The First Resurrection, Part 2

OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS-IN IMMORTAL BODIES


Matthew wrote, concerning the time when Jesus was raised up, saying, “Many of them that slept in the earth, (which was the graves) came forth.” We stated, concerning those saints that arose when Jesus came forth, that they had to come forth in immortal bodies, to die no more. What good would it have done for a saint that had been dead 500 years to come forth in a mortal state with Jesus, and then just have to die again? That makes no sense whatsoever. We have to believe they were raised in an immortal state. They made their various appearances in the city of Jerusalem, to whoever God had chosen. This would be a vindication that, not only had Christ risen from the dead, but in the regions of hell where He had gone when He died, just as the scripture says, He had accomplished something. He had conquered death, hell, and the grave, by rising from the grave; and when He did, He took something with Him. When He ascended on high, according to Ephesians 4, He took those saints that had risen in an immortal state, with Him. For the sake of questions that may come to the mind of some, (because there are always some people that get so technical and say, Well Bro. Jackson, suppose there were some that did not rise from the dead when Jesus arose, what about them?) He took their spirits with Him to heaven. When He conquered hell and led captivity captive, that did away with paradise in the heart of the earth. That portion of hell was abolished forever. Religionists today, are so educated; and they learn all about the theology of the Bible; but when they are finished, all they have is theology. They still know nothing about the word of God from the standpoint of revelation; and they are unable to give you a picture of anything. What they have is merely an assumption. When the apostle Paul wrote the 1st Corinthian letter in 59 A.D., thirty some years after the birth of the Church, and the descent of the Holy Ghost; and also thirty some years past the advent of Christ and His ascension, God had dealt with him in a way that had given him an insight and revelation concerning His plan of redemption and restoration. He had a picture within him which God had gave him to relate to the Gentile Church; so let us go right back to the 15th chapter and look at a few more verses. We read the verses where he was speaking to the Gentile, Corinthian Church, upbraiding them, explaining to them what a resurrection would constitute, and why they must believe that Christ had risen from the dead, because if He had not, then they were still in their sins and without hope; for they were still lost sinners. In other words, If Christ had not risen from the dead, they could just go ahead and live like the rest of the Gentiles, in a hopeless future, having no hope beyond the grave. As I again read these verses, remember what Matthew 27:51-52, says about the resurrection of Jesus; to go along with it, because it is back to that point in time, the resurrection of Christ, where Paul picks up his picture. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” This is a plural word. That means there is a plurality of something in this picture. If it was only Christ that rose from the dead, you could not put it in the plural, because He was only one person. He would have just stated firstfruit and left it like that. However when he said the firstfruits, we have to realize, as we brought out already, the sheaf offering which the priest offers, (according to Leviticus, chapter 25, where we get the type) in that bundle of firstfruit, there are many stalks, many heads of grain. Therefore they are the firstfruits of the harvest. In other words, the farmer did not go out and cut down one little stalk. He could have done that to constitute the firstfruit; but the sheaf was the firstfruits. Therefore as Christ was raised, there were others raised with Him. We are not saying all from Abel’s death until then raised in an immortal state; but the thing is, He was not the only one that came forth in an immortal body. There were others also. We do not necessarily need to know if all of the dead saints arose in immortality at that time. It would not alter the fact that we have the responsibility of believing what the Bible does say about these things; and the fact that we need to be very cautious about trying to go beyond what the Bible says. There are some common sense rules for looking at what is written, whereby we can determine certain things by the principle that God does things by; but that only goes so far; and we have to leave the rest alone. In other words, theories are not worth two cents to our spiritual makeup. Theories will never add one inch to your statural growth. Keep in mind, before the advent of Christ, the righteous did not die and go to heaven. They went to a place called paradise, which was a part of hell. The word hell, meant in prison. However within that realm of hell there was a place called Hades, a place of torment, as well as paradise where Lazarus was resting in Abraham’s bosom. Hades, is where the rich man was while Lazarus was comforted in paradise. They were all (the dead of all ages) in hell. Well I do not understand, Bro. Jackson. I have to say, that is where people have been missing the mark, just going to church, but not really seeing a picture. Like a lot of kids go to school, they come home and cannot add two and two together and get an answer of four. I am going to speak some things pretty clear, not to hurt anyone’s spiritual feelings, but to get the point home to you. We are too late in the day to fuss, well I just do not see it like that. We need to start counting our blessings, if we be in Christ; rather than bickering about our theories. When we can lay our personal theories and material things of this life aside, and begin to be concerned about the interior decorating of our soul, we will begin to understand some things in a much clearer light. We have scripture for the fact that Jesus conquered death, hell, and the grave, and moved paradise from the heart of the earth to heaven, leaving no saints in captivity in the heart of the earth; so let us leave that and go on to something else that we can say, “Thus saith the word of God,” to.


THE THREE DISTINCT PHASES OF THE FIRST RESURRECTION


We have already established the fact that Christ was the firstfruits from among the dead; and that takes you back to Matthew 27, where Jesus and other saints were raised. Now I want you to notice what the apostle Paul brings out next. (1Cor.15:21) “For since by man came death, (That takes you back to Adam.) by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” Adam sinned, and that brought an imputed death penalty to every one of us. Because of his disobedience we all inherited death. We are all destined to die, unless we are redeemed from that death penalty. Like we said earlier, Before Calvary, all who died went to hell; but they did not all go to the Hades part of hell. Some went to Paradise, which was the other part of Hell. I like the last part of verse 21, because that is where our hope lies. “By man came also the resurrection of the dead.” Well, if by man comes the resurrection of the dead, we have to look to one who did something that gives Him the power over death. Through Adam’s disobedience, death fell on all of us; but through the obedience and death of Christ, all are going to be made alive somewhere in a proper place and time; but not all going to be made alive in righteousness. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (Verse 23 is an important verse; because it begins to make us aware of an order to this event all Christians talk about.) “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” This word order simply means that for every individual that has ever been born on this planet, there will be some place and time where and when that person fits into a phase of what the Bible refers to as “The resurrection of the dead.” It all depends on how he or she has lived his or her life here on this earth. We are going to find out through this study, that the first resurrection has three orders, or parts, to it. You may say, I didn’t know that Bro. Jackson. None of us knew anything much about it, until we began to reach the end of time. It was then, that these things began to be revealed to the true saints of God. There was no need for any prior generation to know anything about the order of the resurrection. Scripturally speaking, the first resurrection is for the saints of God; and the second resurrection is for everything else; but as we examine the scriptures, we find that there are three different times that saints are raised from the dead to immortality; so we have to realize from that information, that there are three phases to the first resurrection. We realize, if there were some that came forth at the time of the resurrection of Christ, to constitute the firstfruits, that was the beginning of God setting His first resurrection in motion. That wasorder number one; and we are standing right at the threshold of order number two; because that is what the rapture of the bride Church will incorporate: another phase of the first resurrection. All of the overcomers from the time of Christ’s resurrection until that time when the Church is raptured, that have gone by the way of the grave, will be raised to immortality to go with Him. Hallelujah! What a day that will be! I believe we all understand already, that the Bible does not use the word rapture. Raptured, is a theological word used to speak of the translation of the saints. That is what the apostle Paul spoke of in his Epistle to the Thessalonians. When that happens, that will be the second order of the first resurrection. Whoever is involved in that, will make up what is generally referred to as the Gentile Bride of Christ; because this dispensation of time scripturally, has been for the Gentiles to have an opportunity to partake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We will just go ahead and read 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18, and get Paul’s comforting words to those of that assembly in the message at this point.(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. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: andthe dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) 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. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” Yes saints, it is comforting to know, that when death strikes the physical body of flesh we are presently in, that is not the end of life for us. We merely enter into another realm of God’s provision for those who love Him. Then when Jesus comes back to earth with those saints He has taken to heaven to be with Him during that little short period of time known as the tribulation period, He will execute the wrath of God upon wicked mankind that is still alive at that time. We have just covered all of that in another message; so I will not go into it at this time, except to say, Jesus will be back on earth to stay. His intercessory work will be over forever. He will be in His final office of the three He was ordained to fulfill. He will then be the KING of kings, and LORD of lords. He then takes His throne, to start a judgment of the existing mortal realm of mankind that is left alive, and that is when His immortal saints, His Bride, takes her throne positions as you read in Revelation 20:1-4. It is the latter part of verse 4, and verse 5, that fill in the remaining link of the three phases of the first resurrection. In the last part of verse 4, we see a mention of the souls of them that had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God, and had not worshipped the beast and received his mark, nor his number in their foreheads or in the palms of their hands, and we realize there has never before been a time in history that this description could fit, except the time that is just ahead right now. I am speaking of course, of the great tribulation that will glean the rest of God’s saints from among wicked mankind, as they go down in martyrdom. We will read three verses here, so you can see thethird orderof the first resurrection established. Revelation 20:4 “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them:(This much of verse 4 pertains to the saints that will be raptured and then return with Jesus to rule and reign upon earth.) and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus,(That will be the Gentile foolish virgins which are martyred during that time of great tribulation because of their faith in God, and because they will refuse the mark of the beast.)and for the word of God, (That will be Jews, that will accept martyrdom for the sake of the word of God; because they do not have the witness of Jesus.)and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; (It is only during that time of great tribulation, that people will be faced with accepting or rejecting the mark of the beast; and those who refuse to accept it, will do so for spiritual reasons because of their faith in God, after hearing the everlasting gospel preached by the 144,000 servants of God, warning them not receive that mark.) and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (5) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (6) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Those verses show us the last group that will be a part of the first resurrection; and they are known as tribulation saints because they will have to go into that time of tribulation and accept martyrdom to seal their faith in God. Why? You may say. Simply because Jesus is only going to take those in the rapture, that are dressed in a revelation of the word of God and living clean. All the rest who may believe in God, yet have played around with one idea or the other and failed to put on a wedding garment, will be left here when Jesus takes those to the wedding supper who have prepared themselves. These tribulation saints are those that will make up the great multitude John saw, and recorded in Rev.7:9-17; and verse 4, of chapter 20, is what proves that to those who believe the Bible. Let us read it again.”And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”That very description, is what reveals the time of their martyrdom. They could not possibly be martyred saints from the Dark Ages, for there has never been another time in history that people have been required to receive the mark of the beast in order to be able to buy and sell, except in that seventieth week of Daniel which is just ahead. It is the devil’s bloodbath, followed by God’s wrath. Then those martyred saints are resurrected right there and then, to live and reign with Christ a thousand years, which will be for the full duration of the Millennium. They are not a part of the Bride. They are raised in immortality from the dead, to exist in an immortal state, much like the Old Testament patriarchs which are referred to as saints, from back through the other ages of time. The main point is, that what happened in Matthew 27:51-52 when Christ rose from the dead, is what set the first resurrection in motion. God was starting His redeeming plan on the earth. As He took the spirits of all the righteous out of hell, that did away with this. (Bro. Jackson is pointing to the paradise part of the heart of the earth, illustrated on the little chart.) It took out of the crust of the earth many bodies; and moved paradise from hell to heaven, so to speak; so the earth no longer holds the spirits of the righteous that have died. When He resurrects the Church, the Church is the second order of the first resurrection, and the Church is the Bride, the foremost, the predominant object of attention. In fact, the Bride saints stand out in eternity far greater than the Old Testament saints. There is no greater calling in Christ, of God, than to be in the Bride of Christ. That is why they are portrayed in the 19th chapter of the book of Revelation as being clothed in fine linen. All the other saints you read about in Revelation are clothed in white robes. God’s language is not just carelessly thrown together; every term has some significance. When He let His prophet John write those things like that, He knew what to reflect through the terminology used. Those that are clothed in fine linen are only the bride people. That is the attire of a bride. Those that are clothed in white robes, are wearing the adornment as of guests, as those living in the royal King’s domain. I hope you understand my illustration. To be in the bride of Christ is the highest calling of all; but there will be multitudes, when you consider all the others which are referred to as saints, that will be given eternal life, but will exist in a lower realm of glory than that of the bride.


EXPLANATION OF THE STATE OF PHYSICAL DEATH


Some people have such a hard time understanding, or maybe I should say reconciling the state of physical death with the term eternal life; and a lot of the trouble is because they fail to realize that the eternal life is given only to our inner being. The flesh of every living soul is still mortal (death doomed) unless Jesus comes and changes our body of flesh into immortality, before we keep our appointment with the grave. In other words, physical death in no way affects eternal life. The breath of natural life may go out of us; but if we have experienced that new birth Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about, the Spirit of God does not depart from our spirit when we go down in physical death. We are escorted into that heavenly paradise, to wait for the time when That same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, will call our physical remains back from the elements and give immortality to it. That is resurrection; and every soul that has ever gone by way of the grave will experience it at their appointed time. Some will be resurrected to endless life; and others will be resurrected only to stand before the great white throne judgment; and then die the second death, the death of the damned. That is the reason Revelation 20:6, says, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection:(which is in three phases) on such the second death hath no power. I want to refer back to that verse in 1st Corinthians 15:23 “But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” Every man (or woman) in his (or her) own order, is what I want to call attention to again; for if you miss this, you may see the resurrection just like the Methodists, the Nazarenes, the Pilgrim Holiness and so many others. They all get side tracked because they miss the key to understanding what the Bible actually teaches. They see all the saints going to heaven with Jesus, when the rapture takes place; simply because they do not look at all of what is written concerning the resurrection. You can hear them say, God is going to burn the earth up. We are going to live in eternity, there with Jesus. That is what the Bible says; they will tell you. Well if you just take a few verses and put it together that way, that is the way it looks; but that is not the way the Bible is to be read by those who want to know the truth. A lot of people are afraid to read the book of revelation; but saints: If you do not read it, you will miss a lot of what the bride Church is supposed to know before she goes in the rapture. That is why the book of Revelation was put in there, it is God’s love letter to the bride Church. When you read the book of Revelation, you see Jesus sitting on a white horse, but who else do you see sitting on white horses? His wife. How many want to be His wife? You cannot be His wife, and not want to come back here and rule with Him. You are not going to change the picture, so throw your theology in the ditch and let the Spirit of God reveal some things to you. You are going to live according to what it says here; if you have any hope of going with Jesus in the rapture. The bride of Christ will not be ignorant concerning the plan and purpose of God for these last days. I will never forget a Sunday School superintendent we had, in the Methodist Church years ago. You have heard me tell what he said to me one time, after I began to see some things in the Bible. He said, Bro. Jackson: We like your testimony, and we like the way you preach; but we believe we should not preach those things the church does not believe in. I thought, Just what are we supposed to believe in then, if we are not allowed to move on with God? Shame on any person who would look at the book of Revelation as something to be afraid of. We are not here to play church; we are doing our best to find out what God expects out of the Church in these last days. We are a part of the Church; and we have a God-given responsibility to keep ourselves open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, that God may do through the Church those things Jesus did personally, when He walked on earth in human flesh. That is what we are here for. I do not care what people say about me, just as long as I know I am doing what He (God) wants me to do. None of us enjoy having people say unfavorable things about us; but if we are going to follow the leading of the Lord, we have to expect that some will; because natural minded mankind will never understand the things of God. The Bible says the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to the natural man. What natural mind can understand what Jesus did for us at Calvary? As I was reading in 1st Peter earlier, a certain thing stood out so very clear to me; so I just want to go back there for a few minutes to show you something. That is why we drew up this little chart. I think if I can go over this and touch again on what I said earlier, this will help to clarify the whole picture. In 1st Peter, 3rd chapter, Peter is reminding the believer how Christ suffered for our justification. Let us go to verse 18. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, (one time) the just for the unjust, (Christ the just One suffered one time for all of the unjust ones that would ever believe the gospel.)that He might bring us (the unjust ones) to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened (made alive) by the Spirit.” We know eternal life is what the very life of Jesus consisted of. He was not brought into existence with any sin or perverted nature about Him. He was sinless, perfect in every way; and the anointing, (which is the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of God that was in Him in the fullness) was in Him to lead and direct Him in carrying out the plan of God that constitutes redemption for all lost mankind. In other words, The price He paid, was sufficient for the redemption of all that will ever believe and obey the gospel. That is why when He died on the cross, He died like the man He was; but when He rose from the dead, He rose from the dead like the God that was in Him, never to die any more. Right there, is the thing we need to realize: that no matter what may happen to a believer to take his life, the Spirit of God that is in him or her never dies. He (Jesus) was quickened (made alive in a body of flesh again) by that Spirit which is called the Holy Spirit, which in reality is the same Spirit that created the world and all that is in it, the very Spirit that anointed Him at the Jordan River. In other words, God is a sovereign Spirit. He is not a person. We need to see Him as the Spirit He is; and realize that this same Spirit manifests Himself in three office works. It is not God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. That would make Him three. He is not three, He is ONE. The sovereign Spirit that created everything, became Father when He begat something that could call Him Father. Then, in process of time He created a cell of human life in a young virgin girl; and when that child was born into the world he was the only begotten Son of God. That child was as human as any of us; but his Father was SPIRIT, not human; and certainly not a person. God has never been a person, and never will be a person; but when His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON became 30 years of age and was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan river, this sovereign SPIRIT which was His Father entered into Him in the fullness of all of His attributes. From that time forth, that Son called Jesus was a God man, because the very SPIRIT which is GOD was in Him; but you still do not refer to Him as GOD the SON. Rather, it is GOD in HIS SON. That shows GOD, this sovereign SPIRIT that created all things, in His second office work, that of the Son of God; but there is still just ONE PERSON in the picture. The only person in the Godhead is JESUS the SON. Now someone is sure to say, What about God the Holy Spirit? Well there again you do not properly use that terminology in referring to the Holy Spirit. A true revelation of the Godhead would cause one to refer to the HOLY SPIRIT (or Holy Ghost) as God (the same Spirit that created all things) in His third office work. Therefore it is GOD AS FATHER, GOD IN HIS SON, and GOD AS THE HOLY SPIRIT; but regardless of the office work, God is ONE, He is SPIRIT; and He is not a person. I hope this little explanation will help someone to understand the difference between the various references found in the Bible. When the apostle Paul said, (Eph 1:3) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ,” it was the same as saying, Blessed be God, which is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which also has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Does that not make his statement easier to understand? If you can see God in these three office works, it will keep you from trying to figure out how He could be ONE GOD, and at the same time be three persons. No one has ever yet been able to explain that three person God your Trinitarian people claim to believe in. Why? Simply because such a God does not exist. This sovereign Spirit which is God, has manifested Himself in various forms in Old Testament times for various reasons, but none of those forms were to be looked upon as the eternal God. None of those old Patriarchs ever went looking for God in the same form He may have appeared to them in; because they knew the God they served was SPIRIT, and not a man. Therefore when we say, The spirit of God never dies, that is the absolute truth. If the man called Jesus the Christ had been God, He could not have died on that old cross to pay our sin debt; because GOD cannot die. HE is eternal. GOD was in the man who died for us, to pay our sin debt; but GOD did not die. It was the Human, the man called Jesus, that died, not the GOD (SPIRIT) that was in Him. If you have the Holy Ghost, you can get sick with a raging fever, and in your physical state you can be in a terrible state of suffering; but the Holy Ghost, which is the Spirit of God, (that measure of the SPIRIT OF GOD given to you) does not get sick. Neither does He get tired, being in you while you are sick. He will be right there when you get well. He is not in you seeking shelter in your flesh. He, being Spirit, is blended in with your spirit, so that you and He become one. That is how you have to look at it. That only happens when one is truly born again by the Spirit of God. Therefore that will help you understand why one who is born again can never be lost again; because once the two spirits become one, being blended together, they cannot be separated again. Are you wondering what happens when a true Christian dies? Try to think of it like this, If He (the Spirit of God) is blended with your spirit, and you reach the hour of death, then in that state of sickness and suffering, after a while He (God) is going to let your spirit depart from your body; but God does not die. Let me read a few verses of scripture, and then I will show you something. In the 3rd chapter of John, we find Jesus saying, (14) “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (15)That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Remember now, it is ETERNAL LIFE we are going to talk about. How can one have eternal life and still die? has always been a question in the mind’s of some. Notice a couple more verses. John 6:54, says, “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” That was Jesus talking, so notice, John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto the eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.(John 11:26)And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” Well saints, here is what You need to see. Eternal life does not die; because the Spirit which is God, is that eternal life we receive. Therefore as your life separates from your body, the Holy Ghost goes right with your spirit. It is only your body of flesh that dies. It is dead because the spirit of life has left it; but the spirit does not die. Do you understand that? That is why Jesus, even though he died physically, could go down into hell and preach to all the dead that were held in captivity by the devil. His spirit did not die; and neither did the Spirit of the Father leave His spirit. Therefore by the power of that sovereign Spirit that was merged with His spirit, He went down into hell and preached, while His body remained in that tomb where they had placed it. That is what Peter was explaining when he said, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (He went down into hell, both in the part called paradise as well as the place of torment. Peter then explained what he was referring to.) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” I said earlier, that righteous Abel was the first man whose life was taken, in the beginning story of mankind. Cain slew him. He did not die a natural death. In other words, Abel was a very young man. He was the first one that went to hell; but he was in the paradise part of hell. He was certainly not in the torment part of it; he was in paradise along with a lot of others that had walked with God.


FROM ADAM-TO THE FLOOD OF NOAH’S DAY


Those that perished in the flood of Noah’s day, were in the torment part of hell, as well as everyone else that had ignored the word of God for their day. Why did the flood come? you may say. Because of what mankind began to do in his life style, while living on the earth. The earth was being propagated with mankind; and things got off course. Here is what I want you to notice, From Adam’s existence to the flood was approximately 1656 years. If anyone finds fault with my figures, I am not here giving you all the chronological dates of everything in exactness. That is not the point. This could be off a few years more or less; but the point is, There was not literally 2000 years from the beginning of Adam to the flood. That is not according to other things which are established by the scriptures. It covers an approximate span of time; but using the records of Genesis, the flood was over and the time was still 2348 years before the time of Christ’s coming. That put the time before the flood much shorter than 2000 years. According to one chronological source, from the advent of Christ back to the advent of Adam was 4004 years. Therefore this lets us know, that after the flood there was a period of two thousand and some odd years elapsed before the advent of Christ. Just follow me and watch how this breaks down. We do know this, the flood fell the year Methuselah died; and he was 969 years of age, so when you go back 969 years, he was the son of Enoch who fathered him at 65 years of his age. Now you add his 65 years of age on to 969, and that gives you a total of 1034 years back to the birth of Enoch. From his birth to the flood covers 1034 years. Now remember that we have 1034 years from the birth of Enoch to the flood, and notice how old Adam was when he died. Adam was 930 years of age when he died; so you can take 2348 years from 4004 years and you have only 1656 years from Adam’s beginning to the flood. (These figures do not allow for the one year and ten days that Noah was in the Ark. You can make that adjustment) Then if you take 1034 years from that, you will see that Adam lived 308 years after the birth of Enoch, and 243 years after the birth of Methuselah; so Adam witnessed much of the perversion and evil of every sort before he died. So did all the other first born’s of Adam’s line right on down through Noah. Adam was approximately 622 years of age when Enoch was born. When Enoch was still very young compared to some of the others before him, he begat a son. He was 65 years of age when his son was born; and he had already began to observe the perversion and overall evil that prevailed around him; and you can believe he talked to God about it, for God gave him the name for his son. He named him Methuselah which meant, WHEN HE IS GONE, IT WILL COME. What will come? God’s judgment upon all of that perversion that was going on in the world. Watch. If this 1034 takes us back to the birth of Enoch, and there were 930 years from Adam’s beginning to his death, this means he lived 300 and some years inside of the lifespan of Enoch, and 240 some years into the lifespan of Methuselah. Are you seeing the picture. Those sons of God had to walk in the midst of that mess; just like you and I have to walk in the midst of this corrupt mess of humanity of our day. However even though these corrupt and evil conditions are all around us, we still do not have to become a part of them. God will have some sons and daughters in these last days that will keep themselves clean, in spite of all that takes place around them. Adam saw this evil coming. So did Seth, Jared, and all the others of their line. All of the firstborn’s, coming from Adam and moving off in time, witnessed the trend of evil coming upon the scene, that caused God to have to destroy all of it and commission Noah and his sons to replenish the earth with people. These sons of God were the people I had in reference when I said earlier, that they died somewhere in this interval of time between the birth of Methuselah and God’s dealing with Noah, approximately right in here. (Bro. Jackson is pointing to the chart.) The evil got worse and worse as time went on. When we come to approximately one hundred and twenty seemingly short years before the flood, as compared to the ages of those fellows, God spoke to Noah about building an ark. By the time we have come to here, (the time of Methuselah’s birth, on the chart) all of that evil was getting to a very bad state. Enoch lived 300 years beyond the birth of Methuselah, and God took him out of that evil mess by translating him. God just simply took him up, just like He is going to do the faithful little bride Church one of these days very soon now. By the time God took Enoch, Adam was gone also. Seth lived beyond the translation of Enoch; but one by one God allowed all of Adam’s sons of God line to die of natural causes before destruction came. By the time we come to that hundred and some years before the flood, Noah was well into his 500th year and God spoke to him about building that ark. I will read a few verses; and you can read between them later, if you wish. (Gen 6:5) “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (6:8)But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (6:9)These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. (Right there, is the key to why Noah found grace in the eyes of God; he walked with HIM in spite of all that was going on all around him. Notice verse 11.)The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. (12) And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. (13) And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. (7:1) And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before mein this generation. (7:6) And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. (7:11) In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” Noah had to live upright before God right through the worst kind of those conditions, in order for God to see him as righteous in that generation. God said to Noah, Build a boat for the saving of your household. For over a hundred years, Noah was building a boat, something no one had ever seen before. For what reason? To escape the tragedy of judgment that was coming, because the evil was getting worse and worse; just like it is today. All the time he was building and preaching, those old patriarchs were dying. Not all of those who were left alive when Noah started building that old boat were laughing at him; some believed his preaching and were not the least bit surprised that God was going to judge what was going on. However we need to realize that God allowed all of those to die, before He brought total destruction; therefore only the wicked lost their lives in that judgment. Those who walked upright before God, no doubt died of natural causes before the flood actually hit. They may not have been what we might judge as holy people; but the fact that they did not go along with the crowd, would have caused God to look upon them that way. God looks at the heart of every person; and what they do with the chance they are given, before He cuts them off. The general trend of what is looked upon as Christianity today, does not consider what may have taken place, that is not written in the scriptures; they just take the literal wording and make a blanket coverage for everything and say, That is the way it was; Noah’s family were the only one’s of his generation that were not destroyed in the flood. Saints: We have to believe there were some still alive while Noah was building that boat, that God allowed to die by natural reasons, before judgment fell. All those that remained alive right on up to the end were left standing when God said to Noah, Now, take your family and get in the boat. Here came the animals two by two, male and female. I want you to know, Noah did not have to go on a safari, rounding up all the animals that were supposed to go; they heard the voice of their Creator also, and came into the boat. We used to picture Noah out trying to get all those animals rounded up before God closed the door, but he did not have to do that. Those animals had more sense than a lot of mankind has today. Somehow or other the God of heaven predestined certain male and female animals to be saved; and He was able to speak to them in that hour. You may think I am crazy to look at it in this fashion; but I just simply believe God had the ability to do that then; and that He still does. There is nothing impossible with Him; because He is a sovereign Spirit. The creation has changed; but the Creator has not changed, and will not change. I just want to remind you, that some of those animals were of pretty good size. For Noah to have had the responsibility of getting an elephant and his mate to come from miles and miles away to go into that boat, might have been a pretty good job in itself, if it had been left up to him to do it. God has a way of speaking to the animal kingdom. I have read, back in the 1950’s, that in the regions of those terrible earth quakes, people who lived in those regions have said that for days before an earthquake would hit, animals from the high regions of the mountains, and birds of every description were seen making a migration out of the valley. When that earthquake came, it dammed up, slid in and covered villages, and killed thousands of people; but God had used nature to speak to those animals, to get them out of there. There is just no getting around it, those animals were moved upon by the Spirit of God. The God that created them, has a way of dealing with their instinct. Therefore when the time came that God said, Noah, take your family into the ark, here came the animals also. Furthermore they were the right ones. Noah did not have to stand at the door and say, No, not you. The right ones were coming and the wrong ones were staying away. It is just that simple. Noah did not even shut the door of the ark. God even did that. He just simply blew it shut; and when He did, He did not intend for it to be opened again for quite some time.


THE SPIRIT OF CONVICTION-AND THE SPIRIT OF PREACHING


The same Spirit that was in Jesus Christ, preaching, and that went down into hell preaching, was back there before the flood restraining those who did not allow themselves to be a part of what was running rampant all around them. Furthermore He was also present to cause the evil bunch to feel something, even though they failed to take heed. That is why Jesus went down into hell preaching to them, not to give them another chance, but to cause them to know what it was that gave them that peculiar feeling; and to make them know why they had to be in torment. Keep in mind, during that period of time there was no written law which said to them, Thou shalt not do this, nor thou shalt not do that. They were living in an era of innocence. There was no open law or mandatory thing for man to be guided by. It was just the way the Spirit of God moved in that period of time, and the way mankind responded, that made the difference. Jesus went to hell to witness to those righteous spirits that this was what kept them from the terrible disaster of judgment that the others had perished by. Knowing then that Jesus went down into hell to preach to those that were there, not to give them another chance, but to confirm to them the fact that the Spirit of God is what told them not to do as they had done in life, and yet the wicked ones ignored it, do we not know also that the same Spirit that dealt with them then, is still in the world today dealing with mankind? What about these perverts, and these murderers and extortioners in the world today? and what about these drug addicts and drug pushers? and what about these evil workers that are prowling the earth? From one standpoint it looks like they are made to believe there is no God; but you know most of them grew up as young boys or girls to a certain point in life innocent of all of the evil they may be involved in today. I am certain, that when that evil bunch first began to coerce them to do wrong, they felt something within them giving a restraining tug. We all know, if we will just think about it, that no person can walk right out there in this evil world today if they have never done any of those things, and step in the midst of an angry, mean crowd of dope users, and have them offer that stuff to them without feeling something within, saying, Keep away from that stuff! No one that has never experienced the after effects of using drugs, can just start using them without feeling a restraining tug from within. They may not admit it; but they heard an inner voice saying, That is wrong! There is something that tugs at our inner being; and it is the Spirit of conviction, which in reality is the Spirit of God; but if you do not know what that tug is all about, and especially if you have been made to believe there is no God, you will follow natural human desires. We are born into this world with a nature to do wrong; but God still tugs at our inner being, giving us a chance to refrain from evil. Therefore we have to ignore God’s warning signals to do wrong, even though our very inherited nature is contrary to God’s nature. That is why so many people spend so much time any more, trying to convince our young people that this idea of a sovereign God is nothing more than a myth, just an old traditional hand-me-down idea that ought to be ignored, because they are agents of Satan, trying to destroy anything and everything that still believes in such a God. Those agents teach our young people that nothing is wrong: that they ought to be able to express themselves any way they feel like it. That is why we have all that sex mess in school today, nothing is wrong anymore. Let me tell you saints, There is a lot wrong; and it is yet to get worse. Things will never be any better again than they are right now, until Jesus comes with the judgment of God, wipes out this wicked generation of humanity, and ushers in the Millennium. The point I want to make, is that when a person continually ignores this tugging, this Spirit of conviction, there comes a time that it is no longer there. That same Spirit that gives us an opportunity to choose right instead of wrong, finally turns you over to a reprobate mind, to do whatever you choose to do without that tugging sensation from within; but the day will come that you will give an account of it, when you stand before that great white throne judgment and all of your evil deeds are flashed before your face. Jesus went into hell, to make sure every evil person that lived and died before Calvary knew why they were in that place of torment; and to make them see what an endless hope they had; but those who live and die this side of Calvary need no such witness, for they have ignored the gospel of salvation that has been preached ever since. He witnessed to the righteous souls in paradise, to confirm to them what it was that had restrained them from doing wrong; and that had dealt with them in various ways during their lifetime. I have drawn this little chart to help illustrate what took place almost two thousand years ago; and I hope this along with what has been said, has helped you see that it was important that Jesus go into hell while His spirit was out of His body.


THE APOSTLE PAUL COMFORTS THE SAINTS AT THESSALONICA


Let us go back into 1st Thessalonians 4, for another look at how the apostle Paul dealt with the questions arising there about the resurrection. The apostle Paul wrote like this in this epistle; because he was the one that had the revelation that there is going to be such a thing as a translation of the saints some day. Somewhere in the ending of this period of time we call the age of Grace, (which is the time allotted by the eternal God, for the Holy Spirit to work among the Gentiles, taking out a people to make up the Church, which is also known as the Bride of Christ) there is going to be a resurrection and a translation of saints of God; and I want to do everything I need to, to make sure I am one of them. Do you not feel the same way? In the Thessalonian Assembly, by the year 54 A.D., somehow they had gotten their minds all messed up with ideas contrary to what had been preached to them. They heard Paul preach the coming of Christ; and they heard him preach about the resurrection; but you know there are always people who come along and want to twist this or that a little. They have their own little idea they want to get injected into the picture. Well this is what happened in Thessalonica; therefore there were a lot of questions that had arisen among that group of godly people since they first believed. The apostle Paul wrote this epistle to that assembly praising them for their faith in God and their love of other saints, reminding them of all that he and his fellow ministers had taught them while they were with them; and admonishing them concerning the truth they had received. He set in order those things that had a question mark hanging over them; and we are going to look at some of those things again for the sake of the Video, and also for the paper, when we print it. I know somewhere down the line there will be doctors of divinity, and clergymen of various beliefs get hold of this message, just for the sake of picking it apart, not even considering that they will one day have to answer to God for it. Well let them help themselves. Those who say that the Bible does not teach that there is to be a rapture before the tribulation, and say that it is a false teaching, say so because they do not know how to read their bible’s. They use the book of Revelation to interpret what was know by those early saints before there ever was such a thing as the book of Revelation. Brothers and Sisters, saints of God, Do not use the book of Revelation to interpret Thessalonians! What do I mean by that? Paul wrote this as an epistle to the Church; and it is the true Church is to experience this rapture, not just everything that claims to be a Christian. The book of Revelation is a prophecy, and it was also given to the Church; and John, the man who in 96 A.D. experienced a divine visitation of God, that gave him this prophetic picture, did not even see the rapture among the things that were shown to him. What did John see? He saw the Bride already in heaven, in the 19th chapter of Revelation. How did she get there? She was raptured of course. She is there in heaven with Jesus during the great tribulation; and comes with Him when He comes to earth to pour out the wrath of God upon wicked mankind, at the end of the tribulation. These saints that these doctors of divinity see going through tribulation, that are dealt with so severely, are not the Church at all. They are these blind religious people (which were called foolish virgins in Matthew 25:1-13) who have had nothing to eat spiritually except their denominational theology for far too long. They went to sleep and slept too long; and had no time to get themselves dressed up in wedding apparel before the rapture. No that does not make them lost; it just makes them have to face a terrible ordeal of martyrdom that they would not have to face, if they had not been too taken up in Charismatic manifestations to settle down on a true revelation of God’s word and prepare themselves for the coming of the heavenly Bridegroom for His prepared bride. As for the resurrection and rapture, let us just take it in its proper order, and see if we cannot present a clear, scriptural picture for you to look at. Paul does not say one thing that annuls what John said, or wrote later. Neither did John, forty two years later, say anything that would annul what Paul had taught. I do not serve a God who lets His anointed men do things like this. It is only traditional religion that has people contending with each other on these basic doctrines of the Church. Let us see what the apostle Paul is talking about, here in 1st Thessalonians 4. We will begin in the 13th verse; and I want you to pay attention to his words. Let me read the whole thing together, before I comment on it. (1Thessalonians 4:13-18) “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. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) 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: (17) 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. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” Notice what he says as we examine these verses,”But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, (He is not talking about the wicked dead. He is talking about the dead in Christ, those that had died believing in God with all their heart back in 54 A.D.; and whoever else will be in that category on through time.) that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (That is the man out in the world for sure; but there are a lot of very religious people that do not have any genuine hope in these sure promises we depend upon. In other words, just going to some church house regularly, does not mean that you have any genuine faith in the provisions of the word of God.) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, (That is where our faith rests. To a person who possesses genuine faith in the word of God, natural and physical circumstances mean nothing. Even when all conditions look hopeless, if we know what God has said about such circumstances, we can conduct ourselves as though everything is favorable; because as far as God is concerned, it is. His word declares that All things work together for good to those that love Him.) even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” We have to say then, God will bring with Jesus, at His second coming, (and we are not yet talking about His visible appearance to earth when we say this, we are talking about His coming for His Church, which is His Bride.) all of those which are sleeping in Jesus. Notice it says, God will bring with Him, so we can say this, During His first advent, when He arose from the dead, which is pictured here, if for any reason there were spirits taken out of paradise which did not pick up an immortal body, just keep all of that in your mind, knowing that this is God’s business, to do whatever it takes to fulfill His purpose, and do not feel that you have to know why. However if God will bring all those saints with Him (Jesus) it means this, Jesus is coming for a Church that will have to be resurrected and changed into an immortal state, along with those who remain alive at that time. He will bring the spirits of all those others, to participate also in a resurrected state, and if there are those in that particular category, (though they are not the primary object you are to see in this picture) you will have the righteous saints of other ages there with Him. You are to see the Church though; because at His coming, that is what He is coming for. Listen, as we go on. Paul says this in the 15th verse,”For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, (You are not able to go back in the Old Testament and find where he got this. He got it by divine revelation. Paul was not a doctor of divinity. He had been, but he resigned from it. He had been that, when he was on the Sanhedrein court.) that we which are alive (We know Paul is not still yet alive. Time has lasted longer than He thought it might. We are the”we” that are alive. Maybe some of this “we,” that are still alive now, will be dead by then; but there is going to be a “we.” How many believe there will be a “we” alive when these scriptures are fulfilled? Let us look beyond what we learned in Sunday school and begin to see what it says here.) and remain unto the coming of the Lord (He is coming for what? His Church of course.) shall not prevent (or hinder) them which are asleep. (We are talking about the dead in Christ, are we not?) For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, (When He does that, the earth will not see Him. No one will see Him. That shout has to be something the Holy Spirit does by sending a message throughout the earth to the spiritual people of the world. Are you sure, Bro. Jackson? I did not know that is what that means. I didn’t either, forty years ago; but God is still revealing some things the Church needs to know before she gets out of here. Any time there is an event in the earth, in a natural sense, and there are people invited, but they do not know at what moment in time to get ready for it, there has to be some kind of announcement sent out. Therefore since this has got to be a spiritual communication from the spirit world to the natural world we live in, the shout is for the living, for those that have ears to hear it. It is how the Holy Ghost executes it that counts; but that shout has to be in existence, echoing back and forth throughout the earth until it encircles the entire globe, before the event that is being announced can actually take place. The shout will not wake up the dead. It will not change the dead in any way. The shout is for those who are still alive and will remain unto the time of its occurrence. It wakes up the living who are going to church, playing church, but sound asleep and snoring. They have been living on creeds for so long, they do not even know what time it is. Now watch. He descends with a SHOUT….) with the voice of the archangel.” The mortal realm of mankind will not hear the voice of the archangel. That is not for the living. That is to announce the event to the dead that are to come forth, because the event is to include what? First the dead will rise, because Paul puts it in precise order. The dead will rise when the last trump has sounded. Now the last trump that Paul speaks of here in Thessalonians is not the last trump you read about in the 11th chapter of Revelation. Those in Revelation 11, are trumpets of judgment that are sounding in that time of great tribulation on earth. It has nothing to do with this trump that sounds here at all. Now why did I say that about the angel, his voice? Why did I say it in that manner? Did it ever occur to you that when Jesus was to be born, that royal Son of God, who was it that came to earth to announce His birth? Gabriel. Did he come to church headquarters? Did he come to the mayor of Jerusalem? The governor of the state of Israel did not get a special announcement. Who did he come to? He came to a little woman that lived in the town of Nazareth. He announced His birth to her by saying,”Hail Mary.”He did not say Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. What he said was, (Luke 1:28) “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.(30)And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. (31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name Jesus.” He told her she was to conceive. The angel was announcing the event. When that same son grew and died on the cross, who was it that came down and rolled the stone away? An angel of the Lord. Therefore if an angel announced His birth, and it was an angel that came the minute His foot stepped forth back upon earth, when this One that was dead came forth from the grave, to make the announcement you can be assured that it will be an angel that will announce the exact moment of time for this other event! The voice of the archangel announces the event. It is that trump that sets it in motion. Now watch.”Then we which are alive and remain:”Some of us are going to be the “we,” if we walk right, and if we can get all our playing around out of our minds and get earnest with God. However as long as we are willing just to work our heads off thinking, I need to make a little more money first, then I am going to do this, that and whatever, things are not right for you to partake of what we are talking about. I say, Yes, go ahead and be occupied like the Bible says; but every nail you drive you need say, Praise the Lord! He is coming soon, Hallelujah! At least you need to be thinking like that. If you are laying carpet, Praise the Lord! He is coming, just like He said He would! I do not know when; but He is coming. I am against these characters who go out here and sit down somewhere, thinking they have it all figured out when He is coming. Six more years, three months, twenty one days and at a certain hour, He will be here. Well I have so much money in the bank, that will take care of me until then, I am not going to work any more. There are people professing to be Christians, that live exactly like that; but I just have to say to them, If you have no more respect for the rest of the word of God than that, you will wind up in hell as sure as anything. He is not coming for lazy people that are looking for just enough religion to get them by, and just enough of everything else to last them, and they have no regard for the rest of what God’s word teaches believers. Twenty some years ago while sitting in a barber shop, I had two characters walk in there and talk to me just like that. Those characters have gotten older, the Lord has not yet come for His bride, and they have probably spent what they thought was enough back then and had to go back to work. He is not coming for that kind of people. He is coming for a people whose minds are awakened to the truth of God’s word and that know how to walk in that truth each day for Him. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with (Who?) them (Those that have come out of the ground.) in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This is the second order, or phase of the first resurrection; and I just must say, It is going to take a host out of there. If for any reason there is still some of the bodies of the Old Testament saints (I do not know) still in the ground, which did not come out the first time, when God brings Him for this event, He will bring the spirits of them with Him. Those bodies will go out. Why? Because we are looking at a prophecy in Zechariah. I will take you right back to Enoch.


OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECY REVEALED


When Enoch fathered that son Methuselah, and the Spirit of God began to lead him, one day Enoch prophesied, you can read it in Jude, “Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints to execute judgment.” Where? In the earth. When does that apply? That generation that is out there today will see it. Jesus is coming with all His saints, both His Bride saints, and all His Old Testament saints, in immortality. He is bringing them with Him. Zechariah 14, Behold the Lord cometh will all His saints. That is what it says. Zechariah was way back here looking forward in time. We are here, now, looking back, picking up the pieces as it has unfolded coming toward us. We are living in the hour or day, dispensationally speaking, when He is coming for His people. He comes for them before He comes with them. I trust you understand. When He comes with them, He is coming to take over this earth, to rule and reign for a thousand years. Now we can read verse 18, of 1st Thessalonians 4. If this verse was applicable in 54 A.D., when Christianity at that early hour of time did not yet have the opportunity to see as far in the future as you and I now have by being right here at the end time, when we see the earth’s developments staring us right in the face, how much more ought it comfort us, knowing for sure that this present generation will witness the whole thing. “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” Therefore I say, Get out of here you doctors of divinity, with all of your senselessness talk about there not being a rapture before the tribulation. There IS going to be; and it will not be very long now, until it is a reality. In the 5th chapter of 1st Thessalonians, the apostle Paul says this, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” Who is He coming as a thief for? The righteous? No. The wicked. They are the ones that are sound asleep spiritually speaking, a lot of them not even believing in God in the first place. “For when they (They who? The world in general, the unbeliever.) shall say, Peace and safety; (That is what they are working on even at this very moment of time, a way to obtain a peace agreement among the nations of the world. Such an agreement will have to be mediated and enforced by natural minded mankind; because this is not the peace God will send. Therefore by the time they have brought the man of sin, the antichrist, which will be a false peace maker, into the full picture, and applied him to the world system, it will be too late for them, any of them, to have any hope in God. Rather, they will say, Now we have it made. We will have to worry about no more wars ever again.) then sudden destruction cometh upon them, (Not on the believer, but upon the unbelieving world in general.) as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, (That is where the unbelieving world is, in darkness, which is unbelief.) that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are the children of light, and the children of the day: (The day is applicable to that period of time wherein God is calling out a people to believe in Jesus as their Savior, and to bear His name.) we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now Bro. Jackson, that still has not told you that you have a right to say the rapture will be before the tribulation. Well let us go to Paul’s second letter to this same Assembly then. The same thought still lingered in the Thessalonian church, even after being taught so well. There was still a little puzzle about it all. Their minds were still side tracked. Therefore as we go to the second epistle, we read what he wrote to these same people. “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (He meant of course, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ) and by our gathering together unto Him, (That was referring them back to the event he had just dealt with in the first letter. That event is right in front of us somewhere. We are moving rapidly toward it.) 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 know this, Coming down through time, mortal man in his religious way of thinking, has just reached out presumptuously in the dark, pulling up dates, events and everything, trying to tell people it can happen right now. You have all heard the news. This woman that had that bunch of people out in Montana, getting ready for Armageddon to take place just any minute. Where are they today? Why do those poor souls not read the Bible, instead of listening just to that woman, or to anyone else for that matter. If we have a Bible and the ability to read it, we have no right nor privilege of just sitting back and depending upon someone else to do everything for us. China is not ready to come to the Middle East yet. She is in no shape to. Armageddon is going to be fought when those Orients come steaming out of those jungles marching toward the Holy Land. Right now, political wise anyway, they are not in a shape to start that. Nevertheless the time for it is getting closer. It is a sad thing to see people like those people sitting out there in that mountain valley, waiting for something in a way they have no scriptural authority for. The Armageddon they are looking for will never come. How do I know that, you may say? Just notice, as we go on here, “Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first.” Saints: We are the generation that is definitely seeing the falling away that Paul was referring to; but even a thing like that has to come to a peak, to a state of being ripe, before application can be made concerning what it is to lead up to. Where is it taking place? Out there in that conglomeration of religious beliefs, where people have gone to sleep spiritually, to the point where they see nothing wrong. Everything goes, just as long as we all love Jesus; for we are all striving to go to the same place. You can hear a statement like that, every time you turn on a television set and come across one of those religious broadcasts. They have not the slightest idea scripturally, and time-wise where we are in the program of God. They are sound asleep. Here the man of sin is coming on the scene, and they have no way of knowing what he is; because they have ignored what God has made available to them from His very own word. Just look at the pope of Rome today, how the so-called important people of the world are running to the Vatican for an opportunity to be blessed by him. When a Communist leader like Gorbachev, who has been the leading figure in that great Communistic empire, an empire that has held much of the world’s population in fear for years, all of a sudden takes a trip to Rome to see the Pope, something is being put together, and it will fulfill the scriptures right to a point where anyone would have to be spiritually asleep not to see it. That old pope is being prepared for his hour. No it will not necessarily have to be that individual man that is presently holding that office; for it is the man in that office when God’s hour of time comes, that will fulfill the Bible prophecies concerning the activities of the false prince of peace. Anyhow all of a sudden the hand of God strikes the spirit of that thing Gorbachev was the head of, and it began to crumble. Ten years ago, who would have thought that a leader out of Communism would have had the feelings to come and make a visit to the Vatican? Nevertheless just a few months ago he came over to meet our president; and then the first thing we knew, here is the cheek of that pope and Gorbachev right together, just like they were brothers. You never would have seen old Stalin doing a thing like that. All these Assembles of God and charismatic preachers who have said, Communism is the antichrist, have sure had their revelation blown to pieces. You could say, God popped their balloon. It is falling away time though. Here comes the pope and all the religious leaders of the world trotting right along together. Catholicism’s straying daughters have just about every one accepted old Mamma’s invitation to COME HOME. I read of one the other day, and I just thought to myself, Except for the grace and mercy of God, I would probably be sitting somewhere twiddling my fingers, deceived like the others that run after signs and miracles. I thank God though, for opening my eyes and putting something in my heart that causes me to love truth. Now I can see that man of sin sitting on that Vatican throne; and oh what a man of sin he is. What a world deceiver he is! We have Protestant preachers ready to take their turn and say, Bless me holy father. There is an hour coming just in front of us, when that man is going to hold the administrative reins of this world’s political and economical power. Apostate Christendom is going to be sitting right at his feet, unable to break free from his power over them. Death will be the only escape. That is why the foolish virgins will have to suffer martyrdom during the great tribulation; because they are too blind to see right now, where that man of sin will come from. Yes brothers and sisters, the falling away is here and has been for a long time. That is why evil in the world goes so unrestrained; because those who used to stand on God’s side and refrain from all appearances of evil are now right in the midst of much of it; and see nothing wrong with what they are doing. Well God sees it for what it is; and the time for Him to call His true people to come up a little higher, is almost here. When what was called Christianity, (the church as the world sees it) began to die, the world began to be flooded with all kinds of evil. That was the tide of Satan coming back in to take up where the Holy Ghost would leave off. That is why we have drug abuse and alcohol abuse like it is. Notice what verse 4, says about the Antichrist, the man of sin, or to be absolutely realistic, the pope of the Roman Catholic Church during the last half of that seventieth week of Daniel. “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.” (That is his future place when all that is brought about, as we brought out in another message, comes to its fullness, the pope of Rome will be doing just like it says here, showing himself that he is God. “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth (or hindereth, or restraineth) that he might be revealed in his time.” Well for over 1900 years the Spirit of God has held back (restrained) that great onslaught of the antichrist spirit coming to its preeminence until right now. I do not mean, just in the last few weeks; but in the last twenty some years. He (that antichrist spirit) restablished an office that he could use once again, and for the last twenty some years, he has been leading denominational christendom on a merry go round. Naturally that office he has reestablished, is the office of the pope of the Roman Catholic Church. You know, apostate Protestant Christendom today has closed their eyes to that. They are looking to some other mystical realm somewhere for the antichrist to appear, to some yet unborn baby that will be born of a prostitute maybe, that will appear on the scene with such Satanic powers that he can stand out here and do certain things, and fire comes out of heaven. That is the way they interpret it. There have been that type of characters in India and other places of the world. What about these characters, like in Indonesia, that can walk through fire unharmed? They walk on nails. They can set things on fire. That is not the antichrist. That is just satanic power plain and simple, that has always been in the world; but it is certainly not the power the antichrist man, is coming to take over the world with. Those kind have been in existence in every century in certain nations, as long as man has been here. There is not a one of them that has ever rose to conquer a nation, or to deceive multitudes of people to the extent that this antichrist man will, here in the end of this age. It has got to be something so sinister and so deceptive that the world will believe in it. Remember how Jesus prayed, in the 17th chapter of St. John? Jesus, as He prayed to the Father said, (Right here, is where you have a perfect type of what the antichrist is to be like. He will be a religious man, just like Judas was.) “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, (meaning His disciples that had walked with Him and had a part in the ministry) but the son of perdition; (Judas) that the scripture might be fulfilled.” That son of perdition was Judas; but the one Paul spoke of, will turn out to be the Pope of Rome. Judas was a perfect type of the son of perdition that is yet to come upon the scene. Sure Judas was a Jew, but here is what you have to look at, Was he an atheist? No. Was he a Communist? No. He was a religious Jew that had handled the word of God; but somehow or other he allowed the wrong spirit to anoint him, no doubt because of greed and jealousy. The term son of perdition simply means, one ordained to lead something to destruction. When that spirit got hold of Judas, (who was religious, and who was also a Jew) he became jealous and disagreeable with the one he had served for three years, and then he was anointed of that same spirit, (the devil) right at the passover supper, and went right out and sold his Savior for thirty pieces of silver. He was ordained to lead his Savior to death. Watch what that spirit did to him though. A few hours later, when Judas woke up and realized what a terrible thing he has done and tried to undo it, that same spirit took him out and he hanged himself. Saints, that is the way we must see the antichrist. Sure he is going to have political power; but he will also have all the scientific, technological power of the world’s materialistic means at his finger tips. What you must not forget though, is that he is going to be a religious man. A religious man, is not necessarily a spiritual man; and that is certainly the case here. He is of a religion that is absolutely apostate, yet so deceptive that the religious world will believe he has the word of God for sure. Did you know that a lot of Protestants today, are beginning to agree that the Catholic Church is the right church? I read that, just recently. Well I happen to know it is the wrong church. It has been wrong ever since it came into existence. It is strange how Protestantism came out of it, and now wants to go back to it. That is why the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, the Federation of the Council Churches, all Protestant organizations are means that the deceptive spirit of Satan is using to unite them, and turn them back to fellowship with the Roman Catholic Church. This is the image that reflects the same spirit and likeness of the old beast itself; and characterizes the same carnal motive the Catholic Church does. We are moving toward the hour in time, at a very rapid pace, that as just a few more earthly events transpire, the world is going to be pushed (out of absolute necessity) to elect, and set in charge, a man of neutrality in the position of political leadership of a modern world, over the affairs of their peace proposals and such like. Naturally because of gross deception, they will feel that the pope of Rome is the best man for the job; because of the fact that he sits at the head of what the world of apostate religion calls “the Church.” The head of the Church is Jesus; but this man sits there in Rome as the Vicar of Jesus Christ, dictating dogma to a body of what is supposed to be Christianity, but is as apostate as anything could possibly be. It is deceptive. There is no other office on the face of this earth that has a man in it that the world leaders would look upon as being capable of doing what he will be called upon to do. Only the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church stands in such a place of supposed-to-be neutrality, yet with all the available means to function in the role he will assume when that peace pact is signed with the nation of Israel and many others. He is the one (that office) that cracked the whip for a thousand years in the Dark Ages. If the Roman Empire is to be revived for a little short period of time here at the end, it means that when that deadly wound is healed, his power will be given back to him for a little short ride through the week of Daniel, which the last half of, will be that time of great tribulation, or as Daniel wrote it, (12:1) “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time,” and by the time he gets through with his ride, there will be a great host of martyrs awaiting the time of their resurrection; but they will not have to wait very long; for Jesus and His great army from heaven will be on earth shortly, to deal with the whole picture. Now saints: In order for the bride to be in heaven where John saw her, and for her to be descending with Him (Jesus) back to earth, at the end of the great tribulation period, the coming of the Lord and our gathering together unto Him, will be taking place somewhere around about the time we see the world bringing this man of sin into his office, and delegating him to be the overseer and administrator, and the voice of the new world order everyone except the revelated bride is going to be raving about, shouting Hallelujah! Glory to God! We finally have peace in the world. They are actually going to worship the devil by doing that. By what means? Deception. Because they have no revelation of truth to go by. As we see that introducing itself, then somewhere around about that time He is coming for His Church, and taking her to glory, to be with Him during that horrible storm. Paul saw her going away; and John saw her in heaven. Then John saw her coming back to earth with Jesus, when he comes back in literally as King of kings, and Lord of lords. That is something for every true child of God to shout, Hallelujah! about.


THE BRIDE OF CHRIST SEEN IN HEAVEN


Let us look at the scriptures that vindicate this revelation concerning the rapture of the bride before the great tribulation. We will go to Revelation 19:7, for our first verse. I would like to read the whole chapter, but will not because it is lengthy. In verse 7, it says, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife (the Lamb’s wife, and we all know who the Lamb is) hath made herself ready. (8) And to her (this bride) was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. (9) And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. (11) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. (12) His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. (13) And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. (14) And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (Remember now, fine linen, white and clean is what the Lamb’s wife was arrayed in, and right here, she is seen leaving heaven with Him, and riding white horses also, just like He is, coming to earth to judge what is left, at the end of the great tribulation, when all of those armies are gathered there in Israel, and they all endeavor to make war with Him; but He makes a short work of it all.) (15) And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. (16) And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”He (Jesus) is already crowned, coming to earth with His bride saints that have been with Him in heaven at the marriage supper, to rule and reign for a thousand years. Notice what verse 19 says, concerning those that had gathered there for the battle of Armageddon.”And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. Verse 20, (shows how He deals with that whole conglomeration gathered there; and that is all I will read at this time.) And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” That is why John, when he was taken up into heaven, saw the bride Church in the future state. She was already there. She was clothed in fine linen, clean and white. The fine linen is the righteousness of saints. That is why in the ending of the 19th chapter, while tribulation is going on down here, people were seen dying. Yes brothers and sisters, many will have to give their life’s blood in martyrdom, because they still believe in Jesus and cannot possibly deny their faith in Him and receive the mark of the beast, just to save their neck’s. There will also be those Jewish saints martyred, because of the word of God they believe. Of the Old Testament yes, but remember, they were blinded to the gospel, in order for the Gentiles to have an opportunity to receive it. That is how you and I got in there among that blessed number. Hallelujah! What we want to take note of though, is that the devil is going to do his best to stamp out the existence of all who have the knowledge of God, and of Christ Jesus His only begotten Son that died for all who would believe and accept His atoning work on their behalf. We have a lot more to be thankful for than a lot of us even stop to realize; for those who have to go through that week of Daniel will either accept the mark of the beast and be damned because of it, or they will refuse to accept it and be killed for refusing. Of course, as we have pointed out many times before, there will be certain elements chosen before of God Himself, that will escape the devil’s wrath during that time; and they will be conveyed into the Millennium to repopulate the world once again. Many of these will be used of God to care for those Jewish saints that have to flee from Israel when the Antichrist breaks the peace covenant and begins to slaughter everyone who believes in God. I will not go into all of that at this time; for we have covered it in various other messages; but if you will read Matthew 25:31-46, you will see that there are to be people from every nation left alive after the week of Daniel has ended, that will be gathered before the great King of kings and His queen (the bride saints) to be separated and judged, going into the Millennium. Those found worthy will be granted eternal life; but will remain in natural bodies, and will bear children throughout the thousand years of Christ’s reign on earth. Naturally though, these will all be people who somehow were never faced with accepting or rejecting Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord in this dispensation, or they would have had to be dealt with like all of the others, prior to Matthew 25. Let me say this to you who may not understand everything you hear or read in this message, Do not reject it, just lay it up somewhere until God tells you to take it down and take another look at it.


EVENTS OF THE LAST THREE AND A HALF YEARS OF THIS AGE


Think of it saints, right in the middle of that seventieth week of Daniel, when the old Pope of Rome has had all he can stand, of those two Jewish prophets there in Israel calling forth plagues and so forth to vindicate their ministry as servants of God, he will have them killed and declare open season on anyone who professes to believe in any god other than he himself. That is what the apostle Paul was referring to in 2nd Thessalonians, when he wrote of him saying, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the day of the rapture, referred to as, our gathering together unto Him) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, (which will be none other than that sweet, baby kissing, peace loving Pope of the Roman Catholic Church that has been selected to oversee the world’s peace agreement) 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.” Well that is how the Pope turns out, once the devil anoints him; and that causes the woman element of those Jewish saints to have to flee from Israel, into the place prepared of God for her to hide out for the next three and a half years, until Jesus comes from heaven to judge him and all the rest of those who are serving the devil’s purpose on earth. The 144,000 Jewish servants of God will flee into the nation preaching the everlasting gospel, which warns those who do have faith in God, not to accept the mark of the beast and so forth. Their preaching is mainly responsible for that great multitude of martyrs seen in Revelation 7:9-17, made up of both Jews and Gentiles from that reign of the Antichrist on earth. Remember, in the middle of that week, here goes that part of Israel, the woman, made up of men, women, boys and girls of all ages, that God is going to preserve alive. She is going somewhere in the world to hide, while the world goes through a bloodbath like never before. During that three and one half years, the woman element of the Jews will be hiding, the 144,000 servants of God that are sealed with the Holy Ghost during the first half of that week of years will be back among the nations preaching the everlasting gospel, the political, liberal minded element of Jews will be deceived by the Antichrist, and a fourth element of Jews will be those who have remained among the nations in dispersion while others went home to Israel to wait for their Messiah. This fourth element, are the ones the 144,000 preachers flee to the nations to preach to; but the Gentile foolish virgins will hear their message also. That is what accounts for that great multitude of martyrs there in chapter 7, of the book of Revelation. Then, when the tribulation has run its course, when that last three and one half years have expired, Christ Jesus comes back to earth. This time, He will be coming to make His visible appearance. I say that, because when He comes for His Church, He comes only in Spirit form and the resurrected saints along with the living saints, are caught up to meet Him in the clouds. There will be no physical appearance of Christ at the time of the rapture; it is a secret, mystical event. That is why 1st Thessalonians does not portray Him coming in a visible form to earth. He is coming in a secret form; so the world at large will know nothing whatsoever of what is taking place. In Matthew 24:29-30, Matthew was writing of His visible return. That is when all eyes will see Him. They will run to the mountains and so forth, trying to hide from Him. That is the same coming of Christ we were looking at in the 19th chapter of Revelation earlier. He is coming with His righteous Bride, to first pour out the wrath of God upon what is left of wicked mankind. Then as He executes the wrath of God He sets up His kingdom on earth for the one thousand year reign; and that is what brings Matthew 25:31-46, into the picture, where people of all nation are gathered together and separated like sheep and goats. That is why verse 31, introduces this event in this way, “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with him, (His bride will be with Him too.) then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.” He has not been sitting upon the throne of His glory for the past almost two thousand years; He has been sitting on the Father’s throne, in heaven, making intercession for the heirs of salvation. His visible coming, written of in these various places, is what brings Revelation 20:1-4, into fulfillment; for when He comes back, one of the first things He will do is bind the devil up so he cannot cause any more trouble. I know we have already looked at this scripture; but we are just kindly getting the whole picture pulled together here, so let us read the first four verses of chapter 20, while we are doing that. (1)”And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, (For how long? Notice) till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” Now we come to the verse that speaks of the thrones the bride of Christ will be sitting upon; and in this same verse we see the tribulation martyrs, those that will be killed for refusing to go along with the antichrist system of rulership in that hour of time. (4) “And I saw thrones, and they (That is the Bride. They are immortal.) sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded (Do not think you have to look back to the Dark Ages, to find someone beheaded because of their faith in God. No. This is something that takes place in the great tribulation hour.) for the witness of Jesus, (Gentile foolish virgins) and for the word of God, (Jews that know not Christ, yet believe the word of God, and believe the preaching of the 144,000 servants of God that preach the everlasting gospel.) and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” We see the Bride there, as them that sat on the thrones and to whom judgment responsibility was given. Yes brothers and sisters, the Church of the living God, which is the bride of Christ, is going to help judge the remnant of mortal flesh that will be preserved and saved to live under the reign of Christ in the Millennium. We are showing many of the things that are to take place on earth at the visible return of Christ to earth; and the third order, (or phase) of the first resurrection is one of those things that will take place right there; because that will bring up all the rest of those that are ordained to live and reign with Him for a thousand years. That brings us to verse 5, which lets us know that the three phases of the first resurrection has taken everything out of the ground, except the bodies of the wicked dead. They will have to remain where they are until the great white throne judgment takes place; and that will be after the Millennium has run its full course. (Revelation 20:5) “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” Since we are here, we may as well just finish it on out. Verse 6, says, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, (The second death, or second resurrection is for the wicked of all ages; and has nothing whatsoever to do with the redeemed saints.) but they (those other saints that are raised) shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”


WHY SATAN IS LOOSED FOR A LITTLE SEASON


When we get to the end of chapter 20, after the thousand years have expired, and read where Satan is loosed for a little season to go out upon the breadth of the earth, for the sole purpose of testing those that are born during the time he is bound, we find that he is able to deceive a great host, and lead them to surround the camp of the saints; but God intervenes before any battle is ever set in motion; and sends fire from heaven to devour them. By that time, God is ready to wipe the slate clean of all appearances of wickedness. Everything except the righteous are resurrected, judged, and cast alive into the lake of fire. The bride saints, which of course is the queen of this great King of Kings, rules and reigns over those mortals in the Millennium. Besides those that were left alive to repopulate the earth during the Millennium, there will be a numberless multitude born to them during that time. That is why Satan is loosed for a little season, after the thousand year reign, God would be an unjust God to let all those mortal beings go into eternity to live forever with Christ, having never been tempted or tested as other people have had to be, back here in their period of time. They will have lived with Christ for a thousand years, knowing no tempter, knowing not the evil that we have been knowledgeable of, because the tempter has been bound. Therefore the devil is not loosed to try the immortal saints. All of them are already overcomers by then. It is just to test those who have never been tested. When he manages to deceive a great host of them, the devil tries to use them to take over. That is what verse 9, shows us. “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” That shows us they surround the Bride’s headquarters. It is Jerusalem, where Jesus, the King of kings rules and reigns. Keep in mind though, the immortal saints do not run to get their guns. There is no shots fired. Divine intervention right from heaven, ends that thing real quick. God will let the devil not only deceive them, but He allows him to lead them to such a position where they think they are going to do some great thing. Well as I said, They all have to be tested; and if they are deceived they will just have to suffer the consequences; like every other person that has ever been deceived by that same devil has. Eve was not allowed to go back and relive her past when she learned she had been deceived, she had to face the thing head on and pay the price. Not only did she have to pay the price for being deceived; but every woman born into this world since then has had to suffer because of it. Therefore when this final plot of Satan is initiated, all of the immortal saints will just stand back and watch this event, not being allowed to interfere in it; because they will know that these mortal subjects must be tested, just as they were in their period of time. Now when Satan has succeeded in bringing that mass of humanity against Jerusalem, you can read it; It says fire proceeds out of heaven and devours them. What is the next thing after that? Well the devil that deceives them will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where (according to Revelation 20:10) the beast and the false prophet are already; and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. The next thing after that, at least here in the scriptures, is the great white throne judgment; and who do you see sitting upon that throne? It does not say it was Jesus; it just says it was He from whose face the earth and heaven fled away; but we should have it settled by now, that Jesus is the primary figure in this whole picture until such time as He delivers the kingdom back up to the Father. In 1st Corinthians 15:24, the apostle Paul wrote this, “Then cometh the end, when He (Jesus) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He (Jesus) shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” He will not do this until after redemption is completed; and everything is restored back like the Creator started it out. That means all judgment has to be finished; and the earth cleansed of everything that has defiled it. That brings 1st Corinthians 15:28, to the forefront; and after that, Jesus will no longer be King of kings and Lord of Lords; He will be our Elder Brother from then throughout eternity. Here is what it says, “And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, (Jesus) then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him (the Father) that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” When Jesus sits upon the great white throne, this is where the supreme court of heaven comes into view. This is where Paul says in Corinthians, that the saints shall judge the world, even angels. When He takes that position, all the righteous saints of every age, and all the angelic beings that have served the Lord, will all take their positions in this great supreme court of heaven. Then we read, that the books were opened. What are these books? Books of deeds, they record all of our evil deeds that we have done in the flesh while living in this world. However if we have found Jesus Christ as our Saviour, those things have been blotted out from our record; and our names appear only on the book of life. Yes, saints, there is another book. Praise God for that book! We will look back to the 20th chapter of Revelation for our final words. (20:12) “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books (plural), according to their works. (20:15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” What book was that? The book of Life. There is only one book of Life. Let us look at it like this though, there are chapters in it. There is a chapter for all the saints that lived before the flood; because they lived in an era of innocence, called that, because there was no written law for them to go by. After the flood and the call of Abraham and the giving of the Law, there is a chapter in there for all of those; and it is written according to the way they walked before God in the light of the Law. Then time move out of that period into the Grace Age. From those that have lived during the Grace Age, He has been calling out a people to be His Church, or His Bride, or His Queen. All of these titles apply at one time or the other. Then on the end, there has to be a chapter for all of those that will have been born in, and lived in the time of the Millennium, that did not fail God or fall for Satan’s deceptive lies. There are some other words written here in the 20th chapter, that cause a question mark in the mind’s of some. John saw death and hell give up the dead that were in them. Up came those from Hades, that place of torment. Out of the ground came every evil body from old Cain right on down the line. Coming right on down through the ages, we pick up Judas, we can pick up the pharaohs, we can pick up John Dillinger, Jesse James and all the rest. And death and hell were judged out of the things that is written in what? The books. Read it. The books, plural. (20:14)”And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (20:15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Whosoever was not found written in the book of Life, that means standing there is that remnant of those that had been born in the Millennium. There had to be a place there for them. How many understand what I mean? You have heard me say many times, The second resurrection has no power; and that is because it is a resurrection unto judgment and destruction. There is no life in it. Death and hell was cast into where? The lake of fire. The lake of fire is somewhere else other than around this planet. That means when you read everything closing out in Revelation 20, redemption is completed. Where Christ has ruled and reigned for a thousand years, restoring everything back to its original state, He has conquered not only death, hell, and the grave, He has rid this planet of everything the devil had defiled it with, through 6000 years of his evil influence. Now the earth is completely redeemed through and by the reign of Jesus Christ. That means it is time for Revelation 21 and 22 to come into the picture. I am going to save that though; because that is where this whole series ends, when we look at the city of paradise, and show what it is. Praise the Lord! You know, saints, our president does not believe this, at least not the way we see it; but that is not going to hinder me. Hallelujah! I am just thankful to God for His love and mercy in my life. Except for that, I would be a candidate for the lake of fire myself. You would be too. Yes we have much to be thankful for. AMEN.