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.”
- 1 ARE WE READING THE SIGNS PROPERLY?
- 2 GOD’S UNIQUE METHOD
- 3 A BEGINNING POINT
- 4 DUAL STATEMENTS
- 5 NO EXCUSE FOR IGNORANCE
- 6 WHAT IS THE THIRD COMING OF JESUS?
- 7 WHAT DOES IT MEAN ASLEEP IN JESUS?
- 8 WHAT IS THE SHOUT? WHAT IS THE TRUMP?
- 9 HOW TO COMFORT EACH OTHER
- 10 DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIGHT AND DARKNESS
- 11 A CLEARER PICTURE OF THE END TIME
- 12 WORDS OF WISDOM
- 13 SELF EXALTATION
- 14 A VOICE THE CHURCH WILL LISTEN TO
- 15 CLOSING REMARKS
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.
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
As 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.
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.
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.