duties as high priest, interceding for lost mankind before the great eternal Spirit, who, even though He indwells this obedient Son, is still omnipresent, and as I said already, This scene in heaven is still the same today, as it was nineteen hundred years ago when John wrote these words. He still holds in His right hand a little scroll, which has one seal that still has not been broken. Of course you will realize why I am saying this, in a few minutes, for I am sure some of you at least, have heard from various sources, that Jesus Christ is off of the mercy seat, and that the seventh seal was broken when Bro. Branham preached the series on the seven seals, in 1963. It is a fact that when Bro. Branham was inspired to preach what he did, concerning these things, there were certain things said, which were never explained, and after his death, different ones took those statements, gave them their own private interpretation, and started preaching and presenting their ideas as facts, and it is still going on today. They say, There is no more mercy on the mercy seat of God. Well let me say this, There is only one throne seen by John; not two. There is no such thing as a mercy seat, and then a judgment seat also. There is only one seat in heaven; not two. It is a throne, and there will be mercy there until the hour appointed of the Father arrives, and that last seal is broken, and Jesus is seen on earth in angelic form, with one foot upon the sea, and the other foot upon the earth, and that little scroll open in His hand, on earth to claim what He has been interceding for all these many generations since Calvary. I guarantee you, When that scene becomes a fulfilled reality, You will not have twenty years to run all over the world preaching your own private opinions, for the Spirit of God will leave the Gentiles, and go back to the Jews, to fulfill the seventieth week of Daniel. When that time arrives, mercy for Gentiles is over, and judgment is eminent. But you believe me saints, That hour is yet ahead of us. Many of those men that sat there, and heard Bro. Branham preach those messages, were out of oneness Pentecost systems where they had preached one God for all they were worth, and yet the very fact that they have gone out, and preached what they have since then, proves that they still do not know whether God is one, two, three, or a half a dozen. They could not explain the Godhead, if their life depended on it. That is why I say, If they cannot get a true picture of the events described in this 5th chapter, they certainly do not have a revelation of the Godhead, and because they do not have a revelation of the Godhead, they will go so far as to say, Bro. Branham was Elohim. Listen to me saints, when you allow the devil to twist your mind like that, you have already stepped across the threshold between God’s mercy and God’s judgment. You just simply cannot play around with God like that. The only person God ever dwelt in, in the measure that made that person God in flesh, was the person of His only begotten Son, and the next step, was that He would dwell in all of His redeemed children only by a measure of His fullness. But that measure of His indwelling presence is all any of us need, in order to overcome Satan, and live for God in this life. Naturally there is a dispensation of time allotted to that, but you believe me, We are still living within that dispensation. The Holy Ghost is still in the earth today, regenerating lost mankind, bringing everything to God’s perfect plans. Furthermore there have been certain men that have been used by God in an extraordinary way, and Bro. Branham was one of them. But he was a mortal creature just like the rest of us. The man himself was a sinner just like all the rest of us, and had to be redeemed the same way, by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It is a fact, he had a greater measure of the Spirit of God in him, than the rest of us, but never to the extent that he should be looked upon as God. That is why I have said, Anyone who looks upon Bro. Branham as God, is just as much an idolater as any pagan Gentile ever was before the gospel came over to the Gentiles. They have missed the whole purpose for which Bro. Branham had that special anointing of the Holy Ghost. They have not been turned back to the faith of our apostolic fathers at all.


THE LION HATH PREVAILED


Alright now, let us continue reading in verse 3, so we can get the complete setting of what preceded the four horsemen, as John is shown this vision. “And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.” Remember saints, Everything John saw after he was taken up to heaven in this vision, was for a future time, and most of it was for our generation. So John stood there weeping, because no one was found worthy to loose the seven seals, and open the book. “And one of the elders saith unto me, weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, (John was looking right at the throne) and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” Saints, above everything else, be sure you understand that John had his eyes fastened upon the throne, and the one that sat upon that throne. The only one sitting upon that throne is the Lord Jesus Christ, so keep that in mind, and try to catch the symbolism of what John saw here. He has already described the one sitting there, and also the twenty four elders, and when he began to weep, because no man was found worthy to open the little book, what did the elder say to him? Behold, THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH, THE ROOT OF DAVID, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. That should leave no doubt whatsoever, that it is the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who offered His life upon the sacrificial altar of God for the sins of the whole world, that John is looking at, and He is not changing from one form to another. It is only that John is being shown in a vision, what this ONE obedient Son of God has accomplished on behalf of lost mankind. He was not a literal lamb; He only took the place of the required lamb without spot or blemish of any kind. Neither was He ever, nor will He ever be a literal lion, but symbolically He is called that in connection with His Kingship. Therefore as John stands looking at that throne, and seeing Jesus Christ Himself sitting upon it, he then sees this symbolic Lamb coming right out of the midst of what he is looking at. No, Jesus did not turn into a lamb, but this symbolically speaks of the fact, that the one sitting upon that throne is worthy to open the little book and loose the seven seals thereof, on the merits of what He accomplished at Calvary as the Lamb of God. That is why the Lamb John is seeing appears to him as one that had been slain. That is what merited Him the worthiness to open the book that contains the names of all that He is interceding for as high priest. I am sure you will remember reading in the Gospels, where Jesus came walking past John the Baptist one day, and John spoke something to those who stood by him, Behold, the (What? Messiah? No.) LAMB of GOD, which taketh away the sin of the world. He spoke that by revelation. He was not even seeing a lamb, like John the apostle is seeing here in these verses, but both instances point to the very same thing. They both point to the glorified one that is now sitting upon His Father’s throne in heaven. But no literal lamb is seen at all; John is in a vision, and it looks real to him, and that is what he was supposed to write. That is why these things can only be understood by a revelation given to us by the Spirit of God. Do you think it would do any good to try to explain these symbolisms to a Trinitarian? How could they possibly understand this, when they already see three persons in the Godhead? It takes a one God revelation to understand what John was seeing here. Besides that, this Lamb that John was seeing would have been a freak of nature, and unacceptable as an offering to God under the old Testament covenant, if it were a literal lamb. Oh hallelujah! This makes me feel good, to read this. Even though no such literal animal would have been accepted as a sacrifice in the Old Testament, the fact that John is being shown this Lamb coming right out from the midst of the throne, having seven eyes and seven horns, shows us that the same one that was slain as the Lamb of God, is also endowed with all the attributes of God the great eternal Spirit. In other words, In this one sitting upon the throne in heaven, is a full embodiment of all those attributes of Jehovah. Those seven spiritual attributes of Jehovah are now at work in the New Testament, through the person of the only begotten Son of God in whom the Father dwells in the fulness of Himself.


WHO OPENED THE SEALS?


Saints: Just try to picture John, standing, looking at Jesus Christ sitting upon this throne, and as he watches, the human form fades into the background, and he is seeing this Lamb as if it had literally stepped right out of the throne, and verse 7 says, “And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.” Please take note of the fact that the Lamb is the only one that moved. There has to be a certain physical action here, to portray transition of authority that comes from the investment of the mind of Jehovah. Jesus Christ could not open those seals while in His office work as high priest. It was not His high priestly work that merited Him the right to open those seals; it was what He accomplished as the Lamb of God, that merited Him that right, and it could not be opened completely as long as Jesus Christ is still in His office-work as high priest. I never will forget, as I sat there listening to Bro. Branham, when he was anointed of God to teach on the seven seals, I thought to myself, The one sitting upon that throne did not move one inch, only the Lamb moved. Yet because Bro. Branham just merely asked the question, Could it be, that Jesus Christ has left the mercy seat? Many of those that heard him, went out from there saying, Jesus Christ is off the mercy seat. No one else can be saved, and they have been saying that ever since. Well, if they would have just gone back and read the scripture again, with an open mind, they would have seen that the one sitting upon the throne, did not move at all. Only the Lamb moved. This had to be written like it is, in order to show the transition of authority, but anyone with a true revelation of the Godhead knows good and well, that there is no literal lamb involved in the picture at all. Actually, in the introduction, He was introduced as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, which is His next office. But I assure you, He will not fulfill that office as a literal lion; that is only symbolic terminology that describes the kind of rule He will have on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. Brothers and Sisters: I hope it is clear to you, that in 1963 when Bro. Branham preached on the revelation of the first six seals, Jesus Christ did not move one inch from His position on the throne as high priest. Neither has He yet moved from that office work. If He had left the mercy seat in 1963, we would sure be in the Millennium now. Is that what you want to believe? Of course not. Most of all, we would have to wonder what happened to the resurrection, and the rapture of the living saints. Those things were not written just to fill up space in the Bible; it will all take place just like it is written, when God’s time is right. He is the one that is keeping time, you know.


DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES ARE ANTICHRIST


Let us read verse 8 now, and move on. “And when he (the Lamb) had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us (Who redeemed us? Jesus Christ) to God (the eternal Spirit) by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: (Hallelujah! And we shall float around on clouds forever. Is that what it says? No, listen) and we shall reign on earth.” Are you aware of the fact that the Methodists do not believe in a Millennial reign of Christ upon earth? Neither do the Church of God people. You cannot preach this to them, for they do not believe the book of Revelation ever should have been written. Some of them have said, John must have been having a night mare when he saw all of this, and others have said, The book of Revelation is like a mud hole; the more you stir around in it, the muddier it gets. Well I am thankful that the true Church of God believes it is for them, and they love to hear the revelation of it taught. Furthermore the true church does not go to the Baptist seminary to get the revelation of it either, for they all know that these manmade religious systems do not have the revelation of it. If they did, they would not still be in those church systems where there is more unbelief taught, than there is truth. It just proves that man’s intellectual learning, does not do the church world one bit of spiritual good. Tell me sincerely, If you were Trinitarians, could you possibly see what you see right now, from these chapters we have covered? Would you know who is on the throne, and by what authority that same opens the little book? Let us be thankful that God has called us out of those antichrist systems. Bro. Jackson: You ought not call them that. Why not? Any church system that preaches and teaches anything different than that which the early church taught as the gospel of Jesus Christ, is antichrist. What else can you say about them? If the Bible says God is one, and they say, God is three persons, is that not antichrist doctrine? If the Bible says, Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and they say, It does not matter whether you are baptized or not, is that not antichrist? Need I go on? Sure you still have close friends and loved ones in those places, and so do I, but I assure you that just pretending that they are good Christians, simply because they are good moral people, and seem so sincere, is not going to make it sol. If they reject truth, they are rejecting God, for God and His Word are one and His Word is truth.


THE WHITE HORSE – THE LION BEAST


Let us move on to chapter 6 now, where we will begin to see the four horsemen come into the picture. As I said already, Billy Graham is telling his great audiences, Read the greatest book for our time, that the world has ever known, “The Four Horsemen.” To them, it is some future event, some terrible dark catastrophic time of judgment. But I am so glad to know that the little bride of Jesus Christ does not think like that. She knows that those four horsemen have already been riding for a long time now, riding right on over Billy Graham’s head. Then right on down through the Jehovah Witnesses and the Seventh Day Adventists, and any others that are without revelation. So let us look at this first one now. “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, (It is Jesus Christ opening these seals, but He is doing so by the virtue of what He accomplished as the Lamb of God, not because He is the Lion, or high priest) and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, (We have already seen the order fo the four beasts, back in chapter four. The first was a lion, so it would be the lion that is saying this.) Come and see.” It is important that we see this beast as being in heaven. He gets John’s attention saying, Come and see, meaning, Come and take a look. But it was the first beast, the lion, as we will see when we get to the next one. “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he (the white horse rider) went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Now brothers and Sisters, if that pictorial scene is yet a future event, as Billy Graham and these others believe it is, then that white horse rider still needs an interpretation, who is he, and what does all of this mean? Will you agree with me? But if it is not some future event, yet to be fulfilled, and I am fully persuaded that it is not, then we already have the interpretation. We can check it back through history and see what has been going on all the time, and I believe we will have to accept the fact that the revelation is already here. I will never forget; well I am not sure about the year, but somewhere around 1954 or 1955, Bro. Branham determined to start a series of meetings, to preach on the book of Revelation. He started in the first chapter, and he had only preached one or two nights, when Bro. Bozay, from Chicago, who was then pastoring the Philadelphia Church, called him to come fo a meeting. He just dropped everything, and went to Chicago, and you know, he never did get back to the book of Revelation again until 1963. I can look back now, and see why. He was not supposed to. It was not time for him to touch it the way he did in 1963, when it was the time for it. When Bro. Branham stood there, that night, and read the two verses we have just read, it just seemed like he stepped back with an expression of joy, and as he would describe this lion, and what it characterized, he then said, but this white horse rider was none other than the spirit of antichrist, riding in the first church age. The thing that shows this, is the fact that this white horse rider had a bow, and a crown, portraying Christ, in a sense, but he had no arrows. Therefore without the arrows, he is only a bluff. But if you will read the history that is available, you will see that this is the very way Satan’s emissaries gained supremacy, through fear tactics. Even in 54 A.D. when the apostle Paul wrote his second epistle to the Thessalonians, he said, “The mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now leteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” He could see that an antichrist spirit was already causing men to harass the Church with ideas that were completely foreign to true revelation. But he could also see that the Spirit of God was still present to hinder this antichrist spirit, and would do so until it was time for the Spirit of God to pull back completely, and allow Satan to introduce his literal Antichrist man to the world, the one who will be consumed with the Spirit of the mouth of the Lord, when he returns to earth in glory. Yes the spirit of the devil was already running parallel to the Spirit of God in the church, before the last of the original apostles of Christ had left the scene. That is why John would say, over in his little epistles, Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. He said also, This is that Spirit of antichrist that ye have heard should come: and even now is already in the world. That was the spirit of that white horse rider moving through the earth in those false prophets, running parallel to the gospel of Jesus Christ that the true disciples preached. What about the lion though? Some will say. Naturally this is all symbolic. There is no literal lion beast. But the Spirit of Jesus Christ in those first age Christians, caused them to fearlessly stand against that spirit of antichrist that was trying to get the church off course. That is why it was the lion beast that said to John, “Come and see.” You will see the significance of these four beasts in relation to the spirit of antichrist, as we continue on with these first four seals here in the sixth chapter of Revelation. The spirit of the certain beasts that are mentioned, characterizes the Spirit of Christ that was in Christians in the age that these various horse riders went forth. In the animal kingdom the lion is known as the king of those beasts. He fearlessly goes about to fulfill his own will, and nothing will dare get in his way. Well this symbolizes the kind of spirit that was in the early church. They held the line on the word of God, and put those false apostles to the test, and refused to let them spread their antichrist ideas in the church. That is what you see in the letter to the church at Ephesus, “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.” Brother they had something in them that would stand up against false doctrine, just like Jesus Himself stood up to those scribes and Pharisees that tried to get something on Him. That lion spirit was first characterized in Him. He walked wherever He wanted to preach, and no one could touch Him until it was time for Him to lay His life down, and then He became subject to those that desired to take His life. But on the day of Pentecost, that lion-like Spirit that was in Christ Jesus, came to dwell in the church, and the church became fearless. Their adversaries would grab them, throw them in prison, and tell them, You cannot preach anymore in that man’s name. But along would come an angel, that would get them out of prison, and right back they would go doing the same thing they got arrested for in the first place, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is hard to keep a lion from doing what he wants to do, you know. You can threaten him, and he will roar right back at you. That is the kind of fearless boldness those first age Christians had. When they were told not to preach anymore in the name of Jesus, they answered, We will obey God, rather than man. When that mob came against Stephen, the Bible says they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. They arrested him, brought him before the council, and had false witnesses testify against him, and accuse him of blasphemy and all sorts of things, but Stephen stood there before them, and the Bible says that they all saw him as one who appeared to have the face of an angel. When he got a chance to preach to the council, he started with the call of Abraham and preached all the way through to his present hour of time, and then said, (using scripture) “Ye stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? They have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. (Brother you do not find any fear in that man.) When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. (We are in Acts 7, so notice this 55th verse.) But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, (Not another person) and said, Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” That was the last thing they could take. They stopped up their ears, ran and grabbed him, took him outside the city, and stoned him to death. But did they ever see any fear in him? Absolutely not. He looked up to heaven and said, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Then he kneeled down, and said with a loud voice, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” That was the last words he ever uttered. Now I hope you can see how this lion beast symbolizes the spirit that was in those men like Stephen. With his last breath, he exalted Jesus Christ, the one who had first walked that road.


HOW THE LION GUARDED THE GOSPEL


The Trinitarians really love to read those verses, for they think Stephen was looking at two of the persons they saw is in the Godhead. See there! Stephen saw both the Father and the Son, they will say. No he did not. That is terminology that shows the investment of authority that was entrusted to that obedient Son of God. This scene Stephen pointed to, portrays Jesus in His intercessory work on behalf of him. When you have a revelation of the Godhead already, you can see these things for what they truly portray. But while speaking of that lion spirit in believers of the first age, there was another time when the apostle Peter ended up in jail, and an angel of the Lord caused his chains to fall off, and said to him, Follow me. He led Peter out through the gates that opened to them as they approached, and Peter went right to the prayer meeting, where they were gathered, praying for his release. You just simply cannot keep a lion caged up, he will find a way to escape. (Do not allow your mind to run wild; we are making a spiritual application of some scriptures. We all know that there are some literal lions kept in cages, but you will have to agree, they are not kept caged up by just any old way; for it takes a little more to hold them, than it does some other wild animals.) A lion is always on the prowl. You can see that same spirit characterized in Paul. He and Silas were over in Asia Minor preaching the gospel, and casting out demons, when they were arrested, beaten, chained up, and cast into prison. They had that old lion captured, but brother, a lion in a cage is like a stick of dynamite, and a can of gasoline. (You have seen in zoos, how a caged lion will just walk back and forth, looking for a way to get out of there.) These lions were in stocks, so they could not walk back and forth, so what did they do? At midnight, with their back’s bleeding, and pain surging through their bodies, they began to praise the Lord. Hallelujah! Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. I do not know what they were singing, but they counted it a great privilege to suffer for the name of Jesus Christ, and that lion spirit in them found a way to express that great joy that was bubbling up within them. Then suddenly the ground began to shake, and those old prison gates began to rattle and swing open, and all the prisoners were set free, but they did not leave. God had his sight set on that old jailor and his household. So when the jailor realized that all the cell doors were open, he naturally expected that all the prisoners would be gone, and knew his own life would not be worth two cents, if he had allowed all those prisoners to escape. That is when he drew his sword, and started to fall upon it, and Paul cried out with a loud voice, Do thyself no harm, for we are all still here. Needless to say, the lions got out, the jailor got baptized, and the devil lost another battle. But what I want you to see in all this, is how that lion spirit was working in that first church age. It was a guard to the ministry, so the gospel could get out. That is how the church survived that first age. Another thing, brothers and sisters: a lion has a very keen sense of instinct. That is why old John would prick his ears up when these strange doctrines would come along. Something is not quite right here. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God or not. In other words, Check up a little, on what you are hearing, for many false prophets have already gone out into the world. Why? To deceive as many as will believe them. That lion spirit in him really guarded the true revelation of the gospel of Christ, right to the very end.


THE RED HORSE – THE CALF BEAST


Tell me, Saints: Can you now see what that lion beast symbolizes here under this first seal? It guarded the true revelation of the word of God, when that white horse rider rode out to deceive the world. At first glance, you would think it was Jesus riding that white horse, but that is where the revelation lies. It was a deceiving, perverting spirit, that used fear tactics to accomplish its purpose, but that lion spirit protected the church in that first age. When you move from the first church age into the second, you have a different situation altogether, so the spirit of that age is symbolized by a different beast. Notice, as we read the second seal, in verse 3. “And when He had opened the second seal, I heard the SECOND beast say, Come and see.” In chapter 4, John numbered the four beasts, so the second beast was LIKE a calf. I want to dwell mostly on this calf now. What is a calf? Well, it is in the family of animals that, under the law, were used on the altar of sacrifice. It is also a species that is used as a burden bearer. So the type here is two fold. It characterizes how the Holy Spirit worked in the church, as it passed through a transition period, from the first age into the second. Let me say this though, We do not have a horse rider and a beast for every church age. We have a beast for every horse rider, but their affect upon the church spanned more than one church age, for we have four beasts, four horse riders, and seven church ages. The whole thing started with the first church age, naturally, but that spirit of antichrist that these four horses represent, has been riding right on through seven church ages, and as we continue, you will see how it is riding even in our day. This calf is symbolic of how the church, as she moved into the second age, faced martyrdom. The lion is no longer on the scene. The horse is now red. Deception and rear tactics failed to overthrow the church, so now Satan is going to try to kill all the Christians, but all of this presents a different picture. He changes his identity, and gets him a red horse. That red horse speaks of how he intends to bathe this thing in blood. Did he succeed? He killed a lot of Christians, but he certainly never accomplished what he intended to. As fast as those imperial rulers would rise to arrest them, humiliate them, try to frighten them, and put them in prison, and then put them to death, up would step another bunch to take their place, Let me die for my Lord next. What was it? The Holy Ghost was giving them grace to face martyrdom with great joy. They could step up, and lay their life down in martyrdom, shouting and praising God all the while. Just thankful to be counted worthy to die for the name of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That is what sacrificial calf spirit exemplified in the way they faced death at the hands of their enemies, in the second age, and thereafter. That shows how God can give you grace to overcome, even in the face of death. It is a completely different picture, but the church survived.


GOD GAVE GRACE TO FACE DEATH WITH


In that first age, God gave those preachers boldness to preach, even in the face of what seemed like sure death, and when they were arrested, God would send an angel to set them free again, and right back to the same place they were arrested, they would go. But in the second age, the age of martyrdom, God did not get them out of prison; He just simply gave them grace to die while shouting praises to their God. Do you see the difference between the lion Spirit that guarded the word of God in the first age, and the calf Spirit that guarded it in the next age? No matter what the devil did, he could not get rid of the church. When they would kill one, three would step up to take his place. Many times, we have heard people say, How could those people die so willingly? Well that just shows what the Holy Ghost can do. He can so completely take over your faculties, that you will lose all fear, and when death comes, you do not even feel the pain. That is how so many Christians have been able to endure such severe torture, and still live, and retain their sanity to tell about it. God just simply gave them sufficient grace to bear whatever was not put upon them. There is nothing impossible with God, but what He does is to fulfill a purpose of His, He never meant for the true church to use the power of His Spirit to satisfy the whims of their flesh, as you see going on out here in the Charismatic gatherings. They present the Holy Ghost as an option, a bonus for Christians, if they desire to have that power of God in their lives. Most of them will never hear this, but I have news for them. Without the Holy Ghost, they are not even Christians in the first place. They may be sincerely following some concept of Christianity, but what the Bible calls Christians, are believers that have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and filled with His Spirit. It takes that Holy Ghost seal, to give you that eternal security that a lot of them believe they have without being baptized by the Holy Ghost. I guarantee you one thing. Without the Holy Ghost in your life, you will never face martyrdom for your faith in Jesus Christ, the way those Christians in the second church age faced it.


TESTIMONY CONCERNING POLYCARP


Conditions in the church at Smyrna exemplified conditions that would be present in the second church age, so let us turn to the 2nd chapter of Revelation, and read what John was told to write to that church. Verse 8, “And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, THE DEVIL shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful UNTO DEATH, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Jesus told those saints to be faithful unto death, and I assure you, He will never tell you to do anything that he will not enable you to do. Now as I said, This is the church, in the line up of seven churches, that portrayed the second age, an age of martyrdom. I have read some of the history written of that period, and Polycarp was one martyr that really left an impression on me, as I read what he wen through. It is believed that he was the pastor of the church of Smyrna, during the time this red horse rider really began to reach out, and bathe the earth in martyr’s blood. He was a student of the apostle John; therefore he had heard John preach. But I read an article giving the account of his arrest and martyrdom. When they finally arrested him, and brought him into the arena, it was late in the day. Now normally they would just let the lions rip and tear those Christians to pieces, but Polycarp had already seen in a vision, his coat engulfed in flames. They brought him before the Tribunal and those magistrates actually egged him to recant, and deny his faith in Christ. But he said, Never! I will never deny Him. The elders of the church at Smyrna had gone along and were witnesses of the gallant testimony he left. The more they urged him to recant, the more determined his answer came back, I will not. Then the officials called for the lions to be turned loose, but the caretakers told them that they had already been caged for the night, so they determined the he should be burned at the stake. (So there was the fulfillment of his vision.) When they brought the wood and tied him to the stake, he did not resist and wrestle with them; he walked out with his head held high, and the peace of God in his heart. Brothers and Sisters: when they tried to light the fire, it just did not want to burn. Then when it finally did get started, it still would not burn as they wanted it to, so one of the soldiers determined to hurry the process along, and he just rammed a sword right through Polycarp’s side. But do you know what happened? The beat of his heart caused the blood to gush out, and it was putting the fire out. That so infuriated the officials, they then went to extreme measures to build a fire hot enough to accomplish their purpose, something they had never before had to do. Needless to say, they finally succeeded in burning him, but witnesses declared that as he burned, his face lit up with a glow, and nothing but the peace of God was displayed on his part. That just shows what that calf spirit did for those saints in that age of time; it made them willing to lay their lives down for the name of Jesus Christ. The revelation, power, and influence of the gospel was preserved in that age, because the true Christians were willing to die for what they believed. Those Christians died with such victory in their souls, even pagans many times, would come rushing down from the bleachers to take their place alongside them. Why? Because the fear of God would get hold of the. God’s convicting power could deal with them under those circumstances, and when conversion took place, they were ready to take their stand right alongside the martyrs. The calf was on the slaughter block, but did the church perish? No. The church thrived. The red horse rider was galloping at will, and the blood of martyrs ran like wine form a winepress, and it continued like that for many decades, but the church of the living God still survived. Oh yes, there were periods when the intensity would subside, but then it would start up again, and during all that time, the calf nature was present to give those saints grace to die.


GOD IS STILL REVEALING TRUTH


Brothers and Sisters: If eel that this is an important message; especially at a time like this, when so many others are preaching and printing their versions of it, and all of them are going in the wrong direction. They have people looking for these horsemen to bring something upon the world, yet at a future date, when actually everyone of them have already gone forth to produce their effect on society, but mainly upon the body of believers. Satan’s deceptions affect everyone, but they are designed as an effort to overthrow the church of the living God. Therefore I want to say, at this point, I am not changing anything that was a divine revelation spoken by God’s servant, Bro. Branham in 1963, when he preached on the seals. I will say though, I could not care less what the critics may say, when I feel led of God to present something that Bro. Branham did not touch on, or something that was not given a full explanation at that time. We are living more than twenty years beyond what he taught, and I am fully persuaded that there are things in some of those verses left untouched by him, that the church needs to know, in this present hour of time. God did not got to sleep, just because He took His prophet messenger from the scene, and laid him to rest. There is still a church to perfect, and He is still on the scene to give revelation and enablement to all who follow Him in truth. People of every major denomination, have always been prone to look back to what the founder or messenger brought, that their denomination is built upon, never seeming to realize that God continually moves on. He does not stop for 50 or 60 years, and just let the church exist on what they already have. The Reformation was inaugurated to restore the church to the apostolic truth that Satan’s deceiving and overthrowing efforts got her away from, so the Spirit of God is working constantly to that end, and revelation for the body of Christ did not end with the death of Bro. Branham. That is why He said, I am the same yesterday, today, (present tense) and forever. That means that, no matter how many days, weeks, months, or years we have left, the Spirit of God will remain the same to the church. He will continue to update her revelation until she is restored to the place where she is supposed to be before Jesus comes, to call her to the marriage supper. Therefore I ask you to keep an open mind, and allow Him to do His work in each of you, for the hour is late dispensationally. No one should even allow themselves to think, that the bride of Christ will just glide through life, carefree, and then be ready to meet Him when He comes. The Bible lets me know that she is going to get herself dressed up in a revelation of His word, and make herself ready to meet Him.


SATAN’S FAILING EFFORTS


We have spent quite a bit of time on the calf beast, that said to John, Come and see, and when the second seal was opened, so let us read verse 4, and say something more about this red horse and his rider. “And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, (Brother the only peace anyone had when this rider went forth, was the peace of God in their hearts.) And that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” Remember now saints, When the Lamb opened that first seal, we saw a man portrayed in white, with a crown upon his head, and a bow in his hand. That bow is his weapon, but it really is not a weapon, because he had no arrows for it. Without the arrows, there could be no hurt from the bow. The rider is a bluff. All he can do with his bow is scare some people. He portrays the kind of men John and Paul wrote about, false apostles, and false prophets, men who would come among the congregation of the saints, pretending to be of eh same belief, but looking for every opportunity to slip in a false teaching something contrary to what the apostles of Christ taught. The church at Ephesus was commended, because they were diligent to put such men to the test, and prove that they were false apostles. Nevertheless it was the devil in disguise, trying to overthrow the church by deception and fear. It was that same old spirit that you find in a lot of these people who go around preaching Bro. Branham, today. They will say, If I were you, I would be afraid to say anything different than what the prophet said it. Just remember, saints, the gospel is good news; therefore if what a person brings to you is good news, why should they have to threaten you, and try to frighten you into receiving it? God never meant it to be so. True saints love truth; they do not have to be threatened, to get them to receive it. The aim of Satan, was to conquer and subdue the church, and get in control. But the Spirit of God in those true saints of that first age, caused them to react to that antichrist teaching with the boldness and authority of a lion. They were not afraid to stand up for the truth, no matter what the circumstances were, and God backed them up all the way. Brother let me tell you, Anyone who dresses up in a lion skin, and gets into a cage with a lion, trying to fool him is going to get hurt. Do not every think that lion will not know the difference. He will, and he will soon let you know that he knows the difference. But this setting portrays how Satan worked in that first age. That antichrist spirit embodied itself in a lot of men, and they hit the road professing to be great, anointed teachers, apostles, and prophets, and the Holy Ghost in those Christians stood up against them with a lion-like boldness. That is why the devil had to change his tactics. He finally realized that he could not get control of the church like that, so he changed his identity, and his tactics. Realizing that the could not get in the church, and control it, he determined to destroy it, so now he is portrayed on a red horse, with a sword in his hand. A sharp sword is a lot different than a bow without any arrows. A person with a sword can do a lot more than just bluff; they can cut heads off with one swing, and that is exactly what took place in that second age. That is the reason those saints were given a calf-like spirit; it enabled them to die without fear. In other words, when Satan changed horses, and changed his disguise, God was still one step ahead of him. Hallelujah! Satan; You may kill them, but I will give them grace to die with victory int heir souls, and there will always be others to take their place. The church was here to stay, no matter what Satan did, trying to get rid of her.


SATAN’S TOOLS IN AGE OF MARTYRDOM


Alright now, let us observe this figure sitting on the red horse. It is important that we see how this same devil keeps changing his tactics, keeps using different types of characters to do his work for him, but always with the same purpose in mind, the overthrow of the church as a spiritual force led by God. When he was riding the white horse, he used preachers to do his dirty work. But now that he is on a red horse, preachers are out of the pictures. He is now going to use politicians, magistrates, dictators, and all men of authority, and they are to take peace from the earth. Remember, Satan always uses men to do his work for him, just like God uses men to do the work of the Lord. Now those whom he (Satan) used in the first age were not commissioned to take peace from the earth; they were sent, to slip into the church and plant false doctrine. But these men sent out in the age of martyrdom, portrayed by the red horse, have swords in their hands, and a commission, to take peace from the earth. They definitely are not preachers; they are various officials of the Roman Empire. Read the history of that period of time, and see how there was constant unrest in the Roman Empire, rebellion and revolt in every direction, and the Christians got the blame for it all. Those political men, in their various provinces, who were not able to keep everything running smooth, were always looking for someone to blame the nervousness and political unrest on, and anything that went wrong, was blamed on the Christians. Therefore millions of them were led into the arenas where they were tortured and butchered, and the bleachers were filled with blood thirsty, degenerate souls, that enjoyed watching this sort of thing. It was not a sudden thing; it built up gradually, and lasted for many, many years. Christians were treated like that, just to appease politicians, kings, and potentate. Where people now go to bull fights, to satisfy their bloodthirsty craving for violence; in those days, they went to the arenas, to watch Christians being tortured and killed. But as I said already, Some of those Christians died with so much victory in their souls and left such a testimony of the power of God in their lives, it got hold of many of those who came, just to be entertained, and they would run to their side, and accept the same fate. Every time they killed a bunch, another bunch would fill the ranks, so the Church could not be wiped out like that. The convicting power of God would sweep over those spectators, when some well known saint would stand so bravely, and face those blood thirsty pagans, that many of them would just rush to their side. Only the Spirit of God could do a thing like that, and only the Spirit of God could enable those saints to bear such cruel and inhumane treatment. So by and by, Satan finally realized that he was not going to be able to destroy the Church like that, and that forced him to change horses again, and take on still another identity. Time has moved well into the fourth century, when the third horse comes fully into the picture. But let me say this, Do not picture this as though suddenly, one day, the rider jumps off of one horse, and leaps upon another one, and away he goes. No. Each change was a gradual one. But the third horse rider, had the longest ride of any, all the way through the Dark Ages.


THE BLACK HORSE – THE BEAST WITH A MAN’S FACE


Let us read verse 5, and catch the third seal now. “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, (the third beast is the one that had a face as a man.) Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” Again, Saints: We want to pay attention to the type of fellow that is riding the horse. The first one, and a bow, the second a sword, but this one has a pair of balances, scales. He is going to sell something. Naturally it is the devil in each scene, but he uses men to accomplish what he wants done, and in each setting, he uses a different type of man. Therefore these balances in the hand of him, who sat upon the black horse, helps us to understand the kind of men he will be using during this period. Is that understood? We do not see kings, out trying to sell something, carrying a set of scales with them, but someone is sure going to, for the voice said, “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny, and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” Billy Graham, and all those who are writing articles about these four horsemen, have been all riding at the end of the Gentile dispensation, bringing famines, pestilence, and all sorts of calamity upon mankind, and causing worldwide starvation, and all sorts of things. It is true, such things will occur, as time closes out, but it will not be caused by these four horsemen riding out in the sky, and dumping it upon humanity. As for the famines, that has been going on for many years already. In Africa, and in other places also, people are starving to death by the thousands. The western world hears little about it, for as a rule, they are politically unconcerned, but it is happening just the same. Nevertheless these four horse riders have nothing at all to do with any of that. This is a different picture altogether. So as we look at these weight and measures in the hand of this black horse rider, we realize that this types a certain kind of man, and the position he holds, and we know also, that what this black horse rider attempts to do, will be counterattacked by the third beast John saw in heaven. The one that had a face as the face of a man. Now you realize of course, that regardless of whether we speak as though this is still some future event to be, it is all in the past already. All of these horses have already gone forth, and the effects brought about by their riders, has already been manifested in the earth, so what did that third beast characterize? It could be none other, than what the Holy Spirit would do to preserve the church, throughout all the time this black horse rider would be riding. God’s first concern is for the church, so this beast with the face as a man, characterizes the men that were unctioned of God to write letters of rebuke, and to speak in public places, condemning the Catholic Church, and exposing her sins, throughout all of that long Dark Age period. It is true, each church age had its messenger, a man that stood out above all the rest, in defending the word of God, but God used many men for that same purpose in every age. As you read the history of that long period known as the Dark Ages, you will find that man after man, rose to expose that old antichrist church system, and to preach against the sin and corruption of it, but none of them had a revelation as to how to destroy the system. Everything they did was ordained of God to preserve the faith, the confidence, yes even the soul of a few people, who in that dark hour, would make up God’s true church, and all the rest were just left to go their own way, which leads to destruction. I have read a few of those letters, written by those men whom God raised up just for that very purpose, and some of them were very lengthy. If you think we have educated men in the world today: let me tell you something, I know of no one that could even compare with them. They could write to emperors and magistrates, with such Holy Ghost boldness and wisdom, it makes you think of the scripture where Jesus said, When they deliver you up to the council, take no thought for what ye shall say, for the Holy Ghost shall give you words in that hour, that shall confound the gainsayers. That is not exactly how it is written, but you know what I mean; the Spirit of God can put words in your mouth at a time like that, that man’s education could never come up with. Nevertheless in connection with what we are dealing with, wherever the effects of that black horse rider were felt, this beast with a face as a man was always on hand to oppose it. In other words, We just have to say that this is how God preserves His true church in every age, by opposing Antichrist teachings and the sinful and corrupt ways of religious systems. To some, it looks like the whole plan of God has fallen apart, but I am here to tell you, Nothing every happens, that is a surprise to God, for He is omniscient, He knew it before the world was ever created. Why did He allow it to go as it did? Some will say. You just have to realize the fact, that God receives glory from those who overcome the devil, so the opportunity to take as many as he can. When you start asking, Why? Why? Why? You have to go all the way back to the garden of Eden. Why did God ever allow the devil to get the first man and woman out of the perfect will and purpose He had set before them? But after the Serpent’s seed became a reality, everything else since then has been more or less a sorting out process. God always does something to save those foreknown to Him, and He allows the devil to take all the rest. God has His church, and Satan has his.


CATHOLICISM IN THE DARK AGES


Brothers and Sisters: Let me say this, Once that red horse rider changed to a black horse, and became identified as the black horse rider, he had successfully established what is now called the Roman Catholic Church, and the figure sitting upon that black horse is none other than the figure that is exemplified through all those old popes, that began to change the doctrines and ordinances, and the things of the gospel, that the first church preached, and those black robed priests that sold the word of God. That is what actually brought on the spiritual darkness. Black symbolizes darkness and death, and brother, history sure calls it, The Dark Ages, all the way from the closing of the fourth century into the fifteenth century. During all that time, the Catholic Church held poor souls under bondage by every means imaginable, and everything that pertained to the gospel was sold to them. That is why the balances are in the picture; they symbolize trade, or the buying and selling of merchandise. But praise God for the last part of verse 6, see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. That is what the third beast was guarding all that time, God’s predestined seed. I will never forget the night Bro. Branham was preaching on this, and said, The wheat and barley, naturally is speaking of the two main elements of grain that man, throughout the whole world, has always used as a basis of the staple food of life, which is bread. “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” The word of God is man’s spiritual bread, and that is what those popes and priests were selling, but brother, they could not sell the Holy Ghost not a pure revelation, and neither could they hurt it; for the third beast was at his post of duty. But we do need to see that all of these ingredients are symbolic of something, and then we need to apply them where they belong.


AFTERMATH OF NICENE COUNCIL


Let me take a minute, and just sort of fill in some details that will allow you to better see how the Catholic Church got such a hold on people in the first place. Coming out of that age of martyrdom, where the church had lived under such pressure, it is easy to see how everything just suddenly turned right around. The devil finally realized that they could never kill all the Christians, for as fast as he would kill a bunch of them, a bunch of pagans would get converted, and take their place. That is why he changed horses, and put on a different disguise. He completely changed all of his tactics. By using a political figure, sitting on a throne, an imperial throne, to make a decree that took all the pressure off of the Church. All of a sudden, they were to be no longer persecuted, but accepted, recognized, and respected, along with all the other religions of the Roman Empire. To the Church, that was almost like a shock. You take an element of people that has lived in danger for so long, and their minds have been braced for the ultimate of that which they feared: do not tell me that it would not be a terrible shock, to suddenly hear that their persecution is over with. A thing like that creates a tremendous psychological reaction. For years the Church had lived under great tension, looking upon the terrible atrocities of martyrdom, and knowing from what caliber of men their persecution came, then all of a sudden, here is one of them that extends his hand, and says, We accept you, and respect your religion. What do you think that did to the Christians, to hear news like that. Remember, by that hour of time, Christians were not of the same quality as those of the first century. They did not have the same degree of revelation the Church started out with. In fact, many of them did not even live clean lives, and therefore were not sensitive to the Spirit, so they could receive revelation. They were very conscious of the fact that they needed salvation, and they could see that this was the way. That is why they were so willing to die for it. But as far as revelation, they had very little. Therefore when they heard that the persecution was over, they breathed a great sigh of relief, and right at that moment, the devil was standing, ready to bring on the great numbing shock. Throughout the whole Roman Empire, that decree was fully in effect, and pretty soon, they would begin to see various dignitaries coming into their services. What a surprise. The Church began to feel honored, to have such men coming into their services, and the devil was loving every bit of it, for it was all playing right into his hands. Soon the black horse rider would be selling his merchandise. Naturally it took a process of time, for all of that to built up to the point where it really stood out, but when you study history, how the power of the papacy came to be what it was, you just have to realize that the bishops of Rome took advantage of every opportunity to exercise themselves in things that would draw attention to themselves. During the age of martyrdom, those bishops of Rome were men of prayer, but now that the state has shook hands with the Church, and the bishops have an opportunity to be recognized by political figures, they are a completely different quality of men. As the old imperial throne began to weaken, those bishops stood ready to influence decisions pertaining to state business. History shows that they were outstanding voices of decision, pertaining to political as well as military affairs. In the many invasions by barbarian tribes from the north, it was the decisions made by the bishops, many times, that enabled Rome to stand, and survive. That happened over and over again and again, not just with one man, but with the many that succeeded each other. They all used the power of that chair, to gain every possible political advantage. This is how they managed to get completely in the saddle. By this time, they are called popes instead of bishops, and they will ride that back horse throughout the long period known as The Dark Ages. Everything pertaining to the gospel was sold to those who could afford to pay, but what the poor souls bought, was never even heard of in the first century. The one God that the apostles of Christ preached, was cut up into three pieces. They made a trinity out of God, and turned justification, sanctification, and baptism of the Holy Ghost into rituals that could be sold, instead of personal experiences administered by the Holy Ghost to the individuals. This is that leaven Jesus spoke of in Matthew 13:33, the fourth parable of the seven. The old Roman emperor Constantine, should be alive two hundred years later, to see what his Nicaea Council has turned into. Brother, the farther it went, the worse it got. By one decree, the whole situation was turned around. Where the state used to be over the Church, the Church is now over the state, and the Roman emperor is just a figurehead. They can be put up, or taken down, by the pope. No it did not get that way in one century. It took many centuries for the pope to get into such a place of dictatorship over the state, but the point is, The devil was in no hurry, just as long as he could get a system of religion set up, that he could rule, and brother, he had it. By the time Martin Luther was raised up to protest that old system of religion, there was very little left in the church, that could even be associated with the gospel of Jesus Christ, that the first church was founded upon. The Lord’s supper was sold all over Europe. They call it a mass. It is now sold worldwide. The Reformation did not destroy Catholicism, it only wounded its head for a while, but that wound is healed, and all the Protestant daughters of that old mother system are returning home to fellowship with her.


NO PROGRESS MADE IN DARK AGES


It is sad to see people who are so devoted to that old system of religion, how they are robbed by the priests. A little Catholic mother takes her little baby to the priest, to have it christened, and that mass costs her money, and at every stage of its growth, there is another mass to be paid for. Then when that child grows up and becomes self supporting, if that person remains true to the Catholic belief, he, or she will go through life, paying some black robed priest to pray for them. That is that black horse rider, selling the bread of life, at least what they call, the bread of life. Regardless of whether it is Europe, America, the Philippines, or where, that black horse rider has been selling the gospel, the so called bread of life. That is what brought about the darkest era that the history of the human race has ever recorded. There was not one bit of materialistic advancement in Europe during all that time. However they went into the Dark Ages, that is how they still were, one thousand years later. Their life style did not change during all that time. Poverty was considered to be a virtue of true spirituality. I read where one fellow that believed like that, had a pole set up in a certain part of his city, and a platform erected on top of it, and he sat up there ever so many days, dressed in old burlap, and eating old stale bread, and drinking water, nothing else. Then it told of the great miracles that took place, when visitors would pass by that spot. Now brothers and sisters, I do not deny the miracle power of God. Neither do I deny His acts of mercy. But I will say this, Whatever acts of mercy and grace God may have bestowed upon some of those people, it was not because that dirty thing was sitting up there on top of that pole. God, many times, looks upon the ignorance and sincerity of certain people that try so hard to please Him, and He meets their need, and comforts them, but I assure you, none of these self inflicted tortures and denials of the flesh have ever moved God to do anything. The world of religion cannot use that though; they still believe God is persuaded to move on their behalf, because of what they do, when the Bible clearly teaches us, that God is moved only by our faith that is exercised toward Him, and that kind of faith is not something that a person just suddenly decides to have. It must be built in us, and cultivated, by a personal relationship with God and by studying His written word. That has nothing at all to do with what God does sovereignly to accomplish some purpose of His. God does many things just simply to further deceive those who have no love for the truth. Would God do that: You may say. In 2nd Thessalonians, chapter 2, Paul said He would. “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” In other words, what I am saying is, God, by His own sovereign will does many things for many people, but the only spiritual provision we have, to receive anything from Him, is to ask in prayer, believing that we shall receive it, because we see a provision in the scriptures. As for this old burlap, If the Pope of Rome wore it, no one would say a word against it, but a while back, the news media looked at the queen of England, and because they did not think she was dressed according to their perception of how she should be dressed, they made remarks about it. I just thought to myself, The devil has this world so blinded, they have completely left reality. He is playing with their minds, and they are too far gone to even realize it. Thank God for those precious souls that have always cherished whatever little measure of truth they could get hold of, or this world would be completely given over to insanity.


THE OIL AND THE WINE


God let those old priests sell the gospel in its bits and pieces, but He refused to let them touch the Holy Ghost. “See thou hurt not the oil and wine.” Oil and wine are opposite ingredients from what the bread is. These are liquids, that serve a different purpose, but when we make a spiritual application, they go with the bread. The bread, being the word of God, must be taken with the Holy Ghost, (which is signified by the oil and wine) or else it is just dead letter. It takes the Holy Ghost to cause it to be a life giving substance. As we said, Oil speaks of the anointing quality of the Holy Ghost, and wine speaks of the revelatory quality fo the Holy Ghost, because revelation of God’s word causes the same stimulating affect upon our spirit, that natural wine does to the natural body. You let the natural man of the world get a little discouraged, and the weight of depression starting to burden him down, and many times, you will see him take a little wine, because it has a stimulating, relaxing affect upon his natural body, and makes his heart merry. In other words, It just sort of lifts his spirit, if he does not take too much. Too much of it will cause him to pass out, but you will have a type of the Holy Ghost there, for I have seen people pass out when they drank of the Spirit of God, also. They do not wake up with a hangover, when they pass out like that, though. Hallelujah! If you are going to drink, this is the kind of wine to drink, for it is still the same as when those first disciples of Christ drank of it on the day of Pentecost, almost two hundred years ago. You cannot change it. As I said, God permitted the papacy to change the letter of the gospel, and sell it to all who would buy, but they could not touch the oil and the wine, for that is the Spirit of God, and God never changes. He reserves that same stimulation for His true people, in every age, if they seek all that is available to them. But during those Dark Age years, you will have to admit, there was very little revelation. They just simply existed off of the grace and mercy of God without the stimulation, except for a very few individuals. The Catholic Church has their confirmation, but it is totally void of any spiritual benefit to the persons partaking of it, for the Holy Ghost is not in it. They can line students up before the altar who have studied all the catechisms and the apostles creed (so called) and when they put that little wafer on their tongue, they receive no more stimulation from it, than they would from eating popcorn. On the other side of the picture, you let a soul get hungry for the true bread of life, and the Holy Ghost will be right on hand to anoint that person. The anointing comes first, for that is how He leads you to truth. Hallelujah! Praise God! It is a beautiful thing, the way God works. As your soul reaches out to God, the Holy Ghost just comes down and gets inside of you, and begins to open up the avenue of your understanding, and when you begin to see the truth of something you have wondered and wondered about, you experience that stimulating affect in your spirit, like the natural man has in his natural emotions from taking a little wine. Alright, I hope this has helped you to understand the terminology used, in connection with the black horse, and his rider that carried the set of balances (scales) in his hand.


THE REFORMATION


We have one more horse and rider to look at, but there is a transition period in between the black horse rider, and the pale (gray) horse rider, that we will need to talk about first. The gray horse rider comes fully upon the scene in the Laodicean age, but there are some men who come into the picture before that gray horse rider rides out. The Holy Ghost began anointing men like Martin Luther, Calvin, Knox, Huss, and others, and giving them a revelation of some great truth that had been taken from the church during the Dark Ages, and the years leading up to what is commonly referred to as the Dark Ages. Nevertheless their revelations were always for the purpose of restoring back to the church, something that had been lost. Actually John Huss was sort of a forerunner of the reformers of the sixteenth century, for he was burned at the stake in the year 1415 A.D., for refusing to recant, long before Martin Luther came into the picture. But God used all of those men, in a very real and dramatic way, as they would get a revelation of His word, and would take their stand against the opposing forces of the devil. Those years in between the Dark Ages and the Laodicean age, are known as the age of Reformation. Years in which various Protestant movements came into being, as a result of God’s dealing in the life of their founders. The Reformers are not the ones that built the denominational fences around the truth they received from God; it was their followers, that did that, after they had finished their work on earth, and gone on to their reward. Furthermore, it was not until around the World War 2 era, that any Protestant denomination even had any thoughts about merging back with the Catholic Church. As a matter of fact, those denominational preachers were strongly opposed to any favorable mention of the Catholic Church, from Lutheranism, right on down the line. But prior to 1948, there began to be a compromising spirit move among them, as more and more of them lost their founder’s original revelation, and stimulation, and could no longer see clearly why they were apart from the Catholic Church. Therefore in 1948, there came the birth of a movement of Protestantism, The World Council of Churches, and that brings us up to a point where I believe we should get this gray horse rider into the picture. I call it a gray horse, because there is no such thing as a pale horse. Pale is a word that is used in connection with skin color and such like, but never in connection with the color of a horse. What John saw, was a horse that was neither white nor black, so he referred to it as a pale horse, but we all know that such a horse is commonly referred to as a gray horse. From a distance, and in certain light, it may look white, but upon closer examination, we find that it is really gray. We used to call that a blue steel gray. If you pull one hair out of the body, from a certain distance to the body, it is still white, but at the end of the hair you will find that blackish color. Why could John see a horse like that? Well the devil had to change horses, for this last ride, and the horse that is neither all white, nor all black, could signify nothing else but the fact that Roman Catholicism and apostate Protestantism is merging back together in a great worldwide ecumenical move. Satan’s church is being unified for the remainder of this Laodicean age. That gray horse rider will ride right on out to the end. Let us read the scripture we are talking about, the fourth seal, found in Revelation 6:7-8. “And when he (Jesus) had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast (the eagle) say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”


THE PALE (GRAY) HORSE – THE FLYING EAGLE


Alright let us take a close look at the figure sitting on that horse. When it first appeared on the scene, it truly was the Pope of Rome sitting in the saddle, but coming into the 1960’s Pope John 23rd took the prayer of Jesus, where he was praying that we all might be one, and he began inviting the Protestant daughters, to come home to mama. Saints, I am so glad we had a prophet messenger on the scene, that said, Beware of that thing. That is the pale horse rider of Revelation 6:7, it is not the Holy Ghost. This is the devil’s counterfeit. To a lot of people, and especially at a distance, it looked like a white horse, but that just goes to show how color blind they are. As I said, you could look at a white horse, and a gray horse off in the distance, and you probably could not see much difference between them. That is the way world religion is today; they are so spiritually blind; they cannot tell the difference between right and wrong any more. No wonder Jesus said, When the blind lead the blind, they all fall into the ditch. None of them can see well enough to guide anyone else. They are all color blind, or we should say sore eyed Christians, as it is described in the letter to the church at Laodicea, in Revelation 3:18. Why call them sore eyed? Simply because Jesus said to the church at Laodicea, “Anoint thine eyes with eyesalve that thou mayest see.” They have sore eyes. They cannot keep them open; therefore they cannot see what is coming down the road, spiritually speaking. I had sore eyes once, speaking from the standpoint of my natural eyes. It was hot and dry, and I was riding a combine every day, combining grain, and sweated excessively, around my temple, and was continually just wiping across my eyes, so I got up one morning, and could not get my eyes open. Sitting there on that old tractor every day, with the sun beaming down on me, sweat running into my eyes, and all that dust boiling up around my head, finally got to be almost more than I could stand. My eyes were bloodshot and irritated, and finally got to the point where I just literally had to pry them open. It got to be so painful, I said to my wife one morning, Honey, If I don’t get some relief from this condition somehow, I am just going to have to stop for a few days, and let this irritation clear up. I only had a few more days of work, and I would be finished, so I wanted to keep going, if I could, but my condition got a little worse every day. That morning, I went on to the field, and my wife got in the car, and went to see the doctor for me. She told him the shape my eyes were in, so he said, We’ll fix that up for him. He sent me a little tube of ointment, no larger than my little finger, and said, Tell him to rub just a small amount of this on his eyelids, when he goes to bed. The very next morning, my eyes felt ever so much better. I know first hand, what Jesus meant by anointing eyes with eyesalve, and I also know how to apply that same thing spiritually. When Christians spiritual eyes get in the shape my natural eyes were in, how can they even know that they are naked, spiritually speaking? That gray horse is galloping. It has apostate Protestantism and Roman Catholicism all sleeping in the same bed. That ecumenical spirit is gathering them all together. The Protestant daughters are forming into an image of what their mother has always been. That is why John could see an image to the first beast, in Revelation, chapter 13. Pope John started this whole thing, and those that have succeeded him are still carrying on the program he started, and for the same purpose, to get the Protestant daughters back home again. Now Catholics themselves, do not care whether the horse is black, white or gray. But those poor blind Protestants say, It looks white. This must be Jesus. Surely it is the will of God for us all to be one. Sure the Bible says that, but Jesus was speaking of all those that the Father had given Him, so I am terribly afraid there are a lot of people using that scripture, that were not even in the mind of Jesus, when he spake those words.


ECUMENICALISM – GROSS DECEPTION


world council of churchesDavid Duplessis, who used to be the president of the Pentecostal World Council of Churches, is the one that took the Charismatic Pentecostal message to the Vatican Council, and taught those priests how to speak in tongues. This is why the book titled “Mr. Pentecost” came to be written. The Pope pointed his finger at David Duplessis and said, Mr. Pentecost! Brother from that time ever since, practically all of the Pentecostal movements have one way or the other, managed to align themselves with the overall body of this unification fellowship. They have all helped to form the body of this powerful horse, that is presently being ridden right on through the world of religion, and will continue right on to the end. The Pope of Rome is riding the gray horse, and the church world in general looks at it, and thinks it is a white horse. Pope John 23rd passed off the scene, and the next one stepped up and said, I will carry on what he started. He passed from the scene, and the next one went one step further; he said, We know that the Catholic Church, in the past, has made many errors. Oh, that sounded good to the Protestants. It sounded so good to them, they did not even notice that this was as far as he ever went. They automatically took what he said, as though the Catholic Church had repented, but that was not the case at all. In the letter to the Thyatira Church, God said, “I gave her space to repent of her fornication, and she repented not.” So I thank God for that eagle Spirit, that spake through His prophet, and said, Watch out for that gray horse rider. It is one thing for a man to say, I have done wrong, but it is quite a different thing when he repents, and turns from his wrong ways. This was not the case here, for that was as far as he ever went, but it did serve its purpose. Psychologically it had a very persuasive influence upon a lot of people. That Pope has just concluded a visit to various nations, and he is liked everywhere he goes. He is the most influential figure in the world today. That is why I have to say, If he is not the pope to fulfill Daniel 9:27, he sure is getting everything set up for the one who will. But regardless of how much he is liked, the Bible says His name is, Death, and Hell followed with him. That is the end. Every person who allows themselves to be influenced, and incorporated into the body of that thing, death and hell is their end. Now notice the weapons, still in verse 8, “And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, (This is all still ahead) and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”


THE EAGLE SEES DANGER UP AHEAD


Brother, let me tell you, The pope that is in that saddle in the dark tribulation hour yet ahead, is going to initiate a bloodbath like this world has never yet seen. That is when sword, famine, and everything will be used, all at the same time, trying to rid the earth of every soul that believes in God, both Jew and Gentile. That is when that gray horse rider, rides right off the scene, right into death and hell himself, at the end of that 3 ½ years of great tribulation. Now let me ask you this, Who was it that introduced that horse rider? It was the fourth beast, the one that was like a flying eagle. He was sitting high enough to see what was coming. Therefore by the authority of God’s word I will say, That is why God had a prophet on the scene when He did. For before that gray horse rider really got going, doing what he is doing now, he was already exposed to the true saints. We knew what that horse would represent, and we knew what to watch for. In 1963, where was that eagle? He was high up, where he could see the storms coming. He was looking beyond the natural horizon, beyond where our natural vision reaches, and when he told us to beware of that gray horse, that was God’s way of warning His true people to stay free from all of that ecumenical compromising. Of course you cannot expect denominational people to heed such warnings though, for if they had a revelation of Bro. Branham’s part in the plan of God, they would not still be in those denominational systems. Nevertheless knowing that the other three beasts fulfilled their role corresponding to the horses that were rode in their particular era of time, there is no reason in the world for anyone to doubt that God had that eagle Spirit on hand, in the physical form of a little man we loved and respected, to combat the activities of this gray horse rider, as he rode out to gather up the harlot daughters of Roman Catholicism, and deliver them into the hands of their old mother, the great whore of Revelation 17:1. Of course some will say, But Bro. Branham is gone now, and you say the gray horse rider is still riding, so how is that Antichrist spirit being combated in this hour of time? Well even though Bro. Branham has left the scene, the message he delivered to this Laodicean age is still very much with us, and so is that Eagle Spirit that was in him, still very present in our day, for it is the Spirit of God, working through the true ministry, on behalf of the bride of Christ, to perfect her revelation. In other words, God took the man that first exemplified the eagle Spirit in this age, but He certainly has not taken the eagle. It will be here as long as the church is still here. For as long as the Church is still here, it will need Holy Ghost guidance and protection. God will always have His instruments on the scene, to look at present situations, and say, Church! Don’t go that way! Therefore as the World Council of Churches and Roman Catholicism unite together, all incorporated in the body of that horse, you can be sure of this one thing, That eagle is going to be flying close by the side of the Church, and anytime it sees danger around the curve in the road, it is going to scream, and its screaming will always be in harmony with the scriptures. Just do not allow yourselves to become relaxed and careless, for that gray horse rider is still riding full speed ahead, and he will not give up his relentless efforts to mislead or destroy the church of the living God, until she is lifted up from this old earth in the rapture. Let us just be thankful in our hearts, that we had spiritual ears, to hear that eagle scream.


SPIRIT OF TRUTH


Brothers and Sisters: We still have the 5th seal that we could go on into, where John saw souls under the altar, asking, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? But my main concern, in the light of all that is being published on the subject lately, is to show who the rider is, on these four horses, so that people who are just sort of caught in the middle, will be able to make up their own minds, which way they want to believe this thing. Those who are capable of receiving a true revelation, will have their opportunity to do so, and all the rest can just go on with Billy Graham, Jimmy Swaggart, or any one else they choose to. If they want to believe that all the horses are yet to be ridden out in the last days, causing terrible catastrophic occurrences in the world, let them do so, for these things are only for the true bride of Christ anyhow. Fifty years ago, it was a common thing for folks to believe like that, but when people still choose to believe like that, after they have had their chance to hear the true revelation of these things, then there is little hope for the. God did not place His Spirit within us, to keep us in darkness; it is supposed to lead us into the light of His revealed word. In other words, into all truth, not into error.


SUMMARY OF THE FOUR HORSEMEN


Let us run back through the four horsemen. Nineteen hundred years ago, the spirit of antichrist went forth, symbolized by a white horse and a rider that had a bow in his hand, but no arrows to shoot in the thing. He was a bluff, and the Spirit of God, to combat that spirit was symbolized as a lion, because that first church age had men who spoke against that antichrist spirit, with the boldness of a lion. Then came Satan in another disguise, symbolized by a red horse, because he had decided to try to kill all the Christians, simply because he could not get control of the church by sowing false doctrine in it. But the power of God that gave those saints grace to die a martyr’s death, was symbolized by a calf beast. Simply because a calf is a beast of sacrifice, and a beast of burden. Therefore Satan was still defeated in his attempts to get control, for as fast as he could kill a bunch of Christians, another bunch of pagans would get converted, and step up, to take their place. The martyrs went to their death, singing praises to the God of their salvation, so Satan could have no victory there. That brought on the black horse, darkness, and the gospel of Christ was sold to the people, in its perverted particles, by the Catholic Church. That is where we see the Spirit of God portrayed in the beast with a face as a man, as men were inspired and unctioned by the Holy Ghost, to speak against that religious dogma, and to write letters condemning and denouncing it. This covered all the Dark Age period of history and brought time to the Reformation. The Reformation produced all these harlot daughters, that stand out so prominently in the age of Laodicea, and that gave Satan the opportunity to send another rider out, the Pope or Rome, on a gray horse. This horse is neither all white, nor all black, but contains a mixture of both white and black. Remember, horse speaks of power, so we are looking at the power of the antichrist, pulling off a gross deception, on the harlot daughters of Roman Catholicism, but the Spirit of God, symbolized by an eagle, is watching over His true church, and warning her, not to have any part in this ecumenical Council of Churches. He is also revealing His true plan for the ages to her, by getting her back into His written word, and back to the faith of her apostolic fathers. So we will conclude this message by saying, We know what the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are, we know when they went forth, and for what purpose, and we know what the final results of it all will be, but the battle is not over yet, for Satan is still on the loose, and he will not give up until he is chained up for a thousand years. Therefore let us be faithful to our heavenly Father, and to the revelation he has so abundantly given us, and when that last trump sounds, we will be ready to go with Jesus, to the marriage supper. God bless you. Amen.

What Is The Mystery Of God?, Part 2

IN PART ONE OF THIS MESSAGE WE WERE ENDEAVORING TO TIE TOGETHER THE CHAIN OF EVENTS THAT WILL FOLLOW THE FULFILLING OF CHAPTER 10, THE CHAPTER FROM WHICH WE TOOK OUR TEXT, AND WE GOT OVER TO THE MIDDLE OF THE SEVENTIETH WEEK OF DANIEL, WHERE THE FOURTH TRUMPET ANGEL SOUNDED HIS TRUMPET, SO WE WILL PICK UP RIGHT THERE, AND CONTINUE. BUT FIRST, LET ME REMIND YOU, THAT THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THIS MESSAGE IS TO DEAL WITH THE MYSTERY OF GOD MENTIONED IN OUR TEXT. WHAT IS IT? LET US BE SURE WE UNDERSTAND THE FACT, THAT THIS MYSTERY IS SOMETHING THAT GOD’S OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS WROTE ABOUT, BUT DID NOT UNDERSTAND. BUT BY THE TIME THE VOICE OF THE LAODICEAN CHURCH AGE MESSENGER HAS HAD ITS WORLDWIDE AFFECT ON THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, THIS MYSTERY WILL BE FULLY REVEALED AND FINISHED, THIS MYSTERY THAT WAS SPOKEN OF BY THOSE OLD PROPHETS. WE HAVE TRIED TO MAKE IT CLEAR, THAT THE WORD VOICE, DOES NOT PERTAIN TO THE AUDIBLE SOUNDS OF THE 7TH CHURCH AGE MESSENGER’S VOICE, BUT RATHER TO THE MESSAGE HE DELIVERED TO THIS AGE. THE MESSAGE THAT CALLED GOD’S TRUE PEOPLE OUT OF DENOMINATIONAL BONDAGE, AND BACK TO THE WORD OF GOD. THE MESSAGE THAT DECLARED JESUS CHRIST TO BE THE ONE AND ONLY PERSON OF THE GODHEAD, AND THAT WATER BAPTISM IS TO BE BY IMMERSION, IN HIS NAME, FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, ACCORDING TO ACTS 2:38, AND THAT WE MUST RETURN TO THE FAITH OF OUR APOSTOLIC FATHERS, TO BE ACCEPTABLE TO GOD. THEREFORE WITH THIS IN MIND, LET US OPEN OUR BIBLE TO REVELATION 11:7, WHERE GOD’S TWO PROPHETS ARE KILLED BY THE ANTICHRIST AND HIS EVIL FORCES, AFTER THEY HAVE PROPHESIED TO ISRAEL FOR EXACTLY 3 ½ YEARS.

 

ANTICHRIST TAKES CONTROL

We will read verse 3, first, for it tells us how long they will prophesy, and then we will read verse 7. “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” Their prophesy starts at the very beginning of that covenant week of years, spoken of by Daniel. Therefore the 1260 days of their prophesy brings time exactly to the middle of that week. Let us read verse 7, where they are killed, and then we will go to chapter 8, verses 12 and 13, where we will pick up the fourth trumpet angel. Verse 7, “And when they shall have finished their testimony, (That means, When 3 ½ years have expired.) The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” First let me say, No corporal bodied beast is going to come up out of hell. Only a spirit could do that. It is the spirit of that old demon possessed Roman Empire, that is permitted to come up out of hell and embody itself in that ten nation European best system that the old Antichrist (the Roman Catholic Pope) is the head of. The old Pope has made his covenant with many nations, and that is supposed to guarantee world peace and prosperity, and he has sat for 3 ½ years, watching news broadcasts of the ministry of those two prophets there in Israel. They have revealed his scriptural position to the spiritual element of Jews, and warned them to flee from him and his army when he comes to Israel to fulfill his prophesied role in the scriptures, and what he has heard during that time, convinces him that their mouth’s have to be stopped permanently. That is when this spirit of Satan will completely take control of him, and that is when he goes to Jerusalem with his Gentile army, kills the two prophets, and takes control of the temple. He sits himself in the temple of God, and proclaims that he himself is God, according to Paul’s revelation in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4. That definitely takes place exactly in the middle of the seventieth week of Daniel, so let us go to chapter 8:12-13, where we find the sounding of the 4th trumpet angel recorded, and we will see how the sounding of these trumpet angels affect mankind on earth. The sounding of the first three, as we have already stated, were directly associated with the ministry of God’s two prophets, there in Israel, but when we come to the 4th trumpet, its direct effect is only seen in the heavens. It does not touch earth at all, except for the affect it has upon mankind that must witness the interruption of the normal cycle of these heavenly bodies.

 

HEAVENLY VINDICATION OF GOD’S DISPLEASURE

Let us read verses12 and 13 now. “And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” That display in the heavens marks the middle of that week of time, and shows God’s displeasure with the nation of Israel for signing that peace covenant with the Antichrist. Then an angel flies through the air, announcing three definite woes that are to come upon the inhabiters of the earth, when those last 3 trumpet angels sound their trumpets. What takes place at the sounding of the 4th trumpet actually sounds like there is going to be a solar eclipse, doesn’t it? Well, that is what it is, but please notice, that only a third part of the sun, moon, and stars was affected, and only a third part of the day and night. What could all of this be for? You may say. Well, let us just go back about two thousand years, to the day Jesus hung there on that old cross, on Golgotha. Prior to that, it was those Judaistic Jews that had demanded Pilot to have Jesus crucified. All through the trial, there was nothing evident, to indicate that God was displeased with what was going on. Pilot said, I find no fault in him. Crucify him! Crucify him! Was their reply. Pilot called for a pan of water, washed his hands, and said, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” But those hypocrites still cried out, Crucify him! Crucify him, and still God showed no sign that He was displeased with what they were doing. They led Him up to Mt. Calvary for public execution, stretched Him out on an old cross, and drove spikes through His hands and feet, and still God showed no signs of His displeasure with what they were doing. But when He hung there on that cross, after having cried, My God, My God, Whey has thou forsaken me? His head limp upon His chest, and all life gone out of Him, then suddenly, the heaven became darkened, the earth began to tremble, and a Roman soldier was heard to say. Truly this was the Son of God. Heaven had given vindication of God’s displeasure with that bunch of religious hypocrites. God let them go ahead and do what they were destined to do, before He did anything to express Himself in the matter. So just remember what Jesus said in John 5:43, “ I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another (the Antichrist) shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” Just bring that statement forward about two thousand years, and that is exactly what is getting ready to take place. Jesus was not talking to the spiritual Jews that believed on Him, when He said that. He was talking to the political and Judaistic Jews that were rejecting Him, and that is the very ones that will gladly sign a covenant with the Antichrist when he comes.

 

WHAT THIS GENERATION WILL SEE

My brother and sisters, if many of you sitting here today, live a normal life span, you are going to live to hear the news of that when it takes place, for I am fully persuaded that it will take place during the life time of this generation. No I am not talking only to the teenagers here today. I am talking to some of you older folks also. Why do I say that? Because of the rapid rate of moral decay and instability in the world today. If God allowed this present trend to continue another 40 or 50 years, every congressional and senate seat would be filled with some sort of renegade or pervert, that could not care less about the good and welfare of the people they are there to represent. Our schools are being invaded by atheists, perverts, and every sort of immoral character you can think of, and at this late hour, there is little that can be done about it. This modern world today no longer seeks out men and women with decent moral standards to teach their children, and to represent their interests in the governmental affairs of their nation. It is the same the world over. It is the devil’s way of taking over. Honesty and uprightness is no longer considered as main values, and anyone who tries to hold to those old values are considered to be trouble makers and bigoted. The Bible tells us to hate evil, but when you express yourself about the evil that is present on every hand, you are treated as though you are the evil one. The old image of decency and honesty is hated, and the world is being overrun with people of Sodomite principles, which is exactly according to Satan’s design. That is why I say the time is getting close, for God to call His true people to “Come up hither,” and let the rest of the world enter into the dark hour of hopelessness that they have so diligently cultivated by the choices they have made. Everywhere you go, you find people that are demonstrating against something. They are for peace, at any cost, so they say, but most of the time, the whole thing erupts into violence. Can you even imagine the apostle Paul getting a group of people together, to demonstrate against the Roman imperial government? That has never been God’s way of getting things done. Well, it just goes to show, people in this hour of time, are not looking for God’s way, they want their own way, and God is letting them have their own way, but they are going to have to pay a dear price for it on down the road.

 

LIKE THE DAYS OF NOAH AND LOT

We need not be surprised at the condition the world is in today, if we believe the Bible, for Jesus Himself plainly stated, that the overall conditions that would be prevailing when He comes again, would be as they were in the days of Noah, and in the days of Lot, when violence and perversion were present on every hand. You will find that in Luke 17, and Matthew 24, if you care to read it. What these conditions really add up to in these last days, is that the world will be filled with creatures called mankind, that will be little more than educated animals. The truth is, Animals will not stoop as low as unregenerate mankind. Therefore by the middle of that 70th prophetic week of Daniel, this old world will be just as rotten as rotten can be, so it is no wonder the city of Jerusalem is referred to in the likeness of Sodom and Egypt, in Revelation 11:8. That is when the 4th trumpet angel sounds. His sounding actually marks the middle of that week. The old pope has been sitting across the Mediterranean, watching on television, all that God’s two prophets have been doing in Israel for 3 ½ years, and hearing what they have been saying about him, and seeing that great revival taking place among the spiritual Jews. Therefore by the time 3 ½ years have elapsed, he has already formulated a plan to put a stop to all of that, and the first thing he must do is get rid of those two fanatical prophets, so when that fourth angels sounds, and God causes the heavenly bodies to express His displeasure with Israel for signing that peace covenant with the Antichrist, the old Antichrist (Pope) already knows what he is going to do. At least he has the first phases of it already worked out, and what he does will fulfill Daniel 9:27, and 12:7, and 2 Thess. 2:1-4, and Revelation 11:7. He will have the two prophets killed, break the covenant with Israel, kick the Jews out of their temple, and move himself in, and then sit there in the temple of God, showing himself to the world, and claiming to be God. That puts an abrupt end to all of that Holy Ghost dancing, shouting, and prophesying that has been going on there for the last 3 ½ years. Almost instantly, he accomplishes something that Nasser, Hussein, nor any of the rest of Israel’s enemies had been able to do; he puts them on the run, fleeing for their lives. For how long? For exactly 3 ½ years, according to Daniel 12:7, Revelation 12:6 and 13:5, and it will not be one week more nor less, for God Himself will be the timekeeper. His European police force will completely take over the city, fulfilling Revelation 11:2, where it speaks of the Gentiles treading under foot the outer court of the temple, and the holy city, for 42 months. You think you have seen martial law in effect before, and curfews, you have seen nothing that would compare with what will be in affect there in the city of Jerusalem in that day and hour. The first reaction of those political Jews, is to be glad those trouble making prophets have been silenced, for they have been under fire from them, just like the Pope has. Mr. Begin never would have signed such a covenant with the Antichrist, but only God knows whether those who have succeeded him will be the ones to sign it, or not. Anyhow I believe it is clear, that this fourth trumpet is the sign of the Antichrist, God’s sign to the Jewish nation. Oh, Saints: I am so glad, this was put in a prophetic letter, and given to the Gentile church. Of course the church world in general is as blind as a bat, when it comes to the revelation of the contents of this letter, so let us be grateful to God for allowing us to have that revelation. It enables us to keep our lives on a straight course, while everything is falling apart around us.

 

HELL TURNED LOOSE UPON EARTH

Now I am not a scientist, nor an astronomer, and I do not know one thing about astronomy, but there are those who can tell you the exact time of every eclipse, and all such things, years and years in advance of the event. For example, back in 1979, we began hearing a lot of talk about how nine planets were going to be lined up in a straight line, at a precise time in 1982. They knew it was going to happen, and it did. Their scientific means enabled them to make those calculations, but here is why I am mentioning this. I wonder how these events under this fourth trumpet will fit into their calculations? It just lets us know, God has something He is going to pull on them, that they cannot calculate ahead of time. Hallelujah! I am so glad He still rules the heavenly bodies. Aren’t you? But what a dark hour for Israel, that is going to be, and the political Jews will not even be aware of what is happening. Nevertheless the middle of that week has arrived, the fourth angel has sounded his trumpet, the Pope has moved in, the heavens have announced God’s displeasure with what has happened, so let us pick up right there, and follow the sequence of events that are to come. Chapter 8, verse 13, we find three woes being announced, after that fourth trumpet angel has sounded, so let us read that verse again, to refresh our memory, before moving on. “And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” In other words, There are three definite woes being announced, that are going to come forth after the sounding of the other three trumpet angels, so let us go right to the first verse of chapter 9, where the fifth angel sounded, “and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit, (hell itself) And he opened the bottomless pit: and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth.” This is just the opposite of what those first three trumpets did. They were to burn a third part of the trees, and all green grass, and so forth. Of course we realize that this was confined to the Middle East, and the trees and grass were not burned by atomic rays, nor anything like that, as some suppose, or they would have lost their reproductive ability. As we have said already, When the heavens were shut up, and they had no rain for such a long time, the tree leaves and grass just dried up, and withered away. But when the rain did come again, up came the grass, and all such like. Then here comes something, at the sounding of the fifty trumpet angel, that is not even supposed to touch the grass, nor any vegetation whatsoever. Well it is obvious that these are spirits being turned loose upon wicked mankind. It is in the last half of Daniel’s 70th week, the Antichrist is on the scene in Israel, so all hell is being turned loose on earth. Remember this also, These spirits will not be confined just to the Middle East, they will move through the nations, and even though they are characterized as being like unto certain insects, they are spirits, going forth to torment mankind. Let us read the rest of verse 4. They were not to hurt any green thing, not even the trees, “but only those men WHICH HAVE NOT THE SEAL OF GOD IN THEIR FOREHEADS.” Verse 5, “And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” Now brothers and sisters, this is not talking about virtuous, saintly Jews, nor foolish virgins. It will be carnal mankind, that God has turned the devil loose on. Their torment will be so severe, that they will seek to die, to escape it, but God will not let them die until their allotted torment has been accomplished.

 

PUNISHMENT OF UNGODLY MANKIND

I have just been reading, of the large percentage of what is commonly referred to as Gays, being carriers of this disease that is found almost exclusively among them, and how it is claiming the lives of so many of them, and I just thought to myself, Yes, God is giving you a sign, to let you know that you have crossed the boundary line with your perversion, but you will not take heed, so you will perish. God has just turned the devil loose on them already, and they will not admit it. They will say, Oh God would not do that; He is a God of love. Well I also say, He is a God of Love, but He has certain laws that mankind simply cannot break, and still avoid His hand that shall fall on them. When you break those laws, you have gone too far. I do not want to give the impression of being hard hearted, and vindictive, but I do want to impress upon you, the fact that this God of love that people speak of so freely, is also a God of judgment and wrath, against those that take pleasure in living in an ungodly state of degradation. First He turns the devil loose on them, as in the last half of that week of Daniel, but at the end of that week the pure wrath of God will be turned lose upon them, to finish them off. So as we see that trumpet number 5 turns hell loose upon earth, let us read a little more of the description of those tormenting spirits. Verse 7, “And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.” Brothers and Sisters: I hope we all understand that these descriptions are for the sake of showing the affect these satanic spirits will have on natural mankind. No one will see a literal creature such as is described, but when those satanic spirits come against men’s souls, it will have such a tormenting affect as would be realized from the sting or bite of such creatures. Just think of the suffering people sometimes go through when they are stung by a little old yellow jacket, or a wasp. They can really make you miserable. But that is nothing, compared to what these spirits from out of hell will do to natural mankind in the last half of that week of Daniel (the great tribulation period.) We will go ahead and read verses 8, 9, 10, but what I am really interested in getting to, is verses 11 and 12, for they let us know that all of this other adds up to the first woe of the three that have been announced by the fourth angel. Verse 8, “And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates as it were breastplates of iron and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.” God even set a limit on that. But let us notice verse 11, which speaks of a king over these tormenting spirits. “And they had a king over them, WHICH IS THE ANGEL OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” Both terms pertain to a destroying angel, or to lead to destruction. But verse 12 lets us know that these demons that have been turned loose upon earth, constitute the first woe. “One woe is past; and behold, there come two woes more hereafter.”

 

THE REASON WE ARE USING ALL THESE SCRIPTURES

I believe it should be clear, that once the middle of that week arrives, and the Antichrist breaks his covenant with the Jews, hell follows. These demon spirits will literally invade society to the extent that one would have to say, Hell has been turned loose upon earth. No wonder that angel cried, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth. This definitely is one of them, and there are two more to come. The next one is found in chapter 11. After the killing of the two prophets, and after they were resurrected, and called up to heaven, verse 13 says, “And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” The temple is not disturbed, but a tenth part of the city of Jerusalem is destroyed, and seven thousand men are slain when that earthquake strikes, and those that are left alive, finally recognize the fact, that God Himself is still in control of things. It says, They gave glory to God, but as we have already said, That simply men as that they were finally forced to admit that God is the one, and the only one that could have done such a thing. In other words, They give God recognition for the very first time, but they are not saved by their confession. They are not giving their hearts to God in repentance, as we have seen it in times past. No. But they have seen two dead prophets resurrected, after they had already begun to rot, and they have seen one tenth of their city destroyed, and seven thousand men slain, by an unforeseen earthquake that rumbled through immediately after the prophets were resurrected, so who but the God of heaven could do all of that? That is how they are giving glory to Him, and this constitutes the second woe. But let me say, before we get the third woe, Some of you may be wondering how all of this fits into a message dealing with the mystery of God, so I want to clarify that for you at this time. Things that people say, teach, or ask, many times leads to a message dealing with their thoughts, or with the revelation of the thing that provoked their thoughts, and so forth. In this case, we are covering the events of the 70th week of Daniel, hoping to be able to show you that nothing pertaining to the events of that week of time are even related to Revelation 10:7, the verse from which we took our text. Those woes are not the consummation of some mystery that has been going on, and neither is the seventh angel of Revelation 10:7, the same as the seventh trumpet angel of the things we are reading about now. We are covering it all, to show that these two seventh angels are not the same. One is a man of flesh and bones, and the other is truly a spirit being. The mystery spoken of in Revelation 10:7 is completely finished prior to the week of Daniel. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Jewish people. It was hid from them, because it was something God was going to do for Gentiles, make them partakers of His grace and mercy, and that dispensation when He does that, Is completely finished before He turns back to the Jews again. As I have already said, Jewish people have never understood why Gentiles accepted Jesus whom they call, the son of Joseph, as our Lord and Saviour. But let me give you a little parallel. God had those Jewish prophets write, concerning the Messiah that was to come, and He had them write, concerning something He was going to do for Gentiles, but those Jewish leaders rejected their Messiah when He came, and they had no revelation whatsoever that God would ever do anything for Gentiles. That is the picture on their side, so now, let us turn the thing around, and look at it from the other direction. Gentiles have had the gospel for over 1900 years now, and the greater percentage of those who profess to be Christians, do not really know who Jesus Christ is, (Most of them believe He is the second person of a triune Godhead.) And they have completely rejected the prophet to this age, that God sent to turn His true people back to His word, and back to a true revelation. A lot of them seem to hate the Jews, and could not even conceive of the fact that god will one day leave the Gentiles, and turn back to the Jews. It is all written, just like it was two thousand years ago, but foolish, self righteous Gentiles today are doing just exactly what foolish, self righteous Jews did back then, they are rejecting the very thing they profess to be looking for. God’s true salvation. They treat the book of Revelation as if it is something dangerous for one to study, and tell their people, that they would be better off, if they would just leave it alone. Yet within those 22 chapters, is concealed many beautiful truths, things that God is yet going to do for the Gentile church, things that He is going to do for the Jews, and vital information concerning how all of this is going to end up. It is true, that most of it is written about the Jews, but do not forget, it is a Gentile letter, and the Gentile church needs to know what is pertains to. It will help her get herself ready to travel. I always think of something the apostle Paul wrote to the Roman assembly, chapter 11, verse 25, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; THAT BLINDNESS IN PART is happened to Israel, UNTIL THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES BE COME IN.” Can you even conceive of the truth, that even though there are more Gentiles in the world today than there has ever been, God has just about reaped for His harvest, all that will ever believe the gospel and be saved. The world is being overrun with paganism, and regardless of what some of these preachers are saying, there will be no more of those great revivals, where sinners repent, and turn to God, and Christians repent, and start living for God. People who have no love for the truth, are being turned over to a reprobate mind, to believe the devil’s lie, and be damned, just like the Bible says. God Himself is sending strong delusion upon them, because they seek fleshly sensations, instead of the truth of His word. Just read Romans chapter 1, and 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, and you will see what God’s word has to say about this sort. When you try to explain something about the book of Revelation to them, what is the first thing you hear? Where did you go to school? What theological degrees do you have? Who gave you a license to preach? Brother! Who gave John the authority to write this book? The same God that anointed John to write it, also anoints others to understand it, and they do not have to have a certificate from some natural man’s school of theology, Praise God. What degrees, and what licenses did John have? Did you ever stop to think, that the entire Bible was written by men who had no license to do so, and except for the apostle Paul in the New Testament, men that had no theological schooling, so why should it require such, in order to read it, and understand it, and teach it? All of this license idea, came from man’s own carnal ideas: God never ordained it. Men complicate what God intended to be kept in simplicity.

 

ARMAGEDDON BEING PREPARED

Alright now, let us continue on with these trumpets. We have seen that the two prophets were, or will be killed at the sounding of the sixth trumpet, but at the sounding of the sixth trumpet, there is actually no woe mentioned. Let us go back to chapter 9, verse 13, and pick up the sounding of the sixth trumpet angel. “And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men, and the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.” You could go on reading there, and you would find nothing at all said about the second woe. But the fourth angel, in verse 13, of chapter 8, has already announced that there would be a woe in relation to each of the three trumpets that were yet to sound, and even though the second woe is not specifically mentioned at the time the sixth angel sounds, or I should say, in the immediate scriptures that follow, we still have to remember, that all of these things will have to correspond to what is written about them. The thing that makes it seem out of proportion is the fact that all of this is happening at the same time, right exactly in the middle of the week, and John just has to write it one thing at a time. Actually what we see here, takes us back to chapter 7; let us read that. Verse 1, “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, (the four corners of the earth is right there in the Middle East. That is the heart of the earth, the cradle of all mankind.) Holding the four winds (political winds) of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. An I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God? And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” Now what we see when the sixth trumpet angel sounds, is these four angels turned loose, to prepare Armageddon. In chapter 7, they are actually bound, not tied up with ropes, nor chains, but forbidden to allow political winds to blow, that would set the stage for the battle of Armageddon. Why? God is giving His two Jewish prophets 3 ½ years, to prophesy to the nation of Israel before He will allow the Communistic forces of the world to start gathering together for the battle of Armageddon. There must be 144,000 Jewish men sealed with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and another large element of Jewish people also sealed, the element that is referred to in chapter 12, as the woman. Then, exactly in the middle of that week of years, when these last three trumpets sound, there will be every act of wickedness and violence taking place, that you could even imagine. That is when those four angels that have been bound in the river Euphrates, will be released, to go and prepare the forces for the battle of Armageddon. When it says they were bound, that only means they were hindered, and when they are loose, it means they have permission to proceed with their duties. They can turn loose their spiritual forces to begin to set the world in motion for Armageddon. Armageddon will not be fought until the very last of that seventieth week of Daniel, but it will take that long to get the whole thing set in motion. Two hundred million men is a lot of men to be gathered together unto battle, but that is the number this prophecy calls for, so spiritual forces are set in motion to bring it about, but the thing that actually constitutes the 2nd woe is the killing of those two Jewish prophets. I know people have a tendency to think of a lapse of time between these events, but please try to keep in mind, they all take place immediately after the middle of the week is announced by the sounding of the fourth trumpet. As we read it in the Bible, even chapter 10, that brings the Gentile church back into the picture, is right there between the first and second woe, but we all know that the bride church will be in glory when all of this is taking place. That is why it takes the Holy Ghost to unscramble the events recorded in this prophecy, and put them in their proper place. I always think of what Bro. Branham used to say about the book of Revelation. He said it is like a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece carried a part of the total picture, and the only way the picture is ever complete is when we understand where each piece fits. But we know God Himself is the one that had the pieces scrambled up like that, simply because He did not want Satan and all his imps to be able to find out what was actually going to happen. Gentile theologians have never been able to place the order of events where they actually belong. That is why Billy Graham has the four horsemen of chapter 6 riding at some future date, simply because his theology cannot help him put the pieces in their proper places.

 

THE SEVENTH TRUMPET ANGEL SOUNDS

Well, anyhow, when we read in chapter 11 how the two prophets are killed, how they are left lying in the street until they begin to rot, and how God raised them from the dead, and calls them to, Come up hither, there is a great earthquake, a tenth part of Jerusalem is destroyed, and seven thousand men are slain, then we read in verse 14, “The second woe is past; and behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” That does not mean, a few weeks later; it means immediately. Of course, the third woe is not even mentioned as the third woe, and the things that are recorded following the sounding of the 7th trumpet angel give you a general picture of the complete setting throughout the remainder of that week of time, but you just have to remember to keep everything in its proper place of fulfillment, for these trumpet angels are releasing spiritual forces, and the description of them is a heavenly scene, and when we actually read the part in chapter 12, that constitutes the 3rd woe, we must realize that it belongs exactly in the middle of the week, for the woman must flee from the wrath of the Antichrist for exactly 42 months. So let us look at the seventh trumpet beginning in verse 15 of chapter 11. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God, saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which are, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and has reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” That covers the coming of the Lord, to literally set up His Millennial kingdom, the nations angry with each other, the judgment and everything, but we have not even come to the part that constitutes the 3rd woe. That seventh trumpet finishes setting spiritual forces in motion that will climax the whole thing, but it is all done in the spiritual dimension; the earthly fulfillment of those events will still have to follow their orderly course. Their course is orderly, but the events themselves are the picture of complete disorder and chaos until the Lord Himself intervenes, and restores order. You will recall what Jesus said in Matthew 24: 29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days (that 3 ½ years) shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” There are two or three things that I might point out, from these two verses. First it lets us know that the great tribulation must run its course of exactly 1260 days, before the Lord will come. Then secondly, The events that take place described in those two verses, are exactly the same as those under the 6th seal, the 7th trumpet, and the 7th vial. All four descriptions are of the same thing. When the sun is darkened this time, it is a celestial sign of the coming of Jesus Christ. But where is the 3rd woe? What does it pertain to? It is in chapter 12. This chapter gives us a panoramic prophetic picture of the nation of Israel from birth, all the way through time, to her Millennial glory. The woman is the nation of Israel, that gave birth to the man child, Jesus the Christ, whom the devil tried to destroy at birth, but could not. She brought forth this man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron (in the Millennium) and her child was caught up to God, and to His throne. That of course, was after His resurrection, when He ascended to heaven while His disciples stood watching. That covers the first 5 verses of this chapter, and verse 6, is where the woman flees into the wilderness to hide from the Antichrist for a total period of 1260 days, which is from the middle of the week of Daniel to the end of the week. But between verses 5 and 6, is where the Gentile church comes into the picture. Between those two verses the whole mystery of God concerning the Gentiles, is fulfilled, a period of over 1900 years. By the time the woman flees into the wilderness, the Gentiles bride church will be in glory, at the marriage supper of the Lamb, and the mystery of God, that we are dealing with in this message, will be a totally fulfilled picture.

 

THE THIRD WOE

Let us skip down to verses 10-12 now, and we will see what that 3rd woe is. “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren (the devil) is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. (Notice now) WOE to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon (the devil) saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, (the messages of the two prophets) that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent (the devil.)” I believe we can see from that, what the 3rd woe is. It is the persecution of Israel by that devil possessed Antichrist, from the middle of the week when all hell is turned loose upon mankind, to the end of the week, when the Lord Jesus Himself comes from glory with all His saints, and intervenes in the whole thing. Of course I have said before, and I will say it again: those two prophets that prophesy to Israel for 3 ½ years in the first half of that week, are the ones that tell the woman where she must go, to be safe from the wrath of the old man of sin. He will never lay a hand on any Jew that is part of what is referred to as the woman in verses 6 and 14. It is the remnant of her seed, that he begins to slaughter. Those two prophets know what is coming, so as time nears the middle of the week, they will be telling the woman element, Get on a plane, and get out of here; the time is at hand. She cannot stay there in Israel until the Antichrist arrives and starts his slaughter, or the number of her days of hiding from him, could not be exactly 1260, and I do believe that God means for these days to be precisely calculated. It would not matter if she arrived a few days early at her destination, where she will be fed and protected from the Antichrist, for it is only the 1260 days of his wrath, that she has to be hidden and protected from him. Nevertheless God will have it all worked out; and it will go exactly according to His plan, so do not worry about anything going wrong at the last minute. Now there are some people who think this woman is the church, and they think the church is going through the tribulation, all because they see that great multitude in chapter 7, from all nations, kindreds, peoples and tongues, and the question is asked, Who, or what are these? Then when John could not answer, he said, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” These who believe that, will say, There is no place in the Bible that says the church is raptured before the tribulation. Well I believe I can show you that it is, if you will bear with me for a few minutes. First let me read from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, what Paul said about the rapture of the bride church. (That is the only group he ever referred to as the church, and the only ones he referred to spiritually, as brethren.) “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” That tells us how, and in what order, the rapture will take place. So let us begin in verse 6, of chapter 5, and read a few verses to complete the thought. “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober, For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. (Watch now) FOR GOD HATH NOT APPOINTED US TO WRATH, BUT TO OBTAIN SALVATION BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.” If we are not appointed to wrath, then we cannot be allowed to go into the great tribulation. Well who are those that come up out of great tribulation then? Foolish Gentile virgins that miss the rapture because they are not dressed in a revelation of God’s word when the rapture takes place, and Jews who will accept martyrdom rather than renounce their faith in God. Their martyrdom will merit them the white robes of salvation, that we see in chapter 7.

 

JOHN SAW THE CHURCH IN HEAVEN

Then there are some who will say, John did not see the church raptured. No. But he did see it in type. That is why he was allowed to remain on earth in physical consciousness, while the Lord spoke to him as high priest, in the first three chapters. Because the first three chapters covered the period of time in which the church was to be on earth through the age of grace. But when it came time to set the stage, and the type of the rapture of the Gentile church, the Lord was no longer seen on earth, as high priest, standing in the midst of seven candlesticks. The voice John heard, spake from heaven, and he saw a door open. (Hallelujah!) And that voice said to him, through that open door, Come up hither! Then immediately he ascended into heaven: Hallelujah! That lets us know, that when the Gentile church has run its course here on earth, God takes it to glory. Why send it into the great tribulation? It has already been purged and made clean. That is why John could see the church already in heaven, over in chapter 19, and could see her coming back to earth with Jesus, on white horses. He did not ask how she got there, for he was being shown what God would do with all those other mortals from every nation, that were still on earth. I have said many times, Paul saw the church going to glory, and John saw her coming back, so what further scriptural proof should a believer need? But let us read some more of Revelation 12, for I want us to be sure we see that 3rd woe, even though it is not called that when you read it. The seventh trumpet angel sounds, in Rev. 11:15, and the 3rd woe is to be activated by the sounding, or following the sounding of that angel, so when we find in verse 12, of chapter 12, WOE to the inhabiters of the earth, and realize that it is spoken in connection with the martyrdom of those that overcome the devil by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony: because they loved not their lives unto the death, this has to be the 3rd woe. Therefore we can accurately say, The third woe is the ruthless blood bath of Jews that the old Antichrist orders, when he breaks the covenant with the nation of Israel. We connect it with the Jews because they are in the spotlight, but the foolish virgins will partake of the slaughter also. Let us read verses 13-17 now. “And when the dragon (the devil) saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the man child (two thousand years ago.) And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. (That is exactly 3 ½ years) And the serpent (the devil) cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. (She is being hidden, and cared for, and the reason she knew where to go, was because those two prophets had already told her where to go to escape that flood of persecution from the people of the old Antichrist’s international police force.) And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed: which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Saints, that old man of sin is going to be so infuriated at the truly spiritual element of Jewish people, he will issue a proclamation, requiring the death of every individual that refuses to renounce faith in God and worship him as God. That will get all the orthodox Jews, and all the Gentile foolish virgins that are seen in chapter 7, with white robes, giving glory to God. That is why it was said to John, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” When that seventh trumpet angel has finished sounding; all of the spiritual forces that will bring the coming of Jesus at the end of that week will be loosed, and everything will just have to follow its predetermined order of fulfillment. That is why it is important to remember, or to realize, all of these last three trumpets sound exactly in the middle of that week, and everything that has been held back during the age of grace will be turned loose upon earth, to manifest itself in due course. Hell is turned loose, the two prophets are killed, and the wrath of the Antichrist is turned loose against every spiritual person that believes in God, simply because those Jews have pushed him to the limit, with this great Holy Ghost revival they have been having. Therefore when it swings into action, this is where the mark of the beast comes into the picture. Whoever is left here on earth then, will either wear that identifying mark, or they will be killed for refusing to wear it. That brings us to the 13th chapter , and to the scripture that has caused a lot of people to make many foolish projections concerning the mark of the beast.

 

THE MARK OF THE BEAST

Even back in the 1970’s various articles were published, stating that a cashless society was knocking on our doors, and that this thing would be the mark of the beast, and all such like. Some even said it would all be in effect by the year 1982. But I believe most of you will remember, I said, back then, The cashless society will not go into effect universally, until time itself is close to the tribulation hour. Certain individual nations may go ahead, and put into effect a cashless society, but all of this is just stepping stones to the real thing. It will not fulfill Revelation 13, until the man of sin has decreed it as a compulsory system, and that will take in a complete universal scope. Nevertheless I will say to you saints of God, Just do not go to sleep concerning this matter. The banks are not going to announce months in advance, that this thing is going to be in effect a certain date. They will just try to lull everyone to sleep, and spring it on them over night. Let us read a few verses from chapter 13, especially those that speak of the mark of the beast. The earlier verses deal with the old ten horned beast with seven heads, and how the beast would make war with the saints, and overcome them, and how all whose names were not written in the Lamb’s book of life will worship that beast man, the head of that old ten horned beast system. Then we see another beast coming up out of the earth (America) having two horns like a lamb, but speaking like a dragon. This beast exercised all the power of the first beast, and caused the first beast to be worshiped, and caused there to be made an image to the first beast. Then all who would not, or will not worship that image will be killed. (The image of course, is your ecumenical council of organized churches, the only ones that will be recognized by the power structure of society in the very last days.) Now verse 16, “And he (here comes the mark) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save (or except) he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: (the beast man) for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred three score and six (666). In various other messages, we have printed a little diagram showing how the words on the Pope’s crown, in their Roman numeral equivalents, work out to a perfect 666. That, along with what we have revealed to us from Daniel, Revelation, and actual history, leaves no doubt whatsoever that the Antichrist, the man of sin, the false prophet, the beast man, and the son of perdition is none other than the Roman Catholic Pope, the man who supposedly sits in the chair of the apostle Peter to whom Jesus committed the keys of the kingdom of heaven. People from every nation call him father, and consider him to be the holiest man upon the face of the earth. But we who know the truth can think of little more than the fact that, one day in the very near future, the man who holds that office will be the literal Antichrist, incarnated by the very devil himself. I would not go so far as to say the present Pope is the man that will fulfill those scriptures, but I will say this much. He is a perfect pattern of the one that will, for that man will first have to win the confidence of political leaders of the world, in order to get them to accept him as the man to arbitrate and oversee their great peace covenant that many nations will sign, including Israel. As I have already stated, I believe there are people living right today, that will see the windup of this whole thing. Some of them will even live to see that sweet talking, peace loving, baby kissing Pope, turn into a ruthless killer, and exalt himself above the God of heaven, demanding to be worshiped as God.

 

PREACHING THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL

Now we have established the fact, that the 3rd woe is in connection with the persecution of Israel, but let us be sure we understand that the woe is not directed to the woman element of that day, for she is in hiding, and cannot be touched by the Antichrist and his henchmen. The woe is to the Jews in dispersion around the world, and also to the Gentile foolish virgins. The woman, as seen in verse 6, of chapter 12, fleeing into the wilderness, is that spiritual element that has been awakened by the ministry of those two Jewish prophets, or witnesses whose primary function is to seal the 144,000 servants of God in their foreheads. That means, they will receive a revelation of the true Messiah they have looked for, and will receive the Holy Ghost, which is the only permanent seal that a person can have, spiritually speaking. But naturally the 144,000 Jewish servants of God will not be the only one’s that hear the prophesying of the two witnesses, and they will not be the only ones to believe what they hear. There will be a large element of men, women, and boys and girls in the nation at that time, that also believe, and receive the Holy Ghost. These are the ones that will flee from Israel by the middle of that week, and hide out for the full length of time the Antichrist reigns, where they will be protected, and cared for, according to preparations that God has already made for them. They will hide while the 144,000 servants will go out into the nations preaching the everlasting gospel to Jews in dispersion, according to Revelation 14:6. But their gospel will not only be heard by spiritual Jews in dispersion, it will be heard by those Gentile foolish virgins also. At least we can say, These are the two elements of people in the nations of the world, that receive the message of these servants of God. Of course, we have said many times before, their gospel will not be the same as what we have called “the gospel of Jesus,” during this age of grace, but it will be the last preaching that the inhabitants of the world will ever hear. Verse 6, says that this gospel is to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, so let us read a few verses, and see exactly what they preach. When the middle of that week arrives, and the old Antichrist goes on the rampage, these servants of God will scatter back to the nations, Saying with a loud voice, (14:7) Fear God, and give glory to Him; (not to that old Antichrist over there in the temple, in Jerusalem,) for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Now this is written as though it is angelic beings doing the preaching, but we know that angels do not preach; they only assist those whom God has chosen to do the preaching. So notice as we read verse 8, and the verses following.) And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, (spiritual Babylon) that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. (Old ancient Babylon never did anything like that. Only the Catholic church, that old antichrist church system, called babylon because the word Babylon speaks of confusion and captivity, and it is that apostate system that has caused all nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.) And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, (remember what that is) and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God. (The wine of that old apostate system is her doctrines, and anyone who drinks her wine will have to drink the wine of God’s wrath, when he pours it out upon all ungodly mankind that has rejected His truth when they heard it.) Which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” Now, Saints: This is what that 144,000 servants of God are going to be proclaiming throughout the nations during the last 3 ½ years of that prophetic week of time, and as a result of it, Jews in dispersion, as well as Gentile foolish virgins, will be made aware of the decision that is before them. Either they will refuse the mark of the beast, hold to their faith in God, and be martyred, which will assure them eternal life, or they will accept the mark of the beast and be damned forever. By the middle of that week, there will be four distinct elements of Jewish people. You will have the 144,000 Jewish preachers; then the element in hiding, called the woman, but there will also be those in dispersion among the nations, that will be martyred at the hands of the Antichrist for refusing to accept his mark, and the fourth element are those political Jews that have signed the covenant with the Antichrist, and actually rejoiced when he had the two prophets killed. This last element will be the ones that will have to drink of the wine of the wrath of God, along with all the other ungodly people of the world.

PROTECTED BY THE SEAL OF GOD

Let me clarify another point that sometimes causes questions from people. Some will ask what happens to the 144,000 servants of God, will they eventually be killed? No. They will not be killed. They will go right into the Millennium with Jesus and all the other saints that are preserved alive. They will be protected by the power of the Holy Ghost. Only those whom God allows to die, can die, or be killed during that time. Even when the bottomless pit is opened, and hell is turned loose upon earth, those spirits are not permitted to kill anyone. They are commanded to torture all those who have not the seal of God, but they are forbidden to kill those that they torture. I am just reminding you that God is still in control, even though hell is turned loose upon earth; therefore only those whom God will allow to be killed, can be killed, and He will not allow these 144,000 men to be killed. They have a work to do. Maybe we should go back to the first verse of chapter 14, and take a closer look at these men, and remember, according to chapter 7, they are twelve thousand men, from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. “And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with Him an hundred Forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. (That lets us know they have never been defiled by any religious system. They have no man made traditions from these antichrist systems lying in the back of their minds, that they have to get rid of; therefore they are clean before God, and called virgins.) These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. (That simply means that they are led by the spirit of God, so do not try to picture this great throng of men following a literal lamb around.) These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” I believe you can see that this is a very select group of Jewish men, that God has called, for a very special work, and even though verse 6 sounds as though a mighty angel is flying through the air preaching the everlasting gospel to every nation, please remember this. God has never used angels to preach to mankind, and He will not do it in the week of Daniel either. On the other hand, angels do work in conjunction with men, so we must see this 144,000 men who have just been sealed with the Holy Ghost, and with a revelation of who Jesus Christ really is, as the preachers that preach the everlasting gospel to every nation of people, during the last half of that week. Not only do they preach the everlasting gospel: they also pronounce judgment upon apostate religion, the whore and all her daughters. That actually incorporates chapters 17 and 18. In verse 2, of chapter 18 you find the same words that are here in chapter 14, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.”

 

THE FIRST RESURRECTION

Now since we have gone this far, let us just go on over to chapter 20, verse 4, where these martyred Jewish and Gentile saints are resurrected prior to the Millennium, so they may reign with Christ and His bride during that one thousand years. It has to be those martyred during the great tribulation, for there has never been another time in the history of man, that anyone has been faced with a demand to worship the image to the beast, nor to take the mark of the beast, except during the last half of that week of trouble. Let us read it; at least the last part of verse 4, “And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived AND REIGNED WITH CHRIST A THOUSAND YEARS.” Just one more verse here, verse 5, “But the rest of the dead lived NOT again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” Now we have said many times, The first resurrection is in three phases, the first phase being 1900 years ago, when Jesus and many of the Old Testament saints were resurrected. The second phase will be when the rapture of the bride church takes place before the great tribulation, and the third phase will be after the great tribulation, when all those tribulation saints are resurrected to reign with Christ a thousand years, in what we commonly refer to as the Millennial reign of Christ. That will be the one thousand years of righteous rule of Jesus Christ, from the throne of King David, while the devil is chained up. The earth will be repopulated by mortal beings that escaped the wrath of the Old Antichrist, and were judged worthy, to pass into the Millennium for that purpose. This is the judgment seen in the 25th chapter of Matthew, beginning in verse 31. When the great tribulation is over, and Jesus has intervened in the battle of Armageddon, there will still be souls left alive from every nation, that will have to be judged, and either allowed to live during the Millennium and repopulate the earth, or be instantly killed, if they are found unworthy. If you read the rest of that chapter, you will find that they are condemned, and assigned to the lake of fire, but they will not actually be cast into the lake of fire until the great white throne judgment is set, one thousand years later, when all the wicked that have ever lived, will be resurrected, judged, and cast into the lake of fire. You can read that in Revelation 20: 10-15. In Matthew 25, no one is cast into the lake of fire then; they only have that judgment pronounced upon them, and they are slain, to take their place with all the rest of the wicked dead, and await their final disposition in the lake of fire. Now, there are always some who will say, Bro. Jackson: How do we know this judgment in Matthew 25 is for the purpose you have stated? So let us read a few verses, beginning with verse 31, and I believe you will see it clearly. Actually verse 31 tells us when it will be. “When the Son of man (Jesus Christ) SHALL COME IN HIS GLORY, AND ALL THE HOLY ANGELS WITH HIM, (We all know when He is coming back to earth in His glory, do we not? That is at the end of the great tribulation, when He comes to rule and reign for one thousand years upon the throne of David.) Then shall He sit upon the THRONE OF HIS GLORY: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: (those that remain alive from all nations) and He shall separate them one from another, AS A SHEPHERD divideth his sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep (those worthy to live) on His right hand, but the goats on the left. THEN shall the KING say unto them on His right hand. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” That is all I am going to read now, but you can read it later, if you are not familiar with it, and you will see that the selection is made, based upon how they have treated His brethren under certain circumstances. That reveals the true nature of the individuals. During that dark tribulation time, many people will be faced with the decision, whether to help those whom the Lord refers to as His brethren, or whether to refuse to help them, and their decision then, will determine the outcome of this judgment right here. Those tribulation saints will not all be martyred the same day, so there will be a lot of opportunity for others to minister to them during the weeks and months before they are finally martyred.

 

MAN’S UTOPIA MUST WAIT

Let me go back to Revelation 10 now, for we have covered a lot of scriptures that deal with events that will take place after chapter 10 is fulfilled, so I feel that we should come back now and refresh our memory on the main thought of this message. What is the mystery of God? The world we live in, is in a turmoil today. All of natural minded mankind is concerned about peace, prosperity, and equality, and all the things that would make this old world a utopia. Well, there is one thing sure, according to the Bible, there is not going to be any utopia here on earth, until after Jesus Christ comes back literally, and sets up His Millennial kingdom. The Bible does not picture natural mankind, as ever being able to bring this world into that kind of an era. It seems that everything man does with that in mind, only makes things worse, instead of better. Do you know why? Because it takes the wisdom of God to accomplish that, and mankind is fast fleeing from the ways of God. Satan will never allow mankind to accomplish what they strive for. That is why he has to be chained up for a thousand years. It would be a wonderful thing, if mankind could come to terms of peace the world over, and everyone enjoy the things that God has created, without always having to be prepared for war, but that will never come, until Jesus Christ Himself comes back to earth, for mankind in general, always has selfish motives for what they do. As for human governments, Communism tries to picture capitalism as a devil, and democracy as something completely selfish and evil, and the decay of that form of government is giving them grounds for their accusations. But when you consider what this country once had, before corruption moved into the high places, it was the best form of human government man has ever been able to devise. Communism has never done one thing to help capitalism, it has always been the opposite. Everything Communism has achieved, they have always had to steal it from the realm of capitalism. Their scientific knowledge has either been bought or stolen. Just every once in a while we hear of another traitor being caught selling our secrets to the highest bidder. Therefore that very kind of selfishness will always cause mankind to fall short of what everyone would like to see, peace and prosperity for everyone. It all started in the garden of Eden, this downward course of mankind, and it will continue so, until Jesus Himself chains up the devil, and rules the world with a rod of iron.

 

DO NOT DEPEND ON ASSUMPTIONS

Let us reread our text scripture, Revelation 10:7, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.” I believe we have sufficiently established the fact, that the word voice as used in this verse, pertains to the message delivered to this age by the seventh angel, (the seventh church age messenger) and not to the audible sound of his voice. We have looked at different verses of scripture, that speak of a mystery, and tried to show you the difference between the usage of them, and we have gone into the scriptures to show you what follows the age that this mystery of God actually pertained to. So let us just look at a few things that I believe will be of interest concerning these things also. Certainly you who follow the teaching of Bro. Branham, believe that he was the prophet messenger to the age of Laodicea, and I have to confess this, In 1963, when he stood night after night, bringing forth the revelation of the seals, many of us thought we were then living in the days of Revelation 10, the total setting. But 19 years have passed since the prophet messenger was taken from us, and 21 years have passed since he preached the revelation of the first six seals, and the seventh seal still has not been opened and revealed, and the first six verses of chapter 10, still have not been fulfilled, so it just goes to prove, that we are subject to assume a lot of things when the anointing of God is so strong among us, and things seem to be moving in a certain direction. The sad part is, Many who made those assumptions are still trying to prove that what they only assumed, really took place. They have laid their Bibles aside, taken an arm full of Spoken Word books, and hit the road, looking for people who will listen to them, and support their fanatical ideas. They present Bro. Branham to all who will allow them to, as the very Son of man, which title belongs only to Jesus Christ Himself. Some of them call him, the Elohim, and some are even baptizing in his name. They even place him on the mount of transfiguration with Moses and Elijah, and all such as that. They refuse to accept the fact that the seventh seal has not yet been opened, so they constantly search the pages of those seal books, looking for the revelation of the seven thunders, which cannot be uttered until after the seventh seal is opened and revealed. Therefore some of them have had Jesus Christ off of the mercy seat for over 21 years now. Which, if that were true, no one could have been saved during all of this time since then. Some of them have even had children believe and accept the Lord during that time, and they are still blind to the truth. According to them, Bro. Branham finished everything that pertains to the Gentiles, while he was still alive, so there is nothing left for anyone else to do. It is a pitiful situation, but God has allowed it to go on like that all these years, so we who do know the truth, just have to be thankful to God, that we were not caught in the same snare of the devil, that they were. I sat right there in the Branham tabernacle, and heard what our precious brother preached and taught, and I respected him as a person, as well as a true servant of God. But I could never allow myself to exalt him above what I believed God had called him to be, and to do. I truly believe that he was the Laodicean church age messenger, and that he was the Elijah of Malachi 4:5 & 6, to fulfill the B part of those two verses. In other words, He had that God identifying spirit of Elijah upon him, for the purpose of turning the heart of the children of this age, back to the faith of their Pentecostal church fathers, before the coming of the dreadful day of the Lord. He presented the Jesus of the Bible in a way that I had never heard it before, and he made Him stand head and shoulders above every other man that has ever lived, spiritually speaking. But there was no reason in the world, for me to ever look to him as God. He was my brother. I knew him personally, better than most of these fellows that run to and fro, claiming to know everything there was to know about him. I have seen him act just as human as any man among us, and I have seen him so anointed of the Spirit of God, that he was under the complete control of that Spirit, and I knew how to respect him in each setting. Dear brothers and sisters: I have been accused of many things by these heretics, but my conscience is clear in every one of them. I have always given Bro. Branham every place that God gave him, and I have never yet accused him of making a mistake, as some say that I do, when I prove by the Bible that he spoke dual statements on certain subjects. I have always believed that God allowed him to do that, to give these statement preachers something to run with, and to show them up before revelated saints, as being without revelation themselves. There is one thing that I am completely convinced of, That man had a message for the true church in this Laodicean age, and those who have a spiritual ear are hearing it, and the rest are either worshiping him, or calling him a false prophet, generally speaking, of course. This Laodicean age is the one that is rich, and increased with goods, and has need of nothing, (so they think) and are not even aware of the fact that they are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, just like the local church in Asia Minor, in 96 A.D., when John wrote to her these very words. People of the church world in general, seem to feel like God is interested only in those of intellectual abilities. Therefore they would not listen to a preacher like me for two minutes, unless God had a purpose in it. That is why I feel that we ought not try to tell everyone we meet, everything we know. If God has not set the stage, and given the necessary anointing, it is just like casting our precious pearls before swine, or to put it more bluntly, like throwing expensive jewelry into an old muddy hog pen. Those hogs have no respect for nice jewelry; all they care about is some stinking old slop to stick their nose into. They will just literally tromp your expensive jewelry into the mud, and that is exactly the way a lot of people do the truth, when it is pitched out before them, without God directing us to do so.

 

PETER–LED BY THE SPIRIT

Now as we have stressed over and over, The mystery of God, as referred to in Revelation 10:7, pertains to what God was going to do for Gentiles, and he had His prophets of old, write about it, without ever giving any of them a revelation of what it pertained to, so even though He declared it to them, He did not reveal it to them, therefore we who are the beneficiaries of the contents of that mystery, can now look back, and know what those many scriptures pertained to. But saints, please remember this, That picture was not yet completed when the seventh church age angel began to sound his literal, audible voice. That is why we want you to understand that the word voice, does not pertain only to the verbal sounds he uttered, but rather to the message he delivered to the church in this age. It is really ironic when you stop to think about it; In the scrolls of the Jewish people, were the promises God made to the Gentile people, and none of them understood what those promises pertained to, and then, two thousand years this side of what God did to fulfill those promises made to Gentiles, we Gentiles have a prophetic letter, telling us what God is going to do for the Jews, and we do understand it. It has not always been so though, our forefathers carried this letter for 1900 years, without very much revelation of what it contained, and if we were not the generation that will live to see it fulfilled, there would be very little purpose in us having a revelation of it. But by knowing what is ahead, the bride church will have ample opportunity to prepare herself to meet her Bridegroom, when He comes for her, to take her to the wedding supper. As for the mystery of God, that was hidden from men of other ages, even the apostle Peter did not yet have a revelation of it, when he went, by the direction of the Holy Ghost, to the household of Cornelius, and preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to Gentiles for the very first time. It was strictly against the human will of the apostle Peter to be seen among Gentiles, much less to preach the gospel to them. But the Holy Ghost directed him, to arise, and go with the three men Cornelius had sent to inquire about him; and to doubt nothing, so he went with them, knowing only that Cornelius was expecting to hear words from him. Since he had no revelation that these Gentiles were to be partakers of the grace and mercy of God also, there was no way he could prepare a sermon ahead of time, so he just followed instructions, and went with the three men. But as Cornelius began to relate to him the vision he had, and as Peter thought back on the vision he had, while praying, back at the house of Simon the tanner, and when Cornelius finished relating his experience, Peter just had to do what came natural for him to do; he started preaching the gospel to the, and even though they received it, and God vindicated it by giving them the Holy Ghost, what was written in the scriptures concerning what God would do for Gentiles was still a mystery.

 

A SOVEREIGN GOD AT WORK

Let us go to the 10th chapter of Acts, for a look at how God opened up a door for Gentiles to receive the gospel, without first instructing anyone concerning this mystery. It was many many months after that, before Paul and Barnabas became provoked by those Jews at Antioch, (which contradicted them, and blasphemed) and said to them, “It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoke to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” During that time between, what God would do for Gentiles concerning the gospel, still remained a mystery. No doubt those Jews would ask one another, What do you think about what happened down in Caesarea, at the house of Cornelius? What do you suppose that means? Well, let us just look at how God worked that out. Peter had just prayed for a man that had been bedridden eight years with palsy, and he was healed, and certain ones close by, in a town called Joppa, heard what had happened there in Lydda just about the time a saint named Dorcas had become ill, and died. So they sent for Peter to come down to Joppa immediately, and when he arrived there, they led him into an upper chamber where Dorcas lay dead, and all those that she had sewed for, were standing around weeping. But Peter put them all out of the room, and kneeled down by the side of the bed, and started praying. Then when the anointing of God directed him, he turned to her and said, Tabitha, arise. (Tabitha is interpreted, Dorcas.) And she opened her eyes, and sat up in the bed. Peter then took her by the hand, and lifted her up, and presented her to her friends that were waiting outside. Naturally that caused a great lot of excitement around Joppa, and many believed on the Lord because of it, and that kept Peter there at Joppa for many days, and he stayed in the home of Simon a tanner. That is where he was when Cornelius had the vision we are going to read about, here in chapter 10. “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner; whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” Right there, is a verse of scripture, that ought to convince anyone, that angels do not preach the gospel. I am sure you will all agree, that if that angel could say what he did to Cornelius, he could have said anything else just as well. But when it comes to preaching the gospel: God has ordained that men do that. Therefore the angel just simply told Cornelius where he could find a man that could tell him what to do, and at that very moment, there was no possible way anyone could have persuaded that apostle Peter to go into the house of a Gentile man, and certainly not the house of a Roman army officer. But we will see how God prepared old Peter for what he was about to be called upon to do. Verse 7, “And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa. (Now we will see how God prepared Peter for what was ahead of him.) On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beast, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. (There were all things that no Jew would ever eat.) And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.” God knows how to get our attention, how to break down all barriers, and how to get us into the place where He can use us. He gets right to the heart of the matter. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, and called; and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. (That was all Peter had to hear) Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?” They told him how Cornelius was a man that feared God, and that an angel had appeared to him in a vision, and told him to send for a man named Simon Peter, and he would tell him what he should do, and by the time they had related the whole story to him, Peter had invited them to come in and spend the night, and the next day, they departed for Caesarea, the three men, Peter and certain other brethren from Joppa. When they arrived at the house of Cornelius the next day, they found that Cornelius had called all his kinfolks and close friends together, and they were all there waiting for them. When they were entering Cornelius fell down at Peter’s feet, and worshiped him.” (Just like they do the Pope of Rome.) Verse 26, “But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man, And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together. And he (Peter) said unto them, Ye know how it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me? And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing. And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.” He finished relating his story to Peter, and then said, “Therefore we are all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.” The strange thing here, is the fact that God had not told Peter anything to say to those Gentiles; He had shown him a vision, in which He impressed upon him, that what He (God) had cleansed, Peter should not call it common, nor unclean. That was all Peter knew, except that the Spirit had said, Go with those men, doubting nothing, for I have sent them. Therefore when Cornelius said, Tell us all things that God hath commanded thee, the only thing Peter knew to do, was preach the gospel to them. Preaching the gospel was his full time occupation in those days, so he just supposed, that if God had sent him there to the house of this Gentile man, and especially since he had been shown this vision himself, God surely wanted him to tell them about Jesus Christ, the Saviour. Verse 34, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of persons: But in ever nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all:) That word I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the judge of the quick (the living) and dead. To Him give all the prophets witness; that through his name WHOSOEVER believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins. (Brother! They really picked up on that whosoever, and their faith reached out to God.) While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. (Notice now) And they of the circumcision (That was Jews that came with Peter which believed) were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” Some people who believe that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, like to use this verse along with Acts 2:4, as proof. But just merely speaking in tongues is no proof that a person is filled with the Holy Ghost, for devils speak with tongues also. As a matter of fact, these demon spirits are able to duplicate almost everything that the Holy Spirit does. You can confirm that by reading over in Exodus, where Moses was given certain signs to show Pharoah, and his magicians were able to duplicate everything, except give life. That is why we say, The real evidence of the Holy Ghost in a person’s life, is whether they believe the revealed word of God or not, for if the Spirit of God be in you, He will not reject, and deny His own word. You can go into a lot of these churches, and they will just be singing, and dancing, and shouting, and speaking in tongues for all they are worth, and it looks like God is really in that place. But you let some true saint of God stand up, and testify, and mention that God is One, and not a trinity, and the whole bunch will turn on that person like a pack of wild dogs after a rabbit. So do not try to convince me that those people are filled with the Holy Ghost, no matter how much they speak in tongues. God allowed these Gentiles to have the same manifestations, the Jews had, on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost fell on them, and He did it that way for a reason, because He wanted a testimony out of what was taking place there at Caesarea. But do not try to gauge everything you see anywhere else, by what took place there, that day, for Satan has had nineteen hundred years to duplicate all of that, and you believe me, he has done his job well. Church houses are filled with these counterfeits, that love to shout and speaking in tongues, but they will not listen to the word of God being preached, five minutes, without getting stomping mad. Well, Peter knew these Gentiles had received the Holy Ghost, so he asked the question, “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Like I have already said, This was an isolated event among the Gentiles, for it was three or four years after that, before Paul and Barnabas were in the Jewish synagogue at Antioch, and were invited by the elders to speak, after the reading of the law and the prophets, and when Paul stood up, and preached Christ to them, the Gentiles that were present wanted to hear more. They asked Paul and Barnabas to preach to them, the next Sabbath day. The following week, practically the whole city came out to hear the gospel preached, but when those Jewish leaders saw that, jealousy filled their hearts, and they began to speak against those things that Paul and Barnabas preached, and actually blasphemed. That caused Paul and Barnabas to become very stern with them, and very bold, and they said to them. “It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” We are in Acts 13 now, so notice verses 47 & 48, and you will see that this thing was not just done out of pure anger, but rather by a command of the Lord. When Paul said, “Lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” He went ahead, and said, “For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles. (He was quoting part of Isaiah 42:6, 49:6, and also Luke 2:32, where Simeon prophesied over Jesus, when Joseph and Mary brought Him to the temple, to present Him to the Lord.) That thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Even though Peter was the first to preach the gospel directly to the Gentiles. Paul was actually the chosen vessel of the Lord, to preach the gospel to them, when it came time for God to turn to them with preeminence. You can read that in Acts 9:15, where the Lord answered Ananias, when he was hesitant about going to pray for Saul, after he had been struck down by the Lord, on the road to Damascus. In verse 13, Ananias said, Lord I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints in Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” Paul was not immediately aware, as to what extent he was to be a light unto the Gentiles, but by the time he and Barnabas had that experience at Antioch, he was beginning to see some things, and after that, Gentiles really came into the picture. Then in the Roman epistle, chapter 11, verse 13, which is 15 years later, he refers to himself as the apostle to the Gentiles. The mystery of God concerning what He would do for Gentiles, was well in effect by that time, but the apostle Paul never lost his love and concern for his own people, the Jews. Their salvation was always a heavy burden upon him.

 

SOME EDUCATED PEOPLE SELL THE GOSPEL

Well, here we are more than 1900 years this side of the time when Paul and Barnabas turned to the Gentiles with the gospel, and we can see today, that Gentiles have treated the gospel just like the Jews did the law of Moses. They have ritualized it, dressed it up with all sorts of man made traditions, and they sell it to the highest bidders, just like real estate, and automobiles. What started out in simplicity, is now looked upon as something so complicated, that only highly educated people can understand it, and teach it, and if you do not have those diplomas, many people who profess to be Christians, will not even listen to you. But brothers and sisters, if you think it is bad now, just wait a little while. At least we can still meet together here, whenever we choose to do so, but the day will come, when only organized churches will be allowed to operate, so let us appreciate what we now have. Be thankful that you know who God is, and that you know Him personally, and that you have something within your soul, that man cannot take away from you. They can close up our places of worship. They can put us in jail, and even torture us, as Christians have been tortured in the past, but whatever you have in your heart as a revelation, imparted to you by the Spirit of God, can never be taken away from you.. Hallelujah! It will stay with you to the end. If you have a revelation of the Godhead, ten thousand demons, could never exert enough pressure on you, to get you to believe that God is three persons. When the devil got the church off course in the second age, it was not done by changing the mind of those early saints. No. He had to work on the next generation coming up, for those old saints held to what was revealed to them by the Spirit of God, right to their dying day. Well, what about this mystery of God? Is it still a mystery? It is still a mystery to orthodox Jews, but it should not be a mystery to Christians who will take the time to study the word of God, for we are plainly told what that mystery is. In his Ephesian epistle, Paul is reminding them of how God made know unto him by revelation, this mystery. He had written them of it briefly at an earlier time, and in chapter 3, verse 4, he says, “Whereby when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.” This is the mystery of God referred to in our text, Revelation 10:7. I realize that there are other scriptures in the New Testament that refer to the mystery of God, but we are dealing with the mystery of God that was spoken and written by prophets of old, but understood by none of them. In Colossians 2:2, we find Paul speaking of the mystery of God, but in this instance, he is referring to the Godhead, and we all know, the prophets of God in the old Testament had no problem with the Godhead; they all knew God was one, and that He was a sovereign Spirit. Then there is the verse that speaks of Christ in you, the hope of glory, but as we said already, This is a part of it, but this is not the mystery of God, spoken of in Revelation 10:7, as being declared to His servants the prophets.

 

WHAT GENTILES HAVE BECOME HEIRS TO

Let us just look at the 2nd chapter of Ephesians for a few minutes, where Paul is writing to this church that is actually the model church among all the others. It had both Jews and Gentiles in it, but the major part was Gentiles, so that accounts for Paul writing like he did. We have already mentioned part of this, but let us begin in verse 11, and look at a few verses. “Wherefore remember, that ye being in times past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by that which is called circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” Paul uses some Jewish terminology here, referring to Gentiles a uncircumcision, and to Jews as the circumcision, because up to a certain point in time, Jews always looked upon Gentiles as uncircumcised heathen, filthy and unclean, something untouchable. They treated them almost the same way they treated lepers. They could see nothing in any of them, that God would ever care anything about. They had no revelation at all, on any of the mentions of Gentiles, in the writings of their prophets. The Jews kept all the rituals of the law, and thought they were really doing God a service. In their own eyes, they were, a holy people: simply because they were keeping faithfully, all the rituals of the law. But in the eyes of God; they were not a holy people ; because their hearts were not right. In the 23rd chapter of Matthew, you can find where Jesus really got on to a bunch of them one day, because of their hypocrisy. Starting in verse 23, let us read some of what He said to them. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith: these ought ye to have done. (In other words, what they had been doing.) And not to leave the other undone.” Saints: We just simply cannot buy favor with God. He is looking first, for a pure heart, and wherever He finds that, the outward display of righteousness will be there without fail. Therefore He says to them, “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and the platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres, (whitewashed tombs) which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” That gives you a look at what Jesus thought of the spiritual leaders of the Jews, at His first advent. They had the covenants of promise, that Paul referred to here in his Ephesian epistle, and should have been a holy people before God, but they had done with the law, just exactly what Gentiles have done with the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were very particular to see that every little detail was observed outwardly, according to their traditional interpretation of the law, but they did not have a true heart within them. That is why they stoned Stephen to death, and tried to stone Jesus many times before that. That is why Saul of Tarsus was on his way to Damascus to arrest Christians; he had been taught to deal with anyone this way, who failed to keep the law as they taught it, and claimed to serve God some other way. Well, this is that same Saul, 29 years after having met the Lord, on that trip to Damascus, now called Paul the apostle of Christ, instead of Saul of Tarsus, writing to Gentiles that have been converted from paganism, and reminding them of how in former times, Gentiles were aliens from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” No doubt Paul was thinking about the time he went into Athens, Greece, and observed that the whole city was completely given over to idolatry. Those Greeks had a god for everything, hoping that in some way, they would be covered in every situation, and just for extra measure, they even had an altar dedicated to the UNKNOWN GOD. So when Paul got a chance to speak to them, he started by saying, “Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.” In other words, just to paraphrase a little, Paul said, I want to tell you about his unknown God you have been ignorantly worshiping, this one you do not know a thing about. He is the God that created the world and all things therein, and He does not dwell in temples made with men’s hands. Neither will He be worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing. You can read the 17th chapter of Acts, and get the rest of what he said to those Greeks there that day, but let us get back to the point he is making to these saints at Ephesus. We are made nigh (brought close) by the blood of Christ. By direct spiritual knowledge, which has been imparted to us, we are now close enough to know how to fellowship with God. We no longer have to wonder if He hears us, or if He is real, for we know for sure that He is real, and that He hears every prayer of faith. Now verse 14. “For He (Jesus) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” He is talking about Jews and Gentiles, what God has done through the shed blood of His only begotten Son, to break down that former barrier between them, and make them both one, one body in Christ. In order to understand this type of speech, we would have to go back almost two thousand years, to the city of Ephesus, and try to see this assembly of Christians that has been established by Paul, made up of both Jews and Gentiles. What kind of wall existed there? There were many Jews living in Ephesus, Jews in dispersion. They had settled in certain quarters of the city, built them a synagogue, and every Sabbath day they congregated together. But on the way to that synagogue, if they met a Gentile, they would step aside to let him pass, lest they get too close to an unclean thing. Well naturally those Gentiles would have feelings about the way those Jews acted. Who do they think they are, anyway? But remember, Even though they were far from Jerusalem, far from their holy place, they knew they had the law, and the commandments, and that they were supposed to be a holy people, and not touch anything unclean. Well, up to a certain point, that is true, but they have applied certain things to an extreme, yet they do not know it. That is why they would make sure they did not contact any Gentile person along the way. Well, after so long, the Gentiles began to understand why they acted like that; it is because of those traditional religious writings they have. The Gentiles got used to that kind of a situation, but that was that middle of wall of partition Paul was referring to. Naturally the middle wall existed because of the Jews’ interpretation of what God wanted them to be, and they just simply could not see this unclean bunch of Gentiles fitting into the picture. Naturally until God did something to change the situation, that wall remained there, and the Gentiles would just go right on making fun of those fanatical foreigners. They were foreigners to those Gentiles there. But listen, If one of those Gentiles got curious enough to step inside that synagogue on the Sabbath day, he then, was the foreigner. Every eye in the place was upon him. That condition existed until God Himself did something to change the situation, so let us read on. Verse 15, “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, (the enmity was those hard feelings between the two peoples,) even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain (both Jew and Gentile) one new man, so making peace; And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. (Gentiles were far off, and Jews were nigh.) For through Him (Jesus Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye (Gentiles) are no more strangers and foreigners, bur fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” The body they were both reconciled in, was the body of the sacrifice that was offered at Calvary for the sins of the whole world, both Jew and Gentile, God took from the pages of their law, all those things written about Gentiles, that had always remained a great mystery to every New, and began to fulfill them in the lives of Gentiles. He gave Gentiles a revelation of the God of the Jews, and of how the God of the Jews became incarnate in the flesh of the person of His only begotten Son. That was the revelation Paul preached to Gentiles everywhere he went. But in every area of his journeys, Paul always preached the gospel to the Jews in dispersion there, before he would go to the Gentiles. Naturally, not everyone that heard the gospel believed. Neither of the Jews, nor of the Gentiles, but in every place, those who did believe the gospel, and accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord, could sit down together in the same meeting place and fellowship one another. They could then, for the very first time, see each other as brothers and sisters of the common faith. That is how God took two realms of people, and made one new man. That old spirit of enmity was slain forever. Jews could actually rejoice, and give glory to God, for what they saw Him doing for Gentiles. That caused Paul to say, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of god.” Remember, Paul was not writing this letter to the city of Ephesus; it was only to those who had obtained like faith, and were born into the family of God. They were now a part of the great building of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and Jesus Christ Himself is the chief corner stone in that building. Paul uses the term building, or uses terminology that speaks of a building, making the point, that every building that is built to stand, has to be built upon a proper foundation, and with the proper materials throughout, as well as having the proper dimensions and angles. In other words, What Paul refers to as a building, is put together by the revelation of what was written by those Old Testament prophets. The apostles of Jesus Christ took those Old Testament prophecies, and fashioned a building out of them, that God Himself is pleased to dwell in. Such a building properly fitted together, groweth into an holy temple in the Lord, or as it is referred to in the 14th chapter of John’s gospel, many mansions. The house of God has many mansions, but those mansions are His redeemed children, that He dwells in. We have become an habitation for the Spirit of God. Hallelujah! I thank God for a revelation of His precious word. That is more precious to me than thirty million dollars would be.

 

DO YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE?

Brothers and Sisters: I believe we have just about covered this mystery of God, spoke of in our text, and I believe we have presented a pretty good picture of what will follow, when that mystery among the Gentiles is finally completed, and god turns His attention fully back to the Jews, back to the people the gospel of Jesus Christ was first presented to. There is nothing we could say, that would straighten out the confused lives of a lot of people who claim to follow Bro. Branham’s teaching, for they have already been taken over completely, by a spirit of idolatry. They have robbed God, and they have robbed the Son of God in whom this sovereign Spirit dwells, and they have attributed to Bro. Branham, honor that belongs only to God, or to His only begotten Son Jesus, the Christ. What they have done is even worse than what the Catholics did, when they made the Pope the Vicar of the Son of God. At least the man they look to is alive. He speaks to them, and teaches that Antichrist doctrine to the, thereby deceiving them. But this bunch of idolaters follow their own imaginations, and have made Bro. Branham their God, something he would have never intentionally said anything to promote. He confessed often, that he was only a man, and as helpless as any one of us, unless God saw fit to anoint him. How many times have some of you heard him say, Don’t look to me, I can’t help you; look to God, I am your Brother? Therefore let me say once again, He was a prophet. He was the messenger to the age of Laodicea. God anointed him like no other man, we have hard of except Jesus, and he was the seventh angel of Revelation 10:7, and it is the message he brought to this age, that is going to finish this mystery of God as declared to His servants the prophets. But he is dead now, and will lie in the ground until the apostle Paul, Peter, and all the other saints who have gone by way of the grave, are resurrected, and caught up to glory. Therefore let me say to all who will ever hear this message, or read it in the Contender. If Bro. Branham is your God, you are spiritually dead, and when the last breath of this physical life goes out of you, your old body will rot in the ground, your soul will find its place in hell, and the only thing left for you, is to be resurrected at the great white throne judgment, and cast alive into the lake of fire, just like all the other unbelievers of every other age. You have missed the whole purpose for which the Malachi 4:5-6 prophet was sent to this age. You have not been restored to the faith of the fathers; you have deceived yourselves into believing another gospel, and a the apostle Paul plainly said in Galatians 1:8, Let such a person be accursed. In other words, cut off without any hope. But to you saints who love the Lord Jesus Christ, and look for His coming, and appreciate what God did for us through the ministry of Bro. Branham, let me say this, Stay with the Bible, regardless of what anyone may present to you, for in its pages is found the only hope we have for eternal life with god. Its message is still true, and its rewards for those who believe its message are still the same as it has always been. In this life, we will have the Spirit of God to lead us, protect us, and to provide for us, and then there will come the time when we will rule and reign with Jesus Christ, (the only Savior mankind has), when He comes back to earth to rule and reign as Kings of kings, and Lord of lords. May He be praised forever! Hallelujah! I love him! Amen.

 

What Is The Mystery Of God?, Part 1

 

TEXT: REVELATION 10:7

AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER WE HAVE ALL HEARD SOMEONE MENTION THE MYSTERY OF GOD, AND MOST OF THE TIME IT HAS BEEN IN RELATION TO REVELATION 10:7, A VERY CONTROVERSIAL VERSE OF SCRIPTURE AMONG THE RANKS OF PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW THE TEACHING OF THE LAODICEAN CHURCH AGE MESSENGER, BRO. WILLIAM MARRION BRANHAM. SOME KNOW WHAT THIS MYSTERY IS, AND MANY WHO THINK THEY DO, DO NOT. THEY ARE THE ONES THAT CAUSE CONFUSION AMONG THE SAINTS WITH THEIR VARIOUS IDEAS AND PRIVATE INTERPRETATIONS. BY THE SAME TOKEN, MANY KNOW HOW TO APPLY THE WORD ANGEL, AS IT IS USED IN THAT SAME VERSE, BUT SOME DO NOT, AND THEY ARE FOREVER ARGUING SOME POINT OR THE OTHER, TRYING TO GET SOMEONE ELSE TO AGREE WITH THEIR PRIVATE INTERPRETATION OF WHAT IT ACTUALLY APPLIES TO. NEVERTHELESS, REGARDLESS OF ALL THE CONFUSION, THERE IS A TRUTH CONTAINED IN THAT VERSE, AND THE TRUE SAINTS OF GOD ARE GOING TO HAVE A REVELATION OF THAT TRUTH BEFORE THEY LEAVE HERE IN THE RAPTURE, FOR GOD DID NOT HAVE THE SCRIPTURES WRITTEN JUST SO CARNAL MANKIND WOULD HAVE SOMETHING TO PLAY AROUND WITH.

 

YOU SOMETIMES WONDER, JUST WHAT ELSE SOME OF THESE CARNAL MINDED PEOPLE WILL COME UP WITH BEFORE GOD BRINGS IT ALL TO AN END. ONE SUCH PREACHER, IN WHOM, AT ONE TIME I HAD A LOT OF CONFIDENCE, HAS RECENTLY COMPILED AND PUBLISHED A LITTLE PAMPHLET, USING BRO. BRANHAM’S NAME, AND STATEMENT ABOUT LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA BEING SUNK INTO THE OCEAN BY A MIGHTY EARTHQUAKE, BUT GIVING HIS OWN INTERPRETATION OF IT ALL. BRO. BRANHAM DID HAVE A VISION, IN WHICH HE SAW THIS TERRIBLE SCENE, BUT THIS MAN SOMEHOW GOT THE IDEA THAT IT WOULD HAPPEN DURING THE TIME OF THE 1984 OLYMPICS, AND A FEW DAYS LATER, THE RAPTURE WOULD TAKE PLACE, AND HE EVEN STATED WHEN THE MILLENNIUM WOULD BE INAUGURATED, AND PRINTED IT ALL IN A LITTLE PAMPHLET WHICH HE DISTRIBUTED FREELY. HE WAS NOT SATISFIED JUST TO DO THAT THOUGH, HE EVEN SENT A COPY OF IT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE POPE OF ROME, FOR WHICH HE RECEIVED A LETTER OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT, STATING THAT THEY HAD RECEIVED THEM. WELL, NEEDLESS TO SAY, THE 1984 OLYMPICS ENDED, AND LOS ANGELES IS STILL STANDING, AND THIS MAN HAS BROUGHT MORE SHAME AND REPROACH TO THE NAME OF THE DECEASED PROPHET OF GOD THAT HAD TO VISION. NOT ONLY THAT, IT BRINGS A GREAT REPROACH UPON ALL WHO SEEK TO FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS OF BRO. BRANHAM, AND PLACES THEM IN A POSITION WHERE THEY WILL BE SCRUTINIZED EVEN MORE CLOSELY BY THOSE WHO ALREADY THINK WE ARE NOTHING MORE THAN A CULT. IT IS THIS SORT OF THING THAT WILL CAUSE CERTAIN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO PUT PRESSURE ON EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT A PART OF ORGANIZED RELIGION ONE DAY IN THE NEAR FUTURE. IT JUST GOES TO SHOW HOW THE DEVIL OPERATES. IF HE CANNOT SUCCEED IN DESTROYING YOUR MIND WHEN YOU ARE STILL IN YOUR YOUTH, SO THAT YOU ARE MADE TO ACT MORE LIKE AN ANIMAL THAN HUMAN BEING, AND IF YOU HAVE ANY INCLINATION TOWARD SERVING GOD, HE WILL TRY HIS LEVEL BEST TO GET YOU GOING 90 MILES AN HOUR IN THE WRONG DIRECTION, WITH SOME FANATICAL IDEA THAT IS COMPLETELY CONTRARY TO TRUE REVELATION, OR HE WILL GET YOU SIGNED UP IN ONE OF THESE WELL ESTABLISHED DENOMINATIONAL CHURCH SYSTEMS, WHERE THE PEOPLE SIT, FEELING SO SECURE, YET WITHOUT ANY TRUE UNDERSTANDING OF THE ULTIMATE PURPOSE OF GOD IN REDEMPTION AND RESTORATION WHATSOEVER. THEREFORE THOSE WHO DO HAVE THEIR HEAD ON STRAIGHT, AND HAVE A TRUE REVELATION OF THE WORD OF GOD, HAVE MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR, FOR IT WAS NOT BY OUR OWN WISDOM THAT IT TURNED OUT TO BE SO. A LOVING GOD, THAT FOREKNEW US FROM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, HELD BACK THE FORCES OF SATAN, THAT WOULD HAVE DESTROYED US, AND BY HIS OWN SPIRIT, DREW US TO HIMSELF. HALLELUJAH! MAY HE EVER BE PRAISED AND WORSHIPED.

 

Let us open our Bibles to Revelation 10:7, at this time, and read that verse. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, AS HE HATH DECLARED TO HIS SERVANTS THE PROPHETS.”

 

Another man that used to live in this area, and that took a very selfish attitude toward certain things, sent us a letter recently, in which he stated that the voice in Revelation 10:7, was not the voice of the 7th church age messenger, but rather, everything in chapter 10, is for the nation of Israel in the time of Daniel’s seventieth week. Now I am sure most of you know what I mean, when we refer to the seventieth week of Daniel, or the last week of Daniel, do you not? It is the last week of the 70 prophetic weeks in which God would deal exclusively with the nation of Israel because of their transgressions, a prophecy that was given to the prophet Daniel while in Babylonian captivity. Sixty nine weeks (483 years) of that prophecy were fulfilled before the first advent of Christ, leaving one full week (7 years) of time for God’s dealing with the Jews after Gentile grace has been closed out. Many people refer to that time as the great tribulation time, but actually, only the last 3 ½ years of that week of years will be the great tribulation; the first 3 ½ years will be a time of peace and prosperity from the standpoint of the political world. This week is ushered in by the Antichrist and many world politicians signing a great peace covenant, which we know will only last for a short 3 ½ years before the old Antichrist himself breaks the covenant, and begins a great slaughter of Jews, and that very act is what throws the great tribulation into effect. We will read only one verse of scripture from the 9th chapter of Daniel at this time, the verse that deals with that peace covenant, for we have all of this explained in other messages that we have in print already. All right now, the one verse in Daniel 9:27, and the one that shall confirm the covenant with many is the Antichrist. Notice, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst (middle) of the week he (the Antichrist) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, ad for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Political governments will turn their authority over to this great peacemaker for that prophetic week of time, but he will betray their trust in the middle of that week and become a tyrant instead of a peacemaker. Woe be unto those that are left here until then. Brother I want to be with those saints that are caught up to be with Jesus at the marriage supper at the beginning of that week of time. My only interest in that peace covenant, is the revelated teaching of the truth about it. When that week of time starts, it will also put into effect Revelation 7:1-8, where it tells of 144,000 servants of God being sealed in their foreheads, and chapter 11:3-13, where it tells of two witnesses (prophets) that will prophesy to the nation of Israel for a period of 3 ½ years. It is the prophecy of these two Jewish prophets, that accounts for the 144,000 Jewish servants of God being sealed in their foreheads. They are sealed with the baptism of the Holy Ghost and a revelation of who Jesus Christ is, their promised Messiah.

 

LOVE LETTER TO BRIDE

One thing we always like to point out about the book of Revelation, is that the fulfillment of it does not come about in the same order in which it is recorded in the Bible. When you are trying to write an accurate record of a dozen things that are all taking place at exactly the same time, you just have to write it, and follow each thought through, and the reader is responsible for getting it sorted out when it is read. There was no possible way for John to record all of these events in the order of their fulfillment while only making a record of them. It takes specific teaching and a Holy Ghost revelation to get them all in their order of fulfillment, and that responsibility is delegated to the five fold ministry of Ephesians 4:11-13. Furthermore as we have pointed out before, The book of Revelation is God’s love letter to the end time element of the bride of Christ, those that will be alive to witness the old Antichrist being introduced to the world. So it was not needful for saints of other ages to understand very much of what is written therein. That has caused some carnal minded men to make statements such as, The book of Revelation is like a mudhole; the more you stir it, the muddier it gets. Others have said, It never should have been written, and also, John must have been having a nightmare when he saw all of this. But I thank God for it, for it lets us see how all of this is going to end up. It allows us to see the true bride with her bridegroom, and also the disposition of ungodly men who have spurned the grace of God that has been freely offered to them down through the ages. We do not rejoice over their destruction, but we do rejoice because of the accuracy of God’s word, for the assurance of our salvation depends solely on whether God keeps His word or not.

 

ONE MAN’S PRIVATE INTERPRETATION

The man who wrote disagreeing with our teaching on Revelation 10:7, pointed back to Revelation 3:14, where John wrote specifically to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, as though angel in both verses should point to the same being. So let me remind you once again, that these letters to the seven certain churches of Asia described conditions that were then present in the individual assemblies in 96 A.D., and the letters were sent to the man in charge of the local assembly, and the man was referred to as the angel of Such and Such a church. But those seven churches had spiritual conditions in them that would identify with the overall spiritual conditions that would be found in seven distinctive ages, or phases that the universal church of Jesus Christ would pass through during the dispensation of grace, and just as each of those local assemblies had one particular man that stood out as their spiritual leader, so also has each age had one particular man that stood out above all others, and he is called, the messenger to the age. Therefore Revelation 10:7, definitely is referring to this seventh church age, which is the age of Laodicea, and not tot the pastor of the local assembly in Asia Minor. Furthermore let me say this, A lot of people just simply do not want to accept the idea that a mortal man could be referred to as an angel; they believe that every time the word angel is used, it pertains to a spirit being. That idea will get you into trouble if you pursue it, for you will have the apostle John writing letters, and sending them to a spirit being some place, and we all know better than that. Can you imagine some mortal man writing a letter to Gabriel, or Michael? It has never been done, and there is no authority in the scriptures for teaching such an idea. In 10:7, the seventh angel referred to, definitely speaks of the Laodicean CHURCH AGE messenger, even though the word angel is used throughout the rest of the book in reference to spirit beings. I am convinced, God has it written like that to confuse carnal theological minds. Their intellectual abilities cannot sort it out, no matter how much Greek and Hebrew they are able to use. That is how one fellow tried to prove we were wrong. He wrote saying, The Greek word that was used here, is the same one that was used over in such and such a place, and we know that over there, it is speaking of spirit beings. Now Saints: It is not my purpose to discredit educated people, for God does have a purpose in all of that. When He wants something recorded in a precise way, it is the educated person that is able to do that, but thank God, that it does not require an education to receive a revelation. God can talk to any person who has an open mind, and is willing to learn. Praise His name!

 

GENTILES TO BE FELLOW HEIRS

As we come back to our text verse, what we are really looking for is what this mystery of God actually pertains to, for it is singular. It does not say MYSTERIES of God, but MYSTERY (singular) of God should be finished, as He (God) hath declared to His servants the prophets. Some are quick to say, Oh that is speaking of the revelation of Jesus Christ. But brothers and sisters, that does not settle it, for they base that idea on Colossians 1:27 where the apostle Paul referred to the mystery among the Gentiles which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Naturally that is a part of the revelation of the mystery of God mentioned by John, in Revelation 10:7, but that does not cover the whole thing, for we are looking for a revelation of the mystery of God, as declared to His servants the prophets. Therefore the best place to go for a true understanding of this mystery is the epistle written by Paul to the Ephesians. The church at Ephesus was the model church among the Gentiles, and be 64 A.D., the gospel is among the Gentiles in preeminence, but by this time, Paul is a prisoner in Rome. It was from his prison cell in Rome, that he felt moved upon to write to the saints at the Ephesian church, whom he had not seen for many years, so let us open our Bibles to chapter 3, and we will begin reading right in verse 1, for it is important that we see how he approaches the subject of his thoughts. “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles. (There were still some Jews in the congregation at that time, but they were the minor element of the assembly.) If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation He (God) made known unto me the MYSTERY: (Now as you read this in your Bible, you will notice that from the word mystery in verse 3, on through verse 4, it is in Parenthesis. Paul inserts some words of explanation about how the revelation of this mystery was given to him to expound to them. So let us just skip the part that is in parenthesis, and go directly to verse 5, so you can catch the complete thought without the break. We will reread verse 3.) How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery: which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is know revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel.” Alright we can see, that, mystery was the theme, a mystery that in other ages had been hid from the understanding of the sons of men, but is now made known unto the New Testament apostles and prophets by a revelation of the Spirit of God, and being preached to those who would be the beneficiaries of this great revelation.

 

PAUL’S REVELATION EXPLAINED MORE PERFECTLY

In the Lamsa translation, verse 3-7, are recorded like this, “For the mystery was made known to me by a revelation, as I have briefly written you before. So that when you read it you can understand my knowledge of the mystery of Christ, Which in ages past was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs and partakers of His body and of the promise which is given through Him by the gospel. Of that very gospel, I have been a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effectual working of His power.” Paul had preached this revelation to them, when he held that great revival there, that lasted for almost three years, but here in this old Roman prison, he has the strong urge to write to the Ephesian Church and fill them in more perfectly on this great revelation, whereby the Gentiles who had always been looked upon by the Jews, as dogs, and without hope in God, were now partakers of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the Jews to whom the promise was given. Paul, having been a Pharisee before his conversion, knew all of those prophecies written by the prophets of old concerning this great mystery, and now that he has a revelation of it, his great desire is that all men might be made to understand, and accept this great truth. He continues in verse 7, saying, “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, (Paul always remembered how he at first persecuted Christians, before his own conversion, and that always made him feel very unworthy to be used of God as he was in preaching the gospel. His experience on the road to Damascus, where the power of God struck him blink, and turned his whole life around, had made him a humble man, so he says, I am less than the least of all saints. But God had committed to him a great responsibility) that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; (Is he referring to how much money and material things he has brought and distributed among them? No, he is speaking of the greatest riches that a person could ever possess; salvation for his sin sick soul, and to be joint heirs with Jesus Christ in the family of God. Hallelujah! What great riches is there? What doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole word, and lose his own soul? The Jews were first partakers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but, Praise God, the Gentiles have had it for over 1900 years now, and we are reading the very words that gave them understanding of what this great treasure was, so let us look at verse 9, and see some more of what Paul’s great burden was.) And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”

 

UNDERSTANDING GOD’S PURPOSE

The King James version, and all translations that have been taken from the King James text, conclude verse 9, with the words, who created all things by Jesus Christ, and that causes a trinity mind to feel that he has a right to believe that Jesus the Son existed as a person with the Father in creation. But we have gone into much detail in other messages, proving to you by the scriptures, that Jesus the Son of God never had any physical existence until the virgin Mary gave birth to Him two thousand years ago. Before that, He existed only in the mind of the Father, the great eternal Spirit that created all things by His own word, and that is exactly how verse 9 reads, in the original text. It simply says, “which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things.” That leaves you with a true revelation. But when the King James translators added those last three words, they actually perverted the whole thought. Without a true revelation of the Godhead, people who read the first chapter of John’s gospel, just automatically assume that Jesus was a person, working with the Father in creation. But a true revelation allows us to see that God, by the same means in which He created everything else, also created an embryo in the womb of a young virgin, that produced the flesh being of His only begotten Son. Alright now, why did Paul feel that he should endeavor to make all men understand this mystery concerning the Gentiles? Verse 10 tell us. “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.” Brothers and sisters, let me just say at this time, Church pews around this world, are filled with people who claim o be children of God by a new birth, and the larger majority of them are totally ignorant of the plan and purpose of God in redemption. They go to church faithfully; they are faithful to the programs of their particular church, and they talk a lot about being born again, but very few of them actually have any revelation whatsoever of what the new birth really is, nor what it places one into, when it does take place. Somehow they are made to believe that if they will got to church and be religious, they will inherit eternal life for it, but they receive no instruction on what the truly born again souls are to be partakers of. The old Methodist, with whom I am most familiar, believe that God saved them just so they would escape hell and go to heaven, and that one day God will burn the earth, and that will be the end of the whole picture. Well I am thankful to know that God does not end it all in that way. Sure He will burn up the wicked, and purge the earth with fire, but the earth will still be here, and children of God will still be here on it, or in it. It is those spiritual realities that take place beyond the point of most churchgoers understanding, that Paul refers to as the unsearchable riches of Christ, and that allow the true church to see and understand the manifold wisdom of God in the whole thing. That is why I have said many times, The things written in the New Testament are only for the true bride church, and definitely not for the world of religion in general. Therefore when I say something that may sound like I am being very selfish, I am not selfish at all; I am just extremely thankful to God for His grace and mercy that has been extended to include me in. If it were left up to me, I would try to include everyone, but who receives this grace, when, where, and how they receive it, is strictly in the hands of God. All we can do is preach a true revelation of the gospel of Christ, and let the Spirit of God draw those that are ordained to receive it. Therefore knowing that the Spirit of God has to draw a person to the place of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, has a humbling effect instead of making one proud and selfish. We just have to realize that we are what we are purely by the grace and mercy of God.

 

A LOOK AT GOD’S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM

Let us just look back at verse 9, and see what else is there, that we should mention at this time. The apostle Paul is talking about how God has called him to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ among the Gentiles, and then in verse 9, he says, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things,” and that brings up the question, If it has been hid in God from the beginning of creation, How does Revelation 10:7 fit into the picture? Just what does it mean? What did the seventh messenger (angel) have to do with it? These are some of the questions that people ask, and they are questions that deserve an answer, so let us go back to the Old Testament, where God made a promise to Abraham that included not only his natural seed, but also his spiritual seed, and I believe we can fill in the missing pieces to the puzzle. When Abraham was seventy-five years old, and had no children of his own, God spoke to him saying, “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” After Abraham left Haran and journeyed to the land of Canaan, God appeared to him again, and said, “Unto thy seed will I give this land,” but Abraham still had no seed. Nevertheless he did believe God, and he built an altar, and worshiped God there. At another time, after Abraham and Lot were separated from each other, God appeared to him saying, “Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.” But Abraham still had no seed. A few more years passed, and Abraham questioned God about this promised seed. For God had said to him, “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” That caused Abraham to say, “Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? Thou hast given me no seed: and lo, one born I my house is mine heir.” Then God said to him, “This shall not be thine heir; but he that cometh forth from thine own bowels shall be thine heir, and thy seed shall be for number as the stars of heaven.” This promise hung over Abraham for 25 years before his own wife Sarah gave birth to that promised son, when she was already ninety years old. But God does not live in time, nor is He hampered by circumstances of the natural. He is always able to perform His word and fulfill His promises, regardless of circumstances. I am sure, you all know the story, how Sarah tried to help God, and caused her husband to gain a son by her Egyptian maid Haggar, and he was called Ishmael, but even though he was Abraham’s first born, God still told Abraham that the promise He had made to him, was to be fulfilled through Isaac, his son of promise by his wife Sarah, and through that son was all the nations of the earth to be blessed. Naturally it was hard for Abraham to conceive what all of that meant, as God would say these things to him, but the scriptures say, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness. Well, even though Abraham did receive the promised son, he still did not know to what extent the promise of God would reach, but he did believe God. After Abraham was laid to rest, Isaac still carried that promise. Because from him would come a line of genetic people that would grow into a great multitude, and from time to time, God would lift up one of those men, and use him for a prophet. He would speak to that man concerning things to come, and cause the man to write it down in a record that would be passed from generation to generation. Things that pertained not only to the Jewish race of people which were Abrahams natural seed, but some of them pertained to what God would do for Gentiles through the see of Abraham.

 

WHAT THE OLD PROPHETS WROTE

Abraham’s natural seed ended up in Egypt, and remained there for over 400 years, before God miraculously led them out of Egyptian bondage by the hand of Moses His anointed. He led them to the foot of Mt. Sinai, where all the rest stayed, while Moses went up upon the mountain, and prostrated himself in the presence of God for 40 days and nights, while God showed him in types and shadows the end of His promise to Abraham. Naturally Moses did not understand it all, but he did record it for future generations to read, and we all know, it was recorded in symbolic language. Those festivities that the children of Israel observed from year to year, actually pointed ahead to something God was going to fulfill in the spirit, and make the Gentiles partakers of it also. But during those years, along came prophet after prophet, speaking of the things God would do among the Gentiles, and none of them understood what the prophecies actually pertained to. Furthermore during all that time (1400 years) Gentiles were looked upon by the Jews as unclean dogs, and rightly so, for Gentiles were pagan idol worshipers, and there was nothing that they would not do. They had no knowledge of one God who is Spirit, nor how to worship a God that they could not see. They made their own gods, and they had many, believe me. That is why a trinity is so popular among Gentiles today; their hereditary traits are stronger than their revelatory attributes. No matter what anyone tells them about God being ONE, they still have to hold to what their ancestors believed. The only exception is the few that are able to hear the voice of God, and you believe me, compared to the multitudes of religious people out here in the world today, they are few. Through all those years, the Jew could read in the Psalms & Prophets how God would perfect praise from the Gentiles, but how could he ever look upon any Gentile as being fit for anything like that? It was spoken to, and written by Gods servants the prophets, but none of them understood what it meant. Yet in the days when the seventh angel was upon earth, this mystery concerning the salvation of Gentiles, and how they would be fellow heirs with Jewish saints, was already revealed. It had been in operation for over 1900 years, but there was yet a work for the VOICE of that seventh angel to do, after the man himself was already in the ground. His voice was his message to the true bride of Christ, and that bride is made up of people from all nations around this world, many of which had never even heard the name William Branham, while he was still alive. Therefore many people who would have to hear his voice (his message) had never heard of him in 1965, so his voice had not yet begun to sound to them. We just simply cannot look at everything pertaining to the universal church, and make judgments based upon conditions here in Jeffersonville, Indiana, where the seventh angel preached his major messages. We have to allow time for God to deal with every individual soul that is to be a recipient of His grace, in every corner of the world, before we can conclude that anything is finished, as pertaining to the bride of Christ.

 

WHAT GENTILES HAVE INHERITED

Four thousand years passed between the first events of the garden of Eden, and the birth of Jesus the Christ. For over 1400 years of that time the Jews had the law, the prophets, the many types and shadows that pointed to what God would accomplish through the one whom they looked for. Yet when He came, they rejected Him, because He did not measure up to their preconceived ideas of what He should be like, and what He should do, therefore what was first offered to them, and only a few of them received it, was then offered to the Gentiles, and they have had it for almost two thousand years now. But when you look at the overall picture of what is called Christianity today, the true gospel of Jesus Christ is treated in much the same way among them, as the author of that gospel was among the Jews when He stood among them in person, preaching to them. They called Him a devil, and tried to kill Him many times during the 3 ½ years He preached among them. Who did those things? The educated religious leaders, and their devout followers. That is who crucified the Son of God, while His only crime was that He offered them eternal life according to the promise of the God they claimed to serve. He came, fulfilling all those scriptures they had been reading in their synagogues every Sabbath day, and those great doctors of divinity, and their scribes, failed to see one thing in Him, that would cause them to say, He is the Messiah. Yet God did give one of them a revelation, and sent him to the Gentiles who had never had the privilege of knowing the man Jesus in the flesh, and by the power of the Spirit, he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to them, and they accepted it. No Gentile has ever been privileged to know Christ after the flesh; only through a revelation by the Spirit do we know Him, and accept His gospel. What about this mystery though; some will yet say? It is none other than the church, called out from among the Gentiles. Once the time came, that God offered His plan of redemption to humanity, He took from the pages of those Old Testament prophets, all those prophecies that pointed to us Gentiles, what we are to do, how we are to be blessed, and so forth, and placed the living reality of them in the hearts of Gentile believers. What was a mystery to all those old prophets that wrote of it, is a living reality to the called out Gentile bride of Christ. Paul had stood for two years, in the school of Tyrannus, there in Ephesus, preaching the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ to Gentiles, and by the power of His Spirit, God drove back the powers of Satan, opened up their superstitious minds, and gave them a revelation of how He was fulfilling among them, the prophecies of Amos, Isaiah, the Psalms, and the covenant made with Abraham, and Paul watched those scriptures come alive in that great revival, as those Gentiles so freely received the gospel. Then during the years between then and the time he winds up in a Roman prison, he had watched as the word of God grew among them, and prevailed, so he is very thankful in his heart, that God gave him the insight to preach it to them. To the Colossians he said, It is Christ in you, the hope of glory, and that is exactly right, for that is where the hope lies, and that in itself is a mystery. But the mystery of God as referred to in Revelation 10:7, is that the Gentiles were included in those spiritual promises which seemed to have been made only to the Jews. Not only did we receive a revelation of Jesus Christ, but also an understanding of the plan and purpose of God in His complete redemption process. Nevertheless religion as a whole would treat Jesus Christ the same way those religious Jews treated Him, if He showed up today preaching what He did then, for it would not fit into their church programs. No, they will never get a chance to put Him on trial in the flesh, but they are putting Him on trial just the same, because of the way they are treating the revelation of His word. They trust in their theological degrees and their great educations, but no true revelation has ever come out of a seminary, and it never will; that is man’s way. They have taken the ONLY PERSON of the Godhead, and made Him the second person of a triune concept of God. They call Him Lord and Savior, yet there is no possible way that He could be the Savior and Lord of people who despise revelation truth like they do. Sure He can still dal with an individual soul in those systems, but the system that holds those souls captive is as dead as a doornail. The Spirit of God left those systems long ago. I know it sounds like I am terribly narrow minded when I talk like this, but when God gives you a revelation, He expects you to let that revelation help you face reality. Burying your head in the sand will not get one extra soul saved. Some people actually say, Oh they are so sincere, I believe if we will just leave them alone, everything will be all right. Well I wish that could be true; but that is just an illusion. God knows what He is after, His word tells us what He is after, and He will not accept anything less.

 

TRUMPET ANGELS SOUND JUDGMENTS

Let me just remind you, that the whole book of Revelation is a prophecy, and that denominational church people know that much about it. The main trouble is, they try to make application of much of it, without any revelation of what it actually says to the bride of Christ. Just believing certain fundamental truths, like the eminent return of Jesus Christ, the rapture of the true church, the battle of Armageddon, and the great white throne judgment, is of little benefit if you do not get a revelation of how God is going to fulfill those scriptures, and what He is going to accomplish in the fulfilling of them. Untold numbers of Jews went out to hear John the Baptist, as he stood pointing souls to Jesus Christ, and many of them left stomping mad, because what they heard crossed their traditions. Is that not the case with Gentiles today? How many do you meet up with, that really want to hear the truth? You tell them that Revelation 10:7 pointed to a man that lived in this age of Laodicea, and they look at you as though to say, You are an outright heretic. Brothers and Sisters: You know that is the truth. They want to believe that the angel of that verse is the same as the 7th trumpet angel of chapter 8. Brother, when those trumpet angels begin to sound, their sounding will not have anything at all to do with the mystery of God among Gentiles. Their sounding will be exclusively to Israel, and it will be in connection with the ministry of the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3-7. Those trumpet angels are to be the executioners of judgment in Israel, as those two witnesses pronounce that judgment upon the nation. First you need to realize that those seven angels of chapter 8, each have a trumpet, but the angel of 10:7, does not have a trumpet; he has a voice. It refers to the voice of the 7th church age messenger that has already been on earth, delivered his message and left his voice, and that voice is being sounded around this old world. His voice is his message and every true bride person must hear that voice. Oh, I am not saying they have to hear the name William Branham; it is the message he delivered to the living element of the bride of Christ that they must hear, in order to be set free from religious traditions of their past, and step into the beautiful light of God’s revealed word.

HOW VOICE IS APPLIED

Alright now, let us just go directly to Acts 13:26-27, to establish the fact that we have not misapplied the word voice in our text scripture. Keep in mind the fact that Israel had been without a writing prophet for four hundred years, so Paul was definitely not speaking of prophets of their day and hour as he uttered these words. He was reminding those Jews of how John the Baptist had been sent ahead, to prepare the people to receive their long awaited Messiah, and how, even though they had read the writings of their prophets concerning Him, they still failed to recognize Him when He came. Let us go back to verse 24, where we will get a little more background on what Paul is saying. “When John had first preached before His coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel, and as John had fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not He. (The Christ) But behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of His feet I am not worthy to loose.” (Now Paul picks up right there with this discourse to them, in which he uses the word voice, or voices, in the relationship that establishes our point, so notice.) “Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this SALVATION sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew Him not, nor yet the VOICES OF THE PROPHETS (notice now) which are READ EVERY SABBATH DAY, (That had to be the messages of those old prophets, all of which had been dead for hundreds of years at that time, so he concludes that verse by saying) they have fulfilled them (the prophecies) in condemning Him.” Naturally there is much that could be said right there, but what we are after, is just to establish grounds for applying the word Voice to the message of the messenger, rather than just to the vocal sounds he uttered while still alive, and among us. Those Jews were reading the messages of their prophets, and every one of those prophets are dead, yet Paul referred to it as the VOICES of their prophets. Therefore I say to you, When we read Revelation 10:7, let us face reality, and apply it correctly; for when Bro. Branham was still alive, only a small segment of the universal bride of Christ was ever privileged to hear the actual vocal sounds of his voice. On the other hand though, since his death, his VOICE (message) has been around this old globe again and again, and it will continue so, until every predestined soul has heard it.

 

SCRIPTURE INTERPRETS SCRIPTURE

Saints: This is the reason I have said so many times, The scriptures themselves, interpret the scripture for us when we allow the Holy Ghost to guide our thoughts. Another good example of that is Rev. 12:14, concerning spiritual Israel (the woman) during the time of the great tribulation, when the Antichrist and his evil forces are determined to destroy everything that believes in God. It says, “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, (3 ½ years) from the face of the serpent. Verse 6, of that same chapter, tells us that the woman flees to a place God had already prepared for her, for a period of 1260 days, (3 ½ years of prophetic time) and verse 16 lets us see that the dragon of that verse, is the serpent of verses 14 & 15, and verse 9, allows us to see that they are both terms that apply to Satan the Devil, the enemy of God. But my main emphasis is on the two wings of a great eagle, so let us read Exodus 19:3 & 4. “And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I BARE YOU ON EAGLES’ WINGS, and brought you unto myself.” Alright, there you have the same terminology, Israel being delivered from their oppressors on the wings of eagles. But did Israel fly out of Egypt on the backs of great eagles? Of course not! You will ever one say. How were they delivered then? By obeying the words of God’s anointed, Moses and Aaron, and that is exactly what will deliver those Jews of Revelation 12:14. God’s two witnesses of Revelation 11:3, will have been on the scene in Israel, prophesying to them of the things that are soon to come upon them, and instructing them as to where to go, and how to go there, when that crucial hour arrives. So the message of those two prophets (witnesses) of God are the two wings of a great eagle that will cause that spiritual element of Jews to know when to flee, and where to go, for it will be a place already prepared of the Lord for that specific purpose. Now please do not ask me what that has to do with Revelation 10:7, for if you have been paying attention, you should know that I used this, only for the purpose of confirming spiritual terminology, and to show you how the scriptures themselves will vindicate a thing when the Holy Spirit is allowed to put them together for us.

 

THE BRIDE OF CHRIST MUST HEAR THIS VOICE

Those long range prophecies of Isaiah, Amos, Zechariah, Ezekiel, and all of them just lay right there for Jews of every century to read, but only in the generation that they were to be fulfilled, did those voices come off of those old scrolls, and become a revelation to those chosen of God for that purpose, and the end result of that era, is that the early church was founded by souls that heard the voices of those old prophets, and that opened up a new era, the dispensation of grace, during which time, the things those old prophets spake are a living reality to God’s true people, the church. But because of Satan’s perverting tactics, the church got off course, and it required another voice (message) to get her free from traditions, and back on a true course, and that is the voice this message is dealing with, so let us read our text verse again. “But in the days of the VOICE of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.” We have two main points to focus on in this verse; the mystery of God, and the voice of the seventh angel, and it is very important that we understand the truth of each point, and allow for a universal application of everything the lord reveals. As I said already, When Bro. Branham really began to preach the things that were applicable to the universal church, of which the seals more or less climaxed, his name was yet unheard of in many areas of the world. Nevertheless he did have a message that called for God’s people to get out of denominational systems and get back to the word of God, and that had to reach the ends of the earth, for God’s people everywhere were held under bondage by what we may just as well call Catholic dogma. For even though the Reformation brought many souls out of Catholicism, it failed to get them free of Catholic doctrine. Yet when this man’s message begun to work its way around the world, (after his death) it found lodging in the hearts of believers in some of the most unlikely places you could ever imagine. Not only was it calling them out of traditional religion, it was making them hungry for more of the revealed truth of God’s word. Those who were privileged to hear him, or hear taped messages, or read the messages he preached, were made to see the Jesus of the Bible in a way they had never seen Him before, and I thank God that I was one of those who were so privileged. But I am even more thankful that God is able to deal with the hearts of people who never even heard of William Branham, and give them the same revelation of His word, simply because they had ears to hear the VOICE (the message) of that little man, years after he had been lain in the ground. That, in itself, proves that it is not the audible voice of the messenger, but rather, his message, that the people of God had to hear. His message was to deal exclusively with God’s last day winding up of His redemption work among Gentiles. It dealt with every aspect of getting the true people of God out of man made systems, getting them free from manmade doctrines, and revealing the true God of all creation to them. God’s true people who have heard this man’s message, now know that God is one, and definitely not three persons. They know that water baptism is to be administered by immersion, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, according to Acts 2:38, and that every true child of God has the privilege of approaching God’s throne of grace and mercy on his or her own behalf, without the intercession of another mortal being. In other words, what we are saying is this, When the universal church of the living God has been totally affected by the application of this message, then, and then alone, will all of that which was written by those old prophets concerning this mystery of God, be fulfilled. But as for right now, that voice is in the earth today, and it will remain so until every predestined soul has heard it. No, it is not the seven thunders that will perfect the church ,as some believe. Salvation is completed, or perfected by the restored truth of God’s word, as was delivered to this age by this 7th age messenger of whom we have been speaking. Well, some will say, What are the seven thunders for then? The thunders will project something in the prophetic realm for the bride of Christ. Only after she is restored to the true understanding of the word of God and moving toward the rapture, will the thunders have a genuine application for the church. I believe it will have something to do with current events in the world, as Gentile time runs out, things that coincide with the return of Jesus Christ and the rapture itself. You can be sure of this much though, Whatever those thunders utter, will be things that are not written in the scriptures. Naturally, when I say that, there are always some who jump straight up, and say, How can that be possible? Well, Brothers and Sisters, I say, If those two prophets can be in Israel, prophesying, for 3 ½ years, things that are not written, why get so frustrated over the idea that those seven thunders can prophesy? Why deny the very possibility of it? To do so, you limit God. But remember, God will not be limited by our ideas; He has a plan to perfect.

 

JOHN WROTE WHAT HE WAS SHOWN

Just for the sake of understanding, let’s try to place ourselves over in the week of Daniel where we can watch God deal with those Jews that are to be sealed with a revelation of Jesus Christ and the baptism of the Holy ghost. Naturally what we know, comes mostly from a book of the Bible, that the Jews do not even accept as authentic scripture; the book of Revelation. It is a letter to the Gentile church, but it is mostly about God’s endtime dealing with the Jewish nation, simply because it is the will of God for the church to know what is going to take place. The aged apostle John, the author of the book was not a doctor of divinity, but, oh, what a revelation he had. He wrote the gospel of St. John and the three little epistles over in the back of the New Testament, and in his writing, it is plain to see that he dwelled much on the deity of Jesus Christ, and the oneness of God, and the love of God. But when he wrote the book of Revelation, he was not writing his own revelation; he wrote according to his instructions. He was projected into future time by the Spirit of God, and shown things that were yet to be, even into our very day and hour; and he had been instructed to record it, so that is how this book of Revelation came to be written. But after looking at this 7th verse, here in chapter 10, and realizing that it definitely points to the Laodicean Church age messenger, we now want to go into chapter 8, where after verse 1, it deals with events that will take place in the first 3 ½ years of the 70th week of Daniel, under the ministry of God’s two witnesses, or prophets of chapter 11. We want to look at the events that take place at the sounding of the seven trumpet angels, and see if we can tie it all together to form a complete picture. But let us first read verse 1, for that verse belongs to the church. “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” Now saints, I have stated over and over, since the death of Bro. Branham, that when God dealt with him as He did, and brought him back to Jeffersonville, and by the anointing of His Spirit enabled him to teach what he did about the seals, this is one seal he was not permitted to break and explain. All of the first six were revealed, and all explained, and Oh how beautiful it was to sit there, and hear them placed exactly in line with the scriptures. Your denominational preachers have never done that. Those who have even endeavored to touch on the seals, have been so far off course it was almost a laughing matter. They treat the whole thing as though it is all yet out ahead somewhere, and will be fulfilled after the bride is gone to glory, so she has no need to know anything about it. Brothers and Sisters: Those who believe that, are going to miss God for sure, just like those religious Jews did at the first advent of Christ.

 

SEVENTH SEAL BROKEN

Here is what we have go to understand about the breaking of this seventh seal. When it is literally broken, the first thing it signifies is that the mediatorial work of Jesus Christ is finished. He will no longer be high priest. Secondly, it means that the little sealed scroll that He has been holding in His right hand is no longer a rolled scroll, for when that last seal is broken it will be unfurled. That is why verse 2 of chapter 10, shows the little book (scroll) open, in the hand of the mighty angel that comes down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow upon His head, His face shining as the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire. That is a description of Jesus Christ Himself, but at that time, He appears only in angelic form, for it is not yet time for the rapture to take place. This is His announcement, that His mediatorial work is finished, every name in the little scroll has been interceded for, and it is time for the seven thunders to utter their voices to the church, and the two witnesses to begin their work in Israel. All of that is tied to the opening of the seventh seal that was not opened in 1963, it is yet ahead of us, but when it is opened, chapter 10 immediately goes into effect, and the whole program of redemption takes a drastic change. That is when the events of chapter 8:2-13 begin to take place in Israel and the Middle East, so let us see if we can get a picture in our minds, of what will happen. Naturally I am aware of the fat, that a lot of people will say, Bro. Branham plainly stated, that those seven trumpets are for Israel, for the Jews. That is true; they do not affect the destiny of the church whatsoever. But I will have to come right back, and say, Those things that are important to the Jews as far as literal application, are very important to the Gentile church for understanding, because they are written in her letter. You have to remember, that no Judiastic Jew will even accept the book of Revelation as authoritative scripture, so the understanding of the whole book is for the bride of Christ, even though most of the fulfillment of it deals with the Jews. So let us, for the sake of understanding, picture these events. The seventh seal has been broken, Christ, in angelic form, is standing with His left foot upon the sea, and His right foot on the earth, (This scene points to universal dominion.) With the little scroll open in His hand. That moves time to the beginning point of Daniel’s seventieth week, so let us watch these seven trumpet angels of chapter 8, beginning in verse 2. “And I (John) saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. (Brother when that week of time starts, there is going to be some drastic developments among earth’s society, for things are really going into a turmoil.) And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth; and there were voices, (two of those voices that will begin to be heard about that time, will be God’s two witnesses, or prophets of Rev. 11:3) and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” Now Saints: When this heavenly scene is set, the application and effects of it are going to be in the earth. Verse 7 gives us the sounding of the first trumpet, and its effect, and as I have said many times before, It is ridiculous to think these seven angels would be pouring out judgment upon the earth in the same period of time God’s two prophets are calling for those same judgments, if they were unrelated. But if you can see that these trumpet angels are actually applying the effects of the judgments those prophets are authorized of God to call for, to vindicate their ministry, it will all fit together, to form a complete picture.

 

THREE TRUMPET ANGELS SOUND

Alright now, let us read these first three trumpets, and then we will go to chapter 11, and correlate them with what the two prophets are doing. Let us read verses 6 and 7 now. “And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green gras was burnt up.” Please notice, that only a third part is affected. That shows that this is not a universal picture on earth, so it is obvious that it affects only Israel and their surrounding countries of the Middle East. As we proceed, you will see that it would not even be sensible to place these happenings anywhere in the earth, except in the area where the two prophets will be displaying the power and authority of God to a political minded, peace seeking element of Jews that have so readily signed a peace agreement with the Antichrist. Right now there is an element of Jews in Israel that would sign that covenant on a minute’s notice. On one hand, there are Jews believing with all their heart, that they are back in the land getting things ready for their Messiah. But on the other hand, there are those whose mind is on nothing but politics and money, and their own social status. Taking serious the messages of those two prophets would not even be considered by them, without some sort of display as Moses put on for Pharaoh in Egypt. So let us read verse 8, and see what else the Lord will do to convince them that He is in control of things. “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: (It does not say that a great mountain was literally cast into the sea. It is just that the effects of what takes place is as if such an occurrence took place.) And the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” The sea, here, applies no doubt, to the Mediterranean Sea, the same sea around which all the prophetic beasts of Daniel and Revelation are associated. But you will notice that the judgment is still limited in scope to a third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” All of this, but still only a third part is affected, so let us go to chapter 11, where we can see what God’s two prophets are doing at this same time.

 

EVENTS IN THE WEEK OF DANIEL

It is important now, that we keep our mind on only the first three trumpets, as we look at chapter 11, for their effects are realized in the first half of that week of time while the two prophets are on the scene in Israel. Chapter 11, starts out with John measuring the temple, a temple that was not even in existence when he wrote this prophetic letter, for Titus and his Roman army had completely destroyed the temple that was standing in the days of the first advent of Christ. “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.” The temple he is told to measure, is yet to be built. “But the court which is without (outside) the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city Jerusalem; shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” Now the court was the walled in area around the temple, where the children of Israel came to worship Jehovah, for only the priests were allowed inside the temple itself. Being inside the court separated them from the mainstream of activity in the city itself, and they would stand, and look toward the altar, as the priests offered sacrifices upon it, and burned incense. Standing on the wall, on one side would be men singers, and on the other side would be woman singers, (mainly Levites) and they would sing various Psalms and choruses. The people who came to worship, did not come and sit in a building like we do, and sing songs, and listen to preaching. Nevertheless their worship was acceptable to God, as long as they participated according to the law of Moses, even though the priests were the ones who went through the various functions described in the Old Testament. Well, you know more or less how they worshiped Jehovah, standing in the court area, but here, John is told not to measure the court, for it is given unto the Gentiles. That simply lets us know, that when the time does come, that the Jews get their temple spot back, time will not last long enough for them to restore the court and everything, before the Antichrist breaks his great peace covenant, and takes control of the temple himself. The temple will be built, and the Jews will offer sacrifices upon the altar, but time runs out before they get the court area rebuilt and restored, so John is told not to measure it, for it is given unto the Gentiles. What Gentiles? The Gentile army that the Antichrist will bring in, when he breaks the covenant, in the middle of the week, to fulfill the rest of Daniel 9:27. He denies the Jews any further access to their temple, and seats himself therein, according to Paul’s revelation in 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-4, and that is for the overspreading of abomination, as he sits there showing himself to be God. But he will not be able to accomplish all of this without His European army to back him up. The last part of verse 2 tells us how long all of this will last, forty and two months, 3 ½ years, the last half of Daniel’s week. Therefore keep that in your minds, and let us go to verse 3, where we will see the two witnesses given power, or authority to execute God’s purpose in the land of Israel. “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall PROPHESY a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” As I said earlier, it is not written what they will prophesy, but you can believe this much; it will be something that will open the blinded eyes of those Jews that are back there from all over the world. From every nation, Jews have gone to dwell in Israel, and every one of them that has any hope in God at all, have their own ideas about the coming of the Messiah, so what those two prophets prophesy, will definitely be something that will open their blinded eyes, and allow them to believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah they are looking for. Verse 4, “These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” It is not strange, that in this Gentile letter, which the Jews do not even accept as authoritative scripture, is found the first mention of the identity of those olive trees and candlesticks mentioned in Zechariah 4:11, 14. Jews, for centuries, have read those verses, without having any idea whatsoever of what they pertained to, but here in this Gentile letter, we are made to understand, that they will be two Jewish men, anointed with the anointing of Moses and Elijah of old, to awaken spiritual Israel and get them ready to receive their Messiah. There was no way for Jews of other ages to know that this symbolic language pointed to two men who would be prophets of God. But what does the symbolism actually tell us, some will say? Well, we know for sure, that men are not trees, and neither are they candlesticks, so why are they mentioned in this likeness? First let me remind you, that candlesticks are for the purpose of giving light, and it is from those olive trees, they get the oils to feed through those wicks, so looking at it from that standpoint, that is exactly what these two Jews will do, give light to their Jewish brethren. They will prophesy for 3 ½ years, under the two greatest anointings that have ever been bestowed upon mortal mankind, right straight from the throne of God. You can check it in the Old Testament, and you will see that Moses and Elijah of old, had those two great anointings. Down in Egypt, every time God told Moses to go to Pharaoh, and tell him to let my people go, He allowed Moses to pronounce plagues on the land, to vindicate his authority. At Moses’ command, here came lice, frogs, flies, hail, locusts, water to blood, and all such like. Then take Elijah, and look how God vindicated him. He was sitting upon a mountainside one day, and the king sent a captain and fifty men to bring him down, and what did he do? He looked at them, and said, “If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty,” and immediately it was done. Another time he looked at old King Ahab and said, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word,” and that is exactly how it was, and during that time He challenged 450 prophets of Baal to prove that their God could send fire down upon their altar, to consume their sacrifices, and he allowed them a whole day, to go through all their fanatical manipulations. Then as evening drew near, and it came time for the offering of the evening sacrifice to Jehovah, old Elijah prepared his offering upon the altar, and just for a demonstration to those heathen, he had twelve barrels of water poured over his offering, and the wood, and then he called upon the Lord, to send the fire, and immediately the fire of the Lord came down and consumed everything on, and around that altar, and because of that, the people who had been unsure about what God to worship, everyone fell upon their faces, and cried out to Jehovah. Now that was divine intervention, at the word of that old prophet who knew that he was in the will of God in those things. But now, back to Revelation, chapter 11. When you put those two together, that is exactly what we are going to see here. Verse 5, “And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.” No, they will not be breathing out literal fire from their mouths, to burn their enemies; it will be Holy Ghost fire. God will slay them, just like He did Ananias and Sapphira, over in the 5th chapter of Acts. But notice now, this is just a small portion mentioned here, of all that will be taking place. “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over water to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” In that one verse we see both the ministry of Moses and Elijah. Elijah shuts off the water, and Moses turns the water in the streams and sea to blood. What will that accomplish? After so long a time, it will get some attention from those skeptics and scoffers. It only gives a little sketch here of what will take place as they call for various plagues, but it is enough to let us see that these trumpet angels are working with them. The sounding of these trumpets in heaven, is what anoints these men to execute their ministry on earth, and they have two primary purposes. First, to seal one hundred and forty four thousand Jewish men with a revelation of Jesus Christ, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. That is what we see in chapter 7:1-8. But at the same time these men are hearing their prophetic revelation, another element of Jews will be hearing and believing also. This will be men, women, boys, and girls of all ages, referred to in chapter 12, as the woman that flees into the wilderness, to hide from the Antichrist for 3 ½ years.

TWO MESSAGES

As we said already, the two wings of a great eagle, that delivers her safely into her place, already prepared for her of the Lord, is the message of these two prophets. They will tell them where to go, and when. The woman element if spiritual Jews are ordained of God to repopulate the Jewish race of people, in the Millennium, so God hides them from the old Antichrist, and preserves them for that purpose. On the other hand, the 144,000 Jewish men will scatter back into the nations from which they came, preaching the everlasting gospel, and warning their brethren still in dispersion, not to accept the mark of the beast, nor have anything to do with him. Refusing will get them killed, but their martyrdom will get them a reward of eternal life, rather than damnation, as will be the lot of those who fail to take heed to their warnings. Among those that are killed for refusing the mark of the beast, will also be all those Gentile foolish virgins, spoken of in Matthew 25:1-13. So you see, the events of many chapters are all being fulfilled at the same time, so there was no possible way for John to record them in the exact order of their fulfillment.

 

TWO PROPHETS IN ISRAEL

Alright now, let us look more closely at the ministry of these two witnesses. “They have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over water to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” That lets us know, there are more plagues involved than just what is mentioned right here in this verse. As often as they will, is a key phrase here, for they were authorized to use these means whenever needed, to get the attention of the people. So let us reread verse 7, in chapter 8. “The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” Let us not look at this as a literal fire just burning up everything immediately, for when we look back to the book of Exodus, where Moses turned the water to blood, that condition lasted long enough, that the fish in the waters died, and the stench of it was smelled throughout all Egypt. So when we read over here where one angel sounds, and blood, fire, and hail were cast upon the earth, it simply lets us know, that these are all conditions which shall be brought about as these two prophets see fit to call for them to accomplish their purpose. Therefore in order to get it said as I see it, let us try to dramatize it a little. Let us just suppose we are Jews in Israel, and we will think and act like Jews. The two prophets are on the scene, but how are they going to get 144,000 specific Jews sealed away for God, in the midst of such modern day atheism? Let us just suppose the Antichrist has already been introduced to the world, and world leaders are all caught up in a process of economic recovery. They have a guarantee of world peace, and security for everyone, and the old man of sin is busy making his speeches, whereby flattery and deceptiveness holds his hearers spellbound. In Israel, Jews are there from all over the world, some looking for the Messiah, and others only interested in the dollar, and politics. Most of these do not even know whether there is a God of Abraham or not. Over on the Gentile side, God is just winding up His redemption program with them, and the church is just about ready to leave, so His Spirit is beginning to deal with the Jews. How will these two prophets begin their work in Israel? You can rest assured, they will not start by preaching to the street cleaners. I believe they will go straight to the politicians, just as Moses went right to Pharaoh. No doubt, one of their first questions will be, Why have you sold this nation to this Antichrist, for such a false peace plan? Regardless of who the top men in Israel may be, the point is, God has got to get their attention somehow. He has already dealt with His two prophets and they know what He is going to do, and they know what their part in it is, So they begin to lay it on the line, exposing this great world peace maker, and telling them what the God of their fathers is going to do in that land. But how do you suppose those scientific minded politicians will respond to them? They will laugh them to scorn. Who do you think you are, coming in here, talking to us like this? Well it is time for a demonstration. What they do first is immaterial to our point, but God is going to do something to get their attention, and do not think all the rest of the Jews in Israel are off somewhere having a picnic while this is going on. No, first of all, the whole land is not much larger than the state of Rhode Island, so whatever takes place, all will be aware of it. I can just see it, as these angels begin to sound, and one plague after another is poured out upon that land. At first, those stubborn politicians get even more rebellious, as they endeavor to explain what is taking place, by their scientific theories. But do not tell me that Israel’s economy is not going to be affected by all of this. Right now, they are exporting tomatoes, potatoes, and vegetables of every kind, that are being grown in that Jordan Valley, because God has blessed the land, and enabled them to do that. The scriptures speak of how the Jews will return to the land, rebuild the ruined places, till the desolate places, and the desert would blossom as a rose. It is doing that; they are exporting fruit and vegetables by the tons. But you let the heaven be shut up, and them go without rain long enough, and it will be another story. A few weeks without rain, and they will think nothing about it, or even a few months, they can still laugh and make fun. But what do you suppose they will be thinking when a whole year passes, and there is still no rain? Six months later, still no rain. I believe they will start to look back to the time when those two prophets stood before them, and said, Our God sent us to speak to you, and you refuse to take heed; therefore that you may know that we speak by His authority, there will be no more rain in Israel until we call for it. By this time, world news commentators will be dramatizing the whole thing to the whole world. Not only is the land suffering this great drought, and all their crops burning up, but they are also suffering from the affects of all these other plagues. But you remember how it was down in Egypt, when Moses was dealing with Pharaoh. God would tell Moses what to say to him, what to ask for, and what would be the consequences if he refused, but then God would harden Pharaoh’s heart even more, that He might be able to show His great power even more. It will be the same way in Israel; God will harden the hearts of those reprobate Jews, and demonstrate His power through all these plagues, but all the while, the two prophets are prophesying, and other Jews are hearing it, and believing it, and that is what the whole thing is about, in the first place. God has those two spiritual elements there, that must hear His word, and prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord. Hail and fire, and all manner of plagues are being poured out upon the land in just exactly the right places, according to the purpose of God.

 

DRASTIC CHANGES IN ISRAEL

I picture the fire more or less as streaks of lightning that streak along the ground during an electrical storm, and the Lord will cause the fire and hail to strike just exactly where He wants it, and the crops in the valley will still be burning up for lack of rain. Was it not so in Egypt? Did not God strike dead, the cattle and livestock of the Egyptians, and spare alive, all that belonged to the Jews? In the 9th chapter of Exodus, we can also get a picture of this hail and fire mixture, that will let us better understand what will be taking place in Israel. Verse 23, “And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the FIRE ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.” It is the changes of the air temperatures, that cause hail, and God knows exactly what to do, to make it so. He knows exactly how to create one layer of extremely hot air, to get water, and then another layer of colder air, and when the two are turned loosed together, you see God’s great ice-maker in operation. But the important thing is, it will strike the land of Israel when the two prophets call for it. That Moses anointing will curse the water, and turn it to blood, just as Moses did in Egypt in his day. All for the purpose of showing a modern intellectual generation of political minded Jews, that the God of their father Abraham is still God, and still able to do anything He has ever done before. How many world politicians do you suppose would even believe or think of God in a supernatural way, just simply by hearing what is written in the Bible about what He has done in the past? Very few. Most of them have their scientific theories to explain it all away. But you let God move upon the scene, and by what may appear to be natural forces, suddenly turn them into supernatural demonstrations of His destructive ability; that will stop their blasphemous mouths. They will not be able to explain it away, because God’s two prophets will be right there ordering it at will, to vindicate their ministry. By the time 3 ½ years of this have transpired, I say, those political Jews will hate the very ground those two men walk on. Furthermore, What do you suppose the old Pope is thinking, after watching all of that on the national television news broadcasts for 3 ½ years? He has heard what those two prophets have said about him, he has heard them testify of a supernatural God, who is still in control of all tings, and he has witnessed that great spiritual revival among the Jews, as the 144,000 servants of God were sealed by the Holy Spirit, and the woman element brought into the revelation as well. Therefore I believe it is safe to say, His great love for all mankind will be turned into vindictive hatred for the Jews by then. I dare say, He will have no more love for the Jews, than Pope Pius 12th had for them in W.W.2. Yet these modern day Protestants, who are as blind to truth as anyone could possible be, will say, You have no right to talk like that, about a man of God such as he, for he loves everyone, and he desires world peace. I say, He is just exactly the kind of man it will take to fulfill Daniel 8 & 11, a man of flatteries, that can gain the confidence of world leaders, whether they believe in God or not. He has already swooned half of the world into drunkenness by his sweet talking, baby kissing, and ground kissing tactics. How much more would he need to do? You let Ezekiel 38 & 39 come into the picture, and the whole world will be ready to run to him, Papa! What can we do? They will anxiously sign a peace covenant, propagated by him, and as we have already said, That is what sets the week of Daniel in motion, and brings the two prophets upon the scene in Israel. So let us go back to Revelation 11:7, and see what it says will happen, in the middle of that week. We know it will be in the middle of the week, for verse 3 tells us that they will prophesy for 3 ½ years, which is exactly half of that week of years. Notice now, “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” Remember now, No corporal bodied beast is going to come up out of the bottomless pit. That is terminology that applies to a spirit of Satan. Only the spirit of something, comes up out of hell. Therefore that is speaking of that spirit of Satan, that is going to move upon the world beast system, and the man who is the head of it, and cause them to kill the two prophets, and inaugurate an all out slaughter of spiritual Jews. No wonder it is called THE GREAT TRIBULATION. Daniel 12:1 refers to it as a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time. But that same verse concludes by saying, “And at that time thy people (Daniel’s people, Jews) shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” God has His own definition of deliverance, so we have to understand it, by the other scriptures that give us a more detailed account of how it all turns out.

 

SPIRITUAL SODOM AND EGYPT

One thing is certain, once those two prophets have prophesied for exactly 3 ½ years, God will not allow them to continue beyond that, for His word is precise. They are allowed 1260 days, and the Antichrist is allotted 1260 days, and by that time, the Lord Himself will be making His literal descent from the heaven with all of His bride saints with Him, so you can understand why it is God Himself that keeps time, and makes sure everything is kept right on schedule. By the time those prophets have prophesied for 3 ½ years, the old Antichrist will have already formulated a plan to put a stop to them, so the very moment God releases that spirit, his plan is put into action. He has them killed, and verse 8 says, “And their bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” Now why would a city that otherwise is referred to as a holy city, be referred to here as in likeness to Sodom and Egypt? Sodom was a wicked city of perverts, that God sank beneath the crust of the earth, hundreds of years before Christ, and we all know that Egypt speaks of bondage, as far as concerns the Jews, so what does this mean? We know it is referring to Jerusalem, for it is the same city where our Lord was crucified, so let us consider this terminology for a moment. By the time this hour approaches Jerusalem will be an international city, completely infested with Gentile filth. Even already, because of being a city of international tourism, people have gone there with their dope, alcohol, and every immoral practice imaginable, and the Israelis now have the same problems with their youth, that other nations have, but by the middle of that week, it will be ten times worse, so it is no wonder their overall spiritual condition will be comparable to that of Sodom. Furthermore when the Antichrist breaks that covenant and brings in his Gentile army to take control of the city, Jerusalem will then be as much a city of captivity for the Jews living there, as Egypt ever was in the days of old, especially in a spiritual sense, for they will not even be allowed to use their temple at all. The Antichrist will be sitting in it claiming that he is God, just like Paul says in 2nd Thessalonians. So, saints, I hope this helps you understand why such terminology is used in connection with what we generally refer to as the holy city. But there is more; so let us read verse 9, “And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer (allow) their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” Only through the medium of television, could people of all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples witness such an event as this. The devil has used television all these many years, but in that day and hour, God will use the thing to fulfill His scriptures. The bride church will be gone, and the world will be totally controlled by unregenerate mankind. They will have watched these two prophets totally wreck Israel’s economy, and having no concept of the spiritual harvest God has reaped from their ministry, it is natural that the whole world should look upon them only as troublemakers, and be happy about their deaths. I can just hear them now; Well, those two trouble making Jews finally got what they deserved. They should have been killed a long time ago. Those responsible for their deaths will be looked upon by the world in general, as heroes, when it first takes place. That is why it creates a festive atmosphere around the world, and causes people to rejoice, and send gifts to each other, as at other occasions when the heart is made merry. Everyone will be so happy about their deaths, no one even takes the time, nor shows any interest in burying them. But that is exactly as God want sit to be, for He still has something else, He wants the world to see. Those prophets shut up heaven, and forced Israel’s economy into a disaster, by the power and authority of God, and it failed to open the eyes of all these skeptics. They turned the water to blood, and caused all manner of plagues, and that still had no eye opening affect upon unbelievers around the world. So the Lord just says, God ahead, and rejoice. Send your gifts and congratulate each other, and just leave my servants lie there before your television cameras, and when the time is right, I will show you something that you will have to acknowledge as the power of an omnipotent God.

 

DEAD PROPHETS RESURRECTED

The body of Jesus was not allowed to lie dead for a full 72 hours, for it had been prophesied, that He would not be allowed to reach the point of corruption. But in this case, God wants this condition to get to the point where news commentators will begin to say, Why in the world do they not bury those stinking things? You leave a dead body lying in the street for 3 ½ days in the hot climate like that, and the body will swell up, and look like it could explode any moment. It will have flies swarming all over it, and the stink will be unbearable. But God wants this situation to reach those extremes, and the whole world to know about it, and then He will act. Verse 11, “And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. (What a shock! One moment they are lying there, all bloated, and infested with flies, and the next moment they are standing upright, upon their own two feet. No wonder fear fell upon all who saw what was taking place.) And they heard a great voice from heaven saying, unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” Brothers and Sisters: When Jesus ascended into heaven, His enemies were not allowed to witness it, only His disciples saw Him go. But when these men ascend up into heaven, there is no one to watch, except their enemies. I just say that to make a point, for naturally there will still be Gentile foolish virgins alive around the world. Also many Jews that will never bow to the Antichrist. But the world in general will be a miserable unbelieving mess. This world has never faced an hour like that, yet, so mankind has no concept of the emphatic reaction of a total unbelieving society of degenerate mankind. Now verse 13, “And the same hour was there a great earthquake, (Now this is not the earthquake of God’s wrath, that we see under the 6th seal. This one only affects the area in and around the city of Jerusalem.) And the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrightened, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” Seven thousand is a lot of people to take out with one whack like that, but those that were left alive after that, had no trouble finding words to attribute these happenings to the hand of God, a God they had refused to acknowledge even existed prior to that. Now, Did that mean that those who survived the earthquake all gave their hearts to God, and got saved? No. Not at all. It just simply means that they were finally forced to come fact to face with reality, and admit, Only a supernatural God could do a thing like that.

 

HOW GOD RECEIVED ACKNOWLEDGMENT

I remember back in June 1967, when we were building this church house. We had a little radio, so we could listen to the developments in the war between Israel and Egypt, and when Israel, in only six days, drove back Nasser, and his Egyptian army, that had boasted how they were going to push Israel into the sea, pretty soon thereafter, one big general after another began to say, That had to be the hand of God, that enabled Israel to do that. Yes. They gave glory to God. But how many of them yielded their hearts to God, and experienced the new birth because of it? Very few, if any, I am afraid, and that was while the Spirit of God was still working among Gentiles for that purpose, so why think it could be any different over here. No. It just simply shows us, that God is able to force men to acknowledge Him, even though all hope of their salvation is past. You young people of Faith Assembly, and as many as ever hear this message, I sincerely hope and earnestly pray, that none of you will still be here on earth when that hour of time arrives, for you have heard the truth, you have had your chance, and you know it is going to be hell on earth for a full 3 ½ years, before Jesus and His great army from heaven, intervenes, and brings it all to an end. You know what you will have to face, if you miss the rapture, and are left here. You may feel that you do not have time to serve God, in a busy society such as this, but let me tell you something, That is the best investment anyone could ever make, with the time they have, for it pays guaranteed dividends for all eternity. Oh, I am so thankful for God’s precious word. It is food for my soul. I do not see how anyone can face life in this wicked age of perversion, murder, rape and every other sort of ungodliness, without the strength that comes from a personal relationship with Him. Even so, I long for the day when Jesus will come, and catch His little bride away.

 

GENTILES HAVE HOPE IN GOD

I would like to go into the epistle of Paul, to the Colossians now, and nail down a few points concerning this mystery of God, so let us turn there, and start with verse 19, chapter 1. Paul wrote this epistle from his Roman prison cell, in 64 A.D., expressing his gratitude to this Colossian assembly for the good report he has received of them, and speaking of Christ Jesus, he says, “For it pleased the Father that in Him (Jesus) should all fullness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, (In other words, By the blood that Jesus shed upon the cross, God has reconciled back to Himself, all things, as we would think in terms of redemption.) I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you that were sometime alienated (or until this time alienated) and enemies (That has to be Gentiles, he would write to like that,) in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He (Jesus) reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight.” Oh, if we could only imagine what an unworthy bunch of creatures we Gentiles were, to receive such grace and mercy from a loving God. No one has ever been worthy of it, but when you read in history, how ungodly, filthy, and corrupt our pagan ancestors were, you can better understand what a drastic change took place among the ranks of Gentiles. Jews were never alienated to the point where they had no hope in God, for the promises concerning them were still a great mystery, unrevealed to any man. But now, Paul says to them, You are unblameable and unreprovable in His sight, verse 23, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” God chose one race of people through whom, for centuries, He kept the revelation of Himself alive, while all of the rest of the human race went their various pagan ways of devil worship and such like. God just gave them over to serve their own lusts. But, Oh, blessed b the day, when He reconciled us to Himself through the shed blood of His precious only begotten Son. What a miracle! But now, Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, sitting in an old Roman prison in 64 A.D., sees that the gospel is among the Gentiles in preeminence. The Jews, to whom it was first preached, and that first accepted it, are gradually fading out of the picture. Oh, there were still Jews being saved, but it was the Gentiles that were really taking hold of this newly acquired treasure. But Paul issued an admonition, Continue in the faith, and get yourselves grounded and settled, and do not allow the devil to get your attention focused upon something that will draw you away from the hope of the gospel, whereof I am made a minister. Verse 24, “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, (Why would he rejoice in his sufferings? Because he knew his sufferings were a result of having fulfilled the will of God, and God was allowing him to suffer, to set an example, of how a person can still keep the victory in Christ, no matter what they may have to suffer, nor where.) And fill up that which is behind in the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the church.” Everything he is mentioning, is for the sake of the body of Christ, the church. “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God.” Now the word dispensation pertains to a period of time. Paul knew that there was a period of time, and he knew that he was living in it, when God would reveal and fulfill those promises to the Gentiles, that had remained a great mystery to all men of every other age since they were given. He is going to mention the word mystery, two separate time now, and even though it is the same word, it does not have exactly the same application in both instances. Let me just alert you to the difference, before we even read these next two verses. In verse 26, the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but is now made manifest to His saints, is the revelation that God has made Gentiles fellow heirs with the Jews who are of the household of faith. In other words, none of those old prophets ever knew what those prophecies pertained to, but now the saints know they pertained to how God would show grace to Gentiles. But when you come to verse 27, Paul is speaking of how God also allows us to know and understand how the whole operation works, what this great riches among the Gentiles really is, that the spirit of Jesus Christ would actually indwell us. Christ in you, the hope of glory, definitely is a great mystery until God gives us a revelation of its reality, but that is not the mystery that puzzled the old prophets, and Jews lf all other ages. I hope you see the difference. The mystery of God that had not been revealed to me of other ages pertained to something God was going to do for a certain people, but had never made it known yet, salvation for Gentiles. The application of that mystery had been in affect for almost two thousand years now. That is why we are here today. If this thing had ended 1500 years after Paul wrote this epistle, where would we be today? (That is just to provoke thought.) Thank God for His great love and mercy, that is now made manifest to the saints. “To whom (he says) God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Christ in the individual believer is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles. 28 “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” In other words, Not only was it the will of God to save us, but He also wanted us to be brought into the knowledge and understanding of how the whole things is going to end up. Even to the Millennium, the resurrection of the wicked dead, the final judgment, and everything.

 

LOOKING BEYOND JOHN 3:16

As I said before, You could not preach anything about the Millennium in the Methodist Church, for they were complete convinced that after this life, they would just float off somewhere on a cloud into heaven, and one day, God would burn up the earth, and that would be all there is to it. What a waste of so many scriptures in the Bible, if that is all there is to it. Brother, they know very little about the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ, simply because they have chosen to believe a myth, and close their eyes to the rest of God’s word. John 3:16 holds a wonderful truth, “That God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” but brother, there is more to it than that. There is an understanding, and a fellowship to be established also. God wants to be able to speak to you about things beyond the point where you believe John 3:16. He wants you to understand that you are part of a kingdom, that is not of this world, even though it is in the world, and He wants your worship to be something more than just memorizing and quoting a few scriptures, and repeating a prepared prayer, and that sort of thing. Dear Brother, Sisters: it is a wonderful thing, to be able to sing that song, He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today, He walks with me, and talks with me, along life’s narrow way. Hallelujah! He will never talk to you just because you are reciting someone else’s prayer. How do I know He lives? He lives within my heart. Yes, Paul was writing this epistle to people who knew the living reality of Jesus Christ living within them. He loved them dearly, because they dared to break loose from Judaism, and paganism, to follow the revelation he preached to them. Not only did he preach to them, but taught them in all wisdom. Why? Verse 28, “That we may present every man (or woman) perfect in Christ Jesus.”

 

MYSTERY OF THE INCARNATION

Let us read a couple of verses from chapter 2, while we are still in this Colossian epistle, for in verse 2, Paul speaks of the mystery of God in a different way. It conveys a different thought, yet it is still tied to the mystery of what God would do among the Gentiles. He says, “For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh.” Basically, What he is saying is, I really desire that you know how great a love I have for all who are of this great family of God. Even those that I have never met face to face, for this love is not of the flesh, but the Spirit, (the Spirit of Jesus Christ that indwells every true child of God) and his great hope is, that they every one may be comforted, calmed, and knit together in perfect love. Brothers and Sisters: Little jewels of revelation to a true saint of God, is greater riches than all your millions and billions that can be accumulated of man’s riches. Verse 2 now, we have not read it yet. “That your hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches, of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father of Christ.” I believe you can see that Paul is dealing with the revelational aspect of those who are beneficiaries of the mystery of God that had been hidden from men of other ages, and here in verse 2, he is speaking of the mystery of the incarnation. The fact that the eternal God of all creation, actually indwelt His only begotten Son, thereby making them, not two persons in one body, but two Spirits that blended together into one Spirit, and possessed only one body. The Father was never a person; He was an omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient Spirit. But the Son was a person, and He had a spirit. Therefore the Spirit which was, and is the Father, simply entered into His Son, and the two became one Spirit, making Jesus, God in the flesh of a man. This is a great mystery, but it is a scriptural reality to every true child of God, because a certain measure of that same Spirit dwells within each and every one of them. Carnal mankind has so perverted the gospel of Jesus Christ, since the days when Paul first preached it to the Gentiles, it is hardly recognizable anymore. But thank God for the few souls scattered here and there around this earth, that do truly know their God. They know that the doctrine of the trinity is out of the pit of hell, and that God has never been three persons, and never will be. But church houses are filled every week with poor deceived souls, that just feed upon any old garbage the devil puts upon their table. Oh, they are religious, but so were the scribes and the Pharisees. Therefore, now that God has restored the true light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and they have rejected it, their religion is vain, and without any spiritual benefit whatsoever, and they think we are a bunch of fanatics.

 

GOD’S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM

Alright now, let us go back to Ephesians 3 and read those verses again, and then we will go into the Old Testament. For if there was a mystery written of, that had not been revealed to men of other ages, it had to be written in the Old Testament. Ephesians 3:2-6, “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: how that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ. Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by His Spirit; THAT THE GENTILES SHOULD BE FOLLOWERS, AND OF THE SAME BODY, AND PARTAKERS OF HIS PROMISE IN CHRIST BY THE GOSPEL.” That will refresh your minds, as to how Paul spoke about this mystery, to the church at Ephesus. So now, let us go to Genesis 22:15-18, and see where the promise was first mentioned in the Bible. “And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, (Laid his promised son Isaac upon the altar, as a sacrifice unto the Lord, thus obeying a command of God. But God did not require him to go through with the whole thing; after He tested the faithfulness of Abraham, and saw that he truly would have followed his command all the way) and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the NATIONS OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Alright, we can see that God has made a promise to Abraham, that in blessing him, He will multiply his seed (his genetic seed) and make them as the stars of heaven, and as the sand of the sea shore for number, when at that very time, Abraham only had this one son, and he had just brought him up to offer him upon the altar, as a sacrifice to God. But that very obedience so pleased God, that He sent His angel to convey the promise of this blessing upon him. They he reached out beyond Abraham’s natural seed with a promise that Paul referred to as the mystery of God, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Hallelujah! I was included in that promise, and so were you. But poor old Abraham was so glad that God had delivered him from having to slay that young child of his, he probably did not even wonder what God meant by that last statement. At least not at that time. Actually this promise concerning all nations of people, or all families of the earth, was first made to Abraham over in chapter 12, when God first spake to him, telling him to get out of his father’s house, and go to a land that He (God) would give him to possess. Naturally Abraham never lived to see that promise fulfilled, but nevertheless, the promise did lay there in the scriptures, and God, who always keeps His word, would see that it was fulfilled in due time, but meanwhile Abraham’s natural seed multiplied according to that promise, and various one’s of them, which had the ministry of a prophet, or who were prophets among them, from time to time, would speak of this promise God made to Abraham concerning all nations. But none of them ever knew what God would do to fulfill that promise.

 

GOD’S GRAFTING PROCESS

In Romans 10, Paul is reminding those Jews of the fact that God is no longer to be looked upon only as the God of the Jews, and in verse 12 says, “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Then he goes ahead mentioning how Isaiah had prophesied concerning this blessedness, and how Israel had failed to lay hold upon what was offered to them. Paul continues on in chapter 11, showing how the Gentiles were made partakers of the gospel through the Jews, rejection of it, and then admonishes Gentiles not to be haughty and high minded, lest God just simply reverse the process, and cut them off. We cannot read it all, so we will just read a few key verses. Verse 7, “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Then in verse 11 he says, “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? (In other words, be completely forsaken by the Lord) God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.” Verse 15, “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” Then referring to the Jews as branches broken off, that Gentiles may be grafted in, he says, verse 17, “And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, (Gentiles) were grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches, But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. (In other words, What could be grafted in limb possibly boast about? It adds nothing to the root of the tree, but rather, it is the root that is giving life to it.) Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, (Israel, to whom the gospel was first given) take heed lest He also spare not thee.” That is just a very simple way of saying, You Gentiles have no right to be boastful, nor demanding, for God has no obligation whatsoever to save your wretched souls, unless you believe His word, humble yourselves, and stand by faith. He is not indicating that anyone who has been born of the Spirit could lose their salvation. He is merely saying, Do not get the idea, that just because God has turned the gospel to you Gentiles, It is a free ticket to glory for every Gentile, for it is only going to be effective for those who believe the gospel, and walk by faith with God. Regardless of what God does for anyone though, there is always someone who will come along, and try to exercise some authority over that person, like in the 15th chapter of Acts. Paul and Barnabus had been on a missionary journey into Asia Minor, and while they were at Antioch, certain Jews came down from the Jerusalem area, and started teaching those Gentile believers, that except they be circumcised according to the law of Moses, they could not be saved. Finally it got to causing so much of a stir among them, Paul and Barnabas, and some of the other brethren, decided that they should go up to Jerusalem, and present the whole matter to the apostles and elders there. After much disputing about the matter, Peter finally rose up and said, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made a choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” After that, Paul and Barnabas gave a good report of how God had mightily wrought among the Gentiles many miracles and wonders by their ministry, and by this time, James was ready to speak. He stood up, and said, “Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon (Simon Peter) hath declared how God at first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name, (Now listen to this) and to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, (James is going to quote Amos, so listen.) After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the GENTILES, UPON WHOM MY NAME IS CALLED, saith the Lord who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them which from among the Gentiles are turned to God.” Amos lived in the 8th century before Christ, so he had looked down through the scope of time, beyond the destruction of the temple, even in its second destruction, and had seen a time when the Gentile nations had been blessed by something that God had done among them, something that would cause some of them to be called by His name. Even that proves that God’s purpose among Gentiles was that they should understand His incarnation, and His redemptive name. We are to be called by that redemption name. Not by a bunch of titles projected by carnal mankind. Do you think Amos had any idea what God would do to fulfill those words he uttered? Of course not. No one did. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound (when his message begins to echo around the earth) the mystery of God should be finished as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” When that message has fully made its way around this earth, and every predestined soul has heard it, then all of this mystery of God concerning something He was going to do on behalf of Gentiles would be completely revealed and in operation. There would be no mystery left unrevealed in the prophecies of those old prophets, concerning the subject. Oh to Israel as a whole, it is still a mystery. They cannot yet, until this day, understand how we foolish Gentiles could accept the Jesus their ancestors had crucified, as our Savior and Lord, even though prophet after prophet of their own race prophesied of that very thing.

 

INTERCESSION FOR ALL PEOPLE

I am reminded of so many of the Psalms that speak of the Gentiles, or heathen, as is the case many times. Psalms 2:8 says, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” In Psalms 22:27, we read these words. “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.” When you read, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance,” that pertains to Jesus Christ as high priest. He is not just to intercede for the Jewish nation only, but also for the heathen. That reminds me of something one brother up in Canada, called and told me. Canada is working, trying to get an anti-hate law passed, a law that would make it illegal to print anything condemning homosexuality, perversion, drunkenness, or anything like that. If you preach against any church system, no matter how corrupt they may be, nor how unrevelated they are, if you print it in your literature they can deny you the privilege of sending it through the mail. Brothers and Sisters: That just lets us know for sure, that time is running out. The great falling away, that is to take place just prior to the Antichrist being revealed, is here already. Of course some will say, Oh, there has always been a falling away of some sort, so how can you say that? Well we do know that this is so, for that is what brought about the Dark Ages, but the falling away that Paul wrote of in 2nd Thessalonians, was to take place just prior to the time the Antichrist would come on the scene, and we are now living in a day when scriptures have been fulfilled to the point where that can take place very soon now. There is a scripture that says, a day will come, when good will be called evil, and evil called good, and I say, that day is here. The world of religion is fast walking right on into apostasy. Lukewarmness and indifference is the order of the day, so do not try to tell me that God will let this sort of thing go on and on until this present generation has passed off the scene. I am fully convinced by the word of God, that this present generation will live to see God wrap it all up, and call the little bride church to come up hither. Hallelujah! I get excited when I think about how good God is, and what we have to look forward to.

 

EVERY MAN FULFILLS HIS ROLE

I cannot help but think about the apostle Peter, on the way to the house of Cornelius that day. Little did he know, that he was on his way to unlock the door to a great mystery, that had puzzled men of every age before. That just shows how God is able to get His word fulfilled, without even explaining to those that are to be the instruments used, ahead of time. He just creates circumstances, that cause the right ones to walk right in, and fulfill their part in the process. He has never sat the old Antichrist down, and explained to him what he must do to fulfill His will. The devil has never told him either. But when the time comes, he will just do what comes natural for him to do, and he will be walking straight into his prophesied role. The nations of Europe will do likewise. That is why Revelation 17:17 says, “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill His will.” It was the same way when the Jews of old observed all those feasts, and projected all those types and shadows. They thought that was all there was to it. Yet those were the very things that pointed to us Gentiles, for our blessing could come only through the one that all those types projected. Oh, how I praise God for His great mercy and grace. Not only did He include Gentiles in His wonderful plan of salvation, He has even allowed us to understand it, and be able to see to the end of it all. Yes, That is right. I am fully convinced, that the living element of the little bride church, when Jesus comes for the rapture, will have a good understanding of what God is doing, and will yet do. So let us move on, and take a closer look at some of the things He has already revealed to us.

 

JOHN SAW MILLENNIAL TEMPLE

We have looked at the first three trumpets, in chapter 8, and we know that they will sound in conjunction with the ministry of the two prophets in chapter 11, and we have pointed out how John was instructed to measure the temple of God, and the altar, and how there was not even a temple to measure, when he wrote the book of Revelation, which proves that he was projected by the Spirit, into future time, and saw the Millennial temple, that will be built sometime before the middle of the 70the week of Daniel. It will have to be built before the middle of the week, because the Antichrist will move into the temple, immediately following the deaths of those two Jewish prophets, and he will desecrate it for exactly 3 ½ years before Jesus comes from heaven with His army of saints, to put an end to his reign. As we have said before, also, the literal return of Christ is under the events of the 7th trumpet, but the 7th vial also has to do with His coming, and so does the sixth seal. But that is not dealing with three separate comings of Christ to earth, it is just that each of these scenes portray to His literal return. When we see what is to be done under the 6th seal pertaining to closing out the great tribulation, and pouring out the wrath of God upon sinful mankind, we know He will come, in that. Then when we read what is recorded under the 7th trumpet, how when that angel sounds, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever, and a great earthquake takes place, and thunderings, and lightnings, and great hail accompany the event, we know that also deals with His literal coming back to earth. But then we turn right over to chapter 16, verse 17, and we see the 7th vial being poured out, (a vial of wrath,) and the armies of earth gathered for Armageddon, locked in a struggle for survival, with dead bodies heaped on tope of each other, and there is an earthquake, thunder, lightning, and great hail, almost identical to the other two settings, and we know that all three portray various phases of the one great event, the literal return of the Lord Jesus Christ. You just have to realize, that even though John saw all of this taking place at the same time, he still had to write them down, one at a time, and run some continuity between the various angels that were used of God in the overall picture. Of course, God had a purpose in having the book of Revelation written as it is. I am convinced that God, knowing how educated minds would take over world religion, here at the endtime, He just made sure that their education could never reveal the true order of events of the book, nor what they pertained to. That is why Billy Graham, and your other big name preachers are still looking for the four horsemen of the first four seals yet to ride, when in truth, three of them have already finished their ride, and the fourth one is already riding. (We are going to print a message on the four horsemen, at some future date, the Lord willing, so I will say no more about them at this time.) Their walls are covered with acknowledgments of their great educations, their heads are filled with theories about the Bible, but when it comes to actual revelation of it, some of our ten year old children have more genuine revelation of the word of God than they do. I know this may sound carnal to some of you, but it is the truth. Furthermore when we get through preaching on a message here, you do not have to go to Webster’s dictionary and look up the meaning of a lot of big words. A true revelation can be preached in very simple language, easily understood by all that hear it, regardless of their educational background. I sometimes listen to certain of these television preachers, for a few minutes, and there is just no doubt about it, they are preaching to a certain educated class of people, and the more simple people are left completely in the dark about what they are saying, simply because they use words that a lot of us have never even heard of before. Tell me honestly, Can you see God in preaching like that? They even refrain from using may words that are actually in the Bible, simply because they are offensive to their compromising supporters. If God was to give them a true message, they could not preach it, because God does not mince words, just to keep form hurting some guilty person’s feelings.

 

THE SACRIFICIAL ROCK

Let me get back to what I was saying. John was told to measure the temple, and the altar, but not the outer court. The temple and the altar always go together, or maybe I should say it a little different than that. The temple is of no benefit without the altar, for those officiating priests first have to offer sacrifices upon the altar, before the work inside the temple can have any significance. But it is a fact that they can offer sacrifice upon the altar, before the temple is ever completed, for we read how those Jews that returned to the land to build the second temple, first cleared off the altar, and offered sacrifices to Jehovah, before they ever started building the temple itself, and I believe it will be like that again, when they finally do get control of their temple grounds again. Now I have never believed that the Jews themselves would just take the area by force, and tear down that Moslem Mosque that now stands over their sacrificial rock. I believe the Arabs themselves through some sort of miscalculation, will accidently blow the thing up, and when they do, that will be the time for the Jews to take control of the area. World opinion, and world pressure, would never allow the Jews just to march in there at their own discretion, and destroy that Moslem holy place. There have been some radical groups that have planned to do that, but that is not the way God has planned for it to end up. You can be sure of one thing though, When that week of time starts, the Jews will have their temple grounds, and it will not take them long to get started rebuilding their temple. I have said also, When the time does come, for work to begin on that temple, God will have all the Gentile help, and Gentile dollars needed, already lined up, and waiting. I was just reading in the Jerusalem Post, that our government is working on a plan for economic aid to Israel, whereby they will not have to keep coming back every year, and hassling a bill through the Congress and Senate to continue it for another year. In other words, once it is thrashed out, and set in motion, it will furnish economic aid to Israel over a long range period of time. When I read that, I thought to myself, Yes, Sir, God’s prophets of old wrote about how He would milk the breasts of Gentiles and so forth.

 

GOD WILL USE GENTILES

Open your Bibles to Isaiah 60, and let us read a few verses there, that I believe will bless you. Verse 9 says, “Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces (or wealth) of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. (Let us just skip down to verse 16 now.) Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. (Now the material for the temple.) For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver; and for wood brass, and for stones iron: (You will notice that all fo the material is upgraded from that used before.) I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exacters righteousness.” Now it is going into an actual Millennial setting. You can read the rest, if you wish. I just wanted to show you, how God, more than twenty six hundred years ago, caused His prophet to foretell how He would use Gentiles, and their wealth in the rebuilding of the Jewish temple, the one that the Lord Jesus Christ will sit in, during His Millennial reign on earth. But before the Lord Himself ever gets to sit in that temple, the old abomination of desolation (the Antichrist) will sit in it for 3 ½ years, showing himself to the world, that he is God. That is why the temple will have to be cleansed and reconsecrated before the Lord Jesus will enter it. Brothers and Sisters: I marvel at how precise the word of God is, and how blind the multitudes are, not to see how perfectly it all fits together. America is looked upon by the world at large, as the richest nation upon earth, and yet she is bankrupt, but somehow her old paper dollar still manages to keep its value amidst all the rest of them, and no matter how stubborn and atheistic some of our politicians may be, somehow, or the other, when it comes to helping the nation of Israel, God always manages to work their minds around to where they will do the right thing. Do you know why? Because it is going to fulfill His word. I was just thinking, If this bunch of educated politicians and diplomats could just simply read the Bible properly, they would know that they are playing right into the hands of God, the great designer of this whole world they think came into being by some process of evolution. Hallelujah! They are serving God, and do not even realize it, but as far as any salvation benefit from it, they have struck out.

 

TWO 3 ½ YEAR PERIODS AHEAD

Alright, John was told, “But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” Of course we everyone know that 42 months is 3 ½ years, and when you take that to the 13th chapter, where it tells of the beast which had seven heads and ten horns, being wounded in one of its heads as under death, and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after that beast, you read in verse 5, “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies: and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” Well, that is the same 42 months in both instances. It starts exactly in the middle of that 70th week of Daniel, at the killing of the two Jewish prophets. This in itself, should be enough to convince any right thinking person, that there is yet seven full years to be fulfilled to the Jews, for chapter 11, verse 3, plainly tells us, that those two Jews will prophesy for exactly 3 ½ years, before they are killed, so how can anyone believe that Jesus was crucified in the middle of that week, leaving only 3 ½ years of it yet to be fulfilled? Any time I add 3 ½ to another 3 ½, I get a total of 7, but there are a lot of fellows running around these days, calling themselves preachers of Bro. Branham’s message, that cannot add 3 ½ and 3 ½, and get 7, simply because they have more confidence in a statement Bro. Branham made, than they do the word of God that Bro. Branham preached from. Furthermore Bro. Branham proved by the scriptures, that the Jews still have a full 7 years, when he taught on the seventy weeks of Daniel, but these blind leaders of the blind cannot accept that, because it was not the last statement he made about it. Well regardless of what they say, the Bible cannot be wrong, and it is written there, clear enough for any rational person to see, so as far as I am concerned, that settles it. It is God Himself, that regulates these things. He is the one that allots 3 ½ years to the prophets and another 3 ½ years to the Antichrist, and there is not one thing that anyone could do to lengthen or shorten either period one week. It will be exactly 1260 days each, and God Himself will keep the time. I have been asked many times, Bro. Jackson: Does the Antichrist sign a covenant with Israel, that states it is for only seven years? The answer is a definite, No. They will sign the thing to be forever. It is God Himself that will see to it, that it lasts for only 7 years before Jesus literally returns to earth, and we know already, that the last half of the seven years will be hell on earth, instead of universal peace and prosperity like the covenant is supposed to guarantee. For the first 3 ½ years of it, the only thing that disturbs their peace, is what those two prophets will be doing there in Israel, but when the middle of that week comes, and that 4th trumpet angel sounds, (8:12-13) heaven puts on a display. That is the sign of the Antichrist. God is showing His displeasure with Israel for signing that peace agreement with him. This 4th trumpet marks the middle of the week, and announces three woes that are going to strike the inhabitors of the earth, at the sounding of the other three trumpets that are yet to sound. That brings you to chapter 9, where the 5th trumpet sounds, and what you read there definitely lets you know that time has already gone beyond the middle of the week, and the Antichrist and his forces are in control. So in our next issue we will pick up with the sounding of this 4th trumpet, and point out some things that definitely are triggered by its sounding, and then go on into chapter 9, and look at trumpets number 5 and 6, and then we will see a break in the record of things, before we come to the 7th trumpet. It is all the way over in the last verses of chapter 11. May God bless you every one.