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DID YOU KNOW THAT THE BOOK OF REVELATION IS IN REALITY A LOVE LETTER TO THE BRIDE OF JESUS CHRIST? ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE WHO ALWAYS SAY, I DO NOT BELIEVE WE ARE SUPPOSED TO UNDERSTAND THAT BOOK OF REVELATION? IF YOU HAVE EVER SAID THAT, LET ME ASK YOU THIS, WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE GOD HAD IT INCLUDED IN THE BIBLE? I INVITE YOU TO GO WITH ME ON A LITTLE TRIP THROUGH THIS BOOK: THEN TELL ME AGAIN: IF YOU CAN, THAT WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO UNDERSTAND IT.
SAINTS OF OTHER AGES DID NOT NEED TO UNDERSTAND MUCH OF IT, BUT THOSE WHO ARE PRIVILEGED TO LIVE UNTIL THE COMING OF THE LORD FOR THE RAPTURE OF HIS BRIDE WILL CERTAINLY NEED TO KNOW WHAT THIS BOOK IS ALL ABOUT. IT TRULY IS GOD’S LOVE LETTER TO THE BRIDE, AND FOR THAT VERY REASON, SHE IS THE ONLY ONE THAT WILL EVER GET A TRUE REVELATION OF THE WHOLE SCOPE OF IT. THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING, IS IN READING ACCORDING TO REVELATION OF THOUGHT, RATHER THAN CHAPTER AND VERSE.
IF YOU DO NOT KNOW ALREADY, FIND OUT FROM THIS ARTICLE WHO THE MYSTERIOUS FOUR HORSEMEN OF CHAPTER 6 ARE. ALSO, WHAT CONNECTION DO THE FOUR BEASTS HAVE TO THE FOUR HORSEMEN? WHO PREACHES THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL, AND MANY MANY OTHER THINGS THAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW, ARE GOING TO BE INCLUDED. READ THE MESSAGE, STUDY THE CHART, AND TRUST THE LORD TO REVEAL TO YOU WHETHER IT IS RIGHT OR NOT.
In 96 A.D. while the apostle John was in exile, on the isle of Patmos, and in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, he heard that trumpet voice of God, behind him. As a result of that encounter, we have the book of Revelation in our Bibles. John was the last living apostle of those who walked with Christ Jesus personally, and he tells us that he was on Patmos because of his testimony of Jesus Christ and for the word of God. In other words, he had been put out there to get him out of the way. But God had something else for him to do, for he heard that voice say, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; What thou seest, write in a scroll, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia. He names the churches, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. These seven literal churches that were in existence in that time, had conditions in them that would identify with conditions of seven different ages, or periods of time within the period of time allotted to the Gentiles, and commonly referred to as the grace age. The church at Ephesus typifies, or maybe I should say, was the model church for the whole dispensation of grace. It was the first of those seven, for the other six were a result of the great gospel light that burned at Ephesus for 2 years while Paul preached there. All of them were in Asia Minor, which today is known as Turkey.
REVELATION IS A LETTER
Many people refuse to accept the idea that these seven churches actually typify seven ages within the period of grace, but to me it is all very clear, for history reveals conditions of the church that matched those conditions perfectly. Also, a lot of people refer to the book of Revelation, as the Revelation of St. John the divine, because it is headed like that in their Bible, but the very first verse tells us that it is The Revelation of Jesus Christ; therefore John was just the instrument that God used to record it. He saw every detail of what he wrote, in pictorial form. It had to be like that in order for him to know how the write it. What we call the book of Revelation, is actually a letter, but it is different than the other letters, or epistles of the New Testament. All the other letters were written by men as a result of conditions that pressured them, and they wrote in their own words, by the anointing of the Holy Ghost. They were written to be instructive, exhortative, corrective, and disciplinary, as the writer was moved by the Holy Ghost to write. There are prophecies in them, but very little detail is given. Paul wrote about the resurrection, and also about the rapture, but he did not go into great detail; he only gave a profile. He definitely used his own words of what he thought would be sufficient to get the point made, but when you come to the book of Revelation, you find that it was written under completely different circumstances.
WHAT HOLY GHOST WILL DO
As we go into this book, let us seriously study what we have here. I for one, am very much concerned about what I believe, and why I believe it as I do. I hate fanaticism, and I hate confusion. I do not want my own mind confused, and neither do I want to say anything that would be confusing to anyone else. That is why I hesitate many times, even to say anything at all about a subject that I do not clearly understand the full scope of. If I do not feel that I can deal with a subject in a way that it can be understood, I would rather just leave it alone altogether. Through the years though, when pressure began to be put on me, I might be out in the field plowing, or somewhere, just messing around with something, and my mind would be captured with pictures of things that would all come together to give the needed answers. I just thank the Lord for the grace He has given to me through the years, to allow me to look into His word, and to understand it. You have heard me say many times, a revelation of the word of God is something that the devil cannot take away from you. When you see a person who believes one way today, another way tomorrow, and something different than that, a few days later, you can be sure that person does not have a revelation. Such a person only grasps with the mind until they hear something they like better. True children of God ought not to be like that, for the Holy Ghost in them is there to give them revelated understanding of the word of God. I am not saying that you do not need a teacher; I am only saying that the Holy Ghost will bear witness to truth, and will reject error, if you will yield your will to Him.
ONLY ONE MESSAGE
Let me make another point before we actually go into the study of this book. There is not three messages in this book, and there is not two. There is only one message. Many people raise their eyebrows when you say that, but that holds true for all the epistles of the New Testament. There is only one thought being presented. The reason we have so much confusion in the world of religion, is because people have excused their ignorance by saying, I don’t think we all have to see eye to eye on everything, just as long as we all love Jesus. Others will say, You do not have to understand everything in that book, in order to be saved. Now it is true; we are not saved because of what we know from the Bible. We are saved by grace, through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Repentance and proper water baptism activates this grace on our behalf, but grace does not stop at baptism, nor even when we receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The grace of God keeps on working on our behalf, to give us spiritual growth in the stature of Him who died for us at Calvary, and conquered death when He arose the third day, and ascended into heaven 40 days later to intercede for all whose names are written in the book of life. Therefore I will say this, Those who go by the way of the grave may die not knowing a lot of things, but those who live until Jesus comes back for them, will have a revelation of what is written in this old black book. A lot of people do not want to have anything to do with the book of Revelation, but to me, it is God’s love letter to the bride.
When John turned to see the voice that spoke to him, he saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His hairs were white like wool, and His eyes were as a flame of fire. His feet were like fine brass and His voice as the sound of many waters. In His right hand was seven stars, and out of His mouth went a sharp two edged sword, and His countenance was as the sun when it shines in its full strength. John fell at his feet as dead, but He laid His right hand upon him saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell and of death.” We will be reading a lot of scripture, but we will just use the 19th verse of this 1st chapter for a text, because it makes three points that are very important to the understanding of this book. John was familiar with the conditions in these seven churches, and I am sure he must have been greatly concerned about them. His little epistles written 6 years earlier, reveal his concern for the things he was seeing, but I am sure he never expected the Lord to do what He is doing here. This great voice is saying to him, verse 19, “Write the things which shall be hereafter.” Another translation says, and the things which shall follow thee. Nevertheless he is being commissioned to write of past, present, and future things, which would be shown to him, and he did not know it, but the letter he wrote was to be held in the hands of the church through the ages, and then stand out so vividly and beautifully, to speak to the hearts of this generation of God’s people. This is a prophecy of the highest magnitude, a revelatory prophecy, and it is prophecy from beginning to end. Now let me go back and read verse 3, to you. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” The Lord Himself chose the language of this prophecy, and told John exactly how to set it in motion. Normally we would have a tendency to think of a man that age as being forgetful, but in this case, these things were so impressed upon him through what he saw and heard, he wrote it without forgetting one single detail, and we have it to prepare us for what is just ahead, if we will allow the Spirit of God to reveal it to us.
ALL 7 CHURCHES HAD SAME LIGHT
The seven golden candlesticks represented the Holy Ghost light that was burning in each of those seven churches of Asia Minor, and the seven stars represented the seven messengers, or pastors of those churches, one for each of them. Now we realize this was actually pointing to the messengers of the various church ages in its overall scope, but at that particular time, John was told to write certain things, and send it to the seven churches of Asia. By that time Paul, (the messenger to the first church age) had been dead 30 years, so it would not have been directed to him, but we must realize, that even though each particular message was directed to the angel, or messenger of a particular church of those seven, what applied to that church then, would apply to an age (period of time of grace age) later. Therefore, even though the first church age messenger was already dead, what was written to the church at Ephesus had an application to that first church age, which lasted more than 70 years after John wrote these words. Notice in chapter 2, what was said to the angel of the church at Ephesus. “These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; (Back in chapter 1, Jesus is portrayed in His mediatorial high priest attire, and the fact that He is shown standing in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks symbolizes that it is He that gives the light to every age, as well as those 7 churches.) I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.” This showed their love for a true revelation, and their ability to know the difference. “How else can you try one who claims to be an apostle, except by the word of God?” They hated evil, and patiently labored for the great name which is above every name, Jesus. But in process of time, they had neglected their first love. That happens many times when we get so busy with what we are doing. In other words, we should never get so involved in what we are doing for the Lord, that we lose track of why we are doing what we are doing. Actually, church history tells us that John pastored the church at Ephesus, at one time; therefore he would be very familiar with what was going on there. But just as this church took a certain course and followed it, so did the age itself. History shows how that Antichrist spirit little by little, led that first church age away from its true course. By the year 170 A.D., that aggressive, lion like spirit that had prevailed in that first age of Christians, was becoming more like the spirit of an ox, a burden bearer. We will get to those four beasts a little later, over in chapter 4, but right now let us look at these 7 churches, and the 7 church ages a little more.
ONE CANDLE LIGHT ALL
Now to each church was sent a letter of admonition, instruction and rebuke, according to the instructions Jesus gave John. Ephesus was first, and rightly so; for as we said before, All the other churches were lit from the great revival Spirit that prevailed at Ephesus under the leadership of the apostle Paul, who was actually the angel messenger to the first church age. God did not come down with a separate candle (symbolically speaking) to light the candle for each church. He just lit one, and the others got their light from that one. In other words, it is the same fire, burning in every one of them. Ephesus was much like Chicago, Illinois, or New York. In that day it was the great commercial trade center of Asia. It was a hub of commerce, and that made it the ideal location for this great revival fire to be lit, for from there it would spread in every direction. Thinking of it from the standpoint of the whole dispensation of grace though, with its 7 different divisions, or ages, each one following the one before, you have to think in terms of the gospel light going from the first to the second, then to the third, and on down the line. For each of these 7 churches set a pattern spiritually, that was manifested in the corresponding church age, a pattern of how people in each age would react to the gospel. That is why I said in another message, that the 7th age couldn’t start until the new world had been discovered, and this new world had built itself into a materialistic position whereby it would be known as a great industrial nation. For around the dawning of the 20th century, America began to shed her frontier image, and take on a materialistic image. It was this country that first began to open up their inventions, but they were for the most part, just for the elite and upper class of their society. America was founded with a different principle and vision in mind. That is why we did not adopt the old world form of government. We adopted a democracy, which was a beautiful system of man’s government, and God honored it as long as the gospel, or I should say, as long as the Bible was used as the basis for establishing our laws to govern society. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Meaning food, shelter, clothing, and all the necessary things of life. But sad to say, when God begins to bless a lot of people with these things, they get so material minded, they can no longer see God at all. The very things that God blesses some people with, becomes a curse to them, because of such an attitude. Our very nation has become so materialistic, so dollar conscious, that they have forgot all about certain precautions that should have been taken. Our water is polluted with every kind of thing imaginable, and even our land is polluted in ever so many areas by chemical waste that seems almost uncontrollable, and the ecologists are screaming, but it seems almost too late. It just proves that our materialism has already passed its beneficial point, and God has allowed it to become a curse to us. Naturally it is a disturbing thing to think about, but the scriptures have to be fulfilled, and it takes that kind of spirit to produce conditions in this Laodicean age, that match the conditions which were present in the church at Laodicea. Actually it is the conditions that serve to identify the age. In other words, the age of Laodicea could not start, until these conditions began to be present in an area of the world where people had been blessed by God.
EVERYTHING IS RIGHT ON SCHEDULE
The power of God fell upon a group of people right here in America to produce, or launch the Pentecostal message and that message had circled the globe. It awakened people around the world to the fact that God is alive, and that He is still doing things like we read of in the book of Acts. Yet the time came when Pentecost began to die, for they fell into the same rut that the fundamental movements were in. They began to build large church buildings, with elaborate fixtures and stained glass windows, each one trying to outdo the others, even among those who claim to be independents, not belonging to a denomination. Million dollar buildings have become very common in our day. But, Saints! It took all of this to produce a generation of people with that same self sufficient spirit that was present in that Laodicean church in Asia Minor. It all came about right on schedule. Laodicea could not proceed Thyatira, for God had them placed right in order. Those spirits followed each other right on through the ages. Let me say this, though. Even though we are living in the age of Laodicea, we do not have to be of the age. The age encompasses thousands upon thousands of people, but it is only the overcomers of each age, that make up the true church of the living God. Only the overcomers of each age caught a true revelation of the message that came forth in their hour. Only those who have determined to let their lives count for Jesus Christ, will ever get a true revelation from the message delivered to this age by God’s prophet messenger. All of those who spend their time trying to be something will miss the true revelation completely, for all they have is many volumes of books full of words. They have the words that contain the revelation, but they do not have the Revealer within them, to teach them all things.
TRUTH MUST HAVE FIRST PLACE
Brothers and sisters: Do you think it gives me great pleasure to say these things? I assure you, it doesn’t. But truth is the thing that Jesus said would set us free; therefore truth must be brought to the forefront of our attention, whether it is popular with everyone or not. You can believe me; truth has never been popular in any age, but it is what overcomers feed upon. It is sad to say, but many preachers that have been greatly used of God in the past three decades, have gone in the self-willed way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Baalam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying Korah, just like you read in Jude 11, all because they did not allow truth to have first place in their lives. Whenever you find a man in this day and hour, that can just preach in any church, no matter what denomination it may happen to be, and they all let him keep coming back, you can be sure of one thing; that man never takes a stand for truth in their hearing. Most church people in our day are only looking for something that will pacify them, and make them feel secure in their present ways of life. They do not want to hear anything that would annoy their conscience while they are drinking, smoking, betraying their marriage vows, lying, cheating, and stealing. The churches are even filled with homosexuals, and perverts of every sort, and the equal rights spirit is prevailing. Certain ones are even trying to get the Bible re-written because it always refers to God in the male gender. I do not understand why they are even concerned about whether the Bible refers to God as Him, or her; they do not believe what is written in it anyhow. If they did, they would not want to change one word of it. It just lets us see what kind of spirit is driving people, in this hour of time. The spirit of God leads children of God, and all the rest are driven by the devil through the various ways that he manifests his presence.
JOHN WROTE WHAT HE SAW
Let me remind you again; these 7 churches in Asia Minor had conditions in them that set a type of conditions that would dominate 7 church ages during the dispensation of grace; therefore we must look at chapters 2 and 3, as being a history of time allotted to the Gentiles, or grace age. John was on the Isle of Patmos both physically, and spiritually, when he wrote those letters, but when he finished that last letter, a door was opened in heaven, and that trumpet-like voice said, “Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” That set a type for the church when he was caught up to heaven after his letter of rebuke to the Laodicean church. John was a type of the overcomers of every age, and that is why it is important to take note of the fact that he was caught up to heaven, after Laodicea received her rebuke. From that point, he is projected into the future and shown things which would take place through the future ages of time. Though his physical body was out there on that little island where he had been exiled to get him out of the way: God projected him, in the spirit, so that he could stand and watch each event that would take place in the ages of God’s dealing with the Gentile church. What he wrote was prophecy, but he wrote from the standpoint that he was there when each thing happened, and he was like a newspaper reporter, reporting what he had seen. When that Laodicean spirit began to take control of human minds in this age, old John was right there watching it all. How many of you get the picture of what we have here? I hope you do, for it will enable you to understand the things we will be covering in later chapters.
AMERICA PRODUCED LAODICEA
Let me ask you another question. How many of you realize that we are living in the land that is Laodicea? I love the land of America. I have been privileged to travel to many areas around this world, and as far as a place to live, there is no other country like the land of America. Even most people who come here from other countries, and see our standard of living, our nice homes, our automobiles, food in excess, and all the other material benefits, cannot help but say, America truly is a great country. You just do not find all the material benefits that we have anywhere else in the world. Oh! If America could only see what they have done with God. It was God that gave us all these things that we have grown so accustomed to; not Einstein, nor the other great men of our time. I do not mean to detract from their intelligence; I simply mean to point out that this country did not attain her great material wealth because her people were so intelligent. It is because a few hundred years ago her people put God first in everything. Judges, attorneys and all the other law makers and law enforcers had the Bible as a guideline. That does not mean they were all Christians, but they did respect God, and they had respect for His word. Therefore God could not withhold His blessings from them. That still holds true for individuals that give God first place in their lives. But, saints, we must realize, It takes conditions such as we have in America to project that Laodicean spirit. A poverty stricken, underprivileged nation could never project a self-sufficient, haughty, high and mighty attitude from its inhabitants. Therefore this nations’ blessings have become her curse, but all in the plan of God. She has produced Laodicea, and the Laodicean messenger has rebuked her, and delivered God’s message, and every bit of it was recorded in this letter of prophecy 1900 years ago, and given to the grace age church, for her to carry as long as there is a Gentile church in the earth. Now I realize there are certain men in this message who say, We do not need to understand the book of Revelation; it is not for the church. But let me ask you this, Who would it be fore, if not the church? The Jews do not even recognize the writings of the book of Revelation as being authoritative scripture. They look at it, along with all the rest of the New Testament, as being just the writings of the Christians.
Brothers and sisters: Do you realize yet, that a proper understanding of the book of Revelation, is actually the key to our being able to recognize where we are in time? Naturally most of it is written about the Jews, but it lets the true church of the living God know what time she is living in, and what to expect next. Furthermore, it enables us to understand all of this ecumenicy among denominational churches, and to know where it will all lead to one day soon. Chapter 7 allows us to see what the fate of the foolish virgins of Matthew 25 will be, and chapter 20 lets us see that they are resurrected to reign with Christ and His bride in the millennium. Now tell me the book of Revelation is not for us. That same spirit will turn right around and tell you that we are not living in the Laodicean age, but don’t be misled. The Laodicean age will not end until it has ended with the Antichrist, and God has judged the whole thing and brought it to an end. You must understand that the age itself is still in existence, even though the true child of God is not a part of it. The fact that Jesus is on the outside, knocking, trying to get in, lets us know that those that are of Laodicea have shut Him out. That is why the Pentecostal church systems shut Bro. William Branham out; they did not want the truth. They liked the part where he prayed for their sick folks; that generated large crowds of people and brought in good offerings, but when he tried to teach them something from God’s word, they shut him completely out of their midst, and said his teaching was from the pit of hell. Now you can see why chapter 3, verse 20, says, “If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me;” Jesus is still coming in to those individuals who will open their hearts door to Him. He is not off the mercy seat yet. Revelation 10:1-6 has not taken place yet. When that scripture is actually fulfilled, and He is seen standing, with the little scroll open in His hand: then you can rightly say, There is no more mercy for Gentiles, but do not say that yet, for there are still a few individuals repenting and turning to God, accepting the invitation of Jesus in Rev. 3:20. These are they who love to fellowship around revelated truth while that old Laodicean spirit leads the church world by signs and wonders as they crucify truth.
ONLY ONE THRONE IN HEAVEN
Saints: I pray that God will help every one of you to see this as clearly as I do. John wrote those letters from an earthly setting, and was then caught up to heaven after delivering God’s message to Laodicea, to set a type of the rapture of the true bride of Christ; but what happened there had a two fold purpose. He had to be able to write what would be taking place in heaven as the Laodicean age closed out, therefore the other reason he was caught up, was so he could be acquainted with the throne and who sat upon it. He saw Christ sitting upon the throne, and the four and twenty elders sitting round about the throne, and the little scroll in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, and the seven seals that kept the contents of the little scroll from being revealed. All of this was to acquaint John with another time factor, a time setting that would parallel something that would be taking place on earth as the age of Laodicea draws to a close. What He saw up there, had to coincide with what God would do upon the earth; therefore he witnessed the heavenly setting of what was taking place up there while God’s messenger down here fulfilled his part in opening those seals that were upon the little scroll. When it looked like there was no one worthy to open the scroll and loose the seals, John began to weep, (We are in chapter 5, now.) But one of those elders said, “Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the scroll, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.” Let us stop reading there, for I want to call your attention to something in these verses. In chapter 4, verse 3, John describes the one he saw sitting upon the throne, “And He was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne; in sight like unto an emerald.” Now that was Christ sitting there upon the throne; we know that. Then one of the elders tells John that the Lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed, and will open the book and loose the seals, and we also know that Jesus Christ was the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Is that not right? Of course it is. What did John see next? He saw a Lamb step forth and take the book out of the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, and we all know that Jesus Christ was also the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world; therefore take a moment to allow this to sink in. Jesus Christ is the only One that is seated upon the throne, for there is only one throne, not two, nor three as some would tell you. Let me explain that. We read about the mercy seat, and also about the judgment seat of God, and that causes some people to visualize two thrones, one for mercy and the other for judgment. I would only ask you to think back a little to the time when the presence of God was in the ark of the covenant, in the tabernacle and in the temple, and how that mercy seat was also a judgment seat, when His Shekinah glory departed from it. That part is no different now; therefore there is only one throne in heaven, and Jesus Christ Himself is seated upon it, and for almost two thousand years now, it has been a mercy seat. I am well aware of the fact that some are saying He has left the mercy seat, and that we are living in the half hour of silence spoken of in chapter 8, verse 1. But, Listen to me, saints; there is no way they can line that up with the scriptures that God’s prophet restored back to us.
LION AND LAMB ARE SYMBOLIC TERMS
If you will follow my thought for a few moments, we will bring all of that right back to the scriptures where it belongs. Those who teach such things just followed Bro. William Branham’s flesh, hung onto his every word, and know very little about keeping in line with the scriptures. All anyone needs to do is familiarize themselves with the Old Testament, how, when God’s glory departed from the mercy seat, it automatically became a judgment seat, then they would know that Jesus Christ will not leave the mercy seat, wander around somewhere for twenty years, and then seat Himself upon a judgment throne. I remember very well that in 1963, when Bro. William Branham preached on the seals, he came to the place in chapter 5, where the Lamb came forth and took the little scroll out of the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, he said, “Could it be that Christ is off the mercy seat?” You can still read that in the printed message, but Bro. William Branham did not say that Christ had left the mercy seat. John had already seen Christ seated upon the throne, dressed in His high priest attire, with the little scroll in His hand. The little scroll is a scroll of redemption, containing the names of all those that Christ is interceding for, and that little scroll will remain sealed until all those who are written therein have been redeemed. But now I want you to notice something very strange about the Lamb that stepped forth to take the scroll out of the hand of Him that sat upon the throne. It had SEVEN HORNS and SEVEN EYES. If such a lamb actually existed it would be a freak of nature, so literally, there was no such lamb. Neither is there a literal lion. Those are symbolic terms. Symbolically John was being shown that the authority to open those seals was based upon Christ’s merits as a sacrificial Lamb upon earth. Lion speaks of power and authority, and truly Christ Jesus prevailed upon earth with that kind of authority and power, but the climax of it all was that He become a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, a sacrificial Lamb. It is His own blood upon the mercy seat, and He arose from the grave to become the high priest that would apply that blood, until it is time for judgment. Therefore I say unto every one of you, When Christ opens that SEVENTH seal, and steps forth with the little scroll open in His hand, it is time for those trumpet angels of chapter 8, to begin pouring out those plagues in conjunction with the ministry of those two Jewish prophets of chapter 11. We printed an article titled, The Chronology of Revelation, where we showed that chapter 8, verse 1, must be kept with chapter 10, verses 1-6, for when Jesus opens that last seal, and leaves the mercy seat, the next thing to follow is where He comes down to earth in angelic form, with the little scroll of redemption open in His hand, and cries with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth, that there should be time no longer, or we could say, no more delay. In other words, time for Gentiles has run out, and now the Spirit of God is ready to return to the nation of Israel with no further delay. At that time the seven thunders are heard uttering their voices, and again I wish to point out that the seven thunders and their voices are in plural terms. Therefore it could never be one man uttering the seven thunders, as so many are teaching in this hour, for the very term, THEIR VOICES, in chapter 10, verse 3, makes that so very clear. That is why I say that God will have some men on earth as this transition time approaches, that will have a final Thus saith the Lord for the little bride of Christ, something that has never been written, and something that only the bride of Christ will receive. Whatever those thunders speak will be for the bride’s last minute preparation (so to speak) before the rapture takes place. Why do I say that? It is very simple. John heard what those thunders uttered, and he was about to write it, but at that time a voice from heaven said to him, “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.” Then John was told to take the little scroll and eat it up, which he did, and that same voice told him that he must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations and tongues, and kings. Now brothers and sisters, you must realize that what John was seeing was events of the end time, and surely you do not believe that John himself is going to be resurrected to prophesy to the nations here at the end; therefore let us settle it. That same Spirit of prophecy that was upon John will be present to receive from the Lord and prophesy to the people right at the very end. Do not forget, John ate the little scroll with all of its contents, symbolizing the fact that the contents of that little scroll can only be revealed by the Spirit of prophecy that was upon him.
THE FOUR BEASTS
Now as we revert back to chapter 4, for a look at those 4 beasts that were in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, full of eyes, before and behind, I want to say first of all, that they are guards. They are set to guard the presence of the Lord. Let us read verses 6 and 7, and then I will tell you why I believe John named them in the order that he did. “And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.” The first beast was like a lion. That points to the power of God that was expressed through the life and ministry of Christ, because He was the Lion of the tribe of Judah. That lion spirit is a kingly type of spirit, and that is exactly the spirit that was projected through the ministry of Jesus, and through that early church that had its beginning in the 2nd chapter of Acts. (Bro. Branham went into much more detail on these beasts than I am going to, but I believe you will get the picture by the time we are finished.) In other words, that fighting lion-like spirit that was in those early Christians caused them to push ahead and spread the gospel. The presence of God was with them to that end, and that type of spirit prevailed throughout that generation that lived and walked with Jesus Christ. That is why the lion was mentioned first. When we come to the second beast you will notice that it was like a calf. Symbolically in the scriptures, a calf speaks of burden bearer, or a sacrifice. This beast typifies the Spirit of God that was with the church, especially in the 2nd and 3rd ages when there was such martyrdom of Christians. This calf-like beast characterizes the power of God working with those Christians, giving them grace to die, like sacrifices. A lion fights back, but a calf yields. On the chart we are showing those beasts in the order that John mentioned them, but we are not pinpointing them to any particular church age, for they, just like the four horsemen, do not start and stop with any certain church age. There is an overlap. We mentioned the calf in connection with the 2nd and 3rd church ages, but certainly did not mean to limit it to them only. God put that yielding spirit upon thousands of Christians who yielded to martyrdom, rather than deny the faith. They would walk right out into the arenas and die like a calf on a sacrificial altar. Do you see why I said John made no mistake in the order he listed these four beasts? They fit perfectly into the overall picture of the grace age.
PROPHETS ARE EAGLES
Notice now as we consider the third beast. What did it look like? It had a face as a man. That absolutely symbolizes how the power of God worked through men coming out of the Dark Ages, to set believers free from Catholic dogma. You would actually need to read the history in order to know how those reformation leaders went about coping with politics as well as religious hierarchy. God gave them wisdom and anointing to stand up in the midst of all those ecclesiastical big wigs, and all the political rulers of their hour, and lead some people to see truth from God’s word. Therefore that third beast with a face as a man symbolized all those men such as Luther, Calvin, Knox, Huss, Wesley, and others that God anointed to stand for the truth that was to be restored in their hour. That covered a period of time that brings us right down to the twentieth century, into the age of Laodicea, and that is where the fourth beast comes on the scene. The fourth beast was like a flying eagle. That speaks of a prophetic spirit. In the scriptures, eagles have always been a symbol of God’s prophets. That is why you read in chapter 12:14, that the woman (Israel) was given two wings of a great eagle that she might fly into the wilderness where she will hide from the Antichrist, and be fed and cared for during the last half of Daniel’s 70th week. The two wings of a great eagle speaks of the message of God’s two prophets that will prophesy to Israel for 3 ½ years before that time when she must flee. They will tell her when to flee, and where to go, and they will not get their information from a Spoken Word book; God will reveal it to them. Now let us lay this thing right where it belongs. In this great scope of time called the grace age, the church of the living God reaches an hour when God will have a prophet on the scene, through whom He speaks to His church, and that prophet was the Laodicean church age messenger. That brings the power of that fourth beast fully upon the scene, but that eagle anointing did not end with Bro. William Branham’s death, 15 years ago. God is yet to speak to the little bride of Christ through that prophetic office of Ephesians 4:11, before He calls her to, “Come up hither,” in the rapture.
ONLY ONE THUNDER
Chapter 4, 5 and 6 definitely overshadow the age of Laodicea when God’s prophet messenger was upon earth. Notice in 6:1, when the Lamb (Jesus Christ the high priest) opened the 1st seal, John heard it thunder, just one thunder. (Bro. Branham made specific mention of the fact that it only thundered once, yet some people try to make seven thunders out of it.) That one thunder symbolized the fact that God was going to speak, and He spoke through His prophet messenger, but the seven thunders of Rev. 10:3 were definitely NOT uttered at that time. Only one thunder was heard when the first seal was opened, and there was not another thunder heard throughout all the rest of the seals being broken. Be sure you get the picture now; what we are reading here is what John saw and heard, and wrote in a scroll, and sent to the church, but what John experienced in heaven also had to be acted out upon earth, and that is what Bro. William Branham explained in the message, Sirs, is this the time? He told about the vision, and the great explosion that took place, and how he did not even know what it meant, but that was God’s way of carrying out upon the earth, something that John had witnessed in the Spirit world. The first seal was opened, and that one thunder meant that God was going to speak specifically in things not related to the gospel of repentance and baptism, and such like. Alright, so the voice John heard, said, “Come and see, and he saw a white horse, and he that sat upon the horse had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” That white horse rider represented the spirit of Antichrist that went forth conquering as those early apostles left the scene. That white horse rider has been mistakenly referred to as Jesus Christ by many, but it could never be so, for Jesus Christ has not yet been crowned. Nevertheless any perversion of the word of God in those days had to be kept looking like the real thing in order to deceive unsuspecting souls. After all, anyone knows Jesus Christ will not ride a red horse, nor a black, nor a pale horse; He will ride a white horse, but this white horse rider is a deceiver. Each of these horse riders represents the same spirit, but in a different period of time.
VOICE OF AN EAGLE
The second seal was opened, and the second beast said, “Come and see.” That is the same words the first beast spoke, but when this one spoke a red horse was seen, and power was given to its rider to take peace from the earth. Brothers and sisters, this horse represented that spirit of Antichrist in the second and third church ages when there was such martyrdom of Christians. God matched that spirit by giving those faithful Christians a spirit like unto a calf, enabling them to face death with victory in their souls. (When we are truly sold out to God; these old bodies of clay have to take 2nd place, for God requires 1st place; therefore if martyrdom will glorify God: then He imparts grace sufficient for us to bear it.) History shows that those 2nd and 3rd age Christians had just such a spirit about them; therefore the red horse is symbolic of the blood that was spilled during that period of time. Martyrdom did not end with the 3rd age; however you will notice that when the third seal was opened, and the 3rd beast said, “Come and see,”“ it was a black horse that went forth, and its rider had a pair of balances in his hand, and a voice coming from the midst of the 4 beasts was heard, saying, “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” That puts time right over in the Dark Ages, when Catholicism was allowed to sell the word of God, and sell their prayers, but they were not allowed to hurt the oil and wine, which speaks of the Holy Ghost. God allowed them to make merchandise of His word, through almost every gimmick imaginable, but they could not sell the Holy Ghost. (This is where Satan had his millennium; he has had his thousand year reign already, and he will be chained up when Jesus has His.) Those reformers that God used to lead the church out from under the bondage of Catholicism, were represented by the beast that had the face as a man. Little by little, through them, God restored some light to the church, but it was not until the flying eagle age that these little glimmers of light were collected together and presented to the bride of Christ. Notice the difference, how it reads when the fourth seal is broken. John heard the VOICE of the fourth beast, say, “Come and see.” This time, he saw a pale horse come forth, and the name of him that sat thereon was Death, and hell followed with him, and power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. Now, Who is opening the seals? Jesus, on the merits of what He did as a sacrificial Lamb. Who is doing the speaking? The four beasts. Which one speaks when the 4th seal is opened? The one that was like a flying eagle. Saints, that may not mean a thing to you, but there is something here if you can see it. That one thunder when the first seal was opened, meant that God was going to speak specifically, but there was no reference made to the VOICE of the 1st, 2nd, nor the 3rd beasts, only that they spoke. Yet when the 4th seal is opened, the VOICE of the eagle is heard saying, “Come and see.” Brothers and sisters, that pale horse represents the spirit that has blended Catholicism and Protestantism together for this great deception in these last days. What is out here in the world of religion in our day, is neither white nor black; it is what you get when you mix white and black together, a pale color. All of this began to take place while there was a prophet on earth, an eagle, whose voice was going to be the means by which the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th seals would be revealed to the church. The first was a thunder; the 4th was a VOICE of an eagle. That is why the two together must stand out so vividly. When you look at them together; it lets you see that symbolically it meant the seals would be opened and revealed at a time when God had a prophet messenger on earth to bring the revelation forth. It was God speaking to His church through the voice of His prophet messenger. No, that did not make Bro. William Branham God, by any means. He was our brother in Christ. He fulfilled his office as God’s prophet messenger to this age, and then God took him off the scene, leaving carnal minds to run wild with every kind of revelation that one could imagine. It is sad to see and hear all that is attached to that brother’s name in this hour, but thank God, none of that foolishness detracts anything from what God called him to do. He brought out the revelation of the 5th seal, and now we know who those souls under the altar are, and we now understand that the 6th seal pertains to the tribulation hour and the coming of the Lord. That is why I say, God sent forth this eagle spirit to His true people, at a time when the Antichrist, represented by the pale horse, is working hard reconciling Catholicism and Protestantism with his great ecumenical schemes, to give us something to combat that old spirit of deception with.
THE SHUT DOOR
Revelation of the scriptures, and a proper attitude and motive about that revelation, is very essential in the lives of God’s true people. I have heard various one’s say, I do not believe we need to know so much about the scriptures in order to go to heaven; you have heard that too, but I always say this, If you die before Jesus comes that may be true, but if you are still alive when He comes for His bride, and you are a part of that bride, you will need to know some things. Otherwise you would be like a man standing in a washtub trying to lift himself. We are fast approaching an hour when what you know by revelation is all that you are going to have to hold on to. That is why the foolish virgins will have to go through the tribulation and give their lives in martyrdom, simply because they will not enter into the bride’s revelation. It is that door of revelation of the scriptures that is shut in Matthew 25:10, when those foolish virgins finally return with oil in their vessels. The shut door does not pertain to the rapture, as many believe, it simply pertains to the revelation that the bride of Jesus Christ must have. Now His coming that we mentioned in connection with the 6th seal, is when He comes back to earth to rule and reign for a thousand years, and that will be after the great tribulation has run its course. Actually His coming is revealed in three different major events. He comes under the 6th seal. But He also comes under the 7th trumpet, and under the 7th vial. We know He is not coming back 3 times, therefore we must see all of these scriptures as each thing builds up the glorious event of His coming. I do not know about all of you, but it does my heart good to know the truth about these things. There is a lot more to this Christian life than just learning to love each other. God expects us to grow a little also. Let me say this along with that, growing is not running everywhere sticking your nose into other people’s business. To grow spiritually is to become established by revelation of God’s word. Revelation produced a fellowship which establishes the people of God upon a foundation that the devil and all his spirits out of hell cannot destroy. On the other hand just running here and there produces nothing but confusion, and nothing worthwhile grows out of confusion.
GOD IS STILL REVEALING HIS WORD
God’s messenger to this age delivered a message that hangs as a plumb line on the word of God. It sets certain dimensions and draws the line on certain things, and when God draws the line, He expects, and requires a generation of people to come to it, and if they do not come to it, there is nothing left for them except judgment. This generation is responsible for walking over truth that other generations knew nothing about. God’s plumb line marks the one right way, and those who have an ear to hear, know that every other way is wrong. Furthermore let me stress the fact once again, that God did not send us a prophet messenger to lead us off into mysticism. Some of these people who endeavor to explain what the prophet taught, lead you around in circles for an hour and a half, and when they get finished, all you have is a great mystery. Saints: That is not the way God is perfecting the bride of Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ, and the revelation of Jesus Christ does not lead you in circles. I want you to understand also, that God is not finished revealing His plan and purpose to the little bride of Christ. Let them scream all they want to, that the prophet revealed all that there is to be revealed, the scriptures prove that to be without scriptural grounds. Paul was the messenger to the first church age, and he had a great revelation of the plan of God, but God revealed some things to the apostle John, 30 years after the death of Paul, that no man had ever known before. John had the last supernatural message for the church before she headed into the Dark Ages. From then on, she was on a downward course, just rehashing what she had already, and losing it a little at a time, until there was nothing much left, except a lot of religious superstition. You can be sure of one thing though: Jesus Christ will never come for His bride until she is 100 percent established in His word. John set a type of the kind of ministry that God would have on earth for the perfecting of the bride, after the church age messenger has delivered his message and passed on off the scene. I am speaking of the fivefold ministry that Paul described to the church at Ephesus. He said these apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, would be for the perfecting of the saints, until WE ALL come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God. Now God does not have apostles and prophets on the scene just to read what someone else preached to the church in his hour. No. There is a present truth, to stand for. God is alive, and did not stop revealing His word to the church 15 years ago. Just as John was instructed to write past, present, and future things, so will God’s true ministry in this hour, deal with past, present, and future things.
PALE HORSE – EAGLE BEAST
One of the brothers was talking with a certain man, and this man held up one of the seal books and said, This is my absolute. Brothers and sisters, that is pitiful; it shows that the man has no revelation of what is written in the seal book, or he would not limit his scope of the word of God to just that. I appreciate every revelational truth that is set forth in those messages, but I will not limit the ever present power of God by stopping there. That is how denominations and cults are formed. You could know every word that is written in the seal book, and still be as blind as a bat. Theologians have proved that; for many of them can actually quote most of the Bible to you, without ever missing a word of it, but they cannot accept the fact that the little bride of Christ has heard the eagle’s cry, Come out of her, my people. Now God took His man from the scene, but He did not take that eagle spirit from us; it is still present, watching over His word. As I said before, That eagle beast symbolizes the power of God, sent forth to buffet the spirit of the pale horse rider, (4th seal) by revealing truth to the bride people, and keeping a channel of present truth open for the days ahead. Remember, each of these 4 beasts that John saw guarding the presence of the Lord represent the power of God that has been present to stand against, and to buffet those 4 horsemen that the first four seals revealed, a beast for each horse. Just as it was the same spirit (the spirit of Antichrist) riding each one of those four horses, so do the four beasts represent the Spirit of God that is present to stand against that spirit as it has been allowed to ride through the age of grace. The pale horse rider is still riding, reuniting Catholicism and Protestantism, and therefore, the eagle spirit of God is still present to buffet it. Satan’s horsemen are trying to destroy the church, and God’s four beasts are present to protect it, one against the other, right on through the age of grace, and the pale horse rider, and the eagle beast will continue right on into chapter 10 where there will be some thunders sounded for the bride of Christ. Those thunders are absolutely going to speak revelational things, prophetic things to her, and it will still be that eagle beast ministering in the last moments of her earthly journey, just before she is taken up. We are going to include the chart that was used in Faith Assembly to help the folks assimilate the various points of this message. I believe it will be of help to anyone who does not yet have a clear picture of the various events recorded by John and presented to the church for her enlightenment. Like I have stressed over and over again and again; you must realize that John was actually caught up in the spirit and projected into future time, so that he could be on the scene when these various events took place. In other words, when John was witnessing the opening of the seals, he was living in the year 1963. That is when Jesus Christ broke those first six seals and gave the revelation to the church. Now we can look back through time, and in our minds eye, see those 4 horsemen, and those 4 beasts as they fulfilled their role in the plan of God. Many men have written their theories and opinions of what those seals pertained to, but it took that eagle spirit to bring out the true revelation contained therein.
LITTLE SEASON – ONE GENERATION
The 5th seal gives you a clue (time wise) as to where John was when he witnessed the opening of those seals. Notice 6:9, “And when He (the Lamb) had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar (at the foot of the altar) the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held; And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given to every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a LITTLE SEASON, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” Now when Bro. William Branham brought out the revelation of who those souls under the altar were, it was the souls of those millions of Jews that were slaughtered during Adolph Hitler’s purge in Europe. It was in his mind to blot out the Jewish race of people from the face of the earth, and these are the souls of the spiritual element of those millions who were slaughtered. Some have said, Could not that include all the Jews that have ever been slain because of their belief in Jehovah, especially like all those that the Spanish Catholic church killed, back in the 13th century? Those souls could no doubt be there, but they are not the one’s that identify the 5th seal. In chapter 4, when John was taken up, he was projected into 1963, where he witnessed the opening of those seals, and when those souls under the altar, asked, “How long, O Lord?” immediately, before anything was said to them, white robes were given to every one of them. Then they were told to rest yet for A LITTLE SEASON, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. First let me say this, That little season did not mean 300, 500, nor a thousand years. It truly meant, a little season, a few years; therefore let us realize that those Jews were all slain during the years between 1939 and 1945, and it was 1963 when the seal was opened, and we are now 18 years beyond that, and that little season will end in the week of Daniel when the Antichrist makes his great purge. In other words, I believe the short period of time referred to as a little season is like, within one generation of time. That is why I preached a sermon one time, “It All Happened In A Generation.” Those things that Christ prophesied pertaining to Jerusalem, the stones, the beauty of the temple, and the things against the people, all come to pass within that generation. By 70 A.D. the city lay in ruins, and the people were sold as slaves. Likewise I have to say, WW 2 marked a distinction in time itself. It took place just before the prophet messenger came on the scene, and it caused millions of Jewish souls to be placed at the foot of the altar crying out to God for their blood to be avenged. They believe in Jehovah, and in the coming of the Messiah, and that old tyrant, like pharaoh of old, had his heart hardened against them. They killed them, took their money, their property, and everything else they had, and the few that were left alive were either in concentration camps, or hiding out in the attic of some Danish home, or a French cellar, or some similar place. When the war ended, those poor, naked, bedraggled Jews began to cry, “I want to go home.” It took all of that to get them back across the Mediterranean, and back in their homeland, to set the stage for Daniel’s 70th week. Ever since May 1948, when Israel was declared a state, events have been taking shape that will usher in the last week of Daniel’s 70 weeks. I do not see how there can possibly be much more time between now and the start of that last week; but I am certainly not going to set dates; neither years, nor days. Nevertheless I am thoroughly convinced that the next group of Jews to be slaughtered, fulfilling that fifth seal, will be slaughtered in this generation, during the great tribulation.
FULFILLMENT ORDER OF EVENTS
Now when the 6th seal was broken, it gave us what would happen in that great tribulation hour. The 6th seal does not cover all of the great tribulation, only the condition that God is going to use to bring judgment upon wicked mankind in that hour and bring Jesus Christ back to earth again. The 6th seal concludes the 6th chapter, and the 7th seal is not opened until verse 1, of chapter 8, yet the events of the 7th seal is in connection with the coming of the Lord for the rapture of His bride. I know this sounds strange to a lot of you, but you must remember, man has added these numbers of chapters and verses to the Bible. When it was written there was no chapter and verse divisions made. Therefore one could read right on through the whole thought without being conscious of numbers. It was impossible for John to write everything that would be taking place at the same time, in a chronological order, therefore he followed one thought right on through; then came back and picked up another. That is why it takes the Holy Ghost to put the picture together for us; He is the only one that knows the exact order of all these things. God meant for there to be an interval between the revelation of the 6th seal and the 7th seal though, for since the 7th seal concerns Jesus leaving the mercy seat, and the rapture, and the thunders that will sound just before the rapture, and we are not supposed to know those things yet, it was necessary to place them as He did. In other words the actual fulfillment of the 7th seal will follow the 5th seal. The fifth seal is the Jews that Hitler had killed. The seventh seal is the mystical coming of Jesus Christ for the rapture, and the sixth seal is His literal coming, after the tribulation has run its course, and the battle of Armageddon has been set in array. That is why, in the chronology of Revelation, we said that chapter 8, verse 1, and chapter 10, verses 1-6, should be inserted between verses 11 and 12, of chapter 6, to get the order of fulfillment. If you can just forget about all these numbers, and read this book from the standpoint of its revealed subject, it presents a beautiful picture. God wants us to know the events that are to take place, but we are not to know the exact time, therefore that which we are not to know yet, is being kept under that 7th seal. That is why it is so foolish for some to believe that the 7th seal was also opened in 1963. If it really had been, Jesus would have been off the mercy seat for 18 years now, the little scroll of redemption would be open, and no Gentile could have been saved since that time. Is that what you want to believe? Have any of your loved ones given their heart to the Lord in the last 18 years? Do you see where a thing like that will put you? Where are the two prophets that are supposed to start prophesying to Israel when Jesus leaves the mercy seat? Where is the peace covenant that the Antichrist makes with many nations in the same interval of time that Jesus leaves the mercy seat, opens the 7th seal, authorizes the 7 thunders to sound their voices, starts the two prophets to prophesying, and raptures the bride? Anyone who tries to read, or I should say, study the book of Revelation by reading it straight through, and keeping everything in line according to its chapter and verse divisions, will never get a true revelation of what is there. For instance, when I read chapter 8, verse 1, I immediately realize that the first 6 verse of chapter 10, deal with that same thing, and that all takes place before verse 12, of chapter 6. Then as I read on down through chapter 8, I realize that those first three trumpets are dealing with the ministry of those two prophets of chapter 11, verses 3-7. These signs will accompany their ministry, and they minister for 3 ½ years which is the first half of that week of Daniel, and all of that takes place before verse 12, of chapter 6. Then when I read verses 12 and 13 of chapter 8, where that fourth trumpet angel sounds, I realize that is what marks the middle of that week, and that is where the two prophets get killed, and that is where the peace covenant is broken, and when the great tribulation actually starts, and that is when the woman of Rev. 12:6 will flee into the wilderness and hide from the wrath of the Antichrist for her allotted period of time, and all of that takes place before verse 12, of chapter 6, so we put all those verse in there. Then we go back to verse 1, of chapter 9, where the fifth trumpet angel sounds, and as we begin to read down through there we realize that this is what will be going on during the great tribulation, which is the last 3 ½ years of the week of Daniel, so that goes over in front of verse 12, chapter 6 also. Then comes the sixth trumpet angel, 9:13-21, and this concerns the gathering together of all those forces for the great battle of Armageddon, and verse 12, of chapter 6 is still not fulfilled, and will not be until the end of that 7 year period of time known as Daniel’s 70th week.
THE MAN-CHILD’S MOTHER
Saints, I hope this is helping you. It can, if you will let it. Out of the eleven verses of chapter 10, there is one verse that pertains to the Laodicean prophet messenger, but you must move that verse back to chapter 6 also, ahead of 8:1 and 10:1-6. In chapter 12, you see a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. Some people believe that is the church, the bride of Christ, but that is actually a panoramic view of the nation of Israel all the way from her law age into her Millennial glory. She is the one who brought forth the man child who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron. That man child was Jesus, the Christ, and He fulfilled verse 5, of chapter 12, more than 1900 years ago when He raised from the dead and was caught up unto God, (the eternal Spirit) and to His throne. But now we must pause between verse 5 and 6, and insert the whole grace age, and the first half of the week of Daniel, before verse 6 is fulfilled, for the woman (Israel) does not flee into the wilderness until then. In chapter 13, you see that old Roman beast rise up out of the sea, (from among the people) and come to power, and you see the image of that beast formed, and joined to the first beast in a combined persecution and slaughter of all who refuse to accept the mark of the beast in that hour. Those scriptures referring to a beast coming up out of the earth, having two horns like a lamb, refer to America with her political and ecclesiastical horns, (horn speaks of power) for it is this nation that has been most instrumental in forming the image to that first beast. The image is the ecumenical council of churches which will eventually sell out to Roman Catholicism whose head is destined to be the Antichrist. For years, religious scholars have made all sorts of predictions about who the Antichrist is, or will be, but most of them made their predictions without any scriptural foundation. There is, however, a key to his identity in Daniel’s prophecy, if you will allow the Holy Ghost to quicken it to you.
EVENTS OF SEVENTIETH WEEK
Open your Bibles to the 9th chapter of Daniel, now, and let us consider these verses that actually hold the key to what is just ahead in this generation. As you look at our chart on pages 4 and 5, you will notice that we have chapter 8, verse 1, and chapter 10:1-6, listed in conjunction with the rapture of the bride. That closes the grace age, and all the rest of the book of Revelation over to chapter 19, is given to God’s dealing with the nation of Israel, and the nations that affected Israel. Therefore as you look at the chart, you will notice that the next thing we show is the peace covenant between the Antichrist and Israel, and also many other nations, but our main focus is on Israel. Now saints, please do not get technical about whether the covenant will be made before or after the rapture of the bride. We would not want to be dogmatic about that, for the important thing for you to know is that it all takes place within a short interval of time right at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week. Actually that peace covenant is what will start the clock on the week of time. That will be a signal to the two witnesses of chapter 11, to start their prophecy. By that time Israel will have her temple spot back, and she will offer sacrifice on the altar as she did in days of old. How do we know that? One thing that lets us know that she will be offering sacrifice and evening oblation, is Daniel 9:27, the very scripture that I ask you to turn to. We will not go into all of what leads up to verse 27, at this time. According to Daniel’s vision, God had determined 70 weeks of years in which He would deal with the nation of Israel as a result of their former transgressions. In those 70 weeks God would rebuke, chasten, and then completely restore that nation and present them in their restored state to reign with Christ for a thousand years in what is commonly referred to as the Millennium age. The seventy weeks began with the Nehemiah decree, to restore and to build Jerusalem, (we have other messages in print that deal thoroughly with the decree and the year it became effective) and 69 of those weeks fulfilled in conjunction with the crucifixion of Christ, leaving one full week to be fulfilled when God turns His attention back to Israel at the end of this age of grace for Gentiles. Let us pick up verse 25 now, and pay attention to the wording of these three verses. “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince (Jesus Christ) shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks: (that makes a total of 69 weeks) the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. (That was all done in preparation for the first advent of Jesus Christ) And after three score and two weeks (seven weeks had already elapsed, and this second division of sixty two, makes a total of 69 weeks of time) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: (No, it was for the sins of all mankind, from Adam on down) and the PEOPLE of the PRINCE that SHALL COME shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, (a flood of persecution) and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” The prince that shall come is the Antichrist, and it was the people of that prince that destroyed the city, and the sanctuary in 70 A.D. We all know it was Romans that destroyed the city under the leadership of Titus, and we have read the history of how those poor souls were tortured, slaughtered, and abused, in ways that makes us sick at our stomach to even think about it. Let us read verse 27 now, for it is the one that actually reveals that the prince that shall come, is the Antichrist. “And he (that little prince of verse 26, the prince of the people who destroyed Jerusalem) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: (That will be the ONE remaining week of the SEVENTY weeks.) And in the midst of the week (literally, the middle) 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.” Verse 27, covers a span of exactly 7 years in its complete fulfillment. The covenant starts the clock, the breaking of the covenant, the killing of the two prophets Rev. 11:7, the 4th trumpet, Rev. 8:12-13, and the 5th trumpet, which turns hell loose upon earth and starts the 3 ½ years of great tribulation, and the sudden and extreme persecution of the Jews that causes the spiritual ones to flee into the wilderness to hide, Rev. 12:12-13, all marks the middle of the week, and the Antichrist, that little prince of Daniel 9:26-27, is allowed to rule for 3 ½ years, bringing that week to its consummation. But now let us back up a little a look at the next thing you will see on our chart. You see the trumpets sounding bringing plagues to the Middle East. That is the plagues the two prophets are calling for as they prophesy to Israel during the first half of that week. As a result of their prophecy, one hundred and forty four thousand Jewish men receive the revelation of Jesus Christ and are sealed with the Holy Ghost. Along with that 144,000 men, there are other Jews who have the same experience. They make up the woman element, that flees into the wilderness to hide. They are the ones that will live in the millennium, and repopulate the Jewish race. The 4th trumpet marks the middle of the week, and announces 3 woes. The 5th trumpet opens the bottomless pit and turns hell loose upon earth. Then the 6th trumpet (Rev. 9:13) looses 4 angels which were bound in the great river Euphrates. This is the four angels of chapter 7:1-4. Let us read that. After John describes the events of the 6th seal which actually marks the end of the week, he then comes back to the beginning of the week with his next thought, and that concerns these 4 angels. “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and they were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” What we have here is the angel of time, that has watched over the gospel as it made its way around the world. Now he has returned to Israel as that week of time begins, and he is ready to work in conjunction with the ministry of those two witnesses that will prophesy to Israel for a full 3 ½ years before they are killed, in the middle of that week. The four angels that are standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, are not spread out to the far regions of a square earth. They are standing right there in the Middle East, which is the center of the earth. All directions begin there, and the four winds they are holding are not natural winds; they are political winds, and when those political winds are loosed, they will usher in Armageddon. Therefore this angel of time is saying to them, Just hold everything steady until we have ministered the gospel to Israel, and sealed with the Holy Ghost all those who are predestined. On down through verse 8, you find that twelve thousand men from each of the twelve tribes are sealed. Then John’s attention goes to the great multitude of tribulation saints, those who are to be martyred by the beast in the last half of that week, after the covenant is broken and the great tribulation is on. Then his attention comes right back to a time just prior to the rapture of the bride, where he records, in verse 1, chapter 8, the opening of the seventh seal, and in verse 2-11, he is describing the plagues that the two prophets will be calling down upon Israel during the days of their prophecy. Then verses 12 and 13, mark the middle of the week, right where we were awhile ago. You already know what verse 1-12, chapter 9 are, hell being turned loose on earth. This is all taking place in the middle of the week of Daniel. Then in verse 13, when that sixth trumpet angel sounds, those 4 angels who have been holding back the political winds that will blow up Armageddon conditions are turned loose, and they begin to set the stage for the last great battle to be fought. That takes you right over to chapter 16, where the vials of wrath are being poured out upon earth. You will notice in verse 12, that when the 6th vial is poured out, it dries up the Euphrates, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. That will be all of those Oriental communists that will come pouring into Israel to take their spoil. Verse 16, says, “And He (God) gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” The very next verse takes you into the 7th vial condition, and that is the wrath of God being poured out upon wicked men of the earth as Jesus Christ and His bride descend back to earth to climax the great tribulation, Armageddon, and judge the Antichrist and all his forces. The thunders and lightnings, and the great earthquake of verse 18, are the same as what you read in chapter 6, verse 12-17, and chapter 11, verse 19. Each of these three scriptures are dealing with the exact same thing, the coming of the Lord in wrath, to judge the nations and set up the millennium.
144,000 JEWISH PREACHERS
We are going to continue this message in our next issue, but before we close this part, let us look at chapter 14, for just a few minutes. John’s attention is drawn to a scene that is taking place during the last half of that week of Daniel while the tribulation is in full swing. Beginning with verse 1, notice what he saw. “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with Him a hundred and forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.” This is that same 144,000 servants that we saw in chapter 7. They now have the Father’s name written in their foreheads just like we do, a revelation of Jesus Christ who came in His Father’s name. In verse 1, John sees them standing on mount Zion with the Lamb (Jesus Christ.) Then in verse 4, we see that they follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Brothers and sisters, this is symbolic terminology. Do not picture a literal lamb walking around with 144,000 men trailing along behind him. This speaks of the fact that these men have a revelation of what that Lamb of God did for them, and they are filled with the Holy Ghost (which is the Spirit of Jesus Christ the Lamb) and they are completely subject to the leading of that Spirit that is now within them. Spiritually they have never been defiled with religious dogma of man; therefore they are clean and without fault before God. They have no Antichrist doctrine in the back of their minds that they must get rid of, like most of us have had. God can lead people who allow themselves to be completely subject to His Spirit. Now I want you to notice verse 6. Many people never make the connection between verse 6 and the 144,000 servants of God. They think a mighty angel will fly through the heavens preaching the gospel to people, giving them one last chance to be saved. That is not the setting here at all. Angels work in conjunction with men; therefore it is this 144,000 servants of God who have just been sealed, as a result of the ministry of the two prophets, that actually fan out into all nations preaching the everlasting gospel. For 3 ½ years they have been learning from those two prophets; they know what is ahead; therefore when the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel and begins persecuting the Jews, that will be the signal for these preachers to spread out into the nations, warning their brethren who are still in dispersion, not to accept the mark, nor have anything to do with that beast system. Not only will their Jewish brethren hear them: others will also. That will strengthen the Gentile foolish virgins for the hour of their martyrdom. Notice in verse 7, what their message will be. It is not a message to draw lost sinners to salvation, but a warning, and an admonition to those who are destined to be martyred, Jews who believe in Jehovah and foolish Gentile virgins. “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and fountains and waters.” Then in verse 8, their message continues. Here they are pronouncing judgment upon apostate religion. They pronounce judgment upon the whore and all her daughters. This is where chapter 17 and 18 come into the picture. Notice what they are saying. “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of her fornication. (See 17:4 and 18:3 Catholicism is the woman.) If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” This will be sufficient warning to those spiritual minded Jews who never returned to Israel as well as the Gentile foolish virgins; therefore when they are faced with an ultimatum, they will choose martyrdom, rather than recant. Verse 12 says, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, (Jews) and the faith of Jesus (foolish virgins.) 13 and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” Those that take heed to the message of these servants of God, are seen over in chapter 7, as a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, standing before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands, worshiping God. Verse 14, of chapter 7, tells us that this great multitude are those which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Then chapter 20 verse 4, further clarifies that, if you care to read it. The second part of that verse says, “And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” This one verse proves beyond a shadow of doubt, that those martyred Jews and foolish virgins will be resurrected in the interval of time between the week of Daniel the millennium, for there had never been another time in the history of man, that anyone has been faced with a demand to worship the image to the beast, nor to take his mark, except during the last half of that week.
We have many more comments that will help clarify what we have just given a little profile on, in this issue; therefore we will continue with this same article in our next issue. In the meantime study the chart on pages 4 and 5, and get a picture in your mind of the chain of events that is pictured there. Many times a picture speaks louder than words.