City of Paradise

WE HAVE NOT PRINTED THIS MESSAGE SINCE IT WAS PREACHED, IN APRIL OF 1990, BUT SINCE IT IS ONE OF THE SEVEN THAT BROTHER JACKSON SPOKE OF IN HIS TESTIMONY, WE ARE EDITING IT JUST FOR THE INTERNET WEB PAGE.

We have sketches here, of pictures that portray two settings in the Bible. One is of the garden that we read about in Genesis. The other is a city that is different than any other city you have ever heard of. I am sure there is not an artist in the world that could ever portray either one in the true reality that God manifests’ them in. There is no way we could put a city in a drawing, of the description we read about in the book of Revelation, and give it the color description, so that we could put it on video. It just simply would never take. Therefore we have to use some natural profile for a point of illustration. We are giving this message the title, “The City of Paradise,” or you could think of it as “The New City,” because it will be just that, spiritually speaking. I am going to ask you to open your Bible’s to our text, found in Revelation, chapter 21. This gives us a picture in time, and the Millennium, the thousand years reign of Jesus Christ with His bride, will then be in the past. Satan has been loosed at the closing of the Millennium, after the thousand years has run its course, just for a little season. The Bible does not tell us how many years or months that may be. It is just a little season for a specific purpose. That is for the purpose of testing that great mass of people that will have been born on the earth during the reign of Christ and His immortal saints. Those who reigned with Him already had glorified bodies like His. When that testing is over, we then see another picture. We see, as the 20th chapter closes out, that there is a great white throne judgment set up. This is portraying the great, supreme court of heaven. Christ is the Judge in this case. The Eternal Spirit, the Father, has delegated unto Him this great judgment role. This is also a part of redemption; because we are dealing not only with the earth, but with people that will have lived during the Millennium when Satan was bound and they have not been tested until the hour when he is loosed for a little season. Now that they have been tested, and they have reacted, those that have done things that must be judged are seen here along with all the others that must face this judgment, and we find the apostle Paul speaking in the Corinthian letter, that the saints shall judge the world. Saints will also judge angels. Therefore we have to realize that you take what Paul says in the Corinthian letter, and place that right over here in that great white throne judgment; because we will see the angelic family all present, and this is the final judgment. You will see all the saints of God present, from the Old Testament Age as well as the new, along with the tribulation saints, and they are all present to represent and speak out and bear witness against things that Satan and the evil element of the angelic family have done in their particular periods of time. Then, it says the dead were cast alive into the lake of fire, where the beast and the false prophet are, and of course that refers to the spirit of those two systems. That episode ends all phases of redemption. We will now read our text, where we find that John has seen this great, very beautiful scene manifest.

NEW HEAVEN AND
A NEW EARTH

Let us now start reading our text for this message. (Revelation 21:1) “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 I beg of you, as we read this, do not let your mind’s drift off into some fantasy, thinking, Well, that is a new planet somewhere beyond this one, and that is a new realm of atmosphere. No, it is no such thing. If we are dealing with redemption, then we have to be looking at the same global planet that God has been dealing with for eons of time. We are looking at the same span of space; but we see it in its redeemed state. What is made new about it, is those evil spirits that have been allowed to fill certain dimensions of that atmosphere called heaven, are no longer present to intervene, or to tempt or do anything against the plan and purpose of God. God now gives us a view of the earth as it has been made new through His process of redemption. When redemption, as it refers to salvation, is applicable to you and I, yes, it says we are new creatures. However, in reality we must realize that God did not destroy the old you. He did not do away with you, and make another in your likeness. God is not in the cloning business. He is in the saving business. He does not make one, then take a cell from that and make another just like you. That is what scientists would do, if they were ever given a free hand to manifest their own designs for this planet. It is interesting to note, that they have to have something God has already created in order to be able to make for themselves anything in the likeness of a creation. We just have to realize, God has made new creatures out of His family through the process of redemption. The earth is new because it has been redeemed. That is what the Millennium is for. It is God’s plan for renewing the earth, redeeming the earth, bringing it back into a relationship where He, the eternal Spirit, can place Himself back in it, and through it, to fulfill His eternal purpose, and that final state will go on for endless ages. It is also referred to as world without end. Now as we read, notice, “For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away,” what does it mean by that? It means the earth and the heavens as you and I, mankind has known it through our life span’s, while sin was present, and this is not dealing with the planet back in the prehistoric age: It is only dealing with how the planet is to be looked upon as it has been brought through the era of man. “For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” This also lets us know that through the thousand year reign, something has taken place to change that picture, because as far as we can read, the earth is covered with two thirds water, and it is going to be that way right on to when the Millennium begins. Since Satan is only going to be loosed for a little season, we must realize that between the ending of the Millennium and the beginning of what the picture is, In chapter 21, even though it says he is only loosed for a short span of time, he has opportunity to draw away a great host of people that take a stand against the people of God, and God has to destroy them from among the living. Then when we do read that there was no more sea, this causes us realize that something has happened to the planet during that thousand year reign of Christ as King of kings. As redemption is fully completed in the plan of God, and is executed in and through the reign of Christ, we are made to believe that through that thousand year reign, the oceans, those vast expanses of water that now cover so much of this planet, are slowly going to be dissipated and drawn back out into space where the water came from. No doubt, people will be saying throughout the Millennium, The ocean is drying up: We need a rain. The oceans, the huge spans of water that we now see covering so much of the planet, is no doubt evidence of the curse and judgments that fell upon wicked mankind, as we read about in Genesis, where the flood of water covered the then known world. Because of that very thing, our calendar is out of balance. We now have 365 and 1/4 days to a year, and the moon is out of balance with the earth: therefore since we know a perfect circle has 360 degrees, if our calendar is to ever be balanced, it will not be by man’s technology: it will be God balancing it, by putting the earth, the moon, and sun back in proper relationship to each other. That will be brought about also, by redemption, as God draws that water back out into the atmosphere surrounding the earth, to correct the off-balance state that water has caused. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Well, has God put something in the book of Revelation for confusion? Not at all. Because when I turn back to the 19th chapter, I read something that sounds almost exactly like that. Turn to the 19th chapter of Revelation. We are looking at a picture here, that is describable as a heavenly scene, while tribulation is going on, here on earth. Let us start reading in the 6th verse. “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 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.” We have talked much on this subject. When we read the 19th chapter, it speaks here, that His wife hath made herself ready, so we automatically see a picture of the Church of the living God, do we not? We see an element of people in heaven. How did they get there? John did not see a picture of how they got there: He just saw them there. It is the apostle Paul, who tells us how they got there. That is learned when you read 1st Thessalonians, the 4th chapter, where he speaks of what we call the rapture of the bride saints, which is accomplished in the secret coming of the Lord before the great tribulation strikes the earth. Will the world see Christ when that happens? No. Christ is not revealed to the world in that event: That is a secret thing, only for the prepared bride. The saints leave this world mysteriously. That is why they are seen in heaven. “And to her (the wife, which is the true Church) was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen.” Now let us open up our minds to the fact there is no sewing machines in heaven. Do you understand what I am saying? There is no textile industry in heaven rolling out bolts of material to make bridal gowns out of. Where in the world did this fine linen come from? It is not anything that is produced by any human effort. This has got to be understood that it is the way the Lord robes the immortal saints with His glory, which is referred to as His righteousness, because of the revelation they have, that has been given to them while down here on earth. It is true, the saints are coming back riding white horses, and robed in fine white linen, but that is speaking spiritually: It is not because they are literal, tangible, materialistic robes, that have been sewn through the ages of time. I have to bring this in like that to open up the human mind. People get so naturally caught up in looking at what appears to be so literal, they start to literalize it. They forget to realize that this is God’s way of speaking of robing you and me with His glory, simply because of what He imparted to us while we were here on earth. As long as you are here, you will wear the kind of clothing you have access to, whether it is made of polyester, cotton, wool, or what-have-you. However when you leave here, you will leave those rags behind. You will be clothed in something far more pure and clean than anything that is produced by mortals down here. Let us continue reading. “And He saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And He saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” The reason I read that, is just to bring in the fact that we are reading about the Lamb’s wife, just before the Millennium begins. Then when we read those two verses in chapter 21 of Revelation, where it refers to the Lamb’s wife, the point is, that is called a city. I want to ask you, and all religious thinking people, Is Jesus Christ a polygamist? If you literalize that city and say it is a city made up of natural mineral substance, as it is described in chapters 21 and 22, you will have to settle as fact, that you believe in polygamy. That city we read about there, while it has been naturalized and literalized by so many theologians, because they will take St. John 14:2, where Jesus said, In my Father’s house are many mansions, and think of it as a great building program, and over here, it is spiritually referred to as a city. In the Beshetta text it says, There are many rooms. In another it says, many resting places, (and then) if it were not so I would have told you. He indeed said, I go to prepare a place for you. If I go away to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. Where did He go, to prepare that place for you and me? He went to that old rugged cross at Calvary, to prepare a place for us, simply because, until then we were alienated from the provisions of heaven. Nevertheless the Methodists, as well as many others, really get caught up in that part where He has gone to prepare a place for us, and it becomes a riddle to them, simply because they do not know where in the world it really leads to. As we look further into what this city of paradise actually is, you are going to have to follow me, because I am not going to read any more of Revelation 21 or 22, until we have built up the picture we are looking at. Man was first placed in a beautiful garden, and now that same setting is referred to as a city, so let us open our Bible’s to Genesis for our next reading. We are in chapter 2, verse 8. “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom He had formed.” Immediately man pictures God with a sack of seed of every description, out there planting a garden. Maybe with a hoe, like old timers used to plant a garden, going along and pulling back a little dirt, then dropping seed in and covering it back up. That may be a natural way you or I would portray God planting a garden, but I assure you, this is not the picture we need to see here. Keep in mind, Eden, as we read in Genesis, is not the garden itself. Eden, is the name given to a geographical spot of ground there where man had his beginning. It is still called Eden, the beginning of God, or the paradise of God. It simply means, where paradise was put. In the natural, it tells you here about the geographical terrain of Eden. It had all the natural landscape, rivers and everything we are prone to think of, but the garden referred to here, had nothing to do with how God planted trees, flowers, ferns or anything else like that: It is how He displayed Himself, His glory, His presence in a majestic fashion over that area of the geographical earth. I have always expressed it as, It was a little bit of heaven, a little bit of the spirit world placed here with man in this natural world. This was God’s beginning for the man that He had created out of the dust of the earth, speaking of the body of clay of course. The spirit of that man God created in His image and likeness, came from Him that is totally Spirit because He has never had a body of flesh like man has. What did Jesus say about God in John 4:24? “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” God created a spirit being in the very image of Himself, meaning that He was of the same makeup as his Creator which was Spirit. He was of the same Spirit that God is. That makes the Creator his Father. That makes His created offspring His son. When He placed that Spirit in a vessel of clay, then He placed it in this beautiful garden, (so called) and man had the opportunity to live in two realms, a natural realm and a spiritual realm. Think about it for a moment. He was living on a natural, earthly planet, but he was not limited only to his natural surroundings. Out of the ground grew trees of every description. Every tree you and I have here today, began to grow in that geographical area of God’s beginning of this creation. Furthermore, this majestic realm that God placed there, wherein angels could be seen as easily as birds sitting in a tree, was the equivalent of heaven on earth. This was the opportunity given to the first man God created in His own image and likeness. In other words, man, in the beginning, had everything he needed. In that kind of environment, he never would have needed air conditioning. He would never have needed a stove. There was no need for electricity, there was no need for any of these natural things we depend so greatly upon today. I want to express it like this, Artists, down through time, have painted their sketches of what they could envision this garden to have been like; but none have ever even come close to expressing it the way it really was. Some would call it the dream world, man imagining that somewhere there is a world where there is no evil and everything is peaceful. There are no clouds to fill the sky. The sky is always clear blue. The sun is always shining. They paint it with beautiful butterflies, little humming birds, all the beautiful things, even with angels moving about. Years ago, I saw a painting of two children walking through a garden. There was a little brook, a stream. There was a bridge over the stream. Right above these two children was an angel looking down upon them, as though he was supervising their traveling through this place. That is as close as the human mind can imagine what a world like that would be like. Then in the secular realm, they call it the fairy world. Those who portray it like that, usually portray it like with Cinderella and those kinds of things. All this goes to show, that deep inside of man, because he lost that beautiful paradise realm, the garden he was first placed in, there is a longing to reach out for that unseen world he can never seem to touch. Somehow or other he has a feeling that it is out there; but he just cannot touch it. When God drove Adam and Eve from that beautiful place called the garden, as I have said many times, They never walked even one foot away from where they were. They never went out between two gate posts and God shut a gate to keep them out. They were driven out of the presence and glory of God; or it might be better expressed, That God lifted His presence from them. When God drew the curtain on that little bit of heaven, the beautiful rays of God’s glory could no longer be seen. The angelic beings that at one time were easily seen standing there, watching, observing, were no where to be seen. From that point on, everything has just been natural, just trees and natural birds. Man lost his dream. He has been traveling through a world of time, where evil is ever present. As man has been traveling through time since he left a garden, did it ever occur to anyone that redeemed mankind is going right back to the same place? You are not leaving this planet earth to go to a garden: That garden is coming back to earth again. Let us take a look and see what the Bible says about this. How did the patriarchs of old look upon this?. For centuries of time man has journeyed, and his journey has all been on this planet. Time has come and gone and every day that mankind has lived, has been a struggle. He has seen his natural world become filled with evil, misfortune, sorrow, heartache and anything else you can think of.

ABRAHAM
SEARCHED FOR A CITY

Open your Bible’s to the book of Hebrews. Since Abraham is our father by faith, and we are the seed of Abraham by faith, as we read in Hebrews 11:8, what comes to your mind? “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” This was the apostle Paul writing these words. Paul sees something, and if we can see what he saw when he put it in writing, it will help us better understand, when we read all of Revelation 21 and 22. “By faith he (Abraham) sojourned in the land of promise, (That land was a natural land: Many of you have been there, and you know that in many places it is just arid desert. Some of it is really not beautiful to look at; but remember, the land that he was to sojourn in may not have looked that way before the flood.) 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.” In another translation it says, whose designer and architect is God. So when we envision that, we do not picture God up in heaven with a great big draftsman’s table in front of Him, with rulers and pencils drawing lines. No. It is how God in His great omnipotence and omnisciency, has designed something according to His own thinking. When we can see Abraham, as he is written of by Paul, come into this land of promise where he lived with his seed, and yet he was constantly looking for a city whose founder, or designer and architect is God, then that lets us know that God, at some time, had shown him something else. This lets us know he was not only looking at the natural terrain and natural ground he was to receive for an inheritance, but he was looking at another realm which far exceeds that natural realm of ground. That is exactly what he was looking for. We can say this, He had a revelation of what all of that other was about. When I say a revelation, we have to realize that it takes a revelation to really understand spiritual things. By a revelation, God imparts to you and me a thought, or the picture of how to understand something that is written or described in the written structure of His word. We can see how that is better described by Paul as we go on in another chapter: Therefore let us turn to the 12th chapter: where Paul is describing, or writing to the believer in this dispensation of time, so as we read this, starting with the 18th verse, let us read it as though Paul is speaking to each one of us who are present here today. “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched.” When we see those words, our mind immediately goes back to Exodus, the 19th and 20th chapters, where we envision how the children of Israel were camped at the foot of a natural, geographical mountain, a giant rock formation rising out of the desert floor. Moses had gone up into that mountain to talk with God. The children of Israel, encamped at the foot of the mountain, were able to look up and see God come down on the top of that mountain in a terrible black looking cloud. We know it did not rain. There was no tornado in that cloud, but it thundered, and lightening was flashing, and there was the sound of a trumpet blowing. All of that is a description of how God manifested Himself to draw attention to His presence, because He is going to convey a message and talk to someone. Moses was caught up in that manifestation. It was scary looking to the children of Israel down below. They turned away and said, Let Him speak to Moses. As for us, this sight is too scary. Moses’ own testimony was, while he was caught up in it, he exceedingly feared and quaked. That is a description of the children of Israel as they were being brought from Egyptian bondage, which is a type of man being brought out from the bondage of sin and service to the devil. We were all born with an inherited nature that made us slaves to the devil. However instead of God saving us from bondage under such terrifying conditions, look what the apostle Paul says, “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 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.” What a terrifying hour that must have been, for God to manifest Himself in a way with such a description, so that human mind’s were terrified even to look upon it. “For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, (Because God is so holy, while He was on that mountain, no earthly beast that He had created for earthly purposes could touch that mountain, lest it be killed.) it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake: (Meaning he trembled all over, but here, the word speaks to you and me.) But ye are come unto mount Zion, (Now Mt. Zion in the natural, is where Jerusalem is built. There is a natural mountain terrain in the land of promise, called Mt. Zion. It is on top of the mountain that the city of Jerusalem, God’s city where He chose to place His name, is built. 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.” This is a description of the spirit world, that somehow or other is around us, but in the natural sense of seeing, with our sense of sight, we cannot see it. “To the general assembly and Church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” When you and I were saved, we did not go to Mt. Sinai in the desert, in the natural, to receive our salvation. Neither did you go to Mt. Zion in the land of Palestine, in the natural. We have come to a spiritual mount and a spiritual city. For what purpose? For God’s gift of salvation, which is eternal life. We realize we have been introduced to a heavenly city, the new Jerusalem. Of course in the natural, you have not seen one piece of stone or anything else that resembles a city. By faith though, we have come to one. The reason I am taking this route, is to give you a description of how the patriarchs searched for what we are all looking for. The apostle Paul did not write the book of Revelation, but what he sees and understands he is writing, how saints of old were used as types, (and it was from those types that Paul saw what we are now being brought to). It is all so beautiful. Open your Bible’s now, to the book of Galatians. The apostle Paul is again going back to Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, as he writes to the Galatian Assembly. As he writes to them, it is obvious he is seeking to get a point established with them. Someone has come along and taught them something from the law, which has them all confused, so let us notice how he wrote. We will start in the 19th verse of the 4th chapter. “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. (In other words, he stands in doubt of their stability, because it is evident they have let someone come along and teach something that has disturbed their understanding.) Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, (This is what lets us know it was something about the Law, probably circumcision. That was one of the first things those Jews would always try to get a Gentile caught up in.) do ye not hear the law? (Paul is going back to the realm of the Law, but as he does so, he goes to Abraham.) For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. (The freewoman was Sarah, his wife.) But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; (When Paul says that, he wants you and I to understand, that everything we read about Hagar, and Ishmael, over in Genesis, typed everything of the natural, fleshly, carnal concept of world Christianity. Everything is carnal and visualized in the natural realm.) but he of the freewoman (Sarah) was by promise. (This types the things of the Spirit.) Which things are an allegory: (or illustrative types) for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth (corresponds) to bondage, which is Agar. (Or Hagar, typed all in that of the flesh) For this Agar (or Hagar) is mount Sinai in Arabia, (That is where the natural Law was received.) and answereth to Jerusalem (the natural city which is built on top of Mt. Zion) which now is, and is in bondage with her children. (All of that is typing the flesh. He is using the Law to illustrate this picture.) But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.” Now brothers and sisters, we have to realize, if Paul can go back to the Old Testament to get the basic groundwork to lay the thought in the mind of New Testament Christians, how we are to look at this new city of Jerusalem, which we find in Revelation 21 and 22, then it had to be spoken of in the Old Testament, so go with me to Isaiah 54. Here the prophet Isaiah speaks of this new city, yet it is typed and projected from the old city, the natural Jerusalem. We are starting in the 11th verse, “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.” The natural city of Jerusalem does not have such a substance for its foundation. How many understand what I mean? It is natural limestone. “And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. (The 13th verse is the primary focal point.) And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; (It literally means all they that dwell inside that city shall be taught of the Lord, but in what way? By spiritual revelation. We will see how Jesus used this.) and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.” The Bible has something for every mind to feed upon, but the true children of God are only interested in spiritual revelation. All of those food-for-thought ideas are for carnal minded mankind. Let us go to St. John, chapter 6, and see what Jesus had to say as He spoke to a crowd of people. As Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and the multitudes in His hour, we take this setting here where He has fed the five thousand the day before. He turned the five loaves and two fishes into a great amount of food to feed the five thousand people. They have come to seek Him the next day; and when He is found, it led to a great controversy and argument. I want to start in verse 35. Jesus had a very unique way of getting religionists all upset. You can do it the same way today, if you want to. Just speak something against a doctor of divinity, or something that a system has been established on for so long. In their natural concept, they cherish the thing, and you know the whole thing is carnal, just a tradition. People have lived so long on a traditional thought, yet when the truth of it comes along and makes known the real point, spiritual people will leave the natural and follow the spiritual. In other words, they that are taught of the Lord will leave the natural realm to follow the spiritual, because they find great joy in doing so, but all the rest will just sit and ridicule and fight against it, so let us notice this scene here. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” We have to realize, Jesus is talking to an audience of people. They are standing there, critical in their spirit toward Him, but He knows that the ones that have a heart and life that is being taught by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Father that is doing the drawing, no matter what He says, they will come and see who He really is. Therefore if these natural Jews are standing looking at a man they perceive to be very natural in all His makeup, there are some that are going to see Him for a spiritual reason. That is just how life is. Those that perceive it in the natural are going to get angry at Him and be ready to throw stones at Him. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; (They will see who He really is.) and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (Or run them away) For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.” Those natural minded Pharisees could not see one thing: they only saw a man standing there, saying things that sounded completely contrary to what they thought His words ought to be. “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me (That is predestination, by the foreknowledge of God: He foreknew who would and who would not believe unto salvation, therefore God knows ahead of time exactly how to direct His Spirit.) I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” The reason I read that scripture back in Isaiah, was because Jesus is going to point you back to that very verse of scripture, where it says, And thy children shall all be taught and learned of the Lord. “The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.” Just imagine this scene, and put yourself there on that morning. If you thought like them and fed strictly on the natural realm of human reasoning, and you have been observing the Law in all its natural observances and rituals, ceremonies, and feasts, you would have said, just like I would have said, That man sounds like an idiot. Who in the world talks like that? But if it was the Holy Ghost that was drawing us, wanting you and I to really see this man, and who He really was, and is, we would have looked beyond our natural concept of how we have been trained from childhood on up and would have allowed the Spirit of truth to take control of our mind’s. We would have seen something about this man, that no matter what He would have said, there was something about this man drawing us to Him. The natural man always perceives, like, I know where He came from, He came from Nazareth: I know his father and mother, so who does he think he is? It is still the same way today. “And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He saith, I come down from heaven?” Oh, this is nonsense! That is what they would say today. Now I know He is stupid. “Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. (He knew what they were saying. Now He quotes the prophet.) 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.” That lets us know the prophecy of Isaiah, not only pertains to your salvation, and my salvation, it pertains to our spiritual growth also, as we walk on with God. The things written in the word of God, that pertains to our growth, and our understanding His plan for us, and everything that is written in here, is written for our edification, our learning, our spiritual growth, our encouragement, how we should live in this world, and how we should look toward certain things that are to be in the world to come. Keep in mind, We read Revelation 21, where John said he saw that new city Jerusalem descending as the Lamb’s wife. Did he not? But we read in Revelation 19, as John saw the Lamb’s wife in heaven, because she had already made herself ready in a prior time, she was ready to descend back to earth with the King. Yet we are reading of two different scenes that are at least over a thousand years apart in time. How do we reconcile the two scriptures, when one is talking about a Church, and the other, people literalize it and naturalize it strictly to a city? If we look at it in the natural sense, I want to say right here, What we are reading in Revelation 21 and 22, is a picture of how God’s glory is manifested as the Millennium has come to a close and the great white throne judgment is over. All wickedness, all graves, dead bodies, and everything is removed from the planet earth. Everything now finds its distinguished place in the plan of redemption. The earth no longer has any trace of sin. This is how God portrays His Spirit coming back to earth to dwell with His redeemed family. It is how God displays Himself or manifests His glory to that same people that is described in Revelation 19, because that is going to be their eternal relationship, or abiding realm within the Spirit of God in the eternal age.

THE APOSTLE PAUL
WRITING TO THE
CHURCH AT EPHESUS

Now we will go to Ephesians, chapter 2, for a better description of this thing we are looking at. This is again, the apostle Paul speaking, or writing. As Paul is writing here, to the Ephesian saints, he is writing to the first church of this group of seven churches that we read about in Revelation, chapters 1-3. This is where Paul stood. This is where he ministered over a period of two and one half to three years. All the other churches were established from the great revival that was burning in the hearts of those people during the time he was in this city. Now, years later, he is writing to this church. In the 2nd chapter, he approaches a spiritual condition that is to be understood in the mind of the believers. To understand these verses we must understand that the first converts in this church were Jewish saints, from a synagogue. His first converts were Ephesian, Jewish citizens that were converted and baptized. This, later opened the door for Paul to come back, and that is when the great revival took place, and Gentiles, as well as Jews, were established in the faith and sitting together in the same local congregation of Ephesus. Starting in verse 13, we read this, “For now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off (That pertained to Gentiles.) are made nigh (brought close) by the blood of Christ. (You are brought into the relationship through the blood of Christ, to a plan and purpose of God.) For He (Christ) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” The natural, carnal attitudes we Gentiles have had through past centuries toward the Jew, as well as the Jew toward the Gentile, which was the wall of partition that Paul referred to, that fleshly, racial attitude and attitude. Go back a few thousand years, to a city where there would be several hundred Jews living. The Gentiles that lived in Ephesus were pagans, worshiping all kinds of deities. The Jews who have lived there, had their belief in the one true God. Well it is very obvious, that under those conditions, when those Gentiles would observe the Jews, from their religious and racial standpoint, there would naturally be an expression of enmity, or hatred, or difference, because there was just no way they could be compatible, and be friendly toward each other under those circumstances. It was totally the opposite of that. We know this for sure, When Jesus Christ has died on the cross at Calvary, God, through that death of His Son Jesus, the Christ, did something that changed everything. He provided a way that the old racial hatred, that enmity, the difference between the two, could all be resolved through the great plan of salvation that was perfected. Let me say this, It does not matter how much civil rights, racial this and that you hear expressed in the news media, as long as man is a sinner, there is going to be racial hatred and enmity for as long as he is on this planet. It is the spirit of the devil in him. You cannot educate the devil out of people who are sold out to him. When they think they can force a thing like this, it is a fact, they only cause it to break out somewhere else in other ways. Take for instance, this Nazi thing. In the news lately, right there in Germany, is that same old spirit of Nazism among that young bunch of kids that were present in earlier years of this century. It is even in this country. You can make laws, you can put them in jail, you can put them before firing squads and shoot them, but you are not going to rid this earth of such evils. That is not the way God planned it. I am not teaching that you should go on and hate them. If you are a Christian, you do not hate anyone. Why? Because in Jesus Christ, God has provided you and me with something better: so that we do not have to look upon the black, the red, the brown, the yellow, with attitudes like that. It is all applied right here. Notice, “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself (Christ) of twain (Jew and Gentile) one new man.” A man and woman that in the eyes of God are all seen alike, and no longer look at each other from the standpoint of their Jewish flesh or Gentile flesh, but are viewed from the standpoint that they are all children of God, that He has made new creatures out of, because they now bear the image and likeness of the one who took their place at Calvary. God provided the total means for such a transition. Verse 16, “And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” I have to say this, If you and I have been truly born of the Spirit according to the word of God, just like it says, and you are dead to yourself, you do not see the other race like you may have looked upon them before. You begin to see others as God sees them. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He did not change colors just to suit races. I hope all of you understand that. In Him, was represented the grace of God that is applicable to every race alike, to destroy the enmity between them. If we grew up with a lot of animosity in our lives and cultivated hatred against people just because of their racial background, it is hard many times, for people to die to themselves. They grow up with pride, and the kind of pride is abominable to God; but we realize this, He provided something for the cure of that abominable attitude. “And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, (the Gentiles) and to them that were nigh. (the Jews) For through Him (Christ) we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit (the Holy Ghost) unto the Father.” The One that is doing the redeeming and the saving, is the One that designed the whole thing before the foundation of the world. Here is the spiritual part: Here is how we have to spiritualize what Paul is talking about. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers (When he said that, it was applicable to the Jewish saints sitting there in that Ephesian church, because as the Gentiles are actually the citizens of that local area, they would look upon Jews, no matter how long they lived there, that they were strangers. They are strangers out of their land of heritage, living in a city that is ours, was the attitude of Gentiles. Paul uses this approach to clarify his teaching.) and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. And are built upon the foundation (If we are built upon a foundation, are we going to literalize this foundation? Are we going to turn this into some kind of concrete mixed up, bringing in materials of gravel, stone, and all that? No. Paul is using natural language to convey a thought.) of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; (He is the beginning point.) In whom all the building, fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” It says we are a building, but how can we be a building? Actually we are a building of God: Though we may not look like a house we are familiar with, did you know that it is written in the book of Revelation, To him that overcometh will I make him to be a pillar in the temple of my God. What is a pillar? Do you see those posts over there? That is what a pillar is. It is something that holds up a covering of some sort. In the spiritual sense, it is something that holds up a responsibility God has given you. Again in the scripture, Paul used it in Timothy, that the Church is the pillar and ground of truth. So as we get the groundwork laid for all of this, then we can take what we have this far and go further with it, to get a better picture of it in our mind’s. Let me finish reading this verse while we are here. If the Church, which is actually the true children of God, is built upon a foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, then we do not literalize the foundation and make it into a natural, earthly substance. We look at it as a type, that you and I, as we are brought into the family of God, are built upon something that is spiritually solid and valuable, it is precious, it is treasured. We lay our whole faith, our whole spiritual existence upon that foundation. “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” That is all applicable in this life. We are not only a people referred to as a Church; and we are not only a people referred to as the Lamb’s wife; but we are a people to be built up into a spiritual house, so that God Himself can dwell in this holy temple. (In us) We are a temple of God. We understand that He is not dwelling in this house, in the fulness of all His eternal glory and attributes; but He is dwelling in this house in that sufficient measure of all that He is, to enable us to fulfill His purpose in each of us. That is applicable in this age of salvation and redemption, speaking of what this temple is to be built of in this age. Whether we are talking about the city we will get into a little later, the city that is in eternity, a period of time far beyond the realm that you and I live in right now, or the temple that we are at present, it is all to be thought of in the spiritual sense. Do not try to visualize a literal city, with literal mansions for each of us to dwell in. That is a totally carnal way of looking at it. I feel that we are ready to take a look at the description of the material this NEW CITY what is made up of.

A SPIRITUAL
EXAMINATION
OF A CITY

We want to bring out exactly what kind of city we have been looking at, when we read its description in the Bible. Through the ages, the various Gentile, religious, denominational churches have read these scriptures and interpreted them as though they pertain to a literal, tangible city of material objects put together. Other people have seen this only described as heaven itself. To them, when they die, they are going to heaven, and heaven is just like that. It is alright for us to have our fantasies, our traditions up to a certain point, but there comes a time in our spiritual maturity when we have to turn loose of them and allow a spiritual revelation to take their place. The one point I want us to realize as we study this picture, is that we are not reading about a traditional fantasy, but a reality that is ahead of us. As we brought out earlier, in the various other scriptures, this thing was talked about by the apostle Paul, and we can see what he was looking at. He spoke of Abraham, our father, that is the father of faith, how he sojourned in a strange land, looking for a city whose founder and builder is God, eternal in the heavens. Now we read here, that this city many have thought is heaven, in reality, is coming down to earth from heaven. Many times the same people have said the earth is going to be burned up, because, they say, the Bible says so. Well it may sound exactly like that when we read certain scriptures, but when you study the other scriptures related to that same thing, God’s redeeming process for this planet cleanses it by fire, but does not destroy the planet itself. Some constantly proclaim, We are going to go to heaven when we leave here; and we are forever going to be with the Lord. That is the way tradition has always presented it; but that is not the picture I get when I read the Bible. It just goes to show some people take a little bit here, a little bit there, and put that together and build their own so-called revelation. They make a picture out of that, a picture that pleases them and then just ignore everything else. If you do the Bible that way, you just as well bring a Sears Roebuck catalog with you when you come to church. It has a lot of pretty pictures in it. You do not treat the Bible like a catalogue; and order your salvation and pay for it on a budget plan. However it almost seems like that is what some people think they can do: just pick out certain verses and say, Lord, I want that, that, and this, but the rest I feel that I can do without. This is a book that was written over many centuries of time. The entire book contains a picture from beginning to end. It reveals God’s plan of redemption all the way back to the time when man was driven from that beautiful garden of paradise. That is what it was. It was that, because of how God related the spirit world to that area of the earth, to start man’s beginning in his earthly journey. The man fell from that special relationship between the heavenly realm and the earthly realm before he even got started on the business of fulfilling God’s command to him.. God just drove him from that beautiful realm of paradise, or God just lifted the spirit world, and left the Man standing on a planet with all the natural trees still around him, and all the animals still right there, but without the benefit of being able to move from one realm to the other. All of the natural rivers were still there, and everything he would need to earn his food by the sweat of his face, but from that point on, he would have to do his own hard labor: He lost his servant, the serpent, when God cursed him. A servant without any arms or legs would not be able to do much farming. They were all still right there in Eden, but circumstances were different. When you actually say to denominational people, Eden is still here: you can go see it: They will look at you like they think you are crazy. In reality though, Eden is where we look to as the Middle East today. That is where the history of mankind started: That is where the Bible was written. Do not ever think God drove Adam and Eve out of that geographical spot of the earth. If He had done that, that area of the earth would still be a forbidden area. Just think of that for a moment: There is no place on the earth today, that God has set as a no man’s land. Therefore when you read where God drove them out of the Garden just remember, The garden was not a natural spot of ground somewhere upon the earth: it was just a situation where God lifted His presence from them; and they were left standing there to realize that they would have to face every day from then on, associating only with the natural things of this earth. Therefore as we read here in the Bible we must realize that many people start reading these same scriptures, and as they read they visualize a natural, tangible city, just like Louisville, Kentucky is a natural, tangible city. They see that city being built up there in the spirit world. Well when we get finished with this message, I expect all of you to see this city in an entirely different way altogether, than what man in his traditional, natural, human way of thinking has always imagined it to be. I am going to read the same scriptures to you again, because I want you to take a good look at them. When this scene becomes a fulfilled reality the Millennium is over, and God is ready to enact the next phase of what He has allowed us to understand from His written word. Where is the Millennium going to be spent, as far as those who will be allowed to live during that time? Right here on earth: That is what this whole story is about, human beings, and the earth that God has placed mankind upon. Naturally when we speak of a Millennium, we are talking about one thousand years: That is what a Millennium is. During that thousand years, the earth will go through a redemption process, whereby it will be cleansed from the results of man’s evil ways. That is going to be followed by a little season of time: The Bible does not say how long the little season is. What is it for? Satan is going to be turned loose long enough to test all of those natural subjects that have been born during the thousand years while he has been chained up. Where has he been all this time? In the bottomless pit, which is hell. He is going to be chained there for one thousand years, while God’s redemption plan is being completed. During that Millennium era of time there will be no evil present. The realm of natural, mortal people that are left to pass into that age, to repopulate the earth, from them, is going to come multitudes, even billions of new subject people born on this planet. You cannot get that in our denominational churches. They see everybody in an immortal body, living somewhere in the heavenly realm in the sky. Do you mean to tell me Jesus is going to rule over immortal people with a rod of iron? Is the same Jesus that died to save you, going to turn right around and whip you with a stick? Is that the picture the Bible is painting for us? No, that is not the way we are to see it: You have to realize, all these things have a picture that is to be portrayed. Your immortal people that are changed from what they are now, to an immortal status, He is not going to rule over them with a rod of iron: they are going to rule with Him. It is the subject people that He rules over, those who passed from this life into the Millennium to repopulate the earth and their offspring. When that period is over, and Satan has finished testing those mortal subjects, he is then taken and judged; and that is when he is cast, NOT back into the bottomless pit, but into the lake of fire. That is the end of all of his evil influence upon earth. Then there is a resurrection to take place. We will bring all of that in a little later, as we go on into the message. As we look back at our text now, let us realize that when all this we have been looking at is finished, and the final judgment is over, and the planet earth has been completely renovated, renewed and all traces of previous sin has been literally done away with, it means there is no more graveyards, there are no more dead bodies in the crust of the earth. Neither are there any more fallen spirits in the bowels of the earth. The planet earth is then completely redeemed. That is why John saw it as a new earth. It has been made new through God’s plan of redemption, as well as the new heaven.

JOHN SEES THE EARTH
AFTER REDEMPTION

Let us start in verse 1, here in Revelation 21, and read this again. “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. (We explained this earlier: how all of that is going to be done away with.) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down (It is not going up: you are not going to it: it is coming down. From where?) 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, (We are going to find out what that word tabernacle is implying. Is it talking about God sending a particular building down to earth? No. It means God is coming down to dwell with man.) and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” In other words, when God becomes your God here, and you become His people here, you then have something really going. “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. (All things being made new is through God’s plan of redemption.) And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Now let us go back through the New Testament, to where we begin to see little glimpses of how the early Christian people were taught things that would cause them to begin to look forward to this wonderful thing man has sang about, preached about and longed to see, even before the book of Revelation was ever written. Always remember, Revelation is not an epistle. It is not a letter to a church. It is a prophecy sent out, to be read and observed by seven churches in Asia Minor. Why just those seven, when there were already other Gentile churches that had been established and were in existence long before these churches were started? It is because those seven churches were all lit from the same Holy Ghost fire, or established out of the great revival you read about in the 19th and 20th chapters of Acts, when the apostle Paul was led by God to the city of Ephesus. There, he stayed for a period of two and one half or three years. He did not go from city to city preaching the gospel to all Asia. He stayed in that one city and preached the gospel for that period of time, and people from all over that region of Asia Minor came during that period of time and heard the gospel preached. It plainly tells us that all Asia heard the gospel. Paul was not running all over Asia like men do today: It was people coming from all over Asia to Paul, there at Ephesus. Those churches were all lit from the one great revival fire that was burning there at Ephesus. Therefore they were all established on the same teachings by one little man, who was the apostle to the Gentile Church Age period of time. In that first Age, there was no such thing as Baptist, Methodist, Church of God and all these brands we find on churches in this day and hour: They were all just called Christians. Before they began to be called Christians, they were just known to each other as believers. Go with me now, for the sake of getting a glimpse of certain things we want to establish, over to the book of Ephesians, chapter 3, which was written by the apostle Paul. Many times the language of the Bible leaves the reader just hanging on a limb, or sitting on a shelf, because they do not understand the terminology used, to know what the writer was actually talking about. Here in the 3rd chapter of Ephesians, Paul is writing to this Assembly, enlightening them on various things. We are going to start in the 14th verse. Paul is writing this to the Christians at Ephesus. Let us try to imagine ourselves being there when this letter was received and read. “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 is why the name Jesus is the family name God gave to His people. That is what God, among His family, wants to be known by. The Bible says there is none other name given among men, whereby we must be saved, other than Jesus Christ. Whatever we do in word or deed, it is to be done in that name.) That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.” Now the inner man is the spiritual you, that part of you that God is seeking to redeem and change into something else, something that would eventually be likened unto His only begotten Son, as we grow in spiritual stature and take on His mind in every situation. It is very strange, when you and I become saved, redeemed children of God, He does not remove our freckles, change the color of our hair or color of our eyes. If we are born with a crooked nose, it remains a crooked nose. He is not interested in changing this fleshly body you live in. It is that crooked character inside of this body that He has purposed to change. He may look ten times worse than the body does. He may be ten times more mean and stubborn. That is the fellow God is really after. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (Here is the verses I want us to look at) may be able to comprehend (Get a dictionary and see what it means. I will read it the way the dictionary would apply the word. May be able to understand,) with all saints 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 fulness of God.” Now we know this, While in this present life, you and I are referred to in Peter’s epistle as being lively stones built upon a holy foundation, to become a habitation of God in the Spirit. Do we all understand that? As we read in Ephesians earlier, when you take Ephesians and the epistle of Peter and put the two together, we are literally built up a spiritual house, in other words, a temple in which the Spirit of God dwells. That is where God has purposed to dwell, in His redeemed children. W can see this, that dwelling is made up of human beings. As it says in 1st Peter 2:5, speaking of lively stones, we can see that the language is figurative. We are lively stones, being put together into a temple, a house for God, which is Spirit and referred to as the Holy Ghost, to dwell in now, while we are still here on earth. God does not dwell in us in the fullness of Himself, like He dwells in His only begotten Son Jesus, the Christ, but He is in us so that the Church, which is a people called out from the world, becomes a people put together in a true, harmonious, unified structure, so that we are truly living stones. Jesus Christ Himself, is the chief cornerstone of all of that. Take that back to the Old Testament and what do you find? As Jesus referred to it in St. John’s writing, in the Old Testament there was the natural temple that was built on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. That place was a place for God’s glory to come down and dwell in, that natural building. The Jews looked at that building as the holy temple where the presence of God dwelt. They never saw the type, so they could know what it really meant, but we see it. Then when that was torn down by the Babylonians, and rebuilt in 500 and something, getting things ready for the first coming of Christ, it was a small building. You read about it in Haggai and Zechariah, how the people grieved because it was so small. Then, about forty some years before Jesus was born, King Herod, in order to please the Jews, knowing many were looking for their promised Messiah, fell upon the idea, If I will just get things together and get a new temple built, which will look like I am doing this for their coming Messiah, it will pacify them, and quiet them down. He set about to renovate that little temple that had been built by the returning Jews coming out of Babylonian exile. As this temple was completely renovated, enlarged, decorated, beautified, that was the beautiful temple that the disciples which grew up in that dispensation, had learned to look at and observe in all its beauty and glory. When Jesus first came there and made His appearance, as you read in St. John’s writing, He drove out the money changers, turned over the pigeon coops, drove out the goats and sheep and declared that His Father’s house was not to be a house of merchandise. My, what bedlam! Then finally the disciples fell on the idea, look at the temple, look at the building, isn’t it beautiful? What did Jesus say to that? Tear it down, and I will raise it up in three days. That just simply cut that bunch of religious Jews to pieces. What do you mean, raise it up in three days? Forty and six years we were in building this temple and you talk like that. If you and I had lived then, we probably would have heard them say, Now we know He is a stupid imposter; for only an idiot would talk like that, knowing this is a sacred, holy place. The truth is, Jesus knew more about what the building was symbolizing, and pointing to, than they did. This spake He of the temple of His body; but they did not understand it. The disciples did understand later, after He arose from the dead. Then when the Holy Ghost descended upon them, on the day of Pentecost, it was then, that the disciples could see what that natural building that still stood there actually symbolized, because the God of heaven is not pleased to dwell in buildings of wood and stone. God does not need a roof over His head. He does not get cold; and rain has no effect on Him. He is a Spirit. He is not related to those things as you and I are. It is you and I, in our physical makeup, that these things have an effect upon. Therefore when the apostle Paul comes along and uses words like we have just read, he is actually saying things in a spiritual way, that when we begin to see our relationship to God through Christ Jesus, and realize that as He is putting a building together, only then do we begin to realize God deals with us to enlarge us, to probe every area of our being, so as to establish His purpose in every person that He has called to this great salvation. I am fully persuaded, that in the first century of Christianity, there were people that were wise, and they well understood the things of God. We can see by the scriptures, that God again wants to have the same kind of people that Christianity started out with, a people that sees the same things alike; and naturally the world out there despises the very ground such people walk on. This nation that was once a nation of people that recognized God, and knew that this nation depended utterly upon God, today it has an element of people in key places that literally deplore the thought of Christianity. While they are trying to rid our nation of racism and hatred, they are wiping the slate clean, of the knowledge of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me ask you this, When the apostle Paul spoke of length, breadth, depth, and height in our understanding, how do you apply that to your understanding? You have got to realize that you have these four areas, depth, height, breadth, and length, so you are actually dealing with a cube. God does not deal in triangles: He deals in cubes. Do all of you understand what a cube is? In mathematical measurement, it is an object that is precisely the same on all six sides. We have all studied arithmetic in school; so I just want to refresh your mind on what a cube is. When you cube anything, what do you do? You complete it. When you un-cube something, what do you do? You take something away from it. Is that right? Well, when God completes His purpose in us, it literally means He has cubed it. When you take away or add to, something that is cubed you distort the cube. If you take away, it is no longer a cube. It is either a triangle or a rectangle. I hope all of you understand what I mean by that. A rectangle can look square, but upon closer examination you find that somewhere it has one side longer than the other. A triangle has only three sided; but God is not a trinity. He is not three persons. He is manifested in three offices, but God is not three persons. In order to begin to see the length, the breadth, the height, and the depth, it means you have to have a spiritual mind that can go to God’s school and begin to understand spiritual things that relate to how you walk and grow with Him.

WHAT IS A PILLAR?

Let us now go to the 3rd chapter of the book of Revelation. In the 3rd chapter, speaking to the church in Philadelphia, a city where there was an assembly of believers in the days of this prophecy, we find another term mentioned in connection with believers. That city no longer exists; but there were conditions present in that assembly there, that set a type of conditions that would be recognized in a certain Church Age during the span of the entire grace age. Each of those seven churches of Asia Minor set a particular type of a particular span of time on out in future time, and that particular church within that city set a type related to an age within the overall dispensation of Grace, wherein the things that went on, that were observed and understood about how the people lived and walked with God, those things would be applicable in a period of time later on. The Philadelphia church age was how God dealt with the people in the age of Methodism. But the promise referred to here, was not only to those people back then who would overcome, but it is to every one that overcomes, that is in the true Church of the living God. Let us read verse 11. “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar (We are going to talk on spiritual terms, so here is where we are talking in a language related to breadth, length, height, and depth.) in the temple of my God.” Who is He talking about? Human beings that have been redeemed, saved, brought out of sin, brought into God’s plan of salvation. What did He mean, I will make him a pillar? How many know that Peter, James and John are referred to in the book of Acts as pillars in the church at Jerusalem? How many realize that? What is a pillar? Look at that post over there: In the natural, that is a pillar, a column. What it is for? It is not there for decoration: It holds up its part of this building. It is a support. Ancient buildings were dependent on the column or pillar of work within them. Go to the old world and look at some of those ancient buildings, how they were put together. Every column, if you watch the arch work that goes over, you see how everything was built so that all that tremendous weight is channeled through stone upon stone, according to the way the arch is laid out. All that pressure goes right down through those columns called pillars. When you transfer the meaning from the natural to a spiritual, then we have to understand that Peter, James and John were looked upon as men who were spiritually qualified and recognized in spiritual position, not only as leadership, but God laid upon them a responsibility, an obligation to uphold a truth. This religious world does not even know what pillars are anymore. They really have it dressed up, educated and yet do not know anything at all about the spiritual significance of this terminology. No they just put on robes, put collars on backwards, and the world looks upon it as if that represents God. Let us read on here. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.” He is not talking about a natural building of stone or mortar or brick. He is talking about a temple, which is His Church, put together by the working of the Spirit of God, in order that God Himself might inhabit such a temple as He relates Himself in and through His spiritual temple, in this dispensation of time called the age of Grace. Therefore according to this scripture, if we are overcomers, we have the promise that we will be made pillars, supporters of responsibility, having obligation to uphold something of spiritual value. Uphold what? Truth. When God gives you an opportunity to recognize what truth is, and you let it become a part of your life, of your belief, and you love it, you cherish it in your soul, you rejoice in it day and night, you are a candidate. You say, Thank God for truth: I wouldn’t sell it for anything in the world. Did you know, there is a price you will have to pay? It will always cost you something to uphold truth. No, not dollars and cents, but many times something in recognition, how your friends you have known in the past will treat you when you take such a stand. Oh I see you went and joined that bunch of crazy fanatics down there on the other side of the tracks. Did you know, true Christianity down through the ages of time, has always been looked upon as a minority bunch of misfits? It is when they become dressed up, educated, ritualized, that the world is ready to embrace them: Now you are one of us. When you begin to reach a place where you are no longer offensive to the world, and the world can look at you and say, Dr. So and So, we are so glad to have you with us, you have bypassed the true Church the apostles spoke of. Oh how wonderful it is to have a lawyer sitting in our midst tonight. We are so glad to have you Sir. The chief of police is here, and the Mayor of this great city is here: What a gathering we have! Billy Graham will go to those people the first thing. Saints, listen to me: You do not read of any such carrying on when the apostle Paul held a meeting. Nine times out of ten, they were the ones who put him in jail. Let us go a little further here, and see what true saints have promised to them. He not only promised He would make them a pillar, but something else stands out here in verse 12, so notice, “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 my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” And he shall go no more out, out of what? When you know you are in God’s true Church, in His spiritual temple, you are not looking for anything anywhere anymore. There is nowhere else to go, because there is not another building like it. You know God is there. You know what He is dwelling in. He is dwelling in you. Like I have said before, Do not look at this building: It is nothing. Jesus is not going to take this literal building to glory with Him. No. When He is done with this building we gather in for worship you can rest assured of one thing, the trucking firms may take it over, but that will make no difference to God, because this is not His temple. This is just a natural building where His true temples gather into for worship and fellowship. That is how we must look at these scriptures that refer to us as temples and pillars. His temple is His Church, made up of many individuals, and every single one of them are a temple God is pleased to abide in. The natural world will say, We have got to refine this building. We have to make it a little more attractive to the kind of people we desire to reach. (The elite of society, celebrities and movie stars and so forth.) When you try to buy them, rest assured, God is not in any of your effort. If God does not draw them by the wooing of His Spirit, all the beautiful things you would decorate a building with, would mean nothing to Him. God will not even look at it. On the other hand, When that doctor or lawyer finds himself in need of something money and fame cannot produce, and gets so restless and miserable that he begins to realize, There is something out there somewhere that only God can give to me: I have traveled the world over and found nothing that can satisfy the feelings within me, he is approaching a place where he will meet God. I remember how it was, trying to find satisfaction in natural things when the Spirit of God was dealing with me. Get up at two or three o’clock in the morning, go out and look at the moon and say, God, I can’t rest: I know there is something for me somewhere. That is why the apostle Paul would say, Have you noticed in your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty men, not many noble men are called. Does that mean you hate them? You know better than that. Does that mean you don’t want them? You know better than that too. That is Paul talking, not me. It means this, Professional people, elite people who like a place in society, they who like those places of recognition, God, many times, has to tear their image all to pieces and make them realize that all of that status in society is not worth two cents, before they will ever humble themselves to receive His word. They have got to become as miserable as you and I were, before they are ever willing to become part of anything that God has to offer. When we are truly in, we go no more out. You do not want to go out. “And I will write upon him the name of my God.” How wonderful!

UNDERSTANDING
SPIRITUAL
TERMINOLOGY

When it comes to having a name written upon us, we have to realize that this deals with a revelation. God is not coming down the road like a man with a pencil, I want to write something on you. No, that is spiritual language, just like He did not walk through the garden of Eden planting trees. It was how He related Himself and the spirit world to that area of geographical earth where Adam and Eve were. A little bit of heaven, came together with those there in that spot of the earth for fellowship. He put man inside that beautiful paradise realm. Man was driven from it when he sinned. He is going back to it some day, when God’s plan of redemption here on earth is completed. We are going to find out by the time this message is finished, that this is what John saw coming down from heaven, from the external observation as you read in chapter 21, and it has the profile of a city. When you come to chapter 22 and you are inside of it, now tell me, did he describe even one ivory palace? No. Because there is no ivory palaces therein. What did John see when he went inside? All he saw was the throne of God, and out of that throne of God proceeded the river of life. That is how the Holy Ghost is portrayed in that eternal age. It will always be activated. Keep in mind saints, when Jesus cried out in the temple that day, concerning the Spirit, What did He say? Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living, what? He said water. How many know what He was talking about? The ever present flowing of the Holy Ghost. Now I beg of you, Do not try to picture God as a running fountain. All of that is figurative language, describing the anointing of the Holy Ghost, as He flows from a man or woman that is really full of Him, full of the joy that His presence brings, and feasting upon the truth He enables you to receive. All of this figurative language speaks of the structure the Holy Ghost dwells in, When He takes up habitation inside of a believer. He flows out from you, to reach out and help others that are weak and weary, those that are lost and undone, to help them find the way to that flow, that stream of eternal life, to the same source and origin you got what you have, from. “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 my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” There is only one way God writes anything on you. That is when He puts a revelation in your mind and spirit. He will never write it upon your forehead or your hand, to be seen with the natural eye. That is why, if you remember when we preached the message of the sealing of the144,000, and you read about being saved and sealed, in the 7th chapter of Revelation, and then you see the 144,000 over in the 14th chapter commissioned with the everlasting gospel, you must always relate this terminology to something done in the Spirit. On their forehead’s was written the Lamb’s Father’s name. That means they have the revelation of who Jesus Christ really is, and who their ancestors crucified. Therefore when we read this, how He will write upon them the name of the city of His God, you have to understand that it is how God gives you the revelation to understand what that city really is, and also what it definitely is not. I will ask that you open your Bible’s to 1st Corinthians 15, at this time. When the apostle Paul wrote the 15th chapter, which was not a chapter when he wrote it, (because the translators divided the Bible into chapters and verses) it was just a continuation of his writing in this epistle, as he wrote to the Corinthian church. He has been talking about the resurrection and those in Christ that are resurrected at His coming. We will start in verse 24. Let us get an analysis of how to apply these verses to our understanding. It was the apostle Paul writing this, so let us analyze the knowledge he has of how to look into the future. He has just said, “But ever man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s, at his coming. (We covered all that in the first resurrection message.) Then cometh the end.” What is the end Paul has in mind when he says that? I explained it when we started our message. The Millennium is over and the wicked dead are raised. Everything in the bottomless pit, which is hell, is brought up. All the saints, all the angelic beings are now gathered around the great white throne. This is the supreme court of heaven. The dead are judged according to those things written in the books, plural, because they contain a record of the deeds done in the fleshly body. The book of life is only opened to see the names of those that were born in the Millennium, those that have lived faithful, obedient, trustworthy to the cause and law and word of Christ in the Millennium. Therefore the book of life is opened there, only to reveal those names: Every believer from prior ages already has that part settled. Those that lived during the Millennium, if they have not been deceived by Satan in that little season, if they have not yielded to the temptation and things Satan offered during that season of temptation, where he is loosed at the end of that thousand years, there is one thing sure, they are going to pass on into the great Eternal Age, which will be that period when heaven is new, and earth is new, described as world without end. They will remain to be people of lesser relationship in stature, pertaining to position as compared to the bride saints, but nevertheless, they will have eternal life. This judgment rids the planet of death. It rids the planet of all the traces of sin, evil and all that is contrary to the perfect will and purpose of God. Now speaking of the end, let us see where it leads to. “Then cometh the end, when He (Christ) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (25) For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under his feet.” The spiritual kingdom that He has established on the planet earth during that Millennial period will be delivered to the Father. It is in that Millennial period that He, Christ, through His immortal Bride and saintly people, will set about renewing the earth, renovating the earth, and cleansing the earth of every trace of man’s alienation from his Creator. I have to say, as I pause at this time, More and more every day as you turn on the News, you hear the environmentalists crying, We have got to do something about this pollution! The water is polluted. The air is polluted. They are trying to pass all kinds of laws to correct the problem. They are standing at a brink of seriousness, because corporations, big industries know that if they try to smother or choke down on the putting out of all these pollutants, somewhere down the line it is going to get so costly that they could all go broke.

HOW MAN HAS
POLLUTED THE
ENTIRE EARTH

I noticed in today’s paper, In Romania, which was one of the Communist states that withdrew and changed back to democracy, that in the forty some years of Communistic rule, two plants that have produced rubber type chemicals and things for the production of rubber products, were mentioned, telling of their pollutants. One woman was shown wearing a gas mask. One city where one of these factories was located, it was known by the population of that city that it was a deadly place to live, simply because of the pollutants those factories put out. What does this tell us? Man, in his greed for that almighty dollar, not realizing or not caring, that one day ,as this gradual expanding of what man has done in his expansion of industrializing the planet, he will have harnessed it to an uncontrollable state. What will he say when he is beginning to cough and choke and knows not what to do about it? What a tragedy! That is why in Isaiah 13, and Isaiah 24, God said He will burn the earth. He will destroy this element of sinful, wicked, greedy and covetous mankind. Why? Because he has corrupted the earth with his ways. In many areas of the earth today, they are saying that the marine life, whales and all kinds of fish are showing up with terrible cancerous growths on them. They are exposed to the waste man has put into the oceans, making it a cesspool of poisonous chemicals. Of course we do realize that man may be trying to wake up, but he is not waking up soon enough. Our leadership knows they cannot just give in to the environmentalists demands, because they are saying, Cut it all off right now! The environmentalists are looking at the whole thing as though the rest can live any way. Anyone ought to know, that if you shut all the plants down to clean up the air, everybody is out of work and cannot buy food, so you have nothing but anarchy. Therefore it all adds up to this, that mortal mankind without the Spirit of God, having no understanding of the love of Christ, not seeking to know Him, and not even caring what his actions lead to, is destroying his own means of existing here on this planet. He is bringing an end to himself. We have other environmentalists crying, Don’t cut down any more redwoods, the spotted owls need a place to live! That sounds funny, when you look at the whole picture. All God needs in the Millennium is two spotted owls. That is all He had in the boat of Noah’s day. How many do you think He needs for the Millennium? Does He need more than that? All of this just lets us see, man without God is running wild, screaming his head off about saving the endangered species, when if given his way, would destroy everything anyway. Well we need to be assured that God has the whole thing in His hand. He is just letting the crazy run crazy, but it is Jesus that is going to bring the whole thing to an end. That is why we have to realize, man in his own greedy, political, selfish way, will never end this thing. It is the reign of Christ that does it. “Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the father; when He (Christ) shall have put down all rule.” Now I ask you plainly, When the Millennium is going on, what is it for? We must realize, that when you go to the 19th chapter of Revelation and you see heaven opened as it is portrayed there, and Jesus is seen coming back to earth riding a white horse, He is coming to wrap up the last phase of ridding the earth of all that is contrary to true righteousness. He is dressed as a King, robed with a vesture dipped in blood. God has invested in Him the authority to come to earth, take over all the reigns of human government, and to destroy all wicked, evil and sinful men and their systems of evil. Coming with Him is a righteous, saintly, godly people clothed in fine linen. As I said earlier, All that go with Him in the rapture are coming back with Him, clothed in fine linen, and there is not a sewing machine in heaven, making your garments to have them ready. Think of it, it is how the power of God is manifested to you in your immortal state, because of the truth you have cherished in your soul while in a mortal state. They were all clothed in fine linen. In the category of God’s economy there is no better, no more righteous type of material than fine linen. Cotton has always been here, and so has linen; but linen throughout the centuries of time, before polyester ever came into existence, was always the choice material preferred by women. Sure, it was more costly: the best always is. It goes to show, it is the true Church that is robed in fine linen. They are the ones that have paid the extra price. This walk in truth will always cost you something extra. All other saints just have white robes, but neither the garments of fine linen, nor the white robes were made out of natural material sewn together in heaven with a sewing machine: All of that is figurative language, speaking according to the spiritual growth and obedience of the believers. Jesus rules on earth, for how long? A thousand years. Doing what? Putting down all rule and all authority and power of mankind. Take that right back to Isaiah, where that Old Testament prophet said the word of the Lord shall go from Jerusalem in those days and the law from Zion. That lets us know that there is going to be something taught to the Millennial subject people. No, it is not going to be the gospel message that we have known: But it is going to be something related to how man in that thousand years of His rule shall respond, as His government of righteousness is in power. It will pertain to how mankind is to conduct themselves during this time. It is how man is to treat the earth, how he is to treat vegetation and nature, as well as each other. You can rest assured of one thing, there will be no greedy nor rich crawling all over each other. In righteousness and equality He will rule. The meek of the earth will enjoy the peace, because they will inherit the earth. When the Millennium is over and He has established all of that, the final judgment will finish up the process. “For He (Christ) must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” That means, when the Millennium is over and He has established all authority and knowledge, it tells us in the Psalms that in that Millennium age the glory and knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters that cover the sea. That is what the Millennium is for. It is a furtherance of His plan of redemption, not only to the people and through the people, but it is to be to the planet earth itself also, which God intends for them to live on. As that Millennium age comes to its close, everything Paul says here will have been fulfilled. The last thing, He has resurrected all bodies. That is why you read there in the last verses of the 20th chapter of Revelation, and the sea gave up the dead. Death and hell give up the dead. They all stand before the great white throne. There is where the dead are judged out of the things written in the books of deeds. I want you to notice, the righteous saints of all the ages that lived prior to the Millennium, they are not judged out of any of those books because their judgement is already past. In fact, they are standing there partaking in that judgment process, represented in that (we could say) as the great jury. That is when the saints will judge fallen angels. They will judge the world as the world comes in review. When all of that is over, death is destroyed. Then we see a planet that is clean again. There are no more graveyards. There is no more hell, or bottomless pit. Everything that has been there is now cast into the lake of fire where God finishes up His destruction of all that wicked mankind has polluted the earth with. We can begin to see and understand what John was looking at when we have read the first three verses of the 21st chapter. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. Why is it a new heaven? There is no more wicked spirits to roam the atmosphere. As the apostle Paul wrote, speaking of how we fight against principalities, against spiritual wickedness in high places. That is where our conflict comes from. That is how the battleground is related, because in the spirit world, in the immediate atmosphere around the earth, your adversary and all his helpers roam, just prowling around looking for children of God to oppress. When that is all cleaned up and out of the picture, there is no devil in hell, no demons in hell, and no more fallen spirits to roam the atmosphere you then have a new heaven, because that is how God has cleaned it up. He has judged it. He has bound them and destroyed them. That is why John could see a new heaven. I am going to take this a traditional route. You and I know, if God is an eternal Spirit, which He most certainly is, He fills the whole universe. Is that not right? Well how could a new heaven be another universe somewhere? It is not another universe somewhere. It is just that God, through redeeming things that are related to what He has been doing here on this planet earth and its immediate atmosphere, has brought it to a point where it caused John to see a new heaven. He was looking at the atmosphere in and around the earth, because right from that same realm is where that new city is coming from. The reason it is described as a city is because it is that eternal presence of God coming back to earth again, not only as the paradise that He effected here in Adam’s day, but in a way that the whole scope takes on the likeness of a city. Ever since man was driven out from the garden of paradise, to live in a natural, earthly environment, he has had one thing in mind: What was the first thing you begin to read about in Genesis a little later on? Who built the firs city? Cain, and named it after his son. (Gen. 4:16-17) “And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he built a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.” Think of it. What is a city, in an earthly language structure? It is a place where mankind sets up communication, trade, habitation. Why habitation? Because many times that is how he groups himself together for the protection of himself and his family. You do not have to live in a city to keep snowflakes from falling on you. That is not why a city was built in ancient times. It was because as man was driven from the beautiful realm of peace and rest, which was God”s presence, he has become a victim, and enemy of his own doings. Therefore he would begin to dwell together for protection. This is what causes him to start building his villages. They later become large cities. Around that, he builds walls for fortification. Walls are not where he stored food or water. Walls are what he builds to defend himself against his enemy. His enemy was not the devil. You have to understand that man, in his sinful journey through time on this earth, has built himself into these environments because of the evil that was present, and the state of conditions this has brought upon him. His city life has been the product of how he groups himself together for protection. Think of it, in an eternal age when it will no longer be cold or hot, the air conditioning people will go out of business. All the oil companies will go out of business because there are no gas furnaces. Such things are not needed, not even thought about. Listen to this: “For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest (or evident) that He is excepted, (That is the Father) which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him (meaning God, the great Eternal Spirit, the Father) that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” Yes saints, when the Millennium is over, this is a picture how God, the great Eternal Spirit, the Father, the Creator of all things, looks upon His earth. He can see that everything man has done from the time he was driven out of paradise, all the way to the end, has been in one way or another associated with sin and evil. God drove man from that paradise presence, and man has lived for six thousand years on this earth, dominated by evil and sin, because he was born with the traits of it in him, that caused him to always be wrestling with a spiritual conflict somewhere about him. The devil constantly stalks his pathway. Deep inside, he has always longed for the realm of paradise that was present there in the garden. I will never forget, back in 1974, when we were coming back from Norway. I had always wanted to see Spain: I wondered why all the Spanish people, when the new world was discovered, went to the great southwest? As we left Norway, we come through Germany, and caught the Spanish airlines and went on into Madrid. You know, Madrid is a big beautiful city. Just about three blocks down the street from the hotel where we were staying, they had a beautiful park, like a garden. Every evening the TV’s went off. (They should here in America..) Not a thing on them for two solid hours. Do you know what they did? That let the workers come home and eat supper with their families. They did not have to hear that thing blasting in their ears while they enjoyed their evening meal. Then when supper was over, you would see the people out walking with their children, and sometimes even the old people. One evening we took a walk, following the crowd. You did not see smart aleck’s walking the streets like you do in Chicago, New York City and just about every town in America today. There were soldiers riding the streets in jeeps, with their weapons. They did not tolerate anything like that. As we walked around, we entered this most beautiful garden. As you walked through there you had a feeling of security. I have to give them credit, even though it is a Catholic country, I give them credit for the fact they at least respected the dignity of what man was put here for. Old people going in that beautiful park, sitting, talking, walking, and there were little ducks coming from little pools, walking around, everything so peaceful. Everything you observed was a peaceful atmosphere. You did not have the feeling that anyone would come through there and knock you in the head, stab you, or rob you. The place was looked after by security people. I use that only as a description in order to say this, The fact that man would build such a thing inside of a large city tells you something. What does it tell you? That deep inside, there is always a longing in man to look back to something somewhere when he had an eternal peace and tranquility. It was in the cool of the day, as it says in Genesis, that God came on the scene for fellowship with the man He had created. It has been six thousand years since man was driven out of paradise, but Jesus delivers the kingdom back up to the Father, and we see this city coming down, we must understand, This is that paradise. This is how God relates heaven, the spirit world, in that kind of makeup. His presence is what makes it what it is described as.

DESCRIPTION OF THE CITY JOHN SAW

We are going to start reading about these stones mentioned here. Think of it, as John describes this city he says its walls were of jasper, clear as crystal. Do you know what that tells you? You can see through it. How many know what crystal is? You women ought to know what crystal is. You go down to the department store, walk in there, especially at Service Merchandise and those places and what do you see? You get a crystal dish, you are dealing with glass. It is made of sand, but you must understand this. It is how that crystal has been produced, the process it has been put through in refining it, that makes it what it is. Crystal is clear. It is so clear, yet many times when a light strikes it, it sparkles. So the walls of that city are spiritual walls, and they have to be related to something that your salvation is made up of. It has no earthly material in it whatsoever. We read about the street, only one street is described by John. What does he say it is made of? Gold, pure as glass. That lets me know that gold is clear. So, if the walls are of a clear substance, and the street is pure gold, clear as glass, what kind of material are we looking at? We are looking at a spiritual material that is related to God and God alone, and it is how He hasput Himself, through His anointing, inside of each of us. Continued next issue.

This Generation, Part 2

WE WILL JUST PICK UP RIGHT WHERE WE LEFT OFF, IN PART 1, OF THIS MESSAGE. I HAD JUST SPOKEN OF HOW NECESSARY IT IS, FOR THOSE WHO WOULD WALK WITH THE LORD IN THIS GENERATION, TO HAVE A REVELATION OF THOSE TRUTHS DELIVERED TO THIS AGE BY BRO. BRANHAM; GOD’S PROPHET MESSENGER TO THIS AGE; FOR THOSE WITHOUT SUCH A REVELATION WILL BE LEFT HERE TO FACE THE GREAT TRIBULATION. GOD HAS RESTORED HIS WORD TO THE BRIDE CHURCH IN THESE LAST DAYS TO ENABLE HER TO MAKE HERSELF READY TO MEET THE BRIDEGROOM WHEN HE COMES; SO LET US CONTINUE WITH THE MESSAGE WE HAVE TITLED “THIS GENERATION.”

 

ARE WE READING THE SIGNS PROPERLY?

 

Many of the things Jesus spoke in His parables were not for the apostolic age; They are for you and me, here at the end time. Those things that were for the apostolic generation, have already been fulfilled. They were all fulfilled in their lifetime. On the other hand, the things that were related to this end time generation are at this present time being fulfilled in the world at large. None of the Gospel writers recorded every parable Jesus spoke, in every detail; so I will ask you to go to Luke 21:29, where we will again pick up the parable of the fig tree, and notice what He said about the other trees. This is a very important statement made by Jesus; and I know He did not make it at a different time from the time Matthew heard the things he recorded. It is just that Matthew did not catch it all the same way Luke did. Luke, being the historian, or the one who was seeking to get an accurate account of what Jesus said, from those who were followers of His, collected this information and put it in his writings; and I am glad he did, for it enables us to better understand what has been going on in the world, in the last so many years. Notice the sign that is mentioned here, that has been brought about in our lifetime. “And He spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees.” Now what is so outstanding about that? It is this: we have already discussed the fig tree, but as Luke gathered this information, this end phase, and all the trees, is telling us that in the end time, when that fig tree is coming up, growing as a little branch, tender, putting forth its shoots and leaves, there will be another geographical, political, racial thing going on in the world. The year 1948, was the birth of Israel as a nation; but look what was set in motion at the same time. The ending of colonial powers holding their colonial territories. The United States owned the Philippines. We politically set about to relinquish our hold as a colonial power on the Philippines, only for the Philippines eventually, before it is all over in the ending of time, to be taken over by another power. No doubt the Philippines will one day fall under a Communist flag. Here is the thing we need to notice though; At the same time Israel was growing as the little tender nation, in the later part of the forties, coming into the fifties, look what was going on in Korea. The Communists began to make their way in there. France was in Vietnam. The French and British were in the Middle East, in Lebanon, as well as the Suez Canal. All over this world, Belgium was in the Congo. Portugal was in close to India. All over the world a spirit hit these various colonial held territories; and those nations began to cry for independence. Self government was what it all boiled down to. At the same time the Jew was crying for a homeland; where they could be self governed, and be a nation for themselves, so were other little territories crying for freedom and self government. You see what happened in Vietnam; as the French had to get out of North Vietnam. They thought the trouble would all stop at a certain parallel line; but it picked up, and we got involved. Now the analysis of all that is this, These other trees Jesus mentioned, were other small areas of people that had been ruled over by large colonial powers. Sad to say, no sooner does the colonial powers step out, than the Communists came right in to fill the gap. Bloody revolutions began to break out. Many of those areas that finally did get their national independence, today are steaming with gorilla activity, and revolutions. That is why we ought to realize today, That sign is right before our very eyes. It is one among the many signs that we can look at, to know that the season is here. Though 1948 was the year of the beginning of these many things; they will continue to be a sign before our eyes, right to the end. Let us now go back to Luke 17:26, where Luke wrote the statement Jesus made about world conditions just before the end of time. This statement goes along with what Matthew wrote in chapter 24, of his account of the words of Jesus. “And as it was in the days of Noe, (Noah) so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” That is giving you and I a social picture of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the environment. Those cities were solely taken up in their every day order of life. We do not necessarily say that every other person that lived in Sodom and Gomorrah and the outlying communities, were perverts, no more than we would say that about our present society; but perversion was everywhere, jut like it is today. That is what we have to look at. We know that while we have all these immoral tendencies staining the present world society, with thousands, even millions, who would not resort to such a low, ungodly life style, there are enough of that kind out there, to mark this age as having those same conditions; and those who would never live like that, are far from living for God. They live strictly for the pleasures of the flesh; just to enjoy the luxuries of life, nice homes, and all those things. That is why it is recorded, that they builded, they planted, they married and gave in marriage. That is the cycle of life. Their lives are taken up with all of that. They knew not what was about to take place. The same thing that happened in Noah’s day, and in Lot’s day, is going to happen to thousands, and thousands of people right here in America one of these days. Not all have AIDS. Not all are on drugs. Not all are perverts. In other words, There are multiplied thousands in America today, that no doubt would turn their back on such an immoral lifestyle; but does it cause them to run to Jesus. No. Jesus is far from them. They are taken up in living for the flesh; so the judgment of God is going to come, because they do not recognize the immoral sign as a sign post telling them to flee from the judgment and wrath that is to come. “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” I want to dwell for a little while, right here in this statement. Let us try to look at the coming of Jesus. Matthew brings out in verses 27, 28, 29, and 30, in the 24th chapter, the great details pertaining to the visible, heavenly appearing of Jesus’ coming. It says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days,” so that goes to show that His appearing is after the tribulation period has run its course. Naturally this is pointing to the visible, bodily return of Jesus. That is the climax of what all this is leading up to. However, prior to His visible universal appearing, there is a mystical coming. It is a secret thing. He is coming for certain one’s, and stealing them away. You and I are looking for that. The world will not see it. The world is not looking for it; but there are people in every nation under heaven today, that are looking for it; and they are making themselves ready to meet Him.

 

GOD’S UNIQUE METHOD

 

I was given a little piece of paper the other night, I will bring it and read it to you. The words were short; but it brings out how all generations, sooner or later, are heading for some kind of destiny with something. Of course the main objective of the statement was, This generation is heading for a destiny, and that destiny is the rapture. That statement was made by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who (in my opinion) knew as little about this message of truth as anyone could. God even lets people of the world say profound things; and many times, they do not even know what they are saying, nor why. It is His way of making people bear witness to something that has taken place in the world. Therefore let me say without hesitation, There is definitely going to be a bodily, physical, appearing of Jesus in the clouds of heaven; just like Matthew 24:30 says; “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” but before that universal, heavenly display is put on for every eye to behold, He is coming secretly to get his little bride. That is what Matthew 24:40-42, is dealing with, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Before that can take place, there has to be something take place to prepare that element of people that have been called out of this earthly society, to make them ready for His mystical coming. That is why it is worded like this. Only the revelated people of God, will be able to understand it properly. When we see a society just like in the days of Noah, and in the days of Lot, when you have immorality and sodomites everywhere, staining our society, and no one seems to be running from it, but rather, giving place to it, then somewhere, just before that sign is in full bloom, there is going to be a revelation of the Son of man. Some may say, What has God done to prepare anyone, or to enable anyone to prepare themselves for the coming of Jesus like you say? I just have to answer like this, It was definitely fulfilled characterized in the life and ministry of William Marrion Branham. Let me try to explain to you why I say that. Many times in the later months of his ministry he repeatedly referred to this passage of scripture. We have to realize what made his ministry what it was. Was it because he was born in a log cabin down in Kentucky? No. That had nothing at all to do with it. That did not make his ministry what it was, no more than Jesus being born in a stable, made His ministry what it was. The thing we have got to see, is the fact that the end of time has come; and he was God’s prophet messenger to this age, this age of Laodicea, where there had to be a revelation of the ministry of Jesus Christ demonstrated; and given to the world as a sign of the end. The Holy Ghost, which is the Spirit of God, became manifested within a Gentile vessel of clay. He was a sinner saved by the grace of God. He was called and chosen before the foundation of the world, for a specific purpose. I have to say, It is because of that, that multitudes of people, when they saw that unusual manifestation of that gift of God, (the same gift which was in Jesus Christ) they misunderstood that sign and immediately jumped to the conclusion, William Marrion Branham cannot help but be the Son of God, the Messiah. They would say, He is the Word, he is God Himself. It all goes to show, that people who jump to that kind of so called revelation, are not being led by the Holy Ghost. Literally thousands the world over, humped to that same conclusion. The reason I say this, is because a few years back when that Son of man thing was really going like a forest fire in a lot of people; they were absolutely building William Marrion Branham into that very image. They were preaching that. It was causing many other people to begin to build their own ideas. One of which was, that it is actually William Marrion Branham that is the new name of Jesus that The apostle John wrote about, in the book of Revelation. All because the Holy Ghost was given in that hour of time, to exemplify that ministry of Jesus as a sign in a Gentile age of time, and to an element of Gentile people. It was God’s sign, He is getting ready to close this whole thing out. I will never forget the year we were in a fall convention, when that idea was going strong. That was the very thing that caused other men to jump to another conclusion. In the back of my mind, I know of two individuals who jumped to such a conclusion; that because God had taken William Marrion Branham in death, in the month of October, in such and such a year, that Spirit of God came down, and they were now the Son of man. When those things were running rampant and people did not know what to do with them, because they did not understand, I went home from this particular fall meeting and said to myself, There is not need for me to comment on these things. Then that night in a dream, I saw myself come back here to the church building; and there was an envelope being passed, and there was a sheet of paper in that envelope. I was on the platform; and finally, as that sheet of paper in the envelope had been viewed by everyone else, it was passed to the platform for me to read. When I took it, and looked at what was on that sheet of paper, (Luke 17:30) I knew I had to speak on it. Of course most of you do not know it, but Mexico was burning up with that spirit; when we went there the first time. However, God just gave me the grace to tell some of those Mexican people, (mainly because I was a witness to Bro. Branham’s life, his ministry and his teaching) that this man, though anointed of the Spirit of God like no other this side of the days when Christ Himself walked upon the earth, was not THE Son of God. Neither was he THE Son of man. The Holy Ghost was in the man, and on the man, to demonstrate something of the life and ministry of Jesus. God did nit in such a way, that it should have been a sign to this entire Gentile age; but it did not make the man the Messiah. It was the same Holy Ghost in him, that was in Jesus; but it did not make him anyone different than the man he had always been. What was different, was the fact that this anointing gave him “THUS SAITH THE LORD,” WHEN THAT ANOINTING WAS UPON HIM, but when the anointing lifted, he was still the same little man that loved to go hunting and enjoy nature. He himself, never claimed to be anything greater than what God called him to be; it was that carnal minded bunch that liked to hang around him, that was always trying to make him something else. What was that sign given for? To let the elect Gentile age believers, realize and recognize that the Holy Ghost is speaking to them to get out of those systems, and back to the faith of the apostolic fathers. You can recognize the sign and not miss God; because God sent that sign as a vindication that the same Holy Spirit that was in Jesus Christ to the Jewish people, must be in His end time ministry to the Gentile church; to get her doctrines straightened out before He closes out the age. Jesus Christ was the Son of God; and He was the Son of man; yet if it had not been for the anointing of the Holy Ghost on Him, and in Him, He would never have done one thing that any other man could not do. He never would have performed one miracle. That anointing WAS on Him though; and in spite of all the miracles He performed, most of that generation of Jews missed God by rejecting him. By the same token, look what the same Holy Ghost did through this man, and yet great multitudes of religious people are going to miss God likewise. It all comes down to this, There has to be a spiritual manifestation of the power characteristics of that anointing comes on the scene in the end time, and it is what begins to speak to the heart of the elect, the children of the end time age, showing them, quickening to them what truth is. That anointing clears the way so that the apostolic truth can again be understood in its original meaning. If you can catch what I am trying to say in my illustration, the Holy Spirit had to come on the scene using a man in a ministry to set the stage for closing events. That manifestation of The Holy Ghost in his ministry went right back in the Bible and began to bring out things the Laodicean Age believers had never heard of. It brought out serpent seed. Then in due time, it went into the Bible and brought forth the revelation of the first six seals of the book of Revelation. These things were the climaxing of his (Bro. Branham’s personal ministry). Then, even though God took him home, in that terrible automobile accident, and there will never be another messenger to this age, He did not take the Holy Spirit from us. The Holy Spirit is still here; to do for end time believers whatever it takes to get them ready for their departure; and then HE (that same Holy Ghost) will go back to the Jews; to seal God’s elect from among them. There will never be another ministry among the Gentiles to equal that of Bro. Branham. No. That was his ministry, God gave that as a sign, and that is all the Gentiles are ever going to see in that magnitude. Let me say this though, That same anointing is going to stay right here; and it is going to use other men. Those men are going to be men that step into their callings, in their respective hour of time, by God’s grace, and leadings; and they will speak things to the Church by prophetic utterances that will also be “Thus saith the Lord.” That same Holy Ghost is going to anoint that ministry to speak to the body of Christ; (the true Church) to fulfill the perfection of Ephesians 4; and all the other things necessary to get you and me ready for the mystical appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom from heaven. Then the Bride will be with Him a little while, in that heavenly atmosphere; while God wraps up this whole thing down here, through that dark tribulation hour. I will say this to those carnal minded people out here who preach nothing but William Marrion Branham; You will never get anyone ready to meet the Lord, until God anoints you to preach the truth he preached, from the same Bible he preached it from. I know they accuse me of blasphemy, when I say things like this; but I could not care less, what they think about me at this late hour of time. Did you know? The Roman Catholic Church thought Luther did the same thing. The Catholic Church thought Calvin and Knox did the same thing. The church of England thought John Wesley did the same thing. This generation of carnal minded people are not one bit better. Their reaction to that which they do not understand, is from that same spirit of antichrist that has always harassed those who sought to follow truth down through the ages.

 

A BEGINNING POINT

 

I wonder if you realize, that from the close of WW2, and the year 1948, which I have stated in another message, that was the beginning of the World Council of Churches being conceived in Amsterdam Holland. It was the beginning of NATO, the birth of Israel, the beginning of the breakup of Colonialism, and also the beginning of the European Common Market? For 40 years, while these other signs and things I have mentioned up until now, have been developing right before our very eyes, here is something else that has also been taking place. It has just come about in such a gradual way, we hardly realized the significance of it all. Do you know, that the ten horned beast of Revelation 13:1-8, is now up out of the water? When you read those eight verses, do you really stop to realize, that this beast John saw coming up out of the sea, was in reality those ten Common Market nations around the Mediterranean Sea, the same area in which the old world, the Middle East functioned in times past? He saw a beast, having seven heads and ten horns. He described its feet, its body, its mouth, and everything. The thing that really throws some people off, is the fact that there are presently twelve nations in the Common Market, instead of the original ten; and that causes them to say, Now that cannot be; because we know that the beast John saw, only had ten horns. I reject such a narrow minded view as that; simply because we know, that within those first ten horns that were formed during the Dark Ages, to take their place in prophecy, there have also been territorial divisions; like Spain and Portugal, which at one time was all Spain. That is the way you have to look at it; if you are going to get he true picture. That in itself, takes nothing away from the Bible. The point is, What those ten horns were, they would again be right back to it, and we can see that they are. The European Common Market is now making its bid for the lead in the economic markets of the world; and that has the leaders of the United States scratching their heads. It is easy to see why it was said that the lamb beast spoke like the dragon. It was not the dragon; it just spoke like the dragon, while it was being used to rebuild that beast, fortify it, and protect it; and ironically it has bankrupt itself in doing so. There is no wonder, that our deficit is so high. During this same interval of time, the World Council of Churches has used her portion of our economic prosperity to get the economic life she needs, in order to function in her end time role as the image of the beast. I believe you will all have to agree, that the World Council of Churches is speaking loud and clear today. Do you know why? Because the World Council of Churches is a body of all major Protestant denominations, as well as Roman Catholicism, blended together in a common, end time unity of so called Christianity. In the book of Revelation, chapter 6, verse 8, it says, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse; (or literally, a gray horse) and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” When Bro. Branham, in 1963, in the months of March and April, was used of God to bring forth the revelation of those 6 seals as they were broken, it was pointed out, that this gray horse followed the black horse; and that the black horse was the spirit of antichrist, as it rode through the Dark Ages. That is why it was a black horse; death and hell followed it. It took the word of God and made merchandise out of it; and sold it to its captives; (the souls that looked to the Catholic Church for contact with the God of heaven). God let them sell the favors those poor souls ask for ; but they could not sell the Holy Ghost; (the oil and the wine) the one thing they really needed. That is what was meant in verse 6, when John heard the voice in the midst of the four beasts say. “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” That was for the black horse period of time, which lasted for a thousand years; before passing into the pale horse period, (the time when the Reformation began to break loose) and that fourth horse rider has been riding right on through time to this very hour. As we have already pointed out, What is referred to as a pale horse is actually a gray horse; a mixture of black and white. Spiritually speaking, that simply lets us know, that what at one time was pure white, (the unadulterated word of God) is now blended with what was black during that long period of time; and it translates like this, A lot of man’s traditions, (denominational doctrines) blended with a certain portion of the word of God, is neither all white, nor all black; it is gray; and that is where the main stream of so-called Christianity is today; under the influence of that gray horse rider; which is the spirit of antichrist. There is no longer a distinction between what is black and what is white; it is all going to blend to make its major end time deceptive thrust. That gray horse is riding hard in this hour of time. When you read in the sixth chapter of Revelation, what it says about the pale horse rider, just know that it will ride right on through the tribulation hour, doing its diabolical work. You will notice also, that its power is also limited to the fourth part of the earth; that part of the earth that is associated with Bible prophecy. The World Council of Churches will not ride through Russia. You every one know better than that. Neither will it ride through China, nor India, nor Burma; because they were never a part of the old Roman Empire. It can only ride in that area of the world related to, and associated with the old Roman Empire, and the Middle East, and those areas around which the whole prophetic picture turns. I can assure you of one thing though; There is an element individuals in what is called The Branham following, that are just as destructive to truth as the World Council of Churches can ever be. That is why I referred to page 327 of the edited Church Ages book earlier. Bro. Branham brought the revelation of the six seals in the months of March and April, 1963; roughly 27 months after he had preached the series on the 7 Church Ages; yet when this edited version was printed, after he had preached the seals messages, there were things in it that were stated in the seals messages. That is one of the reasons for a lot of the confusion associated with Bro. Branham’s teaching. If you want to read the Church Age messages exactly as they were preached, try to get hold of the little paper back, single messages, that were not edited. That way, you can read the Seven Church Ages in the original text; exactly like Bro. Branham spoke it. In other words, they had taken things out of the Seals messages, and put them in the Church Age messages; which got the flow of revelation out of continuity. That is why I have said many times. You had to know Bro. Branham, and know why he said a lot of things, in order to know what he meant by what he said. You do not find that condition when you read after the apostle Paul; everything he ever said was consistent with previous statements he had made on the same subject. When we pick up the first writings of the apostle Paul, where he spoke on the subject of the resurrection, a subject Jesus Himself said very little about, he never came back later, to say something contradictory to it. Jesus made mention of the resurrection in the fifth chapter of St. John; but He did not explain anything about. What few remarks He made, just sounded like He was pointing to a general resurrection of everyone; for He did not say who would be in it; nor that it would be in phases. Yet in the year of 59 A.D., after that great revival at Ephesus was over, Paul has received word from Corinth about problems they were having; and questions they were faced with, and the resurrection was one of them. This was twenty some years past the birth of the Church at Jerusalem; which came about on the day of Pentecost; and a lot of people have been added to the ranks of that body of believers, including a great number of Gentiles. Therefore it was time for the apostle Paul (the apostle to the Gentiles) to begin to give to the Gentile believers a picture of many things no other prophet, not even Jesus Himself had given. That is why you can read 1st Corinthians, the 15th chapter, and find Paul speaking of the resurrection like he did. We have to understand also, that he was speaking by divine inspiration which in this case was by revelation. Let me read it; beginning with verse 51. In verse 35, we find him saying this, “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” He takes up from there, and goes into a lengthy discourse; but we will not read it all. In verse 51, he said, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Do you realize, that if the apostle Paul had not wrote this; and also what he wrote to the Thessalonian Church in 54 A.D., we would not even know there is going to be a resurrection; or a rapture, (translation) of the Church? It is just like he said there in 1st Thessalonians 4:13, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” Brothers and sisters: This whole message from beginning to end, is to inform you that God has not put you here in 1990; to leave you ignorant concerning what is to unfold in the days ahead. Get your ears wide open, get your eyes cleared out; and let us get everything we do know from the past, brought up to date; so our revelation will be consistent. The apostle Paul, who was the star messenger to the first Church Age, has told us that there is going to be a resurrection of saintly righteous people, somewhere in future time; and at that time, no matter what generation it would be, there will be some in that generation who will not see death. He always spoke with a consistent revelation. You do not find any place in any of his Epistles, where he spoke something contrary to what he had already taught. When we go to 1st Thessalonians, starting in the 13th verse of the 4th chapter, what he reveals there, just simply adds to what we have already read in the Corinthian Epistle. The year of this writing was 54 A.D.; which was 5 years before he wrote to the Corinthians; but in our Bible, the Corinthian Epistles come first. We read verse 13; so I ask you, Why do you think he wrote like that? Why did he say, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep?” He had gotten word from the Thessalonian people, that some of the saints that believed and had been baptized, (no doubt elderly people) had passed on in death; and this had raised the question among them, about their estate. They no doubt had been believing they would all still be alive when Jesus came. Does this shake Paul? No. He had the answer. “I would not have you to be ignorant brethren, concerning them which are asleep, (they had died) that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (That is others in the world who do not know a thing about living for God.) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, (that is the beginning, that is the basis for what our whole hope for the future is) even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. (Christians) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, (I could read it like this, For this we say unto you by the revelation of God’s word.) That we which are alive and remain unto the coming (the appearing) of the Lord shall not prevent (hinder, nor precede) them which are asleep. (Dead) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” Three outstanding things must transpire. I am not going to comment on it right now; I am just reading it to show you how consistent Paul was, in what he had to say concerning these revelatory things. The dead in Christ shall rise first. That is what he said. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This is that mystical coming; where there will be two in a bed, one will be taken and the other left. Two will be grinding at the mill, one will be taken and the other left. Two will be laboring in the field, one will be taken and the other left. Taken where? To meet the Lord in the air. The Methodists read that and say we are going to heaven; and then God is going to burn the earth up, just because it says we shall forever be with the Lord. Well we have to go to the book of Revelation to see what unfolds, after the rapture, (the translation) takes place. That is where we see the Bridegroom and the Bride come back together; to earth. I am not going into the 5th chapter of 1st Thessalonians right now; because we want to pick that up in another portion of our message. We have many things to cover; as we deal with this message concerning this generation we are living in. I hope we can all see things exactly as they are; by the time we get this message finished.

 

DUAL STATEMENTS

 

Bro. Branham was the only messenger this side of the Reformation, that God allowed to speak in dual statements, or dual terms, concerning any particular subject of interest. One time he might be preaching along and would just throw out a statement. Another time, maybe months or years later, he would throw out another statement. I will never forget when we first started going to the Tabernacle; I heard him make this particular statement; (which is the way the Assemblies of God would preach it) “You are born again when you believe, but you receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost for power.” That is a Pentecostal belief, in some areas of Pentecost. That is the way they teach it. Later though, he come along and said, “You are not even fully born again until you receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost.” He put it like this, as he explained, “When you believe and have accepted Christ, you are in that stage of conception, it is just like birth, in a concepted stage. Sanctification is like that stage of growth, pregnancy and everything; but final birth is when the baptism of the Holy Ghost comes in. It is the same spirit all along. Repentance, believing, that is a work of the Holy Spirit.” Brothers and sisters, all of those messages are still out here in the world today; with some hearing one version, and others hearing another, and some even trying to believe it both ways; because the prophet said it. I have said many times, God knew this man was the messenger to the age; and that He was going to give him a message that would turn us around, get us out of these denominations, which re never going to turn around, and get us going in the right direction. God had to get us out of there; because they are going right on down the road of life, not even caring that what they believe is different than what the first Church, in the book of Acts, believed. They are going to be bound in bundles; instead of being translated with the saints. They are going to belong to one of the greatest organizational structures there has ever been. God is going to throw them in the pit, when it is all over; but He is turning His children around, opening their eyes, and showing them the way to come back to that apostolic truth. Am I rejoicing because they are going to end up like that, you may be asking? NO. I am rejoicing because I am thankful to be counted among those who had ears to hear what the Spirit was speaking to the Church. God knew there would be people here at the end time; that from the carnal standpoint, would be attracted to this man’s ministry; simply because of the supernatural. The supernatural will always attract people. It is sort of like, when a huge fire breaks out somewhere in town; not only will you hear sirens, but you hear people running, hollering, all excited, trying to get there, just so they can watch the fire burn. They are not going to put the fire out; they just like to go watch. They want to watch what the fireman do; and watch the fire burn. Many times they are only in the way; but they act like it is ever so important that they be there. Well that is exactly like it is many times with spiritual things; and God knew it would be like that so He goes ahead just like the firemen, and fulfills His responsibility anyway. God is compelled, because this end time is when certain parables spoken by Jesus are to be fulfilled. There is to be a separation of the two elements of people that have been as the parable in Matthew says, growing together; and that separation was only for the end time; not in the Dark Ages, nor in the Reformation period. That separation must take place at the same time the perfection of the saints is being accomplished. Therefore God let that man speak things many times, just to give that carnal element something to build their little separating doctrine upon. They conceived it carnally; and felt that they were the only one’s that really caught it right; so they ran to the world with it; treating it like something secret that was to be spoken only to certain chosen one’s. Naturally that was inspired by one of the little spirit’s of antichrist; just to harass, confuse and mess things up. They just run in circles. One will take a certain so-called revelation and run this way; and another will take something else and run another way; and neither one knows what was really meant by the statement they based their great revelation upon. That causes a lot of other people that want to be sincere, and understand what truth is, to read the same messages; and when they see those statements and do not know how to analyze them, they say, “Well, Bro. Branham made a mistake there.” I have been asked, “Bro. Jackson, Are you saying that Bro. Branham made a mistake?” Absolutely not. You have never heard me say he made a mistake. God willed him to say things from the natural standpoint; being the person he was, just like other people will; just simply speaking from the natural, without the unction of the Holy Spirit on that particular statement. What was spoken by the unction of the Spirit of God was always, Thus saith the Lord; but those who hung on to every word he spoke did not know the difference. I have said this many times; and that same element of carnal mankind is what always accuses me of saying Bro. Branham made a mistake. I do not worry about that though; for the true children of God hear what is said, and they know what is meant. When I heard Bro. Branham make the certain statements, he would always go back to Elijah of old, how that he was a man of the wilderness, that liked to hunt and so forth. He would say, Look where he was when the ravens fed him; in the wilderness. He said the anointing that was on Elijah, hd to come on another man in the first advent of Christ; whose nature was much like Elijah. That is why John the Baptist was a man of the wilderness. Then he would say, That same anointing will be on another man here at the end time; a man who will like the wilderness, and will like to hunt and enjoy nature and so forth. (I am endeavoring to use exact quotes concerning these statements; you have heard them, and you know how he felt about that.) The important thing is, that we realize that is what they were; and realize he was entitled to his opinion, and was not obligated to point out incidents where those two prophets did things that were not unctioned by the Spirit of God. Let us just look back at the prophet Elijah of the Old Testament. Did he make mistakes? NO. God knew how people would look back to him for certain reasons; and He wanted people to realize, that though he sat there that day watching those prophets of Baal, over 400 of them, cut themselves, scream and carry on all day long, while he just sat by and taunted them, knowing what God would do, he was till not without natural human feelings. Just think, that same Elijah that had that altar built, and those barrels of water poured around until all the wood upon it was soaking wet, and then just stepped back and spoke a few words and waited for the fire to hit that altar and lick up all that was upon it, later got so scared of a woman that had threatened him, he ran miles away and hit out in a care, feeling sorry for himself and complaining to the Lord because he felt all alone. Did that detract from the fact that he was truly God’s anointed prophet for that hour? NO. It just simply shows that he was not under that anointing every moment of his life; and when he was not, he was subject to human feelings just like anyone else; and God made sure that was recorded along with all the other; so spiritual people could be guided by it, while all the rest believe whatever they want to. Why do you think the apostle James would write that Elijah of Old was a man subject to like passions, human frailties, weaknesses of the human flesh, just like anyone else? James 5:17, “Elias (Elijah) was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.” God had a reason for James writing that; He wanted us to have scriptural vindication that human feelings do not prevent God from using a man; and furthermore even though God uses a man mightily, his every word is not to be taken as the word of God. We are responsible for how we hear things; regardless of how they are said; because we have the Spirit of God in us to enable us to hear it right. John the Baptist was the same way. One day he was down by the river preaching; and all of a sudden he screamed out, “Behold the Lamb of God!” He did not just softly say, There is the Lamb of God; he screamed it out. Why did he scream it out? Because he knew he was supposed to. The Spirit of God told him before, On whomsoever you see the Spirit descend upon, and remain upon, that is Him; baptize Him. The revelation he had, he could not help but see the sign; so he introduced Him to the people; just like he was supposed to do; but let us look at John the Baptist at a later time: when he gave place for his own human feelings. Am I saying he made a mistake? No, I am not; but sitting there in jail that day, while Jesus was up north a little ways preaching, and multitudes following Him, John got to thinking. If He really is the one we have looked for, we should soon be seeing so and so. Brother, when the pressure is on, that is when we begin to show our weakness; if there is that human weakness lying there. Two of his disciples came to comfort him; and here is what the Bible tells us concerning the incident. MAT. 11:2 “Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto Him, Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, God and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see. The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” Saints: When you give way to human feelings, after a while you can begin to question a lot of things. You see yourself faced with some kind of situation, and you just cannot seem to see your way through it; because you are only looking at the natural circumstances. Bro. Jackson: Do you mean to tell me John the Baptist got to doubting his own revelation? I do not really think he did; but sitting there in jail, he no doubt began to yield to human feelings; simply because God had not explained every detail to him, of the entire scope of his revelation, and of the various consequences that would follow such a revelation. He no doubt felt that there was more for him to do, than just sit there in jail the rest of his life; so that caused him to wonder, How is this going to turn out? My point it, It was in that state of how he felt at that time, that caused him to express himself as he did, in his moment of weakness; but he was still that Elijah of Malachi4:5, that was to come, before the great day of the Lord; and there is no doubt in my mind, that Bro. Branham was that Elijah that was to come, before the dreadful day of the Lord. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” If John had been anointed, he would never have said anything like that. That is the part we have to look at; when we examine certain statements made by God’s prophets; no matter which one we are looking at. God knew there would be a spirit here in the end time, that would grab what they saw and heard, and worship the vessel He had used, instead of the God that had called that vessel into service, for the benefit of His foreknown children. Therefore God says, I will let my servant say enough, of his own human self, that it can be a fan. My children will catch it; and the rest I will fan with it. My children will recognize the human side; and will not have to try to explain it away. They will just see a vessel anointed; and will know for sure, that he is not God; neither the Son of God. Saints, he was just what he said he was, “A” son of God, our brother in this great family of God. God chose that little man, that He might manifest through him, one of the greatest signs the world had ever seen since the days of Jesus’ own ministry on earth. It takes the Holy Ghost to do that; and the fact that the Holy Ghost did it, goes to show, there are many Gentile people that missed it. They played around with it; and after all these years, they are no longer looking for thunders; nor for the coming of Jesus, because they have the thunders in their books; and they are looking for Bro. Branham to come back. They say the revelation of the seven seals is the mystery of the seven thunders; and there are some that interpret Matthew 24:27-29, (because that great picture which was taken, that if you hold it a certain way, you see the face of Christ) to be the coming of the Son of Man in clouds of glory. Those who believe that was fulfilled when Bro. Branham was out west, are sure not looking for a rapture. Faith Assembly: I am still looking for a rapture. Jesus Christ did not come as the Bridegroom in 1963; but the Holy Spirit demonstrated certain things of Jesus through an earthly messenger; to characterize, and to set in motion a manifestation of His character; to help you and me see the right things; and get ourselves ready for that rapture. Jesus is the one that said these two spirits would be so close, that if it were possible, the very elect would be deceived. I am glad HE said, If it were possible; because that lets me know this, The ELECT will not be deceived. Hallelujah! I’m so glad that I can say, I’m one of them. I am so thankful God let me see right through all that mess the devil kept stirring up, trying to discredit the calling God had upon the life of Bro. Branham. If you see these things for what they really are, you will not be well thought of in the Branham following. You will be well thought of , by the ONE who died for you though; and by those who, by the grace of God, have been able to see what you see. Do not ever think there are multitudes that will clap their hands and jump for joy because you are what you are. No. In this world, you are going to be the misfits, the odd balls of this present society. You will not fit in, no matter where you go, out here in this world; for we are living in an idolatrous, pleasure loving, perverted society of mortal humanity; that is almost ripe enough for that great reaper to cast in HIS sharp sickle; but you can take comfort in your revelation, that before God judges all of this corrupt society, there is going to be a rapture, and a marriage supper for the true Church; and a time of great tribulation for those who do not go in the rapture. Like I said, We do not rejoice over the calamity of others; but because we are privileged to walk with God in truth.

 

NO EXCUSE FOR IGNORANCE

 

We will go to 1st Thessalonians 4:13, where the apostle Paul said, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” I want to try to show you that God does not will us to be ignorant concerning His plan and purpose for our lives in this dispensation of time. If we will take notice to the things Jesus said in Matthew 24, and allow the Holy Ghost to open our eyes to the things that have been fulfilled already, we can better see what is still ahead. Then if we will allow Him, He will show us what is for the Church, and what is for all those who play with the word of God, of those things that are yet to be fulfilled. Jesus spoke all those things to a living generation of people in His hour. Some of those things were for that immediate generation; and that generation of disciples saw it all come to a climax in the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Christians, when the Roman army laid siege against it under the leadership of Titus. All of the Christians fled to the outlying regions, to escape the terrible wrath God allowed that army, to bring upon that Jewish nation and their beloved city; because they refused to recognize their hour of visitation. Then the rest of the things Jesus spoke of, that were not applicable to that generation of Christians, all point to our generation. Therefore if all the things that were relevant to that first generation came to pass, and that generation of disciples saw it all, it would behoove us to take heed to what else is written in the scriptures, for they were given for our learning, our edification and enlightenment; so that this day of the Lord would not come upon us unawares, and we be found to be foolish, sleeping virgins, not knowing when the coming of the Lord is likely to be. Naturally we know there are certain things written, that are there just for the carnal minded church world and the world at large. God made sure, that when they miss His plan of redemption, and end up in the great tribulation, they cannot blame anyone but themselves. Within that which is written, there are things that go far deeper than the mere surface of what people read or see with the natural eye; and that is for the Bride of Jesus Christ. We know Jesus spoke those things in Matthew 24, just a short time before He was crucified; and the whole thing was a prophecy; yet spoke in a way that sounded like He was just merely talking to them. He also promised the disciples something; in John 14:16, that had them prepared for what was to come later saying, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” The Holy Ghost is that combined Spirit of both the Father and the Son. That is why Jesus could speak like that. One might say we have the Spirit of God in us; and another might say we have the Spirit of Jesus Christ in us; but regardless of which terminology one might use, it is all the same Spirit. In John 14:26, He said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” That is how the disciples knew when to flee Jerusalem, to avoid the siege of the Roman army; He had said to them, (Luke 21:20) “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter there into.” The Christians took heed; and the rest just ignored His words; and that is the way it is today. That is why there will be so many slaughtered by the Antichrist and his armies. Only the bride of Christ has any perception of the warnings written right here in the Bible, concerning this time of trouble the world just go through, before God’s wrath from heaven is poured out upon wicked mankind. Let me give you a couple more scriptures to go with those others; concerning this Comforter Jesus promised to send to His disciples. In John 15:26, it says, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me.” Then in John 16:7, He said to them, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto.” Do you now see why the apostle Paul could say, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren?” Everything we need to know, to overcome in this evil hour, has already been provided for us. All we need do, is live our lives according to the truth we already have; and if we come to the place where we need something else, it will be supplied. That is where my faith rest’s. I am not depending on the government of the United States, to supply me with those things Jesus purchased for me at Calvary; I expect my faith and trust in God to take care of all of that. How can we be sure we get everything in the right proportion? Because Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth is come, He will teach you all things, He will bring to your remembrance; all things whatsoever I have told you; but He will also show you things to come.” That is a promise in the word of God that is why we must understand; it is not God’s will that we be ignorant concerning this day and hour we are living in; as we fast approach the coming of the Lord. We must realize however; that we look at the coming of the Lord in sort of a three fold manner. Let me explain it this way: There is a visible bodily return recorded in Matthew 24:27-30, where Jesus said this, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” We know also, that when we connect that with the 19th chapter of Revelation, that visible bodily return of Christ is seen in a greater scope; because there we see the armies of heaven following Him; all in a bodily, visible manifestation as they return to earth. The world will not escape it. The scriptures tell us that that sign of His coming will shine, be reflected, and they will see it just as lightning. However the fact that He used lightning as a means of illustration, does not mean He is coming like a flash of lightning; it just simply points to the fact that it will be that clearly seen by every eye. There will be nothing secret about that coming. In other words, When lightening flashes, it illuminates the whole sky; and is seen from the east to the west. That is why Jesus warned us saying, “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth; behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” There is no chance whatsoever, that anyone could have Him hidden away in some secret place; revealing Him to a select group, for some private reason. If we truly are believers, we already know better than to fall for a gimmick like that. No. His bodily return will be so manifested from the heavenlies, that the Bible tells us the rich, the bond, all kinds will flee to the rocks and mountains, and cry for the rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. That visible bodily return is going to be so manifested from the heavenly realm, that every eye on the face of this earth, no matter whether it is on the Chinese side, or this side, His visible return to earth in wrath and vengeance and flaming fire, and such like, to execute the wrath of God, is going to be such a visible manifestation from the spiritual realm, every mortal creature living on the face of this earth, will have to witness that event. There is another coming that is not to be manifested in that manner though; it is a mystical coming, a secret coming that the world will be unaware of. He is coming to get something; and that something will be His bride; but He will not at that coming, be bodily upon the earth. The Bible says we will meet Him in the air.

 

WHAT IS THE THIRD COMING OF JESUS?

 

There is a third coming; which really is the first coming of Christ; or we Gentiles never would have known anything about the other comings; and how to prepare ourselves for them. This coming, is when He comes to us in a revelational way; If He did not first come to us in that way, we would certainly not have any part in His mystical coming; for we would never know how to prepare ourselves for it. The scriptures tells us Gentiles, we have not know Him after the flesh. That is of course, after His bodily manifestation in that manner, to cause us to believe on Him. It has been by the workings of the Holy Spirit, taking certain things of His Word and projecting that to us; that we can say we know Him. As the Holy Spirit, the omnipresent spirit which is God, and is everywhere, works with us, He works in conjunction with the written Word. When He seeks to enlighten someone, and bring that human being into fellowship, or we should say, into a relationship with Him, there are certain things in His written Word that He quickens (makes alive) to that individual soul by causing them to be understood. They become enlightened in our inner being. When the Holy Spirit quickens that written Word to us, it is no longer just something written on paper. It is then something that becomes a picture we hold in our inner being; properly referred to as a revelation. As that takes place, it draws us to the character qualities we envision Christ Jesus Himself portrayed, when He was here in physical form. It also portrays, and molds in us the spiritual loyalty and steadfastness He portrayed, as He conducted Himself in this life walking completely subject to the will of the Father. Until we are able to see that picture with the eye of our spirit, we are walking spiritually, like a blindfolded person in the natural; believing in something, and just merely assuming that Jesus was like that. A true revelation of the word of God, lets us know exactly what Jesus was like; when He walked on earth in human flesh. That is why Jesus said in St. John’s writings, that the main objective of the Holy Spirit (THE COMFORTER) when He would come, would be to lead us into all truth, (A-L-L T-R-U-T-H) and teach us all things. The beautiful thing about it is, He does it from inside of us. We see no form with out natural eyes; but with the eyes of our spirit, we see a sovereign God working out a great plan of redemption; and He allows us to have an active part in it. Furthermore He does not keep us in the dark about it; but rather, allows us to understand it all. He even allows us to gain an understanding of what took place prior to Genesis 1:1, that caused this earth to be without form and void, and in total darkness. Yes. This coming of Jesus is what gets us ready for the next time He comes; for according to the revelation of the apostle Paul, we are to be conformed to the very image of this BEGOTTEN SON of God. Even with our human faults and failures, we are all sons and daughters of God through the miracle of the new birth; but the time will come, when we will be conformed to that very spiritual image; and will no longer be troubled by human weaknesses. This transformation will not take place though, while people are playing around in a denominational system of religion; like the world is full of today. It is definitely something that separates you from all that confusion, and makes people say, Who in the world do you think you are? That is a manifestation of the same old spirit that caused those Jews to cry, CRUCIFY HIM, and release Barabbas! It certainly is not the Spirit of God, that causes people to say, Do you think you are better than we are? The answer to that Satanic question is definitely NO. It is just the fact that we have enough spiritual sense to know that everything claiming to be a voice for God out here in the world today, is not the voice of God. The Devil himself will use the written word of God; if by doing so, he can feel like he is causing someone to miss the true revelation of that particular scripture. I suppose the best way to refer to this first coming of Jesus Christ to the people of this hour of time, is that He first comes in His word. Then He comes in spirit form to take us to the marriage supper; and lastly comes literally, in bodily form, with His bride Church redeemed throughout the whole age of grace, to judge the earth, and set up His Millennial reign from the throne of king David; right there in Jerusalem, in the temple that is yet to be rebuilt.

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN ASLEEP IN JESUS?

 

I received a letter recently, asking the question, Bro. Jackson: Explain what it means, “Asleep, in the Lord;” and also, “Those that sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” Sometimes people will write and ask questions such as this; and I realize they mean well; feeling like they really need to know; but some to of these letters come with so many questions, I would have to write an entire sermon; just to answer one letter. Therefore I am asking that you who know the answers to these various questions, bear with me, while I explain some of these things; for this is the most effective way to take care of a lot of them at one time. In 1st Corinthians 15:18, the apostle Paul said this, “Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” Meaning of course, If there be no resurrection; for that is what he was dealing with. Then when we get on over to 1st Thessalonians 4:13, we find the verse we have read already, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” This of course speaks of the hope of a resurrection; even though many have passed on in death by the time he was pressed to answer the questions being thrown at Him. Asleep in Jesus, is a figurative expression Paul used, concerning those Christians who had died believing they would live to see the visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ. They that were dead, had no questions; but those who were still alive, and had been holding that same hope; were no doubt asking, Bro. Paul: What about these who have died? What will happen to them? They were physically dead; but they were not dead without hope; even though they did not at that early stage of Christianity, understand what the hope of a true Christian was. That is why Paul said to these Thessalonians, “That ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” Who is he talking about, that have no hope? The world at large of course. Pagans all worshiped some sort of deity; but no other deity offered any hope of a resurrection. These Thessalonian Christians had been converted to Christianity from paganism; so Paul is saying this to believing Gentile Christians. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren.” That lets me know for sure; it is God’s will that somebody understand something, some time or other; and the word sleep, simply means that some have died. These who had died were without doubt loved ones of those who were inquiring. They were Christian individuals who had accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, been baptized, filled with the Holy Ghost, and followed the Lord according to the revelation they had, in whatever span of time they lived. Without question, they had died in the faith; so Paul could say of them, They died in Christ. Therefore they are asleep in Christ. Verse 14, gives us Paul’s reasoning among them; so notice; for this is what the whole thing rest’s upon. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, (They all believed that; for he had preached that to them,) even so them also which sleep in Jesus (those who had died in the faith, looking for the physical return of Jesus) will God bring with Him.” What does that mean, Bro. Jackson? You have to realize this, It is God the eternal Spirit, that sets everything in motion; and He does it according to His own time and His own predetermined order. It is His Spirit that generates, and that motivates the whole transaction of everything that takes place in heaven and earth. Therefore when it says, “will God bring with Him,” he was simply pointing to the fact that the coming of Jesus the Christ, when He comes secretly, for His bride saints, will be an event ordained by the Father, (God) before He ever created anything. The coming of Jesus, is not something Jesus Himself chooses to do in His own time and way of thinking. He will come; yes, but only at the time preordained to bring this dispensation to an end, by that sovereign Spirit which is the Father. Then as it is to be brought to an end, it is the eternal Spirit (God the Father) that sets it all in motion in the whole realm of the Spirit world; as well as in the earth. Jesus will then come to earth with the invested authority of the Father, to speak, and to do whatever it takes to effect the next phase of the resurrection. We must keep in mind though, Jesus will only move, and do these things, as the Spirit of God activates the whole event; just as when He was here on earth. In other words, The Son never did anything in Himself. Only that which the Father, the Spirit, showed Him to do, did he do, and that part will never change. That is why we must visualize His coming back to earth the same way. Therefore when we read where Paul said, Those that sleep in Jesus, will God bring with Him, we must realize that even though their physical bodies were no doubt lain in the ground, their spirit’s went into that heavenly paradise; so it is God’s plan, that they come back to earth with Jesus, to pick up their physical bodies which will come forth in immortality; and then all of the bride, those who are resurrected, and all of those who have stayed alive to see that day, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. Then Paul said, “And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Yes, somewhere in that heavenly realm, there is a dimension where the spirits of the redeemed in Christ are kept. They are enjoying the bliss, the happiness of seeing a paradise world in which there is no pain or suffering or anguish. However we must realize this, That paradise atmosphere, the dimension where they are resting, regardless of what it is like, is not to be pictured as their eternal abiding habitation. It is a place where they are resting; until it comes time for them to come with Jesus and pick up their immortal, physical bodies. They can enjoy the release from this world of wickedness, sin, suffering, and anguish; but they are awaiting the time when the spirit person they are, will be reunited with the resurrected body they died in. They are reunited with that body for another dispensation of life, and for habitation on this earth; when they come back with Jesus to rule and reign. Notice the terminology the apostle Paul used in the 15th verse; and then let me show you something about it. “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord.” There is nowhere in the Old Testament, he could have gotten a verse to base that thought upon; so I am going to read that verse using the word that should have been there; for we know this was spoken by inspiration; because of a revelation he had. ‘For this we say unto you by the revelation given of the Lord.’ What is a revelation? It is the thought of God quickened. It is His word thought quickened; and made known. Let me read the whole verse now, as it should be. For this we say unto you by the revelation given of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. In other words, the only way Paul could have made a statement like this, was by a revelation given to him by the Holy Ghost; which takes you right back to what Jesus said the Comforter (The Holy Ghost) would do, when He came; show you things to come. Just 21 years after the words of Matthew 24, were spoken, here was the Holy Ghost giving those Thessalonian Christians a demonstration of what Jesus had promised that He would do; He was answering their questions, by showing them things to come, that were not even written prior to that time. Their heart’s were troubled; I do not know what is going to happen to Mom and Dad; or to Uncle Jim; they all of a sudden died; and the Lord has not returned yet. Bro. Paul: Please give me an answer. Well Paul had the answer; and he broke it right down into, an easy to understand revelation, by saying, “We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.” This lets us know there is going to be a generation of the Christian faith from the dispensation of grace, alive and remaining at the time this passage of scripture is to be applied. It was a revelation at that time. Then it became written in the chronological writings of the scriptures; and now it is a part of God’s written word, waiting for its time of fulfillment. With this written word, we now have hope and assurance; that when the time is right in the mind of the eternal Spirit, it will be lifted from the paper and applied in fulfilled reality; and many will benefit by it. This is the beauty of the word of God; we do not have to be in ignorance concerning it. Therefore, we which remain alive, shall not prevent, or hinder, or precede them which are asleep, (dead) in Christ. Yes, 1900 years have come and gone, since this was written to those Thessalonian believers who were asking questions concerning their dead loved ones. That whole first century of Christians died; and their spirit’s have gone to glory to await the day Paul wrote of. The second century came and went, the redeemed died in the Lord; and the resurrection still had not come. They are all asleep in Jesus. The body is dead, (asleep) but the spirit of each of them is somewhere in eternal bliss; awaiting that day when what Paul wrote of, will be fulfilled. Think of the generations that have come and gone, and the word of God is till hanging right here; just as it was 1900 years ago. Here is what, after almost two centuries of this grace age, some of your big time TV evangelist huddle around and debate; and wind up confusing great numbers of people who look to them for leadership: Will the Church be raptured before the tribulation, during the tribulation, of afterward? Another one will come along and say, I will give you a thousand dollars; if you can prove to me that the Bible shows there is going to be a rapture. Such a that, just simply causes confusion in the mind’s of a lot of people. Yet it all comes out of a structure that goes under the banner of Christianity. Listen to me saints: That is not Christianity. It is a spirit of antichrist, using these so-called Gospel Preachers here in the end time, to create an atmosphere of utter confusion; because the churches are full of spiritually blind people who are only following some preacher’s flesh. They do not know how to follow the Lord by the Spirit of truth.

 

WHAT IS THE SHOUT? WHAT IS THE TRUMP?

 

The fact that so many Christians are dead, does not change the promise of God one bit. Neither does it change the hope of a true Christian. We can still look at the resurrection just like the apostle Paul described it to those people way back there. It will still take place just like verses 16-17, describe to us. Here is the order of it. “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This shout has got to be understood, that it is something the Holy Ghost does in the last days; to get people’s attention; and activate the revelation of Jesus Christ; that has been lying here in written form all this time. It in no way pertains to His physical form. That is why for 20 some years, there has been something echoing back and forth throughout the earth, awakening people, getting their attention drawn to the reality of where we are time wise. That is what the shout is for. If I saw one of you half way across a large field, and wanted to say something to you: the first thing I would do is yell (or shout) to get your attention. Then I would start talking. Well that is exactly what God has done; in this very age of time. Some people will respond to a yell like that; but usually the one who yelled, and the one who it was for, is the only one’s who have a line of communication. That is why I say, The shout is not going to do one thing to those that are dead in Christ. It is for the living; and it has to come at a time when the overall spiritual condition in the church world has come to such a time factor, that there is a prevailing condition existing, which makes it necessary for the Spirit of God to do something to get the attention of His people; that the world will pay no attention to. When people that have been dealt with by the grace of God in salvation, begin to read His word and desire to be more spiritual, then the Holy Spirit brings this about. It is not literally Jesus in bodily form, standing there in the heavens somewhere yelling at the top of His lungs, to the earthly inhabitants. It is how the Holy Spirit activates the revelation of Christ in your hearts; that makes the difference. Many of you are sitting here today; because there was a little man raised up in this area, whose ministry was destined to be the turning point for millions on the face of the earth. I was in the Methodist Church, when God saved my soul; but He put a hunger in my heart that most Methodist at that time did not have. I will never forget that morning in February, when I sat down on the living room couch, and the Bible just fell open to the first chapter of Luke. When I read how the angel spoke to Zacharias, I finished reading it; and said, That angel did not quote all of that verse in Malachi. Then something down inside of me said, If we are living in the days before Jesus Christ comes the second time, He must send that spirit of Elijah again. Otherwise the angel would have quoted it all to Zacharias. Well a few months later, I was privileged to sit under that Elijah’s ministry; and I will have to say, his ministry has awakened a lot of people. It has also sent a lot of others down the road fuming mad; because they were not prepared to hear the truth. Yes. There definitely was a shout. It did not bring anyone out of the ground; but it sure brought a lot of people out of confusion. It brought them out of those old dead systems of denominational religion; and gave them a hunger for more of the apostolic truth of the word of God. “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel.” Let me say this, the world will never hear that archangel sound. I am completely convinced that the little Bride of Christ is going to hear something; and it will without a doubt be revelatory things to complete her revelation. She has already heard the shout; and she is awake; just waiting for the Lord to direct her. There is yet a few things the Little bride needs; before she takes her journey. Something pertaining to the immediate coming of the Bridegroom. We do not even have to worry about the visible coming of the Lord; because we will be coming back with Him then. What we need to get more concerned about, is being ready to meet Him in the air; so we will be there to come with Him. The shout is for the living; and the trump of God is for the dead in Christ. Remember what Paul wrote to the Corinthians: saying, (1 Cor. 15:51-52) “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” When that trumpet sounds, the world will not hear it; but the dead in Christ will hear it; and when they come up, the living element of the bride will already be awake, ready to go with them to meet Jesus in the air. There is no reason for anyone to become fanatical. If your spirit is in tune with Him, and you have the right information about His return, so you know how to expect His coming, you can just go to bed each night, knowing that when He comes, you are ready. You do not have to stay home from work on a certain day, expecting Him; because where you are will make no difference. You can set the old alarm clock just like you always do; get up and go to work saying, Lord I thank you for another good night of rest. I do not know whether you are coming today, or not; but I do know your coming is soon; so if I am at work, I trust you to let me, my wife, and our family meet each other as we pass through the air to meet you. No matter where you are, nor what state of activity you are involved in, fi you are ready, as it says in Matthew 24, and in Luke, you will be taken. The one that is ready will be taken, and the one that is not ready, is going to be left. It is not so important for us to know what hour He is coming; or even what day of the week He is coming. There are some people so carnal, if they knew exactly what day He was coming, and what hour, their flesh no doubt would prompt them to do a lot of silly things. That does not mean that the Lord cannot quicken to His end time bride saints, a year, or even a month, in which they may expect His coming; for He only stated that no one would know the day and hour. When I say that, certain people will say, Oh Bro. Jackson: Now you are playing with fanaticism! Well we just come right back to the seventy week of Daniel. If you do not know whether there is three and a half or seven years left, then how are you going to apply what Jesus said concerning the abomination that maketh desolate? He said, (Mark 13:14) “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand) then let them that be in the Judaea flee to the mountains;” and so forth. Naturally that pertains to the second half of that seventieth week of Daniel; which is the great tribulation. That is when the abomination that maketh desolate will stand in the holy place. Therefore in Matthew 24:29, concerning His visible coming with the armies of heaven , He said, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” That tribulation period is precisely three and one half years long; and Jesus was very specific about what He said; so if that is so precise concerning His visible coming, I will say this, If you and I are left here to go through that tribulation period, we would have to be fools, not to know when to expect His visible return. He has already told you when it will be. It is hard for me to accept the fact that He would tell that element exactly when to expect Him; and not give His faithful bride a single clue, as to when to expect Him to come for her. I believe with all my heart, especially because of the clue Paul gives in his epistles to the Thessalonians, that as the little Bride gets closer to that event of the rapture, which will take place somewhere around the time that 70th week of Daniel is ushered in and the man of sin introduced into the world order, that God, by His Spirit, is going to deal with the Bride in such a revelatory way, in things that are not even written in the scriptures, that she will know the approximate time of the rapture. By the time the Bride reaches that point, God will have separated all confusion and carnality from them. He will have a living element of believers whose mind’s are completely cleared up; and whose revelation of His word, His will, and His purpose are exactly in harmony. They will be informed, and know how to walk with Him, believe Him, and trust Him. Therefore He can rely upon their honesty, their sincerity, and their integrity, that whatever He informs them of by the Spirit, they will not get out here and publish it to the world; like a bunch of foolish people. There have been a lot of people acting silly; in the last 15 or 20 years. The end of the world is coming at such and such a time, and so forth. We have read where they built bomb shelters and stocked them with food, stopped going to school, stopped going to work, and look how they turned out. Those families got into trouble with the law; ended up in court, and I suppose some of them had their children taken from them; simply because of acting foolish. Someone thought they had a revelation from God; but they acted contrary to the word of God. God does not give out that kind of revelation to people who do not know how to handle it. We are here to learn, in God’s appointed time, how to be wise Christians, how to be true, and how to be trusted; and it is all by the grace and mercy of God. Our lives merit nothing of what God bestow’s upon us.

 

HOW TO COMFORT EACH OTHER

 

The word rapture, does not appear in the Bible; but the word caught up, does; and we all know what it means; so it is fitting to refer to it as the rapture; if we choose to do so. The catching away, being caught up together with Him, gathering together unto Him, and the rapture, all speak of the same thing; which in reality is His mystical coming, to take the bride Church to glory for a period of seven years; while the Spirit of God again deals with the nation of Israel. It is not visible to the world order, nor the world systems. It is a mystical coming; and Jesus Himself will not literally come to earth in mortal flesh. That is why verse 17, says, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Them is the one’s that have been raised from the dead; those which are asleep in Christ. The Methodists look for God to take us all to heaven to ever be with the Lord; and they think God is going to burn up the earth; and create a new one. That is the end of the Methodist picture; but that is not the way the Bible was meant to be read. It was not written to be interpreted like that. Even after 19 centuries, Paul’s admonition in the 18th verse is still the same; “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” If that early generation of Christians could talk about it, and encourage themselves, and smile with a hope, knowing where mother, father, and others that died in the faith were, we can still do the same. We do not have to worry about Mom, Dad, nor anyone else that died in the faith; because we know they are in the hands of the Lord. I know, that if I live until that time, or if I died in the Lord, I have nothing to worry about. I will not be left here, nor excluded from anything God has prepared for those who believe and trust in Him. No. The picture is clear. We have something to live for; and if we do die, we have something to die with; because we have a hope that is sure. The 5th chapter is a continuation of the thought Paul was dealing with in chapter 4; and I do not see why some preachers want to take certain things from the book of Revelation, and annul this. This revelation Paul recorded here, is for the Bride of Christ at the end time. It does not change any of the prophetic events that the book of Revelation speaks of; which are to take place at the end of the age. Neither does prophetic insight at the end time, annul, or change any of this. Somewhere, somehow we will find that the pieces fit together exactly. This is what Paul said to the Thessalonian believers; as we go on into chapter 5. “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.” Brothers and sisters, I looked for a good while, and thought; What did Paul mean, of the times and seasons? If he was speaking of time in a general sense, why did he not just say, But of the time? Why not speak of it in a generality term? When he used two distinct words to define time, then you go back to Genesis, in the order of creation; and the Lord said, (Gen. 1:14-15) “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.” What did He mean by that? One is to distinguish what days are; and the other is for years. I hope you understand. Therefore a we read this, think, “But of the days or years; for that is what it really boils down to. Look at the next verse. “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” As a thief in the night to who? The believers? No. The world. “For when they (carnal minded mankind) shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Certainly we know this, That the time when people of the world begin to say, Now we have peace and safety, is not something that you can relate to former time. NO. This is a declaration declaring that the world is going to go on and on and on in its general cycle of political, social and religious ways as long as God allows them to; but as time comes toward the end, there is coming a terrible time upon the human race; and the world order is going to come to such a state of turmoil, it is going to literally fulfill the words of Jesus in Luke 21:25-27, which are as follows, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Of course we know that much of that is figurative language depicting masses upon masses of humanity, demonstrating, speaking out against various things; political upheavals, assassinations, one form of government corrupting another form, and all such like. Look at South America, for the last number of years; assassinations, one after another. This leads us closer to the end of time. All of these preexisting conditions are to come about in the end time; because they are what brings humanity to the time of the end. God ordained it to the end like that; after allowing mankind to pursue their own way, completely ignoring His standard of righteousness. As that time of the end approaches, the world will finally be pressured; but in that great pressure, do you think they are going to turn to God? Not at all. They are going to resort more and more to Satan’s deceptive tactics. They will depend upon their intellectual ideas, and their political ways; until something will finally come about when they will begin to bring about a charter; wherein they will say, Now we have done it. Now we have it! Now we will have peace and safety! That is what the United States, Europe, the whole world is looking for today; some man to step on the scene, that has enough influence, and persuading capabilities, that he can say something; and the masses of the world will say, We will abide by that. That time when the world will say, Now we have peace and safety, do you think this revelation Paul wrote here is pertaining to the next 50 years? No sir. We have to realize this, God will not let it be like that; until the world is ready for the man of sin to be introduced. That is why we have to understand these verses; and how they will come about in the time of the end. When Paul spoke in 2 Thess. 2:1-4, saying, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, EXCEPT there come a falling away first, and that MAN OF SIN BE REVEALED, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God,” it did not mean that he (the son of perdition) would be revealed (personally) 10, 15, or 20 years before the coming of the Lord. NO, he is going to be revealed to the world, for just a short period of time, enough to set the week of Daniel in motion. That week of Daniel is a seven year period, in which God gives the world a chance to fulfill whatever is to transpire. Now when we say that, we are not putting it down to a day or hour, are we? We are dealing with years and months; not days and hours. We are definitely getting closer to a specific set time known only to the Father, the great Creator who set this whole thing in motion; for that last week of time (seven years of 360 days each) to begin the count down. If Jesus is coming at the precise ending of it, then I know the beginning of that week of time cannot start haphazardly way back here somewhere; and be prolonged to fill out a long period of time. No. There is a precise time God has ordained this to be set in motion; and He will let that man of sin come along exactly at the right time. When I say that, we are not talking about a particular day of 24 hours, but we are talking about a season of time in which God will let the world usher it in. Then God starts marking time. We could say, He presses the button on His stop watch; and when 2520 days have elapsed, Jesus will be seen coming from heaven with His great army; and every eye will see Him. There will be nothing secret about that coming. “For when they (the world) shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they (the world) shall not escape.” There is enough written here, in Matthew 24, concerning the fit tree, that every political leader of every head of state ought to take heed. The fig tree has put forth her bud. The fit tree is now in foliage; and the summer season is just ahead, wherein God will reap the fruit of what He brought her back there for. The fruit is what comes forth in the summer season. Now if that is a fact, then all these other things we see going on in the spiritual realm, as well as the political realm, are things you and I should watch. When we see these things coming to pass, Jesus said, know ye therefore it is at the door. That means, if you were to open a natural door, it could be standing there looking right at you. It is just that close, Saints: I am so thankful we can live int his world without being a part of everything that is going on in it; and I am also thankful we do not have to be ignorant concerning the things that are taking place. We are not setting a day nor an hour; but neither are we sitting here, lulled to sleep; nor scratching our head’s saying, These are things we are not supposed to know; and never will know. That is a sloppy, displeasing to God attitude for anyone to have; when God has made sure we have access to the true revelation of His word, His will, and His purpose for mankind upon this earth. In Acts 1:6–8, we find something to go with what we said about the times and the seasons terminology used. Notice “When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, (Jesus) saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” When we can look back in history, and see that the first 69 weeks of Daniel had a precise starting point, (you can find it in Nehemiah when it would start) and we can see by the crucifixion of Christ, that when He was crucified, 483 of those years, (or 69 weeks) had come and gone; leaving exactly one week of seven years yet to be fulfilled; as this dispensation of grace draws to a close. While Paul, at that time, was telling the Church, It is not necessary that you know those things, he still gave them an informative picture of how to look at the end; and it has been 1900 and some years since Paul wrote this; so we believe the Spirit of God will quicken some things to this generation, that other generations had no need whatsoever to know. Paul had already told the Thessalonian assemblies what would immediately precede the end of this grace age; “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction.” so knowing these things, shame on any Christian that does not take this serious.

 

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIGHT AND DARKNESS

 

As we continue looking at the apostle Paul’s words to the Thessalonians, notice in verse 4, what he says about those who walk in the light of God’s word. He has just told them that that day, (the coming of the Lord) will come upon the world as a thief, in the night; and then he gives them something to build their hope upon by saying this, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” That word sober, goes much beyond avoiding drunkenness on alcoholic beverages and such like; and really speaks of Christians being sober-minded; and conscious of what God is doing in their hour of time. When he was saying this, He already had an insight that the Church was never to be left here in this life ignorant of the closeness of the coming of the Lord for His Church, as that time draws near. As we have said before, That first generation of Christians felt that somehow all of this would come about in their lifetime; and they would themselves be caught up alive, to meet the Lord in the air. Christians in every age since that time, have felt the same way; but their age passed by, without producing the signs they were taught to watch for. In our case, it is a different story though; for we have seen the signs; right down almost to the revealing of the literal man of sin. We already know what office he will come from; we just do not know if this present pope of the Roman Catholic Church is the man to fulfill that role or not. To this point, I personally see nothing that would rule him out; but of course God Himself is the only ONE, that knows for sure. We will just have to watch the political maneuvers, as well as the religious maneuvers in the world; until we see the sure sign. When we do see it, HALLELUJAH! Our flight will be close at hand. The Lord’s coming for the Bride, is definitely something that is not going to catch the Bride unaware. Only the world of unbelief and apostate religion is caught unaware. Why else would he describe it, “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness,” when in a natural sense, in the world at large, the Christian and the sinner alike, all look into the sky and see the sun? I believe we all agree it is because the light he is talking about is a revelation of the word of God. He is not talking about the light of the sun; yet he is using sunlight to show this, That people who have normal visual sight, should not stumble through daylight hours. Common sense would tell you, that if we stumble in the day time, it is usually because we are not watching where we are walking. We can expect accidents after darkness sets in; when you cannot fully see where you are walking; but in daylight hours there is really no reason for it; therefore we just transfer that to a spiritual likeness; and we have Paul’s thought in the way he meant it. We are living in the dispensation of time when God’s plan is being made clear to believers; and when those believers reach that point in time, that it is necessary for them to know where they are, in time, so they will know how to journey on as wise virgins, there is going to be something spiritually given to them; that will be informing them of how to walk on to the end of their present earthly journey; and let them know how to look at that particular period of time in respects to the dispensation that is closing out. We are no longer living under types an shadows like the nation of Israel lived under; before the first advent of Christ; we are living in the projection of those things that were foreshadowed in the Old Testament. We are living in the time when the actual picture is here. However in some of these things it was not necessary that God give the full picture 1900 years in advance. What they did receive at that time was how to comfort each other, and how to be stabilized by the sure promises of the word of God. True believers were made to realize, that regardless of how many generations would come, fill the Church ranks, and then die off, there would come a time in this dispensation of grace, when there would be a living generation of people that would face the closing out of the dispensation; and would need further enlightenment on how to look for the coming of the Lord Jesus to take them out of here. “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; (in unbelief, misinformed, confused) and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.” The hope of salvation, down through the ages, when believers did not know whether Christ would come in their day or not, has been a comfort to them especially by these next words of the apostle Paul; “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, (the great tribulation, and the terrible judgment that is to come at the end) but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, (whether we are alive or dead, when that event does come) we should live together with Him.” That is the end promise. He closes that particular thought by saying, “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” What we have just studied, right up to this very point, establishes what the Church has known through time and decades, That somewhere in time, in this dispensation of grace, as she reaches the closing hour of time, the Church will be taken out of this world. That is a promise. We can invest all of our hope in Christ in that fact; that no matter how difficult life here on earth may become, the hour will come, when we will be caught up to glory with Him.

 

A CLEARER PICTURE OF THE END TIME

 

Shortly after Paul wrote the first epistle to the Thessalonian Assembly, he received another letter from them that necessitated a further clarification of the end time signs leading up to the coming of the Lord Jesus. He first commended them for their love toward each other; and for the way their faith was growing; and also for their patience in persecutions and tribulations, and so forth. Then in chapter 2, verse 1, (which we have already read, but need to get it in here) he begins to deal more specifically with conditions that will exist at the end time saying, (2:1) “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him,” In chapter 4, verse 17, he has already described the rapture; how that those which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them (the dead in Christ) in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord; but here, he takes that period of time when they say peace and safety, then sudden destruction, and breaks it down, showing us how that era of peace that the world will establish, will be brought about. Verse 2, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” We do not know exactly how it was in 54 A.D., when Paul wrote this; but we live in an hour when we have TV preachers, doctors of divinity, all arguing, debating, and having all kinds of talk shows trying to find out who is right and who is wrong; and when they get finished, no one knows any more about the truth of their subject, than they did before they started. Naturally they every last one have gone to a seminary and studied Hebrew and Greek; yet regardless of what they may think, Hebrew and Greek translations still fail to produce the revelation of what they are discussing. God never meant for anyone to get it like that; or the Holy Ghost would not be here doing what Jesus said He would be doing; guiding us into all truth. If ceratin translations could bring out the true meaning of God’s word, without the Holy Spirit giving the understanding, then certain races of people in the world have an advantage over other races that do not understand those languages. Be assured of this, saints, The Holy Spirit is the only source of true revelation; when you are dealing with the word of God. Everything else is just theology; which the world is full of today. Only the Bride will see the true picture. All the rest will just continue on in confusion. God does not want His true children to be soon shaken in mind, or troubled in our spirit, all frustrated because of listening to all kinds of preachers saying this, saying that, contradicting each other. He wants us to see something in His words that will stabilize us; not confuse us. There have been people say to me, Bro. Jackson, I want to understand the deep things, but I just have a hard time doing so. To you, let me say as positive as I know how, hoping that I may be able to give you a feeling of ease in your thinking. I went to Grade School for eight years; and during that time there were a lot of things I did not understand; but as I look back now, I can say, I did not discredit nor disbelieve the things that I did not understand. The things I could understand, I related to; and gladly received; but I did not say, Away with that; who needs it? concerning the things I did not understand. I realized it was all a part of the education program. My point is, If we can just learn to say yes t some things that we believe to be right, regardless of whether we fathom the entire depths or not, I guarantee you this one thing. As it becomes necessary for you to understand those things in more detail, the Spirit of God will see to it that you grasp whatever portion you have need of. On the other hand, as long as you look at these things as great mountains or obstacles too tough to tackle, and say, I just cannot understand this; and you take off running in another direction, you will never learn much of anything. Algebra was always hard for me. Regardless of how many columns of numbers you have, I can get the answer; my way; but when you start giving me A plus 3 over C equals such and such and so forth, it was all Greek to me. Then later on, when I ended up in the Army artillery, I began to realize, That is important. That is how they fire those big guns. I did not know myself, how to put it together, but I saw other men that did. I just use that to make a point; that whether you understand every detail of something the first time you hear it is not the important thing. What is important, is that you do not reject something you hear, just because it is not understood. Lay it up some place; and talk to your heavenly Father about it. Many of these denominational preachers in the world today like to say, Why Jesus could come this very night; for according to the Bible, we do not know what moment He is going to come; because the Bible says HE is coming as a thief in the night. Yes, for those that talk like that, maybe; but not for the bride. The bride will know when to expect Him, when the time comes for her to know. They just probe and poke and assume; but they do it without understanding. The true Church is not a bunch of people assuming; just because they may have expected things to move faster than they have.

 

WORDS OF WISDOM

 

world council of churchesAs we read verse 2, in this 2nd chapter of 2 Thessalonians, notice those words of wisdom Paul wrote to that assembly; and remember this, They are still applicable today. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, EXCEPT there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition,” What day is he talking about? He is talking about the coming of the Lord; when the bride saints will be gathered unto Him; like he (Paul) spoke of in verse 1. The falling away is a reality; the things of Matthew 24 are hanging before us; and the general society has been turned over to a reprobate mind. Sodom and Gomorrah is here. The days of Lot are here. The days of Noah are here. I believe all of you know what I mean by saying that; Gangs are everywhere, lawlessness is popular, teenage hoodlums carrying guns and knives stalk the streets at night, shooting it out with one another; and perversion is accepted as a right of any individual; instead of a violation of God’s will and purpose for mankind. With conditions as they are, that man of sin could be revealed very soon now. I will have to take issue with anyone who says the rapture could take place just any moment though; because we still have an Ezekiel 38 & 39 war to be fought; before these other necessary elements of the total picture can be filled in. That is why I emphasize the fact that we are not setting dates for anything; but rather furnishing you with scriptural proof that this is the generation that will live to see Jesus return to earth to sig upon HIS throne in Jerusalem. It takes no special ability to recognize that the falling away part is already fulfilled. The church world is not longer a light to this ungodly world. She has not truth. She has shut the door to truth and revelation. She is void and destitute of the leadership of the Holy Ghost. It just a mass of people sitting there, presumptuously believing in something without reality, and without any scriptural hope. It is not the drunks falling away. It is not the unbelieving society of the world falling away from anything. It is what the world recognizes as the church; that is falling away. The very people, (churches, not individuals) that at one time had a lot of influence and say-so about how any society would live, month by month and year by year, no longer have the least little flicker of light; spiritually speaking; and God has turned them over to a reprobate mind. It is dark out there; and multitudes of people are walking in that darkness; simply because they failed to recognize the true light for this age, when they had their chance. The falling away comes first; and then that man of sin will be revealed; just like Paul said. You have to go back to the 9th chapter of Daniel, to see how that comes about. Naturally we do not know exactly when that 70th week of Daniel will start; but we do know we are living in the gross darkness that is to hit the earth prior to the start of that 7 year period of time. As we have just stated, The light of truth has gone out of Protestant church systems, never to return again; and Catholicism, the old mother church that has never had the light of truth, is as carnal and reprobate as anything can be. They, along with the World Council of Churches, have sold themselves out to the devil. They are misinformed, misled and deceived. Politics and materialism make up the largest part of their programs; and that was never the responsibility of the Church of the living God. The Church is responsible for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and bearing a testimony of the truth they have become heirs to. Furthermore as Paul admonished the Thessalonian believers, saying to them, (1Th. 5:22) “Abstain from all appearance of evil,” so say I to you; for there are those who greatly enjoy getting the children of God mixed up in some kind of embarrassing situation. Time is too short for that. I may not be alive when Jesus comes; but some of you will be; if we have been reading the signs right; and I am persuaded that we have. Religion of the world is going the way of the world; but that does not mean we must follow them.

 

SELF EXALTATION

 

Notice the final picture the apostle Paul presents, of the man of sin; as we read 2Th. 2:4. I will read verse 3 again; so we can see both verses together. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Just to make sure you get the picture the way Paul meant it, let me just rehearse it like this, The Church, somewhere in time, just prior to that week of Daniel, is going to see the spiritual falling away; and then she is going to see political and economic conditions come on the scene, that will seemingly make it necessary for the world to accept such a man as that; which Satan will project as their only hope in that hour. Leaders of the world will begin talking about the pope being the only man alive; that would be acceptable to every nation, as the neutral agent to oversee a political, economic and social agreement between them. They will have to have a man that they feel secure in turning the administration of a world system of politics, economics, an social tranquility over to; so do not think that will all be worked out in a time of 24 hours; or even in a week’s time. Think of it as a short period of time; but yet short enough that it does not run into years and years on end; because this generation has to live to see all of this climax. It will be a short period of time; lasting only long enough for the Bride to recognize exactly what is taking place. That is when she will really begin to say, We are very close to the time of the rapture. That is one of the signs; in fact one of the last signs she is to read. We do not know the year or month; but the time will come, when the true bride will be prepared by a prophetic ministry, for that glorious event Christians of every age since the first, have talked about. Many so-called followers of Bro. Branham’s message to this age, have taken it upon themselves to set dates for the return of the Lord, like we have already related to you in this message; but we who still depend upon the accuracy of what is written in the Bible, will never do such a foolish thing as that. We will just take what we do know; and continue on with it; until the time comes that God sees fit to reveal something else to us. Certainly, we will not be searching Spoken Word Books; trying to find some hidden meaning in a statement Bro. Branham made, that we can forecast a date from. That is of that antichrist spirit; because it is contrary to the written word of God. When will this man of sin exalt himself above God and everything that is holy? In the last half of that 70th week of Daniel. Will the Bride saints still be here then? No. Emphatically NO! For as the apostle Paul wrote, God has not appointed us to wrath. We would not be able to comfort each other with what he said about the catching away, if it was not going to take place before that time of trouble such has never been before, and will never be again. The Bible is very clear on these things. It is just that various one’s through time, have allowed Satan to use them to promote things that have been contrary to the word of God; and many have been led astray by them. I just have to say, to you who have stepped over the word of God and spread that kind of teaching throughout the world, God will hold you accountable. You have blinded many people; just for the sake of trying to be something God never called you to be. You will notice that I did not say they deceived the Church. I merely said they led many people astray. The Church is not to be a bunch of people that open their ears to every rotten voice the devil uses to propagate his antichrist teaching.

 

A VOICE THE CHURCH WILL LISTEN TO

 

The same Holy Ghost that anointed that little man to bring us a picture of what the first six seals mean, is definitely going to bring forth an understanding to the Bride alone; of what the braking of that seventh seal in its entirety really means. When He does, you will not find it written anywhere in the Spoken Word books. That does not devalue, nor deny Bro. Branham’s teachings on the things he was anointed to teach; it only says to you, THAT SEVENTH SEAL IS YET TO BE OPENED; THEREFORE IT CANNOT POSSIBLY BE WRITTEN ANYWHERE. I wish people in this end time could look at the Bible structure with a little more assurance of its infallibility. I have read to you what Jesus said; how He told us just before He went away, When the Holy Ghost comes, He is going to tell you some more. Is that not right? He did exactly that; by the mouth of the apostle Paul. Well when God took Paul, did the Holy Ghost stop talking to the Church? No. Forty some years later, that old patriarch of the Pentecostal faith, whose name was John, while in exile on a lonely island, was caught up to the third heaven also; and shown things that even Paul did not see. The political heads and God despising citizens, thought they would get that old fanatic off the scene and out of their way; which they probably did; but that did not shut God up. You do not set boundaries that sovereign Spirit cannot cross. They could not shut HIM up back then; and those who have that same God hating spirit on them, cannot shut HIM up today. He will do for the end time bride, exactly what He did back then with John; He will show her things through that Spirit of prophecy, that have never been written anywhere. John started to write them; but was forbidden to. That alone, lets me know that there is yet something else for the Church; before she gets out of here. Things Bro. Branham did not see, will be brought forth at the end; by an anointed ministry that will have THUS SAITH THE LORD, just as surely as he did. Sure Bro. Branham was God’s messenger to the age; and yes he did bring a message; but some of the things that were said, were said without an explanation; and it has left a lot of questions in the mind of godly, spiritual people; that will need to be answered before they leave this world. William Marrion Branham will not raise from the dead to answer them either. His personal ministry was completed; when God received the spirit of life back to Himself from him. The same Holy Ghost that was in him, will be in others doing the talking for our final instructions; and will do the necessary teaching, regardless of whether you like it or do not like it. He can use a 90 year old, gray headed man walking with a cane; if He chooses to; or He can use a young man, or men. That is not for us to say. The apostle John certainly was no young man; when he was on the Isle of Patmos, in 96 A.D., but God enabled him to write the whole book of Revelation; regardless of his age and physical condition. There is one thing sure, We know things today, because of what God did through him, that we would never have been able to find out by reading any of the rest of the written scriptures. Yes, when the messenger to the first age (the apostle Paul) was lying in the cold ground decomposed, this old patriarch of the faith was still fighting the devil, still standing in the gap, ready to give the saints of God something to hold on to, just before time moved out of that first age and started its spiritual decline. God anointed that man; and he had the last say so, before the curtain began to be drawn; and darkness began to develop the word of God. That is why when we go to the book of Revelation, we see things written there that are related to prophecy and history dealing with how the Church would go through time; what would cause the Church to be affected, as she would travel through time; and what would affect the generations that would come on the scene, leading right up to the end. That is why we can say, Not one thing written in the book of Revelation annuls what Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 15 or 1st Thessalonians 4 & 5, or 2nd Thessalonians 2. It all blends together; to give us a more complete picture of the plan and purpose of God for His redeemed children; as Gentile time draws to a close. I have always found it fitting to refer to this letter of prophecy written and given to the Church; as a closed love letter to the end time element of the bride of Christ; never to be understood by anyone until the end time. That is why Catholicism never understood it. That is why most Protestants have never understood it; and why most of them are so quick to say, The book of Revelation never should have been written. It is all Dutch, or Greek to them. It is supposed to be that way; because they have no need to know what it pertains to. Why should God give them a clearer picture, when there is enough already written in the Epistles, from the things said by Jesus, and the things taught by the various one’s that walked with Jesus, that they refuse to accept the true revelation of? I am thankful today, that there is something written here in the word of God for the Church to hold on to in this evil age; when the world around us is going crazy because they have no hope in God.

 

CLOSING REMARKS

 

Brothers and Sisters, I want to say to you before we close this message. If you have a tendency to look only at the flesh of the instruments God speaks through, you will not see Jesus the way God means for us to see Him. Sooner or later your eyes will be attracted only to the man; and you will be like this bunch of carnal minded humanity that has brought so much reproach upon the name of our precious Brother Branham; a man that never would have allowed anyone to speak of him the way they do. All most of that certain element ever preaches is Bro. Branham, Bro. Branham, Bro. Branham. Jesus has almost become a byword in their vocabulary. Some of them will even say, We are not looking for Jesus; we are looking for William Marrion Branham to come back. He is the Messiah. He is the Saviour. That man is Jesus in His new name; they will say. The same spirit that started Catholicism, coming out of the first age, is the spirit that is on people like that; here in the end time, working against the door of every man and woman’s heart; trying to mislead them, deceive them, and lead them to destruction. In 1963 in the month of March and April, there were six seals described in this book many of them carry instead of a Bible; and the meaning of those six was spoken in such simple language, that even a school age child could read and understand the meaning set forth. Yet they are forever looking for some secret message hidden in them; that they can use to monopolize the end time spiritual picture. These denominational people out here today, could read those books and know what those first six seals point to; but they feel that anything an uneducated man like Bro. Branham would teach, is just a joke; so they go after Billy Graham’s ‘Four Horsemen’; and look for something to be fulfilled, that was fulfilled centuries ago. Those great scholars of the world, would never humble themselves to accept anything from the teaching of Bro. Branham; and God is never going to reveal the truth to them; so where does that leave them? Right in the midst of the great tribulation. ON the other hand, all those that are in the true Church can know by those six seals that have already been revealed; as they look back in time, where the Church has came from, why it has been affected by those horsemen, and not by thinking they are yet in the future. In front of us, we are moving to a time when that seventh seal will be broken; and when it does come about, you can rest assured of one thing. There will never be another Gentile soul added to the Bride of Christ. When He breaks that seventh seal, that scroll can be completely unfurled; and then Jesus can leave His intercessory, mediatorial work, and come as it describes in chapter 10 of Revelation, with an open scroll. He will be coming for the contents of it. In other words, for all of those whose names are written therein. I am thankful for truth; and I take no delight in knowing that there are multitudes in the world today, under every banner of religion imaginable, that would not recognize truth if it was again laid in their hands. God is not unjust; He has given every soul their chance to walk in truth; and only a few have accepted His invitation. The rest have gone about their every day activities; paying little attention to anything of spiritual benefit to their soul’s. That is why we have the conditions of Noah’s day, and Lot’s day all around us; and we are looking for the soon return of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He is the one who gave us these signs to recognize this hour of time by. May God bless you every one abundantly. Amen.

City of Paradise, Part 2

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WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT THE DESCRIPTION OF THE CITY JOHN SAW COMING DOWN FROM GOD OUT OF HEAVEN, SO LET US GO TO VERSE 9, OF REVELATION, CHAPTER 21 AND CONTINUE ON, AS WE CONSIDER THE DESCRIPTION OF THIS CITY OF PARADISE.


We are going to move down to verse 9, since we have sufficiently covered the first 8 verses. We want to consider all of what John wrote about this city as we go along. Before I begin reading again let me say this, The little drawing you see up here behind me is just an illustrative drawing of how John no doubt looked upon this city as he saw it coming down from God out of heaven. It has to have certain characteristics and identities that make him see it as a city, looking at it from an external view. He is not inside the city, since he is standing looking at it descend to earth, therefore we understand that he sees it in an external profile. As we read our text earlier, I was reminded of how religionists have looked upon this description through the centuries, always looking at it as a literal city. Only God Himself knows how many times we have heard people say, I am going to walk on streets of gold. Well saints, when we really read it and consider it, you are going to find out that this is a different kind of gold than what you would wear on a watch that has been plated with gold to keep it from tarnishing. This drawing is to illustrate something that we will go back into the book of 1st Kings, in the 6th chapter, to look at, where we read about the temple that King Solomon built. This is a rough drawing of it, just to give you the dimensions of that temple. This one colored part is to distinguish between what was called the oracle and the other parts. It was a room placed in the far end of the structure which was the temple. It was called the oracle. This is a cut away view looking into this room face on, how it would be seen by the high priest as he would enter into it. This is the overall outer dimensions of the temple King Solomon built, as you would read in 1st Kings 6. It was sixty cubits long. That is equivalent to ninety feet. It was twenty cubits wide. That is equivalent to thirty feet. That is one third of its overall length. It is thirty cubits in height, which is one and one half times its width. Then we see that in this room, it measures twenty cubits by twenty cubits by twenty cubits, meaning it is a cube. It is a perfectly square room. That was a type. This is as you would see it looking into that particular room, as you would walk facing into it. We realize that room in the temple King Solomon built was a type of this city John saw coming down from God out of heaven. In all the years of my study, I had never really seen this in 1st Kings. I saw it of course, but I just looked upon it as something irrelevant to any other application in the New Testament, because all those measurements seemed to be just so much arithmetic that had little bearing on any future meaning or subject. When I got to studying for this message, I realized it is all so beautifully portrayed in the overall picture. Let us now go ahead and read some more about this city John saw coming down. Follow me now, as I read. “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.” We have read that same thing in the 19th chapter of Revelation. We know it says in the 19th chapter that the marriage of the Lamb has come and His wife hath made herself ready. We know that is referring to the true Church in this hour, a people on the earth that are true Christians, called by the Spirit of God, saved by His grace, purified, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost, and made ready for the coming of Jesus the Christ in that event we look upon as the rapture, and the marriage will be taking place in heaven. Right here though, we see that the Lamb’s wife is looked at again. We have to realize that His wife has already made herself ready prior to the time of Revelation 19, which actually shows the true Church that He comes for prior to that time, so this has got to be interpreted that this which is seen coming down, which is also called His wife, has got to be one and the self same thing. The main difference is, there is a thousand years of time that have elapsed between what we read in Revelation 19 and what we read in Revelation 21. How could that be? Is there a discrepancy in the word of God? Not at all. Does this mean that Christ has two Brides? Not at all. He is not a polygamist. We are going to find out that what we see in the 19th chapter is the Church in its glorified state, all with immortal bodies, robed in His righteousness, coming back to earth to rule and reign in a Millennium of kingly, earthly rule, and what we see here is a picture of the final anointing of Jehovah God Himself, coming to settle upon the people that were already His wife. It is a picture of the wife, the Lamb’s wife, in her eternal state of relationship with God for the eternal age. Let us read further. (This is an external description of the CITY OF PARADISE, John’s description as he views it from an external viewpoint.) “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, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone (Like unto a stone, simply means the light of the city reflected like the light would off of a precious stone.) most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; (As John saw this object descending, the light reflecting off of it had a glitter, a reflection like it was coming off of a jasper stone. He describes it as being clear as crystal. I happen to know this is not an earthly crystal, nor an earthly jasper stone. That description is just to convey an identity, something to help the reader understand that it is something glorious. It is something marvelous to behold. There is nothing in the earth that could be used other than something like a jasper, the way it reflects when light strikes it. The fact that it is clear as crystal lets you and I see that this is not an earthly mineral, not an earthly substance of any kind. It has to be a symbolic likeness just for comparison. Let us go on here.) And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, (so the gates were in the wall) and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.” Now we see then that the wall itself which surrounds the city, gives us an understanding that it is a city that has a wall like in ancient times, especially old Jerusalem. Cities in ancient times, had walls built for fortification. They were for the defense and preservation and safety of the city and its inhabitants. We might ask this, If this is a city for eternity, why have a wall? There are going to be no cannons there. There will be no armies attacking. There is going to be no more earthly wars. Why have a wall? We do not bother to build walls around cities today because modern warfare would blow a hole through them first thing. It would not last as long as it would take to build it. We have to realize, it is not a literal wall like we might imagined it to be: It is symbolic of something that was taken from an old setting and used as a type, since God worked His program through the ages corresponding to the natural example, so it would correspond to old Jerusalem, which was always the Jews delight to build a strong, fortified wall. That is why as we read Nehemiah, we read how he came back to build the defensive portions to the city. What else is this wall symbolizing, if it is not a literal wall built merely for protection? It symbolizes the fact that within the wall itself there were twelve gates representing the twelve tribes of Israel that God’s plan of redemption was given to. As this Jewish nation was coming out of bondage in Egypt, God began to set these types in motion. These types being literal examples characterized in observances, ceremonies, festivities and so forth, all pointed forward to something much better, something that would be real to them one day when God has completed His plan of salvation for the human race. The fact that the walls are set up first, and the gates within the walls, is because through the gates you must enter in behind the walls, which even though they are no longer a military defensive, they still have significance, because they are the walls of salvation. God’s plan of salvation was established in the nation of Israel, which was composed of twelve tribes. Therefore God, by this means, shows that the plan of salvation was established by types and shadows, as it was give to the Jewish nation while they were under the Law. That is why the walls were established first, to constitute the means of protection of the soul of the redeemed one. It says in Isaiah, In that day thy walls shall be called salvation, thy gates shall be called praise, and all thy children, meaning the inhabitants that dwell within that spiritual city, shall be taught and learned of the Lord. “On the east three gates; on the north three gates; (This was typed as the children of Israel came through the wilderness journey and as they set up the outer court and the tabernacle of badger skins and goat skins. There were so many tribes camped on each side on this square or rectangle complex.) on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, (As we describe the foundations, we realize that a wall is that portion that protrudes upward above ground level. That is the part that must serve as the defense and protection of the inhabitants, as well as those seeking refuge behind it. What is the foundations? That has to be the system, the terrain or substance upon which the wall are built, because a massive wall in ancient time, if it was not built upon a good footing, and the enemy ever found out there were weak points in the footing, rest assured they would dig until they found it. Then they would soon have that wall torn down. The fact that in the twelve foundations the names of the twelve apostles of Jesus are written, has to have some significance, so the question is, What would they have reference to?) and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” That would have reference to the fact that God’s Church is built upon the teachings and revelation of the twelve apostles. Does it not say that in Ephesians? We are built upon a holy foundation. Our faith that puts us in God’s church, is built upon the teachings and revelations of the apostles and the prophets. It starts with the apostles first, because that means that the Church, which is made up of believers of this age of Grace, according to what the prophets of old spoke and prophesied in their prophecies as types and promises, but it could never be made known until the dispensation came for them to be fulfilled in. Therefore it took the revelation of the apostles, to make us understand what was written in the Old Testament, so that the apostle Paul, who was the apostle sent to the Gentiles, could say we are built upon the teaching and the prophecies of the apostles, going back to the prophecies of the prophets of old. Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. Again, as it says in the epistle of Peter, We are lively stones built upon a holy foundation, Jesus Christ Himself is that chief cornerstone. In fact it says He was the stone disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, precious and elect. Therefore as we see this wall, we are not looking at brick, mortar, and stuff like that. It is a spiritual wall. It speaks of God’s salvation that He has provided for the redeemed of the ages. They are all in that city. They are behind this wall, so they are all secure. The wall is not for any military protection whatsoever. “And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city (That means the profile of this which is behind the wall.) lieth foursquare.” Naturally we have illustrated it with a profile of roofs and such like, because that is what people relate to, but we know that as John actually saw the inner thing referred to as the city, the city lay foursquare, it was not roof tops he saw. What does foursquare have reference to? That is language that means it is just the same one way as it is the other. Foursquare refers to a measurement that has been squared: it is a cube, and that which is cubed cannot have anything added to nor anything taken away, lest is cease to be a cube. To a lot of people that is just like Dutch to their mind. They say, Oh, I’m not interested in all that stuff. Well, we may think that. I too, at one time, thought like that. However if you ever really purpose to walk with God and understand His word, there are some things you are left completely on the outside of if you say, I’m not interested in that. Sometimes that very thing becomes a key that opens up a lot of other things in the scriptures; so if we shut out one thing, it could mean that we have shut out a whole lot of other things we will never understand, because we refuse to allow God to teach us something we need to know. We would rather take our little briefcase of a mind, with our folders of theology and sit somewhere going through our rituals of worship. I am not interested in that. That is not interesting to me any more. None of that theology concerns me. People who major on theology are not people who are walking with God. People that walk with God are people that hunger and thirst after His righteousness, and they want to grow and progress in His knowledge and grace. As we read on it gets very interesting, “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 measurement of this city and the fact that John speaks of a reed, or a stick, gives this an ancient setting, because in ancient times they used certain things, especially when they were going to measure large areas, and that stick was equivalent to an established system of measurement that they used back then. We are going to find out that as that squared city had a dimensional measurement, so did this room have a dimensional measurement. I used to think it was irrelevant as to what sixty, thirty, and twenty and all of that meant. I thought, It is just a building. Well, it was God that gave the dimensions to Solomon. Just as He told Noah how big to build the boat, the length, the wide, and the height, and it was to have three levels with only one door and one window, so did He give specific instructions on all these other things. This was not a boat of Noah’s choice: it was what God told him to build. Noah did not know what all was to go into that boat, but God did. When the day came that Noah was finally told to get in the boat, there was no other person ready to get in it except his own family, even though all the rest had heard that man preach and warn them all the time he was building the boat. They had laughed at him, scorned him, ridiculed him and said, You old fogey, we have never seen rain! But oh when the day came that God told Noah to go inside the boat the whole picture changed. God brought the animal kingdom two by two for Noah to take with him. God knew how many animals would respond to His call, so the boat, or ark was built to accommodate just that number. Animals today, have more sense, and are more receptive to the leading of the Lord than the human race. When those animals were all loaded, that boat was exactly the size for its occupants. This city that lies foursquare and is measured by John, in the spirit, with this reed, is exactly the size of all the redeemed God saw coming to His great plan of salvation. The measurement, as far as the measurement itself, can only have one meaning, and that is this, that the anointing of God is big enough to cover all the redeemed from every Age, for that eternal Age. The fact that it is square, or cubed, signifies that it is complete. Nothing else can be added, and nothing can be taken away. All are there, that are supposed to be there and none of them can ever be taken away: All are secured forever as the wall signifies. This is a building of God Himself. He was the One that did the selecting according to His foreknowledge. It was God Himself, that knew by foreknowledge who would be there, and also all of those who would be damned forever because of rejecting His plan for their redemption. “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. (So it is a cube, not a rectangle, and the cube signifies perfection.) And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits.” An hundred and forty four is 12 squared, and since the measurement of the wall is in reference to the type established by Israel, and she has twelve tribes, it all fits into the picture. When you square twelve, what do you get? 12 times 12 = 144. Is that not correct? Do not forget how the Church got its start. The gospel message was to the Jew first, and because they rejected it in that hour, it was given over to the Gentiles and the Gentiles have been the guardians of it for almost two thousand years, but it will very soon be given back to the Jews. Hallelujah! I am looking forward to that time! Did not the apostle Paul write in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek?” Therefore the gospel was to the Jew first. They knew the Law. They were the ones who were given the lively oracles, spoken of in the Bible, the promises. They had the prophets. They had all the types. That is why Christianity in this age of Grace started with the Jews first. The first converts, the first portion of that redeemed Bride of Christ, started with the Jewish people. Do not just think of how many at Jerusalem were saved, because when Paul left there and went to Asia, who were the first converts? They were always Jews first. We do not limit anything by how many of those Jews there were in those first assemblies that were established, but we do see that in most every city where Paul preached, he went to the synagogue and preached to the Jews first. He always sought out the nucleus of Jews to start with. That was according to the plan of God. We must never forget that God is not going to be surprised at anything, because He saw the completed picture before He ever set anything in motion. “And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” People have always looked upon this city as a city of literal gold and they do not want their preconception of it to be altered. They will say, Now Bro. Jackson, it says in the Bible that this is a city of pure gold, and you cannot take that away from me. Yes, but it is not gold like you have on your watch or wedding ring. You cannot see through that gold, like the gold that is described here. Well if the jasper is as clear as crystal and you can see through it, and the gold is clear so you can see through it, what kind of city is this? How are you going to make it tangible? How are you going to make it something you can touch? Can you make it something literal? When Jesus went to heaven from the Mount of Olives almost 1900 years ago, He had just told His disciples in St. John 14, “I go away to prepare a place for you, and if I go away to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also.” When Jesus went up in those clouds and was received out of their sight, He did not take a wheelbarrow full of earthly gold with Him. He did not take any earthly minerals with Him. Neither is He up there taking all of that off of another planet in space, putting together a natural city for you to have your eternal abode in. What is He doing? He is a High Priest. That is why we see Him in Revelation, chapters 4, 5, and 6, in the position that He is seen in. He does not have a hammer, a saw, nor anything like that, making us a place to dwell in. We need to realize that all of this is speaking of a spiritual realm where none of these natural things have any significance. It is just characterized in this fashion to help us grasp some of the splendor that is associated with this realm. God used things we are somewhat familiar with to allow us to see just how glorious this realm will be. That is why we titled this subject, “The City of Paradise.” In the beginning, as we read about Eden, God used a garden setting. It is referred to in Revelation as paradise, a place of bliss, glory, the presence of God. We just have to realize that this is how God the great Eternal Spirit, relates himself to redeemed man, giving him certain expressions that he, as man, can identify with, so we can begin to realize how marvelous, glorious and wonderful God is, and how He will again identify Himself with His entire family. If He is a Spirit, and we know He is, we also know He does not dwell in an object form. However if He can manifest Himself in object likenesses, taking on similarities, then that is how man in his earthly senses can understand as he looks at an invisible being that does not permanently dwell in some object you can touch. We will finish reading here, and notice that it says the city was pure gold like unto clear glass. Do not bother to argue with me that this is a natural substance of gold. “And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones.” Since we know, that in the foundation was the name of each one of the apostles, these stones bring out the spiritual characteristic and likeness of the life of that apostle, related to his revelation as he was used by God in the beginning of the Church, which in reality was the beginning of this Age. If you take the natural stones mentioned here and study them in the earth formation where they are formed, every last one of them are formed under some kind of terrific heat and pressure. The fact that we now begin to realize that this planet earth is not just six thousand years old, but that it is many billions of years in age, helps us understand many things a lot better. Just remember that these different mineral stone likenesses are characteristic of how Jehovah has dealt with the earth through the different centuries of time that have elapsed while the earth has passed through different volcanic and earthquake eruptions, all of which had an effect on the earth as it was taking on a form to eventually be used in the different centuries of time that would follow. Those particular minerals that man uses, and puts them in various stone likenesses, are not something you can cook up in a laboratory by putting a few chemicals together and sticking it in the oven and baking it, and then say, Here, we have a ruby, here we have a pearl. When you begin to study the life of those twelve apostles and the lives they lived, the persecution they suffered, and the pressure they went through, it helps you understand these likenesses we see here. What were they doing, that brought them such persecution? They were preserving the revelation that God had instilled in their mind and life. Every last one of them as far as we know, except for John, died a martyr’s death of some sort, torture, persecution and so forth. Why? Because the revelation and the understanding that God had put in every one of them meant more to them than natural life itself. They were dedicated to the task of teaching it and keeping it pure and undefiled, rather than give in to all the religious and political pressures they faced everywhere they went. That is why our faith is not in the pope today: They suffered what they had cast upon them, that our faith could be built upon and anchored in the Lord Jesus Christ who was the ROCK of our salvation, as was taught by the apostles. Even though Roman Catholicism teaches it that way, the pope is not the successor of the apostle Peter. First of all, he teaches things Peter would not have touched with a ten foot pole, so to speak. Peter was a married man, but I challenge you, Try to get the pope to become a married man and see what answer you get. “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street (It mentions one street, and that is all there is, not streets.) of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” Too often people, in reading this, they literalize every little description that the apostle has written here. They give it an earthly understanding in their mind. They read the gold, they see the gold just as that. They pay no attention to the words that describe that gold, that it was clear, as glass. They see the gold, they see the jasper, they see the sardine stone, they see all the different colors, some green, some purple, some red: They see all of that, but never pay any attention to the words that describe these various things. If you read the entire description, you will not see everything as something literal, something you can touch with your hands. They are describing the spiritual things that make up the heavenly setting here on earth.


INTERNAL DESCRIPTION OF THE CITY


When we get to Revelation 22, we are finishing with the description of the city from an external view, so remember what we have seen already, as we come to the description of the inside. Once we enter the gate on the street that leads to the throne of God, we no longer see John describing the outside view; He is inside the city now, and as he looks around, he saw only one street. Where did it lead to? Right straight to the throne of God. Then, right out from under that throne of God proceeded the river of life. It was not the Mississippi River, nor the Ohio River, nor the River of Jordan: This is that spiritual city that speaks of the eternal flow and presence of the spirit of God as He relates Himself in the eternal age to His redeemed family. Let us read about three verses. (22:1) “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (2) 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: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (3) And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him.” You can visualize that we are looking at a setting sort of like a plaza, as John describes the inside of this city. Here, is one huge broad way, and in the midst of it we see the description of a pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life. On either side of this river there was the tree of life; and it speaks of this tree of life in its feminine gender. She yielded her twelve manner of fruits every month of the year. We know this, when paradise was on earth in Adam’s beginning, as we read back in Genesis 2 and 3, of the garden God planted eastward in the land of Eden, there was only one tree referred to as the tree of life. It was in the singular, as well as in the masculine gender. It typed, and was characteristic of how God was going to fill this planet with human life brought forth by the law of reproduction according to the law of the tree of life. Adam and Eve got off on the wrong foot when Eve was deceived by the devil, through the cunningness of the serpent, therefore they were cut away from that tree. That is how we come to realize that the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil were not trees of plant life, but were spiritual laws by which the world would be repopulated. Therefore when we go to Revelation 2, for a further understanding of the tree of life, we find that Jesus spoke to the Ephesian age, there at the beginning of Christendom, in the first Church Age and said, (Let us read verse 7.) “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” In that sense it is pointing to the new birth, because the new birth is to mankind, life off of the tree of life, the life he should have had if paradise had never been separated from him. Therefore inside this city, you are back in paradise, the garden of God’s eternal presence. What does all of this add up to? It adds up to this, The Millennial reign of Christ Jesus is over. The great white throne judgment has been set up, as we read in the last verses of the 20th chapter. The planet earth has now been completely redeemed through the kingly work of Jesus Christ, who is no longer High Priest, He was King of kings and Lord of lords of all the earth throughout the Millennial reign. When He was still in heaven He was High Priest interceding for lost mankind. He was not seen as King during that time. When He leaves that role, He will never be Priest anymore. You will not see Him as a Priest when He is back on earth. When He comes with His wife, (the bride Church) He is coming as King of all kings, to take over all the governments and the reigns of human governmental systems of this earth. He will sit in Jerusalem, from which He will rule and reign over this earth for one thousand years, being as the scripture says, King of kings and Lord of lords. Will there be priests in the Millennium? Yes, but remember this, the priest, the people that are referred to as priests, will be that only for a ceremonial work, not for salvation, but pointing people born in the Millennium back to something that has already been accomplished, something that provided for them the benefits they have received. Jesus does not have to keep on repeating His priestly work on into and through the Millennium: All of that will have already been accomplished. When this city is seen coming down, this is how we relate Paul’s teaching in 1st Corinthians 15, where he speaks of Jesus, that He must rule and reign until He has put down all rule, authority, and power. So the Millennium age is for that one purpose, that as Jesus, with His Bride Church, rules and reigns on earth, it is to restore back to earth, to a mortal realm of people left here to repopulate the earth, the divine laws, the divine knowledge and things of God, and there will be no more pollution and perversion then. The knowledge of the Lord and the glory of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters that cover the sea. There will never be any more environmentalists, because there will be a people here that know how to live and keep the environment clean, and use the substance of the earth the way it should be used. Everything will be to please God the Creator, getting the earth ready, so that He can come back and dwell in it with His family, as He did in the beginning when He placed His presence here as a garden, a garden of paradise. In 1st Corinthians 15, Paul speaks of how Jesus will rule and reign until He has restored all authority and power, then shall the kingdom be delivered back up to God the Father, the great Eternal Spirit, that God may be all in all. Therefore we see God coming down to earth in the manifestation of His power and glory and majesty, and it is described in that likeness we have been reading in chapters 21 and 22 of the book of Revelation.


A LOOK AT THE OLD TESTAMENT


Let us now go back to 1st Kings, the 6th chapter where we will look at some instructions God gave, just in case someone wants to argue with me, that the measurements of the city has got to mean something that is applicable to an earthly purpose. Right here, we get the type, so let us see what we can learn from the type. We will read from the 15th verse, but to give us a background, time wise, we are roughly around 1000 B.C., and King Solomon is a young man. He is the son of David. He has been on the throne of his father for four years. It tells us in the beginning of this 6th chapter that 480 years has just transpired of the children of Israel having come out of Egyptian bondage. We know when we go back and read in Exodus and Deuteronomy and the book of Numbers, all of that is the history of that departure, the wanderings, bringing them to the Jordan, ready to cross over and so forth, as well as the book of Leviticus. We find, that as God took Moses up on Mt. Sinai, and gave him the commandments which were written on two tables of stone, God then spoke to him and gave to him instructions. He gave him statutes, and other basic laws on how this society of Israelite people were to be governed in their social, moral, and spiritual state of condition as they traveled. God then gave to Moses instructions on how to build a tabernacle. The word tabernacle as we would read about it in Exodus chapters 36, 37, 38, and 39 along through there, we are talking about a tent. This tent was made of badger skins and goat skins. What was this tent for? God wanted a place among the people where the box that is called the ark of the covenant could be placed, a box of wood, roughly forty some inches long, twenty some inches wide and twenty some inches deep, a small box. Inside that box was laid the two tables of stone on which the ten commandments was written. This box was overlaid with gold. Then there was a lid made of solid gold, of the same dimensions, that went over this. On each end of this box was two golden winged cherubims. We know, when we read in Exodus, as they left Egypt, there was a pillar of fire by night. In other words they saw a manifestation of God, like a swirling light above them. In the day time it would turn to something like a pillar of smoke. It was a manifestation of God’s presence, reminding the children of Israel, I am your Lord, I am with you, to lead you in all the ways wherein I would have you go. This we will call the Shekinah glory in later instances. When the tabernacle was built, then there was a place inside this tent, in the far end, partitioned off from the rest. It was called the holy place, or the holy of holies. When the children of Israel were camped for a period of time and the Lord had not said to move, then the ark of the covenant was placed inside that place. That tabernacle symbolized and typed God among a people, dwelling with them while they are in transit, or traveling. They are moving from time to time, according to His leadership. When that pillar of fire would show itself, (I will illustrate it to the best to my knowledge.) or when that pillar of fire would start swirling, it was ready to move, so that was a sign to the priests and Moses, Notify the people, it is time to break camp. When they were not on the move the tabernacle was set up, and God’s presence was in that place we just described to you, where it would make its dwelling until the next point of moving on. This sets a type of God with His Church, in this Age of Grace, because His Church in this period of time, which we believe will cover approximately two thousand years from the crucifixion of Christ, which was the beginning of God’s new covenant, which the old typed, so Christ will come again, around about the time the two thousand years are ended, but it will be according to God’s method of keeping time. Keep in mind, the Church is not made up of one generation of people out of one particular locality: It is made up of many people, of races, of nations all around the world. As time moves on, God moves from year to year, from century to century, from generation to generation dealing with human souls that will help make up the true Church. Therefore the Church of the living God is constantly looked upon as a mobile thing. How many understand my point? That is why the apostle could refer to it as lively stones. Please pay attention to how I say what I am going to say next. Only in the spiritual house of God do you have a permanently fixed place. That does not mean that as long as you live on this earth God has fixed you permanently in Clark County, in Jeffersonville, Indiana. It simply means that in His Church there is a designated place for you to fit into in His spiritual house. The children of Israel were given the Law, and then God gave the description of the tabernacle and told Moses to build it according to the pattern of the heavenlies, so that natural tabernacle did have within it, in its measurements and total makeup, certain things that were applicable to a spiritual relationship pointing to the plan of God in salvation. They were types and shadows God was using to speak to the people. Sometimes when you communicate with people, you use words to talk to them and communicate to them a meaning or picture of something, and they just simply cannot get it, but if you can just use something illustrative, they can understand your words better. That is why we are going this route with this message. A revelation, is God, by His Spirit, giving you an understanding, but the understanding of it in your mind becomes a picture you can see with your spiritual eyes. That is what makes it so beautiful. You just have to realize that the wilderness tabernacle was the means by how God tabernacled Himself with the people. When they came into the land we now know as the land of Israel, they took that land from the Canaanite tribes that were dwelling there and divided it among the twelve tribes. God spoke in Numbers, while they were back in the wilderness wandering, how it will come to pass after you come into the land wherein I will give you, there you will divide the land among your tribes, and according to inheritance. God also promised them, I will, from one of the tribes, choose a place to put my name. He never said back then, where that place would be. He only gave them a promise that it would come about somewhere in their future. Under the leadership of Joshua, they crossed over the Jordan, and took Jericho first of all. From then on they had conflicts, wars, and all such like over the centuries of three or four hundred years, and they also went through a period of apostasy. The priesthood went into apostate conditions. We read about it in Samuel, under Eli. Then there came a time when God raised up a prophet, when Eli was an old man, by the name of Samuel. God used this prophet Samuel to function in two kinds of offices, because the priesthood was so apostate that they had lost out with God. For that reason, God used Samuel to restore leadership and spirituality to them and bring them out of that long period they went through in the period of the Judges. Then we find King David coming on the scene. God used Samuel to anoint him. As King David came on the scene and was anointed by Samuel, even while Saul was still king, Saul himself disobeyed God and did everything contrary to what God wanted. Therefore God took the kingdom from him and gave it to David and David became the first anointed, appointed king who was to establish a genealogy of seed to be recognized as such. He was of the tribe of Judah; the tribe we have heard much of. King David warred with the Philistines and many other tribes, constantly wrestling to get certain things established. There was a place inside this land of Canaan, a place known as the ancient city of the Jebusites. This city of the Jebusites was a strong hold. In fact it was referred to as Salem back in Genesis and in Psalms 76. It was near this ancient city of the Jebusites that Abraham met Melchizedek, as he was coming back from conquering the Chaldeans and rescuing Lot and his family, and taking back the spoil they had gotten from Sodom and so forth. As Abraham journeyed back towards Hebron taking back all the property these Chaldeans had stolen ,and taking Lot and his household back home, he met Melchizedek in the road. God used the occasion to come on the scene and intercept Abraham in his journey back to Hebron, to set a type of something yet in the far future at that time. When the king of Sodom went out to meet Abraham in this certain valley, (You can read it in Genesis 14.) Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine, and the Bible says he was the priest of the most high God. Verse19, says, “And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: (20) And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.” This is when Abraham paid tithes to Him of all he owned. All of that took place near the spot where this ancient city of the Jebusites stood. The Jebusites were Canaanites, pagan people. They were not believing people concerning the God that Abraham served. However as Abraham was approached by this man referred to as Melchizedek, (Melchizedek is a name that holds two meaning, King Priest of the Most High God.) and Abraham recognized that he was standing in the presence of a greater One than himself. As Abraham was conversing with this man, a man we now know was God Himself in theophany form, Abraham suddenly realized he was being blessed by the most high God and that is when he paid tithes to Him. God Jehovah, manifested Himself in this theophany form, giving Himself a name that characterized and expressed the meaning of what would be fulfilled in Jesus the Christ centuries later, when God, in Jerusalem, near this same spot, would do something for the redemption of mankind. The Jews can assemble in their synagogue and read all the Genesis story, and when they have read it they are still as ignorant as ignorant can be, as far as knowing what it is pointing to. Little do they realize that when their father Abraham was told to come out of the land of the Chaldeans, which was Mesopotamia, and come on down into a land He would show him, and that He would give to him, he was receiving a promise that would be in effect until the end of time, and that they would inherit according to that promise. God said to him, In thee and thy seed after thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. From the call of Abraham, God, at various intervals of time, either intercepts Abraham or Isaac or Jacob, to renew that promise and finally their seed is found down in Egypt as captives, and here, God directs, speaks, leads, works and shows Himself through this people that are the seed of Abraham, various laws and covenants. In all of this, there are types that were pointing to something God was going to do for you and me. Now we have had it for nineteen hundred years and the Gentile church world with all their theological learning have played with it, misinterpreted it, thrown it away, and even denied that God even made such a provision. Today, they have a book they use, a book that is just a book of religion, but they have lost its meaning, simply because they never did see the picture portrayed in it.


DAVID CAPTURES THE CITY OF SALEM


Let me go on with this story of the events that came to pass as David took the lead. After four hundred and some years of the struggle of the children of Israel, David was able to conquer that city. It was not David struggling that long, but we are using this four hundred and some years to get to Solomon’s hour, because it covers the period of the different men that God used and spoke to in types and shadows. David, in taking this ancient city from the pagan Jebusites, was led by God to do that, because God had a foreordained purpose to be fulfilled in it. God had in mind that the time is approaching, when from one of the tribes of the children of Israel that had established themselves in the land, He would designate a place where He would place His name. Once He does that, then it is at that point that all Israel will be required to pray and worship at that spot. As long as they had the tabernacle of badger skins and goat skins, it was not so stated, but no doubt it was very proper for the Israelites to want to see the tabernacle once in awhile. It was not stated that they had to pray looking toward the tabernacle: they only knew that as a place where God tabernacled with the people and it was special to them. When David took this Jebusite city, and things begin to quiet down, the wars having let up, King David then got the thought that he would number Israel. You can read about this thing, the thing that God said never to do, but David wanted to do it, and did, so he had to suffer the consequences of going against the will and purpose of God. I will not take the time to bring all of that into the message right now, but you can read it in 2nd Samuel, chapter 24. Something from the human feelings in David, after fighting Philistines and all the others, made him so tired and aggravated, he just told his commanding officers, I make a decree that all Israel be counted. His own commanding officers said, You ought not do that my lord: you know how God hates that. David commanded him to go ahead and number all of Israel. It is always a mistake to go contrary to what God makes known to be His will, because no sooner was the census brought in, that tragedy struck. A plague hit the people. As the dying began to appear, David realized what a terrible thing He had done. In this city of the Jebusites, which was called Salem, and was going to be called Jerusalem, king David selected a spot for his palace. All of this was the beginning of a spot being chosen, where God was going to place His name for future centuries of time. David was in the place he had designated to be the place of his palace. As he is so bothered about this terrible thing he has done in numbering the people, finally the Lord sends his prophet to him and said, I give you three choices, so which will it be? 2nd Samuel 24:12 “Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. 13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. 14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. 15 So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.” David knew God is a merciful God: That is why he said Let me fall into the hand of a merciful God rather than into the hands of man. As he said that, he looked out and saw an angel standing with a sword drawn. That was the angel that God had sent to carry out the chastening. As David looked out there and saw that angel, where he was standing, he knew it was all already in the hands of a merciful God. You can read it in 1st Chronicles 21, which gives you a greater background. As he said, Let us fall into the hands of a merciful God, then God said to David through the prophet, Prepare to offer a sacrifice. The fact that he saw the angel and the place where he was standing, when you read it from Kings and Chronicles, he saw the angel standing on Mt. Moriah. That was the same place that Abraham, back in Genesis, was instructed by God to take his son, Isaac, and offer him up as a sacrifice. As David looks at that place and sees that angel standing there, David goes to see where the actual spot was. It was Ornan’s threshing floor, a man of the Jebusites. He approaches the man and says to him, I want to buy this place to build an altar unto the Lord; to offer sacrifice unto Him, that He might stay the plague. The man offered to give the ground and even the oxen, but David would not take it without paying for it. 24 “And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. 25 So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.” This transaction was all in the natural, nothing spiritual about it. As David is moving from the circumstance of having numbered Israel, little did David even realize what this set of circumstances was leading to. However as he purchased the ground and offered the sacrifice, the plague of God was stayed. Later, as things calmed down, King David desired, and you read that in Chronicles, how he wanted to build a house for the Lord, but God spoke to King David saying, Because you are a man that has shed much blood, you will not build me the house, but of your loins I will raise up a son who will build me a house. That is where we are right now. This house that was King Solomon’s temple, when you read in Chronicles, King Solomon was told by God what the dimensions of this building was to be, what the dimensions of this room was to be, and what this room was to look like as you look at it from an inlay. This is called the oracle. A lot of people do not really know what the word oracle is implying. Take the Webster’s dictionary and check it out. It is a place for one to pray, or a place wherein you approach or communicate with deity. That is exactly what the room became in the following centuries. It was not only a room where a high priest went to pray once each year, but it is where the high priest went once each year to communicate with God Jehovah. That room was the most splendid room that probably has ever been built on the face of this earth. That room, in its miniature dimensions of twenty, twenty, and twenty also set a type. That means it was thirty feet each way. It was a complete cube. It is where God came and manifested Himself. The fact that inside that room the walls were of cedar overlaid with gold, with cherubims, palm trees, flowers, knobs all covered with engraved gold had a signifance. The ark of the covenant, that is what it symbolized, sitting on a little altar base that used to be in the tabernacle, was setting there. These huge cherubims which represent the divine presence of angels that exist in the royal realm of where God’s habitation is, were ten cubits tall. Their wings were five cubits in length. In the finished state, from one tip to the other, they touched across. Their faces were to look inward. Right there is where that Shekinah glory, that flickering fire, hovered over that ark of the covenant. That is the only light that was in that room. When the high priest went in once each year on the day of atonement, just imagine all that gold. The ceiling, the walls, what a magnificent place that must have been. It all typed and pointed ahead to this eternal city of paradise we are speaking of. When that city comes, and God manifests Himself on earth in the eternal age, you and I will be living in the divine presence of God’s manifested glory, and right there is where it was typed.


We are working toward the completion of this message. As you see here on the chart, we have four different pictures in an effort to give you visual understanding of what we are dealing with. This of course, takes us back to Genesis, where Adam and Eve are being driven from the beautiful paradise of God, out into the earthly realm away from the spirit world presence they have been accustomed to, to start their journey through time. For six thousand years man has struggled in his earthly journey, endeavoring to find the way back to that most sacred place where man once lived, a place which was called the paradise of Eden. Keep in mind, the average church goer today thinks man was driven out of a certain geographical spot on earth. If that is your view, then please tell me where you think that place is. If he was driven out of a geographical area somewhere, then that area still has to be forbidden territory for unregenerate mankind. I personally, do not know of any such place on the face of this earth. How many understand that? When he was driven out, there were angels with flaming swords placed at the east of Eden to guard the way of the tree of life, (Gen. 3:24), “So He (God) drove out the man; and He (God) placed at the east of the Garden of Eden, Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way (not guard a gate) of the tree of life,” so that man could never enter back into that beautiful paradise as he had been able to do before. In other words, God just simply removed that heavenly setting from their midst and left them with those things that pertain only to earthly activity. As far as the geographical spot of earth, all of that was still right there in the middle east. That is the place called Eden. That is the geographical area where all of the history of mankind originated. There, is where the Bible was written. There, is where your and my progenitors all sprang from. Secular history refers to it as the Fertile Crescent, or the cradle of civilization. We can trace our origin back to the Middle East, but certainly not back to the monkeys swinging in the trees, like some want to believe. Neither do we trace our beginning back to the Neanderthal man, or any of the rest of those ideas that this modern generation of mankind has tried to shove down our throats. That is all a lot of nonsense concocted by scientists and archaeologists that have nothing better to do. We have a complete record of our beginning, so why beat the bushes looking for something that is not there? We trace our beginning all the way back to the Adam and Eve we read about right here in the word of God, and this city we are reading about is a spiritual city. John is allowed to see a heavenly setting coming down to earth and what we are reading is his description of it.


THE NEW JERUSALEM JOHN SAW COMING DOWN

This is picturing the city as John saw it coming down, in Revelation 21. (Speaking of the chart used, which we do not have available.) Then in the 22nd chapter, he describes the inside of what he is seeing, and we must notice that it is no longer the description of a city, but it is more like the description of a beautiful park, one like you would enter into through a great entrance and then see it as a massive park. In there, you are walking down a huge avenue, or broad way. This street is split. One side approaches the throne of God. The other side is the return from it. In the middle of that, flows the river of life. On each side of the river of life there stood the tree of life spoken of in plural terminology. It is spoken of in the feminine gender. What a beautiful place it must be! Let us see if time would add up to anything. Man was driven from a beautiful garden, and the next thing man begins to do is seek to build a city. Why build a city? Because sin began to make man his own enemy. He needed protection. He found out he could not live alone and feel safe, so they began to group together in small cities, but in time they grew, and eventually they had to build walls around their cities. You can see then, that as man in his earthly journey, after he is driven from the beautiful garden of paradise, which was a place where he needed no house, needed no roof for shelter, nor stove, nor any of those things we depend upon today, something in him made him start seeking all those things. In the beginning, God was his habitation. As far as the natural earth and natural vegetation, that was the thing he was placed here to dress and care for, in order to beautify the earth, all with God’s supervision, but using man and his hands to refill the earth with life and beautify it all over. Sin kept him from doing that according to God’s plan, so for six thousand years now, man has corrupted the earth, defiled it with his own ways and made it an unsafe place to dwell. Well man today, builds his large cities for whatever reason, but looking at this scripture, if man is eventually going back to the original state of relationship with his Creator, then it has got to be understood that this is why John saw all of this that looks like a city, looking at it from the exterior view. However when you get inside of it you do not see a city of massive, high rise buildings, where you need elevators to go to the top. It is a beautiful garden. Why is it so huge? Because it is how God relates His divine presence back to earth. It is God bringing paradise, the spirit world, back where the earth and it become as one. Man, in his redeemed state, will live for eternity in the presence and shelter of that divine manifestation of God’s own being overshadowing him. It portrays also the anointing of God, how God will relate Himself to His entire creation that has now been purified and made clean through redemption. As we read these scriptures about all the material that this city is described as being made up of, please keep in mind that all of this is spiritual, not literal. Its walls are of jasper, pure, and the city appears in sight as pure gold. The city is of pure gold, like unto transparent glass. The street is of pure gold, like unto transparent glass. That tells me that none of this entire habitation has any earthly minerals in its makeup, no earthly substance, nothing tangible about it whatsoever. It is all spiritual, because that gold is not what you see on a wristwatch or wedding ring. It is not an earthly mineral. It is a heavenly substance speaking of the very nature of God Himself. If you wonder what it is, the Bible tells us. In the book of Revelation, the 3rd chapter, Jesus is speaking to the age that you and I live in, the Age of Laodicea and saying, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich.” Was Jesus selling Natural gold? Of course not: He was speaking of the very nature of God that we are to take on as we crucify this old flesh and become like Jesus, but we take on that nature only as we overcome the fires of trials, tests and persecution. What does the street signify? It actually speaks of the fact that one only gains entrance to this place by traveling through this present life exercising the measure of faith that God has invested in each and every one of us. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. We take a certain street to make our way to a certain place. This street is of pure gold, thereby signifying that we arrive at this beautiful setting by faith, according to God’s foreordained plan.


ABOUT THE CHURCH AGES


Let me take a moment to clarify what we mean when we speak of the Church Ages. We are living in the seventh Church Age, which is the Age of Laodicea. What do you mean by the seventh Church Age, Bro. Jackson? I thought we were living in the age of Grace. That is true, but what is the age of Grace? It is a dispensation of time. It started with the advent of Christ almost two thousand years ago, in His first appearance on earth, to bring about the fulfillment of the Law, and to give Himself as the sacrifice, God’s only means of atonement for the sins of man. From the ascension of Christ and the descent of the Holy Ghost, the Grace Age was set in motion. For almost two thousand years now, we have been living in the age of Grace. However within that period of time, which is a dispensation, God has represented it to mankind in the characteristics and spiritual likenesses of the seven churches of Asia. Since God mentioned them all in the order that He wanted to use to type those periods that this age of Grace would be represented in, we are now living in the last one, the Church Age called Laodicea. What is it about Laodicea that is different than the others? Laodicea, in the natural, was a city of great commerce and trade. It lay on the ancient trade routes. That would make it a city wherein the standard of living would be a little better than some of the other cities which lay off the trade routes and may not have as much opportunity to gain economic prosperity within them. That made quite a difference in the standard of living and in the attitude of the people. Abundance of riches can lead to a haughty attitude, greed, self sufficiency and carelessness and thereby affect us in our daily walk with our Creator. When that happens, He has to take us aside and rebuke us. He does not cast us away, He just admonishes us to shake ourselves and examine our priorities, and to learn to walk with Him by faith, instead of our earthly security we become so proud of. We find here in the book of Revelation, in the 3rd chapter, that in 96 A.D., after this church has been in existence about forty years, it had gone further into a spiritual decline, into apostasy, than any of the others. We can see this very thing exemplified in America today. This is the day of TV evangelism. They come on with all kinds of materialistic programs, every kind of manipulation under the sun. Laodicea speaks of a type of people who measure religion in terms of materialism, dollars and cents. Drive up and down the city, look on the bulletin boards in the church yards, and what do you see? Attendance today was such and such. Go inside and you see on the bulletin board, Our offering today was so much. Do you think God is interested in any of that? You do not find one bulletin board mentioned in the book of Acts, which is the history of the early Church. That is what God means for His Church on earth to function like. Some ask though, Why are you approaching this message in this manner? Because we are the age where our lives are affected by that kind of materialistic spirit. That is why He speaks to us in this age, in Revelation 3, and says this, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire.” What kind of gold is that? It is faith. True faith in God, because, when God saves you by His grace, He imparts the measure of faith that is necessary to turn you and me around and get us started living for Him and believing in Him, after we have lived so long with our life taken up with the things in the world. It has to come from God. He imparts it. Once He imparts that faith, God intends for you and me, as we walk with Him, to gain an increase of that faith by investing it properly in the things that lift us up and make us more and more into the image of what Jesus, His only begotten Son, was. He intends for you and me, as we walk with Him, to increase that faith more and more by properly using it. If that gold is going to increase, what must come first? Jesus covered it in the parable of the talents. Proper stewardship of this valuable gift is what is going to bring an increase that will glorify God. It is going to be like this, Out of the depths of His word, He is going to open up the storehouse of His valuables, His treasures, the things that God puts value on, and we will understand spiritual things, things the world of denominational religion cannot see. You see it because you have eyes to see and it is right there in His word. What He imparts to us makes the picture crystal clear. It helps you understand His word in such a simple way, you just cannot hardly help but laugh about what a mystery it used to be, as you would try to understand it. When you begin to realize you do not have to go to Bible School to learn what the scriptures mean, and that it is a gift from God that costs you nothing but faithfulness to Him, you almost get beside yourself. You do not have to go to school and take instructions in order to get saved; so Who in the world ever told you, you had to go to school to learn to be a preacher? Only a spirit from the devil would tell you that. Schools, seminaries, Bible schools, have had their place in days gone by, especially in the Reformation period, but God has never, at any time, ever laid down any such requirements. We are living just before the coming of Christ for the bride Church. Therefore God is dealing with the end time people the same way He started out dealing with individuals in the beginning of Christianity. What we are talking about, is how God relates Himself by His Spirit to every man, or person that is in His plan of redemption. That is why I say, When you see church-going people today, that fuss and argue about how the building ought to be built, what color everything should be painted, what kind of roof and all like that, That is not the Church Jesus is coming for in the first place. You who have found the true meaning of the word of God and hold it precious, you are the Church. You are the lively stones. The natural world of religion does not see these scriptures the way they are revealed to us. They argue and fuss, therefore the only thing they can do is build a larger building, have more programs, open the doors wide and proclaim, We want to win the world for Jesus. I am sorry to tell you, but you will never win the world for Jesus. Well I believe we could. You can believe whatever you choose to believe, but that is one thing you are not going to do. Regardless of how many may say, Well I believe we can win the world for Jesus, it is just not scriptural. God saves all those who are foreordained for salvation from before the foundation of the world, according to His foreknowledge. You may say, Well I certainly do not believe in that, but I will say to you, The apostle Peter believed it. God knew who would and who would not receive His provision for salvation, even before He ever set any of His creation into motion. Therefore He can run his business to suit His foreordained plan, and does not have to get permission from anyone. I have no way of knowing who will accept this great plan of salvation and who will not; therefore I have no business trying to predict who is a predestined seed of God. Only God Himself knows that, and because He does, everything else He does can be associated with the foreknowledge He exercised before the foundation of the world.


GOLD, TRIED IN THE FIRE


We are going to examine some of these things we see here in the book of Revelation, especially in chapter 22, but let us keep in mind what Jesus said to the Church at Laodicea which represented the Church Age we are living in. He said, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire.” As we go through this chapter we are going to find out what that cube signifies in the overall scriptural analysis, because we know that when you see something that the length, the breadth and the height are all equal, you are looking at a cube. That has significance. Let me say also, that the faith we are talking about is that measure of faith He has imparted to every one of us. He has given us something that is very valuable. It is an understanding of how you, or me, or whoever, as the worst sinner that ever walked, can again have fellowship with the eternal, sovereign God that created all things, and how we can begin to walk with Him in sweet fellowship. That faith can increase. That gold He gives you can increase. As it is to be increased, He is going to try it in various ways. That is why in 1st Peter, chapter 1, it says, (6) “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (or tests) (7) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” The apostle Peter was using a natural illustration. How do you make gold pure after it is taken out of the earth? It is an element, a mineral of the earth, but many times you find it has absorbed other minerals, so to make it shine, to make it pure, they put it in the fire. That is exactly what God does with you and me, so to speak. As we live down here on earth, this mortal flesh that is so susceptible to sin and temptation has to be subjected to various pressures from time to time. The faith God puts inside you and me to turn us around, to start us walking with Him, every once in awhile has to be put to a test, so God will bring you through a trial and test. It is not because God is disgusted with you. It is not because He does not like you anymore: It is because He wants to refine that faith which is likened unto gold. As you prove yourself loyal to that, and you show yourself faithful to God in the test, that is what causes God to reach down and hand you a little more of that valuable substance, more faith. He does not give us more faith just because we ask Him to: We get more faith as a result of using the faith we already have. One thing sure, when He brings you through a certain kind of trial, though you did not understand all about it when it started, once you reach the other side and get the victory, you can look back and say, Praise God! He has been with me all along! Nine times out of ten your next trial will not be like that one, because you are fully aware of it. As you live in this mortal flesh, He is going to try you, in order to make that faith, that gold, shine that much more. Therefore when we see the city of pure gold, clear as glass, transparent as glass, that lets us know the dwellers in that city have to be the Bride of Jesus Christ, made up of the redeemed of the ages. That is the anointing of God settling on her to begin that eternal age, world without end. We enter into an endless span of time. Man, finally back in the very presence of God, and God dwelling with man. Man living in God’s delight, living in the spirit world, yet living on a natural planet, which is what all of this points to. We will be able to see angels going about their business, and enjoy watching and really observing the whole, beautiful, panoramic view of how God has related Himself to the spirit world, as well as to the natural world He has redeemed and cleansed, and also be able to see everything on the planet earth as it moves about in its proper function the way the Creator ordained it to be. The Millennium, which is a little in front of us, is just a little foretaste of what eternity will be like. Remember, the Millennium is not the final picture. The Millennium is the seventh day, the seventh dispensational day that fulfills the whole week of time allotted to total redemption, because it covers seven dispensational days. Then we must remember that eternity is the first day all over again, which will never end. That is going to be wonderful, living in the eighth day. When the Lord looked upon this age of Laodicea and observed its people, He saw that the people of this Laodicean hour were people that were lukewarm, increased with worldly things, and feeling that they had need of nothing. As you drive from coast to coast, or from border to border, you see new church buildings everywhere, cathedrals that cost millions of dollars, but you do not find any real dedication on the part of the people, to search for the truth of God’s word. The National Cathedral in Washington D.C., which they just showed in the News this week, was eighty some years in the making, and I do not even remember what they said it cost, but it was some huge church building that finally got finished after eighty some years. It is finished just in time for God to tear it all to pieces pretty soon. Can you tell the world at large anything like that? Don’t talk like that, Bro. Jackson, especially around politicians, or you will be breaking the law. Nevertheless, Jesus is not coming for a church that looks like that thing: He is coming for a Church that is built with lively stones. He said to the Laodiceans, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire.” Because the Laodicean church people have said, We are rich, we are increased with goods. We have need of nothing. You everyone know that is the Christian people of Laodicea, which basically, are those that live in America and the areas of the world we call industrialized nations. Look at western Europe, and look at America today, and you will see that very picture. It is not so much in places like Africa, India, the Philippines and those like that, but you can sure discern that spirit where it does apply. Those poor people in many areas of the world today can hardly find a bamboo curtain big enough to give them shelter. That is like religion in America today. They do not have enough of anything to cover their spiritual nakedness. That is why I said, Denominational churches are always in a rat race, trying to compete with their neighbors, building a larger church house, putting in stained glass windows, plush seats, sports programs and all of that, but they have no revelation or understanding of what it is all about. They can quote the scriptures right and left, but are totally ignorant of what the Creator is really after. The faith His Church will possess is that imparted faith He has given her to start her earthly journey, but it has increased as it was used in life. Then, when she is there in that chapter 22 setting, she is enjoying God’s final gift to her which is He Himself dwelling with her in immortality. Everything inside that city is not only immortal, but God is dwelling there also. Too long now people have said, The Bible says we are going to go to heaven and live there forever with Jesus. That is not the way the Bible presents this picture and you everyone know it. I have never seen anything like that in the Bible. Well Bro. Jackson, that is the way they have always read the Bible in the Methodists church, also the Nazarene, the Church of God and most all the rest. It is true, the Bride Church is going to heaven for a little while when the rapture takes place, but that will only be for a little while, for the marriage supper, but the Bible does not tell you that you will spend three million years at the marriage supper. We are coming back with Jesus, according to the picture you see in Revelation 19, and what is going to happen then? Jesus and His Bride Saints will carry on a warfare for a short period of time, and of course there will always be some that will say, Well I don’t want to do that. Then you do not want to be in His true Church, because that is what is up ahead. He is coming back to execute wrath and judgment upon the wicked of this earth, because God is not going to allow any of this wicked, worldly element of mankind to pass into the Millennium. When Jesus finishes separating the sheep-like people from the goat-like people, that gets the rest of those who will not be allowed to pass on into the Millennium.


GOD’S CHOSEN PLACE TO PLACE HIS NAME


I want to go to the Old Testament at this time and deal with something I started on earlier. We covered how David took the Jebusite city, which was called Salem at the time he took it. Later on, it was called Jerusalem. Circumstances came about that caused King David to purchase Ornan’s threshing floor, for a place to offer up sacrifice to the Lord. When it was all over, King David realized, Right here is the place God will meet with the children of Israel, and right here, is where God will place His name, (the place Deuteronomy 12:11 speaks of). Now having said that, let me get quickly to the point. We dealt with this a little, just to give a background for the approach to it. The time is 480 years after the children of Israel have come into the land and possessed it. Each tribe is now in its position, in its allotted territory. King David has brought the ark to Jerusalem. He made a tent for it, but he knew that tent could not be a permanent dwelling place for that ark. The ark is signified as this little box sitting on a little altar, and 480 years brings us approximately to the time 1000 B.C. If you notice, as we read from 1st Kings 6, it does not tell you anything about God telling Solomon how big to build the building, but when you go to 2nd Chronicles, which relates the same thing, it tells you there, that God told Solomon how big the building was to be, its complete dimensions, and everything. The reason I use this description here, it deals more with how the building was finished, and the decorated inside. This temple, as we read the description here, was sixty cubits long. That is the equivalent of ninety feet in length. The building was twenty cubits wide. That is equivalent to thirty feet in breadth. Its height was thirty cubits, equivalent to forty-five feet. That is half of its total length, and the breadth of the building, is one third of its total length. If you think God is not concerned about mathematics, do not kid yourself: He is, He has a reason for things being like this. All of this carries certain types. As we read here, I am going to read all the verses related to the building. We are starting in the 15th verse of the 6th chapter of 1st Kings. “And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, (I thought the house was made of stone? It was, but this is telling us he finished inside the walls with cedar plank.) both the floor of the house, and the walls of the ceiling: and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir. And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place.” In other words, from the backside forward there were twenty cubits, and the breadth was twenty cubits, and the height was twenty cubits. That is an entire cube. You cannot take away from it and you cannot add to it. We know this, that since twenty cubits would be approximately thirty feet, then that means it is taking up one third of the total length, but since it is forty-five feet in height, that lets us know there would have to be an attic above that ceiling. Maybe they used it for storage; I do not know, but God is keeping this room a precise size. It has got to type something. When we read all of this, we find that this entire room is sealed with cedar plank. We will continue to read. “And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long. (That is what is left, that is sixty feet.) And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen. (So it lets us know the actual wall of the building that made it such a strong piece of work, was the stone walls. But within, the walls were covered with cedar plank.) And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord. (That is what we see right here. This is an open end view looking into that room.) And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar. So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold.” There was a huge curtain hung up there on golden chains, but as it dropped down before this, then that is what separated this measurement from this other. That was called a veil. When you read in the New Testament, that when Jesus died on the cross and there was a great earthquake, what did it say? The veil in the temple was rent in twain. When the apostle Paul, with his understanding of what all that room signified, explains it in the Hebrew letter, he said that the renting of the veil signified that the way into the holy of holies has been made, as Jesus fulfilled all requirements. God’s sacrifice on earth has now been fulfilled through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which signifies that He is bringing an end to the old covenant, as far as its spiritual application goes. Jesus then rose from the dead and ascended right into heaven, and was seated on the right hand of God the Father, the Majesty, entering into His eternal glory, which no other priest could ever do. When you read that in the epistle to Timothy, it tells us how he has ascended on high, and he dwells in that light whom no man could approach, nor could see, nor can see. It means this, God the Eternal Spirit, does not live in a fixed form. That is not His habitation. He has manifested through the ages, in various similarities, taking on different forms, sometimes in an angelic way, and other times in theophany form appearing as a man. None of those forms were ever represented as His eternal abode, simply because He is a Spirit, which is invisible. He cannot be seen. He never has been seen by any natural eye, and never will be. Well I thought the Bible said Moses saw Him? That goes to show how much people really know about the Bible. They will just read one verse of scripture and will lock that up in their minds as the final say, and will go the rest of their life thinking, now I understand it all. Well I just have to say, One day, they will be going down the road of life, and will trip over a rock, so to speak, and say, now I don’t know what I believe. How can people ignore what the Bible says? They will say, Moses saw God; the Bible says so. Then you come to 1st John 4:12, which was written by another Jew, what did he say? He said, “No man hath seen God at any time.” Are we reading riddles? No. We have to know what the writers, the patriarchs and the prophets were talking about when they were speaking of these various similarities or figures back in time, those that God manifested Himself in. You will notice, He never repeated His manifestations at any other time. John, 1:18 says also, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” Do not expect to ever see God walking around as a person: His only begotten Son is the only person in the Godhead, and the only one that has ever been seen with the natural eye. It is the same with this city we are reading about: It is symbolic of something, and not something that can be seen with the natural eye. We read all about it, we read of its size and so forth, but you have to keep these things in proper prospective. However, when it comes to the temple Solomon built, and also the temple that will be built a little later on, you are talking about something that can be seen with the natural eye. Therefore as we were talking about that temple Solomon built, and that one room, you see it looking as you would walk in right here, looking there, to see this. That is the ark of the covenant, which used to dwell in that tent of badger skins and goat skins. There it is in there. When we read here, all of these cedar planks the walls were lined with, in those cedar planks, think of it, it says professional craftsmen carved flowers, angelic beings, winged creatures, palm trees and so on. After they got all those carvings into the planks of cedarwood, then all those planks were overlaid with fine gold. Then the planks were used to line the wall, the ceiling, everything, so that as you walk in you would see nothing but all the walls about you, with all those flowers, those impression of whatever had been cut into the wood, reflecting through all that shining gold. As you imagine how that room would look, remember, it was perfectly square. We have to understand that the dimension of it, all those figures, are setting a type for us, that once God’s plan of salvation for man has run its full time factor, God will have redeemed everything He had purposed to redeem. When the plan of salvation, and total redemption is completed you cannot add one thing to it, nor take one thing away from it. Brothers and Sisters: I believe you will have to say, God has been good to us, to give to us a written word describing what He is doing. In that written word He has given you and me equal opportunity to get the picture of what He wants us to become. He gives us an opportunity to understand how He wants man to approach Him. He gives us an opportunity to know exactly how He wants man to serve Him. In the New Testament, He has given us every doctrine that our faith is to be supported by. God forbid that man should change anything about it, but man has had his day of changing the word of God to suit his own purpose. His true bride people do not do that.


THE MANY SYSTEMS OF MAN’S RELIGION


When we look at the religious world about us, we can hear every kind of belief that man can imagine, being called the Christian belief, and it is more confusion than it is anything that can ever help anyone take on the mind of Christ. Ninety percent of present day Christendom does not even realize why there is a Lutheran system of religion, or why there is an Episcopalian system, or a Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Church of God, or Pilgrim Holiness. Why is there an Assemblies of God, or a Oneness? Ask them, Why do we have all these denominations? and see what you hear. The majority of all those people who go to those places every week do not realize that for almost five hundred years, the Spirit of God was slowly beginning to shine light back upon His word that the Catholic Church, through that long period of time from about 500 A.D. to 1500, had cast into darkness. The old world, Europe, went through the darkest hour of secular history spiritually and materially. From the advent of Christ and on for a number of years, God shined light upon His word, and even on over to around 500 A.D. the Church still had some light, but by the time 500 A.D. had rolled around that light was very dim. Then for the next 1000 years, everything was almost total darkness. The Catholic Church had changed every doctrine and ordinance into some kind of money-making gimmick. When you study history from then on, the system had become just a mass of people with creeds, dogmas, rituals and faith in the system of man, rather than faith in a living God. What do we mean? Just this, Man had taken away from the word of God the true meaning, and added his own interpretation. He had done exactly what the serpent did in the garden of Eden when talking to Eve, No God did not mean that; He meant this; and he added what he thought was supposed to be said. God allowed that condition to go on for a thousand years; and then He began to reveal a certain truth to certain chosen men, and for almost 500 years now, God has been giving man an opportunity to come back out from that dark period, back into the light. That is why today, the church world will never walk where you and I walk. They just take a certain truth God revealed to their founder and major on that, not even caring that God has continued to reveal more truth right on through the years, truth that the first century Church walked by. Therefore because they do not see what you see, they just look upon us as a bunch of fanatical people, claiming to be Christians. They say we are uncooperative, disagreeable and that we think we are the only ones God cares about. They think we have no love; simply because we do not come and sit with them as they go through their weekly rituals. The apostle Paul said, How can light dwell with darkness? How can truth and error be in agreement? How can Christianity and Baal worship be in agreement? How can true Christianity take the faith that was once given to the first Church, and try to be in agreement with those who are bound and determined to carry on in their old traditions, not having any thoughts about ever changing? True saints of God are always subject to change, as the Lord sheds more light upon His word. We do not change into the very image of Christ the moment we receive the Holy Ghost: He changes us day by day as we are given more light to walk in. That is how our former traditions are purged out of us. All of those men of the Reformation had some truth revealed to them, but none of them ever endeavored to put all of the truth that had been revealed to the various ones, all into one package and present it to the Church. God had to send a prophet to this very age, in order to accomplish that. That is what Bro. Branham did, take all of the truth that had been restored little by little as various men would be moved upon by the Spirit of God to take a stand for some particular revelation, and present it all together as the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.


THINGS TO CONSIDER


Let us look some more at this cube we were talking about. It has two types projected. We know this, in its earthly representation, there was only one priest of the Jewish people of the Levite tribe, which was the high priest. In the fall of the year, which was approaching the end of the Jews’ secular year, which usually takes place between the middle of September and the middle of October, on the day of atonement, he had a certain function to perform. That is the month that ends their secular year, because their months are controlled by the lunar months. They do not go by the solar year like you and I. Their years are by the lunar system. Therefore as we see then, in the fall of the year, on the day of atonement, when the sacrifice for national sins for the people was made on the altar outside of the temple itself, that high priest took the blood of that sacrifice and made his way into the temple, because in here was the menorah, the seven golden candlesticks that typed the seven church ages of the Gentile dispensation. That seven branched menorah, or candle holder, pointed to the Grace Age, a time when the Grace Age would be exemplified in those seven churches you read about in Revelation, chapters 2 and 3. In chapter 1, when John turned to see the One that spoke to him, he saw seven golden candlesticks, and in the midst of the seven candlesticks One like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. He recognized it to be Jesus he was looking at. He was clothed in this priestly robe. He looked like a High Priest. When we take that back to the Old Testament, this high priest of Israel would go through here into this place, once each year, to come into the presence of this and there he would sprinkle that blood on the altar. Now we are told that if God accepts it for the forgiveness of the sins of the people, and takes pleasure in the acceptance of this blood, all is well, because the priest wore bells on his robe that could be heard. In that place, he did not just go in there and stand around: He went in there and walked back and forth. This was to make a noise, letting those outside know he was still alive. I am glad you and I do not have to approach God like that, walking back and forth in that place. It would probably scare you, if you could see what he saw. Nevertheless, in there he communicated the affect of that atonement. All of that was a particular type of something that would be accomplished by a perfect sacrifice later on. The high priest was the only one that could go that far in there, and that lets us know that when Jesus hung on the cross of Calvary two thousand years ago, as God’s perfect sacrifice for the sins of man, He gave His life, shedding His blood, and when He arose again the third day, that is what this day of atonement signified; the day that Jesus rose from the dead. He was seen for the space of forty days after His resurrection, among the body of disciples, In 1st Corinthians 15:6, the apostle Paul wrote that He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once. I was asked the other night, Did the world see Him? No saints, the worldly minded people did not see Him. It was those that were His disciples, along with the apostles. He appeared to various ones periodically, during that interval of time before He ascended. What was His purpose in doing that? To prove to them His resurrection. Then at the end of that period of time, He went out to the Mt. of Olives, and after speaking to them there, He ascended into heaven. As He ascended into heaven, He went right straight into the presence of that eternal Spirit, into that manifested glory. That is what you read about in Revelation 4 and 5. When you read the Bible, you will never read anywhere that there are three persons sitting on three thrones in heaven. There is no such thing as a three persons God. That is a counterfeit teaching brought to this Gentile world by Catholicism. The sad part of it is, Gentile religions have swallowed it hook, line and sinker, so to speak. Do you remember the letter we read, from the Netherlands? He told how he wrestled with the fact he had been baptized according to the trinity titles, using Matthew 28:19, but the church world today does not even know what Matthew 28:19 really implies. Jesus said, Baptizing them in the name, not names, just name. You can say father all you want to; and you can say son all you want to, and Holy Ghost all you want to, but be sure of this one thing; none of those titles are a name. Nothing Jesus ever said at any time, ever gave the slightest hint that He was one of three persons in the Godhead. Three offices yes, but not three persons. Father is not a name; and never was a name. Father, Son and Holy Ghost are all titles pertaining to the three office works of the ONE GOD. They are titles that God has given the various offices through time, seeking to bring about the total plan of redemption. After all is said and done, there is only one name in the entire New Testament, given among men, whereby man is to be saved. That is in and through and by the name Jesus, who is the Christ. That is the family name that God reveals Himself through, as He set about to redeem us. That is why I say, When you go to the book of Acts, where on the day of Pentecost the first three thousand souls were baptized in water, How did Peter tell them to be baptized? (Acts 2:38) “Then Peter said unto them, 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.” Some of the modernists of our day will say, Well I would rather take what Jesus said than what Peter said. If you are going to take what Jesus said, you had better listen to Peter; because he had the revelation of what Jesus meant. Peter was right there to hear Him say what He said, and you were not there, so maybe you had better rethink your position. You are just reading about it; and according to the scriptures, Peter was the disciple that had the key to know how, and what to say on the day of Pentecost, when this dispensation of the kingdom of heaven was set in motion, and three thousand souls stood there hearing those disciples coming out of the upper room, speaking in various languages and glorifying God. Then when the home bunch began to criticize, thinking they were drunk, Peter began to preach. When he ended his sermon there were devout Jews gathered out of every nation under heaven, rushing around those disciples, asking, Men and brethren, what must we do? They all knew what to say, but Peter spoke and said, Repent every one of you and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. Why? Because that is the formula the new birth is applied in. Well Bro. Jackson, I have been a Nazarene all my life, and I know God saved me when I asked Him to. Let us look at it this way, We will all testify to the fact that God first dealt with us when we were in denominations, (I am referring to the older folks in the congregation.) but there is one thing sure, He did not do it just to make a better Catholic of you, nor a better Baptist, or whatever: He did it because He loved you. I was ignorant of that truth when I was in the Methodist Church, so He saved me because He loved me, not because I was right in what I believed. He saved me because He loved me and He knew that later on down the road He would deal with me and I would come out from among them, to walk in truth. He sure knows how to work with those who desire to be Christlike, and are willing to let Him lead them. Sometimes when you drag your feet He will let you get by with dragging your feet for a little while, but after a while He will let you stumble and bruise yourself up pretty badly, and when you get up you are ready to pick up those feet and follow His leading. Did not the apostle Paul write, in Romans 8:28, That all things work together for good to those that love the Lord? That is because they are the called, according to His purpose. I am saying these things because we are living at the end of the Age, and when He has been so gracious to so many of us and given us an opportunity to come back to the light, back to the light of revealed truth, ought not we purpose in our hearts to let Him lead us from here on out to the end? When Jesus ascended into heaven, He ascended into the very presence of the eternal God of glory. That throne you read about in Revelation 4, is the only throne that can be seen in heaven, and Jesus is sitting upon it. It is a throne position that the Eternal Spirit has provided for His only begotten Son, the Son He had begotten into the earth, the Son who met all the conditions of being a perfect sacrifice while living among sinful mankind, and being tempted and tested in every way that you and I are tempted, yet He kept His life free from all sin. He went further than you and I could go: He was willing to take your place, and my place at Calvary, die for us as our total sacrifice for sins. He went further into the bowels of this earth than any other mortal creature could have ever gone, but He did not stay there: The third day, He came forth out of that tomb, and He is alive forever, now in immortality. Keep in mind, if Jesus had not been crucified as He was, He would have lived and lived and lived forever, because He had no sin in Him. He had no inherited death in Him. How many understand that? When I make that statement, I make it in order to point to the flesh, because He was foreordained to die for you and me; not because He had tuberculosis, or heart disease, but because there was no other sacrifice worthy to be offered for man’s sins, so when He obediently went to that old cross and laid down His life, He was raised in immortality, never to die any more. That is why He is seated in heaven at the right hand of the Father. He is our High Priest. What that little room typified here, that only one can go into that place, Jesus is there today, and has been there in that position for almost two thousand years now. That is what Paul is describing in Hebrews. Now He is in that place and that Lamb’s book of life, you have got to realize, every man, every woman, every boy and girl, that in the end will have their place in that city, it is because their name was in the Lamb’s book of life from before the foundation of the world. Your name was not written in the book of life the day you joined a church somewhere. If you ever open your heart, and your mind gets straightened out with God and you begin to walk with God, you are going to realize that He knew you before you were ever even born. He knew what generation you would be born in and how long it would take you to respond to His convicting presence. Think of that. Did you know that? Not until after you surrendered to Him. Did you have anything to do with you getting here? Not much, but He sure did. He knew exactly just how to deal with you to bring you to His plan of salvation.


WHAT IS PREDESTINATION?


There are a lot of people that cannot understand predestination, but those who do, consider it to be a beautiful doctrine of the scriptures. The minute you mention predestination, those who do not understand it will say, I don’t believe that: It is a doctrine right out of the pit of hell. It is very strange though, that it is in the Bible and they still feel that way about it. How can it be out of the pit of hell if it is in the teachings of the Bible? Some people just close their mind to reality, simply because their Grandpa and Grandma did not know anything about it. Keep in mind, the apostle Paul, in Ephesians 1, wrote that we were predestined according to the foreknowledge of God. What does foreknowledge mean? God knew before there was ever a star, moon, or anything else, who the heirs of salvation would be. He knew how many would be born on this planet, once this planet itself was in existence. Well I just simply cannot see that, some will say. Then stop calling God omnipotent or omniscient. Why use such terms if you do not believe He knew everything about everything He would create. Why tell the world He is a God that can do anything, then turn right around and limit His ability? Let me illustrate predestination. The apostle Paul says this, He would that men might pray for everybody, for kings and magistrates, governors and so forth. Why? Because God is not willing, or did not will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God sends out a universal call, Come, whosoever will. That is His universal invitation. When Jesus died on the cross, every lost sinner was represented. Every sinner is invited to take a look at the goodness of God and His willingness to save all that will believe. Behind the whole plan is a master mind that knew exactly how to look at it. Let me use an earthly illustration. Let us just say a man and his wife have a daughter that has reached the age of marriage. They live in a community that is closely knit in the social structure. They are planning a beautiful church wedding. Let us just say for the sake of illustration, that the father and mother of this daughter, if they have the mind of God, would know exactly how many people are going to come to the wedding, and also to the reception, and they would know exactly how much of everything to prepare. Therefore in order that nobody be left without an invitation, they have a great number of invitation cards printed and distributed. You are cordially invited to attend the wedding of our daughter on such and such a date, at such and such a place, and to the reception which will follow the wedding ceremony. That invitation reads the same to each person it goes to. Just imagine though, as those invitations are received by the public, conversations strike up. Some say, We are planning to go to that wedding. On and on it goes all over the community for weeks, Yes we are planning on going, but the father and mother having the mind of God, as time goes on they are impressed that out of three hundred invitations they sent out, only two hundred and twenty six people will actually attend, so that is how many they prepare for. Bro. Jackson, you are making me uneasy. Well I just say this, Don’t forget that verse in Romans 8, which plainly tells you this, (28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. (29) For whom He did foreknow, (What did He do?) He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (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.” He justified us. If He justified us, what else did He do? He glorified us. It does not matter how wicked you have been, He sees you, once you have reached that point, how you are cleaned up. That lets you see how the mind of God works, so getting back to the natural wedding, when that day comes that the wedding is fulfilled, there will be two hundred and twenty six people come to the door. They made provision for two hundred and twenty six guests. That little example lets you know, that when the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife hath made herself ready according to Revelation 19, the rapture takes place and the dead in Christ are raised first, then we which remain alive at that time, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. There is not going to be any fussing when we get to the marriage supper. There is not going to be any vacant place where so and so did not make it. God does not set a table, then have someone fail to show up. Was the dimensions of the ark out of line? How many know what I am talking about now? It was God Himself that told Noah how big to build the ark. God knew there would only be eight human beings that would go aboard to escape what was coming, and that the rest would be animals. All the animals in there had sense enough to know, We better get in that boat if we want to escape what is coming. They did. There was no rodeo. God kept that door open until all that would go in were in. Then as the last creature walked up that gangplank and into the ark, the wind started blowing, and after a while a gust of wind caught that door, Bang! It was shut. Noah knew he was shut in with God. Genesis 7:16, tells us the Lord shut him (Noah) in. The old boat sat there. The critics mocked, but when the rain started falling they did not mock any more. I can see them crying. I can hear them screaming, trying to hold on to the side of that ark. They all had their chance to go in, but now that judgment is falling, it is too late. There were no ropes hanging down for anyone to grab on to. Why do you talk like that Bro. Jackson? God has a sense of humor, but the sad part is people do not know it. We are looking at things in the type structure. When that priestly office work of Christ is fulfilled, as we read in the 5th and 6th chapters of Revelation, Jesus does then reach the point in time that He leaves that place where He has sat ever since He ascended into heaven, and this high priest function here in the holy of holies was the type of that. He sits in heaven on that throne interceding for all of us, but once He leaves that throne position, He will never return to that position again. He is then crowned as King of all kings. His wife (the bride Church) is now with Him. She has been married to Him according to the hope the true Church has had all these past centuries of time since the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, when the Church was born. The scene portrayed in Revelation 19, is Christ Jesus and the bride saints of all ages, coming from heaven with power to speak judgment on all wicked mankind. You can turn to Revelation 19, and read the last verses, and here comes Jesus with His Church, back to earth, to rule and reign. Then when the battle of Armageddon is concluded and His judgment is poured out, and He sets about to bring all the national subjects before Him, to judge their worthiness to enter into the next era, which is the Millennium, then is when Jesus will take the ancient throne of David and will sit in Jerusalem Himself, while His bride looks to the other nations. By the time all of that has come about, there will again have been built on the old temple grounds in Jerusalem, a temple for Him to rule from. If that temple is going to be built again in Jerusalem, getting it ready for the second coming of the Jewish Messiah, which is our Bridegroom, the King of kings and Lord of lords, that temple will again have a room like the one we have been describing to you. The difference between this one and the other ones, will be that this temple will no longer have a veil like the others had. That room will no longer have that ark in it, but it will have a throne where King Jesus will rule from. It tells us in the prophet Jeremiah, that in that day, pointing to the time when the Jews will again be regathered in Jerusalem, and in the land of Israel, to get ready to bind the ten tribes and two tribes back together, to sit them up under the Messianic kingdom, it will no longer be said concerning the ark of the covenant, but it will be said something concerning the glory of the Lord and His presence with us. In other words King Jesus will be sitting in that oracle place. That is what this typed. The ark here, was pointing to the person of Jesus Christ in all of His saving work. We realize that the dimensions of that room in its second fold meaning, as God would only dwell in such a cube, the total cubicle of it in its measurements was pointing to this, because this will not come about until this which types Jesus the man has been fulfilled and He has reigned in the Millennium. Then redemption has been completed in the earth and everything has been renewed, the resurrection of the dead is over, the wicked spirits out of hell are cast into the lake of fire, all demons and devils are in the lake of fire, there is no more graveyards, there is no more hell in the heart of the earth, so everything is pure and clean. There is no more trace of sin anywhere. There is no more dead bodies around to remind God that sin is still present. Hallelujah! All that is left is pure and clean. Then the last and foremost type of this whole picture is fulfilled; because God then places Himself back in and among His creation in the fullness of His manifested glory, to take up His eternal abode with man. That is why it says in Revelation 21, as John saw that city, He heard that angel proclaiming, Behold the tabernacle of God is with man to dwell with man and man with God. Now where will that beautiful place sit, since it has a certain dimension to it? Do not forget; there will be no more oceans, or large bodies of water in that day. How many realize that? There will be no Pacific Ocean. There will be no more Atlantic Ocean. Will there not still be lakes and rivers? There sure will, but there will no longer be two thirds of this planet covered with water. Where will this glorious place settle at? It will settle right back down on this earth, right where He started it. God Himself then becomes the temple. When you read in Revelation 21, it talks about how the glory and honor of the nations will be brought; let me just read a few verses, starting in verse 21. “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. (The city) And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 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. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. 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 great anointing presence of God, this manifestation of God’s divine presence, becomes the abode of the Bride and the redeemed of the Lord. Keep in mind though, that through the Millennium there will be people born on the face of this earth. At the end of the Millennium, because there will be millions of people born to natural parents on this planet, Satan will be turned loose again for a little while, that they also may be tested and tried like we have been. They are going to be tested as to their allegiance to God . That is why Satan must be loosed for a little season. Keep in mind though, those that take sides with Satan will never again be allowed to bring about the manifestation of sin, the works of it, as you see it in the earth today. When those that are deceived by Satan reach a certain point, they are going to encamp around Jerusalem for an evil purpose, around the place which is actually the beloved city, the camp of the saints. That is when divine fire out of heaven destroys the entire mass of them. Yes saints, when there is no more presence of evil on earth, God will absolutely come and settle right back down in the same place where His presence was before Adam and Eve sinned, right back in Eden, which is where it all started. What about those people, Bro. Jackson, will they be immortal? They will be people that you can say are in an immortal state, because they will never die, but they will not be in the same relationship with the Creator as the people that are represented in the bride. How many understand that now? When you talk like that, the first thing people begin to say, Well, now you are telling me God is a respecter of persons. No. You just have to keep in mind, God created angels and He created them in three orders. What do you mean by that? We read of winged creatures. Then we read of angels like Gabriel and Michael. They are not spoken of as winged creatures. Then there are lesser angels whose names are not even mentioned in the Bible. They are the ministering spirits sent forth to watch over the people of God. Keep in mind, if you study the whole universe, you will study the whole category of things the God of creation has manifested Himself in, and there are three areas. Let us look at it this way, what is creation made up of? Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Will you agree with that? Then there has been three offices among man that He worked through, first to the Jewish people. First a prophet, when Jesus was here on earth, was He not a prophet for 3 and ½ years? He does not live and exist in two offices at the same time. He was first a prophet, then He laid that robe aside and He died for the sins of lost mankind, as a sacrifice. When He arose, He ascended into glory; and all power and authority was invested in Him by God, and He has been a Priest through all these centuries and He is to be King. He has been Priest for almost two thousand years. He will soon finish that work of intercession; and when He leaves that office He will come to earth with His Bride. His Bride is robed in fine linen, clean and white. That means that is the highest calling that a human being can attain unto, being called into God’s plan of salvation. You read about all these other saints in the 7th chapter of Revelation. They are given white robes. It does not say they are of fine linen. They are just white robes. It means they are saved and they are going to be glorified. It also tells us in Revelation 20, as we read the first four verses, blessed and holy is he who hath part of the first resurrection, for over such the second death hath no power. They are going to be given white robes. All of that signifies that they too will be resurrected in a glorified state. They too will have a white robe, in the sense of salvation. Keep in mind though, that the fine linen is the one that is called the highest. Now those national people here in the Millennium, which we just spoke of, they are actually a servant people, but not in the sense that they will be mistreated. That is another three. How many understand my point of illustration? We have got to realize, that when redemption is over, God will have those three types of people. I will say this, As we get into the Millennium, there will be a lot of things that will come to light that we will see and understand then, better then we do now. As far as this city, when you read about it, and the throne we read about in Revelation 4, when God comes down, in that city, and in that likeness, again, there is that throne setting. Who is sitting on it? Nobody but your elder brother, which is Jesus the Christ. As we just read in Revelation 21, There is no need for the light of the sun nor the moon, for the Lord God and the Lamb thereof are the light of that city. Does that mean there is going to be no sun nor moon anymore? No. When you go to Isaiah 30:26, it tells us that in that day, what day? When God has made everything new; like He said in Revelation 21, Behold I make all things new. Therefore when He makes all things new, it says the sun shall shine seven times brighter than it had before, and the moon will be as bright as the noonday sun. Just imagine, if that sun actually shined that bright in the day time, then the moon that shines at night was as bright as the noonday sun, there would be no night. Why is there still a sun? Because it takes that for the natural earth planet you live on. It is from that, that all the plant life has to survive. How many realize that? It means that the light that your inner being must have, the Lord God Himself is the light. It says this, In that city there is no temple. No temple, which means there is no natural building, because the Lord God and the Lamb are the temple thereof. What does that tell you? If the Lord God and the Lamb are the temple of it, that lets me know you are not living inside the immortal body of Jesus. You are living in the presence of the eternal glory of the Creator of all things, the same one that saved you. He did it through His begotten Son Jesus, who is the Christ, the anointed one. Jesus, as the head of the family, is your elder brother. He is the first of the new family. He is the Alpha, the Omega, the beginning and the end. He is the beginning of redemption and the end of redemption. That is the city Abraham was looking for, a city whose founder and builder is God, because God designed it in the heavens. We have a lot to look forward to, so let us be faithful. Amen

City of Paradise, Part 1

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WE HAVE NOT PRINTED THIS MESSAGE SINCE IT WAS PREACHED, IN APRIL OF 1990, BUT SINCE IT IS ONE OF THE SEVEN THAT BROTHER JACKSON SPOKE OF IN HIS TESTIMONY, WE ARE EDITING IT JUST FOR THE INTERNET WEB PAGE.

We have sketches here, of pictures that portray two settings in the Bible. One is of the garden that we read about in Genesis. The other is a city that is different than any other city you have ever heard of. I am sure there is not an artist in the world that could ever portray either one in the true reality that God manifests’ them in. There is no way we could put a city in a drawing, of the description we read about in the book of Revelation, and give it the color description, so that we could put it on video. It just simply would never take. Therefore we have to use some natural profile for a point of illustration. We are giving this message the title, “The City of Paradise,” or you could think of it as “The New City,” because it will be just that, spiritually speaking. I am going to ask you to open your Bible’s to our text, found in Revelation, chapter 21. This gives us a picture in time, and the Millennium, the thousand years reign of Jesus Christ with His bride, will then be in the past. Satan has been loosed at the closing of the Millennium, after the thousand years has run its course, just for a little season. The Bible does not tell us how many years or months that may be. It is just a little season for a specific purpose. That is for the purpose of testing that great mass of people that will have been born on the earth during the reign of Christ and His immortal saints. Those who reigned with Him already had glorified bodies like His. When that testing is over, we then see another picture. We see, as the 20th chapter closes out, that there is a great white throne judgment set up. This is portraying the great, supreme court of heaven. Christ is the Judge in this case. The Eternal Spirit, the Father, has delegated unto Him this great judgment role. This is also a part of redemption; because we are dealing not only with the earth, but with people that will have lived during the Millennium when Satan was bound and they have not been tested until the hour when he is loosed for a little season. Now that they have been tested, and they have reacted, those that have done things that must be judged are seen here along with all the others that must face this judgment, and we find the apostle Paul speaking in the Corinthian letter, that the saints shall judge the world. Saints will also judge angels. Therefore we have to realize that you take what Paul says in the Corinthian letter, and place that right over here in that great white throne judgment; because we will see the angelic family all present, and this is the final judgment. You will see all the saints of God present, from the Old Testament Age as well as the new, along with the tribulation saints, and they are all present to represent and speak out and bear witness against things that Satan and the evil element of the angelic family have done in their particular periods of time. Then, it says the dead were cast alive into the lake of fire, where the beast and the false prophet are, and of course that refers to the spirit of those two systems. That episode ends all phases of redemption. We will now read our text, where we find that John has seen this great, very beautiful scene manifest.

NEW HEAVEN AND
A NEW EARTH

Let us now start reading our text for this message. (Revelation 21:1) “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 I beg of you, as we read this, do not let your mind’s drift off into some fantasy, thinking, Well, that is a new planet somewhere beyond this one, and that is a new realm of atmosphere. No, it is no such thing. If we are dealing with redemption, then we have to be looking at the same global planet that God has been dealing with for eons of time. We are looking at the same span of space; but we see it in its redeemed state. What is made new about it, is those evil spirits that have been allowed to fill certain dimensions of that atmosphere called heaven, are no longer present to intervene, or to tempt or do anything against the plan and purpose of God. God now gives us a view of the earth as it has been made new through His process of redemption. When redemption, as it refers to salvation, is applicable to you and I, yes, it says we are new creatures. However, in reality we must realize that God did not destroy the old you. He did not do away with you, and make another in your likeness. God is not in the cloning business. He is in the saving business. He does not make one, then take a cell from that and make another just like you. That is what scientists would do, if they were ever given a free hand to manifest their own designs for this planet. It is interesting to note, that they have to have something God has already created in order to be able to make for themselves anything in the likeness of a creation. We just have to realize, God has made new creatures out of His family through the process of redemption. The earth is new because it has been redeemed. That is what the Millennium is for. It is God’s plan for renewing the earth, redeeming the earth, bringing it back into a relationship where He, the eternal Spirit, can place Himself back in it, and through it, to fulfill His eternal purpose, and that final state will go on for endless ages. It is also referred to as world without end. Now as we read, notice, “For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away,” what does it mean by that? It means the earth and the heavens as you and I, mankind has known it through our life span’s, while sin was present, and this is not dealing with the planet back in the prehistoric age: It is only dealing with how the planet is to be looked upon as it has been brought through the era of man. “For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” This also lets us know that through the thousand year reign, something has taken place to change that picture, because as far as we can read, the earth is covered with two thirds water, and it is going to be that way right on to when the Millennium begins. Since Satan is only going to be loosed for a little season, we must realize that between the ending of the Millennium and the beginning of what the picture is, In chapter 21, even though it says he is only loosed for a short span of time, he has opportunity to draw away a great host of people that take a stand against the people of God, and God has to destroy them from among the living. Then when we do read that there was no more sea, this causes us realize that something has happened to the planet during that thousand year reign of Christ as King of kings. As redemption is fully completed in the plan of God, and is executed in and through the reign of Christ, we are made to believe that through that thousand year reign, the oceans, those vast expanses of water that now cover so much of this planet, are slowly going to be dissipated and drawn back out into space where the water came from. No doubt, people will be saying throughout the Millennium, The ocean is drying up: We need a rain. The oceans, the huge spans of water that we now see covering so much of the planet, is no doubt evidence of the curse and judgments that fell upon wicked mankind, as we read about in Genesis, where the flood of water covered the then known world. Because of that very thing, our calendar is out of balance. We now have 365 and 1/4 days to a year, and the moon is out of balance with the earth: therefore since we know a perfect circle has 360 degrees, if our calendar is to ever be balanced, it will not be by man’s technology: it will be God balancing it, by putting the earth, the moon, and sun back in proper relationship to each other. That will be brought about also, by redemption, as God draws that water back out into the atmosphere surrounding the earth, to correct the off-balance state that water has caused. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Well, has God put something in the book of Revelation for confusion? Not at all. Because when I turn back to the 19th chapter, I read something that sounds almost exactly like that. Turn to the 19th chapter of Revelation. We are looking at a picture here, that is describable as a heavenly scene, while tribulation is going on, here on earth. Let us start reading in the 6th verse. “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 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.” We have talked much on this subject. When we read the 19th chapter, it speaks here, that His wife hath made herself ready, so we automatically see a picture of the Church of the living God, do we not? We see an element of people in heaven. How did they get there? John did not see a picture of how they got there: He just saw them there. It is the apostle Paul, who tells us how they got there. That is learned when you read 1st Thessalonians, the 4th chapter, where he speaks of what we call the rapture of the bride saints, which is accomplished in the secret coming of the Lord before the great tribulation strikes the earth. Will the world see Christ when that happens? No. Christ is not revealed to the world in that event: That is a secret thing, only for the prepared bride. The saints leave this world mysteriously. That is why they are seen in heaven. “And to her (the wife, which is the true Church) was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen.” Now let us open up our minds to the fact there is no sewing machines in heaven. Do you understand what I am saying? There is no textile industry in heaven rolling out bolts of material to make bridal gowns out of. Where in the world did this fine linen come from? It is not anything that is produced by any human effort. This has got to be understood that it is the way the Lord robes the immortal saints with His glory, which is referred to as His righteousness, because of the revelation they have, that has been given to them while down here on earth. It is true, the saints are coming back riding white horses, and robed in fine white linen, but that is speaking spiritually: It is not because they are literal, tangible, materialistic robes, that have been sewn through the ages of time. I have to bring this in like that to open up the human mind. People get so naturally caught up in looking at what appears to be so literal, they start to literalize it. They forget to realize that this is God’s way of speaking of robing you and me with His glory, simply because of what He imparted to us while we were here on earth. As long as you are here, you will wear the kind of clothing you have access to, whether it is made of polyester, cotton, wool, or what-have-you. However when you leave here, you will leave those rags behind. You will be clothed in something far more pure and clean than anything that is produced by mortals down here. Let us continue reading. “And He saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And He saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” The reason I read that, is just to bring in the fact that we are reading about the Lamb’s wife, just before the Millennium begins. Then when we read those two verses in chapter 21 of Revelation, where it refers to the Lamb’s wife, the point is, that is called a city. I want to ask you, and all religious thinking people, Is Jesus Christ a polygamist? If you literalize that city and say it is a city made up of natural mineral substance, as it is described in chapters 21 and 22, you will have to settle as fact, that you believe in polygamy. That city we read about there, while it has been naturalized and literalized by so many theologians, because they will take St. John 14:2, where Jesus said, In my Father’s house are many mansions, and think of it as a great building program, and over here, it is spiritually referred to as a city. In the Beshetta text it says, There are many rooms. In another it says, many resting places, (and then) if it were not so I would have told you. He indeed said, I go to prepare a place for you. If I go away to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. Where did He go, to prepare that place for you and me? He went to that old rugged cross at Calvary, to prepare a place for us, simply because, until then we were alienated from the provisions of heaven. Nevertheless the Methodists, as well as many others, really get caught up in that part where He has gone to prepare a place for us, and it becomes a riddle to them, simply because they do not know where in the world it really leads to. As we look further into what this city of paradise actually is, you are going to have to follow me, because I am not going to read any more of Revelation 21 or 22, until we have built up the picture we are looking at. Man was first placed in a beautiful garden, and now that same setting is referred to as a city, so let us open our Bible’s to Genesis for our next reading. We are in chapter 2, verse 8. “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom He had formed.” Immediately man pictures God with a sack of seed of every description, out there planting a garden. Maybe with a hoe, like old timers used to plant a garden, going along and pulling back a little dirt, then dropping seed in and covering it back up. That may be a natural way you or I would portray God planting a garden, but I assure you, this is not the picture we need to see here. Keep in mind, Eden, as we read in Genesis, is not the garden itself. Eden, is the name given to a geographical spot of ground there where man had his beginning. It is still called Eden, the beginning of God, or the paradise of God. It simply means, where paradise was put. In the natural, it tells you here about the geographical terrain of Eden. It had all the natural landscape, rivers and everything we are prone to think of, but the garden referred to here, had nothing to do with how God planted trees, flowers, ferns or anything else like that: It is how He displayed Himself, His glory, His presence in a majestic fashion over that area of the geographical earth. I have always expressed it as, It was a little bit of heaven, a little bit of the spirit world placed here with man in this natural world. This was God’s beginning for the man that He had created out of the dust of the earth, speaking of the body of clay of course. The spirit of that man God created in His image and likeness, came from Him that is totally Spirit because He has never had a body of flesh like man has. What did Jesus say about God in John 4:24? “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” God created a spirit being in the very image of Himself, meaning that He was of the same makeup as his Creator which was Spirit. He was of the same Spirit that God is. That makes the Creator his Father. That makes His created offspring His son. When He placed that Spirit in a vessel of clay, then He placed it in this beautiful garden, (so called) and man had the opportunity to live in two realms, a natural realm and a spiritual realm. Think about it for a moment. He was living on a natural, earthly planet, but he was not limited only to his natural surroundings. Out of the ground grew trees of every description. Every tree you and I have here today, began to grow in that geographical area of God’s beginning of this creation. Furthermore, this majestic realm that God placed there, wherein angels could be seen as easily as birds sitting in a tree, was the equivalent of heaven on earth. This was the opportunity given to the first man God created in His own image and likeness. In other words, man, in the beginning, had everything he needed. In that kind of environment, he never would have needed air conditioning. He would never have needed a stove. There was no need for electricity, there was no need for any of these natural things we depend so greatly upon today. I want to express it like this, Artists, down through time, have painted their sketches of what they could envision this garden to have been like; but none have ever even come close to expressing it the way it really was. Some would call it the dream world, man imagining that somewhere there is a world where there is no evil and everything is peaceful. There are no clouds to fill the sky. The sky is always clear blue. The sun is always shining. They paint it with beautiful butterflies, little humming birds, all the beautiful things, even with angels moving about. Years ago, I saw a painting of two children walking through a garden. There was a little brook, a stream. There was a bridge over the stream. Right above these two children was an angel looking down upon them, as though he was supervising their traveling through this place. That is as close as the human mind can imagine what a world like that would be like. Then in the secular realm, they call it the fairy world. Those who portray it like that, usually portray it like with Cinderella and those kinds of things. All this goes to show, that deep inside of man, because he lost that beautiful paradise realm, the garden he was first placed in, there is a longing to reach out for that unseen world he can never seem to touch. Somehow or other he has a feeling that it is out there; but he just cannot touch it. When God drove Adam and Eve from that beautiful place called the garden, as I have said many times, They never walked even one foot away from where they were. They never went out between two gate posts and God shut a gate to keep them out. They were driven out of the presence and glory of God; or it might be better expressed, That God lifted His presence from them. When God drew the curtain on that little bit of heaven, the beautiful rays of God’s glory could no longer be seen. The angelic beings that at one time were easily seen standing there, watching, observing, were no where to be seen. From that point on, everything has just been natural, just trees and natural birds. Man lost his dream. He has been traveling through a world of time, where evil is ever present. As man has been traveling through time since he left a garden, did it ever occur to anyone that redeemed mankind is going right back to the same place? You are not leaving this planet earth to go to a garden: That garden is coming back to earth again. Let us take a look and see what the Bible says about this. How did the patriarchs of old look upon this?. For centuries of time man has journeyed, and his journey has all been on this planet. Time has come and gone and every day that mankind has lived, has been a struggle. He has seen his natural world become filled with evil, misfortune, sorrow, heartache and anything else you can think of.

ABRAHAM
SEARCHED FOR A CITY

Open your Bible’s to the book of Hebrews. Since Abraham is our father by faith, and we are the seed of Abraham by faith, as we read in Hebrews 11:8, what comes to your mind? “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” This was the apostle Paul writing these words. Paul sees something, and if we can see what he saw when he put it in writing, it will help us better understand, when we read all of Revelation 21 and 22. “By faith he (Abraham) sojourned in the land of promise, (That land was a natural land: Many of you have been there, and you know that in many places it is just arid desert. Some of it is really not beautiful to look at; but remember, the land that he was to sojourn in may not have looked that way before the flood.) 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.” In another translation it says, whose designer and architect is God. So when we envision that, we do not picture God up in heaven with a great big draftsman’s table in front of Him, with rulers and pencils drawing lines. No. It is how God in His great omnipotence and omnisciency, has designed something according to His own thinking. When we can see Abraham, as he is written of by Paul, come into this land of promise where he lived with his seed, and yet he was constantly looking for a city whose founder, or designer and architect is God, then that lets us know that God, at some time, had shown him something else. This lets us know he was not only looking at the natural terrain and natural ground he was to receive for an inheritance, but he was looking at another realm which far exceeds that natural realm of ground. That is exactly what he was looking for. We can say this, He had a revelation of what all of that other was about. When I say a revelation, we have to realize that it takes a revelation to really understand spiritual things. By a revelation, God imparts to you and me a thought, or the picture of how to understand something that is written or described in the written structure of His word. We can see how that is better described by Paul as we go on in another chapter: Therefore let us turn to the 12th chapter: where Paul is describing, or writing to the believer in this dispensation of time, so as we read this, starting with the 18th verse, let us read it as though Paul is speaking to each one of us who are present here today. “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched.” When we see those words, our mind immediately goes back to Exodus, the 19th and 20th chapters, where we envision how the children of Israel were camped at the foot of a natural, geographical mountain, a giant rock formation rising out of the desert floor. Moses had gone up into that mountain to talk with God. The children of Israel, encamped at the foot of the mountain, were able to look up and see God come down on the top of that mountain in a terrible black looking cloud. We know it did not rain. There was no tornado in that cloud, but it thundered, and lightening was flashing, and there was the sound of a trumpet blowing. All of that is a description of how God manifested Himself to draw attention to His presence, because He is going to convey a message and talk to someone. Moses was caught up in that manifestation. It was scary looking to the children of Israel down below. They turned away and said, Let Him speak to Moses. As for us, this sight is too scary. Moses’ own testimony was, while he was caught up in it, he exceedingly feared and quaked. That is a description of the children of Israel as they were being brought from Egyptian bondage, which is a type of man being brought out from the bondage of sin and service to the devil. We were all born with an inherited nature that made us slaves to the devil. However instead of God saving us from bondage under such terrifying conditions, look what the apostle Paul says, “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 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.” What a terrifying hour that must have been, for God to manifest Himself in a way with such a description, so that human mind’s were terrified even to look upon it. “For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, (Because God is so holy, while He was on that mountain, no earthly beast that He had created for earthly purposes could touch that mountain, lest it be killed.) it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake: (Meaning he trembled all over, but here, the word speaks to you and me.) But ye are come unto mount Zion, (Now Mt. Zion in the natural, is where Jerusalem is built. There is a natural mountain terrain in the land of promise, called Mt. Zion. It is on top of the mountain that the city of Jerusalem, God’s city where He chose to place His name, is built. 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.” This is a description of the spirit world, that somehow or other is around us, but in the natural sense of seeing, with our sense of sight, we cannot see it. “To the general assembly and Church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” When you and I were saved, we did not go to Mt. Sinai in the desert, in the natural, to receive our salvation. Neither did you go to Mt. Zion in the land of Palestine, in the natural. We have come to a spiritual mount and a spiritual city. For what purpose? For God’s gift of salvation, which is eternal life. We realize we have been introduced to a heavenly city, the new Jerusalem. Of course in the natural, you have not seen one piece of stone or anything else that resembles a city. By faith though, we have come to one. The reason I am taking this route, is to give you a description of how the patriarchs searched for what we are all looking for. The apostle Paul did not write the book of Revelation, but what he sees and understands he is writing, how saints of old were used as types, (and it was from those types that Paul saw what we are now being brought to). It is all so beautiful. Open your Bible’s now, to the book of Galatians. The apostle Paul is again going back to Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, as he writes to the Galatian Assembly. As he writes to them, it is obvious he is seeking to get a point established with them. Someone has come along and taught them something from the law, which has them all confused, so let us notice how he wrote. We will start in the 19th verse of the 4th chapter. “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. (In other words, he stands in doubt of their stability, because it is evident they have let someone come along and teach something that has disturbed their understanding.) Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, (This is what lets us know it was something about the Law, probably circumcision. That was one of the first things those Jews would always try to get a Gentile caught up in.) do ye not hear the law? (Paul is going back to the realm of the Law, but as he does so, he goes to Abraham.) For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. (The freewoman was Sarah, his wife.) But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; (When Paul says that, he wants you and I to understand, that everything we read about Hagar, and Ishmael, over in Genesis, typed everything of the natural, fleshly, carnal concept of world Christianity. Everything is carnal and visualized in the natural realm.) but he of the freewoman (Sarah) was by promise. (This types the things of the Spirit.) Which things are an allegory: (or illustrative types) for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth (corresponds) to bondage, which is Agar. (Or Hagar, typed all in that of the flesh) For this Agar (or Hagar) is mount Sinai in Arabia, (That is where the natural Law was received.) and answereth to Jerusalem (the natural city which is built on top of Mt. Zion) which now is, and is in bondage with her children. (All of that is typing the flesh. He is using the Law to illustrate this picture.) But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.” Now brothers and sisters, we have to realize, if Paul can go back to the Old Testament to get the basic groundwork to lay the thought in the mind of New Testament Christians, how we are to look at this new city of Jerusalem, which we find in Revelation 21 and 22, then it had to be spoken of in the Old Testament, so go with me to Isaiah 54. Here the prophet Isaiah speaks of this new city, yet it is typed and projected from the old city, the natural Jerusalem. We are starting in the 11th verse, “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.” The natural city of Jerusalem does not have such a substance for its foundation. How many understand what I mean? It is natural limestone. “And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. (The 13th verse is the primary focal point.) And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; (It literally means all they that dwell inside that city shall be taught of the Lord, but in what way? By spiritual revelation. We will see how Jesus used this.) and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.” The Bible has something for every mind to feed upon, but the true children of God are only interested in spiritual revelation. All of those food-for-thought ideas are for carnal minded mankind. Let us go to St. John, chapter 6, and see what Jesus had to say as He spoke to a crowd of people. As Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and the multitudes in His hour, we take this setting here where He has fed the five thousand the day before. He turned the five loaves and two fishes into a great amount of food to feed the five thousand people. They have come to seek Him the next day; and when He is found, it led to a great controversy and argument. I want to start in verse 35. Jesus had a very unique way of getting religionists all upset. You can do it the same way today, if you want to. Just speak something against a doctor of divinity, or something that a system has been established on for so long. In their natural concept, they cherish the thing, and you know the whole thing is carnal, just a tradition. People have lived so long on a traditional thought, yet when the truth of it comes along and makes known the real point, spiritual people will leave the natural and follow the spiritual. In other words, they that are taught of the Lord will leave the natural realm to follow the spiritual, because they find great joy in doing so, but all the rest will just sit and ridicule and fight against it, so let us notice this scene here. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” We have to realize, Jesus is talking to an audience of people. They are standing there, critical in their spirit toward Him, but He knows that the ones that have a heart and life that is being taught by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Father that is doing the drawing, no matter what He says, they will come and see who He really is. Therefore if these natural Jews are standing looking at a man they perceive to be very natural in all His makeup, there are some that are going to see Him for a spiritual reason. That is just how life is. Those that perceive it in the natural are going to get angry at Him and be ready to throw stones at Him. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; (They will see who He really is.) and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (Or run them away) For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.” Those natural minded Pharisees could not see one thing: they only saw a man standing there, saying things that sounded completely contrary to what they thought His words ought to be. “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me (That is predestination, by the foreknowledge of God: He foreknew who would and who would not believe unto salvation, therefore God knows ahead of time exactly how to direct His Spirit.) I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” The reason I read that scripture back in Isaiah, was because Jesus is going to point you back to that very verse of scripture, where it says, And thy children shall all be taught and learned of the Lord. “The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.” Just imagine this scene, and put yourself there on that morning. If you thought like them and fed strictly on the natural realm of human reasoning, and you have been observing the Law in all its natural observances and rituals, ceremonies, and feasts, you would have said, just like I would have said, That man sounds like an idiot. Who in the world talks like that? But if it was the Holy Ghost that was drawing us, wanting you and I to really see this man, and who He really was, and is, we would have looked beyond our natural concept of how we have been trained from childhood on up and would have allowed the Spirit of truth to take control of our mind’s. We would have seen something about this man, that no matter what He would have said, there was something about this man drawing us to Him. The natural man always perceives, like, I know where He came from, He came from Nazareth: I know his father and mother, so who does he think he is? It is still the same way today. “And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He saith, I come down from heaven?” Oh, this is nonsense! That is what they would say today. Now I know He is stupid. “Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. (He knew what they were saying. Now He quotes the prophet.) 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.” That lets us know the prophecy of Isaiah, not only pertains to your salvation, and my salvation, it pertains to our spiritual growth also, as we walk on with God. The things written in the word of God, that pertains to our growth, and our understanding His plan for us, and everything that is written in here, is written for our edification, our learning, our spiritual growth, our encouragement, how we should live in this world, and how we should look toward certain things that are to be in the world to come. Keep in mind, We read Revelation 21, where John said he saw that new city Jerusalem descending as the Lamb’s wife. Did he not? But we read in Revelation 19, as John saw the Lamb’s wife in heaven, because she had already made herself ready in a prior time, she was ready to descend back to earth with the King. Yet we are reading of two different scenes that are at least over a thousand years apart in time. How do we reconcile the two scriptures, when one is talking about a Church, and the other, people literalize it and naturalize it strictly to a city? If we look at it in the natural sense, I want to say right here, What we are reading in Revelation 21 and 22, is a picture of how God’s glory is manifested as the Millennium has come to a close and the great white throne judgment is over. All wickedness, all graves, dead bodies, and everything is removed from the planet earth. Everything now finds its distinguished place in the plan of redemption. The earth no longer has any trace of sin. This is how God portrays His Spirit coming back to earth to dwell with His redeemed family. It is how God displays Himself or manifests His glory to that same people that is described in Revelation 19, because that is going to be their eternal relationship, or abiding realm within the Spirit of God in the eternal age.

THE APOSTLE PAUL
WRITING TO THE
CHURCH AT EPHESUS

Now we will go to Ephesians, chapter 2, for a better description of this thing we are looking at. This is again, the apostle Paul speaking, or writing. As Paul is writing here, to the Ephesian saints, he is writing to the first church of this group of seven churches that we read about in Revelation, chapters 1-3. This is where Paul stood. This is where he ministered over a period of two and one half to three years. All the other churches were established from the great revival that was burning in the hearts of those people during the time he was in this city. Now, years later, he is writing to this church. In the 2nd chapter, he approaches a spiritual condition that is to be understood in the mind of the believers. To understand these verses we must understand that the first converts in this church were Jewish saints, from a synagogue. His first converts were Ephesian, Jewish citizens that were converted and baptized. This, later opened the door for Paul to come back, and that is when the great revival took place, and Gentiles, as well as Jews, were established in the faith and sitting together in the same local congregation of Ephesus. Starting in verse 13, we read this, “For now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off (That pertained to Gentiles.) are made nigh (brought close) by the blood of Christ. (You are brought into the relationship through the blood of Christ, to a plan and purpose of God.) For He (Christ) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” The natural, carnal attitudes we Gentiles have had through past centuries toward the Jew, as well as the Jew toward the Gentile, which was the wall of partition that Paul referred to, that fleshly, racial attitude and attitude. Go back a few thousand years, to a city where there would be several hundred Jews living. The Gentiles that lived in Ephesus were pagans, worshiping all kinds of deities. The Jews who have lived there, had their belief in the one true God. Well it is very obvious, that under those conditions, when those Gentiles would observe the Jews, from their religious and racial standpoint, there would naturally be an expression of enmity, or hatred, or difference, because there was just no way they could be compatible, and be friendly toward each other under those circumstances. It was totally the opposite of that. We know this for sure, When Jesus Christ has died on the cross at Calvary, God, through that death of His Son Jesus, the Christ, did something that changed everything. He provided a way that the old racial hatred, that enmity, the difference between the two, could all be resolved through the great plan of salvation that was perfected. Let me say this, It does not matter how much civil rights, racial this and that you hear expressed in the news media, as long as man is a sinner, there is going to be racial hatred and enmity for as long as he is on this planet. It is the spirit of the devil in him. You cannot educate the devil out of people who are sold out to him. When they think they can force a thing like this, it is a fact, they only cause it to break out somewhere else in other ways. Take for instance, this Nazi thing. In the news lately, right there in Germany, is that same old spirit of Nazism among that young bunch of kids that were present in earlier years of this century. It is even in this country. You can make laws, you can put them in jail, you can put them before firing squads and shoot them, but you are not going to rid this earth of such evils. That is not the way God planned it. I am not teaching that you should go on and hate them. If you are a Christian, you do not hate anyone. Why? Because in Jesus Christ, God has provided you and me with something better: so that we do not have to look upon the black, the red, the brown, the yellow, with attitudes like that. It is all applied right here. Notice, “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself (Christ) of twain (Jew and Gentile) one new man.” A man and woman that in the eyes of God are all seen alike, and no longer look at each other from the standpoint of their Jewish flesh or Gentile flesh, but are viewed from the standpoint that they are all children of God, that He has made new creatures out of, because they now bear the image and likeness of the one who took their place at Calvary. God provided the total means for such a transition. Verse 16, “And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” I have to say this, If you and I have been truly born of the Spirit according to the word of God, just like it says, and you are dead to yourself, you do not see the other race like you may have looked upon them before. You begin to see others as God sees them. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He did not change colors just to suit races. I hope all of you understand that. In Him, was represented the grace of God that is applicable to every race alike, to destroy the enmity between them. If we grew up with a lot of animosity in our lives and cultivated hatred against people just because of their racial background, it is hard many times, for people to die to themselves. They grow up with pride, and the kind of pride is abominable to God; but we realize this, He provided something for the cure of that abominable attitude. “And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, (the Gentiles) and to them that were nigh. (the Jews) For through Him (Christ) we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit (the Holy Ghost) unto the Father.” The One that is doing the redeeming and the saving, is the One that designed the whole thing before the foundation of the world. Here is the spiritual part: Here is how we have to spiritualize what Paul is talking about. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers (When he said that, it was applicable to the Jewish saints sitting there in that Ephesian church, because as the Gentiles are actually the citizens of that local area, they would look upon Jews, no matter how long they lived there, that they were strangers. They are strangers out of their land of heritage, living in a city that is ours, was the attitude of Gentiles. Paul uses this approach to clarify his teaching.) and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. And are built upon the foundation (If we are built upon a foundation, are we going to literalize this foundation? Are we going to turn this into some kind of concrete mixed up, bringing in materials of gravel, stone, and all that? No. Paul is using natural language to convey a thought.) of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; (He is the beginning point.) In whom all the building, fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” It says we are a building, but how can we be a building? Actually we are a building of God: Though we may not look like a house we are familiar with, did you know that it is written in the book of Revelation, To him that overcometh will I make him to be a pillar in the temple of my God. What is a pillar? Do you see those posts over there? That is what a pillar is. It is something that holds up a covering of some sort. In the spiritual sense, it is something that holds up a responsibility God has given you. Again in the scripture, Paul used it in Timothy, that the Church is the pillar and ground of truth. So as we get the groundwork laid for all of this, then we can take what we have this far and go further with it, to get a better picture of it in our mind’s. Let me finish reading this verse while we are here. If the Church, which is actually the true children of God, is built upon a foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, then we do not literalize the foundation and make it into a natural, earthly substance. We look at it as a type, that you and I, as we are brought into the family of God, are built upon something that is spiritually solid and valuable, it is precious, it is treasured. We lay our whole faith, our whole spiritual existence upon that foundation. “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” That is all applicable in this life. We are not only a people referred to as a Church; and we are not only a people referred to as the Lamb’s wife; but we are a people to be built up into a spiritual house, so that God Himself can dwell in this holy temple. (In us) We are a temple of God. We understand that He is not dwelling in this house, in the fulness of all His eternal glory and attributes; but He is dwelling in this house in that sufficient measure of all that He is, to enable us to fulfill His purpose in each of us. That is applicable in this age of salvation and redemption, speaking of what this temple is to be built of in this age. Whether we are talking about the city we will get into a little later, the city that is in eternity, a period of time far beyond the realm that you and I live in right now, or the temple that we are at present, it is all to be thought of in the spiritual sense. Do not try to visualize a literal city, with literal mansions for each of us to dwell in. That is a totally carnal way of looking at it. I feel that we are ready to take a look at the description of the material this NEW CITY what is made up of.

A SPIRITUAL
EXAMINATION
OF A CITY

We want to bring out exactly what kind of city we have been looking at, when we read its description in the Bible. Through the ages, the various Gentile, religious, denominational churches have read these scriptures and interpreted them as though they pertain to a literal, tangible city of material objects put together. Other people have seen this only described as heaven itself. To them, when they die, they are going to heaven, and heaven is just like that. It is alright for us to have our fantasies, our traditions up to a certain point, but there comes a time in our spiritual maturity when we have to turn loose of them and allow a spiritual revelation to take their place. The one point I want us to realize as we study this picture, is that we are not reading about a traditional fantasy, but a reality that is ahead of us. As we brought out earlier, in the various other scriptures, this thing was talked about by the apostle Paul, and we can see what he was looking at. He spoke of Abraham, our father, that is the father of faith, how he sojourned in a strange land, looking for a city whose founder and builder is God, eternal in the heavens. Now we read here, that this city many have thought is heaven, in reality, is coming down to earth from heaven. Many times the same people have said the earth is going to be burned up, because, they say, the Bible says so. Well it may sound exactly like that when we read certain scriptures, but when you study the other scriptures related to that same thing, God’s redeeming process for this planet cleanses it by fire, but does not destroy the planet itself. Some constantly proclaim, We are going to go to heaven when we leave here; and we are forever going to be with the Lord. That is the way tradition has always presented it; but that is not the picture I get when I read the Bible. It just goes to show some people take a little bit here, a little bit there, and put that together and build their own so-called revelation. They make a picture out of that, a picture that pleases them and then just ignore everything else. If you do the Bible that way, you just as well bring a Sears Roebuck catalog with you when you come to church. It has a lot of pretty pictures in it. You do not treat the Bible like a catalogue; and order your salvation and pay for it on a budget plan. However it almost seems like that is what some people think they can do: just pick out certain verses and say, Lord, I want that, that, and this, but the rest I feel that I can do without. This is a book that was written over many centuries of time. The entire book contains a picture from beginning to end. It reveals God’s plan of redemption all the way back to the time when man was driven from that beautiful garden of paradise. That is what it was. It was that, because of how God related the spirit world to that area of the earth, to start man’s beginning in his earthly journey. The man fell from that special relationship between the heavenly realm and the earthly realm before he even got started on the business of fulfilling God’s command to him.. God just drove him from that beautiful realm of paradise, or God just lifted the spirit world, and left the Man standing on a planet with all the natural trees still around him, and all the animals still right there, but without the benefit of being able to move from one realm to the other. All of the natural rivers were still there, and everything he would need to earn his food by the sweat of his face, but from that point on, he would have to do his own hard labor: He lost his servant, the serpent, when God cursed him. A servant without any arms or legs would not be able to do much farming. They were all still right there in Eden, but circumstances were different. When you actually say to denominational people, Eden is still here: you can go see it: They will look at you like they think you are crazy. In reality though, Eden is where we look to as the Middle East today. That is where the history of mankind started: That is where the Bible was written. Do not ever think God drove Adam and Eve out of that geographical spot of the earth. If He had done that, that area of the earth would still be a forbidden area. Just think of that for a moment: There is no place on the earth today, that God has set as a no man’s land. Therefore when you read where God drove them out of the Garden just remember, The garden was not a natural spot of ground somewhere upon the earth: it was just a situation where God lifted His presence from them; and they were left standing there to realize that they would have to face every day from then on, associating only with the natural things of this earth. Therefore as we read here in the Bible we must realize that many people start reading these same scriptures, and as they read they visualize a natural, tangible city, just like Louisville, Kentucky is a natural, tangible city. They see that city being built up there in the spirit world. Well when we get finished with this message, I expect all of you to see this city in an entirely different way altogether, than what man in his traditional, natural, human way of thinking has always imagined it to be. I am going to read the same scriptures to you again, because I want you to take a good look at them. When this scene becomes a fulfilled reality the Millennium is over, and God is ready to enact the next phase of what He has allowed us to understand from His written word. Where is the Millennium going to be spent, as far as those who will be allowed to live during that time? Right here on earth: That is what this whole story is about, human beings, and the earth that God has placed mankind upon. Naturally when we speak of a Millennium, we are talking about one thousand years: That is what a Millennium is. During that thousand years, the earth will go through a redemption process, whereby it will be cleansed from the results of man’s evil ways. That is going to be followed by a little season of time: The Bible does not say how long the little season is. What is it for? Satan is going to be turned loose long enough to test all of those natural subjects that have been born during the thousand years while he has been chained up. Where has he been all this time? In the bottomless pit, which is hell. He is going to be chained there for one thousand years, while God’s redemption plan is being completed. During that Millennium era of time there will be no evil present. The realm of natural, mortal people that are left to pass into that age, to repopulate the earth, from them, is going to come multitudes, even billions of new subject people born on this planet. You cannot get that in our denominational churches. They see everybody in an immortal body, living somewhere in the heavenly realm in the sky. Do you mean to tell me Jesus is going to rule over immortal people with a rod of iron? Is the same Jesus that died to save you, going to turn right around and whip you with a stick? Is that the picture the Bible is painting for us? No, that is not the way we are to see it: You have to realize, all these things have a picture that is to be portrayed. Your immortal people that are changed from what they are now, to an immortal status, He is not going to rule over them with a rod of iron: they are going to rule with Him. It is the subject people that He rules over, those who passed from this life into the Millennium to repopulate the earth and their offspring. When that period is over, and Satan has finished testing those mortal subjects, he is then taken and judged; and that is when he is cast, NOT back into the bottomless pit, but into the lake of fire. That is the end of all of his evil influence upon earth. Then there is a resurrection to take place. We will bring all of that in a little later, as we go on into the message. As we look back at our text now, let us realize that when all this we have been looking at is finished, and the final judgment is over, and the planet earth has been completely renovated, renewed and all traces of previous sin has been literally done away with, it means there is no more graveyards, there are no more dead bodies in the crust of the earth. Neither are there any more fallen spirits in the bowels of the earth. The planet earth is then completely redeemed. That is why John saw it as a new earth. It has been made new through God’s plan of redemption, as well as the new heaven.

JOHN SEES THE EARTH
AFTER REDEMPTION

Let us start in verse 1, here in Revelation 21, and read this again. “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. (We explained this earlier: how all of that is going to be done away with.) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down (It is not going up: you are not going to it: it is coming down. From where?) 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, (We are going to find out what that word tabernacle is implying. Is it talking about God sending a particular building down to earth? No. It means God is coming down to dwell with man.) and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” In other words, when God becomes your God here, and you become His people here, you then have something really going. “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. (All things being made new is through God’s plan of redemption.) And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Now let us go back through the New Testament, to where we begin to see little glimpses of how the early Christian people were taught things that would cause them to begin to look forward to this wonderful thing man has sang about, preached about and longed to see, even before the book of Revelation was ever written. Always remember, Revelation is not an epistle. It is not a letter to a church. It is a prophecy sent out, to be read and observed by seven churches in Asia Minor. Why just those seven, when there were already other Gentile churches that had been established and were in existence long before these churches were started? It is because those seven churches were all lit from the same Holy Ghost fire, or established out of the great revival you read about in the 19th and 20th chapters of Acts, when the apostle Paul was led by God to the city of Ephesus. There, he stayed for a period of two and one half or three years. He did not go from city to city preaching the gospel to all Asia. He stayed in that one city and preached the gospel for that period of time, and people from all over that region of Asia Minor came during that period of time and heard the gospel preached. It plainly tells us that all Asia heard the gospel. Paul was not running all over Asia like men do today: It was people coming from all over Asia to Paul, there at Ephesus. Those churches were all lit from the one great revival fire that was burning there at Ephesus. Therefore they were all established on the same teachings by one little man, who was the apostle to the Gentile Church Age period of time. In that first Age, there was no such thing as Baptist, Methodist, Church of God and all these brands we find on churches in this day and hour: They were all just called Christians. Before they began to be called Christians, they were just known to each other as believers. Go with me now, for the sake of getting a glimpse of certain things we want to establish, over to the book of Ephesians, chapter 3, which was written by the apostle Paul. Many times the language of the Bible leaves the reader just hanging on a limb, or sitting on a shelf, because they do not understand the terminology used, to know what the writer was actually talking about. Here in the 3rd chapter of Ephesians, Paul is writing to this Assembly, enlightening them on various things. We are going to start in the 14th verse. Paul is writing this to the Christians at Ephesus. Let us try to imagine ourselves being there when this letter was received and read. “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 is why the name Jesus is the family name God gave to His people. That is what God, among His family, wants to be known by. The Bible says there is none other name given among men, whereby we must be saved, other than Jesus Christ. Whatever we do in word or deed, it is to be done in that name.) That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.” Now the inner man is the spiritual you, that part of you that God is seeking to redeem and change into something else, something that would eventually be likened unto His only begotten Son, as we grow in spiritual stature and take on His mind in every situation. It is very strange, when you and I become saved, redeemed children of God, He does not remove our freckles, change the color of our hair or color of our eyes. If we are born with a crooked nose, it remains a crooked nose. He is not interested in changing this fleshly body you live in. It is that crooked character inside of this body that He has purposed to change. He may look ten times worse than the body does. He may be ten times more mean and stubborn. That is the fellow God is really after. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (Here is the verses I want us to look at) may be able to comprehend (Get a dictionary and see what it means. I will read it the way the dictionary would apply the word. May be able to understand,) with all saints 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 fulness of God.” Now we know this, While in this present life, you and I are referred to in Peter’s epistle as being lively stones built upon a holy foundation, to become a habitation of God in the Spirit. Do we all understand that? As we read in Ephesians earlier, when you take Ephesians and the epistle of Peter and put the two together, we are literally built up a spiritual house, in other words, a temple in which the Spirit of God dwells. That is where God has purposed to dwell, in His redeemed children. W can see this, that dwelling is made up of human beings. As it says in 1st Peter 2:5, speaking of lively stones, we can see that the language is figurative. We are lively stones, being put together into a temple, a house for God, which is Spirit and referred to as the Holy Ghost, to dwell in now, while we are still here on earth. God does not dwell in us in the fullness of Himself, like He dwells in His only begotten Son Jesus, the Christ, but He is in us so that the Church, which is a people called out from the world, becomes a people put together in a true, harmonious, unified structure, so that we are truly living stones. Jesus Christ Himself, is the chief cornerstone of all of that. Take that back to the Old Testament and what do you find? As Jesus referred to it in St. John’s writing, in the Old Testament there was the natural temple that was built on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. That place was a place for God’s glory to come down and dwell in, that natural building. The Jews looked at that building as the holy temple where the presence of God dwelt. They never saw the type, so they could know what it really meant, but we see it. Then when that was torn down by the Babylonians, and rebuilt in 500 and something, getting things ready for the first coming of Christ, it was a small building. You read about it in Haggai and Zechariah, how the people grieved because it was so small. Then, about forty some years before Jesus was born, King Herod, in order to please the Jews, knowing many were looking for their promised Messiah, fell upon the idea, If I will just get things together and get a new temple built, which will look like I am doing this for their coming Messiah, it will pacify them, and quiet them down. He set about to renovate that little temple that had been built by the returning Jews coming out of Babylonian exile. As this temple was completely renovated, enlarged, decorated, beautified, that was the beautiful temple that the disciples which grew up in that dispensation, had learned to look at and observe in all its beauty and glory. When Jesus first came there and made His appearance, as you read in St. John’s writing, He drove out the money changers, turned over the pigeon coops, drove out the goats and sheep and declared that His Father’s house was not to be a house of merchandise. My, what bedlam! Then finally the disciples fell on the idea, look at the temple, look at the building, isn’t it beautiful? What did Jesus say to that? Tear it down, and I will raise it up in three days. That just simply cut that bunch of religious Jews to pieces. What do you mean, raise it up in three days? Forty and six years we were in building this temple and you talk like that. If you and I had lived then, we probably would have heard them say, Now we know He is a stupid imposter; for only an idiot would talk like that, knowing this is a sacred, holy place. The truth is, Jesus knew more about what the building was symbolizing, and pointing to, than they did. This spake He of the temple of His body; but they did not understand it. The disciples did understand later, after He arose from the dead. Then when the Holy Ghost descended upon them, on the day of Pentecost, it was then, that the disciples could see what that natural building that still stood there actually symbolized, because the God of heaven is not pleased to dwell in buildings of wood and stone. God does not need a roof over His head. He does not get cold; and rain has no effect on Him. He is a Spirit. He is not related to those things as you and I are. It is you and I, in our physical makeup, that these things have an effect upon. Therefore when the apostle Paul comes along and uses words like we have just read, he is actually saying things in a spiritual way, that when we begin to see our relationship to God through Christ Jesus, and realize that as He is putting a building together, only then do we begin to realize God deals with us to enlarge us, to probe every area of our being, so as to establish His purpose in every person that He has called to this great salvation. I am fully persuaded, that in the first century of Christianity, there were people that were wise, and they well understood the things of God. We can see by the scriptures, that God again wants to have the same kind of people that Christianity started out with, a people that sees the same things alike; and naturally the world out there despises the very ground such people walk on. This nation that was once a nation of people that recognized God, and knew that this nation depended utterly upon God, today it has an element of people in key places that literally deplore the thought of Christianity. While they are trying to rid our nation of racism and hatred, they are wiping the slate clean, of the knowledge of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me ask you this, When the apostle Paul spoke of length, breadth, depth, and height in our understanding, how do you apply that to your understanding? You have got to realize that you have these four areas, depth, height, breadth, and length, so you are actually dealing with a cube. God does not deal in triangles: He deals in cubes. Do all of you understand what a cube is? In mathematical measurement, it is an object that is precisely the same on all six sides. We have all studied arithmetic in school; so I just want to refresh your mind on what a cube is. When you cube anything, what do you do? You complete it. When you un-cube something, what do you do? You take something away from it. Is that right? Well, when God completes His purpose in us, it literally means He has cubed it. When you take away or add to, something that is cubed you distort the cube. If you take away, it is no longer a cube. It is either a triangle or a rectangle. I hope all of you understand what I mean by that. A rectangle can look square, but upon closer examination you find that somewhere it has one side longer than the other. A triangle has only three sided; but God is not a trinity. He is not three persons. He is manifested in three offices, but God is not three persons. In order to begin to see the length, the breadth, the height, and the depth, it means you have to have a spiritual mind that can go to God’s school and begin to understand spiritual things that relate to how you walk and grow with Him.

WHAT IS A PILLAR?

Let us now go to the 3rd chapter of the book of Revelation. In the 3rd chapter, speaking to the church in Philadelphia, a city where there was an assembly of believers in the days of this prophecy, we find another term mentioned in connection with believers. That city no longer exists; but there were conditions present in that assembly there, that set a type of conditions that would be recognized in a certain Church Age during the span of the entire grace age. Each of those seven churches of Asia Minor set a particular type of a particular span of time on out in future time, and that particular church within that city set a type related to an age within the overall dispensation of Grace, wherein the things that went on, that were observed and understood about how the people lived and walked with God, those things would be applicable in a period of time later on. The Philadelphia church age was how God dealt with the people in the age of Methodism. But the promise referred to here, was not only to those people back then who would overcome, but it is to every one that overcomes, that is in the true Church of the living God. Let us read verse 11. “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar (We are going to talk on spiritual terms, so here is where we are talking in a language related to breadth, length, height, and depth.) in the temple of my God.” Who is He talking about? Human beings that have been redeemed, saved, brought out of sin, brought into God’s plan of salvation. What did He mean, I will make him a pillar? How many know that Peter, James and John are referred to in the book of Acts as pillars in the church at Jerusalem? How many realize that? What is a pillar? Look at that post over there: In the natural, that is a pillar, a column. What it is for? It is not there for decoration: It holds up its part of this building. It is a support. Ancient buildings were dependent on the column or pillar of work within them. Go to the old world and look at some of those ancient buildings, how they were put together. Every column, if you watch the arch work that goes over, you see how everything was built so that all that tremendous weight is channeled through stone upon stone, according to the way the arch is laid out. All that pressure goes right down through those columns called pillars. When you transfer the meaning from the natural to a spiritual, then we have to understand that Peter, James and John were looked upon as men who were spiritually qualified and recognized in spiritual position, not only as leadership, but God laid upon them a responsibility, an obligation to uphold a truth. This religious world does not even know what pillars are anymore. They really have it dressed up, educated and yet do not know anything at all about the spiritual significance of this terminology. No they just put on robes, put collars on backwards, and the world looks upon it as if that represents God. Let us read on here. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.” He is not talking about a natural building of stone or mortar or brick. He is talking about a temple, which is His Church, put together by the working of the Spirit of God, in order that God Himself might inhabit such a temple as He relates Himself in and through His spiritual temple, in this dispensation of time called the age of Grace. Therefore according to this scripture, if we are overcomers, we have the promise that we will be made pillars, supporters of responsibility, having obligation to uphold something of spiritual value. Uphold what? Truth. When God gives you an opportunity to recognize what truth is, and you let it become a part of your life, of your belief, and you love it, you cherish it in your soul, you rejoice in it day and night, you are a candidate. You say, Thank God for truth: I wouldn’t sell it for anything in the world. Did you know, there is a price you will have to pay? It will always cost you something to uphold truth. No, not dollars and cents, but many times something in recognition, how your friends you have known in the past will treat you when you take such a stand. Oh I see you went and joined that bunch of crazy fanatics down there on the other side of the tracks. Did you know, true Christianity down through the ages of time, has always been looked upon as a minority bunch of misfits? It is when they become dressed up, educated, ritualized, that the world is ready to embrace them: Now you are one of us. When you begin to reach a place where you are no longer offensive to the world, and the world can look at you and say, Dr. So and So, we are so glad to have you with us, you have bypassed the true Church the apostles spoke of. Oh how wonderful it is to have a lawyer sitting in our midst tonight. We are so glad to have you Sir. The chief of police is here, and the Mayor of this great city is here: What a gathering we have! Billy Graham will go to those people the first thing. Saints, listen to me: You do not read of any such carrying on when the apostle Paul held a meeting. Nine times out of ten, they were the ones who put him in jail. Let us go a little further here, and see what true saints have promised to them. He not only promised He would make them a pillar, but something else stands out here in verse 12, so notice, “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 my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” And he shall go no more out, out of what? When you know you are in God’s true Church, in His spiritual temple, you are not looking for anything anywhere anymore. There is nowhere else to go, because there is not another building like it. You know God is there. You know what He is dwelling in. He is dwelling in you. Like I have said before, Do not look at this building: It is nothing. Jesus is not going to take this literal building to glory with Him. No. When He is done with this building we gather in for worship you can rest assured of one thing, the trucking firms may take it over, but that will make no difference to God, because this is not His temple. This is just a natural building where His true temples gather into for worship and fellowship. That is how we must look at these scriptures that refer to us as temples and pillars. His temple is His Church, made up of many individuals, and every single one of them are a temple God is pleased to abide in. The natural world will say, We have got to refine this building. We have to make it a little more attractive to the kind of people we desire to reach. (The elite of society, celebrities and movie stars and so forth.) When you try to buy them, rest assured, God is not in any of your effort. If God does not draw them by the wooing of His Spirit, all the beautiful things you would decorate a building with, would mean nothing to Him. God will not even look at it. On the other hand, When that doctor or lawyer finds himself in need of something money and fame cannot produce, and gets so restless and miserable that he begins to realize, There is something out there somewhere that only God can give to me: I have traveled the world over and found nothing that can satisfy the feelings within me, he is approaching a place where he will meet God. I remember how it was, trying to find satisfaction in natural things when the Spirit of God was dealing with me. Get up at two or three o’clock in the morning, go out and look at the moon and say, God, I can’t rest: I know there is something for me somewhere. That is why the apostle Paul would say, Have you noticed in your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty men, not many noble men are called. Does that mean you hate them? You know better than that. Does that mean you don’t want them? You know better than that too. That is Paul talking, not me. It means this, Professional people, elite people who like a place in society, they who like those places of recognition, God, many times, has to tear their image all to pieces and make them realize that all of that status in society is not worth two cents, before they will ever humble themselves to receive His word. They have got to become as miserable as you and I were, before they are ever willing to become part of anything that God has to offer. When we are truly in, we go no more out. You do not want to go out. “And I will write upon him the name of my God.” How wonderful!

UNDERSTANDING
SPIRITUAL
TERMINOLOGY

When it comes to having a name written upon us, we have to realize that this deals with a revelation. God is not coming down the road like a man with a pencil, I want to write something on you. No, that is spiritual language, just like He did not walk through the garden of Eden planting trees. It was how He related Himself and the spirit world to that area of geographical earth where Adam and Eve were. A little bit of heaven, came together with those there in that spot of the earth for fellowship. He put man inside that beautiful paradise realm. Man was driven from it when he sinned. He is going back to it some day, when God’s plan of redemption here on earth is completed. We are going to find out by the time this message is finished, that this is what John saw coming down from heaven, from the external observation as you read in chapter 21, and it has the profile of a city. When you come to chapter 22 and you are inside of it, now tell me, did he describe even one ivory palace? No. Because there is no ivory palaces therein. What did John see when he went inside? All he saw was the throne of God, and out of that throne of God proceeded the river of life. That is how the Holy Ghost is portrayed in that eternal age. It will always be activated. Keep in mind saints, when Jesus cried out in the temple that day, concerning the Spirit, What did He say? Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living, what? He said water. How many know what He was talking about? The ever present flowing of the Holy Ghost. Now I beg of you, Do not try to picture God as a running fountain. All of that is figurative language, describing the anointing of the Holy Ghost, as He flows from a man or woman that is really full of Him, full of the joy that His presence brings, and feasting upon the truth He enables you to receive. All of this figurative language speaks of the structure the Holy Ghost dwells in, When He takes up habitation inside of a believer. He flows out from you, to reach out and help others that are weak and weary, those that are lost and undone, to help them find the way to that flow, that stream of eternal life, to the same source and origin you got what you have, from. “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 my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” There is only one way God writes anything on you. That is when He puts a revelation in your mind and spirit. He will never write it upon your forehead or your hand, to be seen with the natural eye. That is why, if you remember when we preached the message of the sealing of the144,000, and you read about being saved and sealed, in the 7th chapter of Revelation, and then you see the 144,000 over in the 14th chapter commissioned with the everlasting gospel, you must always relate this terminology to something done in the Spirit. On their forehead’s was written the Lamb’s Father’s name. That means they have the revelation of who Jesus Christ really is, and who their ancestors crucified. Therefore when we read this, how He will write upon them the name of the city of His God, you have to understand that it is how God gives you the revelation to understand what that city really is, and also what it definitely is not. I will ask that you open your Bible’s to 1st Corinthians 15, at this time. When the apostle Paul wrote the 15th chapter, which was not a chapter when he wrote it, (because the translators divided the Bible into chapters and verses) it was just a continuation of his writing in this epistle, as he wrote to the Corinthian church. He has been talking about the resurrection and those in Christ that are resurrected at His coming. We will start in verse 24. Let us get an analysis of how to apply these verses to our understanding. It was the apostle Paul writing this, so let us analyze the knowledge he has of how to look into the future. He has just said, “But ever man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s, at his coming. (We covered all that in the first resurrection message.) Then cometh the end.” What is the end Paul has in mind when he says that? I explained it when we started our message. The Millennium is over and the wicked dead are raised. Everything in the bottomless pit, which is hell, is brought up. All the saints, all the angelic beings are now gathered around the great white throne. This is the supreme court of heaven. The dead are judged according to those things written in the books, plural, because they contain a record of the deeds done in the fleshly body. The book of life is only opened to see the names of those that were born in the Millennium, those that have lived faithful, obedient, trustworthy to the cause and law and word of Christ in the Millennium. Therefore the book of life is opened there, only to reveal those names: Every believer from prior ages already has that part settled. Those that lived during the Millennium, if they have not been deceived by Satan in that little season, if they have not yielded to the temptation and things Satan offered during that season of temptation, where he is loosed at the end of that thousand years, there is one thing sure, they are going to pass on into the great Eternal Age, which will be that period when heaven is new, and earth is new, described as world without end. They will remain to be people of lesser relationship in stature, pertaining to position as compared to the bride saints, but nevertheless, they will have eternal life. This judgment rids the planet of death. It rids the planet of all the traces of sin, evil and all that is contrary to the perfect will and purpose of God. Now speaking of the end, let us see where it leads to. “Then cometh the end, when He (Christ) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (25) For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under his feet.” The spiritual kingdom that He has established on the planet earth during that Millennial period will be delivered to the Father. It is in that Millennial period that He, Christ, through His immortal Bride and saintly people, will set about renewing the earth, renovating the earth, and cleansing the earth of every trace of man’s alienation from his Creator. I have to say, as I pause at this time, More and more every day as you turn on the News, you hear the environmentalists crying, We have got to do something about this pollution! The water is polluted. The air is polluted. They are trying to pass all kinds of laws to correct the problem. They are standing at a brink of seriousness, because corporations, big industries know that if they try to smother or choke down on the putting out of all these pollutants, somewhere down the line it is going to get so costly that they could all go broke.

HOW MAN HAS
POLLUTED THE
ENTIRE EARTH

I noticed in today’s paper, In Romania, which was one of the Communist states that withdrew and changed back to democracy, that in the forty some years of Communistic rule, two plants that have produced rubber type chemicals and things for the production of rubber products, were mentioned, telling of their pollutants. One woman was shown wearing a gas mask. One city where one of these factories was located, it was known by the population of that city that it was a deadly place to live, simply because of the pollutants those factories put out. What does this tell us? Man, in his greed for that almighty dollar, not realizing or not caring, that one day ,as this gradual expanding of what man has done in his expansion of industrializing the planet, he will have harnessed it to an uncontrollable state. What will he say when he is beginning to cough and choke and knows not what to do about it? What a tragedy! That is why in Isaiah 13, and Isaiah 24, God said He will burn the earth. He will destroy this element of sinful, wicked, greedy and covetous mankind. Why? Because he has corrupted the earth with his ways. In many areas of the earth today, they are saying that the marine life, whales and all kinds of fish are showing up with terrible cancerous growths on them. They are exposed to the waste man has put into the oceans, making it a cesspool of poisonous chemicals. Of course we do realize that man may be trying to wake up, but he is not waking up soon enough. Our leadership knows they cannot just give in to the environmentalists demands, because they are saying, Cut it all off right now! The environmentalists are looking at the whole thing as though the rest can live any way. Anyone ought to know, that if you shut all the plants down to clean up the air, everybody is out of work and cannot buy food, so you have nothing but anarchy. Therefore it all adds up to this, that mortal mankind without the Spirit of God, having no understanding of the love of Christ, not seeking to know Him, and not even caring what his actions lead to, is destroying his own means of existing here on this planet. He is bringing an end to himself. We have other environmentalists crying, Don’t cut down any more redwoods, the spotted owls need a place to live! That sounds funny, when you look at the whole picture. All God needs in the Millennium is two spotted owls. That is all He had in the boat of Noah’s day. How many do you think He needs for the Millennium? Does He need more than that? All of this just lets us see, man without God is running wild, screaming his head off about saving the endangered species, when if given his way, would destroy everything anyway. Well we need to be assured that God has the whole thing in His hand. He is just letting the crazy run crazy, but it is Jesus that is going to bring the whole thing to an end. That is why we have to realize, man in his own greedy, political, selfish way, will never end this thing. It is the reign of Christ that does it. “Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the father; when He (Christ) shall have put down all rule.” Now I ask you plainly, When the Millennium is going on, what is it for? We must realize, that when you go to the 19th chapter of Revelation and you see heaven opened as it is portrayed there, and Jesus is seen coming back to earth riding a white horse, He is coming to wrap up the last phase of ridding the earth of all that is contrary to true righteousness. He is dressed as a King, robed with a vesture dipped in blood. God has invested in Him the authority to come to earth, take over all the reigns of human government, and to destroy all wicked, evil and sinful men and their systems of evil. Coming with Him is a righteous, saintly, godly people clothed in fine linen. As I said earlier, All that go with Him in the rapture are coming back with Him, clothed in fine linen, and there is not a sewing machine in heaven, making your garments to have them ready. Think of it, it is how the power of God is manifested to you in your immortal state, because of the truth you have cherished in your soul while in a mortal state. They were all clothed in fine linen. In the category of God’s economy there is no better, no more righteous type of material than fine linen. Cotton has always been here, and so has linen; but linen throughout the centuries of time, before polyester ever came into existence, was always the choice material preferred by women. Sure, it was more costly: the best always is. It goes to show, it is the true Church that is robed in fine linen. They are the ones that have paid the extra price. This walk in truth will always cost you something extra. All other saints just have white robes, but neither the garments of fine linen, nor the white robes were made out of natural material sewn together in heaven with a sewing machine: All of that is figurative language, speaking according to the spiritual growth and obedience of the believers. Jesus rules on earth, for how long? A thousand years. Doing what? Putting down all rule and all authority and power of mankind. Take that right back to Isaiah, where that Old Testament prophet said the word of the Lord shall go from Jerusalem in those days and the law from Zion. That lets us know that there is going to be something taught to the Millennial subject people. No, it is not going to be the gospel message that we have known: But it is going to be something related to how man in that thousand years of His rule shall respond, as His government of righteousness is in power. It will pertain to how mankind is to conduct themselves during this time. It is how man is to treat the earth, how he is to treat vegetation and nature, as well as each other. You can rest assured of one thing, there will be no greedy nor rich crawling all over each other. In righteousness and equality He will rule. The meek of the earth will enjoy the peace, because they will inherit the earth. When the Millennium is over and He has established all of that, the final judgment will finish up the process. “For He (Christ) must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” That means, when the Millennium is over and He has established all authority and knowledge, it tells us in the Psalms that in that Millennium age the glory and knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters that cover the sea. That is what the Millennium is for. It is a furtherance of His plan of redemption, not only to the people and through the people, but it is to be to the planet earth itself also, which God intends for them to live on. As that Millennium age comes to its close, everything Paul says here will have been fulfilled. The last thing, He has resurrected all bodies. That is why you read there in the last verses of the 20th chapter of Revelation, and the sea gave up the dead. Death and hell give up the dead. They all stand before the great white throne. There is where the dead are judged out of the things written in the books of deeds. I want you to notice, the righteous saints of all the ages that lived prior to the Millennium, they are not judged out of any of those books because their judgement is already past. In fact, they are standing there partaking in that judgment process, represented in that (we could say) as the great jury. That is when the saints will judge fallen angels. They will judge the world as the world comes in review. When all of that is over, death is destroyed. Then we see a planet that is clean again. There are no more graveyards. There is no more hell, or bottomless pit. Everything that has been there is now cast into the lake of fire where God finishes up His destruction of all that wicked mankind has polluted the earth with. We can begin to see and understand what John was looking at when we have read the first three verses of the 21st chapter. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. Why is it a new heaven? There is no more wicked spirits to roam the atmosphere. As the apostle Paul wrote, speaking of how we fight against principalities, against spiritual wickedness in high places. That is where our conflict comes from. That is how the battleground is related, because in the spirit world, in the immediate atmosphere around the earth, your adversary and all his helpers roam, just prowling around looking for children of God to oppress. When that is all cleaned up and out of the picture, there is no devil in hell, no demons in hell, and no more fallen spirits to roam the atmosphere you then have a new heaven, because that is how God has cleaned it up. He has judged it. He has bound them and destroyed them. That is why John could see a new heaven. I am going to take this a traditional route. You and I know, if God is an eternal Spirit, which He most certainly is, He fills the whole universe. Is that not right? Well how could a new heaven be another universe somewhere? It is not another universe somewhere. It is just that God, through redeeming things that are related to what He has been doing here on this planet earth and its immediate atmosphere, has brought it to a point where it caused John to see a new heaven. He was looking at the atmosphere in and around the earth, because right from that same realm is where that new city is coming from. The reason it is described as a city is because it is that eternal presence of God coming back to earth again, not only as the paradise that He effected here in Adam’s day, but in a way that the whole scope takes on the likeness of a city. Ever since man was driven out from the garden of paradise, to live in a natural, earthly environment, he has had one thing in mind: What was the first thing you begin to read about in Genesis a little later on? Who built the firs city? Cain, and named it after his son. (Gen. 4:16-17) “And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he built a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.” Think of it. What is a city, in an earthly language structure? It is a place where mankind sets up communication, trade, habitation. Why habitation? Because many times that is how he groups himself together for the protection of himself and his family. You do not have to live in a city to keep snowflakes from falling on you. That is not why a city was built in ancient times. It was because as man was driven from the beautiful realm of peace and rest, which was God”s presence, he has become a victim, and enemy of his own doings. Therefore he would begin to dwell together for protection. This is what causes him to start building his villages. They later become large cities. Around that, he builds walls for fortification. Walls are not where he stored food or water. Walls are what he builds to defend himself against his enemy. His enemy was not the devil. You have to understand that man, in his sinful journey through time on this earth, has built himself into these environments because of the evil that was present, and the state of conditions this has brought upon him. His city life has been the product of how he groups himself together for protection. Think of it, in an eternal age when it will no longer be cold or hot, the air conditioning people will go out of business. All the oil companies will go out of business because there are no gas furnaces. Such things are not needed, not even thought about. Listen to this: “For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest (or evident) that He is excepted, (That is the Father) which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him (meaning God, the great Eternal Spirit, the Father) that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” Yes saints, when the Millennium is over, this is a picture how God, the great Eternal Spirit, the Father, the Creator of all things, looks upon His earth. He can see that everything man has done from the time he was driven out of paradise, all the way to the end, has been in one way or another associated with sin and evil. God drove man from that paradise presence, and man has lived for six thousand years on this earth, dominated by evil and sin, because he was born with the traits of it in him, that caused him to always be wrestling with a spiritual conflict somewhere about him. The devil constantly stalks his pathway. Deep inside, he has always longed for the realm of paradise that was present there in the garden. I will never forget, back in 1974, when we were coming back from Norway. I had always wanted to see Spain: I wondered why all the Spanish people, when the new world was discovered, went to the great southwest? As we left Norway, we come through Germany, and caught the Spanish airlines and went on into Madrid. You know, Madrid is a big beautiful city. Just about three blocks down the street from the hotel where we were staying, they had a beautiful park, like a garden. Every evening the TV’s went off. (They should here in America..) Not a thing on them for two solid hours. Do you know what they did? That let the workers come home and eat supper with their families. They did not have to hear that thing blasting in their ears while they enjoyed their evening meal. Then when supper was over, you would see the people out walking with their children, and sometimes even the old people. One evening we took a walk, following the crowd. You did not see smart aleck’s walking the streets like you do in Chicago, New York City and just about every town in America today. There were soldiers riding the streets in jeeps, with their weapons. They did not tolerate anything like that. As we walked around, we entered this most beautiful garden. As you walked through there you had a feeling of security. I have to give them credit, even though it is a Catholic country, I give them credit for the fact they at least respected the dignity of what man was put here for. Old people going in that beautiful park, sitting, talking, walking, and there were little ducks coming from little pools, walking around, everything so peaceful. Everything you observed was a peaceful atmosphere. You did not have the feeling that anyone would come through there and knock you in the head, stab you, or rob you. The place was looked after by security people. I use that only as a description in order to say this, The fact that man would build such a thing inside of a large city tells you something. What does it tell you? That deep inside, there is always a longing in man to look back to something somewhere when he had an eternal peace and tranquility. It was in the cool of the day, as it says in Genesis, that God came on the scene for fellowship with the man He had created. It has been six thousand years since man was driven out of paradise, but Jesus delivers the kingdom back up to the Father, and we see this city coming down, we must understand, This is that paradise. This is how God relates heaven, the spirit world, in that kind of makeup. His presence is what makes it what it is described as.

DESCRIPTION OF THE CITY JOHN SAW

We are going to start reading about these stones mentioned here. Think of it, as John describes this city he says its walls were of jasper, clear as crystal. Do you know what that tells you? You can see through it. How many know what crystal is? You women ought to know what crystal is. You go down to the department store, walk in there, especially at Service Merchandise and those places and what do you see? You get a crystal dish, you are dealing with glass. It is made of sand, but you must understand this. It is how that crystal has been produced, the process it has been put through in refining it, that makes it what it is. Crystal is clear. It is so clear, yet many times when a light strikes it, it sparkles. So the walls of that city are spiritual walls, and they have to be related to something that your salvation is made up of. It has no earthly material in it whatsoever. We read about the street, only one street is described by John. What does he say it is made of? Gold, pure as glass. That lets me know that gold is clear. So, if the walls are of a clear substance, and the street is pure gold, clear as glass, what kind of material are we looking at? We are looking at a spiritual material that is related to God and God alone, and it is how He hasput Himself, through His anointing, inside of each of us