For ages, Christianity as well as the Old Testament Jewish saints have all believed that someday there would be a resurrection of the dead, but not until Paul’s revelation unto the church was it known the order of the resurrection and that God intended to have a translation (or catching away) of the living saints who were pleasing unto him. However, since Paul’s great revelation, the church now knows that the blessed hope (Titus 2:13) according to the revelation of scripture assures us, though our physical body be dead and decayed beneath the sod, when that hour arrives we have the blessed assurance our corruptible bodies according to Rom. 8, especially verses 11-23, as well as our spirits were included in the redeemed purchased price of Calvary and therefore also awaits the change from mortal to immortality! Somewhere before us, Paul’s revelation declares, there will be a “catching away” of a living realm of people. Just when, how or what all the glorious circumstances surrounding this event will consist of, I do not know! We only know what the scripture teaches and it teaches in many places since Paul’s revelation to the church, there is a resurrection for the dead saints and a translation for the living saints and both events are to transpire within the same time period.
PART 1 – PAUL’S NEW REVELATION RAPTURE-THEOLOGICAL TERM
Each generation since the founding of the church at Pentecost has hoped they were that living generation who would see the dead in Christ rise first and the TRANSLATION or changing of living saints then occur. Though the word RAPTURE does not appear in scripture, being a mere theological term which actually means “the catching away,” we hear the word RAPTURE used far more today than the word TRANSLATION, although both words mean the same! As certain as the scripture in the Psalms, as well as the prophets, declared the Holy One would be the Messiah, be crucified and raise again the third day and ascend into glory, likewise does the scripture also declare that one day a people will leave this world and meet the Lord in the air, I Thes. 4:17. Paul, being the first apostle to the church to receive fresh revelation on the subject of the resurrection in I Thes. 4:13-18 as well as I Cor. 15:51-57 which has caused Christian people through the ages to base their faith in such a hopeful event which one day will become a reality.
REVELATION COMFORTS CHURCH
In order to console and comfort the church who was now (54 A.D.) losing their Christian loved ones to the graveyard and the living saints no doubt being depressed, not fully understanding what will now happen to the body of their dead loved ones, seeing the first generation as well as all other generations since, felt they would be the generation to see the return of the Lord to set up his kingdom (his millennium reign of which he often spoke of), Paul is particularly impressed to begin this wonderful, fresh line of revelatory thought he has recently received from the Lord which should comfort them concerning their dead loved ones (I Thes. 4:13-18)!
A DARK SUBJECT
Before the year 54 A.D., the early church, which Paul writes at Thessolanica, no doubt felt because of certain statements made by Christ himself of which they did not have the full revelation, caused them to strongly believe Christ would return in their generation. Since their loved ones were now dying off, what would become of them since their death? Recall up until Paul’s fresh revelation came on the subject of the resurrection, which now is known to also include the TRANSLATION of the living saints, little was ever known concerning this mysterious subject of the dead! Throughout the Old Testament, God had only briefly dealt with such men as Job, David, Daniel and finally Christ himself, who gave very little light on this great dark subject which contained much hidden truth! For instance, until Paul and John’s revelation unto the church, very little was actually known concerning the resurrection other than the fact that in the last day God would raise the dead. Some Old Testament scriptures even seem to imply there would be only one resurrection in which both the saved and the wicked dead would be raised at the same time. However, since Paul and John’s revelation to the church, we know that is not the true teaching of the scripture seeing there will be one thousand years of time between the two resurrections! For more information on this, feel free to ask for our article THE MYSTERY OF THE RESURRECTION.
DEAD RAISED FIRST
Beginning with Paul’s revelation which he records in I Thes. 4:13-18, in order to console the church we hear him saying in verse 13 “. . . now concerning them which are asleep, I would not have you ignorant that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” Bear in mind the church up until this hour did not know Paul’s revelation on the subject nor did they know the revelation in its completed form which was later given to John on the Isle of Patmos in 96 A.D. better than 40 years from this time! In verse 14 Paul, reaching into the past to bring up a historical event, says if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, according to scripture (I Cor. 15:4) even so them also which sleep in Jesus — WILL GOD BRING WITH HIM! Verse 15 “. . . for this we say unto you (strictly by the revelation) by the word of the Lord” (remember what Paul is about to say, there is not one Old Testament scripture to back him up–it is fresh revelation straight from the Lord and comes to Paul strictly by a supernatural means of revealed faith). Continuing on, Paul addresses the living by saying, “we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not (in the least) prevent (nor hinder) them which are asleep” (in Jesus). Thus, we see Paul’s new revelation is–the living saints will in no way hinder, postpone or stall the coming forth of those who are asleep in Christ, because when that event goes into effect, note who it is raised first — it is the dead in Christ!
LIVING GENERATION AWAKENED FIRST
We are not here in this message discussing why the prophet to the age said, if people could only understand it even the rapture is already begun. I grant you scriptural wise, in order for there to be a catching away, those who are to be caught away will have to first be awakened with a message to the intimate fact that the event is just ahead. Why would God work so feverishly with one generation as he has in this one, causing a people to believe the event is so near when knowing all the time the generation would pass off the scene and the event would not be constituted until several generations later! No, God would not have any cause to awaken that generation to such a reality knowing they would all die off before it happened. God has dealt with this generation on the subject in a way he has never dealt with any previous generation concerning the “catching away.” Satan has taken the advantage in using certain statements not made clear by certain ones to confuse as much as possible the mind of the believer. Beloved, I may not be alive when it happens, but there is a generation of saints who will live to see it who will never die. Furthermore, I am aware, should I die tomorrow and you remain alive until that hour, you will not run off and leave me! Otherwise, we would have to destroy a lot of scripture, because Paul teaches in I Thes. 4:15 that those who are alive and remain unto that hour shall not prevent nor hinder them which are asleep in Christ seeing they will rise first and after that the living saints will be changed and together they will go to meet the Lord in the air.
TIME IS NO MORE FALSE TEACHINGS CAUSES ERROR OF SOME
There are certain characters today associated with this end time message who are openly declaring the rapture has already passed, yet these same characters are still here! Such a statement cannot help but remind us of what Paul declared concerning how Hymeneus and Philetus had erred concerning the truth by saying the resurrection had already passed and overthrew the faith of some (though not the elect). God does not permit the elect to ever be deceived because the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal — the Lord knoweth them that are his! 2 Tim. 2:17-19.
REQUIRING NO HELP
Now back to I Thes. 4:16 as we hear Paul say (by fresh revelation) “… 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!” Bear in mind, God will not need any mortal man to stand out there and call the dead from the earth when he personally brings them forth, such as a man in India who claims to be the incarnated Son of Man ordained to bring the dead out of the ground! Just remember, scripture plainly shows God won’t need any mortal or immortal man to help in this procedure. When our Lord Jesus arose from the dead early in the morning on that third day, he did not need any mortal human to stand over him calling him forth from the tomb! NO, an angel came down whose feet touched the earth and caused an earthquake which rolled the stone away from Christ’s tomb. Why was the stone rolled away, someone once asked me seeing that the glorified body of Christ could easily pass through the rock. Christ appeared to his puzzled disciples through a closed door that night after he arose from the dead. Why then should the stone need to be rolled away? Who, beloved I ask you, would have believed that Christ had risen from the dead if his tomb had remained sealed with some huge stone placed over the entrance and sealed with mortar–An act of sealing which had been done to make it virtually impossible for his disciples to steal away his body to make it appear he had risen from the dead in order to fulfill his own prophecy that he would raise again. The stone was rolled away to expose the empty tomb to all critics who would dare investigate the report that Christ was not there, but had risen!
RESURRECTION POWER IN CHRIST
Therefore, Christ having conquered death, hell and the grave, has the power of resurrection within him and one day not only will call forth from the dust of the earth all those who have died in him, but will also change those living who, by the baptism of the Holy Ghost according to Romans 8:11 are also in him! Paul declared, if that same Spirit which raised Christ from the dead dwell in you, that Spirit will also quicken your mortal body, even if you are a dead saint. That Spirit, according to Paul, will quicken their dead bodies in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye! Together with the living they shall be caught up in clouds to meet the Lord in the air. So shall we ever be with the Lord, Paul says. He completes his fresh revelation on the subject by saying, therefore comfort thee one another with these words.
TWO PHASES OF COMING
Recall, the second coming of Christ according to Paul’s revelation, is in two phases. Phase One, he appears in the clouds and calls forth his bride from the earth. Later, Christ returns to this earth with not only his bride saints, but saints of all ages. For too long people have believed when the hour arrives for the Lord God himself to descend into the clouds to call forth his awaiting bride church, that at this time his natural glorified feet touches he earth. Scripturally this is not true! His feet in the first phase of his second coming do not touch the earth or why would it be necessary for the saints to be caught up to meet him in the air! They could easily meet him right here on the earth. Thus, in the first phase of his second coming where he appears in the air only for the church, he does not descend to earth because it is not yet time for him to take up the kingdoms of the world into his own power. In the first phase of his second coming, Christ appears strictly to the bride, portrayed as a bridegroom.
CHURCH WORLD CAUGHT UNAWARE
This misunderstood phase of his second coming is also referred to as Christ appearing as a thief in the night. A statement which has confused many, causing them to think Christ will slip up on the bride church! NOT SO! Remember, Christ comes only as a thief to the unsuspecting church world who knows nothing by revelation about what is going on! The bride is anxiously awaiting his appearing. She is not caught unaware! It is only the church world who is spiritually asleep to this event and does not nor will they ever understand it! It is this group who he appears unto as a thief in the night. I say and intend to prove by the scripture that when that blessed hour arrives for the translation of the living saints as well as the change of the dead in Christ—this event will not catch the living revelated disciples asleep nor will it catch them spiritually ignorant as to his coming and the fulfillment of this great event in their lives! Yes beloved, by the use of two separate events in scripture, we intend to prove those to be translated, such as the bride, will not be caught asleep, but will know what is transpiring in that hour!
PART 2 – BIBLICAL CHARACTERS THROW LIGHT ON TRANSLATION
The Bible declares there are two other biblical characters who were taken from this earth (other than the Lord Jesus Christ) who never saw death. Enoch, before the flood and Elijah, during the period of the Law. Both men left this earth without dying. Believe it or not, both men also new what was going on! Most people are aware of the events, although ignorant as to what all transpired surrounding their strange disappearance from earth! Yet, if you will examine both of these separate events, you will see God never slipped up on either one of these two men and carried them out!
NOAH BUILDS BY FAITH
Hebrews 11:7, that great chapter of inspirational faith declares by faith Noah built an ark for the saving of his household. Beloved, the same kind of faith that got Enoch translated, led Noah to build a boat! Remember, Noah wasn’t sitting around one day when suddenly he came up with this fantastic notion to build a boat, feeling it was going to do something it had never done before. THAT IT WAS GOING TO RAIN! Does faith cause you to look out into the future and paint a picture of which you have no understanding? Not this kind of faith spoken of throughout Hebrews scripture is a supernatural, inspired act of revelation that causes men such as Noah to obey God!11! Heb. 11:7 plainly declares it was by faith (revelational, inspirational faith from God) which caused Noah to move with fear, obey God and build his boat. An act which proves it wasn’t Noah’s idea at all. God not only told Noah to build the ark but, did not even leave the specifications up to him how large the boat should be. God told him how many windows and how many doors to place in the ark, ONLY ONE! God even told him the kind of wood of which to build the boat and what to put in the cracks to keep water out. This kind of faith seen in the scripture is a supernatural, inspired act of revelation that causes men such as Noah to obey God!
ABRAHAM WALKS BY FAITH
When the Bible declares that by faith Abraham journeyed into a strange land, did that mean one day he suddenly grew tired of living around Ur of the Chaldees and suddenly he jumped up and moved out on faith? Is that the kind of faith which moved him? Is that the kind of faith picture you see in Hebrews 11 portrayed by all these Old Testament characters? It is important we know, because scripture declares Abraham is the father of the faithful and we, by revelatory faith, are children or seed of Abraham, meaning Abraham’s children have this same kind of faith dwelling in their bosom! It is important we understand what kind of faith which got Enoch translated. What kind of faith moved Abraham into Canaan, even showing him the direction in which to go? God told Abraham to get out of his country and away from his kin and come to a land which he would be shown. Hebrews declared he did all this by faith. It was inspirational, revelatory faith that moved Abraham. The same kind which moved Enoch and Noah to act. Had it been Abraham’s idea, he might have left but journeyed toward the north or east. However, since it was God’s idea, God told him which direction to go. See, it was revelatory or inspirational faith which moved or inspired everyone of those patriarchs. Thus, by it being revelatory faith, we know it had to be something which God spoke placing the revelation in the bosom of each patriarch.
NOT PRESUMPTUOUS FAITH
Realize this special kind of faith is never to be classified with presumptuous faith which we so often see among the gentile religious world. If Noah, by faith, built a boat and Abraham, by faith, left Mesopotamia and by inspirational faith all these Old Testament characters did their great acts. What do you suppose it was that one day took Enoch off this globe? Do you think Enoch was out walking one day and suddenly said to the Lord, I am so tired of living around here. I believe if you would just inspire my faith enough, I would not have to die. I could just up and leave this world. Isn’t that about the way modern evangelists have painted the picture! Another modern idea of Enoch being translated is this; He was living the best he knew how when he was out walking one day and God slipped up behind him and took him off the earth. Mystified Enoch never even knew what was going on! What are you doing Lord, where is the ground? Why, I must be going up! Is that the kind of faith you see taking place here?
ENOCH TRANSLATED BY FAITH
What does it mean Enoch was translated by faith and without faith it is impossible to please God? Furthermore, we are told all the just lives by this kind of faith and if any man draws back from walking or living in this kind of faith, God declares, my soul has no pleasure in him! Let us examine Enoch’s life in its true setting. Remember, we said God did not slip up on Enoch and take him away without him knowing what was happening nor will God slip up on the bride saints and translate them out either!
SEVENTH FROM ADAM
Enoch was 65 years old when he fathered a child who by inspiration he named Methuselah (Gen. 5:21-24). The Apostle Jude was inspired to record a prophecy carried down through the centuries of time in which Enoch, the seventh from Adam, had prophesied concerning the Lord’s coming. Note the beautiful type of the rapture shown in the life and faith of Enoch who prophesied concerning the Lord coming with all his saints and was later translated. Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, not the 8th as he should have been had Cain been counted in the lineage of Adam, but because he cannot be counted, this makes Enoch live in the 7th generation from Adam. In the 7th generation, Enoch witnessed mankind stooping into his lowest social and moral perverted state of living. Such a decrease in morality greatly agitated Enoch causing him to begin questioning God as to the outcome and end of this terrible situation. Seeing this godly attitude portrayed by Enoch, God uses him as a true type of the bride saint who is to be translated at the end of the 7th gentile church age. Just as Enoch was the 7th generation from the first man Adam and was translated, likewise, this would represent the Lord God who would come for his own at the close of the 7th church age of grace, a period which began as the Lord himself, being the second Adam from glory, became the beginning of a new creation. A new creation means the plan of redemption to redeem or renew back to God something which had been lost through the fall of the first Adam. All these things run in true type. I am fully aware you can project a type just so far, therefore never stretch it beyond its purpose or until it won’t stretch any further.
GOD’S CHOICE IN ENOCH
God, seeing Enoch’s heart, his attitude and motive as well as him being one who lived in the 7th generation and witnessed all this social evil now present, no doubt said, I will use that man. Remember, we are studying the kind of faith that translated Enoch in order to know the faith which will also translate the saints at the end of the 7th church age and what they too may expect around this setting. In order that God may leave on this earth a type of the raptured saints taken out at the end of the 7th church age, a prophecy was given by Enoch which was carried down through the ages, but could not be fulfilled until the very end of the 7th gentile church age when as the prophecy said, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon all, etc. . .(Jude 14-15).
At the age of 65, Enoch fathered a child who through inspiration was named Methuselah, a name which meant “when he is gone (meaning Methuselah) then it will come.” It what will come? God’s judgment would come. At first, God did not permit Enoch to know the full significance or impact of all that baby’s name carried. He only inspired him to name the child Methuselah, but knowing the meaning of the name and having no idea when the child might be taken, the knowledge of it at 65 began to fire Enoch up. Day by day, no doubt Enoch believed at any moment the child could be taken and that which the name represented could happen tomorrow. On and on, the baby grew until he reached manhood and still it hadn’t come, but it by no means discouraged Enoch. Aware of the reality of that name and constantly seeing the evil of the world growing steadily worse instead of better, it inspired his walk with God to become more dedicated. We are reminded of what Jesus said, as in the days of Noah so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man. Enoch is unaware that Methuselah will live to be the oldest man on earth, living almost one thousand years. Watching the years drift by until Methuselah is as large as his dad has by no means watered down the inspiration or revelation which caused Enoch to name the boy what he did. He still believes someday when he would come home and that boy was not around, it would mean God’s judgment would now come.
ENOCH PLEASED GOD
Enoch reaches 165 then 265 and Methuselah is still here, but each year and each century he lives he watches the evil grow continually worse. Yet, daily the revelation burned even brighter in his bosom. When my boy is gone then God’s judgment will come. such truth caused Enoch’s walk to become more dedicated until now he has the testimony that he pleases God. Heading somewhere toward his 365th year of walking with God, Enoch’s sincerity, loyalty and faithfulness is well pleasing to God. Did not Heb. 11:5 declare before his translation by faith that Enoch had the testimony he pleased God. How else could he please God other than by remaining loyal to the revelation in his bosom and standing steadfast, faithful and unmovable against the pressures and criticism as well as the opposition of his hour. At least God had someone down there he could put some confidence in. Here we need to read between the lines because scripture declares Enoch was translated by faith and inspirational revelation. Somewhere around 340 years of age perhaps the Lord said, I am going to give Enoch more revelation. No, Enoch wasn’t sitting out on a rock one day saying, I believe I could leave here if I could believe hard enough like some people supposedly in this message who say If I could believe strong enough some of the things the prophet said I believe I could leave here. You might as well stand in a wash tub and try to lift yourself.
MAKING IT DIFFICULT
It is most peculiar to me that the living are the ones who always want to make it so terribly difficult to be translated when your Bible declares it is so very simple for the dead to arise. If I had to do all the things certain people in this message feel you must do in order to be changed, I don’t know that I would rather not be dead when that moment arrived than to be among the living because scripture shows how very simple it will be for God to raise the dead. Believe me, He will have no more problem translating the living either. Watch the simple Bible picture. Enoch is not out somewhere straining his brain, imagining some sensational something that was unbelievable and impossible. No, instead he was simply enjoying living for God day by day. Now scripturalwise we are going to prove certain things to help remove much of the nonsense, the doubt and confusion collected in people’s minds concerning the translation because it was by faith Enoch was translated. By faith Noah knew the correct specifications to build the boat, what kind of wood to use and what substance to be used to fill the cracks to keep the water out. Yes, and what is more important, he even knew by inspired faith when time arrived for him to enter the ark. Now if you can see all those things were accomplished by inspirational faith, let us take a close look at Enoch who by inspired faith received a free air ride off the earth. Walking with God, cherishing the revelation in his bosom, being so loyal and steadfast and unmovable is the action that gave him the testimony that he pleased God BEFORE HIS TRANSLATION.
ENOCH INFORMS LOVED ONES
The day came and God gave him still further revelation. Enoch my son, as thou hast walked these many years faithful unto me and has greatly cherished the revelation I placed in the bosom concerning they son, I wish to inform thee the hour will come when thou shalt no longer be here. I have allowed thee to walk this way, unmovable, unchangeable, unfaltering, to leave thee as a testimony while the rest of humanity goes on its evil way. Seeing you have obediently lived this testimony before me and mankind, I will shortly come unto thee and thou shalt not die. Thou shalt tell thy family … Aren’t you stretching it somewhat, someone may say. Just follow me through the story and then form your conclusion. Thou shalt inform thy family, thou shalt inform thy son that when that day comes when I shall come for thee and thou art no longer here, they need not go looking for thee for thou shalt not be found. Isn’t it strange Heb. 11:5 declares Enoch, after the translation, was not found for God took him, showing somebody had to search for him in order to leave the report that they could not find him. Who went looking for him if he was not found? I don’t believe Methuselah or Enoch’s wife went looking. It was those critics or unbelievers who looked. Later we will prove by scripture it is always the critics who look and search. I see the day Enoch is now over 350 years old, sitting down with his wife and son saying, Wife you gave birth to Methuselah, you remember how the presence of the Lord inspired me to name the child. You know these 300 years since his birth we have lived faithful to that revelation. Now God has revealed even more to me about this thing. As far as myself is concerned, I will not be here when Methuselah goes, for God has informed me one of these days when I am walking in fellowship with him he will take me off this earth. I know now I will never die. When the day arrives and I don’t come home, don’t bother looking for me. You know I have always been faithful. I have never stayed away from home days at a time. I have always been home on time, therefore, when that hour arrives DO NOT come looking for me. Just let it be said the Lord took me!
CRITICS SEARCH FOR ENOCH
Finally the day arrives that God took him. I don’t know where he was or what he was doing, but when he didn’t come home for dinner or supper, no doubt Methuselah looked at his mother and said, he is gone. Enoch’s absence on the streets days later caused people to ask Methuselah where is your daddy? The Lord took him, was his reply. What do you mean the Lord took him? The Lord simply took him, therefore he never died. Nonsense, replied the astonished unbelieving critics. Days went by and still Enoch wasn’t seen around. I can hear those unbelieving critics–we will go and investigate, men don’t just disappear, your dad has to be around here somewhere! Remember, something happened to leave the testimony Enoch was not found. Roaming over mountains, examining every cave, the critics could not find him. They had to search for him because they did not believe the testimony that God had translated him. Heb. 11:5 declares he was not found. I can’t see Methuselah or Enoch’s wife wringing their hands over the criticism when they knew he had gone to be with the Lord without dying.
METHUSELAH LIVES ON
What about Methuselah, remember what his name signified! Methuselah was 300 years old when his father was translated. Methuselah was well over 800 years old when his grandson Noah received a revelation to build a boat. The hour was fast approaching when destruction of the world was on the horizon. Noah received his revelation and, moved by fear, began hacking and chopping away. The 120 years Noah and his son worked on the boat, Methuselah was still alive on the scene. The very year Methuselah reached 969 years of age, the ark was completed. That year Methuselah died and Noah and his family moved into the ark. No, Methuselah did not die in the flood, he died to fulfill the revelation of his name. When death finally did overtake the oldest man in the world and he had left the scene, judgment came. The year he died to fulfill the meaning of his name, that is the year God’s judgment fell. Noah, his family and all the animal kingdom of that hour entered into the ark, the skies suddenly turned black with black clouds rolling in from the west bringing God’s judgment. Beloved, dark clouds, though they are spiritual clouds, not atmospheric clouds, are on our horizon today also! With Methuselah now dead, God sends his judgment and for 40 days and 40 nights God’s judgment hit this world in the form of a flood of water. Everything in God’s program always runs true to continuity!
SECOND BIBLE CHARACTER
Let’s cross the flood and travel hundreds of years into the law age where we pick up our second man named Elijah, who is to be translated. Did Elijah know what was going on before his catching away or did God simply sneak up on him like people think God will do to the bride saints? Our story picks up with the showdown on Mt. Carmel near the close of Elijah’s ministry. I want to begin here in order to bring in Elisha and show you a beautiful type whereby we may see how everything is running in true continuity.
In the Mt. Carmel showdown, (I Kings 18:38) God answered by fire and consumed Elijah’s sacrifice which resulted in Elijah having the heads of 450 Baal prophets cut off and thrown in the river. Word of this event reached Jezreel, the town where Jezebel, Israel’s queen lived. Hearing what happened to her prophets, she sent Elijah word saying, tell that old man by tomorrow at this time I will have his head. Elijah received the news, but not having any more “thus saith the Lord” at the moment to guide him, he did not know what to do, therefore he ran for his life! Such an event does not mar Elijah’s image in the least. He is still God’s prophet. It merely shows Elijah, without his anointing of thus saith the Lord, is like any other human being and would act like anyone else under a similar circumstance. God had not informed his servant what was going to happen after the 450 Baal prophets’ heads had been cut off. Here is where his revelation had ended and brother, Elijah is strictly on his own. Therefore, he took off south and arrived in Beersheba tired and exhausted where an angel provided him with bread. With that meal in his stomach and strength to go on, he traveled still a little farther and again fell asleep exhausted only to have the angel again awaken him with still another meal. This style of eating carried Elijah 40 days into the wilderness. Traveling only five miles per day, after 40 days would have placed him quite a distance into the wilderness. Hiding in a cave in the back side of the desert, Elijah was asked by the Lord, what are you doing here? Had God told Elijah to come here? NO! Elijah, fearing for his life like any man would, has come to this spot strictly on his own. A woman is after him. He has had 450 men killed, could he not handle one woman? It wasn’t the woman Elijah was worried about, he could have easily handled her, but there were quite a few military men who wouldn’t risk their lives to save 450 Baal prophets whereas they would gladly risk their lives for their queen. This is what disturbed Elijah, not merely the woman herself.
RETURN AND ANOINT 3 MEN
Therefore, after traveling 40 days to reach this cave, he hears the Lord say, Elijah I want you to return. On your way back you will anoint Elisha to serve in they house, to minister to thee (keep the house clean and such). Further, I want you to anoint Hazael to be King over Syria and anoint Jehu to be King over Israel. Although God commissioned Elijah to anoint all three men, scriptures show he only anointed Elisha and it was Elisha who in turn later anointed Hazael, King over Syria, and Jehu, King over Israel. God has told Elijah to anoint Elisha. Can you imagine Elijah leaving the cave pondering in his mind, who on earth is Elisha I am suppose to anoint? He did not have to ponder such a question for he knew who Elisha was. Somewhere their paths had crossed. Moreover, Elisha knew Elijah. Just like when the Lord Jesus, walking the shores of Galilee, called the sons of Zebedee saying, Come and I will make you fishers of men. Also, when he reached the seat of customs, there sat a tax collector named Matthew and Jesus is again heard to say Come and follow me. Don’t you think Christ knew who these characters were as well as they knew who he was, for already he had testified enough in those Jewish synagogues around the Sea of Galilee that his fame had gone forth. On that basis, these men, one by one, followed him.
ELISHA CALLED TO MINISTRY
With that in mind, watch Elijah leaving the cave and heading back. He knows exactly where Elisha is plowing his field with 12 yoke of oxen. What did Elijah do? Without speaking a word, Elijah walked up behind Elisha and merely struck him on the shoulder and kept walking. Looking at it from a carnal standpoint, you might see Elisha saying, Friend, what do you mean by that? No beloved, here is a beautiful type of how the Lord Jesus in later years would call forth his own disciples. Elijah has struck Elisha on the shoulder and we hear Elisha saying, wait until I go and bid mom and dad goodbye and I will follow thee. Elijah’s answer was, what is that to me and kept walking.
TESTING FOR REVELATION
Elijah approaches Elisha in this fashion to see if Elisha has within him a revelation of what is transpiring. Is he aware God has been dealing with him or to just what God has called him into? Watching Elijah move out of sight, Elisha dashes home, says goodbye to his parents, rushes back into the field, tears up his plow for wood to burn and sacrifices his oxen unto the Lord. Undoubtedly, somewhere before this event, Elisha has received a dream or vision because he certainly knows what is going on. He certainly is aware Elijah is God’s prophet of the hour and no doubt has in the past desired to work with him and here is his chance. No doubt, through some route God has shown the young man that when Elijah approaches him, it is his signal to drop everything and follow him.
ACTIVITY ON TRANSLATION DAY
Days swiftly pass as Elijah’s ministry is rapidly closing. Therefore, turn into 2 Kings 2 where we see time for God’s prophet has arrived when he too is to be caught away. Such an event as we are about to study, also sets forth in type the later catching away of the Lord Jesus Christ. Watch the setting unfold. The day arrives for the Lord to take Elijah away and may I again say just as with Enoch, God did not slip up on Elijah unaware. Having read this story, no one could say Elijah did not know what was going on. Elijah and Elisha together approached Gilead where Elijah said to his servant Elisha, you stay here for the Lord has called me to Bethel. Now, watch that operation of revelation in Elisha’s bosom as he says, as surely as the Lord liveth I shall not leave you. In other words, there is no way you will get away from me today!
ELISHA REVELATED ALSO
Approaching Bethel, a very important town in Israel’s history, we note a school of prophets or some Hebrew seminary students are shown approaching the two men and note what they begin to say. Their remarks directed to Elisha are, knoweth thou not this day the Lord will take away thy head from thee. What was Elisha’s answer? I know it, hold your peace! Now you tell me how Elisha knew that. God had been talking to him. I know that, Elisha said, don’t tell me anymore. Again at Bethel, Elijah urges Elisha to remain behind saying, the Lord has called me to Jericho. NO SIR, says Elisha, I am not about to leave you. We note he stays close to his side. Arriving at Jericho, I want you to again note what happened. Another Bible school has been erected at Jericho and a group of 50 seminary students from the school of prophets there in Jericho approached the two saying to Elisha identically the same thing he heard at Bethel. Isn’t it strange, Bethel was the spot where Jacob lay down one night to sleep and receive a great revelation from God. Therefore, Bethel later becomes an excellent place to build a Bible school where God’s presence once was. Do you catch the point? They are building on the virtue of the past. Reaching Jericho, they see another Bible school. Jericho also has a great sentimental spot seeing this is where the nation of Israel under Joshua crossed into the land of Canaan centuries earlier and the walls of Jericho fell down. Again we see them building a Bible school on the spot where virtue in the past has been. At Jericho we again see the seminary students coming out and what are they saying? Beloved, what they are saying lets me know in a general type as to what all the denominations are preaching today concerning the second coming of the Lord and the rapture of the church. In a sense, everyone of them are being inspired and enthused by it. Because we are living in that generation when it is going to happen, yet I am sure of one thing, everyone isn’t going in the rapture, only those who by faith please the Lord.
These seminary students at Jericho walked straight up to Elisha on the edge of town and repeat what he has already heard at Bethel. Elisha’s answer is the same, I know it, hold your peace. Again we see Elijah saying to Elisha, son you stay here, the Lord has called me beyond the Jordan River. Now we see not only Elijah and Elisha, but also two different schools of theological students are aware this is the day Elijah is to be taken.
WHY JORDAN CROSSED
Why did Elijah need to cross the Jordan River to ascend to glory? Remember, he is leaving the land of the living by the way of the east side, the same as the Lord Jesus who walked out of Jerusalem through the Eastern Gate and over to the Mt. of Olives, east of Jerusalem to ascend to glory. Elijah had to cross the Jordan whereas the Jordan is a type of death and his crossing the Jordan River was a type of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, it goes to show, as Elisha followed Elijah across to receive that power that Elijah had, he types the disciples who followed Christ remaining with him before and after his crucifixion and even followed him over to the Mt. of Olives as he ascended up and they too were to receive his power. After that, the Holy Ghost had come upon them. Later, we will see where these Bible students at Jericho dub their own revelation. The scripture shows these students followed them afar off because they desired to see what would actually happen. Elijah and Elisha finally reach the bank of the Jordan and Elijah struck the water with his mantle and it parted. No doubt those students said, did you see that, it happened again. Having reference to the time the Jordan River parted for the crossing of Joshua and the Israelites in the sight of Jericho centuries earlier. Stepping out onto the other side of the Jordan River as the waters close back, Elijah is that perfect type crossing the Jordan, of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Reaching the other side, Elijah says to Elisha, what would you have me to do for you? Master, says Elisha, grant that I may receive a double portion of that same spirit that rests on thee. You have asked a hard thing son, nevertheless, if it comes to pass that you see me when I go (showing Elijah knew all about his going, he had seen it by revealed faith exactly as had Enoch centuries earlier) if you see me go you know your request is granted. Here is that beautiful type of where the Lord Jesus took his disciples over on the Mt. of Olives and just before his feet began to lift off the earth he told his disciples, be sure you stay in Jerusalem until you be endued with power from on high for not many days hence shall ye be endued with power and ye shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem etc. Elijah crossing the Jordan had to set a true type of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as he now ascends from the east side of Jordan out of the land of the living onto the other side of death. Recall as the children of Israel centuries earlier had crossed the Jordan, they too had to die to the old ways of their life and to all old influences of Egypt. They had to die to its memory, to its influence and to its power.
ELIJAH CAUGHT UP
Elisha walking alongside Elijah, not permitting him for a second to be out of his sight, suddenly looked up into the sky and saw a fiery chariot descending like a streak of lightning and it parted the two. As those fiery horses whirled and Elijah was caught up, that chariot began ascending back into the air. Can’t you just see broken hearted Elisha standing there with tears in his eyes just like the 120 who watched Jesus go up. Elijah, ascending in the air, looks down and sees the little fellow standing there, his mantle fell from him upon the ground at Elisha’s feet. Watching him until he was out of sight like the disciples had watched Christ, Elisha, being a perfect type of those disciples who had gone to the upper room and received their power at Pentecost, reaches down and picks up that mantle of power which had been on his master. Ten days after Jesus ascended to glory from the east of the city of Jerusalem, the disciples also pick up the mantle of power.
ELISHA TYPES DISCIPLES
Reaching down on the ground, Elisha picks up the mantle, a type of the Holy Ghost power falling on the 120 at Pentecost after Christ’s ascension, for recall Jesus had said, for the things I do shall ye do also and greater! Coming back to the Jordan River, Elisha who has received a double portion of power said, where is the Lord God of Elijah and with that he smote the waters and once again they parted. On this other side of Jordan, that seminary group of Jericho still watching, saw Elisha strike the water and it parted for him. No doubt again bug eyed they probably said, did you see that, he did the same thing Elijah did! Was that not the scene of the church shortly after Christ’s ascension? Were they not doing the same things Christ did? Crossing back over the Jordan, Elisha now alone heads for Jericho and comes upon these same seminary students, only now they are doubting their own revelation as we hear them say, we are 50 in number who volunteer, being in excellent shape, as a searching party to hunt for Elijah! We will comb the mountains in search for him. Perhaps the Lord took him up and accidentally dropped him on some mountaintop! Looking at them as to the pitiful way they are treating their revelation, no doubt Elisha says, men you are wasting your time, you will not find him out there anywhere, the Lord took him.
STUDENTS DOUBT REVELATION
Isn’t that just like a denominational spirit, doubting the word of God! Only a short time ago they are the very men who ran to inform Elisha the Lord was going to take his head away that very day and now they doubt their own revelation. They actually wanted to look for Elijah to see if it really had happened. Insisting, pleading and begging to go to find out if it did really happen. I can see Elisha hanging his head, telling the unbelievers to go on. Fifty men in search for Elijah crossed the Jordan, only this time the waters didn’t part and for three days and three nights they combed those mountains, but Elijah was not to be found. Therefore, just as in the case of Enoch, somebody had to go looking for Elijah in order to leave the testimony to critics and unbelievers that he was not found. What good would it do for Elisha to simply declare Elijah was not there and that God had taken him. Meanwhile back in Jericho, the elders of the city approach Elisha, a type of the early church in action, telling him Jericho was a nice place, a summer resort with good vegetation, but had bad water. Other than smiting the Jordan to cross back over, here is one of Elisha’s first miracles performed. Bring me a new cruze of salt. It was bought to Elisha and it was cast into the water thus healing the water at Jericho. (A type of the church in action after the ascension of Christ once they had received power at Pentecost)
TRANSLATION TYPICAL CONVERSATION
Elisha remains in Jericho a few days until the searching party returns and the word goes throughout Jericho and surrounding areas that Elijah was not to be found. In order to show this discussion had been on everyone’s lips, watch the following scene. Elisha now leaves Jericho traveling north, no doubt headed for home. as he walked out of town, an insulting, disrespectful jeering group of kids began to say, go on up old bald head, go on up. What the kids were actually saying, if you think you are a prophet, why don’t you do the same thing, go on up old bald head, let’s see you go up too. Not only does this show Elijah’s translation had become a conversation piece in every home and school around, it also showed the disobedience and disrespect among the children of the hour. Some people have thought Elisha cursed these children and stood there until two she bears came out of the woods and devoured them. I don’t believe any human being could have been so cruel, especially a prophet of God. Undoubtedly, this gifted prophet is heading north out of Jericho when these kids began trailing him, poking fun, agitating and aggravating him with these jeering, slurry remarks, if you think you are a prophet, why do you not go on up too, old bald head. No doubt they trailed him northward still jeering and laughing when he finally turned and said, may the Lord God of Israel curse you kids. Now get away and leave me alone. By this time, no doubt, he had gone over the next hill out of sight when the two she bears came out of the woods and tore 42 of these kids to pieces. Surely that now lets the youth especially around Jericho know not to insult the man of God. Forty-two children had died, but Elisha wasn’t standing there enjoying such a cruel scene. No human prophet could have stood that.
CHRIST AND DISCIPLES PORTRAYED
God has put forth some beautiful types of the translation which will transpire at the end of the seventh church age. Question, did Elisha know Elijah was going? Did Elisha know when he was to be taken? Beloved, Elijah even knew by inspired faith where to go in order to be taken up, did he not. Jesus even knew the day he was going to leave this earth, did he not? That is why he took those disciples over on the Mt. of Olives on this certain day at this very exact hour and was giving them their last exhortation, telling them not to leave Jerusalem until they had been endued with power from on high when his feet began to leave the ground. Yes, God has set a beautiful type of the church in action of power as Elisha who had followed Elijah eastward across Jordan, picked up the mantle and a double portion of power fell on him. Likewise, did not the church after the day of Pentecost begin to do the same things Christ did? All this we say to prove a point. These two men, Enoch and Elijah, were to individuals translated to set a type of God’s plan which would be in the consummation of the ages when not only one person would be taken from earth without dying, but there would be many taken from this earth. Whenever that hour does occur, you may rest assured there will be some mortal living saints on this earth who also will have some spiritual revelation in their bosom as the word of revealed faith at that moment is going to be for further instructions concerning their translation.
PART 3 – BENEFITS OF BODIES OF TWO ADAMS – HOW BODIES BROUGHT FORTH
Looking still farther into this revelation of Paul’s concerning the condition of the fleshly bodies of the dead saints who will be raised up in the resurrection, we hear Paul telling the Corinthian church beginning with I Cor. 15:42 that the dead body sown into the ground was sown in corruption, but would be raised in incorruption. Sown in dishonor, but would be raised in glory; sown in weakness, but raised in power; sown a natural body, but raised a spiritual body (though never forget, that spiritual body will still remain flesh). There is a natural fleshly corruptible body and there is a spiritual (fleshly, glorified) body.
Beginning with I. Cor. 15:45 let’s explore from a biblical standpoint Paul’s line of thought concerning these two individual bodies, first a look at the human fleshly body which we all received after the similitude of Adam once he had fallen, however, in the resurrection or translation that body will take on the nature of the spiritual fleshly body after the second Adam. For, bear in mind, when redemption was purchased at Calvary it was twofold, not only did it include the spirit of man it also included the mortal corrupt body of man and though man’s spirit would immediately be changed at the new birth, an act of being born again, that fleshly body which was also purchased would have to await its redemption and be changed either in the resurrection or the translation. Thus, the complete redemptive program of God, being twofold, cannot be complete until after the resurrection as Paul so clearly brings out telling the Roman church in Rom. 8:23-26 how the whole creation is groaning and travailing for deliverance. Yes, and even we ourselves who (already) have received the first fruits of the spirit as our down payment are now waiting the completion of the transaction, the adoption or the redemption of our body. For we were saved by (or in this) hope, implying our human body was also included in that purchased price. Now in I Cor. 15, Paul discussed the corrupt body which went into the earth that must be redeemed and changed which Paul declares will be raised in power and in the likeness of Christ’s own glorified fleshly body. Now we hear him declare in verse 49, as we have already borne the image of the earthy, through the power of the resurrection (or translation) we will also bear the image of the heavenly. Remember, according to verse 47 the image of the heavenly is (perfection) after the order of the second man who was the Lord of heaven.
BEARING IMAGE OF EARTHLY
What Paul is saying concerning the image of the earthly that we have already borne is, since the horrible fall which involved both Adam and Eve, mankind in his physical makeup has taken on a total earthy identity, an identity that could never have been applied unto mankind had Adam and Eve only remained in their true original state of being and in fellowship with God. Recall, in every respect their bodies were created perfect. Death did not dwell in them. In such a perfect state of being as Adam and Eve originally were before the fall, there was absolutely nothing in or about their makeup which would ever indicate anywhere in the future they would ever need to be changed. Why? Because they were already perfect and would have forever remained so had they only remained in that true beautiful fellowship with God and not fallen. Thus, always remember in the final analysis the purpose of God’s redemption (including both spirit and body) is always God’s method of restoring something to its original state of being. That is where the resurrection and translation fits into God’s program. Remember it is only the body that is changed in either the resurrection or translation, because the spirit man was already changed at the new birth, the body has to await its redemption.
MAN CREATED EARTHY
While it is true the scripture does teach the first man Adam was of the earth, earthy while the second man Adam was the Lord himself from glory (verse 47). Yet, we must never forget when God originally created that first man Adam, he created him not only perfect, but he also made him to be earthy, because God intended for man to rule this planet. Before sin entered the picture and Adam fell, it was not the original intention that Adam would live on the earth some hundreds of years and then take his flight on to some distant planet to become some superman! NO! Adam’s fleshly body in the beginning was made perfect in every aspect from the dust of the earth. The earthman was in complete unbroken fellowship with God, having no death or sickness dwelling in his bloodstream. He would have had the assurance of forever remaining in that eternal existence with God had sin never entered the picture. As time progressed forward Adam would have lived on eternally in that very perfect state of being. Not only that, every offspring that God would have presented to Adam and Eve would likewise have bore the same identical image and likeness of Adam in perfection, also living in that state of being, eternally, never ever having any necessity of some physical change in their body or given a better position because Adam had been made the very creature to rule this planet.
WOMAN SHARED EQUALITY
In actuality he was “God” not unto his own kind, but unto the animal world. Remember, we speak God in the minor capacity and not the major. In that hour before the fall, it must be remembered that woman also shared in equality with man. However, since the fall, for her role in the transgression as punishment for the act of sin, Gen. 3:16 shows woman lost or forfeited her equality and can never in her fleshly human lifetime ever be equal with man again. I know we are living in the last hour when Satan is trying desperately to push womanhood back into that role of equality and woman may succeed in forcing the courts, the law and the nations to yield and accept her in an equal capacity with man, but the problem is God will never accept her in that role because he is the one who cursed her! It was her fleshly life he cursed, therefore, in that sense she will remain cursed until she is changed from mortal or changed from this fleshly life into immortality. This is not stated to degrade Christian womanhood whatsoever. Nevertheless, such things as Equal Rights in all walks of life lets us know we are living at the end of human history when the devil is coming forth with his great surge of antichrist spirit. It is working feverishly in the political, ecclesiastical and every walk of society today. It has to be that way in order to lead humanity to deception and destruction.
SPIRIT MAN BORE GOD’S IMAGE
Yet I repeat, before the fall both Adam and the woman were not only created perfect, they also shared equality as well. Though man was of the earth earthy, his body was never formed with the intention of ever having to be redeemed. The spirit man Adam was originally created to have mutual contact with this earth, thus he was later given an earthly body in which to dwell. The spiritual being that Adam first existed as (Gen. 1:26-28) was placed into this perfect fleshly, earthly body formed in Gen. 2:7 to have contact with his earthly surroundings. Note, it was not Adam’s flesh which bore God’s image and likeness, it was only the spirit man (created in Gen. 1:26-28) who lived inside that perfect, earthly body who was the offspring of God. The earthly, fleshly body was formed by God only to give a home the spiritual man who at first when created in Gen. 1:26-28 was created with both male and female attributes within him and until the separation of those female attributes from the male attributes into another body, they lived together in perfect harmony in that one fleshly male body until the hour arrived when in order for them to fulfill their commission (Gen. 1:28) to multiply, replenish and subdue the earth together, God removed the feminine attributes from the male and placed them in a separate fleshly body, only designed differently to serve her role in motherhood (Gen. 2:21-25). The spiritual being, Adam, was commissioned to multiply, subdue and rule the planet, bringing everything under subjection to God’s divine plan long before he (they) was even placed in a fleshly body. Yet, we know that plan was disrupted by Satan and was never permitted to be carried out. However, one day after the resurrection it shall be.
FLESH TOOK DEATH PENALTY
When Adam fell, it was only his earthly flesh which after the fall could no longer bear anything but strictly an earthly image that took on the penalty of death. Human flesh now able to only bear that earthly image took into the human bloodstream the attributes of imputed sin which was also passed on into all their human offsprings, making it now totally impossible for any fleshly human being to ever be born in perfection or bear any of that heavenly image man first had. Therefore, God says there is no good in fleshly man, none is righteous (perfect) no not one. Everyone born of woman took on that total image of the earthy.
ANOTHER ADAM NEEDED
Linking up all these scriptures together and examining them in their proper perspective we can now begin to see why it was of necessity that there should come a redeemer (a fleshly man) into the world. However, in order for him to bear the image of the heavenly, he would have to enter into the human race through a different route other than sex because if he came the sex route he too would have introduced into his bloodstream the attributes of the fallen Adam: death, sin, sickness, etc.
BEARING SEPARATE IMAGE
Paul now refers to that second Adam (the perfect man Redeemer) as being the Lord of Glory who bore (for us) the image of the heavenly. Watch carefully as Paul differentiates between these two men, the first and second Adam who bore separate images. The second fleshly man Adam, bearing the image of the heavenly called Jesus the Christ was produced from a perfect created seed of man and a perfect created egg of woman by the Holy Ghost (the Father) and was born of virgin birth from the womb of woman; born without the usual act of sex not to accomplish on this earth what the first Adam in his original state was placed here to do. No, Jesus was not virgin born from woman as a perfect man-child, growing up into perfect manhood to milk cows, ride horses or any of these other things the first Adam was required to do. ABSOLUTELY NOT! As a matter of fact, the second Adam, Jesus the Lord of glory who bore the image of the heavenly (which the first Adam lost) was born on this earth to do just the opposite. HIS MISSION WAS TO UNDO EVERYTHING THE FIRST ADAM HAD BROUGHT UPON THE HUMAN RACE AS WELL AS THE ENTIRE PLANET ITSELF THROUGH THE FALL AND TO UNDO ALL THAT REQUIRED THE LORD OF GLORY HIMSELF TO BECOME THE SECOND ADAM. The first Adam was made flesh to rule the planet while the second Adam was made flesh through the virgin birth without a sex act to redeem the earth. Here we see the two different Adams in their role of bearing the image of both earthly and heavenly.
PERFECTION DWELT IN FIRST ADAM
Thus reading between the lines Paul says, because of that fall of mankind, through our natural birth we were able to bear nothing but the image of the earthly, the only image Adam could present to his offspring because of the fall and note it is cursed. Praise God, because of that second Adam we shall also one day bear the image of the heavenly, meaning we will bear that perfection shown forth by Christ the second Adam the lord of glory, perfection which once dwelt in that first Adam.
RETURN LOST IMAGE
Therefore Paul, through the resurrection or translation, is showing the purpose of God with that second man Adam was to give back to us the lost image of the heavenly. We get it back through the second Adam. Although we look forward to that day when we can proudly bear that perfection or image of the heavenly through either the resurrection or translation, we must never forget what man’s heavenly purpose was in being first created and that was man in his original perfect state of being (back with his heavenly image) was made to contact with the earth and rule over it. Therefore man was made for earth, not heaven although through his heavenly (perfect) image he could on earth fellowship heaven freely. Know this, man after his total perfection will then fulfill his original ordained role. Where? On earth not in heaven.
PRESENT FLESH CAN’T INHERIT KINGDOM
Verse 50 should show us how God feels about the way mankind misused his sex act for his own pleasure once becoming a fallen creature bearing only the earthly image. “Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood (born of woman) cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither does corruption inherit incorruption.” What did Paul mean by this statement that no flesh and blood could inherit the kingdom of God? He simply means flesh in its present sinful state of corruption as it was born of woman cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Although it is true man’s flesh was redeemed also at Calvary, it must first undergo a change either in the resurrection or translation. It is totally impossible for anyone to inherit eternal life depending strictly upon the works of the flesh (which God hates) as being a basis to merit salvation. Many evangelical circles in the religious field have interpreted this passage thus, since flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God and seeing it is only the inner man who (they think) will inherit the kingdom of God, they take the position that in the world to come that man will more or less exist much like a spirit being such as angels do and his earthly body will be completely out of the picture. That is not the picture Paul is presenting because that would be completely contrary to what he had taught in other places. In Romans, he shows where your body will be in the picture, though it has nothing to do with your salvation, seeing it too must be redeemed. Flesh and blood in its present state cannot inherit the kingdom of God until God changes it. We cannot get into the Kingdom of God depending solely on the merits of the flesh to place us there. Nevertheless, if we have experienced the new birth, we must never forget our earthly body is destined also to be there as is so clearly taught in Romans 8, seeing it was also in the purchased price and also awaits redemption. We must depend entirely upon the merits of the new birth constituted through the redemptive work of Christ at Calvary. Nevertheless, that does not annul the fact that our earthly bodies are promised to be there also.
PART 4 – ORDER OF RESURRECTION
(1) The Shout (Message)
(2) The Trump
(3) Dead Raised
(4) Living Changed
Paul apparently has a different purpose in mind when writing to the Thessalonians than when writing to the Corinthians concerning the resurrection. We note in his writing to the Thessalonians who were apparently a little discouraged concerning their dead loved ones, Paul begins in I Thes. 4:16 giving the full sequence of the order of the resurrection, first it began with a shout and second the trump of God which raises the dead, etc. Whereas, with the Corinthians who need only a little reassurance, he did not begin with the shout, but instead with the trump of God (I Cor. 15:51) which the dead hears and come forth.
RESURRECTION AROUND FINAL WEEK
It is vital we note also in Daniel 12:2 that somewhere around the time Daniel’s final 70th prophetic week is set in motion, the archangel stands up for the people of Israel (Rev. 12:7-17) because Israel (under the antichrist) will enter into a time of trouble (Matt. 24:15-22) such as they (as a nation) never have before seen. According to Dan. 12:2, there is to be a resurrection of gentile people who have called on the name of the Lord. When the angel informed Daniel all that he did in Chapter 12, a Chapter which incorporates Revelation, Chapters 7, 12 and 14. Daniel nor any other Jew had any idea a gentile would ever call on the name of the Lord. Although Hosea, Amos, and Isaiah had prophesied concerning it, it wasn’t until Paul’s hour that the true revelation on these Old Testament prophecies concerning the gentile church which had remained a hidden mystery was now revealed (Eph. 3:2-6).
Thus, around the time Daniel’s 70th week begins, there is to be a resurrection of the dead. Paul in I Thess. 4 presents that order. First the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout. Don’t look upon the Lord as descending in some visible, corporeal form, because it is not portrayed that way at all. The Bible shows many pictures of Christ when the Lord Jesus finally leaves the mercy seat where he now sits interceding, as shown in Rev. 5, with a sealed scroll in his right hand, a scroll which incorporates the redemptive names of the bride church of all ages. Christ in this scene is depicted in a twofold manner. (1) Not only did he remain seated on the mercy seat throne, but (2) he is also shown as a Lamb opening the seals on the merits that he had been a slain lamb on earth. When finally he does leave that throne after having interceded for every name that makes up the bride church, once they have all come in and have completely fulfilled their role as God intended, the next pictorial picture seen of Christ, he is shown on earth in Rev. 10:1-2 as a gigantic angelic spirit form being, holding his scroll now completely opened, shouting TIME SHALL BE NO MORE! His coming was to release the seven mysterious thunders to the bride church only, shortly before he takes her off the earth.
SHOUT WAS A MESSAGE
Thus, in Paul’s order of the resurrection, the shout comes first. The shout is not to benefit the dead saints, but the living saints. The trump, blasted by the archangel Gabriel, got the attention of the dead. The shout explained by Bro. William Branham is a message sent forth to these living people to awaken and shake them out of their Babylonian traditions, placing their faith back into the revealed truth, sometime before the trump is sounded to raise the dead in Christ. For too long, denominational religion has looked upon this setting as a shout, the sound of a trump, the dead in Christ raising, and the living being changed, all in a period of less than a minute. I grant you, when the dead in Christ are raised and the living are changed, each group in their order will be changed immediately, but the sequence of this order itself requires far more time than that. The shout is a message to the living which precedes the sound of the trump of God which raises the dead. God had to first send that shout or message into the earth to do something to awaken that living element of people out of their religious sleep and slumbering attitude and get them straightened up and aware of the event that is just ahead. The living element needed their eyes opened and their spiritual ears tuned to this event in order that shortly before the translation when those thunders are definitely to be sounded they will be in spiritual shape to hear them. Remember the last trump of I Cor. 15:52 is the identical trump recorded in I Thes. 4:16 which raises the dead first. In the Corinthian letter, Paul simply didn’t mention the shout which comes first. Imagine had there not been a shout at the end of the age to awaken the sleeping virgins, nothing to disturb them from slumber or awaken them to world conditions or refresh their thinking and understanding of the scriptures and they had continued to drift on in time totally unaware of anything about to happen, when suddenly the dead came forth. God would have absolutely caught the living element by surprise! At best, our reaction may still be one of surprise, nevertheless, when that hour arrives God will be doing something in the spiritual bosom of the living, whereby they won’t walk into that hour totally unaware of what is taking place. Like Enoch and Elijah, who both knew the moment to take that walk and where to meet the Lord, likewise will this end time element of people.
HOLY GHOST COURTS CHURCH
Why? Because God somewhere would have said something that had spiritually awakened them and they are now in a progressive revelation and under spiritual leadership of the Holy Ghost. It is Christ’s way of courting the living element. Christ in spirit form has courted the church down through the ages. He, in spirit form (the Holy Ghost), has made love, wooed and talked to the church, yet in these last days before the total windup, he is going to court her in a fashion she has never been courted before. There is nothing the living can do to assist or hinder the resurrection of the dead, because once that archangel, Gabriel, blows that trump, instantaneously everyone ordained to come forth will come forth from the dust of the earth (Dan. 12:2). May I remind you, the spirits of those dead Christians who are now with the Lord knows far more about when Christ shall return to resurrect their dead bodies than we living do. The trump sounds and the dead come forth THEN, Paul says, we which are alive and remain shall be changed. No, the living will not be caught by surprise or be ignorant to the progress as to what God is doing. Many will say, but the prophet to the age declared God will have to do something. Sure, God has to do something and the beauty of it is, HE WILL, but if our spiritual understanding has not been awakened to the reality of what God in His scriptures is doing this very hour, WE WILL NEVER HEAR THOSE MYSTERIOUS THUNDERS OR ANYTHING ELSE. That is why Satan is brainwashing and wooing the people to sleep to get them away from the scriptures which teach us how to conduct and prepare our self. It is the Bible which says he will perfect the living bride church (not those dead in Christ) by the washing of the water by the word.
PERFECTION FOR LIVING
Perfection is not for the dead remnant, it is for the living remnant who is ordained to be living at the moment when the change takes place. By divine revelation, those people will stand in every verse of scripture of the New Testament, therefore the shout or message is saying to the living, WAKE UP! GET YOUR EARS IN TUNE WITH THE WORD BECAUSE YOU ARE MOVING TOWARD THE CLIMAX! The living hear the shout, but the dead hear the arch angel with the trump and come forth. Certainly, if you had no idea what was taking place and suddenly deceased loved ones began appearing, you would be greatly surprised. Yet, when that hour transpires and all scriptures have been consummated, whatever God does in those thunders once he has left the mercy seat and is pictured in Rev. 10 as that gigantic spirit being with the scroll opened in his hand, those thunders shall prepare the hearts of the living not only to expect it, but to accept the raising of the dead. Thus, when the deceased come forth and the living are changed, they won’t have to stand there with their mouth gaped open. Seeing the dead come forth first only when the trump is sounded, we living can’t devise some wild revelation and run off and leave them.
FLESH ONLY IS CHANGED
Behold I shew you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but WE (believers) shall be changed. Please understand the word change here has no relationship to the inner man whatsoever being changed because the inner man experienced his change through the new birth (2 Cor. 5:17). I Cor. 15:51 is definitely relating to the return of Christ (in the air) when fleshly believers who are alive will undergo this change. Bear in mind, when we are changed, our flesh will not be changed into something or resemble something that bears no likeness of flesh. Your body will still remain flesh as perfectly illustrated by Christ when he arose from the dead and appeared through a closed door unto his disciples saying, be not afraid, it is I. A spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have (Christ’s resurrected body was flesh). That flesh which lay in the tomb now resurrected had appeared in their midst. Remember, the translation nor resurrection is never discussing the inner man being changed, it is always the change of the outer fleshly man. For here we see where the redemption of the body is being performed. Paul continues discussing the fleshly body saying, we shall all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. The last trump shall sound and the fleshly dead bodies shall first be raised incorruptible. For this corruption shall put on incorruption (referring to the dead) and this mortal (referring to living who is still subject to death) must put on immortality. Because, if Jesus doesn’t come and stop this cycle of death for those people also, they too would die.
POSSIBILITY – NOT DOCTRINE
Note Paul is discussing the change of the dead flesh as to when it will occur, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. At the sound of the last trump, the dead shall raise first incorruptible and afterward, we which are alive and remain shall be changed. Just how soon afterwards is not clear. In relation to this verse of the dead rising sometime before the living, I am fully aware of what Bro. William Branham said could be a POSSIBILITY and I am also aware of how so many make reference to this POSSIBILITY AS IF IT WERE AN ABSOLUTE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE. Therefore, try to understand what I am about to say. When the dead come forth from the ground, we know it won’t take Almighty God a week to get them out. NO, it is done in the twinkling of an eye. Furthermore note, the dead had absolutely nothing to do with their coming forth. They all came forth at HIS command (provided they can qualify for Rom. 8:11). Not one of them even needed resurrection faith to be changed or to be raised up. It will be done so quickly. How could a dead man believe. God signals and the dead come forth first. That instant they respond to his call. They are not even in the grave struggling or wrestling, trying to get up after he calls. Remember, no mortal man will be standing over the graves calling them forth either.
DEAD HEAR TRUMP
How could any mortal man call forth all the dead from the crust of the earth? He can only be in one place, but God is everywhere. Therefore, our main thought here is the time element required for the change in the resurrection, seeing the dead come forth first. Time required for the change is a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Remember also, when that last trump sounds no living man’s ears on earth will even hear it sound. Only the dead in Christ will hear that sound. Remember, there will absolutely be no struggling or wrestling on their part trying to get up. When that trumpet sounds, it will be so simple and easy for that human corruptible body which has laid there perhaps for decades or centuries, now completely decayed and returned unto the various elements of creation itself to reassemble and come forth from its resting place glorified and incorruptible bearing the image of the heavenly sown in weakness, but raised in power; sown in corruption, but raised in incorruption; sown a natural body, but raised a spiritual body and bearing the image of the heavenly, the perfection of the resurrected Christ. However, once again I must remind you. Bearing all this image of the heavenly does not mean we are now designed to live in the heavenlies. No, the eternal, incorruptible, glorified body as always is designed to live on this earth. Remember originally that is why God gave the spirit man an earthly body. It is to live here and inhabit the planet earth. Don’t misunderstand my thought. I am not bypassing the fact that for a brief period, we shall first be caught up into the heavenlies, nevertheless that is not our eternal destiny. That stay is only temporary. The fact that God, during that hour, will have resurrected those corruptible bodies from the earth, shows he is already in progress of preparing the earth, getting everything ready for the return to earth of those glorified saints. They return bearing the image of the heavenly, the perfection of the resurrected Christ himself seeing the Bible declares we do not know what we will be like, but John disclosed when he appears (in the clouds of glory) we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. Our bodies will then be like his, glorified and perfect. From that hour on, our fleshly glorified bodies will by no means be limited to merely earthly things because if you recall, following Christ’s resurrection, he could appear and disappear at will, which goes to show that great supernatural power incorporated into the resurrected or translated glorified fleshly man.
Before the fall, no doubt, Adam and Eve, while maintaining that perfect state of fellowship with God when no sin, sickness nor death incorporated their flesh, could just as easily have had fellowship visibly with an angel who is a spirit being and a part of God’s great spiritual family as they could have fellowshipped each other. However, after the fall when man became totally earthly, bearing only the image of the earthly, God’s presence somehow or other left him. Death became a fact, sin was imputed into the bloodstream and flesh now becomes nothing more than a great veil to the inner man that shut him out from fellowshipping the other world. Therefore, he could no longer see at will the spirit world. The inner man Adam now becomes more and more engrossed in only the sight of his own earthly surroundings. Without the image of the heavenly, what a horrible prison house his earthly flesh has not become to him. Yet once again, praise God, when that day dawns that the old corruptible, fleshly body (of man) will be changed into his glorious likeness and being changed into that man’s glorious likeness we shall be able to contact the heavenly realm as well as the earthly realm. What glory there will be on earth as the glory and knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth in the same capacity that the water covers the sea.
NO STRAIN IF WALK RIGHT
This may sound shocking to some, especially to certain followers of this end time message who have become guilty of devising practically every kind of idea as to what they must do or believe or what they must wait upon from the grave in order to have rapturing faith to be changed. Though I submit to you, if we have the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11), if we live right, talk and walk right and that is about all I know to do anyway. Then I am confident when the hour arrives for the translation if we are among the living we won’t have to strain our self in the least to be ready to be changed. I am confident if the Lord, only by his word, without any help from anyone, can take care of that dead man, he can take care of me also. Tell me beloved, what will the dead do to change their situation. Nothing! the Bible in Rom. 8:11 has already settled it for them because Paul said, speaking of those who are to be changed whether living or dead, that if that same spirit which raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit which dwells in you. The thing you want to be sure of is to have that Spirit of Christ in your life and you be obedient to that spirit and everything else will take care of itself.
WHAT DEAD MAN INSPIRED ENOCH & ELIJAH
Many will declare, O but when the dead begin to appear on this earth to the living, that will give us rapturing faith. It is true the dead will raise sometime before the living are changed. The time interval I do know. The prophet to the age declared, not as a doctrine, but as a possibility though many choose to make it a doctrine, that it was possible the dead could raise as much as 40 days ahead of the living and appear unto them. Now that is only a possibility. That is not a doctrine and as a possibility I can accept it, because I have nothing against the fact the resurrected dead might come forth and appear to the living saints as they were seen doing at the resurrection of Christ (Matt. 27:52-53) if God for some purpose wants to do that. But tell me beloved, what got Enoch all enthused? Did someone from the dead come along and inspire him to get going to make the translation? Well, if the dead didn’t come by, what did stimulate him? It was the Spirit of God himself! Did someone from the dead come along and inspire Elijah to get ready to go? You know better! Well then, why on earth should I have to believe it just has to be somebody who returns from the dead to get me ready. I grant you, since the dead are changed sometime before, how much sooner I do not know. If a dead saint were to appear in their resurrected body to believers such as they did in Matt. 27 after Christ’s resurrection, it might do a lot of things!
BUILDING IMAGINARY DREAM
Nevertheless, I am also reminded of an illustration used by Christ concerning the rich man and Lazarus when the rich man pleaded for somebody to be sent from the dead to make believers out of his brothers on earth. Abraham told him, if they won’t hear Moses and the prophets who are preaching the word, they wouldn’t believe if one rose from the dead (Luke 16:27-31). I have nothing against this thing of seeing grandmother coming back in a resurrected body talking to me, but I tell you what I am terribly opposed to, as I am sure God is, and it is this thing of people wanting to reach out and build such an imaginary picture on this one possibility (of the dead having to show up to give you rapturing faith) when beloved, they continually walk all over what has taken place in the Bible. In respect to Enoch and Elijah, God’s two perfect types, no dead came by to inspire them to get ready to go nor did the dead inform the that the hour was near for their translation. Enoch, by revelated faith, knew when he would go. Elijah, by revelated faith, knew when he would go. Noah by revelated faith, knew when to enter the ark. Jesus knew when he would go and praise God, somebody here on earth will know one of these days when it is time for them to go also. No Beloved, God never slipped up on Enoch or Elijah and he won’t slip up on the saints to be translated. They are going to know where to be as well as what to be doing at the right time when Jesus is ready to fulfill what Paul’s revelation declares, not only in I Thes. 4:14-17, but I Cor. 15:51-57 as well. I believe God has already sent a shout into this religious world which especially awoke the wise virgins, Matt. 25:5 who will be composed of the living saints ready for that hour. That particular shout of Matthew 25 which awakened the sleeping virgins did not wake the dead saints because they are still sleeping in the ground, but it did wake a people to the intimate fact that this thing is going to take place out in front of us very soon. Therefore, we have to get awake to that fact and get the scriptures oriented and established in our soul which is shown in Matthew 25 as the wise virgins trimming their lamps. The revelated word of faith is like a compass to get our faith looking in the right direction for the event of the coming of the Lord. No, it is not me straining myself, it is merely us getting our mind in the right frame of thinking. Those biblical characters, Enoch and Elijah, who were translated were not straining themselves trying to believe this and that saying, Oh, if I could just believe hard enough or strong enough what has been said, I can make it. No beloved, they were simply walking in revealed faith with God. People make it sound so hard when actually it is going to be very simple. I am confident if God can take care of a dead man, he will have no problem taking care of the living.
COULD MATT. 27 CONNECT WITH LEV. 23?
Just remember, it is possible there can be a number of days involved between the resurrection of the dead and the translation of the living, but if you try to lay that down as a doctrine, that it simply must be that way, I remind you that you have no scripture to support such a doctrine. We are only presuming it could be that way based on the fact it did appear in that manner when Christ arose from the dead and there was an interval of days which followed and the dead saints appeared unto many. We presume based on that, it could repeat itself in like manner, but to make it a doctrine, you have no scripture to prove it. Furthermore, we come back to this fact concerning Matthew 27. Matthew 27 had been only a type in order to fulfill a shadow which is portrayed in Leviticus 23:9-14 which shadow was fulfilled in reality with the resurrection of Christ raising on the first day of the week. Therefore, since the shadow was fulfilled during the first advent of Christ and if all of that in Matt. 27 went along to constitute the fulfillment of the shadow, then as far as saints resurrecting and appearing again unto the living as they did in Matthew 27, we really wouldn’t have a shadow now to be fulfilled in the second advent, would we? Nevertheless, bear in mind when we say the dead in Christ raises in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we are not necessarily declaring at that very instant when the trumpet sounds, out of the grave pops the dead and like a streak of lightening we which are alive and remain, are changed and immediately we are off for heaven. Nevertheless, when time does arrive for the living to be changed, you may be sure of one thing, they will all be changed together (instantly) and whenever they do leave this earth, they all leave together, both the resurrected and translated saints go up to meet the Lord in the air. This phrase, twinkling of an eye, spoken of in scripture applied strictly to bringing forth the dead from the grave, nevertheless in changing the living, God will certainly not be in any prolonged period of time.
SPIRIT OF GOD RAISES DEAD
Before that hour is culminated, every type of a wild fanatical doctrine will run to and fro on this subject and these teachings will absolutely have a tendency to confuse minds. Therefore, we must keep our minds spiritually stable and remember when something is a true doctrine you will always have scripture to back it up. When the dead come forth, they will not come forth in intervals, they will all come forth and be changed at the same time (likewise with the living) and there won’t be a message anyone can preach over their grave to bring them out. You can’t affect nor hinder in any manner God bringing forth the dead in the proper hour. Their coming forth depends entirely on whether or not they had that spirit within them which raised Christ from the dead. If in every age that true believer had the spirit of God in his life and he walked in the light of his hour and that spirit quickened to that individual believer that they were walking in all the light of truth as presented to them in their hour, though their bodies be in the ground the spirit of the Lord will bring them forth. That is the only assurance the dead can have of their bodies being resurrected when the last trump of God shall sound.
SAINTS TRANSLATED TOGETHER
It is you and I of the living who await the translation that Satan will try to tear apart and destroy with every doctrine he can send against us. It is the living who must keep their minds clear and open to the revelation of the scripture. Remember when the translation of saints takes place, they neither are translated a few here and later on a few more, etc. No, they too are all translated at once. I remind you the world will not be standing by watching. No, they won’t see you go although like with Enoch and Elijah, somebody will come searching for you to leave that testimony that you could not be found.
RAPTURE WON’T TAKE PLACE UNTIL
May I say, no need to look for that hour to be translated until first of all everything which has been declared in the scriptures which is to affect the true bride church in that hour has all been applied to her. Whoever that living realm may be will not only need to be perfected in the word, but furthermore, God will also have separated, purified and perfected each one of them to every extent of that revealed word of faith given unto them and has further removed from the bride ranks every soul who absolutely will not measure up to the true revelation and the scriptural values that the word of God declares the bride church must have before that hour. God will have separated from her ranks all this carnal riffraff which attached itself. Before the translation, those individuals will be found, either back in the world among the world tares or else somewhere out in the realm of the foolish virgins, but certainly not among the bride saints. That is the spiritual picture the world is left in once the living element of true revelated bride saints reaches that hour. Remember this, in October, 1975, there is none of the living who even knows when Christ is coming for his church. At this moment they have nothing to determine that event by. For the past ten years, people have assumed, presumed, set dates, etc., yet they are still here. Nevertheless, I am sure of this one thing, when that time is getting close for the change and translation, you may rest assured God won’t be slipping up on anybody. He never slipped up on Enoch nor Elijah, those two perfect types.
RAPTURE PAST SAYS NEW REVELATION
As if we did not have enough fanaticism to contend with, I recently heard a new revelation floating through this area. No, it did not come from the Bible, it came from various individuals’ private interpretation of something the prophet to the age had said. Beloved, this lets me know it is going to take nothing short of a revelation and not mere verbal statements to make it. You had better know by revelation of the spirit of God what that prophet said while here, or else you can find yourselves like multitudes are finding themselves, headed straight for quicksand! The new revelation was that the rapture has already taken place and now no one can be in the gentile bride church except they die. HOW FOOLISH! When the Bible said the dead in Christ raise first, then we (bride) which are alive and remain shall be changed. If the bride has already been raptured, then the resurrection of the dead has also taken place, because that happens first. Here is one thing which helped launch or promote such a false revelation. It is something they found stated in two different books. In the Church Age book it was recorded the seven thunders have already been revealed. Well, naturally if the seven thunders have already been sounded, they have also already been revealed. Based on that fact, certain individuals say, if the seven thunders have already been sounded and revealed, and Bro. William Branham stated Christ would return for his bride church somewhere around the time the seven thunders of Rev. 10:4 are revealed, then naturally in their minds of thinking if the seven thunders have already been sounded and revealed, the rapture also would now (by 1975) have already taken place. Such an idea would only be carnal logical thinking. The thing they don’t realize is this; that as yet (1975) the thunders have not sounded (not been revealed). By the same token, because the prophet also stated in the Seal Book there was only 3 ½ years left for the Jew and because the year 1977 is being used by so many for the termination of all things, certain individuals naturally began calculating back from the figure 1977 and they plainly see since we are already almost into the year of 1976, we have quite some time ago entered into and passed through the marginal line of 3 ½ years. Therefore, there is nothing left for them to say but that the rapture is already passed. No, they never received such a carnal interpretation from the Bible, their carnal theory like all the rest is taken from their own personal understanding of certain statements from these books. I go to the other book which shows THE THUNDERS HAVE NOT SOUNDED! If they have sounded, please tell me when Jesus is coming. The prophet said when the seven mysterious thunders sound (Rev. 10:4) they will bring us knowledge of when Christ is coming. When will that be? I do not know. God will reveal that in his own good time. People should stop probing at those unknown thunders.
THIEF APPEARING NOT TO THE BRIDE
Bear in mind our schools of theology have only looked at the scriptures presumptuously, yet when the time comes that there is to be a living people on earth to be the very recipient of this change which takes place in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, it is these people and these people alone who will be privileged to hear the sounding of the seven mysterious thunders of which John heard, but was not permitted to write. Now let me show you why that moment of the twinkling of an eye will not slip upon the living saints. Oh, but does not the scripture declare someone says, he will come as a thief in the night? True, he does come in that fashion to many who only know by doctrine that one day he will appear for his church. However spiritually, those people are sound asleep. Potentially, they have the same scriptures the elect does, but it is only the elected who will have the awakening and revelation, the others will absolutely be as Jesus said; lest he come as thief and catch them asleep and naked.
CHRIST IN SPIRIT FORM
Bro. Branham, the prophet to the age, declared the sounding of the seven mysterious thunders would bring knowledge to the bride concerning the soon coming of Christ. With that thought in mind, turn with me to Rev. 10:2-3 for a few closing remarks. Here we see a picture where in the scripture is portraying Christ, not in his physical corporeal, bodily form, oh no, but in spirit form or angelic form, because what corporeal bodied man could possibly stand with one foot on the land and the other on the sea. This figure is none other than Christ in spirit form on the earth. But, what is he doing here on the earth at this point in spirit angelic form? The scene had to be portrayed unto John the Apostle in the spirit in this manner in order to show in reality that when Christ does appear to take away his waiting bride, when she shall see him as he is and be like him, where according to I Thes. 4, he will meet her in the air. Then if the bride is to meet Christ in the air and not here on the earth, it is there we will see him in that glorified body as the disciples saw him leave from the Mt. of Olives almost 1900 years ago.
Therefore, keep in mind Rev. 10:2-3 portrays Jesus in spirit or angelic form. Know this, it is the spirit of Christ of earth to reveal to his awaiting bride the seven mysterious thunders which John heard, but could not write concerning them. What those thunders say will be heard by no one but the bride of Christ only, for it will awaken the living element to rapturing (revelatory) faith. There is nothing in this Bible which tells you what those seven mysterious thunders hidden in that seventh seal are, we only know when they sound according to the prophet to the age, they reveal to the awaiting bride knowledge which pertains to her departure, translation, etc. There isn’t a preacher this side of glory who can possibly tell you or even presume (in 1975) what they are. No one knows, but I know this, John in the spirit heard exactly what those thunders were or uttered but was not permitted to write what he heard because what he heard pertains to the little bride of Christ only and those thunders will not sound until Christ comes to this earth in this form shown in Rev. 10:1-3.
THUNDERS BRING RAPTURING KNOWLEDGE FOR BRIDE
Now picture Jesus if you will in his glorified, visible corporeal body standing with one foot on the land and one on the sea. There is no way you could possibly do that. You would have to see a gigantic super being, wouldn’t you? Yet, when Jesus appears in his glorified body and the bride sees him, it will be there in the clouds of glory as he will appear unto her only there portrayed as a bridegroom. That glorified body of Christ never touches this earth until sometime after it has appeared first in the air and taken off this earth the living bride saints who heard the sounding of the seven thunders which no doubt gave her her final instructions of revealed faith for the translation. Appearing to her in the air, he carries her to the wedding supper where she is united with him and then it is in Rev. 19 where you see him portrayed as returning to earth with all his saints. That is when his glorified foot of flesh touched the earth. There you see it all in its bodily makeup, however here in Rev. 10:1-3 you are not looking at Jesus in that manner, you are seeing him portrayed strictly in a gigantic spirit form with one foot on the sea and another on the earth. John had to portray it as that huge angelic being. Why? Because he is the master and verse 3 declares standing here in such a massive figure seen in the spirit cries with a loud voice as a lion roareth. Is not Christ the lion of the tribe of Judah. Who else would have the authority to roar in such manner? Now watch carefully- and when he cried with a loud voice seven thunders uttered their voices and John said he was about to write what the thunders uttered, but a voice told him to seal up those things the seven thunders uttered and write them not. Is it not strange God would actually allow something to be spoken, yet refuse to permit John to write down what was said when John had been commissioned to write everything which was, which is and is to come. Yet, there is something seen right here in Rev. 10:4 that John could not write although he heard it and knew what it was.
OPENED SCROLL INDICATES MEDIATORIAL WORK OVER
I ask you a simple question, did God make a mistake in allowing that thing to happen? Certainly not! If you read between the lines, here is what it is. Since John was looking at Jesus in gigantic spirit form here on the earth at the end of the age for the declaration of those thunders and the fact Christ had in his right hand an open scroll lets us know in that hour Christ will have completed his mediatorial work for the bride and has already left the throne as he is portrayed in his mediatorial work in Rev. 5. There the seventh seal in Rev. 10 is already completely broken off and the scroll which he holds in his right hand bears the names of the redeemed for whom he has been interceding. That scroll is here officially opened and he has not come for the very people who this scroll constitutes or is made up of. Therefore, because he has come for that people and cried with a loud voice as when a lion roareth. The seven mysterious thunders can and will be announced at that time. Up until that hour, every doctrine will crisscross this earth, probing at these mysterious things saying pro and con about them until it has weeded away confused and wrecked people’s spiritual thinking, until eventually the only people left standing before God pleasing unto him will be that living element of people who have truly received the leadership of he spirit of Christ in their hearts. That hour has arrived and Christ has come forth to call, first the dead and change the living. In that hour those seven thunders will be announced and we will see then what this world will be like. That will be when, like Enoch and Elijah, knew where to go, in that hour we also shall know what to do to get ready for the change soon to take place in this old flesh. Therefore, as the dead in Christ alone hear the trump and is gloriously changed into his image in that moment in the twinkling of an eye, coming forth, how is it going to affect the living realm who are also awaiting that change. Recall when their change does come it too will come in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. Now concerning the living saints, we know God will not be in the process of days changing their mortal flesh either, yet carnally speaking would it not seem to be more difficult or impractical for God to change that which as dead, decayed and returned to dust than it would be for him to merely change the living element. Consider a burned body now dead, its component elements already fused back into the gaseous forms of creation leaving only a carbon trace here on this planet. Wouldn’t it seem much harder for God to find and reassemble all these component parts of that human flesh, resurrect the dead into a glorious image of the second Adam, than it would be for him to merely change the living. Yet it seems it is this living realm that man always wants to try and make to be a far more difficult thing to be changed than the dead in Christ.
NOT CAUGHT UP IN INTERVALS
Some say it is all over and the bride of Christ is gone, yet because the dead are not up yet, I KNOW THE RAPTURE HAS NOT TAKEN PLACE! No, the dead won’t raise first and take off to glory while the living, caught by surprise, must run quickly and prepare themselves and then later take off. NO! Paul says after the change comes, the living and the dead, TOGETHER (not in broken intervals) SHALL BE CAUGHT UP IN THE CLOUDS TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR. Perfection won’t be reached by the living and they have to wait around for months and years for the dead to finally come forth. I am convinced when the hour of perfection in that word has reached its climax and the last soul has already been brought into God’s complete program, there will no longer be any need for him to remain on the mercy seat. Stepping forth as portrayed in Rev. 10, with his open scroll, shouting as a lion roareth, TIME IS NO MORE, and the seven thunders ushered forth their message. What is said will be so simple that the bride, by revelatory faith, can move right into it. Every revelation preached and received out of this book has been preached to the man of the world, however, because the time factor is so short, what these thunders declare will never be televised, programmed over radio nor even printed. THE BRIDE ALONE WILL HEAR HER FINAL INSTRUCTIONS SHORTLY BEFORE THE DEAD COME FORTH AND WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN ARE CHANGED.
CHRIST PICTURED IN SYMBOLIC FORM
In Rev. 5 John sees Christ as a visible form, seated on the throne. People often ask, how could that be Christ seated on the mercy seat throne when the revelation of the seals has already been delivered by the prophet of God (1963)? Very simple, you believe in only one God, don’t you? James 2:19 and that God is Spirit being covering all space, not in human form as Christ is.
WHO IS SEATED
Who did John see seated on the mercy seat throne holding in his right hand a closed and sealed scroll, sealed with seven seals? He saw none other than Jesus portrayed in a High Priest role seated on the throne, serving in his mediatorial intercessory work for the believers of the grace age. About the throne is seen a great halo because remember the great eternal spirit who fills all space has taken Christ up and seated him on the right hand of majesty, power and glory (Matt. 26:64) Therefore, as your eyes behold him seated there in the position of the Father (that is on the right hand of power and glory) in his hand is a scroll rolled up and sealed with seven seals and the written contents on the inside. It is the scroll of redemption which constitutes all the names of God’s elect bride throughout all the ages of his intercessory work. Remember, because Christ is still in the process of interceding for the names on that scroll, there is no cause for the scroll to be opened. Recall, when he ascended into glory, to be at the right hand of power, millions whose names were already written on that scroll had never yet been born. Here we see the foreknowledge of God before the foundation of the world in operation.
LAMB BREAKS SEALS
However, when time arrived for the revelation of the seven seals binding the scroll to be brought forth here on earth unto a mortal, living realm, the question was asked in glory; who is worthy to take the scroll and loose the seals thereof? John was about to weep because no one anywhere could be found worthy and the angel said, weep not, for behold THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH hath (past tense) prevailed to take the book and loose the seals thereof. Who is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah? Jesus the Christ, the very one seated on the mercy seat throne. John’s eyes glued to that figure seated on the throne, holding the scroll, is anxiously waiting for the Lion of the tribe of Judah to step forth and break the seven seals holding the scroll when suddenly it isn’t the Lion of the tribe of Judah he sees, but coming out of the midst of the throne, not from underneath, not from behind nor from the side, but where? RIGHT OUT OF THE MIDST OF THE THRONE John sees a Lamb as though it has been wounded, having seven horns and seven eyes step forth! But why was he announced as a lion and then appear as a lamb to take the scroll from him seated on the mercy seat throne? No such natural beast actually exists, it is a figurative or symbolical beast shown to John. In actuality, Christ is not even a lion, therefore, the lion is also figurative. That face the figurative lamb (who symbolized Christ’s office work on earth) had seven horns and seven eyes, these are none other than the seven spirits of God which were incarnated in Jesus Christ and prefigured in the Old Testament in the seven redemptive names of God revealed in the dispensations of time.
SYMBOLIC PICTURE – CHRIST NEVER LEFT THRONE
Seeing the figurative wounded lamb coming out of the midst of the throne signified to John as he looked upon Jesus seated on the throne as a high priest (yet never once leaving the throne throughout the symbolical picture) that Christ, as a lamb, broke the seals based on the merits that he was slain and crucified as God’s redemptive Lamb on earth. (John 1:29, 36) But recall Christ was introduced by the angel as the Lion of the tribe of Judah which was to be his next office work, for when he comes again, he will not be portrayed as a Lamb, but as a Lion. Where is Christ all this time? In reality, he hasn’t moved one inch from the mercy seat. It simply shows time had arrived that the great Eternal Spirit God is going to allow Christ to break the seals binding the scroll. The only question is, will the seals be opened on the basis that one day he would be a king or on the basis he had been a Lamb. Thus, we see it was on the basis he had been a Lamb on earth. Therefore Christ, our second Adam, serving in capacity of high priest received the invested authority from the Eternal Spirit based on his Lambship to begin breaking the seals. When Christ finally does leave the mercy seat he is seen portrayed as that mighty angelic figure in Rev. 10:1-2 shouting TIME WILL BE NO MORE and the sound of the seven mysterious thunders utter their voice to the bride shortly before the resurrection of the dead.