The Book of Life, Part 2

We ended part one dealing with the apostle Paul’s admonition to one of his young co-workers in the gospel, Timothy. To whom he wrote, “But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” That is verse 16 of 2nd Timothy, chapter 2. Now surely no one would think that he was meaning more ungodliness in the sense that they would drink more, or smoke more, or gamble more. No. He was talking about how that certain kind of mind is always surmising, projecting ideas that are food for thought, like some of the great theologians of our day. Men such as this appear to some people as being men of great wisdom, but in the eyes of God, their surmises are looked upon as ungodliness. In verse 17 Paul goes ahead to give an example of what he is talking about, saying, “And their word (these who pick at the scriptures, and project ideas that are food for thought) will eat as doth a canker: (Have any of you ever looked up Webster’s definition of the word canker? One of the definitions given is, To corrupt with a malignancy of mind or spirit, and that is exactly what Paul is pointing to, in the example he gives) of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” We know nothing else about these two individuals, but it had become evident to Paul, that what they were doing had the same effect in the minds of people, that gangrene does in our physical flesh; it just simply corrupts and eats away that which is there. What those two fellows were doing very plainly demonstrates another characteristic of that tare spirit, for what they were projecting was a false teaching. No. They did not just suddenly spring that teaching on anyone. They built up to it very slowly, by pointing out certain things that would leave just a little thread of doubt in the minds of some people, as to what certain statements meant. The main body of believers that had been taught by Paul, Peter, John, and men like that, were not led astray; but as Paul said, the faith of some had been overthrown by their teaching, or by their remarks. One thing is sure though: Paul was not going to change his revelation, as he makes very clear in these next verses. Notice now, verse 19, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, (In other words, Do not let any of this disturb you saints.) The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ (Those who are truly born again) depart from iniquity,” (or unrighteousness.) If we are truly born of the Spirit of God: we do not need to allow our ears to be filled by adverse opinions, from people who only have selfish motives, people who want to make a name for themselves, or who have been set among you for the sole purpose of trying to lead you astray from the revelation of truth. Nevertheless Paul comes right back to cover the entire scope of what Christianity would identify with, through the ages of time: For according to the parables of Jesus, the tares were destined to get in among the true children of God at some point in time, so notice verse 20. “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.” This is not the same example he used in 1st Corinthians 3:12, where he spoke of gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and stubble, for in that example, he was dealing with individual works, and here in his letter to Timothy, he is dealing with the body as a whole, which is the house of God, just like Jacob’s children were referred to as the house of Jacob.


SPIRITUALLY HEALTHY CHRISTIANS


Paul had been in governors’ mansions, and the homes of various dignitaries, and he had observed the different vessels sitting around, and the fact that some of them were priceless, and others were of little or no earthly value, so he used that in speaking of the different vessels (people) associated with the house of God, which is the Church. There would be those worthless vessels sitting in the church, waiting for an opportunity to participate in the affairs of the body, and the way the devil would use them, would prove that they were vessels of dishonor. Therefore he concludes by saying, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, (a true son of God will) He shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet (or fit) for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” You have to realize that the tare spirit did not get in, by the devil bringing someone down the road, that wanted everyone to start drinking again. No. It was through individuals that presented little revelations contrary to apostolic teaching, and there had to be some who believed them, or it still would not have worked as it did. But the person that is truly born of the Spirit of God, has a longing deep down within his heart, to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, and they are ever searching for spiritual food that the Spirit in them will bear witness with. The Spirit of God in them causes them to hunger and thirst for His true word; for that is how they grow in the stature of Jesus Christ. Let us go to the 1st chapter of 2nd Peter, and notice what he had to say, along these lines. Verse 5, “And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” Of course the word charity means love, the kind of love God has for us. This is Peter’s formula for becoming a healthy Christian, fit for the Master’s use. When you catch a true picture of what Peter was really talking about, you realize that it is something that could not be preached in a denominational church; they do not want to hear it. Oh they like to harp on love and unity, which is what has led most of them into the great ecumenical movement that is sweeping the world today. But Saints: The unity they have is built upon compromise, rather than Christ-likeness. They are not interested in the kind of knowledge that reveals what the true plan and purpose of God is, concerning lost mankind. Their greatest concern, is to be faithful to their particular system’s teachings and programs. You try to talk to them about the deeper things of the word of God, and they will puff out their chest and say something like this; I’ll have you know that I have been faithful to my church for 31 years. I have such and such a number of awards for perfect attendance in Sunday School, and I have always paid my tithes, so do not try to tell me that I still need more. There is just no spiritual hunger there. Instead, there is pride and conceit, and self-centered ambition. Well these things that Peter mentioned, are the spiritual attributes of Jesus Christ, that are to be molded and fashioned, not in the flesh, but in the spiritual character of our lives. This is a picture of the image that God has predetermined to make us conformable to; therefore Peter is not talking to the general multitude of religious people in the world; he is talking to the elect, the foreknown of God. Verse 8, “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The end result of all of this, is that the branches are pruned to the point where they will bear fruit of the nature of Christ. The average churchgoer never really sees the Jesus of the Bible, that was always busy about doing the Father’s will in every area of His life. All they will ever see is a baby in a manger, and a sacrifice on the cross, and they have no real revelation of that, or they would not be sold out to a denominational system of religion. A true revelation of the word of God produces a unity of the faith, that is genuine. Yet each one of these denominational systems have certain doctrines they teach, that the other denominations disagree with. That is why I said their unity requires a compromise. But as Peter writes a believer he says, concerning these attributes of Christ, “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” The true child of God does not just drift along, depending upon God’s foreknowledge and predestination, without ever taking precautions, and without applying righteous principles and motives in his life. For we have all been made to realize that the devil is always setting traps for the children of God, trying to get them off course in one way or another, and he will do it, if we do not keep our guard up. Now am I saying that you will lose your salvation? No. Not if you have the real thing. But you can sure get yourself into lot of trouble, if your dedication is not what it ought to be. For the benefit of you who need to hear it again, let me say, You will never be born again by the Spirit of God but one time. The reason so many people think otherwise, is because of the picture tares have painted. Their version of Christianity has people saved today, lost tomorrow, and saved again in the next revival. The one thing that you need to remember, as you consider all of this, is that a tare is a make believer. He may feel real religious at times, but without the Holy Ghost abiding in him, he has nothing at all to secure him, when fleshly demands require him to turn back to the world. Preacher: Do you mean to tell me that those people deliberately come to church and pretend to get saved, and that it is all known of them ahead of time? No. They hear the gospel call, but the devil will not let them surrender their lives completely to God; therefore what they thrive on is a mental concept of what a Christian is supposed to be, and do, and that is what causes them to put so much emphasis on their good works. But regardless of how many good works they do, that tare spirit in them puts them exactly where Cain stood that day; when he had brought the best of the works of his hands for an offering to God, and God had no respect for his offering. Bro. Jackson: Why are you saying all these things about these people? Sometimes it is more effective to show what a Christian IS NOT; than to try to paint a picture of what a Christian is. It is one thing to say, A Christian is a person that has truly been born again by the Spirit of God, but for many people, there are still a lot of questions to be answered after that, and this helps clear them up.


WHAT ANTICHRIST SPIRITS DO


Alright let us turn right on over to the 2nd chapter of 2nd Peter, where he is dealing with that tare spirit he saw coming down the road. Actually the last two verses of chapter 1 are what opens up the door for what he says in chapter two; so let us read them first. “Knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” (They do not mean one thing to one person, or persons, and something else to someone else.) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and what ever they meant, they were to mean the same thing to everyone who received a revelation of them. They were never meant to be used to prove a point for our personal gain. But just like today, wherever there is a genuine, you will usually find a false somewhere around, and that is what Peter leads into, in chapter 2. “But there were false prophets also among the people, (back there in the Old Testament times, always trying to disrupt the plan of God) even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, (little deviations from the truth at first) even denying the Lord that bought them (Yes, the price he paid was sufficient for all who would acknowledge it) and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” That is the final state of those who allow Satan to use them in this way; no matter how religious they may seem to be. Being religious is not necessarily the same as being a child of God. As we have already pointed out, Cain and Judas were religious; but they were not sons of God. Well Peter wrote this letter along about the same time that Paul wrote the 2nd Epistle to Timothy, when gentiles were being converted, right out of raw paganism where they had been used to worshiping all sorts of deities. Therefore it was hard for a lot of them to rid their mind of all that pagan junk, and it made them easy prey for these tares to work among. Those Judiastic tares did not attack the Godhead; they would reach back into the law and bring up something that they would hold up before the Gentiles saying to them that they could not be saved unless they observed so and so. That is what the Galatian Church was going through, when Paul wrote to them. Those tare preachers from Judaism had come among them, and got them in an uproar; so when he wrote: he reminded them that neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. (Gal. 5:7) “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of Him that calleth you.” He reminded them that it was not God sending these preachers among them, and he had already said in chapter 1, if any man preach any other gospel unto you, different from that which you have already received, let him be accursed. He used no uncertain terms, concerning anyone who would preach something different to them, than the revelation he had preached, which was the gospel of their salvation. Paul knew that what they were preaching was antichrist doctrine, and he knew that it was of a tare spirit, so he did not need to beat around the bush about it, and Peter felt the same way: as is evident in what we started to read. Speaking of the false teachers that would one day be among them, he said, “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” He knew that sooner or later, that tare spirit would come among them, and would corrupt the minds of some that were not already established in the truth. It is hard for us to look back 1900 years, and really perceive how all of this was brought about. Christians in the world today have always had tares among them, and therefore have not known what it was like to have that tare spirit knocking at the church house door, trying to get in. As a matter of fact, this generation has experienced almost the opposite of that. For truth was on the outside knocking, and the tares tried to keep it out. Well they managed to keep the truth out of their systems of religion, but they could not keep the truth from pulling those predestined seed of God out from among them. You will not find the true children of God to be conformable in the ritualistic programs of those systems this late in time, for God has already sent His messenger to this age, to pull them out. God is giving us every opportunity to understand the real truth of His word, and He is doing it in a slow, progressive way, giving us plenty of time to allow the Holy Spirit to open it up to us. That is why we are able to recognize that tare spirit when it is sitting among us; for sooner or later, it just has to deviate from the truth a little bit. The spirit that causes these people to say, Well I just do not see it that way; I see it more like this, is the spirit that keeps them from going all the way with God.


EAGLES AND BUZZARDS


Let me just use a little illustration to show you how tares act, and react. When Bro. Branham was still alive, before it became obvious that certain people were actually projecting the thought that he was Jesus: you would not have imagined that such a thought would enter anyone’s mind. Everyone sat there so nice and quiet; it just seemed that they were all like little birds feasting on nice juicy worms, the way they appeared to be feasting on the truth of God’s word. They were thanking God for sending a prophet, and declaring that they had never heard it like this, while they were in those systems of religion. That little man would stand there and preach about the eagle stirring her nest, and oh, how everyone would rejoice; yet God knew that not every one of those characters inside that nest were eagles. No Sir: Not that nest. There were characters in that nest that never should have been there in the first place, for they were Spiritual buzzards. Their kind were still back there in those places they came out of. Well we know now that him being the messenger to this age: he cast out the huge net and it was filled with some of every kind. That is how God manifests those who are truly His; they are given the word test, and their answers determine what spirit they are really of. So as we look a little further here, After the man delivered the message to this age, which was the light to guide us out of the darkness of those systems; the first stick God yanked out of that nest, was the man that had delivered the message. That left us all sitting there on the edge of a cliff, wondering, Where do we go from here? All of those that had been sitting so comfortable in that nest, being fed the best that the Creator had, when that nest was torn to pieces; had to go out and live on their own. Brother! The wind picked up some of them, and blew them away, and they have not been heard from since. But there were some others, that began to flap their stubby little wings, and try to fly, when the truth is, they were not even able to walk. These are the ones that have taken the man’s sermons and made them their Bible for this day and hour. Why did they do that? Because the Spirit they already had in them, is what interpreted those messages for them; and I can tell you for sure, it was not the Spirit of God. They still think they are eagles, but they have never yet been able to fly, and the truth is, They never will. But as Peter said, “Many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” Verse 3 really sums it all up, especially the first part, which says, “And through covetousness (wanting to be recognized as having sat under the teaching of God’s prophet) shall they with feigned words (false doctrine) make merchandise of you.” Those who try to follow these characters, are forever being sold out, and traded around, like a pocket knife, or a two dollar watch; for their revelation is always changing, every time you meet one of them somewhere; it seems that they have just received a new revelation from some statement Bro. Branham made; in such and such a message. We have just taken what Peter said, over 1900 years ago, and given it a twentieth century application. Peter saw that tare spirit coming, and we can look back and see where it has been; but to face stark reality, is to recognize that it is still very much among us. Peter wrote this epistle in 66 A.D., and by 96 A.D., that tare spirit was knocking on the door of every little assembly of saints. I do not mean to make it sound like only the small assemblies were troubled; that is just my way of expressing it.


IDENTIFYING THE TRUE – AND THE FALSE


Let us go on over to the little epistle of 2nd John, written in 90 A.D., by the same apostle who wrote the gospel of St. John, and also the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation was written in 96 A.S., and John was the only one of the original apostles, that was still alive at that time. So here in this little epistle, we will start with verse 6. He is admonishing them, because of the tare spirit that is running the roads, and says, “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments.” (The commandments of Christ, which all of the apostles taught.) That is why I preached the message, “Born Again, And Know It.” That takes church membership out of the picture, in this present hour of time. For the person who is truly born again by the Spirit of God: has a yearning deep down within his heart; God teach me. He does not give us this new birth just to make us a better Baptist, or Catholic. It does just the opposite of that; it pulls you out of those systems. “And this is love.” In other words, This is the way to see the real love of God. “That we walk after His commandments.” The Charismatics out here in the world today, think they have found the true application of this love the scriptures speak of, but they are missing it altogether; because their revelation of the Godhead is wrong. You cannot know anything about the real love of God, (how to express it) when you are rejecting the very truth that would enable you to know Him. Verse 7, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, (knocking on every church house door) who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” Not the major one that is yet to come; but a minor one, of many that have plagued the true children of God all these many centuries of time since those apostles of Christ passed from the scene. “Look to yourselves, (He is talking to the elect,) that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.” In other words, this is John’s way of saying, Hold to those things you have been taught, so that we who have labored among you, to accomplish this for God, in your lives, do not come up short of a reward. My, my: Listen to verse 9. “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, (or teaching of Christ, as has been related by His apostles,) hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” Not two persons, (for Jesus was the only person) but the Spirit of both the Father and the Son, because they were merged into one Spirit. That is why, in some scriptures, we read that we have the Spirit of God in us, and then again, that we have the Spirit of His Son in us, or the Spirit of Christ. It is all one and the selfsame Spirit, for when the Omnipresent Spirit of the Father incarnated His Son Jesus, there at the Jordan that day, they became one Spirit. “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed (God bless you) is partaker of his evil deeds.” John was an old man when he wrote these scriptures. He has stood for truth, fought the battles, seen a lot of things come and go, and here it seems that he is taking time to write this letter to the ones he loved: to tell them how to behave themselves; and how to carry on, in order to stay out of Satan’s traps. John know Satan would really be after the next generation of believers, and he desired to reinforce them before his departure, that they also might continue to bear a true image of Christianity.

 

WHY I SPEAK OF TARES


We will get into the book of Revelation later, where we will see that by 96 A.D. the tares had been successful in getting into some of the churches, and were beginning to set the stage for the devil’s long awaited plan; whereby he would disrupt the whole redemption process of God’s redeeming grace. He was never able to keep any of the predestined seed out of the kingdom of God, but he sure did succeed in destroying the apostolic image, that the Church had carried, through those early years after it’s birth. As I said earlier, It is in the book of Revelation that we read where our names were written in the book of life before the foundation of the world. But there are many scriptures that speak of the Elect, predestination and foreordination according to foreknowledge, and all such as this; enough to let us know that those apostles of Christ all believed the same thing. Oh they each one had their own style of presenting the truth, but you will never find where any one of them ever preached anything contrary to what the others preached. There is an awful lot of criticism out here in the world today, of the doctrines of predestination, eternal security of the believer, and what God did through His foreknowledge. But I just have to say, Any preacher that would preach against any of these Bible doctrines, is sure not anointed of the Holy Ghost. They really resent hearing anyone refer to tares in this day and hour, but I just have to feel that Jesus tacked that title on to the negative element of what is referred to as Christianity, for a reason, and I feel that if He called them tares, it is all right fo me to do likewise. I do not try to pick them out; I leave that to the Holy Ghost; but when you see manifestations that you know could not come from a born again child of God, can you help that? Just remember this; A tare is not one thing, and an antichrist something else; it is all of the same spirit. It is just two different expressions of the same thing; for in reality, Satan is the father of it all, and God knew every one of them would be what they are, before the foundation of the world. You may sometimes feel that I am going to seed on certain things, but I just have to turn back to the 1st chapter of Ephesians, and read it again, because it states so well, in such few words, what men have wrote volumes trying to explain. Paul was a prisoner, in Rome, but he knew full well that those Ephesian believers truly exemplified the elect of God, chosen in Christ. This church was born off of that great revival recorded in Acts 19 and 20, and they bore a true image of Christianity all the way through the first age of Christendom. But actually, when Paul wrote this, in 64 A.D., it carried an application to all believers of the 1st age.


WE ARE BLESSED


In chapter 1, verse 3, we read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” When Paul used the word US, he knew who he was writing to; he knew their lives and the image they bore as the elect of God. Now as we have already stated, Only those who were foreknown of the father will ever experience the new birth, but nevertheless, the gospel call has always been whosoever will, let him come, or let him take the water of life freely. Jesus purchased enough salvation for all men and women, and boys and girls, who would ever live in this old world: and it is free to all who will accept it; but God forces it upon no one. You may think, because we preach and teach election and predestination, and that no one can come to Jesus unless the Father (Spirit) draws him, that we believe God forces His elect into the kingdom; but that is not true at all. He does not force anyone to accept His plan of redemption, but I assure you, He knew from before the foundation of the world: who would accept it, and who would reject it. That is how some come to be referred to as the elect; because by foreknowledge, God knew what their choice would be. But even the serpent seed have felt the drawing power of God, for God gives every one of them their chance to go all the way with Him. That is why Paul said in Romans 9:14, “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.” I will say this though, Unrighteous mankind does not just up and choose the time when he or she is going to accept the Savior and become born again. The Spirit of God controls that; for most of the time, we as individuals are not looking for God when we come face to face with Him; (so to speak) He finds us. Well I said I wanted to read these scriptures again, so let us read verse 4. “According as He (God) hath chosen us in Him (Jesus the Christ) before the foundation of the world, (Because of his foreknowledge) that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Do not ever picture God as trying to get something done, but gets all mixed up, and ends up with a lot of mistakes. No. He knew exactly what He was doing, every time He made a move. His final purpose is, “That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” The children of the very fountain of love, should also have that same kind of love one for another, just like God has for us. That is what John was talking about, over in his little epistles, and that is also what Paul is thinking about as he states what this sovereign God has done, and why He has done it. He continues in verse 5 saying, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, (According to what?) According to the good pleasure of His will.” Saints: That one verse, standing alone, is enough to let us know that we are never going to get God to change his mind about anything, for because of His foreknowledge, everything was already a completed picture in His mind, before He ever started to create anything. He knew how stubborn I would be. He knew how critical you would be. But He also knew when we would accept Him; therefore He knew when to draw us, by His convicting Spirit, that we might receive the inheritance, or at least a measure of the inheritance, that was already set aside for us, so to speak. In every case, these epistles were written to the faithful in Christ, the elect. They speak of that negative element, which are tares, but there is no message nor admonition in any of them, that is to the tares. All of those writers of the epistles, were aware of the antichrist spirit that would run parallel to the Spirit of God; in an effort to throw the church off course; but as long as they were alive, they stood against its influence, and kept it under control. It was only after the death of the last one of the original apostles, that the devil seemed to get the go-ahead for his evil plot against the Church of the Living God. But when he got the thing rolling, it rolled right on through centuries of time, and almost swallowed up all the light of truth. Nevertheless God always preserves a seed, no matter how dark things may get, because He has already determined to perfect an element of people, and mold them into the very spiritual image of His only begotten Son.


LOOK TO YOUR EXAMPLE


Now even though Satan could not get much of a foothold as long as those original apostles were alive, we can see from these epistles that as early as 54 A.D., when Paul wrote to the Thessalonian assembly, there was already reason for him to recognize that there was an antichrist spirit to be dealt with. There is one thing we need to keep in mind though: These apostles were all Jewish men. Their lives and mentality had been molded by the Old Testament law and prophets; therefore they knew assuredly that a new dispensation had come upon them; wherein that which they had looked forward to, was now a reality, and God had given to them the original revelation of how it was to be proclaimed. He also gave them the wisdom and understanding to know how to deal with any contrary spirit that might come down the road. Therefore even though Paul was in prison, in Rome, in 64 A.D., he was faithful to his calling; and wrote letters of encouragement, admonition, and warning to the various churches; and in the Philippian epistle, there is something that I would like to call your attention to, at this time. Turn to chapter 3, verse 17, and notice how he says this. This is the Church that was established as a result of Paul and Silas being in jail, and the old Philippian jailor getting converted. So the years have come and gone, and now from his prison cell, Paul has an occasion to write to them, and here is what I want to call to your attention at this time. Verse 17, “Brethren be followers together of me, (Not of his flesh, but of his dedicated manner of life.) And mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example.” In other words, Mark those that follow us in the same pattern of truth and Christian conduct, as you have us for an example. It was not the flesh of the people, but the way of truth that they upheld, that Paul was concerned about, so notice what he says about the tare element he sees coming upon the scene. “For many walk, (are making their rounds trying to get in) of whom I have told you often, (This shows that he had already been warning them of the fact that they would be troubled by false teachers) and now tell you weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” Now surely, none of you think Paul was talking about the drunks that hung around the local saloon. No. He was speaking of an element of people among them: that supposedly had been converted, but refused to adhere to the ways of true Christian conduct, and had ideas contrary to the truth that the Church had been founded upon. This has led them into a completely different life style, and caused them to present a picture that was not compatible with true Christianity. But notice, Paul is not saying, pray for them, and try to get them straightened out; he said rather, Their end is destruction. They never were saved; yet they had gone through the process and pretended to be. As I said, That is how tares first got into the assemblies of the saints. You may have thought the tares just stormed the Church and took over; but, No. They first came up from within the local assemblies; that is why it took so long for them to outnumber the true saints. Now as we have also said, In most outward appearances tares looked just like the children of God; so what you have to realize is, that there is a difference in the spirit. That tare spirit, no matter how religious it may cause people to appear, is an antichrist spirit. It will always lead to a deviation from the truth; and as Paul said, They mind earthly things (instead of being led by the Spirit of God.) “For our conversation (our manner of life) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, (That is our hope. That is what we are looking for. I certainly would not want to continue on forever in this one, in its present state.) That it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.” Brothers and Sisters: when you really stop to think what we really do have in store for us, it ought to get you excited. Hallelujah! Brother we will no longer have to be concerned about tooth decay, nor about losing our hair, nor about what causes cancer, tuberculosis, and heart attacks; we will have an immortal body just like Jesus. Death will no longer be in the picture; and tares will not longer be among us. What a glorious thought. That is when God will have the family on earth, that His great heart has longed for, if I may use that expression.


WHO ARE OF THE SAME MIND IN THE LORD?


Alright now, notice chapter 4, as Paul brings his thought back to the saints he is writing to. “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, (Why would he talk like that about them? It was because they were the first fruits of his ministry and revelation.) My joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” It is obvious that he is directing these words to those whom he knows are chosen in Christ, the elect of God who hold a pure revelation in their hearts. But he has a further word of admonition for two certain individuals within the group, who must have had a little disagreement about something, so notice how he worded it. You can talk like this to those you know are saints of God; for they have the attributes within them, to heed such an admonition. “I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.” There is no use talking to tares like that, for the spirit in them causes them to have a mind of their own. You just get away from them, and leave them alone. But these few little verses here, let us know that there was a Spirit in that apostolic hour, that knew how to watch people. It observed first, what they believed, and how faithful they were to it; then the manner of life they lived, and how sensitive they were to the leading of God’s Spirit, and whether they would take correction or not. Brother those old guardians of the faith, were not deceived by that slick talking tare element, Satan began to breed up among them. They knew what they were dealing with, and God gave them wisdom, on how to keep everything under control; so that nothing got ahead of its time. Well Paul went ahead saying, “And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life.” That was the first mention of the book of life, in the epistles of the New Testament. But it lets us know that Paul knew they were true children of God, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. If he had never mentioned anything about that other element, you might have reason to think He did not know the difference; but it is very obvious that he did. When you study all of the epistles he wrote, you will find that he clearly identified both those of the Spirit of God, as well as those who were of that contrary spirit, the spirit of antichrist, which is the spirit of the devil. He did not call anyone a tare, just because of some personal feelings he might have had about them; he made sure he identified the spirit that ruled their lives first. He had a clear revelation of what was recorded in the book of life, and he knew that God does not own an eraser. He does not need one; for He never makes a mistake.


EVIL MEN AND SEDUCERS


Let us go back into the 2nd epistle of Paul to Timothy, and in chapter 3, refresh our minds of what he wrote concerning these last days. Approximately two years after writing the Philippian epistle, still in jail in Rome, Paul no doubt has heard reports from those coming to visit him, that let him know what was going on; and how that tare spirit was making inroads, and being the man he was: he took every bit of it before the Lord in prayer, and by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, he wrote this second letter to Timothy, a young preacher that had been much help to him in his ministry; as well as to him personally. In the beginning of the letter, he speaks of the unfeigned faith that was in Timothy, and tells him not to be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. But the point we want to get to, is in chapter 3. “This know also, that in the last days,” I believe we would all have to admit that we are now living in the last days, that Paul was talking about; would you not say so? Furthermore I believe we are living in the end of those last days; and that Jesus will soon come for His little bride. Why do I believe that? Because when I look at world conditions, both in the world at large, and also in what the world calls, “THE CHURCH,” and I think of the rapid deterioration of morals, in the past few years, I realize that at such a downward trend, if the Lord allowed it to go on for many years yet, this generation that is supposed to see the end of all that Jesus spoke of, would pass from the scene, and the world would be filled with one big corrupt mass of humanity, filthier and meaner than animals. Furthermore all of the conditions that Jesus said would be in the world in the end time are already present, even in the realm of religion; so I believe we are living in the end of the last days, Paul was referring to. “This know also, that in the last days, perilous time shall come. For men (and women) shall be lovers of their own selves, (This is a picture of that humanistic spirit, that is running rampant in the world today. That spirit does not give any recognition to God, or Satan. It’s attention is strictly focused on the physical being of man, and what man can achieve through his own intellect.) Covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” Now that is a long list of unchristlike attributes, but all of unregenerate mankind is represented somewhere within that long list. Not every word applies to every unsaved person; but certainly it covers the general condition of unregenerate mankind, here at the end of the grace age and especially the part that speak of people being without natural affection, and being lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Brother, if God is recognized at all, He has to be fitted in, between sports events and personal pleasures. This attitude in the lives of professing Christians, is what Paul was thinking of there in verse 5; when he said, concerning some of these, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: (and his admonition was) from such, turn away.” Now I will just sort of skip through these next verses in an effort to get on down to verses 13 and 14. He says these people will be “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” That condition is at its peak right now, and it is causing people to do some strange things, even to the point of what you would call blasphemy against the truth. Paul speaks of persecutions, and afflictions that he personally has suffered for the cause of Christ, and declares with no uncertain terms, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” You may not suffer everything Paul suffered; but if you stand for truth in this hour, you are a misfit and a spiritual outcast, and you are forced to recognize that this world is not your home. Hallelujah! We are just passing by. So Paul says this, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” Now don’t you ever think he was talking about the Mafia, when he spoke of evil men and seducers; he was talking about those tares and what they would do; once they got a foot hold in the realm of the Church. Brother you can see some of them on television every week, doing exactly what Paul said, deceiving, and being deceived. They fight against apostolic doctrine; but they really love to preach on healing, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit; for this is two things that the flesh can enjoy. The reason their flesh enjoys what they refer to as the baptism of the Holy Spirit, is because the Spirit they receive never leads them into all truth. It requires nothing more of them than to enjoy the manifestations whereby the flesh is blessed. Furthermore a lot of them are always telling people how to get rich quick. It usually requires you to send an offering, and let them pray for you; that god will increase your substance. The methods they use are just plain deceptive. You never read where any of the apostles ever used methods like that. But of course only a tare would, for the true children of God know better than that. They know God did not call them to be beggars for Him; nor to promote deceptive programs to raise money. Nevertheless we know the tares are among us; and that they will go straight through to the end. It is only at the end of the age that the Lord sends forth His angels to bundle them up and get them ready to be burned. Oh yes, the bundling process is already in effect, but the true children of God will not be completely free of them until the very end of the age.


WHO ARE VAIN TALKERS?


Let us just look right on over in the 1st chapter of Titus, while we are here, Titus was a young fellow like Timothy, who was also a fellow worker with Paul in the gospel; so Paul wrote to him, concerning a condition among the Cretian Christians that needed to be straightened out; and the church set in order. He first reminded him of the qualifications of bishops in the Church, and tells him that by sound doctrine, one ought to be able to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. Then he wrote this, “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped.” Now he specifically pointed out that these vain talkers were primarily of the circumcision. This means that they were law-keeping Jews, that supposedly had been converted to the Christian faith, but Paul knew they had not been genuinely converted. That is why he referred to them as vain talkers and deceivers whose mouths must be stopped. He was discerned that they did not have the Holy Ghost in them; but how were their mouths to be stopped? Did Paul want Titus to run in among them and tell those self appointed preachers and prophets to shut up? They no doubt had gotten in among the Jewish Christians and pretended to be saved, but Paul knew that if they had been converted by that same Spirit that was in these other Christians; they would not act like this. They would not speak against Moses nor the law, but neither would they try to convince others that a person must be circumcised and keep the law, in order to be saved. Paul knew what spirit was in them; and what they were trying to do among the Christians; and he knew that their influence had to be stopped, at any cost, but it had to be done by teaching sound doctrine to the Christians; so that they would not pay any attention to any other kind of preaching. This was not a strange occurrence to Paul; he had run into the same situation years before that, in the Galatian assembly. But at least in that apostolic age, that spirit of Antichrist was identified and dealt with; and the Church was kept clean. We have been co-existing with the tares for so many generations now, these scriptures have just been lying dormant with no one knowing how to apply them. This is the day when everyone is a Christian, no matter what they believe. How many times have you heard someone say, We may not see eye to eye on the scriptures, but we are all headed to the same place? What a deception! Yet if you tell them the truth, they accuse you of belonging to a cult. The world accepts this tare element of religion to be representative of the Church of the living God, and therefore anyone that differs with it is a heretic. But of these tare preachers, Paul said this, (verse 11) “Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” Do we have any of that sort of thing going on today? Yes, it is just like the brother said last night, Some of these preachers will preach for ten or fifteen minutes, and take a half hour to beg and plead for money. You will hear them say, God has given me a revelation, or a vision of how to reach the world for Jesus; but I need you to stand with me. It all sounds heart rending, but the Holy Ghost is not in it. They are just teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. Well this next verse lets us know that Paul himself has heard what one of these prophets in that category has said about the Cretian Christians. “One of themselves, (one of these tare preachers) even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.” This is language hard for us to understand in our day, but it is a picture of how that preacher, whoever he was, belittled those Cretian Christians. His accusations were based on the background of the Cretian people, and Paul knew what their background was, the lifestyle they came from, and all of that. But he also knew that the Spirit of God in them, would make them into new creatures, so he said to Titus, “This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, (the Christians; not the tare preacher) that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.” In other words, Titus: Tell those people to forget all those old traditions of their past, and ignore these tare preachers that try to fill their heads with junk, and be renewed in the spirit of their minds, to reflect the Lord Jesus Christ; that they now have in them by the new birth. Then he summed it up like this, “Unto the pure (That is the believer that is filled with the Holy Ghost.) All things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; (Sure, They all do.) But in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” No matter what they preached, and regardless of the fact that they were Jews, Paul knew that the Spirit in them would never point anyone to Jesus Christ. A tare will never be a child of God; they are make believers and do not have within them, anything that can present a true Christian image. Oh they can put on a good act, as long as everything is going well, but when you cross them with something that rubs them the wrong way, look out: for their true nature reacts.


BABY CHRISTIANS


Alright let us go into the 5th and 6th chapters of the epistle to the Hebrews, and see how Paul dealt with their situation. This epistle was also written in 64 A.D., while Paul was a prisoner in Rome, and it was written to Jewish Christians who were in dispersion. That is why it is called, the epistle to the Hebrews; the word Hebrew, means foreigner. There were Gentile Christians among them, of course, but it was addressed primarily to the Jewish element, because he deals much with the law, and what those types and shadows pointed to. But what we want to look at now, is what Paul said to those who had failed to grow beyond the baby stage in their Christian experience, so we will start with verse 11, in chapter 5. He is speaking to them of the high priest Christ Jesus, in terms that they are familiar with, and in verse 11 says, “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. (In other words, This lets us know that Paul has come to realize that these Christians are not ready to receive deep teaching in the things of God. Why? Verse 12 begins to state why.) For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; (What he is saying in no uncertain terms is this, You have been saved long enough, that you ought to be able to teach someone else by now; but you are still baby Christians yourselves, that cannot even digest the real meat of the scriptures) and are become such as have need of milk (Milk is the very elementary truths pertaining to the salvation experience, as you will see here) and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.” The picture Paul sees, is that they have not progressed much beyond repentance, baptism, the laying on of hands for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and believing in the second resurrection, and so forth; therefore he gets pretty plain with them in his remarks. Notice, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” In other words, Milk is for babies; because babies are not born with teeth. But as they take that milk and begin to grow on it, God has ordained that nature itself would cause teeth to start growing in those little gums, and when they get enough teeth to chew solid food, Nature itself demands that they be weaned from the milk, and that they start taking solid food. No, it is not done in a day’s time, but little by little, the transition is made, and spiritually it is supposed to work the same way; but in this case, it has not, and that causes Paul to say, “therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, (Now that does not mean that we do away with those basic doctrines; we are supposed to build upon them) let us go into perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.” These basic doctrines are comparable to what children learn in their first year of school, regardless of what their first year is called. When I went to school, they called it the Primer grade. That is where we started to learn the primary things that pertained to our total education. But when we passed from the Primer grade to the next grade, we did not discard what we had already learned; we just built upon it. Once you learned these basic things, you no longer need to constantly rehearse them, and dwell upon them, but neither do you forget them; they are the foundation upon which your total education is built. Therefore spiritually, it is the same way; when you leave these basic truths, to move on in the stream of perfection, you do not discard them; you just build upon them. So what Paul is saying is, Once this foundation is layed, there is no need to keep laying it; you leave it right there and built upon it, and he mentions those basic truths that some people never get beyond. In verse 2 we see the rest of those basic things he mentioned. “Of the doctrine of baptisms, (of water and of Spirit) and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (Leave those things, and go into perfection.) And this we will do, if God permit.” If the spirit of conviction causes us to realize that we have done something that was not pleasing to the Lord: we do not need to hear a sermon on repentance, and get baptized again, and start all over, we should just get down on our knees in the bedroom, or the corn crib, or somewhere, and just tell the Lord all about it. Learning to do that is a part of our spiritual growth. In other words, We should get these basic truths settled and know where we stand spiritually, so we do not continually have doubts and misgivings about it. You will never grow very much spiritually, as long as you continue to have doubts about your salvation experience, so get that part settled once and for all, and then you can leave those first principles of the oracles of God, (as Paul referred to them) and go on into the deeper things that bring statural growth to your inner man.


WHAT ABOUT FALLING AWAY?


Before we read verse 4, let me say this, People who fight against election and predestination, always like to use this particular scripture, because without a revelation of the truth of God’s word, they think this scripture says that a person who has been born again by the Spirit of God, can actually fall from grace, and be lost again. Brothers and Sisters: That is as far from the truth as they could possibly get; for it proves that they do not have confidence in the fact of God’s faithfulness concerning the sure promises made to the true believer. “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” Paul was not even talking about true believers here; this pertains to the reaction of tares, as they sit among true saints, and partake of those heavenly blessings the Holy Ghost showers down upon them. A tare does not come staggering into the church and take the pulpit. No. He is an individual that from all external appearances, has given his heart to God, and is looking for the same things the children of God are looking for. Satan has to robe his children to appear the same as God’s children, if he is to accomplish his purpose of deception. Remember what we read in 2nd Corinthians 11:13-15, where Paul warned them about the appearance and purpose of those tares that would come among them. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” You will never find one of these instruments of Satan telling anyone that there is no God; they work just like the old serpent did with Eve: Now you know God did not mean for you to be different than other Christians. Oh, Yes, He did; for that which you get compared to, is not representing apostolic teaching. Well God may have said so and so, but He did not mean for us to take it literally. Oh Yes, He did; Those apostles did not concoct those instructions for Christian conduct out of their own thoughts, and from selfish motives; they were inspired of God, just like Paul said to Timothy, in his 2nd epistle 3:16-17. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable (in what way) for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Brothers and Sisters: I want to assure you of one thing: Paul knew what spirit these individuals were of, who fell into the category of what he was talking about. To taste of something is one thing; but to make it your daily diet, is something else altogether. When I tasted of the Holy Ghost for the first time; my spiritual taste buds were activated; and I have never been able to get enough yet. Whatever he serves up; I love it; but that is not true with a tare who loves Holy Ghost demonstrations, but detests Holy Ghost correction. When they come in; and sit among you, they feel that same convicting power of God that you feel; and it will make them feel remorseful and such like. But you must understand, that deep within the spirit of that individual is another spirit embedded; that has him locked up. He can feel the Spirit of God moving, and he loves the sensations it brings, but it cannot ever get deep enough within him, to cause him to have an appetite for all of the revealed word of God. Therefore it only affects their emotional makeup, and leaves them void of the true nature of Jesus Christ: that the Spirit of God is cultivating in the lives of true believers. They come into Faith Assembly here, and if people are not running the aisles, jumping benches, and tearing up something; they go away and say, That is the deadest place I have ever been in. What you preach does not concern them; unless they are trying to build something for themselves. If they are trying to get a following of their own, they will find fault with the preaching, in an underhanded way, always to call attention to themselves. Naturally there are always some who will jump in the boat with them; but true saints that have been fed properly will measure them up by the scriptures, and discern the spirit that is motivating them. According to the words of Jesus in Matthew 24, it is not possible for the very elect of God to be deceived completely, but these false apostles (tares) will present themselves in such a way, that only by genuine Holy Ghost discernment will their evil hearts be revealed. God has allowed it to be like that though, that is a test His true children are faced with, and must overcome; but they will overcome because their names are already written in the book of life from before the foundation of the world.


THESE HAVE CAIN’S SPIRIT


I will not say where it came from, nor who wrote it, but I received a letter one time from a man in a certain church, (and I always recognize this spirit) which said, Bro. Jackson: We appreciate the Contender and the truth you bring out, But when are you going to preach on the woman’s head covering? He said, You do not see much of that any more, women coming to church with her head covering on. By this time, I already knew that this thing called a head covering was nothing more than mockery anyhow, for the only head covering God ever put on a woman, is hair. Man has added these other things, because of his lack of revelation of the scriptures. Furthermore there are a lot of tongue speaking Pentecostal women going to their organized churches, wearing their little hats that are supposed to mean they are in subjection. Yet you can go into their homes between church services, and you will find that they have yanked that thing off, and they are the boss. When she comes to church with that thing on, you would think she is really a saint of God. She can preach you a sermon, shout louder than anyone else, and dance up and down the aisle; but the rest of the time she is meaner than a snake. Now please understand: I am not belittling the saint that can shout like that from a pure heart; but for everyone that can, there are probably 4 or 5 that cannot. You may think this sounds awfully negative, but the reason it does is because I am presenting the negative side. The scripture that got us on this subject requires this kind of an explanation, lest people fail to catch the truth of it, and allow the devil to torment their mind. I am going to read that scripture again, and then we will go to a scripture that will allow us to see what this is all about. Many, through the ages of time, have tasted of this heavenly gift; but not in the same way the true saints taste it. Their lives have not been changed by what they tasted, no more than Cain’s life was, when God spoke to him by an audible voice. Do not tell me Cain never had a chance to do right; for the Bible tells me that he did. We have already read it, but just to paraphrase the event, God said, Cain: Why are you angry? Do you not know that if you do well, you will be accepted? You will have to agree: Cain did have an opportunity to do right; so what more could God have done for him? He could see his brother, over there under the glory of God; just rejoicing in the Spirit: and he had the same opportunity offered to him, but chose otherwise. So the point is, There are things we can learn by watching how God deals with others. Do not ever get too proud to examine yourself, and what you are doing. I am not saying that we should be copy-cats, but we can certainly learn what God will accept, by watching others. We do not have to ask questions, if we will just observe. Cain could see how Abel’s sacrifice was offered; and he could have done likewise. But, no, his mind was already made up, and he was not going to change it; even if God did speak to him in an audible voice, and offer him the opportunity. He no doubt thought, My melons and tomatoes are just as good as that bloody old sheep; and furthermore, that is inhumane. Well, that is the same spirit that is on these modernists of our day; but the important thing is, What will God accept? If God was only interested in something beautiful, then what was wrong with Cain’s fruit and vegetable basket? I doubt if you could have found anything more beautiful that it was, but God wanted something that was offered by a revelation of the worshiper. Therefore Cain forfeited his opportunity, because he had no revelation of why God required a blood sacrifice. That same spirit caused Esau to sell his birthright for a little bowl of soup, when he felt like he was starving to death. Do you think God will just overlook a thing like that? No. Never. That is why the scripture says, Though he sought it with tears, he found no place of repentance for what he had done. In other words, He knew he had done wrong, and he knew that he could not undo what he had done; therefore he could never find any justified thought of expression that he felt would merit forgiveness from God. What he did was not done in ignorance; he knew perfectly well what he was doing, but considered it unimportant at the time. That is how the spirit works; it always causes those that it controls to miss the mark, no matter what kind of opportunity they have in life. Many people, though they do not have the Holy Ghost themselves, they have been in places where they have been partakers of Holy Ghost blessings, and they have heard the truth and received a basic knowledge of the primary things of Christ, and been offered every opportunity to go all the way with God; but something always draws them away, before total commitment. Alright, now that we know who it applies to, let us read that scripture again. “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good work of God, and the powers of the world to come, (the Millennium) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” I can assure you, on the authority of the word of God, that no person who ever truly received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in the new birth experience, has ever been guilty of doing that. But God knows exactly how to deal with tares that sit among the saints. His word does not even tell us how to deal with them; for He Himself takes care of them in due time.


SAME RAIN – BUT DIFFERENT RESULTS


Well Paul goes ahead in verses 7-8, and gives an illustration of what he is talking about. “For the earth (the part which has been tilled and prepared, and seed sown in it) which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briars is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing: whose end is to be burned.” The point here, in the first example, shows that the earth which has been properly prepared, receives blessing from God, and it brings forth fruit fit for the one that prepared it. But the old unprepared earth receives the same rain and sunshine, and all it produces is weeds, and thorns, and such like. That is Paul’s way of saying, The Spirit of God can fall on a large gathering of people, and they will all feel the effects of it, but they will not all come forth unto righteousness. Some will come forth as what God wants, and the rest will come forth as what the devil wants. In other words, Those individuals whose lives have not been cultivated and dressed, to receive the ingrafted word of God which is able to save their souls, can have the Holy Ghost rain fall on them, along with everyone else, but they will still be a briar or a thorn by nature. They may shout, jump and speak in tongues all over the place, but they will never allow the word of God to take root in them. Well the Bible does not say that we shall live by every shout that comes out of our mouth, but rather, by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. A tare will not live by every word like a true believer will endeavor to do; therefore their end is already determined; they will be burned. Not one of them goes unnoticed by the God who has given them their chance. He has them all marked. Alright Paul turns his attention back to the believer, in  verse 9, and says, “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” We have lived in an hour when people will not face up to the fact that there are tares sitting among them. But let me tell you, If you had lived in that first age when they were trying their best to inject their influence in among the assemblies of saints: you would not have found anyone being so nice to them; and afraid to hurt their feelings. Brother, it was just the opposite; they kept them in their place. The Spirit of God in those founding fathers identified them; and they were treated as tares.


WHO WENT OUT FROM US?


Let us go back into the little epistle of 1st John, chapter 2, for a closer look at what we are endeavoring to point out about the tares that the devil has sowed in God’s field. John did not have a revelation of the seven Church Ages, and how the tare spirit would eventually be allowed to come among the saints, and remain so until the end of the grace age; so when he began to see the thing come into the picture, he naturally felt that the end was close, so notice as we go to verses 18 and 19. “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many Antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” No saint was ever asked to pray for any of these vessels of Satan. They were identified, and treated as enemies of the cross of Christ; for there was not one thing that anyone could do to change them. A child of the devil is always a child of the devil; he could never be a child of God, nor a true friend to the children of God, because the two spirits clash. This little epistle was written about 26 years after the writing of the epistle to the Hebrews. Paul had been dead for many years, and John had seen a lot of things come on the scene that Paul constantly warned the saints about, and he remains faithful to the task of guarding the true revelation that the church was founded upon, so notice what he says about those of that hour that had manifested their true nature. Verse 19. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” Let me dwell for a moment on that statement, “They went out from us, but they were not of us.” This church is 30 years old; (I am talking about Faith Assembly) and those of us who have been in it all of those years have seen a lot of people come and go; for one reason or another. Natural circumstances have caused some to move away from the area, and many of them are not to be included in what I am going to say. But those who have left us and turned against the revelation of truth that we stand for, are of the same sort that John was writing about here. I do not mean to sound bigoted, but I am fully persuaded that we stand for a true revelation of the word of God; so what else could we believe about those who walk with us for a few years, and then turn on us, and actually hate us for what we teach? They have come here, shouted, danced, spoke in tongues, and testified about how God sent them here, and what a wonderful revelation they have received from sitting here, and then: by and by they become offended, and turn completely against us, and try their level best to destroy any influence we might have upon anyone else. Therefore I ask you; Based upon what you know from the word of God, do true children of God conduct themselves like that? You know they do not. The Holy Ghost does not teach you something for a few years, and then all of a sudden, tell you that it is wrong. Only a devil will act like that. “They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us, but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” As you diagnose this thing, using the word of God to measure it by: if those people had the Holy Ghost leading them, and they had the same revelation that you had, during the time they were here, they would still be sitting right here. At least they would still be in fellowship with us, for distance does not change that. We just have to face the fact that there comes a time when certain things have to be allowed to happen, or develop, to prove who has the Spirit of God, and who does not. For we are living in an hour when God is separating the tares from the wheat; getting ready to gather the wheat into the garner, and the tares are being bundled up for burning, according to the very words of Jesus, in Matthew 13. The Church has come through many phases, coming out of the Dark Ages, and to the place where she stands today. That is why there had to be a message that would put it all together, and bring the true revelation out of it. Fragments of the apostolic truth were scattered all around, but they had to be collected together, to present a true picture of the plan and purpose of God; and I am persuaded that we (the true church) now have the message that God will require every person alive at His coming, to give an account of. It is in the hands (so to speak) of the Holy Ghost, and He is knocking on heart’s doors, and presenting it, and it is separating the tares from among the true children of God; because it requires something that a tare cannot tolerate: true fidelity to the entire word of God. If the Holy Ghost is in you, it will lead you into all truth. That is what the Bible says. There is a deceiving, compromising spirit in the world church that says, We do not all have to believe everything exactly alike; just as long as we believe in Jesus. Brothers and Sisters: That is a lie of the devil, from the very pit of hell; for it is completely contrary to what the apostles of Christ taught in that first age. I sometimes wonder what some of these people use for a Bible, for it is obvious that they do not get their teaching from the Bible that we believe to be the authoritative word of God. The truth is, Satan has his own translators. They call Mary the mother of Jesus, a young woman, instead of a virgin, like it is correctly translated; and they change the reference to God, from HIM, to HER, and all such as that. Anything to try and pervert a true revelation, but, Hallelujah! The predestined of the Father get a true revelation anyhow, for they have something in them that makes the difference. We see that in verse 20, as we continue reading here. I like this part, “But ye have an unction (understanding, inspiration, anointing) from the Holy One, (You not only tasted, and found that it was good, but you said, I want more.) And ye know all things.” Praise God! What a privilege. God’s truth is not hidden from His true children. It is only hidden from those who try to understand it through the reasoning of the mind, without the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost, which the children of God have in them: is the revealer of the whole word of God. That is why John went ahead and said, “I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth: but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” If you are following the train of thought here, you will see that John is actually saying, Those that went out, held to a little something that was not right, always hoping of course, that sooner or later the church would open up and receive the new revelation they desired to give to it. John continues, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” It takes a revelation of the Godhead, in order to understand exactly what John was saying there. Those who believe that God is three persons miss the whole picture, and so does anyone else that believes God is anything other than a sovereign Spirit, that rules the universe. An Antichrist spirit is not a Communist, nor a Nazi, nor a political spirit; it is a religious spirit that teaches contrary to what the Spirit of God teaches. “Whosoever denieth the Son, (the one person of the Godhead) the same hath not the Father: (the Spirit which is holy) but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” It should be understood that this applies only to those who have a true revelation of the Godhead, and not just anyone who claims to be born again. If John were writing this in our day: knowing what we know about this bunch of make believers, he would go into much more detail to clarify what he meant. But he, being a Jew, and knowing the mind and background of the Jewish people, knew that for them to acknowledge Jesus to be the son of God and their Messiah, they would have to have the Spirit which is the Father, in them. On the other hand, Gentiles have a head belief about Jesus being the Son of God; and they profess to believe that he is the savior of lost mankind, but multitudes of those who believe like that, are void of the Spirit of God, and without revelation. They can go to church and do what true Christians do: including singing, praying, testifying, and all the rest, but they do not have the reality of that sovereign Spirit living within them, and actually directing the affairs of their lives. Therefore to the believers, John said, verse 24, “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning, (meaning the original gospel which the apostles taught, for it was a true revelation of the Father and of the Son, and what the Son is to lost mankind, and how it was the Father IN THE SON, that actually did the works that are attributed to Jesus.) If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” In other words, in the true revelation and understanding of how it all unfolds. “And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life.” To have eternal life is to have that combined Spirit of both the Father and the Son abiding in you. That is what God revealed to those Jews from various nations, on the day of Pentecost, when He anointed the apostle Peter to stand in the midst of them, and declare it. Alright, “These things have I written unto you concerning THEM THAT SEDUCE YOU. (The tares) but the anointing (the anointing is the Holy Ghost) which ye have received of Him abideth in you. (He is not just with you, but in you) and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” Brothers and Sisters: that word anointing, which pertains to the Holy Ghost, which is the combined Spirits of both the Father and the Son, is the sum of it all. If you have that Spirit in you, you are a son of God, and if you do not have, you are not a son of God, nor a daughter of God, which ever the case may be.


GOD’S PURPOSE


The point I really want to emphasize, is that the Spirit of God is not a spirit that saves people just to make good Lutherans, good Baptists, and so forth, and teach them all different doctrines to fight each other with. He will save you while you are in those systems; but in this age and hour, if He does, His purpose is to get you free from that denominational bondage, and lead you into the truth of God’s word. Without the Spirit of truth (the Holy Ghost) to lead them, those people will sit right there in those denominational churches, saying, I have always been a Lutheran, and I will die a Lutheran, or what ever. It is a well established fact that you can be a good church member in one of these systems, without even knowing God. But I am so thankful that God saved my soul, even while I was in that Methodist system, and led me to a true revelation of Himself, and what He has done for me. No, He did not save me because I was a Methodist, but rather because I needed Him, and He knew that when He dealt with me; I would be willing to leave that system of religion, and follow Him. Hallelujah! I love Him; and I just want my life to please Him. That is at the center of my purpose in life. I love this word of God, and it thrills my soul to see others brought into that same love relationship with their Creator, where they desire more than anything else, for God to lead their lives. People of the world think the Christian life is a dull one; but let me tell you something; There is no greater thrill in life than to have the Spirit of God deal with you personally, and reveal His word, and His purpose to you. Brother you can drink of the wine He serves, all night long, without having a headache, and your nerves torn all to pieces the next day.


WHO THE EPISTLES WERE WRITTEN TO


One thing you should notice as you read the various epistles written by these apostles of Christ, is the introduction. They are written to the faithful in Christ, to them that are sanctified in Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus, or to the church which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ, and so forth. But never will you find where they addressed their epistle to any tare, nor where any saint was ever admonished to pray for a tare. They were written in an hour when tares were beginning to appear on the scene, trying to gain an entrance within the structure of the Church. But the Holy Ghost, through these men, was always able to ward off their influence, and keep them out of the Church, and at the same time, mark them, for true saints to avoid. Instead of trying to win them to the Lord, as we see so much of today, those early Christians were taught to avoid them, and we know why: they were already children of the devil. Because of the way that Antichrist spirit worked, and because there were varied degrees in which that element of mankind possessed by that spirit, tried to influence the Church of the living God: it is hard to make one statement that covers the whole thing. Therefore let it be sufficient to say, Regardless of how some of these scriptures are worded, not one of those that ever departed from the faith were ever truly saved. You can lay any of this right alongside of what Paul wrote in the 6th chapter of Hebrews, and you will find that Paul was not referring to anyone that had ever been born of the Spirit of God: crucifying to themselves the Son of God afresh. It was pointed to those who had had every potential offered to them, like Cain and Esau did, and yet went their own way. Instead of praying for them, the admonition was, Do not even allow them to come into your house, nor say God bless you. Of course there came a time, as those first age saints died off, and the Church had begun to enter into a downward trend, that it seemed like the image of the believer and the image of the tare started to blend together. That is when the second parable of Matthew 13 went into effect; for in that parable Jesus said, Let them grow together until harvest time. Therefore as the Church moved into that 2nd age, and that wisdom that was used to keep the Church clean, was no longer present to separate the two, many of those scriptures that had been used to deal with that contrary element, had to be left lying dormant, and it has remained so, right on through the ages. They could not even be used in the Reformation years, because the Church still had not been restored back to the original truth, where those scriptures would be applicable. Can you just imagine the Baptist Church taking 2nd John 10 and 11, which says, “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds,” and using it to refuse a Methodist person entry among them? Oh some have tried it; but can you not see how ridiculous a thing like that would be when neither one has the doctrine John was talking about? This little epistle was written just six years prior to the time when the book of Revelation was included in the scope of recorded scripture, and at that time John was still standing flatfooted against that tare spirit, and being as plain about it as anyone could possibly be. But afterward, if the two elements were to grow together, no one was going to know how to apply those scriptures, until the end time, when the apostolic doctrine has once again been restored to the true believers, and the purpose of God requires it to be so. As I have said, I still remember the time when people from one denomination would say, concerning those of another, Do you think they are really saved? Well we know there is no salvation outside the baptism of the Holy Ghost, no matter what others may feel, nor what they say about what they feel. But those Paul referred to in Hebrews 6, had somewhere been affected by the Holy Ghost rain, and they had been given an opportunity to go all the way with God, and failed to do so. In other words, they were given accessibility to God’s great plan of salvation, but that spirit of the devil which controls their inner being would not release them. People such as these, will fellowship the saints for a season, maybe even for years, but there always comes a time when they will get a different understanding of something, and the end result is, they go a different way. “They went out from us, because they were not of us.” Their conviction and anointing stops when they get a different idea and go a separate way. Yes the Holy Ghost is that anointing that John was speaking of, and His objective is not just to convict you of sin, and show you that you need a Savior, but also to lead your life and bring you to a place where your life lines up with the word of God. Therefore whatever spirit is ruling your life, will eventually manifest itself, the one for your total salvation, or the other for your eventual destruction.


THE EPHESIAN CHURCH – AND AGE


Who would have ever thought back in the 50’s and early 60’s, when people came by the car loads to sit under the ministry of Bro. Branham, from just about every denomination that you could think of, that so many of them would get the wrong understanding of what he preached? They truly were partakers of the heavenly gift, that God sent among us, but the spirit that caused them to get the wrong idea and return to their denominational system, is the spirit that will lead them to destruction. Their names were never on the book of life; no matter what they may have professed to believe. Well it was the same way with those that finally succeeded in getting in among the saints, as that first age closed out; no matter what they professed, the spirit that kept them from submitting completely to the spirit of God, was that Antichrist spirit, that spirit of destruction. Their names were never on the pages of the book of life, and never could be, because they were children of the wrong spirit. Six years after writing his third little epistle, God gave the apostle John a revelation to write and send to the churches of Asia, in which He revealed present conditions that would exist right on through the entire grace age. Those conditions exemplified in the seven churches named in the 1st chapter of the book of Revelation. I am not going to preach on the Church Ages at this time, but I do want to look at the picture that those seven churches portrayed, as that Antichrist spirit began to make its inroads. In 96 A.D., when John wrote this book of the Bible, the church at Ephesus stood out above the other six. Do you know why? They exemplified the church in that apostolic hour, when the revelation of God’s word was still pure, and they were under the direct affects of the great commission, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Those apostles obeyed the command, but in their hearts they knew that only those ordained to eternal life would believe to the salvation of their souls, just like Acts 13:48 says. This was written concerning the hour when Paul and Barnabas turned to the Gentiles with the gospel, after the Jews had rejected it. “And when the Gentiles heard this, (that the gospel was being offered to them) they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: AND AS MANY AS WERE ORDAINED TO ETERNAL LIFE BELIEVED.” Those apostles could write epistles to the saints, and bring out predestination and election according to the foreknowledge of God, because they had a revelation of the whole thing; and these epistles became the primary means through which the believers were instructed, and through which their confidence and faith was built up in the Lord. No believer of that hour was ever told, as many have been through the ages since: Live the very best you can each day, for if you slip you will be lost again, and will have to come back and do the same thing over again. An awful lot of poor souls have lived like that, never really having any assurance of their salvation, nor any revelation of what true salvation is. Saints: Let me say it one more time, The physical birth that brought you into this world can only take place one time; you can never ben unborn. Well the spiritual birth that puts us into the family of God is the same way; it can only take place one time. Therefore those who are born into the family of God by this new birth, can never be unborn. The Holy Ghost that consummates that birth is our seal, and it is good throughout all eternity. The family of God is called the body of Christ, and we are not born into that body of believers on our own terms, we come only on God’s terms, and this church at Ephesus characterized the overall application of the gospel in that first age, as it was presented by the apostles. That tare element was on the road and trying their best, but they never could get control in that first age, and Ephesus stands out as a church that put those false apostles to the test and rejected their ministry. This is where Paul labored for a period of three years, preaching the gospel. They heard it in it’s unadulterated form, and they remembered it well. Then when he wrote the epistle to them in 64 A.D., he used terms like the elect, predestinated, and chosen before the foundation of the world. So you would have to say, If we were chosen before the foundation of the world, then our names were written in the book of life before the foundation of the world also. But let us look now at the letter written to that church in 96 A.D., and notice what the Lord said to them. We are in Revelation 2:2. “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil.” The word evil, used here, speaks of those who have tried to teach something contrary to what Paul had already taught them. Paul knew they would come; that is why he wrote to Timothy saying, in the last days, evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse. Brother the world is full of them today. They are so convincing; they can end up with the whole life’s savings of a lot of poor souls that follow their ministries. But let us go on. He says to the Ephesian church, “And thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.” Up to this point, the Lord commends them for their steadfastness in defending the true revelation, and His name. They have received the true servants of God that came by to build upon the foundation Paul laid, and they have rejected all those that spoke contrary to what Paul taught them, and the Lord was pleased with that. Their example exemplified the age in which the total church, universally, had to examine those that taught them, and determine whether they were of the Lord or not. In other words, The overall spirit of that apostolic age was exemplified in that Ephesian assembly. Verse 3 speaks of their fruits, and Christian characteristics and so forth. But notice verse 4, how the tone changes. “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” The one thing that stands out here, is how this church, even though it was still faithful in every way, did not have the same enthusiasm and thrill in serving the Lord, that they had in the beginning. The fire that burned so brightly in their hearts at first, has died down, and a lot of what they are doing, is now done out of habit and routine. It is easy to fall into a cycle like that: where you still do the right things, but the eagerness and thrill is no longer there. That is how people eventually end up serving God with works of their flesh, instead of with their whole heart. Listen, Saints: What we do for the Lord today, ought to be just as precious to us, as it was twenty or thirty years ago, when we first came to know Him. We should be just as determined and also have the same motives, as we had then. So the point is: Each one of these seven churches the Lord had John write to, had conditions in them in 96 A.D., that would exemplify the overall condition of the universal Church, in each one of seven specific ages, or phases, that it would pass though, before the gospel goes back to the Jews again. In other words, The universal Church, in that first age, had everything thrown at it, and the tares kept knocking at its door, but it managed to keep them at arm’s length, and keep itself clean as a whole. However these other six churches had conditions in them, even in 96 A.D., that would be the universal picture of Christianity, in the particular age it exemplified. Therefore the Church at Smyrna, even in the first church age, had conditions in it that portrayed what the universal Church would be like in the second church age.


SMYRNA PORTRAYED SECOND AGE


The second church age was marked by poverty and martyrdom, as the tares got in, and the devil tried, through them, to rid the world of all true Christian influence. True saints were put in jail, starved, abused and killed, for the faith in Jesus Christ they held. This was the age that corresponded to the 2nd parable of Jesus, in Matthew 13. “While men slept (that was the old guards of the faith sleeping in death.) His (the Lord’s) enemy came and sowed tares (make believers) among the wheat, (The true believers) and went this way.” Economic pressure and outright persecution brought those saints of that hour face to face with reality. They had to have the genuine, or they could not hold out against these constant bombardments from Satan; and holding out (refusing to deny their faith in Christ) meant martyrdom for many of them, and great poverty for the rest, but nevertheless, Jesus said, You are rich. Now in order to get a true picture in your mind, you must see that this one assembly had these conditions in it, at a time when the universal picture of the church as a whole, still corresponded to what the Ephesus church portrayed. In 96 A.D. the Lord looked at this church in Smyrna and saw conditions there that would prevail universally in the second age, so to them He says, “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer, behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Smyrna, no doubt, was a city that did not have a strategic related position to the commercial trade routes; therefore their material lifestyle was on a very low level, compared to many others. The church in that city then, was made up mostly of poor people. Their material substance was very skimpy; but they must have had a strong faith in God, for the Lord said to them, “But thou art rich.” History shows that as time passed, and the Spirit of God moved rapidly from the first age to the second, this church at Smyrna stood in the forefront of all that the second age held. It was that tare element that betrayed the true saints, and caused them to fall into the hands of their enemies. You might be interested in reading the history of some of those such as Polycarp, in that age of martyrdom. He was pastor of the church in Smyrna, and I believe history reveals that he was the 12th martyr of that one church, in the 2nd age. But God had already prepared him for it, and showed him exactly how he was going to die. Brother those saints did not die kicking and screaming, and begging for mercy; they faced death with their head held high, knowing that there was something in them that would never die, and it would raise them up again.


THE PERGAMOS CHURCH


Alright the church that symbolized, or characterized the third church age, was the church in Pergamos. It was also founded off of those revival fires that burned in Ephesus, when Paul preached there for three years. Yet in 96 A.D., it was obvious that Satan had somehow moved in on them, as we will see from what the Lord had John write to them. Verse 12, “And unto the angel (pastor) of the church in Pergamos write: These things saith He which hath the sharp sword with two edges: I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: (According to this, the city of Pergamos must have been Satanically infested beyond most at that time. The saints there, which had been elected in Christ, came out of that environment. The Lord saved them, and lifted them up out of all of that. Yet their previous background and the fact that they still had to be subjected to that Satanic influence all around them, was probably a very trying thing, and greatly affected their faithfulness in living for God: a truly sanctified life, yet we see as we go on, that they did have something) and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. (He commends them for that, and then speaks of what He is displeased with.) But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” Let us look at this carefully, and try to get the picture. This church was established by the ministry of Paul, and we know what he taught, about such things as this. When Paul and Barnabas went up to Jerusalem, to inquire of the elders of the church there: what should be required of the Gentiles who were becoming Christians, having never known anything about the law of Moses, the determination was, Teach them to stay away from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from fornication. Therefore it stands to reason, that they knew Paul’s teaching, and what he stood for. Yet in 96 A.D., roughly 40 years from the very beginning of that church, they already had conditions among them, that would not prevail in the church universally, until the 3rd church age. Antichrist individuals have somehow got in among them, and been able to gain recognition enough, that they are teaching these contrary things. What they once did, when they were out in the world, is now being taught in the church, as if it were an acceptable way of life. In other words, in 96 A.D., which was still the 1st church age, tares were already in this one church, doing the very things that the Christian church universally, would be plagued by, in the 3rd church age, when the Roman ruler Constantine would begin to exercise his authority in the affairs of the church. He is the one that called the first church council at Nicaea, where the trinity form of baptism was adopted, in an attempt to settle a growing controversy between oneness and trinity beliefs. Nevertheless the 3rd age was the age that matched the third parable in Matthew 13. The fact that those tares got into that Pergamos Church, and changed its image, does not mean that the image of the first church age itself was marred. Those churches we are dealing with, were isolated instances, and did not change the overall picture of the spirit of the first church age one bit whatsoever. It still carried its apostolic image, as was characterized in the Ephesus church. The Pergamos church was weak, and that gave those tares an opportunity to get in, and once they are in, things begin to change, for they are of another spirit. Any person that has the Holy Ghost, should know that no person with the true Spirit of God, would ever get a revelation like those tare teachers were teaching. Reading this ought to really keep us on our toes. For when you stop to realize how quick that spirit of Satan moved on the scene: after Paul’s death, it is no wonder the picture of Christianity is what it is today, after so many centuries of being bombarded with those Antichrist teachings. Verse 15, “So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. (Now comes the admonition.) Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” These guilty parties were given a chance to repent. All a tare can ever do, is go through the motions of repentance, and so forth. Their nature is not changed one bit whatsoever, for no matter what they do, they are still tares, and their end is to be burned in the lake of fire. For once a tare, always a tare. The destiny of those tares did not affect the eternal destiny of those elected children of God at all. Their lives on earth was affected by them, and their Christian influence was hampered, but their eternal destiny was secure: in the One that had called them, the One that recorded their names in the book of life; before the foundation of the world.

 

THE THYATIRA CHURCH


The Thyatira church, by 96 A.D., had really gone to the dogs fast, but just as we said about the others, they did not affect the overall image of the first age. Only God knows how the devil was able to take over this Christian church so soon after its beginning. But by 96 A.D., its general condition portrayed the spiritual and moral conditions that would prevail in the church universally, through those long years of the Dark Ages. Roman Catholicism took over the Christian church, changed the word of God, and ruled with an iron fist for hundreds of years, before the Spirit of God started to move upon the lives of the Reformers. The way this Thyatira church went from the fervency for God, that they had in the beginning; to the place where they were in 96 A.D., shows just how fast the devil can move in and take over, once you begin to compromise a little here and there. Notice, “And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; the last to be more than the first.” Did you notice that works is mentioned twice, and that he said their last works were more than their first? This is the only church He said that to, and I used to wonder why He said it to them. But when the revelation came, of what this local church portrayed in its particular makeup, it is easy to understand why it is said like that, to them. The first works were those things that the church did by the true leadership of the Spirit of God, and the other works were works of the flesh, without the leadership of the Spirit of God. It does not necessarily mean that what they did was evil, as man would classify things, but many of the seemingly good things that men have done through fleshly zeal, are looked upon by the Lord as evil. Nevertheless whatever their works were, it was to portray that spirit of Catholicism, that has built hospitals, schools and sponsored social programs all over the world. The world looks upon these various individuals of the Catholic Church that have been outstanding in some field of the humanitarian efforts of their system, as being real saints of God; and yet they are as far from being saints, as a jack rabbit or a grasshopper. There is nothing wrong with building hospitals and schools, and training young doctors, nurses and teachers, but there is not one ounce of benefit in any of that, as far ss the salvation of a soul is concerned. Those true works by the leadership and direction of the Holy Spirit, are the only works that God will use in reaching lost souls with the gospel. But the Catholic Church felt that there should be a faster way to get the job done; so she designed all these social programs and relief organizations in an effort to try and do, by the works of their hands, what can be done only by the Spirit of God. You just simply cannot build the Church of Jesus Christ by any such carnal means. The Lord did not condemn the church in Thyatira for those works, and neither will He condemn you for the seemingly good things that you do; but let me say once again, There is no true spiritual benefit in any of that. But Bro. Jackson: Don’t you believe many lost souls can be won through well planned programs, which show to them that someone cares? Only if the Spirit of God draws them; and if He is not drawing them, you could never treat them well enough to make saints of God out of them. You can relieve their human suffering, and you can make church members out of them; but none of your programs will ever add one extra name to the book of life.


CATHOLICISM IN THYATIRA AGE


When St. Thomas left the Middle East, and went to India in 53 A.D., he probably did not have enough money to buy a new pair of shoes when he got there. He could not have built one orphan’s home, nor school, if his life had depended upon it. But wherever he went, he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to a few Hindus, and the few that received the gospel and became converted to Christianity, so antagonized their pagan, idol worshipers, in the area of Madras, that they thrust him through with a sword, and he died in a cave. Then centuries later, along comes the Catholic Church, and builds a huge shrine, there where he was supposed to have been attacked, and also an orphanage, and a Catholic Church. That was their works, and they are known the world over for it, but do you think all of that will gain them one ounce of salvation from the Lord? I guarantee you, it will not, and neither will those works of the hands, done by those saints in Thyatira, accomplish anything for the Lord. The Lord does not use such means as that; he just goes to work on the spirit of every individual He has purposed to call to salvation, when the time is right. Well the Lord did mention some things he saw going on in that church, that He did not like, and they were things that characterized the Catholic Church, as she plunged the church into the Dark Ages; and furthermore, the spirit of Catholicism is still the same today. The spirit of Catholicism has always been Antichrist, and her acts and deeds morally, are recorded in the pages of history, and show clearly, the kind of lives her captives have lived. So to that church, the Lord says, “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which called herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” My, My, you talk about slipping fast: this Church really had. I am reasonably certain that in their beginning, this Church was just as fervent for the true work of the Lord, as Ephesus was. But my mind goes back to the book of Acts, where Paul, on his way back from Corinth, going to Jerusalem, stopped off and sent for the elders of Ephesus to meet with him in a certain place, and I am convinced that men from these other churches were there also. I do not believe that he was concerned only about the saints at Ephesus, when all these others stood in the same jeopardy. But what he said to them, is what I want to call to your attention. We will look at Acts 20:28-31, and quickly read it. I just want you to catch this prophetic utterance. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (Notice) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” I just wanted you to see for yourselves that they were adequately warned of what Satan would do, yet we find that after only about 40 years, it has happened just like Paul said it would, and some of these churches were caught off guard anyhow. By the time these letters were written to these seven churches, Paul had been dead for about 30 years already, so we do not know what he actually witnessed with his own eyes, of this Antichrist spirit working, trying to undo what had been done. But we do know that he used very plain words, in warning the saints that it was on the way. So in 96 A.D., this church at Thyatira had been taken over by the devil, for they have allowed this woman named Jezebel, who called herself a prophetess, to get in control of what was taught in the assembly. It was no secret how Paul felt about women preachers, and about women teaching the men, yet here, it is being done, and done strictly for the devil, for she is doing the teaching and seducing the servants of God, and all such like. This lets us know that there are some men in that church, who were supposed to be the leaders of the assembly, and they were taking a secondary position of authority, under the woman Jezebel. Furthermore they have allowed this woman’s character to affect their own lives, for she is teaching them to commit fornication. With whom? Herself, of course, and also to eat things sacrificed unto idols, just like in Pergamos. Well here is what the Lord said about it. “And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” You see, God even gave her a chance to repent, but she was a devil all along, so how could she repent? Yet she somehow managed to work her way into that assembly, on the pretense that she was a true prophetess of God. Oh yes, it is scriptural for women to prophesy; but they were never meant to assume the leadership in the Church. Phillip the evangelist, had four daughters that were prophetesses, and I am sure that they did not have to go to the woods and prophesy to each other. But I am also sure that they were never allowed to assume leadership in the Church. But this woman in the Thyatira church really had them under her spell. How many can see the picture here? Those apostles in that first age wrote their various epistles, primarily to the faithful in Christ, and reminded them of the righteous principles that the Church was to uphold, as she moved on through time, and every one of them was aware of that spirit of Satan, that was trying to gain recognition in the Church. They warned the saints of what was coming, and admonished them to reject anyone that came with a strange doctrine, and nowhere do you find that they were ever told to pray for those people and try to win them to the Lord. Yet in 1986, people have such a mediocre attitude about Christianity, and how to get people to become Christians, they will go to any extremes to get them into the Church, whether they express any interest or not. I am sometimes amazed at the carnal attitudes of some of the people who profess to be Christians. Oh Bro. Jackson: we met a fellow the other night that is a wonderful singer, and how he plays the guitar. You know, Bro. Jackson: I just believe if we would talk to him right, we could get him to come to our church, and if we could: he would be such a blessing to the church, and we might be able to win him to the Lord in that way. Listen to me saints: That is just about as carnal as you can get. When you go out here in the world and drag devils into the church, just simply because you enjoy being around them, the day will come when they will run you off, and do as they please. The Church of the living God is not something you turn over to some well talented individual of the world, hoping that he will be a blessing to you. If you are that carnal, you would be better off going to a night club somewhere, and listen to them on their own familiar grounds, and if he is going to be a Christian, let God convict him first, and let him come God’s way. When you approach these things any way except God’s ordained way, and try to manipulate it by some carnal means, you open the door for the devil to walk all over you, whether as an individual, or as a body. That is why so many churches are in the mess they are in today; they have invited the devil to come in and participate in the activities of the church, and then they wonder why they are void of the Spirit of God. It is because God has a formula for operating His Church, and if you depart from that formula, you leave Him out of the picture. Alright why did this woman Jezebel not repent? Because she was not a child of God. She had no spirit of conviction in her; therefore she was not ashamed of what she was doing. You will never get a tare to truly repent; and be genuinely sorry for their ungodly ways. But a true child of God will always repent, even if God has to whip them a little first. Anyhow, God knows exactly how to talk to His true children, but sometimes we are like a lot of children you have seen: our minds are so involved in what we are doing, He has to yell at us to get our attention. I am sure you have seen children get so involved in what they are doing, you could speak their name a dozen times, and never get their attention, even though you are real close. What do you do then? SONNY! He jumps like he has been shot. Do you know why? His mind was lost in what he was doing. That is the way we are many times, when our Father is calling our name. But the tare is not even in the picture. God does not even try to correct them by chastening; but He does give them a chance, before He rejects them completely, just like He did this woman Jezebel. “Behold I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they (those who commit adultery with her) repent of their deeds.” Now this of course, was pointing to the Dark Ages, but when you bring it right on over to 1986, and give it its spiritual application, you see these Protestant church organizations getting into bed with the Catholic Church, the mother of all harlots.


SPIRITUAL ADULTERY


There were two men here in church this morning that asked, Have you heard what is going on down in Louisiana, in the Catholic realm? I said, No. Among the Charismatics? No. The Catholics have a big move on, down there; and they are really having a move. They are even promising the Protestant preachers who are duly recognized preachers in the denominational churches, that if they will come along with them in this great move, and if through the influence of that move, they want to join the overall Charismatic movement, they will automatically be made a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. Brother! That sounds to me like they are all getting in the bed together; and it all started way back there almost two thousand years ago. What was exemplified in that one woman, characterized the Catholic Church from her inception, all the way through the rest of the grace age. She has always been that kind of woman, spiritually speaking, for her doctrines have always been Antichrist, and she has never attempted to repent of her evil deeds. By the same token, those servants of God, who were committing adultery with that woman, portrayed these Protestant denominations of this age, who at one time were virtuous: by the fact that they had been pulled out of that old system, but are now going back to bed and sleeping with her; and this deceived the world of religion looks upon this as a beautiful thing. Oh how wonderful; that after all these years of fighting, there is unity again. But God said, “And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” I hope none of you here in Faith Assembly are so spiritually blind that you think God is pleased with that spiritual adultery. That is exactly what it is, and it was exemplified in this one local church, long before the Catholic Church was ever heard of. But God knew what the end of it all would be, for when you get on over into chapter 17 of the book of Revelation, the angel says to John, “Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.” That was pointed straight toward the Catholic Church, that has always been an adulterous woman, seducing the servants of God. The 4th parable of Jesus, in Matthew 13:33, matches the Thyatira age perfectly. We will read that one. “Another parable spake He unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman (the Catholic Church) took, and hid in three measures of meal, (speaking of her trinity concept of the Godhead) till the whole was leavened.” Her leaven is her false doctrine, that she has taught throughout the entire world. So remember, the seven parables of the 13th chapter of Matthew, the seven churches of Asia, and the seven church ages, go scripturally hand in hand. The parable, the church, and the church age all correspond, or I should say, They match exactly.


THE SARDIS CHURCH


Now we come to the church in Sardis; the one I really wanted to get to, because it exemplified the age of the Lutheran move, of the Reformation. “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith He that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. (Remember this was written to a local church, still in the first church age.) Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. (Here is what I wanted to be sure to get to, before we finish up.) Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments.” When the Lord said that, He had to be pointing to those few among them that were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. These are the ones that, no matter what the environment about them is, nor how ornery, filthy, and debased others may be: there is something in them that just simply will not allow them to be like the rest. The Holy Ghost in them will always cause them to be different. He does not force them against their will; He gives them a will to be different. “And they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment.” We notice that in all the churches, after 96 A.D., the promise is to the overcomers. These of course, are those that were the elect, the chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world. This sounds like just an overall declaration, but I want to point out something to you. God can no longer speak to the church as the separate elect body, that it was in the book of Acts, because from here on out through the rest of time, the tares will be sitting right alongside the believers, and there is no way that a tare is going to inherit the thins that God has prepared for His children. He will speak to the church as a mixed element, but He does define between those who have not been defiled, and those who have, and so forth. Yet to the mixed element He admonishes this, To him that overcometh, thereby giving all the opportunity, and accessibility to what is available to every mortal human being that will come, His way. As I said, That is why the great commission was, God into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He wanted all to hear the gospel message, but He already knew who would accept it, and who would not, in every age. He will never tell me, and He will not tell you, who is predestined, and who is not, because He does not mean for man to run this thing without Him. It was the Holy Ghost in that early church that kept the body clean and pure, and gave them that keen discernment to detect anything that was not just as clean and pure. That is how the tares were identified and kept out. But once the tares got in, and they all began to blend together, the Spirit of God no longer spoke to the church as that elect, chosen body that it once was. Every doctrine remained the same, but not every one received them the same. Therefore God speaks to the collective body, but the promises are always directed to the overcomers, because everyone that hears must live their lives as individuals, and no one will ever ride into the kingdom of God on someone else’s coat tail. Through his foreknowledge, God already knows every individual that will overcome, and receive those promises, but to mortal man, He always leaves it, Whosoever will, let him come and take the water of life freely. Alright, overcomers shall be clothed in white raiment; “And I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my father, and before His angels.” That is the first time that statement appears in the book of Revelation. Why would God use such terminology, if no tare ever had his name written in the book of life? Let me say this, Through the ages of time, billions of tares have lived and died, all having the same opportunity to walk with God, that anyone else had. But do you not think God knew that they would not walk with Him all the way? Do not be so foolish as to think He wrote their names in, just in case some did decide to be true to Him. No. Their names were never in the book of life. I have never claimed to be the smartest man around, but I can see why God had to say things the way he did, even though He already knew every person that would ever be an overcomer. By making the offer to whosoever will, not one individual can stand in judgment and say, You never gave me a chance. God can point to the very hour they were given their chance, and also to the very place where they jumped ship, and deserted the cause. Therefore just as the gospel was preached to every creature, and the invitation was, whosoever will let him take the water of life freely, He can also admonish all by saying, He that overcometh will not have his name blotted out of the book of life. Remember this, Even though there are certain places in the Bible where you might think so, the Bible does not say anywhere, that God ever blotted the names of tares out of the book of life. But there are quite a few places where we see that the book of life was completed before the foundation of the world. When this life is over, and men must stand before that great white throne to be judged, do not picture the Lord standing there with the book of life in his hand, and page after page completely blank, because of names He had to blot out. No. That book will be just like it was, before God ever created Adam.


We will not take the time to read them all, but if any of you still need more to convince you, read Revelation 13:8, 17:8, 20:12, and Matthew 25:34. If these scriptures and the illustrations we have used throughout this message are not enough to convince you, I need not say more. I will say one last thing though: The only people on the face of this earth that is ever going to understand the true message of the book of Revelation: what it is about, and who it is to, is the true bride of Jesus Christ, living in this age of Laodicea. No church system has ever understood it, and none of them ever will. It is God’s love letter to the little bride, as she nears the end of the race. Amen.[/SIPC_Content]

The Book of Life, Part 1

THE LORD HAS BEEN DEALING WITH ME ON SOMETHING THAT I HAD NEVER EVEN THOUGHT OF AS A SUBJECT IN THIS WAY. IT CONCERNS THE BOOK OF LIFE, AND WHETHER GOD EVER REMOVES NAMES FROM IT. PEOPLE ASK THESE QUESTIONS WHEN THEY READ THE LAST VERSES OF THE 22ND CHAPTER OF REVELATION: DOES GOD REMOVE NAMES FROM THE BOOK OF LIFE? WHAT DOES IT MEAN, ADD TO, AND TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORDS OF THIS PROPHECY? YOU CAN SEE WHY THEY MIGHT ASK THAT: KNOWING THAT WE TEACH PREDESTINATION AND ETERNAL SECURITY, ACCORDING TO THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD. THEREFORE I WANT TO GO INTO THE BIBLE, AND JUST LET THE SCRIPTURES THEMSELVES ANSWER ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS, AS WE GO ALONG. I DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG WE WILL BE ON THIS MESSAGE: I AM JUST GOING TO START AND LET THE LORD TELL ME WHEN TO STOP, AND THAT WILL BE WHEN ALL YOUR QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED FROM THE BIBLE, AND YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO BELIEVE SOMETHING JUST BECAUSE BRO. SO AND SO SAID IT. WHEN YOU ARE ABLE TO CATCH A REVELATION FROM THE WORD OF GOD, THAT IS WORTH MORE THAN HEARING IT TEN THOUSAND TIMES WITHOUT A REVELATION.


SOME QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK


Open your Bibles to the 22nd Chapter of Revelation, and to verse 17, and we will get our starting scriptures for this subject. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. (That is an open invitation.) And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, (That means, the prophecy of the book of Revelation. This is God’s last warning to mankind, but it is a total prophecy, so notice as we go on.) If any man shall add unto these things, (meaning, the things contained in the book of Revelation.) God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: (The plagues found in the book of Revelation) And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” You would not believe how many times I have been asked the question, Bro. Jackson: If predestination is a fact, then what does that mean? Or they will say, Is it possible that someone’s name could be removed from the book of life? Let me just say this, and then we will read some more scripture. Yes predestination is a solid doctrine, taught by the apostles of Christ, regardless of what may seem to contradict it. One thing to remember, is that the scriptures do not contradict themselves; we just have to get them lined up together; in the light of what the writer was dealing with. Furthermore this scripture we have just read, did not become a known scripture until 96 A.D., so keep that in mind, for there was a reason for it to be like that. In other words, In 40 A.D., this scripture was not even known. But it is the last words written in the New Testament, and we intend to show why it is written then.


TRUE DOCTRINES OF THE BIBLE


Go with me now to the gospel of St. John, which was written by the same man that wrote the book of Revelation, but under different circumstances. We will begin reading in verse 37 of chapter 6, and read some words of Jesus, that definitely establish a foundation for the doctrine of predestination. Pay attention to the words of this verse, and you will see that He was not presenting a maybe-so situation; He was making a definite statement. “ALL that the Father giveth me shall come to me; (That word SHALL makes this a positive declaration, and it pertains to ALL that the Father, the great eternal spirit, gives to Him.) And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” I hope you caught every detail of that verse, for it actually has predestination and eternal security, both, in it. Your modern day religionists will say, Sure Jesus said that; but you have to hang in there. Listen to me, saints: A person who makes a statement like that, is void of understanding, as to what the new birth is. God never makes a mistake. He does not need a pencil with an eraser on it. Furthermore do not picture this sovereign God, as trying to get something done; for He gets done exactly what He has foreordained to get done, and it always meets His conditions, He does not compromise. Man can wrestle with thoughts, and words, and meanings, until his hair turns gray and falls out; but that does not change the mind of God one bit whatsoever. Alright now, verse 38 holds a beautiful truth; but an awful lot of people dwell on what they think the first six words mean, and they never even catch the point that Jesus was making. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.” Jesus definitely is NOT stating that He came down from heaven as an already existing person. This is merely terminology that speaks of the origin of His life. His conception in the womb of that young virgin, was a supernatural conception brought about by the spirit of God; while every other man on earth came the normal route, by the union of a man and woman, according to God’s law of reproduction. Therefore when you read verse 38, be aware of the fact that the point Jesus is making, comes after those first six words. Why did He (Jesus) come to earth? Not to do His own will, (speaking from the standpoint of His human make up) but the will of Him that sent Him, which simply means that HE was on earth to do the perfect will of the great eternal Spirit. His human mind was completely subject to the mind of the Creator, at all times. What was the Father’s will for Him? Verse 39 tells us. “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of ALL which He hath given me I SHOULD LOSE NOTHING, but should raise it up again at the last day.” That speaks of the resurrection of course. But do you realize what we have here? Jesus was standing there speaking what was exactly the foreknowledge of the Father, known by Him (the Father) from before the foundation of the world. Verse 40, “And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, (meaning every one that has a revelation of what He is to their redemption) and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” You have heard people say, Why should I have to repent and be saved? I have never done anything bad. That proves that such a person has no revelation at all: that he is a sinner by nature; and therefore needs the Savior. Well those Jews got to murmuring against Jesus, because He had said He was the bread of life, so let us go to verse 44 and see how Jesus answered them. “No man can come to me, except the Father (the great eternal Spirit) which hath sent me to draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” He knew He was to be the actual resurrection. In another place He said, I am the resurrection and the life. Notice now, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” As you analyze all of this, you will find that every statement Jesus made: was a positive statement; that shows predestination. He did not use that word, nor did He go into lengthy details, but He definitely did speak things from the mind of the Father; that the Father knew before the foundation of the world. THEY WILL COME TO ME; in their respective order, and in their generation of time, as the Spirit of the Father draws them. In other words, that sovereign Spirit must first convict the lost man or woman of their lost condition, and cause them to realize that provision has been made for them, and then they call upon the name of the Lord Jesus and find their salvation. That of course, brings Romans 10 to mind, where Paul said, verse 13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him, in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” They have to hear something, and God has ordained that they hear it from the mouth’s of other mortal men; but God, by His great foreknowledge, directs it all from beginning to end; and what Jesus said to those people that day, lets us know that predestination according to foreknowledge, and eternal security, are both true doctrines, when they are applied properly. Therefore with that in mind, let us go to the 17th chapter of John, where Jesus prayed before going to the garden. This prayer was prayed in the presence of His disciples, and it is the 12th verse that we want to lay emphasis on; but in order to get the setting, maybe we should start with verse 6. Jesus (the man) is praying to the great eternal Spirit, the Father of all creation, concerning those that the Father has given Him, and there is much to be learned from the words he spoke.


THE FATHER’S NAME MANIFESTED TO SOME


The one who said, I came not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me, is in prayer to the one that sent Him, and in verse 6 says, “I have manifested thy name (publicly displayed thy name) unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: (There were multitudes that followed Him at one time or the other, but we know that all of them had not been given to Him. Most of them found fault with Him, and walked away; but of those special ones He says this.) Thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.” When you go back and study all of the gospels, you find that Jesus said a lot of things along the way, that His disciples pondered, and wondered about, but all of those that were truly foreknown of the father, even though they did not understand everything, they have kept and respected what they did understand. Therefore he said to them one day, (John 14:26) “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.” At least they did believe that He was the Christ, the anointed one that was to come, and that the words He spoke to them, were the words of life; and that caused them to faithfully follow on, even though they did not understand. Verse 8, “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; (So the words He had been speaking were not His own; they were the words the father had given Him to speak.) And they have received them and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” Brothers and Sisters: When you are looking at the subject of predestination: you do not look just at the word itself. That is only an explanation of the terminology found in the words of Jesus and His apostles throughout the New Testament. No human mind will ever overrule the sovereign mind of the Creator. All we can ever do, is either cooperate with Him, or rebel against Him. That is what determines the degree of fellowship we have with Him. But I hope you all realize that if you are children of God, you were foreknown of Him before the foundation of the world. He has never been persuaded by anyone: to increase the size of His family; beyond that which He knew it would be, before he ever created the first man. He knew, before you were ever born what your choice would be: concerning His word; therefore your name was not placed in the book of life the day you got saved; it was placed there before God ever started to create. This is predestination, but it is according to God’s foreknowledge, Him knowing way back then, what our choice would be. The reason a lot of people fight against predestination so hard, is because of the misconception they have in their mind, of it. They actually think we are saying, that God went down through the list of names of all the people that would ever be born, and just merely picked out some to be saved, and doomed all the rest to hell. No. Let me say it again, and listen to how I say it, Predestination is based upon God’s foreknowledge of what your choice will be, when you are confronted with the gospel of Jesus Christ, or with whatever determined each person’s attitude toward God, as in the Old Testament times.


TWO MINDS – BUT ONLY ONE PERSON


As we go into verse 10, we find Jesus saying, “And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee.” This is a beautiful thing we are reading here, for it shows the complete unity and harmony between the Father (SPIRIT) and the Son (which was human.) All that the Father ever gave Him; is given right back to the Father in the end. “Holy Father, keep through thine own name (That means, Keep them in the revelation and understanding of what that name implies and what it consists of.) Those whom thou hast (past tense) given me, that they may be one, as we are.” In the mind of the Father, this whole plan of redemption was a completed picture, before there was ever anything to be redeemed. Let me say also, when Jesus used the word WE, He was not speaking of another person; for the other mind involved here, is the mind of that sovereign Spirit which is our Creator, but not a person. Some people have such a hard time comprehending the fact that there was always two minds, the mind of the Father, and the mind of the Son, but the son was the only person. Well, as we have said, That is a revelation in itself, but if you do not have that revelation, there is a lot of scripture that you cannot possibly understand. The Father was in the Son, yet the Father remains to be an omnipresent Spirit, and from within that one human body of flesh, both minds operated. Verse 13, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, (There, again, we see predestination) and none of them is lost, (Notice now) but the son of perdition; (That was Judas) that the scripture might be fulfilled.” (Psalms 109:8) He was one of the original twelve, but he was not a foreknown son of God. He had every chance given to him that the others had, but Satan anointed him to betray Christ, long before any of them ever had an upper room experience; where they received their seal. It takes the baptism of the Holy Ghost to complete the new birth experience; therefore any time before that, a person can drop out of the picture, and there is no reason to wonder if their name was taken from the book of life; for it was never in it. As I said, God does not make any mistakes. Some will say, Then why was Judas chosen as a disciple, if he was not foreknown of God? The scripture had to be fulfilled. God saw Judas doing that, before the foundation of the world, but God did not force him to do what he did. He was given every opportunity, just like Cain, but he chose to yield himself to the devil, just like Cain did, and in so doing, he set the type of the Antichrist. Jesus chose him in the spirit, strictly that the mind of the Father might be fulfilled; and up unto the time Satan anointed him, you could not accuse him of being a man that was always differing with Jesus and the other apostles. When Jesus sent the twelve to preach the message of the kingdom, He commanded them to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out devils, and Judas was one of that twelve that obeyed that command. In other words, He truly had an equal opportunity to follow Jesus all the way. It was his own choice, to yield himself to the devil and betray the Lord, but it was already foretold in the prophetic scriptures, that one would do that. It was no surprise to God, but God did not force him to do what he did. When those disciples returned from their missionary journey and reported to Jesus, He made no distinction between them, yet in His heart He knew that the day would come when one of them would betray Him, to fulfill what was written in the Psalms. He knew the day would come when that certain disciple would yield completely to the spirit that ruled his life; but in the meantime, He did not force it to manifest itself. Only at the Passover supper, after Judas had already had tremors of doubt flooding his mind, did Jesus openly remark, that one of those that had eaten bread with Him, would betray Him. This was also recorded in Psalms 41:9, and Jesus knew those prophecies were there all the time, yet He waited for the exact moment of time to reveal what He knew; only after Judas had begun to entertain wrong thoughts and motives. All of this was characteristic of what was manifested in Cain, when he slew Abel, but it also characterized the Antichrist spirit that would come on the scene later on: to try to destroy the effectiveness of the true Church; and bring it to naught. But the term, son of perdition, speaks of one ordained to lead something to destruction, which in this case, it was to lead the Son of God to Calvary, where the devil thought He would be destroyed. The final agent, called the Son of perdition, will be the literal Antichrist; that will break the peace covenant with Israel and declare war on anyone left on earth; that believes in God. But between Judas and this man, there has been centuries of time that this spirit of Satan (Antichrist spirit) has tried to destroy the effectiveness of God’s purpose in the Church; which is the body of Christ, the bride. So in His prayer, Jesus said, I have kept those that thou gavest me, and none of them is lost, except the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.


WAS JUDAS A SON OF GOD?


Now just to look at this betrayal of Jesus a little closer, look on over in chapter 13. After Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet He said, “Verily, verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.” Naturally they all began to look at each other and wonder which one it would be. Finally John asked, “Lord who is it?” Then Jesus said, It is the one to whom I will give a sop, when I have dipped it; and Judas was the man, but the others still did not know which one it would be; for they did not understand what Jesus meant. Nevertheless Jesus said to Judas, “That thou doest, do quickly,” and he went directly to the high priest to plan how he would do it, for Satan took him over when Jesus handed him the sop. Judas had already lost all the feelings he ever had for Jesus, and he was ready to manifest that tare spirit that was in him. That is why Jesus took the occasion to speak to him as He did. Nevertheless the scripture had to be fulfilled, and it was not the drunks in the neighborhood tavern that would betray Him; it had to be someone that had walked in fellowship with Him. In other words, Judas was a tare all along; he never was a son of God. He was given every opportunity that those sons of God were given, but the spirit in him would not allow him to go all the way to the upper room. All through the ages, every tare has been given every opportunity that the elected children of God have been given; but God, because of His foreknowledge, knew that every one of them would find some reason never to yield their lives completely to Him. I do not mean to dwell on this, but I do feel the necessity to lay stepping stones in the strategic places, as we go along. Now some will still ask, But was Judas’ name in the book of life? Only from the standpoint that he was given every potential that the other eleven apostles were given. Certainly his name was never recorded as an elected son of God. The scriptures do not contradict themselves, and we know that the scriptures show that the book of life was completed from before the foundation of the world, (Rev. 17:8) and that the Holy Ghost is our seal; that seals us as sons of God until the day of redemption, (Eph. 4:30) and all whose names are written in the book of life, will receive that seal; for Jesus said, (John 6:37) “All that the Father giveth me SHALL COME TO ME.” He said also that it is the will of the Father, that He should lose none that were given to Him, except the son of perdition, which was known of the Father from before the foundation of the world, and He is to raise up again, in the last day, all the rest. Well even though Judas was taken over by the devil and led to betray the Lord, the scripture declares that he later came to his senses and realized what he had done, and tried to return the 30 pieces of silver that was paid to him by the Jewish religious leaders. He said, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. But they had what they wanted, and simply told him that that was not their problem, so he threw down the money, and went and hanged himself. Some people look at the word repented, in Matthew 27:3, and wonder about it, but let me tell you, This was another case like Esau. The Bible says that Esau sought repentance with all his heart, and could not find it, and Jesus even called Judas the son of perdition, and the Bible nowhere teaches that a man can cease to be a son of Satan, and become a son of God. No. What the Bible declares is that we are servants of the devil before our salvation experience; not children of his. Anyhow the same devil that led Judas to betray the Lord, also led him to despondency, and ultimately to destruction.


GOD’S TRUE WAY HAS NEVER BEEN POPULAR


For too long, Christians have been influenced by the Armenian version of the free moral agency of man, and emphasis has been laid upon the scripture that says, God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Peter simply used that terminology in describing the longsuffering grace and mercy of God, and He gives everyone ample opportunity to partake of all His benefits, even though His foreknowledge allows Him to know what every person’s eternal destination is. The way God spoke to Cain back there in the very beginning of man’s history, proves that God gives every person a chance. What did He say to him? If you do good, you will be accepted. In other words: bring a proper sacrifice. Multitudes of people in the world of religion today, are guilty of the same thing Cain was. They have a self-willed form of worship, whereby they offer to God their education, their beautiful buildings, their money and political and social influence; but they fail to yield their heart and soul to Him, to be led into what He calls righteousness. The Bible says, Man’s righteousness is as filthy rags, and that is true; no matter how good it might look to the flesh. Brothers and Sisters: Do not be disturbed, when religion in general looks upon people like us, as a cult; for God’s true way of righteousness has never been the popular way. Furthermore we must realize that not everyone who walks with us is a predestined seed of God, for in the case of Judas, he served the Lord faithfully almost to the very last. But he did not make it to Pentecost, and there receive the promise of the Father, which, as we have already said, is the gift of eternal life, the seal that gives us eternal security, guaranteeing that we can never be lost. That is what a seal is; it is a guarantee, and God only gives it to those whom he foreknew to be sons and daughters. I do not believe there is anyone in Faith Assembly that would argue the point of election and predestination through the foreknowledge of God; but for the sake of anyone who would want more evidence, let us go to the Ephesian letter. This was written by the apostle Paul, a man sent by God to the Gentiles, with such a beautiful revelation of the redemption plan of their Creator. He had preached there in Ephesus for three years, and this church was founded on the revelation of truth that he taught them, and this church sets a spiritual type of the true body of Christ because of it’s pureness and dedication in those years before the tares got in. This epistle leaves no doubt about Paul’s revelation on the subject of predestination, so let us read a few verses there.


PREDESTINATED ACCORDING TO GOD’S PURPOSE


We are in Ephesians, chapter 1, verse 3, and we will read at least 8 verses. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; According as He (the Father) hath CHOSEN US in Him (Jesus the son, who was the Christ) BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, (Why?) That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: (Notice now) Having PREDESTINATED US unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ (or through Jesus Christ) to Himself, ACCORDING to the good pleasure of HIS WILL, (and Romans 8:29 tells us that this predestination was according to his foreknowledge) To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; HAVING MADE KNOWN UNTO US the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He (God, the eternal Spirit) hath purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, (pay attention now.) BEING PREDESTINATED according to the purpose of Him (God) who worketh all things after the counsel of HIS OWN WILL.” We will just go ahead and read a few verses from the first epistle of Peter, that carry this same terminology. In verse 2 of chapter 1, we learn that he is writing to the ELECT, who became such, according to the FOREKNOWLEDGE of God the Father. Then in verse 18-20, he brings out specific details about their redemption. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was FOREORDAINED BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, but was manifest in these last times for you.” That just gives us an opportunity to see that Paul and Peter both had the same revelation about this subject of predestination. Now Jesus did not use these particular words in John 6 and John 17, but those apostles took the things He said and enlarged upon them, and we find them using the terms elected, foreknown, predestinated, and sealed, and they are proper terms, because that is exactly what Jesus was teaching, and in the end, God’s redeemed family will stand before Him holy, blameless, and spotless, just like He saw them all, even before He ever created that first thing. Not one of them will be there because they were forced to be; because they every one, will have made the choice to serve God when they heard the gospel of their salvation. But, saints, be sure you understand that a person does not have that seal until they receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the seal that gives them eternal security. Another thing we need to be aware of, is that there are multitudes of tares claiming to have the Holy Ghost, and sometimes only God knows who has what. Out here in the Charismatic realm, they have everyone receiving the Holy Ghost, simply because they speak in tongues. But there is something wrong, because the spirit they receive never seems to lead them into all truth, like Jesus said the Holy Ghost would do. All they ever seem to care about is outward manifestations, something the flesh can enjoy. They teach evidence, and interpret the Bible to mean exactly what they want it to mean. The elected child of God does not do that. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” That means until the day you are resurrected, or you are changed, and caught up to be with the Lord. That is the final stage of our redemption. Your redemption was not complete the day you knelt at an altar and accepted your salvation. But every elected child of God is baptized by the Holy Ghost, and that is the seal that keeps them secure until the day their redemption is complete. It matters not whether we go by way of the grave, or remain alive until the rapture takes place: that seal is still good either way. That is why Paul wrote to the Romans, chapter 8, verse 11, “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 your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.”


FALSE CHRISTS – AND FALSE PROPHETS


Let us go to the 24th chapter of Matthew at this time, and notice how Jesus prepared His disciples for what would come later. In verse 4 He said to them, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Now why would He make such a statement as that? Because He knew that after His departure: somewhere in the course of time, the devil would be allowed to turn loose a spirit that would run parallel to the ministry of those disciples: and that they would have all kinds of satanic powers: designed to deceive people, and turn them from following a true revelation. It did not start on the day of Pentecost, and it did not start the next year; but over a period of time it gradually projected itself into the body of believers with a little adverse idea here and there. Not only did Jesus say to them, take heed that no man deceive you: He also said, (verse 24) “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” He knew full well, that those false christs and false prophets that would come on the scene, would not be sons of God, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, but in order to be in a place where they could get a foothold in the church, and have that opportunity to deceive others, they had to have certain potentials, as old Cain did. Those first age Christians from the day of Pentecost, and so forth, could not be deceived, because they were what Paul referred to as the pillar and ground of truth, but their children that were raised in the environment of the body of true believers, were not necessarily true revelated believers themselves, so that gave the devil the leverage he needed, in order to inject a little different idea here and there, as time went on. Then as those old guards of the faith passed from the scene, the next generation that stood in their place did not have a pure revelation of the apostolic doctrines that were taught in the early years of Christianity. Therefore as centuries passed, and the devil remained faithful to his purpose of deception; it eventually led the Church into what we call, The Dark Ages. Why would God allow the devil to do that? For the same reason He allowed him to use the old serpent in the garden of Eden. It is God’s way of testing His people. The first Christians passed the test because they were already the called out ones of their generation, but just as it was in the case of Jacob and Esau, not all of the children of those true Christians were foreknown of God. Some of them were predestinated seed of God, and some were not, even though they had all been given the same opportunities to serve God; as they were raised in a Christian environment. In other words, this was the devil’s golden opportunity to move make believers into places of leadership in the local assemblies, as time moved on. A tare knows all about the function of the church, even though they themselves do not have the Holy Ghost seal. Judas did everything those other apostles did, because he had been instructed right along with them, and the Spirit of God worked with him when he went out, just like He did with the other eleven, because they were doing what they had been instructed to do. But in the case of old Judas, he never did make it to Pentecost and receive the seal. You say, Could he have? The answer is the same as it was to Cain; “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted.” God said that to Cain, and He meant what He said; but at the same time, because of His foreknowledge, God knew what Cain would do. Well it was the same with Judas; he was given the same opportunity to walk faithfully right along with the others; all the way to Pentecost. But because of His foreknowledge; God know what he would do; therefore it could be recorded ahead of time that he would betray the Lord, and that is why Jesus did not hesitate to refer to him as the son of perdition. Regardless of what some may want to believe, the parable of the good seed and the tares, spoken by Jesus in Matthew 13:24-30, 37-42, plainly shows us that there are two sets of children in the world, children of God, and children of the wicked one, and God is allowing them all to grow together until the end of the age; and in the meanwhile the natural eye cannot tell them apart. The tares look and act just like the true Christians. Therefore it is not the old drunk staggering down the street, that is deceiving people today; it is the same old tare spirit that led the church astray in the second age; that is still out there deceiving people, and leading them to destruction. Some of them can preach up a storm, and pray the most beautiful prayers you have ever heard, but somewhere along the line, they deviate from the original truth; established by the apostles of Jesus Christ.


THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUE CHILDREN – AND TARES


When the apostle Paul was dealing with the subject of false apostles, (tares) and such like, in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, he made some very strong statements about them. I think it would be good for us to turn to the 11th chapter of 2nd Corinthians and read a few verses. He is forewarning them of something that is coming down the road, something that would one day cause the church to pass through a long, dark period. He did not say that; but we can say it, because we can look back through a church history, and see what happened. We will just pick it up in verse 13, for I am only interested, at this time, in showing you the terminology he used. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing IF HIS MINISTERS also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” You may question as to why Paul was talking like that, at that time; but standing here, looking back, we can see that he hit the nail right on the head. The devil can make people get drunk; he can make people kill other people, and he can make them do all sorts of perverted things; but he also makes a lot of people religious. They are not children of God; they are just religious. They will never have eternal life dwelling in them; but they will confuse the religious picture right to the very end, for according to the parable, it is only at the end of time, (or the end of the age) that they are gathered together for burning. With a spiritual eye, we can see that they are already being gathered together; but the true church is yet far from being completely free from them. That is what makes it hard for a lot of people who truly are predestined to receive a revelation of truth; they are still hearing a lot of this antichrist gospel, that these self appointed angels of light are preaching. Oh, God will get His crop; we do not have to worry about that; but we do need to be aware of what is going on, out here in this world of religion. For according to the words of Jesus, there in Matthew 24, it is here at the end time that these two spirits will be so close, that even the very elect would be deceived, if it were possible. Brother these tares are putting on a good show. Who do you think Jesus was referring to in the 7th chapter of Matthew, if it was not tares? Who else could He have been talking about? In verse 21, He said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: (In other words, they were not foreknown as children of God; they have been make believers all the time, and have no place in the true kingdom, with God’s foreknown children, so that is why the response will be, I never knew you) depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Saints: when you study this thing all the way back through time, from the time that spirit was first allowed to get into the church, you can see that it has always been that tare element, that could believe one thing one day, and something else the next, never really able to settle down, and stand for a true revelation. Now that does not mean that they will never be loyal to anything. I believe Judas, when he was first chosen, was just as loyal and faithful to Jesus, as Peter and the rest. You have to look further on out, to see the difference between Peter and Judas. The night Jesus was arrested, Judas was the instrument that betrayed Him to the Jewish religious leaders. But that same night, Peter denied even knowing the Lord, and even cursed to put emphasis on his denial. Well if we have been in a position to judge those two men that night, we would have said, Peter is just as bad as Judas. At that time, we would not have remembered a former time when Jesus asked His disciples, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? Then when He asked them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter was the one that spoke up saying, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, and Jesus said to him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed into unto thee; but my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And 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.” Sure he was a hot head, he was stubborn, quick tempered, and even fearful, the night Jesus was arrested: but Peter had a revelation, and it had been said to him, by Jesus, “When thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren.” So as we take these things into consideration, we have to realize that Jesus knew what was in Peter, and how the Holy Ghost could change his old nature and make him a powerful instrument in the kingdom of God. Can any of us truthfully say that we have never been weak in the flesh, like Peter was before he received the Holy Ghost? God looks beyond that human weakness, knowing that the Holy Ghost will put a back bone in us, that will cause us to stand for the revelation we have in our heart when the time is right. What did Peter do, on the day of Pentecost? Was he still scared? Did he deny knowing Jesus that day? No! When that bunch of Jews started mocking those disciples, saying that they were drunk of new wine, Peter stood right up in the midst of them and said, Now wait just a minute: (That is my words) “These are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.” Brother, this time he grabbed the sword of the Spirit, and began to preach. He was not ashamed of Jesus, and he was not afraid of any of that mocking crowd. He would never deny his Master again. From that day on, he would defend Him. So actually the point is this, The elected, predestinated child of God can make mistakes, and falter along the way, but the end result is, God will always deal with them as children, just like Paul talks about in Hebrews. “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Heb. 12:6-8) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” We ought to be thankful that scriptures like that are in the Bible, for they help us understand a lot of things that take place. A lot of the reason the church world has existed as it has through the centuries, is because of that very thing. If you have wondered why the disciplinary means that God used to keep believers straight in that first age, has not been used in the churches of the world today, it is because that tare element in them cannot be chastened as sons. The Spirit of God cannot work among them in a disciplinary way, because they are not His children; therefore a lot of the disciplinary means that might have been used in the body, has just sort of faded into the background, and God deals with His true children in ways that only they, are able to recognize the chastening hand of the Lord in those things. God does not put the chastening of His children on display, for all of the tares to see and enjoy but you can be sure, He does still chasten all that are truly His children. So Paul said, “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, (All who? All children of God) then are ye bastards (meaning illegitimate children, and that is exactly what tares are) and not sons.” Tares are not even sensitive enough to be ashamed of their attitude toward the word of God. They will speak evil of truth, and say that it is out of the pit of hell, because they have no spiritual revelation. Peter wrote that this kind speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption. The man or woman that is truly born of God, loves truth. Truth is as important to them as breathing. That is why, in the first age, everything was dealt with from the standpoint of total truth, because there were no tares among them. But then, as time passed and the tares got into the Church, God dealt with each age according to the measure of truth they had, and His true children always remained secure in Him, those whose names were written in the book of life from before the foundation of the world. I want, at this time, to go to the 4th chapter of Philippians, and read three verses, where the apostle Paul spoke of certain ones, and referred to them as having their names in the book of life. Verse 1, “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life.” What is that telling us? Those devout, dedicated Christians stood out, in an age where they were no tares, so Paul knew they were in the body of Christ, and that their names were written in the Lamb’s book of life. Paul also knew that there was a spirit coming down the road, that would one day defile that pure environment that the first age body of believers enjoyed. Oh yes, there were those that did wrong, here and there, but they were dealt with as children of God, and the church itself was kept clean.


SOME PREACH A WAVERING GOD


The way some preachers preach: they make God to be a god of confusion. They will have a person to be saved one day, lost the next, and saved again in the next revival. Their converts never have anything they can really trust in, except their own goodness. They are scared to death of the word predestination, and will avoid it as long as they can, and then when they have to deal with it, many times they will claim it ought not even be in the Bible. I thank God that it is in the Bible, and I see no reason whatsoever, for a true child of God to be afraid of it. I feel good about having my soul secured, and in knowing that it was all worked out, before the world began to take shape, by the word of a sovereign God. One reason I feel led to deal with this message, is to show the true children of God that they ought not allow the devil to play with their mind. Sometimes when people get sick and discouraged, they allow Satan to tamper with their mind, and actually cause them to doubt their salvation; that they have according to the word of God. Saints! That is when we really need to rely upon the promises of God; instead of doubting Him. Furthermore do not look at everything that befalls you, as some kind of chastening, for God allows some things just strictly for our growth. I always like to remind people that Jesus prayed for them, just before He went to the cross to complete the work for our redemption. In the 17th chapter of John, is recorded the last public prayer Jesus prayed, before He went to the garden of Gethsemane where He agonized in prayer; and in that prayer He was praying for His disciples that were with Him, and then prayed, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” Brothers and Sisters: You were included in that prayer. When doubts come, just remember this, your name was written in the Lamb’s book of life before the foundation of the world, and He does not erase names, like we might be prone to do. Jesus told His disciples one day, Do not rejoice just because the devils are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. Now that is something to rejoice about. As I said earlier, Our names were not written in the book of life the day we knelt at an altar, and surrendered our heart to God. If it is there at all, it was placed there by the sovereignty of God before the foundation of the world. Revelated children of God ought not even waste their time listening to those tare preachers who have no respect for a true revelation of the word of God. You know whether you are a believer or not, and those preachers breed and cultivate doubt, by the very way they preach and teach from the Bible. Their preaching annuls every positive promise of the bible, because of their lack of revelation. But let me say to you, Trials that come your way are not for your destruction; they are for your perfection. Not only are they for your perfection; but God is glorified as He brings you out on the victory side of them. Nothing we suffer should ever bring us to a loss; for the scriptures declare that we grow in the stature of the Lord, as we come through these various trials. One thing we should always remember, when the load gets heavy and circumstances seem to be stacked against us, God has a purpose in our lives, and He will not allow Satan to destroy any of us and defeat that purpose. I want you to remember also, that God did not make any mistakes, when He recorded our names in the book of life. The devil is always behind everything that causes a person to wonder or doubt, or to question God. Paul and Peter both wrote epistles, and even though their approach to these various doctrines of the Bible might differ somewhat; they both had the same revelation, and what they taught, eventually produces the same results. Neither one of them leave any doubt in your mind about what they believed about election according to the foreknowledge of God, and about God’s eternal purpose concerning those whom He foreknew. Yet there are preachers all over the world today that take these epistles, and present a God that is always changing His mind. That is why I said their preaching annuls every positive statement in the Bible. Preachers that preach just to get a following to support their particular programs, could not care less about election and predestination according to the foreknowledge of God before the foundation of the world. They would rather have people feeling lost and condemned, when they fail to respond to the demands that are placed upon them. That is how they keep their followers under their control. There never was any problem like that until after the tares got into the church structure. Even in the case of Ananias and Sapphira, there was no doubt about whether they were children of God or not. God would not bother to kill a tare for being deceptive; if He did: there never would have been any accumulation of tares, for that is their makeup. Ananias and Sapphira did not do half of what some of those tares did later, as they got their foot in the door. We do not know how long this man and his wife had been in the fellowship, but it is obvious that they had been accepted, and that they were supposedly following the pattern of that hour, as the believers who had extra holdings sold them, and gave the money into a community fund, designed to care for everyone who had a need.


LOOK FOR GOD’S PURPOSE IN ALL THINGS


In the 4th chapter of Acts, it tells us that the multitude of those that believed, were of one heart and one mind, and that they had all things common, and those that had extra possessions, sold them and brought the price of that which was sold, and laid it at the apostles feet, and distribution was made to each believer according to their need. This was not a doctrine taught by the apostles; it was a voluntary thing instituted to cope with the economic pressures of that hour. Ananias and Sapphira had no doubt pledged to do as the others were doing, but there was a weakness in their flesh. Instead of having complete confidence in what was being done at that time, they no doubt thought, Maybe we ought to hold back a little of this, just to be sure we have enough ourselves. Well God had already shown Peter what was going on, and God was not going to allow that kind of thing to get started, for it would have allowed that kind of a spirit to work among the others as they learned about it. Therefore when Ananias came in ahead of his wife, Peter confronted him with what they had conspired to do, and reminded him that they had not been forced to sell their certain possession and give the price of it into the common fund. But since they had pledged to do so, (give it all) and then kept back part of it, it was the same as lying to the Holy Ghost. Well God just took the breath of life right out of him, as Peter confronted him with what the Holy Ghost had shown him, and the same thing happened to the man’s wife, when she came in three hours later. This is the only case like this, that we have any record of, and it was probably the only time it happened, for the Bible says, Great fear came upon all the church, and upon all that even heard about it. The key there, is that great fear came upon all the church. Why? Because Ananias and Sapphira were both part of the church, and they saw what happened to them, for not being sincere. Let us read a few verses, starting with verse 11, of chapter 5. “And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. And of the rest durst no man (or woman) join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.” In other words, the Holy Ghost was adding to the church daily, but unless the Holy Ghost dealt with their lives in this way, no one dared to join themselves to that element of society. Remember, these were all Jews, and not one of them would have dared go against that old Judiastic spirit, without the Holy Ghost first giving them something to make them willing to face the consequences. The very cause of that economic pressure the church faced, was because of an open boycott by Judaism. You would have to be a Jew, to really know what it was like to be disinherited because of something like this. Gentiles never had any such problem. Nevertheless my point is, These unrevelated preachers say, Ananias and Sapphira were lost. They were not lost! That was God’s way of keeping the church pure, and His way of taking them through the weakness of their flesh. It brought fear and respect among the believers, and kept the make believers out of the camp of the believers until the second age, when a new generation was on the scene. Brother it took total surrender, to get into the church in those days. Everything was preached positive; for there was no one around to present any negative side. It takes that antichrist spirit to do the negative preaching. That is what causes people to say, God must not love me; or He would not allow me to suffer so, and a lot of preachers encourage that kind of talk; but I want to remind you, that God’s love should not be questioned, in the things that happen to you. In the 8th chapter of Romans, verse 28, the apostle Paul says, “And we know that all things (ALL THINGS) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” It is wonderful to sing about it, and to testify about how all things work together for good to those that love God, and are called according to His purpose, but how do we react when persecutions, trials, heartache, humiliation, and ridiculement are allowed to be thrown at us? Can we look through all of that and see a purpose of God being worked out in our lives? We may not be able to see clearly at the time, how God could work in our circumstances, to cause them to work for good; but we should at least believe His word, that declares it to be so. God does not pile these things upon us Himself, but the devil is always standing ready to do the worst that god will allow him to do, to every person who believes and trusts in God; therefore it is our responsibility to look for the purpose of God in the things that happen to us, instead of just feeling sorry for ourselves. Notice the next verse; it puts your thinking right back on foreknowledge and predestination, and lets you know why God allows adverse circumstances in our lives. “For whom He (God) did foreknow, (foreknow to be a believer) He (God) also did predestinate to be conformed to (made like unto) the image of His Son, (Jesus) that he (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Like I have already said: if people can just get their mind off of that idea that God chose a few out of a great multitude, to be saved, predestination can be a beautiful revelation to them. Furthermore be assured that God knew about every person that would ever walk upon the face of this old planet. By that foreknowledge, He knew how every one of us would respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ, when we heard it, and only those whom He saw accepting that work at Calvary as the atonement price for their sin debt, were ever referred to as the elect, or as the predestinated children of God. These are those that He determined before the foundation of the world to perfect, and make into the image of His only begotten Son; and I might add also, that He already knew what that image would be. He knew what Jesus would have to suffer in life to mold that certain image in Him, and He knows exactly what it will take to mold that image in us. Of course the image this refers to, has nothing at all to do with our physical appearance; it refers to that spiritual image and character of the inner self. Tell me now, How many of you know what the Bible says about the sufferings of Jesus? Look at Hebrews 2:10, for a moment. “For it became Him, for whom are all things, (that is God) in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Now if it took sufferings to perfect the only begotten Son of God: who was already sinless, do you even imagine that we could ever be perfected, and made like unto His image, without some sufferings to mold that certain character in us? Jesus was never physically sick, but He did suffer everything that other men could throw at Him, and in spite of it all, He willingly submitted Himself to the cruel punishment at Calvary, and death upon the cross, to pay our sin debt, and set us free from the bondage of sin and eternal damnation. He set us free from the bondage Adam’s disobedience placed us under, by His perfect obedience in suffering all things at the hands of evil men. Who is set free? Those that believe the gospel and submit to its provisions. Who do all things work together for good, to? Those that believe the gospel and submit to its provisions. These are the ones that are the called according to God’s purpose, and are predestinated to be conformed to the image of His son. But saints, please remember that even though the word predestinate does pertain to determining a destiny beforehand, it was only through his foreknowledge that He did it, and that was because He saw the choice we would make in life, concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus was a perfect example of the kind of sons God will eventually end up with in the eternal age. That is why He will be known to us as our elder brother, because He was the first one of the family God will end up with.


OUR ASSURANCE IS IN GOD’S WORD


Alright let us look a little more at these verses here in Romans 8. They really bring out the beauty of God’s working with us to bring us to the reality of this great salvation. Verse 30, “Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” That verse is packed with the beautiful handiwork of God. Whom He did predestinate, them He also called. That means, Him knowing already what the all important choice will be, once a little baby is born, God waits for the proper time in his or her life, and then he extends His call to them. He begins to woo them by His Spirit, to cause conviction and God consciousness to take hold of their lives. Now knowing that every little baby is born with a nature to sin and rebel against God, our thought is that it would be better for Him to call them while they are still young and tender. But remember, we cannot question the wisdom of God. If He waits until a person is in their 30’s, 40’s, or even until they are of an old age, before He calls them, we have to know that he had a reason for doing it that way. Denominational churches are filled with people who have been coaxed, pressured, and some even tricked, to get their names placed on the church roll. They did not have the drawing of God to do what they were persuaded by man to do, so they just had to play along with the program, and all too many times, go through life, never having had a genuine salvation experience. That is why the preacher, or someone has to follow them through life, and pamper them like a little baby. They cannot grow up in the Lord, because they are not in the Lord, so it is just a make-believer situation all the way. There are ever so many ways that carnal men have taken it upon themselves to play God, and get people saved, and get them active in the church, and we could never mention all of those ways, so just let it be sufficient to say, There are many ways that seem right to men, but they are not necessarily God’s ways. One thing is sure; those who are ordained to eternal life, God knows exactly when and how to strike them, in order to get their attention, and bring them to His plan of salvation. Brother, those that come because of a genuine call by the Spirit of God; oh what a change you see in their lives. Another thing I might mention, when man goes out looking for prospects for the church, he goes more or less, looking for those whom he considers would make good church members, people that look like they would fit well into the church program. On the other hand, a lot of those that God calls, are people who have lived such messed up lives, it is hard for man to see how God could ever make anything worthwhile of them, or why He would even try. But I am so thankful to know that the grace and mercy of God is not allotted to us on the basis of whether we deserve it or not, or whether we have done enough to merit it. Hallelujah! It is given freely to all who will receive it, no matter what kind of tangled up life we have lived in the past. It is not what we have been, but what God can make out of us, that counts. Therefore because He foreknew us, He predetermined that we should be changed into the spiritual image of His only begotten Son, and because we were predestinated, He called us, and when we responded to that call according to the scriptural provisions made for us, we were justified, (made to be as though we had never sinned) and after our justification comes the glorification. He gives us the Holy Ghost, which is actually the life of the new birth. It is the seal of God, and guarantees that we can never be lost eternally. Now of course we all know that this does not just automatically apply to everyone who claims to have the Holy Ghost. If it did, then we would have to say that Jesus spoke something in the 13th chapter of Matthew, that was not right, for He said, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” You could not look at the great multitude claiming to have the Holy Ghost in our day, and call them few. But there are a few that truly have found that straight and narrow way that leads to life, and they do not fight against true scriptural doctrines, for they know that God is in control, and that their soul is secure in Him, regardless of the trials, tests, and pressures of life. Therefore as Paul spoke of these various truths, he said, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Oh sure, the devil is against you, but according to the word of God, he is already defeated. He can only do what God allows him to do, and that is for the perfecting of those who are heirs of salvation, according to election. I like this next verse. Surely to goodness none of you think Jesus was a man that could take all of that hatred, criticism, and abuse from those who were against Him, and not even be affected by it. He was human and had feelings, just like the rest of us. The only thing is, He kept everything in the right perspective. He had a mission in life, and allowed nothing to hinder Him in completing it, and Paul being completely aware of all that Jesus suffered, and how the Father allowed it, said this, verse 32, “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up FOR US ALL, how shall HE not with Him also freely give us all things?” To the multitude that witnessed the crucifixion of our Lord that day, it looked like He was completely forsaken, as He hung there on that old cross, with the life’s blood gushing from His pierced side. It even appeared to them that God had forsaken Him, because they did not know what His death was accomplishing in the redemption plan of God. Even His disciples said, “We trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel.” So to those that witnessed that cruel act, it looked like the man that had said, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger,” was completely forsaken, as He hung there on that old cross, with the life’s blood gushing from His pierced side. It even appeared to them that God had forsaken Him, because they did not know what His death was accomplishing in the redemption plan of God. Even His disciples said, “We trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel.” So to those that witnessed that cruel act, it looked like the man that had said, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger,” was completely forsaken, as He hung there on that old cross, between two criminals. But, Hallelujah! He was not forsaken. This was all according to the plan and purpose of the Father, and He had submitted Himself to it voluntarily, knowing what He would have to suffer. Why would He do it, some might say? Love motivated Him, and that kind of death was necessary, in order for Him to be the propitiation for our sins. Furthermore He knew what the outcome would be. To Him, death was not the end; it was only the beginning. Think of what He became heir to, through that obedience. Not only did He become the great high priest, that would intercede for all lost mankind, He became the sole heir to the beautiful riches of God’s eternal wealth, and King of the world to come. But do you realize that he suffered all of that, in order that he might share His inheritance with us? In Romans 8:16-17, Paul wrote, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” Yes, as ugly as the actual occurrence was; it was a beautiful thing that was accomplished there at Calvary that day. So listen, as Paul continues. We are in verse 33. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” Maybe you were an old drunk. Maybe you were a bank robber, or a filthy talking loud mouth. It does not matter what you once were; if God has done a work in your life, He has put those things as far as the east is from the west, from you, never to be remembered against you any more. So do not let the devil sit on your shoulder, reminding you of your past, and questioning your salvation. But, Bro. Jackson: How can I be sure? First let me call your attention back to Romans 8:16, one of the verses we just read, “The Spirit itself (the Holy Ghost) beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God.” I will say this, You cannot be born again by the Spirit of God, and not know it. If your salvation experience is only a hope so thing, then you have not fully believed the Bible to be the infallible word of God, and that is where it all has to start. If you only have some preachers religion, even though you may have great respect for him as a man of God: that is not good enough. When those Jews, on the day of Pentecost, cried out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter’s answer was, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST. (Acts 2:38-39) For the promise is unto you, (to those Jews of that hour) and to your children, and to all that are afar off, EVEN AS MANY AS THE LORD OUR GOD SHALL CALL.” That last part is what included us Gentiles, so knowing that the provision is there, a little self examination will settle the question. Has the Lord called you? Have you experienced that convicting, wooing, drawing power of God’s Spirit? Have you been made to realize your need for a Savior? If so, Have you yielded to Him, and submitted to the scriptural requirements that we have just read? God does not want you walking down the road of life full of doubt and fear, but the only way to avoid that, is to fully believe His word, knowing that he stands behind every word of it. That is what faith is. Even before Christ paid man’s sin debt at Calvary, those who believed God, and looked forward to that day, were justified by faith. Romans 4:3 says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” But I’m not worthy to be saved; some will say. That has nothing at all to do with it, for the Bible says, (Eph. 2:8-9) “For by grace (that is unmerited favor) are ye saved (How?) through faith; (That means believing God’s word) and that not of yourselves; (No, we cannot earn it) it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Brother! Sister! God wants us to be thankful that we ARE children of His. He does not mean for one of His elect to go through life just merely hoping that he or she will make it. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Knowing that there is no condemnation to those who are truly children of God, caused Paul to write as he did in these verses we have been reading. “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Go on devil: bring your accusations, it is God that justifies. Hallelujah!


GOD IS MOLDING US INTO ACCEPTABLE VESSELS


Now listen to this man who knows he is elected, as he really drives his point home. Verse 35, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Brothers and Sisters: The true children of God are not very well liked, out here in the world today. There is a Spirit in us that is recognized by the spirit that is in the world, and it causes people that do not even know you, to have an automatic dislike for you. If you were a tare, they would like you, for a tare spirit does not make them feel convicted of their sinful ways. Nevertheless the Bible tells us to “Count it all joy when ye fall into divers (various) temptations.” You are not to go looking for trouble, but the fact is, if we will just live for God, and stand up for our convictions when we need to, trouble will find us soon enough. But as the Bible says, We are not ignorant of the devil’s devices. He is shrewd, and ever so clever, as he tries to maneuver the children of God into compromising situations. But the one who said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, is always there to set the limits on what the devil is allowed to do to us. In the hand of God, we are just like a piece of metal, heat it to exactly the right temperature, and beat it into whatever shape he chooses to. You need not try it though, for he knows exactly how hot to get it, and how long to keep it in the water and oil, to build up the consistency of temper that it requires. If you do not get enough temper in it, it will bend, under certain conditions, and if you get too much, it will shatter, so it has to be exactly right, and the experienced blacksmith knows when and how much. Well God is the same way with us: if we are never allowed to be put in the fires of persecution, we are likely to bend a little, under certain stressful conditions. But on the other hand, He has to make sure we are never tested beyond that which we are able to stand, lest we become over burdened and just simply blow up. That is why we cherish 1st Corinthians 10:13, so much; it gives us the assurance that God is always on the job, on our behalf. Notice, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted (or tested) above that ye are able; but will with the temptation (or trial) also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” You see, God is the faithful one, and He knows exactly how much it takes, of Satan’s buffeting, to mold us into a vessel that will be acceptable to Him (God.) He knows exactly what He is making out of us, and I assure you, He is not putting us in the fires of persecution to destroy us, so have faith in the fact that He is working on behalf of all His children, and know that all things do truly work together for good to them that love God, because we are the called out ones, according to His purpose. There is no need for any one to think God saved us from our sins, just to put us in a warehouse as stock material to use later. No sir: He is busy molding us into the image of His only begotten Son. That is why Paul said, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is Christ Jesus our Lord.” Now that was a long list of things he mentioned there, but he wanted us to know that once we are in the family of God, by the new birth, nothing can ever change that relationship, and nothing will keep God from perfecting His purpose in us. Too many people out here in the religious circles today, believe that this perfection is all hinged upon, or subject to our good works, and how much money we give to (what they call) the work of God. No. Those things affect our fellowship with God, depending upon our attitude and motives, of course, but they do not determine God’s purpose in us, nor affect our relationship to Him. Brother! We are in the hands of a God that knows what he is doing: so do not resist His work of perfection in your life. Your resistance is what determines many times, how much of the fires of persecution it takes, to put the proper temperament in you. So when Paul said he was persuaded that these thing shall never be able to separate us from the love of God, the US, is not the religious multitude; it is the elected, predestined child of God, that was foreknown of Him before the foundation of the world. That is who Paul was writing to.


A TYPE OF ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION


As Paul continued on in chapter 9, we find him going into a type, the elect, and yet whosoever will, which Jacob and Esau portrayed. This is another scripture that beautifully portrays election and predestination according to the foreknowledge of God. We will just pick it up in verse 11. “For the children (Jacob and Esau) being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God ACCORDING TO ELECTION might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth; it was said to her, (Rebekah) The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” No one could have known why God would look upon these two unborn babies like that, until many years after they were born. By foreknowledge, God knew what they would both be like, and what they would do; therefore He could say to their mother, before they were ever born, “The elder shall serve the younger,” and centuries later, through the mouth of His prophet Malachi, God said, “I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau,” Now carnal mankind has his own opinion of this, and some of them have even had the nerve to speak against God, concerning these instances with Esau and Cain, but the true, revelated seed of God will see it clearly, That is why Paul continued on like this; “what shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For He (God) saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Brothers and Sisters: As you read on through these verses, you are bound to see that Jacob was a type of the elected child of God, and Esau was a type of the tare, that, in the end is ruled by his flesh. Esau was the first to come out of his mother’s womb; and therefore stood in line to inherit his father’s blessing, but God knew what Esau would do, therefore his destiny was determined before he was ever born, and so was Jacob’s; for the same reason. If you go back to the book of Genesis, and follow this story, you will see that Esau was a man of the field, a hunter, and Jacob more or less, stayed pretty close to his mother, and in his heart, Jacob really desired his father’s blessing, and his mother knew it. Remember, God had said to her, “The elder shall serve the younger.” Therefore she was ready to play her part in Jacob’s deception, to get the blessing of his father, that by birth, rightly belonged to Esau. But notice what led up to that act of deception. Esau had been out hunting, maybe even several days, without finding anything, and when he came home exhausted, feeling like he was going to die, he was willing to do anything necessary to get some of the nice hot soup Jacob was boiling. At that moment, to live, meant more to him than anything else in the world. He said to Jacob, Feed me, with some of the good soup: I am starved to the point of death, (This is just my way of paraphrasing their conversation.) And Jacob said, Only if you give me (or sell me) your birthright. Well old Esau feeling that he was about to die, said, I am about to die, so what profit shall this birthright be to me? So for one little bowl of soup, Esau sold his inheritance. The Bible says, he despised his birthright, and after that, their mother helped Jacob deceive Isaac their father, in order for him to receive the blessing that Isaac would have bestowed upon Esau as the firstborn. Now some will say, Did God tell them to do that? No. But He knew they would. That is what we mean when we talk about God’s foreknowledge. Why else would He predetermine a person’s eternal destiny, if He did not already know what that person’s choice would be, concerning their eternal destiny? You must always remember, The invitation is extended to whosoever will, and it remains so today, even though God already knows who will accept the gift of eternal life. No tare can ever say he has not had the invitation extended to him, for that is what the gospel of Jesus Christ is; an announcement of an eternal inheritance, for all who will believe the report, and meet the conditions of acceptance, from the motivation of a heart that has been mellowed by the drawing power of the Holy Ghost. The spirit in a tare will not allow them to go all the way with God, but can they truly say they have not had the same opportunities everyone else has had? That is why Paul could say, “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.” Not even Cain, who was a direct blood descendant of the old serpent, could accuse God of being unfair, for God gave him his chance, saying to him, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” People have various opinions about all of this, but there is only one sensible conclusion that you can come to, and still be able to include all the scriptures that apply to what we are talking about. You just have to realize that because of His foreknowledge, knowing what every person’s choice in life would be, God could write the record ahead of time, without being unjust in doing it, and we, therefore, refer to it as predestination. Old Esau’s destination could be recorded before he was ever born, because God, before the foundation of the world, had seen him selling his birthright, to satisfy the craving of his flesh. Therefore Paul uses these two brothers, Jacob and Esau, to illustrate, in setting a type of what he is teaching. Jacob was a type of the elect of Christ, that will stop at nothing, until he or she has received that birthright, and Esau was a type of the tares in the world, self willed people who do what they want to do, regardless of the eventual outcome. They will always run a program, parallel to the true plan and purpose of God, and many times, what they do, looks real good to the unrevelated person who is just sort of investigating what certain ones teach and stand for, but the truth is, a tare can never build anything for God, spiritually speaking, because they do not have the Spirit in them, that it requires to work on God’s building.


THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST


Go with me to the 3rd chapter of 1st Corinthians, and let us look some more, at the positive way this great teacher presents a truth. Paul wrote this epistle in 59 A.D., and we need to keep in mind the fact that there were no tares in the framework of the church at that time, so whatever he says, he is saying it to the people who are born again of the Spirit of God. In other words, they are children of God. We will start in verse 9. “For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. (This gets into attitude, motive, conduct, and all of that.) For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Realizing that we are not our own, and that we are bought with a great price, our testimony, our ministry, our every act and deed of life should be centered around the one who paid the great price for our redemption, Jesus Christ. He is the foundation upon which everything that is built for God must be laid. “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; (Remember now, tares are not yet in the picture, and none of us could ever start building anything until after we were children of God, in that new birth relationship.) Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” That of course, is speaking of the judgment seat of Christ. That is where every believer’s works will be tested. Furthermore the judgment seat of Christ is not on earth; it is in heaven, after the bride has been taken up. Yes it will only be bride saints, that will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. No man of the world, nor any tare, will have any part in that judgment. This will be when our works will be examined, and rewards will be given out, to those who have served the Lord with the right attitude and motive, and when this judgment is completed, the bride will know what place she will have in the Millennium. Each member of the bride will stand before Him, to be judged as an individual, and that is the only judgment the bride will ever be subjected to. Her eternal destiny will have been settled already, or she would not be at this judgment. Notice verse 14, “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” Remember, the reward is not eternal life; he has that already. The new birth is eternal life. You do not have it one day, and lose it the next. You are either a child of God, or you never were a child of God. There is just simply no such thing as having been a child of God at one time, and then the day coming, when you no longer are a child of His. You Methodists who may read this message in the Contender, can cough and splutter as much as you need to, but eternal security of the born again believer, is as real as God Himself. When we become one with Him, in that relationship, there is never a separation ever again. The reward mentioned, is some kind of ruling position delegated to those whose lives have merited it, to be effective when Jesus comes back to earth to rule for a thousand years. His bride will sit upon thrones also, and rule with Him. But some, because of a weakness in the flesh here in this life, will not be permitted to receive the same reward as others. We pick that up in verse 15, and also in chapter 5, which we will read after this, Notice now, “If any man’s WORK shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself SHALL BE SAVED: yet so as by fire.” I think you can see for yourself, that this is not talking about the man himself being destroyed by fire. It is just a matter of a weakness in his flesh, where he has allowed the devil to keep him from ever being able to get control over it, that causes him to lose any potential position of authority that he might have otherwise had, in the Millennium, but the soul of the person is saved. Those judgment fires will purge out that weakness in order to keep it from passing on over into the eternal age, because those who stand in that judgment, will already have a body that is eternal. I know there are a lot of religious people in the world today, that would disagree with what I have just said, but that is where we just have to let the word of God speak, even if it makes every man a liar. That is why we are going right on over to chapter 5: Paul enlarges there, on what we have just read here, by speaking of a certain situation he knows of, right in that Corinthian assembly.


CHURCH DISCIPLINE IN OPERATION


You will see from the way Paul writes, that he is not just assuming something; he knows what he is dealing with. We are in the 1st verse of chapter 5, and I want you to remember, that this is children of God he is writing to, and writing about, for there were no tares among them, in 59 A.D. “It is REPORTED COMMONLY that there is fornication among you, (He just brings out one case, so do not jump to the conclusion that the whole assembly is involved in any such thing) and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.” Why are you reading this, Bro. Jackson? What are you trying to bring out? Brothers and Sisters: I am trying to show you how the Spirit of God dealt with particular issues in the body of Christ, before the tares got in among them. Our revelation has to be based on how God worked with the body, when it was in the first years of its existence, to keep it pure, before the tares got in to cloud the picture. No matter how religious they appear to be, a tare is a child of the devil, so after they got in among the saints, and were able to have a voice in what was done, the church as a whole, never again had the harmony of the Spirit, to deal with situations like this man, and like Ananias and Sapphira. God does not kill a tare for doing wrong, but in that first church age, He would take the breath of life out of His children, rather than allow them to defile the whole body by a weakness of their flesh. So here is what Paul instructed the rest of the church body to do with the man that had allowed the devil to lead him into this situation. Verse 3, “For I verily, as absent in the body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Now here is where Paul is going to tell them how to handle this situation. No. He did not tell them to take the man’s name off of the church roll. They did not even have such a thing then. But the solution was simple.) To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, THAT THE SPIRIT MAY BE SAVED IN THE DAY OF THE LORD JESUS.” That corresponds exactly with what we read in chapter 3, and shows beyond any shadow of doubt, that these were elected children of God. Brother if we had lived back there in that apostolic hour, and had done something to necessitate being dealt with by that body of believers, you could have expected to hear something like this, “Look brother, you have brought reproach upon the body of Christ, as well as your own life and testimony. Therefore you are forbidden to come among us from now on, and may God let the devil do with you whatever is necessary, in order that you be delivered from the error of your ways.” If such a person did not repent, and get their life cleaned up, they were destined to get sick and die. That is what he meant by deliver such an one to the devil, for the destruction of the flesh. God Himself could have just simply taken the breath of life out of him, like He did Ananias and Sapphira, but in this case, the man was to reap from that which he had sown. Nevertheless his name remained in the book of life, along with every other name that has ever been recorded there. Now you will never get any of these denominational churches to see this, because their revelation on other essential truths is all messed up. But the true saint of God should have no problem with it, because it fits right in with a proper revelation of the word of God in other important areas. There are some though, that have trouble reconciling this, with what the apostle John wrote in his first little epistle, so let us go there and read a few verses.


THE OVERCOMING LIFE OF THE BELIEVER


We are in the 3rd chapter of 1st John, and the place we want to read is verse 9. This was written by the same man that wrote the gospel of St. John, a man that walked with Jesus, and heard every positive statement Jesus made, that is recorded in the 6th and 17th chapters of that gospel, about the chosen ones in the Lord. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” Now that sounds very contradictive to what we have been reading from Paul’s epistles, if you only look at the actual words that are written there, but you do not throw away a revelation that you already have, just because you read a verse somewhere that seems to contradict it. Remember 2nd Timothy 3:16-17, which says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (Why?) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works,” and trust your teacher (the Holy Ghost) to help you fit it into your revelation. God did not have these scriptures written to confuse His children. If anyone is to be confused by them, it is the tares. Remember now: the only unpardonable sin, is unbelief toward God, and remember also, that once you are born of the Spirit of God, His Spirit that dwells in you makes it impossible for you to commit that unpardonable sin of unbelief. Now you who have the Scofield Bible, may notice that there is a letter there, and the notation by it, is that this means practice sin. That of course, is true; the person who is born again, does not premeditate to practice sinful things. It is always a weakness in the person’s flesh, that causes them to do wrong, and that is why there has to be chastening. If the born again believer never did anything wrong, then those scriptures that talk about God chastening every son whom He receiveth, were written in vain. That is why I say, Do not ever try to build a revelation off of one little portion of scripture without first laying it alongside every other scripture that has to be taken into account. Therefore when you read this 9th verse, remember that it has to pertain to something that goes a lot deeper than just merely doing or saying something that falls into the category of sinful acts and deeds of the flesh, or you will have to throw away a lot of other scriptures that are in the same Bible. John was talking about something that a born again believer CANNOT DO. Why? Because he is born of God. Well what is the only thing that a true child of God cannot do? You would have to say that it would be, to disbelieve the One whose very life is in him. So that life of God that is in His true children, is what causes them to bear a proper testimony in their every day life. Human nature is against God; therefore it has to be kept under subjection to the inner man which is born of the Spirit of God, and that thought goes along with verse 10, which says, “In this the children of God are manifest, (or made known) and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” In that first church age, before the tares got in, there was a genuine love of the brethren, in the church; but later, as those tares began to infiltrate their ranks, the whole atmosphere changed. That genuineness was no longer the predominant thing, and the body more and more became legalistic. Turn right on over to the 5th chapter, and notice verse 4 and 5. It was 90 A.D., but John was still talking in that positive way, to the body of believers. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” That is still the truth; but as you look around you, at what professes to be the church of the living God, you have to say, Where is the reality of that verse of scripture? Most of these modern day churches will not agree with you that it is wrong for Christians to smoke, drink socially and dress like some of them dress. They would never enjoy coming to Faith Assembly; they think it is too strict here. People who think like that, will always look for a church somewhere, that will let them do what they want to do, and never say anything to make them feel bad. They want their religion to be easy on their flesh, and yet be spiritual enough to pacify their religious feelings. If they want to wear slacks, shorts or bikinis in a public place, they do not want to hear anything about it. That is why they do not like to come to Faith Assembly. Those who are born of God overcome the world, because they lost their taste for the things of the world. Even though a child of God may at times get involved in something that is of a worldly nature, that spirit of conviction will eventually cause him, or her to realize that what they are doing is wrong, and they will take steps to get free from it. Living a Christian life is not just buckling down and keeping a set of rules laid down by the preacher, and all the time looking for the day when that preacher will get out of the way, so you can do as you please again. No. That is not the Christian life. That is how a tare might feel about it, but the true child of God has a heartthrob to be like Jesus. They are not looking for opportunities to sin and get by with it.


REVELATED FAITH CHANGES LIVES


I used to go to Sunday School in the Methodist Church because Daddy and Mommy made me go. I did not like getting dressed up in a suit; I would rather be in my overalls, out around the barn, with a hammer and saw. Church did not mean anything to me, so I would just sit there disgusted; waiting for the moment when I could get home and out of that suit, and back into my overalls. But when God got hold of my life and I became born again, my appetite changed, my outlook changed, the things I wanted to do changed, I loved going to church. The faith that caused that change in attitude and motive, is what overcomes the world. It is not a Methodist faith, nor a Catholic faith, but the faith that gives you a revelation of what Jesus has done for you, and what the purpose of God is for your life. In other words, we do not have anything in us that can overcome the world, until God puts His very own Spirit in us, and that measure of His Spirit that is in us, is all we need to overcome the world. That is why I have said, God will never require us to do something, without first enabling us to do it. He never places us in an impossible situation; there is always a way for us to do what He requires us to do. So verse 5 says, “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” Now that is not talking about a theological belief. You have to have Him in you by a revelation, in order for that scripture to fit your life. You could go out here in these night clubs and bars, and take a poll among those that patronize those places, Do you believe Jesus was the Son of God? Probably two thirds of them would say, Yes. But are they overcoming the world? No. They are a part of it. Whatever they believe about Jesus, (or at least most of them) is only in their mind, and the devil is in control of that, or they would not be where they are. The beautiful thing about all of this is that God can take any one of those, at any time, and work His work of grace in their lives, and deliver them from that bondage of Satan that is wrecking their lives. There is more hope for some of those people than there is for a lot of people who go to church every time the door is open, for they have sold out to the particular system of religion that they are involved with, and there is not one thing in them, that even cares whether what they believe is what the apostles of Christ believed and taught. All they care about is being faithful to their church program, and seeing how many people they can persuade to accept their form of religion. If everyone who has a genuine revelation of the plan and purpose of God, was as dedicated to that purpose, as a lot of these people are to their church systems, it is hard to imagine what we might see take place. One thing we can take comfort in though, is the fact that God has already purposed to mold us into the image of His only begotten Son. We are not just hoping that everything will turn out all right; we already know what the end of the story is, and what we will be privileged to be, and do, and in the meantime, we know that all things work together for good to us, because we love God, and are called according to His purpose, Hallelujah! We are still in the world, but thank God, we are not of the world. Our ultimate goal is to be free of everything that does not honor God, and to be conformed into the image of His only begotten Son; but for now, we have to live our lives in the midst of a crooked and perverse society of carnal people, whose lives are almost completely taken up with thoughts of what they can do next, to gratify their flesh.

 

 

PARTAKING OF THE LORD’S SUPPER


We are skipping around a lot, but we are endeavoring to bring out scriptures that can give us a good insight of how God dealt with His church to keep them pure, before the tares got in among them, so let us go to the 11th chapter of 1st Corinthians, where Paul dealt with the partaking of the Lord’s supper. He has told them about how Jesus, the same night He was betrayed, had taken of the bread and wine, and instituted something that would stand throughout the era of the church, to remind believers of what the Lord has done for them, to set them free from the bondage of Satan, and restore them to fellowship with their Creator. In verse 26, Paul says this, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.” Some churches partake of the form of this ordinance every week, and some others, once a month, and so forth, and how ever they have it set up, in their bylaws, to partake of it, they believe that is exactly how it ought to be done. But the Bible only says, As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come; it does not speak of any certain time to partake of it. So as Paul instructs this Corinthian assembly in the matter, he writes, “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” That person would be presenting a false testimony if he partook of this ordinance having unconfessed sin in his life. “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” To partake of this in a worthy manner, is to actually say to the Lord, Lord I thank you for bearing my sins to Calvary, and I look to you day by day for strength to live a life that is conformed to your purpose, Notice verse 29 now. “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, (meaning that through a weakness of the flesh, they have done things that are contrary to the known will of God, and have not repented, to get their life straightened out) eateth and drinketh damnation (judgment) to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” The tares were not even in the picture when Paul wrote this epistle; therefore every word of it has to apply to born again believers. As I said earlier, This is God’s way of keeping the church clean, until the pattern of what Jesus is coming back for, is clearly established. Every sinful thing that any believer did, was revealed and dealt with. Nothing that defiled that pure body was allowed to continue unattended to, and those who did not repent and clean their lives up had a sentence of death hanging over them. “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” That means they were dead. In other words, if a precious soul through neglect, failed to yield fully to the Lord in a dedicated manner, sooner or later that person was destined to take sick and die, for God would not allow them to continually burden the Church with a reproachful situation. An untimely death was eminent, and the rest of the body knew why it happened. It has never been like that, since the tares got in, for God does not chasten tares. They are children of the devil, so God lets him do his own chastening, so to speak. But I must keep impressing upon you, that we are not reading about tares; we are reading about spiritual weaklings in the body of Christ, that the spirit of God had to deal with, in order to keep the body clean, and keep them moving forward, to fulfill his purpose for them, and in them. The purpose of God cannot be changed; so everything else has to be made comfortable to that. The Church that Jesus Christ is coming back for, is to be a body completely purged of all sinful attributes, and that first age church had to exemplify that, for God sowed good seed in the beginning, just like the parable of Jesus, in Matthew 13, portrays. When He was asked to explain that parable He said, “He that sowed the good seed is the Son of man; (speaking of Himself) The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; (children of God) but the tares are the CHILDREN OF THE WICKED ONE: (the devil) The enemy that sowed them (the tares) is the devil; (He sowed his children among the children of God while men slept; meaning, after those guardians of the faith passed from the scene in death.) The harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.” The tares were not a surprise to God. He knew they would appear on the scene; but He purposed to have a pure body of redeemed saints walking on earth, before they got there. Therefore he that is born of God, does not willingly practice sin (sinful acts and deeds) and he that is born of God cannot sin the sin of unbelief, for his seed (the Holy Ghost, the life of God) remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. You do not have to be afraid of these scriptures, unless you are a tare, for God has purposed to perfect His true body of believers; not destroy them. The Holy Ghost, that we have abiding in us, is that germ of life that cannot be denied by those who have it. To everyone else though, the written word of God is just a dead letter. That is why Paul said in his Corinthian epistle, “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.” You could read these scriptures to a tare, and they would not mean a thing to him. “Do you mean to tell me that God would kill a man for doing wrong? (They will say) I just simply cannot believe that a God of love would kill anyone, just because they did wrong, for after all, who can live above sin?” Well that just goes to show that it was a tare spirit that projected this idea that we all have to sin a little every day. It sure did not come from what the apostles of Jesus taught, in that first age. Of course I realize that there are those who would say that I am too hard on you; but please remember that I am only pointing you to what is written in the word of God, and trying my best to get you to see that this was not written to tares, but to those who were truly born of the Spirit of God. The fact that God does not use the strict discipline measures among His body of believers now, like He did in that first age, does not in any way indicate that His purpose has changed, and it does not mean that He no longer chastens His children. He just simply does it in a way that is sometimes known only to the one who is being chastened. Since He does not chasten tares, there is no such thing as having a body of people, exemplifying the love and purity that was exemplified in that first age, as long as there are tares among the true children of God; so He just merely deals with the individual believers, over a period of time, to bring them to the kind of dedication He desires to see in them. I will say this, When God gets his true body of people out of Babylonian confusion, we are going to see Him work once again in ways that we have not heretofore envisioned for these last days. He has not exhausted His resources, you know.


APPLICATION OF SCRIPTURAL TRUTHS


We have two more verses in this Corinthian letter that I want to read, for they establish an important truth that we need to be very conscious of; as we endeavor to live for God in this evil age. Verses 31 and 32 of this 11th chapter is where I want to read. “For if we should judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (We always have an opportunity to examine our own lives, and correct the error of our ways, before the chastening rod of God falls on us, but if we do not, He is faithful to do His part.) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, (Why?) That we should not be condemned with the world.” The world is going to hell. That is a condemnation that rests upon them, because they are not of God; but the born again believer will never be subjected to that condemnation, because our Father will chasten us, and deal with us as sons, and His Spirit that is in us will cause us to submit to Him. Therefore regardless of the conflict between the flesh which is weak, and the Spirit which is born of the Spirit of God, we have passed from that state of being condemned with the world. That is why Paul, after speaking of that great conflict between the natural and the spiritual portions of our total being, said in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation TO THEM WHICH ARE IN CHRIST JESUS, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Now of course some will look at the last part of that verse and say, But what about the believer who continues to walk after the flesh instead of after the Spirit? That is not an option given there; that merely states what the walk of the born again believer is. The walk of the truly born again believer is always after the spirit, regardless of how many mistakes that person makes in life because of a weakness of the flesh. I marvel at the grace and mercy of God, and my soul rests in Him, because I believe it is as our brother from Montreal Canada, is always saying, “The best is yet to come.” God is saving the best until last, and that will be only for the elected bride of Jesus Christ. The tares will have no part in that. Alright now, let us go back to the little epistle of 1st John, where we will see some more of the discipline that was in effect, in the first age of Christianity. In chapter 5 verse 16, we pick up this part. “If any man see his brother (when he said brother: he was not talking about a church member; he was talking about a true born again brother in the Lord Jesus Christ) sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and He shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” What does that say to us? It lets us know that in the beginning, the Church knew what categories certain sins fell into. They knew that there were certain things God would just simply not tolerate, and that if a believer allowed the devil to trick him, and get him into a situation that fell into that category, an untimely death would take him out of the picture. They knew that they were not even to pray for that situation. On the other hand though, there were other things that believers did, through a weakness of the flesh, that in the eyes of God were classified as sin, but when handled properly, those who were guilty of these things would be spared alive, and restored to fellowship among the other believers. In other words, there can be a healing of a sickness that is upon a person, to chasten that person for being out of the will of God. This is what they were admonished to pray for. “All unrighteousness is sin: (We all understand that.) And there is a sin not unto death.” It is important, as we look at these various scriptures, to distinguish the difference between spiritual death and natural death. The born again believer is subject to natural death, just like everyone else, unless he is privileged to live in the generation that will be alive when Jesus returns again, and he is one of them. But the born again believer can never die a spiritual death, for he has already passed from that death, unto life eternal. Therefore when you are reading scriptures such as these, which were written to believers, the death mentioned could only apply to physical death. So as John deals with these sins of the flesh, and how the Spirit of God looks upon them, he then comes right back to that positive statement concerning those who are born again. Verse 18, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; (In other words, Unbelief does not rule his life. He gets up every morning, very conscious of the fact that he is a child of God, and desiring that the Lord will help him conduct himself in a proper way through the day.) But he that is begotten of God keepeth Himself, and that wicked one toucheth Him not.” We can learn from these scriptures, but we cannot apply them to the body in this hour of time, when there are yet so many tares mingling with the body of believers. Those Jews of that apostolic hour, knew exactly what God would tolerate in the things that were classified as sin in the lives of believers, but can you picture the churches of our day trying to use these scriptures to correct their church members? Denominational church leaders have tried to use some of these disciplinary scriptures against certain ones that would not adhere to their church rules, but God could not have cared less, whether their members kept their rules or not, for He did not establish their rules. These correctional provisions were not placed in the holy scriptures to give anyone the authority to enforce a set of rules; they are there to show how the Holy Ghost dealt with unrighteous deeds in the lives of children of God, before there ever were any bylaws and church doctrines, for anyone to be concerned about. The true child of God does not need a set of rules to follow; the Spirit in him, or her, is what ought to be directing their lives. Because of the image tares have presented, and the fact that God does not chasten them, theologians have been able to brainwash the world, and make it appear that God just leaves it up to every individual to believe whatever he or she wants to believe, and in the end everything will be all right, if they were sincere. They fight the very thought that anyone could have been foreknown and predestinated before the foundation of the world, because without revelation, they cannot fit that in with, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” They have to try to keep it open, so that anyone can be in that element called, the bride. Well as I have already stated, The call is still there, but God, by foreknowledge, knew who would accept the invitation, and who would not, before He ever set about to create anything, so regardless of what your great theologians teach, the book of life stands as is. It was written before the foundation of the world, and there has never been any new names added to it. There is a song that some sing, about a new name written down in glory, but it is only a song; it is not the word of God. This is not a hit and miss situation; God knows exactly how many places to set, at the marriage supper of the Lamb. There will not be one extra place set, and there will not be anyone there without a place prepared for them. Brother I am glad to have the keeping of my eternal soul in the capable hands of a God like that. When I lay my head down at night, I do not have to worry about where I will be, if I never live to see another day dawn. As I said earlier, We are either children of God, or we are not children of God, but if we are, we have eternal security. Nothing can go wrong; to change our eternal destiny. Praise His name! I love him.


HOW TARES GOT IN


Now the fact that there were no tares in that apostolic church, does not mean that they were without concern in that matter, for we know by the scriptures that the tare spirit was knocking on the church house door, trying to get in, even as early as 54 A.D., when Paul wrote the Thessalonian epistles, and referred to the mystery of iniquity, which was already at work, but was being withheld by the Holy Ghost, until its time. That just lets us know that those apostles were aware of what Satan wanted to do, and they recognized that he was already at work trying to gain an entrance. We also find John mentioning that spirit of antichrist, which he said was already in the world in 90 A.D., when he wrote the little epistles. Now some will say, Just exactly how did that tare spirit ever get into the church? Brothers and Sisters: It was not a sudden thing; it took many years. After the gospel was preached unto the Gentiles, and various assemblies were established, just little by little, Satan was able to inject a thought that someone would grab hold of. Of course we have to realize that it was not in the minds of those who received the original gospel, preached by the apostles, that these thoughts were injected. But as time passed, and certain ones were converted right in the local assemblies, under the teaching of local people, not every one of them received the real thing. It was not really obvious that they did not receive the Holy Ghost; but in the process, something captured their minds and kept them from receiving the true baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is the seal of God. Therefore, there in the local assemblies, were people assuming roles in the leadership of the body, (over a long drawn out period of time, of course) that did not have a genuine born again experience. That gave Satan an opportunity to plant a little thought here and there, now and then, until the day finally came that their revelation of the Godhead, was turned into a trinity. Now it ought to go without saying, that Satan could not work a trick like that, in one or two generations. It took many generations with just a slight deviation here and there, for him to work a work like that. But history shows that by 325 A.D., Satan’s people had control of church politics, and God was declared to be a trinity of persons, instead of one God in three offices, as the original apostles had taught. You say, How could such a thing happen? Well that just proves what Paul said, a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. In 2nd Corinthians 11:13, we find Paul heading off something that Satan has tried to sow in that assembly, and this was written in 60 A.D., long before that first age ran its course. I am reading this again to make this point concerning that tare spirit, and how it gained its entrance into the church. It had come to Paul’s ears, that certain men who were not ordained of God had tried to project certain ideas forth in that assembly, so he wrote saying, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” Paul knew, from what he had heard, that these men were not ordained of God; but he also knew they were not just some fellows from the neighborhood saloon, that had decided to go tell the Church a few things. They had to be men with certain acceptable credentials, or they never would have been allowed the opportunity to project their thoughts to the Church. He goes ahead to say in verses 14 and 15, “And no marvel; (In other words, This should not be hard to understand, how deceivers could do such a thing.) For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” In this case, Paul could not say, Turn them over to the devil for the destruction of their flesh. But he did know that sooner or later, their end would be destruction anyhow.

 

SHUN VAIN BABBLINGS


Let us go back to 2nd Timothy and see what Paul wrote to that young preacher in 66 A.D., while he was in Rome. First he says to him, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” There has got to be a way that the word of God forms a consistent pattern, or picture, as it is presented, in order to lift us up out of confusion and misunderstanding, and give our faith a solid foundation to stand upon, and that is only possible when the word of God is rightly divided. You know that is the truth; for people take certain verses from the Bible, to support some of the strangest ideas you have ever heard. This comes under the heading of vain babblings, which we see in this next verse. “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” A lot of people seem to just live for the opportunity to take a certain point, and go unto all the technicalities of it, but they never really get a revelation of truth. That is why I have said, What is the use of me trying to explain every detail of something, to someone who just wants to argue or debate about it? If a person is really looking for truth, and they have that Spirit of truth in them, which Jesus said would be our teacher, they do not have to have every little detail explained to them. The Holy ghost will put their mind in the stream of thought that is being projected, and they will get the rest of it from Him. Jesus did not try to explain every little detail of what He taught. He spoke a lot of things in general, totally dependent upon the Holy Ghost to take it, and break it down to the believers, later on. In John 14:26 and 16:13, He said the Holy Ghost would do that, when He came. Therefore the same admonition that Paul gave Timothy, still holds true today. Shun these endless discussions and debates, that lead you into worthless babblings, for that is how Satan leads us into his traps. He will get you to thinking you can help someone, and all the time, he is just pulling you apart.[/SIPC_Content]

Exploring Eden, Part 2

WE ENDED PART 1 OF THIS MESSAGE, AFTER DEALING WITH THOSE VERSES IN THE 12TH CHAPTER OF HEBREWS, WHERE PAUL WROTE OF THE CITY OF THE LIVING GOD; THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM. THEREFORE WE WANT TO PICK UP THE THOUGHT RIGHT WHERE WE LEFT OFF, AND EXPLORE THAT BEAUTIFUL CITY. EVERY TIME WE DO THIS, SOMEONE LOSES THEIR IVORY PALACE AND THEIR STREETS OF GOLD; BUT WHAT IS TRUTH FOR: BUT TO GET RID OF ALL THOSE OLD HAND-ME-DOWN TRADITIONS THAT ARE COMPLETELY CONTRARY TO THE WORD OF GOD. WE WILL LOOK AT THE FOUNDATIONS, THE WALLS, THE STREET, AND ALL THE REST OF IT, AND TRUST THE LORD TO GIVE A REVELATION TO SOME WHO HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT OF THIS CITY AS A LITERAL CITY. WE WANT YOU TO SEE WHO MAKES UP THAT CITY, AND HOW THEY GOT THERE, AND WHAT IT ALL REPRESENTS IN THE TOTAL PLAN OF GOD.


FROM A GARDEN – TO A CITY


I take no particular pleasure in tearing up your golden streets, just for the sake of wrecking something; but for too long people have written songs and painted pictures portraying this city of Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, as such a literal thing; it is time for true saints of God to see it for what it really is. Dottie Rambo wrote a song, Build My Mansion Next Door to Jesus; and someone else wrote one, Build Me a Mansion in Gloryland, and people think like that, when actually we are the mansions, and God dwells in us. Adam did not dwell in a city, and my honest opinion is; If man had never sinned, there never would have been a city. But through time, cities have become a very real part of man’s life on earth. Therefore what God portrayed as a garden, in the beginning, is portrayed as a city, in the last chapters of Revelation. I do not know what Cain had in mind, when he built the first city; but as time moved on, cities became recognized as places where people grouped together for protection against outside forces, and eventually the Israelites, which had been nomads, began to possess houses, villages, towns and cities, as they came into the land of Canaan, and then God chose one particular spot in that land, where He would put His name. That is the spot we know as Mt. Zion today. But prior to King David’s time, it was a Jebusite city. I might say also, This is the mountain where Abraham brought Isaac: to offer him up as a sacrifice to God many hundreds of years before that, so this mountain and the city that stands atop it, is not just there by chance; it was all in the plan and purpose of God. David conquered the city when the Jebusites occupied it, and set up his palace there. Then God revealed to him that there was to be a temple built, a place where He would put His name, but He would not let David build it, because he was a man of war; therefore it fell Solomon’s lot to build the house of God there, after he succeeded his father as king. He built the first temple on that spot of ground, and God filled it with His Shekinah glory, and it became sacred to the Jewish people from that day on. In the 6th century before Christ, when the Israelites began to forsake God’s laws and ordinances, He brought the Babylonian army against them. They came in three separate periods, each time taking slaves and destroying parts of the city. But the third time, they completely destroyed the city, and the temple; leaving everything in total ruins, and took all the healthy people captive. That is when the seventy years of their captivity actually started, and it was after that seventy years, that Zechariah and Haggai were allowed to take workers and reconstruct the temple. When you read the description of its dimensions though; you find that it was a much smaller building than the one Solomon built; yet those who built it, were hoping that it would be the temple their Messiah would come to. Well it was the one that was standing on that sacred spot of ground, at the first advent of Christ, but we all know now, that the one their Messiah (and our Lord and Savior) will sit in, has not even been built yet.


RENEWED INTEREST IN TEMPLE MOUNT


About 40 some years before the first advent of Christ; there were Jews that began to put pressure. The felt that they were living just before the coming of their Messiah, so old King Herod seized that opportunity to play politics with them. He set about through a period of high taxation, and in an effort to appease those Jews, to add to, and beautify the temple. He had it turned into a monstrosity of a building, and decked it with all sorts of finery. That is what the disciples of Jesus was looking at that day, when they showed it to Jesus. They called His attention to the beauty of it; but, you know what He said to them: Tear it down, and in three days, I will raise it up again. That should have let those disciples know that that was not the house He was going to sit in. It was beautiful, of course, but it was not the one the Messiah would rule and reign from. Now brothers and sisters: You may wonder why I am saying all of this, but I was reading in the Jerusalem Post, that a group from the Israeli Knesset, had wanted to go over on the temple mount and explore the possibility of finding a place where the orthodox Jews could go, to read and pray. They reverence the ground as a sacred place, because they know it is the place where their original temple stood. Naturally the Moslems did not go for their ideas, for they thought they were just coming to make trouble. It really did turn out like that, when there was a clash between some of those that went along to guard, but it was not planned like that. Nevertheless, now that the issue has gained attention from both sides, some of the Israelis are now saying, The whole temple mount belongs to Israel. That is the truth, scripturally, but it will take some kind of conflict for it to become a reality, because the Moslems now have possession of it. I find all of this very interesting though; for now they are even considering the possibility of building a large synagogue on the eastern end of the temple mount area. I feel that if those Jews are beginning to get that kind of feeling about that temple mount, we could be getting close to the hour of the coming of Jesus. Because the scriptures verify the fact that when He does come back to earth again, a brand new temple will be sitting there waiting for Him. Jesus will not have to stand around waiting for it to be built. Remember: The Antichrist will desecrate it, before Jesus ever gets to it. Now that does not mean that he will mar the construction of the building; it is just the fact that he sits in it for three and a half years, projecting his ungodly deeds, and at the same time claiming to be God. When Jesus comes; it will be re-dedicated before He enters it. But my point is, We Gentiles need to take note of the fact that Jews are beginning to feel like that about the importance of them being allowed to worship and pray, and read their scrolls, on the temple mount. That does not mean the synagogue is going to be the temple. It just lets us know that in their natural way of thinking, they are wanting to get on that ground. They are going to ask Jews all over the world to contribute to a fund dedicated to that end. But the whole thing also lets us know, that those who do believe in the coming of the Messiah, do not really know their scriptures, for it was stated that they hoped their Messiah would come before it was completed. I just have to say this: If in the eyes of God, it is getting close to the time, they will not have to put pressure on anyone to help build a synagogue there; God will let them have their temple ground, without that Moslem mosque standing on it. He will see that it is destroyed in a war of some kind. World sentiment would never allow that thing to be torn down, so I am persuaded that this is how it will be accomplished. When it happens like that; then the Jews will have possession of their temple ground, and they will not have to let any Moslems claim any rights to it, ever again. Is that not how they got possession of the western wall, and other parts of the city? God uses this sort of thing to fulfill His word, when the time is right.

A LOOK AT PARADISE


Let us go back now, to the 2nd chapter of Revelation, where we read that one verse already. This is the portion that was written to the church at Ephesus, in that first age of Christiandom. The church itself was in Asia Minor, in an area which today is known as Turkey. But the thing we are most interested in here, is the word paradise, mentioned in this way, for the first time in the New Testament. This paradise is what made the garden of Eden stand out, in the story of man’s beginning. God chose to place the man He created, in this atmosphere, for he was created without sin, and completely innocent. Therefore it was no strange thing that he should dwell in eternal life, for what ever purpose God had created him. But sin disrupted God’s plan right at the onset, causing man to be separated from the spirit world that he had been privileged to have access to. After that separation, no mortal man has ever been allowed to press himself back into that realm again. But God’s plan of redemption, ordained from before the foundation of the world, is so designed to restore us back to what that paradise relationship was. Redemption gives back to repentant mankind, the eternal life that Adam was removed from. As I have already said, Eating of the tree of life is not what gave Adam and Eve eternal life; it was the fact that they lived in the garden, (paradise) which was the very anointing presence of God, their Creator. The very fact that they lived in that environment, gave them eternal life. Of course some people will say, If a person had eternal life, how can they die? Well there are two things to consider; God is that eternal life that we speak of; and when He comes into our lives by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, that is our seal. That is our assurance that we have eternal life according to Romans 8, and Ephesians 4:30. Adam lived in that eternal presence on the condition that he obeyed the commandment of his Creator; therefore what happened to him was a result of his own choice. But we have not received this seal of eternal life on any such conditional basis; for we had to meet the conditions before we received it. That is why we can rightly speak of eternal security; because God only gives that measure of His Spirit to those whom He has foreknown, so it is not a hit and miss situation. Therefore as we come back to Adam, we must realize, he did not have that eternal life given to him as a seal: he had to be tested, and when he was tested, he failed. That is why I said, Eating of the tree of life, is not what gave them eternal life: it was just the fact that they were dwelling in the presence of Him who is eternal life, until they were driven from that presence because of sin. Because they had chosen to do so, they were left to eat of the tree of knowledge, and produce offspring outside of paradise. Therefore all of their offspring were born into the world, without, or outside of that eternal life realm, and it has remained so ever since. But in Revelation 2:7, we find those words written to the church at Ephesus, over 1900 years ago, in that first age of Christiandom. ” He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh.” Let me say this before reading the rest of that verse; In every age and hour, there has always been something of a predominant nature, that God has worked through, to perfect His purpose in the lives of those who were to be heirs of eternal life. There has always been something of a testing or trying nature, that believers have had to overcome. But what people have had to overcome in one age, may not necessarily have been the predominant thing that saints of another age would have to overcome. Every age has its own trials and tests, but God’s grace in every age, has always been sufficient for those that trusted Him. “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, (where is that tree?) which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Saints, we must realize that to eat of the tree of life now; is not an act; it is an experience. The act of reproducing has already been performed, but it did not bring forth eternal life. Therefore no wonder Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again,” and “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” for that Spirit is the life of that tree. That tree is only symbolic within the paradise, which is the realm of the Spirit of God. Therefore the baptism of the Holy Ghost, is the overcomer’s promise, and it is his assurance that he has received the essence of what the original fruit would have been, which would have been eternal life.


Without the Spirit of God, there is no way we can live forever, and neither can we please God;

becausewe do not have a nature in us, to know how to please God. But by that Spirit in us, (the Holy Ghost) God is slowly leading us back into His presence, back into that realm where He abides. No, we do not have a full measure of His Spirit, but the measure that we do have is our sufficiency for the journey ahead. If we should die, and our bodies go into the ground before our change comes, then that measure of the Spirit that we have, is all that it will take to get our bodies up out of those graves, and clothe them in immortality. Then we will have the fullness of that same Spirit, that will enable us to fulfill whatever our purpose is, in the Millennium. Right now though we are looking at paradise, so let us take a better look at it. As I have said, Artists have tried to paint what they believed paradise should look like, and others have had all sorts of imaginary pictures in their minds, but none of them could ever really express what paradise was really like. Adam and Eve were the only humans that have ever been able to tell what it was really like, and we have no record that they ever did so. One thing is sure though; it takes more than just beautiful trees and flowers to express the true picture. Paradise opens up another dimension, another world: that becomes just as accessible as the natural world we now live in. It is a realm where it is just as common to see angels moving about, as it now is to see birds flying around from tree to tree. Through the ages, God has given certain patriarchs, and certain individuals, a little glimpse into that heavenly realm, but none of them have ever seen the full scope of what it really is. You remember how Jacob laid his head down on a rock one night to sleep, and while he was asleep, God let down a ladder from heaven, and he saw angels ascending and descending. Oh it all looked so real to him, as he saw those angels going back and forth with such ease. That experience caused him to say, (when he awoke), Truly this is the house of God, for I met the Lord face to face. In other words, God just pulled back the curtain, and allowed him to have a little glimpse, and he told about it the best he could, like others have. Yet if we should take all of these stories and put them together, we would still not be able to explore paradise for what it really is, for I am sure that there is yet much of it that mortal men have not yet been privileged to see. But the point is, God can lift us up in the Spirit, and let us see anything He chooses to. That is how various scripture writers were able to describe so vividly, certain pictorial scenes they were privileged to view. Just suppose John: when he was taken up into heaven; saw only a great halo of light; how would he have known what to write? But what did he say? (Rev. 4:2) “I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” You can read it all if you want to, but God showed him all of that great heavenly scene, in order that he might be able to record it for later generations to read, showing the relationship of Jesus, to the great eternal Spirit which is the Father of all things. Now brothers and sisters: what I am trying to show you, is that when you are dealing with paradise, you are dealing with the spirit realm; so you have to get your eyes off of natural things. Oh yes, in the beginning, the natural, and the spiritual were all seen together, and what a beautiful picture that must have been, but when we talk about paradise today, we have to keep it on the spirit side, in order to properly express it.


OVERCOMERS ARE PILLARS


Let me go now, to the third chapter of Revelation, where we will see some more of this language of the Spirit identified with natural things that man is familiar with. We read where Paul wrote to believers, how that we have come unto Mt. Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven. That is what we have come to; but it is not a geographical location: It is pointing to a spiritual reality, that which we have obtained in the Spirit. So let us read, starting here in verse 12 of the 3rd chapter of Revelation. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.” What does that mean? Do you know what a pillar is? Are we going to literalize it, and say that God is going to turn us into columns of concrete or stone? That is what a pillar is, you know. A pillar is a support column for a building or structure, and the only natural building God is interested in, is the temple that shall be built in Jerusalem, in which Jesus will sit and rule during the Millennium, and I am sure God is not going to make us literal columns in that building; so what is John actually writing about? As we have already said, The true Church, the bride of Christ, is going to be changed into immortality before the Millennium starts; and rule and reign with Jesus during that one thousand years. That is why John said, We know not what we shall be like, but we know this, when He appears we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is. Therefore knowing that He is immortal we know that we will be immortal also. He is the Bridegroom, and the true Church is His bride. For what purpose? To rule and reign with Him for one thousand years, of course. Therefore to be a pillar in the spiritual sense, is to be a person of spiritual support, capable of holding up the weight of responsibility and obligations in the body of Christ, that the Church has to stand for, while the gospel is being offered to lost humanity in the world all around us. In the book of Acts, we read where it mentions Peter and James, and those who were esteemed to be pillars in the church. Well you certainly could not say that they were concrete, or stone, in the literal sense; but they truly were spiritual posts that held up a lot of weight, as the church moved out, in that first age. Their responsibility was great. Notice now, as we read some more of that verse, for we are looking at spiritual applications. “And he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God.” Here again, that writing is only figurative; for it actually means, I will give him a revelation. You will find that same terminology used in the 14th chapter of Revelation, concerning the 144,000 Jewish servants of God, that are sealed in chapter 7. When John saw them; they were standing atop Mt. Zion with the Lamb, (which is Christ, in symbolic language) having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. That simply means, that by divine revelation, they knew Jesus who was the Christ, carried the revealed, redemption name of Jehovah. In other words, It was written in their minds, as surely as if it was written right across their foreheads with an indelible ink, who Jesus is, and what He is. It is a revelation that cannot be taken away from them. Alright, “I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is the NEW JERUSALEM, which cometh down OUT OF HEAVEN from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” Overcomers will not only have a revelation of the redemption name of God; they will also have a revelation of the city of God, the New Jerusalem, that John saw coming down from God out of heaven, and lastly; they will know the new name that Jesus is to be called by. Yes, when Jesus comes to rule and reign on earth for a thousand years, He will be called by a new name. But do not be deceived by those who claim to know what that new name is; for no one knows it yet. There are some who will eagerly tell you, that Jesus’ new name is William Marrion Branham, but they speak by the spirit of Antichrist, for that name will not be revealed to any of us, as long as we are in this mortal flesh. That name will be imparted to us, when we are changed into immortality. That new name will not be in use until the Millennium age. Men of this age would desecrate it, if it was known to them. God has allowed these serpent seed type of individuals to hear, and carry many precious revealed truths, in the past twenty some years, but there are some things that they claim to know, that they will never know, because they are reserved for overcomers. Furthermore; being able to transmit a revealed truth is one thing, and having a revelation of that truth is something else altogether. You can certainly confirm that, by taking note of where some of these followers of Bro. Branham are today; and what they are doing and saying. A true revelation would not allow a person to do what some of them are doing today.


THE NEW CITY


Let us leave the point we are on now, and go to Revelation, chapter 21, where we can really begin to explore this new city we have been mentioning. We have sung about a city foursquare, with streets of gold, and ivory palaces; but how many of you will admit that these streets of gold and ivory palaces, are all illusions from traditional interpretations; with no scriptural foundation? When you look at the Bible, you discover that the street of gold is singular, and that ivory palaces are not even mentioned. But regardless of what you may say; there are some who will always visualize this city to be a literal, tangible city, and they will still be looking forward to living in an ivory palace somewhere within it. Well all we can do is present the truth; we cannot force people to receive it. To you who do have an ear to hear: let me say this though, The city we are looking at, is not a picture of the Millennium. The Millennium is over when this picture comes into focus. In the Millennium, Jesus will rule and reign, from the natural city of Jerusalem there on Mt. Zion, in a literal temple built by men. That temple is yet to be built, and it will be only for the Millennium, so let us now look closer at the city John wrote about here. Remember, all scripture of the Bible has to link together, regardless of what some men may be trying to teach. God’s wrath will be poured out upon ungodly mankind, at the end of the great tribulation time, and there will be an element of natural people left alive that will be judged worthy to live during that Millennium reign. This is who Christ and His bride will rule over during that time. Then when the Millennium is over, and all the ungodly people from every age have been resurrected and cast alive into the lake of fire: (In other words, all whose names were not found written in the book of life, at the great white throne judgment.) the next thing to be inaugurated is the eternal age. That is when the new city actually comes into the picture, so let us begin reading in verse 1 of chapter 21, and see what the Bible actually says about it. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Now brothers and sisters: This is not talking about a new paradise: (the habitation of God, or the third heaven, as Paul referred to it in 2nd Corinthians 12), it is talking about the immediate atmosphere around the earth, which at present is filled with all sorts of satanic spirits. The Bible tells us that Satan is the prince of the power of the air. He is the god of this world, of all the ungodly forces that affect man. It is those satanic forces that create havoc, and all the sin, turmoil, and strife that we see out here today. But when redemption is completed, in the earth; this will eliminate all the opposing forces of evil from the atmosphere around the earth also. All of that will be destroyed in the lake of fire; so this will then leave the earth and the atmosphere around it clean. There will not be another planet earth; that is new; it will be the same planet. But it will be cleansed, and redeemed back to God, the great eternal Spirit, and sin will never be allowed to mar the picture ever again. As for the new heaven: do not ever think that the devil has been allowed to clutter up the habitation of God. The domain of God, called the third heaven, does not need to be made new, or cleansed; there is nothing wrong with it. That realm called paradise, has been kept free from Satan’s evil influence. The rich man was told that there was a great gulf between where he was, and the paradise that Lazarus was in, so that one could not pass from the one to the other, and that also included the devil. When Lucifer (now called the devil) was cast down to earth, his evil influence has been limited to the earth and its immediate atmosphere ever since. That is why it has to be cleansed and made new again. The Methodists look at this verse, and at that scripture in 2nd Peter, that speaks of how the heavens and the earth shall melt with fervent heat, and they say, The planet is literally going to burn up. That is what the Bible says; they will tell you. Well that is what the words in the Bible sound like they mean; but when you line them up with the rest of the Bible, you get an entirely different picture. It is the same with that part that says, “And there was no more sea.” That should not give anyone the picture that there will be no more water; for as long is there is any kind of plant life growing, there will always be water to water it. That just simply points to the fact that the earth will no longer be two thirds covered by water. I believe, if we will read Genesis right, we will discover that this planet did not have large bodies of water like the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, before the flood. There were lakes and bodies of water; but every continent was connected together one with another, by land linkage, and there was more land of the earth’s surface exposed, to eventually be inhabited, rather than what we see today. You can read the first chapter of Genesis, and you will see that before the flood, when the earth was closer to the sun, God had those waters gathered together in a way that they served as a filter, to filter the rays of the sun. That is what gave the earth a perfect climate the whole year around. In all probability, it would never have rained as you and I know rain, for the earth was watered by dew. In other words, When the earth sweats, you can get your feet wet in the morning. But what all of this terminology really means is that John was seeing the earth in its redeemed state, after everything has been restored back to its original beginning, so let us read on. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, (Remember now, what we read, in chapter 3, about those that overcome: I will write upon them the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God. To that point, it is the same language, but notice the rest of this verse.) prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” What is this actually saying? This is none other than a pictorial representation of the way God has displayed paradise again, for its connection back to earth.


WHERE ETERNITY BEGINS


Man was driven from paradise in the beginning, because of sin. But now the earth has been redeemed, and paradise is being restored back to earth again, for its eternal purpose. Eternity begins here, and continues throughout the endless ages, wherein time will no longer be calculated. Why do I say that? Turn with me to the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians. The apostle Paul is writing a revelation, and here is what he states, starting in verse 22. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Because of Adam’s sin every child born into the world has that imputed death sentence hanging over them. That is what he meant by, all die. But let us not interpret the last part of that verse to mean that in Christ all are made spiritually alive, nor eternally alive. God has invested in Him, power of death, hell and the grave, therefore He will be the means by how all will be brought forth, to eventually be placed somewhere, even if it is the lake of fire. “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” As time draws near for the age of the Millennium, Christ will literally take from the earth every redeemed overcomer. Those who have died will be resurrected, and with the living element of overcomers, will be taken to glory, until such a time as the Millennium rule is ready to be set up. At that time, they are seen coming back to earth with Him, and will rule and reign with Him for a thousand years. Martyred tribulation saints will also be resurrected to rule with Him during that time. “Then cometh the end (the end of what? The end of the Millennium.) when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father.” Now right here is where we could go into the Godhead. For there are a lot of people, especially in oneness Pentecost, that just have to sort of scoot through this verse, because their limited revelation keeps them from being able to handle this verse. Jesus the man, has been invested with the power and authority of Jehovah; the invisible God which is Spirit, and that investment has enabled Him to rule and reign until He has accomplished the purpose and mind of God. After that, there is no longer any reason for Him to continue to rule as King, as He has done throughout the Millennium. That is why it says, “Then cometh the end, the end of the Millennium. “When He shall have delivered up the kingdom of God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” That takes place at the great white throne judgment. (Rev.20:11-15) That is where everything that still pollutes the earth is burned. Alright now, verse 27 says, “For He (meaning God) hath put all things under His (Jesus’) feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He (the Father) is excepted, which did put all things under Him (Jesus). And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, (Christ Jesus) then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him (the Father, the eternal Spirit) that put all things under Him, that God (the great eternal Spirit) may be all in all.” Brothers and sisters: That takes you right back to Revelation 21, verse 3, right where we left off. “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men.” What does that mean? It means that God has accepted his redeemed family of humanity, and now He is placing Himself back on earth, in the fullness of what paradise was in the beginning. Actually what it amounts to is that the spirit world, and the natural world is coming back together again. Do not look at the word tabernacle, in this usage, as a building. God does not need a building. You are the only building He ever really wanted to dwell in. So notice the rest of that verse. “And He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Saints: Just think of that. It is describing the eternal picture and objective that God has been bringing mankind back to for the past six thousand years. It is like He infuses Himself into His redeemed family to start the eternal age of time without end. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” Of course we realize that all things are made new as a result of God’s process of redemption, and not because of an act of creation. Rather than creation, it is an act of restoration, whereby all things are returned back to their original state. “And He said unto me, Write: For these words are true and faithful. And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.” Now why would He use the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet here? It is because all things had their beginning in Him, and anything that has an end, will end because He has decreed it to be that way. He is the originator of all languages upon the earth; for we have read how He came down, when all men were of one language and one purpose, building a tower to reach into heaven, and confused their language. But as for the Alpha and Omega usage here: He is simply using terminology from the language of the Bible; to say that everything that exists, had to have its origin in God, and He is the one that will terminate whatever is to be terminated. Anything that does not pass through His plan of redemption and gain His acceptance, is definitely going to have an end. Well after He spoke of being the beginning and the end He said, “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” We would not want to put that statement all the way out in the eternal age; for that is what He has been doing right on through the ages. This was written in a letter, and given to the churches; therefore certain things of the contents of the letter has been for the present day, in every age. It is just like that first verse of Revelation 22, where John saw a river of pure water proceeding out of the throne; we know that it not a literal river. It is the same water Jesus was talking about in John 7:38. He had said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” Then He said, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Verse 39 goes ahead and tells that He was speaking of the spirit that believers would receive, and we know that on the day of Pentecost, after Jesus had resurrected and ascended into heaven, those believers that were assembled in the upper room waiting for the promise of the Father, truly did receive that Spirit, and the living water started to flow. Ever since that day, thirsty souls have been able to drink from that fountain freely.


THE WATER OF LIFE


It is God’s purpose that every redeemed child of God should have something flowing from that life, that would cause others to want to drink from that same source. Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, He that drinketh of the water that I shall give, will never thirst again. The very fountain of that water of life, was standing right there by that natural well, where the woman had come to draw water. So the woman said to Him, Sir: Give me this water, that I thirst not, and neither will have to come here to draw. Well she later did drink of that water, the same water that is offered here in verse 6. Therefore with these thoughts in mind, let us try to picture the language that is being used here, as we proceed. “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; (That is still an admonition for you and I, in the hour we live in.) And I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Verse 8 is a warning to all who read it, or hear it, of what will become of those who are guilty of such things, but the actual event does not take place until the end of the Millennium. However, it does take place before the eternal age begins, so we need to pay attention, and get these lined out in our minds. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” All of this is to give the lost sinner an opportunity to prepare for that glorious event which is ahead; for once that hour arrives, God will not allow anything to disrupt it. Satan will never enter the picture again. Therefore if we can correlate the verses we read from the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, and what we are reading here in Revelation, we see Jesus invested with these attributes of the Father, until such time as He delivers the whole redeemed creation back to the Father, and then, He will be known to us as our elder brother.


JOHN SEES THE BRIDE OF CHRIST


As we go into verse 9 and 10, we see God manifesting Himself in a way that allows us to actually see with the eye of our spirit, the paradise that Adam and Eve were driven away from. It is not of tangible substance, that scientists can explore; but the spiritual eye of God’s redeemed can see a beautiful sight here. Let us pay close attention to the language used here; for it is important to our revelation. “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” John had already seen the bride saints coming to earth on white horses, following Jesus, in chapter 19, and judgment was set up, and they have ruled with Christ a thousand years, throughout the time known to us as the Millennium, and now we find this angel saying to John, Come hither, and I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife, so notice now, “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God.” Here we see a manifestation of the omnipotency and glory of God Himself. You will remember the words of Jesus in John 14, where He said, “Ye believe in God, believe also in me. (This is the English translation.) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.” Now as I said earlier, God does not live in a house, and He is not reserving a mansion for you either: not a literal house. Another translation of John 14:2, reads like this, “In my Father’s domain, there are many resting places.” Resting places for what? The soul of man. I feel like this translation brings out the true thought a little better. But let us look closer at this city John saw descending out of heaven from God. “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” Now women who love fine dishes and glassware will better understand my illustration. They love to go into a store that specializes in this kind of thing, and inspect the china and crystal. You can take a piece of crystal glass, and let the light strike it just right, and it will reflect light and sparkle just like a diamond. But what is glass made out of? It is made of sand, an element of the earth. It takes a very special refining process to change that sand into something so beautiful as pure crystal. But that is my illustration of what we are looking at here in these verses. We are looking at a description of something that has been refined, made pure just like fine crystal. There is not a blemish to be found. It is clear as crystal, (Now verse 12) “And had a wall great and high, ( Now we are looking at a beautifully constructed wall around that city.) and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations; and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Alright, there is twelve gates giving entrance into the interior of what that city is as a means of habitation. You do not live in a wall; it is only a symbol. A wall is a protection bulwark for whatever is inside it. Imagine going through a gate, in a wall, and when you get inside it, there is nothing there. Well the wall is significant though, for it symbolically speaks of God’s plan of salvation. In other words, Unless man comes God’s provided way; he in no way will enter into that habitation with God. Alright now, there is twelve gates in the wall, and they were strategically placed. In ancient times, as cities grew, and became recognized as places for habitation, protection, trade, commerce and communication, their gates had to be strategically set, they did not put them just anywhere. Their position was determined by the lay of the land, and the accessibility in and out of the city. The gates were set first; and that has significance spiritually; for we see all through the New Testament, that God’s plan of salvation and redemption for mankind, was set up first through the children of Israel, under the law dispensation. When you go back through Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and take into account all of these sacrifices, feast days, and so forth, and see what they pointed to, you eventually come up with the revelation that every one of them pointed to Jesus Christ, and what God would minister to the soul of man through Him. It was all introduced through types and shadows, under the law dispensation. That was the entering into, of this great plan of salvation. Under the law, God established these gates, that are actually what gives entrance into His great plan of salvation.


THE WALL’S FOUNDATIONS


After the gates are established to a natural city, then comes the process of building the wall, which is that part between the gates. As they closed in, between the gates, that is what became the wall. But notice what is strange about the wall of this city: it had twelve foundations, which today we call the footing. In the natural, you do not build a wall to show the footing, or foundation. But a proper foundation is necessary, if you want your wall to stand. If the foundation is not good, sooner or later, the wall will tumble. For most foundations, they dig a deep trench, and in it they pour concrete, and when you look at it, there is nothing beautiful about it. Then once it has hardened, they start the building upon it and before long, they throw dirt against it, until it is seldom seen at all after that. You only see what is built upon it. But what is strange; the foundations of this wall is exposed, and the reason it is exposed is because God wants you to know what your salvation is built upon. It is not built upon denominational traditions; it is built upon the revelation and teachings of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. It started with their revelation, and in process of time, the true children of God will wind up with that same revelation they had. God has never changed, and His word has not changed. It is man that has changed, and it is God’s restoration work that will bring us back to that original revelation. Praise His wonderful name. But even still, as we look at this wall; it has not just one, not two, or three, but twelve foundations, meaning 12 layers. Let me remind you of something though, in ancient times they did not pour concrete foundations. Here is what they did, especially in the Middle East, where they have a tremendous amount of rock formation deep within the soil. Wherever the corner stone was to be; they would dig down to bedrock, which is that solid layer of rock beneath the soil, and all other rocks. Now finding bedrock was one thing, but preparing it to lay other stones upon was something else completely. They had to chisel them, until they were level, for many times they would be slanted. Then in order to prevent slipping, they would chisel a niche in the rock. In other words, a slot in which they would lay the stone. Then, no matter how much weight is put upon it, there is no chance of it slipping from its position. In order for your building to come out right, the corner stone has to be perfectly level. Brothers and sisters: Somewhere on Mt. Zion, deep down beneath all that rubbish, when those Jews get a chance to dig down to bedrock; they are going to find that original cornerstone: that King Solomon laid, about a thousand years before Christ. Yes it is still there, ready to be cleaned off, and the Millennial temple built on it. But the point is, that corner stone is anchored and leveled, and every other stone that goes into a foundation has to be leveled the same way. They chisel down until each stone is level, so actually it could look just like stair steps down there. But there has always got to be one spot that everything else is lined up with.


THE CUBED CITY


I was reading about the great pyramid Keops, when the English archaeologists dug down to find those foundation stones. They took pictures to show how the builders of that monstrosity of rock formation had chiseled out notches at all four corners of the foundation, and set those stones in such a way that they could not possibly slip, no matter how much pressure was put upon it. The cornerstone sat right there in that niche, holding the line, through all of those centuries. Well the reason I wanted to explain that, was because we know that Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone of our building, is holding a true line, and the building is being erected exactly according to God’s plan. All of this just lets us know that what God builds is built exactly according to specifications, as we have in His word. Denominationalism has tried to throw up a spiritual building, but it is built of faulty material, and God will not accept any of it. The only thing God will accept is what is built upon this foundation right here, with Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. The revelation of those twelve apostles is what the whole plan of salvation for the New Testament Church is built upon. That is the only way you can look at this, and come to any conclusions as to why you are looking at the foundations, and not at the wall itself. The wall speaks of your salvation, but God wants you to know what it is built upon. Therefore the completed structure gives us shelter and protection, but it is all based upon the fact that God invested some men with an understanding of how the word of God was to be applied. However when you have really reached out and accepted the Lord by faith, according to the way His word declares you should, and your life is secure in Him, the devil will still throw a lot of things against the wall, to test your particular, individual experience. But listen to me saints; the devil is not going to be able to destroy you, nor take your salvation away from you. He can only rattle around, make a lot of noise, and try to convince you to doubt your salvation, but he can only go as far as he is allowed to, and that is for our testing. Not our destruction. Let us go on now. Verse 15 “And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. (We are reading scripture that creates great questions in the minds of people, but we want to try to see what is symbolized here, as we look at the whole thing. This angel had a reed to measure the city, the gates, and the wall.) And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.” I want to explain something here. When Bro. Branham preached the message titled, “The Future Home of the Earthly Bride and the Heavenly Bridegroom,” he read these scriptures, and made the statement that this city did not necessarily have to be something that was square. He said it was more like a pyramid, and people all around this world today, because of his statement, are saying that this city, when it comes down, will be like a pyramid. You need not try to convince them otherwise; for their mind is settled on it. But I happened to know Bro. Branham better than a lot of them, and I knew what he really believed about a lot of these things that they are so far off base with. Many times, if you know how a person thinks, you will better understand what he means when he says certain things a certain way. I did not get the education that some of you have, but I do know one thing for sure: you cannot take the wording of verse 16, and get a pyramid out of it. The only part of a pyramid that is square is its base. All the other angles are strictly triangular, so you cannot possibly fit these dimensions into a pyramid. The only thing you can say is that all four sides of it are equal, which no doubt was the comparison Bro. Branham was making. All four sides of it are equal with each other; but you certainly cannot say that the length, the breadth and the height of it are equal. That is terminology that belongs only to a cube. When you make the length and the breadth of something the same you have squared it, and then if you make the height of it the same as the length and breadth, you have cubed it, and there is no possible way to make a pyramid out of such dimensions. You will find no triangles in a cube, for every side is completely square, and if you uncube it, you change it’s dimensions. If something is foursquare, and you take one inch off of it anywhere, you have uncubed it, and it will no longer fit the description of what we have here. This just lets me know that you cannot take one thing away from this, nor add anything to it. It is the Church of the living God, in her complete restored relationship to Him, and there is not one thing that anything can do to alter it. You cannot change the word of God, just to make it fit your carnal ideas, without taking away from the revelation of it, the very thing that makes it a reality. What I would say to you is, Do not get so taken up with the size and shape of this city, that you fail to see what is being portrayed. In other words, When God places the fullness of His presence back on earth again, everything will be perfect. There will be no need for anything to be added, nor taken away. Paradise will cover the whole planet, just like it eventually would have, if Adam had never sinned.

WALL OF JASPER – CITY OF GOLD


All right now, we are going to look at the wall of this city in this next verse, but please take note of the fact that the city is one thing, and the wall is something else. They are not to be thought of as the same thing. “And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” Brothers and sisters: What does that tell you? It lets us know that the substance of what the city itself is, does not compare with earthly gold. It is that gold that is characterized in the New Testament as an impartation of the faith of God, that He puts in us. It is not your faith, and my faith, that brings us to God; it is His grace, working through a revelation that He imparts to us, so that we can truly say, He is a God of mercy and grace. He first has to enable us to recognize the fact that He is reaching out to us, and no one can appreciate that more than I do. I wrestled with life, with the Bible, and with salvation itself. I did not want to get too fanatical about anything in that way. As for the Bible, I thought everyone ought to have one, but I did not want to get too close to it. I was bound by a cigarette habit, and did not know how in the world I could ever get free from it. Oh yes, people will tell you, Whatever you want or need: just take it by faith. But I say, By whose faith? When I was wrestling with all these things, I had no faith. Yet when the time was right, I felt something come into me: that gave me the ability to come and believe and accept the grace of God. That little spark of genuine faith ended all of that wrestling I had been doing. God has to impart that little measure of faith to us, in order for us to even be able to reach out and accept what He has provided for us. It gives you a completely different outlook on how to approach God, and that is why it is of more value than any earthly gold. I would not trade it for all of the riches this world has to offer. Yet there are professing Christians everywhere that measure everything by the amount of this world’s riches they possess. No wonder the Lord said to Laodicea, which actually portrayed this age of materialism, you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. His counsel was, Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich. Well, that is the kind of gold we see here in verse 18. To buy this kind of gold, is to make an eternal investment, for that investment is in heaven itself. You will not be able to go to any of these earthly banks and buy this gold, for it is something that comes only from God. He gives us that first little measure of this gold, to enable us to come to Him, and then He gives us many opportunities to invest it and receive increase. That is what our experiences and trials accomplish for us, in this life. In every moment of weakness, God always gives us whatever we need on order to overcome. Therefore every trial we prove ourselves faithful through, we come out of them with an increased measure of faith, because God always imparts to us whatever is needed, in order for us to be able to meet His standards, and that is the Bible definition of gold that is pure like clear glass. Therefore it is impossible for you to take your Bible, and prove that this city is to be a literal city of earthly gold. No. It is an environment like unto that which Adam and Eve knew in the very beginning, before they let the devil rob them.


WHAT THESE PRECIOUS STONES SYMBOLIZE


Verse 19 takes us to the foundations of the wall of this foursquare city, so notice what it says. “And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones.” Remember, it is in the foundations of the wall, that the names of the twelve apostles of Jesus are found, and here it speaks of how the foundations were studded with all manner of precious stones, so we need to see the significance of all of this. It lets me know that it is not just the great dimensions of the wall that we are to dwell upon, but the quality of the material that the wall is built upon. Have you ever wondered why the foundations are so beautiful, when in the natural you do not even see the foundation? To me, it says that God wants us to see and recognize the quality of the spirit of the men who resisted the devil and fought the battles to bring this gospel of salvation to us. These precious stones speak of those faithful soldiers of the cross, who laid their lives on the line, to stand for the truth of God’s word. People who know about these particular stones will tell you that they came from such and such a place, and of certain rock formations that in the ages past, had been subjected to tremendous pressure or heat. So when you transpose this thought to the lives of those men whose names are in these foundations, it lets us know that God not only gave them a great revelation, but He also gave them the virtue to be able to stand the pressure, and the persecution that went along with such a revelation. Just remember first of all, that Christianity was new; so there were no allies to fall back and fellowship with. They were right in the midst of Judaistic Jews and Gentile pagans, all of which were against them. Therefore the character and determination that their lives reflected, caused them to be compared with the beauty and value of these precious stones which we are going to look at right now. “The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.” We have a man right here in the congregation that can tell you about these stones, how they are formed and everything. But the point is, these stones speak of the character and revelation and durability of those who laid the foundation of our faith. God is using this city terminology to describe the paradise that He is bringing redeemed mankind back to. Chapter 21 lets us see it from an external viewpoint, but when we get to chapter 22, we will see it from an internal position, the throne of God, the river of water of life, the tree of life, and everything that paradise truly is. He who sits on the throne there, is not to be thought of any longer as a mediator, nor a king, for this setting is on out past the Millennium, when Jesus the Christ is seen as our elder brother. That will be his position throughout all of eternity, after redemption is completed.


TWO TYPES OF PEARLS


We are looking at a city that for too long, has been looked at only as a natural city, just like the garden in Genesis has been seen only as a beautiful natural garden. When God really began to deal with me on this, I could see that they were driven from paradise; but I also noticed that God did not say: Now Adam, Be sure you take the tree of knowledge with you, yet we know that the tree of knowledge has been with man ever since. Therefore seeing that the tree of knowledge was not a tree that had to be dug up and transplanted, we understand that the tree of life was not plant life either. Neither of these trees were plant life trees, but spiritual laws by which mankind would have to live. He would eat from one or the other, but not from both of them. Therefore paradise was more than just a beautiful garden of trees, shrubs, and flowers, and this city that we are looking at is God’s way of showing man that paradise is coming back to earth again. When? After the redemption is completed. After the Millennium has run its course, and the great white throne judgment has removed every defiling thing from the planet. As I said earlier, This is not a city of great castles and ivory palaces, as natural minds have imagined it to be; it is a spiritual realm, where God’s full presence will once again dwell. It is a city; but it is not the kind of city you thought it was going to be. It is a beautiful, glorious, blissful atmosphere, where God’s presence is back on earth again, as it was before the fall of Adam. Therefore this message is not just to tear up your streets of gold, and pull down your ivory palaces; it should help you better understand what God’s plan of redemption is moving toward. It does tell us that the twelve gates were twelve pearls, but let us try to get a better look at what those gates are significant of: being called pearls. There are two types of pearl. One is called “Mother of Pearl,” and it’s existence is brought about in a completely different way than the jewel pearl. A jewel pearl is formed from a grain of sand inside of an oyster shell. As that grain of sand causes the body of the oyster to become inflamed; it begins to secrete a mucus-like fluid that gels around that grain of sand, to prevent it from going any deeper into it’s body. The oyster keeps supplying that, until over a period of time a pearl is formed around that little grain of sand. These are beautiful; but I am sure that the gates of pearl we are reading about are not pearls that have been formed inside the shell of an oyster. These are surely mother of pearl; because mother of pearl was used in ancient times, for the beautification of important buildings. You see a lot of it in Israel. They cut it into little squares and use it like ceramics, and it is beautiful. This kind of pearl is solid, and I believe it fits into what we are reading about here in Revelation 21:21. These gates were of solid pearl. Really, as we read this 21st chapter, we are finding a unique description of what is called a city. It has a wall great and high which has twelve foundations, with the names of the twelve apostles of Jesus in them, Then we see that there are twelve gates, with twelve angels standing by, and the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel written thereon, and the foundations were garnished with all manner of precious stones. Well in ancient times, cities were built with walls for defense purposes, to protect it’s inhabitants from invasion by various forces from without. The foundation of those walls were not even exposed, like these we see here. They were underground, and strictly for the support of the walls built thereon. Therefore this description here is very unique, for the foundations are exposed. Furthermore they have the names of the twelve apostles of Christ written on them, so when we consider the whole thing: we have to realize that anything of these walls that would be named after the twelve apostles, could not be interpreted in a literal, materialistic sense. They never sent one truck load of any kind of earthly building material to heaven, to be added to the foundations of a literal wall. What we must attribute to them, has to be considered in the spiritual realm, and it will be in connection with what they accomplished in preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore the foundations here, has to be in relation to the revelation those apostles had of the plan and purpose of God, and how they first laid that foundation to be built upon, for the next two thousand years by others that would be called of God, and revelated. The city is foursquare, and the wall measured 144 cubits. Well, when you consider the sum of 144; it is the number 12, squared. So when you look at this city, its wall, and the gates of it, you are looking at something that is to be understood as relative to the salvation of your soul, and your personal relationship with the Lord. It pertains to every redeemed person that will be allowed to dwell inside of it, in the eternal age. In other words, your salvation and experience with God, is all based upon that which was preached by those twelve apostles, and we are built up, a spiritual building, an habitation for the Lord. But as I see it; these numerical measurements given here, are more for the purpose of concealing the truth from natural minds than anything else, for the natural mind will always take this kind of thing to dwell upon. The spiritual reality of what is symbolized is not even important to carnal minded people.


CLEAR AS CRYSTAL SPEAKS OF PERFECTION


What we are really looking at, is paradise, as it is restored back to God’s earthly family, and the literal measurements that we see recorded here in these verses, could not come anywhere close to encompassing all that is in the full scope of this great scene. I say that for this reason; paradise, in Genesis, was associated to a geographical area, but it was not a geographical area in itself, for it pertained to the anointing presence of the great Creator. Therefore I say to you; whatever Eden was in it’s original beginning, if sin had not entered in, would have been worldwide today. But because it did not reach that worldwide scope, it is hard for man to understand the language of the word of God that symbolically shows us what God is moving us toward. No matter how you look at a cube, you are looking at something that is perfect. In other words, if it were not perfect, it would not be a cube. As I said earlier, If you add to or take anything from a cube, you no longer have a cube, so when God gets through with this spiritual building, it is going to be that perfect. No matter what side of a cube you look at, you see exactly the same thing, so God just let this be worded like this, to scramble up theological minds and drive them crazy. They get completely taken up in technicality of why this? why that? and why would God do so and so?; that they miss the whole truth of what is really projected. They take this spiritual city, and try to make a literal city out of it. But saints, in this city, you do not need a roof over your head, nor air conditioning to keep you cool in the summertime. God displays Himself in this beautiful environment so that His redeemed family can live and walk in this beautiful atmosphere throughout eternity. Talking about the city, verse 16 says, “And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.” That lets us know that it is cubed, and it is no accident that this sort of terminology is used here, for you cannot change one thing about a cube , and still have a cube. So it speaks of the fact that every revelation of the scriptures is understood according to the perfect plan of God. Every scripture fits right into its place, and nothing can be changed. God’s plan is perfected. “And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.” In that wall is represented two sets of twelve’s. Twelve apostles in the foundation, and twelve gates with the names of the tribes of Israel, but you do not say twelve plus twelve, for the revelation of God’s perfection is in twelve times twelve, which makes a perfect cube. So we are going to see what all of this adds up to here in a minute, for both the gates and the foundations are relative to the wall. “And the building of the wall of it (this speaks of the substance of what the wall was composed of) was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” First we take note of the fact that this jasper, in its substance identity, does not even have a color to it. Let us go back to verse 11, where John saw this beautiful city coming down from God out of heaven. It says, “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, (In other words, like the reflection of it) even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” That lets us know that even though jasper stones, as we know them today, are of a variety of colors, much emphasis was laid upon the fact that this one was clear as crystal. That speaks of something in its most refined, purified state of being. But the point we want to emphasize is the fact that something that clear would cause no obstruction to the sense of sight. You can see through it, but it reflects something, and in this case, what is reflected is the glory of God. You all know what happens when you set a piece of fine crystal out here in the sun. As the sun strikes it, you see a most beautiful sight. It sparkles just like a diamond. But the emphasis is upon the clearness, and the reflection. The wall was of jasper, and the city was pure gold, but each substance mentioned is as clear as glass. It makes you wonder where people ever got their ivory palaces, and their brass door knobs, from the description we see here. Tell me, where do people get such ideas? It certainly does not come out of the Bible. Brothers and sisters, we are exploring a city you can see through; every bit of it is of clear substance. The only thing about any of this, that speaks of any color whatsoever, is the precious stones the foundations of the wall are garnished with, and that has to be because the stones, in their particular identity, are characteristic of the life of the apostle they each represent. It has to do with the revelation they each cherished in their hearts, and how they toiled through the heat of the battles and pressures that were put upon them, to preserve that revelation, in order that others might be able to build upon their experience and teaching. If you would study up on the origin of these particular stones, you would find that they come from different parts of this old earth, and that they were formed in ancient times by tremendous heat and pressure, and they are not found just everywhere you might go; they are only in certain places. The Creator designed it that way. Whether we realize it or not, everything fits into a purpose of the Creator.


WHERE FAITH COMES FROM


Now saints, do not think for even a minute that this city we are reading about is made of any gold that is associated to this planet earth. The gold taken from this planet is not clear as glass. I have a little watch here, and certain parts of it have been washed in gold; but I want you to know, it is not gold that is clear like glass. Earthly gold can only be made so pure; and it is never that pure. It is never so pure that you can see through it. This gold that is so clear you can see through, speaks of the faith and the revelation of the saints of God. Let me try to help you see that. In our fallen state, we have nothing with which to approach God with. There can only be something in us, crying out, until such a time as the Creator see fits to impart to us something that we can approach Him with; and that is not something tangible, that can be measured with earthly instruments; it is that measure of faith that only God can measure. It is referred to in the Bible as grace. Just for an example of human nature in its fallen state, take an old drunk that has spent a fortune, neglected his family, and actually made himself a bum. Many times when he is sober, he will say, “Never again”. But when Saturday night comes, it is the same thing all over again; he has no power over the stuff. Well it is the same in other areas of life. You can get so miserable you wish to goodness you could change your situation; but inside of you there is something that just keeps driving you on down the road of life. You can turn over a new leaf, and try your very best; but until the grace of God touches your life, you just keep right on stumbling along, wishing things were better. Then one day the hand of God reaches down and imparts that measure of grace. Hallelujah! From then on things begin to change. You cannot see what He has imparted to you; but you know there is something inside of you that is making a difference. It is a gift from God, and it is called grace (unmerited favor). You may be a millionaire; but this imparted grace is worth more to you than all the money in the world. Why? Because it can give to you something that money cannot buy, peace of mind, and peace with God. It can change you from what you once were, to what you want to be. Yes, it is gold; but not the kind you can lock up in a steel vault and boast about. This gold comes from the realm of deity, and cannot be handled with our hands. That is why there is no color to it. Faith is what we are talking about; and grace is how we get it. You have probably heard people say, Oh I have all kinds of faith; but that is not right. Faith is not something we store up, and brag about having it; but it is something we live by, and it does return dividends, when we invest it wisely. Our faith should keep increasing; but it should never make us boastful, for it is all a gift from our Creator, and we merited none of it.


SPIRITUAL GOLD


I just have to praise God every time I think of how He has dealt with my life. When I was growing up I would read these last two chapters of Revelation, and could not see anything other than a literal city. That is what you see with you natural eyes; but when a revelation comes, it makes that faith have a far greater meaning to you. It lets you know where you are going and what you are looking for. So this gold is the most precious possession we can have. It was James that said, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” We all need patience; but most of the time we do not like to look at it this way. We like to look at our trials and tests as problems. Well they are problems; but they are temporary. These problems are not going to last through your whole lifetime. God allows problems and tests; because in them, He can school us, so that our faith is not based upon someone’s little church program. Praise God! We see things today that we did not see twenty years ago, things that we have by faith. I just have to cherish it as something valuable, knowing the source from whence it came. Some things we learn by the Spirit revealing them to us, but other things are learned as we come through a hard trial; and anything we learn like that, always serves to make us more determined to walk with God. In his first epistle; Peter spoke of how the trial of our faith is much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried by fire. Well what did the Lord say to the Laodicean Church, which also applies to the Laodicean age? “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich.” We all know good and well that this is not talking about materialistic gold. He is talking about true revelated faith, something that will stand the test, anchor your soul, and establish you in a true relationship with God. Yes this gold only has spiritual significance; but it is of greater value to us than anything else in the world. That is why this city of gold reflects so beautifully; it is all of spiritual value, imparted to us by the one who is the giver of all good gifts, the Creator. The scripture says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: (God) for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Therefore any way you look at it, faith that lays hold of the word of God, is the most precious thing there is, and that is why it is referred to as gold.

THE URIM AND THUMMIN


Alright, we have a city of gold and a great wall about it, and that wall has twelve foundations, in which are the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. My, my, if we could just read the autobiographies of those twelve men. They were locked up in prison, stoned, beat and ridiculed, all because of the revelation they carried in their bosom. Maybe some were even burned at the stake; but do you think any of that could change the revelation they had? Of course not. If they had compromised, we would not have the gospel message today. No wonder their names are in the foundations of the wall of that beautiful city. The whole thing is built upon the revelation they stood for. Paul wrote to Timothy, That ye may know how to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. The Church of the living God has never been a denomination. There was a time when the Spirit of God worked in those systems; but you have to go all the way back to the beginning of the particular systems in order to find when the Spirit of God worked in them. You will not find Him in any of them today. God will always be found where His word is; and for the Church, it was the word those apostles preached. No wonder their lives are represented by those beautiful stones. When you go back into the Old Testament and see how God worked through twelve beautiful stones, set in the breastplate of the priest, to confirm truth, and give judgment, you will better understand why they are so significant here in the foundations of this wall. When any problem came up, or anything the priest had to be confronted with, they conferred with the Urim and Thummin, which was the breastplate he wore. The Spirit of God would cause light to strike those stones, to vindicate truth. Well if the Urim and Thummin was important to them in those days: I believe this is the Urim and Thummin of the word of God in His total revelation and plan of salvation. Brother: When the Spirit of God strikes these and they all reflect at once, you can rest assured God puts His approval upon that. These things are not here just to take up space in the Bible; they all speak of something beautiful. It has always been the responsibility of apostles to hold a line on the word of God.


GATES OF PEARL


Let us look now at the twelve gates of this city. Verse 21 says, “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate (each gate) was of one pearl.” Now saints: If this is a spiritual city, (and we know that it is) we have to ask ourselves: just what do those gates represent? We know they represent something pertaining to the twelve tribes of Israel; but what? Well I will try to explain it, so follow my thought: so you can catch the whole picture. We have already said that the city itself is that glory and presence of the eternal Spirit, descending out of heaven with all the immortal saints of the ages, coming back to earth for the beginning of the eternal age. God will once again dwell fully in His true people. He cannot have two brides; for that is polygamy, and even though we read of a lot of polygamous marriages in the Bible; God is against such a practice. His pattern was one man and woman, becoming one flesh, just like He started them out in the garden of Eden. So according to verses 9-11, this is the bride, the Lamb’s wife, descending with the glory and presence of God. The Bible teaches that Jesus will rule and reign for a thousand years, with His bride, in a rule of righteousness, before this scene here in chapter 21 becomes a fulfilled reality. Who is the bride? It is people that have been redeemed through the ages of time, and have overcome the enemy of their souls. What will they do in the Millennium? They will rule with Christ, over all nations, with power and authority. Remember, the Millennium is not yet the perfect age. Therefore we will be in a capacity for one thousand years, that we will not be in, in the eternal age. In the Millennium we will have power and authority, to bring all things under subjection, that we will not have in the eternal age. Our authority to rule will terminate when the kingdom is handed back over to the Father, as Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 15:24-25. The earth and all things therein will then be fully redeemed, and the Creator will then dwell fully, once again, back in His creation. That is how it started, and that is how it will end up, when redemption in finally completed. So as I have already said, This is paradise coming back to earth again. God had to show John something in order for him to be able to write what he saw; but only those that are anointed to do so, will ever be able to understand what he wrote, for the natural mind will always literalize everything. In chapter 19 we are seen descending from heaven with Christ, on white horses, to complete Armageddon, and set up the millennial reign. But saints: Listen to me, when Armageddon is over with, and everything is fully subdued, you will not have to hand that horse over to anyone and tell them to go feed it, for that horse is only a symbol of power and authority that we will have, to rule with Christ here on earth. Do you understand that? We have to be able to see these things as spiritual realities, rather than natural things, so with that in mind, let us explore these gates of pearl. When Moses was taken up on Mt. Sinai, and instructed to build the tabernacle, his own testimony was that the Lord had cautioned him to build it, or design it, after the pattern of the heavenly. That tells me that God let Moses see something. He saw God’s blueprint, which was none other than this city described here in Revelation 21 & 22. This was the city Abraham looked for, an eternal city, not made with man’s hands. Well if we are looking at a city, that was not made by the hands of men, it just stands to reason that it would have to be a city of spiritual qualities. So what are the gates significant of? They are significant of the Old Testament law, that was given to the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, through which we find this great plan to salvation laid out, in types and shadows. A gate is something you enter through, right? You do not climb over a gate; you enter through it. Therefore what this actually speaks of, is the fact that this great plan of salvation was revealed to mankind, for its future application, through the law of Moses, in types and shadows. As I said earlier, walls are never constructed without first deciding where the gates will be located. The gates will always be set at strategic points for the most advantage in entry. God did not make this plan of salvation hard for us to enter into, but we do have to enter into it through His provided way, and that way was first revealed through those various types and shadows set forth in the law given to the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. They had that law for 1400 years before God manifested what those types and shadows were pointing to. Now some will ask, “does that mean that all the Old Testament Jewish saints are in the bride?” No. Not at all. But you must remember; that when the time came for the covenant to be changed from law to grace, it was Jews who first entered in. In other words, the first race of people to ever enter into this city, this spiritual habitation, was Jews. Did not the apostle Paul say that the gospel was first to the Jew, and then to the Gentiles? Even though God ordained that eventually Gentiles would make up the major part of the body of the bride, the Jews were the first to partake of this glorious salvation. Now in the homeland, at the time when the gospel first went forth, were represented mainly the two Southern tribes of the children of Israel, so what about the other ten tribes? We know according to the scriptures, that they will never be back there, to be dealt with by the Spirit of God, until the last days, so does that exclude them from having any part in the body of Christ? Absolutely not. When Paul and the other apostles went into other nations, preaching the gospel, who do you think were the first to hear them? Those Jews of the other ten tribes, which were scattered in dispersion, were the first ones they preached to. The apostle Thomas went all the way into India preaching the gospel. That is where he was killed; there in one of the strong holds of the Hindu religion. Yes, they always sought out the Jewish element of people to preach to first, wherever they went preaching the gospel. There was a dual purpose in that, of course. Not only were the Jews to be the first to hear the gospel preached, but from among them, God would always raise up someone to interpret the apostle’s message to the Gentile element in every place. They could preach to the Jewish element in their mother tongue, but when they preached to the Gentiles, the message had to be heard in their native language, whatever it happened to be, so that gave them a twofold purpose in preaching to the Jews of each area first. But the point is, there will be Jews from all twelve tribes, in the bride of Christ, which will be represented in the total makeup of this city we are exploring. God knew where they were, and what it required to reach them, and therefore the gospel message reached all that were foreordained to hear it, in that first age of Christiandom. The epistle of Paul to the Hebrews, was an epistle written to the Jewish Christians in dispersion, for the term Hebrew, means stranger-or foreigner. When Abraham first went into the land of Canaan, the Canaanites called him a Hebrew, because he was a foreigner, and that is what those Jews in dispersion were to the native people of these various areas. Well what we are saying is that Jews were the first to enter into this spiritual habitation called a city, through these twelve gates of pearl, and Gentiles came in later, and through the ages since, this spiritual city has taken on some huge dimensions, but none can be measured by the means of natural mankind. Now the gospel will once again be presented to the Jews, when the two prophets of Revelation, chapter 11, come upon the scene, but that will not be for the purpose of adding another bunch of them to the bride of Christ, for the total element will be in heaven with Jesus the Bridegroom, before they all hear the gospel. Therefore we need to understand that God is gathering another element of Jewish people to be dealt with strictly upon a different basis. As an indirect result of their preaching, or prophesying, there will be a great multitude of martyrs come out of the great tribulation, having washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. These are seen in the last half of Revelation, chapter 7, worshipping and giving glory to God, and they will reign with Christ in the Millennium, along with the bride, but they themselves are not a part of the bride. Now those types and shadows were all right there in the law of Moses, pointing to the one who would one day come upon the scene in Israel to perfect God’s plan of salvation, but none of them actually gave any clear promise to the Gentiles. Only what God spoke to Abraham, saying, In thee and thy seed, shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, actually gave a definite promise to the Gentiles, and who then knew what that meant? Hallelujah! I am glad and thankful to be among those that are so blessed, for except for the grace and mercy of God: I could be on my way to hell, with this great multitude of degenerates we see out here in the world about us.


STREET OF GOLD–SEA OF GLASS


Alright now, as long as we are in chapter 21, we are only looking at this city from an external viewpoint; we have not yet seen the inside. Chapter 22 is what takes us inside, where we see the internal description of this beautiful city, which is none other than paradise, back on earth again. Verse 21 of chapter 21, speaks of the street (singular) of that city, being pure gold, like transparent glass, but chapter 22 is what begins to give a description of it, form an internal viewpoint. As for the street, singular, of it: we know that a literal city of these dimensions has many streets, so there has to be a reason why this one street stands out, a street that is pure gold, and is as transparent glass. What does such a description add up to? We know that literal gold, no matter how much it is refined, never appears like that, so we have to look beyond the natural for our answer. In chapter 15, a sea of glass is seen in heaven, and standing upon it, are those that have gotten the victory over the beast. (When? In that dark tribulation hour.) And over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name. In other words, That is the martyrs of chapter 7 that have been killed because of their faith in God, during the reign of the beast in the 3 1/2 years of great tribulation. What they are standing upon, speaks of the faith they had, that made them willing to die, rather than deny their God. Yes there is going to be a great multitude of both Jews and Gentile foolish virgins, that will be faced with martyrdom in that hour, and all they will have to stand upon will be their faith in God. Verse 3 says, “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.” That speaks of two elements of people, the Jewish saints will sing the song of Moses, and the Gentile foolish virgins will sing the song of the Lamb. Now as to what they are standing on, just consider this; glass is a substance made from sand, and sand is an element of the earth that has to be put in the fire, and be melted down before it can be turned into clear glass. So this sea of glass, speaks of something that has been through the fire, and been purified, and when you consider our faith, that is exactly the case. It is made pure by the fires of persecution, and by the various trials and tests of life itself. But the key as to the identity of these who stood upon this sea of glass, is what they had gotten the victory over, and when we know what they had gotten the victory over, we can better understand what the sea of glass they are standing on represents. So we will say this, The sea of glass is figurative, and temporary, for when God resurrects them, the sea of glass will pass out of existence. It will no longer be needed.


SPIRITUAL HOUSE FORESHADOWED


In the 16th chapter of Revelation 21, the city was measured and found to be of equal length, breadth, and height, so let us go to Ephesians 3:14-19, and see how the apostle Paul used that same terminology. “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That He would grant you, accordingly to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (watch this 18th verse now.) May be able to comprehend with all saints (to comprehend is to understand) what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Paul is speaking of a faith and love that measures in all directions, and that is able to comprehend all things. A person who truly loves God cannot help but come out knowing more than he did, when he started out, but the true love of Christ in our hearts, far surpasses all the knowledge in the world. When you hear a lot of people talk, you know that everything they are saying is coming right out of the top of their head, and that kind of knowledge is not worth two cents, spiritually. That kind of knowledge possesses very little of the love of Christ. Yet carnal people use that head knowledge to try to make everyone else look like a bunch of idiots. Brothers and sisters: I thank God for a revelation and for a love that runs deeper than just this outer shell. That kind of love will not cast precious pearls before the swine of this world. Jesus never spent time messing around with know-it-all types of characters that just wanted to make a show of what they knew. But the point is, Paul used terminology like this to speak of our growth in Christ. Alright now, I mentioned the epistle to the Hebrew Christians. Some scholars dispute about Paul being the author of that epistle, but I have no doubt whatsoever that Paul was the author of it, for I see Paul all through it. Furthermore he was not excluding the Gentile Christians in any way, but the things he had upon his heart to write about, were mostly things that only Jewish people would understand back then, when Gentiles were fresh out of paganism, and would not have known anything at all about types and shadows and ordinances of the law of Moses. Only Jews would relate to terminology such as this, “God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (what Gentile would have been familiar with that terminology?) Hath in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things.” Gentiles at that time, might not have even used the term, fathers, in referring to their elders, and certainly they were not familiar with the law of Moses, and the writings of the prophets. So now, let us go to chapter 3 in Hebrews, and let us pay attention to the references pertaining to a house. “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (He is bringing out the Jewish side of this.) Who was faithful in all his house.” What kind of house was that? Well, you go back to Exodus, Numbers, and Leviticus and you will see it there. But remember, as Moses came off the Mount, his testimony was that God had told him, See that thou build it after the pattern of the heavenlies. That is why I said, Moses saw something while he was up there. God had to let him see the blueprint for the true church, the bride of Jesus Christ. So pointing to Jesus, Paul continues, saying, “For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath built the house hath more honor than the house. For every house is built by some man; be He that built all things is God.” Here Paul is pointing to the fact that there is another house, which was foreshadowed in the law, by a house built by man. But the house it foreshadowed, is a house built by God Himself. Moses built the tabernacle in the wilderness, which foreshadowed the house we are reading of, in the 21st chapter of Revelation. Verse 5, “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; (meaning, coming on later) But Christ as a son over His own house; whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” Praise the Lord! Saints, this is why we are looking at this city from it external description; what we are seeing is a preview of the anointing presence and glory of God, as He has chosen to display Himself, when He comes upon the bride Church people for the eternal age. Actually though, inside, it is the same paradise that Adam and Eve were in. It is just that, as the centuries of time have come and gone, God has let it take on the image, or description, of a city, instead of a garden. But we must keep in mind above everything, that we are not dealing with a materialistic, tangible substance; for when you have an immortal body, you no longer need literal walls, air conditioning, umbrellas nor stoves. We will have no use for any of these things in that eternal age. People have talked about living in a mansion, and living next door to Jesus, and all such things as that; all because of what Jesus said in John 14, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” Almost every denominational church type funeral will have that scripture included in it. But the truth of the matter is; we are the mansions of the house of God, for He dwells in us. Different translations of the Bible have different wording of those verses, but the important thing is to be in God, and have Him is us. We rest in Him.

THE TRUE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH


There is yet one more point of language application that we want to look at here in the book of Hebrews, so let us turn to chapter 8, verses 1-6. We get the similarity of the language used here. “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: ( He is going to sum up what he has been dealing with in prior chapters.) We have such an high priest; who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Well, if the Lord pitched it; what did He pitch it for? It was so He Himself can dwell in it. Therefore we must realize that God is not coming to earth to dwell in a natural building. He does not need a natural building; and neither will you. Therefore our purpose now is to understand what paradise really is. Is it another glob of earth with more trees, flowers, and such like? Mankind has been searching for paradise, for the tree of life, and the fountain of youth, ever since Adam and Eve were driven from the garden of Eden; but what they do not know: is that God is every bit of what they have been searching for. It is hard for a carnal mind to visualize God as being all of that. Verse 3, “For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man (Jesus) have somewhat also to offer. For if he (Jesus) were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when He was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith He, (God) that thou make all things according to the pattern showed thee in the mount.” Brother, Moses was up there with God for 40 days and nights, while that great display of His power so terrified the children of Israel at the foot of the mountain, that they turned their backs to the mountain and said, Let Him speak to Moses. Not even an animal could come close to the mountain without being stoned. God made the old mountain a holy place while He was revealing Himself to Moses. God just kept moving from scene to scene, instructing Moses specifically, on how to set certain things pertaining to the tabernacle, and the ordinances the congregation was to observe. Those Jews came on the scene, lived their lives, and died, for centuries, fulfilling all those ordinances, without ever really knowing what they pointed to. We, here at the end time, are able to look back and know that they pointed to what God was going to do through His only begotten Son Jesus, the Christ. Jesus was the fulfillment of what every one of those sacrifices in the law pointed to. So verse 6 says this, “But now hath He (Jesus) obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” Of course we all know that the covenant, was a covenant wherein He would give eternal life to mankind, and that eternal life was actually God giving a gift of Himself to that of the believer. As we have said already, God is a spirit; and it is a measure of that Spirit which He is, that he imparts to every true believer, through His only begotten Son Jesus, the Christ.


GOD HIMSELF IS LIGHT


Having made these points from the writings of the apostle Paul, let us now go back to the 21st chapter of Revelation and pick up where we left off. “The street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” That is how John saw it. Now in verse 22 he says, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” We know that the word temple, in our earthly usage, is always related to a particular kind of building, constructed for the sole purpose of man meeting God therein. This is where man goes, to approach God, and worship Him. That is why, under the law, King Solomon was instructed to build that beautiful temple, and told exactly how to build it, and what a magnificent building it was. But we realize today that this natural building, with all its splendor, was only a type of the true temple of God, that you and I are. That is why Jesus said to His disciples, (when they said, Look at the beautiful building), Tear it down and I will raise it up again in three days. He was speaking of the temple of His body; but they did not know that, then. In a natural temple, there is a cornerstone; we have already talked about that. But in God’s spiritual temple, Jesus Christ is the architect, the administrator, the high priest and also the chief cornerstone. This building starts with Him, and it has to end with Him. We cannot say that there is going to be a certain place inside this building, where the presence of God will be manifested, because the whole thing is the presence of God, as He has come down to earth to dwell with His redeemed creation. Notice this next verse now, but do not let it confuse you. “And the city had no need of the sun, (That is true, because the whole thing is light. Do you understand what we mean by that? God Himself is light, and He can either illuminate your pathway, or completely blind you, which ever suits His purpose. I will never forget the time when I received the Holy Ghost: When I got up, all the lights in that building looked like one gigantic light, and everything was so light to me, it seemed that if I opened my eyes wide, I would be completely blinded by that great light. Therefore God Himself being light, this city has no need of any other light, so we will continue reading the verse.) neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Now saints, there is no contradiction here; we just have to let some other scriptures reveal to us what is meant here. Jesus, the anointed One, that took our place at Calvary, was crucified, buried, then arose from the dead, and has been high priest ever since, will come back to earth with His bride saints, and rule as King, with all authority, for one thousand years. But when that is over, and redemption is completed, and the earth has been cleansed of that stain of sin: and all the wicked dead have been resurrected and cast alive into the lake of fire, and there is no more trace of sin: the whole redeemed kingdom will then be delivered back up to the great eternal Spirit, the Father of all creation, and He will then come back fully into His creation. That begins eternity, and that is when this city will be a reality. Not naturally; but spiritually. It just simply points to the fact that the great eternal Spirit is back on earth, fully dwelling in His redeemed family, as He did in the beginning. But it says here that the Lamb is Jesus, the Christ, referred to in Paul’s writings, as the firstborn, and the first begotten from the dead. Therefore let us realize that if He is the first begotten from the dead: He is the beginning of the redeemed family of God, and brother: in ancient times, the law of God declared that the elder son stood in line to inherit the father’s birthright. Therefore it was to him many times, that the younger children had to look for whatever they might benefit from the father’s inheritance. Of course we realize that many of those firstborn sons forfeited their birthright, but Jesus is one firstborn son that did not forfeit it, and because He did not, we are going to know Him in eternity as our elder brother. No longer will He be Prophet, no longer will He be Priest, nor King; but we are going to see Him strictly as the elder brother that loved us enough to take our place at Calvary. Every time we see Him, we will be reminded of the fact that He shared the Father’s inheritance with us. Hallelujah! There will be no selfishness, nor jealousy. All of the redeemed children of God are going to be so grateful that they will gladly give Him that recognition as head of the family, even though we are all equal, then. Every redeemed soul will know his or her relationship to the Creator. There will be no one elbowing, trying to get ahead of anyone else. All of that kind of stuff is attributes of the devil, and he will be completely out of the picture, then. Now as we consider the great host of angels that have been loyal to the Creator; we realize that some like Gabriel and Michael have been greater than the others, so do you not think it will be the same way in the family of the redeemed? Some will be greater in the quality of what they are, as a person; but they are not going to be lording it over one another. Each individual will know within his capacity, how to conduct himself, or herself, as the case may be.


WATER IS A FILTER


There is another point I want to make here in connection with what verse 23 says, about there being no need for the light of the sun or moon in that new city. It just reminds me of a verse in the 30th chapter of Isaiah, but before we read it, let us go back and read Revelation 21, verse 1, which says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Now it says that there is no more sea; but you believe me: there is still going to be just as much water as there has ever been; it will just be as it is today. So now let us look at Isaiah 30:26, which says, “Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of His people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.” Brother when the sun comes out seven times brighter than before: you had better have something between you and it, to serve as a filter, or you will burn to death. That is why I say, God will take the water from those huge oceans and seas and put it right back out there in space, where it was before the flood of Noah’s day, and it will once again serve as a filter between the sun and the earth. Now in order for the sun to be that bright, the earth would have to be brought back closer to it, and that is exactly what will happen. Instead of it taking 365 1/4 days for the earth to go around the sun, like it does now; it will be brought back, to a perfect circle of 360 degrees or days, as it was before the flood, and that extra water that we have had here ever since then, will once again be back, serving its original purpose. Well when you get the sun shining 7 times brighter than before, and on the night side, the moon shining as bright as the sun: there will be no more night. There will be no night on the planet earth. I doubt if there will be much sleeping going on then; but we will leave that to eternity, and get back to the 21st chapter of Revelation, and continue on.


WHAT FOLLOWS THE MILLENNIUM?


As we continue looking at this city of gold, verse 24 says, “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.” Now who are these people, and where do they come from? This is absolutely the natural people that have come through the Millennium period. In Matthew 25, we see Jesus separating two elements of people that have survived the great tribulation. One group is ushered into the Millennium, and the other group is reserved for the lake of fire. Those who are spared will be people from every nation, that will repopulate the earth during that thousand year reign of Christ and His bride on earth. This of course, is what Zechariah 14:16 is pointing to, for it says, “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, (The King is Jesus) the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” This then, lets us see that there will be people from all nations that are spared, and they will have children born unto them, and from that vast number, a large element of them will pass right on into eternity. Now since I have led into this, let me say a little more about these natural people that are spared, and ushered into the Millennium. The Creator never goes contrary to His word, nor His purpose; therefore He sees that there is a remnant saved from all nations, that is, left alive, saved from destruction. These are the ones Jesus and His bride saints are going to rule over for one thousand years; them and their offspring, as it says in Revelation 19:15, with a rod of iron. Satan will be bound, during that time, and will not be around to instigate trouble, but you have to realize that these mortal people still have that old Adamic nature, (fallen nature) and therefore have to be ruled over with a rod of iron until that old nature is brought under control. Isaiah 65 tells us that longevity of life will be restored then, so a person born at the beginning could still be living a thousand years later. God would be unjust to allow those people to pass into eternity, having never been tested by evil, so that is why Revelation 20:7-15 tells us that Satan will be loosed out of his prison, and allowed to go out and deceive as many of those mortal subjects as he can. Now Bro. Jackson: Do you really mean that the devil is going to deceive some of them? Absolutely. The Bible tells us that the number he deceives, is as the sand of the sea. You must remember; they have only known what it was to live under a righteous rule. They have never had a spirit coming to them in the wee hours of the night, giving them thoughts that were completely contrary to the will of God. Therefore when the devil does get his chance at them, a great multitude are deceived, and gathered into a great army to battle against the true saints of God. What is Satan’s motive? He wants to get back in control of this planet. It says in chapter 20 that his great army compassed the camp of the saints, and the beloved city which is natural Jerusalem, where Jesus has ruled as King for a thousand years. God will let him (Satan) gather an army, God will let him have a motive, and He will let all of those deceived ones have a motive with him: to get control of the planet, but then notice what it says in verse 9. Once they are all in position, as though to take over headquarters, fire drops out of heaven and devours them. The whole deceived mass is consumed with a supernatural display of fire from God, and the devil is then cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and the false prophet already are. When it gets to that point; God does not play around with them. What is left of the mortal people after that, will be those who were tested by Satan, but were not deceived. Their names will be in the book of life, and they will pass on into eternity with Christ and the immortal saints. But before the eternal age begins; the great white throne judgment has to be set up. This will be the last time Christ will sit on any kind of throne, for when this is completed, all things are then delivered back to the Father, according to the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, and we are in eternity, and Jesus is known as our elder brother. But this great white throne judgment is what we see described in the 7th chapter of Daniel. He saw the judgment set up, the books opened, the wicked destroyed, and the kingdom given to the saints of the Most High, just like we see here in the 20th chapter of Revelation. Let us read a few verses from Revelation 20, starting with verse 11. “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Brother that is going to rid this old planet of all traces of sin. No evil or corrupt thing will be left in it. Only the righteous saints of all ages will remain. One thing you might take note of, in those verses we just read, is the fact that no dead were given up by space. The sea, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; but none came from space. I do not know how all of this is going to work out, if they keep pushing this space program; but I do know this book (the Bible) has to carry through exactly right, regardless of what man thinks. I was just thinking about that space ship Challenger that blew up. If it had blown up just a little later, it would have been out of earth’s gravity pull, and those bodies would have been sprinkled around out there in space. But as it is, they are back on earth, lying out there in a grave of water, awaiting their time to be resurrected.

INSIDE THE CITY OF GOLD


Well saints, I told you when we started this message that it would lead off into many different directions before we finished it, so I imagine you can see by now what I meant. I felt like we should try to give it full coverage though, while we were on it. The city we are looking at is only for the redeemed, so that leaves a lot of people to be accounted for, that have lived on this old planet in the centuries since Adam’s fall. But the great white throne judgment takes care of all of them; therefore let us get back to verse 25, in the 21st chapter of Revelation, and complete the message. “And the gates of it (the city) shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.” Now these nations of people are those mortals that lived on earth during the Millennium, whose names were found written in the book of like. Let us go back and read verse 24. “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.” There is a place for those nations of people that were saved from destruction, and they are going to dwell right here on this planet in the eternal age. They are not bride saints; they are going to be subject nations. They will be more like servant type people, even though they have eternal life. They will be the vine dressers and caretakers of the earth. That is the best I can explain it, for the scriptures do not give a detailed account of what their responsibilities will be. Remember though that the gates of this city speak of the entering into, of the plan of salvation. So it says that they shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. Then verse 26, still speaking of the nations, says, “And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. (the city). And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” That brings us to the point where we can go inside the city now. Everything we have seen this far, has been seen from an external viewpoint. We sing the song Inside the gate, Inside the gate, so let us see what it looks like inside the gate. Let us see if there are any ivory palaces, or any brass door knobs. No. You are not going to see any of that; for all of that has come from traditions, and not from the scriptures, because this city is as clear as glass. “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, (Brothers and sisters: Everything in this city is clear. Surely after studying this, our spiritual vision ought to be a little better.) proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Yes, saints, inside this city, God is going to be the central figure, or we will say, the central source of attention. So notice this next verse, as we are looking at that throne position. “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month.” It says, In the midst of the street, so what are we looking at? We are looking at a boulevard. Let me describe it like this, as we enter into this city, we can see somewhere in front of us, such a display of the majesty and glory of God. The way He has manifested His presence: He draws all attention and respect from His creatures. But notice: we enter the city on a divided street, because the river of water of life from the throne of God, comes right down the middle of it. Of course this is all symbolic, but that river of life speaks of the ever flowing presence of the Spirit of God: flowing to the soul of man. It is not a natural river at all. It is not a river that gives life to the natural trees that are growing; it is a river of the eternal presence and moving of the Spirit of God, which is the water of life that Jesus referred to. So as we think of the street here, let us visualize a divided highway, with a body of water as a median, for here: is symbolized how we approach unto, and depart from the presence of God. In other words, it is not just a mingling; all coming up and down on the same pathway. On the road from here to North Carolina, as you approach one city, there is a body of water between the two sides of the highway. You go into the city driving on one side of the body of water, and you leave the city driving on the other side, and this little lake, or whatever it is, is lined with beautiful trees. Just thinking in the natural, I used to think of this setting right here in chapter 22, when I would pass there, for it is just exactly what we have pictured right here in this spiritual setting. Just remember: the street is pure gold, clear as glass, and the river of life as clear as crystal, so if the street is divided: the river is the median that separates the approach and departure to and from the presence of God. Therefore brothers and sisters: that kind of picture is going to take up the major part of what is seen inside this big beautiful city of gold. Alright now, in the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life. In other words, the trees are plural here. It is no longer just the one, that started out in paradise where Adam and Eve were. Here we see rows of them, and they are not standing on each side of the street; they are on each side of the river. “On either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month.” Notice here, it is in the female gender. In the original paradise, there was one tree, by which, if man had not sinned, every son and daughter of God would have been born off of the life of that tree. Then as they multiplied themselves in relationship to that tree, it would have become many trees; because the fruit of it is all figurative of the offspring of the law of it. But because of sin, Adam and Eve were driven from paradise, and the tree of life, until Jesus Christ came, who was the righteous branch grafted in. Hallelujah! This was not a fruit born by natural process, off of that tree. So we see here that the tree of life is still in paradise, but in plurality, and in the feminine gender. There it was masculine; but here, it is feminine, because it is to signify, or point to the Church, the family of God which is now positioned in relationship to God, and His plan. If you can understand the spiritual language, the leaves are figurative of the nature and attributes of God, when He dwells in His creation, in the fullness of His substance. The fruit then, is not something that is to go on and bear offspring. It is speaking of the nature that the redeemed family manifested in this present life, while still in this natural body of flesh. Now we speak of nine fruits of the Spirit, and this speaks of twelve, but we will not be able to bear the other three until after we take on immortality.


NEW NAME FOR OVERCOMERS


Let us look at two or three more verses, and then we will consider this message finished. Verse 3 says, “And there shall be no more curse: (of course not, for redemption has ended the curse.) but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; (the city) and His servants shall serve Him: (servants here, speaks of the nations that have been preserved out of the Millennium and brought over.) And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” Some will ask, What does that mean? There would be one of two things that it means. Either it is a word that means, every true, redeemed child of God, that has been fully restored to that full relationship to the great eternal Spirit; now understands fully what God is to them, or it means that the redeemed people of God, who are no longer subject to sin: that has separated them from their Creator, are now lifted up in full relationship to Him, and He can now fellowship with them as He did in the beginning, with Adam and Eve. It has something to do with the way God will manifest Himself to His fully redeemed and restored family, but to try to pin it down exactly would be going a little too far. After Jacob wrestled with the Lord all night, he said, I have seen the Lord face to face. But we know it was really an angel that he wrestled with, so we just have to leave room for this figurative language, and know for sure that if we are true children of God, we will understand all we are supposed to, when the time comes. So, “They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” It was said to those of the Philadelphia age, concerning the overcomers, I will write upon him my new name. Well it says more than just that. Chapter 3, verse 12, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and I WILL WRITE UPON HIM THE NAME OF MY GOD, AND THE NAME OF THE CITY OF MY GOD: which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from God; and I will write upon him my new name.” This is a promise to overcomers; but rest assured: you are not going to have that, while you are still walking in mortal flesh. It is only there: that this new name is going to be a reality. “And there shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun.” Why? Because inside this city, they are walking in the presence and glory of the creator Himself, who is light. That is why there will be no night; the Creator has brought paradise back to earth. “For the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” There will be just as many beautiful trees and even more so, as there is now, and there is going to be natural water flowing. There will be fountains, streams, springs and lakes, but there is not going to be large oceans like we have now, for all of that excess water will be restored to its original purpose also, the purpose we have already mentioned. “And he said unto me, “These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show unto His servants the things which must shortly be done.” Brothers and sisters, Five hundred years into the Millennium, we will know a lot of things that we do not know now. Living here, just before the Millennium starts, we can sure see the need for it. How many of you really can see the need for the Millennium? Of course you can. We can see and understand things about it today, that people living 500 years ago could not understand. It was just a fantasy to them; but it is more than that to us; it is a necessity. Therefore if that be true: I say this, by the time we are 500 years inside the Millennium, we will understand the eternal age. Why do I say that? Brothers, this mortal flesh is a handicap, when it comes to understanding spiritual things; but after living in immortality for 500 years, we are going to know and understand things that this old flesh could not now stand to know. Hallelujah! Praise His name. I do pray that this has helped you though, and I believe it has. Amen.

Exploring Eden, Part 1

WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY DEALT WITH THIS SUBJECT IN A MESSAGE TITLED, IN SEARCH OF EDEN, BUT LATELY THERE HAVE BEEN SOME THINGS OPEN UP TO ME THAT HAVE JUST MADE THIS PICTURE SO BEAUTIFUL. THEREFORE TAKING A LITTLE DIFFERENT APPROACH THAN BEFORE, I WANT TO COVER SOME THINGS THAT I BELIEVE WILL BE OF INTEREST TO YOU, AND WE WILL TITLE THIS MESSAGE, EXPLORING EDEN, FOR THAT IS WHAT WE WANT TO DO. WE HAVE COME FROM MANY WALKS OF LIFE, WITH ALL KINDS OF IDEAS ABOUT THE BIBLE, MAINLY AS A RESULT OF WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT BY THOSE RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS IN OUR FORMER YEARS. BUT WE ARE RAPIDLY APPROACHING THE END OF THE AGE, AND IT IS THE PURPOSE OF GOD FOR HIS TRUE CHILDREN TO HAVE A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE SCRIPTURES BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT COMPLETELY, SO LET UP PRAY THAT GOD WILL JUST OPEN OUR UNDERSTANDING AS WE LOOK AT THESE VARIOUS POINTS OF INTEREST IN THIS MESSAGE. WHAT WE WILL BE LOOKING AT WAS NOT EVEN RECORDED UNTIL SOME 1400 YEARS BEFORE THE ADVENT OF CHRIST, AND CERTAIN THINGS WITHIN IT ARE WRITTEN IN FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE THAT IS NOT EVEN RELATED TO NATURAL GEOGRAPHICAL TERMINOLOGY: THEREFORE, IT TAKES THE HOLY SPIRIT TO CLEAR IT UP FOR US. I HAVE BEEN THINKING OF HOW WE ARE SO PRONE TO LOOK AT THE LONG LIFE SPANS OF PEOPLE BEFORE THE FLOOD, AND THINK HOW THEY COULD HAVE COMMUNICATED ORALLY FROM FATHER TO SON, THE TRUE STORY OF THE ACTS AND DEEDS OF MANKIND FROM THE TIME GOD PLACED THE FIRST MAN UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH. WELL NATURALLY THERE CAN BE A CERTAIN PORTION OF TRUTH PASSED ON, IN THAT WAY, BUT THERE IS SOMETHING ELSE TO CONSIDER ALSO. IF MAN, IN SUCH A SHORT SPAN OF TIME AFTER ADAM AND EVE WERE REMOVED FROM THE GARDEN, COULD BEGIN TO LOSE HIS CONTACT WITH THE CREATOR, DO YOU THINK HE WOULD HAVE NECESSARILY REMEMBERED AND APPRECIATED EVERYTHING ELSE THAT WAS COMMITTED TO HIM? ALL EIGHT PEOPLE IN THE ARK KNEW WHY THEY WERE THERE, AND WHEN THEY AGAIN SET FOOT ON DRY GROUND, THEY ALL KNEW THAT IT WAS BY THE GRACE AND MERCY OF GOD, THAT THEY WERE PRIVILEGED TO DO SO, BUT THREE GENERATIONS LATER, THEY WERE GOING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION FROM WHAT GOD STARTED THEM IN. THEREFORE I AM CONVINCED THAT WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT HERE, FOR THE MOST PART ANYWAY, WAS GIVEN TO MOSES BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD. HE BROUGHT THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL OUT OF EGYPT, AND 1450 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST, HE WROTE THE FIRST FIVE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE. GENESIS IS THE FIRST OF THE FIVE, AND IT RECORDS THE HISTORY OF CREATION, THE ORIGIN OF MAN, AND WHAT HAS HAPPENED BECAUSE OF SIN. SOME OF THE TERMINOLOGY PERTAINS TO NATURAL GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS, BUT THERE ARE ALSO PARTS OF IT THAT ARE WRITTEN IN SPIRITUAL TERMS, AND GOD MEANT FOR IT TO BE WRITTEN THAT WAY. WHY? YOU MAY ASK. BECAUSE GOD KNEW THE COURSE MAN WOULD TAKE THROUGH TIME, AND HE WANTED THE TRUTH TO BE CONCEALED FROM THESE INTELLECTUAL MINDS THAT ARE STRICTLY THE PRODUCTS OF WHAT HAPPENED IN THE GARDEN BETWEEN EVE AND THE SERPENT. YOU CANNOT EVEN TALK TO THEM ABOUT THE CREATOR; THEY DO NOT WANT TO HEAR IT. BUT THOSE WHO ARE PREDESTINED SEED OF GOD ARE HUNGERING FOR TRUTH, AND IT IS TO THEM THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS REVEALING THE HIDDEN TRUTHS OF THE SCRIPTURES, SO LET US YIELD OURSELVES TO HIS LEADING, AND ALLOW HIM TO TEACH US FROM THIS BLESSED OLD TIME TESTED BOOK.


THE BEGINNING OF MAN


the rivers of EdenFirst I want to explain, or define, the word of Eden. It is an English word that means, The Beginning of God. Not that God Himself had a beginning but it is the beginning of what God planned. That is why He said, I am the beginning and the end. You have to associate the word beginning, with something that has been created by Him who had no beginning. Then if there is an end, He is the terminator of it. Therefore it is God from beginning to end, regardless of what you are looking at, because He is the great designer of all things. In our modern world of science, if you want to study about prehistoric man, you go to the central parts of Africa, China, and Burma, where they have found traces of what they call that. But if you want to study about mankind today, you go to the Middle East and explore between the Tigris River and the Nile, because our history shows that this is the cradle of our existence. Our beginning had a different setting than what modern man tries to put us into. Our beginning started somewhere in the Middle East, in a place referred to as Eden, or paradise of God. Mankind has always been prone to think of that garden as a place where beautiful trees, flowers, ferns and all such like would grow, so let’s look at it very carefully. Turn to Genesis 2:7 where we will get the first scripture for our thought. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” That means he became conscious of his earthly environment. All five senses were activated; sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; (The garden was the paradise of God.), and there He put the man whom He had formed.” That put something in the process of starting. Eastward has to illustrate to us that God is setting in motion a beginning for His purpose for man, He positions him geographical wise to the earth, in a precise spot where his beginning is going to be related to time. With their modern instruments, men have put the international date line, where Thursday meets Friday, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But I am convinced that this precise geographical area where God placed paradise, and where He placed the man He created, is also the place where east meets west, and north meets south. As far as God is concerned, all directions are determined from that point. That is exactly why in the 16th chapter of the book of Revelation, it refers to the kings of the east; not kings in the Middle East where this was. It is speaking of kingdoms and empires that would be on earth in the ending of time, and it is that area of the world that is completely east of the area of Eden, where He began His Bible setting. Therefore, we associate the kings of the east, as from those areas of East Asia, and all the way into the Orients, which were never even thought of, in the early times of Bible prophecy. So we will need to think of east as a fixed point somewhere in the mind of God, but let us not get too technical with it. The main thing to remember is that man had a beginning, and time is in relationship to this man; for God does not even live in time. Verse 8 says that God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. But let me remind you again, this is Bible language. God did not use hands to plant this garden, for my Bible tells me, (written by the apostle Paul) that Abraham sojourned in a strange land, looking for a city whose founder and builder is God, not made with hands. Therefore if this city Abraham was looking for, the city we read about in the last two chapters of the Bible, was not made with hands, then this garden was not planted with hands either. When we read about this garden, you have to get your eyes off of the ground and off of the trees, and see something else there, or you will not see the garden it is referring to at all. If you can just envision what the garden was, in relationship to the ground, earth wise, this will help you to better understand when I say, Adam and Eve were not driven out of a geographical spot of ground, but were driven from the most cherished thing that could ever be in life, the presence of God. Remember that now, and we will read verse 9. “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is good for food.” Where did these trees come from? They came out of the ground. These trees were not what constitutes the garden, for the same kind of trees were also growing out of the ground everywhere else. This man Adam could not be everywhere. God associated him with a beginning point. So without reading the rest of that verse, I want to go to verse 28, in the first chapter, at this time, and see Adam, long before he was put in a body on earth. Here we see him in his spirit makeup, created in the image of God. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” To replenish, is to fill it up again. That ought to let some of these intellectual atheists know that the earth has been full of something, somewhere in th eon ages past. That proves there was a prehistoric world, but it is in no way associated with our present existence. (We have thoroughly covered that subject in another message.) So God told them, (while they were still only in spirit form, without human bodies) Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Now verse 29, is associated with the part of verse 9 that I did not read, there in chapter 2, so notice what it says. “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed (carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, and all such like from the vegetable family, are your herb bearing seed) which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Naturally the trees were, we will say, the peach, the apple, the fig and date, and such like. Long before he was ever on earth in a physical body of flesh, God was feeding this into his intelligence, so that when He did put him here, he would already know what he needed to know. Then in verse 30, He tells him what has been given unto the animals for their food.

 

 

WHAT IS PARADISE?


Alright, God has Adam and Eve fully instructed, and now He is placing them in a physical body, formed from the dust of the earth, in order that they may be able to carry out the instructions already given them. But keep in mind, the Creator is directing his approach to the whole thing. He is the one that puts the man in a particular spot on the earth. Actually when we think of this paradise of God, it is something that we cannot even describe by any earthly picture. Artists and painters in all ages of time have portrayed what their imagination tells them this paradise might have been like, but I am fully persuaded that none of them have ever actually been able to show it like it really was. It was not trees set in a straight row, nor flowers planted in pots, and grass trimmed a certain way, that made paradise what it was; for paradise is not something you can explore scientifically. Nevertheless man has always pictured it as a beautifully landscaped area, where the trees are so magnificent, the flowers ever blooming, and if there is an animal in the picture, it will usually show a lamb and a lion somewhere close together, and angels in the background, looking through the trees. Well such as environment truly does speak of paradise, as we think of paradise, but what made this environment Adam and Eve was in, paradise? It was the spirit of God, the Creator, who had placed Himself there, to be man’s shelter, his inspiration, his guiding force, his motivation. Without motivation, man does not know which way to go. As we study the New Testament, we are made aware of the fact that God desires to come back inside these vessels of clay. God does not need buildings to dwell in; it is these human houses that He desires to dwell in. He is not affected by cold nor hot; He is everything. Therefore let us try to think of paradise as a place where God has placed Himself in a manifestation of His glory and presence, a place where man starts God’s long awaited plan for the earth. This was a new beginning for the earth. The earth had been populated before, but not with the same species as is found upon the earth today. Its former inhabitants were prehistoric creatures ruled by angels. That is when the angels were tested, and that is when Lucifer exalted himself, and caused God to have to cast him down from his high position as an archangel. But now, let us read verse 9 again, “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food. (Adam knew what every one of those natural trees were for) the tree of life also in the midst of the garden.” Please take note of the fact that nothing at all is said about the tree of life growing out of the ground. That tree, is not a tree that you can examine biologically, nor geographically, for it does not grow out of the ground like those they were given for food. It is not even associated with the earth; therefore it does not exist on the earth’s nutrients, and cannot furnish nutrients to physical man. It is a tree that stands symbolically in the realm of paradise, through which man, in his God sent purpose, was to replenish the earth. The language used there, is a key to help us understand that it is not a natural tree. It was in the MIDST of the garden. A peach tree growing out of the ground will repopulate by producing more of its kind, but this tree of life, that was in the midst of the garden, we would have to say, was a spiritual law, by which man’s reproduction was to be governed. The tree of knowledge of good and evil, was also in the midst of the garden, and likewise was not a tree that was growing out of the ground. Both trees are symbolic in their function. That is why we printed the article, The Two Laws of Eden; for they really are two spiritual laws. When you go to the 2nd chapter of Revelation, you discover that paradise still exists, and that over comers have a promise of partaking of that tree, which still stands in the midst of paradise.


MAN OUTSIDE OF PARADISE


Does it not seem strange that after 4000 years, when God spoke to John on the Isle of Patmos, telling him to write the things he would see, and send it to the seven churches of Asia, Ephesus was the first one of those churches mentioned. Well that is because Ephesus was the one that typed the apostolic age, the beginning of the era of the Church. During this dispensation of grace, typed by those seven churches, God has been calling His lost children to repent, overcome, and partake of that tree of life, which still stands in the paradise of God. Paradise is in the realm of the spirit; it is God’s domain. It is that spirit realm that Adam and Eve were driven from, and in reality it is not a place that is made up of trees and other plant life. The language of the Bible can make it sound like that, but God wants us to know that paradise is in the presence of the living God. Let me ask you this, though. Are we to believe that eating from the tree of life in Revelation 2:7 is exactly the same as it would have been in Genesis 2? No. In Genesis the tree of life was in relationship to God’s perfect plan, for man to repopulate the earth. Had Adam and Eve partaken of that tree, instead of good and evil, they would have repopulated the earth with offspring, which would have had the same Godlikeness and image that Adam had. But since they chose to partake of the other tree, which in reality was the sex act, for pleasure, rather than just for the purpose of bearing offspring into the world, like God had told them to do, they had to suffer the pre-announced consequences, which was to be driven from that presence of their Creator. They were no longer allowed to abide in the presence of that Spirit which is eternal life. That is what God meant in Genesis 2:17 when He said to them, ” In the DAY that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” They did not die physically as soon as they disobeyed God, but they did die spiritually, when God removed them from His presence. Therefore we will have to say, Adam and Eve did multiply and replenish (refill) the earth, but they did it from the wrong tree. Birth is still the result of a sex act between a man and a woman, but because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, there is no eternal life in it. That is the difference between partaking of the tree of knowledge, instead of the tree of life. When they partook of the sex act for pleasure, rather than for God’s original purpose to reproduce themselves, they perverted that beautiful relationship, and God expelled them form His presence, (the garden) which was paradise, and the world has been filled with offspring that came from the tree of knowledge. We are all products of the tree of knowledge. Alright now, did Adam dig up a literal tree, and transplant it outside of a fenced in garden? Is that how you think of those two trees, that were in the midst of the garden where God’s son and daughter were placed? I hope all of you in this assembly know better than that by now. Those two trees were not literal plant life trees at all; it was two spiritual laws whereby Adam and Eve had a choice as to which they would follow. That is why modern man is climbing the limbs of the tree of knowledge right today, wanting to explore space, and all suchlike. Well we have all been made aware of the tragedy that has shaken the world, when those seven people in the space shuttle were blown into oblivion, and that has caused me to do a lot of thinking. It seems that our president, and all those involved in the space program had reached a point where there was no limit as to what they would do next, or try next. It reminds me of what was taking place in the plains of Shinar, when all men were of one mind, and one purpose, and they had set about to build themselves a tower that would reach into heaven. God Himself said that if He did not intervene, nothing would be restrained from them which they had imagined to do. Therefore He came down and confused their language, and scattered them, and that put an end to their great plans. No. I am not saying that we should look at this space program as exactly the same thing, but I will say this: God will just allow the thing to go so far, and then He will surely call a halt to the whole thing. I just thought, as I hear that we have that thing out there, taking pictures of the planet Uranus, to try to find out how many moons it has: they may just as well count the mice in my corn crib, and tell me how many grains of corn they are eating every day. What benefit is that kind of information? Will that feed the poor souls that are starving to death the world over? They could care less about that; their great knowledge has driven them to bounds beyond compassion for such things. It just lets us see how crazy earthly minded people have become, eating from the tree of knowledge.


EATING FROM THE TREE OF LIFE


There is nothing wrong with science, as long as God is allowed to be the administrator of it; but when He is no longer wanted, and no longer needed, recognized, nor appreciated, then I am afraid He will turn all of that technology into heartbreak and sadness. But praise God, there is a people on earth today, who, even in the face of all of this scientific technology, are partaking of the tree of life, as we find in Revelation 2:7. Those who repent, accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and overcome Satan and all of his powers of darkness: are promised that. Jesus Christ was that righteous branch of the tree of eternal life, that Isaiah prophesied about. He was the very fruit of everything that you and I should have been. But we were not, because we were born off the tree of knowledge. Therefore to eat of the tree of life, according to Revelation 2:7, is to have access to what that tree symbolizes in its eternal meaning. It is to have access to the life of God, which, once you receive it, you have eternal existence. It is God’s eternal life, coming to blend in with your spirit, which makes you one with God, and gives you eternal life. This is what God’s plan of redemption is all about, to get us back into the place with God, that Adam fell from. All of this language points to an experience the believer must receive. Then when you go to Revelation 22, you see pictured there the whole family of God, which through redemption, have partaken of the tree of life, through the ages of time. Symbolically it shows the completed work of God in redemption, with the tree of life on either side of a pure river of water of life, which proceeded out from the throne of God.


THE AREA CALLED EDEN


Let us go back to Genesis, back to the garden, before we proceed any further with these scriptures in the book of Revelation, for we want to make sure we realize that even though much of this language pertains to things in the realm of the spirit, there was definitely a geographical spot of the earth that Adam and Eve were associated with. The tree of life in the midst of the garden, ( the paradise of God) was associated only to the spiritual realm, the glorious realm where the presence of God abode, but there was a certain geographical area where man has to have his beginning, and he was to be subject to the mind of his Creator. Always remember, God did not put man on the earth to do what he (the man) wanted to do. He was put here with a commission, to repopulate this big earth, but he was supposed to be subject to the mind and leadership of his Creator, and fill the earth with sons and daughters of God. But God is not a dictator, so He placed two trees (two spiritual laws) in the midst of the garden, and instructed His son accordingly, so with that in mind, let us go to verse 19, of this 2nd chapter. I believe Moses was inspired by God to write these things: for if it was just a handed down story, from generation to generation; it would have gotten way off course before it got to him. But let us read what Moses was inspired to write. “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden.” Remember now, Saints: This particular river is in relationship to the natural area where God has placed His paradise, for the water in that river, whatever its purpose was, it was to the plant life in that particular spot. But do not bother to go running to a map, trying to find that river, for we have had the great flood and many centuries of earthquakes, and so forth, that have changed the layout of the land from what it was in the day of Adam’s beginning. Well there was a river there, and this is what Moses wrote about it. “And from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.” As for these four heads, we just have to realize that God used language such as this to confuse a lot of intellectual brains who would read the Bible only from a critical standpoint, never desiring to benefit from it in any spiritual way. I was just thinking this week, how mortal men will go to a seminary, spend a fortune of earthly money, study Greek and Hebrew, and the proper usage of words, and when they finish their education they speak everything so exactly right, it makes a fellow like me ashamed of himself. But brother, his little garden is so natural, there is no possible way he can see the paradise in it. All they can visualize, is a fenced-in garden of beautiful trees, shrubs, flowers and all such as that. But remember, Eden was the territory, and the garden was paradise within that territory, so notice now, as we look at the heads of this river. “The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.” If you look at some of the old Bible maps, you will find that word Havilah, running right across an area which is now called Saudia Arabia. But it is all desert now, so you are not going to go there, and find this old river bed. Well it says there was gold there, and that the gold was good. It was out of the land of Saudia Arabia, that King Solomon imported gold by the untold poundage. Archaeologists claim to have found some mines, or the ruins of some ancient mines, that they believe was King Solomon’s mines. “And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the land of Ethiopia.” Looking at a map, you will notice that the land of Ethiopia lays south of Egypt, yet the major part of Ethiopia is a plateau, mountainous region, higher in altitude than the lowlands of Egypt. Therefore where it says that this river compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia, it means that it drains all of that whole area of land. All of the other streams run into it, just like out West, in the United States, you have the Great Divide. Everything on the east side of the Great Divide eventually works its way to the Mississippi River, and everything on the western slopes of the Great Divide will go into the Pacific Ocean. Therefore when we think of this river that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia; it is the Nile River, that drains the great watershed of all the high plateau elevations of Ethiopia. Down through the lowlands of Egypt, it eventually finds its way to the Mediterranean Sea. Those two rivers were to form a boundary line, so let us get the other two. “And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria.” Your ancient Bible maps will show that to be the Tigris River. “And the fourth river is Euphrates.” Just before they go into the Persian Gulf, these last two rivers meet, forming a Y, and from there, they flow as one. But when we see these rivers so specifically identified, we are looking at a geographical boundary of the total area called Eden, that was named after the garden of paradise. Therefore we can say, somewhere between the Nile and the Tigris, which is the eastern and the western end of it, God planted a garden in the eastern portion of it, and that is where He started His beginning of the present man that you and I are the descendants of.


ADAM HAD RESPONSIBILITIES


Verse 15 gives us a repeat of part of verse 8. “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” Many questions are asked here. Why did God put Adam in this kind of a body, and what were his actual duties? This spirit man, that was created in the image and likeness of God, was given this body of clay so he could have earthly contact with the natural things of God’s creation. Being made in the image and likeness of God means that he had certain capabilities that were to be expressed. He was an offspring of God, so he would think like his Father, act like his Father, and carry out the things of his Father. Having a body, that his Father did not have, Adam was placed in an earthly realm among trees and other plant life, not only to dress, but also to subdue. There were certain things to be administered to the plant life, yet within that same realm of paradise, I believe there were certain spiritual forces, all pertaining to the realm of God, which Adam knew, and knew how to apply. In other words, if Adam had followed God’s original plan, there never would have been any extreme seasons of cold and hot, dry and wet; but would have remained about the same all year long. That is why you read in the Bible concerning the Millennium, how that the law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, in those days. Now brothers and sisters: whatever the word of the Lord is, in those days, it will not be pertaining to salvation, as it has to us. It will be a word of instruction and increased knowledge, for the purpose of restoring back, something that has been long lost and unassociated to the human concept. Natural man, in his present existence explores in the scientific realm, and thinks he is really tapping into unlimited resources, but oh, if he only knew his Creator, what a difference it would make. We look at the earth today, and see the starving millions, and you look at Africa: it looks like a cursed continent, with this great drought which has swept through Chad and Ethiopia, and is moving right on down through that central region of Uganda, and on southward. We received a letter from the Christians there, and they were telling of suffering, as a result of the drought, political unrest, and many other hardships, and I could not help but think of how it will be in the Millennium. There will not be any droughts in that day, when Jesus Christ and His bride rule upon this earth for a thousand years. There will be no starvation then, because the curse that was put upon this earth will be lifted. The Bible says; The field shall yield its increase, and it even says that those which sow the grain, shall overtake the ones that are reaping the former crop. In other words, Here comes another bunch, Hurry up, and get that reaper going, we have to plow this field again. That is just my way of illustration, but it will be one crop right after another one, and there will be no need for all of this high powered fertilize we have to use today. The reason we need all of this fertilizer and insecticide now, is because of the curse of God put on the ground when Adam sinned; it will not yield its full potential. Whether you want to admit it or not, man has just about reached the end of his vast technology. Jesus will need none of natural man’s great wisdom in the Millennium. Things will be run in the order that Adam should have ran them. Oh, saints, just think: If sin had never entered the picture, after 6000 years, the whole earth today would have been just like the spot where God placed Adam and Eve. That was the ultimate purpose of the Creator, in it all, so that is what the earth will be like, in its redeemed state, a complete paradise.


HOW LIFE SHOULD HAVE BEEN


Let us continue on in verse 16. “And the Lord God commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat.” God is not changing anything. He is just reminding Adam of what is already there, in his intellect, which was put there when He created him, before he ever had a physical body. In other words, The fruit of every plant life tree, thou mayest freely eat. “But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Adam knew what God was talking about; he did not have to say, what is that? He knew exactly what the tree of knowledge was, and the tree of life also, and he knew that when he disobeyed God, what the result would be, for God had already made that clear to him. Therefore we will say it like this, Adam had two realms of understanding. He knew that the fruit of the plant life was for the replenishing of the nutrients of the physical body that he already had, and he knew that the fruit of the tree of life was for the replenishing of himself; to fill the earth with others of his kind. I hope every person under the sound of my voice, and especially to you young people, will realize that the original sex relationship between man and woman was to be strictly by the law of life, and was to be controlled by the woman, just as it is in the animal kingdom. You do not see animals conducting themselves in the filthy, perverted ways humans do. Up the road here, you cannot help but notice the sign which says, “Talk to me dirty.” We are supposed to be the offspring of God, and yet man, in his natural human makeup, continually thinks and talks in such derogatory terms as that, always pointing to perverted sex. Life was to be a sacred thing, and the sex act was to be for the purpose of reproduction of life, and not just for pleasure. A person could learn a lot about God’s original plan for mankind, if he or she would just pay close attention to the animal kingdom, as they go about their regular routine of life. They do not have that uncontrollable sex urge to contend with. They still function just as their Creator created them to. The female has her period of time when conception is possible, and that is when the sex relationship takes place, and only then. Woman’s monthly period is a result of the curse; for in the beginning, before the curse, she would have that one period, that she would be very conscious of, when she would carry out a relationship with her husband in complete innocency, for the sole purpose of reproducing themselves, knowing full well that they were doing exactly what the Creator had told them to do. You can see this same law of life working in plant life. When you see a tree blooming, what is that a sign of? It is male and female life mating, and the fruit is the product of it all. In the animal kingdom, that time is referred to as the mating season, and the female always knows when she is coming into it, and chooses a mate to produce little offspring for the Creator, and you never see them putting on an act to entertain each other, like perverted humans do. When the mating is over, the male animal goes his way, to enjoy the freedom of the forest, and never has any feelings of having done anything wrong, for he is doing exactly as the Creator meant for him to do.


ADAM-EVE-THE SERPENT-JESUS


When the serpent yielded himself to the devil, the serpent being a creature much in the physical likeness of man, the devil was being permitted to come against the son and daughter with a test, so now I want to show you something. Adam and Eve were given only one test, and they failed it. Why test them on anything else, after they had already failed this crucial test? But think, when Jesus, the second Adam, which was the only begotten Son of God, became filled with the eternal Spirit of the Father, He was driven by that Spirit, into the wilderness, where He also was tested by the devil. Why was He tested? He was tested for the same reason Adam was. He was given the chance to prove that He would be faithful to what He was foreordained to accomplish. He had to be tested, as to whether there was any chance of failure in Him. Jehovah knew He would not fail, but it had to be that way for your sake and mine. Why was Jesus not given only one test, you may ask? Let us look at it this way: If He had failed the first one, there would have been no need for the second and third, but He did not fail the first, nor the second, so He had to be tested in every area of life, and overcome, in order to accomplish His foreordained purpose. He set an example before all believers, of overcoming by the word of God, and at the same time proved that He was a worthy sacrifice, to pay our sin debt before God. Therefore when we are tested, tempted, and tried, we can look to Him who died for us and remember that He set a perfect example for us. He did not overcome the temptation with any power beyond that which we all have available to us. Now some of you may say, “But He was perfect, and had the fulness of the Spirit of God in Him.” Yes, but He did not rely upon any of that supernatural power to overcome those temptations. He did nothing that any other true child of God could not do, for He overcame every temptation by holding up in the face of Satan the written word of God. What you must realize that Satan cannot force a child of God to sin; he can only place the temptation before you, and you make the choice as to what you are going to do. One thing is sure though; if you are determined to overcome, you have the enablement of the Spirit of God within you to help you do it. What you must realize, is that if it had been impossible for Jesus to yield to Satan’s temptations, then He was not our example at all, and the temptation was a farce. No brothers and sisters, if He had jumped from that high place as Satan tempted Him to do, He would have fallen to His death, and there would have been no Calvary, and you and I would not be here today. On the other hand, if Adam and Eve had stood their first test, there might have been a second one, because they were not only commissioned to replenish the earth with their kind; they were to do other things also. But because they failed the first test, there was no reason for another, for they had already forfeited the whole thing. That lets you and me know why we are like we are today, and why the whole earth is in such a terrible state of disarray, because Adam failed first. Alright, so Adam and Eve were introduced to the intimate act for the pleasure of it, instead of for the sole purpose of reproduction, which means that they partook of the tree of knowledge, but if God had killed them physically, He would have thwarted the whole purpose; because, basically, He put them there to replenish the earth. You must keep in mind the fact that we are looking at this from the standpoint of God’s foreknowledge according to what we read in the first chapter of Ephesians. He knew all of this before the world was ever created. He knew what Adam would do, and He knew what Jesus would do. That is why He could inspire the prophets to write what they did about Him. God saw Him on the cross paying the penalty for Adam’s sin, before there was ever a star or anything. But His immediate action, to cover their nakedness is recorded in verse 21 of chapter 3. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” You see primitive man portrayed: living in caves and wearing coats of skins, but this is not necessarily the picture we are getting here. God was getting ready to move them out, but He was not going to let them go, without showing mercy, so He made those coats of skins for them. Therefore when they looked at them: they had to know where they came from, and what kind of animal they came off of. They were made to realize that an innocent animal had to give it’s life: in order for them not to have to look at their nakedness. But even still, they would have to carry their guilt and you know how the devil likes to torment people. He leads you into sin, and then he will never let you forget it, once he has you trapped. But God did not want those two to live the rest of their lives condemned, without knowing that He had provided something to cover them. Nevertheless, once He had them covered, they had to be removed from their former environment, lest they go ahead and reproduce themselves from the tree of life, after learning of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It was just like what God said to the children of Israel, in Deuteronomy 11:26, “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse.” It had to be one or the other; it could not be both. God told Adam and Eve which tree to partake of, in order to fulfill His perfect will in their reproduction, but He created them with the ability to make choices and they chose the other tree. Therefore after He clothed them, He separated them from the beautiful paradise. (3:22) “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live for ever: therefore the Lord sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken.” Most of the questions come from the statement, “Lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever.” But it is because they cannot see that tree, so I want to go slow and try to make it clear. They had already eaten (or partaken) of the tree of knowledge. They knew the wrong that they had done, and they knew how bad they felt because of it. If you have never robbed a bank, or stolen anything, are you worried about being punished for that? No, you are not. But once you do those things, you know how bad a person would feel. You then measure that feeling against the time when you did not feel that way. In your mind, you know where good was and you know where evil was, and what a terrible conflict is set up within. However we must keep in mind that eating from the tree of life, as it is spoken of here, is not what gave Adam and Eve life, nor could it. Remember, they are in paradise, which is life itself. Therefore to eat of, or partake of the tree of life, meant that they would reproduce life, eternal life, which is of their kind. In other words, if God had left them right as they were, they would have lived forever, because they were in paradise, and paradise is eternal life. As long as they dwelt in paradise, they would have retained that knowledge of how to partake of the tree of life and reproduce themselves with offspring endowed with eternal life also. God had to drive them from His presence, (the garden) in order to prevent that. Let me repeat something I said a few minutes ago. Eating the fruit of the plant life trees was for the purpose of renewing their natural physical flesh, and this tree of life was only to be eaten of now and then for one specific purpose, and that purpose was to reproduce themselves and fill the earth with offspring which would also have eternal life. Therefore when God stripped them of His eternal presence, and yet allowed them to go ahead and reproduce themselves, then naturally their children were void of eternal life also. Why? Because every species was to bring forth of its own kind, and Adam and Eve no longer had eternal life. A lot of people get worried when they hear this statement, thinking it is contrary to the Bible doctrine of eternal security of the believer, but let me assure you, it is not the same thing. Adam and Eve had that eternal Spirit, but it was conditional, depending upon whether they passed their test, for God had already told them that to eat of the tree of knowledge would bring death. On the other hand, those believers of every age, who have obeyed God from the heart, and have been sealed by that same Spirit, (baptized by the Holy Ghost) have a promise, (Heb.13:5) “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” God does not give and take back His Spirit, like children playing with toys. He only gives that new birth experience to whose who have already been approved. In Ephesians 4:30, you find these words, written by the apostle Paul. “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” You could also read Romans 8, Galatians 4, and many other scriptures to confirm the promise of God to believers, and you will see that it is not the same situation as it was with Adam and Eve. Therefore let me say it again, the tree of life itself, was the means by how that eternal life was to be extended to the offspring Adam and Eve would bring into the world, and it in no way gave them eternal life, for they were already dwelling in eternal life, which is the very presence of God Himself. This is what gets people’s minds all confused, so I want to make it as clear as possible, for the wording here in the Bible, makes it sound like they could eat of the tree of life, and that is what would give them eternal life, and allow them to live forever. Sure, God said, Lest he put forth his hand, and take ALSO of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever, so let me say this in a way that I believe will help you catch the point. Suppose God had just talked to Adam like this, Adam: Now that you understand that the sex act can be used for pleasure, I am not going to allow you to stay here and eat of this tree also, and live in this realm forever, in your sins. What did He do then? He did not drive him away from the tree, He drove him away from paradise, and his habitation in paradise is what gave him eternal life. Therefore when God drove him from paradise, He took that eternal existence from him. So what it all adds up to, is the fact that we must get back into paradise in order to have access to the tree of life. “Therefore the Lord God said, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden.” Why did He not just move the tree? Because the tree was something that was related to paradise itself, so He drove him from paradise, to till the ground from whence he was taken, and brothers and sisters, that is where all the other trees were growing, and that is where his own body was taken from. Now as I have said many times, Adam and Eve were not driven from any geographical spot of ground. Geographically they remained right where they had been all along. But the difference was, they were no longer dwelling in that anointing presence of the Spirit of God. It was not a literal garden they were driven from; it was a spiritual environment, called paradise.


CHERUBIMS GUARD THE WAY BACK TO GOD


What did God do after He had driven Adam and Eve from His presence? Verse 24 says, “So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Now let us keep this straight in our minds. If the garden was paradise, and paradise is the presence of God, then what were the cherubims guarding? East of the garden would have to pertain to something of what God’s original purpose was. Those angels were not restraining Adam from going where he wanted to go, and neither were they keeping him from any of the plant life trees God had originally given them for food. No. Those angels were spirit beings, that knew the entrance into the anointing presence of God, and from the time Adam and Eve were driven from that presence, no man, nor woman has been able to walk into the anointing of God just any time they desire to. On the other hand; the devil has so possessed a lot of people today, witches, fortune tellers, and all such like, until they can go right into that spirit as quick as a flash, but I hope none of you would ever be fooled by such a spirit as that. Man has remained on the outside of that spiritual presence of god ever since Adam and Eve were driven out. Oh, yes, we can have a measure of the spirit of God in us, but we cannot activate that anointing just any time we choose; God activates it when He chooses. Let me say also, There has not been a man or woman back in the paradise of God that Adam and Eve were driven out of, except those who have died and gone to glory. What ever you may imagine paradise to have been like, only those who have gone like that, have been able to see why it was such a beautiful place. It is only your spirit that goes there, and that makes what John saw coming down from heaven a beautiful reality. It is not that city of gold, that we have tried to make it, but rather, those righteous souls that God has redeemed through the ages. John said, (Rev. 21:2-3) “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” It is called a city, and what better way could it have been portrayed, than that, in order to conceal the truth from intellectual minds? Well let me get back and make another point here. As Adam and Eve stood there, with their coats of skin, and God pronouncing the curses upon them, God said to Eve, “I will greatly multiply they sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Now in medical terminology, what does that mean: I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception? It means: I will multiply the periods you normally would have had just for the purpose of conception. God has designed her with all the beauty and sacredness you could ever imagine and in her body, there was a law of the Creator, that was activated only by Him, and she was the only other one besides Him, that would ever know when that law was working, for the purpose of reproduction. That is why she would have known what eating from the tree of life was, and it was definitely not to give her and Adam eternal life, for they were already in the presence of God who is eternal life. No. That tree of life was for the purpose of giving eternal life to their offspring. But remember, the whole thing was tied to the presence of God in the garden. Had they never sinned, paradise never would have left. We would all still be enjoying it. But you can walk the world over, trying to find that garden of paradise, and never find it, for it is no longer there. Brothers and Sisters: Just try to imagine how Adam and Eve must have felt, when God removed them from that glorious realm. God did not erase the memory of what they had previously enjoyed with Him; therefore they lived the rest of their lives remembering, but unable to get back into that same anointing. That is why God set the cherubims between them, and Him, to make sure they did not. They were the only two humans that were ever privileged to know that original anointing, and they were the only ones that ever knew where those angels stood. From that time on, they were only in God’s permissive will. No. God did not leave the earth altogether, but they were sure never going to walk and talk with Him, in that same beautiful atmosphere that they had before. They became sinners, subject to a law of God, as they partook of sex for pleasure; and just look what the devil has done with it all. No wonder the Messiah had to be born of a virgin birth: all other mankind had that sentence of death reigning in them.


THE SERPENT’S SEED AND ADAM’S SEED


As Adam and Eve were driven from the garden, Eve had in her womb the seed from two sources. There was the seed of the serpent, but there was also the seed of Adam, and both were there as a result of sex for pleasure. However those who disagree with serpent seed, just love to read the first verse of Genesis, chapter 4, for they think the wording there proves their case, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Eve’s statement was true of course, for all life comes from God. He is the only source of life. But what you have to be sensitive enough to pick up, is the revelation of the next verse. “And she again bare his brother Abel. (In other words, they were looked upon as twins, but they were not twins at all. Even their very natures declared they were not twins.) And Abel was a keeper of sheep, BUT Cain was a tiller of the ground.” That is what the serpent was. Now the term for this dual conception is SUPER-FETATION, and here is what Webster’s Dictionary gives as the definition of that word. “Successive fertilization of two or more ova of different ovulations resulting in the presence of embryos of unlike ages in the same uterus.” Please notice, that verse 2 does NOT say, And Adam knew Eve again, and she conceived, and bare Abel. Eve gave birth to two boys, but the record shows that she knew only one man, Adam, and all the evidence shows that it was not twins by Adam. Cain is not even in the genealogy of Adam. That alone ought to tell people something. But notice verse 25 of chapter 4. “Adam knew his wife again: and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, SHE SAID, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.” Adam’s genealogy runs down through Seth’s descendants, and the descendants of Cain are given as separate from Adam’s line.


I cannot see for the life of me, why so many theologians will read these same scriptures, and then gag and cough, and carry on so, when serpent seed is mentioned, and say, That is a doctrine of the devil. Well what seems strange to me, is that they are always ready to tell you what the tree of knowledge of good and evil was not, but none of them will ever tell you what it was. Even with all of their education, most of them no doubt, still look at those two trees in the midst of the garden as plant life trees, just like all the other trees. That is why I have said, No true revelation of the word of God ever comes out of a theological seminary. Those man made systems with all of their theories, cannot produce a true revelation from the word of God. Hand-me-down traditions is what comes out of those places, so let me say once again, The garden God planted, was not something that covered the whole region of Eden. In the scriptures we read earlier, we saw that the area of Eden was all the area between the Tigris River and the Nile River, so that is a vast stretch of territory. But the Bible says, “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden.” That garden is not something you can explore biologically, for it was much, much more than just plant life growing: God’s presence was there. His purpose was to be the motivator of whatever the man He had created, did. When He put Adam there to dress and care for the garden, do not ever think He said, Now Adam: It is all yours, do as you please. No. He does not put man here like that. He does not call a man to preach, and say to him, Go, preach whatever you want to. I assure you there are a lot of them doing that today, but the truth is, God never called them to preach. A lot of them have been sent out by their parents because they felt they should have a preacher in the family. But let me tell you: If God does not give a man something to preach, all he can do is rattle, strictly from a natural mind. A revelation is not something you can get, just any time you want. You can study theology as long and hard as you can, but until God gives you a revelation on something, it remains hidden to you. You can only see what is written in the Bible, until the Spirit of God anoints you to read between the lines.


GOD PROJECTS HIS PERFECT WILL


I said a long time ago, and I will keep on saying it; If the garden that man was driven from had been just some geographical spot of ground somewhere, that man was forbidden to enter into, it would still be there, and man would still be forbidden to enter therein. That is why we have got to realize that it was the way God placed His presence there, that made it a garden of paradise. Had man not sinned within that realm, eventually the whole earth would have been filled with that same presence. That is what the Millennium is coming for, to fulfill the long awaited purpose of God: wherein the knowledge and glory of the Lord shall cover the whole earth, as the waters cover the sea. Let us just refresh our thinking. The Bible says God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. Does that mean that God had them in a place where there was no ground? No, there was just as much ground in the garden as there was anywhere else in Eden, for as I keep pointing out, The garden was not a geographical spot of ground. God’s presence is what made it a garden of paradise. It was God’s beginning place for the man He had created in His own image. That is why it says He planted a garden eastward in Eden; that was the beginning place. But before the plan got off of the launching pad, the devil already had it messed up. Yet we must realize that God permitted the whole thing to go as it did, in order that He might be able to show forth His other attributes. If He could create, He could also show mercy and redeem, so do not feel that this took God by surprise. He knew all of that, before He ever created the first star or anything else. Our biggest problem in trying to study the scriptures, is all the whys. If God knew this, why did He allow that, and so on? It was His purpose to express all of His many attributes, and in order to do so, He had to allow the circumstances that would necessitate it. Well, as Adam and Eve went forth from the garden, that left them as the only humans that would ever know what that original paradise was like. Those boys did not ever know, for they were born off of that other tree. They were earth bound from birth, just as all the rest of us have been. Adam and Eve were the only two people that knew why those cherubims were there. It was so they could never press themselves back into the presence of God, and hold on to eternal life: carrying out the plan of God. Let us just use that thought for a moment. What about the children of Israel? When God brought them right out through the Red Sea, and took them to Kadesh Barnea, and the spies came back with their report, you know the story; they had already complained too much. God told them they would wander in the wilderness forty years, yet after He had already pronounced their penalty, the decided that they would force the hand of God and battle that bunch of heathen anyhow, but God was not with them, so they took a licking. Anytime you read in the Bible where God projects His perfect plan, and man, through his unbelieving attitude, complains about it, then God turns them to a secondary plan, and if they still try to force themselves in, after God has made the change, they are always blocked, just like Adam and Eve were. God had driven them from a realm where they could see angels just as clearly as they could see each other, and He knew that they would try to get back into that realm, if He did not take steps to prevent it. Therefore He placed those cherubims between them and His anointing presence, so they could never press themselves back into that realm again. That left them subject only to the tree of knowledge, and every last one of us are a product of it. That is why we all act like we do. That is why we have the kind of knowledge, to know how to get to the moon. But when it comes to the word of God, we are blind as bats. If it were not for the grace of God, we would not know a thing about Him. When we try to imagine what paradise should have been like, we try to conceive of it with our natural mind, and all we can think of is apple trees, peach trees, fig trees, and all such as that. Well all of that was there, abut that is not what made it a garden of paradise; it was the presence of God that make it paradise. Their testing tree was in the midst of the garden also, and to the natural mind, it seems like that should be just another of those plant life trees, but I assure you, Adam did not transplant any of those trees, and we still have the tree of knowledge with us today. Satan tested Jesus with the fruit of that same tree: If thou be the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread. Well that sort of thing was going to be part of His ministry, but He did not fall into Satan’s trap, and fail His test, like Adam did.


GOD’S MERCIFUL PROVISION


Adam failed his test and no doubt he and Eve thought many times, how it was for them before they disobeyed God’s word. Yet outside the garden; they were covered with those skins, so that caused them to know that they could trust God to be merciful to them, and that somewhere in time, He would take care of the situation. But Adam no longer had a servant, he was going to have to till the ground himself. Some people think I am crazy when they hear me say that Adam had a servant, but I assure you, that is exactly what the serpent was. Have you not read in the Bible how God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him an helpmeet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof?” Well, out of all those animals, there was not one of them that could be to Adam what he needed, to fulfill the command of God to be fruitful and multiply, but Adam did get a servant from among them, that could talk and communicate with him, and it was through that servant, that Satan first got to Eve. The Bible says that the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field, and that is a word that means cunning, or crafty, usually in a bad sense. So he came to Eve and said, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” In other words, Are you sure you know what God meant? That is how the devil works on people, even still today; he questions the word of God that you hold on to. He questioned Eve, through the serpent, and he questions you also: Are you sure it was a sex act, that caused the fall of Adam and Eve? Our critics are usually not that kind; they will tell you straight out that you are crazy, for believing a thing like that, yet they cannot tell you what their sin was. They would rather say, I do not see that it matters, what they actually did. It sure does matter. I would hate to think that the whole human race was born in sin, just because Eve ate a nice big red apple, and then gave one to Adam. Well there are a lot of people in the world, that would rather believe that, than to know the truth, and if they continue to pursue that course, they will end up right where Cain is. Do not ever think Cain repented of his evil ways. God offered him a chance, but he chose to murder his half brother instead, so he will burn with all the other serpent seed that have spurned the word of God since then. Those two boys grew up, never having known what Adam and Eve knew, about the garden of paradise. But when they grew up, they knew that they were fully responsible for their own standing with God. Abel had a revelation imparted to him by the Creator, because of the quality of the spirit he had within him. He knew God had to be worshiped with a blood sacrifice. But Cain carried just enough attributes of his mother to give him a religious feeling, and make him feel that it was his duty to go to church. He was like a lot of people are today; they go to church at least once a week, but they have no revelation whatsoever of the word of God, and when they leave church, they do not want to talk about it anymore until they go to church again. If you try to talk to them about a revelation that is burning in your soul, they get very uncomfortable and bored. All they want is a simple little sermon when they go to church, and all the rest of the time they want to spend on some worldly pursuit. God cannot speak to them because they do not have a spirit inside them that reaches out to Him, and desires to know His will for their lives.


GOD WANTS OUR HEART


Abel brought a blood sacrifice to God, according to the revelation he had, and Cain, no doubt thought that was awful. You know, there are a lot of people in the world today that would not kill an animal for anything in the world, and when they read in the Bible how God required that certain animals be sacrificed, they will even speak against God for requiring it. Yet it was people like that, that cried, crucify him! When Pilot asked, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” It makes you wonder how people with a murderous spirit in them, could be so sympathetic to animals that God allowed man to kill. Brothers and sisters: I am not advocating the idea of killing animals just to test out your gun, but when you take the attitude that some people have, it is nothing less than a rebellion against God. Well all Cain knew was that he was supposed to bring something to God, and being a tiller of the ground, he must have thought God would be very pleased when he brought the best of what he had raised: with his own human efforts. Being a son of the serpent, he had that natural instinct to know what to do with the soil, to get the very best out of it. Do not try to tell me that God would give Adam a servant whose duty it would be to till the ground and not put within his intellect the biological laws of vegetable life. So Cain had inherited that ability from his father; therefore he must have been very proud of what he brought to God that day, but God rejected it, just like He does the works of our hands yet today. God wants our hearts, not our material possessions. Well the point is, without a revelation, it is impossible to please God. Abel had a revelation, and Cain did not, therefore Abel’s offering was accepted and Cain’s was refused, and the more Cain thought about the whole thing, the madder he got, and when he got the opportunity he committed the first murder this side of Genesis 1:2. How did murder get into his mind? You may ask. It was an attribute of the devil, transmitted to Cain through his father the serpent, that had yielded his spirit to the devil. Lucifer, the devil, was a fallen angel from the prehistoric world, which had committed murder during that time, when the angels were tested here on this earth. God stripped him of his place as the anointed cherub, that stood in the presence of his Creator, and from that time on he has been the devil, the enemy of God. He was permitted though, to stand in the shadows and wait for this present creation to be placed upon earth, and then allowed to take a whack at the plan of God, by putting it in the mind of the old serpent to seduce Eve. Some have said that God made a mistake by allowing that, but no, this was all foreknown of Him from the beginning. It was the way He had determined for Adam to be tested. Satan programmed the psychological makeup of the old serpent, just like he has these sex deviates of our day, that abuse little children, cut them to pieces, and hide them. All of this kind of behavior is a result of what happened there in the garden of Eden, when the serpent yielded his mind to Satan, and Eve yielded to him, and then pulled Adam into the whole plot. That serpent only had one opportunity though. God did not even ask him to give an account of what he had done. When Eve said, “The serpent beguiled me:” God said to the serpent, “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” There that serpent stood, in an upright position, with an intellect and the ability to carry on a vocal conversation with Adam and Eve, and right before their eyes, he became a crawling reptile. That took place while they were still in paradise, and the serpent lost his identity forever. He will never be restored to his original form. But I want you to know, that outside of that beautiful environment, every time Eve saw him, she recognized him. That is why God said, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” Eve hated him. Now she did not hate every snake she saw; she only hated the serpent. She knew which one he was, but generations since then, have no way of knowing. As for what I said about the serpent not being restored, you will find that in Isaiah 65:25. The prophet, speaking of the Millennium says, “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.” Yes he is still out there (or at least, his seed are) multiplying themselves, in that cursed state, never to be restored back. That is why man does not have a servant today, and that is why the scientists are still searching for the missing link between man and the highest form of the animal kingdom. That missing link is now crawling on his belly in the reptile family, instead of walking upright as he did before he was cursed.


REVELATION MAKES THE DIFFERENCE


Let us think about the serpent’s son Cain, for a few minutes now. Having his father’s God given ability, he could really grow those fruits and vegetables. He knew just exactly how to take care of them. Our garden experts of today could not even hold a candle to him. Brothers and sisters: I have to say these things like this, because we are exploring the field of intelligence, and this serpent’s main function was gardening. When God stripped him of his arms and legs, and put a curse on the ground, that left Adam to till the ground himself, and raise his food, and get callouses on his hands. God said to him,”In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return to the ground.” Then when Cain grew up, he had that natural instinct in him: to know how to till the ground and grow crops. But Abel, being Adam’s son, had the natural ability to take care of animals. God had told Adam, in the original commission, Subdue the earth, and have dominion over every living thing, so Abel was a keeper of sheep. Well anyhow, it came time to make an offering to the Lord, and both of these young men brought the best of what they had and offered it unto their Creator. The only trouble was, Cain did not have a revelation of why the offering was to be made, so he brought some of the best of what he had raised with his own hands, tilling the ground. Naturally, without a revelation as to why the offering was being made, he no doubt thought God should be very pleased with him. But those fruits and vegetables had no significance in God’s plan of redemption, so He had no respect for Cain’s offering. But when Abel brought the best from his flock, and offered a blood sacrifice; that fit right in with what God had already done, for He had to kill some animals, to get the skins to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness. Right there, is where Abel’s revelation came from: knowing what God had done to cover his parents, after they had sinned, so when he brought a sacrifice to God, because of a revelation he had: that pleased God, and He visibly manifested some kind of presence to him, that made Cain very jealous and angry. That was God’s way of saying to Abel, you are accepted. Then God spoke audibly to Cain, saying, “Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” In other words, Cain: If you bring the right sacrifice, you will be accepted also, but do not feel that just because you are a good Baptist, or Methodist: I am obligated to come to you on your terms. Well, Cain was just like a lot of these religious people of our day; Bless God, you are not going to see me act like that! So God said to him, “And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” Sometimes it pays to observe what others are being blessed in, and just keep our mouth shut, and do likewise. Many times that is how we learn what pleases God. It was not in Cain’s nature to try to do any differently though. Instead of taking heed to those words, he just became more and more bitter as the days passed, until finally that bitterness got such control over him, he just had to destroy the thing he felt was keeping God from blessing him. Man’s natural approach to a situation like that, is, I will destroy the thing that stands between God and me, and then God will have to talk to me. Well God did talk to him, but it was not what he wanted to hear. He allowed Satan to motivate him, to commit the first murder this side of the garden of Eden. Satan himself was already a murderer. That is why Jesus said what He did to those Jews that tormented Him. In John 8:44, (after those Jews had been contending with Him for quite some time) we read where Jesus said to them, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” Somewhere in the prehistoric age, Satan, who was then known as Lucifer the archangel, had done the same thing he inspired Cain to do; he had become a murderer. So there stood Cain, after he had killed Abel, and hid him, and God said to him, “Where is Abel thy brother?” That was not what Cain wanted to hear God say to him, so notice how he answered (Gen.4:9). “I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” There was a lie, another attribute of what Jesus said the devil was, a liar. But God said, “What hast thou done? The voice of hy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.” At that moment Cain knew that he had gone too far; there was no avenue for him to appropriate God’s forgiveness, so his next thought was to run away, just get away from everything that would remind him of what he had done. That is why a lot of people react, instead of facing their problems, they just try to run from them. So Cain left there and went to dwell in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.


EARTH POPULATED BY ONE FAMILY


We have already pointed out that the region of Eden ran all the way from the Nile, in Egypt, to the Tigris, which is in the borders of ancient Assyria. That would be your extreme dimension east and west, of the area called Eden. Of course we realize also that the garden of paradise was in the eastern part of this vast territory, so that lets us know that God purposed for man to have his beginning in the earth, in the place where all directions meet. It is man, that has placed the international date line out in the Pacific Ocean. God had nothing to do with that. But what I want to point out is that Cain left Eden and went even further east. That would have put him in an area like Pakistan or even in India, and that is where he began to multiply his kind. Now one of the first questions people ask you when they quiz you on this subject is, Where did Cain get his wife? Well, there was only one place where he could have gotten a wife: she had to be his sister. There was no other place for him to get a wife. It was the same way after the flood, when only Noah’s family was left alive to repopulate the earth. Those men had to take their sisters, cousins, nieces, and so forth, to be their wives. The Bible does not name any certain woman, before the flood. The genealogies run down through the firstborn males, and then it says, and So and So lived after he begat that certain son, so many more years, and begat sons and daughters. Therefore many of those daughters became the wife of one of her brothers. That is how the earth was repopulated from the seed of one man and woman. Just a little plain common sense would answer those questions for us, without asking anyone else. So as we continue on here, let me say this, As you read on down through chapter 4, and on through chapter 5, which covers the genealogies of Cain and Abel, you realize that there is a great mass of people involved, in those two lines, and none of them had ever seen paradise. They had no thoughts about anything like that. Adam and Eve had known what a beautiful garden of paradise looked like, and if they had never sinned, that same beautiful environment would have spread out over the whole earth. But Satan was allowed to get into the picture, and that changed everything. In that environment, Adam would have ruled the animal kingdom and he knew certain laws related to the repopulation of the animal kingdom. Therefore if they had never sinned, you would not have a situation like we have today, with the stronger of them eating the weaker. That is referred to a keeping a balance of the environment, but all of that is necessary only because Satan is in control of all of this overpopulation, both of man and beast. Under God’s original plan for the human race; man and woman never would have known the sex relationship for any purpose other than to reproduce life, and give God another son or daughter in His own image and likeness. Every woman would have known the exact time that she could conceive, and that is the only time that she would have entered into a sex relationship with her husband, and the child born from that relationship would have been born into the world with eternal life. Brothers and sisters, there are an awful lot of people in churches throughout the world today; that would call me a filthy mouthed preacher if they could hear me say these things. But those same people allow their little children to sit in public schools and be taught all about sex, and they never say anything to try to stop it. They teach those children all about sex, and tell them what a beautiful thing it is, but they never tell them that to enter into that relationship outside of marriage, is against the will of God, and that they will have to pay a price both naturally and spiritually, for the error of their ways. When they tell them that there is nothing wrong with participating in that relationship and that old fogies like us, only imagine it to be wrong, that is that same old devil that was back in the garden of Eden, talking to Eve through the serpent. What we are seeing today is exactly what the devil was after, there in the garden. He wanted to drag this relationship to the lowest levels of human degradation, that it could possibly be brought to. Women will strip off stark naked, just to entertain a bunch of filthy minded, lustful men. Now you may say, But Adam and Eve were naked, there in the garden, but let me remind you that the presence and glory of God was their covering until they disobeyed. They did not even think of themselves as being naked, until after they had sinned. After that, they could only see themselves as two naked, physical beings.


GOD WILL CLOTHE US


Think about this: When you die, and go into the grave, your body is going to rot, and so are those clothes that you are buried in. Therefore when you come forth in the resurrection, the only covering you are going to have, is what Adam and Eve had before they sinned. It will be up to God to clothe you with something that will not wear out; like the clothes we wear today. We will not have to be bothered with shopping for clothes to cover our immortal bodies, and neither will we have to be concerned about what Satan is doing. He will be out of the picture forever, as far as the immortal people are concerned. Satan’s crew is still trying their very best to gain the thing Eve lost, in the garden. As we have already said, No woman since then has known exactly when she can conceive, nor when she cannot. But medical science is trying their level best to find ways that women can have sex without taking the chance of getting in trouble. If she could only know exactly when that period was, she would know when to play around and when not to. I know this is straight talk, but things have gone too far for us to keep our heads buried in the sand like an ostrich, and pretend like everything is exactly like it should be. Satan is after your children and he is not going to let up, so the least you can do is try to warn them of some of his cunning devices. Crime of every sort is on the increase, but the most abominable thing in the sight of God, is the perverted way that human beings are using their bodies. Animals do not behave like that. The only time you see anything irregular taking place among the animal kingdom is when Satan tampers with certain ones, to entertain perverted mankind. But as a general rule, they conduct themselves exactly as their Creator meant for them to: they have that relationship only for the purpose of reproduction, and they know exactly when the time is right. God did not put the animal kingdom here to be tested; they were put here for you and me to rule over. Of course we all realize that the nature and habits of animals have been affected by what took place in the garden of Eden, but their reproduction laws remain the same. Only the woman’s was changed. I get happy just thinking about the day when Satan will bound for a thousand years, and the immortal saints will rule with Christ for that whole time, and all of God’s creation, except the old serpent, will be redeemed and restored back to its original beginning. No I am not including the wicked and ungodly element of degenerate mankind in that: they will be destroyed in the lake of fire. But that old lion, over there in Africa, that enjoys killing and devouring other little animals, will wake up some morning and the sun shining in his eyes will be different, and those other little animals will no longer have to flee from it. Today he likes blood and meat; but in that day, his shaggy old head will bow down and eat grass just like a milk cow. What will cause the change? Jesus the second Adam, will take over the reins, along with His immortal bride, and Satan will not be around to cause trouble. Hallelujah! If some of these scientists could hear me talking, they would say for sure that I am crazy. But I say, If I am crazy, just leave me alone, I like what I am seeing. The Millennium is going to be the front door, back into paradise, so why should we not be happy about it. Even if I knew that I would die tonight, I would still rejoice to know what God is going to do in this old planet earth one day soon. It is a beautiful subject, and the truth of it comes from the only book in the world, that has stood the test through the ages. Modern man has no respect for the Bible, because he is a product of what Satan started there in the garden of Eden. The serpent was designed intellectually, by the Creator, to know how to associate all things relative to the earth; and when he became a tool of the devil, to plant his seed in the womb of Adam’s wife, there came forth from it, a species that was part man, and part serpent. To some extent he had the same outlook as Adam’s sons. But in other ways, his reasoning could never rise above the natural earth that he was of. His offspring were smart men, but they were void of the spirit of God. Some of them were fine musicians by the standards of the world, and some of them were craftsmen of various sorts, and through the ages, the world has recognized them for their great talents in music and art, and so forth. But the sad thing is, it was all done leaving God out of the picture. I have no particular pick against any of that kind of music, but when something is designed without giving any recognition to God at all, I find it hard to get very thrilled about it. The world loves that celebrity image, that goes with such as that, and the celebrities live off of the praise of mortal flesh, never realizing that they owe their lives to God, and that their talent came from Him. Little old David was a musician too, but when the inspiration struck him; can you imagine him lifting his voice and starting to sing in high C, about everything else other than God? No. Every time he opened his mouth, out came something about the Creator. To me, he was a celebrity, and I am persuaded that he was the kind of man that God is still calling today. He has no delight in these men of renown; for most of them are always trying to prove that God does not exist. They would rather believe that we evolved from something that evolved from something else, going all the way back to a slimy old frog pond somewhere. They are so smart, yet their theories are so ridiculous that even little children can see through them. But that is a serpent seed; they cannot give God any recognition.


GENERATIONS OF MIXED SEED

 

 

A lot of people want to blame Noah’s wife for being the cause of serpent’s seed on this side of the flood. But I want to show you why she was no more to blame than Noah was. The Bible says Noah was a just man and perfect (or upright) in his generation. But it does not say that he was a pure seed of Adam. Noah was the firstborn of a man by the name of Lamech, and the Bible says that after Lamech begat Noah, he lived five hundred and ninety five years, and begat sons and daughters. Now if Noah was a pure seed, so were his brothers and sisters; therefore I ask you, why did they all perish in the flood? Furthermore, since it was common practice for brothers and sisters to marry and raise children: if Noah was a pure seed, and desired to please God, as the scriptures indicate that he did, why did he not marry one of his sisters, in order to keep his line pure? There is absolutely no scripture to justify anyone saying that Noah was a pure seed, and that his wife was the one to blame for serpent seed on this side of the flood. The Bible says that Lamech (Noah’s father) lived 595 years after he begat Noah, and begat sons and daughters. Therefore if Noah was a pure seed: so were his brothers and sisters, so there would have been no reason for Noah to take a wife of mixed blood line. Furthermore why were none of his brothers and sisters spared, if they were pure seed? Another interesting thing we might pay attention to, is the fact that Noah never begat any daughters. That forced his sons to have to look elsewhere for their wives. But those sons of Noah did begat daughters, in order that Noah’s grandsons might have wives to carry out the commission God had given: Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. Now Shem, Ham and Japeth were brothers: all having the same father and mother, but I want you to look at the mixed variety they fathered into the world. That was not just because they had wives of mixed bloodlines: they also had those mixed attributes in them. The pure seed had already dropped out of the picture a long way back down the line. By the time of Lamech’s and Noah’s days, there was no such thing born, as pure seed of Adam, for the two lines had already been mixed a long time before that. Chapter six, (which is not a continuation of chapter 5, for it goes back and picks up where this mixing of the two lines first started) tells us that as men began to multiply upon the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, the sons of God (which were Seth’s line, still living in the region of Eden) saw the daughters of men, that they were fair; (to look upon) and they took them wives of all which they chose. Those daughters of Cain’s line were so beautiful, that these sons of Seth’s line could not resist them, once they began to come over and parade themselves before them. It was not the sons of Seth, that first introduced polygamy, but once they stepped across the marginal line of safety, they no longer had any resistance left in them. The Bible says, They took them wives of all which they chose. Therefore from that time on, they married back and forth, had polygamous marriages, and eventually there ceased to be any pure seed born. That is what caused Enoch, the seventh from Adam, to ask himself, just how much longer can God tolerate this sort of thing, without doing something about it? That is why he gave his firstborn that prophetic name: Methuselah. By revelation, somehow or other, he knew: when he is gone, it (the end) shall come. His revelation was right, but the end did not come for a long time after that; for Methuselah lived to be the oldest man on record, nine hundred and sixty nine years old. All the time that little boy was growing up, Enoch watched him; thinking that just any moment, the end would come. He was looking for God’s judgment in his day; yet Methuselah lived six hundred and sixty nine years, after God took his daddy on home to be with Him. All of that expectation no doubt, is what caused Enoch to walk so close to God, that God just took him on, and got him out of all that ungodly mess. But just as his name implied, the year Methuselah died, the flood hit the earth, and wiped the slate clean; except for Noah and his family. Somewhere within the geographical boundaries of Eden: Noah built a boat; and right there, is where the storm began to hit. That torrential downpour continued for forty days and nights, without any let up; but Noah was ready. He took his family, along with all the animals God had instructed him to take, and entered into that odd shaped old boat, and the heavens opened up. Now that boat wasn’t built in a port, nor on skids to be launched. God was going to launch it, without Noah doing one thing to help. Those flood waters just lifted it above every tree top, and Noah’s family just sat there rocking. He did not have a compass, nor a pilot wheel or rudder, and he had no idea whatsoever as to where they were going. But months later, the old boat came to rest on top of Mt. Ararat, at the northern borders of Eden. God did not take it too far from the cradle of civilization. Therefore when the waters abated, they came right back down off of that mountain, down across the foothills of Turkey, right back into the plains of Shinar; where once again, another civilization was started. They were in Eden; but they were not in paradise. Eden has always remained, but that spiritual realm that Adam and Eve knew, has never returned to Eden. I have been accused of saying that the garden of Eden did not have natural trees growing there. But what I really said, and will say again, is that the garden of Eden was more than just some spot of ground with a lot of trees growing in it. The trees growing in the garden were no different than the trees growing outside of it, if we may use that kind of terminology. For surely we know by now, that it was God’s presence that made it a garden of paradise.


NOAH CURSES CANAAN


Aright, before we go to the New Testament, I want to say a few words about something here in the 9th chapter of Genesis. Something that took place after the flood. The 9th chapter starts out telling that God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.” That terminology literally means Fill it up again. Of course we all know that the earth was inhabited by a great mass of people before the flood, therefore it is no strange thing to us for God to say, Replenish it. We understand what He meant. On the other hand, when He said that to Adam and Eve, a lot of people think that was very strange, because they do not realize that the earth was inhabited prior to Adam’s day. Yes it was inhabited by prehistoric creatures, when angels were tested: and one third of them joined forces with Lucifer, against God. But what I want to deal with, starts in verse 20, so let us read it. Noah and his family are back on dry ground, and they have their commission from God, and time brings us to verse 20. “And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: (which is grapes) and he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.” Now the few words I have just read, does not even say that Ham laughed; it just said that he came and told his brethren, which were outside. “And Shem and Japeth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.” The reason I am mentioning this is because we have certain men today, that are always elaborating on what they believe Ham did, that so displeased Noah. First let me say this though; Noah’s whole family came from the other side of the flood, therefore they were well acquainted with the immoral conditions that existed then. Yet out of that hour and time, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Not that he could be compared with Seth, nor any of those earlier generations, but because he lived above the overall condition of immorality that prevailed all around him. God does not compare us to the standard of what someone was 400 years ago; He looks at us in the hour we live in. The moral condition before the flood was excessive drunkenness, sodomy, incest, and a general breakdown of human decency and respect for others. Then of course, there are always those who just love to laugh and enjoy someone’s predicament; I have seen it many times. We have all seen drunk people conducting themselves in ways that they just naturally created fun. But in the army, I saw some of them get so drunk they would see spotted pups, pink elephants, and all such like. So the point is: It is wrong to exploit another persons predicament, and use it to gratify our own flesh, laughing and making fun of them, which I believe is exactly what Ham did: when he saw his father lying naked in his drunken condition. However some of these know-it-all preachers, take the word nakedness, and compare it with the 18th chapter of Leviticus, and get their own private interpretation of Ham’s sin. We cannot take something that was written in the law hundreds of years after this event took place, and build a revelation, just because of one word. We all know that words take on different meanings over a span of 5 or 6 hundred years, so just a word alone is not sufficient to build a revelation off of. Nevertheless there are those who insist that Ham committed an act of incest with his mother, while Noah was in his state of drunkenness; and there are others who will argue that he committed an act of sodomy with Noah, when he found him lying there drunk and naked. But saints, I am convinced that if he had committed any such act, as either one of these, he would not have wanted to expose his guilt by telling his two brothers anything about it. No. I believe that what we read here, is exactly what happened, except that it just does not give the specific details of how Ham laughed and made fun of his father’s dilemma. Ham had seen a lot of this sort of thing before the flood, where individuals would make fun of others, that were found in this condition, and maybe without even considering how this sort of thing would look in the eyes of God, he did the very same thing; he made fun of his father and did not try to do one thing to help him. Well as I was made to think on this subject again, it lay heavy upon my mind, and then I remembered reading something in the Bible that had shed more light on this subject. It is found in the 2nd chapter of Habakkuk, verse 15, so let us read it. “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor to drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look upon their nakedness!” Now that does not apply to his father’s wife, nor his neighbor’s wife; it means just exactly what it says. Notice that next verse; it shows how God looks upon any individual who would do such a thing. “Thou art filled with shame for glory: (That is the state of a man who would do such a thing, glory in someone else’s predicament), drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the Lord’s right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.” The root of it all is that a person who would do such things, is full of shame. Well a lot of people would say, Oh, you should not read such things as that. But let me tell you something, you are living in a perverted age, and I will not try to pull the cover over such a picture, when the whole world is full of this same kind of spirit. I am not trying to make this sound derogatory, I am only trying to give you some scriptural basis for that which we believe and teach. It says, “The cup of the Lord’s right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.” That just shows that God will reverse the situation, on those who will allow themselves to stoop that low. Even though such a person might not even consider committing an act of incest, or sodomy, God still looks upon this sort of thing as an abomination, and He will not let such a person get by with it forever. To me, these scriptures speak of a breakdown morally and mentally, and they let us see that there are limits to what God will tolerate. It is one thing to laugh at some of the funny things a drunk man will do; but it is quite a different story when we take delight in something like that, or when we look forward to the time when such a person will get drunk again, just so we can laugh at him. Saints: I hope I am saying this in a way that will allow you to see what I see. God had already destroyed that whole mass of people whose spirits were filled with that kink of outlook and attitude toward each other, and Ham was among those that had been spared to repopulate the earth again, and he knew better than to do such a thing. Which, as I said, I believe he just simply came to his brothers laughing and said something like: You ought to see the old man! Boy, if he isn’t something to see. He told them in a way that sounded funny to him; but to show the respect that they had for their dad; look what they did. They took a garment and walked backwards to cover him, without looking upon him in his state of embarrassment. The last six words of verse 23 should explain verse 22. Ham saw the nakedness of his father, and Shem and Japeth walked backward to cover him, in order not to see the same thing. Nakedness in both verses, has the same application. So let us notice verse 24 now. “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. And God shall enlarge Japeth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” As for how Noah knew what he had done, we have to believe one of two things; either he awoke from his drunken sleep and started asking questions when he found someone else’s garment over him, or the same inspiration that gave him the authority to curse Ham’s fourth son, (when at the time he did not even have any sons) let him know. If God revealed it to him like that, then it was not necessary for him to ask any questions. I do not know which way it was, but I am fully persuaded, that what Ham did, was just laugh and make fun of him. I brought with me the writings of a Jewish historian; Josephus, and on page 41, we will read what he had to say about this incident in the life of Noah. This is not scripture; it is what this historian accumulated and wrote, so let us read it. “Noah, when after the deluge, (the flood) the earth was resettled in its former condition, set about its cultivation and when he had planted it with vines, and when the fruit was ripe, and he had gathered the grapes in their season, and the wine was ready for use, he offered sacrifice, and feasted, and being drunk he fell asleep, and lay naked in an unseemly manner. When his youngest son saw this, he came, laughing, (That is what I said before I ever read what Josephus wrote about it), and showed to his brethren, but they covered their father’s nakedness. And when Noah had been made sensible of what had been done, he prayed for prosperity to his other sons, but for Ham, he did not curse him by reason of his nearness in blood, but cursed his prosperity, and when the others has escaped that curse, God inflicted it on the children of Canaan.” That was his fourth son, and Ham had no children at all, at that time. His first child was Cush, his second was Mizraim, the third Phut, and then Canaan was the fourth. Now with that, I am going to let the record stand, and hope that every one of you are as convinced as I am that it was not an act of incest, nor sodomy on the part of Ham, but in the eyes of God, to laugh and make fun the way Ham did, is just as bad.


THE NEW BIRTH IS NECESSARY


I wanted to get that point about Noah in this message, for I believe it has been the cause of a lot of unnecessary speculation; but now, let us go on exploring Eden. Adam and Eve did not die physically when they disobeyed God, but they did die spiritually, just as God had told them they would, if they partook of the tree of knowledge. Being put outside of that original paradise, was their first death. God cursed them, clothed them with coats of skin, and put them outside of that blissful realm of paradise. There are two particular things to notice: They died spiritually, never to be restored back to that blissful state, and they were left alive for centuries, to till the ground, and to multiply themselves upon the earth, under the law of the tree of knowledge. Now let me say this; If our mind is vague about any of this, do not worry about it, for it will all break through one of these days. Just remember though, that they were spiritually dead. That is why the term new birth is so important; it makes us alive again. Not the terminology itself, but the reality that it speaks of. That term was never used though, until a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus, (a doctor of divinity) came to Jesus one night. Jesus said to him, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Why did He talk like that? No one had ever even thought of a new birth before. Therefore Nicodemus answered just like anyone else would have; he said, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus was not talking about the kind of birth Nicodemus was thinking of, but instead of explaining it the way we might think He should have, He simply said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Then He said to him, “That which is born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.” The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom, that cannot be seen with our natural eyes. One cannot say, Here it is; or there it is; for it is within you. Jesus was slowly introducing the usage of words and terminology, that would begin to point man’s thinking back to God, and away from natural logic. Paul tells us in Ephesians how that we are a spiritual house, lively stones, built upon a holy foundation. We are made to be a spiritual house, to become a habitation of God, by His Spirit. So in Hebrews 12:18, Paul takes from the Old Testament, a little event and display of God, that took place before a natural minded people, and goes on to give a spiritual application. “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burneth with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, (You can read that in Exodus, chapter 19), and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more.” That was a great display of God in His sovereignty, which did not look much like paradise to any of those who witnessed it. Just imagine, a mountain peak covered with a dark cloud, streaks of lightning flashing, and loud claps of thunder, that seemed to shake the whole mountain. Yet it was not raining. It was the way Jehovah chose to manifest His presence, to draw attention to Moses, and to the others at the foot of the mountain: Do not come too close. What a God! They could hear the trumpet, and they could hear the voice, and it scared them half to death. “For they could not endure that which was commanded, and if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake.” My, it must have been a fearful thing, to look up there and see such a display of God’s omnipotency. That is really what you would have to call it; for it was not God in His glory; it was His power that was being demonstrated: so that even Moses expressed fear. But notice verse 22 now, what Paul turns all of this into. “But ye are come to Mt. Zion, and unto the city of the living God.” Think about that now brothers and sisters. There is not a one of you in here; born of the Spirit of God, that could even say, I came to a literal mountain and touched it. No, Paul was not speaking of a literal geographical area, as the Israelites were, in all of their associations with Jehovah. When God brought them out of Egypt: they knew they had been in Egypt; they knew they had come through the wilderness, and they knew they had come unto the land that God had promised them. God set a type through them, in the natural, of all that He would one day do for mankind spiritually. Mount Zion, in the natural, is the mountain where God chose to put His name in the Old Testament era; and that is where He had a temple built by King Solomon, in which He manifested His Shekinah glory. But you and I did not come to a literal mountain; we came to a spiritual mountain, a mountain that cannot be seen. Therefore if we can begin to see what Paul was looking at, and if it is opening the door of our thinking, then when we get to the book of Revelation, we will have no trouble seeing that new Jerusalem, that descends from God out of heaven. In other words, the paradise that our ancient father and mother were driven out of is the paradise God is bringing us back to. There, it was a garden, but here, it will be a city. It was God there; and it will be God here. There was no city, in the beginning. There was no need for one. Mrs. Adam never had any of the appliances this generation cannot possibly do without. As you read the book of Genesis, you will see that it was Cain and his line that first began to build cities. It was that line that started all of the murder and perversion, and their cities became a refuge for them to protect them from their enemies. Even the Israelites did not live in cities until God brought them into the land He had promised them. There, they became possessors of villages and houses, as well as cities, that had been built by the Canaanites. That is how city dwelling slowly began to be a practice of life for the people of God. But even as the people of God began to settle in the promised land, He still did not immediately place His name in any particular spot. In His foreordained plan, there was a particular mountain upon which stood an ancient Jebusite city called Salem: that He had chosen to place His name in. Time itself brought about the manifestation of that. Keep in mind; when the world was not thickly populated, there was no need for the people of God to dwell in cities. That is why Abraham did not choose to dwell in Sodom and Gomorrah. He dwelt in the hills, and in the desert, but he never dwelt in a city; he just dwelt near them.


WHAT ANCIENT CITIES WERE


God knew that mankind in general would one day increase in population to the point where it would be necessary for many of them to begin to function within that of a city structure. Therefore as time moved on, many of those cities were not only places of refuge, but places of dwelling, of communication, of commerce and trade. But in ancient times, the one thing that stood out about any city, was how its walls were built. Those walls were not constructed just to set up curio shops in them; they were built for the protection of the inhabitants of the city. A city without strong walls usually never grew to be very large. So we must realize that the walls were to signify the defense and military capability of the city, to protect its inhabitants. Remember now, a city is not just a beautiful place with beautiful houses, with gold locks, and all such like. In reality, a city was a place wherein life functioned, and it was a place of safety. But what about the city John saw in the book of Revelation? In the 21st chapter it was described from its outer dimensions, and it looks exactly like a city. But I want to tell you something; There is not one house in it. You can say I am crazy, if you want to; but I will just simply tell you to go read your Bible again. It tells you how tall the walls are and that the wall of it has twelve foundations. Not the city, the wall. Now that means it has twelve layers. When you go to natural Jerusalem, you do not see the footing of those walls. How many of you know that the foundation of a wall is a footing? That is what carried the weight of it. If your foundation is not sufficient, your building will not stand. Well, it says those foundations are named after the twelve apostles. But do not try to tell me that John, James, Matthew, nor any of them, ever hauled anything up there to help build those walls. No saints, I am not crazy; I just believe a lot of people have been reading their Bibles wrong. When John described it, he said, “And the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. Now what does that tell you? That is a gold like you have never seen, but it is a gold that you have been living by. That gold is what put you on the road back to paradise; back to the habitation of God. Read what it says: The city was pure gold, like unto clear glass, and the street of the city was pure gold, as it was transparent glass. So not only was the city of that kind of gold; the street of it was too. But I assure you, there is not one ounce of natural gold in heaven. All of this is symbolic. God used terminology that would be familiar to us, to portray the value of those invisible, or spiritual things that we are pressing toward. As I said earlier; the closest man can come to portraying what he believes paradise was like in the beginning, is to construct a beautiful park with trees, flowers, and whatever they feel speaks of serenity. What are those places for? For people to get away from the rush, rush of everyday life, and relax for awhile. Just to be able to walk in serenity and quietness is a desire of mankind at times, but in this day and hour our parks are filled with thugs and perverts, so that it is not safe to go within the bounds of them. Many of the cities are the same way, all over the world today; just incubators of evil. The devil rules them. Now please do not misunderstand me; I am not condemning people who live in cities, but merely stating facts as we deal with this message. At any rate; the paradise of God is leading us back to is portrayed as a city, and that is something I do not want to miss. This is our eternal habitation with Him, in the eon ages to come. There will be no heaters, no air conditioning, no refrigerators, nor any of the things we see in a natural city today. The only thing those apostles ever sent up there was human souls.


THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM


I had better finish what I was reading in Hebrews before I go too far with this city of Revelation 21 & 22. In Hebrews 12:22, the writer (which was Paul) said, “But ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, (Brother, that’s what she is!), which are written in heaven, (That is exactly why God does not need a church book down here; our names are written in heaven in the only book that matters; the book of life.), and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator (or administrator) of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” This gospel of salvation that we talk about, is God’s new covenant, that He has made with mankind, and Paul clearly states right here; that we have come to Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. Naturally he is speaking of a spiritual experience, rather than a natural one. I will never forget the night I surrendered my heart to God, out here in a little old country church. The only mountain I encountered, was Raymond Jackson; I had to get myself out of the way, in order to find that peace of mind and assurance that I was looking for. In a spiritual sense though: we really do approach the habitation of God to seek refuge, or a sanctuary within His realm. That is the only true security we have in this life; everything else can fall apart in a day’s time. But what did God say to the church at Ephesus, in the first Church Age? (Revelation 2:7) “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” What it really boils down to, is yielding to the perfect will of God. He has opened up to lost mankind, that which man had not had access to, since the day Adam and Eve were driven from the garden of Eden. Nothing short of a sovereign act of God could open up the way whereby we could be escorted back into His presence, and receive that measure of His Spirit that enables us to overcome Satan. Though it is only a measure, it is still sufficient for anything we need, until we reach the other side. Only when He lifts us up out of the grave, in immortality, will He grant to us the fullness of what Adam lost. But praise God, every one of His redeemed children are represented in that beautiful city that John saw coming down from God out of heaven. Men, for centuries, have been looking for the tree of life; or we will say, for a paradise somewhere. But the actual paradise that we are looking for, is in the spirit world; it is the presence of God the way Adam and Eve knew it. As we have said, God is omnipresent, and omnipotent, so He can manifest Himself any way He chooses: to let His children know that they are living and walking in His watchful presence. But one day we will once again dwell in the fullness of His glorious presence. That is why, when John saw that new city coming down: prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, he heard the words; “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” The Methodists teach that we are all going to die one day, leave this world and go to heaven, but that is not the picture we get from the scriptures. The Bible tells us that heaven is coming down. In other words, God is coming back to earth in the fullness of His great being, to dwell with us here. That does not mean that God has been away from the earth for six thousand years; it just means that His glory had been withheld from the earth, and from His creation, because of sin. No wonder David said, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” We were everyone born into this world with a nature to sin; that is why we needed redemption.


Now we still plan to go into Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, and explore that city which lieth four square; but this is enough for now, so look for the completion of this message in our next issue. May the Lord bless you every one.

God Reveals Himself, Part 2

WE ENDED PART ONE IN JOHN, CHAPTER 6, WHERE JESUS WAS TALKING ABOUT HOW HE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, NOT TO DO HIS OWN WILL, BUT THE WILL OF THE FATHER WHICH HAD SENT HIM, AND WE POINTED OUT THAT IT WAS NOT THE PHYSICAL MAN THAT CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, BUT RATHER IT WAS THE EXPRESSED THOUGHT OF THE FATHER, THAT CAUSED THAT LITTLE GERM OF LIFE TO BE IN THE WOMB OF MARY, THAT ACTUALLY CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN. THEREFORE AS WE PICK UP OUR THOUGHT ON HOW GOD REVEALS HIMSELF, WE WANT TO LOOK AT SOME MORE SCRIPTURE, THAT WILL OPEN IT UP TO US EVEN FURTHER. LET ME SAY THIS THOUGH, UNLESS THE SAME SPIRIT THAT ANOINTED THESE VARIOUS MEN TO WRITE THESE SCRIPTURES, ANOINTS US TO UNDERSTAND THEM, THEY WILL JUST BE SO MANY WORDS. THEREFORE LET US PRAY THAT HE WILL OPEN OUR UNDERSTANDING, AND ALLOW US TO GET A REVELATION THAT WILL LIFT US ABOVE ALL OF THIS RELIGIOUS CONFUSION IN THE WORLD TODAY. WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO SEE GOD, ALL THE WAY FROM GENESIS 1:1 TO REVELATION 22:21, WITHOUT HAVING TO WONDER IF HE IS ONE TWO, THREE, OR A HALF A DOZEN. NOW A STATEMENT LIKE THIS MAY SOUND A LITTLE STRANGE, BUT WHEN YOU HAVE HEARD AS MANY OPINIONS ABOUT GOD, AS I HAVE, YOU CANNOT HELP BUT WONDER, WHAT ACTUALLY DO SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE ABOUT GOD? THAT IS WHY HELPING PEOPLE GET A TRUE REVELATION OF THE GODHEAD, HAS BECOME SUCH A SPECIAL CONCERN OF MINE, FOR ALL THE BEAUTIFUL TREASURES OF REVELATION ARE ACTUALLY LOCKED UP IN THAT ONE THING. AS LONG AS ANYONE BELIEVES GOD IS THREE PERSONS, ALL EQUAL IN AUTHORITY, THERE ARE AN AWFUL LOT OF SCRIPTURES THAT THEY WILL HAVE TO IGNORE, FOR THEY CANNOT POSSIBLY EXPLAIN THEM. THEREFORE WE HAVE DETERMINED TO APPROACH THIS MESSAGE FROM THE STAND POINT OF SHOWING THE VARIOUS WAY THIS ONE SOVEREIGN GOD REVEALS HIMSELF THROUGH THE BIBLE, AND FOR WHAT PURPOSE THAT MANIFESTATION WAS TO ACCOMPLISH, SO LET US CONTINUE ON.


WHAT SAITH THE SCRIPTURES


We received a letter from a man, a minister that has been on the Contender mailing list for quite some time now. He was here on Sunday morning when I preached a message, and as I now look back over some of the notes the man sent, I realize that there are actually some things in the Bible , that when you begin to preach them, people start to get nervous. It seems that they get their mind fixed in a certain channel, and they just simply cannot look at certain other scriptures. They look at them, but they have no meaning, no bearing on the subject. I copied it all down, and now as I look back at the things I brought out about the Godhead, the oneness and everything, I can see that the man’s thinking goes back to the extreme oneness side of thinking. As I have already pointed out, they give no recognition to the Son of God at all. They look at Jesus as strictly a manifestation of God in the flesh. Truly we do have a scripture in 1st Timothy 3:16, which says, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory,” but do not forget, that the same man that wrote that verse, also wrote a lot of other scriptures that clarify that verse. These are the things that people ought to look at. In other words, when you hear a man say something, if he has said other things that are relative to the same subject, then it becomes your responsibility to consider the whole scope of the thing. There are three or four scriptures in the gospel of John that most people use when they are on the subject of the Godhead, and all those other scriptures that actually show the Son talking, they just jump right over the, as though they do not even exist in the Bible. A trinitarian will see them, but a oneness will not. A oneness will see Acts 2:38, and a trinity will see Matthew 28:19, and there they go: one in a ditch on this side, and the other in a ditch on that side. It reminds me of two dogs pulling on a rabbit; sooner of later, they will pull it apart, and then neither one of them will have the whole object. That is exactly the way people do the scriptures; they get certain things, and just pull, and pull, and pull, until they get it away from everything else. Of course I do not want people to think I am going to seed on certain things; but at the same time, I realize that there are people out here in the world today, that need help with these scriptures. Not just because Raymond Jackson says so, but because they are unable to put a picture together. There are a lot of people in the world that will follow a man, no matter what he tells them. He can tell them that the moon is made of green cheese, and they will never investigate, to find out if it is true or not. Brother and Sisters: I hope none of you will go through life believing something a certain way, just because I have said it. You need to make sure everything you believe, lines up with the scriptures. That is every believer’s responsibility.


THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST


As for the scriptures we are looking at, the same man wrote both the gospel of John, and the book of Revelation, but there was a difference in his writing between the two. When he wrote the gospel of John, he used his own language, as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit, to record things as he saw them. But when he wrote the book of Revelation, he had the Lord Himself, telling him exactly what to write. Therefore we have to look at the wording in a different light, yet endeavor to come out with the same picture. Turn in your Bibles, to the 1st chapter of Revelation, at this time. It is titled, The Revelation of St. John the Divine, yet the very first verse tells us that it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and that is exactly what it is. What we need to realize though, is that He is no longer the prophet, that John wrote about in his gospel record; He is now the high priest. But let us see if John’s revelation has changed. If what he wrote in his gospel account is true, it cannot be changed here in this prophetic letter. The truth is, this oneness picture is so beautifully entwined in the scriptures, you are just almost awestruck, as the Holy Spirit reveals it to you. One way you look at it, you see the complete human being, Jesus, the Son of God. Then on the other hand, you can see the complete perfectness and divinity of the omnipotent God portrayed. That is why it is proper to say, He is perfect God, and yet He is perfect man. But as I have already pointed out, God Himself, (Jehovah of the Old Testament) will never be your brother. Naturally you will not find anything exactly like that, written in the scriptures; this is just some words I am using here in our day, to clarify some things. God, whom you respect as your Creator will never be your brother, and Jesus the man, that was born into this world by a virgin birth, will never be your Father. Yet in the scriptures, we see where He is reverenced in that manner. The reverence though, is not going to the flesh, it is going to the deity that is portrayed through Him. Therefore if we lose that picture, we will be no different than a lot of other church going people. Therefore with these few words in mind: let us begin reading here in the first chapter of revelation. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass, and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” Even in that, we see that there is an angelic being, a ministering spirit involved. From beginning to end, all through the sacred story, wherever God moves on the scene to contact mortal man, there is always an angel, or angels in the picture. You would not necessarily see them; but they are there just the same. Let us go on. “Who bare record of the word of God.” The word of God is the word of Jehovah. Jesus never referred to what He said, as His own word. The audible sound came from the vocal cords of the man Jesus, but the thoughts that were conveyed, were the thoughts of Jehovah. Yes, John was a personal disciple of Jesus Christ. He was one of the two that went to the tomb, so he could truly bare record, not only of the word of God, but also of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, (The book of Revelation is not an epistle, nor a gospel; it is entirely a prophecy.) And keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Sprits which are before His throne; (That reference is giving acknowledgment unto God, Jehovah, so notice how John breaks it down.) And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead.” The word, AND, is a conjunction. This proves beyond any shadow of doubt, that Jehovah did not die. Jehovah did not raise from the dead, It was Jesus, the Son of God, that was raised from the dead, as the scriptures say, by the power of God. Anyone who pays attention to the wording in these verses, should be able to see some things. In verse 4, you see these words; “And from the seven Sprits which are before His throne.” You cannot help but wonder how the trinitarians take God, split Him up into three separate distinct persons, and still incorporate these seven Spirits into the three persons. Well, some would say, That is a mathematical problem that would take an Einstein to figure out. Yet when God is truly seen as one God, we realize that He is not seven Spirits; but within the one complete Spirit that He is, there are seven different attributes. Seven is an important number with God, for it speaks of completeness. That is why, in the Old Testament, when God began to unfold His plan of salvation, at various times, He would reveal one of those seven redemptive names. As I have already said, when men began to lose sight of, or true understanding of the one God, they eventually worked it around to where the pagans had a god for every individual thing man had need of. That is why you see so much of what actually amounts to paganism in the Roman Catholic Church. It is a mixture of ancient paganism, and primitive Christianity blended together. They just took a lot of the old Roman deities, and put in saints, to take their place. It all sounds good to carnal flesh, but it is as spiritually unrealistic, as it could possibly be. Yes the ancient pagans had a god for every individual need; but the children of Israel knew that the one true God, was the God of every situation, and that He was the only God they needed. Therefore let me say this; The seven Spirits, are not seven different spirits, separate one from another, but rather, are mentioned like that to designate the quality and virtue, and the attributes of the one true and living God. That is why also, there are seven lamps burning before the throne.


GOD’S SON WAS HUMAN


Once you accept the fact that God is not a person, but a sovereign, omnipresent Spirit, you will realize some other things also. The God that created all things, does not need oxygen to live. He needs no food to eat, nor water to drink. He does not need the sunlight, nor the light of the moon: for He was here before any of that got here. On the other hand though, the Son of God had to eat; He had to drink, breathe oxygen; and all of that, just like all the rest of us, but He was perfect man. So we can see here, John was a Jew, and all these many years later, after he has written his gospel, he still has not changed his approach to the Revelation that he saw manifested in the earlier years of his life. “Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne; AND FROM JESUS CHRIST, who is the faithful and true witness, (Why is He called that? Because He is the only one that ever lived, and died, and rose again from the dead. He is the witness of that.) And the first begotten of the dead. (You can take that right to Romans 8:29) and the prince of the kings of the earth.” He has never been King of the earth yet, but all of that is potentially in Him. “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” He did that by dying for us at Calvary, and having His own blood spilled out there on the ground. That was the perfect atonement for the sins of the whole world, past, present, and future. Verse 6, “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” It is through His intercessory high priest work, that we are made kings and priests unto God, and His Father. Now if we were to take the extreme oneness stand, we would have to jump over those last three words, “And His Father,” for as we have been pointing out, they see the flesh of the Son, only as a shell for God to abide in, leaving no room for any human mind at all. Well if that were the case, why was the Son out there in the garden on His knees, praying, Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me? Jehovah God has never been scared of death. But the Son of God reacted like any human would. In Hebrews, Paul speaking of Him, when He was here in the flesh, how He sought God with tears, that if it be possible, that cup might pass from Him, that cup of suffering and death. Do not ever allow yourselves to think for even a moment, that God was out there sweating great drops of blood, afraid to die, or you will find yourself believing in a God that is too weak to do anything for you. Alright, so He hath made us kings and priests unto God. That was a finished work in the mind of God, before the world was ever created, but it was not activated until Jesus was in His high priest work, interceding for us.


THE BEGINNING AND THE END


As we read verse 7, you will see that it reaches all the way out to the end of the great tribulation. “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” This, of course, is speaking of the coming again of Jesus Christ, in His second advent. It will take place at the end of the great tribulation, after the Antichrist has fulfilled his 3 ½ year rule, and when Jesus comes to earth this time, He will truly come down from heaven in a bodily form, and His little bride will come with him. That is when the wrath of God will be poured out upon wicked mankind, and truly, men will wail because of him. Alright, verse 8 gives us a picture of something here, but we want to keep in mind, that these are words that John is hearing. He is relating the introduction, but he has not yet described what he sees. He cannot do that, until he turns around. Therefore the words we are reading, are words spoken from behind him, and that is the way he writes his introduction. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” The beginning, and the ending, gives primary recognition to Jehovah. It is stated that the words alpha, and omega, refer to the beginning and the ending of the Hebrew alphabet. I was asked a question concerning that, in a letter I received, so I just made a tape, and sent it to the person. We have to realize that when Jehovah asks human beings, to give to Him that kind of recognition; that He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the ending, there is a reason why He wants to be recognized in that way. It is because, before there was anything other that God Himself, there was not even a beginning yet. As a matter of fact, He was not even God yet, because the word god, speaks of an object of worship, and there was nothing to worship Him. He was a sovereign Spirit though, and everything had its beginning in Him. A beginning has got to be when something begins to come into scope, or visibility. Until there was something that was tangible or materialistic, there was no beginning, and there could not be anything associated with an ending. So we have to realize that if there is a beginning, it has to be because God is the author of it; you are dealing with creation. Then if there is an ending, we have to realize, that there is going to be certain things within the scope of time, from the beginning to the end, that will pass out of existence, never to be again. Why? Because it never finds a place in the plan of God for an eternal existence. Therefore anything that is created, can in God, have an ending. Knowing in your heart, that God is the Creator of all things, will enable you to avoid the frustrations a lot of people have today. They have missing links in the picture they are trying to put together. There never was a need for any language, until after God created something to speak it. But when god put man here, He also gave him the ability to communicate. As a matter of fact, the whole human race was of one language, all the way over to the tower of Babel. Well, who divided the languages? Jehovah God, because He is the beginning of every dialect, and He will be the ending of them also. The Bible plainly states, that in that day, in the Millennium, He will return unto the people, a pure language. But some people get so technical: they wonder whether it will be English or Hebrew. What difference could that possibly make? God will still be the author of it, just like when He confused the languages, at the tower of Babel. This puts Him in the position of being recognized as the sole means by how anything can come into existence, and also how it can have an ending. If he is the alpha and omega of the Hebrew language, do you not think He is also the alpha and omega of the English language as well? He sure is. But let us finish verse 8, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, (now) which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Yes Jesus is coming again. He is coming from heaven, and every eye shall behold Him, but in Him, is Jehovah, the great God of all creation, coming to do what? To fulfill in the earth, something related to His redemption plan for the nations, as well as the earth. We call it the second coming of Jesus Christ, but let us realize that it is the coming of the Almighty too. That redemptive name which means, the Lord is present, will be applicable when He sits in Jerusalem, as King of kings, Jesus will be seen sitting there, but He will be invested with all the kingly authority of Jehovah Himself. The kingly authority comes from Jehovah, but as it was nineteen hundred years ago, it will be Jesus the Son of God that is seen sitting there.


VOICE LIKE A TRUMPET


“I John, (verse 9) who am also your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” That voice as a trumpet, lets us know that this is truly Jehovah speaking. Was not that the same thing they heard on top of Mt. Sinai? He did not say it was a trumpet, but that it was as of a trumpet. In other words, we will have to say, the voice was speaking with such sternness, and with such volume, it did not sound like just a mere human talking. It sounded like a voice that could be heard to the ends of the earth. Therefore what that actually says to us, is that even though the words are coming from the mouth of Jesus, it is Jehovah Himself, the Elohim, invested in the man, that is doing the speaking. So as this voice is speaking, again it goes back, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.” Everything up until now, John has heard coming from behind him, but in this next verse we will see him turning around, to see the one that has been talking with him, so notice what he sees. “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks.” The seven golden candlesticks that John saw, which looked to him like they were right there on that island, were actually a reflection of what was portrayed in heaven: seven lamps burning before the throne of God. But here on earth, they portrayed how the Spirit of God burned in those seven churches. “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man.” John remembered what He looked like, for he had walked with Him for three and a half years. He knew also what He looked like, when He rose from the dead. Therefore from John’s words there, we will have to say, There are certain characteristics about Him, that have not changed. “One like unto the Son of man, clothes with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” This golden girdle around His chest portrays the role of high priest, that He has been elevated to, throughout this dispensation called the dispensation of grace, which is also the Church Ages. Notice now, as John continues the description of the one He is seeing, “His head and His hairs were white like wood, as white as snow.” From certain visible points, John could recognize that the man he was seeing, was Jesus. That is why he said, one like unto the Son of man. But His hair is definitely a different color now, than what it was when He was on earth. Does that mean His hair has turned white, because He got old? That is not the picture that is being portrayed here. The white hair portrays the ancient authority that was invested in Him, when He was taken up into heaven, and seated, or positioned at the Father’s right hand. The Ancient of days has literally invested in Him this priestly authority which can only come from Jehovah. But the investment is not in the garment. The garment portrays the high priest of course; but the white hair, and the appearance it gives Him, is what portrays the ancient authority of Him who has always been. He is older than anything in the world. The ancient of days is never a person, but rather, the quality of what He is. Therefore all of this is meant to show us that God Almighty, the Elohim which always was, has delegated to the person of His son, the ancient authority to be high priest. But we realize that the actual priestly qualities belong only to God. For that matter, all Kingly qualities belong to God, Jehovah, and also all prophetic qualities. All of that is in that one omnipotent Spirit. But He is able to bestow that anointing upon this obedient Son, and cause Him to be invested with all of that ancient authority. As for His appearance, not only was His hair as white as snow, but His eyes were as a flame of fire. That lets us know that His vision was not limited to what His natural eyes were, on earth. Being as flames of fire, they are able to penetrate every unexplained mystery. Why? Because that was an investment in Him, from Jehovah. It is the vision of that omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient Spirit; therefore it is unlimited.


WHAT JOHN SAW


As we come to verse 15, notice His feet. “And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.” This is significant of the fact that He stood in our place at Calvary, and sin was judged in Him, for every one of us. Therefore as He stood there, being recognized from some qualities as the Son of man; all of these other characteristics speak of that which has been delegated to Him. Let me say this also, The actual immortal man, that was taken up to heaven, whatever the color of His natural hair was, it never changed. Every description we see here is symbolic of something that has been delegated to him to fulfill. It all goes to show, how the object changes from position to position. This is where too many times, people lose sight of what God is. John stood there looking at this image before him, and his description of what he saw, allows us to see a portrayal of what He is, and what He has done, and what has been invested in Him. Those feet of brass, or like unto brass, then, speak of how He stood in our place, and had our sin judged in Him. In other words, just like Isaiah said, (53:6) “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Alright,”And His voice as the sound of many waters.” This takes on a characteristic likeness of Jehovah Himself, speaking, because the natural man that Jesus was, had a voice not much different than any other human voice. But when Jehovah chooses to use this voice, in that manner, this description does not bring out the human side of Jesus; it brings out the divine side, Jehovah Himself, speaking through Him. “And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” John is now looking at His face, and he is seeing something that Jesus did not have, when He appeared to them after rising from the dead. So here again, we have to realize, that this is portraying something that has been invested from the eternal Spirit into Him, to cause Him to have this likeness. This is how Peter, James and John saw Him, on the Mount of Transfiguration, when they were allowed to see a preview of His Millennial glory. When He was transfigured before them, not only did His face shine as the sun, His raiment was as white as the light also. Therefore we will have to say, All of that is a description of the glory of Jehovah invested in Him. But it is to draw complete attention to the person of Jesus Christ, even though it is God almighty that gives Him that complete description. “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” Only those that had demons cast out of them, ever fell at His feet like that, when He was on earth. But can you not see why John would react like that? Right there before him, is displayed the majestic countenance that Jehovah has invested in His obedient Son, and it caused John to react like he did. So John fell at His feet as dead. “And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last.” Once again, attention is turned back to the great Creator, and then the voice said, “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore.” This gives recognition to the physical man who suffered and died. But brothers and sisters, this is such a unified picture, it cannot be seen, except by divine revelation. When Jesus was here before, and was truly the prophet of all prophets, He exemplified that great prophetic Spirit of Jehovah, in the fullness of what it can be. In that day, many Jews saw only a man, but there were others, that saw more than a man. Those that saw more than a man, truly saw their Messiah, God invested. He was more than just a human vessel Jehovah created to get inside of; He was a living soul Himself. Yet because of the way He was conceived in Mary’s womb, by a divine act of the Spirit of God, He was without sin. But you must always remember. He was a complete human being. He cold have exercised His will at any time, and the truth of the matter is, He did exercise His will, but His will was to do the will of the Father, always. Of course we will have to say once again, The life in that vessel of clay, did come from Jehovah, but where did your life come from? This is what we want to illustrate and deal with in our next message. All life had to come from Jehovah, but the very fact that we came into the world by a perverted act, makes us fallen creatures, standing in need of a Savior. Sin entered the picture, when Adam and Eve failed their test. They had a commission, to multiply, and fill the earth, but instead of fulfilling that commission through the tree of life, they allowed themselves to be tempted and overcome, and they ended up fulfilling God’s commission through the law of the tree of death, which was the tree of knowledge. Therefore redemption was necessary, but it could not come through Adam’s genetic seed. That is why God had to act again. But this time, He did not go out, and mix clay and water, and fashion another Adam. He simply created in the womb of a young virgin, a cell of life, that would produce a Son without the fallen nature. In other words, the life of Jesus came into being, by an indirect act of creation. That is why it is right to say, Jesus the Christ, was the only begotten Son of God. He was born of woman, like any other little baby, but there was no nature to sin, in Him, because His life came from above, and ours came from beneath. In other words, our lives are the result of God’s law of creation. That law of reproduction gives us all an existence, but our life goes back through that law, to the very author of life, the Creator. When it came time for this great Creator to show His redeeming qualities, then He gives Himself a begotten Son, to carry it out through. He is called by Paul, the second Adam. Adam our progenitor according to the flesh, was a perfect man, before the fall, and had the presence of Jehovah living in that vessel of clay with him. That was where the test lay. Would they obey the voice of their Creator, and continue to enjoy that presence? Or would they disobey His command to them, and lose that presence? I think we all know the answer to that. The devil entered the picture, and Adam forfeited the position he held. As I have said, we are told in the Bible that God drove them out of the garden of Eden, and placed cherubims to guard the way to the tree of life, but that does not mean that God drove them out of a geographical spot of ground somewhere. He merely withdrew His divine presence from them, and made them subject to the five senses. They no longer had the privilege of communicating in the spirit world, as they had before. God stripped Eve of the knowledge of knowing when to partake of His law of reproduction according to the tree of life. From that time on they would have that intimate relation with each other, and it would serve the purpose of repopulating the earth, but it would be apart from the tree of eternal life. Now they could only see the animal kingdom about them, and the ground that had to be tilled by Adam, instead of the serpent that God had given him for a servant. When they lost that abiding presence of Elohim, they lost contact with the spirit world, that had previously been just as accessible to them as the material world, and they lost the privilege of bringing offspring into the world by the tree of life. All their children had death in them. But Jesus the Christ, was not born by that route; His life truly came from above. However, as I have said before, Do not try to make Him Emmanuel from the moment He was born into the world. That terminology did not apply to Him at any time, before He reached age 30.


INCARNATION MADE THE DIFFERENCE


I get letters from people who have read in the Contender where I made that statement that Jesus was not Emmanuel until after He was baptized by John, and the Spirit of the Father came down to indwell Him, and they say, But Bro. Jackson: How about Isaiah 7:14? Well Isaiah 7:14 just simply covered the whole scope of what He was to be, just like Isaiah 9:6 does, but He was not to be known by any of that, until after the Father incarnated Him at age 30. Only a few people even knew that about Him before then. At the time of His birth, God bore witness to a few people, Anna, Simeon, the sheep herders, and so forth, but to everyone else, He was just another little Jewish baby. The wise men from the East, came and inquired. Where is he that is born King of the Jews? But He was not King of the Jews at that time; He only had that future potential lying within Him. Therefore as I have stressed over and over. He was not God with us; He was not the mighty God; He was not the everlasting Father, an neither was the government upon His shoulder at any time during the first thirty years of His life. He was perfect man, but He was not God. He had a perfect human mind, that could think, make choices, and act upon his decisions, but He never at any time during those first thirty years, attempted to work any kind of miracle, or be anything that would catch the attention of the other people. Then when the Father did incarnate Him, and He did enter into His foreordained ministry, no less than 80 times. He referred to Himself as the Son of man, placing particular emphasis upon the fact of His humanity. Brothers and Sisters: It may seem at times, like I am going to seed on certain things, but if you could read my mail, and answer my telephone for awhile, you would realize that there are still a lot of people out there, searching for truth, and no matter how well some of you may know these things already, we still have to be concerned for the ones who do not yet know them, but want to. No, we are not going to change the world, no matter what we say, but those who are still seeking to know the truth, let us be there with that truth. Those trinitarians and extreme oneness, that have already settled in their heart, what they want to believe, are not going to change, but scattered here and there among them, are still a few people who desire to walk with the Lord, and to know what truth is. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” No wonder Jesus said that, for once you know the truth, you could not care less about what the devil throws at you. His accusations and criticism means nothing to you, once you know the truth. When your conscience is clear before God, let the world scream all they want to, it will not disturb you in the least. Therefore as we put this in print, I want every angle to be covered, so that, the Lord willing, I will never have to deal with this particular message, in this way, again.


ISAIAH’S PROPHECY CONCERNING JESUS


Let us go to Isaiah 7:14, and examine it carefully. “Therefore the Lord Himself (This is none other than Jehovah Himself, speaking through Isaiah the prophet.) Shall give you a sign; (meaning Israel.) Behold, a virgin shall conceive, (It does not say when) and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” The sign was to appear to Israel, and you will notice, it said a virgin shall bear a SON, not just a child, as many people want to believe. It was to be a son, and His name was to be called Immanuel. You cannot get much more specific than that. But still people see things that are not really there. Many of the extreme oneness people, read that verse and say, See there! That proves that He was born God. No, it does not. You cannot put that one verse of scripture above everything else, that gives you a revelation of when that prophecy was fulfilled. I have never yet heard a oneness person say that the name Jesus, is a compound name. If those various deity names, or titles, carry compound meanings, then why would not this redemption name carry a compound meaning also? When Jehovah is manifested in a man, and that man constantly proclaims that He has come in His Father’s name, then how can you help but see a compound name there? We are just looking at the name here, we are not yet dealing with the man Himself, so let us go to Isaiah 9:6. This is the next thing that prophet recorded about that son that was to be born of a virgin. This is actually the Spirit of God, speaking on behalf of the people, that are looking for this great visitation from their God. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government (Now notice these prophecies; they are all given in the fulfilled sense.) Shall be upon His shoulder. (In other words the prophecy carries all the way from birth, to the climax of all that He was to fulfill in the purpose of God, but we have to be able to see an elapse of time in all of that.) And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” I do not find in the scriptures, where anyone ever met Jesus on the street and said, Good morning Wonderful, Good morning Counselor, or anything like that. Actually He was to be all of that, but when? Not at birth. I would have to challenge anyone on that. We have too many other scriptures to look at, not to realize that. Of course, where some will argue the point, others will say, What difference does it make? It makes a lot of difference to a true revelation. Let us read on. “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the lord of hosts will perform this.” Now that prophecy is spoken in the complete fulfilled sense and purpose, but its fulfillment had to await its time.


PROPHECY CONCERNING JOHN THE BAPTIST


Let us to go Isaiah 40, where this same prophet wrote something else, concerning the actual time when those other two prophecies would have another phase of their fulfillment. This pertains to something that took place 30 years after His birth. Verse 3, “The voice of him that cried in the wilderness was John the Baptist, sent to prepare the way, before the coming of the Lord. “Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” What language. That sounds like there should have been someone out there with survey instruments, surveying and driving stakes in those old Judaean hills; does it not? But for the most part, those old Judaean hills are still just like they were two thousand years ago. Listen. “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.” That sounds like quite a highway was being built. But every bit of that is spiritual. Those mountains are figurative; those valleys are figurative, and so are the crooked and rough places. That is the way God hid the true thought, until time for it to be fulfilled. But notice verse 5; this is what we want to see. First there had to be a highway prepared. But to where, and to what is this highway prepared? It was a way into the hearts of the people, and verse 5 tells us why. “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah was speaking of a time when the Lord would show forth His glory. But it was not at the birth of Jesus; it was at His baptism. There was no such manifestation of the Spirit of God at the birth of Jesus, like there was at His baptism. Let us just look back at his birth, and see what happened. When the angel of the Lord spoke, he spoke in the sense of the completed prophecy, but there is a long span of time between birth and baptism, with very little written about Him. Surely to goodness, if the glory was as real at His birth as it was at His baptism, there would have been something more written about this Son of God, in between the two accounts. He was the same man all the way through, but we just have to realize, God did not mean for us to learn of His great plan of salvation just from the mere flesh part of the man. He used that flesh to reveal Himself through, but salvation is of the Spirit. Let us go to Matthew 1:18, where the angel spoke to Joseph who had become engaged to this young woman, knowing nothing of the plan of God. Therefore what was about to happen, would be a great surprise to him, and he had to make a decision. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Now saints, we are not trinitarians, therefore we know the Holy Ghost was not a person, and neither was His father a person. But God (the Father) did possess the person of His Son, for it is written, that Jesus had the Spirit without measure. So notice how this goes. “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make he a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on those things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son. (The angel is going to announce what the name of that son is to be. Isaiah did not give the name; he only told what the name given Him would mean.) And thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Like I said, those prophecies were spoken in the complete fulfilled sense, but if we have spiritual eyes to see, we are going to see that it took time for that name given to that little baby, to take on the full significance of its compound meaning, God with us. The angel concludes by saying, “For He shall save His people from their sins.” Which actually means, Jehovah God Himself shall save His people from their sins, and He will do it through the power and authority of that manifested name. Now that name just simply written down on a piece of paper would have no authority in itself, for there have been a lot of people named Jesus, down through time. So what made the difference? It was that anointing He received at His baptism, that made the difference. Those other Jesus’ did not have it. Verse 22, “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” This was Matthew’s account of the angels appearance to Joseph, so let us go to Luke 1:26, where we will find Luke’s account of the angel appearing to Mary. “And in the sixth month (The sixth month of John’s mother’s pregnancy) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, (That is where Joseph and Mary lived) to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. (The Catholics really love that verse.) And when she saw him, she was troubled at His saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.” Remember, Brothers and Sisters: This took place before what we just read in Matthew. There could have been a number of months in between the two accounts, for the angel appeared to Mary to announce her conception, but he did not appear to Joseph until he found out that she was with child. Notice now, “And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David.” Well we see here, that this son is to be called the Son of the Highest. This was one of the deity titles we looked at earlier, the Highest. “And He shall rule over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; (The word power, actually means authority. There are many places where the translators have used power, where it actually should have been authority.) therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”


PROPHECY FULFILLED


Brothers and Sisters: We are dealing with the child of a virgin woman, but here, the angel speaks specifically, He shall be called the Son of God. At what time will He be known as the Son of God? Actually He was always the Son of God; but to most people, it was only known by a divine revelation, after His baptism by John. I do not mean to say that most people say that, but of those who did, it was because it was revealed to them by the Spirit. So we just have to say, a lot can take place as time moves on. We will go on over into the 2nd chapter of Luke, for there are a few points we want to make. God did not speak to Joseph, and tell him, Now Joseph, when Mary gets close to the time for her delivery, you take a trip to Bethlehem. The prophets of old, spoke of Bethlehem, but how was it all going to fulfill itself? God creates conditions that work together to fulfill His word. He will speak certain things, and they become established by His word, but then He has to work conditions to make sure that word is materialized into a fulfilled reality. Here He lets the old Roman emperor make a decree, requiring that all the world should be taxed, so the taxation went into effect right at the exact time, to force Joseph to go to Bethlehem to pay his part. So to Bethlehem they went, to pay their taxes, and during the days they were there, Mary’s time was up, and she gave birth to her first child. In other words, they could not just walk up and pay their taxes, the first day they got there, for the little town was no doubt running over with people that were there for the same purpose. The fact that they could find no place in the inn, lets us know that the little town of Bethlehem was like a beehive. People were coming from far and near, just to pay their taxes. Therefore when Joseph and Mary got there, Howard Johnson’s was full, the Ramada Inn was full, the Holiday Inn likewise. I do not know what they named those places back then, but at least you get the point. Well the last place they went, they were told, The Inn is full, but we do have a stable out back that you could stay in, and that was exactly as God meant for it to be. But the minute you mention a stable, people will say, Oh that is terrible. But let me tell you saints, there have been children born in worse places than that. The point was, God wanted that humble environment for what was going to take place. The child was born there in that stable, and there were shepherds abiding in the field, in the same country, keeping watch over their flocks by night. It was not snowing, the weather was not bad, and when Jesus was born, the Bible says, (Luke 2, verse 9) “And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” There again, this prophecy was spoken in the fulfilled sense, like most of the prophecies were, so you just have to be spiritual enough to look at all of the scriptures, and see how it transpired. “And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” When that angel told them that, they knew better than to go to the Ramada Inn and inquire, Do you have a little newborn baby here? No. The angel told them they would find him wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, so what they had to do, was go into town and look for a stable. “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Well the shepherds came, and saw the little baby, and returned to their flocks rejoicing because of what they had heard and seen. That brings us down to verse 21, where the little baby was legally named JESUS. Of course in their hearts, Joseph and Mary named Him Jesus at birth; but according to their law, when they brought Him to the temple, that is when the name JESUS, became His legal name. It went on record then, and became the name that He would be identified by. It was just like us having our children’s names recorded at the county courthouse. You can name a baby in the hospital room, but until that becomes a recorded fact, the child has no legal identity. The Jews were very particular about those things. In fact, they kept records of their tribal lineage, of whose house this one, and that one was from. They were practically the only people on earth that did so. “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcision of the child, His name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord.” This is when the name really became authenticated, when the offering was made, and the priest made a record of it. “As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord. And to offer a sacrifice according to the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledove, or two young pigeons. (Notice now) And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ,” (or the Lord’s anointed one, which is what it means.) In other words, when Simeon saw that child, he saw it for what it was destined to be, to Israel, and really to the whole word. Through Him, would be accomplished God’s salvation plan for lost mankind. But we all know good and well that when Jesus came to the river to be baptized by John, and that salvation plan was set in operation, the man called Simeon was no longer around, but the beauty of it all was the way God confirmed through him, what this child was destined to be, to fulfill every scripture. Time itself brought about the fulfillment. But to even think that this little baby born in Bethlehem, in a stable, was already Jehovah in the flesh, is completely contrary to too many scriptures, and it keeps many scriptures from even having any importance. Nevertheless the child’s destiny was confirmed to the shepherds, to Mary and Joseph and to the spiritual people at the temple, but to the nation of Israel as a whole, He was not confirmed. As a matter of fact, He was between one and two years old, before the next confirmation was made, and that was to the wise men that came from the east. Like I have already pointed out, Those wise men did not come and say, Where is He that is born Immanuel? They said, Where is He that is born King of the Jews. He was not king at that time, but He was King to be. His first role was prophet, but like we have said over and over, He was not even that, until after He was baptized by John, and the Spirit of the Father descended, and incarnated Him. He was a prophet for three and a half years, He has been high priest for almost two thousand years, and when His Kingship is fulfilled, He will deliver everything back up to the Father, that God, the same Spirit that caused His conception in the womb of that virgin; may be all in all. Where then, does that put Jesus? Does He disintegrate? Or is His position lowered? No. We do not look at it like that. After the whole redemption plan is completed, He will still be the Son of God that He has been ever since the day He was born. He does not lose one thing, because through the whole thing. God has been lifting you and me up, to be like Him, so we can see him as our elder brother. It was God, our heavenly Creator, that we could not see, so He revealed and manifested Himself through this one that could be seen and touched, and He ordained that we could worship Him through the person of this dear Son. There has never been another human on the face of the earth, through which this could be done. That is why the scriptures say that He has been made both Lord and Christ. He is simply fulfilling the perfect will of God in His great plan of redemption. Therefore when the kingdom is all redeemed, and the purpose of God has been completed, then there will be the whole family of God on earth, and Jesus Himself will be the elder brother of this whole family.


SIMEON AND ANNA RECOGNIZE JESUS


Let us look back a few more minutes, at how the baby Jesus was confirmed to be what He was. Simeon and Anna, were representative of the people that had been looking for this special child, which was the hope of Israel for redemption. Simeon was old, and once he saw Him, he said, Now Lord, let me die in peace, according to thy word. He was not worried about remaining on the scene any longer, to see what God would do, because he knew what God would do. That is the part that makes me feel so happy, just thinking about it. Hallelujah! Then there was the old woman by the name of Anna, just moving in the Spirit, that came right to Him. Brother, when the Holy Ghost does something, it is done right, and you can get a true revelation that will move right on through the scriptures without any conflict. That old woman came by and she too, began speaking of Him, to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. You know she did not live to see the day when He would start to fulfill the things she was speaking of. She no doubt died pretty soon after that, but she had lived to see the hope of Israel, Joseph and Mary pondered those things in their hearts, and just waited to see what God would do. Now Luke, the historian, says that they returned to Nazareth after that, but if you will pay close attention to the record of Matthew, you will notice that they did not immediately return back to Nazareth. They went right back to Bethlehem. Luke did not record their flight into Egypt, nor the wise men coming from the Far East; it was Matthew that included those events in this account. No doubt they felt that because of what had taken place at Bethlehem, there was something special about the child being there. Their personal feelings were probably that they should stay right there in Bethlehem. The months passed, Jesus was no longer a newborn baby, and according to Matthew, they were living in a house, when the camel caravan arrived from the east, coming to visit, and pay their respects to a special person. They went to King Herod’s palace, introduced themselves, and said, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? We have seen His star in the East, and have come to worship Him. (There are many legendary stories about this event, but the Bible tells us enough to cancel out many of them, if we will pay attention. Time and space will not allow us to go into them; but you can read the 2nd chapter of Matthew and catch the main points.) King Herod sent for the Scribes and Pharisees, chief priests, and so forth, and inquired of them, where such a child was supposed to be born. Naturally they were all familiar with the scrolls, and exactly what he was talking about, so they said, “In Bethlehem of Judaea; for thus it is written by the prophet, and thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.” King Herod then told the wise men what he had found out; that according to their authorities, this child was to be born about 9 miles down the road, in Bethlehem. Go and search diligently for the young child, and when you have found Him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship Him also. What a political hypocrite; that was a conniving trick, to try and get rid of Him. The star that had guided them, went before them to Bethlehem, and stood over the house where the young child was. That was how they found Him. Now the scientific world has a lot of theories about that star, and every one of them are no doubt wrong. I cannot help but feel that this was a supernatural star, and here is why, you can go outside on a clear night like tonight, and I challenge you to tell me which one of those stars are actually hanging over your head. There no doubt would be one, that you would feel was right over you, but if it were possible to draw a straight line down from it to the ground, you might find that it is a hundred miles away. Yet those wise men were able to actually follow a precise star, that led them to Jerusalem, then on to Bethlehem, where it went and stood directly over the house where the young child was. I challenge any one of you to step outside, and tell me which one of those stars are actually hanging right over this church house. You simply cannot do it.


A SUPERNATURAL STAR


Those wise men were astronomers from the east, and I know they did not have the huge telescopes like we do today, so there had to be some sort of supernatural manifestations that really got their attentions, and they had to know something of what was written in the scriptures in order to associate it with this event. Well whatever there was in the natural elements, God just put a supernatural something about it, and that was the thing that guided them. It went before them, and stood right over the place where the young child was. First it was over Jerusalem; that was to get Herod into the picture, but then it was nine miles away, standing over Bethlehem. That required some sort of supernatural intervention. I hope you understand my point, for I am persuaded that God is not going to write a book explaining it. The wise men followed that star and what did they find? Not a newborn baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. No, it was a young child under two years old, and they were living in a house. Herod had asked them, How long ago did you see this sign, and based upon their answer, when they failed to return to Him with the information he wanted, he made a decree that all children in Bethlehem, and in the region round about under two years of age, should be killed, and that was based upon what the wise men had told him concerning the time they had first seen the star. That shows that Jesus could have been close to two years old by that time. Well they worshiped and adored Him, all based upon the assumption that He was the one born to be King of Israel. Naturally we all know that He was not a King at that time, but the prophecy declaring that the government would be upon His shoulder was a true prophecy, so He will one day be exactly that. He had to be a prophet first; then high priest, and one day He will take the throne of David, and rule for a thousand years, and after that, He will eventually be looked upon as our elder brother, standing at the head of the redeemed family of God. Alright, Herod had told these wise men to return to him, and let him know where the young child was, but they were warned by an angel of God, to return some other way, and bypass Herod, so they did, and were not heard from again. Herod did not like the idea of them making a fool of him like that, and he certainly did not intend to stand by, and allow that child to grow up, being looked upon as King, so his decree was designed to prevent that. But just about the time that decree became law, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying, Arise, and take the young child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him. Joseph did as he was warned to do, and Herod’s troops did as they were instructed to do, and slew all the children under two years of age, but Jesus was spared, because He was in Egypt, and every bit of this was to fulfill scriptures. One was Hosea 11:1, “Out of Egypt have I called my Son.” That is how Matthew expressed the prophecy. The type was set by calling Jacob (Israel) out of Egypt, and the fulfillment of it was when God called His only begotten Son out of Egypt.


JOSEPH GOES BACK TO NAZARETH


When word came that King Herod was dead, the angel said to Joseph. “Arise, and take the young child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.” I can just see Joseph, as he saddles up, loads up their personal belongings, takes his wife and child and starts up the old trail toward home. But as they come into the borders of Israel, he hears that Herod’s son is reigning in his father’s place, and he knew that this fellow was not much different than his daddy, so he was afraid to go on to Bethlehem. Again, he was warned in a dream, so he just bypassed Bethlehem and Jerusalem, and went right back to Nazareth, where they had originally come from. That is where the child grew up, and that also fulfilled another prophecy which stated, He shall be called a Nazarene Brother, the scriptures are being fulfilled right and left, and still no one has recognized Jesus as Immanuel. There were those that God had vindicated it to; who knew that He had this potential lying in Him, but to the rest, He was just another little Jewish boy. As for conditions themselves, you can almost imagine what the people of Nazareth might have said to Joseph and Mary: What in the world ever caused you to move back here? Well there was a lot to tell, but we do not know how much Joseph and Mary ever told, concerning the circumstance that caused them to move back there. One thing is sure though; they knew they were going to stay away from Herod’s son, that ruled in his place, an Nazareth seemed to be the place to be, so all of that worked together, to fulfill other scriptures. At age twelve, when He was found setting among the doctors in the temple, both hearing them, and asking them questions; they knew He was a smart little boy, but they did not know what He was to be. Naturally they marveled at His wisdom, for He, being the Son of God, had unlimited potential. He possessed a perfect knowledge in that respect, and He knew who He was. Never did He have to ask, as some do today, Who am I? We are living in a generation where many people are going around from place to place, trying all sorts of things, trying to find themselves, but He knew who He was. That is why He answered Mary as He did, when they found Him in the temple that day; Did ye not know that I must be about my Father’s business? That in itself, should be enough to let people know that He was not yet Immanuel. He was not speaking a riddle. Elohim was not talking. That was absolutely the Son of God talking. I keep stressing these points, hoping that some extreme oneness people can be helped with them, to the point where they can realize that the Son of God has always been in the picture, from the very day of His birth. Even the incarnation thirty years later, still did not do away with the Son. Any person that cannot glorify Him as the Son of God, has something wrong with their revelation. No, saints, I am not ashamed to stand here and talk like this, for I am not trying to please anyone except God. It would be vain, to try to please the world, the trinity, or even the oneness, for it is the purpose of God, that we ought to endeavor to accomplish. When you know that there is going to be some people go out of here one day, because the truth has set them free, it makes you even more determined to see that they get the truth. I am not trying to convince the world; the world has what they want. But there is a people that have been called out of the world, and they still do not have the truth. These are the ones who must hear, and receive a revelation, in order to be ready when the Bridegroom cometh. It may seem like the devil has completely taken over, and that the gospel of Jesus Christ has lost its power; but I am here to tell you that it is still accomplishing all that the Father ever meant for it to. It is bringing some to repentance and God likeness, and it is judging all the rest.

OUR PERFECT EXAMPLE


Getting back to our subject now, let me say this, Not even Joseph and Mary understood from the very beginning, the full significance of what the angel of the Lord had spoken to them. They had to grow with the unfolding circumstances that brought it all to pass. But the Bible tells us that from the episode at the temple, at age twelve, He (Jesus) went down to Nazareth with Joseph and Mary, and was subject unto them. No more did they have to wonder where He was, and never did they have to worry about what He was getting into, like other parents did, for He had no nature in Him, to want to do wrong. Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” He had to eat natural food just like the rest of us, in order to increase in stature, and the fact that He found favor with God, proves that He was not God already, But, Hallelujah! He was the one through whom God would reveal Himself to this lost and dying world of mankind Jesus, the perfect man who knew no sin, went to the cross and died, to redeem you and me who are so unworthy of redemption. An innocent one took our place and became sin, in order that we who were sinful might be lifted up, and be made like unto Him. Just as sin was imputed to mankind when Adam sinned, righteousness is imputed to all those who truly believe and put their trust in that work of redemption that was wrought at Calvary, through that perfect Son of God. When He was growing up, there in Nazareth, it was not His nature to aggravate people. He found favor with God and man, and in order to do that, you have to be morally, socially, principally, and ethically above reproach. People could always speak well of Him. As a man, He set a perfect example. How was He able to do that? Simply because He was not a sinner. There was no iniquity in Him, His nature was to express the attributes of His Father, who was, and still is the true and living, and all sufficient God of all creation. But because of our fallen nature, we had more of a tendency to express the attributes of the enemy of God, the devil. That is what we have been redeemed from. Because of what Jesus did for us, our own nature has been changed, to be more like him. Well, as I said, we do not have any record of what took place in His life, between the age of twelve, and the time when He was baptized at age thirty, but we do know that He possessed wisdom and knowledge. When He came back to Nazareth, after He was baptized, and went into the synagogue, He knew what was written in those scrolls, and He knew where His life fitted into them, and when and how certain things were to be applied, so let us go back to Matthew, chapter 3, where John is baptizing there in the Jordan River.


THE HOLY GHOST BAPTIZER


John has been asked a lot of questions: who are you, and what have you got to say for yourself, and all such like, and in verse 11, he says this. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” That, brothers and sisters, was a prophecy, because none of that would be applicable when Jesus was here in His earthly ministry. That would be applicable only after He had entered into His role as high priest. Notice now. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? John knew he was a sinner, and that at his very best, he fell short of what this man was. “And Jesus answering, said unto him, Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him.” We have already spoken of Isaiah 40:5, but right here is where it was actually fulfilled. This is where the Jehovah Elohim from above, comes upon the scene and possesses His only begotten Son, to literally fulfill the scripture, “God with us,” which is what the name Immanuel means. At this time, the name Jesus begins to take on a compound meaning. “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, (What is taking place now? The glory of the Lord is going to be revealed, in a way that was not revealed at His birth. There was no such demonstration at His birth.) And He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.” This is Jehovah which is a Spirit, and cannot be seen, coming down to incarnate His Son, but in order to fulfill the scripture, “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,” He gave Himself this manifestation, and appeared in the form of a dove. You cannot say that God is a bird, yet that dove expressed the quality of the nature of God, and it sat upon Jesus, that obedient Son, and while the dove was sitting there upon Jesus, the voice still spoke from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” This does not make God a ventriloquist; It simply demonstrates the fact of His omnipresence. Though He will be in His Son in the fullness of all His attributes, He will still fill the whole universe with His great presence. But from that moment on, Jesus could say, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father. There stood the only sinless man that ever walked the face of this earth, and now the great Creator who begat Him, is dwelling in Him, in the fulness of all of His attributes. Adam was made sinless and perfect, but he was placed here on earth with a commission to fulfill, to replenish the earth, and before he could get started fulfilling that commission, he failed his Creator. God imputed a death penalty to him, and that penalty passed upon the whole human race, but God still allowed the law of reproduction to go right ahead and fill the earth with offspring from that law. The difference though, is that every little baby born, already had that sentence of death in it. Every little baby is born with a nature to sin, instead of a nature to be holy. Therefore God gave Himself another Son, for the purpose of redeeming that which is in bondage to Satan, the devil. As we have said already, God sent His angel, and gave the yet unborn baby its name, JESUS. This name would have a singular application for the first thirty years of His life, and then it would become a compound name, by which the Son, as well as the Father, would be known in redemption. Men could see the Son, who was always glorifying the father whom men could not see. But when the Son left the scene, the Holy ghost took His place on earth among men, and He, an invisible Spirit, always glorifies the Son whom men have seen in the flesh. Well that is exactly what Jesus said the Holy Ghost would do, when He came. He said He (the Holy Ghost) would not speak of Himself, but would take the things of His (Jesus’) and show them unto us. That is why we are able to get revelation, because the Holy Ghost is taking those things, and showing them to us.


GOD IN HIS SON


We have gone through the Bible, showing various manifestations of Jehovah God (the Elohim) as He would reveal Himself to men of the Old Testament era, but as we have pointed out, none of those men ever saw God, for He is an invisible Spirit. He has no form that even could be seen but all those people who were privileged to see Jesus, after He was baptized by John, came as close to seeing God as anyone can. That great eternal Spirit dwelt in Him, in the fulness of all of His attributes. Paul said Jesus had the Spirit without measure. Everyone of us who have been baptized by the Holy ghost, have a measure of the Spirit of God in us, but He had the fullness of the Spirit, without measure. Once the Son was manifested, almost two thousand years ago, the Father has never shown Himself in any other kind of manifestation, other than to point us back to Jesus. For as we have already pointed out, all those other manifestations were pointing forward to that one particular Son, in whom would be consummated all types and shadows. “God who at sundry times and divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom (or for whom) also He made the worlds.” We are back in the 1st chapter of Hebrews. It is hard to talk very long in a message like this without coming back to these opening verses of the book of Hebrews. The apostle Paul was not a personal disciple of Jesus Christ, when Jesus walked on earth, but oh, what a revelation that man had in his heart, once the Spirit of God finished dealing with him. Of course there are times when one might think he did not have a revelation, but you just have to remember, that the Bible has been translated by trinitarians, and there are places where that trinity view comes through in the translation. In verse 2, where it says, “By whom also He created, or made the worlds,” it sounds as though God used the person of Jesus to create all things. That is not the thought you should get from that verse. It was God that created all things, and that should say FOR WHOM, instead of BY WHOM. Before there was ever anything created, God’s plan of creation was already a finished thought in His great mind, and He, knowing even then, that man would fall, and stand in need of a Saviour, included that provision for man’s redemption, before He ever created anything, and therefore chose to redeem all things by, and through the person of His Son, back to Himself. “Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person.” before we read on, let me say this, Actually the person of His Son, was a full illumination of the glory and majesty of this invisible Spirit that created all things by His word. It took that perfect Son, who was born without sin, to be so submissive to the sovereign mind of the Father, as to allow Him to direct all His ways. We would have to say that Jesus was possessed by a super mind, that far exceeded the natural mind that the Son Himself possessed. Of course when you talk like this, some people actually get scared, and think you are actually diminishing from the oneness of God. But believe me, you are not. It is just merely teaching it like the apostles of Christ taught it. It is not offensive, to refer to the man called Jesus, as the Son of God, for that is exactly what He is, and neither is it discrediting God, to recognize that the fullness of God was manifested in Him. He was as much God as man, and He was as much man as God. That is why you can say, It is a perfect unity. That is the same picture God has chosen to manifest in each of us. Not that we will become God, but God is moving us toward that perfect unity that we see here. It takes time for all of this to come about, but in the end, in eternity, you become a full fledged, manifested son and daughter of God. That is why it is spoken in Ephesians, “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He (God) might gather together in one all things in Christ.” It is God, the eternal Spirit, showing Himself in all of His glory and majesty, in and through His entire redeemed family, as well as all creation. Redemption will have been accomplished by God, in and through the person of His only begotten Son.


THE IMAGE OF GOD


As we read verse 3 here in Hebrews, chapter 1, we get a misleading thought, if we do not stop to analyze the phrase, “The express image of His person,” for in the English language, the word IMAGE, pertains to something that has some sort of visible form. Therefore what you have to realize, is that the physical form of the man called Jesus, is not what Paul was referring to, as being the express image of God. He was a man, but He was possessed by something that was truly divine. The first miracle He ever did, when He turned the water to wine, that was the image of God being seen there. Mankind was getting a glimpse of what God is, because the Son Himself plainly stated over and over, The Son can do nothing; it is the Father in Him, that doeth these works. Therefore the image we must see here, is not what can be seen with the natural eye, but that which can be seen with the spiritual eye, by a divine revelation. God gave us two natural eyes, to see how to get around from place to place, but inside of us, that inner man has got to have some spiritual eyes that allow him to see where he came from, and where he is going. Otherwise he is lost. Now that verse says, “The express image of His person,” so the word person, is also misleading, for God is not a person. But here again we have to realize that the Bible was translated like this, by people who believed that God is a person, so it is up to you, if you have a revelation of the godhead, to realize that it should read, the express image of His substance. That speaks of what God really is. Jesus was the very expression of the invisible substance that God truly is. Then it says, “And upholding all things by the word of His power.” The word power, as used here, means authority. It is not the person Jesus, doing it, but the Father in Him, directing Him to speak things, is where the authority lay, and that is what this verse is giving reference to. The Son never exercised any authority, apart from what the Father in Him, directed Him to do. “When He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” He purged our sins by laying His own life down. It was not Jehovah dying; it was the Son of God dying, and because of what He did on our behalf, we also have a measure of that same Spirit that was in Him, in us. We can say, we have a measure of God in us. One day, if Jesus tarries His coming, we will die, but the Holy Ghost in us, will not die. He is not in us to keep us breathing the breath of this natural life; He is in us, to give our inner man, which is spirit, eternal life. He will take care of the flesh, a little later on. That is His plan. Yes, Jesus literally took our place, and bore the penalty for our sins. The eternal Spirit heaped upon Him the sins of the whole world; past, present and future. He was guiltless, yet He was despised, and as Isaiah said, “Stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” God let Him be abused, humiliated, ridiculed, and shamed, without doing one thing to stop it. Not knowing who He was: they called Him a blasphemer, an imposter, and they even called Him an illegitimate child, and though He was innocent of every one of their accusations, God still heaped upon Him the sins of the whole world. Jesus the man, took our sins, and let us go free. It was not God crying. It was not God begging to be saved from that terrible fate; it was the Son of God begging, If it be thy will, let this cup pass from me. He knew in His heart that He was going to face what He did, but the human side of Him did what anyone else would do, try to get released from the fate, which supports the fact that He was as human as anyone else. His life was destined to fulfill many prophecies, beginning at His birth, and going all the way to the eternal age, and though He cried, If it be possible, let this cup pass from me, He already knew that it would not pass from Him, for He knew that every prophecy of the scriptures must be fulfilled.


JESUS’ INHERITANCE


As we come to verse 4, remember, Paul is getting this from the Psalms. Paul did not know Jesus after the flesh, as the other disciples had known Him. He became acquainted with Him, completely by the Spirit, but let us pay attention to the revelation he had. Still speaking of Jesus, he says this, “Being made so much better than the angels, (In what way was He made better than the angels which were also offspring of God? Listen) as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?” When David, in the Spirit, was inspired to write those words and express them in song, it was none other than the anointing of the Spirit of God, speaking in the future tense, concerning this Son of God that was destined to come upon the scene. This is the promise pointing to that Son. “And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son.” In other words, Paul is saying, To which of the angels did God ever say a thing like that to? That gives you the whole thing in a nutshell. But let us go on, in verse 6. “And again, when He bringeth in the first begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him.” God made sure that all those prophecies concerning His only begotten Son would be fulfilled. So let us go to Bethlehem, the night He was born. Not on December 25, but in the fall of the year. Mary went with Joseph to Bethlehem, strictly for the purpose of paying their taxes; not even knowing when she would give birth to the little baby. If she had even suspected that it could happen while they were gone from home, she would have taken her baby clothes with her, on the trip. But the great eternal Spirit always watches over His word, and the prophecy was lying there, waiting to be fulfilled, in Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel,” so Mary had to be in Bethlehem when He was born. In the 2nd chapter of Luke, it says, “And when the days were accomplished, that she should be delivered, she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger.” Just imagine what Mary must have felt like, giving birth to her first little baby, and not having any of those cute little things she had been knitting, to put on it. But no sooner was this Son of God born, and laid in a manger, than the angels appeared to the sheep herders who were bedded down for the night, singing and praising God. The angel of the Lord said to them, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Meaning, The Lord’s anointed one.) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” That is why those sheep herders knew better than to go knocking on the doors of houses, looking for Him. They went right to the barns; for that is where they were told He would be, and that is exactly where they found Him.


THE CAPTAIN OF OUR SALVATION


Let us go back to the 5th chapter of St. John, where we will again look at the name given to the only begotten Son of God. As I have said, If the oneness people would just allow themselves to study the whole gospel of St. John instead of just a few isolated verses, they would see the whole thing portrayed so beautifully, just like those Jewish disciples and apostles did, for God gave them the revelation, and they presented it in its true form. I have said repeatedly, the name JESUS, given to the Son of God, was a compound name; that carried a dual meaning. There were many Jews name Jesus; but none of them were the Christ. Their name only had a singular identity attributed to it. But as God Himself, chose this name, it lets us know that the Elohim of the Old Testament, who had already manifested Himself through the centuries, in many ways, when it came time for Him to bring His only begotten Son into the world, He had to have a name through which He would reveal Himself, so JESUS is the name He chose. But as I have pointed out, When the child was born, He was not yet God with us; He was merely the Son of God. For the first thirty years of His life, His name only carried a singular identity. He grew into manhood, waked as a man, breathed as a man, got dirty like other men, combed His hair, and dressed Himself like other men did. Why? Because He was a man, a perfect man. He never sought to be outstanding, nor to put on a show, even though He was born with that great intelligence. That is why I said, He knew more at age 12, than most of us do in a lifetime. He also knew exactly when to go get baptized, and He knew the scriptures that His life were to fulfill. But none of the rest of them could be fulfilled until after He was incarnated by the Father. When that incarnation took place, the Father descended from heaven to Him; not in the form of a crow, nor a buzzard, but a dove. Something symbolizing peace. When that dove descended, and sat upon Him, Isaiah 40:5 was fulfilled; the glory of the Lord was revealed. The people saw it. They saw a man receiving a baptism of the eternal Sprit in complete fullness. John the Baptist is the one who said Jesus had the Spirit without measure. He knew who He was, and he knew that he would speak the true words of life, and all who refused to hear Him would be doomed for destruction. But even though He was perfect, and had the Spirit without measure, He could not enter into fulfilling His predetermined purpose until after He was put on trial, like Adam and Even. He was not going to be the progenitor of life; He was going to be the Redeemer of life. Adam and Even brought life into the world, but that life had a fallen nature, with death imputed, and sin reigned throughout all mankind. So this perfect Son of God had a mission to accomplish. His mission was to redeem God’s fallen children back from the bondage of Satan. But first He had to be tempted. No, God was not tempting Him, but He allowed Satan the privilege of doing it, and He, the Father, was in Him during every bit of it. Brother I want you to know, When you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, your battles and warfare are just starting. That is what puts you right on the front lines. There are times when God allows the devil to hit you, knock you down, wallow you around, and scare the daylights out of you, just to see if you will get up whimpering and crying, or take your stand, and hold your ground. We have an example set before us. That perfect Son of God did not threaten the devil, saying, Listen devil, I have the Father in me, so you had better flee. No. He defeated the devil on every temptation, with a bold confession of what is written in the scriptures, and that is exactly what you and I have to do. It just goes to show: He who was the Word made flesh, still had to live according to the written word. He had to do that, in order to set a perfect example as a Son of God. The scriptures tell us that He is the captain of our salvation, and that He was made perfect by the things which He suffered. As a man, He was already sinless and perfect, but His purpose was perfected through the things He was forced to suffer. As the captain of our salvation, He established a perfect image of what God wants us to be in the likeness of. If He had never faced temptation, He never would have known what you and I have to face in this life. He was tempted in all three areas of what He was destined to fulfill, and during all that temptation, He never moved one inch from where He was, there in the desert. Satan was allowed to pick Him up, in the Spirit, and illuminate all of that to Him, and talk to Him audibly, showing Him all the kingdoms of the world, and offer them to Him, if He would just bow down and worship him. Brothers and Sisters: When the devil does that to you, I hope you are grounded in the word, so that you will know that it is the devil doing it, and not God. He knew it was the devil talking to Him, and He knew exactly how to overcome, and how to demonstrate the power of God, in His written word. That is why it could be written of Him, that He came forth out of the wilderness, in the power of the Spirit. He came forth in the power of the Spirit, and the very first miracle He performed was turning the water into wine. It was more or less forced upon Him, but the Father was right there to back Him up. That is how we express it; though we know it was not the Son doing the miracles, but the Father in Him. Jesus the man, was just like a light bulb. A light bulb does not give light, it is only a channel through which the invisible energy shows itself.


THE FATHER’S REDEMPTION NAME


Alright now, the time has come that Jesus is before a lot of religious Pharisees and such like, so let us look at John 5:43, and see what He said to them. “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye received me not.” Those Pharisees knew that the name of the man doing the speaking was Jesus, but they did not understand what He meant, by saying that He came in His Father’s name, for to them, His Father’s name was Joseph. Yet we know that He was speaking from the stand point of the fact that the Father was in Him, leading Him, and speaking through His very vocal organs, the wonderful words of eternal life. The Father was being revealed through His Son, and the name Jesus, was the Father’s redemption name. That is what makes it a compound name. As you go through the gospel of John, here is the first time Jesus mentions the fact that He has come in His Father’s name. But from here on, in practically every speech, He lifts up the Father. He turns attention from Himself to the Father. It is not I that doeth the works, but the Father that dwelleth in me. Whatever the Father doeth, that doeth the son likewise. Why? That the Father may be glorified. Where? In the Son. The Son was the means by how the Father was demonstrated to the world. But it took a divine revelation for anyone to see who that man was. That is why we can say, Theology will never get anyone out of this world, in the rapture. It takes the Holy Ghost in us, to guide us, change us, and take us to glory. Notice verse 28 in the 7th chapter now. I am not trying to isolate these scripture verses from their context, but merely calling attention to them because they establish the thought we are dealing with. “Then cried Jesus in the temple as He taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am.” In other words, you know where I came from, Nazareth, and you know who I am. To you, I am the son of Joseph. “ I am not come of myself, but He that sent me is true, whom ye know not, (The eternal Spirit) But I know Him: for I am from Him, and He hath sent me.” Praise God! If you do not get a revelation out of that, something is wrong. Yet I realize that there are multitudes of people in this world, who will read verses like these, and not see a thing in any revelatory way. These verses we are using are just like stepping stones, through the gospel of St. John. That is why I have said, If people would really study this gospel record, and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to them, they would see something precious. John’s gospel, starting right from the very first chapter, is all pointing to the man called Jesus, after His baptism. He does not even touch His birth; he picks up the subject, after the incarnation, and takes it straight on through. So let us go to the 8th chapter, verse 42, where Jesus has just preached a sermon and He is discerning the hearts of those Pharisees. Deep down within their hearts, they were saying. We be Abraham’s children, and they even expressed it. Oh saints, this is just too good to pass up, so let us go back to verse 37, and notice, this is Jesus talking. “I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.(the devil) They answered and said unto Him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. (Listen to this.) Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to Him, We be not born of fornication; (That is how they looked upon Him) we have one Father, even God. (Now we come to verse 42) Jesus saith unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but He sent me.” Now to you extreme oneness people, let me ask this, Does that sound like this flesh is only a tabernacle for Jehovah to dwell in, or would you be honest enough to admit, that there is another mind present, other than the mind of the Father? I like to keep stressing the point that if this flesh had only been manifested for the Father to dwell in, and there was no Son in the picture, then there would have been only one mind involved, and many of the things that Jesus said, would have made no sense at all. On the other hand, if you can see it as it really is, this man is talking like the sane sensible man that He is. Not only is He giving honor to the Father, but He is acknowledging before sinners, that He knew where He came from. He knew that His existence did not come from Joseph and Mary, as they supposed. His life originated from God Himself, and He understood every bit of it. That is why He could say, The Father sent me.


ONE SPIRT–BUT TWO MINDS


Let us go to chapter 10 and start with verse 29. “My Father, which gave them me is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” Brother: If you actually catch any revelation at all, of what is going on in the person called Jesus, you should know why He is talking like this. He did not want people hanging on to His flesh. “I and my Father are one.” The Father which is Spirit, always was, and always will be, merged with the Spirit of His Son, in such a way that there was only one Spirit involved, but there were two minds. That is why you can hear both the Father and the Son, speaking from the same mouth. It is a unity of the life of the Son, and the life of the Father, exemplifying what God wants to do in and through you and me. The end result is, one God, manifesting His word in His creation. As I said, God did not become a rock; but every rock is a result of His thought expressed. For by His word, He created all things, but His word was not His Son. His word was His thought expressed. He did not become a tree, but every tree is a result of the thought of God being expressed. By the same process, He gave life and existence to everything you see, yet He became none of that. By the word of God, all things exist, but God is not any of those things; therefore He never became flesh; He was only in that flesh. I hope you are following my train of thought, for John 1:1 can put your head in a spin if you do not allow the spirit of God to put a revelation in your heart, and realize that what is translated Word, is really the expressed thought of God. That is what 1:14 says, was made flesh, and dwelt among us. God created Adam from the dust of the earth, and breathed into him, the breath of life, and indwelled him. But when this son of God was tested, he failed the test; therefore God had to separate Himself from him. He drove Adam and Even from His presence, fulfilling His own word. For when He placed them at the head of his creation, He said, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” They did not die a physical death that day, but when God removed His life giving presence from them, they became spiritually dead, and every child born into the world, had that death imputed to them. In other words, Adam forfeited everything; just turned it over to the devil. That caused every individual born into the world, to be born with a nature not to seek after God, and you see what it finally led to. By the time the devil had worked with those minds through generation after generation, humanity in general became so corrupt, God had to bring a flood to destroy all but eight souls, and take a fresh start at repopulating the earth. Well you would have thought that flood would have left such a profound impression upon Noah and his descendants; that just the thoughts of it should have kept them from straying from the knowledge of God, for I am sure Noah and his sons kept that story alive to oncoming generations. But before too many years had passed, mankind was again doing anything and everything but the right thing. It just goes to show that man without God, is worse than someone lost in a jungle in the darkest of night. He just simply cannot find his way. It seems that about 40 years is as long as a divine revelation can be kept alive, before people start straying from it. That makes me ever so thankful to God that in this end time, He will deal with an element of people to clear up everything, so that when He takes them out of here, they will not be a mixed up, divided in their thinking, self-satisfying bunch of people. They are going to know the truth, and they are going to live by that truth, and not be always seeking attention for themselves. Jesus never sought opportunity to put on a show to exalt Himself. No. That perfect Son of God, our pattern, always kept His thoughts yielded to the father, that the Father, which is Spirit, was always in control. What did Paul say, I believe it was in Philippians? “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” That means, the same attitude, and manner of thinking, which always caused Him to yield to the mind of the Father. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being the form of God, (or of the same substance) thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” In other words, After God has visited us, and lifted us up out of sin and degradation, then we may say to Him, Oh God, and express ourselves through this life, in the same manner. Not that we would think of ourselves as being equal with God, but we are able to commune with Him, and submit ourselves to His will and purpose, just like Jesus did. God has purposed in this period of time called the grace age, to be in His Church, not in any one particular person, but in the Church as a whole, in the fullness of His attributes that was in His Son Jesus. It is God, in His people, redeeming and reconciling, and expressing the same life that was in His only begotten Son. God has continued, through the church, to bring to completion, all that was set in motion through the life and ministry of Jesus. It is God, in creation, as Father. Then, God in His Son, in redemption, and finally, God, the Holy Ghost, in His people, for the work of regeneration. It is not three God’s. It is not three persons known as one God, but truly, one God, which is Spirit, manifesting Himself in three office works. Oh what a beautiful picture it is, when you see it through your spiritual eyes. Well that is what we are hoping these select verses of scripture will enable each of you to do, see Him through eyes of the Spirit, that is given to all who obey Him.


TRUTH SPOKEN THE RIGHT WAY


Coming back now, to John 10:30, when Jesus said, “I and my Father are one,” notice what verse 31 says. “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. (Those Pharisees were mad.) Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?” He knew they were mad, and He asked them a question that should have put them to thinking, but notice how they answered Him, in verse 33. “The Jews answered Him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” All they could see, was the man standing before them. They accepted the works, but they were sure not accepting the man through which those works were manifested. Out of everything they saw and heard, their conclusion was that Jesus was making Himself God. Well, for all practical purposes, He was God, but He sure did not make Himself what He was. It was the Father, which said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Whatever He was, it was the Father, that made Him that. Well Jesus answered the, “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” We know when Bro. Branham would use this scripture, what a lot of the people sitting there would say, yet it has its true application. Jesus knew from what scripture He was getting it, and notice also, that gods is spelled with a little g. The Holy Ghost in Bro. Branham, demonstrated the same works that were demonstrated in the life of Christ, and that same Spirit is still working through the Church in the same way, but in no way is the flesh of any individual to be looked upon as God, with a capital G. No manifestation of the Spirit of God could ever do one thing to ascribe any deity to human flesh. Jesus continues saying to them, “If He called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” Brothers and Sisters: There is a right and a wrong way to speak the truth, and there are times when we need to depend upon the Holy Ghost to show us that right way. The truth, spoken with wisdom, can settle an uncomfortable situation many times. Then on the other hand, that same truth, spoken with the wrong motive, many times will just start an argument. But in this particular situation, God is establishing something to those who have ears to hear, and the rest are still going to try to kill this Son of God. Therefore He said, verse 37, “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe me not, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in Him.” That is not what they wanted to hear. They did not want to hear anything that went contrary to their traditions. But let us think about those last words, “The Father is in me, and I in Him.” The Spirit of the son, was the Spirit that came out of God, to give life to this body of flesh, and now the Spirit of the Son was immersed, or merged back into the eternal Spirit through the baptism of that Spirit, never to be separated again. It is an eternal picture, and one that God wants to eventually accomplish in all of His foreknown children. We will never be Jesus, in the sense of the man He is. But we are to be Jesus in likeness, quality of life, character, and spiritual reaction. That is why we say, He was our pattern. Those Jews were not looking for a pattern though; for they were not even looking to the pattern they had. They claimed to be following Moses, but their lives were far from what Moses taught. “Therefore they sought again to take Him: but He escaped out of their hand.” They would eventually be allowed to kill Him, but they could not take Him, before the proper time, for everything was guided by the great eternal spirit, to fulfill the scriptures. Nothing in His life was ever out of season.


SEEING THE FATHER


Now for another very familiar verse, and also a very important verse to our subject, let us go to chapter 14, verse 7. The oneness Pentecostal people, like to use this verse. But like you have hard me say, They are just as afraid to use certain other scriptures, as the trinitarians are Acts 2:38. You will not get a trinitarian to quote Acts 2:38, for it is contrary to what they teach. If you ask one of them what it means, they will cough, and grunt, and get as nervous as can be; for they have no revelation on it. But let us come back to the verse we were about to read. Jesus is not talking to the multitude here, He is saying this to His disciples. Verse 7, “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth (meaning, From now on,) ye know Him, and have seen Him.” Jesus knew those words would put a big question mark in the disciples’ minds. But remember, He said many things to stir up their minds and put them to thinking. For He wanted them to catch a revelation, and getting them curious was the first step of it. “Phillip saith unto Him, Lord, Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” That was Phillip’s reaction to what he had just heard. In other words, he could have said, Now wait a minute, I don’t know whether I have seen Him, or not; where is He? But he said, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me Phillip?” The oneness like this verse, because it seems to point more to the flesh, than to the Spirit. But I assure you, Jesus was not referring to His flesh; He was talking about the Spirit that was in Him, and the only way they could see that Spirit, was in the works that were done. Had there never been a miracle, they would never have seen the Father, the eternal spirit, that was incarnated in His perfect son. Like I said earlier, a few people knew who Jesus was, at the time of His birth, but from this moment on, only those who received it by divine revelation, would know that He was the son of God, the Messiah that their prophets had talked about. So Jesus goes on, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” Jesus was speaking very explicitly, of what the Sprit has done through the past 3 ½ years, but people who are pushing a oneness concept, without having a complete revelation themselves, will not tell you that. They just leave it as though Jesus was speaking only of seeing Him with their natural eyes. “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?” That question sure takes it out of the realm of the flesh, would you not say? You cannot speak about the flesh in such terms as that. Furthermore those disciples know that God is a spirit, and that He had never been seen by any man, except those various times when He would manifest Himself in a form of some kind. But standing right there before those disciples, was the thought of that invisible Spirit, in a human form, for it was the expressed thought of God, that became flesh. Jehovah never became flesh, at any time, but this Son of God could say, He that hath seen me hath seen the Father, because the Father was in Him, and they were one Spirit, and He was pointing to the manifestation of that eternal spirit. Therefore Jesus said to Phillip, “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very work’s sake.” In other words, Phillip, If you cannot believe it for any other reason, the very works that you have seen should be enough to convince you. Brothers and Sisters: The important thing when you are dealing with the Godhead, is to keep your balance. The trinity people see three persons, so they say. Then on the other hand, the extreme oneness see only one, and that one is the Father dwelling in human flesh that He created for that purpose, and they leave no room for the Son, which from the standpoint of a true revelation, is the only person of the Godhead. We must be able to see the Son as a complete human; having every quality of humanity, but without sin. He had the nature to think like any other man, but His thinking was pure, and He could be interested in human things; but He would never allow human thoughts to go beyond where they should, for His mind and spirit were perfect. As we have said it over and over, for the first thirty years of His life, there was not deity about Him. He could not have performed a miracle under any circumstances. But He was the son of God, and He was as perfect as perfect can be. Therefore when the Father incarnated Him, the Son did not cease to be, but He became completely subject to the mind of the Father, and did only what the Father in Him, showed Him to do. That is why I say, Anyone who cannot see the human side of Jesus in its complete perfectness, just simply has not read their scriptures right. It seems so hard, for a lot of people to understand how the Father and the Son could be one, and there still be two minds involved, but it is really very easy to understand, if you will just turn loose of your traditional teachings. The Father, who is Spirit, has a mind. To that we would all have to agree. But you must see also, that Jesus the Son of God, had a mind, and it did not cease to exist when the Spirit of the Father, and the spirit of the Son merged into one Spirit. The two intellects were still there, but the Son kept His subject to the will of the Father at all times, and they will forever remain to be one Spirit. There is no reason for them to ever be separated, for the Son has already had His test, and overcame, so they are one Spirit, and shall remain so. Therefore what we see then, is the infinite God dwelling in His only begotten Son, in the fullness of all of His attributes, and He is revealed through Him, to all who have eyes to see. That is why some looked at Jesus, and saw God, and others saw on a man. That is also why Jesus said in verse 12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” He is referring to the time when the Church becomes possessor of the same Spirit that is in Him. They would do greater works, because there would be more human instruments for that sovereign Spirit to work through. God can do those same works, through the most unimportant looking little piece of human that you have ever seen, simply because what that sovereign Spirit does, is not dependent upon the ability of any human flesh. If we would allow Him to take complete control of us, like Jesus did, there is hardly any limit to what He might do through us, and especially so, as we approach the end of the age.


GOD’S SPIRIT IN US


Alright let us go to the 16th chapter, where to me, we find something very beautiful. This is the chapter where Jesus, in His final conversation with His disciples, said to them, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I (meaning the human person) go not away, the Comforter (which is the Holy Ghost) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” He knew that the disciples were leaning too heavily upon His person; in other words, His flesh. But if He, or rather, when He would go off the scene, there would come something to dwell inside of them, that would so possess their mentality, their physical organs, and their spirits, they would not longer look back to the person of His flesh, to lean on as a crutch. Why? Because the measure of that same Spirit that was in Him, would be in them, enabling them to do whatever there was to do. That is why He said to them, In that day, ye will know that I am in the Father, and ye in me, and I in you. That Spirit would open their understanding, and give them revelation. Well Jesus goes ahead and talks to them concerning His going away, and the sorrow they would feel, and so forth, and in verse 22, He said, “And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” Actually He was referring to the joy they would have, on the day of Pentecost, when they would receive the Holy Ghost. He was not necessarily speaking of how glad they would be when He arose from the dead, for you know what the scripture says about that. When He appeared to them where they were assembled together, they were frightened, and thought they had seen a spirit. Therefore the joy He is referring to, is that joy they would have after receiving the Holy Ghost. When the Spirit of God comes into a human vessel, a sudden change takes place. That is why I said, Had the incarnation never have taken place, no one would have ever known that Jesus was the Son of God, (except those to whom it was told at His birth) they would have always looked upon Him as just another Jew. But when He returned from the wilderness in the power of the Spirit, turned the water into wine, fed the five thousand, walked on the water, and the many other things, then some began to say, Never have we seen it like this before. Why? Because He had no power to do any of those things before that. It was after that, when He verified the authority of the name Jesus. So as He says these things to His disciples, He then says, “And in that day (what day? The day when they shall receive the Holy Ghost) ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you.” When He was here in the flesh, He always said, I come in my Father’s name. But when the Spirit came back to indwell the disciples, He came vindicating the name of the Son, but JESUS was the only name involved, so that proves beyond any shadow of doubt, that His name given Him before birth, by the angel of the Lord, was a compound name. It is a beautiful picture we have here in the scriptures, but it takes a proper revelation of the Godhead, in order to see the beauty of it. When the Son was on earth in human flesh, He always pointed to the Father, but when the Father came, in the office work of the Holy Ghost, He would always point back to what the Son is, and what the Son did. It was not the Holy Ghost that died for the sins of lost mankind; it was the Son. The Son glorified the Father, through the works that were done; therefore those Jews that did have eyes to see, knew that it was Jehovah, revealed in that name, saving His people. But the Holy Ghost lifted up the name of the Son, because it was through His shed blood, that we have forgiveness of sins. He is the one that offered Himself a sacrifice to the great eternal Spirit, that the rest of the world might have opportunity to be set free from the bondage of sin and death. Verse 24, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: (Meaning words that conceal certain things) but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father.” He is talking about the Holy Ghost now, for the Holy Ghost, said He in another place, shall take the things of mine and shall show them unto you. The Holy Ghost is that revelatory Spirit; He does not speak in proverbs. Now when we say that the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of the Father, in that particular office work, let us not forget that it is also the Spirit of the Son, for they are merged into one Spirit. As you go through the epistles you will find this terminology used in connection with the Holy Ghost: Spirit of God, Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of the Son, and Spirit of Jesus Christ, so no matter which you read, they are all referring to one and the selfsame Spirit; and that Spirit does not speak in proverbs. It speaks of the finished work at Calvary, shows that it was the design of the Father, and it was the Son that carried out the plan to completion. “At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father Himself loveth you, (Meaning, the eternal Spirit loveth you.) Because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.” Let the oneness who have no regard for the Son, explain verse 28, if they can. “I came forth from the Father, (How? That little cell of life that was placed in the womb of Mary came out from God, and in process of time, it came forth in a human body.) And am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” You may not see that yet, but those disciples did, for notice how they responded in verse 29. “His disciples said unto Him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly and speakest no proverb. (It sounds like they really caught a revelation from His last remark.) Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe.” That was as much as He could actually tell them, and have them understand. He was the perfect Son of God from birth, and now He is filled with the fullness of all that the Father is, and He has been demonstrating that to them for 3 ½ years, but now the time has come for Him to leave them, so whatever they learn from this time on, will have to be revealed to them by the Holy Ghost, the promised Comforter that was the come. He would show them all things and they would have a revelation of the whole picture. Brothers and Sisters: That is exactly what the Holy Ghost is doing with the true bride of Jesus Christ in this day and hour. He is giving us back the pure revelation that was lost, in the Dark Ages. The revelation those Jews had, when the gospel came to the Gentiles almost two thousand years ago, is what we are going to have to have, to get out of here in the rapture. The trinitarians have never had it, and the oneness who did have a beautiful picture of the Godhead at one time, died off, and the generation that followed, lost it, and went like all the rest, with a lot of suppositional ideas and traditions. I am going to close the subject now, but as a closing thought, I want to say, The true bride of Jesus Christ, will have a true picture of the Godhead, like our forefathers had almost two thousand years ago. God has revealed Himself in many ways, through time, but His last office work is in you and me, and His purpose is that we may have a pure revelation of His word, and be made like unto His only begotten Son. So let us be thankful in our hearts, for the Spirit He has given us, and look for the day when that Spirit shall quicken this old mortal body, and change it into the glorious likeness of the body of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful day we are living in. Amen.

God Reveals Himself, Part 1

WE ARE GOING TO BEGIN A SUBJECT THAT I WANT TO APPROACH IN A DIFFERENT MANNER THAN WHAT WE HAVE OTHER AREAS OF THE SCRIPTURE. I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO BRING OUT SOME THINGS THAT WILL BE INTERESTING TO YOU AS CHRISTIANS, RATHER THAN BORESOME, AND AS MOST OF YOU WELL KNOW, IT WILL BE IN MY OWN TERMINOLOGY. I DO NOT BELIEVE GOD INTENDED FOR HIS TRUE MINISTRY TO USE BIG WORDS THAT THE AVERAGE CHRISTIAN DOES NOT EVEN KNOW THE MEANING OF. THEREFORE I ASK YOU TO FOLLOW ALONG IN THE SCRIPTURES, AS WE HEAD FOR JOHN 1, VERSES 1-3, TO FIND OUT WHAT THE LOGOS WAS. WE ARE LOOKING AT HOW GOD REVEALS HIMSELF TO MANKIND, AND HOW DIFFERENT PEOPLE INTERPRET THE SCRIPTURES TO GET DIFFERENT MEANINGS OUT OF IT. WE WOULD NOT HAVE ALL OF THIS MULTITUDE OF DENOMINATIONS IN THE WORLD TODAY, IF PEOPLE WHO READ THE SCRIPTURES ALL GOT THE SAME INTERPRETATION OUT OF THEM. OF COURSE WE REALIZE THAT THE BIBLE WAS NOT EVEN WRITTEN UNTIL THE 14TH CENTURY BEFORE CHRIST, AND EVEN THEN IT’S AVAILABILITY WAS LIMITED. BUT WE ARE LIVING IN A DAY WHEN EVERY PROFESSING CHRISTIAN HAS THEIR OWN BIBLE, (OR AT LEAST IT IS ALMOST LIKE THAT IN THIS NATION) AND EVERYONE FEELS FREE TO PUT THEIR OWN INTERPRETATION ON WHAT THEY READ, SO IT IS NO WONDER THAT PROFESSING CHRISTIANITY IS TORN ALL TO PIECES, HOWEVER GOD HAS ALWAYS HAD SOMEONE TO WHOM HE COULD REVEAL HIMSELF, AND HE REVEALED HIMSELF THROUGH VARIOUS DEITY NAMES, SO THAT IS PART OF WHAT WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT.


THERE WAS NO BIBLE BEFORE THE FLOOD, AND ABRAHAM DID NOT HAVE A BIBLE WHEN HE WALKED WITH GOD AFTER THE FLOOD, AND NEITHER DID HE PASS ONE ON TO HIS DESCENDANTS AFTER HIM, HOWEVER WE DO KNOW THAT PRIOR TO THE FLOOD, AND EVEN AFTER THE FLOOD UP TO A CERTAIN POINT MAN’S LIFESPAN WAS LONG ENOUGH, OVERLAPPING MANY GENERATIONS, SO THAT WHATEVER STORY THE PATRIARCHS HAD TO TELL, THEY WERE ABLE TO PASS IT ON TO OTHER GENERATIONS. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT IS HOW THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN, BUT IT IS A FACT ANYHOW. WHEN YOU COME TO MOSES, THE MAN WHO WROTE THE FIRST FIVE BOOKS IN THE BIBLE, THE BIBLE ITSELF TELLS US THAT MOSES WAS SCHOOLED IN ALL THE MANNER OF THE EGYPTIANS. HE HAD EDUCATION, AND HE HAD NATURAL TALENT, BUT IN SPITE OF HIS EDUCATION AND HIS NATURAL TALENT, I BELIEVE THAT FORTY YEAR SPAN IN THE WILDERNESS WAS LONG ENOUGH FOR GOD TO INSPIRE HIM TO SET IN WRITING, A RECORD OF HISTORY AND TIME RELATIVE TO THE HOUR THEY WERE PASSING THROUGH. ACTUALLY EXODUS, LEVITICUS, NUMBERS AND DEUTERONOMY CONTAIN EVENTS THAT TRANSPIRED DURING THAT FORTY YEAR WILDERNESS JOURNEY, WHILE THE BOOK OF GENESIS COVERS EVERYTHING FROM THE BEGINNING OF OUR ORIGIN ALL THE WAY UP UNTIL THE HOUR OF MOSES. SO WE SURELY MUST REALIZE THAT WHAT MOSES WROTE CONTAINED MORE THAN JUST SOME ORAL STORY LEFT ALIVE, FOR CERTAIN WORDS BEGAN TO CHANGE, AND NO NATURAL STORY PASSED FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION, ORALLY THROUGH THE CENTURIES IS GOING TO CARRY ALL OF THAT IN ITS TRUE AUTHENTICITY. THEREFORE I AM CONVINCED THAT GOD DEFINITELY DEALT WITH MOSES THROUGH DIVINE REVELATION, ESPECIALLY IN THE EARLY CHAPTERS OF THE BOOK OF GENESIS THAT COVER THE PERIOD FROM EDEN TO THE FLOOD. GOD GAVE HIM INSPIRATION ON WHAT TO WRITE.


REVELATION APART FROM EDUCATION


As we deal with this subject on how God reveals Himself, I pray that He will enable me to say these things in a way that young people can understand. Because if Jesus tarries His coming, you young people should be among those walking the earth with the same revelation those Jews had, when the Church was first started on the day of Pentecost. You should know who God is, what He is, and you should know what He has purposed to do in the redemption of lost mankind. It is going to be up to you to decide what is right, and what is wrong. You will not be able to turn to this world of religion for spiritual advice. What you have in your heart by divine revelation is what you will have to depend on. This world of religion is in a mess of confusion. They all say they believe the word of God, yet I am thoroughly convinced that God does not commit Himself to these intellectual minds just so they will have something to play with. He only commits Himself to that intelligence that is humble enough to respect Him for His intelligence and His ability to communicate with us earthly creatures. I do not mean to sound like I am putting virtue on being uneducated; I am only pointing to the fact that it takes more than just an intellectual mind to get a revelation from the word of God. He can use your education, but education is not a requirement in order to receive something from God.


GOD–THE STRONG ONE


Now as you go to the first verse in the Bible, where Moses begins to write the creation story, we do not find him dealing with dates, months, years and such like. He is more inspired to relate something that begins to portray God in His identity, or we will say, or the names that He will reveal himself through as time progresses. Naturally we are reading from an English translation, translated from the Hebrew scriptures, so let us see what we are looking at here. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The English word God, comes from the Hebrew word EL, or ELOHIM, which means STRONG ONE. In the beginning the Strong One created the heaven and the earth. We are not going to dwell on these particular words, but just enough to give you the meaning. We have to realize that if we are truly worshiping a God, we have to believe that He is strong enough, and mighty enough, to be the Creator and life giver of everything that exists. We need to explore Him, and understand Him for His greatness, for, not to be settled on that first of all, will cause you to have a wavering mind. That is why religion in general is left with a concept of God, that really never allows them to get settled on whether He had a mind that knew anything, or not. That is why so many preachers fight against the teaching of predestination, because they will not accept the fact that God foreknew anything. I would hate to think that a man like the apostle Paul, the man who wrote most of the New Testament epistles, believed a false doctrine, and taught it. To me, predestination is a beautiful revelation. I rest in the fact, that before God ever created anything, He already knew how everything was going to turn out. Praise His name. I can put my trust in a God like that. How about you ? So, “In the beginning God (Elohim, the Strong One) created the heaven and the earth.” It does not tell us when; it only tells us that He did it. Revealing Himself here, as the Strong One, is only the beginning of the record of how God reveals Himself through a deity name. Our critics who believe the trinity teaching, will reach a certain place in the scriptures, and then jump to conclusions, because there are three primary deity names through which He (God) reveals His majestic existence. They say these three prove that there is a plurality of persons, but that He is still one God. I believe, that as we move along in the scriptures, anyone can plainly see that this is a false concept of God, and only a theological allusion, a play on words. That is why I gave this message the title, “God Reveals Himself.” He truly does reveals Himself to those who are open for such a revelation.


SELF EXISTENT ONE


Now according to the record here, men are prone to say, God created everything in six days of twenty four hours each, but we need to realize that these six creative days are actually regenerative periods of time, whereby God brought the planet earth out of its prehistoric state of judgment, and got it ready for its next cycle. This is man’s cycle, and it only dates back about six thousand years. That is why your scientists of today, will not accept the so called Christianity version of creation. They have discovered various things that they know dates back millions of years so why should they be expected to believe the earth has only been in existence for six thousand years? It is all in the way Genesis has been interpreted. When I was a little boy, going to Sunday school, everyone had the idea that the earth was made in six 24 hour days, and they were ready to argue about it: That is what the Bible says, Sure the Bible says that, but you and me can be looking at it wrong. It certainly is not the Bible that is wrong, it is just that men look at it wrong. If you can allow yourself to see a judgment between verses 1 and 2 of the first chapter of Genesis, it will clear up your thinking on a lot of things. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, but notice the very next sentence. “And the earth was without form, and void.” That lets us know that when God started this process of regeneration, the earth was already here, but in a void state, not a prehistoric inhabited state, but a void state. Angels had been tested on this old planet, and God’s judgment on the whole thing, had left the planet in a void state of darkness, and without form. Therefore coming on through the six regenerative days, or periods, we come to Genesis 2, verse 4, where we find another deity identity revealed. Notice now, “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD GOD made the earth and the heavens.” In Genesis 1:1, but here, it is Lord God. It is still the same strong one, but the word LORD, goes before it. It literally means He is Master. But the Hebrew meaning is SELF EXISTENT, so now we have two deity titles (we should call them titles, rather than names) through which God reveals himself. He is the Strong One, and He is Self existent. We are not dealing with an object; we are dealing with a Spirit. God the Creator is a Spirit, and John 4:24, says, “And they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” That is the reason the second commandment says, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth,” because God is a Spirit, and anything such as is mentioned would be an idol. God is a Spirit, and He is one, but let us go back to Genesis 1:26, and read the verse all trinity people point to, trying to prove their three persons God. They try to read between the lines, and when they do, they come up with something that will not fit into the picture other scriptures present to us. Let us just read this verse as a trinity person would. “And God (Elohim) said, Let us (the three persons of the Godhead) make man in our own image, after our likeness.” Now saints, if there was actually a trinity (three persons) in the Godhead, and we were made in that image and likeness, we would be three headed creatures. Now Bro. Jackson: Why do you say that? Simply because you cannot have a plurality of persons, and call that plurality a single one. Three persons definitely have to have three separate minds. They try to get around that by saying, Well, man is body, soul and spirit. That of course is true, but there is only one mind involved, so it cannot possibly be the same thing. The spirit being, that we are, comes from God. That makes us that much in His likeness, but until God incorporates within it the attributes of what we call, the soul of man, it has no mind. It has no ability to even be conscious of its existence. Then, until that spirit man is placed in a body, it has nothing through which to function on earth. Nevertheless it is that spirit and intellect part of us that is in the image and likeness of God. The body is only for the purpose of giving us contact with the earth. The body itself has no mind. But what about the brain, some will say? That is only the physical organ through which the intelligence of the soul operates. When death takes the spirit from the body, that brain is as dead as last years maple leaves. Therefore we will say it like this. The mind is that part of man which is in the spirit, so when the spirit departs, the body including the brain, is dead. It takes body, soul and spirit to make up the complete man that God put on earth, but the body is not in the image of God: it is in the image of the earth, so you tell me, What is there about man, that is in the image of God? You will have to agree, it is the spirit, the part that has the intellect. When you try to make God three persons in verse 26, you run into trouble in verse 27, and you stay in trouble throughout the rest of the Bible. I have said many times, If God were three persons, then there would have been places in the Old Testament where the other two persons would have been manifested to the patriarchs as God dealt with them. But no, it is always just the Father, the invisible one who is Spirit, and has no physical substance. There were temporary projections from the Father, that typed what the Son was to be in time, but there was never any person that could be identified as the eternal Son of God, seen in the Old Testament. The Son had a beginning, just two thousand years ago, and the Holy Ghost is that same Spirit that the Father is, only working in regeneration, instead of creation. So the point is, What does the word “us” in Genesis 1:26 imply? Is it one of three persons of the Godhead saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” or is it the one God who is Spirit, and not a person, speaking to His angelic family that assist Him in creation? We will prove by the scriptures, that He was speaking to His angelic helpers, by proving that angels do assist God.


GOD IS A SPIRIT


When God called Abraham, and said to him, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation;” He appeared to him periodically, in various ways. In the 18th chapter of Genesis, He appeared to him in a theophany body along with two other men. Abraham bowed to Him and said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in they sight, pass not away I pray thee, from thy servant. Now that was not the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, that came walking down the road that day: one was a temporary manifestation of Jehovah, but the other two were angels. Verse 22 tells us that the other two men left Abraham, and went toward Sodom, and the first verse of chapter 19, tells us that they were angels. In verse 13, of that chapter they said, The Lord hath sent us to destroy this place, and in verse 24, it says that the Lord rained fire and brimstone out of heaven upon those cities, so I believe we can clearly see that angels do assist God in whatever He does. Over in the New Testament, when the Father which is Spirit, incarnated His Son Jesus, and led Him into the wilderness, where He was tempted of the devil, angels were right there to minister to Him, when it was all over. Then when Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and told him how He had seen him sitting under the fig tree, and Nathanael answered like he did, What did Jesus say to Him? He said, “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.” So my question to you is, If that was God incarnate, what do the angels have to do with it? It has to be the fact that angels assist God. Not that a sovereign God needs help, it is just simply the fact that He does delegate to them the responsibility of fulfilling His plan and purpose. In Genesis 1:26, He said, Let us make man in our image, and in verse 27 we read these words, “So God created man in His own image.” It does not say we were created in the image of the angels, it says we were created in the image of God. Well we have two words in verse 26, US and OUR, that cause carnal minds to run wild, but it should not, for God is a Spirit, and the angels are spirits. He is our Father, Because He is the Creator, and that makes Him the Father of the angels also.


Therefore what we have here, is one sovereign Spirit, speaking to angels, which are His helpers in creation. It is His plan that is being carried out. Ephesians, chapter 1, tells us that He counseled with Himself, and decided to do certain things. “So God (singular) created man in His (singular) own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” HIS and HE, are both singular pronouns, therefore there is no possible way to apply them to a three persons God. In other words, the revelation is in verse 27, but the trinitarians always want to stop in verse 26. Their spiritual blindness never allows them to even consider the revelation that is contained in verse 27: Then when you look at the word US, there are two more places where that terminology is used, and it is very clear, that it does not apply to a trinity.


GOD’S HELPERS


Let us go to the 3rd chapter. Adam and Eve have sinned, God has come on the scene, and they are being cursed, so let us pick up in verse 22. “And the LORD GOD said, (Notice that second deity title used again there.) Behold, the man is become as one of us.” (The word us, is a plural term, but it certainly does not apply to three persons of the Godhead. I believe, if you will notice what God placed at a certain place, to guard the way to the tree of life, you will understand what the word us, pertained to. “The man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: (Notice verse 23 now) Therefore the Lord God (Jehovah Elohim) sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” That lets you see whose decision it was, that Adam and Eve be expelled from the garden. “So He (Jehovah Elohim) drove out the man; (Adam and Eve) and He (singular) placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims, (more than one angel) and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep th way of the tree of life.” If God were three persons: that verse would need to say, “They drove the man out of the garden.” No. It is God, a sovereign Spirit, working through His angelic family, as He executes His plan for mankind. But why does it say, The man has become as one of us? You may still say. Because God is a Spirit, and He knows good and evil, or maybe we should say, They know good from evil. They have already been tested, in a prehistoric era of time, and it is the fact that they chose good over evil, that they are privileged to assist God in what He does. All those angels that chose evil rather than good, when they were tested, are now known as evil spirits. They assist the devil in what he does. Therefore the word us, pertains to God and His angelic helpers. They helped Him in creation, and they continue to help Him, as He deals with His creation.


LANGUAGE CONFUSED


Let us go to chapter 11 now, where we will see another usage of the term us. This is after the flood, when the earth has again been repopulated, and all the people spoke the same language and stayed together. They journeyed from the east to a plain in the land of Shinar, and there, they decided to stay. So let us begin in verse 3, and read a few verses. “And they said one to another, Go to, (get ready) let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar, And they said, Go to, (meaning, Get ready) let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven: and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” That lets us see what the people were doing, and now, verse 5 begins to show what God is doing, because of their oneness of purpose. “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. (Now we find God saying, Get ready.) Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” There you find God again using the word us, and this is the last time you will find the word used in relationship to His deity identity, but once again, I say, It is the Eternal God, the Strong One, the Master, the Self Existent One, saying to His angelic helpers, “Let us go down, and there confound their language.” Brother I can see one angel going with one dialect, and another angel going with a different dialect, and on and on, no telling how many different ones. Just try to imagine what that must have been like. The sun went down that day, and they could all still talk to each other. As they head for home, it is just like any other day, see you in the morning, George. Alright Ben, get a good night’s sleep. But when the sun rose the next morning, they all headed back to work, what a conglomeration. No. God never caused any confusion within the household; that would have defeated His purpose. The wife awakened and said, Good morning honey, just like always, and he replied, Good morning honey. They understood each other perfectly, and I am convinced that the children of every household could all still communicate with each other, if they could talk at all. But brother, when George stepped out, and started down the trail toward the tower, and met old Ben, down by his place, it was quite a different story. When George said, Good morning Be, it probably sounded to Ben, like he was making fun of him. Instead of going to work, they probably spent the whole morning yelling at each other, and not understanding a word the other one said. Why? Because “us” went down and confused their language. It was the Lord’s authority that ordered it done, but I am thoroughly convinced that it was His angelic helpers that actually went down to do the job. God did not have to do it that way, but that is the way He delegates authority among His faithful angels. Did not the apostle Paul say in Hebrews 1:14, concerning angels, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Do you think Paul just dreamed that up? Or would you be willing to accept the fact that he had a revelation? As I said, When the Son of God was driven into the wilderness, where He fasted for forty days and nights, and was then turned over to the devil, for the most serious trial of His life, it was angels that came and ministered to Him. The angels did not minister to the Elohim that was in Him; they were ministering to the physical, emotional part, which was the man, apart from what the Father was, in him.


MELCHIZEDEK APPEARS


Let us move along, for we want to look at another deity title, through which God reveals Himself. We are in chapter 14. Abraham is in the land of Canaan, the land God gave to him. He has already been down in Egypt, and returned again. He and his nephew Lot, have separated, and divided their goods, and so forth. Lot chose to dwell in the areas of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abraham took the hill country. But in the course of time, Abraham hears that his nephew has been kidnapped by some invading kings, so he takes 318 of his trained servants, and goes to rescue him. Then on his way back, with his nephew and the others that he had rescued, along with the spoil they had taken, he is met by the king of Sodom, and we will start reading in verse 17. Abraham is a married man, so when I say single, that has nothing to do with his marital status. But I am using him as a single individual, chosen by God, out of a certain racial structure of people. The Bible tells us he was a Syrian. God called him from the land of the Chaldeans, beyond the Euphrates valley, separated him from his family, and brought him down into this land called Canaan. God never explained everything to him, but He did tell him that He was going to give him all that land, and that He was going to multiply His seed. So what we want to look at, is one of the various times that God appeared to him, and I believe we can see something unfold here. Abraham has already defeated the invading kings, and he is on his way back to Sodom, to turn the spoil over, and he meets the king of Sodom, from whence it was taken. This next verse presents us with a beautiful setting. Up until this time, Abraham had not had an experience like this. “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” The Hebrew words for MOST HIGH GOD is El Elyon, This is another deity title implying as to what Jehovah is, the Highest. You will also find Him referred to like that, in the first chapter of Luke, when the angel of the Lord came to Mary, and spoke to her concerning her conception. “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest.” That lets us know that the Father of Jesus is the Most High God, El Elyon. But notice Luke 1:35, how the angel answered Mary, when she asked, “How can this be, seeing I know not a man?” That was a natural question for a virgin girl to ask, “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the HIGHEST shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall b3e called the SON OF GOD.” We have been through this many times, proving that the Holy Spirit, (called by the trinitarians, the third person of the Godhead) and the Father, are one and the selfsame Spirit, so I hope you can all see the reality of one God who is Spirit, manifesting Himself in three offices. But let us get back to this Melchizedek, who the Bible says was the priest of the Most High God. We have got to realize who this man was. Scofield says he was a Gentile king of Salem, but Scofield is wrong, because Paul tells us, over in the epistle to the Hebrews, who he was. He was none other than Jehovah Himself, manifesting Himself in the likeness of king and priest. Where? Near the ancient, pagan city of the Jebusites, called Salem, at that time. Why was God characterizing Himself in this fashion, as He appeared to Abraham? He was giving a preview of something that would transpire in centuries to come. Here we see God Himself, in a theophany body, serving bread and wine to Abraham. He furnished the bread and wine, so what was He doing? He was offering him communion, which set a type. Actually everything that Melchizedek was in type, would literally be set forth in centuries to come, through the seed of Abraham, which was the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This Son of God, was the seed of Abraham, through which all the families of the earth should be blessed. In other words, this type was to be set, near the place where God’s sacrifice would literally be offered for the sins of the whole world, and it was from that very city, (after it was renamed Jerusalem) that Jesus ascended to heaven, and was seated on the right hand of His majesty, as the priest of the Most High God. Brothers and Sisters: That is where Jesus is today. We are here, and He is there, and He is fulfilling exactly, what this Melchizedek was in type. God was just simply giving Abraham a preview of that which was to come. Abraham probably did not understand the actual meaning, but the important thing is, that we catch what was being typed.


Jesus is not yet King, but the type was to cover the whole scope of what He would be, in time. So we see that Abraham partook of the bread and wind, and then turned right around, and payed tithe of all that he had. This is where Paul got the revelation that he set forth in the 7th chapter of Hebrews, which we will read in a minute. God was beginning to reveal Himself as an actual person, to an earthly person, but let me quickly say, That person was not an eternal object; it was only for that one time of communication, and then it ceased to exist. Abraham never did go back there to that place, trying to see that man again, for he knew good and well who He was, and he knew not to expect to see Him in that form again. I like the way Paul portrays his revelation of this, over in the epistle to the Hebrews, so let us read that now. Your theologians look at this Melchizedek and say, He was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. But the real revelation is, it was the Most High God characterizing the Lord Jesus Christ. Hebrews, chapter 7, is where we want to read. “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of The Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; (Verse 3 lets us know that it was not he Lord Jesus Christ, for notice what it says,) Without father, without mother, (Jesus the Christ had a mother, but this Melchizedek had no father nor mother) without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” Jesus had a beginning of days; He was born in a little town called Bethlehem, almost two thousand years ago. So Paul says, He was made like unto the Son of God. That is exactly what it was all about; a preview of something that was to come. I said earlier, that we are heading for the first chapter of John, as we explore how God reveals Himself, for we want to show what that terminology really pertains to. I feel like we can deal with this message in a way that will help some grasp a clearer picture of the oneness of God. Once we get it in our mind that God is a Spirit, and that He never existed in an eternal form, much of the Bible will clear up immediately. How many times have we read the book of Genesis, just page after page without ever really seeing what is developing?

GOD SPOKE TO THE FATHERS


When God called Abraham, to go down into a land that He would give him, God, at that time, was setting in motion His plan of redemption. Time would develop many things, and through each stage God would reveal Himself in a greater way. Abraham did not know when God first called him, that he was going to be the father of many nations; he was just obeying the voice of God one step at a time, you might say. God spoke to him both by audible voice as well a through visions, and told him that He would give him Canaan; and that He would make his seed as the dust of the earth for number. So as time passed, and he got word that his nephew had been taken captive by those invading kings, it was only natural that he would do whatever he could, to get him and the others back, and his actions must have pleased God, for as he returned from the slaughter of those kings, that is when God appeared to him in the likeness of that king-priest of Salem. King of Salem, and priest of the Most High God. Actually Melchizedek, as a permanent figure, did not even exist. As I said, He was only a manifestation of that one sovereign Spirit, the Creator, the Elohim. This is one of the things that Paul was looking at, when he started writing the epistle to the Hebrews. Notice the wording here in Hebrews 1. “God, (Elohim) who at sundry times (various times) and in divers manners (different ways) spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, (Abraham was a prophet. God spoke to King Abimelech, and told him that Abraham was a prophet.) Hath in these last days (meaning as the Old Testament dispensation was coming to a close, and a new covenant was to be introduced.) spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things.” We are going to find out, as we go along in the Old Testament, that all of these manifestations where God revealed Himself, were those various times, and different manners, that Paul was writing about, there in Hebrews. Each manifestation, always portrayed something that Jehovah would fulfill in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why Paul could say that this Melchizedek was made like unto the Son of God. Therefore as we look back at those various ways that God revealed Himself to mankind, we can see that this invisible God was foreshadowing what He would do for lost mankind, that was cut off from his creator, and always groping, reaching out, trying to understand something about God. Through the centuries, men have felt the need to worship a god, but they could not understand an invisible God. That is why the pagans would make a stone god, or some tangible object they could hold on to. They wanted a god they could see and touch. That is why God, when He brought the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage and gave them a law, one of those commandments was, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. He was not talking about personal pictures, if there was such a thing. He was talking about them trying to make a graven image like unto God. There is no way anyone could make an image of an invisible Spirit, and that is what God is, so it is no wonder people have such difficulty trying to understand Him. It takes a revelation of the Spirit, to understand anything about God. As I said, I doubt if Abraham understood everything that God prefigured through those manifestations, and Abraham certainly would not be around when any of it would be fulfilled, but God was starting it through him. So as Melchizedek brought forth the bread and wine, and served it to Abraham, what did that prefigure? Was that not the very elements that Jesus took from the Passover supper, and served to His disciples? He blessed the bread, broke it, and said, “Take, eat, this is my body. Then He passed the cup saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” This was prefigured by the Creator, through this from called Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God.


Abraham did not even have a child when God began showing him what He would do for lost mankind through his seed, but as we are privileged to look back and see all these things, oh how precious they are. At this point, let me say, That was the expressed thought of God, manifested in that manner, so that helps us to better understand St. John, chapter 1, verses 1-3, when we get there, and then we read verse 14, which says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” John was a Jew. He was a seed of Abraham, and always knew that God is a Spirit, so it was simple for him to say, In the beginning was the word. But we English speaking people, because of the way it is translated, many times we do not catch the actual thought. Now let me say this, Melchizedek was a temporary manifestation of the thought of Jehovah expressed, but please understand this; it is only a temporary figure that you are looking at, and there is only one mind being operated, the mind of Jehovah. You do not have a spirit mind, and then a human mind, because this Melchizedek is not an actual physical living being; he is only a theophany form. So keep in mind, that was the expressed thought of Jehovah, or word of God, and we want to watch it, as it develops further on. Remember, the first thing he characterized was king and priest. This lets us know that in centuries to come, when the seed of Abraham, through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed, would come. He would ascend into heaven, and take His position as priest of the Most High God. Then there will come the day, when He will descend from heaven, back to Jerusalem, the old Jebusite city once called Salem, before it was taken over by the seed of Abraham, and there, He will rule for a thousand years. That was all prefigured through Melchizedek.


ABRAHAM QUESTIONS GOD


Now let us go to the 15th chapter of Genesis, and read the first three verses. “After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram (I have been calling him Abraham, but actually even at this particular time, his name is called Abram. God changed it later. Notice now how the Lord came unto him,) in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (This is again, the mind of God expressed, but it is in a minor form, compared to the theophany Abram has just seen prior to that.) And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou has give no seen: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.” What we are seeing here, is God, in the process of confirming a covenant with this man, concerning both the land He has promised to give him, and the seed that was to be as the sand on the seashore for number. So Abram says, Lord God, what wilt thou give me? Verse 14, “And behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord: and He counted it to him for righteousness. And He said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” It is important that we notice how the Lord is dealing with him, both concerning the land, and also the seed that is to inherit it. “And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” He has asked God a question, Whereby shall I know? So we come to the first time God has ever instructed any man on how to offer a sacrifice, and what to offer. Up until this time, it seems like men were just left to their own conscience, as to what sacrifice to offer, and how to offer it. But now, God becomes specific, and stipulates certain things. “And He said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, (all of these are animals) and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” From Eden until now, it is not even recorded that any man ever offered this kind of sacrifice, in this numerous way. But God has spoken to him in a very specific way, as he asked the question. How will I know that I am going to inherit it? This was God’s way of starting with Abraham, the very form of sacrifice that would be required to offer under the law, when He would bring Abraham’s seed out of Egypt, and give them a specific set of instructions. Each animal meant a certain thing, and was to be offered as a certain type of sacrifice. This was the beginning, where God put into Abraham the knowledge of everything that He was going to work through, and work by, as his seed would multiply and become as the stars of heaven. Verse 10, “And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against the other, but the birds divided he not.” Actually as he killed those animals, he cut them right down the backbone, and laid each half, one against the other. “And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.” Naturally what Abram was doing, was not something that could be done in 15 minutes. It took a while for him to kill all those animals, but them up, and lay them out there on the ground, and during this time, the buzzards found out what was going on, and here they came, and while Abram was waiting upon god to receive his sacrifice, he had to keep driving them away. It do not know if Abram knew what to expect God to do, or not, but he did know that there would be some sort of manifestation, so he just kept driving the buzzards away, while he waited. “And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and low, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. And He (God) said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, (he did not even have any seed) and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.” God has told Abram what to offer as a sacrifice, as they prepare to seal this covenant, and as Abram obeyed, while he was waiting upon the Lord to receive it, even while he was driving away the birds, he fell off into a deep sleep. This of course, is when the Lord came to him. But in this sleep, he falls into a great horror of darkness. This horror of darkness was the fact that God spoke to him about going to his fathers in a peace, an about being buried in a good old age. God was telling him how his seed would be afflicted four hundred years, and at that time, he had no seed. Well the fact that God is telling him all of this in advance, lets us know that it is important that these things be understood, if we want to get a true picture of the Godhead. If there was a Father, as a person, and a Son, as a person, pre-existing with the Father, and equal in authority, and the Holy Ghost is yet another such person, you would have to see the other two persons manifested from time to time. But the point is, God (the singular, sovereign Spirit) is the only one you see working the whole thing out. Every manifestation was always pointing forward to the time when that one seed of Abraham would come upon the scene, reveal the Father to a chosen few, and then give his life on that old rugged, to pay our sin debt once and for all. Jesus the Son of God, was the very Word that lay there in the mind of the Father, as He gave these various glimpses to the patriarchs through the centuries. They were types and shadows of what would be fulfilled in that one seed. No wonder Paul could write of Abraham, That he journeyed in a strange land, looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. He had seen enough to let him know God was working out a great plan. Paul said, “By faith he (Abraham) sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” He had been shown, that he would not live long enough to see the consummation of all that was promised, but that he would live long enough to see certain types set in motion. The beauty of it all, is that Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. A simple faith and trust is what God is looking for, in all of His children. Paul wrote in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that HE is a rewarder of them that diligently seed Him.”


COVENANT CONFIRMED WITH ABRAHAM


Let us continue on in Genesis 15, verse 16. “But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites, is not yet full. And it came to pass, that , when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.” As Abram saw that, he knew that God had accepted his sacrifice, and that this was God’s way of confirming the covenant. “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites ,and the Hittites, and the Perrizzites, and the Rephaims, and the Amorites and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites and the Jebusites.” The Jebusites were the ones that possessed the city of Salem, where Melchizedek had appeared to Abraham, or Abram. But now, as we move over into the 17th chapter we see God revealing Himself to Abram again, through another deity title, and there is no way this title could be tacked on one person of a three person Godhead. Verse 1, “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God: walk with me, and be thou perfect.” The Hebrew word for ALMIGHTY GOD is El Shaddai, so to this point He has been known as STRONG ONE, THE HIGHEST, THE SELF EXISTENT, and now THE ALMIGHTY GOD. “And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying. As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.” In each of these experiences, God keeps confirming to Abram, you are going to have a son; an heir to the promise I have given you, concerning the land. So when this was all lined out, then God moves on the scene to change Abram’s name. “Neither shall thy name be called any more Abram, but thy name shall be called Abraham; (Why?) For a father of many nations have I made thee.” The name Abraham, means, father of multitude. Just one old man, almost a hundred years old, and his wife almost ninety, and God has just given him a name that speaks of him being the Father of a multitude. I can just hear Abraham telling his wife about all of these experiences Abraham had had. I imagine that after so long a time, she got to thinking. This sounds like just so much repetition. That is what caused her to get the idea to give her maid to her husband, (chapter 16) so that he could have a son by her. She was getting impatient about the whole idea. She wanted to hurry up, and get the whole thing over with. You can read chapter 16 and get the whole story. After Hagar conceived, Sarah (still Sarai, at that time) Abram’s wife, saw that she was despised in Hagar’s eyes. (That is the kind of trouble we get in, when we get ahead of God.) So she complained to Abram, and he said, She is your maid; do whatever pleases you. Well what pleased Sarai, was to run her off, and that is what she did. The next thing you know, the poor soul is visited by the angel of the Lord, out in the wilderness. He said to her, “What aileth thee Hagar? Fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad (Ishmael) where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, an hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.” This son of Abraham was to be the father of a great multitude also, but the covenant the Lord made with him, was to be passed down through Isaac. We also see in the 17th chapter, that God gave Abraham’s wife a different name, saying, “As for SARAI thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.” During this same period of time, God also established the covenant of circumcision with Abraham, requiring that every male child of his house, over eight days old, should be circumcised. God said, “My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.” So we have seen God change the names of Abram and Sarai, to Abraham and Sarah and, He has promised to give Sarah a son, with whom He would establish an everlasting covenant, that would be with him and his seed. After God finished speaking to Abraham, he set about the task of circumcising himself and all the men and boys of his household, and that brings us down to chapter 18, as we follow these manifestations of Jehovah.


SARAH’S HEART DISCERNED


We have already touched on this, but let us look a little further, as we begin reading in verse 1. This is where God is coming on the scene to really execute the promise. “And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre; and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; (That would be somewhere around noon time.) And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him: (You have to notice the wording here, because those three men were still off in distance from him.) And when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, (That shows they were not standing right beside him, for he had to run to meet them) and bowed himself toward the ground, and said MY LORD, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant.” This where we find out that one of these three figures, is Jehovah Himself, in a theophany form. In this manifestation He is a prophet, so there is your type of another office the Son of God would fulfill in due time. We have already seen Him as king and priest, and now He is a prophet. This characterized the first earthly role Jesus the Christ would fulfill, along with the discerning of the hearts of mankind, as we see him discerning Sarah’s thoughts a little further on. This was the very thing Jesus ministered to the Israelite people, and through it, many of them declared, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Even the Samaritan woman declared, We know that when the Messiah cometh, He will tell us all these things, and Jesus answered, I that speak unto thee, am He. It was that gift of discernment, that caused Nathanael to cry out, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” As I said earlier, you can read the book of Genesis, and read right over all of these manifestations of Jehovah, without even considering what they are pointing to, but saints, I get excited when I see how God prefigured everything Jesus, the Christ, would be, and everything He would do. As was the case with Melchizedek, the mind being expressed here in chapter 18, as this man speaks to Abraham, is the supreme mind of Jehovah. There is no human mind involved. When this figure leaves Abraham, he will no longer exist. Every theophany form that Jehovah appeared in, was only a temporary manifestation, for some specific purpose, and then it would be gone. But like we said earlier, Jehovah was accompanied by two angels, when he cam to Abraham there. It just lets you see that angels are always present, when God is doing anything. It was the angels, that always executed the mind of Jehovah. That is what caused Paul to write, in the 2nd chapter of Hebrews, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.” I always take every opportunity to point to the fact, that the us, in Genesis 1:26, is God (the Elohim) and His angelic helpers, instead of a three persons God, like the trinitarians teach. Now when this man came walking up the road toward Abraham’s tent. I am convinced, that he did not look in his appearance, like a king, nor like a businessman. I would say his appearance was like the old prophets, but Abraham recognized who it was, and said, MY LORD, not my lords. He was the one that did the talking to Abraham, after Abraham had fed him. Abraham rushed into the tent, and told Sarah to make some bread, and then he ran to the field, and brought a calf to be dressed for their meal. Then when it was all prepared, he set the meal before them, out under a tree, and stood by them while they ate. It was at this time, they asked him, Where is Sarah thy wife? Abraham said, She is in the tent. Then this one figure that Abraham had called, My Lord, said to him, “I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was BEHIND Him.” While He was talking, Sarah was in the door of the tent listening, and laughing to herself. Verse 12, “Therefore Sarah laughed within herself saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord (Abraham) being old also?” God waited until they were so old, in the natural, it seemed impossible for such a thing to happen, a ninety year old woman having a child. God let Abraham walk with Him twenty give years before He gave him a son by Sarah. So while Sarah was behind Him, laughing within herself, God said to Abraham, “Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” Sarah really changed her attitude when she realized that He had discerned her very thoughts. She even denied laughing, but He said, “Nay; but thou didst laugh.” After that, the three men rose up, and headed for Sodom, and Abraham walked with them, as they left his place. That is when the Lord told him what He was going to do, because of the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all the rest of this chapter you find Abraham pleading for the righteous souls that might be in those cities. The Lord Himself, stayed back with Abraham, and the two angels headed for Sodom. They already knew what had to be done. But what we have seen back here, is a gift, and a ministry that was going to be manifested through the seed of Abraham. In other words, Jehovah came to Abraham, to tell him it was time for the promised son to be brought into the picture, (Not that day, but very soon, Sarah would conceive,) a son that would be the beginning of a long line of the seed of Abraham, and one day, the seed that was typed that day, would come on the scene in Israel, doing exactly what Jehovah did, when He prophesied, and discerned Sarah’s thoughts. He is one God, who is Spirit, but He can come on the scene, and manifest Himself in many ways, and at various times. That was how He did it in the Old Testament, but in these last days, He hath spoken unto us through His dear Son, Paul says. His dear Son was the climax of all those various manifestations we have been looking at.


I am not trying to make this subject sound technical, but from time to time, people say things that cause me to realize the need to deal with certain subjects the way I do. We went up to Bloomington for a service a while back, and as I was getting ready to leave, after a wonderful service, a young man stepped into the little room where I went to get my coat, and said, Bro. Jackson: I want to apologize to you. Two years ago when I was down at your convention, and you preached the message titled,”The Invisible and Visible God,” I could not accept what you preached about the Godhead. I left there and said some things about you, that I should not have said. I told a lot of people how wrong the things you preached were. Bro. Jackson: he said, I have learned a lot since then: I came from the extreme oneness side of Pentecost, and what you taught just struck me wrong. He said, I still do not understand everything, but I understand a lot of things today, that I did not understand then, so I am asking you to forgive me. I said, Brother, I did not even know that you had said anything about me; sure, I will forgive you. But on the way home, that bore upon my mind and caused me to realize that these messages on the Godhead are really needed. It is impossible to get a true revelation from the Bible, if you do not first get a proper revelation of the Godhead. Oh, there are some basic things like John 3:16 and Romans 3:23, and so forth, but when you get into the doctrines of the scriptures, and the things that really require a revelation, a revelation of the Godhead comes first. Just knowing Greek and Hebrew is not enough. It may help you translate the scriptures, but knowing all that Greek and Hebrew will never give you a revelation. Now some may say, What right has a man with only an eighth grade education, to tell us what certain words in the Bible mean? But to me, that just shows what the Holy Ghost can do; He does not have to have a highly educated mind to work through. Those old fishermen Jesus chose to be His apostles, did not carry diplomas from seminaries and Bible schools, so why should it require that, to understand what they taught? The natural mind is not what receives a spiritual revelation anyway. What you have only in your mind is not really a revelation to you, no matter how well you may know it. But let us get back to our subject.


THE EVERLASTING GOD


God the Father of all creation, sovereignly manifested Himself in these various forms, to set a type of the one man that would come into the world, and take upon Himself the sins of all mankind, and bear them in His own body upon that old cross. He was prophet, priest, and King, but not all at the same time. He walked among mankind for three and a half years as a prophet, He has been in glory for almost two thousand years fulfilling that priestly office on our behalf, and one day in the not too distant future, He will take the throne of His father David, where He will rule as King, for a thousand years. So we just have to see that every manifestation of Jehovah was pointing to some phase of what that seed of Abraham would fulfill on behalf of lost mankind. Those deity titles always portrayed something that God is, in relation to His creation and especially to mankind. When He revealed Himself as Strong One, that shows that He can do all things. When He revealed Himself as Self Existent, that means He always was, and always will be. Never was born, and never will die. The other major deity title is El Olam, meaning, Everlasting God. That gives us five major deity titles, that Jehovah was known by, as we come through the book of Genesis. Then we come to one that is not an important deity title, but it is one that He revealed Himself to the children of Israel by, Jehovah Sabaoth, meaning, Lord of Hosts. Therefore regardless of what the trinitarians may say, you do not see a trinity revealed in these deity titles. You can only see a trinity in the manifestation of the objects they really are. All through the Old Testament, regardless of where you read, you will always see the ONE God, which is Spirit, on the scene, and never any reason to believe that He is three persons. Then after we leave Genesis, we see many other times where He would appear to the patriarchs in an angelic form, or rather, we should say, We see angels conveying the presence of God to those men, speaking as God Himself. That lets us see further that God always works through His angelic family.


DEITY TITLES–REDEMPTIVE TITLES


Saint: I do not mean to make my points a continual repetition, but taking the subject, and going at it from different angles, we are trying to help people get a better picture of the Godhead, that will mean something to them. Not necessarily so they can explain every detail, but so they can have it settled in their own hearts, and be able to understand a truth from God’s word. Therefore, let me say this: As we come on through the Old Testament, at various times when certain patriarchs were brought under severe trials, God would reveal Himself to them through a redemptive name. Now please understand, a deity name, or title, is one thing, and a redemptive title is something else. A deity title speaks of what God is, and a redemptive title speaks of what He is able to do for man. We printed an article on the seven redemptive names, and pointed out that each one was always connected with the word Jehovah, which in English, means, Lord, or Master. In other words, as problems, circumstances, and situations would arise, God would reveal Himself, and reach out to man in that particular need, by expressing an attribute that could deal with the situation. He is an invisible Spirit, capable of meeting every need of mankind. But as the pagans had it, they needed a different god for every set of circumstances. That was a result of mankind multiplying upon the face of the earth, and losing their understanding of the invisible God. They started to build idols, statues of every description, that they could bow down to, and worship. Then they started to build altars, and offer sacrifices of all kinds, with festivities and rituals. They had a god for health, a god for fertility, one for wisdom, and all such like. Whatever their need was, they prayed to the god for that. When in reality, it was one God that held all of those capabilities and attributes. That is why He had revealed Himself to Abraham and his seed, through these various redemptive titles; they revealed His ability to meet all the needs of mankind. Coming out of Egypt, Jehovah came down in a pillar of fire by night, and a pillar of smoke in the daytime, to the children of Israel. Within that pillar of fire and of smoke was an angelic being, which was the agent by how the anointing presence of God was expressed. In other words, As long as the pillar of fire stayed still, the children of Israel stayed camped. But when that presence began to move, they knew it was time to move on. The Lord went before them, in the cloud by day, and the fire by night, and in their journey they came to Sinai, and the mountain where Moses received the Law. Moses was taken up on the mountain under the direction of the Lord. The first time Moses went up, he went with a group of men, and God came down and feasted with them. Then God took Moses a little further, and communed with him, and gave him two tables of stone, with the Ten Commandments written thereon. But they were gone too long to suit the rest of the congregation down below, and they got restless, and demanded Aaron to make them gods that would go before them. They had been used to seeing that God that the Egyptians prayed to, which was a sacred bull. God Himself, being invisible, they could not see Him, so they wanted a god that would stay with them. If they had a god they could carry around with them, they knew it would not leave them. You know how human minds react to the things they cannot see. So when Moses delayed to come down off the mountain, the people came to Aaron and said, “Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him. Aaron had them dedicate their golden earrings, and he fashioned them a golden calf. The Lord sent Moses down, saying to him, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshiped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said. These be thy gods, Oh Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” Moses went down, with the two tables of stone, but when he saw what they had done, he got so angry, he threw them down on the ground and broke them. Now God Himself had prepared those tables, and wrote the commandments upon them, but later, when Moses goes back up. God tells him to hew out two tables of stone, and be ready, and God once again writes the Ten Commandments upon them. Between the two incidents though, Moses had asked God to let him see His glory, and the Lord granted him his wish. This of course, always causes trinitarians to say, Well Moses saw God, as they try to prove that God is a person. If that be the case, then we would have to say that Abraham saw God too. But the point is, They are not trying to prove that God lived in a form, and He never did, until He incarnated His only begotten Son, so let us not make the word of God a lie; let us make it all line up into a revelation. Moses was a man greatly loved by the Lord, and He did materialize Himself into a form, but it was not a form that He remained in. God told Moses, Go, stand upon a rock, “And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” (Ex. 33:22-23) Now if you are looking at God as a man, what man’s hand is large enough to cover a man? In the manifestation God only allowed Moses to see the back part of Him, so no matter how the reading looks, the Bible says, No man can look upon God and live. This just goes to show, how people let their minds get so technical, when they try to prove that God is a person. One statement becomes so magnified, they are unable to see all the other scriptures, that could shed light upon the matter. It is Gentile minds that do these things; a Jew knows better. The scriptures were written by Jews who had a revelation of the God they were writing about. Those who wrote the New Testament, had a revelation of what all those various manifestations meant, and not one of them ever wrote anything that made the picture contradictory. Therefore those who say, Well Moses saw God, make John the Baptist a liar, for he said, No man hath seen God at any time. If Moses really saw God, how could John the Baptist, (another Jew) come along and say that? That is what causes people who do not want to believe in Christianity, to say, The Bible contradicts itself. What they see as a contradiction, is what the Spirit of God had placed in a certain way, to keep carnal minds from being able to see the truth. In Luke 10:21, Jesus thanked the Father for hiding these spiritual realities from the wise and the prudent, and revealing them unto babes. Not illiterates, but simple people that are willing to see by the Spirit.


MOSES SAW GOD’S BACK PART


Whatever form God manifested Himself in on top of Mt. Sinai, could have taken on the form of a terrible looking being, if you want to go by the reactions of the people down at the foot of the mountain. It was not raining up there. Moses did not need a raincoat, but they saw lightning , and heard thunder, and they heard the trumpet of God, and it was a fearful thing, yet when He passed by for Moses to see His back part, He was in a form that did not scare Moses. So the point is, God could materialize Himself into any form He chose to, and at any time, but He never remained in any of those forms. God did that for Moses, to vindicate something to him, for he was actually a type of Jesus Christ, but when the event was concluded, He diffused Himself back into that omnipotent Spirit. Then when God spoke to Moses at various times, after he came off the mountain, He could speak to him by an audible voice, but within that, there was always that angelic being. Then we find out later, that the angelic being was Michael, the arch angel. He is the one that ministered within that manifestation of Jehovah, and he is the angel of God that guided the children of Israel through the wilderness journey. He brought them through all their conflicts, and brought them across Jordan, to the promised land. Now Michael is not Jehovah. But the point is this, wherever He presents Himself to touch, or be with mankind, there is either an angel, or angels within that presence, always ministering His purpose. To lose sight of that is only to wonder in the realm of mental confusion, not understanding the word of God, and His plan. Following the children of Israel on into the promised land, we find that it was Joshua that brought them into the land. His name is the same as the name the only begotten Son of God would carry. For that is the name Jehovah would reveal Himself through, after He incarnated His Son. I will not dwell on this name, but they say the name Jesus is a Greek word, and that there is not a name equal to it, in the English language. That is why your Yahweh people say we are using a pagan word. They say, Instead of Jesus, we should say Yahweh or Joshua. But I say, there has been too many devils that cast out, and too many people healed, to let our minds run too far in that channel. The name Jesus, has been sufficient this far, so why change now? Jesus is the sweetest name I know; how about you?


WHAT ABOUT IMAGES?


As for what God commanded the children of Israel, concerning making an image in the likeness of what they imagined Him to be like, how could they make an image of a Spirit? He is a God of qualities and attributes, but He is not a God to be known by facial or physical features. I came back to that, to call your attention to another extreme, people can go to. In the New Testament era, because they did not have cameras, many Gentiles Christians will look upon you as a pagan, if you have any kind of picture of Christ on your wall. Naturally we do not know exactly what He looked like, but let me tell you something. I believe they had artists in the days of Christ, and if so, it would have been very easy for those who were privileged to see Him, to sit down and sketch His facial features. Do not think that ours is the only generation of people that have artists capable of sketching facial features. There were men long before Christ who could do that. They would even take a piece of marble rock, and chisel out statues of those Roman Emperors. So do not try to tell me that if God had wanted it so, there were not men around that could have done the same with Jesus the Christ. Let me say this also, people have seen Him in a vision, and I have no doubt that they could have retained a knowledge of His physical features, and could have sat down and drawn a sketch of His likeness. I will say also, There is no reason to expect Him to look like a Gentile, for His natural lineage was Jewish. It is true, that genetically He was nether Jew nor Gentile, but He came into the world through Jewish descent. But to get back to the point, there is a difference between trying to hew out a statue of Jehovah, and artistically drawing a picture, or painting a picture of the man called Jesus. So let us be careful how we let our minds run. Having a painting of Christ on your wall is one thing, and making a graven image to bow down and worship is something else. If you worshiped that portrait, you would be doing wrong, but just having it on your wall is no more than hanging a picture of anyone else. One thing I am convince of though, of all the paintings of Christ that I have ever seen painted by artists of long ago., I have never seen a man on earth look like the one in those pictures. That one on the nursery wall back there, I have had for years, and I will tell you something about it. The night I saw Jesus in a dream, when the Lord was getting ready to move us out of the Methodist Church, He looked just like He does in that painting. Furthermore, no matter what angle you look at it from: the eyes are always looking right at you. Take a picture of someone, hang it on your wall and get it to do that, if you can. It just lets me know that certain artists have been endowed with the gift to paint like that. But we will not put halos over them, and do like the Catholics. I hope you understand what I mean. Jesus had physical features that could be painted, but Jehovah does not. That omnipresent Spirit had no need of a nose, mouth, ears, and so forth. He could communicate with mankind without them. As He began to raise up the writing prophets. He usually worked with them by sending an angel, but that angel always conveyed the mind of Jehovah. Just like when He spoke to Zacharias, standing there in the temple: it was done through the angel Gabriel. He told Zacharias that his wife would bear him a son, and that they should call his name John, and so forth, and Zacharias said to him, “Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings.” In other words, those angels always spoke as the authority of God Himself. So as we come on through the scriptures, those prophets began to speak of the Messiah that was to come. David came on the scene, (He was a prophet, in a minor sense.) And the Spirit of God would anoint him, and he, being a musician, was inspired to write all those beautiful songs with references to that one whom we know as Jesus, the Christ. It was that Spirit of Christ that anointed him to write all those things. Not the Spirit of Christ as a person, but the Spirit of God that was later in Christ Jesus. Let me go back a little, to the wilderness journey, where Moses smote the rock, and water poured out of it for the children of Israel. Paul picked up on that event, when he wrote to the Corinthians. In 1st Corinthians 10:4, speaking of the children of Israel, he says. “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” Now trinitarians will automatically tell you, That was Jesus. No Jesus the man was born in Bethlehem, hundred of years later, so He was not that rock Moses struck, there in the wilderness. But the Spirit that brought that water forth from the rock, was the same Spirit that indwelled Jesus the Christ. Therefore you must see, that the rock giving drink to those thirsty people there in the wilderness, typed the one who said, He that give, shall never thirst again. It does not make God a rock, and neither does it make the rock, Jesus, for Paul was speaking of that Spirit, which is the Spirit of God.


VISIONS OF THE PROPHETS


When you look at creation, you are looking at the manifestation of the thoughts of God. For He, by His word, created all things. Anything you can see, is an expression of His thought. When His thought went forth, and materialized, there was the planet earth, the sun, trees, water, but none of it is God. He is not a tree. He is not water, and neither is He a rock. But He is that Spirit, that brought all those things into existence. That same Spirit created creatures called men, that were created in His own image, and He knew that they would become lost, and need redemption. Therefore before He ever created anything, He counseled with Himself and determined how He would go about redeeming them. In His own mind, He determined that their redemption would be wrought through His only begotten Son. He would manifest the fullness of all His attributes through that Son, and by doing so, not only would He redeem His lost family, but He would also redeem the earth back from under its curse. But the point I am making is how He expressed His thoughts, and once those thoughts were expressed they became His word, manifested. So at various times, and in different ways, God spoke to the old prophets, and as they began to speak at various times, everything ran in a consistent pattern, but none of them ever spoke of the person of the Messiah in every detail. They only portrayed certain things about Him. In the 6th chapter of Isaiah, in verse 1, Isaiah said. “I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.” Well they say, Isaiah saw God, yes he saw a manifestation of His substance. If God had remained invisible, and never given man anything he could see, how could any of them ever have described what they were looking at? But if Jehovah chose to manifest Himself in some fashion which man can see with his senses, Jehovah then speaks from that picture, something that will portray what He will do somewhere in time to come, through the person of His Son. Therefore when you take Isaiah, as he sees the Lord sitting on His throne, study it carefully, because in the very next chapter the anointing causes him to say, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel,” which means, God with us. Well that Son is going to be a manifestation of His thoughts, that were predetermined before He ever even started to create anything. Ezekiel then comes along, years later, and he too saw the Lord sitting on a throne, but he saw Him like He was in these fiery wheels. Then in the 4th chapter of Revelation, John was taken up to see that heavenly scene, He saw exactly the scene Ezekiel saw, none other than the Lord Jesus Christ immortal, sitting on the throne of God invested with all that ancient power of Jehovah. John said, He was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone, and a rainbow around about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. Round about the throne were four and twenty elders seated, clothed in white raiment; and crowns of gold upon their heads. He saw also, four beasts full of eyes, and they were all crying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty. Day and night, they ceased not to cry. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was and is, and is to come. We are in verse 9 now. “And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth forever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” What we are reading is the manifestation and collective accumulation of what all those other scenes prefigured. There it is materialized. That is why Jesus is speaking to the Laodicean age, the age you and I live in. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne.” We are the ones that are going to have to overcome all of this mess of foolishness and fanaticism, out here in religion today. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, (I, is a personal pronoun) even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne.” Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews (1:3) said, that “when He (Jesus) had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” His Majesty, is not referring to a person, but that great omnipotent Spirit. In another place, we read that He was seen standing on the right hand of God. It simply means that He received of the Father, all the glory, the honor, and majesty to be taken up, where He is seated as high priest, and standing as our mediator. Anyhow, what Melchizedek prefigured, sits right there in heaven today, fulfilling the priest part, and He is yet to fulfill the King part.


GOD WITH US


As we look once again, at this Son of God, that all these manifestations pointed to, I will again remind you that the scriptures say that He is a high priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek. This Melchizedek, who was a manifestation of Jehovah, to type the one who would literally fulfill those types, was never seen by Abraham again. But this Son of God that was to fulfill all those types, came upon the scene almost two thousand years ago, in the first fulfillment of that type, (a prophet) and He was seen daily for 3 ½ years. He visibly fulfilled the office of a prophet, and now, almost two thousand years later, we look back, and see that He has been fulfilling that office of high priest all that time, since He ascended to heaven, leaving His disciples standing, gazing into the heavens. That is His invisible office work. We cannot see Him with our natural eyes but we do believe that He is doing exactly what the scriptures say He is, interceding for all lost mankind, before the great eternal spirit. Now for the benefit of you who just cannot seem to get the picture straight, let me say once again; The Spirit that created all things by the word of His mouth, is the selfsame Spirit that created that little embryo in the womb of the virgin Mary. For Matthew 1:20, says, That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. Not the third person of a trinity, but the very Spirit that has been known as Jehovah, all through the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit, is the title of what God, who is Spirit, is, in redemption. He is no longer creating worlds, by the very word He speaks; He is now redeeming mankind back to Himself, through the office work known to us as the Holy Ghost. His only begotten Son, who is the only person of the Godhead, came from the river where John baptized Him, for 3 ½ years, He revealed the Father to that generation. Then He went to the cross, paid our sin debt with His very own blood, and is now in heaven interceding for all that are drawn to salvation by the wooing of the Holy Spirit, which is none other that the Spirit of God in that third office work. As for the Son, the oneness people say He is ALL GOD, and in reality deny His humanity, but I want you to know He was as human as any of you. The difference is, He was not born into this world through the fallen route of all other mankind. Genetically He was not the son of Mary, but naturally, He was, for after the Spirit of God created the little embryo in her womb, He received His humanity from the very elements of Mary’s body, just like any other little germ of life in its mother’s womb, would. In the gospel of John it is written, that He came right from the Father’s bosom, or from the bosom of the Lord. But God does not have a chest; that is only an expression. It was the very longing of Jehovah, for the day that He would set forth His thoughts, and cause that little germ of life to produce Him a Son, that would not be hampered by the fallen attributes of all other mankind. He knew, that when the child was born, He would allow Him to grow up among man, and be known as Jesus the carpenter’s son. He would eat like a man, walk down the road like a man, get dirty like a man, and He was a man, but He was a perfect man. There was no sin in Him. Growing up, He was not a child that always had to be told what was right from wrong. Because there was no nature in Him to sin; He was found to be always about His Father’s business. He knew more at twelve years of age, than any other man would in a hundred years. There is not much written in the scriptures of the first thirty years of His life. Only enough to establish the fact of His humanity. After that one incident there at the temple, the scriptures tell us that He went back to Nazareth with Joseph and Mary, and was subject to them, and that He grew in wisdom and knowledge, and found favor with both God and man. Which means, that no one could point a finger at Him, and say, That is a mean little rascal. He did not have to be saved; He was the righteousness of God, manifested so that God could lay upon Him the guilt and sin of all of us. He was not a sinner, but He was made sin, so that we who are the actual sinners, could be transformed into the righteousness of god. He was the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14, but for the first thirty years of His life, no man could call Him Immanuel, meaning God with us. No. The angel told Joseph and Mary both, you will call His name JESUS, or Joshua, which is the Hebrew equivalent. Joshua was the name of the other Hebrew men, that were so named. Therefore let no extreme oneness person tell you that He was Jehovah from the day of His birth. He was not. For all practical purposes, He was just another Jewish man, and the other Jewish men that met Him on the street, did not know what He was destined to be. Joseph and Mary always remembered what the angel had told them, and they pondered those things in their heart, and just watched, and waited. They knew that somewhere, all of what the angel had spoken would be fulfilled, but they just had to wait for God’s time. Therefore for the first thirty years of His life, He never preached a sermon, never did any miracles, and did not even want to, for being the perfect man that He was, He knew it was not His time. He knew exactly what the scrolls of the old prophets said about Him, or pertaining to Him. On the Sabbath day, He would sit in the synagogue, and read the same scrolls those other Jews read. I am sure He discussed what was written in the scrolls with the other men, but I will have to say, He did not act like a know it all, and cause them to look upon Him as an extraordinary person. No. Regardless of what your oneness people say, He was not at that time, Jehovah, God in the flesh. He was only the word of God, that had been manifested in the flesh. God did not become flesh, Himself, but His word caused that flesh to be manifested. There is a great difference between God becoming flesh, and His word becoming flesh. This man Jesus, is the result of the expressed thought of God, Jehovah. There He stood, having a mind of His own, and Jehovah still retained His own mind. Everything that Jesus was in the flesh, before He was conceived in the womb of Mary, was only in the mind of Jehovah as a thought. Yet His destiny was predestined before the foundation of the world. He was the only man God ever intended to incarnate in the way He did Him, placing all of His attributes in Him. That is why Paul wrote to the Colossians, That is pleased the Father, that in Him, should all fullness dwell. No. God did not empty the universe of Himself, when He incarnated His Son: He still remained to be omnipresent. But He did put within Him, a full measure of all of His attributes. That enabled Jesus later, to say, All power is given unto me, in heaven and in earth. But the point is, He never had any of that power and authority before He was thirty years of age. Furthermore when the time came, He did not need a rabbi, nor a priest, to tell Him to go to the river to be baptized; He knew every scripture that prefigured Him, and how HE was to submit Himself to the mind of the Father in fulfilling them. Therefore we can say, John the Baptist who was sent to forerun and announce Him, had been preaching for weeks, and months, expecting at any moment, that He would come on the scene. Then one day, here He came, elbowing His way through the crowd, and working His way down the river bank toward the place where John was baptizing. Then all of a sudden, John screamed out with a loud voice, “Behold, the Lamb of God,” because John had been told by Jehovah, The one upon whom you see the Spirit descend and remain upon, He is the one, John had already said to the people, I baptize you with water, but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. Now there was nothing that gave Him a supernatural look. His manner of dress was not much different than a lot of the other people, so as He walked silently down into the water, and stood there looking at John, John said to Him, “I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? Jesus answered him, Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John baptized Him. The Catholics say he sat Him on a rock, and took a pitcher of water, and over there in the Vatican, they have a little nook in the wall where you see such a scene portrayed, but listen, saints, John took Him and literally immersed Him in the water, for it says in Matthew 3:16, “And Jesus, when He was baptized, sent up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” He was not born Jehovah; He was born the Son of Jehovah, and when He was baptized, Jehovah manifested Himself in the form of a dove, coming down to sit upon Him. But like all other manifestations of Jehovah, that dove was only temporary. The crowd of people standing there did not see the heavens opened; that was Jesus Himself, that saw that, and the dove was the vindication that this vessel had been accepted by Jehovah. That is when the Spirit of Jehovah, came into His Son, in the fullness of all His attributes, and immediately He led Him into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Was Jehovah in Him when He was tempted by the devil? Absolutely. But He did not activate Himself. He left the Son strictly on that of His own understanding, as to how He would face this test. Therefore after He had fasted for forty days, and was weak in body, the devil tempted Him in the three areas of what His person was to fulfill, a miracle worker first; then He was tempted to cast Himself down from a high place, which would have been like committing suicide. The devil is sly, but Jesus answered him with the word of God; It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Then he offered him all the kingdoms of the world, but they would have been Satan’s kingdoms, and Jesus knew that one day He would rule over all the kingdoms of the world anyhow, but in the proper time appointed of the Father. Therefore He refused the devil the third time saying, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Jesus did not want any thing out of season. But the fact that He was left to face the devil with His own mental thinking, proves He was perfect man. He had human attributes, human feelings, just like the rest of us, so do not try to tell me that His psychological and emotional feelings were not strained. But even though He was weak, and His brain filled with all those taunts of Satan. He still used the scriptures to defend His position in every setting. Therefore when the devil became convinced that He would not forfeit His position, as the first Adam had done, he left him, and that is when the angels came and ministered to Him. They were not ministering to Jehovah in Him, they were ministering to the human in which Jehovah then dwelt. His whole nervous system had to be calmed down, and His weak body had to be strengthened. But when it was done, the Bible says, He returned in the power of the Spirit, and that of course, is when His ministry started. From that time on, Jehovah of the Old Testament, was manifested in and through the person of His Son. The oneness Pentecostal people have a saying. Jehovah of the Old Testament, is the Jesus of the New Testament. Well in a collective sense, that can be said, but such a statement, does not give the scriptures true recognition. That is just another of their traditional, theological terms of expression, which so much of the time discredit the Bible. So let me say, I am not saying these things just to be contradictory and technical, but rather to give the scriptures their true recognition.


DANIEL’S PROPHETIC VISION


Now the whole prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 pointed to the fact that this son that would be born of a virgin, would one day be looked upon as Immanuel, (God with us) but at no time before His baptism, could He be looked upon in that way. He was referred to as Jesus the carpenter’s son, to distinguish Him from all the other Jesus’ of that Jewish race. So with that in mind, let us go to the 7th chapter of Daniel for another picture. Trinitarians like to play with this scripture, and I do not feel like the oneness people ever gave it a just explanation, so let us look at it. Daniel was a writing prophet, and Jehovah moved on him at various times by dreams and visions, and this is one complete vision that portrays something which will take place in time, in relationship to the Millennium. At the time Daniel saw this vision, the Son of God, that was born of virgin birth, did not exist as a person. He only lay there in the mind of God as an object of thought; but it was already predetermined that He would be the very means by how God would reconcile the world to Himself. Therefore each time God manifested His substance in a form, it always pointed forward to what the climax and real purpose of God would be, when it was revealed. Let us start reading in verse 9, where Daniel is in a vision, seeing these beasts that are going to rule the world. “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, (all the thrones of those beast powers that ruled the world) and the Ancient of days did sit, (This is pointing to Jehovah, the eternal Spirit, but we are going to see Him characterized in a form, and we need to realize that the form is only visionary) whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: (You can take that right to the book of Revelation, and see how Jesus is the fulfillment of that) His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” This is the great white throne judgment, where he sees the books opened. But the vision continues on, and the scenes change within the vision, so that is what we want to look at. “I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: (That reverts back to the Antichrist, which you read back here in the earlier verses, concerning the fourth beast.) I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. (The lake of fire) As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion take away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.” That goes back to pick up the ancient territories of the previous world beast systems, and shows that the territories of them will all be incorporated into the last day structure of the fourth beast system, when that horn actually projects itself. Their dominion being take away, shows that none of those first three world powers would ever exist again, but their lives being prolonged for a season and a time, lets us know that the territories and people they represented, will be included in all that the fourth beast turns out to be. “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him.” Now saints, when you come to a scripture like this you either have to know already that God is one, or you will see more than one person in the Godhead as sure as the world. Therefore I ask you to listen to how these things are said, because we are looking at a picture where Jehovah takes on a form. This Ancient of days, and the whole description, is to portray and characterize Jehovah who is self existence, always was, and always will be. Only He, could be described as the Ancient of days, because He had no beginning of days. The word ancient, points to something that is very old. Therefore when Jehovah, the great eternal Spirit, who holds all authority, takes on a form in this particular setting, everything about Him portrayed Him to be very old, or ancient. But then we see another form; one like unto the Son of man, and since we know that this Son of man did not exist as a person in Old Testament times back there, we have to realize that this vision is to be interpreted in the future tense. It is a prophetic vision yet to be fulfilled. Prophecies through time spoke of Jesus in the full scope of what He was to fulfill, prophet, priest, and king. But the anointing, or authority for all of those roles was not all given to Him at the same time. It moved from phase to phase. Therefore in this instance, we see Jehovah in a form, and the Son of God, referred to here as the Son of man, coming before Him, and this ancient one actually bestows upon Him, dominion, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him. That is the Millennial reign of Christ. Therefore all of this had to be pictured like this, in order to becomes a prophecy foretelling what God would do through the person of His own Son, when the time would come for Him to be literally manifested in the earth. You did not see Jesus characterized as a prophet in the book of Daniel, but we know that others spoke of His prophetic role, which He has already fulfilled over 1900 years ago. Therefore knowing that, He has already passed that prophetic role, and ascended into heaven where He became the high priest after the order of Melchizedek, we know that the day soon will come, when He will descend from heaven in bodily form, to fulfill His role as King of kings for a thousand years. That is what this prophecy pertains to. The Ancient of days is the source from which all dominion and authority comes, and the likeness to the Son of man is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, which at that time was yet to be. But the reason for two here, is to show the source from where the Son of man would derive that kingdom, and authority. In other words, When Jesus was anointed at the river that day, His anointing was not to be king, yet. He received the fulness of the attributes of God, but His anointing at that time, was to characterize in morality and spirituality the attributes of God, to heal the sick, raise the dead, open blind eyes, and cause the dumb to speak. He at no time exercised any kingly likeness at all. He did not even exercise any priestly likeness. In every way He conducted Himself like a perfect man, yet the attributes of Jehovah were demonstrated and expressed through Him. In other words, He was born to be King of Israel, but when the anointing came on Him, none of those prophecies which pointed to His priesthood or Kingship were even expressed. Now there is no reason for anyone to get nervous and tore up, because I say these things, for Jesus Himself knew exactly when that anointing on Him was coming to an end. That is why He knew precisely when to go up to Jerusalem to be crucified. He did not go to Jerusalem by mistake. He told His disciples when they were leaving Galilee, that He was going to Jerusalem, where He would fall into the hands of evil men, be betrayed, and crucified, but that He would rise again the third day, so none of what happened, was a surprise to Him, He expected it.


JESUS GIVEN ALL POWER


After His resurrection, Jesus had something to say to His disciples, (Matt. 28:18) so this is what He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” What kind of power, or authority, was He talking about? The power and authority to be priest after the order of Melchizedek. That authority was not given, while He was walking on the water, feeding the five thousand, and doing all sorts of miracles. The Father retained that authority within Himself until Jesus’ first role was completed. Therefore we would have to say, As one role passes away, the next one takes over. Therefore the purpose of the two objects in Daniel 7, is just to show the transition of authority delegated to the Son from the Father, for the last role He will fulfill in redemption and restoration. That brings us to Paul’s revelation in 1st Corinthians 15, when after a thousand years of His righteous reign, everything has been restored back to what it was before the fall, and all enemies have been brought under control. What does it say? 1Cor. 15:24 says, “Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He (Jesus) must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet.” Then verse 28 says, “That God may be all in all.” Well where does that put the man called Jesus, some may say? Does He lost out? No. He will not lose anything: He will be our elder brother; the firstborn among the family of God. That is exactly what it is all pointing toward, but it is taking many generations, and many centuries, to bring it all about, where it reaches its fulfillment. Remember, the family of God is not a people that just represents one generation. It comes out of many generations; therefore from every generation, God has been taking those whom He foreknew from before the foundation of the world, to be numbered among His redeemed family, and He is the one that has been molding them into the image of His dear Son. I know the oneness Pentecostal people must think I pick on them a lot, but it is because they had such a great opportunity to receive a true revelation of the Godhead, and they chose to stop short, and build a denominational fence around what they had. Oh they thought they had a complete picture, but they only had a profile of the true picture. When they chose to make the flesh of Jesus, God, then to them, God was born, God died, and God was raised from the dead. That kind of thinking will get you into trouble with the scriptures. They say Jesus was Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and in a collective sense you can say that, but you will find no scripture that talks like that. Truly, in Jesus, was all the fullness of the Godhead, because the Father was in Him, but let me say this to you, God (Jehovah) will never be your brother. You will not find one scripture for a thought like that. Neither will Jesus the Christ, who was born of a virgin birth ever be your Father, or Romans 8:28 & 29 does not mean what it says. “For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” In verse 28 we find that we are the called according to whose purpose? God’s purpose. Not the Son’s purpose. Then verse 29 tells us plainly that the Son is the firstborn among many brethren. He was anointed, and was a prophet for three and a half years, and when He passed from that, He will never be a prophet again. He has been in glory for almost two thousand years, as high priest, but once He passes out of that office, He will never be priest again. Then when He comes to earth, to rule and reign for a thousand years with His bride, He will sit as King of kings, ruling over the nations, and He will still be God incarnate. It is that anointing of Jehovah, in the fullness of those Kingly characteristics that will be executed through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ for a thousand years. Think of this though, When He rules for one thousand years, in what we call His Millennial reign, His wife will be seated with Him in the same realm of authority. The Bible says, For He hath made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall rule and reign on earth. We will not go to Jerusalem; but as He positions Himself on the ancient throne of David, there will be thrones throughout the world, that His bride will rule from. Read Revelation 20:4, “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.” Therefore as Jesus judges the nations for their Millennial setting, His bride is going to sit within that same framework of authority also. That is why we must be made like unto His very image.


THE LOGOS WAS GOD


Let us go to John 1:1 now, for I promised you that we would get there eventually. Remember though, John was not a Gentile looking at a revelation of God; he was a Jew, and the English language we are reading was translated from the Greek text, so I will paraphrase certain things, in an effort to try to clarify them. “In the beginning (before all time) was the Word.” In the English, W-O-R-D is translated from a word which means, thought expressed. It comes from the Greek word, LOGOS, so let me read it like this. In the beginning was the logos, the expressed thought of God. This is not necessarily pointing to the fact that God Himself was in the beginning; it is pointing to the expression of God’s thoughts. And the logos, the thought was with God. Well surely to goodness you would not think my thoughts would come from someone other than me, and neither would God’s thoughts come from someone other than He Himself. As I read here, something has got to become a thought in my mind, and may I say, My thought, and my mind is all a part of me. But once my thought is spoken, I still remain in the same form as before. Therefore as the thought goes out. To become expressed, to communicate and make known, it is no longer an actual part of my thinking. Because when it becomes expressed, it does not return back to become just another thought again. Saints: I realize this is a carnal human expression, but I believe it will help you get the point. The Logos was with God, (His thought was with Him) and the Logos was God. Because as long as it was with Him, it is God holding that thought to Himself. That is why Ephesians 1 will show us how we were already predestinated in Jesus Christ, before the foundation of the world. All of that was a thought in the mind of God. Every one of our names was known in the mind of God, when the Logos in that redemptive realm was just a thought contained in the mind of God. “The same was in the beginning with God.” In other words, this was already a finished work with God. Nothing came into existence until after Jehovah, the self existing one, had counseled with Himself. That means He meditated, and began to set certain thoughts in His mind. Therefore because of His foreknowledge, (His ability to know all things) we can better understand how He predetermines things that are to be. Before there ever was a star, a moon, or anything else which is an expression of His thoughts, He already had you and me in His mind as a finished work of redemption. But as long as that thought was retained in the mind of God, it was with God, and was God. It was not even an object yet; it was only a thought. But it was a thought that had already been predetermined to be materialized in a certain time.


THE LOGOS BECAME FLESH


When we come to verse 14 this is where the oneness people get into trouble with their revelation of the Godhead. They say, But the Bible says that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. Yes. That is what our English translation says, But when you consider the fact that it was the Logos that was made flesh, you have a completely different picture. For it was the expressed thought of God, that was made flesh. God did not become flesh. When that perfect Son of God was growing up among mankind, God Himself was still that omnipresent Spirit, just like He always had been. He expressed a thought, in order for there to be a perfect man, a man holding all the qualities of any other man, yet without sin. Extreme oneness people will say that this flesh was only a tabernacle for Jehovah, completely eliminating His right to be identified as the Son of God. It also eliminates the fact that He had a mind of his own, that functioned in the human realm. If you are prone to think like that, then ask yourself the question. If the flesh of Jesus was just a tabernacle for Jehovah to dwell in, then why did Jehovah drive Himself into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil? The Bible says God cannot be tempted with evil, so what was that temptation all about, if there were no humanity involved? The oneness know the trinity is wrong, but they just simply cannot stand to hear the trinity say, But Jesus is the Son of God. That causes them to run even faster to the other side of the road, Jesus is God, Jesus is God, never giving the Son of God any recognition. John the Baptist, a Jew, knew who he baptized, and he knew what took place at the river, when He was baptized, but a testimony like that, means nothing to some people; they only see what they are looking for. Let me read verse 14. “And the word (Logos) was made flesh.” That means the expressed thought caused a little baby to be born. “And dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John does not pick up the picture at birth, he picks it up after His baptism, an describes what He is then, as the revelation of the Father, in that respect. Then in verse15 we are back to the witness of John the Baptist. “John bare witness of Him, and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me.” In other words, He was already in the predetermined plan of god, to be the very means by How God would reconcile His lost family of children back to Himself. “And of His fulness have we all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, (Moses was a type of Christ, because Moses received a law which typified everything that God would do through the person of Jesus in redemption.) But grace and truth (God’s unmerited favor) came by Jesus Christ.” Meaning, it was revealed through Him. God’s unmerited favor is all the hope lost mankind has, for the Bible says, We have all sinned, and come short of the glory of God. There was no righteousness in us. Our righteousness is imputed to us as a result of our faith in what Jesus accomplished at Calvary on our behalf.


TRUE SALVATION REVEALED


Now when John the Baptist said, No man hath seen God at any time, was he denying what the patriarchs and prophets saw? No. He had read those scrolls, and he knew that none of those manifestations were an eternal form that Jehovah dwelt in. He was not just reading over them, as though they do not exist. We are going to read some scriptures that oneness people jump over, as though they do not exist. No, I am not reading them to belittle anyone, but simply to give the physical man Jesus, His true Sonship place, and allow Him to be a man that could get His feet dirty, get tired, and even weep. When He went to raise Lazarus from the grave, He wept. God does not have tear ducts. Only a man has tear ducts. When Jesus saw how the people were weeping and carrying on, over the death of Lazarus, and realized how much they must have loved him, that touched His own heart. He was a man, and was subject to express emotions, therefore at this occasion, we find the shortest verse in the Bible. “Jesus wept.” Think of it. Because He was a man, and had the physical and psychological characteristics of a man. His emotions were set into a feeling of sorrow and compassion, because of the way those people were reacting over the death of Lazarus. Therefore as you can plainly see, it affected Him also. Now turn back with me, to John 4:22-26. Jesus, at the well in Samaria, talking to the Samaritan woman, says to her, “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, (He was talking about the dispensation of grace) and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” If you will study the gospel of St. John carefully, you will always see the man called Jesus, (who could be visibly seen) always adoring, exalting, and speaking of the Father. Not only that which was in Him, but that which was above Him, and filled the whole universe. Here He is saying, God is a Spirit, and we have got to see it in that respect. “The woman saith unto Him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: (They got that from the Old Testament prophets, that wrote of the anointed one, that was to come.) When He is come, He will tell us all things.” This is the only time Jesus ever publicly admitted that He was the anointed one. Every other person had to get it by a revelation of the Spirit that was drawing them to Him. But to her, He said, “I that speak unto thee am He.” Just think of that. To that woman, it did not have to be a revelation, for He spoke it to her by verbal communication. But as we have already pointed out, to Nathaniel, it was a revelation, and so was it to a lot of others, that you read of in the other gospels. Let us move to John 5:17, where Jesus is at Jerusalem, and has just done a miracle on the Sabbath day, which had the affect of throwing the old Jerusalem heirarchy into a dither. They began to cry, He broke the Sabbath, and all such as that, but notice how Jesus answered them; He always gave due recognition to the Father. “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” Now to actually understand that kind of remark, was to understand that the Father was in Him, in full authority, and that He could motivate the mind of Jesus to actually fulfill the mind of the Father. It was the mind of Jesus to actually fulfill the mind of the Father. It was the mind of the eternal Spirit, that was being fulfilled, for Jesus the man, kept His mind submissive to the Father at all times. Notice now, “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, (which was the truth) making Himself equal with God.” It just goes to show, that even though that man was healed, those critics had no revelation whatsoever, as to who Jesus was. All they could see was a man that had broken the law, by doing it on the Sabbath day. Verse 19, “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself.” Now that was absolutely an honest statement coming from the person of the Son. In His natural makeup, He knew His human ability could not do the kind of things that were getting Him in trouble with the religious leaders of Judaism. Futhermore even if He could, Jesus would not just put on a show for anyone. I believe it is in the Philippian epistle, where Paul said, “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.” As for being in the form of God, you have to realize that Paul is referring to the spiritual substance, and not the flesh, for God Himself does not have a physical form. That is what we have been proving throughout this message. Therefore just try to think of this Son of God, as being of the same substance as His Father, except for the flesh part, for He, like any other Son, has a right to be looked upon as a chip off the old block. What son of any earthly father does not like to do the same thing daddy is doing? Jesus knew the Father had all these qualities, and capabilities, and power to do such, and He was of the same substance, in the sense of life, but His mind was always subject to the Father. In Philippians, it says, “But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” In other words, to be as a servant, was just about as low as anyone could put themselves in society. Who would want to honor a servant? We just have to realize that when Jesus put Himself in that type of social relationship to mankind, He did not want to be looked upon as some great bishop or Doctor of Divinity. No. He was just Jesus of Nazareth, but oh, look what was done. So the Son can do nothing of Himself, “but what He seeth the Father do: for what things so ever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” What Jesus was actually saying was, whatsoever the Father in Him, that possesses Him, shows Him to do, that is what He is going to do. The invisible God, dwelling in His Son, used all of His physical members to contact the people, and the people only saw the human vessel, but that is the way Jehovah chose to reveal Himself. The Son was the means by how God could manifest His characteristics. Verse 20, “For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will show Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.” Those who saw Jesus in those days, might have thought He just drifted around from place to place, doing whatever pleased Him at the moment. But the truth is, everything He did, was predetermined by the Father for a specific purpose. Not one act was done out of a spur of the moment urge, on the part of the Son. He came in His Father’s name, and the works that He did, were the Father’s works.


HOW JESUS WAS SENT


Notice verse 24 and see who receives everlasting life. “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.” He did not say to them, Believe on me. He said, so to speak, if you hear MY WORD, and believe on HIM THAT SENT ME, you will receive everlasting life. It was not as though He had been with the Father in heaven, as a person, and the Father sent Him to earth to give His life as a sacrifice for lost mankind. He knew what He meant by the use of the word, sent, and I believe we should know by now. Once He was born into the world, He had been sent forth from the mind of god, where He had been, as a thought, from the time God counseled with Himself, before the world was even created. In other words, The existence of this Son of God was not brought about by the human manipulation. He was not born of man; therefore genetically, he was not the son of any man. The blood that flowed through His veins was pure. Now there are statements down through here, that to the natural mind, seem to contradict what we have just read, but we must see this from the standpoint that the Father has already committed to Him, all things that pertain to the redemption of lost mankind; therefore regardless of how the wording sounds, it is the mind and will of the Father that is being expressed. In verse 25 He says, “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.” It was the voice of the Son that those lost souls were hearing, but that voice was expressing the mind of the Father. That same voice shall one day call forth all that are in the graves to stand before the great white throne judgment. No, not the righteous, they will be called before that. Revelation 20, verses 4 & 5, clarify that, for even the tribulation saints are raised from the dead, to live and reign with Christ a thousand years, before the great white throne judgment. But notice verse 30, here in John 5, where He makes the same statement again, “ I can of mine own self do nothing.” Mine own self, are words that describe the complete human person that He is, and that human person without the indwelling presence of the Father, was as helpless to perform miracles as any of the rest of us. “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just; (Why?) Because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” The word WILL, pertains to choice, a predetermined thought, so He did not come to that hour to do His own thinking, and to express His own mentality, but rather, that of the Father. Every human being has the physical and mental capabilities to make choices, and exercise his, or her own will, if they are normal. Those are attributes the Creator put within all of us. But my point is this. Those people who look at John 1:14, and take the stand that god became flesh, and see that flesh as only a tabernacle for Jehovah to dwell in, cancel out a lot of other scriptures. If that flesh man was not totally human with a mind and will of His own, he could never have uttered such statements as these we have been reading. Because He was not speaking as the person of the Father, for the father is not a person; He was speaking as the person, that He Himself was. But it was the Spirit of the Father in Him, that was motivating Him to say and do things He did.


GOD’S MERCY DISPLAYED


Looking at verses 33-37, notice the terminology that was used. Jesus said, “Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. (In 1:15 John said to the people, This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me.) But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He (John) was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. 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.” This flesh and blood man Jesus, though He was born into the world from His mother’s womb, like all other little babies, always spoke of Himself as one sent. What He aid and did, was always for the purpose of fulfilling the will of the one that sent Him. “And the Father Himself which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. (How? By doing the works, the miracles, and things that were done.) Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape.” Jesus never did bear witness of Himself; He always let the Father in Him, bear witness of who He was. His hopes and desire was, that by obediently doing what the Spirit in Him was guiding Him to do, Jews would recognize Jehovah portraying Himself, and realize that God’s mercy was being displayed, and offered to them. He came unto His own, and His won received Him not. That generation was so full of theology and tradition, they could not recognize God in the simple way He came to them. All they could think of, was what Moses had said in the law, and they had that so traditionalized, it in no way resembled what God first gave Moses. That is why Jesus said to them, “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: There is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” They claimed to believe and trust in the law, given to their forefathers by Moses, but Jesus knew that their hearts were far from the principles, that law was supposed to mold into those who observed it from the heart. Well we are talking about how God reveals Himself, and we are looking at the way He revealed Himself almost two thousand years ago, through His won Son, and that gets into terminology that people argue and fuss about. In verses 37 and 38, of the 6th chapter of John, we see another of those instances. “All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.” As we have said, it was not that He, as a man, had come down from heaven. The reason His language was like that, was because His physical existence was not brought about by some man and woman having an intimate relationship. On the other hand, all other human beings this side of Adam, are referred to in the Bible, as being from the earth, or from below. Meaning, of course, that our physical existence is all brought about by God’s law of reproduction, that is in the world. We all came into existence having a fallen nature; therefore we take on an identity, and a position that is far below where He came from. He could say, I came down from heaven, because He knew it was the spoken Word, or as we have been saying, the expressed thought of God, that planted that germ of life in the womb of His mother Mary, and caused Him to be born into the world. In other words, It was a divine act of Jehovah Himself, instead of the law of reproduction, that brought His physical existence into being, and caused Him to be a perfect human being, without man’s fallen attributes. Therefore this Son of God could rightly say, “I came down from heaven.” Even at age twelve, long before He was ever anointed of the Father to perform any miracles, He said to Joseph and Mary, Did ye not know that I must be about my Father’s business? That did not mean that He was preaching or teaching, but simply that He was giving His attention to the things of God. He did not run in the dark alleys, with the other boys of His neighborhood, getting into all sorts of meanness. The little bit we have written of Him, in the last verses of the 2nd chapter of Luke, let us know that at age twelve, He knew what was written in those Old Testament scrolls. For it says, that as He sat listening to those religious leaders, and asking them questions, all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So as we look at verse 39, here in John 6, notice how much revelation is actually contained in just that one verse alone. “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me. I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” First we see that it is the Father’s will which is being worked out. Then we see that Jesus was sent to accomplish something. We also see predestination; for the Father had committed to His keeping, those that should be raised up again at the last day. Not only do we see predestination, we also see eternal security. Hallelujah! Of all that the Father has given Him, He will not lose any of them. Just knowing that ought to bring great comfort to our hearts, and especially so, when we read in John 17 how Jesus prayed for us. When He prayed for His disciples, He said, I pray not for these alone, but for all that shall ever believe on me through their word. That includes all of us.


GAINING MORE INSIGHT


Our main thought for this message is centered around the various ways that God revealed Himself to mankind down through time, and we do not want to stray too far from that, for we still have some things to show you, but as we go along, some things are just too good to pass up. Brothers and Sisters: I really love this word of God, and I believe you do too. It is the only book that has stood the test century after century, without losing any of its meaning. Whatever was prophesied, whether it was by one of those Old Testament prophets, or from the very mouth of Jesus, will surely come to pass. Former things really take on a new meaning, when you begin to see how Jehovah God reveals Himself through His only begotten Son. Therefore now that we have gotten this far, we do not want to stop until we go right on through to the book of Revelation. No, we are not trying to change the world, but we do want to gain more insight on how to handle the word of God, and how to look at God in His oneness. If therefore, you have paid attention to the various manifestations we have been calling attention to, you should know by now that God is very specific about everything He does. Every detail is covered at some point, but they are not all covered at the same time. Anyhow it was a natural thing for the apostle Paul to write to the Hebrews, God who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoke unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things. Brother, the apostle Paul and those other apostle had a perfect revelation of what had been manifested in their day and hour. They knew how to come to the Gentiles, and deliver that true revelation in such a beautiful way. But once those first age saints were gone, Gentile minds began to take that beautiful revelation, and twist it all up. That is why the world is in the pitiful shape it is in today.

The Body of Christ (1986), Part 4

WHEN I GOT STARTED PREACHING ON THE BODY OF CHRIST, I NEVER DREAMED IT WOULD RUN INTO ANYTHING SO LENGTHY, BUT WHEN YOU GET INTO A MESSAGE LIKE THIS, THERE ARE SO MANY AVENUES TO COVER, IT SEEMS LIKE THERE IS JUST NO PLACE TO END IT. NATURALLY OUR FIRST THOUGHT WAS TO SHOW WHAT THE BODY OF CHRIST IS, WHO IS IN IT, HOW THEY GOT INTO IT, AND FOR WHAT PURPOSE. BUT THEN, THAT OPENED UP QUESTIONS ON HOW THE BODY FUNCTIONS, AND HOW THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT WORK IN THAT BODY TO ACTUALLY CONTINUE THE MINISTRY OF JESUS CHRIST IN THE WORLD, RIGHT ON THROUGH TIME. WE HAVE USED MANY SCRIPTURES, AND MANY PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATIONS, BUT NONE OF THEM HAVE BEEN USED WITH THE INTENTION OF TRYING TO FORM A MOLD FOR ANYONE TO FIT INTO. MY MAIN PURPOSE IN PREACHING LIKE THIS, IS TO TRY TO STIMULATE OUR THINKING, AND GET US LOOKING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. I HAVE SAID BEFORE, AND I WILL SAY AGAIN, I CANNOT GIVE YOU A GIFT, NOR CAN I MAKE YOU ANYTHING THAT GOD WILL ACCEPT. ALL I CAN DO IS POINT YOU TO THE PATTERN, AND THEN ALLOW THE ANOINTING OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO TAKE IT FROM THERE. HE IS THE ONE THAT SETS US IN THE BODY, AND HE IS THE ONE THAT DISTRIBUTES THE GIFTS ACCORDING TO HIS OWN WILL, BUT WE HAVE LOOKED AT THE SCRIPTURES THAT TELL US TO DESIRE THESE GIFTS, AND ESPECIALLY THAT WE MAY PROPHESY. SO GOD EXPECTS US TO HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER THESE THINGS THAT WILL ENABLE US TO PORTRAY OURSELVES AS TRUE SAINTS OF HIS MYSTICAL BODY.


WE HAVE SEEN THAT EVERY MEMBER OF THE BODY OF CHRIST IS IMPORTANT, AND THAT WHEN ONE MEMBER SUFFERS, THE WHOLE BODY IS AFFECTED BUT WE HAVE ALSO BEEN MADE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT WE ARE NOT YET PERFECT. WE HAVE SEEN HOW THE SPIRIT OF GOD MOVED FROM THE JEWS TO THE GENTILES WITH THE SAME LEVEL OF REVELATION, AND HOW IT LIFTED PAGAN GENTILES UP OUT OF THEIR FILTH AND DEGRADATION, AND MADE THEM ACCEPTABLE AS SONS OF GOD, AND NOW WE ARE LOOKING AT THE OVERALL PICTURE OF CHRISTIANITY, AS THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS GRADUALLY WITHDRAWING HIMSELF FROM THE GENTILES AND PREPARING TO RETURN TO THE JEWS IN FULL PREEMINENCE. SO LET US PRAY WITHOUT CEASING, AND KEEP OUR HEARTS CLEAN, FOR THE END IS CLOSE AT HAND.


THINGS THAT HAPPEN


Any time God does anything to stimulate a body of people and get their minds upon spiritual things, it seems like the devil is always present, to counteract what God does, and try to put fear in the hearts of those who truly do desire to be spiritual. In the realm of the gifts, he will cause some element of flesh to manifest itself, in a way that puts doubt and fear in the hearts of those who have not yet learned to discern between the two spirits. So regardless of what happens, just hold steady, for these things are for our tests. If someone jumps up with a Thus saith the Lord, you must do such and such, let that prophecy be judged. If it truly is God, there will be a vindication, so there is no need to become fearful, and if it is just some overzealous flesh being manifested, that will be revealed also. But remember 2nd Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Paul also told Timothy to “Hold fast the form of sound words which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus,” and I say the same thing to you, for there is nothing the devil likes better than to have someone get a little private revelation, and start to run with it. That sort of thing has happened all over this world of religion, and it runs people in a ditch who practice it. God wants every member of the body of Christ to participate in the worship services, but He wants to lead and direct what they do; therefore He is in the process of perfecting us, so we will better now how to fill our place. Now a lot of people go around from place to place, looking for a perfect church, but saints, they are not going to find it, and even if there were such a thing, that kind of person would never recognize it, for they do not know what true perfection is. It is true, God has set in the Church a five fold ministry, for the perfecting of the saints, and I am looking for the Church to be perfected, but brother, when she is, she will not be left here on earth for characters like that to play around with.


PERFECTION


To perfect, is to add to, or to improve upon the quality of something. Therefore a lot of people will say, How can Ephesians 4, be for our day, when Paul wrote it 1900 years ago? They only have a mental picture of what the church was back then. But remember this, As the Church moves through time, it is made up of many generations of people. Each generation rises, fulfills their particular position in the body of Christ, and God deals with them according to their hour, and they die; but perfection is something that must always move on, to be applicable to the oncoming generations. So we have to say, The church is not made up of perfect people. The Church is made up of sinners, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Ghost. Therefore after God gets you out of your sinful state, He must then improve upon you. He improves upon your character, your nature, your understanding, your motives, and everything about you, and perfecting the Church is the same way; it is always moving toward a climax. It has to be returned to what it was in the beginning, when the revelation was still pure. As long as some men see no more than charismatic, they will never perfect anything, but praise God; there is a perfecting process going on just the same. God is getting some people ready to take them out of this old world for a while. But you have certain elements who do not believe in the rapture of the church, before the great tribulation, simply because they have a wrong interpretation of the 7th chapter of Revelation. They think verse 14 is speaking of the bride, when actually it is speaking of foolish virgins and a righteous element of Jews that are martyred during that tribulation hour. Paul is the one who taught that the church would be raptured, (1st Thess. 4:13-17) and in chapter 5:4-5, he said, “But ye brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief, ye are the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night nor of darkness.” In other words, God has not appointed the church to wrath (the tribulation) because we are the children of the day. So that multitude John saw, was not the bride Church; it was those foolish virgins, that stayed too busy running to charismatic meetings, to ever get themselves dressed up in the revealed word of God in time for the rapture. In other words, Paul saw the bride Church going to meet the Lord in the air, and in Revelation, chapter 19, John saw her already there in glory, and then he saw her coming back to earth with Jesus, after the tribulation had already run its course. John knew what he was looking at, when he saw the bride, for he heard a voice say, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.” How did she make herself ready? By getting dressed up in a pure revelation of the word of God. That is what is taking place right now. God is bringing about conditions that are forcing His people to move their lives right into His will and purpose.

ONE BODY


I keep coming back to the 4th chapter of Ephesians, but as we are dealing with the body of Christ, and endeavoring to cover every aspect of it, this 4th chapter keeps coming back to my mind. A lot of people say, Oh I believe the Bible, but when you begin to go into it, and bring out certain details, you find that they really do not believe it after all. Therefore let us read some of these precious verses that give us so much insight into what we are studying. “There is one body, (Notice now, one body. What we see out here in the world of Christendom, in its organizational structure, is multiples of bodies, and each one is looked upon by its members, as though it is that one body.) And one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore He saith, when He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Alright, we have read some beautiful scriptures, and the analysis of it all, is, Right there is the ministry that was set in operation in that first century of Christendom, and that is exactly why Christianity flourished in that first century as it did. The gospel was spread throughout the then known world, and it was done without the help of tape recorders, radios, and television. Brother it was done by the divine leadership of the Spirit of God. He can get more done in one hour than we can in six months, if He is allowed to have His way, for He will go right to the heart of every situation.


THE EARLY CHURCH MINISTRY


Let us look now at that ministry, that the devil finally succeeded in perverting into a priesthood. It took him 500 years to do it, but then the world walked for a thousand years in utter darkness as a result of it. They called it Christianity, but it was a far cry from what we see here in the Bible; when those black robed priests represented the total ministry of what was called, the Church. Now brothers and sisters, I am going to say a lot of things I never thought I would say, but at the same time, I believe we are going to see something out of the scriptures, you never before thought you would see. When Paul wrote this, the church had been in existence for about 30 years, and he was a prisoner in Rome. The Church started with Jews, but by the time of this epistle, the main impact was already among the Gentiles, and the Jews were about ready to be dealt with. In just a few short years, their city was demolished, their temple was torn down, and they were scattered to the four winds. But the point I want to make is it sounds like Paul is saying that these gifted ministries were set in the church from the very first day, but they were not. The church was born right there in Acts 2, in an upper room, where about 120 disciples were assembled, waiting for the promise of the father. What kind of ministry was in that upper room? Only twelve apostles and one of them was chosen by the other eleven, to take Judas’ place, because it was written in the Psalms concerning Judas, Let his bishopric be taken away, and given to another. A lot of Gentiles speak of Matthias being voted in, as though the other eleven apostles had made a mistake, but I assure you: it was no mistake. They were fulfilling prophecy. The could not wait until Saul got converted, in order to have twelve apostles. At that time, Saul was still ranting and raving, persecuting Christians. Nevertheless there were only twelve apostles in the Church at its inception. Saul was not there, Timothy was not there, Titus was not there, nor Agabus, nor none of those other ministries you see in the Church later. How did these other ministries come to be in the Church then? Time itself, along with conditions, produced them. Paul was sitting over there in Rome, in prison, looking back at the church, how it had grown, and the affect it had had on society, and how God worked conditions to fulfill His will and purpose. Jesus was not here on earth administering the effects of Ephesians 4; the Holy Ghost was doing that, while Jesus was in glory interceding for all of us before the great eternal Spirit. You might say, The church is like a little seed, holding within it the germ of life, that will draw from the mind of God every purpose of His will, to be fulfilled in it, that the Church may become the fullness of Christ, as Christ was the fullness of God. Therefore time waited for pastors; and for evangelists, prophets and teachers. The Church did not need all of that the first day it was born, but as souls were added to it, and it grew in number, it soon required more attention than what those twelve apostles were able to give it. That is when deacons were brought into the picture. The Bible tells us that as the Church grew, the multitude of them had all things common, and that there was no lack of anything among them, for those who had extra, contributed the extra, to be distributed among those who had need. But as always, in such cases, some began to squabble and fret. The Grecian Jews began complaining, saying that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution, so that is when the apostles decided to enlist some help. They said to those brethren, choose ye seven men from among you, that are of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, that we may appoint them over this business of taking care of the daily distribution. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. Alright now, they wanted men of honest report. They were not concerned about how much money they had in their bank account; it was their spiritual status that was being considered. How they were seen spiritually in the eyes of the people is what they were concerned about; and these things are determined by how the Holy Ghost has been leading such men. Acts 6:5 gives the names of the men who were chosen, and Phillip and Stephen were among them. They were all young Jewish men, and there was no such qualifications required, like you see in the epistles later; let them be the husbands of one wife, and so forth. Twenty some years later, it comes into Paul’s record that Phillip then had four daughters that were prophetesses, so we know he married sometime during those years, but my point is, in the beginning the only qualifications for deacons, was that they be of good report, and full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.


AN EVANGELISTIC TOUR


Stephen and Phillip really stand out as time moves on. No sooner was Stephen placed in his position as a deacon, then he began to preach in the streets of Jerusalem. The Bible says, (Acts 6:8) “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.” It did not take him all day to fulfill his duties among the widow women, so he spent the rest of his time preaching and witnessing of the grace of God, and the Holy Ghost confirmed it with signs and miracles. Of course it made those Judiastic Jews mad, and they later killed him, but this is really what made one of the first evangelists in the New Testament Church. Saul was still on the Sanhedrin Court at that time, and when Stephen’s preaching got to the place where it could no longer be tolerated by those Judiastic Jews, he evidently was the one that said something to more or less cause the crowd to press in upon Stephen, and force him, outside the city walls, where they stoned him to death. Saul held the garments of those that actually bashed his head in. But right there you see the first evangelist, and also the first martyr, and this began to cause a great fear to come upon all the others, and they started to flee from Jerusalem, all except the apostles; they stayed in the city. So this is when the great commission began to be fulfilled; Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. In Luke 24:47, it says that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His (Jesus) name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. The commission had been given, but it took certain conditions to put it into force. That is why I say, God will create conditions here at the end of the age, that will cause the little bride church to shine. Conditions then, caused Phillip to wind up in Samaria, right where Jesus had witnessed to the woman at the well. Just think of it, saints, Phillip was only chosen to be a deacon, by the church at Jerusalem. But God had used conditions of persecution to project him into the ministry that he had truly been called to, for 27 years later, he is referred to in the 21st chapter of Acts, as Phillip, the evangelist. He had no Bible school diplomas on his wall, and nothing he could brag about, but one thing is sure; he is obedient to the Holy Ghost. Right in the middle of that great revival there in Samaria, the Spirit spake to him by an angel, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. The angel did not tell him why; he just told him to go, and he went. That of course is where he met the Ethiopian eunuch returning home from Jerusalem in a chariot, and reading the scriptures that prophesied of Jesus. “And the Spirit said unto him, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.” As he obeyed the Spirit, he heard the Ethiopian man reading from Isaiah, “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter: and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened He not His mouth.” Phillip climbed up into that old chariot, and started preaching Jesus Christ to him, and by the time they came to a hole of water, the eunuch was ready to be baptized in that precious name. Phillip baptized him, and he went on his way as a witness of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now do you catch my point as to how an evangelist was brought into the picture? He was not appointed as an evangelist, conditions made him move right into the perfect will of God.


CONVERSION OF SAUL


There are a lot of scholars writing books today, on the subject of the five fold ministry, elders, bishops, and deacons, and they have the opinion that the five fold ministry is called by God, but the others are more or less appointed by men. They call them secondary offices. They do that, because of certain Greek words, but listen to me brothers and sisters, Greek words can never change what God uses conditions to bring about. You can not get a revelation from the Bible, just strictly on the fact that you know certain Greek words mean such and such. The conversion of Saul is a good example of how God works in, and through conditions, to fulfill His will. It is found in the 9th chapter of Acts, and I want you to know, that, at this time, there was already a church at Antioch, and also at Damascus. Saul is an unbeliever, on his way to Damascus with authority to arrest Christians, and try to stop that bunch of heretics from preaching any more in the name of Jesus. But what does God do? He strikes him down in the road. His power just literally slays him, there on that old desert road, and Saul is helpless to even get up. (It would be wonderful, if that could happen to a bunch of theologians in our day.) But then Saul heard a voice saying unto him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest; it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” That was all it took old Saul said, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” His will is broken, so now the Lord can deal with him, concerning what God has ordained for him to do. “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” He is blind but he can walk, so the men that were with him, led him into Damascus, and he was without food and water for three days. Then God spoke to another Jew by the name of Ananias, in a vision. (Have you ever wondered where Ananias got his schooling? He had no Asbury, nor Wilmore to go to. Brother he was schooled by the Holy Ghost.) The Lord said to him, “Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus; for behold, he prayeth.” Brothers and Sisters: The Lord knows exactly where you are today, just like He did Saul then. That is why I say, just stick around awhile, and you will see that the Lord is still in control. Anyhow Ananias said, Lord I have heard how much evil this man has done unto thy saints at Jerusalem, and how he has authority from the chief priests to bind all that call upon thy name. But the Lord said, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. After that, Ananias could walk into the house and call him “Brother Saul,” saying, The Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. Well you know what happened, Saul received his sight and was baptized, and his days of persecuting Christians were over with. But I want you to take note of the fact that there was a man in Damascus, that was used in a prophetic way. Regardless of what he was called later, Ananias fulfilled the office work of a prophet, in this instance with Saul of Tarsus. Furthermore all these ecclesiastical things that Saul had learned at the feet of Gamaliel, he said later, he had to count them all as loss, for the sake of Jesus Christ. That is why he went into the Arabian desert for three years, he had a lot of things to sort out. But what time he was in Damascus after his conversion, he went into the synagogue and preached Jesus Christ, so he had no problem with that, after his encounter with Ananias. But God had to take him out there, and by revelation, teach him how all that Old Testament law and prophecies really pointed forward to the time when it would all be fulfilled in Jesus Christ.


SAUL AND BARNABAS


Now when Saul came back to Jerusalem he met a man that had been in the faith for quite a while, whose name was Barnabas, and Barnabas was attracted to Saul, who is also called Paul. But here was Paul, back in Jerusalem, probably thinking that since it had been three years since his conversion, and all the saints had had plenty of time to hear about it, they would no doubt be glad to see him. The Lord had already told him that they would not accept his testimony there, but he somehow must have felt like if he could just get back to his old home ground, everything would surely work out. A lot of those disciples there are Jerusalem doubted him though. Probably some of them had even been persecuted by him, or at least some of their loved ones, and they could not forget it. But God did not want Paul to be comfortable there, for He had other plans for him. Therefore He just allowed that sort of attitude to linger around, to keep Paul from just sort of desiring to just settle down there with the others. Well Barnabas took back to Tarsus, right back to southern Turkey, where he was raised. Now the church at Antioch has been growing, so we want to go to the 13th chapter of Acts and pick up a few points, but first let us read verse 27, from chapter 11, “And in those days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.” What does that tell us? It tells us that the Church at Jerusalem has been growing, and these gifted ministries are raising up from their midst, and their very ministries bore witness as to what they were. God did not have to send someone down the road appointing them, and announcing them; their very anointing did it all. So there were not only evangelists, but there were prophets also. “And there stood up one of them named Agabus, (This is his first mention) and signified by the Spirit that there should be a great dearth throughout all the world, which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar,” which according to history was just a short time off. In other words, as we have already said, New Testament prophets deal more with present tense, and soon to come prophecies, as opposed to the long range prophecies of the Old Testament, and they usually are concerned more with the people to whom they minister. But as a result of this dearth, or drought, it says every man determined according to his ability, to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea, and they sent it by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. So now let us go to chapter 13, for we are looking at this church at Antioch, and what took place there. Notice the first verse. “Now there were in the Church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.” It does not stipulate who was what, it just speaks in general terms. “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” This was 44 A.D., and Saul had been a believer for 10 or 11 years, and it is time for him to enter fully into the ministry that the Lord has called him to. Peter had already preached to some Gentiles in the house of Cornelius, but Peter was not the apostle to the Gentiles. So the Holy Ghost is beginning to stipulate what this Saul of Tarsus is to do. Right in the very area where he was raised up, he begins to minister to the Jews of the various cities. It was he himself, that said, For the gospel is to the Jew first, and then to the Gentiles. He is going out from Antioch to spread the good news of the gospel to the Gentiles, yet in his heart, he always knew that he must seek out the Jews of every city first. Therefore he would find the synagogue first, and give the Jews first chance to hear his message, and it seems that the Lord would always give him at least two or three, and they would be influential individuals that God could use to inaugurate His purpose in that city.


ELDERS ORDAINED


Saints: What we are endeavoring to show, is how God went about the job of setting this gifted ministry in the Church. Did He have an election? Was there a committee that had to pass upon them? No. God just raised them up as they allowed themselves to be led by His Spirit. We notice too, that as Paul would pass back through, he would ordain elders in the various churches, and you might ask. How would he go about doing that? I would say he did it by watching how the Spirit would lead certain men in the assembly, and by observing their growth in spiritual matters. That is how you determine who is qualified; by watching how people yield to the leading of the spirit. Regardless of the type of leadership though, there is always the problem of certain characters coming by from time to time, that will stir up trouble. Paul and Barnabas were gone from Antioch teaching the people that except they be circumcised according to the law of Moses, there is no way they can be saved. That brings us to Acts 15, verse 2, so let us read it. “When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and ELDERS about this question.” Alright now, that brings the word elders, into the picture, so let me say this, Do not think of elders as though they are another kind of ministry. The writer always gave predominate recognition to the apostles, because they were the ones that walked with Jesus, and were witnesses of His ministry. But prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers were raised up to fill those other offices, and these are the men that are primarily referred to as elders. Regardless of what your theologians may say, when the Church was born, the only ministry present, was twelve apostles, and they are what the writer was referring to, when he would say apostles, but those other four offices had to be fulfilled also; therefore they were brought on the scene by God’s divine guidance, and they are primarily what make up the category of elders. Let us read verse 5, and continue on here. “But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, (there at Jerusalem) saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles (representing the Twelve) and elders (men representing those other four offices) came together for to consider the matter.” Peter then gave testimony of how God had given the Holy Ghost to those at the house of Cornelius that believed, and said that God put no difference between the Gentiles that believed, and the Jews that believed, so why put a yoke upon them, that neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? Then Paul and Barnabas were given an opportunity to tell what the Holy Ghost had been doing through their ministry, and when they finished, James reminded them of what was written in the prophets, and so forth, and said, My sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God. So they wrote a letter to be delivered to the church at Antioch by Paul’s company and in verse 28 and 29, we will read what their instructions were. “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” Now this is what the apostles and elders at Jerusalem have written, concerning Gentiles that have believed, and Paul and Barnabas delivered the letter, so do you not think Paul taught these very things to the Gentiles from then on? When Paul had that great revival at Ephesus, don’t you think he taught these things to them? Yet in 96 A.D. after Paul had been dead for many years, that Thyatira church was practicing the very things the apostles and elders had said they should abstain from. Nevertheless, when that letter was delivered to the church at Antioch, it brought a sigh of relief, and lifted the burden of condemnation, doubt, and confusion that had been among them. Now notice verse 32, “And Judas and Silas, BEING PROPHETS also themselves exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.” Right there, was two elders that God used in a prophetic way to bear witness of the things that had just been read among them.


PAUL AND BARNABAS


After Paul and Barnabas remained there at Antioch for awhile, preaching and teaching the word of the Lord, they determined to go on a second missionary journey, to visit every place where they had preached before, and see how things were going. But before they got started on the journey, they split up because of a dispute. Barnabas wanted to take John Mark, and Paul did not want to take him, because he had started out with them the first time, and turned back. Verse 39 says, “And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other.” So Barnabas took John Mark with him, and Paul took Silas with him, and they both started out. It was on this second journey, that Paul met Timothy, another young Jew. So with Silas, one of the prophets there at Antioch, Paul started back confirming the Churches where they had preached the gospel before. Barnabas did not backslide. Do not think that. It was just simply a situation where there was not perfect agreement on what to do. It had nothing at all to do with their revelation fo the word of God, nor with their concern for each others ministry. So Barnabas took John Mark, and headed for Asia, but let us read verse 1, of chapter 16. “Then came he (Paul) to Derbe and Lystra: (He was there, on his first journey, so he is going around again) and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman which was a Jewess, and believed, but his father was a Greek.” Now there was Paul, an apostle, Silas, a prophet, and then this young man Timothy, joins the party, and even though there is not much detail given, we do know that when Paul wrote to Timothy, later, he said to him, Do the work of an evangelist, so we are seeing how God raised up the fivefold ministry in the early Church, one here, one there, and another somewhere else. Luke, who wrote the book of Acts, soon joined Paul’s party, for he started using the terminology we, instead of they. But my point is we do not want to break apart the body of the ministry, as we see it growing, in the book of Acts, for it is all an addition brought about by the Spirit of God, as He adds to the Church in its universal growth. When He raised up a man, He gave that man the necessary anointing for what He had called him to be. Therefore as Paul sat in that old Roman prison, looking back over thirty some years of the growth of the church, it was easy for him to say, “And He gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” But it was done over a period of time, and these men definitely were the elders in the churches. These things may not seem important to some of you, but I get letters from people saying, What is an elder? What is a bishop, a presbyter, and so forth, and how are they chosen? Therefore the best way for me to answer all of them, is in a message such as this. Elders is a word that is commonly used. Then when we get into 1st Timothy and Titus, where it deals with the election of bishops and deacons, we also see the word presbyter, used. So are we going to have to study Greek, in order to understand these various terminologies? No. These are just common words to Jewish people. They are words that speak of men who are in places of authority, but they need not be separated from the fivefold ministry, in their New Testament usage. What we see out here in this world of religion, is what Gentile scholars have made these various words to mean. We know Peter was an apostle, but look at 1st Peter 5:1, and notice the terminology he used. “The elders which are among you I exhort, WHO AM ALSO AN ELDER, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ.” He was writing to the elders, but he said, I also am an elder. Therefore my point is, all of that fivefold ministry were elders in the universal body of believers, but the word elder, did not specify what office they held. It is just like seeing a car with 5 policemen in it, and saying, They are policemen. That is a true statement, but it does not give you any idea at all, of the rank they hold. That has to be determined by other means. Well it is the same way with the ministry of the body of Christ. Bishop is another word that was used, but it in no way deviated from the five fold ministry. It just simply referred to one set in charge. At the same time, presbyter is another Jewish word that could have been used instead of bishop. That is why I say, It does not pay to get too technical about these different words. It is the kind of ministry each one has, that really determines what office he holds in the body of Christ.


BISHOP QUALIFICATIONS


Let us go to 1st Timothy now, and let me say this, For a long time, my mind was not completely made up on this, for I paid too much attention to what others said, but I finally had to get it settled for myself. Paul is saying to Timothy, and Timothy is an evangelist, “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” According to what David wrote in the Psalms, Judas, that betrayed Jesus, was referred to as a bishop. “Let his bishopric be given to another.” So this was a Jewish word that spoke of one in authority, or one in charge, and Paul is laying out some qualifications for one who would hold such a place. But the reason it is necessary to do so, is because the work is primarily among Gentiles by the time Paul writes this, so in verse 2 he says, “A bishop then must be blameless, (socially and morally) the husband of one wife.” Now here is where the controversy always comes in. Does a bishop really have to be married? I used to think so, simply because I had heard it so much. But when I started to lay this alongside history, I found that it was not so. Polycarp was not a married man, and history has him as the bishop of the church of Smyrna, and Clement, whom Paul mentions in Philippians 4:3, was not a married man, and he is believed by historians, to have been the first bishop of the church at Rome. I realize that this is a subject that can cause you to lose friends, but truth still must prevail. Many of these men in the ministry of that hour were not married men; history proves it. Yet some of them were, so what point is Paul making, when he says, A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife? He is not saying that a man has to be married to be a bishop or elder, but if that man is married, he must meet these qualifications. In 1st Corinthians 9, we find Paul actually defending his own image as a result of some things that have been said by certain ones. He says, “Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, (The examination he is referring to concerns his celibate life. No doubt they are comparing him to some of the other apostles, so notice what he says.) Have we not power to eat and to drink? (Of course) Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of te Lord, and Cephas?” James was a brother of the Lord, and Cephas was Peter, and we know that Peter was a married man, because Jesus healed his wife’s mother of a severe fever. But the point is, Paul is defending his single life This of course opens up another question. Was he ever married?


CHRIST ENDED THE TYPES


When we had an opportunity to speak with a Jewish Rabbi, in 1968, one of the questions I asked him was concerning the marital status of the members of the Sanhedrin Court. His answer was, Traditionally we have been made to believe that every man on the Sanhedrin Court was a family man. That would make sense, from the standpoint of the fact that they were faced with the responsibility of judging social matters, that would involve home structure. There as family men themselves, it was no doubt felt that they would be better equipped to judge those family matters. Therefore Paul could have been a married man at one time, but he definitely defended the right for anyone to remain single if they desired to do so. Timothy was not a married man, and John was not a married man, so why would anyone think such men as these would have been obligated to set only married men in charge as bishops? Therefore the question is not whether bishops should be married or single. But if they are married, they should have only one wife. That of course covers both polygamy and marriage and divorce. This determination was necessitated when Gentiles were brought into the gospel, for many of them did have more than one wife, and a man with more than one wife could never exemplify the Lord Jesus Christ, who would never have but one wife. I am not saying these things to reflect on anyone’s salvation. It matters not, if you have been married a half dozen times, if the grace of God has saved your soul, then you are my brother, or my sister, as the case may be. I am not saying any of this from the salvation standpoint of leadership among those who are partakers of God’s great salvation. In other words, we want to make the devil acknowledge that the word of God is right. Priests in the Old Testament were to set certain types, and a lot of preachers who like to quote Bro. Branham, want to bring everything from the Old, and apply it here in the New. But I say, Stop that! Christ was the end of the law to every man that believeth, Christ was the end of every type, in that respect. I remember when Bro. Branham preached marriage and divorce, how he made reference to the fact that the priest must marry a virgin. But I admonish you to remember this, He did not speak in detail; it was only the high priest that must marry a virgin daughter. These ministering priests had no such requirements on them. They could marry widow women if they so desired. The truth is, far too many people close their ears to the truth, and just believe anything they want to believe. Bro. Branham made that point without any explanation, so a lot of people jumped on the little part they heard, and said, A preacher is required to marry a virgin. Some of them even went so far as to consider ditching the wife they had, and then marry a virgin. That just shows you how carnal some people can be. Anyhow, Calvary ended that type. Christ Himself was the end of it. Therefore what Paul is saying about a bishop being the husband of one wife, must be considered in the light it belongs in, just like what Bro. Branham said about the priest. If a married man desires the office of a bishop, then let him be the husband of only one wife. Because he is to exemplify Christ to his perverted, polluted Gentile society. This very type of moral image that the early church established, is what eventually did away with polygamy. You can follow the history of Christianity in the area of Turkey, which is the area where Paul preached that great revival. For almost 8 centuries, that country was kept clean, because of the effects of Christianity. What is called Christianity in Turkey today, is Greek Orthodox, which is only a shell, dead, with no revelation. They are living on the past, just like denominational Christianity as a whole. The great revelational truths of the Bible have been turned into mere theories, that theologians debate about. The only thing that will ever get this little bride church ready to leave here, is to find the reality of those first century truths once again. I have been just as guilty of following tradition in the past, as anyone else, but by the grace and mercy of God, I am through with following something, just simply because tradition has taught it a certain way. God now puts me in a corner, and makes me dig and scratch until I open my eyes and see the truth. But oh I am so thankful that I did not have to run off to a seminary some place, and take a course in theology. Hallelujah! I love Him.


PAUL CHANGED HIS MIND


In 1st Corinthians, chapter 7, you can see how Paul breaks down this marital problem. You do not find him discriminating between man and woman in either case. He shows a very compassionate attitude, as he gives this counseling advice. He makes certain suggestions to them, because of what he called, the shortness of time, and admonished them to keep themselves wholly unto the Lord. In verse 27, let us start reading and catch a little of what Paul is saying here. This is not a law he is laying down; it is just his best judgment at that time. “Art thou bound unto a wife. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. But this I say brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they have none.” In other words, Do not allow yourselves to become taken up with the cares of the world, and neglect your service to the Lord. He is really urging them to stay single, and dedicate themselves fully to the Lord, as he has done. But approximately 6 years later, he has spent two years in Caesarea, he has been shipwrecked on the Mediterranean, tossed from one military officer to another, and is now sitting over there in Rome, writing to Timothy, and says, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” Now to me, this shows the human side of every man. In six years time his feelings about marriage has changed. His revelation of the word of God did not change, but his personal feelings about marriage among the younger folks did. It was not his intention to lay down any kind of doctrine in either epistle, but as always, you can be sure some took it like that. People seem unable to hit the middle of the road with anything. They either ignore something completely, or they take it and go too far with it. No I am not talking about true saints of God who love truth; I am talking about those who call themselves Christians, yet they read the Bible every way but right. It is just like what Paul wrote to Timothy, in chapter 2, of his first letter, Let the women keep silence in the church, or rather in this case he said, “Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not (or allow not) a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Women will read that, and then they will say, Well the same word is used in the Greek for preach and prophesy, so if it is permitted for women to prophesy, then they may also preach. So you can see how easy it is to twist scripture around, if you already have your mind made up, and are trying to project your flesh. But some take those same scriptures, and actually forbid a woman to open her mouth in church at all. So what was Paul actually getting at, when he wrote as he did here, and also as he did, in 1st Corinthians 14, where he did say, Let the women keep silence in the Church? Simply this, There are some women that would stand right up and say, Listen here preacher, I will have you know that God gave me a better revelation than that. That is the kind of thing he had in mind when he said, Let them keep silence. But when he said, I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, that is exactly what he meant, for God has ordained that men be the ones that teach doctrine, and usurp authority in the Church. God never did call women to be priestesses in the temple. The only time you see a woman that really stands out in the Old Testament, is in the period of the judges, and thaw as in an hour of great apostasy in Israel. God raised up a woman to shame those weak men that were too cowardly to fulfill their duties. Remember, God even used a donkey one time, but that never gave anyone the right to set up a school, to train donkeys to be prophets. So when Barak the army officer, turned out like our politicians, with not enough courage to do what needed to be done, God used Deborah, bu after Israel was pulled back together again, He used men again. But women were always permitted to be prophetesses. Look at Anna, right at the birth of Christ. She ministered in temple, but she was not a preacher. Neither was she a priestess. She was a prophetess, that spent much of her time at the temple fasting and praying. Then came the day that the Holy ghost anointed her, and led her right down the line to Mary, and she looked upon that little baby. Hallelujah! Don’t tell me women are forbidden to speak, in the sense of prophesying. You just need to get everything lined out in its proper place. The point is, Women are just as justified to be in the gift categories, as men. But when It comes down to teaching doctrine, revelation, and leadership in the Church, that is where Paul meant for them to keep silent in the church.


BISHOPS AND DEACONS


Like I have said, when Paul wrote this to Timothy, he was in Rome, and knew he was not going to be around to deal with the situations that were then present. Timothy is going to be responsible for proper application of these instructions, that are meant for conditions that are coming into focus. Paul was not laying down law, he was merely giving out sound doctrine. The Church of the living God, as pictured in the Bible, has never had an earthly headquarters. Her headquarters are in heaven, and her head is Jesus Christ. Paul wrote of Him, as the chief bishop and shepherd of our souls. Well let us get back to 1st Timothy 3; and read some more of what we started on a while ago. “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he falls into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without (the unbelievers) lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” Now he comes right on down to the deacons, so notice verse 8, and remember, This is thirty some years beyond the choosing of the first seven deacons in the book of Acts. Gentiles are now in the picture, and conditions are completely different, and deacons no doubt have more responsibility, as far as actual duties, than those first seven had. The truth is, when those first seven were chosen, it was not necessary to be concerned about all these specific details, for those Jewish men’s lives automatically met all of these requirements, by the very fact that they were believers in the first place. In other words, The Church was at its purest period, there in the early years, when they all had all things common, before Gentiles got into the picture. “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery fo the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved, then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well, purchase to themselves a good degree and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” Now what have we read? We have read, where the apostle Paul, while in prison, wrote to a young evangelist named Timothy, and gave him certain instructions to carry out, concerning leadership in the Church. You can find basically the same thing in Titus. This young man Titus, should be considered in the same role as Timothy, a young evangelist that Paul has confidence in to be faithful in all things. But as we read these things, if we do not investigate, comparing these things with other scriptural facts, and also with history, we will likely fall right into line with traditional teaching, and say that bishops and deacons have to be family men. That is why I say, You have to interpret these scriptures altogether from the beginning of the word deacon at least, and the first deacons were not married men, or not necessarily married men. For when you look at the men that are really mentioned in the book of Acts, most of them were single men. No doubt this new faith brought such a profound joy and expectation, it caused those young men to really go all out serving the Lord. You can tell by reading the scriptures, that the early Church considered it reasonable to expect Jesus to return in their lifetime. James and Paul both wrote like that. James said, The coming of the Lord draweth nigh, and Paul said, Because of the shortness of time, it is better to remain single. But Paul’s instructions to these young evangelists, let us see that he sees things quite differently by then. The gospel was predominately among the Gentiles by then, and the quality of exampleship was not what it was, when that first bunch of deacons were chosen. Our ancestors, (Gentiles) before they received the gospel, had no morals. That is why the Jews looked upon them as dogs. Gentile nations did come through an era of time though, when the gospel of Jesus Christ had a cleansing affect upon them, for many nations embraced it, and even took the exampleship of the Christian faith, and applied it to their laws. But now, from our schools to our politicians, and on down the line, we are fast drifting back to what Gentiles were two thousand years ago. Statistics show that three out of every five marriages end up in divorce. That was not the case, when I was a boy. Times and conditions are rapidly changing. Morality is fast going to the dogs. Therefore let me say something to you young people. I would not say anything to deliberately hurt any of you, but the only chance you have of escaping these marital statistics, is to let the Lord Jesus in your life, and marry in the faith. Unless you surrender your lives to God, and marry in the faith, there is little hope for a successful marriage in this day and hour. The spirit of the age has everything stacked against you. Only God knows how many times you will make the wrong choice, unless you allow Him to choose for you. The only thing you have in your favor is the grace and mercy of God.


THE ISSUE IS MORALS


As I said earlier, The first converts in these predominately Gentile Churches, were Jewish converts out of the local synagogue, and the Jewish society was not a mixed up, immoral bunch of people. Fourteen hundred years of law, had kept them, or at least a lot of them, morally clean. Do you know why I say that? When Jesus walked the shores of Galilee, choosing fishermen to be His disciples, can you believe He would choose a whoremonger, or any such person? Think of that for a minute. It was not just Jesus the man, choosing men he liked; it was the omniscient mind of the Father in Him, that was doing the choosing, and he knew everything about every last one of them. Nazareth was a city that did not have a good report, and that caused Nathaniel to say, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Yes. God found a young virgin down there, and chose her to mother His only begotten Son. So my point is, God does not go to the garbage dump, to get men to fill places of leadership. My illustrations may be crude, but I believe you will get the point. It just seems that an awful lot of people have the idea; that once God saves a person’s soul, they can be just anything they choose to be, but that is not right. It is true, when God saves you, He will forget your past, as far as holding anything against you. He will forget your past, but He may not put you in the president’s chair. He saved Mary Magdalene, but that did not mean that she should be made the secretary of the church. That is just a remark now; please do not make anything out of it; for we are dealing with leadership. Like I said, Some people have the idea that if God saves you, He can make you anything. No. It only makes you a child of God. When it comes to leadership, God looks at past morals. Old Saul was as mean as a snake when he was persecuting Christians, but he was morally clean. He had not been going to bed with everything that came along. God knew that man had some principles about him. It was the same with those first seven deacons. They were not men that had bad, immoral records. It is one thing to be saved from immorality, from drunkenness, from dope addiction, and all such like, but it is quite another thing to have lived a life free from all of that sort of thing, and be leadership material. I can see why it was necessary for Paul to be very stern, as he laid down qualifications for these offices of leadership. Those Gentile congregations had people in them, that had been converted from every sort of life people could live. But the mere fact that God had saved their souls, did not make them leadership quality. Therefore instead of looking at these qualifications from the standpoint of them being family men, try to see it from the standpoint of past morality, for both bishops and deacons. Why would Paul make such stipulations here, when it was not so in the book of Acts? Simply because those seven men in the book of Acts had already met the requirements. But it was going to be hard to find men like that, out here in this Gentile society, and these requirements would keep men out of the ministry, that had been married and divorced two or three times, as well as polygamists. I will even go a step further, and say, Those sailors, who had a girl in every port, and maybe had little children scattered from here to yon, were not qualified either, even though they may never have married at all. I cannot see a man like that exemplifying Christ in the ministry to the saints. Will God save him? Sure He will save him. But just getting saved, does not qualify a man for the ministry. Saving a man’s soul is one thing, but putting him in the ministry is something else. This is something a lot of people just simply will not accept, but it is because they are not willing to look at Bible exampleship. Jesus Christ is coming for a bride one of these days, and we know for sure, that He will keep Himself away from everything, until that wedding in glory. Therefore when the Bible says, A bishop must be the husband of one wife, you can apply that to polygamy, or married, divorced, married and divorced either one. Or he may have only one legal wife, but he has slept with many other women, and maybe has little children that he has fathered into the world by other women. Do you think such a man is qualified for the ministry? Absolutely not. You may do it today, but according to the writings of the Antinicean fathers, no such man would ever have made it into the ministry in the days of the early apostles. It is the exampleship that makes the difference, because we are dealing with the very cause of man’s sin in the first place. Adam was not cast out of the garden for making moonshine whiskey, nor for robbing a bank; it was the way the sex act was used, that got him in trouble. We all need salvation, for without it we are doomed, and the shed blood of Jesus Christ purchased that salvation for us, and we can be washed clean. But the life we have lived before we come to this salvation experience is what many people are going to remember about us. That is why exampleship is so important. Only the man that has kept himself clean, is scripturally qualified for the ministry, and that applies to the deacons as well.


POLYGAMY


Now even when I was back in the Methodist Church, I heard people say, Well if the apostle Paul went into a polygamist community, and a bunch of those polygamist got converted, they would have to get rid of some of those wives. No. That is not what Paul taught. They do not have to get rid of any of their wives, but at the same time, no such man would ever qualify for the ministry. Now Bro. Jackson: I just do not see that. Do you know why? It is because you are a Gentile, living 1900 years this side of that social structure. But if you had lived back then, you would have seen it, because your life would probably have been a part of it. Do you mean God would save a man like that, and then allow him to go ahead and live with all of his wives? Yes, and furthermore, God could save all of his wives, and everyone of them could sit right in the congregation of the local church. But let me say once again. The man in the pulpit would only have one wife. He would be an example for the children being brought into the world by those families, and they would be able to see by his exampleship, that polygamy was not what God had in mind, when He gave Adam a wife. The example set by those bishops and deacons, caused the younger generations to see the better way. As those young men would surrender their lives to God, and would be taught by God’s qualified ministry, they would see how God wanted them to have just one wife. That is what finally pushed polygamy right out of the picture, as far as Christianity was concerned. It took that staunch apostolic teaching to do it. You can go back before the flood of Noah’s day, and you will see when you get to Genesis, chapter 6, that after the sons of God began to take unto themselves the daughters of men, it was not long until polygamy was introduced, and it went on and on until the whole society was a mixed up, sinful, immoral mess, just like it is getting to in our day. We may not have so many polygamists today, for it seems that not too many people even bother to get married, but I am talking about homosexuality and every other sort of perversion. Immorality is running rampant in our day, just like it was before the flood. God looked upon Noah, and saw him to be a just man, and He spoke to him before he ever had the opportunity to take another wife. He had only one wife, and they had three sons, and those three sons each had only one wife. Think of it saints. The only people saved out of all of that were those that had only one mate. Right there is your perfect exampleship. God just wiped the slate clean, and started over again with Noah and his three sons, and their wives. That ought to tell us something, if we are interested in seeing God’s truth.


INSTRUCTIONS TO TIMOTHY AND TITUS


Alright let us go to chapter 4 of 1st Timothy. There is something here, I want you to see. Paul is in prison, but Timothy is still out in the ministry, still ministering to the saints in the areas where he got acquainted with, while traveling with Paul, and evidently he got discouraged at times, so notice how Paul writes to him. “Let no man despise thy youth.” He was not a child evangelist, like some of these little children you have heard of; he was just simply a young man. This child evangelism is for the birds. It is for denominationalism; but not for the body of Christ. There was no such thing as child evangelism in the apostolic church. But this Gentile church world will sell you anything. They have all kinds of gimmicks and rallies, and things to try to get a crowd. Can you just imagine the apostle Paul coming into Athens with a herd of ponies, and a cart load of junk, that he is going to give away, to try to get a large crowd of people together? The only thing he came to town with, was a revelation. Alright, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation (which is manner of life) in charity, (love) in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, (Not Bible school, just reading the word of God) to exhortation, to doctrine.” Well it looks like there really is a place for doctrine, doesn’t it? The church world today, does not want doctrine; they say it divides. It does divide; it divides the tares from the children of God. It separates the boys from the men, spiritually. Verse 14, now,  “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee (Listen to this. There was a gift) by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” You do not want to preach that, in the Methodist Church, nor the Baptist. As a matter of fact, there is not very many places where you could preach that. They say that was just for the days of the apostles; but brother, it is still good today, and you will see it, when the body of Christ really begins to function again; back to its original relationship with the word of God. Alright, How was the gift given? By prophecy. How was it ministered? By the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Well who were these men known as the presbytery? Presbyter is just another term for bishop, or for the ministry in a particular church. But what we want to see here, is that this gift was ministered through the unctioning and leadership of the Holy Ghost, and Paul was there when it took place. That is the main reason he is reminding him of it. No doubt Timothy’s youth has been causing him a little problem. There are always a few people that are ready to look down upon someone like that, as though they are too young to know anything. But if you will remember, by the time this letter was written, Timothy had walked with Paul for quite a while. It was the 16th chapter of Acts, where we first read of their meeting each other, and that was back around 53 A.D., and this epistle was written some twelve years later. He was still a young man, but he was certainly not a novice. So probably he had had some accusations thrown at him, critical remarks that had caused him to be a little reserved. That sort of thing will bind you up, and keep you from being as free as you ought to be. Therefore Paul has to admonish him saying, Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. He could just as well have said, by the laying on of the hands of the elders, or the bishops. Anyhow this lets us know, that as the early church went forth, God raised up a ministry that was well able to oversee the affairs of it. It was not that men were being set into the five fold ministry by prophecy, but some of the various gifts were no doubt administered in that way. When it came to the man’s ministry itself, people recognized that, from the way the Holy Spirit used the particular man. But at the same time, there was a certain ordaining process administered, to take care of certain needs. Turn with me to Titus 1:5, where we will see that. Paul was writing to Titus, another young evangelist, and said, “For this cause left I thee in Crete that thou shoudest set in order the things that are wanting, (or lacking) and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.” Now regardless of what we read, we still must remember that it is God that raises up men to fulfill the ministry of the body of Christ. But the fact is, as men like Titus and Timothy moved on to the next place, it sort of necessitated that they appoint certain ones of those gifted men to be in charge of the various assemblies. Just a matter of giving them personal recognition before the people that they are to represent and be in charge of. Then Paul goes right into the qualifications for such elders, and you find the same terminology used here, that was used in the epistle to Timothy, a bishop must be blameless, and so forth. It certainly lets us see that elders and bishops were of the same category. Now I want to make a point here. Some time ago, a certain man wrote an article stating, that in the original apostolic hour, God never did appoint any one certain bishop, or any one certain church. It was his opinion that every church just had a ministry of bishops, more or less ruling as a committee, with no certain one in charge. Well if that man ever reads this article, I want him to know that his idea will not hold up, when you go into the book of Revelation, for those seven letters, written to the seven churches, were written specifically to the angel of each church. To the angel of Ephesus, Smyrna, and right on down the line. So if there were not certain specific men in charge, then you tell me what those words mean. Brothers and Sisters, we just have to allow scripture to interpret scripture, if we are ever going to get a true revelation from what we read. A person might be able to quote the whole Bible, but if such a person never allowed the Spirit of God to take those verses of scripture and put them together into a revelation, all they have is just a lot of words in their mind. I never encourage people to see how much scripture they can read, but I believe it is better to read a little bit and understand it, than to read a lot, and just have a lot of words running through your head. Nevertheless the true body of Christ is a word produced body, therefore studying the word of God, is to the spiritual part of you, what eating natural food is to the physical part of you. We are the people of the kingdom of God. That is why Jesus said, The kingdom of God is within you. What were we before we entered into the kingdom of God? Just miserable, lost sinners. The Bible says, all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, so let us talk a little about this kingdom of God.


THE KINGDOM OF GOD


Now since we were born in sin, and shapen in iniquity, and there is none righteous. What does it take to change that picture? Jesus told Nicodemus it required a new birth. In John 3:3, Jesus said to him, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Why? Because the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom which does not exist in politics. It is something that exists only in the hearts of people, after God does a work in their lives. Furthermore people of the kingdom of God have never been accepted by the world. That is why you read in 1st John, “Marvel not that the world hates you.” The world has always hated the true people of God. But let me present to you a little thought concerning the gospel of the kingdom. In Matthew 24:14, we find a very controversial verse of scripture which says, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations: and then shall the end come.” He never went a bit further, to elaborate on that statement at that time. He was crucified, arose from the dead the third day, and went about establishing His resurrection, and in Matthew 28, you might say, He picked up right where He had left off. Verse 16, “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into the 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 is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Notice now.) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name (Notice also, that the name is singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” What does that tell us? It tells us that the Bible is not to be interpreted one way to one group, and some other way to another group, but rather, Teach all nations to observe ALL THINGS whatsoever I have commanded you. “And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” He verified that in the gospel of John, when He said the Comforter that would come, would abide with us forever. Not just for a few short days, but as long as the dispensation stands, from century to century, and from generation to generation. Alright what is the gospel of the kingdom? Let me say this, Whatever it was then, it is still that today. God will deal with you and me on the basis of whatever was preached in that day and hour, as He reaches into these religious systems of confusion, and pulls out the predestined seed. It is no wonder so many college students look upon religion as a farce: they have only studied it from the external standpoint, and from the various interpretations of the scriptures, as presented from these denominational systems. In other words, Some people spend most of their time fussing over the mode of baptism. They isolate Matthew 28:19 from everything else in the Bible, and say, This is what Jesus said, so I am going to believe it. Well that was a commission, but that was not the only thing He ever said. There were many things that He had previously said, and that commission was, Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Therefore we want to explore a little, and see what all Jesus actually did say. Of course there was a time, when the church did get off course. They were sidetracked from the word of God, and slipped into spiritual decline, and during that long period of time, God dealt with mankind on the basis of what truth, or light he could understand in his respective hour. But at the same time, let us realize that God had purposed not to leave the Church as a whole in darkness. He had already purposed to restore it back to its original state. That is how God is. I am so thankful that He never leaves the universe all wrapped up in one winter season. Not even the polar caps. There always comes a time when the sun does shine through, and when it does, the birds soar through the sky rejoicing, because of the sunshine.


DO THE GOSPELS DIFFER?


Alright now, as I have said many times, Matthew was a disciple of Christ, and so was John, and they wrote their records from what they had each seen and heard while walking with Jesus. On the other hand, Mark and Luke wrote their gospel records from what they learned from others that had walked with Him. But when you take all four of them together, you get a more complete record of what Jesus said and taught, during that short 3 ½ years of His ministry. The fact that Matthew failed to mention something Mark mentioned, did not annul it in the least. So let us turn to Mark 16:14 and read a few verses. These are verses that Pentecostal people like to use, and the Baptists and Methodists like to use Matthew 28, but the true body of Christ sees that there is nothing between the two, to squabble about. “Afterward He (Jesus) appeared unto the eleven (Mark does not say where they were, but we know they were in Galilee) as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen.” Brother He scolded them because of their unbelief, because they had walked with Him, and had heard the things that He had told them would come to pass. Brothers and Sisters: God is going to hold us responsible for what we have heard. You may hear me say something that you do not understand, but you do not need to get up and stomp out of here mad, and say, Bless God, I will never go back there again. If you do not understand, just lay it up for a while, and spare yourself from those frustrations. The main thing is just to be honest with God, and then, if what I am saying is the truth, God will knock on your door with it when the time is right. When you close your mind and shut yourself out, you are like a turtle. A turtle will just draw himself up into his shell, and shut everything out, but if you do that, you will never know anything else exists, except what is in your little shell. We just have to depend upon the spirit of God to reveal His word to us as we are able to bear it. Our debate, 1900 years later, is not whether Jesus arose from the dead or not, but rather, is God really seeking to restore the church back to apostolic teachings or not. That is one thing a lot of people really have a hard time believing, but that is exactly what He is doing, so let us continue on here. What Mark wrote here, was not something Jesus said at a different time, it was all spoken at the same time as what Matthew wrote in his gospel. That is why God inspired all four of these men to write these records; they became a guard to everything pertaining to what Jesus said, when He was here. In verse 15, Mark wrote, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” That is not the same words that Matthew used, but it does not change the commission the least bit, Go and teach all nations. Matthew said, Baptizing them in the name, singular, but does not mention a name; only three titles. Mark said, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Bro. Jackson: Does that mean that everyone who gets baptized is saved? No, it does not. But everyone who believes by a divine revelation and obeys the scriptures, does receive the benefits. You just have to realize, that in the hour Jesus spoke this, Jews were holding to their pagan deities, and when the church was born, no one would have taken the chance of being ostracized from their religion, their family, and their friends, just to win favor with the church, because the church was looked upon as misfits and heretics. Therefore the only ones, either Jews or Gentiles, who would submit to Christian baptism, were the ones God dealt with by a divine revelation. We are living in an hour when joining the church is just good business policy for a lot of people, and being baptized is just part of it, but sad to say, there is very little true salvation involved in it all. Remember this also, To join the church, so to speak, in that hour, might just get you fed to the lions, or burned at the stake, or stoned to death, so no Jew, nor Gentile was running to the waterhole without God first dealing in their lives. Think about this also, “He that believeth not shall be damned.” If that were true then, it is still true today, even if you are buried in water. The water alone has no virtue. It is, “He that believeth and is baptized,” that shall be saved, just like it was then. This universal brotherhood his the biggest lie the devil has told since the garden of Eden. He has all these religions believing, that if they can just get along with each other, everything will be just fine, God will accept it all. Brother it did not start out with people going to the church of their choice, and it is not going to end that way either. Christianity is being treated just about like the Constitution of the United States, Something is always being changed to try to please some protestor, or demonstrator somewhere.


THESE SIGNS SHALL FOLLOW


Alright when we come to verse 17, we find Mark writing something that Matthew did not even mention, but does that mean that Jesus did not say it, and Mark is just adding something? No, I am completely convinced that it was spoken right along with the other things we have been reading about. Just to use myself as an example, if I preached for an hour, there is not a one of you that could go out of here and repeat every word I said. One would say, He said so and so, and another would say that I said something else, but not one could repeat every word in order. You can always remember certain statements though, and that is how the Gospels were written. This is one reason why it is a good idea to tape everything, If someone wants to attack you, and accuse you of saying certain things that you know you did not say, then you can just pull out the tape and say, Right here is what I said. The only thing is, in the days of Christ there were no tape recorders, so those men wrote what they each heard. However God did have some men He could trust, doing the writing. So Mark said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Now Jesus said these signs would follow them that believe, but He did not say that any believer should major on any one of them, or that they should major on signs at all. Too many people are presenting the gospel like that. But the gospel is not something that is preached to try to get God to do signs and wonders. Yet on the other hand you have systems of religion that have fought against every manifestation of the Spirit of God, saying it is all of the devil. They say all of that ended with the early apostles, and they want no part of any of it. But praise God for the people who still believe and honor the word of God. I am so thankful that God did not cease to honor His word when the apostles all died, and that Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” As the centuries passed, the Church lost her anointing for those spiritual manifestations, but God Himself never did change. Church history proves that even in the darkest hours of the Dark Ages, certain individuals who dared to believe that there was something that could reach beyond their religious systems, experienced supernatural manifestations of the Spirit of God. “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (The book of Acts bears witness to this next verse.) And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” We can say this, They went forth preaching the gospel in truth, and for one purpose; that the gospel would be the message of God’s great news to lost mankind, that he needs salvation. But be assured, that salvation was always hinged upon the repentance of the sinner. He would accept the Lord on the basis of the scriptures, instead of just some little program of man. Then God Himself would bring them right through the whole formality of being baptized, and receiving the Holy Ghost, after true repentance was a reality. That puts the person in the kingdom of God, but that is only the beginning, for there is much for the person to be taught after that. The apostle Paul referred to it as the doctrine of Christ. The book of Acts vindicates the fact that Jesus Christ was preached in the full revelation of the Godhead, and that water baptism was to be administered in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Acts 2:38 is actually the fulfillment of Matthew 28:19. A lot of people say, Bro. Jackson: I just cannot see that like that. But that is because the Holy Ghost has just never illuminated their spiritual mind. They are still leaning on natural mentality. The Bible tells us that there is only one name given under heaven among men, whereby we must be saved. That is the name of Jesus Christ. Once the incarnation took place, that became the redemptive name of Jehovah, the only name He would honor in any preaching of the gospel, casting out devils, praying for the sick, and in water baptism.


THE FATHER’S NAME


When I was in India, there was one big bishop sitting there praying, God shut that man up. But I did not shut up. I asked one preacher if I could use his little boy to illustrate Matthew 28:19, as it is fulfilled in the scriptures. I said, Matthew 28:19 is only a commandment, and the fulfillment of it is in Acts 2:38. So I took the little boy and said, Now we are going to baptize him; and just for the sake of illustration, let us say that we have him in the water. I am going to baptize him in the NAME of the Father, so someone tell me what the name of the Father is because the word FATHER, is not a name in itself. It is the title of something. I said, Come on, and tell me what the Father’s name is, and there was a hush. You could have heard a pin drop. Then I said, Did not Jesus say, I am come in my Father’s name? If we are going to baptize this little boy in the name of the Father, then we have to know the Father’s name. Is that not right? Well if Jesus came in His Father’s name, then the name of the Father would have to be Jesus. All right now, every one of you will tell me the name of the Son, for we know His name was given to Joseph, by the angel of the Lord, before He was even born. In Matthew 1:21, the angel said to Joseph “And she (Mary) shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” But then Jesus Himself, in John 14:26 tells us what name the Holy Ghost would come in, “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.” That lets us see that the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, came, working only through the name Jesus. Therefore when our eyes are opened to see it, there is only one name that can be used to fulfill the commandment in Matthew 28:19, and that is the name used in Acts 2:38. Peter was standing there that day when Jesus spake those words recorded in Matthew 28:19. He knew exactly what Jesus said, and when it came time to fulfill that command, he did not hesitate to say, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” That is the difference a revelation makes. A revelation will cause you to use the name those titles point to, instead of just repeating the titles themselves in water baptism. That is why I say, You can learn the Greek and Hebrew words that the scriptures were translated from, by going to the theological seminary, and you can learn how to present a point properly, as far as social acceptance goes, but you will never get the Holy Ghost revelation out of a seminary. Just knowing how to speak properly, does not give you any special favor with God. As a matter of fact, 1st Corinthians 2:14 says, “But the natural man (or mind) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” The apostle Paul was an educated man, but he wrote those words just the same. I am not against education. We are living in a society where a good education is very necessary for some things, but when it comes to understanding the word of God, your education will not be sufficient to reach out and get a revelation. It is the Spirit of God that takes what is written and reveals its true meaning to your spiritual mind, and God is no respecter of persons. He would just as soon give a revelation to a fellow that could not read, as He would be a fellow that had read and memorized every word of the Bible.


HOW GOD WORKS


Let us look now at the signs that were to follow believers. A lot of people get so taken up with the signs, they actually forget what the Lord is after, and that is the souls of individuals that are foreknown of Him. In 1st Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul said, “But the manifestation of the Spirit hath been given to every man to profit withal.” Now as we look at the apostolic age, are we to believe that every believer had a continual flow of these signs following them every moment of the day and night? That is not the point. The point is, When genuine faith is exercised, whether it be the ministry, or the laity, God is always faithful to fulfill His part of what is being done. One thing is sure, Christians in that first age, did not sit around fussing with each other about what they believed, like you find going on today. Those that were brought into this new faith from either Judaism or paganism, left those old traditions and arguments, and stood ready to be taught. They had found life and light, and truth, and they stood ready to be remolded into a vessel of honor. But actually I would have to say, The book of Acts gives us a very limited record of how God worked in that first age of Christianity. The truth is though, they were not majoring in signs; they majored on seeking to be obedient to the word of God, that was bringing them into the fellowship of God’s kingdom. Peter was not worrying about signs, when he preached on the day of Pentecost, and 3000 souls were saved. He was just obeying the leading of the Spirit he had just received. Neither was he thinking about signs, when he said to the lame man, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk,” but brother the signs were present. When that man leaped to his feet, and started walking, everyone knew, by what they saw, that something had happened. Now, no doubt Jesus had passed by that very man on His way to and from the temple, without ever paying any attention to him. But here came Peter and John, and the Holy Ghost anointed them. That was the hour that God was going to do something for that man, something that He could have done through the person of His Son, but did not. God is like that. Many times He will bypass me and you, under certain ministries, and then send another minister along, and through his ministry, just bless the daylights out of you. That is how the Holy Ghost distributes the manifestations of the Spirit to all believers, so that the whole body of Christ is well represented. What we mainly see in the book of Acts though, is how the ministry followed the command Jesus gave them, and began in Jerusalem to preach the gospel that was to be preached to all nations. The only thing is, had God not allowed some kind of persecution to come about, they would have probably stayed right there in Jerusalem. Until the persecution came, Jerusalem was growing by leaps and bounds. The fame of Peter had spread abroad, insomuch that people were coming from the regions round about, and laying their sick folks in the streets, not for Peter to pray for them personally, but just so his shadow might pass over them as he walked by. The great Holy Ghost honored their faith though, for as Peter would pass by, and his shadow would pass over them, they would be healed. Brothers and sisters we have got to realize that the traditional church world does not like to hear you quote scriptures like that. They look upon all such as that, as fanaticism. They do not believe that God will do anything outside the confines of their system. Oh, saints, I am so thankful that God does not have to get permission from anyone, when He gets ready to do something for someone. Like the time Jesus was coming through Capernaum, and the little woman with the issue of blood saw Him. She was probably of very small stature, and probably very timid, and did not like to make a show of what her need in life might be. But she had said in her heart, oh if I could but touch the hem of His garment, I would be made whole. She worked her way through the crowd, in a way that was not conspicuous, trying not to make a show of herself. But there was an all seeing eye watching her all the time, and the very minute she touched His garment, Jesus turned and said, who touched me? Something inside of Him had been activated. I can just see the shy little woman, sort of turning away from Him. But when Jesus turned and saw her, He said, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” The report of that incident spread like wild fire throughout all the regions round about, and the first thing they knew, people were begging Jesus, Come to our town, that our sick folks may at least have an opportunity to touch your garment. Therefore we can understand why the people felt like they did, about the shadow of Peter passing over their sick people. They knew it did not require long prayers in order for them to be healed, but they also knew what they needed to make some kind of effort to attract that healing virtue to themselves, so whatever they heard, that had worked for someone else, that is what they wanted to do, and God would honor their faith. Now it is not that God will do something for everyone, all the time; for whatever it is, it must be done by an anointing, and that anointing is for a purpose of God, but it is not limited. If God told someone just to pick up a bucket of water, and pass it down the line of sick folks, and He would heal them, the world would say, that is foolish. But does not the Bible say that God has chosen the foolish things to confound the wise and the prudent? He can do anything, and He can do it any way He chooses. Hallelujah! What a God we serve. I imagine the pope of Rome feels that he is just as holy as Peter, and that is why he does some of the things he does. Well it was not the fact that Peter was so holy; it was the fact that he was an ambassador of a holy God, and God allowed those people to be healed just simply by Peter’s shadow passing over them. Like I said though, Those early disciples were not out there majoring in signs. The majored in preaching the gospel, and the signs followed them.


WHAT CRITICS SAY


One of the fellows in prison that correspond with me, sent me a pamphlet, a very unique piece of work. It was statements taken from other men’s writings, even from John Wesley, and men like that. But what I want to mention, is that some of the remarks were taken from critics of the Pentecostal move that took place around the turn of the century, when emphasis was placed upon speaking in tongues and healing. They assumed that the reason the church in the book of Acts needed that kind of demonstration, was because the people in that hour were mostly ignorant and unlearned. They did not know very much, so the power of God had to work like that, in order to make them believe. People like that believe that medical science is the answer to everything. They try to be so smart, they do not need God. What a pitiful shame. Are we going to deny some poor soul the privilege of being healed by the power of God, just because we are so educated in this hour? God forbid. The truth is, practically every case of healing that really stands out in the Bible, were people whose condition had gone beyond the help of natural means. Their situations had already been given up on, by the physicians of that hour. So I say, Are we going to deny some individual the benefits that God has provided for them, just to prove a religious argument? By the same token, are we going to be so ignorant, so religiously stupid, to say, We do not need miracles today, to make people believe, because we are better educated? We have a world full of sickness today, and multitudes of people have already gone beyond the means of the medical society. So are we gong to try to explain away the benefits of God, and trust only in what medical science can do? Some will, of course, but the true child of God knows better than that. I am convinced that no display of God’s power at any time, has ever been strictly because the people were uneducated. They were ignorant of a true revelation of the true and living God. The Jews of that hour had so ritualized the teachings of Moses, the law and the prophets, they had almost lost sight of the supernatural God that had brought their fathers across the Red Sea and preserved them in the wilderness for forty years. They could talk about the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and all such like, but where was the God in their hour? They had intellectually interpreted Him into such a thick, rigid, set of ideas, it was necessary for God to vindicate Himself in the light of truth. He was not just being merciful to one generation of people who were too ignorant to help themselves and from them on, just leave it up to medical science to cure the ills of all humanity. It matters not, whether it is 33 A.D. or 1986 A.D., God sees no difference in unbelief. The only difference is, we now have over 1900 years of Christianity behind us, that we can look back upon, and when Jesus walked on earth, there was no such thing as a Christian. Therefore if this age has any extra benefit over that first age, it is certainly not man’s education that has given it to us: it is only that we have a written record of how Christianity got started, and many many testimonies of what the power of God has done since then. But any way you look at it, it is still the same God that delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt, and preserved them in the wilderness, that we either believe in, or have unbelief toward. People either believe that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that He can do anything He purposes to do, or else they will try to explain away the supernatural things of God. Brother I cannot accept any kind of an interpretation that says we should not be a people that believes in signs and wonders, and the moving of God’s Spirit in the world today.


RELIGIOUS FORM VS. REVELATION


When you look at the world of religion today, you see Catholicism standing at the head of it all, as the mother church. At least that is how they present it. Anyhow I watched some of the scenes on the TV news broadcasts, when the Pope went down through Africa. Every place he went, they sent out men ahead of him, to build a platform, gather a great crowd of people, and bring in the priests of that area. In other words, they readied everything, for him to serve a mass when he arrived. I just thought to myself, as I watched them shake those salt and pepper shakers with the “holy water” in them, Imagine Jesus, going from Galilee to Judaea with such stuff as that, shaking holy water all the way. Imagine Peter carrying one of those things, as he walked the streets of Jerusalem. You offend people when you talk like this though, because all of that looks good to carnal flesh, the carnal man that has never been born again. Even Buddhists have a similar form of ritual that they go through. They have prayer beads, and they burn incense, which every bit comes from ancient paganism. It certainly has no Bible foundation. When that early Church went forth, they had no incense burners; they had no salt and pepper shakers, nor any of that kind of junk. I seriously doubt that the apostle Peter even dressed any different when he went out preaching, than he did when he would go to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. Through the centuries, carnal minds, under the inspiration of the devil, have come up with all this religious junk, gowns, and robes, and turned around collars. All of that looks good to the carnal man, and the simplicity of truth looks so naked to him; you can see why they will try to dress it up. After the third century, the clergy got to feeling so holy, all because of the way Satan worked on their minds. I can well see how all of that led right into a church system, that the world for a thousand years, accepted and looked upon, as the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, when it was nothing but Satan’s perverted system, cloaked in a disguise. They claimed to be the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, but they possessed little of the virtue and spiritual qualities of that early church. All one need do to confirm that, is to compare church history with the events recorded in the book of Acts. For the book of Acts is a true record of how the Church got started, by the men who walked with Jesus for 3 ½ years, as the Spirit led them. Yes they were led by the Holy Ghost, to do what they did, as they went out preaching the gospel. Did not Jesus say to them, As the Father hath sent me, so I send you? How did the Father send His Son? By getting in Him and leading Him from within. Well, once the promise of the Father, which was the Holy Ghost (the Spirit of Christ) got inside those disciples, they were led by Him, to do exactly what Jesus had commissioned them to do, preach the gospel to every nation. In Luke 24:45-48, you will find the commission written in a little different form than what Matthew 28:19 has it, but I assure you, it all means the same thing. Jesus is assembled with His disciples, and this is the same account as was recorded by Matthew, in chapter 28, and Mark, in chapter 16, but in Luke, the historian is writing this from information he gathered from other disciples. For neither he, nor Mark were personal disciples of the Lord, like Matthew and John were. So notice now, “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to raise from the dead the third day; And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.” Then He said to them, “Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” So this is the same commission, Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Therefore I would have to say, that repentance and remission of sins through baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ was well understood by all those disciples. I believe the book of Acts is recorded proof of how they all went forth in one accord preaching the gospel. Brother for the first three centuries, that gospel knocked on the doors of South Russia, penetrated the British Isles, covered Europe and the Middle East, and was well on the way of fulfilling what Jesus had said in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the nations; and then shall the end come.” Of course we realize that the new world had not even been heard of then, but in the then known world, they did a pretty good job of spreading the gospel. Much of Central and South Africa was left untouched by early Christianity. But Egypt, Libya, Ethiopia, Algiers, and Morocco, actually cover the whole northern boundary if you care to look at a map of Africa. So by the first three centuries, Christianity had been spread from one side of North Africa to the other, and was a fast growing faith. Egypt became a very fast growing society of the Christ faith. Of course we realize, that the Nicene Council confusion caused a decline in Christianity in many of these areas, as well as in Europe. But the main thing is, the gospel of the kingdom, as it had been presented by the early Church, had been witnessed in these areas. Central and South Africa were not included at that time.


RESTORING OF GOSPEL


Now in the 8th century, a Moslem by the name of Muhammad Ali came riding out of Saudi Arabia, and his aim was to rid the earth of all those people called Christians. He desecrated many of the Christian churches, and beheaded, and killed by other means, many of the Christians. However a small percentage of them did manage to survive. Eventually though, Moslem power did succeed in going through Ethiopia, Libya, Algiers, and Morocco, until it practically wiped out all traces of early Christianity, that had been established by the preaching of the early disciples. Those nations so taken over by the Moslems, have practically sunk to economic despair. They went east, through Turkey and took the Christian churches and made Moslem prayer towers out of them. Christianity was not completely destroyed in Turkey, but it dwindled down to practically nothing. Most of what is left, is what is known as Greek Orthodox, which is nothing much more than the eastern side of Catholicism. (That is my way of expressing it.) It was not until the Reformation began, that the regions of central and South Africa began to feel the affects of Protestant missionaries, and before long, there went Catholicism also. But let me say this, Lutheranism, under the Reformation, was not the full gospel of the kingdom. Neither was what Calvin brought, nor Knox, nor Wesley. But the point is, all of those doctrines had to be restored and dealt with. It seems though, that when it came to the baptism of the Holy ghost, and the signs portion of the gospel, God reserved the major part of the restoration of that until around the turn of the twentieth century. Actually the new world has been the launching pad for missionizing the world, through its various denominations. They have sent out dedicated missionaries, but the true gospel of the kingdom was not preached. God used it though, to get a universal element of people alerted to the gospel, and have them standing in a place to be called out, when the cry went forth. Therefore I am convinced that God has an element of people scattered throughout this world, believing this restored message of truth, and allowing the Spirit of God to lead their lives, that are going to show that they are the kind of Church the early Church was. Certain nations will not feel the great impact of it, like they did 1900 years ago, but nevertheless, God will vindicate this restored gospel, to be the very thing that closes out what Jesus said in Matthew 24:14. This is the gospel that shall be preached in all the world, right before the end comes. This is the gospel that those early disciples preached. When Philip went down into Samaria, this is the gospel he preached. You remember me saying Ethiopia had the gospel; let us go back to the 8th chapter of Acts, and see how they got it. Verse 5, “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. (Now the reason Philip went to Samaria, was because persecution had hit the church in Jerusalem.) For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in the city. But there was a certain man, named Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name (Notice now, the NAME) of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Remember, the book of Acts covers the first 30 odd years of the early Church, and this record shows that where ever they went, they all preached the same thing, and all of the converts were baptized the same way, in the name of Jesus Christ. Now it was not just hearing the name Jesus: it was how that name was taught to them, that made the difference. “Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” How were they baptized? In the name of the Lord Jesus. Brother, the book of Acts gives us a clear record, and surely to goodness all of those men were not fanatics. However we have a lot of so called Bible scholars in the world today that think the usage of the name Jesus, in water baptism, is false doctrine. Saints: That was the only name that was ever used, in the whole book of Acts, because it is actually the name that goes to all of those titles of Matthew 28:19. If some of these oneness Pentecost people could have ever seen that the name JESUS is a compound name, they might have been able to help a few trinity people see more light. Let us go on. “Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.” As they returned to Jerusalem, they preached in those little villages along the way.

PHILIP AND THE ETHIOPIAN


Let us get back to Philip though, where we will see how Ethiopia came into the picture. Verse 26, “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip , saying Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.” Remember now, Philip was in the middle of a great revival, and most preachers would not have left there when he did, under any circumstances. But Philip was subject to the will of the Lord, so when he was told to go, he went. He was already north of Jerusalem, so that meant he had to go back to Jerusalem first, and then head south toward Gaza, the old area of the Philistines, laying along the Mediterranean coast. “And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet.” Let me explain something. It says here, he was a eunuch, but what I want to say is, He was an Ethiopian Jew, a Jew living in Ethiopia, and it was quite common back then, to make eunuchs of servant men who were going to be used in royal palaces. So to get the setting, he was a loyal servant to the queen of Ethiopia. That is obvious, by the fact that he had the charge over all her treasure. But he was a Jew, that had come to Jerusalem to worship his God, the God of his fathers. Acts 2 proves that there were many such people, who at times got the opportunity to make a trip to Jerusalem to worship the Lord. That is why, on the day of Pentecost, there were devout Jews gathered there, out of every nation under heaven. So this man had already been, and was on his way home, sitting there in his chariot reading from the prophet Isaiah. “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?” Now we must realize that Philip was Jew, a native of the homeland, and only knew the proper Jewish language, and he heard that Ethiopian man reading, in the language he knew, so what does that tell us? That is one of the things that tell us the man was a Jew. All Jews, everywhere, spoke that mother tongue. Well Philip understood his speech, and asked him if he understood what he was reading, and he said, “How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened He not His mouth: In His humiliation His judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? For His life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet? Of himself, or of some other man?” That man was familiar with the scriptures, and there is no doubt he was very grateful to have them, but as to the thought contained in what he was reading, he knew nothing, and he knew nothing about what was going on. He had already been to Jerusalem and worshiped, and was heading home, back to Ethiopia where he worked. He had fulfilled the rituals of worship according to the law of Moses, yet deep down in his heart, he had a question, and he was looking to Philip for some kind of understanding. God just ordained it to be that way. Remember now, the two men are in a chariot, and the horses are walking, and they are talking. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?”“ That lets us know that Philip has preached baptism to him, and you can believe that it was presented to him as a part of the salvation experience, for his first reaction was, Here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, “If thou believest with all thine heart thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (He believed what Philip had preached to him.) And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch: and he baptized him.” I read an article one time, by a Methodist doctor of divinity, who was trying to prove that sprinkling was a Bible method of baptism, all because he had been to the place where Philip baptized the eunuch, and there was not enough water there, for him to have been immersed. Well it is a desert place, and it is a known fact that many of the springs become filled up, through the centuries, so that was a very poor way to try to prove anything. Furthermore the Bibles says they both went down into the water, and he baptized him. You do not have to go down into the water to sprinkle someone.


HOW THE GOSPEL GOT SPREAD


After Philip baptized the eunuch he had an experience that modern evangelism would pay any price for, but this is like the Holy Ghost; it is not for sale. I am talking about his plain air ride. Philip was not asking for anything like that; he was only being obedient to the Spirit of God. He had left a place where God had been giving him souls, just to fulfill the will of God, and his obedience so pleased God, that God rewarded him with a free ride to his next destination. “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more; And he went on his way rejoicing.” Philip did not just run off somewhere; the Holy Spirit came upon the scene, and, zoom, he was gone. What did the eunuch do? He went on his way rejoicing, going back to Ethiopia, and brother, I believe when he got home, he gathered up a bunch of Jews and told them everything Philip had told him. The Bible does not say how long Philip was with him, but I believe it is reasonable to assume that they studied a lot of scripture, as they rode along there. The Bible says, Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture the man was reading, and preached Jesus Christ to him, and when the Spirit of God snatched Philip away, and the eunuch went on his way rejoicing, you can believe he had something to rejoice about. Through the preaching of Philip, the Spirit of God had caused those scriptures to come alive to that fellow. Brother he had plenty to tell when he got home. That is the same way the Roman Church got started. It was one church that was not started by the ministry of an apostle. What those Roman Jews heard at Jerusalem that day, was all it took to start the church in Rome. So Philip was caught away, and the eunuch went on his way rejoicing, going home to tell his people what he had heard. But thinking about the verse of scripture in Matthew 24:14, it says, This gospel shall be preached in all the world, this gospel of the kingdom. Not that the whole world would be saved, but as a witness unto all nations. Therefore when we think of a witness, and look back through the era of Christendom: in the first century, the apostles penetrated the areas of Ethiopia, Egypt, Libya, and all those vast regions round about. But when the apostles were all dead, the gospel was still spreading. That is why I said earlier, all of North Africa was penetrated by the gospel. In the first century, in 54 A.D., according to the record, old doubting Thomas had gone further than any of them, all the way to Madras, India. Well some might say, Who was he preaching to? He was a Jew, and he was preaching to Jews in dispersion. He was going to tell them about their Messiah. He doubted at first, but he was a witness of the resurrection of Christ, and he had something to tell. Therefore what I am stressing is the witness of this gospel of the kingdom. Even all those Arab areas, as we see them today, received the gospel in the first century. The first outpost church was at Antioch, in Syria. But Christianity has never risen in any of those areas, to shine like it did before. Europe had it for the first century and a half, (the gospel of the kingdom) yet she went right into the dark ages. Of course we realize that even in the Dark Ages, God was able to deal with an individual soul from the standpoint of salvation, but from the standpoint of the revelation of the gospel of the kingdom, it was a dark time. The new world had not been discovered, and many areas of the far east had never been penetrated with the gospel, but keep in mind, This gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the world, for a witness. So remember, the Reformation was right within those nations where the gospel had declined into such an apostate form, specifically Catholicism. That was where God began to reconstruct that which had been torn down. That is where God began restoring people back to the original truth. It was not the gospel that needed reconstructing; it was people’s religious attitudes, so they could understand the original truth. But the history and route of it declares, that just as it took a few centuries for the church to lose her understanding of the apostolic gospel, it also takes a few centuries for it to be fully restored. So the nations that were guilty of causing it to go the route it did, were the ones God dealt with in the Reformation.


REFORMATION – RESTORATION


Alright what about those nations of the Reformation? How did they react? Germany, while the powers of Rome were cracking the whip, just squelched down, and submitted themselves to the dictates of the pope. They were just a servant-like nation. They were scared of the Vatican, what it could do to them. But when the hour came, that God raised up a priest by the name of Martin Luther, the nation of Germany really rallied to the cause. It was during Luther’s hour that the German people were really blessed. But when that time passed, Germany began to slip and slide, right back into that same old rut, back into that same old apostate spirit she had before the Reformation started. It was the same way with Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and all those areas like that, which had been affected by the men of the Reformation. Now when you talk about the Reformation, England was ripe, for a man like John Wesley. The king had split with the Vatican, refusing to have his crown placed on him by the pope. So there they sat, across the British Channel, at odds with the pope. The king of England was really ripe for the message of John Wesley, when he came on the scene. In the church ages, that time is known as the sixth church age, the age of brotherly love. Between George Whitfield and John Wesley, the British Isles was rocked with the message of sanctification. Nevertheless as great as it was, Wesley still did not preach the gospel of the kingdom of God; he only preached a fragment of it, just like Luther and all the rest of those men God used in the Reformation. Every man fulfilled his part in God’s great program though, and today we can look back upon how God restored the original truth of the gospel of the kingdom, and marvel, realizing that everything is right on schedule. Saints: I am so thankful that God waited for the new world to get in a position where He could bring the baptism of the Holy Ghost to it. Yes right out here on our western shores, in California, is where the Holy Ghost blessing fell. Hallelujah! What was going on? Little by little, God was restoring a people back to the original gospel, and we are privileged to be living in the generation when He winds it all up. Sure, Wesley’s message blessed a lot of people, and so did Luther’s, and Calvin’s and all the rest, but look what came out of all of that, as it was brought to this country. I cannot even name all the different denominations, that actually came out of what was done in the Reformation, but I will say this, The founding fathers of those denominations held a truth in their hearts, that was a part of the original gospel preached by the apostles. All of this confusion among the various organizations is not their fault; they could only preach what God gave them to preach, and what happened to it later, was out of their hands. Now we have all these systems of religion, and not one of them will budge one inch, to accept more truth of God’s word. Most of them are Trinitarians, and water baptism is in the titles of Matthew 28:19, rather than the name of Jesus Christ, and a lot of them will even accept the ritual of sprinkling, instead of immersion. In other words, regardless of all the missionaries that were sent out, the world was still waiting to hear the gospel of the kingdom of God, that was to be preached as a witness to all nations before the end would come. What about all those people who believed the message of their hour? That is what is so beautiful about the plan and purpose of God, He will only hold a person accountable for what they had opportunity to hear and believe. That is why you need not worry about your saintly old grandmother, or grandfather. If they obeyed the truth of their hour, God accepted them. You cannot even compare them with our day, for we are living in a day when new light has come. Well, what we call new light, is what the apostles had almost 2000 years ago, but it is new to us, for most of us came out of these systems that deny much of the original gospel truth.


LOOKING TO THE END


Now saints, everything I have said, was to lead us to one conclusion. Before the end of the age, there has to be a people on earth that know and understand the gospel of the kingdom, that was preached in the first century of Christianity. That means they must have the same revelation, on every doctrine taught by the apostles. Do we have such a people in the earth today? Yes. I believe this is the generation that shall live to see the coming of the Lord. That is why there had to be a messenger sent to this age. The fig tree has budded, and this generation shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled. But the messenger that God sent , came with a message that took all of these restored truths, and presented them in one gospel. He was ridiculed and denied by the great scholars of the systems, but in his simple way, he made this Bible come alive to some people that were hungry for more than they had been getting. I am talking about a little man by the name of William Marrion Branham, a humble little man, that loved the word of God. He prayed for the sick, and preached the Bible from cover to cover, and God vindicated his ministry with signs and wonders, just like it says in Mark 16. (In one pamphlet I read, this fellow was so bold as to say that Bro. Branham prayed for the sick and did all those miracles by the power of witchcraft. He said also that the angel that conversed with him, was like a witchcraft spirit.) He came on the scene when Pentecost was standing at the door of opportunity, to be used by God to foster something to the world. But God bypassed every one of them, because their minds were already fixed in their denominational framework. It just goes to show, God does not have to have a highly educated man to get the job done. Now Bro. Branham’s religious background had been Baptist, but he was not a Baptist, because his experience and his belief would not fit into the Baptist church. Nevertheless when God raised him up, He already had some people on earth, that was ready to hear what the little man had on his heart. He literally preached the same form of baptism, Godhead, and plan of salvation, that the early apostle preached, and there was not a theologian around anywhere, that would take their Bible, and openly challenge him on what he preached and taught. Oh they all loved the miracles and signs, but they did not like the doctrines he taught from the word of God. Twenty years after Bro. Branham’s death, people are still going to extreme limits, trying to discredit what he taught. Nevertheless the true children of God are receiving it, because it is a revelation of what those early apostles taught. Let me say also, there is hardly a nation left that this message has not penetrated to some degree. Oh yes, there is a lot of fanaticism traveling with it, but the truth is getting there just the same. Anywhere truth goes, there will always be a bunch of tares ready to grab it, and twist it, but the predestined seed will hear it, and understand it in it’s restored form. These are those that make up the true body of Christ in the kingdom of God. Now as we think on these things, we have to realize that the United States has been blessed by God, like no other nation since the apostolic age, but it could well be, that the Lord has just about got His crop out of this nation, for she is fast heading down the road of spiritual and moral corruption. As I said, We are no longer a Christian nation. Our forefathers would not recognize the Constitution they worked so diligently to set up on Christian principles, and only the grace of God can keep this nation from hitting rock bottom on her downward trend. Brothers and Sisters: I just have to believe that Matthew, chapter 24, is fast being wrapped up. The universal body of Christ is being knit together and shaped for her end time role, and I believe it is time to say, Look up, for your redemption draweth nigh. Do not look for a great earth shaking revival; we are at the end. Distress of nations is a reality, politically, economically, and in every way. So let us be very thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, that we now have in it’s restored form, and keep our lives clean before God, so we will be ready for His return. Heaven and earth shall pass away; but my words shall not pass away, Jesus said. Therefore regardless of how evil and corrupt the world may become, the word of god will remain the same, so we do have an anchor: something to hold us steady. While the world in general is heading for the great tribulation, the true body of Christ is heading for the rapture. Therefore let us (as Paul said) covet earnestly the best gifts, but let us above all else, be sure we have a right attitude and motive for everything we do. If we allow the true love of God to motivate us, everything will turn out all right. Praise His name. Amen.

The Body of Christ (1986), Part 3

WE ARE DEALING WITH THIS MESSAGE ON THE BODY OF CHRIST, AND WE WANT TO COVER EVERY ASPECT OF IT, THEREFORE I WILL USE A NUMBER OF PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATIONS JUST TO MAKE CERTAIN POINTS. OF COURSE WE REALIZE THAT THE BODY OF CHRIST IS A UNIVERSAL BODY, AND IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD THINGS ARE SEEN AND UNDERSTOOD IN A DIFFERENT WAY THAN WHAT WE SEE THEM, BUT NEVERTHELESS I BELIEVE THE MESSAGE WILL BE UNDERSTOOD BY THOSE WHO ARE DESTINED TO RECEIVE IT. FURTHERMORE I AM PERSUADED THAT GOD HAS HIS SERVANTS SO POSITIONED AROUND THIS WORLD, THAT EVERY BRIDE PERSON WILL BE ABLE TO RECEIVE THAT WHICH IS NECESSARY FOR THEIR SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN THIS LATE HOUR OF TIME, FOR GOD’S PLAN OF PERFECTION WILL NOT FAIL. WITH THAT IN MIND, LET US KEEP OUR CONFIDENCE IN HIM, BELIEVE HIS WORD, AND LEARN TO FOLLOW HIS LEADING.


I want to make a few statements, to call our attention to how uniquely the Bible is arranged. The three chapters we have been discussing, chapter 12, 13 and 14, of 1st Corinthians, were written by the apostle Paul, to lay a foundation upon which the believer might be able to find his or her place in the body of Christ. All of this is built around the functioning of nine gifts of the Spirit of God. In the latter verses of chapter 12, he speaks of how God set in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, and so on, speaking also of some of the gifts. He just speaks in general terms, of what the body of Christ is made up of. But his main emphasis seems to be upon the gifts, their distribution, their operation, and the correct motive behind all of that. Then right on over in Ephesians 4, just to point out the uniqueness of the Bible, you find Paul writing of the body of Christ to them. “There is one body, (Eph. 4:4) and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” What he says there, leads up to another breakdown of what the body of Christ is composed of, and instead of dealing with the gifts, he deals with the gifted ministry that God has set in the church. Through this ministry, God purposed to administer His divine word, which would be the foundation upon which the whole church is built. The book of Acts gives a brief history of the early years of the church, and shows how the gospel went from the Jews to the Gentiles on the same level of revelation and spiritual manifestations that it started out with. But then, by the time that first century is closing out, the church is already starting to make its descent into what eventually turned out to be apostasy. The church lost that great relationship wherein the fruits of the Spirit were really manifested. It did not happen suddenly, but little by little, as the old soldiers of the faith died off. History lets us see that the church in that Dark Age period, was not the body of Christ in operation at all. God only moved by His Spirit, to keep what was then called, “The Church,” in existence for the purpose of salvation. But at no time was the body of Christ functioning as that mystical body was meant to function. Every manifestation of His power during those years, was strictly for the purpose of calling attention to Himself, and allow some poor soul to be brought to the realization that he needed salvation. Christendom in that hour was far from its apostolic beginning. The gifts of the Spirit had long since been turned into a ritual, just a form of Godliness, and it remained like that for hundreds of years.

 

 

LET GOD LEAD YOU


We know from various accounts, that in the ministry of John Wesley, many times, there were manifestations of people speaking in tongues, but in that hour, there was no preeminence given to such a thing. All emphasis was placed upon the convicting power of God, to bring men to the plan of salvation. Yet John Wesley wrote somewhere in his writings, Where is the nine manifestations of the Spirit, that was once in the apostolic church? He could see that they ought to be there, but an occasional outbreak of speaking in tongues, was all there was. Naturally he saw all of that in the Bible, so why would he not wonder where those gifts were? Right there in chapter 12, verse 31, Paul said, “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way,” or as we said earlier, The proper way to go about it. In other words, pursue all things with an attitude of love. Love stands head and shoulders above everything else that Paul could mention. Therefore love is the avenue that every true believer will travel. Regardless of what kind of test you are faced with, or how much you are persecuted, love should always rule your life. It will not make you compromise, but it will keep you from getting all heated up, and taking a club to someone, to try to change the situation. Therefore in an attitude of love, the believer is to seek after spiritual gifts, and desire to prophesy. Saints I believe we are living in an hour, when true children of God ought to begin to feel something inside of them, that would cause them to cry out, God just help me to be able to fulfill my little part of whatever you have ordained for my life. Too many times, people take the attitude, I am saved, filled with the Holy Ghost, and on my way to heaven, and they fail to realize that they have some responsibility along the way. Satan will sidetrack you if he can. It is our responsibility, to make sure that does not happen. Jesus prayed for us, and God will enable us to keep ourselves free from the things of the world, if we will only look to Him for that help. It is so easy to allow your mind to be conquered by the things of this world, a true child of God really has to keep on his toes, lest it happen. We need to realize that we are not our own; we are purchased with a great price; therefore He who purchased us, or redeemed us, should have the privilege of leading our lives down the avenue He chooses. I am not saying that we should all be prophesying, nor that we should all be speaking in tongues, but we need to be in a place where God can exercise those gifts through us when He sees fit to do so. It is just like it says here, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” Whatever God is allowed to lead you to do, will not be done in vain, it will be of benefit to someone. In other words, Every member of a healthy body is always ready to do what the mind directs it to do, and the body of Christ should be the same way. Paul is presenting a picture of what a healthy body of Christ is to be like. Everyone should be doing their part, and not have 60 percent running the streets, and the other 40 percent doing all the fasting and praying, and seeking to be more like Jesus. Brothers and Sisters: I am not saying these things to sound ridiculous, but when Paul said, Pray without ceasing, he meant exactly that. You can have your mind on God, and still do everything you are supposed to do. You can meditate upon the Lord, and still drive nails, chop wood, or drive an old farm tractor, just the same, if it is your spirit that God communicates with. When we keep everything in the right perspective, God will not interfere with you being able to do your regular work.


God has been very merciful to people from all walks of religious life. He has given them access to His goodness, and many of them have grabbed everything that can gratify the flesh, but have failed to yield themselves to the will of God. It seems that some people just simply cannot seem to help living as a selfish individual, but I truly believe the time is at hand, for people who do truly love God, to begin to live as though they do. The rest of those Jews were brought out of Sudan, and Spain and Portugal are going into the European Common Market, so that tells me something. To a lot of people those things are just so much news, but brother, that is prophecy being fulfilled right before our eyes. It just brings us a little closer to the time when the Lord will come to take His bride Church away with Him. It is no time for anyone to feel like they have time just to play around with religion. If you are in a denominational system of religion, and the Lord sees fit to fill you with His Spirit, that same Spirit will lead you out of that system somewhere in the future. It is true, every system of religion in the realm of what is called Christianity, has some scriptural truth that they stand upon, but they will turn right around and deny dozens of other truths, that others believe. Saints you cannot make me believe that the Church of the living God is made up of people like that. A man like Jimmy Swaggart will get on television, and ridicule predestination, and teach against a one God revelation, and what does he offer in place of it? The Catholic trinity, an Antichrist doctrine, is what he teaches, instead of one God in three offices. Well I will not touch the man himself, he will have to answer to God for what he does, but I will challenge his teachings, that cannot be found in the Bible. What he teaches about those things, were not taught in the apostolic church. A man may speak in tongues, prophesy, and preach his heart out, but if he is not preaching apostolic doctrine, he is not building anything for God. Naturally some will say, Why did you ever choose to believe like you do, and how do you know it is right? Well first of all, it was not by my choosing, it was by the mercy and grace of God that I came to know this truth, for I had already taken my stand in the Methodist Church. Then secondly, I know it is right, because everything I teach, can be proved by the Bible, to anyone who will accept the Bible as the authority for preaching. I could still be locked up in that old Methodist system, if it were not for the mercy and grace of God, and still be just as blind as a bat. That is why I am so thankful to my heavenly Father: He saw the hunger deep down I my soul, and gave me His Spirit, to teach me truth, and lead me to the light. He can lead you no further than what you will allow Him to, thought. If you set your eyes on denominational systems and materialism, God will just let you sit right where you are. But if you ever dare to say, God I want to walk with you, and you really mean it, He will start to cut you loose from a lot of people, and a lot of things that have been very important to you in the past. God has a very unique way of teaching people to follow Him. He may, at times, allow some financial problem, or some other problem to come upon you, to get your attention turned toward Him. He knows our nature, and He knows what it takes to move us, so that is right where He goes to work on us.


JESUS SEEN – IN A DREAM


When I was still in the Methodist church, before I ever knew that God was doing anything outside the confines of that system, I just prayed to be able to fulfill whatever I had been called to do in the Methodist Church, and to be able to live a good Christian life. I had no idea whatsoever, that God was again working by His mighty power, like He did in that apostolic hour. I somehow had just settled for the idea that those things were just for that first age of Christendom. That is what traditional teaching will do for you, unless God brings about conditions to shake you loose from your traditions. Many of you have heard me tell what happened in that Methodist Church, that began to change my life and my thoughts about that system, but I will tell it again. The Asbury student pastor that had been pastoring our church, was going to be moved, and leave us without a pastor, so some of the folks had already asked me if I would be willing to take charge as pastor, and I said, Yes, if they will accept me. Saints I will never forget that particular Sunday when the District Superintendent came down, and after the regular business had been completed, they asked me to step outside. Then they asked him if I could be placed there as pastor, and his answer was: The Indiana Conference has passed a rule that requires so much education, and so much Bible School training, before one can be placed over a congregation as pastor. Brother when they came outside and told me that, it was just like a slap in the face. Just as if to say, Your experience with God means nothing, unless you have met certain ecclesiastical educative standards set up by the Methodist Church. I just thought to myself, Where is the Peter of our day? Where is the Paul of our day, that could be dealt with by God, and set in the ministry without all of that? I went back home and said, I will never preach again. I said, Lord I will live for you, I will honor you, I will do everything I can otherwise, but I am never going to preach again. It was that very night that God began to deal with me in a new way. I went to bed disturbed, after having said, I will never preach again. But I had been reading some of those old Voice of Healing magazines, those testimonies of how people were healed, and how the Spirit of God had dealt with some of them out there in those big meetings, and that was on my mind when I finally went to sleep. That night I saw myself in a dream, and it seemed like I was walking on a highway, approaching a large city, just walking along observing the countryside, when I noticed a large ball field, with a huge tent set up in it. I thought to myself. That must be one of those divine healing tents, for I had seen pictures of them in the magazines I had been reading. So with that in mind, I thought, I will just go over and take a look. I saw myself cross the fence, walk across the ball park, and right under the flaps of that tent. (It was daylight, and they were rolled up.) I walked in there and was looking around, and all of a sudden, at the far end of the tent, I could hear something that sounded like a typewriter. Then I saw a man standing behind a desk, and the thought came to me, He must be typing up what they call, prayer cards, to give out in the service. While I stood there looking around, the man looked up and said, May I help you? I said, No. I am just looking around. He went ahead typing, and I continued looking around, but suddenly he stopped, came from behind the desk, and said, Sir, you have a need. I said, I do? Yes. May I pray for you. Sure, I said, and as he reached his hand out to touch me, the whole scene changed. Everything faded away, and right out of the clear blue, here came the lord Jesus right at me, just like a flash, with his hands outstretched, and He took me in His arms, and I began to weep. Then as He held me like that, I wept, and wept, and had a feeling that I had never experienced before in my whole life, and I thought, Oh if I could just die like this, it would be wonderful. Though I was weeping, and trembling, I still felt a feeling of great joy, and was thinking of the look in those eyes, as He came toward me. Then I awakened, shaking like a leaf, with my pillow in my hand, just ready to go over the foot of the bed. At that time, I thought it was a nightmare, and it almost scared me, but then I thought of how those eyes had looked at me with such a penetrating look. No human on earth can look at you like that. It was a look that let you know, He knew everything you had need of. So I just laid my pillow back down, laid my head back on it, and thought, What was that all about? That was the first time I had ever experienced anything in a supernatural way, but it was the beginning of God’s leading me out of that Methodist system, and to the light of truth. Just a few weeks later, I had an opportunity to go to the Branham Tabernacle, and in those days you could talk to Bro. Branham right inside the building. So after the service, Bro. Branham stayed around and talked to some of the people, and finally I got a chance to say something to him. I said, Bro. Branham, Could I talk with you for just a minute? We moved to the back of the church, and sat down in a pew, and I told him the dream. He simply said, Bro. Junie, God bless you, He is getting ready to lead you off into deep water. That was all he said, but just a few short weeks later, God led me right into receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and from that moment on, everything in my life began to take on a change. My whole outlook toward Christianity began to change. I could then see that the Church of the living God had to be more than just the Methodist Church, and more than the Baptists, or any other brand. I began to get such a hunger in my soul, just to know God as that great omnipresent Spirit, for this caused me to realize, God is not dead. He is still doing everything He ever did. His word is still the same; it is just man that has changed. Man in general, lives so far beneath his potential, there is only a very small fragment of people that God can ever lift up above their carnality, to get them into a place where He can deal with them in a supernatural way. Saints, we need the Spirit of God to lead us in 1986, just as much as those apostolic Christians of the first century needed Him to lead them. You will not always find the answer to every question in life, just simply by opening your Bible, and reading. Sometimes God has to deal with you in a supernatural way. He does not intend to give you the Holy Ghost, let you speak in tongues, and then never go one step farther with Him. He wants to lead you.


TONGUES AND INTERPRETATION


Needless to say, I had reached a place where I knew our Christian lives had to take on a different meaning, so I spent many long hours on my knees in the oats bin of the old barn on the place where we lived at that time. I would pray way up into the night, asking God to take control of my life, and lead me. I was so hungry for God, I even took my cap off, throwed it on the ground, and looked right up into a drizzly rain, kneeling on the ground, out where I was fixing a fence, and said to God, Whatever there is for me in life, Lord, you lead me, and help me, for I want to walk with you. Brothers and Sisters: I do not say these things to be boasting, nor to sound more spiritual than anyone else. That I just the way I felt led to seek after God, and I do not regret one moment of it. I am thankful for everything He has ever brought me to. Furthermore I realize that there are souls in various parts of the world that were ordained to hear the truth of God’s word through the ministry that He has given to me, so that makes every effort that I have ever put forth, worthwhile. I thank God that I was permitted to sit under the ministry of Bro. Branham, and that He allowed me to catch the right revelation of what I heard, for I have seen what many of those educated preachers that sat under his teaching, have done with what they heard. They have gone in every direction, teaching every kind of doctrine imaginable, and very little of what they teach, even resembles apostolic teaching. Nevertheless God just schooled me, from one experience to another, as I sought to follow His leading, and He began to manifest some of the gifts through me, from time to time. I will never forget what happened one Saturday night, while Bro. Branham was still alive. After supper, I went out to the car to pray, and as I prayed, all of a sudden, God began to speak to me in a language, and the moment the anointing changed, it went right into another language with the interpretation. The Spirit spake directly to me and said, “My Son, prepare thyself; for in a moment when though art not aware, thou shalt be required to give an account of that which I have placed within thy heart, and thou shalt be compelled to speak forth those things that I have made known unto you.” When those words were over, I thought to myself, What was that all about? It was the first time that had ever happened to me. We went to the Tabernacle the next morning, expecting to hear Bro. Branham preach, for he was supposed to be there that morning. The song service ended, and Bro. Branham still was not there. They had prayer, and then another song, and he was still not there. Then the office door opened and Bro. Doc Branham motioned for Bro. Neville, to tell him something. Bro. Neville came back to the platform and said, Let us all stand, and have prayer. Bro. Doc just told me that Bro. Branham is very sick, and will not be here today. He said the doctor told them he was suffering from fatigue and over exhaustion, so after prayer, when we were again seated, then came my surprise. I do not remember his exact words, but Bro. Neville said something like, We know that God is among us, and at this time, I feel definitely led of the Lord to have Bro. Junie Jackson come, and bring us the word of the Lord this morning. I felt like my legs had been cut from under me. The Tabernacle was full of people, all sitting there expecting to hear Bro. Branham. But deep within, I knew that this was what those words I received the night before, pertained to. Now, was when I was going to have to give an account of that which God had put within my heart. I could not go to the platform doubting that, for I knew God had spoken those words to me. Well once I got there, even though I was shaking like a leaf, I already knew my text, for God had given me a message to preach. The only thing was, I thought I was going to preach it in my own little church, and here I am, ready to preach it to this large congregation of people. That is just the way the Spirit of God works, you can never put Him in a ritualistic form, and expect Him to perform for you. Where do you suppose the apostle Paul got what he preached? He had no sermon books he could go to, and choose a little message to suit the occasion; he had to depend upon the Spirit of God to give him utterance to suit the occasion. These are just things we need to be aware of, in the hour of time we are living in.


ALL MUST BE TESTED


Another time when the Spirit spoke to me, was after Bro. Branham had cut short his meetings in Canada, and came home to deal with a situation that he had learned of. He found out that some of the people were worshiping him as the Messiah, and they were making little medallions and passing them around, and he came home so discouraged. We received a telephone call saying that everyone should come to the Tabernacle, for Bro. Branham had a message to preach there that next morning. That is when he preached on the “Bruised Serpent.” That was the title of his message, and I remember, he could hardly talk, for wanting to cry. He just slowly went into the things he wanted to say. He told of a dream where he saw men gathered around this serpent, and how they were playing with it, and he told them to stop playing with the thing, and had shouted, or something, and it was wounded, and crawled off into the swamps, and how he thought it would die. Well it did not die, it was only wounded temporarily, but it stayed in hiding while he was still alive. It made us feel so bad that morning as we sat there listening to what he had to say, and seeing what a terrible ordeal he was being put through, all because of a bunch of carnal minded men. We kneeled by our bed in prayer that night, like we always do, and when we had finished praying, again I found myself speaking in another language, and at the end of it, there came this interpretation, “My children, I have caused you to hear things, and see things this day, and know that I have preserved thee, and kept thee from all these things. As you go forth in the days that lie ahead, if thou shalt earnestly purpose to walk with me, I will keep thee, and protect thee, for as thou has observed and heard these things this day, thou shalt see the day when worse things than these shall appear.” Bro. Branham was still alive then, but I ask you, Have those words not been fulfilled since God took him from among us? As soon as he left the scene, some of those men just simply went wild. That spirit did not die, it just waited for its chance to revive and multiply. In Africa, India, Norway, and just about everywhere else, that spirit has multiplied, and there is no way to control it today, except to make truth available to those who want to hear truth. But my point is, Our God is not just some historical God of the ancient past, He is still alive today, and still desiring to lead His people. As a matter of fact, we have various testimonies right here in this assembly of how God has led and directed the individuals to come here. He does not work the same way with everyone, but He has His ways of making us know His will and purpose for our lives. Take the time when Bro. Branham instituted church order, for instance. Some went one way, and some went another, so we just had to let time prove what the outcome would be. As for myself, I just had to say, He had to make that for certain reasons, here in the Tabernacle, but I cannot see it in my assembly. That is what brought me so much ridiculement and persecution, but I just simply could not see church order for any place except there at the Tabernacle. I could have folded up under the pressure of ridiculement, and put it in my church also, but in my spirit I knew that God was not leading me in any such direction as that. We did not have conditions out of control in our church, that required any such measures. But on the other hand, I could see why Bro. Branham had to do something to keep things from getting completely out of control there. Therefore we just had to take our stand the way we felt God was leading us, and let all the others do likewise, and that made us very unpopular. But as I look back, I have no regrets, for I believe we have proved by the Bible, that the gifts of the Spirit belong in the Church, as an active part of the worship services. Hallelujah! It is worth it all, just to be a child of God. Just to know that He is the one that can lead you right through all kinds of pressure is a great revelation in itself. Furthermore if God is ever going to use you, He has to somehow or other bring you through some sort of trial. That is what determines whether you will fold up under pressure, or whether you will face it, and overcome. God tries and tests every servant, before He ever uses him in any serious way. God has to first mold in us an inner character that will stand for truth in the face of all opposition, and sometimes that is hard on the old flesh, but the individuals are what makes it all worthwhile. Praise His great name! I love Him. There are a lot more illustrations I could use, but I do not wish to make this sound too personal. I want to give credit to the Spirit of God in whatever I say, for He is the one that all credit belongs to, and He desires to be worshiped and praised, and the devil tries to keep us from doing that.


NO PLACE FOR COMPROMISE


Israel went into Lebanon in 1982 to try to get rid of a potential enemy, and after being there for so long a time, when they try to get out, they have another one following them, stalking them every step of the way. Well it is exactly the same way in our spiritual lives. We try to take an inch of spiritual land that God’s word provides for us, and the devil is always right there to meet you head on. He is just like that bunch of terrorists, that will set any kind of an old bomb in your pathway trying to get rid of you. He will never let up on you; he will stalk you every inch of the way, so you have to be just as determined as Israel, to have what you know is yours. Israel says she is going to meet those Shiite Moslems with an iron fist, and the rest of the world says, Oh no, don’t do that! Too many innocent people will get hurt. Do you think those terrorists care how many innocent people get hurt? No they do not, and the devil is the same way. He will try to get you to compromise with the church world, saying through them, Come on and join us, we all need to be one. But you cannot do that, for the minute they get you to compromise, they will bring you down to their level, and the devil will have you right where he wants you, and you will be like an old worn out battery. That is why we have got to believe in God in a way that seems to the world like we are fanatics. So let us open our Bibles back to the 14th chapter of 1st Corinthians, and look at a few things there. This chapter deals with order in the Church; not church order, just simple order in the church. In this very simple way, Paul illustrates and explains the order in which these gifts of the Spirit are to be manifested in a regular service. There are two things I want to deal with, and one is, many people say, How do we go about desiring spiritual gifts? What should we do? Well there are two verses here, that seem so insignificant, but they are important. The first verse of the 14th chapter, which at the time of writing, was not another chapter at all, it was just the beginning of another thought, as he began to deal with order in the Church, says, “Follow after love, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” Love is the primary motive, and prophecy is respected as the greater of the vocal gifts. Of course when tongues are interpreted, they fall into the same realm as prophecy, but Paul’s emphasis seems to be on prophecy. After he gets through dealing with the order of these gifts in the Church, he closes the thought in verse 39, by saying, “Wherefore, brethren, Covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.” He keeps his thought consistent all the way through, so there is no way that anyone can read all of this, and truthfully say that Paul was putting the gifts in a closet. He is showing that they belong in the Church, and that they should be sought after with the right motive, and that they should be kept in a proper order. We will want to go back into the 4th chapter of Ephesians a little later, but now let me remind you of a verse back over here in the 12th chapter, verse 12. “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” Of course we realize that when Paul talks about the Church being a body, he is using the human body to show the many functions of that body, and the part that various members have in that body, for he says, “So also is Christ.” Then in verse 13 he tells how that body is brought about. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” That is why I keep saying, We have not yet seen the body of Christ in operation. Oh, some will say, But Bro. Jackson, look what God did at such and such a time in certain areas, and I just have to say, Yes. But look what He did in the first century of Christianity; that was the body of Christ in operation. When the Holy Ghost fell upon various groups at the beginning of the century, there were some wonderful testimonies that came out of it. You would have to say, God did a wonderful thing in that hour. But when you analyze it in the light of the overall picture of what the scriptures show Christianity to be, you still have to realize that what took place then, was only a fragment of what took place in the first century of Christianity. What the Spirit did in the early years of this century was not only to draw lost sinners to Christ, but to lead others out of their denominational bondage. He has been in a restoring process, leading the Church back to what she lost when those first century Christians died off, and younger generations tried to carry on.


REVELATION BRINGS OBEDIENCE


When the Holy Ghost fell, back at the turn of the century, it did not work to correct the error of the people’s doctrines; they were still holding to a trinity belief. In other words, when the Spirit would anoint someone to speak in tongues and interpret, or to prophesy, it was always primarily within the realm of the light of truth that God was showing on their pathway at that time. Their light then was the baptism of the Holy Ghost. In other words, the necessity for a true spiritual experience of the supernatural. God’s restoring process has been a progressive thing. Naturally He could have spoken supernaturally and said, You are all in error, believing in a trinity. But He did not do it like that. When it came time to move them from trinity to a oneness revelation, it was not done through the gifts at all. God led the ministry into the scriptures, and began giving them a revelation of His oneness. What good would it have been, for someone to stand up and prophesy, My people, knowest thou not that I am one, and that you need to be baptized in my name, if they did not have a revelation from the scriptures to guide them into it? The Holy Ghost always works through the gifts, that which is in harmony with the light of the word that is being shined in any certain hour of time. That is why, by the grace of God, I want to take this message into the book of Ephesians, for in the first Church that ministry of Ephesians 4, was the only kind of ministry they had. The people who sat under them, whether Jews, Greeks, Romans or whatever, their revelation of the word of God was consistent. Therefore when the gifts operated, it was for the edifying of the people in a spiritual sense, and it always created a healthy atmosphere. If there was an adverse or negative spirit, then sooner or later the Holy Spirit would do something to reveal the presence of it. That is how the early Church was kept clean. It was only after the Church began to be bombarded with false teaching, after the first generation of saints died off, that the tares got their foothold in the structure of the whole thing. The carnal mind is always ready to accept flesh, and that is all a tare has to offer, but they have their sly ways of making everything look so spiritual. Satan is a master counterfeiter; you can see that when you look at this world of religion today. Everything is designed to appear so high and holy, yet most of the time, there is not one ounce of true Christianity in any of it. Nevertheless God is bonding together some people, a few from all parts of the world, that do truly know their God, and they know how to be led by His Spirit, and as I have already said, There is something coming upon this old world, that is going to prove just exactly who the true people of God are. We cannot hurry it, and neither can we delay it, but we must learn to be sensitive to the Spirit, and allow ourselves to be pliable. God must be allowed to change our attitudes and opinions whenever the need is present. I doubt seriously that the human mind could even begin to imagine what world conditions are going to bring upon this old world in the not too distant future; and it is only those people that have truly made up their mind to walk with God regardless of conditions, that are going to shine in that hour. God will supply grace and anointing to make His true people shine in that hour. That in itself, is what will cause a few people to stop and realize that they have been drifting too far from the word of God. Religion in general is selling out to the devil, and materialism is replacing true spirituality, so much so, that only a few people have any depth of the word of God in their hearts. They are entertained by religious programs, “Having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof,” (2nd Timothy 3:5) If what they are hearing sounds good to the flesh, they will gobble it right down and praise the preacher for the wonderful way he so eloquently delivered it to them. They no longer heed the admonition in 2nd Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The word of truth has to be rightly divided in order for it to produce something that will glorify God. Brother, that early Church was very sensitive to what their ears picked up; they made sure it was coming from the Spirit of God before they gobbled it down. That is why the Lord could say to the Church at Ephesus, (Rev. 2:2) “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast TRIED THEM which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.” He went on to mention how they had labored for His names sake, and that they had exercised patience, and had not fainted. But verse 4 lets us know that even that model Church got themselves so busy doing right things, they allowed that true motive, which is a God-like love, to slip away from them. The Lord found no fault with what they were doing; it was just their motive that was in question. That takes you right back to 1st Corinthians 13:1, where Paul said, “Thou I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”


LEARNING – ONE STEP AT A TIME


Brothers and Sisters: I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit is very sensitive and very much concerned about what we believe, and why we believe it, and how we conduct ourselves with it. A tare can believe anything he wants to, but in order for God to be justified in judging him, he has to be given an opportunity to hear truth rightly divided. That is why God gave Cain the choice He did, Cain had to be judged because of the choice he made. He had no one to blame but himself. The spiritual is just like the natural: a person will never amount to anything, unless they take hold of their life, and begin to find out what their abilities are, and work toward developing them. A young man growing up, if he does not know what he wants to be in life, he will spend more time at the gas station, just yakking, than anything else, and he will usually be found borrowing something, or just plain free-loading at someone’s expense, most of the time. On the other hand, a young man that reaches a point where he feels that he knows what he wants to be in life, will set about with an aggressive attitude, and begin to make plans in that direction. If he wants to be a farmer, he has to be the kind of fellow that would not mind getting his feet and hands dirty, and he has to be able to stand the smell of fertilizer, and have much patience. It takes a lot of dedication to whatever you choose, in order for you to be a success at what you choose to do. Sure, in starting out, you can make a lot of mistakes, and wish you had done things some other way; that is part of learning, and the next time, you do it differently. But in seeking God in spiritual things, you cannot constantly look backwards at faults and defeats. Growth comes by pressing forward. If you fall flat on your face, do not lay there, looking back, get up, and allow your faith to trust God to lead you straight toward your goal. I have received three letters from a poor fellow in Pakistan, and in the third one, he says, I have written you twice before, and so on. Well I do not know why he never did get my letters, but the poor fellow just goes through such a pitiful way of explaining how defeated his life is, you can read between the lines of what he says, and know that he is the type of person that has to figure everything out in his mind before he will accept it. Brothers and Sisters: You will never be able to figure it all out in your mind; there are some things you just have to throw your soul into, and trust God to work it out for you. The fellow said, Sometimes I think I understand the Godhead, but there always seems to be two voices, one saying this, and the other saying something else. I wrote him this last time and said, Dear Friend: You are going to have to stop wrestling with yourself, and stop trying to figure it all out in your mind. You are going to have to be just like a little child learning to walk. For months and months the little fellow has been crawling all over the floor. He has been under the bed, under tables and chairs, and just about everywhere in the house, but then, all of a sudden, one day he pulls himself up and stands upon his feet. Wonder why he pulls himself up? Because there is an instinct in him to do so. He gets tired of crawling, and he sees the adults walking around on their feet, so that makes him want to do the same thing. Well the first time he does it, he stands there wobbling like a newborn colt. But let a few days go by, and he will show you what those little legs can do for him. Does he holler, Help? No. He just starts working his way around that old couch, or whatever he is holding on to. He does not understand it all, but there is an instinct in him, that causes him to do it that way. That is exactly how God deals with some people in their spiritual life; He just lets them learn, one step at a time.


WE MUST BELIEVE GOD


A lot of people think that just because they are exceptionally smart, they should be able to figure out every step, before they ever do anything, and that is the kind of mind the devil can really work on. God gives us a mind, and He expects us to use it, but there are some things that He will not allow us to figure out ahead of time. We just have to take Him at His word. When you come in repentance, and confess your sins to Him, you just have to believe that He will do what He says He will do, and save your soul, and make you a part of His family. You do not have to figure out how He is going to do it. Whether you feel any different is not what counts; it is whether you believe God will keep His word or not. God is not obligated to give us any certain feelings, but He is obligated to keep His word. We do what we know to do, and leave the rest to God, and if our hearts are right, and we are truly sincere with Him, He will take it from there. He will make sure you have room to take the next step. That is the way Mommy and Daddy do the little fellow that is learning to walk; they will move things out of his way, and give him plenty of room. Does he ever fall? Sure he does. Will he lay there thinking, I will never try that again? No. He gets right up, and tries again. No one expects the little fellow to walk perfectly the first time he tries. Well the point is, Do not try to figure out every phase of your salvation experience, and your walk with God, before you ever take the first step. Furthermore do not think that you can have your mind on a ball game, or some worldly thing all the time, and still be spiritual minded. Everything has its place of course, but to be spiritual minded requires dedication to the things that makes one spiritual. Let me use a natural illustration. A successful ballplayer has to spend a lot of time practicing. He has to practice hitting, running, throwing, catching, as well as various exercises to keep his muscles toned up. In other words, his mind is on ball playing just about every moment of the day. As a matter of fact, you almost have to play ball in your sleep. Well to be spiritually minded requires the same dedication. You have to think of God at times other than when you are in church, or when you kneel by your bed to pray, before going to sleep. The Holy Spirit does not dump spiritual gifts upon the person who is always thinking about some material thing he is going to do, or that he is interested in. The gifts are given to those whose minds dwell upon the things of God. That does not mean that we cannot think about other things, it just means that we cannot allow other things to crowd God out of the picture.


LET GOD HAVE YOUR MIND


Life today is full of material attractions, and worldly achievements, and people get themselves too busy to pray and seek God. From the time you leave your house until you get back there again, your eyes are constantly filled with some kind of worldly achievements, some material thing to captivate your mind. This is an hour of the greatest battles a Christian has ever had to fight: the battles of the mind, fighting with the powers of the devil. He will get you to thinking, I need this, I need that, and the first thing you know, you have an indebtedness against you, that causes you to spend most of your time wondering how you are going to pay your bills, and with that kind of thoughts constantly running through your mind, you have very little time to pray and fellowship with the Lord. That is why it is so necessary for people to reach a point where they are contented with what they have in material goods, and at the same time, not satisfied just to sit still spiritually. Let us never get to the place where we are completely satisfied and contented spiritually, for God’s storehouse is still full, just waiting for some hungry soul to cry out for more than what they already have. We need to get to the place where every day, we spend a little more time thinking of the goodness of the Lord. Of course some people will say, Now Bro. Jackson, you can do that because you are a preacher. But I just want to remind you once again, that I have plowed corn with my mind so lost in deep thoughts concerning what I desired my life to be for the Lord, I would have to look later, to see how many rounds I made, while like that. Your mind can be literally caught away in the lord, and He will not let you run off the road, or fall off the ladder. That is what He desires from us. When the Bible says, “Pray without ceasing,” it does not mean that we have to spend 24 hours a day on our knees. You can be 40 feet up in the air on a ladder, with your mind caught away with the Lord, and He will not let you fall. If He has your mind, He has control. People prove every day that they do not always keep their mind on what they are doing. They will be doing their regular job, and their mind will be way off somewhere else, thinking on something they are planning to do, or something they would like to do. Is that not true? How many of you can remember how it was when you first gave your heart to God? This may not be true in every case, but for most of us, it seemed like we were as free as a little bird, without a care in the world, for days, weeks, and even months in some cases, but there always comes the time when it seems like the devil has been turned loose on you again; you are no longer walking on a cloud. That is because, after that time of walking on the clouds, God wants you to also realize that until you leave this world, you are still physically in it, and you are going to be affected by the pressures of all the other environments of Satan, that exist all around you. That is when your growth really starts, as you learn to trust God to deliver you out of Satan’s traps. Maybe I should say, That is when we have our chance to start growing in stature, because some people come to a standstill right there, or some even find the pressures too great, and lose ground for a while. That is the time when your faith is tested, maybe for the first time. But listen to me, If you do make a mistake, all God asks you to do is acknowledge it, and realize that He is a merciful God, and that He will not keep nagging you about it, like other humans are prone to do. A lot of people like to point their finger at you, and say, Look what you did; and you call yourself a Christian. On the other hand, all God says is, Confess it, and leave it behind you. He will forgive, where a lot of humans never will. The devil will keep nagging you, because he wants you to think that condemning feeling you have, is coming from God. But the Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” and it means exactly that. Your faith can rest on that promise.


ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED


Brothers and Sisters: What I am trying to say to you, is that spiritual growth is no accident; you have to work at it. Use the things of the world, but do not allow them to rob you of your fellowship with your heavenly Father. In 1st John 2:15-17, we read these words, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” Does that mean that we should not desire a house to live in, or a car to drive, or tools to work with? Not if you need them. It is that uncontrolled lust after things of the world, that is wrong. Whatever you need, ask God to help you get it, and then allow yourself to start formulating plans whereby you may obtain it, but do not run ahead of the Lord. Give Him a chance to lead you to make the right choices. God is just a concerned about have having the necessary things of life, as you are. Some people have the idea that God is only interested in the spiritual side of our lives, and that everything of the natural is left for us to figure out the best we can, but that is not right. He cares about everything that affects us in any way. I will never forget the year 1958, how God worked in a situation for us. I had been feeling for quite some time, that I was going to have to cut myself loose from some of the farming I was doing, if I was ever going to be able to fulfill the calling I felt God had on my life; but I just simply did not know how to go about it. We had lived on the old place right next to my Father-in-law for 9 years, and I farmed for the owner, but I somehow felt that I was going to have to get loose from some of that farming, if what I felt, was ever going to come to pass. So one spring morning, my wife and I was just lying there in the bed talking about it, and I was telling her my feelings. I said, If this call to the ministry is ever going to materialize into anything, I feel that I must get loose from some of this farming, and I told her of a little plan I had, and said, If it is the will of God; it will work out. Then I asked her if she thought her Daddy would let us have a little spot of land, to build a house on, and she said, I am sure he would. That morning, I walked down there. He was out in the barn lot, and that is where I asked him about it. Sure, he said. Where do you want it? Right up there on that rocky knoll on the end of the farm. He said, That spot is no good, you could never even have a yard there. Put it over here on this good ground, he said,. But I told him, no, that is farm land; I want it right up there, and that is where we live today. We walked up there to that spot, and there had been corn planted there just two years before that, so some of the old stalks were still scattered around in the hay stubble. I picked up one of them, and stuck it in the ground, and said, Somewhere about right here, is where I would like to have a water well. We agreed on the spot, and I felt good about it, but that was all we could do right then. Now I just needed to look to God to work it all out.


I had a cousin living at Pekin, Indiana, who was in the well drilling business, and I was scheduled to preach at the little church up on Daisy Hill that Memorial Day weekend, so I knew I would get the chance to see him. (Saints, I am just telling this, to show that God really is concerned about the natural things of our lives.) After I preached, I walked up to my cousin and asked, Kenneth: Are you still in the well drilling business? He replied, Yes. I asked him if he was covered up with work, and he said he had been pretty busy. Then I asked him if he thought he could drill a well for me, and he said, Sure. When do you want it done? I told him it was still just in the planning stages, but when we decided, we would let him know, and he said, I will keep a spot open for you, and we left it at that. I went to bed that night, and had a dream: I saw my cousin coming up the road with his well drilling rig, right to where we were living then, and he said, I am here to drill that well. I saw myself walk over there to the spot where our house is now, and in that dream, I saw myself pull up that corn stalk that I had stuck in the ground, and say, Right there, is where I want it. Then I saw him back his drilling rig to that very spot, and throw a grubbing hoe and a pick, off, onto the ground. Then in the dream, I looked and saw my father-in-law driving up the road in his pickup truck, coming to watch the operation. Then I saw my cousin raise the boom, and start to work. Needless to say, the day he did come, it was exactly like I had seen it in the dream. Every detail was the same, even to the point where my father-in-law came driving up the road in his pickup truck, to watch the operation get started. I knew then that everything was right on schedule according to the will of God. He does not have to do it that way, but I am very thankful for the times in my life that He has. There will be times when He will leave things strictly up to you, without showing you anything ahead of time, but if you have purposed in your heart to seek that favor, He will let you see that favor in the way He directs you. This is what makes living for God so wonderful to me. We have all these characters running the roads, preaching prophet, prophet, quote, quote, and saying, We don’t need the gifts anymore, But I say, we do need the gifts; you could never convince me that we no longer need them. If I had quit believing in the gifts after Bro. Branham’s death, you just as well have buried me. I have been happy though, while they were running the roads yakking their heads off. Let them do without the gifts if they want to, but I still want everything God has for me.


SPOILED MANNA


I have a message, I am going to preach one of these days, titled, “Spoiled Manna.” You read in Exodus, how they were to go out every day and gather fresh manna, and if any of them tried to keep it over for another day, it got worms in it and stank. Only the day before their Sabbath, could they gather up a two day supply without it spoiling. That lets me know, God wants His people to live on fresh manna. If we are truly following God in all that He shows us to do, we will not have to eat spiritual food that was served more than twenty years ago, as our only diet. I appreciate every truth Bro. Branham ever served up on his spiritual table, but I also appreciate what has been served by men of God since Bro. Branham was taken from us. Why should God go out of business just because one of His faithful servants got killed in an automobile accident? He is still alive, and He is still revealing His word to His people, regardless of what some people say, and He will still help you through trials and tests. Furthermore a congregation of people that is sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and wants to be guided by Him, will not be ripped to pieces, and scattered like little birds. We sit here at the end of Potters Lane, within 5 miles of the Tabernacle, simply because those people over there still want to live on manna that is more than 20 years old, and will accept nothing else. They say Jackson’s manna is no good, but I say, It comes from the same place Bro. Branham’s came from. It is the same ingredients, but God likes to give it out fresh, just like He did to the children of Israel in the wilderness. The children of Israel were on a journey, and God supplied everything they had need of. Well we are on a journey also, and God wants to supply everything we have need of, if we will just let him. Bro. Jackson: Does that mean that we will never have any more problems? No. James wrote, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Patience is something a lot of people need in this hour, and God will surely give us an opportunity to acquire it, but it is the trying of your faith that worketh patience. In the 5th chapter of Romans, verse 3, Paul wrote, “But we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” Then through patience we gain experience, and the experience enlarges our hope. All of these things are profitable for the body of Christ. The man of the world could not care less what the scriptures have to say, but the body of Christ lives by them, and must rightly divide them in order to prevent going to seed on just certain verses.


Let us open back to the 14th chapter of 1st Corinthians now, and to verse 23, where we will begin reading. This had to do with body ministry.  “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?” That would be just like going to a foreign country, where you could not understand a word the people said. “But 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.” This is showing the contrast between prophecy that can be understood by everyone, and just speaking in tongues without interpretation. A person that does not know God, has to hear something that will bring conviction upon him, and cause him to realize that he stands naked before God. “How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” Paul is not laying out a church order; he is simply showing that even though all these things do belong in a worship service, they should be kept under the leadership and unction of the Holy Spirit, lest it be nothing more than a mass of confusion. Whatever the Holy Spirit is allowed to do, will bring edification and strength to believers, and conviction to the unbelievers that may come in. “If any man (or person) speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.” In other words, Let there be no more than three people speak in tongues, before there is an interpretation given, and let that be one at a time. “But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” Every person, sooner or later, learns to recognize their particular anointing, but they must also learn to hold that anointing until the proper time to speak. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.” Some of these preachers really take that verse to the extreme measures. They will not allow a woman to open her mouth in a service. Then in some of these denominational churches, their women practically run the whole thing. That gives you two extreme sets of circumstances, and neither one of them are right. Women should be allowed to testify, prophesy, speak in tongues and praise the Lord, but in Paul’s admonition, even though he did not clarify it, they are just not supposed to have a ruling voice in the affairs of church business, nor in doctrine, nor are they supposed to preach, nor have authority over the men. Phillip the evangelist, had daughters that were prophetesses, and I am absolutely sure they did not have to go to the woods to prophesy. What would be the use? Who would their prophecy be for? Women are part of the body of Christ, and they are permitted to take an active part in the worship service, regardless of what some of these preachers say. “And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” It sounds like Paul really had it in for women, and I have heard people say that, but if you will take what he says, read between the lines, and compare it with other scriptures, you will see that he was only teaching proper conduct. If you do not understand something the preacher says, ask your husband later, do not interrupt the service with questions. Now notice verse 39, “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.”


BODY MINISTRY


I have been asked many times, Bro. Jackson: Do you believe in body ministry? Yes I do, but most people then want you to go into great detail explaining what body ministry is. Body ministry is what Paul was speaking of in general terms, here in this 14th chapter of 1st Corinthians. This is his own way of describing order in the church, without putting a church order into effect. After Bro. Branham made this thing called church order, a lot of so called, message preachers, took the thing and started trying to cover the globe, setting the church in order. Brothers and sisters: It has only brought division, confusion, and unbelief to people who should be believing in the power of the Holy Ghost for their respective lives. There is no way possible for the Spirit of God to work in the lives of people who are kept under such bondage. Some people have the idea, Well those scriptures were alright for Paul’s day, but Bro. Branham said, Thus and so forth, for our day. Bro. Branham never taught one thing, with the idea of canceling out anything Paul ever said. Paul just gave a general outline, here in these chapters of 1st Corinthians, to show saints that learning obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leadership, was to learn to respect certain things in the proper order and operation, so the whole service could function around divine order. We have to realize that Paul was writing to a church that very well could have been a large body of people by then. But you cannot take a situation that covers a large body of people, and apply it exactly the same as you would in a little assembly of 10 or 15 people, and expect it to come out the same. You know good and well that if you had a congregation of 250 or 300 people, and you expect everything that Paul mentions here in chapter 14, to be going on in one service, you will have to come early, and expect to stay late, and that is one thing a lot of people are not willing to do in this day and hour. What is body ministry then? It is none other than what we see right here in the scriptures, how the Holy Spirit wants to work in and through the true Church for it’s growth. The same man that wrote 1st Corinthians 12, 13, 14, also wrote Ephesians 4 and Romans 12. So when you take all of what he wrote, and put them all together, you come out with a general picture of what the body of Christ is, and what it is to be like. But when you try to take these scriptures, and place them over here in the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, or the United Brethren, you are not dealing with the body of Christ. When these scriptures were written, the tares had not yet gotten into the Church. The Church at Corinth had not yet gotten into error, as far as doctrines, and the things that make up the framework of the Christian faith. It is true, there were certain things from the carnal standpoint, that were fast going amiss, and we can see how Paul corrected that, but doctrinally they were still sound. Those staunch guards of the faith, like Paul, is what kept them doctrinally sound. But like every church, they had some problems because of certain peoples flesh, and because of the carnal ideas of a few, so we just have to realize that every assembly has this kind of thing to deal with, and it has nothing at all to do with the sound doctrine taught by the ministry. Therefore when we talk about body ministry, nowhere does the gifts of the Spirit ever work contradictory to the revelatory, doctrinal side of the ministry that God has committed to men. If there is a true body ministry, it has got to work harmoniously in agreement with every truth the body of Christ stands for. Furthermore no true man of God will ever preach contrary to the gifts of the Spirit, for they both must work hand in hand. We have to realize also, as we live this side of the Dark Ages, and see how the Holy Spirit has led people through various centuries of time, and through the Reformation, that we need to thank God for everything He has done to show individuals what He can do, and how He can do it, and how He likes to be respected in these particular manifestations. People are so prone to just dwell upon one particular thing that the Spirit can do, and miss all the other things that God desires to have them partake of. Take for instance, 1st Corinthians 14. It speaks of the operation of tongues, and then the interpretation of tongues, and then goes right from that, to those that prophesy. Therefore if those things are not interpreted with a true understanding and picture of what Paul was bringing out, it is no wonder some people say the service should be built completely around the gifts of the Spirit. I will say this though, There are times within the function of the local church, if the Holy Spirit is respected and given place, He can stop the general order of the way things are normally conducted and can build a service around the gifts. A lot of people would disagree with me on that, but it is a fact nevertheless. There comes a time in the lives of individuals, that the doctrine I preach will not meet your particular problem’s need. It is not some kind of a message that I preach from the scriptures, that is necessarily going to take care of your particular situation in life. But if the Holy Spirit, knowing our minds, and our needs, is allowed to work in our midst, and we are all walking with God, and are wanting Him to have His way, then He can move upon the scene, and manifest a particular gift, that will reach out and minister to someone’s need, and there should be within us, a respect for that. Whenever you have a lot of see-sawing back and forth, as to what place the gifts have in the Church, and people’s lives are tossed back and forth by the teaching of different men, you really create a void, or vacuum, and leave no place for the Holy Spirit to move. Therefore in order for there to be a true body ministry like we see in the Bible, everything has to be accessible, and people have to learn by divine revelation, that they are a part of the body, what the body is, and the proper season, for God to work for the body’s sake. When something is out of season, you just simply cannot make it materialize. Everything has to work in its season, in order to bring anything to perfection, and the Holy Spirit knows what season to bring various things forth in. Many of the precious truths we see so clearly today, would not have been accepted in the 6th church age; they would have been out of season.


EPHESIANS 4, IS STILL AHEAD


When we think of body ministry in the line of the gifts, we must realize that God can speak in many ways through individuals, to cause something to be said, that would touch the need of someone else. That is why Paul could say, “For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.” What did he mean, that ye may be comforted? Well if someone comes to church, and they have really been going through a hard trial, or have a difficult decision to make, and maybe they have been walking for days like that, then the Holy Spirit can move upon someone to speak something that will be exactly what that person needed to hear. What could bring more comfort, than for something to lift that heavy burden? The Spirit of God is interested in the general well being and healthy environment of the overall body of Christ. Through the years, both in trinity as well as oneness Pentecost, God has done some outstanding things, but nothing that He ever did, was to be taken as the ultimate goal, and treated as though there was nothing else left. That was just God’s way of saying, Come on and walk with me. It was not the season for Him to set things in order. What God did in those denominational churches was for the sake of certain individuals; He was not yet working with the body of Christ. He was working with individuals, because the Church was in dispersion. But even some of those individuals that God dealt with in special ways, were people that He already knew, would never walk with Him all the way. That is why I said, even in this age of Laodicea, when God sent His servant to the age with an outstanding gift, all of those who later criticized his doctrine, really enjoyed having that gift operating in their meetings. Those denominational preachers would sit there with big tears streaming down their cheeks, and praise God for all they were worth, but when he finally began to direct his ministry toward some deeper teaching, they would have no part of that. Even huge numbers of those that seemed to accept his teaching back then, have later departed from the ranks, and gone back to the systems they came out of, and a lot of them have even been convinced that he was a false prophet. Denominations could never accept Malachi 4, because it was not a revelation to them. Therefore God could never begin to really minister to His true body, until He got them out of those systems, and got their attention turned back to the revelation the early apostles taught to the first Church. Only then, can the ministry of Ephesians 4 do what they are called to do: lead the Church into perfection. Now a lot of people will say, How do we know for sure, that Ephesians 4 is still ahead of us? Because it was in that Ephesian epistle that Paul wrote about how God would sanctify and cleanse the Church with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. There is only one kind of ministry that can ever function according to Ephesians 4, and that is men that have a true vision of what the Church is and what she is to be made into. In other words, into the very image of the Son of God. No, they will not learn that in a Bible School; God will put that vision in them, by a divine revelation. Of course there are all kinds of ideas in the ranks of these five offices, and I am not going to try to show you who outranks who, except by the word of God itself, for the main thing is that we see the reality of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in the end time Church. When that five fold ministry is among the true body of Christ in its full strength, it will be just as much a mystery to a lot of people, as Malachi 4 has been to the denominational realm in past years. You step into the pulpit of an Assemblies of God Church, and try to preach the truth about the Elijah of Malachi 4, for our day, and you will have an argument on your hands, maybe even a fight. Well it is the same way with a lot of people who claim to be following the message of Bro. Branham: you try to tell them anything about Ephesians 4, and they will tell you real quick, that all of that was fulfilled in Bro. Branham. They have wrapped up Ephesians 4, and laid it in the ground, and they say, All we need is those Spoken Word books, for they are the word of God for our day. They want you to read those books, as though they are the anointed word of God, and a lot of them have completely laid aside the Bible, which we know for sure, is the anointed word of God. Why do they think Paul’s writings are no longer anointed, when the very man they worship preached from what Paul wrote? Brothers and Sisters: a sheet of printed paper is just so many words; it takes the Spirit of God to give the anointing. But the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, That all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and so forth, so that being true, let us never be so blind as to believe the Bible is no longer for our day. The reason we had to have a Malachi 4 was because men had lost the revelation of what Paul wrote in those epistles. That is why I said, The anointing is not resting on those pages of printed paper for men have read the Bible right on through the years, and still lost the revelation of what was written there. The revelation written there was anointed; it was Paul’s, but the anointing will not just simply rest on a sheet of paper. God’s anointing is for living men who have the desire to see the same picture as the one who first said, or wrote the words. Therefore twenty years after Bro. Branham’s death, a lot of people are reading words he spoke while under the anointing, but as far as they themselves are concerned, there is no anointing there. All they have is the printed words. That is why the Bible itself says, The letter killeth, but the Spirit maketh alive.


HUMAN NATURE MUST BE CHANGED


I have been accused of telling people not to read the Spoken Word books, but to read the Contender, and the Bible. As a matter of fact, I just received a letter from India, stating that I made such a statement when I was in Madras. But I assure you, I never made such a statement. Do you think we would have those Spoken Word books lying back there where anyone who chooses can pick one up and read it, if I felt like that? I never have denied people the right to read the books, but I do believe they should be read with the anointing of the Holy Spirit in order to catch the revelation of the messages, and I do not believe they should replace anyone’s Bible. Needless to say, I appreciate the fact that the Holy Spirit can anoint any person, anywhere, and at any time, to receive a revelation, but I also appreciate the fact that God has set in the Church a five fold ministry, for the perfecting of the saints. Brother you will not find them teaching doctrines contrary to what the others are teaching, for they will all have the same revelation. No matter what part of the world they come from, nor what color their skin is, they will all have the same picture in their hearts, because the anointing has put it there. When one of those men comes your way, he may not even know the one that was there three weeks ago, but I assure you, if they were both called of God to fulfill Ephesians 4, they will both have the same revelation. No. They will not have to tell you what office they hold. Just let them open up, and share the word of God out of the abundance of their hearts, and you will soon know whether they fit the mold for the Ephesians 4 ministry, or not. Naturally I am talking from the standpoint of the body of Christ recognizing the ministry that God has set over them, for these men will not be preaching in the big denominational churches. They will preach to those who have been called out of those systems, and the Spirit of God will confirm their ministry through the very gifts that He has set among them. You could never put together a body of people, as long as some of them were Lutheran’s some U.P.C., some Assemblies of God, and some Methodists, and so forth, for as long as they hold to those systems, they would not even accept a true apostolic ministry. That is why the cry had to go forth, Come out of her my people. The body of Christ is a called out people. Does that mean they will all have the same physical and emotional characteristics? No. Not even the apostles Paul and Peter were of the same human nature, but their doctrines were the same. Fleshly attitudes will sometimes differ, but the Holy Spirit can correct that. When Peter went up on the housetop there at Joppa, to pray, God showed him a vision that was actually saying to him, Peter: I am going to lead you to do something that is contrary to your human attitude. God was not going to change Peter’s revelation of the scriptures, but He was going to have him do something that was contrary to his human attitude about something. Peter was all wrapped up in his own race of people at that time, and had not yet caught the revelation of what God would do for Gentiles. He still considered Gentiles to be just like a bunch of dogs, and his human nature was not to have anything at all to do with them, but God had other plans for him. He was getting ready to send him to the house of a Gentile man, to preach the gospel to them there. Paul was actually the apostle to the Gentiles, but Peter was given the first opportunity to preach to a bunch of them. When he was pinned down, and realized that God had sent him there for a purpose, the only thing he knew to do, was preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to them. So in Acts 10:34, we find these words, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” Peter obeyed the leading of the Spirit of God, but that did not completely change his human nature, for in Galatians 2:11, Paul tells how he had to withstand Peter to the face, because he allowed himself to be influenced by a bunch of other Jews, and he separated himself from the Gentiles he had been eating with, simply because he feared what those other Jews might think of him. So we just have to realize that it takes more than just a right revelation to change this old human nature. That is something that has to be worked on. It would be wonderful if our whole human nature was completely changed the moment we get saved, but, Saints, it does not work like that. Those old traditions and ways of thinking about things, has to be changed as God gives us revelation from His word that shows them to be wrong. You first have to have an ear to hear what the Spirit of God is saying to his people. Tares do not have an ear to hear, so they just run the road, and jump on any old idea they choose to, and God just lets them go. It is a tare spirit that has formulated all these denominational doctrines and rituals. A true child of God is not interested in building a denominational fence around the truth imparted to them by the Spirit of God. Nothing that is a true doctrine, is to be separated from any other true doctrine of the scriptures: they all belong in the body of Christ. No man that is of the five fold ministry, will ever try to build an empire for himself no more than those first age apostles, prophets, and so forth did. There is no thought about trying to build a larger church than some other brother has, for they will realize that we are all of the same body, one faith, one Lord, and one baptism, and that we all must grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ together. The head cannot go in the rapture before the foot goes; therefore knowing that, we should all have the same love and concern for each other. When one member of the body of Christ has an occasion to rejoice, let us all rejoice. Likewise when one member suffers some hardship or sickness, let us all feel the pain of that also. Only in this way will the true body of Christ ever become a healthy body.

 

 

ABUSE OF BIBLE DOCTRINES


A lot of what is being called the body of Christ today, chews Bible doctrines all to pieces, and actually comes close to blasphemy. I do not mean to just pick on any certain ones; but just for an example, look at Jimmy Swaggart. A lot of fundamental people listen to him, that never before, knew one thing about divine healing, because the systems they have been in, did not teach like that. But all of a sudden they get sick, and they feel the urge to turn to this man for prayer, and God in His mercy, reaches out and touches their need. That gets their attention upon the man, instead of the God that actually ministered to their need. Every time you get around them, they are talking about what a great man of God Jimmy Swaggart is. But what does Jimmy Swaggart do? He speaks of some of these precious Bible doctrines as though they came out of the pit of hell itself. Now that is not ministering to the body of Christ. A true minister, ministering to the body of Christ, will never speak against any doctrine taught by those early apostles. Every doctrine, and every gift of the Spirit will be upheld, and the body will each member contribute that which the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon them, and the body will edify itself in love, as the scripture says. Each member contributing, does not mean that they will be coming up with new doctrines, and new revelations, it just means that the Holy Spirit will be manifesting the gifts in a way that will create a healthy environment. Now a lot of people who have been shut up in an old cold religious system, think they are hearing a new doctrine when their ears first begin to pick up certain things they have never heard before, but if it is God dealing with them, usually it is just some Bible doctrine their particular organization did not believe in. First God begins to put a hunger in the heart of such a person, and when they begin to seek Him in an effort to satisfy that hunger, they begin to listen to various ones they have never heard before. God does not always tell such a person where to go, nor how to find what they are hungering for, but when He puts the hunger there, He will not leave them without any source whatsoever to find what they are hungering for. Therefore you will find that person venturing to attend other church services, and talking to people about how they feel, and the first thing you know, God allows them to hear things from certain Bible doctrines, that they can see in the scriptures, and from there, they find that they must go forward; there is nothing back there, that will ever satisfy them again. I will never forget talking to that Asbury student that was pastoring the Methodist Church we were in, about tongues, interpretation, and the other gifts of the Spirit. He said, Well, Bro. Jackson: I believe God can do those things, and I would never want to go against anything that the Spirit of God would do, but He has just never dealt with me in that way. Then he said, I would do it, (speak in tongues) if God put it upon me, thought. Well the sad part is, with that kind of motivation, God is not going to put something upon you. He will not put a precious gift on you, knowing that your mind is actually rejecting it, and will fight against it. I had already began seeing these things in the Bible, and I was more or less just checking him to see if there was any kind of agreement on his part. But those few words let me know, that if I went this route, there would be conflict between the two of us. After seeing it in the scriptures though, I began to secretly pray that God would let my life experience some of these things, and when He did, I then realized that there was no way this was going to be accepted in the Methodist Church. If I stayed there, I would just sit there and dry up. (Those people live on the merits of the has-beens of by gone days.) This was about the same time God began to deal with me on predestination, and one Sunday morning, there at the Elizabeth Methodist Church, just a short time before we left, I was asked to take over the church, while the student pastor went on spring vacation. Well, you know what I did; I stood right there in that Methodist Church, and preached on predestination. Well a few days later, I was out in the field plowing, and saw the Sunday School superintendent come driving up the road. He stopped his car, got out, and came over to where I was, and we talked for a little while. Then he said, Bro. Jackson: You know we appreciate your testimony, your experience, and your ministry. But I believe if I were you, I would just leave those things alone that the church does not believe in. There is no sense in causing trouble. That really made me feel bad. Being young in the Lord, I felt like a little kid that had been showing off, and I felt like that for several days. I would accuse myself of just trying to show off, and then I would tell myself, But it is in the scriptures, so that condition kept me feeling very badly for several days. But then I got the chance to hear Bro. Branham preach, and that turned the whole situation around for me. He came to the platform, took a text from Genesis on the call of Abraham, and went right on through the Bible. He preached on justification, sanctification, baptism of the Holy Ghost, water baptism, predestination, eternal security, and a lot more, and I just sat there drinking it all in. I said, Hallelujah, now I know that is right. He put all of that together, and it made sense. I thought to myself, I don’t feel so bad now; I can go home satisfied.


When we finally did leave the Methodist Church, I just prayed: Lord, guide me and help me. Let your Spirit teach me and guide me, and I will teach those gifts of the Spirit. Therefore no matter how many times people have stood up in church and prophesied: Yea I say unto thee such and such, and it turned out to be false, Those gifts of the Spirit are still real, and I welcome them in this church. For everything that is real, there is always a counterfeit somewhere, and the counterfeit is all some people ever see. One thing is sure though, Jesus is not coming until everything in the scriptures is fulfilled and working as it is supposed to. A lot of us may be lying in the ground first, but I am fully persuaded by the scriptures, that there is going to be a body of people on this earth that will fit the picture of what we see in the book of Acts, and in the epistles. This element of people that are supposed to be following Bro. Branham’s ministry yet denying the fact that the gifts belong in the Church, are not going to change the plan of God one bit. When Bro. Branham preached the Church Age series, he built the whole thing around the fact that the gifts of the Spirit were to be in every church. But the very minute he finished preaching on the seven seals, that whole bunch closed the book on the gifts, and completely turned the other way. Well you just simply do not do the Holy Ghost like that. God does not change His mind from day to day, like men do. Whatever He says yes to today, He will say yes to, tomorrow, and if He says no today, He will say no tomorrow. That is why I say, We have a formula in the scriptures, that shows what the Church is supposed to be like, and when God does get it all together, it will be exactly according to that formula. God has given a lot of people an opportunity to see the true light of His word, and they have played around with it, hoping to benefit the flesh, but what God gives in this way, is for the benefit of the soul. He is not concerned with just making our flesh feel good; He is putting together a body of people that will fit Ephesians 4.


MOVING TOWARD UNITY OF THE FAITH


We have talked about the five fold ministry that God has set in the Church for the perfecting of the saints, and we have read some of those verses in Ephesians 4, but I want us to look at the uniqueness of how Paul compares the body of Christ with the human body, so let us start in verse 14 and read three verses. Remember now, that body is to come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God. Why? Verse 14, “That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth.” Brothers and Sisters: It is important that every member of the body of Christ function in their proper place, just like it is for the members of the physical body. That which every joint supplies is necessary for a healthy body. In the natural, when the life flow is cut off from some part of the body: paralysis takes over. A complete cut off of blood flow will bring a gangrene condition, and there is nothing left to do but amputate. So it is very important that this mystical body have that Spirit of life flowing freely to every member, no matter how insignificant or unimportant some of the members may feel. I believe that is what Paul was establishing, by using this comparison of the body of Christ and the human body in such a unique way. What we are seeing out here in the world of religion, is what has accumulated 1900 years after the spreading of the gospel. But it is not all the body of Christ. Naturally I realize that a lot of people will say, Now Bro. Jackson, we ought not be narrow minded about this, for we just do not know how God looks upon the hearts of these people. No, we do not know how God looks upon every individual, but the important thing for us to realize, and understand, is what God will do in these last days, to get His people ready to take them away. We have to stop looking at the masses of people that seem to function within the framework of Christianity, and begin to see how God will, out of all that, prepare an element that will fit the Bible. He is not going to take a few from every denomination when it comes time for the rapture; that is what He has been doing here in this age, before time comes for the rapture. As I have said already, God has been merciful through the years, and has done everything necessary in order for the Church to survive, but the scriptures point to an end, to a time when everything offensive, and all which do iniquity will be separated from His kingdom, and the righteous shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their God.


TRUTH WILL COST YOU SOMETHING


Alright now, as we look at this body of Christ, let me talk a little about the ministry of this body, or the ministry that is set in the body for its perfection. There is every kind of preacher, and every kind of message under the sun, on the scene today. Therefore if you have it in your heart and in your spiritual mind a desire to be in the true body of Christ, then somewhere you must begin to look for an element of preachers that are all speaking the same thing, and that are not trying to build something for themselves. There is no way that a body of people can be perfected, as long as the ministry is divided on scriptural doctrines. God does not work in confusion. Oh He can save your soul from the sin of unbelief under almost any condition, but for you to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, you must get free of all that confusion, and get where you can feed your soul on revealed truth from God’s word. Truth will cost you something though, for it will separate you from a lot of people, and from a lot of traditions that you have dearly loved. Truth will not compromise, to please someone’s flesh. It will separate you from those that would play with your soul, and use you to help build their own kingdom. Now when I talk like this, some will say, Bro. Jackson: Don’t you believe an Assembly of God preacher, or a Baptist preacher can be anointed to preach the gospel? I just have to answer like this, God will watch over His word. Preachers like that, can preach an hour and a half on a triune God, and God will not honor one bit of it. But if they preach on John 3:16, God will honor it, for that is truth from His word. In other words, He will honor any part of His word that is preached in truth, no matter who preaches it. Most of us did not start out in an atmosphere of revealed truth; we came through those systems of religion. That in itself, proves that God honored some of what those preachers preached. But there is one thing sure, Once God has truly called you out, you can never go back into those systems of religion. When a congregation sets up against farther truth, the Spirit of God will just move on, and leave them sitting with what they have already, until they completely dry up. If the gifts have been functioning, those people with the gifts will either move on with God, or they will sit there and dry up with the rest, for the true anointing of God will not continue in such an atmosphere. I will use an illustration of something involving myself. Years ago, we took my father-in-law and mother-in-law to Florida on a little vacation, and while we were there, I had the opportunity to be invited over to an apostolic assembly to preach. I thought, Well at least they believe in one God, and I do too, and I knew that some of the people in there had sat under Bro. Branham’s ministry, for I had seen them in the meetings at various times. I thought, Maybe I can say something that will help encourage them a little, so I accepted the invitation. My message on the first night seemed to go over pretty good, and was seemingly accepted. But on Sunday morning, at the end of my message, I just felt like announcing what my subject would be that night. I said, Tonight I will preach on the second coming of Christ. I had no way of knowing that the pastor was one of those actual Jesus only men that does not believe in the second coming of Jesus the Christ in bodily form. Therefore as soon as I finished, he got up right behind me, took one verse of scripture, and the way he explained it, just cut the whole thing completely off. That night, when we came back, the man said something in an interpretation, that let me know, no matter what I say tonight, my message on the second coming of Christ will never be accepted by that man, so I would just be wasting my time; therefore I changed my message and preached a completely different type of message. But the point is, That assembly of people, though they had every opportunity to move on with God, chose rather to cut themselves off from even hearing certain truths from God’s word. God has given people many opportunities, by many kinds of experiences and manifestations by His Spirit, even among the people that have sat under Bro. Branham’s ministry, and they somehow or other, would rather hang on to the flesh of man than to move on with truth. Bro. Branham’s ministry, the things he taught, was really giving the people an opportunity to come out of those systems, and once again begin to be led by the Spirit in divine revelation, but only a few really took the opportunity to go all the way. Most of those who came out of their systems got sidetracked along the way, and are no better off than before. They are in an even worse shape, because they have heard the truth, and then let is slip away from them, or else they went to seed on a particular thing, like the Lutherans did.


WHAT FAITH DOES


As we came up the road, I could not help but notice the sign, Faith Lutheran Church. Saints: There is no such thing in the Bible. There is no such thing as a faith Church, if you can catch my thought. Bro. Jackson: Does the Bible not say that the just shall live by faith? Yes, but there is not supposed to be a church that just lives on faith alone. That faith has to be channeled into something. Just believing in God without something to go with it, will get you nowhere, and make you nothing. When Luther came on the scene the Church was locked up in Romanism, and Romanism taught everything but the Bible truths the Church was founded upon. They had traditions, rituals, ceremonies, creeds, catechisms, hail Mary’s, and all such like, but they had very little truth. Therefore when people had only that to believe on, it was time to be turned away from that. So God moved in on one simple realm of people, cut them loose, and gave them something to believe in. It was faith. You had to have faith to get out of the Catholic Church, because they ruled you with fear. But God meant for that faith to be anchored to something else other than just faith in God. There was Bible truth for that faith to lay hold upon. It was time for faith to be restored, but can God take faith alone, and perfect a body of people? You know He cannot. Faith is one of the essentials, by how He starts dealing with you. But He intends to add to that faith, things from His word, that will increase you in the wisdom and knowledge of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The just do live by faith, and from faith to faith, but that day by day faith has to be laying hold on promises and provisions in the word of God. That is why the apostle Paul said, (Heb. 11:1-3) “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Noah’s faith caused him to build an ark, when God told him that He was going to bring a flood upon the earth for the destruction of all flesh. His faith caused him to build that ark just exactly like God told him to build it. That is how he gained a good report; he obeyed the word of God. Hebrews 1:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” As we said, God imparts that measure of faith to every person, but then, it is up to that individual to invest his measure of faith in something that God has said. Abraham left his home, and went on a journey to a strange land, simply because God said to him, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house unto a land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation.” The same faith that caused him to obey God there, also caused him to obey God, when He told him to take Isaac and offer him upon an altar for a sacrifice. In other words, He took that faith that caused him to believe in God, and allowed it to lead him to do what God told him to do, regardless of what the circumstances looked like. That is why I say, Faith has to be something more than just faith in the existence of God.


ANOTHER STEP IN RESTORATION


John Knox saw something in the word of God, that took him one step beyond Martin Luther: He saw predestination, and taught that what is to be, will be. There is where the Presbyterian Church stood, and that, in the hour that Knox taught it, in that old dark hour of Romanism, was enough to cause another element of people to break away from that old system of religion. But did the Lutherans follow, or move with that? No. They are still sitting on the sidelines, believing in faith. Predestination really played an important part in helping those people in their understanding, build faith toward God, but that alone is not sufficient to stand alone on. It was just another step in God’s restoration process, whereby He would restore to the Church, that which she had lost. It came in its season, just like eternal security of the believer, and all the other great truths of the Bible, that had been lost during the dark ages. God does not get in a hurry though, for I believe we can plainly see that even though the Reformation has been going on for almost 500 years, the Church is still not fully restored to its original apostolic faith. People are being given a lot of opportunity to investigate, and to play around with some things, and as I said, Tares will never come in and be a part of the body of Christ: they cannot be perfected. But God is separating an element of people from among them, that can be perfected, and they will be, when the season is right. As long as the Church lay within the realm of those denominations, it looked like God was not moving in any other realm other than that, but their day has passed, and I assure you, God is not going to perfect anything in any of that; He only allowed individuals to pass through those places, and He dealt with each one according to the light they could see. But when He brought a messenger to this age, the call went out, to come out of those systems, and return to the word of God. Bro. Branham was the only man this side of the Dark Ages, that ever took all of those Bible truths that the various reformers saw, and presented them to the Church in one package, showing how they all belonged to the same body. He presented them in such a way that the true child of God could not help but see that they were the same things the apostles taught to the first Church. I remember when he taught on the Church Ages, how he put emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit, and the affect it had on certain individuals, yet as time went on, they changed completely. One such person sat beside me one night during that series, and when the service was over, he said to me, (almost crying) Oh, Bro. Jackson, just pray for me; I can hardly wait until God will bestow some kind of gift upon me, and begin to use me. You could really see that something was stirring in his soul. Yet three years later, when Bro. Branham preached on the seven seals, and put “Church Order” into effect, that same individual did a complete about face, stopped praying for the gifts, and even went so far as to say, we no longer need the gifts in the Church. So, Brothers and Sisters: I believe with all my heart that many times God let that little man say things in such a way that it would send the child of God to the Bible, and give the tares something they could hit the road with. Now as I said, I am not against the Spoken Word books, but do not read them and then come and tell me you got some kind of revelation out of them. Whatever revelation there is in them: is the revelation God gave Bro. Branham, and he expressed it the best way he knew how, and it is there for all to read, but do not try to tell me you got a different revelation from any of them. If that were a fact, then why could not a person read books by John Wesley and Calvin, and get a different revelation than what they had? Whatever revelation any of those men had; they got it from the Bible. The books that have been written, were their expressions of what the Lord had shown them, but none of those books are worthy to be treated as inspired writings to take the place of the Bible. Therefore once those men preached a revelation that they had gotten from the scriptures, no one has any right to go back to their sermons and claim to get another revelation from them.

 

 

SINGING IN THE SPIRIT


I want to go back now, and take some time to look at the charismatic realm of religion. They sit there in those charismatic meetings, supposed to be enjoying the moving of the Spirit of God, speaking in tongues and prophesying, but not a one of them has been moved to go any further in the scriptures. Somehow they have been made to believe that this sort of thing is what will make them ready for the rapture. A lot of these services are built around singing in the Spirit, and singing in the Spirit is a beautiful thing when true children of God know how to sing in the Spirit.


But all the singing in the Spirit that you could ever do, will avail you nothing, if there is never any inspiration to go any further in the word of God. Brother, the Spirit of God will just move on and leave you sitting there singing in the flesh. When that anointing leaves, that is all there is, just singing in the flesh. I know a lot of people think I know nothing at all about singing in the Spirit. But, yes, there is a time when singing in the Spirit, you literally feel that you are almost lifted up and carried away. But one thing is sure, when God lets loose of you, and you come back down to earth, back down to your natural feelings, God’s motive in doing that, is that you might always be pointed to His word. He never does a thing like that just for the sake of you feeling a sensation in your flesh. It is always for the benefit of the spiritual man inside of that flesh. I will never forget a series of meetings we attended, in the early years of God’s dealing with my life in giving me the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I did not go there for the sake of the man’s doctrinal teachings, for I knew he was a trinitarian. But I knew in my heart that there was a certain moving of the Spirit of God around his meetings, and I just felt like if I could be in those services, God would do something for me, and He truly did. At the end of one of his afternoon meetings, the preacher gave a call for all the Christians to gather around for a season of prayer, and we all gathered in a big huddle. Naturally they way he did this, it was obvious he was trying to manipulate something, but when God finds a hungry heart, he can do things that far supercede anything man can ever do. For as we stood there praying, all of a sudden the organist hit the notes of something, and that whole mass of people began to sing, and immediately I began to follow the tune of that song in another tongue. That was the first time anything like that had ever happened to me, and I am not saying that it has to happen to everyone, but it is a wonderful experience. It was brought about by the sovereignty of God, and I give Him all the thanks and praise for it, but it did not change my attitude about His word in the least. For I realized that if we stood there singing in the Spirit until the mountains fall, and still have no desire to learn the will and purpose of God, it is all vain. But as I stood there, I could not resist what was happening, for something was singing through me. It felt so good I thought, “Oh this is wonderful: I sure am thankful that God brought me out of the Methodist Church before this happened.” If this had happened in the Methodist Church, I believe some of them would have had heart attacks. But as it was, I knew I was among people that could accept something like that, so I was just enjoying it and rejoicing in it. It really made me appreciate God. Let me say this though, I believe if God should do something like that, among some of these so called followers of Bro. Branham, some of them would have heart attacks, because they believe there is not supposed to be anything like that today. Oh yes, brothers and sisters, no matter what your thinking may be, God is still God, and He can still do anything He has ever done. He likes to do a lot of things for people, that apostles, prophets, nor anyone else is able to do for you. He still has a few things He wants to do in a sovereign way. I tell you, I just stood there singing and crying, and enjoying myself, but all the time I was thinking, What am I singing? Nevertheless I could not stop until the organist stopped, but when the organ stopped, I stopped. Then she hit the notes again and I started singing in English, Have thine own way Lord, have thine own way. That is what I had been singing all the time, and did not know it. I just thought to myself, Oh hallelujah, this is wonderful when God can have His own way like this. Brothers and Sisters: That is a wonderful experience, and it is right to desire it, but do not ever let that sort of thing sidetrack you, and cause you to think a whole service should be built around this sort of thing, or that your whole life should be centered around something like that. If you do, you are like a man in quicksand: instead of climbing higher, you will begin to sink. It can also work the same way on the word side: when God begins to deal with someone in a revelatory way. A lot of people get a glimpse of something, and they get so carried away with it, they actually run away from God with it, instead of moving with God.


MANIFESTED SONS OF GOD


Several years ago, certain areas of Pentecost began to read those verse in the 8th chapter of Romans, and feel that the Spirit of God was giving them a revelation on the manifestation of the sons of god. It is those verses that speak of how the whole creation groaneth and travaileth waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. The essence of their revelation was, Oh, the day is coming when the Church is going to be so anointed, that the manifested sons of God, as they are led by the Spirit, are literally going to turn cities upside down for god. I remember reading a little excerpt one time, and I thought to myself, “It would be nice if it could happen like that, but when we see in the Bible how iniquity will abound in these last days, and how men will be lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, how can we even dream of such a thing?” Paul tells us in 2nd Thessalonians, chapter 2, that just before the end, just before our gathering together unto Him, (Jesus Christ) there will come a falling away, and that man of sin will be revealed, so how in the name of common sense can anyone get such a revelation, and actually believe that multitudes will be turned to God in these last days? When we speak of what God is doing with the true body of Christ in these last days, we are not speaking of a church turning the world upside down for God, we are looking at and talking about a people that knows how to live for God, and be led by a revelation that makes them a witness and a true light in the unbelieving world round about them. God will protect that people, and preserve it, and perfect it, but they will not win any multitudes to Christ. Well needless to say, the old manifested sons of God teaching has just about faded from the picture, like every other so called revelation that cannot be found taught in the scriptures. In other words, they were out of season with it, for what Paul was speaking of there in Romans 8, is what believers will be in the Millennium. The whole creation is groaning and travailing, waiting for that time. That is when this true adoption will take place, when these old mortal bodies have been changed to immortality. Satan will be bound, and even the animal kingdom will be changed. When Paul wrote this, he was already a son of God, and there were times when his preaching truly did turn cities upside down, but he usually ended up in jail, so this is not the sort of thing he had in mind, when he wrote this letter to the Romans. God has always had sons. The Bible says, Now are we the sons of God. We are already sons of God, we are just not yet in our perfected state. But my point is, just do not allow yourselves to get carried away with any one particular element of teaching, for it if is a true teaching of the scriptures, it belongs with all the other true teaching of the Bible. That is why I have said, regardless of how scriptural something may look, we are living in an hour when it must be lined up with all other scriptures. That is why God sent a messenger to this seventh age, it was time for all of these true Bible truths to be pulled together and presented to the true body of Christ, and it will be the five fold ministry of Ephesians 4, that will take those Bible truths and administer them to the rest of the body, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God.