WHEN WILL IT APPEAR?
Turn to Revelation 13 where we will study the final drastic results of the last system of numbers on this earth. Those numbers are three digits, 666. While it is true 666 is definitely the number of a man who heads the old resurrected Roman beast system of the final days, it also embraces and climaxes all that man in this lifetime ever hoped to attain through his social, political and religious structure. In other words, it is as far as mankind can go. 666 not only is the number of a man, it is also the completeness of everything mankind has ever been able to progressively achieve from the Garden of Eden up unto the hour that 666 appears on the scene.
666 OCCURS AT END
Bear in mind, 666 could never occur at any hour in human history other than at the close of the age! Are you aware that at various times in history other men’s names were also equivalent in number to 666 when broken down into Roman Numerals, however, those men could not possibly have been 666 because mankind had not progressed to the hour when all his achievements would be culminated or climaxed into the digit numbers of 666 because 666 is the climax of all things and is absolutely as far as mankind can go. In other words after 666 comes on the scene something else will have to take over.
666 OCCURS IN 70TH WEEK
In this article it is not our intentions to begin our study with the number 666. No, because 666, the number of the man, does not appear until the close of the age. Our intention, first of all, is to study all that 666 embraces and we do that by thoroughly examining Revelation 13. Revelation 12:6 shows what happens to Israel during the last half of Daniel’s 70th prophetic week and Revelation 13 runs in true parallel with what is shown in Revelation 12:6-17. Revelation 13 carries no prior fulfillment but portrays man’s final segment of time being fulfilled within that final prophetic 70th week of Daniel. Somewhere before us lies a seven year period and each year we move progressively toward that hour! All worldly systems and human developments are rapidly preparing or setting the stage for Daniel’s 70th Week. Although Revelation 13 will not occur during any time period other than the end of the age, it is interesting to note in studying Daniel 7 you have precisely those same events yet the things Daniel saw concerning this beast system transpired strictly during the Dark Ages (900-1500). Bear in mind what was seen in Daniel 7 sets the stage for what will appear in the last days, known prophetic wise as Daniel’s 70th week.
BEAST RISING OUT OF THE SEA; WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The symbolic picture shows John in Revelation 13 as follows- Verse 1–and I (John) stood upon the sand of the sea and saw a beast rise up out of the sea. Remember beloved, this sea is precisely the same body of water Daniel dreamed about and is recorded in Daniel 7. While asleep Daniel dreamed of the four winds of heaven as it strove upon this sea. God used the sea to symbolize the Mediterranean because all four of the world empires as they arose in their respective world, all four affected Israel. Each one of these world empires, Babylon, Media-Persia, Grecian as well as the Roman, all sailed the Mediterranean Sea during their great earthly conquest. All four crossed the Mediterranean to invade, capture, rule and suppress the Holy Land.
4 EMPIRES SYMBOLIZED
It was under the rule of these four world empires conquering Israel that Joel the prophet (Joel 1:4) summarized what had happened to Israel through their suppression when he said, that which the palmerworm hath left the locust ate, that which the locust left the cankerworm ate and that which the cankerworm left the caterpillar stripped and ate……Joel spake of how these four empires had barked the fig tree. Remember Israel is and always will be God’s fig tree! These four insects which symbolize the four world empires had gnawed away at the fig tree and stripped it of its leaves, etc.
ISRAEL, NOT CHURCH, PROPHESIED HERE
The Middle East has always been plagued with locusts. Some botanists declare Joel’s language concerning the work of these four insects upon God’s fig tree is actually the work of only one insect which changes into four different stages. Not being a botanist I could not verify this statement, however this I do know, whether it was four different insects or it be only one; insect changing itself into four different stages, it all symbolizes what began to happen to Israel around the 6th Century B.C. once God allowed the forces of these empires to begin their gnawing away at the nation of Israel, Joel spoke of what the insects had eaten away. We know one thing taken away from Israel was her last king, Zedekiah. Babylon plucked out his eyes before his death. Another thing taken away was the destruction of their beautiful city as well as Solomon’s temple. These insects, one after the other as portrayed in Joel’s prophecy, gnawed away at the very existence of Israel for over 400 years! Israel lingered on only as a race, not as a separate independent nation that she had once been. Yes, these four world empires continually gnawed away at Israel’s national existence. It was all done to fulfill God’s word. The Spirit speaking through Joel unto the nation also declared, (Joel 2:25-32) I will restore the years the cankerworm, caterpillar, palmerworm and locust hath eaten. My fig tree which they barked will again put forth leaves.
HOLY GHOST APPLIES TO CHURCH
Evangelists through the years have continually used that setting as a type declaring what God intended to do for the church. Beloved, that does not apply to the church! That statement applies strictly to Israel! The only portion of Joel’s prophecy having any connection to the church whatsoever was where Joel stated that during the same process of time that God would be prophetically restoring to the nation her geographical territory national identity, etc., during that time period he would pour out the Holy Ghost. It is that part of the Holy Ghost that can be applied to the church! True, the church did go through a similar setting as this; seeing it, too, was stripped of her original revelatory teaching, her power, authority in the word, etc., and she will be restored. Nevertheless, I repeat, in true actuality of what these insects typified and characterized as having done, applied strictly to the work of what these four world empires did in stripping Israel, “God’s fig tree”.
EUROPE & MIDDLE EAST PROPHESIED
Note, these four world empires shown in Daniel’s dream (Dan. 7) were all the process of these four winds striving upon one sea and that one sea the Mediterranean. Recall in Daniel’s hour the new world had not yet been discovered and the Far East or Orient was practically unknown. Therefore all four of these world empires existed around the Mediterranean Sea. The setting of the sea not only speaks of the Mediterranean body of water, it also symbolizes and represents the masses of people there in the old world, basically in Europe and the Middle East. Therefore, let’s keep our prophetic setting even in Revelation 13 concerning this beast coming out of the sea as basically affecting the territories of Europe and the Middle East.
APPEARS FOR FINAL SETTING
With that prophetic setting in mind, we are ready to examine what John the Revelator some 600 years after Daniel’s dream, had revealed, although in Revelation 13 John did not see those four winds blowing on the sea to form those four world empires as had Daniel. No, because it wasn’t necessary for John to see the four winds blowing. In John’s hour they had already blown upon the sea and formed the four empires. However, John did see the same beast once again rising up out of that very same body of water because this beast would rise up out of the very same territory from which it had previously risen. It represents also the same realm of people, therefore note, the same sea used in Daniel’s vision is also used in John’s vision. It is the same beast Daniel watched in his dream coming up and going off out through time into the Dark Ages, because in that Dark Age setting was where all those things such as the ten horns as well as the little horn appeared on this beast. See beloved it is the same beast John., in 96 A.D. while in the spirit, saw coming up for its final appearance (in our day) as Daniel’s 70th Week somewhere out in front of us is being ready to be initiated in. From here on nations won’t have any rest. National problems such as Israel and the Arabs will go unsettled. Economies will only tend to worsen therefore when the hour arrives in mankind’s history for that final prophetic week to be ushered in, it will be none other than a period of time of man’s final achievement wherein he hopes and trusts that finally he has reached his oasis. However, that which at first looks so good soon climaxes into disaster for man (Matt. 24:21-22).
Let’s examine closer this beast John saw rising up out of the sea. Bear in mind, the territory setting involved is none other than Europe and the Middle East. Recall, when John saw the beast 600 years after Daniel, it had grown seven heads but still carried its ten horns, whereas when Daniel saw the beast rise up out of the sea it had only one gigantic head. Watching it go off out in time into the Dark Ages, Daniel saw ten horns developed on the head of the beast. Daniel mainly saw the Roman Empire or this 4th beast in its B.C. setting when the beast consisted of only one gigantic head, having great iron teeth and claws with which it devoured the whole prophetic earth. The one head seen on the body of the beast symbolized Rome’s first form of political government under the rule of the great caesars basically within your B.C. period. Nevertheless, as Daniel continued to watch this beast’s head, he saw it go off through time until out of the one gigantic head began to grow ten horns which symbolized the hour the Roman Empire would collapse or break up and form ten separate European nations. Yes, the ten horns appearing on the head of the beast was historically fulfilled during the break up of the Roman imperial system, a system established and first ruled by men from Rome, Italy who called themselves caesars. When the fourth empire finally reached the hour its various forms of government, illustrated by the six smaller heads later formed on the beast which John saw, could no longer rule that vast territory because of such rebellion and insurrection among its people, it collapsed and the vast territory under Roman rule now divided or separated itself into ten separate European countries and begins carrying their own personal national identity as was illustrated by the ten horns growing out on the beast’s head. As a new European country would be formed out of the old territory, out would pop another little horn on the head of the beast until finally ten horns were perfectly formed on the beast’s head. Even though the old imperial system of the vast Roman Empire had steadily been declining and weakening throughout the centuries, nevertheless, the city or seat of government where this gigantic empire was governed or ruled from remains always to be in Rome, Italy. Therefore beloved, it will be of necessity we always keep the setting of the ruling power of government for this fourth beast always stationed in Rome, Italy!
According to Daniel we realize the Roman Empire will be the last beast system to ever literally rule the world and Rome will be its seat of government. Don’t let anyone ever tell you the world will someday be ruled from Wall Street or Moscow or some other place. No, Rome, Italy, the city set on seven hills is always the setting for the seat of government surrounding the fourth beast or world empire.
FORMS 10 EUROPEAN NATIONS
Although the beast John saw (Rev. 13) had grown seven heads since Daniel saw it, nevertheless, it still carried its original ten horns seen in Daniel’s vision. The ten horns were acquired during the Dark Ages. 600 years later John sees the same identical beast coming back up out of that same sea carrying its same original ten horns. No, it had not lost a single one! Recall, in Daniel’s vision along with the ten horns appeared (Daniel 7:8) another little horn! Numerically it would appear the beast had now developed eleven horns. That is not the picture at all! Literally there was never eleven horns on the beast, only ten. Then how do we account for Daniel seeing this other little horn arise? Very simple, Remember the ten horns which grew from the head of the beast or fourth empire are all characterized, fulfilled and functions today as ten separate independent European nations which once were a part of this one gigantic empire ruled over from the city of Rome, Italy. If you will note, on a map the area of land called Italy is shaped like a boot! Rome walked all over the world and trampled everything under her feet.
BEAST AUTHORITY REMAINS IN ROME
But what about this other mysterious little horn which Daniel saw appearing among the ten horns, yet only ten horns actually appear on the beast’s head. Since there can’t be eleven horns on the beast, how was it Daniel saw this little horn come up and magnify itself far above its fellow horns? It is simply this,……. if the city of Rome was to continue to maintain its function and superiority over these ten horns or ten nations, even though they had already broken away from Rome causing the collapse of this great Roman Empire and formed their own individual governments, nevertheless if Rome (the city) is to still maintain superiority over these ten nations, it can no longer be accomplished through that present imperial political rule as Satan desired be done. Therefore, the ruling system of government must come through, still another system or source, but that system must still be in the city of Rome. A system that would turn out to be more powerful, more deceptive, and last even longer in its initial effect over these ten nations than had previous forms of government. This is where Daniel saw the little horn rise up out of the ten! That power of the little horn was none other than the ecclesiastical power which was also in Rome, Italy, the Roman Catholic Church. Remember, a horn not only symbolizes a nation, it also symbolizes a power!
MARRIAGE OF CHURCH AND STATE
Through the process of time, especially after 325 A.D. when what was called Christianity was accepted without conversion by the pagan Roman political state under Emperor Constantine, Christianity became legally recognized and accepted throughout the Roman Empire as their main religion. Hence, in 325 A.D. the two church and state were married and from that period on until around the 8th or 9th Century A.D. Satan, ruling master of Rome, seeing his present old imperial form of Roman political government rapidly decaying, slipping and losing control over this vast territory, becoming now so weakened that the political emperor with headquarters in Rome could no longer successfully rule, suppress and sovereignly control this vast territory, recognizing his present form of Roman rule was becoming short lived and in order to keep all authority still with the city of Rome, does somewhat of a sleight-of-hand trick.
LITTLE HORN USURPS AUTHORITY
Yes, as that ruling Satanic spirit began to lose out through the ancient political throne of the caesars, to maintain all authority in Rome we now see him doing something else still within that very same city of Rome. History says a continual squabble for power had gone on for sometime between the imperial Roman political throne within the city of Rome and that of the ecclesiastical bishop’s office also in Rome. The ecclesiastical office of the Roman church in Rome we note was first called “bishop”, then around the 6th century began to be referred to as pope or “papa”. Even as early as the 5th century the bishop of Rome (Daniels little horn) seeing this great imperial, political power of Rome rapidly diminishing and decaying, slowly begins to insert his own authority over the European nations in both their political as well as their spiritual matters.
NEW BREED OF CHRISTIANITY
Thus within the 5th Century Christianity had already become widespread throughout the vast territories of the Roman Empire and even as early as the 3rd Century had already penetrated Russia and the British Isles. Thus all the vast territories within the Roman Empire had been christianized but with what kind of Christianity had the empire been christianized! Bear in mind, this is around the 5th and 6th century and the previous generations of all those early apostolic Christians are now asleep in Christ. Those minds, hearts and lives of the earlier century Christians who had been so fervently set on fire through the initial revelation of truth preached back there in the early age were now all dead. This leaves the so- called watered down gospel or new breed of Christianity (seeing that is about all it was by the 4th century)in the hands of the younger lukewarm generations who, even generations earlier had permitted Satan to make steady inroads into the church and was clever enough to conceal his major purpose in what he was doing deceiving the whole world. Now by the 5th century he slowly begins a program wherein he will change or shift the position of power in Rome but in so doing will continue to maintain all his authority over the people and keep his ruling voice coming from Rome as he previously had.
RISING ABOVE OTHER HORNS
Recall, we are examining how a little horn appears among ten horns in Daniel’s vision, as Daniel declared the little horn rose up among the ten horns in far greater power. Satan’s objective, even though he knows the old Roman imperial power being ruled from Rome is rapidly losing its grip upon the people must in order, to keep that authority and power within the city of Rome do something quickly! Therefore, like a puppeteer who pulls the strings on wooden dolls to make them active, leaves the old imperial caesar throne which is crumbling there in Rome and goes over to still another spot in Rome where he now begins to influence the ecclesiastical bishop’s chair or throne. As this happens the ecclesiastical bishop of Rome, now called the pope begins to feel very important and from his throne starts pulling political strings as he becomes inspired with a revelation of church earthly rule, church power and religious domination and authority!
LITTLE HORN–WHO IS HE?
Recall, the Roman bishop’s earthly subjects of so-called Christianity are now all over the Roman Empire. Yes, even those territories which broke away from the old imperial political power there in Rome were still tied to Rome, not through the political imperial systems, oh, no, but tied to Rome strictly through the power of the church itself. Moreover, from the 5th century on, the power of the church steadily grew and by the time you reach the 8th and 9th century, history proves the power and authority of the ecclesiastical bishop’s throne there in Rome far outstripped and outweighed through power, pressure and influence that of the emperors authority who still tried to rule the empire from the city of Rome. Following the hour of decay of this Roman Empire we see the rise of the Roman bishop in Rome becoming the little horn or ecclesiastical power which grew and grew over all the other horns. (Dan. 7:8). No, the little horn seen in Daniel’s vision did not add another European nation to the overall European structure. It was simply the power of the Roman Catholic Church which took over and ruled the empire, both politically and spiritual wise! Thus you see the eleventh horn was strictly a spiritual horn while the other ten horns were temporal, political, national powers.
PLUCKING UP-3 HORNS
Daniel declared he watched until the little horn grew far above its fellow horns and magnified and exalted itself, which simply means the little horn received far greater recognition and attention than the others. Why? Because all the people were subject religiously to the little horn in so much that scripture declares, the little horn (within the Dark Age period) uprooted three of the other horns to prove to everyone who was boss! Keep in mind, the uprooting of the three horns does not erase from the European pictures or beast’s head three horns of his original ten—-that is not the picture at all. The beast still maintained its original ten horns, even when John saw it 600 years later. What then does the uprooting or three horns signify? It simply means, somewhere during that period of history while these ten horns were coming into their geographical identity and territorial positions on that old Roman beastly head system in Europe that this 11th horn or spiritual horn was also coming up seeking supremacy over all the other ten horns and somewhere in history would establish such a power that three of these temporal, political national horns or powers would somewhere attempt to refuse to submit to the authority of the 11th horn which, remember represents a spiritual power.
History shows exactly what happened. If ever one of these ten European nations tried to resist the power of the church as three horns did, the papal office simply uttered a few words and that national kind of the country had to bow quickly before the little horn. For a horn to be plucked up did not mean the king lost his national identity, no, he was still king over his people, it only showed he had rebelled against the authority of the little horn and had been made to submit.
King Henry of Germany, once having rebelled against the pope, in order to have an audience with the pope was forced to stand three days, barefoot in the cold snow as a man doing penance before the little horn would forgive him. Another such example of a horn being plucked up was when a King of France refused to bow. The pope simply ordered a strike in France, the dead wasn’t buried, stores were closed and nothing operated. France’s entire economy in a matter of weeks would have crumbled. Therefore that national horn was made to submit to the little horn. And so the story goes until three such kings were made to submit. There always remained ten horns on the beast. What Daniel was seeing was a picture of what continually happened throughout the Dark Ages as the little horn made all the ten horns submit to his power and authority.
DARK AGE SYSTEM RESURRECTED IN MODERN TIMES
Thus what we see in Revelation 13 is nothing but a resurrection of that old dark age system being resurrected in a modern era of time. Resurrected through that seventh head on the beast which will be completely healed and restored as the ecclesiastical power of the church once again takes over, it will be an embracing or a climax of all that Satan through this Roman system ever hoped to acquire in that of obtaining worship unto himself and it is also to this Roman system that Israel will once again be politically tied. Israel will again, as before, be affected by this fourth beast system in its final stage, as prophecy in its entirety will be fulfilled. As John saw that beast now having those seven heads, not simply one as Daniel saw, we might ask ourselves what formed these other six heads on the creature. They are nothing more than six other forms of Roman government yet always ruling her subjects from the city of Rome. However, the seventh head on the creature carries a compound or two-fold meaning.
COMPOUND MEANING OF 7TH HEAD
Let’s examine more closely that seventh head which carries that compound meaning and is spoken of as the eighth which actually is of the seventh (head) which was, and is not, and yet is, is of (or belongs to) the 8th head. Here again we must clarify that there is only seven heads to begin with! Again you have a paradox, much like what you saw in Daniel 11 concerning the 11th horn when actually there were only ten horns on the beast. Just as that 11th horn was something totally spiritual but truly was a power, likewise is it with the seven heads which recall are all tied to Rome, however the seventh head carries a compound meaning.
MYSTERIOUS 8TH HEAD-WHAT IS IT?
What is this mysterious eighth head (of the 7th) John discusses? The prophet to the age declared this beast as it rises up once again. The deadly wound on the head is healed , the restoration of the imperial system of Rome. Let’s illustrate it this way, Satan who once influenced the caesar’s chair there in Rome, saw to it that whenever the caesars were riding through the streets of Rome, his subjects always bowed and worshiped him as caesar or emperor. No caesar (first head on the beast)of Rome ever referred to himself as a king. Instead always used the term emperor which means imperial, sovereign ruler, Beloved only God is an emperor, only God is imperial ruler. Recall when Satan seeing how the old imperial, political system in Rome (1sthead)began to fade or decay, in order to still maintain his authority in the city of Rome simply moved over and influenced the bishop’s chair and by the time the 7th-9th century had appeared Satan was having his crowning heyday in the dark ages. Study history from the 7th-9th century and you will see how those popes began declaring that the office of the pope in Rome was the vicar of Christ and that it was he and he alone (not the Roman Emperor who was sovereign, universal ruler of both, man’s temporal as well as his spiritual matters of ruling his soul. That is why it is said the same devil who once spoke through Nero, the last emperor to be represented on that first head, now spoke through the pope, the eighth head which was of the seventh head. His is that office in Rome which is portrayed as the beast who was (here in power) and is not, yet is (for a little while during the tribulation period, Rev. 17:11-12).
8TH HEAD–SPIRITUAL HEAD
The seventh head carries a dual meaning because it embraces also the eighth head or church government which ruled over spiritual and temporal matters of the people in the crumbling Roman Empire. Thus the eighth head represented by church government was embraced within the decay of the old seventh head which was none other than the seventh form of political government ruling the old imperial political power of Rome. Bear in mind, the Roman empire went through seven major breakups of governmental rule before it finally reached its slowest ebb and collapsed there in the seventh head when the emperor of Rome carried no power or authority whatsoever. Therefore when that same spirit which had once rested on that imperial throne there in Rome is now sent to rest on the bishop’s throne there in Rome, watch him now, he begins to take over both political state and church affairs. This the eighth head is none other than a spiritual head or church government taking over the remains of the old Roman imperial government, blending together both church and state government into one, whereas before it was state government and church government, now it is just the opposite! Having a system ruling like that under Satan you can’t expect to have anything but apostasy and deception. This, I trust, shows how the seventh head on the beast carried a dual meaning. Revelation 13 did not speak of the seventh head in a compound term, although Revelation 17 does. Moreover, we see in Revelation 17 the destruction of the thing while Revelation 13 reveals to us only the rise of the thing. Remember, once this beast system shown in Revelation 13 rises up and shakes itself you only have seven years before its fall! Revelation 17 gives a full account of its fall.
MINGLING SEED TO RE-ESTABLISH EMPIRE
Continuing on with Rev. 13:1, John said the beast had seven heads and ten horns and upon his ten horns, ten crowns. Ten crowns speak of ten European kingly governments which formed themselves once the breakup came within the old Roman imperial system. All ten of these crowns establish a kingly royal line of people and for centuries Germany, France, Italy, etc. all had their separate royal lines who fell heir to the throne. Yes, these ten horns had their own separate royal lineage which was definitely a fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy who said their seed will mingle one with the other (intermarry)showing how these royal families would continually try to unite Europe or unite all that territory once ruled over by the Roman Empire. They would continually try to unite Europe back into one powerful political system as before although they would be unable to do so. Mingling seed for this accomplishment showed they would try to unite the countries through intermarriage, marrying a royal daughter to another national king’s royal son. But Daniel, when interpreting his dream, said they would not cleave one to another because they would be partly strong and partly weak. Beloved, hear me, it will only be under the one rule of the antichrist who is of the eighth head but is of the seventh head on the beast, only his office alone will be able in a sense to glue those ten European nations together and that is only going to be for a brief period of time because Daniel declared the stone hewed out of the mountain will come tearing down and smash the entire beast system, striking the beast at his feet, crumbling his ten toes!
BLASPHEMY ON HEADS (EMPEROR OR IMPERIAL RULER)
Notice carefully something else which was upon these seven heads. John said upon his (seven) heads was the name of blasphemy. What is the meaning of this? Recall how in its initial hour of power under that old imperial caesar system or first head, first form of Roman government when Rome stood at her zenith or height in power and glory and Julius Caesar proclaimed himself Imperial Sovereign Ruler, that was blasphemy! Even though that system began to decay going through seven forms of government each head or system of Roman government continually weakened, nevertheless, each ruler who sat in that emperor’s throne still proclaimed himself to be emperor or imperial ruler, though each head continued to weaken giving way to still other forms of government, as a new head would be formed on the beast, to continually declare one self supreme, universal ruler was blasphemy! Had the man declared himself a king, nothing would have been said because the term king was characterized by these ten crowns on these ten horns.
Note, none of these ten crowns ever retained the title of emperor, it was always king. But the Emperor of Rome considered himself imperial, sovereign, universal ruler and that was definitely blasphemy! On and on that blasphemous title was passed and continued to rest upon all seven forms of Roman government until finally the blasphemous title rested upon the Roman ecclesiastical bishop’s chair and once it had reached here, he too reached over and took the same position when he did believe it or not, the same blasphemous title was attached to his own office, also. He, too, begins declaring himself sovereign, universal, bishop ruler of man’s soul–that was blasphemy. No matter what you tie that blasphemous title unto, it will always strictly belong to Rome. It matters not who sets in the chair, it is still blasphemy. Therefore John declared, upon (all) the seven heads was written the name blasphemy. You can see in its restored state when the seventh head is healed it too will also be the title the antichrist will naturally attribute to himself!
FOUR BEASTS IN ONE
In verse 2 John describes the body of the beast, as being like unto a leopard. What could a leopard characterize within this resurrected Roman beast system? The fourth beast wasn’t a leopard in Daniel’s vision, why liken it unto a leopard now? It simply means when the future hour arrives for this dreaded thing to arise and become completely formed there in Europe it will certainly engulf all the territory the Grecian Empire acquired characterized by the leopard in Daniel’s vision. That is why it had feet like a bear. To typify and show it would engulf all the territory of the old Media-Persia Empire. The mouth of a lion signified it will take in all the territory of the Babylonian Empire. Remember, when that thing walks out of the water upon the sands getting ready to shake itself, Daniel’s final 70th week will be upon the world!
LOST DOMINION BUT NOT LIFE
Daniel (Daniel 7) saw and described those first four beasts coming up which was none other than the four world empires, the first was a lion (Babylon Empire), second a bear (Media-Persia) third a leopard (Grecian) and fourth Daniel described was more terrible to gaze upon with those huge shiny iron teeth ready to devour the whole prophetic earth! It was the last beast empire which would be the only one to exist through time until the coming of Christ (both advents). Recall the angel interpreting the vision to Daniel concerning those four beasts declared how the first three beasts would have their dominion taken away yet their lives would be prolonged for a season and a time, Daniel 7:12. See, the life of the three empires were not taken away but held in reserve for a later hour. They had their dominion and worldly empire taken from them but their lives, that is the spirits of these countries, peoples and territories were prolonged for a season and a time. Why? Because it would every bit be tied politically and economically to Rome in the last days!
WHAT PROHIBITS COMMUNISM IN MIDDLE EAST
Most of that part of the world from where those three empires sprang is either apostate religion such as Greek Orthodox or Moslem in their belief. That is why when the antichrist had fully come on the scene, being identified and introduced to the world those Middle East countries, though apostate in religion as far as Christianity is concerned seeing they are Moslem in their belief, can never be identified or aligned with a communistic power as they still believe in a God! Their belief in a god prohibits them from ever being identified with a communistic ideology.
BODY OF LEOPARD
The beast John saw having a body likened unto a leopard shows that system will engulf the spirit of the Old Grecian Empire. Though Greece today is having her internal political troubles, she is nevertheless still aligned in a military commitment to NATO which is represented in these ten nations of Europe. NATO acts as a military bulwark against Communist Russia. Over the past 30 years as this vast area of Europe and the Middle East has built their atomic rocketry, America has pumped billions of military equipment into them building their radar systems, launching rocket systems, etc. Why? To protect Europe, which includes Greece and the Middle East from Russia and her communistic influence. The fear and belief is that one day Russia’s influence will over run Europe and the Middle East to rule the world. All this was accomplished to fulfill Bible prophecy.
Russia, that vast territory of the cold north country, some 75 years ago stood completely represented as an illiterate people ruled from the Middle Ages by the power of the Greek Orthodox Church which had infiltrated its influence into the royal czar family of Russia, and had robbed and stripped the Russian people blind of their wealth. Such a setting was perfect for the doctrinal breeding ground of communism as taught by Karl Marx and Nicolai Lenin, who much earlier, had written their communistic thesis while studying in France. Marx and Lenin, both aware even from an early hour what the power of an apostate church system ruling over government could do, wrote their thesis with the intentions of showing Europe, especially Catholic France, how an application of their teaching would destroy such a system as the church. France refused their teaching and after trying it in Germany and being kicked out of there, turns to that cold barren wasteland of Russia where they could work upon the illiterate minds ruled over by the Greek Orthodox Church. Secretly they taught their beliefs to the people and within one generation of time had caused a revolution and an overthrow of the Russian government, overthrowing the czar rulership and destroying the power of the Russian Greek Orthodox Church and killing perhaps as many as 20 million people. Thus we can see why communistic Russia was raised up in this last day, not to rule the world but only to serve as an incubator to educate agents, to spread that system which would one day come right in under the nose of all of this other apostate religious stuff, especially in Europe, and simply gnaw it to pieces.
SPIRIT OF ALL EMPIRES ENGULFED
According to John, the east not only had a body resembling a leopard but had feet like a bear. Can’t you see the spirit of the bear or the old Medes and Persians there in the Middle East being engulfed into this last day system. The creature had a mouth like a lion. That doesn’t mean the beast speaks from this area in which the old Babylonian Empire came from. No, remember to keep the setting in Rome but the fact the mouth was likened unto that of a lion shows it also carries or embraces within its structure all that the Babylonian Empire characterized as well as the spirit of the old Babylonian Empire. See, that completes the cycle of territory around the Middle East and by that hour what comes out of the mouth of that beast will not only be blasphemy, he will rule the prophetic world exactly as did that old Babylonian system! The spirit of the lion characterizes the Babylonian system.
John continues by saying in verse 2, and the dragon (note this is the same red dragon which is the power of Satan symbolized in that great celestial vision shown in Rev. 12), gave him (the beast which is that earthly system seen embracing countries, peoples, races, etc.) His power and his seat (meaning power and authority). Note, Satan did it and the world embraced it! We know nothing good can come from it, because it is of the devil!
HEAD, NOT HORN, WAS WOUNDED
Satan’s purpose is shown in verse 3. And, I saw one of his (seven) heads as it were wounded. Note it was not one of the horns which had been wounded but one of its heads that had somewhere in the past been wounded unto death but had now recovered. Recall the beast only had seven heads and over each head was written the name blasphemy. Which head had been wounded? The seventh head of course! It was the last form of government to ever be formed on the beast. Recall the last form of old imperial Roman government was so weak it was taken over by the Catholic Church who ruled supremely from the 9th-15th Century. This is what was wounded but in Revelation 13 it had recovered from its deadly wound. A study of European history during that period shows it was none other than church government ruling Europe in the final stages of the Dark Ages, Jews have a much better history of themselves than do the poor gentiles. It is all because of what the power of that church system had done.
7TH HEAD HEALED
Therefore the wounded head which is now completely healed in verse 3 is none other than church government blended into the old political Roman system of government, and the pope setting in the city of seven hills called Rome was holding the reins of the last form of the old imperial Roman government. It was he who now drove the chariot through the streets during the 9th-15th Century and embraced that blasphemous title! Let any king rise up during that period against him and he simply would call a strike and paralyze that country until the king submitted to his authority.
Now get this picture in Revelation 13. There comes a day when God says, Satan I am going to allow you to get back in your own driver’s seat of authority for a while. Since I am going to restore my own church back unto her original position, I will permit your wounded head on the beast to be healed. What was the wound unto death seen on one of the heads of this beast? The wound unto death carries a two- fold meaning. It was both spiritual and natural.
WOUND HAS TWO-FOLD MEANING
First, let’s examine the wound from the spiritual aspect. From within the very college of Catholic monks within the 16th Century came a man named Martin Luther who was well versed in all Catholicism stood for. Feeling so wretched Luther searched deeply for reality that could satisfy his soul and give him a peace of mind, God spoke to him—–Martin Luther, turning to the scriptures, settled this truth in his heart, wrote his 95 thesis and nailed them onto the church door at Wittenberg, Germany, turned and boldly faced the multitude standing nearby saying, this is what I have against this ruling church system! Therefore with the sword of the spirit Luther began whacking and preaching his new revelation–the just shall live by faith. Throughout Germany people rallied to his cause. The king of Germany rallied to his rescue, defying the pope to do to him what he had done to John Huss and other reformers who had earlier tried to pick up the sword of the spirit and contest his authority. With the preaching of Luther, God gave Catholicism a terrible whack with that spiritual sword. Luther’s preaching put a spirit of boldness in people. His teachings had no sooner began burning in people’s hearts when along came John Calvin and again with the sword of the spirit he, too, drove deep into that system.
Next with the sword of the spirit came Zwingli and Knox and still others. By the time you reach the 18th Century Catholicism had already received a considerable lick or wound in the seventh head by the sword of the gospel. This deadly wound in the head simply indicates the papal power was losing its grip over European life!
NATURAL BLOW (POPE’S IMPRISONMENT)
In 1787 God dealt this system a blow she will never forget! Napoleon Bonaparte who sought to establish a French empire could never rule the world as he had hoped. Nevertheless, because the power of the Catholic Church was detested, despised and contested by practically every loyal king in Europe by 1787 France, under Napoleon, being the powerful nation that she was, sent Gen. Berthier to Rome to arrest the aging pope. From the hour of 1787 no pope would be allowed to sit in the same position of authority their predecessors had! The old man arrested was brought to France and placed in prison where later he died. A younger man was placed upon the papal throne and from that hour up unto around Word War I, although they still retained ecclesiastical supervision over the universal church and wherever possible pulled political strings nevertheless, the power of the church was in no position to tell any nation what they could or could not do. European nations at least for now were free of this dictatorship and now with this new found freedom they enter into what is known throughout Europe as the period of great colonization within many parts of the world. But one thing was for sure, the seventh head on the beast now wounded unto death did not remain in charge. Each nation was free to do as it chose.
WHEN HEALING TOOK PLACE
However note, shocking as it may sound John saw in Revelation 13, when that beast rose up out of the sea and came upon dry land, its head wounded unto death had now been restored and healed! When was this healing on this head to take place? It is healed in the latter days of the reformation as God closes out the gentile dispensation. During this time God had restored back his end time people to the revelation of truth as it was taught in the early apostolic days wherein they could be a part of the true bride of Christ. During this same period of time he had also restored Israel to her homeland and at the same time was resurrecting this old Roman beastly system! Slowly restoring back to this system that same governmental rule, restoring back that same chair of authority seen in the dark ages restoring back to that same city the recognition of prestige it once commanded wherein it will once again speak as it did in the final stages of the Dark Ages with Satanic influence.
NATIONAL AMBASSADORS SENT TO ROME
Since the turn of the century and especially after World War I, more and more nations began sending their representatives or ambassadors to the Vatican to represent their nation until today most nations of the free world has one there. For years very few ambassadors were present however since World War 2 even the U.S. has placed one there. Now all Western Europe has one. I want you to know the papal office could not heal itself, God allowed Satan through time to do it. While the gentile world struggles for peace and many new pressure points are constantly arising, economic pressures are everywhere and at the same time God is restoring Israel. All this together has rocked the gentile world. Slowly it has caused nations under the guiding influence of that Satanic spirit described as that which was and is not but shall come up out of the bottomless pit to once again characterize itself back within that same old seventh head system of Rome. The day will come when kings, potentates and politicians will not just go to the Vatican for a blessing, NO, the hot-lines in that day won’t be between Washington and Moscow, but between Washington and Rome.
WHY DIGNITARIES VISIT ROME
What is the magnetic drawing power that draws such men as Dr. Henry Kissinger and world dignitaries of foreign nations to constantly pay visits to Rome in their world travels? Caesar Augustus or Nero is no longer in Rome but there is a man there called the Pope who these dignitaries know has his agents all over the world and should they find favor with him he could be of great assistance in their peace missions. Throughout Protestantism today men write tracts warning the world that Dr. Henry Kissinger is the antichrist. They feel it is proved by taking his name and breaking it down into the Roman Numeral system and see it comes out to 666, yet Kissinger IS NOT THE ANTICHRIST! He may have sold Israel down the drain but HE IS NOT THE ANTICHRIST! Soon he will fade into the background, yet the antichrist is soon to appear.
DRAGON GIVES BEAST POWER 42 MONTHS
Thus by the hour Rev. 13:4 has reached complete fulfillment, this European beastly system once again headed up under the Vatican for authority and leadership will be come up out of the sea and come into its full identity. It will again be headed up under that last form of government seen ruling the old Roman Empire (seventh head carrying that compound meaning.) Thus all those previous territories Rome once ruled will once again through certain political world conditions and other maneuvering be again placed back into the hands of Rome wherein that spirit of Satan will execute his purpose. Remember verse 4 declared they worshiped the dragon or the devil who gave power unto the beast system. And they worshiped the beast saying, who is like unto the beast. Who is able to make war with him? The beast in that hour will be a mighty combination of European and Middle East countries ruled from Rome. Yes, that is what the prophetic world will be saying concerning the beast because the prophetic world has looked and longed for an hour of utopia, a haven of peace and tranquility. Those without revelation, those who have never been born again can’t help in that hour but worship the devil seeing they will be totally unaware of what they are doing. Little do they realize Satan has funneled them into his great trap as that apostate religion will be in control of the reins of the government. None of this trap applies to the bride of Christ seeing she won’t be here in that hour of the last 42 months on earth when he is given a mouth speaking great and blasphemous remarks.
Verse 5, There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things. (Daniel also saw this and recorded it in Daniel 7), And blasphemy and power, John said, was given to him to continue 42 months. Which is none other then the last half of Daniel’s prophetic week. Recall the beginning of the prophetic week itself was introduced to the world strictly as an hour of cooperation and according to Daniel 9:27 will be a period lasting seven years.
COVENANT SIGNING BEGINS FINAL WEEK DEVIL WORSHIPED IN FINAL WEEK
For a few moments let us examine that period of time in connection with the day we live, seeing mankind is rapidly approaching that hour of the initial opening of that final prophetic week in Daniel’s prophecy. No, we are not to understand it in the light that when the world has finally reached such an earth shaking hour, they all hurriedly come to a conference table and decide to set up some kind of trial program which will last for seven years to see how well it works. That’s not the picture. God alone will be the timekeeper during those years involving this peace treaty. Moreover, it is God who permits certain world shaking events to transpire in order to bring the frightened world to the opening of that prophetic week. God alone caused mankind to reach an hour. These world shaking events soon to transpire all causes mankind to realize if he is to survive, something must be done.
Therefore to the conference table they come and around this table they work out their political problems, their monetary problems and their military problems. All representatives of the various nations reach one conclusion, this had to be the only solution. Let us accept and adopt it! Therefore, after drawing up a charter, all representatives including Israel place their names upon it. Seeing, Dan. 9:27 declares he makes a covenant with many (nations). When that hour arrives that the by-laws of that charter has embraced, when the last signature goes on that charter, when the antichrist has made his covenant with all the nations including Israel, it will be God alone who will be the timekeeper on all this who begins his stopwatch to ticking off the last seven years of time. Because seven years from the signing of the covenant everything will be brought to an end. Recall, it was God alone who kept the prophetic time record on all these other 69 prophetic weeks. Only the prophecies themselves spoke of it. Nowhere in human history were charters or time pieces devised whereby the Jews could regulate his hour of expectancy in looking for their Messiah. It was only concealed in the prophecies. God watching the duration of those 483 years and seeing the 69th prophetic week drawing to a close, never had any rabbi stood up in the synagogue and declared, Jews, these 69 prophetic weeks are over. Likewise, as it had only been God himself who knew when that 69th prophetic week of Daniel’s prophecy reached it’s climax, so will it be with this final period of time. A Persian King made a decree wherein the Jew should return and rebuild the city in troublesome times, however, once that decree was made, a decree which set in motion those 70 prophetic weeks there was absolutely no other record kept for the duration of those 69 prophetic weeks. God alone had kept track of that prophetic time. Likewise will it be God alone who knows when and where to start the clock of time ticking off the last seven years of time.
The devil within that final week of Daniel’s prophecy will be worshiped and mankind will never be the wiser. Rev. 13:5 declared he was given 42 months which is verified by Daniel 7:25 which declared, And there was given unto him time, times and a half of times which is actually the last half of that seven year period wherein he, the antichrist, will stand out as that beastly man, the world’s false prophet all have looked forward to.
Verse 6 declares he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God. No, he isn’t standing there cursing God, that is not the picture. He is very religious and is looked upon as the world’s religious holy man, yet the scripture declares he blasphemes God. It is simply the fact he is to obtain titles and attribute virtues of authority unto himself, such as being the vicar of Christ, etc. He blasphemes God in using God’s name for carnal, perverted purposes. That is what this religious system has always been guilty of doing, twisting the word of God, hoping to use the authority of the name, to perpetuate and execute all these things. My friend, if you have a Catholic background just remember, I am not preaching at you because I want you to know the remainder of this chapter shows the hour is coming when apostate Protestantism will be as devilish and filthy as Roman Catholicism ever was.
Yes, the scripture said to blaspheme his name, his tabernacle (his church) and them that dwell in heaven. What could that mean? The Roman Church has never cursed angels. Those in heaven simply mean those who sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. No, the Roman Church doesn’t curse the dead. They spoke against (the living) every protestant reformer (when he was alive) and during those Dark Ages spoke against everyone who left the confines of the Catholic establishment to follow one of these reformers declaring they were heretics and unfit to live! No wonder in that dark hour will she once again speak exactly in that same manner. That has always been her way of existence and her way of remaining supreme as a system! She did it in Europe during the Dark Ages before being wounded! But being wounded through the power of the reformation she lost that voice. However, the hour is coming that, that powerful voice will be again restored unto her. Every soul refusing to bow to her dictates, once she takes over the reins of world government, will be ridiculed beyond measure. Because verse 7 says within that 42 months he blasphemed God, his tabernacle or church as well as those which dwell in heavenly places. Note, it was given to him during that period to make war with the saints and overcome them. And all who dwell upon the earth shall worship him whose name has not been written in the Book of Life.
Who are these saints that are refusing to worship him? Are they the bride saints? No, the bride has already left the earth when the last 3 ½ years began. It is none other than a true picture of those poor foolish gentile virgins shown in Matthew 25 who were left behind after the true bride has gone to glory. These are the gentile saints being butchered. That is why Rev. 7:9-17 and especially verse 14 pictures that great (slaughtered) multitude standing before the throne and before the Lamb having already been slain, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands. They were the great multitude who came up out of the great tribulation period (the angel told John)and had washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Yes, these had been left behind after the bride left and during that 42 months they would not bow to the dictates of the antichrist, therefore he made war with the saints and overcame them as power was given to him over all the prophetic nations of the world.
No, that antichrist system is not communism! It is religion propagated and executed under the name of Jesus Christ. When a religious system will publically execute through capital punishment any person refusing to bow to its dictates and do it in the name of Jesus Christ, wouldn’t you think they would be speaking blasphemy against that holy name? No apostle ever killed anyone in the name of Jesus Christ simply because they wouldn’t become converted. Yes, according to verse 7 during that 42 months he makes war with the saints has nothing to do with the bride saints. In this hour the bride has already gone to glory. To overcome them during that 42 months means to destroy or physically kill them. The power given him over all kindred, tongues and nations is that of the Western world, not the Orient or Far East.
PREDESTINED TO DIE OR BE IMPRISONED
Verse 10—-He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity-meaning during that period he who is ordained to go to prison and suffer ridicule for the name and for the faith to which he has been testifying, will certainly go to prison. Recall, Christ in Matthew 25 spoke of those who had been in prison during that period of antichrist rule saying unto the sheep nations, I was in prison and you visited me and to the great nations saying, depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, I was in prison and you visited me not! Yes, he who is predestined to go into captivity will surely go into captivity. All those rebellious people who refuse to walk in the light of that system will be gotten rid of for John continues saying, for he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword, showing if you try to defend yourself that is exactly what they are going to do to you. Truly it will be a terrible hour because verse 10 closes by saying, here is the patience and the faith of the (tribulation) saints.
Keep your eye on that beast John saw coming up out of the sea, because already in Europe it is now rising! For 30 years they have been trying to mold those ten horns together. NATO, the military effort of these European nations, combined with the support, manpower and military force of the U.S. is an effort to bind Europe together militarily to protect themselves against Russia and communism. Beloved, God has permitted Russia to become the scarecrow. Their fear is, one day Russia will invade Europe militarily.
Momentarily we leave this European beast rising up out of the sea and listen to John describing another beast coming up out of the earth–note, not out of the sea. This shows this beast comes from a different geographical area of the earth. The one coming out of the sea signified Europe and the Middle East and was built around the Mediterranean. Don’t move your setting for that beast away from that locality, however, the other beast came up out of the earth; came up out of a continent of land unassociated with the Mediterranean Sea. As a matter of fact, that continent had not even been discovered in 96 A.D. while John was in prison on Patmos. From 95-96 A.D. we have better than 1400 years to go before the discovery came that this planet was round. About the time God was preparing his signal for the beginning of the reformation, he allowed a little Spaniard to receive a revelation the earth was round, and he was ready to prove it. The beast coming up out of the earth, we note, had two horns like a lamb but spake like a dragon. Recall, the dragon was the spirit giving power to the first beast as well as his seat and authority.
Through that same beast system all people worshiped the dragon (devil). Here we see that same devil speaks through this two horned lamb! Verse 12 declares this beast ecclesiastically will exercise all the power of the first beast. In what way? He causes the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast whose deadly wound (on his seventh head)was healed. Remember this healing was none other than the restoring back of the papal power. The earthly lamb beast having two horns in most characteristic. The earth lamb beast represents an area of land housing many people. While it is true America was discovered about the time of the Reformation are you aware that when the Reformation within the old European countries reached a certain point bringing religious freedom to the European people nevertheless because there still remained such a power of these horns in the government of Europe over the lives of their subjects, God knowing the church could never survive in its true biblical sense as long as the people had to inhabit such an environment as that, opened up a new continent for them. To this new land came both protestant and catholic. At first America never resembled what John described here. She was full of beautiful wilderness, etc. Perhaps the religious freedom she offered was unmatched. Her statement based her federal laws upon the Bible. In its original birth the lamb was pure. Her Constitution granted mankind religious freedom. No, in her early hour America never spoke like a dragon. She wouldn’t do that until her purpose had been served. America the land of freedom has sold out to the devil! She never desired to conquer the world as certain European nations had. She was a wonderful little lamb that all nations could play with. She never desired an empire of her own but God made her into one.
LAMB SPEAKS AS DRAGON
Let’s watch the land beast speak. Remember as it began to sell out from its original purpose that was the hour America began to move into her final prophetic picture as shown in our hour. The lamb will begin to speak like a dragon. That is, will begin speaking with the same spirit, the same vision and with the same purpose of that which is going on in Europe. Watch this lamb at work. Verse 13, And he doeth great wonders so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. This of course is scientific miracles.. The lamb beast was so powerful it could call fire down from heaven. John lived in a day when they didn’t even have muzzle loaders, let alone rockets, atomic and hydrogen bombs. He lived in an hour when all you saw was swords and spears. Had you lived in such an hour and suddenly seen in the spirit rocketry, blazing streaks of fire and such things in the heavens which you had never known before, how would you write about it? No doubt just as John did. He placed what he saw in the best language available for him to describe the scene. And this lamb beast could call fire down from out of heaven in the sight of men. That is the rat race today, who can gain military supremacy in space? Use space platforms or a moon base with rocketry? All this is the final stages of some power being able to master the universe and eventually control the earth. The U.S. is that lamb. True, Russia is also in the race but God in his own hour will take care of that!
LAMB DECEIVES THROUGH MIRACLES
Verse 14–And deceive them that dwell on the earth by the means of these miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the (European) beast or first beast. Why does the lamb beast do this? It is the lamb beast’s way of saying to that first beast, don’t worry we will protect you. Why did Dr. Henry Kissinger recently tell NATO officials we will stand with you at any and all cost?
AMERICA DETERMINED TO STAND WITH EUROPE
We realize America doesn’t have an Army large enough to guard Europe against a Russian invasion. Military officials realize if ever there would be a confrontation over Europe with Russia, European survival would depend entirely upon America using her scientific military weaponry. America has a new missile which Russia in their arms pact negotiations has desperately tried to talk America out of producing. It is a missile that can be carried on converted conventional aircraft and is so deadly once launched, because they can streak through the air only a few feet above earth below radar detection. Its capability of carrying atomic warheads when zeroed in on a target can tear a huge city to pieces. No wonder there is detente, but it isn’t working, it’s nothing but a political sellout. Negotiations signed between Russia and America isn’t worth the paper they are printed on!
LAMB MAKES IMAGE
Watch this land beast, because somewhere in the near future, it is going to say to all them dwelling on the prophetic earth that they should make an image to the beast which had the wound by the sword and did live (seventh head completely healed). That is exactly the spirit that has come right out of America. Prior to World War 2 it identified itself as the World Council of Churches. Somewhere man began to realize that Protestantism was too divided and uncooperative while European Catholicism wasn’t divided. Therefore a spirit in America began to say, we must unify, blend our efforts, our motives, our finances and our vision together because after all see what Catholicism can do since it is not divided. If we Protestants would do the same look what we could accomplish. Therefore out of America, out of apostate Protestantism was born the National Council of Churches of Christ consisting of a membership of better than 40 million church going Americans.
BACKBONES OF W.C.C.
Within the framework of this unity of Protestantism comes the backbone of the World Council of Churches, an effort and unity of two former councils sponsoring a drive to unite Protestantism throughout the world. The strong arm of the World Council of Churches comes right out of America. No, not all the people making up the World Council comes from America, of course not! But just as the American dollar built Europe after World War 2, so has the American church treasuries been used to sponsor every organizational effort that has been carried on within the World Council. Therefore you can’t help but see how the wealth of this one nation has rebuilt and restored that beastly system. No, it wasn’t America’s purpose or vision to restore a beastly system in Europe, certainly not! It was simply America’s way of helping Europe reconstruct herself out of those war torn years. America’s spirit was, let’s prove our loyalty and stand with them at any cost against the threat of communism from Russia. While proving our cooperation economically, politically and militarily as a nation of united states who always blended their efforts together, we longed to see Europe catch the spirit and blend themselves together as states united because that is what America is. However when such a thing happens in Europe you are going to see a beast system that has been long prophesied! We wanted them to look at us and catch the spirit of what it could mean for them to be united and working together in cooperation. Therefore, in this fashion America definitely helped unify Europe! That is exactly what this lamb beast of America has done for 30 years. Thus in that framework of thought while from the political side America is building a beastly system in Europe, from our religious structure in the country America has been building an image to that first beast, seeing the World Council of Churches is well on its way of reaching its ultimate goal in becoming that image to the beast with the wounded head.
POWER GIVEN TO IMAGE
What does scripture declare that this image (World Council of Churches) will begin to do once it is brought into full focus via the lamb beast? Verse 15-And he (America) has power to give life unto the image of the beast, meaning that through the spirit of the devil that was coming up through the U.S. as she began to sell out from her original God given purpose and turn herself over to the devil, that same devil began to come right up into the structure of the church system and deceivingly say through bishops, clergymen, etc., you must now all cooperate together! Beloved, this image is on the road and is speaking from America!
RECEIVING A MARK
Who, during the war-torn years of Vietnam, put up the most criticism? The clergy of course! Slowly religions are working to entwine themselves in their apostate condition into the structure of political government. Read verse 15 and watch what this image does once it was furnished life by the land (lamb) beast. That the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. That is exactly what will happen in the hour of antichrist as the image works in complete and full cooperation with the seventh head on the beast which was wounded unto death but is healed. Do you realize when the Spirit of God leaves religion it is an open invitation for the devil to take over? Even now notice how cruel religion can be. Let a man of God receive a true revelation and begin preaching it, every organization of apostate religion will condemn it, ready to tear that man to pieces. That is minor compared to what it will do once the antichrist becomes head of it!
Verse 16-And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead. And that no man might buy or sell save he that hath the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom let him that understandeth count the number of the beast. It is the number of a man and his number is six hundred threescore and six.
NUMBER WORN IN CROWN
For the remainder of the message I want to discuss with you somewhat concerning this number of 666. Recently I read a tract written by an ex-catholic priest who listed the title the pope attributes to himself as Vicarius Filii Dei (Vicar of Christ) as 666. Vicar meaning God’s personal representative on earth. That is blasphemy! You can’t be a representative unless the Holy Ghost is in you. When Paul declared God had chosen him to reveal his Son in him that wasn’t blasphemy. However, when the pope declares he is the representative of Christ on earth and does the things he does, it is blasphemy! Because that is not the Holy Ghost speaking, it is the devil speaking to deceive mankind. Thus when the Roman title Vicarius Filii Dei meaning the Vicar of Christ worn in his crown is broken down into Roman Numerals it adds up to 666.
HOUR OF NUMBERS
Through the years different Roman generals and leaders whose name, rank or title of office has also added up to the same but remember, the world had not reached the hour that all other systems of man were to be climaxed and culminated and submitted into an hour when 666 stood out. For instance, a hundred years ago we had no such things as Social Security cards, telephone numbers or credit card numbers. Babies in hospitals were known by names, not by a number as they are today. There were no computers, yet by the time we reached the mid 20th Century various nations of the Western world began to devise methods of personal identification. No, the Social Security card number is not the beast. As years passed phones became more numerous therefore they soon devised an automatic hook-up to by-pass the local operator. This was a system operated electronically by impulse going into the switchboard. Then arrived the hour a person in one city could call a friend in a distant city, directly on the same frequency of four letters, but the area he lived in had to be identified different from this, therefore placed in front of the friend’s number were three digits to represent his area. As the system grew, in order to by-pass cities as well as long distance operators they now break the states up into identified areas, a certain segment of the state is recognized by a three digit code.
It is all a modern progress of a modern communication. I am using this to illustrate a point. Adopting the area code by-passed the long distance operator. Today as we make our call, the first three numbers (the area code) as it is called, reached the state, the next three numbers places us into the particular city of the state we are calling and after that comes the person’s own individual four numbers and the call is completed.
COMPUTER RECOGNIZES NUMBERS
Take the Social Security number for instance. Once in had become more numerous, the country finally adopted a code whereby everyone born is automatically given a social security number. The first three numbers is a three number digit coming into a fast age of quicker communication, quicker identification, it is all done to simplify matters in keeping records. You can’t write a name on a card, place it into a machine and expect it to begin clicking. But you write a name and add the correct number and see what happens. We are rapidly being brought into an hour when nations of people are brought into an identification of a number system. It is the highest peak of modern technical achievement of identification. Babies in hospitals are automatically assigned numbers and the computer knows each of us by a number, not by a given name.
666 APPEARING IN EUROPE
I did not know this until recent years but as NATO began to work in a cooperative hour with the European Common Market after WWII and the Common Market being the economic (trade)structure within the same area of NATO which is the military structure, that within those NATO nations, as they began to cooperate for a unity economically and sell their products among NATO nations which eliminates tariffs and such, during this time they began to adopt a number and did you know the number they adopted as they began to trade among European Common Market nations was a three digit number—–get this, that number was 666. It began appearing on many trade items. 666 is that three digit number of NATO and the Common Market nations! Many license plates in Europe today somewhere carry that number 666. When Egypt reopened the Suez Canal which had been closed since the six day war, the first ship to pass through was one bearing this Common Market number, 666. 666 identifies all nations working in the unification and cooperation of the European nations.
IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM ALREADY PRESENT
While true, 666 points toward the number of a man, yet I want you to know when that particular man comes on the scene and is introduced to the world and his numerical number is 666, are you aware he will not have to tell the world economist they will have to adopt an identifying system, Absolutely not! That identification system will already be here. In that respect he won’t have to suggest one thing, it will by that hour have been worked out. No, the pope won’t have to run for election, he is already destined! There will be many numbers within the whole numerical system, nevertheless, all the numbers that are tied into his beast system will be tied into the three digit number 666. When that crucial hour of the beastly system has arrived in full force, 666 will be linked to all other numbers. Scripture declares it is either received in the palm of the hand or forehead.
CANADA READY TO GO CASHLESS
Today nations are working rapidly on a cashless society. An article appeared early this year in a leading Canadian paper which proclaimed Canada the first nation with the capacity to go cashless and told how she intended to proceed on this course. Once it was set up, the money saved yearly by this procedure was unbelievable. The credit card era will be short-lived. Already grocery stores in various parts of the country are being hooked up to the computer system of local banks. People working in industry no longer will have to receive a check. Through the computer system, places of employment computes to the bank a certain amount of money for that individual, store chains are hooked up to these banks by the same computer system. When you go to the grocery store you will note products today carry computer marks. Cash registers are becoming completely different. When your purchase is added ,whatever your computer number is for the bank to operate, that number is fed directly to the bank and okayed. The computer automatically takes the total of your purchase from the balance of your account and no money is handled.
We understand the purpose of all this is to prevent the possibility of fraud. A mark is being devised to rid the possibility of fraud. They claim this mark is placed on the flesh by a laser beam, a mark which cannot be seen by the natural eye but is registered through the computer once the individual stands before it. This allows only the person the use of the computer number to which it is registered. Beloved, I am not saying this is the beast, but I am saying we are at the end. All these numbers will eventually be funneled into this number 666, that is as far as you can go! It lets me know when the hour arrives for the beast to fully come on the scene, every monetary system will already be tied into it. Every political program will be monitored and tied into it. Even the operation of your military forces within the western world will all be channeled through a system which is all tied to the beast and headed by the antichrist.
WORLD WON’T LAST LONG
The hour is rapidly approaching when the silver coins will vanish from the scene and you will no longer see the dollar bill. You will no longer see this modern means of business transaction. Can you not see how all this will make it more to the advantage of the antichrist in his hour to head a world monetary operation? How simple it would be to send out a decree that except a man wear a mark of a number and be identified with this certain system politically, religiously and economically, he couldn’t buy nor sell! What an advantage that would be over human beings. No, God won’t allow the world to last long under that kind of system, because when we turn to Revelation 17 and having about reached the end of that 70th week or be within the last half of the week when that evil force has killed or run off all who would resist its evil, God will turn that communistic spirit loose on her.
WOMAN RIDES BEAST
That is why the angel took John into the wilderness and said, Come here I will show you the judgement of the great whore who sitteth upon many waters. John saw a beautiful woman sitting on a scarlet covered beast, the same beast portrayed in Revelation 13. There she sat, decked in scarlet, the royal color of the Vatican as well as the color of the Roman cardinal body. She was decked with all kinds of precious stones, gold, etc. As he gazed with great admiration, John caught himself admiring her, but while gazing upon her as she rode this European beast, she turned toward John and he saw some writing in her forehead, the writing was MYSTERY BABYLON, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS! No, she wasn’t one of these cheap women of the streets, she worked her profession among the wealthy and social class. She flirted only with the kings and wealthy.
COMMUNISTIC SPIRIT DESTROYS HARLOT SYSTEM
John was told to watch her judgment. There she sat on this beast in that hour riding all over the prophetic world and as John watched her, he saw ten horns fastened to the head of this beast suddenly reach up and begin to rip and tear her to pieces. NO, it wasn’t the nation called Russia tearing her to pieces, it was a communistic spirit within her own ten horns over which she had been riding for centuries of time that was ripping her to pieces.
Today Communism is rapidly on the rise in Europe. Italy is being greatly undermined by the communistic forces today. We are at the end! All these things are pointing to that hour.CHURCH UNITY IS ABOUT COMPLETED, ALL WE NEED IS ANOTHER WORLD SHAKING EVEN TO TRIGGER A TRANSACTION AMONG THE NATIONS AND HURRY THEM TOGETHER! WHEN THAT HAPPENS BELOVED, YOU HAVE THIS TERRIBLE THING ON THE STAGE OF TIME!
What is the mystery of God that should be finished spoken of in Revelation 10:7? Who does this mystery involve, who does this mystery affect, and what is the key that unlocks the mystery? These and other questions we will attempt to answer while studying together Revelation 10:7. Because of the confusion stemming from the misunderstanding of this verse, pertaining to the mystery of God declared to be finished as the voice of the seventh angel is in progress of sounding, we desire to study this verse in its true biblical setting to learn just what this mystery is all about! Perhaps no other verse of scripture in all Revelations has caused as much misunderstanding as this one verse. The church world simply reads over it, treating it as though it is unrelated to the book it is found in.
TIME NO LONGER DELAYED
To get a clearer picture, begin reading with Revelation 10:5 which says, “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven. (6) And swear by him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that therein are and the earth and the things that therein are, and the sea and the things which are therein, THAT THERE SHOULD BE TIME NO LONGER.” That is the translation of the King James Version, however, in its actual setting it means, let time no longer be delayed, showing the end doesn’t appear abruptly as the snap of the finger. Instead, it means something is going to happen which will no longer prolong time and will definitely set in motion things that will bring about the completeness of the very purpose of these words. Verses 6-7 are two verses which must go together because it is verse 6 that sets verse 7 in motion as it says, “BUT IN THE DAYS of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath (already) declared to his servants the (Old Testament) prophets.”
SPLITTING UP THE VERSE
Let’s take this verse by sections, and by breaking it up we will examine certain words found here, and last of all we will show the key which unlocks the entire verse! Beloved, without a true understanding of these individual words found in the verse, the entire verse of Revelation 10:7 could be interpreted several different ways as it is definitely being done today!
IN THE DAYS
The first portion of the verse reads like this, but in the days. What days? But in the days means in that time period which is related to the previous verse wherein the angel declared, let time be no longer (delayed), which means in that certain time period God is going to step up something, or going to fulfill something, or would set something in motion. Yes, God is going to set something in motion that will definitely bring to a climax this mystery of God.
THE VOICE, WHAT IS IT
The second part of the verse read – of the voice. The word voice here does not necessarily imply the articulation or vocal sound of a man. Yet, neither can you separate the vocal sounds of the man from the voice referred to in the verse because it does require a vocal expression to say something, doesn’t it? The word voice in its true application would have to refer to a message, not merely to someone’s natural voice. Remember, this same voice that would bring a message would also say a number of other things which would be entirely unrelated to the time which this scripture is discussing. In the first place, if this angel or messenger is not that of a supernatural being (which it is not) then it would certainly have to be an earthly messenger, and that is exactly what the seventh angel is spoken of in the verse.
HUMAN EXPRESSIONS BY THE VOICE
Moreover, we must realize this angel or messenger is merely a mortal man subject to human likes and dislikes as would anyone else and whether people will accept it or not, there will be those times when human expressions would be made by this messenger, which people of our generation have refused to allow to be that of mere human expressions or statements. People are always saying, I say the prophet makes mistakes. They say that because that is the way they interpret what I have said. What I said was, God in sending a prophet to the age that knew the minds of the generation which he was sent to. And knowing that, their minds would be so carnal they would be unable to see the God who used this mortal vessel, therefore would be unable by spiritual revelation to understand what was said in order to know what part is God in that of the fulfillment of his scripture. Instead, with a carnal mind they would misinterpret this entire setting as to what God was doing. And doing so would lead to their own carnal ruin because God knew these carnal minds of this generation would never see or recognize him who is God. Instead they would only see flesh and become misled and deceived. Therefore, God is simply going to leave that carnal mind. So, I take these very words they criticize me with, throw them right back at them and say they are carnal to ever think in that manner! They interpret the entire message to their own destruction as their spiritual blindness causes them to desire to defy the flesh of a mortal man, who like anyone else was subject to death and was born through the same manner of conception as other mortals are. Jesus Christ alone is the only one you can contribute deity of the flesh unto! It matters not how much anyone desires to quote Luke 17 or whatever, no other man was deity other than Christ Jesus!
MORTAL SINFUL FLESH, NEITHER GOD NOR WORD
God can use mortal flesh through which to reveal Himself, yet that mortal flesh is not God by any stretch of the imagination! Only one person ever walked the face of this earth who was God in the flesh. No, not even the Apostle Paul, who declared that Christ was God in flesh, reconciling the world unto himself (II Corinthians 5:19) who furthermore declared how God had chosen him from his mother’s womb to reveal his son in him, even after that Paul was not immortal, he was a mortal man like anyone else! Paul knew the flesh in which he walked and the head which one day would roll off Nero’s chopblock was by no means deity! Remember, it is one thing to walk in mortal flesh and have the Spirit of God to live in that mortal flesh and even reveal himself through that mortal flesh, yet in it all, that will never make that mortal flesh God! Neither is mortal flesh the Word, yet the Holy Spirit, in whatever measure the Spirit is in that individual, is definitely that God Spirit of truth who can reveal His will, His word and His purpose to and through that mortal flesh. Yet in all that, that mortal individual is not God.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN, VOICE BEGAN TO SOUND?
Continuing on with Revelation 10:7, But in the days (or in the times) of the voice (or the message) of the seventh angel, who we have already established was not some supernatural being, but instead was an earthly messenger only referred to in the scripture as an angel messenger to the seventh church age. When he, (this earthly messenger), shall begin to sound – and remember, that phrase does not necessarily imply when he once begins his earthly ministry or start out preaching, certainly not! Begins to sound has reference to that message which God brought him into the earth at this time to fulfill and declare. When that messenger shall begin to sound, remember also, to begin to sound does not necessarily imply the man at the time of the sounding when it stands out in its true dimension has to be alive! No, he does not have to be alive at the time this scripture stands out in its true dimension! It simply means that the message when it reaches its true dimension, actually begins to echo to the corners of the earth and begin bouncing back exactly like an echo would in a canyon, just like it is doing today! Then you can say a message has been declared, a message has been sent, it has been sounded and uttered to definitely awaken a people and set certain things in motion which will definitely bring about God’s last fulfillment of His word. No, when the message begins to sound or begins to stand out in its true dimension as it is ordained to do, we certainly do not have to believe that the individual man himself would have to on earth in literal flesh, although it did require his vocal cords to utter it or set it in motion. The evidence that we see today as this message goes forth to the ends of the earth proves the literal man himself is not required to be on the earth at the time of its sounding!
THINGS PROPHESIED YEARS AGO
Many times the man himself, when alive, 15 years ago, told us about what religion would do and would become. 15 years ago it was difficult for people to conceive, how these religious organizations would sell out to a spirit of the devil or what the world itself would allow to creep into their realm of mortal flesh. Yet no sooner does the flesh of the man leave the scene and that message (voice) begins to go into the regions of this earth where many people never heard of any such thing, we notice things beginning to enter into the mortal realm of this world, as well as into the religious realm, that 10-15 years ago was completely unbelievable to grasp or imagine would happen, yet under the anointing the messenger told us exactly how it would be! It caused you to realize just how wicked and filthy this gentile world will become before the coming of Jesus.
HAD THE MESSAGE NOT COME
Had not God sent a man with such a wonderful jewel of revelation of truth, the question could well be asked, where would we be today? Even within my own denomination in my earlier days I saw many things which were discouraging, because while reading the Bible in those days I could see certain things the religious movement I belonged to upheld and propagated as though it was God’s plan, which even back in those days was sickening. I am sure had I remained in that system with all the rotten filth going on today and knowing my attitude against it all back then, no doubt I would have simply quit or pulled out! Personally, I had rather be identified with the world than to be identified in such a religious system which is supposedly to represent Christianity, but is nothing but a religious cloak! Therefore, had God not done something every one of us would by now be in the world or shut up as some religious prisoner in some old religious institution going about in all the forms and rituals, propagating things which God absolutely was frowning and spitting upon! But thanks be to God He sent a man, though small in stature yet he was big in the spiritual image, large enough that when he uttered certain words Satan trembled, because Satan knew all too well what the God who was behind all this was destined to do in this generation which we were living.
SOUNDING DID NOT MEAN REVELATION FINISHED
But in the days, or in the time of the voice or the message of the seventh angel, who we must also recognize as being the messenger to the Laodicean Church Age itself, when he shall begin to sound, began to utter or spread, therefore I say, God help this movement! Ten years ago when God was ready to shake the movement with an event which would soon take place, many at that time thought when God had fulfilled His purpose with the messenger himself, it was all over and all wrapped up! How selfish can people become. When many areas and regions of the earth had never as much as heard one word of what had been uttered. Shame on people, who when God has done something for them, always want to take it and shut it up declaring we have it and no one else can have it! Why beloved, if it is truth the entire world needs to hear about it. No, I didn’t say the whole world would be saved simply because they had heard. The Bible does not teach the whole world will be saved, yet there is one thing for sure, after Christ’s resurrection He told His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel (as a witness) unto every creature. No, He never said all was going to be saved, but He did say preach it as a witness unto every creature. And in fulfilling that, we realize God knows exactly where all of His elected seed are. Thus, we should be mindful enough to listen to God and ask, Father, when and where do you want me to go? Because if we are concerned about living obedient to the truth God has given us and He is the God of truth who said go into all the world with it, you may rest assured He is the same God who knows exactly when you should go and just where you should go into the world with the truth.
MESSAGE STILL UTTERED
So, in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, that is when His message begins to be uttered and proclaimed, and I have to say after ten years since God removed His mortal vessel from the scene, that message is still being uttered and today bounces back and forth from continent to continent as well as in places you never though it would be. People have heard in some of the most unbelievable ways within the last ten years showing it was God’s way of getting the job done. When that message will begin to sound and as far as God is concerned it becomes the very outstanding thing in the earth although you will hear of unnumbered things on TV, etc., that is supposed to be the outstanding thing in the earth, yet scripturally it is not! Continue to watch it and you will see what will happen to it! Eventually it will become nothing but a filthy polluted thing, because were you on TV propagating truth the FCC would quickly step in and bring it to a halt.
COMPLETING THE MYSTERY OF GOD
Note, something else is scheduled to happen within those days of the sounding of that message (or voice). What is it? During that period of time the mystery of God should be finished as had been declared unto the Old Testament prophets. Did you notice the word mystery is in the singular and not the plural? What is this (singular) MYSTERY OF GOD that is to be finished when the voice is being sounded? Scripture teaches this MYSTERY OF GOD should be finished. Well, if it is a mystery of God to be finished or completed in the days of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel, exactly what is this MYSTERY and where did this MYSTERY that is to be completed, begin? The word FINISHED is also translated, “shall be completed.” Thus, we see the MYSTERY OF GOD is to be completed during the days of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel messenger.
THE MYSTERY INVOLVES MYSTERIES
How often Bro. William Branham referred to this verse, speaking of it in this manner – in the days of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound ALL THE MYSTERIES OF GOD SHOULD BE FINISHED. Why would the prophet to the age refer to mysteries being finished instead of THE (singular) MYSTERY OF GOD being finished! Listen carefully, because I want you to see the correct picture as to how within the hour THE MYSTERY OF GOD is being completely finished (or wrapped up) it will also involve the finishing up or wrapping up of many mysteries which have hung there as mysteries through the ages! We are going to take this one word MYSTERY and carry it into the scripture because it is only the scriptures that will be able to show you exactly what the mystery of God is in its completeness. Bear in mind the word THE MYSTERY OF GOD is not written in the plural, it is spoken of strictly in the singular as if it is one singular MYSTERY John refers unto.
MYSTERY – A LENGTHY TIME PERIOD
In its literal setting, the MYSTERY OF GOD that is to be completed during those days of the sounding of that message (voice) involves a lengthy period of time required for fulfillment! Yes, scripture will prove this MYSTERY is a lengthy period of time in which God will have done something which was a total misunderstood subject or hidden thing unto one element of people, and since being a misunderstood subject unto this one element of people makes it truly a MYSTERY unto them! A mystery is something you don’t understand although you do recognize its presence. Let’s find out scripturally just what this MYSTERY is and where did it begin.
MYSTERY UNTO ONE PEOPLE ONLY
I want to show you from the scriptures that this time period called a MYSTERY is a MYSTERY only unto one element of people, but is by no means a MYSTERY unto another element of people, and that this period of time referred to as MYSTERY OF GOD is none other than THE GRACE AGE PERIOD! Yet within this lengthy grace age period of time, referred to as the MYSTERY OF GOD unto this one element, during that same time period God will have been fulfilling certain scriptures within the Old Testament, and doing so will involve certain revelations being brought forth within the total realm, or period known as the MYSTERY OF GOD, which will be understood by one element of people yet definitely misunderstood by another element! You see, to one group of people it is definitely a time of complete mystery, yet within this same time period, according to Matthew 13:10-11, there would be another element of people who will definitely understand all these mysteries. Therefore, speaking of it in that term it would be declared MYSTERIES (be finished) as the prophet often declared.
MYSTERIES REVEALED WITHIN MYSTERY PERIOD
Make the Bible declare that, someone says! Gladly, however before we do may I impress upon you we are living in the day or period of time when this great age of grace is rapidly closing out, and in closing out of this mystery period will definitely involve a particular generation. Moreover, as these unfulfilled verses of scripture (verses yet to be fulfilled) shown throughout the Bible dealing with that particular period begin to stack up, and by that I mean as the period of time has now arrived for these particular unfulfilled scriptures pertaining to this particular subject to now be fulfilled and once that happens God will then have completed this mystery. That is, completed something that has remained a total MYSTERY over 1900 years to one element of people and within that same scope of time to another people, who were to be benefitted by this MYSTERY God, has revealed and make known still other MYSTERIES.
WHAT MISUNDERSTANDING STATEMENT LED TO
Although this MYSTERY in Revelation 10:7 is declared in the singular form, the prophet to the age when referring to the verse often worded it, all the mysteries should be unraveled, meaning all the loose ends would be tied together and beloved, it is that very statement so often used by the prophet, worded in that manner, which caused many (once the prophet left the scene) to feel there was no more revelation because as they declare, you heard him say so yourself. Beloved, that is the way the carnal ear heard it and the God of heaven who wrote this book willed it to be uttered in just that manner! Knowing these people would conceive it through a carnal interpretation, God allowed His prophet to word it in exactly that fashion, purposely to close up their spiritual ears and blind their spiritual eyes! God knew this message was never to form another organization whereby they could write their book of bylaws, nevertheless knowing there was a carnal element of people of the hour who would have come out of organized religion, who came out simply because of the impact of the magnitude of the drawing power of this message, God permitted certain words to be uttered which not only pleased and fed the carnal mind, but at the same time fed also the true spiritual mind! I realize all this created a struggle and a battle in the minds of the people, yet the greatest battle ever fought, declared by the prophet, would be the battle fought in the mind (weighing word against word). Those who heard him quote the verbal word in that way, jumps up and down with glee declaring, see, there is no more revelation! Therefore, they close their Bible, placing it upon a shelf, allowing dust to collect on it. They pick up the books and take them to the world just exactly verbally the way the prophet spoke it and they wind up with every carnal interpretation under the sun! Yes, they will go to the ends of the earth to tell the world God sent a prophet (messenger) to the age with a message, and everything they say is as carnal as carnal can be.
MYSTERY OF GOD COMPLETED AT END OF GRACE AGE
Therefore, if this word MYSTERY is dealing with something that is misunderstood by one element of people, yet understood by another, and within this great MYSTERY OF GOD are many MYSTERIES to be revealed and unraveled at the end of the age, let us take the scripture and verify what this MYSTERY is all about. John was the last apostolic writer on the scene closing out the first church age. Although he was not the apostle to the gentiles (seeing Paul was), John definitely was the last Jewish apostle to bring a great revelation unto the gentile church straight from the throne of God. This occurred sometime around (96 A.D.). The Jews had already been cut off and Jerusalem after 70 A.D. lay in ruins, and the Jews were scattered to the four corners of the earth, sold into slavery. Recall, it was John (a Jew) who, looking down through the scope of the gentile church age, saw and declared that this MYSTERY OF GOD would be finished as the voice of the seventh angel would be sounding (his message). Yes, the MYSTERY OF GOD should be finished or completed at the end of this MYSTERY age called the age of grace. In order to clearly see that is exactly what this MYSTERY is (the age of grace) hidden to the eyes of the Jew, turn first in Colossians 1:24, where Paul discusses the MYSTERY OF GOD. Remember, here in his discussions of the MYSTERY, Paul is standing at the beginning of the MYSTERY, not at the end! Watch carefully in our study how the apostle to the gentiles used the word MYSTERY. The word MYSTERY found in Revelation 10:7 is identically the same word MYSTERY seen in Colossians 1:26, and other places as well.
The Colossians were a Greek people who had been missionarized by the Apostle Paul. The occasion has arisen that Paul, in a Roman prison, is inspired to write his letter to the Colossian church. Beginning in Colossians 1:24, Paul says, (24) “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s (gentile) sake. (25) Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation (of grace, and remember the word dispensation means an allotted, designated period of time. Continuing on he says.) according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you (gentiles) to fulfill the Word of God.” Remember, fulfilling the word of God means fulfilling those Old Testament scriptures making them applicable and accessible or understandable unto the gentile church through the apostolic office of his ministry.
HIDDEN MYSTERY REVEALED
Verse 26 is the verse I especially want you to pay close attention to because it says, “Even the MYSTERY (singular) which hath been hid from ages.” (or other dispensations and generations)! What is Paul saying? He is speaking of this MYSTERY which began in his hour and is destined to be finished at the time of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel, a MYSTERY which had been hidden for ages and generations throughout the Jewish dispensations of the law, yes, hidden even to the prophets of old who wrote it! Because beloved, had they understood what the MYSTERY was, in which the Apostle Paul by revelation is breaking into, taken strictly from the Old Testament scriptures, these prophets would have proclaimed it throughout the various generations of Israel and therefore, it would have been no MYSTERY as to how one day Christ (God) would be in the gentiles (their hope of glory).
PAUL’S KNOWLEDGE OF THE MYSTERY
Since Paul is speaking of this hidden MYSTERY, a MYSTERY which was hidden to past ages, surely he knows what MYSTERY OF GOD he is referring to. Paul is overjoyed writing to the gentiles! And why should he not be? He too is a Jew, yet God, through his ministry is opening to the gentile church a MYSTERY no other Jew had ever understood, and he is fully aware God has placed within him a revelation of this hidden MYSTERY written and concealed in the pages of the Old Testament scriptures. Prophecies prophesied by prophets of old yet they were unable to grasp that which they were speaking which applied only to an hour when God would deal strictly with the gentiles. Prophecies which told what God would one day do with and for those fallen, depraved gentiles who were sinners far above that of the Jew who was controlled by his Old Testament law, Galatians 2:15.
PAUL OPENS UNDERSTANDING OF OLD TESTAMENT
Each time Paul picked up a pen to write, his heart would go out to those gentiles who now make up the gentile church, who only a few years before were so plagued and engrossed with paganism, idolatry, heathen worship, men and women who had fallen into the vilest sex sins imaginable, I Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 1:24-32, but were now cleaned from all their pollution of filth and though they dearly loved the Lord Jesus Christ, yet still they knew nothing concerning the Old Testament scriptures which spoke of the hour when God’s love would come to them! Paul rejoiced because he knew it was through his ministry God would fulfill their joy and spiritual salvation, and especially give them understanding of the Old Testament scriptures showing their position in God as God would reveal scriptures unto the gentiles through his apostolic office, revelations of the MYSTERY which had been hidden for ages from the Jews and patriarchs and even the prophets of old who were used to pen these scriptures concerning gentiles’ position in God! For instance, imagine Isaiah prophesying all those prophecies (concerning gentiles) when he spoke of how from the isles or regions of the gentile’s God would perfect praise. And how there would come from the gentiles that continual sacrifice of praise sent up unto God, sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving coming from gentile lips, who at that hour of Isaiah’s writing were far more vile and polluted than the Jew and falling every day deeper and deeper in sin! How could such a thing be that these people would one day praise the living God?
ISRAEL BLINDED TO GRACE AGE
Centuries pass and Paul is seen writing about all this in his many epistles. Peter, another Jew, writes also concerning these things in his epistles, how we gentiles (and Jews as well) during this mysterious age called grace are to offer up spiritual sacrifices and praises which is our thanksgiving unto Him. Yes, everyone of these Old Testament scriptures referring to the gentiles, Paul knew by revelation was God’s fulfillment strictly unto the gentiles during the mysterious grace period. Moreover, as that group of Jewish apostles began to leave the realm of those blinded Jews, who, although these things were written in their scriptures simply could not see into these things. Therefore, to them definitely this age of grace was nothing other than a MYSTERY. And as those Jews saw these apostles going in among the gentiles to spread this new doctrine, this new faith, this new revelation, how a Jewish Messiah had come and as declared by the apostles was cut off by His own people in order to fulfill scripture, naturally the Jewish race as a whole, blinded to all this, (MYSTERY) gnashed their teeth and criticized the entire program of God, which to them was a MYSTERY because to them in crucifying this Christ they only crucified an imposter and false prophet who pretended to be God. Legally, they thought they were justified in doing what they had done. When this bunch of Jews called apostles, etc., a group which was nothing more than an outcast in Jewish society, was seen going out among these wicked, sinful, heathen gentiles who the Jews looked upon as dogs because of their sinful nature, yet these apostles are converting these terrible sinners to believe in this man who the Jews themselves certainly did not believe in or accept to be their Messiah. Naturally to them it was a MYSTERY, yet they recognized it was definitely happening. Strange, isn’t it, the Jews would not accept Christ as their Messiah although He fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament scriptures exactly to the jot and title.
JEWS IGNORANT OF GENTILES ACCEPTING CHRIST
Therefore, beloved, on this basis of Israel’s blindness, can you not begin to see how that as the gentiles in vast numbers began to turn to this one who declared himself to be the Jewish Messiah, Jesus the Christ, that it definitely was a MYSTERY unto these Jews who were completely blinded unto this period of time in God’s program how the gentiles would be accepting Christ. To them it was definitely a mystery yet they recognized it was happening. Can you now begin to see how God had hid all these truths, hid all these revelations and their fulfillment which pertained to the gentiles in the grace age, hiding the revelation and fulfillment from the Jews and oncoming generations long before the event actually occurred, although it had been their own Jewish prophets who had spoken of this so often! Yes, it was certainly a mystery unto the Jew because it simply had not been revealed unto them. It was not for them to receive, see or understand, nevertheless God had reserved it all to be fulfilled among the gentiles.
To those Jewish people who had always served the law it was a total mystery unto them how such a trashy class of people, people with the nature of a dog could possibly come to God. Sure, they could recognize something was going on, but could not explain it. To those Jews they absolutely had no Old Testament scripture to explain such an event taking place. And to this day no orthodox Jew, living in his orthodox frame of thinking can possibly give you any legal justifiable explanation as to why the gentiles would believe in this Jesus who to them (at best) was only a Jewish prophet. Either the orthodox Jew would declare you are plainly deceived or else you only think you believe in this man who pretended to be their Messiah. To the Jews their Messiah has not as yet come.
Therefore, to the Jew the grace age, although written and concealed there in the Old Testament, the revelation of it totally hidden unto the prophets to the Old Testament thus making it a total time or period of mystery, unexplainable by any orthodox Jew. Yes, the revelation of it was hidden to the dispensation of the Jews by almighty God. Hence, it could neither be explained nor understood in scripture by the Jewish race when it happened.
GENTILES BLINDED TO SCRIPTURE ALSO
Likewise it is also true concerning the gentile church world (not the bride of Christ) but the gentile church world, concerning the millennium or our thousand year reign. We are only a few short years away from the millennium and the gentile church world is in the same frame of thinking, in respect to that fulfillment of scripture and prophecies concerning that period, as the Jews were who lived during the period of time God was preparing to do something for the gentiles. They simply shut their eyes and ears unto it! Nevertheless, God went straight ahead and did it anyway. Do you think for a moment God is going to annul His word today simply because this poor gentile religious world is blinded to what He is preparing to do? Absolutely not! God will not stop! He will go right on anyway.
MYSTERY MANIFESTED TO SAINTS
I trust you are able to see up to this point what the word MYSTERY in Revelation 10:7 stands out to mean. Recall, a mystery to one element of people is something unexplainable and misunderstood, while unto the people who are to be the recipients or receivers of it, to them it is no mystery at all. Paul continues writing unto the recipients of the mystery in verse 26 as he says, “Even the MYSTERY which has been hid from ages and from generations BUT NOW IS MADE MANIFEST TO THE SAINTS.” Therefore beloved, can you not see where the age of mystery is not a mystery whatsoever to the gentile Christians who has the Apostle Paul to explain to them what it was all about! Whenever you find a gentile declaring they don’t understand what is going on, you may rest assured that poor soul has been shut up in a religious prison for so long, never being fed anything other than church suppers and socials, because Paul plainly declares the MYSTERY is no MYSTERY to the saints of God! Yet it would still remain a mystery to that old element of people, the Jewish people, while at the same time the mystery would be understood by the gentile believers and would during this period of time also bring forth certain mysteries (plural) to be made known, certain hidden revelations which would be coming forth to the gentile saints. Because beloved, that has been the entire purpose of it all, to bring forth these mysteries.
No gentile up until the hour of the beginning of the grace age or MYSTERY age had any revelation as to who God was or what He planned to do in the earth, although it was true many of the gentiles had been proselyted or converted to Judaism. That proselyting took place only because the gentiles recognized a truth there within the Judaistic frame of religion which affected their social and moral outlook. Thus, Paul declares that God has manifested something to the gentile church, that is, how God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this MYSTERY among gentiles which boils down to this, CHRIST IN YOU, YOUR HOPE OF GLORY.
WHAT GOD DWELLING IN GENTILES ACCOMPLISHED
Once the Holy Ghost entered into the life of that gentile saint, giving them the experience of the new birth and began leading that soul down life’s pathway, the gentiles began to receive a different outlook on life as well as a different outlook about God, an outlook in which they had never in all their previous years ever experienced. Life had now become a joy because the gentiles were living not only for a God who actually lived inside them (us), He also was a God who walked and talked with them! Not only that, from time to time He would definitely seek to impart to the gentile believer certain understanding unto His mystery which was already in progress. We might say He was removing the veil from off certain things and imparting to the believer knowledge which would increase within us understanding of His will, His plan as well as what He intended to do in the future. All this He was doing for the gentiles because He had willed for a certain period of time that He would bypass the old Judaistic order and would instead come down and dwell inside the gentile. Therefore, it is unexplainable to a Jew today to hear a gentile testify how he has received the Holy Ghost because that Jew knows the Holy Ghost is the spirit of God which you say is in you. To him that Spirit of God is no second or third person, to the Jew the Spirit is simply God in you.
The Jew is completely aware there is the Spirit of God in the earth, yet it is a total mystery unto him (how the Spirit is among the gentiles)! However, are you aware we are also approaching an hour when two Jewish prophets will step upon the scene in Israel and remove that veil of MYSTERY from their eyes! God will cause these two Jewish prophets to utter words which will definitely open the Jews understanding and once their understanding is opened they will be able to look back over these 1900 years that the gospel has been among the gentiles and by the revelation presented unto them by these two men, the picture which for so long has been such a mystery, will at that hour suddenly come together and for the first time they will see scripture after scripture after scripture, strictly from the Old Testament which for centuries and centuries has been closed unto them. Furthermore, it will show them where they have been, why they have been blinded and so forth.
VEIL SOON TO BE LIFTED
Thus, as we draw closer to the time God will lift the veil from their eyes, whereas in the past they have looked upon gentiles through eyes of not being able to understand, comprehend or conceive; not being able to accept us (gentiles) in the experience of our belief seeing it was an age of God’s MYSTERY unto them while the age is in progress. Yet, Paul declared to the gentile believers it wasn’t a mystery to them! It should be a MYSTERY to the Jew but not to you. I pray to God it hasn’t been a MYSTERY unto you!
Why did Jesus in Matthew 13, after having already spoken his seven parables, entered the house and had His disciples to ask Him for an explanation of the second parable declare, it is given to you (the disciples, the chosen or elect of God) to know the MYSTERIES of the things pertaining to the kingdom of heaven, but to them that are without (the unbeliever, make believer of Israel) it is not for them to know. Therefore note, Jesus declared in Matthew 13 how there would be mysteries to be made known during that (MYSTERY) period of time, that period of time which certainly is a mystery time to the Jewish race, a time they would never be able to understand or conceive, the MYSTERY age itself, yet on the other hand the gentile believer would be a people who would be able to receive it, and therefore MYSTERIES during that period would unfold, revelations would come forth because God has promised to build His church upon revelation.
EXPLAINING MYSTERY TO EPHESIANS
Listen to Paul writing to still another church concerning this very same MYSTERY which John had spoken of in Revelation10:7. Writing to the Ephesian church during the same year he had written the Colossian church, we find Paul still filled with that great enthusiasm, fervency, joy and assurance of heart. Paul, in Ephesians 3, approaches these gentile Christians at Ephesus where several years earlier he had experienced a three year revival affecting all Asia. The Ephesian revival occurred as the gentile dispensation was set in motion and the great Ephesian age of Revelation 2:1-7 had actually begun. Ephesians 3, (1) “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you gentiles,” (meaning for you gentiles I am a prisoner for had I remained in my Judaistic social status of life I certainly wouldn’t be a prisoner today.) (2) “If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: (3) How that by revelation he made known unto me THE MYSTERY as I wrote afore in few words,” Again we noticed Paul using the word MYSTERY in exactly the same manner as writing unto the Colossians.
REVEALED TO NEW TESTAMENT PROPHETS AND APOSTLES
Verse 4, “Whereby, when you read, ye may understand my knowledge in the MYSTERY of Christ (5) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, (Old Testament prophets) as it is now revealed unto his (present tense) holy apostles and (New Testament) prophet.” Recall, the last Old Testament prophet, John the Baptist, is dead and Jesus has already ascended. Therefore, as Paul speaks of prophet it is now in the present tense. It is New Testament prophets he mentions here. Something we note, according to Paul has now been revealed by the Holy Spirit unto both the New Testament apostles and New Testament prophets and this something revealed was hidden in the Old Testament scriptures from the Old Testament prophets and Old Testament saints. All this revealing was pertaining to that mystery which according to John was to be completed in Revelation 10:7. Therefore, I trust you can see this MYSTERY is none other than the grace age and definitely covers a lengthy period of time, and Paul is ready now to show the effects of this MYSTERY which, remember, was definitely a mystery unto only one element, yet totally understood by another, how the gentiles should be fellow heirs and of the same body and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel.
ABRAHAM’S COVENANT (FIRST MENTION OF MYSTERY)
Wasn’t it strange how from the Old Testament scriptures the Jews, scribes, Pharisees, etc., had for so long preached concerning the coming of the Messiah yet not one of them could possibly understand any of those scriptures written of the prophets pertaining to what God intended to do for the gentiles! Why do you suppose they had forgotten the covenant God made unto Abraham long before they became a nation? Recall back in Genesis God telling Abraham how unto thee and thy see will I give all this land? At the time Sarah was barren and could not produce Abraham a son. Years later God assured Abraham his promise was still true when he told Abraham “your seed will become as the stars of heaven and in thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” This definitely included gentiles, however no doubt Jews reading this scripture interpreted it to mean that in Abraham and his seed would all the Jewish families of the earth be blessed. Yet beloved, that is not what God said, God said in thee and thy see shall all the families of the nations or languages of the earth be blessed. To them if any gentile ever got in this blessing they certainly would have to be proselyted to Judaism in order to consummate, fulfill or have any part in the covenant God gave Abraham. Yet we know the Apostle Paul picked up that same Old Testament scripture in Genesis and in Galatians told the Galatian church that seed of Abraham was not as the seed of many but as the seed of one (being Christ that promised seed.) Christ was the seed of Abraham (Matthew 1:1). Thus through that one seed of Abraham God would bless all the families or gentile nations of the earth. In this covenant promise of God through Abraham shows where that MYSTERY in Revelation 10:7 would begin! It would begin once Christ entered the picture. It simply goes to show God’s promise given to Abraham had always been a misunderstood prophecy to the Jew. Their interpretation of the passage was entirely different.
Yes, in that very covenant promise of Abraham is where it all began! By divine revelation Abraham uttered it while other patriarchs and prophets later picked it up and through divine inspiration added words to the thought, nevertheless, its meaning remained a hidden MYSTERY unto the Jew. That is why Paul declared in Ephesians 3:6, the very words he did, that the gentiles would be fellow heirs and of the same body and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.
UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST INVOLVES MYSTERIES
Verse 7 states, “Whereof I was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.” Speaking concerning himself in verse 8 Paul says, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Remember beloved, the unsearchable riches of Christ would definitely involve those MYSTERIES that were to be revealed during the period of the MYSTERY of God or MYSTERY period of time called the grace age. Yes, the unsearchable riches of Christ would involve MYSTERIES unlocking revelations for gentiles hidden within the Old Testament scripture, scriptures which God had allowed the Old Testament prophets to speak and write concerning, yet never gave them understanding of what they were writing about. These very scriptures pertain strictly to the gentiles and never to the Jews. Therefore, Paul could say that, “I should preach among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ!”
MYSTERY MADE KNOWN
Verse 9, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the MYSTERY, which from the beginning of the world HATH BEEN HIDDEN IN GOD, who created all by Jesus Christ.” Listen carefully to verse 10, which says “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places MIGHT BE MADE KNOWN BY THE CHURCH.” (Church here meaning strictly the church of the firstborn, not those denominational worldly church systems. The church is the called out people of God which Paul never refers to by any earthly title, yet always by its heavenly title.) “the manifold wisdom of God.” Verse 11, “According to the eternal purpose which he proposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Paul now speaks concerning a MYSTERY that would be going on yet it would be misunderstood by the Jew. Did you note he told where it all began and how God had hid certain things Himself although He had allowed prophets to speak it down through time, yet with no understanding of it! Therefore, it would still remain misunderstood or never looked at it in its proper setting.
JEW CHOSEN TO REVEAL MYSTERY
However, when time did arrive for God to fulfill or give the understanding of this MYSTERY to the gentile church, notice it was a Jew he chose to hold that office and what was revealed unto him was absolutely contrary to his religious upbringing! Imagine the mental battle and struggle that must have gone in Paul’s mind after Paul’s conversion on the Damascus Road. Years later we hear Paul speaking concerning his Jewish religious background as he declared he was from the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee of pharisees as touching the law of Moses. Paul says, I was blameless. Yet as far as touching the church he was not so blameless because, said Paul, I persecuted the church daily. And in this persecution many were killed, imprisoned and so forth. However, summing it all up he said concerning those things in the past I count as nothing but dung that I might obtain Christ. To Paul obtaining Christ was far more of spiritual value and after having finally fought that battle out in his mind he was so thankful to God.
Imagine what must have gone on in that devout Jewish mind as God would allow Saul to turn into those Old Testament scriptures! That is why Paul could tell the church how by revelation he had received this GREAT MYSTERY which had been hidden to men in other ages. Writing to this Ephesian church, speaking in that overjoyed tone, he declares in Ephesians 2:18, “Through him (Christ) we (please note, “we” places the Jew and gentile in the same setting because we do know that early church started out with both Jew and gentile seated in the same assembly. Thus we hear him declare, ) through him we both have access by one spirit unto the father!” (19) Now therefore you are no more strangers or foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints and household of God.” What does Paul mean by using the phrase “no more strangers and foreigners”? Bear in mind Paul, using these two words, is showing that he is definitely writing unto both the converted Jew and gentile. Ephesus, you recall, is a metropolitan city being in a gentile area in Asia Minor. Furthermore, we know the Ephesian church established back in 54 A.D., had within its congregation Jewish as well as gentile believers. Speaking of the two separate classes he says, “You are no longer strangers and foreigners”, because that is exactly how each group looked upon the other before their conversion! The old orthodox Jew had a synagogue in Ephesus, according to Acts 19, and out of that Jewish synagogue Paul received his first converts of the Ephesian church. Had you been a gentile, even though you had been proselyted to Judaism, when you were in the Jewish synagogue you still would have been looked upon as a stranger. And no matter where the gentiles saw the Jew he automatically looked upon him as a foreigner. That is why Paul used these two words, “strangers and foreigners” writing to the church body. Realizing both Jew and gentile was present Paul said, in Christ you are no more strangers and foreigners for God by one spirit hath broken down that middle wall of partition.
MIDDLE WALL BROKEN DOWN
Remember that middle wall of partition was the commandments which separated the two groups but was now broken down. Both groups are now placed on an even common ground, religiously. In the grace of God or in the church of God or in Jesus Christ, both groups are no more strangers or foreigners as they sit in the same service, but instead they are saints, fellow-citizens of the household of God. How beautiful it must have been in Ephesus to have seen those Jews and gentiles worshiping God in the revelation of Christ together, one background having been Judaistic while only a short time ago the other background was pagan or heathen, though now both groups have found the right thing and doing so has erased everything.
BUILT UPON FOUNDATION OF APOSTLES & PROPHETS
In this newfound faith, both Jew and gentile are declared fellow-citizens and verse 20 declares both groups have been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. However, please understand, here prophets have no reference to New Testament prophets as seen or shown in Ephesians 3:4-6, which shows there something has been revealed unto them which was hidden in ages past. Yet when Paul referred to the foundation upon which the two groups were built in verse 20, it is not New Testament prophets at all that the church is built upon! Are you aware until the Apostle Paul wrote his epistle there was no New Testament written for gentiles! Thus the only scripture for the gentiles was that hidden in the Old Testament, a book which gentiles were totally unfamiliar with and knew nothing about. Paul, writing unto the gentile Corinthian church declared that he was the wise master builder who laid the foundation for the gentile church.
Here is the true revelation on which the gentile church was to be built, Paul’s teaching or revelation of the Old Testament. Moreover we must examine this phrase, “of apostles and prophets”, in verse 20 in this light. Both groups, Jews and gentiles, are built upon the same foundation and that foundation is the teaching and revelation of the apostles as they have brought forth the hidden meaning of what the Old Testament prophets prophesied concerning the gentiles’ relation to God in the scripture. Therefore, the word prophet recorded in verse 20 definitely carries an Old Testament setting because it was those Old Testament prophecies those prophets prophesied unbeknownst to them the meaning of what was prophesied as they prophesied concerning the gentiles’ position in God’s program. If that be true, why then would Paul place New Testament apostles before Old Testament prophets when everyone knows the Old Testament prophets prophesied or came first.
WHY NEW TESTAMENT APOSTLES PLACED BEFORE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS
Before answering that, note again Ephesians 3 where Paul uses prophets strictly in the New Testament sense saying, as God hath now revealed unto His holy apostles and (New Testament) prophets by the Spirit (certain hidden things). Here in Ephesians 3:5, Paul is definitely speaking of the New Testament prophets who also had something revealed unto them along with the New Testament apostles! However note, when Paul is referring, particularly to the foundation upon which the church is built or upon which both groups, Jew and gentile, were built, his words are entirely different! Here Paul says the church is built upon the teachings and revelation of the apostles and Old Testament prophets because beloved, it definitely would require the office of the New Testament prophets to explain unto a gentile church, a people who only a few years ago had nothing but a heathen background and was strictly pagan in belief, explain exactly what the Old Testament prophets by the Spirit had declared concerning the gentiles’ position in this newfound faith! What gentile I ask you, could possibly open an Old Testament Jewish scroll and declare he clearly understood what the spirit had hidden there concerning the gentile’s place in Christ (when the old prophets could not.)
If is for certain the eunuch in Acts 8 didn’t know what the scroll in Isaiah was talking about. He had reached the place in the scroll when Phillip joined him where it said, like the sheep they led him to slaughter and he opened not his mouth. The eunuch didn’t know what that meant, nevertheless, God had a man standing alongside the road filled with the Holy Ghost who did know. Phillip, a Jew, had left the old system but had inside him a revelation as to what the Old Testament prophet Isaiah was actually speaking about. The eunuch showing Phillip the scripture in Isaiah, as lamb to the shearer and the sheep to the slaughter and he opened not his mouth. Who is the writer referring to, asked the eunuch, to himself or someone else? Here was Phillip’s signal and by revelation he began to tell the eunuch what the prophet Isaiah had been discussing.
APOSTLE’S OFFICE REVEALS HIDDEN MYSTERY
Such a setting as this should show why Paul declared both Jew and gentile are built upon the same foundation of the teaching of the apostles and Old Testament prophets, because the revelation concerning the gentile’s position in Christ was hidden in the Old Testament prophet’s writings, yet it took the revelation of the New Testament apostles to explain to the gentile church what the Old Testament prophets had written concerning them, showing how they definitely had a place in God and it was in the word! Though it lay there in the Old Testament prophets, it nevertheless was a mystery until suddenly through the ministry of the New Testament apostle, God began to take the wrapping off unto the gentiles. Thus Paul says, both groups are built upon the foundation of the New Testament apostles and the Old Testament prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.
MYSTERY GOING ON WHILE ISRAEL OUT OF LAND
According to Paul’s revelation, it was this great MYSTERY (the MYSTERY OF GOD) unto the gentiles that began to unfold within his ministry of apostleship. This MYSTERY OF GOD has been continuing right on through a space of time, covering over 1900 years but it is to be finished in Revelation 10:7! Note, it was going on throughout the entire period of time the Jewish people have been out of the land scattered among gentiles. Remember, during this period of time the Jews that have been out of the land have also, during this period, been out of the will of God and have drifted further and further away from what their prophets had taught, drifting more and more into external religious ideas and traditions. Spiritually speaking as an overall picture of the Jew, they are at their lowest ebb of spiritual apostasy. True, many have returned to Israel but they have only returned to be identified with the race, yet as a whole they have thrown away their ancestral convictions of belief in Jehovah and the prophets. No, we can’t say all have. We know there is an element of orthodox Jews very strict and perhaps do have a little influence upon the total nation of Jews who number between 15-16 million throughout the world.
APOSTLE’S FROM JEWISH RACE
Nevertheless, it is in a period of time such as this when whatever God was doing for the gentiles was a total MYSTERY to that nation of Jews, even though their Jewish prophets of old had declared it in writing. Morever, it was apostles in the New Testament hour who came from the Jewish rank who were sent among the gentiles to open up these Old Testament scriptures for their spiritual benefit. Out of those scriptures came that revelation of the MYSTERY. Up until the age of grace no gentile knew one day there was going to come a dispensation whereby the God of heaven would rule and reign here on earth, yet that very revelation was given to John the Jewish apostle in its great setting of a thousand year period.
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS
Prophets of old throughout the Old Testament prophesied and recorded inspiring prophecies pertaining to the gentile’s future position and relationship with God in Christ. Prophecies, the meaning of which had to be kept entirely hidden even from the Old Testament prophets as they would have declared the meaning unto Israel. And what was a mystery unto Israel concerning gentiles would have no longer remained a mystery!
MYSTERY AGE RUNNING OUT
Therefore, we are living in the day that John saw and when that messenger to the Laodicean church age would come and sound a message, and in a scriptural sense you could say that message is the voice of God, it is the word. And because the voice has sounded it also caused many other scriptures to come forth and to stand in this end time for God to fulfill to the benefit of gentile people. Thus, we see during this period of time the voice is sounding, that age of MYSTERY (to the Jew) is now running out! Time no longer being delayed, God will definitely step up this MYSTERY and hasten it unto its final fulfillment. Yes, as this MYSTERY age, misunderstood by the Jew, closes out, God by His spirit will now be taking all scriptures, especially the Old Testament scriptures pertaining strictly to the gentile’s benefit and will reveal the MYSTERY to their edification, their perfection, their enlightment, as well as their understanding. However, remember all the scriptures which pertain to Israel’s benefit, which is strictly their inheritance belongs strictly to them and those two prophets coming very shortly to Israel, will take those scriptures and actually set them in their proper setting. Doing so will remove the veil from the eyes of Israel and they too will be able to look upon this which has been a MYSTERY unto them, the grace age of the gentiles, and say praise God! Why? Because God will have also opened their eyes causing this period to no longer be a mystery unto them, how Christ can be in you, your hope of glory. This is the hour God will close this MYSTERY age and as He closes it, it will also wind up all the MYSTERIES which pertain to this MYSTERY age. Every revelation pertaining to this mysterious period of time will come forth right here at the close of the age.
Some people declare there is no more revelation, but I maintain that every revelation which is hidden within those scriptures the prophet to the age somewhere dropped a seed pertaining to it. God knew the Holy Ghost who was designated to lead the believer into all truth would take that seed thought and cause it to grow until it was formed into a complete picture. Yes, as time lingers on as this message would continue sounding, that little seed nugget would be the very thing which would grow and grow until it became a complete understanding to the bride people. However, because certain people desire to take only what the voice has said verbally, that is take it only in the verbal expression as was spoken, doing this has caused them to close the Bible, because to them everything has been fulfilled. As far as I am concerned, through those words which were misunderstood because of the lack of spiritual understanding, God has taken these words and blinded the eyes and closed their ears from any further possible leadership or enlightment by His Holy Spirit.
Beloved, God does not stop and place a period to everything. No, not as long as time is lingering on and as long as there is a people left here on earth to benefit from God’s working in their hour and their life. Therefore I repeat, somewhere out of this Bible on up until the very hour Jesus comes there will never be a time when there is not a little something coming forth. It is God’s way of taking the wrapper off it, giving your spiritual mind a little deeper insight into this overall setting, which unto the Jew has been a total MYSTERY OF GOD, nevertheless God simply continues enlarging the overall picture to benefit your spiritual growth.
CHRIST, THAT PROMISED SEED
Therefore, I hope you see what this MYSTERY OF GOD to be finished is in Revelation 10:7, it is none other than a period of time when something would be going on in respect to the fulfillment of many Old Testament scriptures (for gentiles). The period of time would remain a total mystery unto one element of people (the Jew) while understood by another element (the gentile). Concerning this period of time, Paul declared in both his Ephesian and Colossian letters it had been given unto the saints in the grace age to know these mysteries recorded by Old Testament prophets. Believe it or not, it was God’s fulfillment of His long awaited promise given to faithful Abraham, in thee and thy seed (Christ) Galatians 3:14-16, 29, shall all the families (gentiles) of the earth be blessed. Furthermore note, while this (mystery) period of time was in progress (this MYSTERY OF GOD) the Jewish nation would remain in dispersion. This fulfills also the time of blindness in part which has happened unto Israel until the fulness of the gentiles be brought in, Romans 11:25.
FIRST PROPHECY MENTIONED PERTAINING TO THE MYSTERY OF GOD PERIOD PROPHECY
God informed Abraham that his seed would become as the stars of the heavens and that in him and his seed (Christ), Galatians 3:14-29 would all the nations be blessed. Galatians 3:8, was the first mentioning of that event which would become a great mystery unto the Jew.
EXPLAINS MYSTERY TO GENTILE BELIEVER
Paul, desiring the gentile world to know that through the apostolic office, that which was a complete mystery unto the Jew is no longer a mystery to the gentile believer. Writing now unto the believers at Rome, Paul says in Romans 16:25-26, “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began. (26) But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.”
MYSTERY OF GOD EARLIER DECLARED BY PROPHETS
Strange isn’t it, that all we gentiles sing, preach, and talk about is already recorded in the Old Testament Jewish scripture by their prophets. Remember it was they, not us, who penned the scriptures, gentiles only became receivers of the benefits. Jews alone had the Old Testament scriptures yet no Jew was able to see the gentile’s position hidden there in the Old Testament. It was unto their genetic father, Abraham, the first promise of gentiles being brought into a rightful relationship with God was ever mentioned as God declared, in thee and thy seed (Christ), Galatians 3:14-16, 29, shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Yet when God, some 1900 years ago, began to fulfill the covenant promise the Jews could not understand it.
KEY THAT UNLOCKS
Back to Revelation 10:7 and into that very final portion of the verse where we find the key which unlocks the entire verse. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound the MYSTERY OF GOD SHOULD BE FINISHED, AS HE HATH DECLARED TO OR BY HIS SERVANTS THE (Old Testament) PROPHETS!” There it is, this MYSTERY OF GOD John saw to be completed in those days had (already) been declared by the Old Testament prophets, yet no Jew could understand it!
In its true English setting the latter portion of the verse reads, as he hath declared by his servants the prophets. Whenever God deals with me in respect to a point of truth, it isn’t ever the entire verse He shows me to be the key which unlocks the mystery. No, somewhere within the verse can be one small word which allows you to know exactly where to place that verse in respect to its fulfillment. Don’t miss this! As He (God) hath (note, hath is past tense) and furthermore hath is the key which unlocks the mystery in the verse. John declared God had already declared this in the writings of the prophets of old. Hath or has already declared it unto the Old Testament prophets! See, it was brought unto the gentiles by those prophets. The word to and the word by carries one and the selfsame meaning. Note, God brought it TO THEM, yet unto us gentiles God brought it BY THEM. Originally it came from the Old Testament prophets.
Examining words such as this helps divide and place the thing in its proper setting. Did not Paul tell Timothy to study to show himself approved of God (and by God), a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth! Therefore, God hath (past tense) already declared it to (or by) his servants the prophets. Those who wrote it in the Old Testament were servants. Thus, when we understand what this MYSTERY OF GOD really is, it isn’t a mystery to us gentiles at all, yet it is a total mystery unto the Jews, and strange enough the Jew was the first to read it! It was written to the Jewish people through their prophet. God brought it and placed it (hid it) in their writings and it is the great MYSTERY God hid within Himself. God caused it to be written yet He also caused it to be veiled in order that the patriarchs or prophets who wrote it, when looking upon their own writings, were made to wonder what God was talking about. Paul declared it as not for them to know the MYSTERY, nevertheless God caused it all to be placed in its chronological order and once time had arrived for the Eternal to begin to set the mystery in motion God took many of those Old Testament scriptures and began to bring them into fulfillment, first through the birth and ministry of John Baptist, and second through the birth and so forth of Christ’s life (Acts 1:22).
Hundreds of Old Testament scriptures were fulfilled in a very few short years during the first advent of Christ, therefore, just as all that happened (fulfilling scripture) we, too, live in a generation when God once again is doing the very same thing! Thus, if this MYSTERY spoken of in Revelation 10:7 is to absolutely be brought to a close, then in its consummation every scripture relating to it in any manner which has already been written somewhere in the Old Testament pertaining to the gentiles in our inheritance, our being blessed in inheritance, our being blessed in any manner, you may rest assured all these scriptures will be fulfilled as God closes out this age of grace to us gentiles.
Another very important thing, please note, in relation to a certain time period which will also accompany Revelation 10:7 and second was also declared by the month of Old Testament prophets, is a statement found in Acts 3:21. Moreover Revelation 10:7 and Acts 3:21 are the only two scriptures in the entire Bible which speak in the language term these two do! Both these scriptures deal with a precise period of time and both were declared by the mouth of prophets of old! John, under the inspiration, wrote unto the churches and that letter was heralded down through the ages brining out its spiritual application. And out here on the very end of the grace age Revelation 10:7 was to bring to completeness all God had declared long ago by the mouth of his servants, the Old Testament prophets for whom – – the gentile saints. Unto whom and for whom was it to benefit? The gentiles of course!
FULFILLING SCRIPTURE FOR JEWS
With that in mind, let us now examine Acts 3:21 and here see something also spoken by the mouth of Old Testament prophets which would benefit strictly Israel, not gentiles! Peter, preaching his second sermon to Jews says in Acts 3:19, “Repent ye therefore and be converted.” Note carefully, these words are not spoken unto gentiles but unto Jews, that element who had recently crucified the Messiah. Their minds were still fresh on the recent impact, turmoil and upheaval which transpired in Jerusalem. The very depths of the foundation of Judaism had been shaken. The veil of the temple had been rent and here after Pentecost stands Peter on the very temple compound preaching his second sermon to Jews declaring, “Repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
TIME OF REFRESHING – ISRAEL’S REVIVAL
Note, times of refreshing is God’s fulfillment of His spiritual awakening to be fulfilled in Israel strictly among Jews! Ezekiel prophesied how God would sprinkle clean water upon them (Israel) and take away their stony heart, placing within them a new heart of flesh, that speaks of a converted heart. Tie that statement of Ezekiel and Peter into Revelation 11, where under the ministry of two Jewish prophets 144,000 are to be sealed away by a great spiritual revelation. See beloved, that is their refreshing! No, the refreshing or the receiving of spiritual revelation was never fulfilled in Peter’s hour when he preached this! Their refreshing was still future!
Verse 20, “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:” However, note Israel must first be spiritually refreshed or given that revelation of who Jesus is, before they can see that glorious appearing of their Messiah!
TIME OF RESTORATION – “RESTORING BACK” PERIOD
Verse 21, “Whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution.” Recall, it was in Peter’s hour the ascension had just transpired and Peter speaks of times of refreshing and also the times of restitution. Keep in mind, refreshing is one thing for the Jew, and restitution is still another! The refreshing brings out the spiritual impact or the spiritual revival which awakens the people of Israel, while restitution means giving back unto them something which has been taken away from them. It was God who had allowed Satan, through certain world gentile systems or empires, as prophesied by Joel, to take away something from Israel and Joel’s prophecy (Joel 1:1-14) declared four creatures that resembled insects had gnawed and gnawed away at Israel until there wasn’t anything left only that which resembled a stump. Yet through Joel God prophesied, I will restore (to Israel), Joel 2:25.
REFRESHING AND RESTORATION BOTH FUTURE
The word restitution means an act to restore or replace something which has been taken away. Peter is declaring, until the times or until the seasons or until the period of giving back, the returning or restitution of all things to Israel. I repeat, the statement or promise here belongs strictly to Israel, not to the gentiles! Watch carefully how this verse in Acts 3:21 also closes out with prophets of old having a part in this! Whom the heavens must receive until the times or periods of giving back. That is, replacing or restoring all these things which God hath (past tense) declared by the mouth of ALL HIS HOLY PROPHETS SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN! Hath declared by the mouth of his holy prophets, yes beloved, Revelation 10:7 and Acts 3:21 are the only two scriptures in the entire Bible dealing with a people in relation to periods of time as has been declared by prophets of old! All that Peter spoke here belongs strictly to the Jewish people and is still future but note, it had already been declared by the Old Testament prophets! Time wise you can see this event getting ready to happen because we are living in a day where slowly we are witnessing God’s hand through world conditions and world systems creating upheavals and causing certain things to be maneuvered into place to fulfill His scriptures. God is slowly restoring back geographically, government wise, racially those Jews into their true Biblical setting.
GENTILES QUESTION SCRIPTURES INFALLIBILITY
Recently one of the large metropolitan gentile newspapers published three articles all discussing the infallibility of the Bible, asking the question: Is this a book we can place confidence in seeing it has been written by some forty writers and required over a thousand years to write? Is it a book we (gentiles) can place unlimited faith in? Can we completely place confidence in such a book? Oh, that is terrible that gentiles, who never had a right to this book, would stand up and make such a statement concerning its authenticity! As a gentile you may not appreciate this book today, yet as our dispensation closes I am sure the hour will arrive when you will gladly cherish to your bosom the revelation this book contains. While blinded carnal gentile theologians hack away at it, stumbling over certain words placed there and furthermore being void and destitute of the revelation it contains for us gentiles, seeing God closed its meaning to their eyes and ears, yet the born again Christian with true revelation in their bosom never stumble over these words which theologians do! Instead, to them they serve only as stepping stones to the entire depth of God’s beautiful picture in an hour when atheism is so prevalent and man so scientific minded yet so debased in his morals, he has become not much better than an educated animal. Oh, how we gentiles should truly thank God He did permit us by divine revelation through the office of the apostle to see our place in His book!
As we gentiles begin drifting backward into the old framework of living, drifting back into that old framework of thinking, social, moral and religious wise, we can see how today many are leaning toward such atheistic trends in their intellectual concept while other gentiles are turning to witchcraft, to demonistic cults which deals with blood and the sacrifice of humans. Can’t you see what is happening, beloved? That was exactly our gentile background of thinking before grace ever came to us in the beginning of this age of grace! People today strain at a gnat and swallow a camel worrying over whether someone is going to become too religious over this book, you don’t become too spiritual! Many people today certainly don’t want their youth to turn out bad yet the pathetic thing is, they don’t want them to become very spiritual either! It just so happens you are living in a day when you will do one of two things, either you will sell out to God completely or He personally will allow the devil to come and take you over completely. Do you think as a gentile society we can possibly escape the curse and judgment God is about to bring upon this gentile world over the way we have treated His book? If you do, face it, you are wrong! Over 1900 years God has been so gracious to the gentiles, seeing He lifted us up out of our ancient filth of the past (Romans 1:24-32, I Corinthians 6:9-11). Find that eternal rock of ages and flee unto Him for safety if you don’t want him to blind your eyes and therefore be forever shut out of His presence!
ISRAEL’S BLINDNESS BENEFITS GENTILES
Recall how the Apostle Paul in Romans 11 strictly warned the gentiles to beware of their relationship to God (not take it lightly) seeing that blindness in part had already happened to Israel until the fullness of the gentiles had been brought in! Remember, we were the wild olive tree Paul spoke of that was grafted into the very root, the promise of God’s word in order to be made partakers of the goodness of God. However, through our unbelief while our brain goes upward and our spirituality and morals drift more and more downward into the filth and into the pit, we absolutely have no other promise of escape other than find our refuge in Jesus Christ.
Through Peter’s mouth in Acts 3:21, God promised those Jews that the times of refreshing and restitution would come from the presence of the Lord. Times of refreshing is that spiritual revival to come for Israel, under the two prophets (Revelation 11) while the restitution deals with the restoring back to Israel of that which has been taken from her and both the refreshing and restitution are still out in front of us and comes about for Israel in Revelation 11:3-8 through the ministry of those two Jewish prophets, one with the spirit of Moses and the other with the spirit of Elijah for that hour! Lay Acts 3:21 beside Revelation 11:3-7!
Those promises prophesied by the mouth of God’s Old Testament Jewish prophets, men who were His servants who prophesied those things pertaining to us gentiles, all those prophecies we will see as God closes out that great MYSTERY hour of His dealing for us gentiles, bringing us into our completeness, bringing us into all fulfillment pertaining to the gentile people such as all things pertaining to their salvation, their perfection, yes, and things pertaining unto them even up until the very hour of the great change of their bodies in the catching away! While all these Old Testament scriptures dealing with this period begin to converge on that hour and point of climax for the gentiles, you must rest assured the hand of God will have already reached over and begun dealing with another element of people.
SCRIPTURE SPEAK OF ISRAEL AS NO OTHER BOOK DOES
And while all that would be going on may I remind you that within the gentile realm of theologians, in their seminary unbelief they will stumble and stagger at the very hand of God doing the things He will be doing in Israel! How dare gentile theologians and gentile Bible translators fuss and stew over the infallibility of God’s book! Why, if they would open their eyes they could see its fulfillment in reality by simply watching the Jewish people! No book ever spoke concerning a race of people in the manner this book has spoken concerning Israel. True revelation causes the saints to understand this book because revelation makes all those promises that much more real! Yes, here at the end while others fuss over its truthfulness, another group stands in their earthly illiteracy, seeing that is the way people of the world look upon true Christians, and they look into the book and say, Amen, I see it! Carnal theologians look in the book and declare, I don’t know about that, I don’t see it that way and therefore they continue to fuss over the translation of one word!
CUTTING OFF ONE GROUP WHILE RESTORING ANOTHER
It brings us to this point, we are living in the days God is causing all these verses pertaining to us gentiles to be fulfilled. Time is zeroing in on everyone of these verses pertaining to the gentiles of this hour. As they are being fulfilled, on this earth is a gentile people receiving God’s last dealings. The total gentile society is slowly being cut off, while at the same time another element of people, the Jew, is slowly being reinstated into His plan and purpose. While God is in a process of reinstating one group, certain things among the gentiles are being taken away. Yes, as He slowly takes from one element, He is slowly giving back to another. As He deals with one element for their last hour, and this last generation will surely see the wind up of it, to another element He is just beginning to open up the depths of His mercy and grace. However, note, once again that which God is opening up has already been prophesied and promised to that group by the mouth of His holy prophets! Are you able to now see how both these verses of scripture concerning what is to be done to and for these two separate groups had already been prophesied by the mouth of the Old Testament prophets and recorded there in the Old Testament! Because beloved, had it not been recorded, understand this one thing, somewhere in scripture these two groups during their respective hour could not have accepted what was going on!
SCRIPTURES DECLARED WHAT EARLY CHURCH ACCEPTED
In order to bring out the beauty of this fact and show how, had it not been somewhere recorded in the Old Testament, not even the Jewish apostles could have accepted it! To see this most important example of how whatever was to be accepted had to first be written somewhere in the scriptures, let us examine Acts 15 in closing. Paul and Barnabas have gone up to the Jerusalem church to discuss with the elders this subject of gentiles observing circumcision, Peter having reminded the group how that by his mouth the gentiles had first received the gospel, Acts 10. After everyone had held their peace and now speaking in defense of Peter’s ministry we hear the Apostle James beginning Acts 15:14, using Old Testament scripture as a basis as he says, “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name.”
OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURE AGREED
Where, may I ask you, did James ever get such authority to make such a statement as that? Read carefully verse 15 and you will see. “AND TO THIS AGREE THE WORDS OF THE PROPHETS AS IT IS WRITTEN.” There you are! Oh, how important the words of the Old Testament prophets were in relation to whatever move that early church made! No revelation has any authority whatsoever unless somewhere it is anchored in scripture. Peter could have returned from Cornelius’ house and declared as he did in Acts 11:1-18 about what a great revival he had among the gentiles, yet did you know, had there not been some scripture somewhere in that Old Testament which would have shown God’s dealings among the gentiles, that early church would never have accepted what Peter had done! It could simply be summed up by saying, had there not been any scripture to back up this move of Peter’s, as far as the early church was concerned, Peter was merely led off on a wild goose chase! But he wasn’t led off on a wild goose chase and even though Peter himself that day did not understand what God was doing at Cornelius’ house, yet somewhere after they had returned to Jerusalem and sat down to discuss and study this thing out and examine it from the scriptural standpoint there he saw it was scriptural, there would be a time God would go unto the gentile. Somewhere they saw a revelation within those Old Testament scriptures which verified what had been done! Therefore, we hear James declaring what he did in Acts 15:15, and to this agree the words of the prophets as it is written! Here it was in the Prophet Amos’ writing, Amos 9:11-12, however, it took a spiritual revelation from the ministry of the apostle to see this hidden truth and place it in its proper setting! Acts 15 , (16) “After this I will return and build again the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up; (17) That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.”
By studying the Old Testament scrolls of prophecy James, Peter and the elders of Jerusalem came to the realization what had been accomplished at Cornelius’ house (Acts 10) was actually the fulfillment of Amos 9, as the prophet Amos showed God would visit the gentiles to take out of them a gentile bride, a people for His name! For His name means a people who would bear the name of the Lord, who would carry it in water baptism, be identified and willing to be called by the name of Jesus. James was quoting that prophetic verse!
For 1900 years God has been among us gentiles taking out a people for His name in order to fulfill Amos 9, and one of these days that calling out among the gentiles will come to a close, and when it does it will all happen in a generation of time when God will take all the prophet Isaiah, all the prophet Jeremiah as well as the Psalms, etc., yes, all God has prophesied to Abraham in Genesis and there God will consummate this MYSTERY, fulfilling it to us gentiles – – AS HE HATH ALREADY THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO, DECLARED TO OR BY HIS SERVANTS THE PROPHETS! Thus, God will bring to a close all that has been a MYSTERY to the Jew as He completes His work among us gentiles. When is it to be brought to a close? In the days of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel messenger, when his message begins to be proclaimed and herald, God will take all those Old Testament scriptures which He spoke by His prophets, scriptures which held this MYSTERY OF GOD for the grace age and wrap them all up or fulfill them. Just as the gentile world is slowly being cut off and the Jewish race being reinstated, as God consummates this for the gentiles He will be in the process of refreshing (or spiritual revival) and the restitution for Israel. And, Oh, the refreshing there will be for those Jews! How glorious the climax will be as the gentile bride is being perfected and made ready and called home to glory, the Jewish nation is spiritually awakened, restored and revived.
The world, because of the tension in which we live today, could overnight be thrown into a nuclear war simply because they do not know what to do with Israel! Month after month, year after year, pressures in gentile governments continually mount over this ever growing perplexing problem: WHAT WILL WE DO WITH THE LITTLE NATION CALLED ISRAEL? IT ALL LETS ME KNOW WE ARE LIVING IN THAT GENERATION WHO WILL SEE ALL THESE THINGS BROUGHT TO A CLIMAX!
Oftimes when people are approached and questioned concerning their lukewarm condition dealing with their relationship toward God and asked if they don’t realize they should not grow cold and indifferent, immediately one of these many excuses begin to be given: Oh, but preacher, if you only knew this or you only knew that, you just don’t realize what I have been through! You just don’t’ realize what so-and-so said about me (or did to me)! I have searched the Bible and nowhere can I find one chapter or verse where justification can be given for any such statement, attitude or excuse. Such answers may well be our excuse, however, there is nothing in the word of God whereby you can base or substantiate such an excuse upon.
PAUL OVERCOMES TRIALS
Today let’s examine the words of truly a spiritual man who knew firsthand all about being persecuted; who knew what it was to be talked about and unjustly mistreated and see what he has to say concerning such things. Yes, this man knew what it was to be flogged, stoned, run out of town, thrown in jail, placed in stocks and brought before courts simply because people thought he had done certain things. Through all this unjust persecution which he endured, never once do you find him making excuses to grow cold, indifferent or even turn back from his walk with God!
The text of our thought is taken from Romans 8:28. How often have we read this beautiful passage of scripture which has brought comfort to the hearts of saints through the ages and yet never ONCE do we notice the condition that verse hinges upon!! Many sermons have been preached on predestination and usually it is this particular verse of Rom 8:28 used to launch the predestination study. However, the condition built into this verse seemingly is hardly ever mentioned! Therefore, let’s begin reading Rom. 8:28, the Apostle Paul’s statement made to the Roman church and as we do let us pay close attention especially to the condition hinging on the verse.
LOVE OF GOD PRIMARY FACTOR
And we know, Paul says, “that all things work together for good to them that love God”. Now that is what the Bible says, however, this is how most people read it: all things work together for good to them who are predestinated. That is not what the Bible said! The Bible said all things work together for good to them WHO LOVE GOD or as one translation declares, THAT KEEPS ON LOVING GOD. To them (who love God) who are the called according to his (God’s) purpose (or in accordance to God’s great plan).
WHEN DO THINGS WORK FOR GOOD?
Therefore, please note, the primary objective or emphasis is placed heavily upon them who love God or keep on loving God. Christ remarks to the first church age (Ephesus) Rev. 2:4 “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left or departed from thy first love.” Continuing to speak to the first church age Christ says, “Remember therefore from where thou art fallen and repent and do the first works or else I will come unto thee quickly and will remove thy candlestick (lampstand or lightholder) out of its place except thou repent.” We note as early as 96 A.D. the first gentile church age, because of certain obstacles in their pathway they had not been able to overcome, had already left or forsaken their first true, devout love for the word of God. Bear in mind, all things can only work together for good to them who love God as Paul declared in Rom. 8:28, certainly not unto those who have turned aside or rejected God’s love! It is definitely this one condition of loving God which is built into this scripture that is the deciding factor whether or not all things are going to work together for good or whether all these things will be used for the elimination purpose of an individual!
TWO IMPORTANT THINGS
We are going to examine two very important things from the word of God (1) What does it scripturally require for an individual to love God and (2) have we met that requirement whereby we know we REALLY and TRULY do love God? Jesus once declared in Matt. 22:37-40, the two greatest of the ten commandments of the law hinged on love when he said, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and body and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The Word of God instructs us, above everything else, that we should love the Lord God with our entire being!
Remember, whatever a man loves is what you see him placing his whole heart into. Whatever a man loves, that is what you find his mind continually dwelling upon, it is what he is talking about and discussing every opportunity possible. It may be his wife, his home, family, children, automobile, church or it could even be his job. If a man loves his job more than he does God, you will find him more loyal to that job while being very disloyal in his attending the house of God to worship. Thus, when it falls the lot for the poor preacher to preach the man’s funeral the preacher is placed between a rock and a hard place. No, no one is asking you to quit your job or become disloyal to your employer; nevertheless, we desire to examine this passage of Rom. 8:28-29 in the light of eternal light because truly, we do not want to be lost. While on the other hand, there is more in this Christian life and serving God, growing in his grace, etc., than merely escaping hell. I am in this walk with God because according to Rom. 8:28 there is a definite plan of God for our daily Christian living. Living for God in this life is most joyful and filled with such peace, contentment, and happiness that it is worth every ounce of our strength to be dedicated in our service unto him.
GOD’S PLAN IN DAILY LIVING
It matters not what is laid in our pathway. If we will only examine those things that are placed there in the light of the word, we should know if we are spiritual at all and truly love God, sooner or later that very thing is going to work to our good. No, I certainly may not enjoy it. Whatever is laying there in my pathway may be very disgusting to me; nevertheless, if I will be faithful to the Almighty and stand true and I am really dedicated to God, that thing will work to my good and not to my ruination. However, were this thing laying there in my pathway to work unto my ruination, it is simply because I refuse to examine the situation or thing in the correct light. Because had I examined the situation, problem or thing correctly, I would have seen that it was working in God’s plan for my life. Nevertheless, if I fail to examine it correctly and it causes me to miss the will of God and I am cast aside (I Cor. 9:27) then I cannot overlook the predestinated side of the picture; because, the fact remains that God knew before the foundation of the world that I wouldn’t examine this thing placed in my pathway in the proper light. Therefore, that is exactly why he allowed or permitted it to be there in the first place, to wash me out of the program and get rid of me.
LAW OF ELIMINATION
Whether you want to accept it or not, God does have a law of elimination. Within his program or plan which he originated before the foundation of the world affecting all mankind, the Almighty God will permit me to only play around just so long. It is possible he may even permit me to play around half of my lifetime; however, one of these days he is going to grow tired of my unconcernedness and when he does, I am going to have to arise, shake myself and realize God is through with me playing around. Therefore, something is definitely going to be placed in my pathway to now get rid of me. If I look at that thing with a mopey attitude, that may well be my last hour because that thing is no longer working for my good, it is now working to eliminate me! And from that day on I will continually grow worse, madder, more stubborn, more aggravated, deader, until I finally reach the point I simply can’t even be talked to or be dealt with and that will go on ’til my dying day and I am placed in the graveyard.
DIGGING SPIRITUAL GRAVE
See beloved, since I wasn’t going on with God, he had to use some means or other whereby to eliminate me. Though he may tolerate me, allowing me to go on the rest of my natural life grumbling, complaining and bellyaching about everything, never once would I realize I was simply digging my own spiritual grave. How many times Satan will get us into a trap and there through our own grumbling, complaining, etc., make us dig our own spiritual graves and there die in it. Satan stands there gouging and probing us along saying, dig a little faster; therefore, we simply complain and grumble that much more and all the time we are getting further and further away from God. A perfect example of such a setting is shown or seen within that generation of Israelites who grumbled and constantly complained about everything that happened to them in the wilderness of sin (unbelief) while trying to make it to the Promised Land. Yes, because they failed to overcome the obstacles God Almighty placed in their pathway, obstacles which, had they loved God would have all worked for their good, instead it worked just the opposite. It worked for the elimination of every man and woman 20 years and older amongst that great following. Rom. 15:4 declares whatsoever things were written for our learning that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. I Cor. 10:5 declared that God was not pleased with many; therefore, he overthrew them in the wilderness. HOW? Through those very obstacles he placed in their pathway. Obstacles, which had they truly loved God, would have served as a molding and making of their character, instead the very thing which could have worked for the good in molding and making them there in the wilderness became the very process or means of elimination. Now these things, verse 6 declares, were for our example to the intent we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted, neither be ye idolaters as was some of them, as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
WHAT FAILURE TO OVERCOME LED TO
Examining Psalms 78 shows how quickly the children of Israel had forgotten his mighty works and mighty wonders which he had declared unto them, beginning with such marvelous things he accomplished in the land of Egypt then dividing the Red Sea causing them to pass through; leading them in the daytime by a cloud and by a pillar of fire at night; splitting the rocks in the wilderness to furnish millions a drink, causing water to run down like rivers, only to have them sin against the Almighty because they desired food of their choosing. Psalms 78:19 declares, they spoke against God by saying, can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Knowing he had already smitten the rock and water gushed out; nevertheless they said, can he give bread also, can he provide flesh for his people? The Lord heard this grumbling and complaining and became angry, kindling a fire against Israel because she believed not in God and trusted not in his salvation after he had rained bread (manna) down from heaven for them to eat daily! Psalms 78:25 testified man in the wilderness did eat angel food until they were full. God caused an east wind to blow into the heavens and by his power brought in the south wind and rained flesh upon them like dust and feathered fowls like the sands of the sea. He let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their inhabitant so that they did eat and were filled for he gave them their desire. Verse 30 declares, they were not estranged from their desire, but while their food was yet in their mouths the wrath of God came upon them and slew the fattest of them down to the chosen men of Israel. For all this they had sinned still and believed not his wondrous works. That is all we will mention from Psalms 78 concerning the disobedient nation of Israel who died in the wilderness simply because they could not overcome these obstacles God placed in their pathway. However, I encourage you to read prayerfully Psalms 78 and as you do, think of Rom. 8:28 and realize all this could have worked for Israel’s good had they only loved God. Instead the very thing that could have worked for their good now turned and worked for their elimination.
WARNING TO CHURCH
Back to I Cor. 10:8. Neither let us commit fornication as some of them did and fell 23,000 in one day. Neither let us put Christ to the test as some of them also tested him and were destroyed by serpents. Neither murmur ye as some of them also murmured and were destroyed by the destroyer. I Cor. 10:11 shows these wilderness experiences were for our example. Now all these things happened unto them for examples and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come. After having given this declaration concerning Israel Paul declared to the church, wherefore let him that thinketh he stands take heed lest he fall. You see, Rom. 8:28 could never have been applied to these people for their good seeing they did not love God! Therefore, all these obstacles placed in the pathway of the children of Israel there in the wilderness after having left Egypt were used for a process of elimination! Moreover, had they not murmured and complained about these obstacles but only allowed them to become the necessary stepping stones needed to develop their character as God’s chosen people, it could have easily been said that all these things laid in their pathway would have definitely worked for their good, instead of becoming their elimination in the program God.
OBSTACLES SERVE TWO PURPOSES
Therefore, I must remember in my Christian journey that all the things placed in my pathway can serve for one or two purposes: either they will work for my good or for my elimination. Within his program or plan, he allows me also to play around just so long (as he did Israel). He places objects in my pathway which if I look upon with a mopey, grumbling attitude, it may well be in my last hour of his program, because these very things which could have been used for my good will turn to eliminate me. And as I said before, like the children of Israel, I will from then on continually become worse, madder, more stubborn, more aggravated, deader, etc., unto my dying day! This is the means whereby God chooses to get rid of me. Why? Because in reality I never TRULY LOVED GOD!
CONFUSION OVER LOVE OF GOD
Many people are confused over this thing called the LOVE OF GOD. Certain people love their denomination thinking that is the love of God. Many love their pastor thinking that is the love of God. Some love a certain church doctrine believing that is the love of God. These things might be alright provided they are always kept in their proper place; however, none of these things are scripturally the love of God spoken of in Rom. 8:28. So often, beloved, these are the very things which usually stand between the individual and a true dedicated love of God.
GOD LOVERS KEEP COMMANDMENTS
What does it mean to truly love God? This is far more serious than most people realize. To love the Lord thy God according to Matt. 22:37-40 means WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. John 14:21 declares, he that hath my commandments and keepeth them he it is that (truly) loveth me. He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father and I will love him and will manifest myself to him. The word commandments here does not refer to the Old Testament Ten Commandments, instead it refers strictly to the teachings and sayings of Jesus wherein he declares, if you love me you will keep my word. John 14:23-24, Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love me he will keep my words and my father will love him and we will come unto him and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings and the word which ye heard is not mine but the father’s which sent me. John 15:10 declares, if ye keep my commandments (words) ye shall abide in my love even as I kept my father’s commandments (the great Eternal Spirit) and (therefore) abide in his love. Verse 14; Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.
CHRIST OVERCAME EACH OBSTACLE
Keep in mind our thought of Rom. 8:28 which declares all things work together for good to them who love God as we hear John declare in I John 2:3-7, howbeit, we do know that we know him if we keep his commandments. He that saith I know him and keepeth not his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whosoever keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected. Hereby know that we are in him. Verse 6, he that saith that he abideth in him ought himself also to walk even as he walked (and remember Jesus overcame every obstacle placed before him in his earthly walk). Not one obstacle turned him aside from the route marked off that he should walk, thus no obstacle eliminated him from the program of God as it had the first Adam who, through his fall, led all mankind into sin and disobedience, calling for (Christ) the second Adam to come on the scene and rescue mankind from Satan’s trap of death.
GOD LOVER CALLED INTO PLAN
What did the Apostle Paul mean when he stated, and we know all things work together for good to them who love God, called according to the Almighty’s plan? Yes, whether it be money, job, church or whatever, Paul said all things work together for good to them who love God. Christ said, if you love me keep my commandments. Remember, according to 2 Cor. 5:19, Isa. 9:6, I Tim. 3:16, Christ was none other than the Old Testament God dwelling in flesh who declared, he that loveth me will keep my word or sayings. DO YOU LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART? If you do, you will keep his sayings and ALL THINGS CAN WORK FOR YOUR GOOD. And secondly, never forget, it is those individuals who do love God who are the people (in the first place) God has called into his divine purpose of plan.
CALLED TO BE RE-SHAPED
Now we must ask ourselves another question. What is God’s purpose or plan in having called us? His purpose is, and please don’t miss this, if I can correctly hear his call, obeying his word and receive true salvation, the new birth, etc., and if I can react in a proper manner whenever I am faced with these many things which will surely befall me in my Christian walk; if I am able to examine these things in the correct light and will always be able to say, yes father, have thy own way, while he is leading me through these obstacles then I know God’s purpose has been, through it all, that one day I might be conformed, molded and shaped into the very likeness of Jesus Christ according to Rom. 8:29. Beloved, there is no such thing as God calling you and then simply giving you an easy chair, telling you to sit down. No, instead he says, I have called you because I desire to shape and remold you. And don’t ever think while he is doing all this shaping and remolding he is going to inject you with a hypodermic needle and put you to sleep whereby you will never know what he is doing. ABSOLUTELY NOT! You are definitely going to know what is taking place, especially if you have any spiritual life in you whatsoever. There just isn’t any such thing as you not knowing what the grace of God is doing or accomplishing in your life. No, it won’t be long until you will know, especially if you actually intend to travel God’s provided route that he has chosen for you whereby one day you, through his grace, might be molded and shaped into the image of his dear son who was born of woman according to Gal. 4:4.
DISSATISFIED WITH FIRST BIRTH
God’s purpose is that you and I of this fallen, depraved, human race, all of whom were born according to Gen. 3 from the knowledge that the sex act could also be used for pleasure as well as being used strictly for the divine desired purpose of God in his plan, by which act he purposed to bring into the world sons and daughters who should all be born with eternal life (as was Christ) instead of being born as they are, full of deaths and disobedience. Therefore, because we were all born into the world full of death and disobedience in our bloodstream, contrary to God’s will, it is God’s divine purpose in his calling you who were born in such a pathetic condition to rebirth you according to John 3:3-5, remold and reshape you into the character and obedience of the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ himself who is the perfect anointed one, yet born also of woman, Gal. 4:4. Christ, you recall, was the only child born of woman, born of flesh that was born in perfection. Yes, Christ was the only child ever conceived, produced according to the law or tree of eternal life, born completely and totally obedient to God’s will. Therefore, God’s desire is now to rebirth and remold you into the very image of the character and the principle as well as the nature that God is, who you recall was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. Thus, we see that although the first Adam was not born of woman, the second Adam, the Lord of Glory definitely was and was born in perfection.
ENGRAFTING NEW NATURE INTO OLD
Thus God has willed in a certain capacity that those same attributes which were seen in Christ, attributes which made him submissive to the will of the father, might also be engrafted (James 1:21) and molded into us through rebirth by his Spirit wherein someday we, too, might also be Godlike in our character and in our nature as well as outlook. Beloved may I say, the kind of person Christ was is exactly the same kind of person each one of us would have been, provided our first parents (Adam and Eve) had only waited a little longer upon God allowing him to lead them unto the law or the tree of life whereby it, instead of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, could have influenced their first intimate relation, a relationship wherein all their children born from the sex act would have been filled with eternal life, obedience, goodness, etc. But no, instead the first couple chose, themselves, not to wait upon God to lead them unto the proper law which would have governed their relationship, a relationship which would have been in perfect obedience to God’s will, instead they allowed their first intimate relationship to be influenced or governed strictly by the law or tree of knowledge of good and evil, using their first act strictly for pleasure outside the divine will and purpose of Almighty God’s plan for the producing of his human family. That one act of disobedience produced death into the bloodstream of the first couple, thus through the sex act strictly for pleasure outside the divine purpose of God passed on to each oncoming generation that which they had inherited through disobedience in the garden and fulfills the scripture wherein David declared that all of us came into the world speaking lies, etc., and again David declared his knowledge of what had actually happened in the Garden as he said in sin did my mother conceive me. Therefore, I was shapen in iniquity (Psalms 51:5).
NOT IGNORANT OF EVENTS IN GARDEN
David, as well as all Jews, were not in ignorance to what had happened in the Garden between the serpent and Eve as well as Adam, the son of God, and knew also that these two trees shown in the midst of the Garden certainly were not trees of vegetation life. Because, had sin and disobedience been obtained by partaking fruit from plant life, redemption would have also had to come the same route from eating plant life. The nature of the two trees had to be exactly the same. One could not have been spiritual and the other natural.
CHRIST IN US OVERCOMES
Being born again through accepting Christ as our eternal life, we can begin to see how God intends to make us to become Godlike in our character, in our nature, in our outlook, etc., by placing all of his attributes in us. Furthermore, we will be able to see these things which are being placed in the pathway of our Christian walk, things which always seem to come against us in this life, have been the very route which God has chosen for us and through that Godlikeness (engrafted into us) that Christ will provide for us in our lives we can begin to say, it is not us actually doing the overcoming. Oh no, but as Paul declared when he said, it is not I, but Christ which liveth in me is gaining the victory daily. We are able, by these things and through the grace of God in us to overcome these obstacles and continue to grow and progress daily more in the likeness and stature of our saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, that perfect man born of woman, our example, who personally overcame every obstacle placed in our pathway which leads to the fulfillment of Rom. 8:28-29 causing all things to work for good to them who do (truly) love God who are the called according to his plan and purpose.
SEEING GREATER THINGS AHEAD
Beloved, don’t ever think for a moment that Jesus our example, who is both Lord and Christ, and was born sinless into this world, lived a life free from all reproaches, free from all trials and free from opposition. No sir, he did not! In every wise that flesh man born of woman, the perfect Christ was tested and tempted in every manner as you and I (Heb. 4:15). Nevertheless, in order that he might become the perfect example for fallen mankind who had been born under the effects of the wrong tree in the Garden, he never once yielded to the effects of any of these temptations placed before him. No, instead Christ was able to see something that was far greater beyond this life which was to be gained through his obedience to the father’s will which to him was far greater than having to endure the opposition and humiliation of all these obstacles placed in his pathway while here upon earth. Hebrews says Christ learned obedience through the things which he, in his flesh, suffered. What could Christ see that was so much greater? Christ, as perfect man, could see that exalted position which he, as man, would be lifted into.
SEEING FUTURE MAKES OBSTACLES LIGHTER
Beloved, that should also be the main objective, the main goal, as well as the main source of our vision, that through all trials, temptations, persecutions and troubles, we too, should look upon them and realize as Christ did, that Praise God this is not to our destruction, this is not to our ruination, but instead all these things are for the advantage of our spiritual growth to work for our good, leading us to perfection in Christ. Therefore, it is no more I that liveth, as the apostle declared, it is Christ Jesus in Spirit form living in me who is doing the overcoming. Yes, it is no longer me through my physical efforts who is overcoming all these things, but it is the grace of God within me that gives me the victory over every trial, temptation, persecution and such which befalls my life. Hence, I can begin to recognize God’s divine purpose or plan, how he (the great Eternal Spirit) desires and intends someday that I grow up into the full measure of the likeness of his Son, Christ, that perfect man, our example.
NATURE DEMANDS IDOL
Surely, if we are aware, placed within the carnal nature of every child growing up, is that instinct and desire to be like someone, why beloved, when we are rebirthed and come to Christ it is only natural that having been born from above the desire is to be like Christ. It is a desire placed within us by the Holy Spirit. There is no one greater anyone could ever pattern their lives after. When the Lord, the Eternal Holy Spirit sent his Son into the world (Gal. 4:4) he sent him (the second Adam) into the world in order that he might stand victoriously between the living and the dead, between Satan and death as well as stand against everything else which should ever arise that you would need to gain victory over throughout your entire Christian walk.
MORE THAN A CONQUEROR
Yes, he was more than a man. Christ was more than a means of refuge and escape for us to barely miss hell. I repeat, he wasn’t something offered to this world whereby we would barely escape. Christ was more than an escape route; he was more than something whereby each time you faced a trial as an obstacle which was laid in your path, that with a sigh of relief you might wipe your brow and say, thank God, I barely escaped. But the question remains, will I be able to escape the next trial which may be even more severe? No, thank God he is our victory over sin, over Satan, seeing the work on Calvary crushed the very power of Satan because John triumphantly declared the Son was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Then again, we hear John declare rejoicingly, greater is he that is within you (Christ in Spirit form) than he that is in the world (I John 4:4). Beloved, that is why you don’t barely escape the trap of Satan when you lean on the Lord Jesus. No, he is able to bring us victoriously and triumphantly over every trial, ever persecution, etc. Some people look upon eternal life so pathetically. Don’t ever look at eternal life in that light. True, when you stand on the other side, you will be able to stand there only because it was made possible through the grace of God, seeing it was the merits of grace that allowed you the privilege to stand there. Yes, in that relationship you could say we did barely escape by a hair’s breadth; because, it was Peter who declared, if the righteous scarcely be saved where will the sinner and ungodly appear (I Peter 4:18). But that is dealing with the picture at the end of your life’s journey showing how that grace and grace alone brought you through. That involves more than simply escaping hell, etc., that is lining you up for the job he has for you in the glorious hour of that thousand years reign to come. You have escaped something in order to be placed in a relationship with God and Christ in order that you might become an heir of all things.
DO YOU LOVE GOD?
When we begin to recognize or realize that all things in this Christian life do work together for good to them who love God and are called for a definite purpose and I remind you that purpose only benefits those who do love God seeing those same obstacles you are to overcome can either someday make you like the Lord Jesus or can be used as an elimination process to get rid of you. Therefore, it behooves us to begin searching to find our whether or not we actually do love God. Because when we find out we do love God, then and only then will we be able to absolutely recognize and understand that all the rest Paul declared here will also tie into us because this scripture is speaking strictly unto those who love God. Therefore, each of us has to ask the question, DO WE REALLY LOVE GOD? Because if we really do love God, then we know all things will work together for good or to the advantage of them who love God. Many people as I said, are in love with their church, but not God; many love their pastor but not God. The Sunday school superintendent, the Sunday school teacher or a dozen other things which they have connected with religion yet, sad to say it is not God at all that they love because Jesus said, if you love me you will keep my commandments and John declared his commandments, or words or sayings are not grievous. No, not to them who love God, the word is not grievous.
REMAINDER OF VERSES APPLY TO GOD LOVERS
Notice also how the remainder of these verses will apply strictly unto those who definitely love God. It is these who love God that we shall see have definitely been called according to His divine plan. His plan or purpose according to (Verses 29-30) is that for those whom He did foreknow He did also predestinate to be conformed in the image and likeness of his Son. Therefore, since God foreknew us (who love him) he knew before the foundation of the world to what end or what route he would choose to set before us whereby these things that we would definitely be brought face to face within his plan and purpose were the very things he himself had provided or chose to use in order to mold and shape us into the image of his dear son. While at the same time, these very same things would keep the sinner and man of the world strictly on the outside of the grace of God.
GOD’S PLAN BENEFITS GOD LOVERS
Therefore, having examined it in this light of understanding, we see according to verse 30 how he laid his plan out to benefit only those who would truly love him. Moreover, whom he did predestinate those are the ones through his spirit that he called, because unless the Spirit calls you or draws you in conviction power you cannot come unto him (John 6:44). Therefore, if the Almighty already knew you in his foreknowledge back there before the foundation of the world where Paul in Ephesians 1 declared he had counseled with himself concerning this great plan and program which would involve redemption for the human race and it was there as he saw our lifespan pass before him in his foreknowledge that he appointed you and I unto eternal life seeing all names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world and not the night you received his salvation (Eph. 1:4, Rev. 13:8). It was also back there in that foreknowledge of his that he designed certain things which were to confront you as you travel down through this lifespan of time. Yes, that one Eternal God who laid out all this through his foreknowledge and lined it out just for me and you is certainly one day in our lifespan going to reach out in the convicting power of the spirit and say to us who have been chosen (because he saw we would choose him). Come on and let’s start your journey. Yes, sooner or later his grace is going to pull me into that pathway whereby I may begin to start walking with him. I will never forget the night I knelt at an altar in the Methodist Church and said Lord, if you will take away these cigarettes and give me a know-so salvation whereby I can know I am saved from my sins, I will do my best to teach your word. Not realizing at that hour that is exactly what he had already ordained for me to do. I knew the next day he had taken me at my word because I found myself with my Bible in hand and I read and read and read. From that day until the day God led me into this endtime message and gave me the baptism of the Holy Ghost, I did not know what a trial or test actually was, that is, those trials and tests applicable to Rom. 8:28, which benefit those who love God.
DAY BATTLE BEGUN
In the early months of my salvation experience I lived with the feeling that the sin load had been lifted from my shoulders. I wasn’t ridiculed and besides, I cared little what sinners thought about me anyway; therefore, I actually faced no real persecution. Yet, the day I received the Holy Ghost and my spiritual life began, that was the day the battles started. That was the day the devil got mad, yet that is the day I also realized I had something in my life that intended to take me through and that by no means should I turn back.
PREDESTINATED, CALLED AND JUSTIFIED
Verse 30 declares, moreover whom he did predestinate, those are the ones he also called. And whom he called, them he also justified (or looked upon as never having sinned). Where, beloved, was he doing all this? Before the foundation of the world of course! This is what all was going on through the foreknowledge of his great mind. Whom he called, them he also justified. Right there from then on it didn’t make one bit of difference unto him what these had done in their lifespan of unbelief before his call should take place in reality, because in the foreknowledge of his mind, he had already justified everyone of them which simply means he looked upon these as though they had never sinned. God foreknew them; therefore, in time to come, when that day would arise that God would actually lay his hand on that life, he called that soul to come and begin their walk with him. However, before the foundation of the world he had already seen them forgiven and justified. And because these are now called and justified, it is going to begin for them another battle, a new kind of battle with Satan. Sure, no one denies that even while you were living in the natural for the devil that you did not have battles. Of course you did. However, now that he has called you, new and different battles will arise with Satan, the accuser of the brethren.
SEEING OVERCOMERS, GOD JUSTIFIED THEM
For whom he called he also justified and, get this, back there before the foundation of the world in his mind, through his great foreknowledge he even saw those who loved God, those who overcame the persecution, hindrances, stumbling blocks, etc., and was eventually even made into the image of his dear Son. He saw you in a glorified state of being because the scripture says whom he justified, them he also glorified, meaning in his mind God saw the end or the finish of your route of life that he had already chosen for you, an note, he saw you glorified. This shows he saw you finish the end of your race as you ran it with patience, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of your faith, Heb. 12:1-2. He sees you already glorified, already immortal. And at that moment when he saw all this, naturally speaking, you were not even born. No, there was not even a planet created for you to live on. There was not even dust on that planet to furnish you your body. There was not even an angel created at that moment.
SHORT LIFE – MAKE IT COUNT
Seeing that is the way God looks upon us who love him, Paul says we already know that all things work together for good to them who do love God. There isn’t one thing that can befall your Christian life but what sooner or later it will work to the good; however, if you don’t love God then that same thing is going to absolutely work in the other direction to eliminate you and get you out of the way. Believe me, I don’t say that because I want to see God eliminate anyone; nevertheless, it is merely a fact that we can’t always play with God. Your life is too important. You today who have been destined with only 70 years should make each one of those years count by asking yourself, just where do I fit in the plan of God, where do I fit in his will? Were he to come tonight for me, am I ready to face him?
NO ONE CAN CONDEMN GOD’S ELECT
Thus, as we begin to see God’s plan unfold for those who love him, (we hear Paul continue this line of thought in verse 31 by asking a question, what shall we say to these things, if God be for us (who love him) who then can be against us). And I ask you that question. Is there a person in this world who can keep you from living for God? No, there isn’t one soul. If you don’t live for God it is your own fault. Scripturally, you can’t blame anyone else yet someone will say, oh, but you don’t know how bad I was tempted. And to that individual Paul would say, there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful who will not permit you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation, also make (the) way of escape that ye may be able to bear it (I Cor. 10:13). Thus we see God leaves us completely without an excuse. If you don’t want to live for God, IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT! No one else can be blamed. Therefore, don’t ever say so-and-so said such-and-such and that caused me to fall by the wayside. No, the Bible won’t back that up. You are the one who said it that way, not God. It is a fact whether you want to admit it or not. You are only looking for a reason or excuse and the Bible won’t provide you with one. You are simply looking for a way out without admitting the fact you simply DON’T LOVE GOD! If you loved God more than anything else, there isn’t one thing according to Paul’s following statements that is in this whole wide world that could keep you from him. If you love God, you are not going to allow anything to interfere, that is what the scripture just finished declaring. That is why Paul said to the church, the born again, those who love God, what shall we say to these things, if God be for me who in the world can stand in my way? In John 10:26-33 we hear Jesus declaring from the temple in Solomon’s porch unto the Jews who had no spiritual ears to hear what the spirit was saying in that hour, you believe not simply because you are not of my sheep. As I said unto you, my sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me and I give unto them eternal life and they (MY SHEEP) shall never perish. Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand, my father who gave them to me is greater than all and no man is able to pluck them out of my father’s hand. I and my Father are one. They knew what he meant because the same group who was not his sheep and could not hear his voice picked up stones to stone him because they said, you being a (mere) man hath made yourself God.
TRIALS PROVE LOVE FOR GOD
Who can actually stand in your way? Nobody! Though I grant you, in a sense, people can get in your way; nevertheless, if you truly love God you will find a way through all that mess. God will help you through it. Now the only way God is going to be for me (according to Rom. 8:31) is if I am for him. It is every bit possible he may let us wait a little while, yet that is only to allow us to see our own determination in our stand for him because God already knows whether or not if we will stand. WE DON’T! Nevertheless, if we will only stand and by our stand show we are really for God, then he is going to hear our prayer and assist us. On the other hand, I could allow the same thing to stop me. I could be saying, well I would like to be serving God but you see what it is that is in the way; therefore, I would sit down and not serve God. Really, that is the thing proving I didn’t love God to begin with! Then maybe six weeks or six months later I might undertake a task which would seem to be impossible; however, if that task is something that fits the flesh person or carnal, I might spend a fortune to get it done, but God wouldn’t be in it.
IS GOD FOR YOU?
If God be for us, Paul said, who can stand against us? Let us ask ourselves the question, is God actually for us? You can only answer that by examining your own heart. If you really love God with all your heart then he loves you and is going to take your side. Verse 32, He that spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all (the church Eph. 5:25). Christ was an example for me personally. How shall he not with him also freely give us all things. Look what God is doing to his Son, three days after death raised him from the dead and 40 days later lifted him into glory where he seated this perfect, tried man (the Christ) on the right hand of majesty, where glory, power and honor was bestowed upon him that he should be a king, worshipped and adored by angels.
REWARDED FOR CROSSING EACH BARRIER
Therefore, seeing Christ was our example, look at what he received for his obedience in crossing over every barrier and obstacle laid in his pathway. As the scripture says, learned he obedience through the things he suffered as he was an example for us personally, how much more through him who is now in us coming along that very same route (the route of humility, scorned, ridicule, etc.,) following in the very same footsteps of him who was God’s example for us all, that in the end we, likewise, can also be lifted up in his likeness and image and also be positioned with him in eternity sharing in that same realm of glory in an age of authority whereby we should rule and reign with him as kings and priests. But like Jesus, you also will have to see all this in the spirit or it wouldn’t be worth two cents to you. You see it was the glory beyond this life, beyond this veil of flesh, Christ was looking at. Thus we are told in Heb. 12:2 to look unto this Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Phillips Trans. “Let us strip off everything that hinders us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet and let us run the race that we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus the source and the goal of our faith. For he himself endured a cross and thought nothing of its shame because of the joy he knew would follow his sufferings; and he is now seated at the right hand of God’s throne. Think constantly on him enduring all that sinful man could say against him and you will not lose your purpose or your courage.”) Therefore, you can see what Jesus was looking at and that was the joy set before him. That was what could make him endure the cross and despise the shame. He endured that to go to the cross and in a few hours fulfill death and all it was to accomplish, then be raised by the power of God to be exalted into glory and seated at the right hand of the eternal spirit and majesty, authority and glory.
SEEING RICHES OF INHERITANCE HELPS OVERCOME
That is what he was looking at. Can you see that? If I look at it correctly, I can see it through the eye of faith (spiritual revelation), through spiritual revelation I too can see the riches of my inheritance or the things I am to inherit. To inherit it, I too must walk that same road. Yet walking that same road won’t always be days of gloominess. There will be days the sun will shine and there will be days when clouds will cover the sun. Storms may rage; nevertheless, I know behind that cloud the sun still shines as brightly as ever.
NO ONE CONDEMNS GOD’S ELECT
Verse 33: “who then shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? Shall God who justified?” (Certainly not!) Because he is the one in verse 30 who already justified you, meaning, saw you as though you had never sinned. Seeing he had already justified you, who is the man or woman who can really bring an accusation before God? Who is that person who can bring a just accusation against you who love God that would stop you from living for God? Satan is the accuser of the brethren, however, those who love God have already been justified. According to God’s own word there isn’t one charge or accusation against those who love God that can keep the elect of God out of his domain. I am what I am by the grace of God and it isn’t because anyone did or didn’t say or do such and such. God will neither accept me nor condemn me on the basis of what I have been because even before he justified me he knew what I had been and none of that hindered him back there from justifying me. No, he doesn’t need your testimony about it, it is God who does the justifying. He is not interested in hearing all that other junk that any accuser would have to say against those whom he has already justified. He knows more of the truth than anyone else does. Verse 34: Who is he that condemneth, it is Christ that died (for us). Think of it beloved, there isn’t one charge or one report that can be brought before the majesty of God’s court that could change the situation of your walk with him. If someone condemns you and you know scripturally there is no truth behind it, why should you worry? While they are condemning you just remember, it is Christ who died for you, not the person doing the condemning. Don’t look at people, look at the proper source. It is Christ who is at the right hand of God ever making intercession for us, so just remember when someone down here is absolutely giving you fits, there is one up there interceding (praying) and pleading your case. While someone down here may be persecuting you who have already been justified, you have a lawyer defending your cause whereby one day you may walk down the streets of glory clothed in his righteousness. Beloved, you must look at it in the proper light of the scripture. However, most people spend their time on earth looking down, taking everything in such a defeated manner. When we reach a place where we feel defeated, it is there we have to depend on the grace of God. Some poor people merely live to hear what others have said about them. We are going to have to learn to stick our fingers in our ears and tell the devil to get away and leave us alone. Imagine Jesus with his spirit of discernment speaking to the multitudes knowing every skeptic present, but did that bother him, NOT IN THE LEAST! If he had lived his life in that hour like some people live their life today, his lower lip would have been dropped down all the time and he would have said, I simply can’t go on any further, I am finished. But no, he didn’t do that.
DEFEATED ATTITUDE NO GOOD
We must look at ourselves and ask a simple question, am I really a child of God or am I simply trying to fake my way through this life confessing to be something I am not? Don’t live all your life in a defeated attitude because that will never take you to glory. There are millions of souls in hell today who would be glad to tell you to change your attitude and go back and do certain things and it will come out alright. Yet God won’t allow them to come up and bear such a witness. You have to look at the future through the plan of God as well as the word of God and by faith look at Jesus, then look at yourself and say, God give me grace and help me to walk this way. Therefore, seeing there isn’t a soul here who can condemn you and change God’s mind seeing he has already justified you, looking upon you as though you had never sinned, always remember, while someone is trying to chop you down, don’t forget there is one up there making intercession for you.
NOTHING SEPARATES ELECT FROM GOD’S LOVE
Verse 35: “who shall separate us from the love of Christ” (or God)? Praise God, NO ONE CAN! If I am a true child of God no one can keep me from the love of God. They may kill the flesh, cut me up and throw one piece here and another piece there, yet in my soul they can’t separate me from the love of God. It is inseparable!! Because now I am a part of God and he is a part of me. Like the Christians of old thrown to the lions, torn to bits, yet because their souls were united with Christ they could not be separated from the love of God, they were in him and he was in them. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation (remember, tribulation is trials and tests) this is only Paul’s way of explaining that through trials and tests (tribulations) which you encounter in your Christian life, things that are to try you and prove whether you are a child of God or not, then all these things are definitely going to work for your good.
TRIBULATION NOR DISTRESS CAN SEPARATE
Shall tribulation or distress separate us? Distress used here means you have gotten into a terrible situation which seems hopeless and there is absolutely no way out, but you yell for help and God comes to your rescue. Sometimes we have to get stranded in these situations to really make us yell. It is not that we have to yell at God, it us just that once in a while he likes for us to realize we are fully dependent upon him and that without him we can do nothing. The third thing Paul mentions that cannot separate us is persecution, then famine, nakedness, peril or the sword. NO, the sword didn’t separate them of old. Their remark was simply this, if I die while walking down the road of life looking for a crumb (in a famine), I will be with him. That is the way they felt about it because Paul says absolutely nothing shall be able to separate me from the love of God. Moreover, because of that fact we know that all things will work together for the good to them who love God, (his elect) called according to his plan.
MORE THAN CONQUERORS
Reaching the end of Paul’s statement we hear him saying in verse 37, nay, and in all things we are more than conquerors. Conquerors mean we have gained the victory over the very thing that has defeated and discouraged us. How? Through him who loved us! I don’t gain my victories through you, I may gain comfort and encouragement from others. Nevertheless, the final victory is going to be made when in my mind and spirit I have exercised that action which determined the balance of decision when I placed it in the plan of God. Yes, Paul said we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. When I take that beautiful thought over into I John 5:4 and hear John saying, for whosoever is born of God (positively) overcomes the world. And we could bring John’s statement right into this setting. Furthermore we can say, whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. Isn’t it beautiful to see the pathway of God’s elect! Those he foreknew, he calls. Them he calls, he justifies. Them he justifies, he glorifies. Everyone of these born again believers will fall right in line, Paul says here.
OVERCOMING TRIALS PROMOTES VICTORY
To be a child of God is not to find oneself constantly walking with God, having no trials or tests. The victory comes over the trials; therefore, if there was never a trial, who would be able to boast of victory. Whosoever is born of God overcometh the world. And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (I John 5:4). That faith or revelation, that determination which so aligns us with God also enables us to see God’s wonderful plan, his beautiful promises as well as his outstretched hand, and lets us know all these things confronting us are merely stepping stones in our life. With this knowledge, though we face the devil and he knocks us down, we are able to get right back up and go on. Therefore, this is the way to look at life: if you are going to follow God, you must follow him all the way. To do so, you are going to have to love him. Not because someone told you to, but it has to be a personal love and walk with him. If you really love God, he will not withhold one good thing from those who walk uprightly. He knows all our needs even before we ask, so why do we have to put the natural first? Put the spiritual first and let the natural fall in line because the Bible says, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Beloved, put his righteousness first so that if you die tonight you would know everything was alright. Put God and his righteousness first and the scripture says all these (natural) things shall be added unto you. However, to make all that effective and applicable in my life I must first prove to myself that I do have a love for God above everyone else. If we are loyal to God first, he promised not to let us go through this life living from hand to mouth. Though in order to prove and mold us he might at times use these material ends to try our faith, to see if I am living just for that thing, or am I really living for him. That is why many times those material things in our earthly life will be the means whereby God tries and tests us that we may know whether we truly love him or just tagging along. Remember, if we are just tagging along, something will come along one day and knock us completely off our feet and eliminate us. Paul completes his thought concerning those who love God, the elected ones, by saying, I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, principalities, powers, nor things present nor things to come nor height, depth or any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
NO EXCUSE ACCEPTED
See, there is absolutely no excuse for anyone not to serve God. Don’t you want to live for him? It is the only life worth living. I am sure we can all look back through the years and see many things we could have used as excuses to pull out and call it quits, but if we ever do entertain any such thoughts in our mind over some little excuse I pray God will permit us to see the pit of hell as its burning hot waiting for you, were you to decide to allow one of these little obstacles to turn you back. Remember, if I go there I can blame no one. I sent my own soul there! Sure, there are disappointments and heartaches in this life, but to live a victorious life in Christ, you have to get up out of all these pitfalls and these pitiful feelings and shake yourself and say, Lord by your grace there is nothing going to keep me from you. And never forget, NO ONE CAN SHAKE YOU, YOU MUST SHAKE YOURSELF TO THIS REALITY!