FOR MANY YEARS NOW WE HAVE BEEN HEARING TALK OF THE RAPTURE, THE TRANSLATION, THE CATCHING AWAY OF THE BRIDE OF CHRIST, ETC. WHICH ARE ALL SPEAKING OF THE SAME THING. WHAT IS MEANT BY THESE PHRASES, AND HOW CLOSE ARE WE TO THIS BLESSED EVENT IN THIS MESSAGE WE WILL ENDEAVOR, BY CALL. ING YOUR ATTENTION TO THE SIGNS OF THE TIME. TO SHOW THAT WE HAVE TO BE LIVING CLOSE TO THE DOORWAY OF A NEW WORLD ORDER. WE WILL SPEAK OF THE FORE-RUNNERS PURPOSE. WHAT A GENERATION COULD BE. THE BOTTOMLESS PIT. THE THIRD PHASE OF THE FIRST RESURRECTION, THE BRIDES PLACE IN THE MILLENNIUM, AND MANY OTHER THINGS THAT WE TRUST WILL BE HELPFUL TO THOSE WHO ARE AWAITING THE TIME OF THEIR CHANGE. HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY THE CITY OF JERUSALEM IS REFERRED TO IN THE SCRIPTURE AS SPIRITUALLY SODOM AND EGYPT? DO YOU KNOW THAT MATTHEW 25:31-46, AND REVELATON 20:4, ARE BOTH SPEAKING OF THE SAME PERIOD OF TIME? IN THIS MESSAGE WE WILL DEAL WITH THESE SUBJECTS IN THE HOPE THAT MUCH CONFUSION CAN BE CLEARED UP WHAT ABOUT THIS NEW PLANET THAT SCIENTISTS HAVE RECENTLY DISCOVERED? WE WILL SHOW IN THIS MESSAGE WHAT IT COULD BE. THIS MESSAGE DOES NOT SET DATES FOR THE EVENTS JUST AHEAD, BUT SIMPLY CALLS ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THE CUP OF ABOMINATION OF THIS AGE IS FULL. LEAVING NOTHING BUT THE JUDGMENT OF GOD FOR THE WICKED TO LOOK FORWARD TO ON THE OTHER HAND. IT SHOULD QUICKEN THE HEARTBEAT OF THE RIGHTEOUS, KNOWING THAT WE ARE STANDING ON THE THRESHOLD OF A GLORIOUS NEW AGE. WE WOULD ASK YOU TO READ THIS MESSAGE PRAYERFULLY. AND WE COVET YOUR PRAYERS FOR THIS WORK. MAY GOD BE WITH YOU. 70 PROTECT AND BE YOUR SUFFICIENCY IN THESE DAYS
TEXT: REVELATION CHAPTER 20:1-4
As we go Into this message, it is our desire to show from the word of God and the conditions that now exist, that we are on the threshold of another age – We have to be; If God would allow man to proceed at his present pace he would destroy everything and everyone. Brothers and sisters, this cannot be allowed to happen.
WATCHING THE SCRIPTURES
We must realize that we have scripture that gives us a prelude to the day that we are living in. The Jews who were living two thousand years ago had scripture that they were watching. (such as Isa. 9:6-7. Dan 9:25-26. Mal. 3:11, 4.5-6 etc.) that caused them to run to the river when John came on the scene. They knew from existing conditions that something was about to happen, I do not mean to say that all of the Jews responded like that, No; It was that spiritual Jew, the ones who were hungering after God. The Scribes and Pharisees were satisfied with things just as they were. That is the same condition that we have in world religion in our day They(like the religious leaders of that day), are so busy with their programs and new member campaigns that the coming of the Lord wouldn’t do anything except hinder their weekly routine One thing that we notice in reading the four gospels is that the religious leaders did not have any interest in what was going on down at the river until it began to disturb their program: then they sent representatives to find out for them what all of the commotion was about. These messengers were priests and Levites (probably from the lower ranks of impatience), sent to ask John, “Who are you?” John answered by saying, “I am not the Christ.” Then they asked him, “Are you Elijah?” John’s answer was, “I am not”, Well then are you that prophet that is to come, “No. I am not.” was John’s reply In their desperation they cried, just who are you then, that we may give an answer to those that sent us? Tell us something about yourself “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Make straight the way of the Lord as said by the prophet Isaiah.” Why, then, are you baptizing if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, neither that prophet!”
FORERUNNERS OF CHRIST
Do you see anything here that reminds you of our day? They were not asking these questions out of genuine spiritual concern, they were just curious to know what was happening. We have the same conditions existing in our day. God sent a prophet to this age, vindicated his ministry with signs and miracles by the word of God, and look what happened; Some who were hungering after God believed, and were baptized (according to Acts 2:38 – In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins), while others were heard to say, “Who does he think he is? Is he trying to start some new religion?” The answer was, no, just trying to call God’s people back to His word. Just as John was not trying to start anything new in his day, neither was William Marrion Branham trying to start anything new in our day. They were both commissioned by the Lord to turn the attention of the spiritual minded people of their age back to a proper attitude towards God, right before He would move on the scene to change the world order.
PURPOSE OF THE FORERUNNER
The people who went out to be baptized by John were set straight as to who this was talking; What his purpose was, and what they were to expect as a result of having believed what they had heard Bro. Branham was just as quick to say, “I am not the Lord.” as John was, but added I am commissioned to take a message to the world that will forerun the second coming of the Lord. The message is echoing around this world today, and we believe that the coming of the Lord is at hand. No, we are not setting any dates, (as some have), we are just watching the signs of the times, and comparing them with scripture. The scripture that we have is enough, (if we are true children of God), to cause us to realize that we are living in the last hours. (and when I say hours. I do not mean hours of sixty minutes, but rather a few short months, and years), before the return of Christ, to begin his reign on earth during the Millennium.
Most of you will know what we mean, when we speak of the Millennium, but for the benefit of those who may not know, let me say this, the word Millennium means one thousand, In this case, we are referring to the one thousand years that the Lord Jesus Christ will reign on earth, literally, as the King who is to occupy the throne of David, the ancient King of Israel. It is from the scripture in Revelation chapter 20, that we take our text to begin our thought for this message. We will begin by reading the first six verses;
SATAN TO BE BOUND
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand, And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, who Is the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut burn up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled, and after that he must be loosed a little season.”
Now, in this first three verses we see a mighty angel come down from heaven who has the key to the bottomless pit, and he lays hold on the Devil, first thing, and binds him for a thousand years shutting him up in the bottomless pit. Therefore, with Satan bound for one thousand years, it will be a time of universal peace, long life, and prevailing righteousness. This is what we have just ahead of us in the very near future. Remember though, he is not tied up yet, and he is very busy foe, he knows his time is short. It is some of the things that Satan is inspiring people to do in this age of time, that we are going to use in this message. to call your attention to how close we are to the end.
THE APOSTLE’S WARNING
In his second letter to Timothy. The apostle Paul gave a prophetic insight of what it would be like in our day, just before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for his bride. In chapter 3 we read, “THIS KNOW ALSO THAT IN THE LAST DAYS PERILOUS TIMES SHALL COME FOR MEN SHALL BE LOVERS OF THEIR OWN SELVES, COVETOUS, BOASTERS, PROUD, BLASPHEMERS, DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS, UNTHANKFUL, UNHOLY, WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION. TRUCE-BREAKERS, FALSE ACCUSERS, INCONTINENT, FIERCE, DESPISERS OF THOSE THAT ARE GOOD, TRAITORS, HEADY, HIGH-MINDED, LOVERS OF PLEASURES MORE THAN LOVERS OF GOD; HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS, BUT DENYING THE POWER THEREOF, FROM SUCH TURN AWAY.” Anyone would think that the apostle had gotten hold of one of our daily newspapers from the description that he gave of the spirit of mankind in these last days. This is a perfect display of how God is able to inspire his true ministry to forewarn people who have an ear to hear what the spirit says, “GOD IS ALIVE!” We readily confess that God is alive, yet many of you by your very words deny that he lives. When you say that we ought not to say anything that is not written in the Bible, do you not make him a dead God? Has he been dead ever since he Inspired the men who wrote the Bible? Of course not! You say without hesitation. Well, if that be true, would you not agree that a living God might have something to say to his bride in these last days?
I will have to call your attention to Revelation chapter 10:14; which speaks of a mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow upon his head, his face was as the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire – He had a little scroll open in his hand. In the spirit John saw him standing there with one foot upon the land and the other upon the sea. Now we know that there is no such literal man or angel, therefore, this description is to portray authority. This is the spirit form of someone who has authority over the land, as well as the sea. Now tell me who that could be? Matthew chapter 28 tells us who had all authority invested in him, both in heaven, and on earth. It is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ The next verse in this 10th chapter gives the identity of this angelic being. He cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth. There is his identity, for we all know that Jesus Christ was the Lion from the tribe of Judah. A lion is the king of all beasts, therefore this lion’s roar speaks of authority and gives believers a key to his identity, while verse 2 showed what he had authority over. Now notice the rest of verse 3: “When he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.” This is the part that I wanted us to get to. We know that the seven thunders are within the seventh seal. We also know that the seventh seal has not been broken yet. Another thing that we are fully persuaded of is that the message in the thunders is for the bride at the end of the age. God gave John a vision of the end, so that he could see the seventh seal, already open, and hear the message of the thunders, but he forbade him to write it. Since the message of the thunders is not written in the Bible, if we are not to speak of anything that is not written – How will the bride hear?
MESSAGE FOR THE BRIDE
God is not going to thunder out of the heavens with a great voice that can be heard audibly around the world. When the time is right, God will reveal the thunders to his live human ministry on the earth, and they will sound the message of them around the world.Verses 5 & 6 show us this is a vision of the end, “for the mighty angel lifted his hand to heaven. and swear by him that liveth forever and ever, that there should be time (or delay) no longer.” From this we are able to see that this will be for the very end of the Gentile age of grace. Jesus will be off of the mercy seal, but he will not come visibly to the earth until he comes back with his bride in the end of the week of Daniel.
I call these things to your attention in order that you may see that God, (who is still very much alive), may have a few things to say to the bride that are not written in the Bible, or any other book.
The apostle Paul was very specific in what he had to say to Timothy. In verses 12 & 13 we read, “Yea, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But EVIL MEN AND SEDUCERS SHALL WAX WORSE AND WORSE, DECEIVING AND BEING DECEIVED.”
Certainly. we can see the godly wisdom in those words. Men, (or I should say people), who have that evil spirit in them are continually searching for new ways to sin and corrupt themselves. The thrill of anything that they do, soon wears off, forcing them to try something else for kicks. That is why we are seeing news accounts of more brutal murders now more than ever before. Many of them are just for kicks, a momentary thrill of watching someone suffer.
SOUND DOCTRINE REFUSED
listen to the words of Paul in this 4th chapter, “I charge thee therefore before God. and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word, be instant in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears: and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. ”
This fits denominations exactly. They hire them a preacher after having heard a trial sermon or two. If he preaches what the main clique wants to hear, he is in for sure; But, if the Lord begins to deal with that man, and he lays a finger on something wrong, that is going on in the church, his days are numbered. They turn away their ears from the truth. They will get them another preacher, someone who will satisfy their itching ears. These scriptures give us a picture of what the spirit of the age will be like just before the return of the Lord for his bride. Let us look now, at the second letter that the apostle Paul wrote to the christians at Thessalonica. No doubt, every age has been plagued with a bunch of apostate preachers who went from place to place giving out new revelations. These Thesaslonicans had evidently been troubled by some of these date setting spirits, the likes of which are still roving the earth today. We have all known of poor innocent souls that have been led to sell all of their worldly belongings and move to some particular location to wait for the coming of the Lord. on such and such a date, as their leaders might set for this most cherished event.
Listen to what the apostle to the first age had to say to the christians of that day, 2 Thes. 2:1, “Now we beseech you brethren by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled. neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means for that day shall not come, (WHAT DAY? THE DAY OF OUR GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM JESUS THE RAPTURE, OR TRANSLATION OF THE BRIDE), except there come a falling away first, AND THAT MAN OF SIN BE REVEALED, the son of perdition, (WHO IS THAT? THE ANTICHRIST, OF COURSE.) who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
(But Bro. Jackson. I thought the trade would be gone by that time. The bride will be gone by the time that the antichrist is sitting in the temple of God, but she will still be here when he is revealed. The world will not recognize him as the antichrist, but the bride because of her teaching, will recognize him before she goes to the marriage supper.) Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what widtholdth… THE HOLY GHOST IS WHAT IS WITHHOLDING … that he might be revealed in his time, (the man of sin), for the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, (the spirit of God) until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, (the antichrist!), whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivable-ness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they RECEIVED NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, that they might be saved. And for this cause GOD SHALL SEND THEM STRONG DELUSION, that they should believe the lie: That they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
I hope that you will be able to see from these few verses of scripture, why it is important for each of us to have a love for the truth. If we have pleasure in unrighteousness, and have no love for the truth, the Bible says, THAT GOD WILL SEND US STRONG DELUSION, that we will believe the Devil’s big lie and be damned. It is for this reason that we are publishing messages such as this one. We believe that people to this age ought to be warned of the seriousness of flirting with death, just as the people of that first age was warned.
Before reading verse 4, there is something that I would like to share with you. On the way to Canada, (in May of this year.) I picked up one of the magazines in the airplane, and as I glanced through it my eye caught the title of one of the stories. COMPUTERIZED DRIVING BY 1982. That is only five years away. It stated that in this new car, a person would be able to set the computer for the distance they desired to travel, and the speed that they desired to travel at. The car would do the rest. It explained it like this; if you were going 20 miles in distance, and traveling at 55 miles an hour there would be a red light that would light up if you did not have enough gas for the trip at that speed. Then you would need to recompute, to see if your gas supply would be sufficient if you would lower the speed of the car. Another thing that it would do automatically would be to slow down to the speed of the car up ahead that might not be traveling as fast. When I read that, I said to myself, that would fulfill Bro Branham’s dream.
I was thinking of one of the predictions that Bro Branham made over forty years ago. (based upon a vision of the end of the age), where he stated that, “Science will progress in such a way until they will make a car that will not have to be guided by a steering wheel, and the cars will continue to be shaped like an egg until the consummation.” (the end time) He said, “I saw an American family going down the road. (a broad way, riding in a car with their backs turned toward the place where the steering wheel should be. It looked like they were playing checkers or cards. It will be controlled by radar. All you will have to do is set your dial like you would dial a phone. The car will take you right to your destination. It will not be able to wreck for the magnet will keep other cars away from it.”
When I read that article in the newspaper describing such a car, and thought about Bro. Branham’s vision of things pertaining to the end of the age, It caused me to realize that we surely must be getting close to the end.
TIME IS SHORT
Brothers and sisters: the time is short. God is bringing this Gentile age to a close There are people living right now that were old enough to take notice and witness the fact of God beginning to deal with the Jews in causing them to be subjected to conditions that would cause them to go to their ancestral homeland and take up residence after World War II, that will still be living to see the end of the Gentile age. We do not try to set any certain number of years in a generation in dealing with Matthew 24:32-44, and especially with the 34th verse, where Jesus said. “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”) for we realize that, scripturally there are various ways of measuring generation. Take for instance, Genesis 15:13-16, where God was communing with Abraham, even while he was still called Abram, before God changed his name to Abraham.. and said unto him, “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them: and they shall afflict them FOUR HUNDRED YEARS; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the FOURTH GENERATION they shall come here again.
WHAT IS A GENERATION
You may see from the example used that in this particular scripture, a hundred years was referred to as a generation. On the other hand, some refer to the life span of Christ as a generation. Then you have the scripture that people are always trying to quote, about man’s days being three score and ten years upon this earth, they call that a generation; But let us look at one more scripture. You will find It In Numbers 32:11, 13, “Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward shall see the land which I swore to give unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, because they have not wholly followed me. 13: And the Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty year, UNTIL, ALL THE GENERATION that had done evil in the sight of the Lord was consumed.”
We have given you four examples showing ways that generations have been measured in the past, but let us hold to the idea, the many who were old enough In realise the importance of Israel being recognized as an Independent nation in 1948, will still be living to see all of those things spoken of by Jesus in Matt 24, come to pass.
INTRODUCTION TO MILLENNIUM
This 20th chapter of Revelation gives us a picture of the Millennium, of its introduction, and the events that are to transpire. The fact that there is to be another phase of the first resurrection before going into the Millennium is very obvious as you read verses four, five, and six. How else could you have souls living and reigning with Christ for a period of one thousand years, who had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus, (foolish virgins), and for the word of God. (spiritual Jews), all because they had refused to worship the beast, and his image, and had refused to take his mark, when there has never been a generation faced with worshiping the image of the beast, nor of taking his mark in any other age. That will only happen in the last 3 1/2 years of the seventieth week of Daniel. This will be a time that is referred to in the scripture as the great tribulation or Jacob’s trouble, a time when every demon from the bottomless pit is loosed upon the earth to torment men. We will read these three verses, so that you may see for yourselves what the scripture makes so plain. Verse 4, “And I saw thrones, not one, but many), and they sat upon them, who? It could be none other than the bride of Christ. Does not the scripture say that the saints then judge the world? I Cor. 6:2) And Judgment was given into them.” This is the bride group in the first part of verse four. Now notice the rest of the verse as it pertains to the souls that will die for their faith under the rule of that beast system headed up by the antichrist. “-And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. That scripture could not be fulfilled without resurrection between the week of Daniel and the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.
For too long people have studied the book of Revelation from a mere theological standpoint. We are living in time when you cannot do that, for the took is a revelation that was not to be understood until the end. Theology and surmisings do not come close to what the book really contains. Daniel, another book with prophetic insight, was to be a closed book until the end time also, just like the book of Revelation. We have said, in other messages, that the book of Revelation is God’s love letter to the bride. Now I want to say it like this, the book of Daniel serves as a letter opener in this sense, for many of the things that God showed Daniel and told him to seal up until the end, are the things that help to unlock the mystery of the book of Revelation.
The fact that these books were not to be understood until the end has caused many theologians to become discouraged and feel left out; For this reason many of them have been heard to say of the book of Revelation. “The thing never should have been written anyhow.” They may feel like that but God had other things in mind. Imagine, a Jew, concerning the book of Daniel saying, the thing never should have been written. Do you know, that is exactly what I have read in the Jewish histories. They looked upon the book of Daniel as a book that should never have been placed in the chronology of the prophets, because of the fact that he prophesied in Babylon, outside of the land of Israel. Nevertheless, centuries later, just before the advent of Chrtst, many of the Jews opened up and accepted the book of Daniel. Naturally, they were the ones who were in a better place to receive the ministry of John and Jesus when they came on the scene. The 14th verse of the 9th chapter alone could have had the people looking ahead with great expectancy, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to ANOINT THE MOST HOLY. “
I say all of these things to emphasize the fact that the word of God will stand true in every age, regardless of circumstances, “HEAVEN AND EARTH SHALL PASS AWAY, BUT MY WORDS SHALL NEVER PASS AWAY.”
SATAN IS AN EXTREMIST
We are living in an hour when God is going to see that this book is revealed to his people, for it is the only thing that will stabilize us in such an hour as this. It will serve as a compass to keep us on a true course on this sea of life. It will guide us out of many of the Devil’s traps. It is a known fact that when the Devil cannot keep a person from giving their life to the Lord, he will then pursue a course of trying to cause that person to go to some great extreme. Many times, even to the point of actually bringing to preach upon the name of the Lord. Brothers and sisters: some of the things that people are doing in the name of the Lord in this age are a disgrace, but they are pointing us to the end.
MAN’S CONTINUAL STRUGGLE
We are living in an age where man’s wisdom and abilities seemingly have no limitations. It reminds us of the days of Nimrod, when the people were all able to hear and speak the same language. The scriptures tell us, (Gen. Chapter 10,) that they determined to build themselves a city and a tower whose top might reach into heaven, saying, we must make ourselves a name, lest we be scattered upon the face of the earth. Verse 5, reveals that the Lord came down to use the city and the tower which the children of men had builded. Then, God said, “Behold, the people are one and they have all one language and this they team to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”
God went down and confounded their Language and scattered them abroad upon the face of the earth, bringing their plans to a halt. In the world today, we have a multitude of languages so that man’s ability to communicate with each other has been a struggle. This is all a result of man trying to bypass God, and build his own kingdom and tower to reach into heaven.
Ever since the time that God confounded their language and scattered them upon the earth. men have been trying to pull themselves back together, but God will not allow such a thing in this age, for that is to be accomplished in the Millennium. It seems that the greatest struggle of man in his natural makeup, is in trying to reverse the plan of God. That is what the Women’s Liberation movement is all about. When Adam and Eve sinned against God in the garden, God cursed the ground causing man to have to till the ground and struggle with weeds and briars ever since. At the same time God cursed the woman’s reproductive organs causing her to have to bear children in much pain and travail making her subject to the desire of her husband. Now we see women’s liberation being promoted on every hand, trying to remove the curse, but that is to be accomplished in the Millenium also.
In every area of life natural mankind is trying to regain what Adam and Eve forfeited in the garden and God is allowing them to have a certain measure of success, but he will come down and inspect it all one day soon, and his judgment will be severe. People are talking about God and promoting unity and brotherly love, (in word only), and living more and more like pagans. Instead of finding the true peace that comes from the right relationship with God, they are turning to alcohol and drugs looking for an escape from reality.
DRUG COP OUTS
I do not regularly read the Ann Landers column, but my attention was grabbed by a heading on one of the learn that she printed recently, (ATTACK ON DRUGS HOLDS TRUE 10 YEARS LATER) A certain doctor had written the letter stating that he was getting fed up with her attacks on drug users. He said “You give the impression that anyone who takes drugs is mentally unbalanced. I am a speed freak and I challenge anyone to prove I am mentally sick. I am sick, however, of war, conflict between black and white, poverty, crooked politicians, filthy water, and polluted air.” He went on to say that the only way a person can keep from cracking up is to get stoned or spaced out. We are not rebelling as we are accused of doing. we are only creating our own world because we cannot live in this one the way it is.”
Ann Landers answered him by saying, “I, too, am sick of all these things that you mentioned as being wrong with our society, but I am hanging right in there without drugs, attempting to cope with life’s problems and hopefully looking for solutions. Unfortunately, the world you escape to is a private world; Imaginary and temporary. It is only a place to visit. You can’t live there.
It has been said, “the most valuable natural resource that any nation has is young people.” But if the young people continue to cop out on drugs, we are finished as a nation. The next twenty years will be a crisis in world history. You and your contemporaries will be in leadership positions. We cannot meet the challenge of the future with a generation of fried brains.
I am sure that there will be some who will hold fault with our using this article, but it stated so clearly what the thinking of this young hippie generation is, that could help someone to realize what is ahead. The answer to that letter is exactly as we have stated many times. If God would allow time to go on for another 20 years a decent person could not get out in public. The trend is toward paganism and animal like behavior, Immorality and perversions is covering the earth. People seem to be without moral convictions. Murder is committed by some almost as a daily routine. These are signs of the endtime. It shows that the restraining power of the spirit of God is being lifted from the Gentiles and as a result, we see the Gentiles drifting back to where they were before the gospel came to them.
I was just reading the newspaper of the mass murder that is under investutation in Riverside, California. The two men that are suspected of at least 28 killings are both avowed homosexuals. Authorities say that many the slayings were connected with homosexual activities.
CHURCH DEFENDS HOMOSEXUALS
Denominational churches are defending homosexuals, and accepting them into their membership, even in places of leadership. Can you not begin to see what the effects of such looseness will be?
I read an article recently titled, CHURCH DECRIES USE OF BIBLE AS BASIS FOR VIOLATING RIGHTS OF HOMOSEXUALS. I will quote the first paragraph to let you see what this thing is leading to, “The United Church of Christ declared yesterday that recent events have kindled fanatical prejudice against homosexuals and violations of their civil rights to the name of christianity” The article went on to say that gay and bisexual persons have become victims of violence, including murder, allegedly, as a result of fanatical prejudice kindled recently by those who publicly espouse and exploit irrational fear. They were defending the perverts in the Anita Bryant issue that has been aired in the news lately.
Let me say this; these modern churches may defend and accept such individuals Into their ranks, but God will not accept them. I am not saying that such a person could not be saved. What I am saying is this, once that person has truly experienced the salvation of the grace of God in their life they will no longer be a sexual pervert. Did not God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for such immorality? Do these people think that God made a mistake? Are they going to rebel until they force God to repent? I hardly think so. I AM THE LORD, I CHANGE NOT.( Malachi 3:6) Whatever attitude God has ever taken against ungodliness you will find that he will hold that same attitude to the end of time.
CONDITIONS BEFORE THE END
When the Pharisees demanded of Jesus to tell them when the kingdom of God should come, he first told them that the kingdom of God does not come by observation. Meaning, of course, that you can not see God, who is a spirit) living in the hearts of his people by natural observation. That is where the kingdom of God is, (within you, Luke 17:21) After giving the Pharisees this answer, he went ahead to speak of his coming back, to his disciples. He said to them, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” The scripture reveals that all of mankind, (in Noah’s day) had excluded God from their lives to the extent that Noah was the only one that could hear the voice of God. That is not to be applied literally in this age. It is only to set a type of how the great mass of mankind will turn from God before the end actually comes.
When we read In the first chapter of Romans we are able to see what conditions were like in former days when God was forced to bring judgment upon those generations. Let us begin with the 18th verse and read through verse 32. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the TRUTH In unrighteousness: Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, doesn’t that remind you of our day? People in our day are becoming all wrapped up In philosophy. Did you know that when you take the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes and read them right, you have God’s philosophy which is all the philosophy that you need. Remember, Solomon asked God for wisdom to rule his people, and God granted him that request. Now we have the end of that wisdom recorded In the scripture. Therefore, if we will put it into practice, it will keep even the natural man from many pitfalls and heartaches). Verse 23. “And changed the glory of the the incorruptible God INTO AN IMAGE made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the TRUTH OF GOD INTO A LIE, and worshipped and served the creation more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. For this cause GOD GAVE THEM UP UNTO VILE AFFECTION: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature, and likewise also THE MEN, LEAVING THE NATURAL USE OF THE WOMAN, BURNED IN THEIR LUST ONE TOWARD ANOTHER: MEN WITH MEN WORKING THAT WHICH IS UNSEEMINGLY, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was fitting and even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge. God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not Covenient: Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whispers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the Judgment of God that they which commit such things are worthy of death not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” I realize that this scripture passage was quite lengthy, but we as children of God, are to live by every word of God. (Matt 4:4) By looking into the scripture to see how it was before, and realize that Jesus said it would be like that again before he comes back. What should our conclusion be as we look round about us? Do you not agree that the deeds of the mass of mankind in our day match the description which we just read from Romans, chapter 1? That being true, then, there is very little left to be fulfilled of all that was prophesied to take place before the end. No, I am not saying as some are, that Jesus could come for the translation of the bride before tomorrow morning. He might very well come tonight for any of us as individuals. If our allotted time runs out. Therefore, we ought to be ready to go. However, I believe this country will be hit by Russia and an attack made on Israel to fulfill Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39 before Jesus will come for the translation of the Bride, or the rapture as it is so commonly referred to.
Remember as we read the 20th chapter of Revelation which we chase for a text, that when time has progressed to the point of fulfilling that scripture. God will have hit this old earth with his judgment already. The earth will be scarred as a result of it, It will be time for the beginning of that glorious age of rest, promised to the element of mankind which is left alive, and found worthy to live under the earth reign of Christ, which will be that great Sabbath rest, the time of peace, that the whole creation is groaning and travailing for, according to Romans 8: 19-23.
THE BOTTOMLESS PIT
Satan will not be able to bear any influence on anyone during that time, for he will be in the bottomless pit for the full one thousand years. Some will say, where is this bottomless pit? It is somewhere in the heart of the earth. It Is not somewhere on a lost planet, but in the heart of the earth, for it is a figurative term, bottomless. If you could imagine a hole that went all the way through this earth, and imagine falling into such a hole, where would you stop? When you reached the center you would have to stop, for if you went any further you would be going against the law of gravity. It has no bottom. That would have to be hell. There is nothing in hell now but the wicked dead, the doomed and damned that will one day, be cast into the lake of fire. The lake of fire, today has nothing in it. The lake of fire has to be something, and it has to be somewhere. Now this is not a great revelational thing it is only something for thought. I am not really worried about where it is located, but I do know that the place called hell is in the heart of the earth. That is the place where God allows Satan to hold the souls of unregenerate mankind in captivity. The day is coming, when Jesus, who is the voice of the resurrection), will have conquered everything. He will destroy hell, by taking out of it every wicked spirit, and casting them into the lake of fire. This will take place at the last resurrection, which is actually the 2nd resurrection, since the 1st resurrection has three phases. That is why we say that hell is not eternal In the first place, it was created. Just as the everlasting fire was created for Satan and his angels (Only God is eternal.) Then after death and hell are delivered up and cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:141, there will be no more need for a place called hell. The place of captive souls will have served its purpose.
NEWLY DISCOVERED PLANET
Just a few days ago I read an article stating that a group of scientists have spotted the mass of a star somewhere in the milky way, and they claim that this star is ever so much brighter than our sun. It is very strange that they are just now beginning to see it. They say that this gives off so much energy every time that it explodes. As I read that, I thought, God has been dealing with sin right here on this planet, and death has been allowed to take its toll on mankind. During that time God has ordained that these spirits be imprisoned in the heart of the earth, thinking only of the wicked, of course, But Rev. 20:14 declares that death and hell are cast into the lake of fire. This lets us know that the lake of fire will have to be somewhere other than on this planet since we know that this planet called earth cannot bear any of the traces of sin in the eternal age. This planet in the eternal age, can only show the beauty and the glory of God’s perfect plan of redemption. There can be no trace of sin or death. Since the lake of fire will have to be somewhere. I ask you, COULD THIS NEWLY DISCOVERED PLANET BE IT! I look at it as a very strong possibility.
THE BRIDE’S PLACE
Concerning verse of the 20th chapter of Revelation, we spoke earlier of the two different groups that are referred to in that verse. The group in the first part being the bride that judgment was given unto, that does not mean that they are Judged It means that judgment was invested in them who sat upon the thrones. This is a picture of the bride of Jesus Christ who have come back to the earth at the revealing of Christ to the world. This will be the fulfillment of Paul’s revelation concerning the time when Jesus will come to be glorified in his saints and to be admired in all of them that believe. His bride will be sitting on thrones to the various nations that they came out of. In I Cor. 6:2, we find the apostle Paul saying, “Do ye not know that the saints shall Judge the world?” The saints that he is referring to is the bride of the Lord Jesus Christ Paul even said that we would judge angels. That, of course, means fallen angels, which are demons. They are the very demons that has made this life miserable for you at times. You are going to get a chance to say what should be done with them.
Now that we see clearly that this group in the part of verses is the bride of Christ, our next question is, “how did she get there?” We then go to the 19th chapter where we see the bride in heaven, clothed in fine linen clean and white, (fine linen is the righteousness of saints). and a voice saying, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” Then in the 14th verse, we are that army that followed the Lord Jesus to earth on white horses, was clothed In fine linen, clean and white. There is your key as to who the army is made up of. Only the bride is arrayed in fine linen, white and clean.
ORDER OF THE RESURRECTION
Some might say, “How did the bride get to heaven?” We will go to I Thes. 4:13-17 – “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them who are asleep (or dead in Christ) that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also who sleep in Jesus will God bring with him For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent. (or proceed), them who are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first, Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
From the scripture that we have Just read, we see the order of the resurrection of the bride. First the dead in Christ element, and then the living element, caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. He will not come to earth at that time. Only the bride will see him. That is when he comes as a thief in the night.
THE BELIEVERS CHANGE
In writing to the Corinthians, the apostle expressed it in this way: chapter 15:51-54, “Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shalt sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death Is swallowed up in victory. ” As we link up the scriptures that deal with the rapture of the bride, and the events to follow, it becomes very clear that we are on the threshold of our change. The spirit of the age declares it, as well as the scriptures.
IDENTIFYING THEY AND THEM
For too long now christians have looked toward and talked about the coming of the Lord to catch his bride away, but they were never able to envision it to be so real. Having seen how the bride came to be in the millennium, seated upon thrones….
We are missing the final three pages of this edition of The Contender