WE HAVE WHAT I BELIEVE TO BE AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR THE DAY AND HOUR WE ARE LIVING IN. I BELIEVE IT WILL HELP ANSWER MANY QUESTIONS IN THE MINDS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE AWARE OF THE GREAT ECUMENICAL AND CHARISMATIC MOVE IN THE WORLD OF RELIGION. THEREFORE WE WILL APPROACH THE MESSAGE FROM A LITTLE DIFFERENT STANDPOINT THAN WHAT WE HAVE IN THE PAST. IN OTHER MESSAGES WE HAVE DEALT WITH THE FACT THAT THESE FOOLISH VIRGINS IN MATT. 25 DID NOT HAVE OIL, BUT THIS TIME WE WANT TO FOCUS OUR EMPHASIS ON WHY THEY DID NOT HAVE OIL. WHAT WE ARE DEALING WITH IS A PARABLE THAT JESUS SPOKE JUST BEFORE HIS BETRAYAL BY JUDAS ISCARIOT. SPEAKING IN PARABLES LIKE THIS WAS HIS WAY OF PROJECTING A TYPE. HE NEVER SPOKE IN TYPES THOUGH; HE ALWAYS USED PARABLES. THE OLD TESTAMENT WAS WRITTEN IN TYPES AND SHADOWS, AND LIKE YOU HAVE HEARD ME SAY MANY TIMES, A TYPE DOES NOT NECESSARILY CARRY EVERY DETAIL STRAIGHT THROUGH, BUT IT IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROJECTING A THOUGHT. ON THE OTHER HAND, A SHADOW IS THE EXACT PROFILE OF THE OBJECT IT LEADS TO. GOD CAUSED THESE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES TO BE WRITTEN THIS WAY FOR THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, POINTING THEM TO THEIR MESSIAH, AND IF THEY HAD ONLY KNOWN WHAT THOSE TYPES AND SHADOWS WERE THERE FOR, THEY NEVER WOULD HAVE MISSED CHRIST WHEN HE CAME: BUT JUST AS PAUL SAID IN ROMANS 11, “BLINDNESS IN PART IS HAPPENED TO ISRAEL, UNTIL THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES BE COME IN.” (THAT IS YOU AND ME) JESUS, THE FULFILLMENT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT TYPES AND SHADOWS, SPOKE HIS PARABLES TO THE VERY PEOPLE WHO SHOULD HAVE RECOGNIZED HIM FROM THOSE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES, AND THE PARABLES MOSTLY PERTAINED TO GENTILES THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY BE PARTAKERS OF THE GOSPEL, BUT IT IS ONLY NOW THAT WE CAN LOOK AT THOSE PARABLES AND UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY WERE POINTING TO. THEY WERE FOR OUR DISPENSATION OF TIME. THIS PARABLE IN MATTHEW 25, DEALING WITH SOME WISE AND FOOLISH VIRGINS IS NOT AN EXACT PROFILE, BUT BY USING AN OLD TESTAMENT PATTERN, OR AN ANCIENT MARRIAGE FOR AN EXAMPLE, HE PRESENTS A PICTURE. THE PICTURE THAT HE PRESENTS DOES NOT APPLY TO JUST ANY CHURCH AGE; IT ONLY APPLIES TO PEOPLE WHO ARE LIVING AT THE END OF THE GENTILE AGE. THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN DID NOT START OUT AS WE SEE IT PORTRAYED IN THIS PARABLE. THE FIRST WORD IN CHAPTER 25, IS A KEY WORD FOR A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE TIME WHEN THESE CONDITIONS WILL BE IN EFFECT. IN THE 24TH CHAPTER YOU FIND JESUS DESCRIBING CONDITIONS OF THE END OF THIS AGE, AND PLEASE REMEMBER, WHEN HE SPOKE THESE WORDS, HE DID NOT DIVIDE THEM INTO CHAPTERS AND VERSES, THEREFORE WE UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN HE SPOKE THOSE THINGS IN CHAPTER 24, OF WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE AT THE END OF THE AGE, HE SAID, “THEN SHALL THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BE LIKENED UNTO TEN VIRGINS, WHICH TOOK THEIR LAMPS AND WENT FORTH TO MEET THE BRIDEGROOM.” AT NO OTHER TIME DURING THE GRACE AGE WOULD THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BE LIKENED UNTO THIS EXCEPT RIGHT AT THE END OF THE AGE, AND BY THE HELP OF THE LORD WE WANT TO SHOW YOU WHY.
I KNOW YOU NOT
Let us read verses 2-13, now, and get this parable fixed in our minds before we say any more about it. “And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, an took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then ALL those VIRGINS arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage; and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” John the Baptist was the first man to use the term, kingdom of heaven, speaking of a period of time, or era of time. He stood by the Jordan river calling men to repentance, saying that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. It took the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to inaugurate this dispensation of time, but John was the introductory voice for it. Then once this period of time became effective another phase of it went into effect. It is called the kingdom of God. Just before His crucifixion, knowing what was in the minds of his disciples, Jesus said unto them, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation.” He knew they were looking for a materialistic kingdom, in which their Messiah would, as king, overthrow the Roman yoke, set up His own long awaited kingdom, throw all the Romans out of the land, and they would be on their way to peace and tranquility, and a time of prosperity. Little did they know that they were interpreting their own prophecies in the wrong way. They were putting them ahead of other scriptures that had to be fulfilled first. It is true that their Messiah will one day rule over an earthly kingdom in the seat of king David of old, but that is a millennium setting. There is still seven years of Gods dealing with the nation of Israel to fulfill the last week of Daniel’s prophecy, and the battle of Armageddon to be fought before that takes place. In the meantime the kingdom of God is in the hearts of individual believers all around this old world. When you read about the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God, associate them together, but do not make them the same thing. Let me say it one more time. The kingdom of HEAVEN is an era of time, while the kingdom of GOD is His spiritual kingdom in the hearts of His true people. That is why Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you.”
THERE IS ONLY ONE GOSPEL
Let us return our thinking back to the first verse of our text now. Then (THEN) is the first word of the parable we are considering, and we all know that this is a future tense word. It cannot be present tense, and neither can it be past tense, just because it speaks of a condition that will exist after the events described in the 24th chapter have become a reality. Please notice also, that it does not say the kingdom of heaven will be exactly like ten virgins that went forth to meet the bridegroom; it only says that the kingdom of heaven will be LIKENED unto. That is why I said, He only used this setting to put a picture in our minds of a condition that will exist in the time of the end of the age. It presents a certain likeness. Let me say also, the number ten, that Jesus used in this is not to be thought of as a literal number. It is just a figurative number used to make a point. Think of it only as an illustration. Neither does the number, five, mean that half of the believers will be foolish virgins at the end of the age; He could have said seven and three and still have made the same point. The point of this parable is that after so many centuries of grace, when this grace age finally does come to an end, there is going to be some believers who have been very foolish, some who have failed to prepare themselves properly to meet the bridegroom. I have thoroughly studied the book of Acts and all the epistles where the Holy Ghost (the promise of the Father) was mentioned, and there is no scripture anywhere, that should lead anyone to believe there could have been foolish virgins in that first church age. No. They all started out, wise. Paul did not preach one message for a group of wise virgins, and another message for a group of foolish virgins. Neither has there been any age since then, when you could say that the bridegroom came for wise virgins and shut the door against some who were foolish. Brothers and sisters: I am saying these things to provoke your thinking. I want you to get a true picture in your mind of what Jesus was pointing to when He spoke this parable. I also want to be sure that you do not associate this parable with other parables that speak of tares being sown with the good seed. These foolish virgins are not tares; they are virgins. Tares are not virgins. They are people who go to church for many and various reasons, but they do not have a revelation. They will go for social reasons, Sunday school pins, door prizes, or just because of a feeling that they are obligated to do so, but they cannot worship God in Spirit and in truth because they do not have a revelation in their spirit. They only have a head knowledge of what is written in the Bible. On the other hand, the foolish virgins are people who have been justified by the blood of Christ, and set aside through sanctification, so that they are not of the world, but they do not get themselves dressed up in a full revelation in time to meet the bridegroom (Jesus Christ) when He comes to catch away those who are ready. That is why we see them over in Revelation, chapter 7, coming up out of great tribulation. They will be left here to face the Antichrist, who will have them killed because they will not renounce faith in Christ. I just went on to show you where they will finally wind up, but I do not want you to think that the shutting of the door is pertaining to the rapture; it is the door of perfecting revelation that is shut to them in verse 10, and we will get to that later, but right now we want to give our attention to the verses that lead up to verse 10, where the door is shut.
THE HOLY GHOST IS OIL
Let us try to get a vision of the conditions that will produce a setting such as Jesus described in this parable. Keep in mind the fact that all who go forth to meet the bridegroom are virgins. Remember also, that it is time itself that furnishes the setting for this condition; it will be when the kingdom of heaven has progressed to a point close to the end of the Gentile age. They all take their lamps, (in other words they all have light) but those who are called foolish, do not take any extra oil in their vessels with their lamps. (In this parable the oil can be nothing else other than the baptism of the Holy Ghost.) But those who are called wise have oil in their vessels along with their lamps. What does that mean? Let me try to answer the question like this; every truth that one receives from the word of God carries a certain measure of the Spirit of God, and that Spirit is likened unto oil, and oil produces light. Therefore when a person hears, and believes that Jesus Christ is the Savior of lost mankind, and that the just (or justified) shall live by faith, and that those who are justified should live a sanctified life, that person has received a portion of light. That is why you have heard me say that every one of these denominational churches had a measure of light when they started out. Some of them just had the light on faith. Others received more light and realized they were to live a sanctified, holy life as well. Others received the light on eternal security, predestination, baptism of the Holy Ghost, etc., etc., but the fact that they built a denominational wall around the light they had received, kept them from receiving additional light. They were satisfied with what they had, and did not look for anything more, but God does not stand still. He was restoring back to the true body of Christ, all the light that the first church age had, and that had been lost during that long period known as the Dark Ages. Every Bible truth that anyone received belonged to the universal body of Christ, and it is the purpose of God that the universal bride of Christ should have all these truths in order to be dressed properly to meet the bridegroom. The fine linen, clean and white, that we find the bride is to be arrayed in, is her pure, clean, undefiled revelation of the word of God. On the other hand, white robes which we find the tribulation saints wearing, as well as the souls under the altar in the fifth seal, are to be thought of as salvational robes, pointing to the fact that all who wear them do have eternal life, but they can never be classed in the same realm as the bride of Christ that makes herself ready to meet the bridegroom.
Now let us come back to verse 5, and try to get a picture of why they ALL slumbered and slept, both the wise and the foolish virgins. First we will look at what could happen at a natural wedding if something detained the bridegroom. Now no one immediately decides to take a nap just because the bridegroom fails to show up at the exact moment he is expected. You never did see anyone go to a wedding and conduct themselves like that. No. The first thing that people begin to do is look out the windows, look out the doors, call various ones who might know what had caused the delay, talk to each other about what might have happened, and ever so many other things, for at first you are filled with too much anxiety to suddenly decide to take a nap while waiting. It is only after you have completely exhausted yourself that you begin to think, “There is no telling when he will get here. I am just going to sit down and relax until he shows up.” You do not plan to go to sleep; you just sit down because all the excitement has wore off, and you have nothing in particular left to do. The first thing you know, your head begins to nod. You jump, look around the room, but others are doing the same thing. Across the room you will see a head nod a time or two, then go limp. On your right side, you see two or three more do the same thing, and just about the time you start to look to your left, your own head nods again and you are asleep. You do not all go to sleep at the same time. Some are still yaking when you go to sleep, but one by one they drop off, until every last one of them are asleep, some just dozing while others are sleeping soundly, (they all slumbered and slept) maybe even snoring. I am sure every one of you can see how a thing like this could take place at a natural wedding, if something happened to delay the groom many hours beyond the time everyone was expecting him to arrive. By the same token, I am sure you would all agree, If someone suddenly yelled, “Here he comes! Everyone get ready! You would not see everyone suddenly snap to attention. It takes some people a lot longer to wake up than others, especially those who are really sleeping soundly. It is portrayed like this in the parable because the going to sleep, as well as the awakening, has to be a universal picture. There will be wise and foolish virgins on every continent around this old world who will have to fulfill this parable, so it cannot be an instantaneous reaction. If the message, or messenger sounded the midnight cry to awaken the sleeping virgins, in America; there would have to be time enough for that cry to reach its universal setting before the bridegroom arrives. I want you to get the picture, then we will go into details on what is actually fulfilling this parable. These conditions have to affect an overall spiritual condition around the world both on the part of the going to sleep, and also on the awakening and trimming their lamps. Let me say again now, this parable is to portray a certain setting that must affect believers universally, but it does not have to match every detail of what might take place at a natural wedding. The main thing is, do not try to make an individual application; it has to be an overall condition affecting universal Christendom.
MIDNIGHT – A SLEEPING TIME
Some have tried to take verse 5, and build a revelation that Christ would come to rapture the bride at midnight. I will have to ask that person, or those person, what part of the bride are you speaking of? When it is midnight in Jeffersonville, Indiana, it is high noon somewhere in the world where bride people and foolish virgins are residing. It could be midnight somewhere in the world when the trumpet sounds, the dead in Christ arise, and the wise virgins who are alive on earth are changed to take on immortality, but please remember, The bride is not going to be gathered into one geographical location. That is why Jesus said, some would be in the field, some grinding at the mill, and others in bed; it allows for time zone differences. Midnight in this parable speaks of a time when most everyone is asleep. Of course we know that is not true in a literal sense, in our modern day society where people stay up all night, but for the sake of allowing the parable to paint a picture in our minds, let us think of midnight as a time when everyone is asleep, some sleeping more soundly than others. Then you must realize that this universal sleeping condition has to be applied to a particular span of time in the 7th church age, (by looking back, we can make the application) and from there we can see the foolish virgins, and we can see why they are foolish. They are foolish because they do not have oil in their vessels, and that brings us to the question, Why do they not have oil (Holy Ghost) in their vessels? For the answer to that, we are going to take a journey through time, starting with the first church age.
FIRST AGE – ALL WISE VIRGINS
In John 6:44, Jesus said, “No man (or person) can come to me, except the Father (the great eternal Spirit) which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” By this we understand that the Holy Ghost must woo a person to repentance before they can be justified and sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ. Then we learn from the 5th chapter of Acts that only those who were genuine believers and upright in all their dealings, dared to be identified with the church in that 1st age. Ananias and Sapphira in their attempt to practice deception, were struck dead by the power of God. After that, great fear came upon all who even heard of the incident, and believers were added to the church daily. Now when the Bible speaks of the church, (in the New Testament) you can be sure it is referring to the true body of Holy Ghost filled believers. No true believer in that first age ever failed to be filled with the Holy Ghost. That is why I said, There were no foolish virgins in that first age. It took a certain universal condition to produce what Jesus referred to as foolish virgins, and that condition did not just suddenly come into existence. It came about over a span of many centuries. Therefore to begin our search through time where we will find the condition that produces foolish virgins, let us begin with the true body of believers that had their beginning on the day of Pentecost, when 120 disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ were filled with the Holy Ghost, (Acts, chapter 2) and in a short period of time grew to the point where they were referred to as multitudes. We are all familiar with Acts 2 already, so let us turn in our Bibles to 1st Corinthians 12:13, and see how the apostle Paul said one gets into the body of Christ. “For by ONE SPIRIT are we all baptized into ONE BODY, (The body of Christ, the church) whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been made to drink into one Spirit. For the BODY is not one member, but many.” This many membered body is a universal body which had its beginning in Acts 2, and is referred to in Acts 5, as the church. It took the baptism of the Holy Ghost to put a person into that body; therefore there was no such thing as a foolish virgin (a believer without oil, which is the Holy Ghost) in those early days of Christianity. They were all taught the same thing, and they all believed the same thing. That is why we say that bride believers in this last age must be restored to the complete apostolic truth before Jesus comes back to harvest the crop that He planted in the earth beginning at Pentecost. Even nature itself teaches us that whatever is planted will produce more of its kind if it is a good seed and no one has a chance to pervert it. You might ask, How could the body of Christ be perverted to produce something other than its same kind? That is what we are going to find out as we go along. First let us read a parable from Matthew, chapter 13, where we will find Jesus giving us a clue. Go to verse 24, “Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed GOOD SEED in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed TARES among the wheat, and went his way.” He goes on to tell how the servants of that man came later to inquire about the kind of seed he sowed, and what they should do about the tares that were growing in the midst of the wheat. His instructions were, Just let them grow together until the harvest, then the reapers can gather the good grain into the barn, and bundle the tares to be burned. His disciples came unto Him later and desired that He would explain this parable to them, so Jesus begins in verse 37, explaining what it meant. “He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the GOOD SEED is the Son of man; (Jesus) The field is the world: the GOOD SEED are the CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM: (GENUINE BELIEVERS) but the TARES are THE CHILDREN OF THE WICKED ONE: (MAKE BELIEVERS) The enemy that sowed them is the DEVIL; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned int eh fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.” That is enough for you to see how true Christianity got sidetracked as we try to explain what happened as the first age began to fade out and make room for what we call, the second church age. Let me say once again though, Foolish virgins are not tares; we are just using the tares to show you what created a condition that could produce foolish virgins.
TARES ARE SATAN’S SEED
A tare is someone the devil plants within the fellowship of true believers; God does not plant them there. The original gospel was to produce wise virgins; nothing else. But here is what happened: Those of that first generation began to die off, leaving behind children that had been raised in church, but many of them had never been born of the Spirit. In process of time all the original apostles left the scene also, along with those first century saints who had received the gospel message from them. By this time Satan had been able to infiltrate the ranks of believers, and those whom he had planted among them, began to project certain ideas and opinions that raised doubts and questions in the church. The question that caused the most disturbance, and finally led to the Nicaea Council in 325 A.D., was on the divinity of Jesus Christ. A priest of Alexandria, named Arius, began teaching in the year 318 A.D. that Jesus the Son of God was not divine, but was only a creature made out of nothing, like all other created beings. The Arian teaching was to counterattack the trinity belief that had crept into the church, but like all others who attack something, or someone, without a good understanding of the issue, he went too far in the other direction, and caused such a stir in Christian ranks that the Roman Emperor, Constantine, took it upon himself to call a council meeting at Nicaea, for the purpose of settling this controversy and establishing doctrine for the church. The council was attended by at least 270 bishops of what was called, “the church” at that time. They affirmed the divinity of Christ, and condemned Arius as a heretic. Here is their formula of the Godhead from that first council. “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of the Father, that is, of the substance of the Father;
God from God, light from light, true God from true God; begotten, not created, consubstantial with the Father.” Another council held in Constantinople, in 381 A.D., reaffirmed the Nicene Creed, and, also clearly defined the divinity of the Holy Spirit, which had also been questioned. This, of course, gave them back their divine trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all three equal, and of the same substance. One thing you will have to say for Arius, he knew their “Holy Trinity,” three God belief, was wrong, but he did not have a “one God” revelation himself, so his teaching was as far off as theirs. The founding fathers of the Christian faith were no longer on the scene to hold a line on the true revelation, so little by little that white horse rider of Revelation 6:1-2, attacked and conquered in every assembly where the original apostolic gospel had been preached. This was Satan’s attack on the church. It was that spirit of Antichrist, that the first age had been warned about, working through men in the church, that did the damage.
When you read carefully, the 7 parables of Matthew 13, and compare them with the 7 churches of Asia, mentioned in Revelation, chapter 2 and 3, you can see that Jesus was showing how the kingdom of heaven would be divided, or identified in 7 major spiritual changes. It is not that God changes, but He had to allow Satan to test the church just like he did Adam and Eve, in the garden of Eden. That testing has brought about spiritual conditions through this age of grace that lines up perfectly with the conditions described in those 7 churches of Asia. As that spirit of Antichrist moved on the scene stronger and stronger, true gospel light got dimmer and dimmer until it reached a place in the Dark Ages where there was little more than a glimmer, universally speaking. John the apostle, in his first epistle, warned believers to beware of Antichrists that would come, and went on to say, Even now there are many in the world already. He called them false prophets. Anything that is contrary to revelation truth is Antichrist, and John could see that old spirit working even before he wrote this epistle in 90 A.D. How does he work? He works through men, many times right in your own assembly, to project himself as an angel of light. That was how he diverted people from the truth in the closing years of that first age. It did not happen over night, but little by little, certain characters began to change the formula of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They could not just come right out with something completely contrary to what the apostles had taught, for there were still saints alive that had been taught by Peter, Paul, John or one of the others, so what did they do? They began to present little dressed up ideas, nothing too serious at first; just something to cause a little mental sensation. Food for thought, I believe they call it. The devil is a sly old bird; he knew exactly what he was doing. At first it was just a softening up process, presenting 90 percent truth, and just enough of something else to make ears tingle a little. When a thing like that is kept up long enough, it will finally take a toll. That is what has been happening in this last day message brought to this age by Bro. William Branham. Certain characters have traveled this world over giving their version of what the prophet said, until they have created a condition where many people do not have the slightest idea of WHAT the prophet said. Over a period of years they have heard it all, but from so many different ones, and each one varying a little from what the one before him said, and just so much of this will get people to a point where they have no idea at all of what the true version is. That is what happened to the gospel message long toward the end of that first age. It was not a communistic spirit attacking the church; neither was it a Nazi spirit; it was a religious spirit. Satan will take a handsome fellow with an overwhelming personality, and cause that fellow to teach just enough truth to hold their religious attention, while he charms them to sleep and feeds them poison. That is what you have heard me say many times, Brothers and sisters, Do not follow me because you like me. If you cannot take what you hear me teach, and make it line up with the word of God, you had better get away from me. That goes for anyone who stands to preach or teach the word of God. Satan knows exactly what kind of personality is most likely to lull people to sleep, so that is the kind of men he used. Of course there always have been a few old saints who would not go along with the crowd, but popular opinion, carried on the wings of deception among the majority usually runs the show, so that about all one can do is try to keep straight himself. Through the years after the Nicaea Council, church bishops really came into the limelight. By about 500 A.D. many bishops had sat on the papal chair. That office had really become important, and those bishops really enjoyed those pats on the back. Their political influence had become more respected than the Emperor himself. Through the years this trend continued until eventually those bishops became so political minded that they began to lose their vision of the gospel of Christ. Through politics and materialism the church became disrobed of the gospel, and put on a worldly robe. It came down to man’s political, earthly level. They lost the Godhead revelation. They lost the revelation of scriptural water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, sanctification, personal faith in Christ, and finally the experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost after they received the experience; we are talking about conditions that brought the church (what was called the church) so low that they no longer had such an experience. Remember, brothers and sisters, that did not happen suddenly; it was a gradual process that took centuries of time. Satan just kept on injecting his poisonous serums until just about all the life was gone out of the church of the living God. That Thyatira age was the darkest period in all of New Testament history. There was no progress, no revelation, and no fellowship with God. All they thought about in those days was art, and it seems that we are living in a day when art is again taking the forefront in thought and conversation among people of the world. I want you to know, God thinks about as much of their art as He does your ten year old Sears & Roebuck catalogue. Art has its place, and I can appreciate it myself when it is kept in its place, but if you are a person that lives just for art, and God has no place in your life, you are a miserable, blind creature, and you are heading for shipwreck.
A LEAVENING CONDITION
When we were in old Toledo, Spain, a few years ago, we saw a place, a museum that they called, “a hospital.” At first I thought we were going to a hospital where they treat sick people, but it turned out to be a hospital for sick paintings, a place where they restore them. Naturally it belongs to the Catholic church, the system that praises Michaelangelo so much. He is the one that did all that painting in the Vatican, a famous painter; there has never been another like him. Brothers and sisters: Do not take me wrong; I am not against art, but I will have to say, I never have been able to understand why this famous painter put a little horn on every painting he ever did of Moses. Tell me where he got that revelation. Or maybe it was supposed to be a curl in his hair, rather than a horn. Nevertheless, if you want to see a lot of gold and silver, that is the place to go. It reminded me of the scripture of Revelation 3:18, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed.” That was written to the church at Laodicea, the church that portrayed the spirit which would be on this 7th church age, a carnal spirit. Paul said, “To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6) That has always been the devil’s purpose, to get the church so carnal minded that she would be stripped of all spirituality. Under a true ministry ordained of God, the church presses onward and upward, but under a carnal minded priesthood she becomes sick, diseased, (spiritually speaking) and lifeless. This is where the church had drifted to during the Dark Ages, but that did not produce foolish virgins; it only brought about a spiritual condition that would later produce foolish virgins. Nevertheless, it is easy to see why the rapture could not take place in the 16th century while the church of the living God looked like that. The condition of the church at that time is what the fourth parable of Matt. 13, was pertaining to, a time when the kingdom of heaven would be likened unto LEAVEN, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, (which is bread) till the whole was leavened. Now you know Jesus put every parable right where it needed to be, Did he not? He was talking about the woman being the Catholic church, in the Dark Ages, and the leaven was her creeds, her teaching, her ceremonies and catechisms. The meal had reference to the bread of life, which is the word of God. She just kept mixing her creeds and rituals with the word of God until she had everything the apostles taught leavened with her dogmas. It all became a monetary thing. She took out, “The just shall live by faith,” and replaced it with, “There is no salvation outside the Catholic church.” She took out sanctification, and put in indulgences, another money making scheme of that Catholic system. Indulgences could not control the fallen nature of unregenerate man; they just served to sort of legalize certain things that a person could do, and still be in fellowship with the Catholic church. This puts the person under a certain inner condemnation, because nature itself, many times, says, “That was wrong.” This brings the person to the confession booth, another monetary gimmick that has no spiritual benefit whatsoever. It serves to relieve the person of that inner feeling of condemnation, but it does nothing whatsoever in the way of changing the sinful nature of the individual. Instead of the genuine baptism of the Holy Ghost, they put in the ritual of confirmation. When a child reaches a certain age, all the family’s friends and relatives are invited to be present when the child is confirmed, (received into the church). Oh what a departure from Paul’s teaching on how one gets into the church, (1st Cor. 12:13) “For by one Spirit (the Holy Ghost) are we all baptized into one body.” You never would have seen Paul, nor Peter, going around with a wheelbarrow full of wafers confirming people into the church. No! Praise God! The first 120 disciples that received the Holy Ghost, received it without the priest and his wafers! So did the next 3000 souls, a little later! I cannot help but wonder where they ever got the idea for such a mess. You pardon my expression, but that is the most fitting word I can think of to describe that conglomeration from the Dark Ages. Can you even begin to imagine what this world would be like by now if God had never moved upon anyone to break away from that old manmade system of dogmas and creeds? There is one thing for sure; we would not be enjoying all these modern conveniences that we have grown so accustomed to. Instead, we would probably be crawling around on broken glass, half starved, doing penance. Saints: We ought to thank God without ceasing for what we have, both spiritually and materially. We are, without a doubt, most blessed by God. We have been privileged to live in an age when God is restoring to His true church, all that Satan robbed her of during that Dark Age period. Of course we still have that condition of the blind leading the blind. But, Praise God! We are not all blind! Some of us have received 20-20 spiritual vision, and we are privileged to see what Peter, James, John, Paul, and men like that, saw more than 1900 years ago. Hallelujah!
WHO GOES TO CHURCH?
We are going to show why the foolish virgins did not have oil, but I feel that it will be clearer to you if we show the conditions (spiritually) that led to such an hour when there would be both wise and foolish virgins. It is a condition that came out of the reformation. The reformation is over, and time is running out. The big gospel net has been cast into the sea of humanity, and it has gathered of every kind. The sorting process is taking place now, and it is the Holy Ghost that is doing the sorting. From that great gospel sweep of our age, there are innumerable thousands filling the church houses every Sunday, but they are not all bride people. Many of them are tares, (make believers) others are foolish virgins, and the others, wise virgins getting dressed for the marriage supper, soon to take place in glory. Many people through the years have read this parable in Matt. 25, and thought the foolish virgins were lost because it says the door was shut and they could not get in. Let me remind you again as we go along, These foolish virgins are not lost; they are virgins. It is important that you keep in mind the fact that, spiritually, they are virgins. It is only the door of bride perfecting revelation that is closed to them. For the most part the foolish virgins are caught up in this great charismatic move. Some have asked me, Bro. Jackson: Is it possible that some of the foolish virgins could even be in this message? My answer to that, is this, That is where some of these odd teachings spring from. Yes, they very well could be. I will add this, though, If there are foolish virgins sitting in assemblies where the bride is being taught, (and only God knows) they will still never get an understanding of this until after it is too late. They can hear the same things that others hear, but they will just simply not understand. I will say though, most of them are still in organized churches, and they must stay there until time reaches a certain hour. Then, within the ranks of their ecumenism, something will happen to set off a tremor and cause them to realize that there is something missing in their lives, (revelation truth) and that is when they will run to the wise virgins and try to get in, but the bridegroom, from within, shall say unto them, I know you not. Simply stated, that just means that He does not know them as His wife. Now saints, try to get a proper picture. These literal words are not actually spoken to anyone. Remember what I said in the beginning, A parable is just to bring out a point, and is not fulfilled in every detail. Besides, it says, The kingdom of heaven is LIKENED UNTO this; not literally like this. So what happens? Something happens in their ranks that causes them to realize that they need something more than just the Holy Ghost sensations in their lives, and they know where the people are that have what they need, so away they go. Now when they get there, no one slams a door in their face and refuses to let them in. The parable simply lets us know that they have waited too long. The Holy Ghost just doesn’t open up these “bride saint” mysteries to them. They can hear, but they will not understand. Brothers and sisters, just so you will not misunderstand, let me say this, Many individuals have come through the charismatic ranks right into this revelation who were never in denominations at all. God just simply spoke to them right in their state of unbelief and moved them right into the stream of His perfecting will. Is that understood? Individuals here and there do not affect the parable, nor are they affected by it. The parable covers a universal condition that will prevail at the time of the end of the age. It applies to the masses of people, instead of mere individuals. It is true that these masses are made up of individuals, but please, brothers and sisters, Do not try to pick out those who are foolish virgins among people you are acquainted with; only God can do that.
SEVENTH CHURCH AGE – LAODICEA
Let us turn our attention back to the Thyatira church age where we left off on our journey through time. Some have asked me if we do not still have Thyatira church age conditions present, even in our day. Yes. That is Romanism, but you must realize that until the Reformation started, you only had they Thyatira church. Coming out of the Dark Ages you did not have what we now call, “The Philadelphia Age,” nor Laodicea, nor Sardis church age conditions. These conditions came as God began to work through the various reformers, restoring apostolic truth back to the body of Christ. We have been in the Laodicean age since around 1906. This is the age that, “THEN,” applies to. “THEN shall the kingdom of heaven be LIKENED UNTO ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” THEN, is only effective in the 7th church age which is the Laodicean age, an age in which spiritual conditions are comparable to those in the church of the Laodiceans, (Rev. 3:15-18). The message to that church was, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Notice now) Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, (pure faith) that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.” Now this is the only age that foolish virgins come in, and every one of them will have to die for their faith during that terrible tribulation hour. Why will they have to die? Because they were foolish in the years leading up to that hour. Well what made them foolish? The reason they are called foolish is because they thought for years that they were ready to meet the bridegroom, and did not even have the Holy Ghost, when the Bible plainly teaches that He is coming after a church which is without spot or wrinkle, which is His body, and we are only in that body by the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Why did they not have the Holy Ghost? What made them think they did not need it? That is what we want to deal with right now. Actually they will all have the Holy Ghost eventually, but not in time to be dressed in a wedding garment acceptable to the bridegroom. We have already talked about how Satan stripped the church during the Dark Ages. When Martin Luther began to get a little glimmer of gospel light, it was mainly limited to the scriptural fact that the just shall live by faith instead of church creeds and dogmas. He protested against the Catholic church, and through much hardship and many trials, became the founding father of what later became known as the Lutheran church. His 95 thesis which he nailed on the church door at Wittenberg, Germany, October 1517, actually inaugurated the Protestant movement against the Catholic church, or we will say, Romanism. He denied the jurisdiction of the pope over Purgatory, and was bitterly opposed to the pope collecting money for indulgences, and for releasing souls from Purgatory, even if he had any jurisdiction there, and he certainly had come to see that man’s salvation did not depend upon his good works and proper standing in the eyes of the pope, but rather depended upon his personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He did not know anything about the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but he sure opened up the road for justification by faith. Following him with various scriptural truths that God had revealed to them, were men like Calvin, Knox, Swingley, Huss, Wesley and others. All of these men, coming out of the Dark Ages, were instrumental in rescuing Christianity from the death grip of Romanism. The reformation, or restoration, was not an instantaneous thing though. It has been a slow process restoring truth and revelation to the church, just like stripping her of these things was a slow process. Through these various reformers, and over a period of many years, God restored the revelation of eternal security, and predestination, sanctification, and finally, the baptism of the Holy Ghost. But please be aware of the fact that followers of these different reformers built a denominational wall around the truth that each of them taught and stood for. They organized into Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Nazarenes, and dozens of other names that they are called by, each group feeling that they have all that is needed to be right with God. Each group had a primary theme, but many times rejected what God had restored to some other group. Pay attention now, I am showing you why, in these last days, there are a lot of virgins that do not have oil. John Wesley cam on the scene in the 1700’s with the revelation burning in his bosom that the just were not only to live by faith, but that they should live a separated, holy life, clean from all worldly habits and involvements. Faith, eternal security, predestination, all these were apostolic truths that belonged in the body of Christ, but none of these produced the revelation that those who were justified by faith, should also stop using their bad language, cool their hot tempers, stay away from the beer joints; in other words, separate themselves from worldly entanglements, but John Wesley did receive such a revelation. Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterians, and such like, rejected John Wesley’s message. But, even though these just simply could not see it, that revelation did catch fire and sweep the land. This revelation eventually became fenced in by a denominational wall also. They called themselves Methodists, and taught sanctification as the 2nd definite work of grace in a believer’s life. Baptists did not want any part of Wesley’s sanctification, and Methodists believed that the Baptists teaching on eternal security of the believer, was right out of the pit of hell, and so on down the line of denominations. Each group was ever so busy perfecting their own revelation, but they had the door closed to everything else. Most of them believed that a person receives everything he needs the moment he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. Naturally to each group, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ for justification was seen only through their own denominational teachings. Now I grant you, in every age there was a certain amount of manifestation of the Holy Ghost. A few people spoke in tongues, and others received certain supernatural visitations, yet not in any measure to cause that to be their primary teaching. Each group had their primary theme, and they stuck just to that, because they did not know any better. It was not the hour for God to perfect the church, He was just restoring truth, making it available. I do want to say this, In the days when Methodists had the fires of sanctification burning in their hearts, they had just as much eternal security as any Baptist ever thought of having. Will you accept that? Many of those Methodists lived a life so devoted to God that they were more eternally secure than a lot of the Baptists who believed in the doctrine of it, but did not live the life. On the other hand, to turn the picture around; many of those old time Baptists loved God so much, and wanted their lives to please God, so much, they lived just as clean as any Methodist. They were just as sanctified as any of those who believed the doctrine of sanctification. They did not drink, smoke, curse, or any of those things, simply because they, personally, believe it was wrong to do such things. They did not know anything about the sanctification message, but they lived sanctified lives just the same. On the fringes of Methodism you had the Nazarene and Pilgrim Holiness people who were really bringing the sanctification message to perfection. They built Bible schools and seminaries simply around the doctrine of sanctification, and I will have to say, some of them did definitely have a genuine Holy Ghost experience. There are many evidences of that fact recorded in various historical writings of that period of time. Many of them did not know what to call the experience they had, but as we read what is written about them, we know what it was.
MANIFESTING GOD’S PRESENCE
I want to take this time to relate some things at this point of our message. We have in our possession, my wife’s family tree. It goes back to Sweden, and naturally, carries various branches of mankind which came through in the Daniel Boone period and settled in this part of the country. We read of one old fellow who settled in this part of the country back in the 1800’s; it said he used to have spells while working out in the corn field. What he was having was Holy Ghost spells. His testimony was that he loved God so much he prayed constantly. Back in those days people did not have the mechanized equipment to plow their corn with, like we do today, so they had to use a plain old garden hoe, both to plant and to cultivate their crops. This old fellow would be out in the field working and praying when all of a sudden he would start shouting, dancing, and slinging his hoe. Many people got scared and ran away from him, because they did not know what was taking place. He said when that would happen, it felt like fire was leaping off the ends of his fingers. It was also noted that other people who did believe in God, had great faith in this man’s prayers. They would bring a certain prayer request to him, he would pray, and the particular need would be met. I believe you will have to agree; that old fellow had the Holy Ghost. Brothers and sisters, my point in telling this is to call your attention to the fact that, no matter how dark the hour might have been, (spiritually speaking) God always had a few people who walked in fellowship with Him, as individuals, while the church as a whole was in darkness. These individuals had a certain measure of the Spirit of God working in their lives, some more than others. It was just that they did not know what to tie their experience to, scripturally. Since the Reformation was an era of time within the kingdom of heaven, and God’s objective was to restore truth to the one body of believers, in order to end up the age with a church believing exactly the same as the one in the book of Acts, it was necessary that basic doctrines be restored before people’s attention was drawn to Holy Ghost sensations. You need a word foundation to land on when the sensation wears off. Whatever the first church had, the living element of the bride of Christ will have also before she leaves this old planet, in the rapture. That is why she is pictured in the 19th chapter of Revelation, as being arrayed in fine linen, clean and white. That is also why Paul said, He, (Jesus) would be able to present her to Himself, a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. It is because all man-made ideas and opinions will be washed out by the washing of the waters of the word of God. (You can read that in the 5th chapter of Ephesians.) That will make the end-time church just like the first age church. Remember what I pointed out earlier now, and do not get fine linen clean and white, mixed up with white robes; for the white robes speak only of eternal life, while the fine linen speaks of the perfected bride of Christ. The foolish virgins will already have their white robes when they go into the tribulation, but they will be spotted and wrinkled by man-made creeds and Antichrist doctrines, and only martyrdom will clean them up. When I say this, please remember that I am referring to their salvational robes being dirty, and not their physical lives. Wesley’s sanctification message cleaned up a lot of lives, but it did not rid them of anti-word doctrines. They lived clean moral lives, but still carried 80 percent of their Catholic, Dark Age creeds, instead of apostolic truth.
We are coming into the 20th century now, in our journey through time, and we will see what conditions were present that began both to make wise virgins as well as foolish virgins. We have already spoke on some of this, but just to keep a proper sequence as we continue our story, let us go right through them again. People are always asking. When did the 7th church age start? How long will it last? Why does this parable in Matt. 25 have to take place in the 7th church age, and so forth. The age started when God began to move upon some folks, with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, in such a way that it produced an oil message. We do not have any scripture to tell us how long it will last; we only have scriptural signs that we must watch, so that we will know when the end is drawing nigh. Then to answer the third question, the parable could only come into effect in an age when there would be Holy Ghost filling stations in various places, or it could not be said to the foolish, “Go to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” In other words, go to your charismatic meetings until you get the oil you need; they are the ones who make merchandise out of the Spirit of God. Can you see now, that there has never been another age when this parable could be applied, before this age? Of course you can. Pentecost began making its debut around the turn of this century, about 400 years after the reformation started. Timewise we would have to look to January 1, 1900, in a place called Topeka, Kansas, where old brother Parheim (I believe that was his name) with a group of Methodists had been fasting and praying for a revival, a move of God. They were asking God to do something to get hold of the lives of sinners. Right at that time they were living in the dying hours of the Welch revival which fell in the islands off England. Many letters had been written back and forth concerning what had taken place in that revival, so these old saints were seeking God for a visitation in their midst, in like manner. Let me say this, Pentecost, as the world has come to know and understand the Pentecostal message, could not have fallen in Africa, nor Europe. As you here at Faith Assembly will probably remember, Bro. Paisley pointed out in a message, that, if the messenger to this age was to come with a message that was different, then it could not come from that Old World where the old mother system was still in power. It had to come from a nation that had been founded in an hour right at the time when the reformers started out, or when the Reformation started. When Martin Luther was just a lad growing up, there was an Italian man named Christopher Columbus who loved to sail the seas. He got the idea to try and find a new trade route to the Dutch East Indies; in other words, a short cut. While almost every other seaman believed the world was flat, and that it would be dangerous to sail too far, for fear of dropping off, old Columbus believed the world was round, and that one could go to the East by sailing west. He went to every King’s palace in Europe trying to get someone to give him some boats. Finally, he found a queen who would listen to him, and she gave him the necessary boats for his endeavor. Then he rounded up a bunch of crooks and thieves for his crews, and set sail, looking for a new trade route to the Dutch East Indies. After many days and nights on the sea, instead of reaching his intended destination he discovered the whereabouts of this North American continent, and made it known back in Europe. Naturally the news spread fast throughout all Europe, and before long Spaniards were coming from Spain to Latin America, then into Mexico, and from Mexico into Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico. The Spanish Conquistadors took gold from the Indians, and took it to Spain. I could go into much detail telling about all the gold we saw in a large Catholic church there in old Toledo, Spain, three years ago, but I will forego that, and just say this; Columbus died the year before Martin Luther was ordained a priest, but he had opened up a route into this wilderness land where Luther’s protestors came to in 1620 fleeing that old mother system. Christendom out of Europe came here to this wilderness land in order to get away from Catholicism, and be able to worship God according to the conviction of their own hearts. Little by little various parts of what is now the United States was settled, stating at Lost Angeles and moving eastward. Those who came were carrying the message of Luther, “The just shall live by faith.” To that was added “Eternal security of the believer, and sanctification,” but God did not drop the Pentecostal message until the new continent. “The United States,” had been settled from seashore to seashore. Then God began to set things in motion that would eventually produce the Holy Ghost baptism, message. On January 1, 1900, those saints out in Topeka, Kansas, began to experience something out of the ordinary as they fasted and prayed and sought God for a revival. This one woman began to speak in tongues, and that caused everyone to go to the Bible for an explanation of what was happening. In that search of the scriptures they began to recognize a message of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Several weeks later, Bro. Parheim and some of the other folks began moving out into other areas, with testimony of their new experience. Finally they worked their way into Texas where an old colored brother named Seymour heard the message of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. He did not have the experience yet, himself, but he knew that if he preached anywhere at all, he would have to tell about this experience. That caused him to want to cancel an engagement to speak in Los Angeles, for he was a Nazarene preacher, and it was Nazarene people who had invited him to come. He knew he could not preach to anyone without telling of this experience, so he called L.A. with his mind made up to cancel his meeting, but they persuaded him to come anyhow. Most of you know what happened; he slowly began to lay the foundation for this message, and as time went on, certain ones began to be filled with the Spirit of God. This brought about a split in the church, and moved old Bro. Seymour and his group into a warehouse building where the real outpouring started. By this time it was not only affecting Nazarenes, but also Methodists, Baptists, and even Catholics. These fundamental denominational churches even got to the point where they would get hold of mean, ornery characters, and send them into those meetings to break them up. I read of one such man who went to church for that purpose, and while he waited for the right moment, the Spirit of God got hold of him, and instead of breaking up the meeting, he ran trembling to the alter, crying, “God have mercy on me!” It was things like this that caused the message to be noised far and wide. That is why we say the Laodicean church age had its beginning in the period between 1903 and 1906; that is when those great revival fires burned so brightly. The message was fought tooth and toenail by the main fundamental organizations, but out of Los Angeles went the Pentecostal message. In that hour it was just a message of the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the manifestation of speaking in tongues. In that hour they had no revelation on the Godhead; it was just a message of being filled with the power of God. They did not lay aside, “The just shall live by faith,” and neither did they lay aside sanctification; their new revelation made these others more enjoyable. It was a glorious thing, just to know that Jesus Christ had taken up His abode within. Preachers and missionaries from all over the world came to this message, so that by the time WWI finally caused the world travel to be stopped, the message had already been around the earth. It had become a universal message, and please remember, The Holy Ghost message is the oil message that produces two groups, wise and foolish, and neither group had gone to sleep yet, speaking from the years of about 1908 – 1912.
GOD MOVES SOVEREIGNLY
During the years between 1908 and 1912, other developments began to take shape. God began to move upon individuals to take on the name of Jesus in water baptism. I read one account of where two brothers in the faith who had not seen each other for quite some time, met at a convention and began to talk. One said to the other, “What has the Lord been showing you?” The other brother was a little reluctant to answer for he had been awakened, startled, one night, as he heard a voice saying, Will you take my name? He heard it so vividly, and it made such an impression upon him, he knew it was the Lord that had spoken. He could not go back to sleep; therefore he just picked up his Bible to read some scripture, and it opened right up to Acts 2:38, so he began to read. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” The first man asked him again, “What has the Lord been showing you? Hasn’t He been revealing anything to you? I was reading the scriptures one night, when, all of a sudden, right before my eyes, was Acts 2:38. It seemed like that verse just jumped right out of the right out of the Bible and stood before my face. It became so large; I just simply could not get my eyes off of it. That caused me to start searching the scriptures, and everywhere I read in the book of Acts where anyone was baptized in water, they baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Upon hearing this, the other man began to relate what had awakened him from his sleep one night, and how he had made the same discovery from reading the book of Acts. That was how God began a process of restoring more of His word back to the church. “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself: but whatsoever He shall hear that shall He speak.” Now what is the Spirit of truth (the Holy Ghost) to do? Guide us into all truth; not error. It just kindly makes you wonder how folks who have supposedly had the Holy Ghost for years could take off after strange doctrines all of a sudden. Nevertheless I remain a firm believer in the fact that the Holy Ghost will guide us into all truth if we will allow Him to.
THE OIL MESSAGE
As God continued to pour out His Spirit upon hungry souls, and the oil message picked up momentum, it began to inspire people to believe that Jesus would come soon. This became their theme, and the very heartbeat of their revelation, “Jesus is coming soon.” That inspired more songs to be written in that hour, songs of the bridegroom, songs of a soon to come wedding, and so forth. When you go back through the old song books, you will not find songs of this type in them. Songwriters and singers in the days of those fundamental revivals, did not use terminology like that. It was only after the Pentecostal revivals began to sweep through the ranks of Christianity, that terms like this began to be used. In that hour Pentecost had not yet become a great denomination; it was just a fellowship of people with a message of being filled with the Holy Ghost, but no matter how much they believed Jesus would come very soon, He would not come in an hour when the bride’s faith was not yet purified. The oil message was not enough. The church must have a revelation of the oneness of God, and have time for the revelation to be perfected before Jesus would come. Up until that hour believers, in general, still believed that God was three persons. They were on the threshold of something to add to their oil message, but they would not all receive the next phases of God’s restoration truth. That brought a split in the Pentecostal ranks. The Godhead message began to be preached as God dealt with various individuals about the name of Jesus, and the oneness of God, and meanwhile the oil message still continued to spread out and enlarge its scope among the ranks of Christianity. World War I caught the Pentecostal ranks divided into two segments, one group believing that God is three persons, and the other group knowing that He is one. As this revelation began to be purified in certain ones it caused them to realize more and more that faith in God must be more than just a theological concept: it has to be a living reality. When that war period came to a close the oneness of God message really caught fire. It spread out like a forest fire, still the trinity side went right on with their oil message. God meant for that oil message to run its full course; in other words, it had to create an overall situation throughout all Christendom that would make people know there was such an experience as being filled with the Holy Ghost. It took that to divide the virgins into two that would fulfill the parable of the wise, and the foolish virgins. On the wise virgins side you had two groups, trinity and oneness; they were called wise because they all recognized their need for the Holy Ghost (oil) in their vessels. Over on that foolish virgin side you had the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and so forth, just to mention a few. They were called foolish, because they could see no need for the baptism of the Holy Ghost. They believe they received everything one needs when they believed, and especially in former years, when they looked upon the Pentecostals as a bunch of fanatics. Nevertheless this condition makes up the two groups of virgins who went forth to meet the bridegroom, for they all looked for the soon return of Jesus for his bride.
DENOMINATIONAL FENCES AROUND PENTECOST
As we come on into the 1920’s, Pentecost did what all the other reformation groups had done; they began to build themselves into a denomination. Because of conditions as a result in the split among their ranks, the trinity side, because they would not go on with God, was forced into building themselves a denominational fence around the baptism of the Holy Ghost. At first it looked like the oneness element would not even be able to survive as they were forced out on their own, but God was with them; they were carrying a truth that must be restored to the body of Christ. Eventually, though, they also built them a denominational fence around what they had, and took the attitude that they had all that there was to have. That is what a denominational spirit does, it closes your eyes to everything beyond what you have. When both elements of Pentecost were comfortably established as major denominations, that started them all going to sleep. The wise virgins who had oil in their vessels went to sleep spiritually, right along with the Baptists, and all the rest. This condition fulfilled verse 5, of our text, “While the bridegroom tarried, they all (both wise and foolish) slumbered and slept. The wise virgins, like all the rest, had reached a point where they could see no further light, so they went to sleep right along with all the foolish. This brings us well up into the 1930’s, in our following the route of the church through time, and let me remind you again, We are not just looking at the church in America. No. Anything that has to do with fulfilling this parable must reach around the whole world in its scope, and that takes time. You may see things right around you that seemingly fulfills this parable, but those conditions must be world wide before they can fulfill the parable. (Saints: I hope you are following me. It is important that you understand this, if you want to know where you are in time.) There had to be a worldwide condition where one could say, “All of Christendom is asleep.” Then, according to the parable there came a cry at midnight, (midnight signifying a time of night when everyone would be asleep; that began to awaken the sleeping virgins, and that cry must be heard throughout the whole earth in order to fulfill the parable. As a result of the midnight cry, all the sleeping virgins, both wise and foolish, began to awaken and trim their lamps, and that is when the foolish began to discover that they needed something else. What they went to sleep on was not sufficient, standing alone, to get their light shining again. We will go into that cry condition in a few minutes, but right now I want to say this, Jesus will not come for His bride until every last one who will make up that bride, has heard, and had time enough to get dressed up in every single truth that is found in His word. I will agree with anyone on the fact that we are living very close, timewise, to His coming, but I disagree with the idea some have, that He could come just any minute now. There are still some events and conditions that must affect the universal body of believers before that can take place. His first advent was timed precisely to fulfill all scripture that pertained to it, and His coming for the church will be also. Every bride person will be completely dressed and ready to go when He comes, and every world condition will have to match that which the scriptures speak of. That is, “THUS SAITH THE LORD.” That is why the apostle Peter could look those Jews in the eye one day, and say, Through ignorance you have crucified the Lord of glory, the very Messiah you have looked for stood right in your midst and you rejected Him, and allowed Him to be put to death. He went on to say, Nevertheless it had to be like this in order to fulfill all that the prophets of old had spoken concerning the crucifixion of Christ, how He would suffer all these things, be crucified, buried, then rise the 3rd day. Everything happened precisely according to what was written, as His first advent, and it will be exactly in harmony with what is written when He comes again. Praise His name! Wherever the little bride of Christ is, in her universal scope around this world, she has got to be awakened, brought out of her sleepy denominational structure, washed by the washing of the word until she has a pure revelation. Her Holy Ghost experience will lead her to that. Some of you still believe, or at least hope that when the Lord Jesus will rapture the bride, He will take a few from every denomination. I am here to tell you, That is not so. Anyone who holds to a denomination until the rapture takes place will certainly not have any place in the bride of Christ. The only hope they have left is to be a foolish virgin, and wash their robe in the blood of the Lamb through martyrdom. Now please do not try to tell me the foolish virgins are not in denominations. They are. Even the wise were in denominations before the Holy Ghost began to lead them out. When the midnight cry went forth all of Christianity was living under a denominational cloud, but it was the midnight cry that started them coming out.
MIDNIGHT CRY CONDITION
Let us look for a moment at what, universally, conditions were that constituted the midnight condition. As you all know, when the Pentecostal experience first began to sweep through the ranks of Christianity, taking one here, one there, and two or three from somewhere else, it caused a great stir among the fundamental ranks. They persecuted the Pentecostals, and fought against the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and a person had to have the real thing in order to endure. But time changes conditions, wears out resistance, and gives people a chance to settle down. That is what happened with Pentecost. As time passed on and both elements had formed their denominations, feeling that there was no further revelation to be had, they just began to settle down to wait for the bridegroom to come. They began to come out of the side street missions, and storefront meeting places, and build nice comfortable church houses just like the fundamentals had. They become recognized as major denominations, and the persecution ceased, looking at it from a worldwide viewpoint. Now Pentecost is asleep along with all the rest, not looking for anything else, but just waiting for the Lord to come. When this condition reached a universal scope it had conditions right for the midnight cry. You will notice in verse 5, that Jesus used two words to describe their sleeping conditions, “SLUMBERED and SLEPT” this lets us know that some of them were sleeping more soundly than others. Some were just in a very light sleep, while others were in a deep sleep, snoring so loudly that it was hard to awaken them. It was the fundamental people who were in the deep sleep, snoring so loudly. Pentecost went to sleep, but they were not sleeping so soundly, therefore when God sent His messenger to sound the midnight cry at the close of World War II, it was Pentecost that first began to recognize this man as a messenger from God. It was his unusual ministry of healing, and the gifts of the Spirit that God manifested through him, that caused Pentecostal people to take heed of his ministry. We all know it was necessary for God to introduce Brother Branham through the avenue of these gifts. If he had just stepped on the scene preaching doctrine without first having some kind of vindication that people could recognize, he would have been rejected by every denomination including Pentecost. No. God does not work like that. He vindicates His man, then that man speaks, THUS SAITH THE LORD. God created conditions right within the Pentecostal ranks to accomplish that. A preacher who had a sick daughter heard about Bro. William Branham and his unusual ministry, and all the way from Missouri they reached him. Come and pray for my little daughter. God gives him a vision in which he sees certain things in certain positions in the place where the little girl was. Therefore when he went to pray for her, he waited until everything in the room was exactly like he had seen it in the vision; then when he prayed he knew what to expect. (May I say, I was permitted to see that person alive and healthy, years later.) This kind of thing went on until the man’s name and ministry was well known. That gift was a drawing attraction to get the attention of Pentecostal people, and once he became identified within the ranks of that, it gave opportunity for the message that actually created the midnight cry condition. It was the message he brought to this age which began to awaken folks from their sleeping spiritual state. Contrary to what some say, his message was not a new one. He is not the one who restored the doctrinal truth that the Just shall live by faith. Martin Luther did that. He was not the one who restored the doctrine of sanctified life, John Wesley did that, and Pentecost already had the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and the oneness of God, so he did not restore that. “What was his message then?” you might say. His message to this sleeping generation was, “Wake up church of the living God! You need every truth that Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, and all the others preached, as well as the Pentecostal experience and message, to be dressed properly in this Laodicean age. If God has called you to preach, preach the whole gospel just like the apostles did.” Pentecostal folks began to take hold of his doctrinal teaching as he layed emphasis on getting our spiritual experience in line with the Bible and away from man-made creeds. You would have to agree, his message is what would have to be termed, “the midnight cry,” that began waking the virgins out of their sleeping conditions, and cause them to start dressing themselves in the revealed word of God. As Pentecostals broke the ranks of their denominations in order to follow truth, this also began to spill over into the fundamental ranks. They began to take note of the fact that this man’s ministry was different than anything they had heard of. Little by little it had its affect within their assemblies as individuals would get hold of enough truth to pull them out of their organizations. The Pentecostals, who already had the oil were ready to move right into the stream of restored truth, but those fundamentalists who were awakened by the midnight cry had to first go get oil (Holy Ghost) in their vessels before they could enter in, and according to the parable they are gone too long, and when they finally do come back with their Holy Ghost experience it is too late for them to enter into the bride’s revelation. The shut door in verse 10, just simply means that the Holy Ghost does not open up their understanding even though they come begging for it. In other words you must move when God says move, or you just may never have another chance. Let me say also, the fact that we use general terms in dealing with a subject like this, does not in any way mean that all of what was called Pentecostal entered into the revelation. It was only those hungry souls that loved truth. Many of those fundamental people received their oil and moved right into the truth also.
WHAT DO MEN SAY?
God took His messenger from the scene over 14 years ago, but the message he stood for is still having it affect to the ends of the earth. There have been many opinions expressed about this man and his ministry, what he should have done, and I say he fulfilled exactly, the portion of God’s word that he was ordained to fulfill. What others have done with what he said and taught is quite another story. One brother was telling me of a book that his son checked out of the library. It was a book written about various evangelists including Bro. William Branham, written by a worldly man, and from a denominational viewpoint. I will not use any names, but the man who was interviewed to get certain information for the article said that as long as Bro. William Branham prayed for the sick and used the gift that God placed in his life, he was greatly used to help humanity and God was with him. During those days, said he, Bro. William Branham had great crowds of people in his services, but when he started preaching doctrine, his ministry began to decline. He also said Bro. William Branham was a childish man. I have not heard of anyone saying anything about him that those 1st century people did not say about Jesus. As long as He healed their sick and crippled bodies, and fed them loaves and fishes they thought He was wonderful, but there came a day when He looked them in the face and said unto them, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” He went on to say, “There are some of you that believe not. Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.” They even called Him a devil, and accused Him of casting out devils by the power of the prince of the devils (or demons.) Some of them in their accusations called Him an illegitimate child, and a blasphemer, so tell me this, If they say and do such things to the Savior of all mankind, why would they, who have the same spirit in them not say similar things about the man in our age who gave them the exact same reasons that Jesus did? Out of all the multitudes that followed Jesus, how many of them actually obeyed His last words to them and waited in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father? You know as well as I do. It was only about 120 souls. I would have to say, His crowds declined considerably when he started preaching truth to them; do you not agree? Coming back to what this preacher (who was well acquainted with Bro. William Branham) said about Bro. William Branham’s ministry starting to fail as a result of him preaching doctrine, his ministry did not fail. His voice was an instrument used by God to sound a message in the earth that has had the whole Christian world going through an evolutionary change every since. People have been awakened to the fact that they need to get back to the word of God, all over this world, as a result of his ministry.
BIRTH OF CHARISMATICS
In the year 1962, right out on the West Coast where Pentecost got started, a little charismatic group began to function. It was not the Pentecostals that started the charismatic move of our day; it was a few Baptists, a few Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians and others that you would never expect to do such a thing, that actually got this thing started in little prayer groups in their basements. What was it all about? It was the awakened foolish virgins seeking oil. In our parable, what was the first thing the foolish virgins realized they needed when they were awakened? The Holy Ghost. What was the first thing the wise did when they began to wake up? Shut themselves in with the bridegroom, not in the rapture, but in a revelation of truth. The Charismatics which started out in basements in 1962, then moved to the living rooms, then to the school house, and eventually on to college campuses, now has Catholic priests and nuns in leadership roles around the world, and they number into the multiplied thousands. What is it all about? It is foolish virgins seeking oil. Bro. Jackson, Will they get it? Yes. If they are virgins and not tares, (make believers) they will, and we are not just speaking about foolish virgins here in the States; this covers a universal setting and that takes time. Nothing about this parable should be looked upon as something that takes place instantly, not even the cry. Bro. Jackson: How can we tell the foolish virgins from the tares? We can’t. Only God knows that, but why would we even need to know? Wise virgins have no business running to charismatic meetings. Those meetings are accomplishing a twofold purpose of God. The foolish virgins are getting oil, and tares are being tied together in bundles to be burned. The end result of all this ecumenism will fulfill another parable Jesus spoke. It binds all the tares together, getting them ready to be cast into the fire, just like Jesus said. Brothers and sisters: Please do not get the idea that I enjoy saying these things. I do not, and I take no pleasure in knowing what is going to happen to people who have to face the great tribulation at the end of this age, but I do have a responsibility before God to preach His word; and there are times when saying what God’s word says makes one sound proud. Let me tell you, I have nothing to be proud about. If it were not for the mercy and grace of God I would be just as entangled with denominations as anyone else. If we escape hell, it is by the grace of God. If we escape the great tribulation, it is by the grace of God. Brothers and sisters, we are not worthy of anything that God has ever done for us. If we would really take time to realize just what God has done for us, it should make us the most humble people on earth. Being a wise virgin is nothing to be puffed up about when you stop to realize that Jesus said, “No man can come unto me except it were given unto him of my Father.” Hallelujah! Saints, I am thankful to be one of them that God foreknew from before the foundation of the world, one of them that has entered into revealed truth. No Gentile has ever been privileged to walk with Jesus after the flesh; Gentiles have always had to walk with Him by faith, believing His word and resting upon His promises. We see Him in the spirit only, but we are privileged to have the same revelation as those who walked with Him in the flesh for 3 years. That leads me to say this, The rapture will not take place until every predestinated wise virgin is in the revelation, and spiritually revelated. By the time that last wise virgin enters into the revelation, world conditions will be such that they will cause the foolish virgins to come, crying to get in, into the revelation. But according to the parable, Jesus, from within will say to them, I never knew you, or, I know you not. You will notice, He does not say, “Ye workers of iniquity,” like He did to another group. No. These are all virgins, and He does know them, or we will say, He knows about them. This just simply means that He does not know them as His wife. He even knows every tare for that matter, but He knows no one intimately except the bride, the wise virgins, those who are following His word, by revelation. This may sound a little strange to some of you, but I assure you that before the rapture takes place, every wise virgin on the face of this old earth will have the same revelation of God’s word. They will see every scripture the same way; there will be no more private interpretations of any part of it. Every foolish virgin will try to get into the revelation, but instead will be purified in the great tribulation through martyrdom; and every tare will sell out to the Antichrist and be damned.
STEPPING OVER THE WORD
For an illustration, I layed my Bible on the floor here one night, and said, Anyone who will step over that word to satisfy the desires of their flesh now, will step over it a dozen times for a loaf of bread when the Antichrist demands it. That is your tares. Foolish virgins in that hour will have become very wise; they will refuse to step over the word of God, and they will be killed because of it. When they actually have to face that hour, that is when God will give them the grace to be loyal to their faith in Christ Jesus. Just like I said earlier, only God knows who they are, and where they are; we do not need to know. Most of us will be very busy, and will not have extra time on our hands to examine other folks, if we just keep our own lives clean before God. You who have oil still must keep the wick trimmed in order for your lamps to give a good light. When you think about your body being the vessel that holds the oil, and your revelation of God’s word being the wick that the oil (the Holy Ghost) flows out through to project your light, you should realize how important it is to have all that carnality trimmed away. If our wick (revelation) gets all crusted and carboned up with a lot of man made ideas and fleshly desires, we will not give off a good light. That is why all the virgins begin to trim their lamps. They have all been asleep and their wicks have become charred; but when the foolish virgins try to trim up their revelation, they find that there is no oil there in the vessel. While they sleep their revelation becomes hard and crusty; the spirit of God cannot flow through it. Those who organized eternal security, and went to sleep with that light, slept right on until after the spirit of God had left their denomination. It has been the same with justification by faith, predestination, sanctification, and every other truth that men have built a denomination around. There was a time when people in those denominations carried a precious truth that had life in it, but when they failed to move on with God, He left them. They continued to run their programs and go through the motions, but the Spirit of God had already moved on and left them, leaving only the skeleton to go through the form. When those reformers received revelation on those various truths, their revelation came by the Spirit of God; therefore we know that those who received those truths by revelation did have a measure of the Spirit of God, but since each truth revealed was to be added to all other revealed truth; when they refused to accept further revelation God just moved on and left them. Their organizations were then dead; they could not give life to anyone, yet we do know that through the years many sincere souls have turned to those systems when the Spirit of God would convict them of sin. A lot of make-believers also joined them and helped run their programs, but when time came for God’s messenger to sound the wake up cry, it was only those sincere ones who heard the cry. Those make-believers had no ear to hear the word of God; they fought against it instead, for those foolish virgins among them who were waking up and going for oil were disrupting their programs. Besides, they did not like all that talk about receiving the Holy Ghost. Nevertheless, the foolish virgins did begin to move out and search for oil. That is when the charismatic groups began to spring up in various places across the land of America and around the world. What really happened was, those who were serious about serving God, began to hear things that made them realize they needed to be filled with the Holy Ghost, as God’s wake up message found its way around the world. They had been told that they received everything they needed when they walked down the aisle and shook the preacher’s hand, but the midnight cry caused them to hear some things which made them realize they did not have all there is to have. The only catch to it is this, When they went out to get the oil in their vessels, they got themselves so wrapped up in buying and selling, (receiving the Holy Ghost, then helping others to receive) they have not allowed the Spirit they received to lead them to the bride’s message; a few have and we praise God for that, but multitudes have not. They are still out there buying and selling, dealing only in the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues, and divine healing. Catholics have sanctioned these charismatic meetings, added their influence, and even to the point where they have taken over many of them. You may ask, Is Catholicism being converted? Not the system itself, only a few individuals who have found that God is not in those systems. The system itself has capitalized upon all this ecumenical fellowship, as a way to get the protesting daughters (PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS) back home, back to Catholicism where they all sprung from through the years of the reformation, and the poor old foolish virgins are going right along with it all up until now. They are out there enjoying their ecumenical fellowship, believing they have finally found the true stream of God’s perfect will, while the bride has been locking herself into a revelation, where she is dressing herself to meet the bridegroom.
ECUMENICAL COUNCIL WORLD CHURCH
During the interval of time when Bro. William Branham was delivering the church age messages, and other key message like the Seventy Weeks of Daniel, and also the Seven Seals to those wise virgins who had been awakened, Pope John 23rd was calling his ecumenical council in an endeavor to work out some of their differences and give the protestant daughters a chance to come back home. We have watched this ecumenical council at work through the years since then, binding all these protestant churches together, getting them ready for the ONE WORLD CHURCH, and we know from the word of God that somewhere up ahead, something will happen in their ranks that will cause those foolish virgins to stop and take another look. They have enough of the word of God in them that they will not allow themselves to go past the point of no return with this great Antichrist movement. They will turn back before they become locked into a one world church system. Something will cause them to realize that they have left the only people who are truly following the word of God, and they will try to turn back and get in with them, but by then it will be too late for them to get into the bride’s revelation; the Spirit of God just simply will not open it up to them. “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; (not for the rapture, but to open their understanding to a revelation of truth that will enable them to dress themselves properly to sit at the marriage table of Jesus Christ) and they that were ready (ready to follow the word) went in with Him to the marriage; and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” Like I said already, that does not mean He does not know them in the sense of life itself, It just means He does not know them as His chosen bride people. There has been no intimate relationship based upon the revelated word. Therefore the knocking on the door setting is really just a situation where the foolish virgins are trying to understand the bride’s message, (and they have all the words at their disposal) but the Spirit of God will not open up their understanding. They will read the same messages you read, but they will not be able to comprehend. The door of revelation will be shut to them. Why? Because they stayed in their denominations too long. As time passed, this charismatic revival (they call it that, but it really is not) began to draw so much attention, and its effects felt so strongly around the world, and especially after the Catholics assumed so much of the leadership, it caused all the old line denominational churches to realize that this ecumenicy is something they are going to have to identify with or be left out in the cold. Now the charismatics are not longer just foolish virgins seeking oil, their ranks are filled with make-believers also. It is no longer necessary for the foolish virgins to separate from their denominations; they can stay right in there with them, and speak in tongues all they care to. Up to a certain point they will be carried right along with all the one world church plans of the ecumenical council, but there will come a day, and very soon, we believe, that something will come rumbling down from Vatican headquarters that will be so obviously antichrist, no true virgin will have anything to do with it, no matter how foolish they may have been. They will then have to take a good look at the whole ecumenical set up, and when they do, they will see just how apostate and corrupt it has become. Satan’s doctrine of, “It does not matter whether we believe alike or not, just as long as we have the Holy Ghost and love each other,” will suddenly become a great eye opening, soul searching thing for these foolish virgins. They will break ranks with that system, and it will be too late for them to get in with the bride, so they are marked for martyrdom. When the bride is gone to the wedding supper, and the beast is in full control, nothing outside of that one world church will be allowed to live. We are speaking in general terms, you understand, for we know that God will have some moral mortal people on earth that He will preserve and protect to fulfill the last verses of Matthew 25; people from every nation kept alive to repopulate the earth in the millennium. There is one thing sure about it though, no foolish virgin will be preserved alive. Every last one of them is seen in chapter 7, in the book of Revelation, coming up out of great tribulation, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.
TWO NOTABLE MARRIAGES
I do not know how many years God has purposed to have these two conditions, wise and foolish virgins, in the earth; I do not need to know that, for Jesus said, verse 13, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the son of man cometh.” I do know that the condition has already been present in the earth for 16 or 17 years though, ever since Bro. William Branham began to pound the pulpit (the Bible stand) crying, Come out of her (spiritual Babylon) my people! Get out of those denominations and get back to the word of God. During that time some who supposedly go into the revelation have been kicked back out to fulfill another parable, the one where the man was thrown out into outer darkness because he did not have on a wedding garment (Matt. 22:11-13.) That just lets us know that, not everyone who claims to be in this message of truth is really in it. You hear them say, “I believe Bro. William Branham’s message, I believe he was a prophet.” That does not prove a thing. You can say that and still miss God by a million miles. Not only must you see scripture fulfilled in the life of Bro. William Branham, you must see the truth he preached to this generation in the light of God’s word, and you must allow that truth to lead you on in the will of God to a furtherance of revelation that the bride must have before she leaves here. Regardless of what some may say, Bro. William Branham did not have the last word for the bride of Christ; there is still more to come yet. Furthermore, not one person will be translated until every predestinated bride seed upon the face of this earth has all the truth that the bride is destined to have before she leaves. That is how we know that everything which has any spiritual significance for the word dressed bride of Christ will have to have time to reach to the ends of the earth, even the seven thunders of Rev. 10:3, which some claim have sounded already. Those 7 thunders are for the bride’s final preparation, and they will not sound forth until Jesus is off of the mercy seat and grace for unsaved Gentiles has run out. The world is being shaped for two notable marriages in the very near future. One will be between the wise virgins and the Lord Jesus Christ, the lover of man’s soul. The other will be Satan’s hour of marriage when the false prince of peace is wed to the world church, introducing to the world a false era of peach. Satan knows Jesus Christ is coming back to earth with His bride, (the wise virgins and overcomers from every age) to set up a kingdom of peach and righteousness; therefore he tries to forerun the Lord with his counterfeit on every turn. The Lord Jesus Christ will come from heaven with His great army and destroy all of Satan’s vast host of wicked souls when his plan has run its prophesied course. The word of God allows him two 3 ½ year periods of time, then he and all his great host will be cut off, and Jesus will set up His righteous kingdom, called the millennium because of its one thousand year duration of time.
WOMAN IN SCARLET
We have traced the church’s route through time and seen how she was stripped and robbed, persecuted and abused, and how Catholicism ruled the world in full command from about 1000 A.D. until after 1500 A.D., when the reformation started. We know from history that the Roman church robbed the various political kingdoms of Europe, of much of their wealth. This fulfilled Revelation 17, which speaks of a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast. This woman (which was the Roman Catholic Church) was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, and had a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornications. She was seen drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When the aged apostle, John, saw this woman, he wondered with great admiration, and the angel of the Lord questioned him about it; then explained the beautiful woman to him. Those purple and scarlet colors were the ancient colors of the pagan, Roman, imperial rulership, and John sees the woman (the Roman Catholic church) dressed in them. This was no ordinary honky tonk, neighborhood beer joint type prostitute John was seeing. He was seeing a classy type that had committed fornication with kings and potentates, one that was out to make a name for herself, and that is exactly what she did. The angel of the Lord called her the mother of harlots, and that brings up another interesting question. Who are the harlots, the daughters of the Roman Catholic Church? Pope John 23rd answered that when he began to seek ways to welcome the Protestant daughters back home. Through the years since then Rome has had her hand of fellowship extended to ecumenicalism, and the charismatic movement, which is God’s strong delusion to fulfill 2nd Thessalonians 2:11-12, and the parable of Jesus about binding the tares for burning, Matthew 13:30, 41-42. The Reformation produced all of these Protestant daughters, and now, here at the end time, all of them want to get back in fellowship with mama, which is Rome, the mother church. God will allow them to get back together to fulfill Daniel 7:25, and Revelation 13:3-7, also Daniel 9:27, which covers the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy concerning 70 weeks of time allotted to God’s dealing with Jews. That 70th week of Daniel is Satan’s honeymoon, even though the last half of it is known to be a time of great tribulation. The little bride of Christ will escape it, but the foolish virgins will have to die during that time. I will have to say this though, for anyone who is left here when the bride is taken, it will be far better to be killed by the Antichrist for believing in God, then to damn your soul by joining the Antichrist, then be killed by the power of God and cast into hell. It will be one of the two; you will find no middle ground.
TWO GREAT PARALLELS
The pope of Rome has extended his hand of fellowship through the power and beauty of the Roman Catholic church to the political leaders of the whole western world. It forms a parallel with what happened in 325 A.D. at Nicaea, when a political leader, a Roman Emperor, extended his hand of fellowship to the universal church of Christianity because he saw a need in the church that he felt he could minister to. That council got church and state together then, and now we have a reverse situation at hand. This time it is the pope of Rome, who is known to the world as a great spiritual leader, extending his hand of fellowship to the politicians of the world, because he sees a need among them that he feels he can minister to. Do you see why I called it a parallel situation? Back there, the church submitted her power to the state, but in our day it will be the politicians submitting the power of the state to the pope, a man who is called, the head of the universal church. They all go to bed together to commit their fornications, as was typed by the church at Thyatira. God offered the Catholic church a space to repent of her fornication during the Dark Ages, and she repented not; and because she would not repent, God says, “Behold I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds, and I will kill her children with death.” Let me paraphrase that like this, I will cast the Roman Catholic church into a bed, and all those Protestant denominations which commit spiritual adultery with her, along with all the kings and princes, which are now called prime ministers, I will cast into great tribulation. It is written in the Bible for all to read, but the wise virgins are the only one’s that take heed to the warning. Everyone is guilty and must face that terrible hour. Pope John 23rd extended the invitation to the Protestant daughters, then he died. He was the prophet of this great unity. His successor took the name of Paul, to become the apostle, the administrator of their revelation that we may all be one, taken from the 17th chapter of the gospel of St. John, the words of Jesus. He built his great ecumenical platform, and had virtually everything done in the way of church unity when he died. The present pope took the names of both the prophet and the apostle, and pledged to carry on what they had started, but since there is little left to do in the realm of uniting religion, he has turned to politics. Standing on the platform that John and Paul built for him, he has extended his hand of fellowship to the political heads of the world. When he went to Mexico, it was not to take a revelation for the church, he had a message for the political revolutionary elements down there. It was all designed to keep the Catholic church on top of the whole situation. Next, he went to Ireland, because there was fighting between the Catholics and the Protestants over there. Did he not know how long this fighting had been going on? Of course he did, and he knew about their threats against her life, but he went and stared the whole thing right in the face. It looked like all their threats just melted away. He is making his inroads, and if he is not the one that is to fulfill that last week of Daniel, he will certainly have the stage set for the one who is to head up that great drama. Daniel 9:27, says this, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Brothers and sisters, it is almost time for that great peace covenant to be confirmed, and exactly 7 years from then Jesus Christ will be on earth with His little bride to set up the millennium. HALLELUJAH! That will be glorious.
TYING LAST TARE BUNDLES
Brothers and sisters: I realize there will always be a few people who will say, I have heard all that before, and things continue just like they have been for years, but I want to say it again anyhow, THE END IS CLOSE AT HAND. Let the scoffers say what they will; I say, Bride get your garment cleaned up; it is later than you may think. This old world is standing on the threshold of the greatest blood bath humanity has ever witnessed, and the foolish virgins will be caught right in the middle of it all, but thank God, John did see them coming up on the other side of that terrible hour with their robes washed clean and white. Presently, there are a few more tare bundles to be tied, and God will not allow anything to disrupt that, but when all of them are tied together so tightly that there is no way for them to turn back, God will create a situation that will cause the foolish virgins to break away from those ranks and take a stand for the word of God. They will realize that there is scripture they must come to, but all the rest of that ecumenical multitude that could not care less whether God is ONE, THREE, or a HALF DOZEN, will glide right on into the hour they have long looked for, a time of world peace and security. That is how it will look to all who do not have a revelation, for the first 3 ½ years of that last week of Daniel. They will all have their honeymoon in the bed with the Antichrist. Naturally this end time condition is caused from the effects of the Reformation, and it is all fulfilling the word of God, but it is not a pleasant thought when you stop to think of all the people you have known in this life, and how many of them may be numbered among those who are damned. Like we pointed out in another message, there is a difference between fornication and adultery. It is the same act in both instances, but fornication is the act committed just for pleasure, and that is what God gave Catholicism a chance to repent of through the message to the church at Thyatira, but since she did not repent, God said I will cast her into a bed, and all those who commit ADULTERY with her, I will kill them and all their children. When the world thinks they are living in the glorious age of peace and prosperity that all mankind has longed for, in reality it will be nothing more than the calm before a great storm. When the devil incarnates that old peace making pope, right in the middle of that 70th week of Daniel, he will be turned into a murdering beast instead of a peacemaker. Satan’s Antichrist will then be known to the world, but it will be too late for anyone to escape his wrath, except for those chosen of the Lord that God has made provision for. Multitudes of people will suddenly find that their great age of peace and prosperity has turned into a nightmare. This will be Satan’s hour of glory, his hour of worship. These poor souls will not know what they are doing in that hour, but they will be worshiping the devil. Let us just read a few verses from Revelation, chapter 13, for I want you to hear the word of God say what you have just heard me say. Brothers and sisters, these are not just my ideas that you have been hearing, or that many of you will read in the paper; it is “THUS SAITH THE WORD OF GOD;” I am just reminding you of what the Bible says is just ahead. Turn to verse 4 in the 13th chapter of Revelation. “And they (the world church and unregenerate mankind) worshiped the dragon (Satan is the old dragon) which gave power unto the beast: (The Antichrist is the beast in this verse) and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. (That is exactly 3 ½ prophetic years, and God Himself allows this son of perdition to have this allotted time before Jesus and His army comes from heaven to wipe it all out.) And he (the Antichrist) opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him (the Antichrist) to make war with the saints, (foolish virgins, and all who believe in God. Foolish virgins and orthodox Jews will be slaughtered by the thousands for their refusal to renounce their faith in God.) And to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. AND ALL THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH SHALL WORSHIP HIM, WHOSE NAMES ARE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE OF THE LAMB SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” Do you see where the tares will be in that hour? All those make-believers, of which many were great, well known leaders in your denominational churches, will be worshiping the Antichrist, and the devil that gave him his power. They will have taken the mark of the beast, and will have sealed their eternal destiny once and for all.
ALL SCRIPTURES DOVETAIL
Most of you know, or at least in previous messages, we have pointed out the fact that the beast in that hour is an incorporation of a spirit (the devil) a man, (the Antichrist) and a system, (all of that ungodly system that backs up the Antichrist.) Therefore when you read other scriptures such as Rev. 17:3, and others where the term, beast, seems to have a different application, keep that in mind. All the scriptures dove-tail together when we have a revelation of what they mean, but, brothers and sisters, there are multiplied thousands in so called churches around this old world who do not have such a revelation. They are heading for outer darkness (the great tribulation) where some of them will suffer martyrdom and be made pure, and other will have to face the wrath of God when He comes to cut off the wicked and cleanse the earth for the millennium. Therefore I will close the message by saying, If you are a wise virgin, you know you will escape all those things of that hour, but do not forget to be grateful to God for His merciful presence in your life. We are what we are by His loving grace and mercy. There is no way we could ever have merited the love that He has bestowed upon us. Neither could we ever lift ourselves off the ground to go in the rapture, but we are fully persuaded by the word of God, that if His Spirit that dwells in us is allowed to have His way, He will nurture us to the fullness of the stature of the Lord Jesus Christ, and when the hour arrives for us to be taken up, that same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, will raise all those that are dead in Christ, change us all into immortality, and catch us away to the wedding supper that we have all longed for. Then, we will see Jesus face to face, and we will be just like Him. Hallelujah! I love him! Amen.