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.