IN PART 1 OF THIS MESSAGE WE TRIED TO GIVE A LITTLE PROFILE ON ALL THAT IS SHOWN ON THE CHARTS, ON PAGE 4 & 5, KNOWING THAT WE COULD NOT POSSIBLY GO INTO A LOT OF DETAILS AND STILL HAVE ROOM FOR THE CHARTS. BUT NOW AS WE HAVE BEEN ALLOWED BY THE GRACE OF GOD TO LIVE ANOTHER MONTH, WE WILL TRY TO FILL IN THE GAPS WITH MORE DETAILS. I MUST KEEP STRESSING OVER AND OVER AGIN, THAT THE BOOK OF REVELATION IS IN REALITY WRITTEN TO THE GENTILE BRIDE OF CHRIST, EVEN THOUGH MANY PEOPLE ACTUALLY SAY, WE DO NOT NEED TO UNDERSTAND IT. THERE ARE TWO MAIN THINGS THAT STAND OUT, ABOUT THIS BOOK. FIRST, IT IS DEALING WITH THE GENTILE BRIDE, TO GET HER READY FOR THE COMING OF THE LORD. THEN MOST OF THE REST OF THE BOOK IS GIVEN TO GOD’S DEALING WITH THE NATION OF ISRAEL, BUT THAT IS STILL FOR THE BRIDE, IN ORDER FOR HER TO KNOW WHERE SHE IS IN TIME, AND WHAT GOD IS ACTUALLY MOVING EVENTS TOWARD. PLEASE TAKE NOTICE OF THE FACT THAT IT IS A PART OF THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT THE JEWS DO NOT EVEN ACCEPT AS AUTHORITATIVE SCRIPTURE: THEREFORE IT IS NOT WRITTEN TO THEM, ONLY ABOUT THEM. KNOWING WHAT IS IN STORE FOR THAT NATION HELPS US UNDERSTAND THE TURMOIL AND UNREST THAT IS PRESENT IN THE MIDDLE EAST NATIONS AROUND ISRAEL. FOR IF IT WERE NOT FOR ISRAEL: THERE WOULD BE VERY LITTLE FOR THOSE AREAS TO DISAGREE ABOUT. THERE IS PLENTY OF OIL FOR ALL OF THEIR REQUIREMENTS, BUT BECAUSE OF ISRAEL, AND WHAT THEY WANT TO DO WITH HER, THEY USE THEIR OIL FOR LEVERAGE AGAINST ANY NATION THAT MIGHT OTHERWISE BE A FRIEND TO HER, AND THIS CONSTANT TURMOIL AND STRIFE WILL NEVER CEASE UNTIL IT HAS FULFILLED EZEKIEL 38 & 39, AND USHERED IN THE GREAT PEACE COVENANT BETWEEN THE ANTICHRIST, ISRAEL, AND MANY OTHER NATIONS.
NOW A WORD OF EXPLANATION ABOUT THE PROPORTIONS OF OUR MAIN CHART IS IN ORDER, FOR WE HAVE TWO THOUSAND YEARS OF TIME IN THE FIRST ONE FOURTH OF IT, AND WE USE THE OTHER THREE FOURTHS FOR A SEVEN YEAR PERIOD OF TIME. NATURALLY THE REASON FOR THIS IS BECAUSE THERE IS MUCH TO ILLUSTRATE IN THAT LAST WEEK OF YEARS, IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO GET IT ALL IN LESS SPACE, AND STILL HAVE IT LARGE ENOUGH FOR YOU TO READ THE PRINTED PORTIONS. IT IS THE SAME WITH THE LITTLE PROPHETIC YARDSTICK ON THE BOTTOM OF PAGE 5; WE JUST SHOW A LITTLE BREAK IN IT FOR THE WHOLE GRACE AGE, AND THAT IS MAINLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF SHOWING WHERE THE AGE OF GRACE FITS INTO THE 70 WEEKS OF DANIEL. IN OTHER WORDS THESE CHARTS ARE JUST FOR THE PURPOSE OF HELPING YOU GET CERTAIN EVENTS IN THEIR PROPER ORDER, AND EVEN THAT IS DIFFICULT WHEN YOU GET OVER TO THE 70TH WEEK, BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH HAPPENING AT THE SAME TIM IN ACTUAL FULFILLMENT, BUT WE DO TRUST THAT THEY WILL BE OF SOME BENEFIT TO YOUR UNDERSTANDING.
- 1 PUTTING THE PICTURE TOGETHER
- 2 ONLY ONE RIGHT WAY
- 3 THE MIGHTY ANGEL
- 4 FOUR ANGELS HOLDING FOUR WINDS
- 6 ANGELS WORK THROUGH MEN
- 7 THOSE TRUMPET ANGELS AT WORK
- 8 SIGN OF THE ANTICHRIST
- 9 THREE WOES ANNOUNCED
- 10 TWO PROPHETS KILLED
- 11 THE THIRD WOE
- 12 TWO WINGS OF AN EAGLE
- 13 SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN
- 14 WHAT PROVOKES THE ANTICHRIST?
- 15 WHAT THE POPE SAID
- 16 WOUNDED HEAD
- 17 WHAT ABOUT THE BEAST?
- 18 IDENTIFYING THE NUMBER
- 19 CASHLESS SOCIETY
- 20 WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE
- 21 WHAT FOOLISH VIRGINS RECEIVE
- 22 BECAUSE SATAN’S TIME IS SHORT
- 23 WHAT ARE YOU BUILDING UPON?
- 24 SINGING FROM THE HEART
- 25 THE DOOM OF BABYLON
- 26 SEVEN HEADS TEN HORNS
- 27 SEA OF GLASS
- 28 THE EARTH WAS REAPED
- 29 THE SEVENTH TRUMPET
- 30 SEVEN VIALS OF WRATH
- 31 SEAT OF AUTHORITY
- 32 SATAN IS BOUND
- 33 THE ETERNAL AGE
PUTTING THE PICTURE TOGETHER
Let us open our Bible to chapter 1, verse 19, and read the one verse that we are using for a text, as we deal with the whole book of Revelation. These words were spoken to John there on the isle of Patmos when Jesus appeared to him while he was worshiping in the spirit. “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” This voice came to John as the sound of a trumpet saying, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and; What thou seest, write in a book, and sent it unto the seven churches which are in Asia.” That one verse alone lets us see that the book of Revelation was written to the grace age Christians, and not to the Jews, for He goes on to name the seven churches of Asia, that actually set a type for the whole age of grace which would be completed in seven periods, or allotments of time over a period of some two thousand years. Rightly divided and spiritually understood, it is a beautiful letter to the grace age church, which is in reality the body of Christ. It starts out with recognition, rebuke and instruction, for the church in her earthly journey. I say it like that, because very little of it was even understood by the church in other ages. They had it all through the Dark Ages, and right on through the years of the Reformation, right into the age of Laodicea, before God ever sent a prophet messenger that He could speak through, to reveal what was recorded we will say, sort of like a jigsaw puzzle. I am sure you understand what I mean by that; you have seen these puzzles. You buy one of them and take it home, and when you open it up and pour out the pieces onto the table: you have nothing more than a lot of little zig zag pieces of cardboard, but when you once get them all put together in their proper order, you have a beautiful picture. That is exactly what this book of Revelation is like. It is recorded by chapters and verses, but the revelation of its fulfillment reveals to us that its fulfillment does not run in exact chronological order with its chapter and verse divisions. Therefore the Holy Ghost does for us, concerning our understanding of its contents, what the picture on the box top of the jigsaw puzzle does. He helps us compare the pieces until they fit into the picture to make it complete. Many times people have glued those puzzle pieces down on a piece of cardboard; that keeps the completed picture from ever becoming distorted. When you get a spiritual understanding of the scriptures; it has that same effect; nothing the devil ever does, can distort your revelation. That is why it is so essential for the body of Christ to become grounded in what they believe; the hour is fast approaching when what you believe is certainly going to be put to the test. Many of you are already being put to the test by the forceful teaching and threats of certain characters who claim to be followers of Bro. Branham’s message. Now it is not my business to try to stop them; I am only concerned with teaching truth from the word of GOD; and I leave the rest to the Spirit of God. God’s Spirit will only bear witness to truth, and only then to those who love truth. On the other hand, Paul said that God Himself would send strong delusion upon them that have no love for the truth. Bro. Jackson, are you saying that anyone who does not believe like you, is in false doctrine? Some would ask that question; trying to trap me.
ONLY ONE RIGHT WAY
Brothers and sisters, let me have your attention. Listen carefully to what I say. I am not trying to make myself anything, but if I believe that God has called me to stand for something in the present hour, I have to believe that what I teach is by the revelation of the Holy Ghost. Furthermore I am not so foolish that I could believe God gives a dozen different versions of the same truth. I could never believe that there is no difference between black and white, and that three and one half is the same as seven, and that the bride of Jesus Christ could be with Him at the marriage supper, and still be on earth fleeing from the Antichrist both at the same time. Some people would have you on such a merry go round; if you would follow them. Don’t try to figure it out, they will tell you. Bro. Branham was God’s prophet, you must accept what he said, lest you be found to fight against God. Have you ever heard that? I know some of you have. For an example, I remember a time when Bro. Branham made the statement that the woman in Revelation 12 is the bride of Jesus Christ, crowned with the gospel of the twelve apostles, but I also remember another time, when he said that it was Israel, fleeing for her life. Do you see what I mean? One of those statements will line up perfectly with the word of God, but can you line up both of them? You would have to be spiritually blind to even try. Others try to get around some of those dual statements another way. They will say, Up until 1963, Bro. Branham was a church age messenger, but in 1963 he was anointed to enter into his prophetic office and fulfill Malachi 4:5-6. That is very strange also. They should have been with me in Owensboro, Kentucky, and Evansville, Indiana, in the years of 1952 and 1953, as he stood there discerning people’s diseases, and their very thoughts, and would look at them and say, Do you believe me to be God’s prophet? He definitely WAS God’s prophet then. God does not have a program where a man works his way up to a prophetic office. That kind of a thing will work in man’s programs, but God does not work like that. Now I will answer the question that some would ask, but you will still need the Holy Ghost to show you. If what I preach and teach is right, then just plain common sense is all you need to know that anything different would be false doctrine. Like I said; there is one right way, and all the others are wrong, but you still need the Holy Ghost to reveal truth to you, after you hear it taught, lest you be found just following flesh. Saints: I want you to know, I really appreciate brothers and sisters that stand for truth simply because they know it is the truth, not just because they like the person they first heard it from.
THE MIGHTY ANGEL
Now I believe we gave a sufficient coverage to the first 6 chapters, in part 1 of our message, and we showed how verse 1, of chapter 8, and verse 1-6, of chapter 10 go together, in connection with the opening of the seventh seal, before the sixth seal fulfillment takes place, and how 10:7, applies to the church age messenger. Therefore realizing that those scriptures close out God’s dealing with the Gentiles until you get over to chapter 19, where you see Christ and his wife coming back to earth after the great tribulation has run its course, I would like to concentrate more fully upon these scriptures that pertain to that week of Daniel as we continue. Naturally that week of time for the Jews cannot start until Jesus is off the mercy seat, and has that little scroll of redemption open in His hand, (10:2) revealing that the 7th seal has been opened. When I mention this, I always feel the necessity to stress the fact that this mighty angel of 10:1, is Christ in angelic form, for He cannot literally come back to earth until after the week of Daniel, when He comes back in wrath, taking vengeance upon all the ungodly that are still alive at that time. Nevertheless symbolically, chapter 10:1, reveals that it is Jesus Christ, because He is clothed with a cloud, has a rainbow upon His head, and His face is as the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire. (See 1:16 and Matt. 17:2, and also 4:3) These verses identify the mighty angel. Then verse 2, with the little book, or scroll open, reveals that 8:1, has been fulfilled; the 7th seal has been broken. His intercessory work is finished, and His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot on the earth, shows His universal dominion. Then verse 3, where He cries with a loud voice, as when a lion roars, serves to further identify Him and declare His authority, and after this, John heard the seven thunders utter THEIR VOICES, and after that the mighty angel lifted up His hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer, meaning no more delay, intercessory work is finished; the fullness of the Gentiles has been reached. In other words, that last predestined Gentile soul has accepted the gospel; therefore the high priest office work is finished. The Spirit of God can now return to the Jews to fulfill that last week of Daniel. Now right here is where I go back to something Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church, (2nd Thess. 2:1-3) concerning the gathering together unto Christ, meaning, the rapture of the bride. “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, (That is the rapture) that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin (the Antichrist) be revealed, the son of perdition.” It goes on to describe what he will do, but that pertains to the last half of the week. Nevertheless I am led to believe that this man of sin will have been revealed and recognized by the bride of Christ, before she takes her flight to glory. Therefore let us consider some things that coincide as chapter 10:1-6, is fulfilled. Those seven thunders of verse 4, are for the bride of Christ. Thunders speak of the voice of God. Certainly we must all realize that by now. That means God is going to say some things to the bride of Christ through some prophetic utterances, for her final preparation, before she is told to, “Come up hither.” I say that it will be seven men who will prophesy to the bride, and they will do that, after Christ is off the mercy seat. What about the Jews then? There is no reason why the Antichrist should not have made his covenant by them, nor why the two Jewish prophets could not by then, be getting some attention in Israel. There was an overlapping of time as the gospel moved from the Jews to the Gentiles, therefore there is no reason to believe that everything in chapter 10, will have to be completely finished before the Spirit of God begins to stir some hearts in Israel. For the sake of making a division between the two, I sometimes say, When chapter 10 is completely fulfilled the spirit of God will be back in Israel, or something to that affect, but that does not rule out the fact that the Gentiles can be receiving the thunders, during the same time that those two prophets are being introduced to Israel.
FOUR ANGELS HOLDING FOUR WINDS
With chapter and verse divisions it seems a little strange to go back to chapter 7, to pick up where chapter 10 leaves off, but we must do it that way to get their fulfillment in proper order. Just try to place yourself in John’s position for a few moments of time in order to get the picture. John is watching, and listening while the seven seals are being opened, and the sixth seal pertains to events that will take place at the close of the week of Daniel, but before those things take place, there must be two prophets prophesy to Israel, and 144,000 servants of God sealed with the Holy Ghost. He goes on to speak of some of the things that will be taking place as a result of their ministry, and then his attention comes back to the opening of the seventh seal, and even though it is seal number 7, in order of its revelation, it contains God’s final dealings with the grace age bride; therefore we understand that the fulfillment of that seal must go ahead of the week of Daniel. I hope that is clear enough for you to follow the chain of thought as we look at Chapter 7, now. Remember now, John is writing what he is seeing and hearing, so as we come to chapter 7, he says, “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.” I have said many times, The natural mind always has a tendency to think of the four corners of the earth as though one angel would be standing at the North Pole, another at the South pole, one in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and the other in the middle of the Atlantic, but this picture is not like that at all. The four corners of the earth, is where the heart of the earth is, right there in the Middle East. There is where John saw these four angels standing, and the winds they were holding, were political and economic winds, not the winds that blow up hurricanes and tornadoes. These winds will affect man’s social, moral, political, and economic life. This is the kind of winds that cause upheavals in society, and bring about wars. All down through time these winds have been allowed to blow to some degree. That is what we are seeing in Iran and Iraq right now, but their blowing is being held back by those four angels, or we would have Armageddon conditions before it is time. That is why this other angel which we see in verse 2, is heard speaking as he does; there are yet some things to be fulfilled in the plan of God, before Armageddon is turned loose. Notice now, “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 a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” These four angels have controlled these winds through centuries of time. I believe they have stood there right through the rise and fall of all the great empires such as the Babylonian, the Persian, and the Grecian, but as time moved on westward, the earth became populated, and man’s progress moved westward, there came a time when very little was heard about the Middle East. However we are living in an hour when time and attention has been completely around the world. There is hardly a day goes by now, that we do not hear news of what is happening there in that area of the world where man had his beginning. The whole world is interested in what is happening in the Middle East, and especially Israel. John sees these four angels holding back the winds that would rip the earth to pieces if and when they were turned loose. They will be turned loose, but not until after the middle of Daniel’s week. The sixth trumpet angel, seen in chapter 9, is commanded to loose the four angels that are bound in the great river Euphrates. That takes you right over to chapter 16, where the angel pours out the 6th vial of God’s wrath upon earth, and when you get all of this collected together in your mind, you will see Armageddon being prepared. Just read verses 12-16, of chapter 16, after you read verses 13-21, of chapter 9, and you will have a little picture of what will take place when those four angels are finally given authority to turn those winds loose. Do no be confused by the term, bound in the river Euphrates. That does not mean that they are chained up with log chains. Sovereign authority binds and looses. That is demonstrated by Jesus and the apostles in the four gospels and the book of Acts, as they dealt with demon possessed people. That is the picture here; they are bound with a command, to hold back Armageddon until a certain hour, and when that hour arrives in time, they are loosed by a command, and when they are loosed, they are commanded to hurt the earth, or we will say it like this, as they kill the third part of wicked mankind, by the means in which you see described, do not ever think this old earth will not be ripped to pieces. It will be.
ANGELS WORK THROUGH MEN
As we come back to 7:2, now, let us see this angel that John saw ascending from the east, as the angel of time that has watched over the gospel while it made its way around the world. John is seeing him as he returns to Israel from the Orient. That is why we are seeing such a stirring in India, and the Philippines right now; that angel of time is back that close to the nation of Israel now, after having made his way westward from Israel, and traveled around the world. John sees him coming back to Israel as that week of Daniel starts, ready to work through those two Jewish prophets, to seal a great number of the children of Israel with the Holy Ghost which is the seal of the living God. While the 144,000 Jewish men are hearing the prophets, there will also be another element of Jewish people hearing and believing their prophecy. These are they which will flee into the wilderness to hide from the Antichrist, in the middle of the week, when that 144,000 servants of God fan out into the nations, preaching the everlasting gospel. Remember now, brothers and sisters, regardless of what you read, angels do not preach the gospel. When you read about angels having the gospel to preach, that simply means that those angels work in connection with earthly men that actually do the preaching. This angel of time that has carried the gospel around the earth, did not do the preaching. He worked with God anointed preachers just like he will do with those two prophets in Israel. Notice how he used the term WE, in 7:3, don’t hurt anything until WE have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. Israel has been in dispersion for almost 2000 years, but now God is calling them back home, getting them ready to receive their prophets, and be sealed with the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost first fell in Jerusalem two thousand years ago. Then a little later, it fell upon Gentiles, in the house of Cornelius, and after that it began to move into Asia, and it has been among the Gentiles ever since. God has been sealing away, a Gentile bride, getting her ready for her journey to the marriage supper which is just up ahead a little now. Multiplied thousands are claiming to have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in the past few years, and they are all talking about the marriage supper, or the rapture, or something that points to the end of the Gentile age, but brothers and sisters, I am afraid that many of them have been deceived by the devil; they have accepted a counterfeit experience, and whatever benefit they get out of it in this life, is all the benefit they will ever get. In Ephesians 4:30, when the apostle Paul said, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption,” he was speaking to people who had received the genuine experience. That is the reason he used the term church so freely; in his day Satan had not yet filled the assemblies with tares; (make believers) therefore when he said something about the church, he was referring to true Holy Ghost filled believers. In our day the word church is applied to anything that desires to be called that. It means very little. Nevertheless God does have some people scattered around this old globe, that He refers to as His church, and they are the ones that will be taking a heavenly flight one day soon. Everything else that has been called, the church, will either be bundled up, and burned, or be martyred by the beast, during the great tribulation. Saints: I praise God for the genuine hope that we have before us, the hope that has been revealed to us from His blessed written word. Praise His name!
THOSE TRUMPET ANGELS AT WORK
Alright now, we see that verse 1-8, of chapter 7, deal with the sealing of the 144,000 Jewish men, but the rest of that chapter deals with a great multitude that had washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, during the great tribulation. In other words, verse 1-8 apply to the first 3 ½ years of the week of Daniel, and verses 9-17 belong to a setting after the full week of 7 years has run its course. You have to go all the way over to chapter 20, verses 4 and 5, to get this great multitude placed. There you will find that they are resurrected to reign in the millennium with Christ and His bride. Then when you move over into chapter 8, and give verse 1, to the Gentile bride, the rest of that chapter belongs to Israel. Beginning with verse 2, you find seven trumpet angels ready to sound their trumpets. Brothers and sisters, I realize we have already covered most of this to some degree, but I feel that there are a few more points that will cause these scriptures to stand out in a meaningful way to you who are interested. Therefore picture in your mind two Jewish prophets coming on the scene in Israel. That will be the two witnesses of chapter 11, verses 3-12. Now you picture those two prophets working in conjunction with the angel of time in chapter 7, verses 2-8, in the first half of the week of Daniel, while that 144,000 Jewish men are sealed with the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Naturally the political Jews will oppose them, and speak against them. That brings us to the trumpet angels of chapter 8. These angels will work in harmony with those two prophets. As those trumpets begin to sound, that is actually the judgment ministry of those two prophets. In chapter 11, verse 3, we read, “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy (NOT PREACH) a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. (Notice now) And if any man will hurt them, (these two prophets) fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, (during their 3 ½ years of ministering) he must in this manner be killed.” Before I read verse 6, let me say this. Do not picture them walking around with a flame of fire shooting forth from their mouth. It just simply means that they have the authority to call fire down upon their enemies as often as necessary until their allotted time is expired, then, of course we know that God will allow them to be killed by the Antichrist forces of that hour. Let us read verse 6, now, to see what they have power to do. “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy; (that is that spirit of Elijah on the scene again, 1st Kings 17:1) and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, AS OFTEN AS THEY WILL.” Here we see what they have power to do throughout the whole 3 ½ years of their ministry; therefore when you read what takes place as a result of those first three trumpet angels sounding, there in chapter 8, it lets you know that these angels are administering the judgments and plagues upon those political Jews, that the two prophets are calling for. Let us go back to verse 7, of chapter 8, and pick up that first trumpet. “The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees (in Israel) was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood: (Here you see that spirit of Moses turning water to blood like it did back in Egypt, before Pharaoh) and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” Just to read those few short verses, one might think that all of these things would take place in just a few days and be over with, but not so; these judgment conditions there in Israel will last throughout the whole 3 ½ years while the two prophets are prophesying, for they are the one’s that will be calling for these judgment plagues. Remember how old Elijah went up on the hillside, and sat down one day, and when King Ahaziah sent a captain with 50 men to get him, and instead of going down with them, to the king: Elijah just merely said, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy 50 men, and fire came down and consumed them? As a matter of fact, he repeated that same thing with a second captain and his fifty men. You say, Why would God allow his prophets to do such things? In this case Ahaziah had sent messengers to inquire of Baalzebub, one of the pagan gods, instead of inquiring of the God of Israel. There comes a time for God to take vengeance on those that oppose Him, as will be the case in Israel when those political Jews openly defy God’s two prophets. Verse 5, of this 8th chapter, identifies these trumpet judgments as manifestations originating from the very throne of God, for as you go back to chapter 4, where John was lifted up to view heavenly scenes, he writes, that out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices. In other words, these two prophets call for these various conditions, and God delivers exactly what they call for, just like He did for Elijah and Moses of old. The political Jews that care little about what God wants, will be receiving these plagues, while the spiritual Jews will be receiving the Holy Ghost. For 3 ½ years, God will be speaking to Israel through the mouths of His two prophets, but when the middle of that week arrives, those prophets will be killed; and that is when the earthquake shakes things up real good.
SIGN OF THE ANTICHRIST
We are going to read verses 12 and 13, of chapter 8, which mark the middle of the week. When this fourth trumpet angel sounds, it announces three woes upon the inhabitors of the earth. Naturally the woes have to be written one at a time, but we should keep in mind that it is all happening at the same time. Let us read these two verses; then we will get the three woes lined out. Verse 12, “And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.” Let me say right here, This fourth trumpet is not ministered by the two prophets; God Himself ministers it, and even though the manifestations are similar, this is not to be confused with the day of the Lord. We have to keep this in the middle of the week. This is a sign of the Antichrist, not the sign of the Son of man. In this case, these signs only last for a few hours, and because it is only manifested for a third part of the day it lets me know, it is so timed that it only happens in the Middle East. Probably such an event will not even be noticed here in America. God uses these manifestations to express His displeasure with certain things. You will remember, that when Jesus was crucified the heavens were darkened. That is what caused the Roman centurion to look up and say, “Truly this was the Son of God.” Israel crucified here Messiah, and God looked upon the scene in this manner; He darkened the heavens. Jesus had already said, I come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not, but if another come in his own name, him ye will receive; (speaking of the Antichrist) therefore since Israel has accepted and signed a peace covenant with the Antichrist, God expresses His displeasure through this fourth trumpet. This celestial blackout marks the middle of the week, and is a sign that Israel is entering the darkest hour of her whole history. His two prophets have prophesied for 3 ½ years, and their prophecy has been rejected by great multitudes of worldly Jews; therefore God is turning the Antichrist loose. He will break his covenant with Israel and plunge that nation into a time of tribulation, that according to the words of Jesus, will be worse than anything that they have ever experienced before, and from what history declares about the days when Titus besieged Jerusalem, we might wonder how anything could be any worse than that was, but we do believe what Jesus said.
THREE WOES ANNOUNCED
After the celestial interruptions John says, (verse 13) “And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitors of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” We printed an article on the three woes, but it will keep our chain of thought together if we just go ahead and put them in this message right where they fall as we deal with what John saw and heard. Watch now, this fourth trumpet truly marks a drastic change in world conditions. For 3 ½ years the world has been living under the terms of a peace agreement headed by the Antichrist, and we all know who that will be. At least we know where he will come from, (the pope of Rome) even if it is not John Paul II. But when God’s two prophets have finished their 3 ½ year prophetic ministry to the Jews, God Himself causes this celestial disturbance, and from then on to the end of the week, the Antichrist will be fulfilling what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. That is, that the man of sin would be revealed, and that he would oppose, and exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. All of this begins with the sounding of the fourth trumpet in the middle of that week. Notice in 9:1-12, what constitutes the first woe. We will not read it all, but enough to get a picture of the drastic change. “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.” Brothers and sisters, when that pit is opened, all those fallen angels that have been kept shut up, or as Jude described it, reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day, will be turned loose upon earth to torment humanity. In other words, all hell is turned loose upon the earth for the next 3 ½ years. Every demon is turned loose to torment and harass mankind. If you think it is bad now, you surely do not want to be here then. That will be a time when those who are tormented will desire to die, and death will flee from them. John saw the black smoke of all these locusts coming up from the pit of hell, to darken the world of humanity. Just think, we live in the most enlightened age that has ever been. Education is at a peak, yet all the education and all the degrees that this world has to offer, will not give peace of mind to those who are still alive in that hour. They would trade all of that just to be able to die, and death will not come to them. What a pitiful sight! What a terrible time to be alive! Our hearts should be rejoicing and praising God, for delivering us from such an hour as that. That is what constitutes the first woe. It starts in the middle of the week, and climaxes with the literal coming of the Lord, at the end of the week. Like I have said many times, when the middle of the week arrives, these scriptures just stack right on top of each other.
TWO PROPHETS KILLED
The rest of chapter 9 deals with the loosing of the four angels that have been holding back the four winds, the winds of world conflict. This also takes place in the middle of that week, and those angels set about stirring up conditions for Armageddon. All of these adverse conditions are held back until the middle of the week when God’s two witnesses have finished their prophecy. But when the Antichrist breaks his covenant, all hell is turned loose upon earth, and every greedy person that is still alive, is turned loose to do whatever his evil mind can think of, brother, this is one place I would not want to be left. God’s prophets will be killed in connection with the breaking of that covenant, and their deaths are recorded as the second woe. That is found in chapter 11, where we will turn to, and read a few verses, starting with verse 7. “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” When the Antichrist has them killed, all those who have resisted their ministry will be so overjoyed, that they will not want them buried. They just leave them right there in the street where they can look at them and rejoice, because they finally have them out of the way. They will not longer have to worry about frogs in their beds, their water being turned to blood, and all these other plagues that these fellows have been calling down upon them for 3 ½ years. They are so overjoyed they can send gifts to each other, but their wild party only lasts for 3 ½ days, and then thousands of them are abruptly killed by the hand of God. Let us read it. Verse 11, “And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. (Notice now) And the SAME HOUR was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand; and the remnant were affrightened, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” Think of it. Seven thousand men slain. We had a tornado rip through this part of the country a few years ago, that tore up whole towns and villages, but there was very little loss of lives. (I marvel at the exactness of God’s dealing with mankind.) Yet in this one earthquake, seven thousand lives will be lost, and the rest will, in their frightened condition, give glory to God of heaven. That simply means they will say, That had to be an act of God, the same words we heard so frequently after that tornado passed through with so little loss of life. It does not mean that such people ever actually worship God; they just merely give recognition to the fact that only God could ever be so explicit, so precise. Verse 14 declares that the second woe is past, and the third woe will come quickly. What is the third woe? The wrath of the Antichrist turned loose upon Israel, and that is when she (the woman element of that nation) will flee into the wilderness to hide out for 3 ½ years. Saints: If you are following this, it should straighten you out once and for all, whether there is yet one full week left to Israel, or just 3 ½ years, like many carnal preachers are claiming. Now Israel as a nation is the woman of chapter 12, that brought forth a man child destined to rule all nations with a rod of iron, which child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. We know the man child was Jesus Christ, but there is sometimes a little confusion about the woman fleeing into the wilderness to hide, (12:6) for we know that in that hour, the Antichrist will be killing Jews, and yet verse 4, of chapter 9, lets us know that the 144,000 servants of God which have the seal of God in their foreheads cannot be harmed. By that hour many Jews will have received the message of God’s two prophets, and will have been sealed with the seal of God, other than the 144,000 men of chapter 7. These are the ones that will flee from the wrath of the Antichrist.
THE THIRD WOE
You will not find any place that specifically mentions the third woe, but as you read chapter 12, you find that there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels lost the battle in heaven, and were pressed down to earth. Verse 9 says, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them day and night before our God. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. (Here is your other woe) Woe to the inhabitors of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. (That takes you right back to chapter 9, where hell is turned loose upon the earth.) And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (spiritual Israel) which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, (what she had learned from the two prophets) that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, (1 year) and times, (two more years) and half a time, (one half year) from the face of the serpent.” You can see by this that Israel’s blood bath is the third woe, even though it does not say, This is the third woe. Furthermore, Exodus 19:4 backs up the fact that it is the prophet’s message that has prepared them to flee, by telling them what to watch for, where to go, and when to go. The devil has his man incarnated to carry out his commands. Naturally his first efforts were to destroy the woman that brought forth the man child. He has tried it through various means down through time, and when the woman escapes into the wilderness, he sets about, through his beast man (the Antichrist) to kill every spiritual minded person that they can find. (That will be spiritual Jews scattered among the nations, and foolish virgins from the grace age.) In other words, the remnant of the woman’s seed will be whoever is found upon earth that believes in God, the Jews who keep God’s commandments, and foolish virgins who have the testimony of Jesus Christ. This pretty well covers chapters 1-12, except for those verses that deal with the literal coming of Jesus Christ in wrath, at the end of the week. In that category you have the 6th seal, 6:12-17, and the 7th trumpet 11:15-19, and of course, verses 9-17, of chapter 7, which shows the great multitude that was martyred when the Antichrist made war with the remnant of the woman’s seed. In dealing with these things, we are looking at them from the standpoint that they are yet up ahead, but at the same time, we realize that John wrote them as things that he had seen taking place already; therefore our terminology is sort of back and forth, but I trust that each of you who desire to do so, are able to follow our thought.
TWO WINGS OF AN EAGLE
Woe to the inhabitors of the earth, and the sea, for the devil has come down unto you, having great wrath for he knows that his time is short, (Three and one half years). The next verse brings our attention back to the fact that Satan, (the dragon) seeing he was cast into the earth, and realizing that his time is short, he sends out a decree through the Antichrist for the extermination of all Jews everywhere. But God has already prepared a place for those who were awakened spiritually by the ministry of the two prophets. God’s prophets are known in scripture as eagles. They have the ability to rise high and see afar off. This can be confirmed by a scripture over in Exodus 19:4 where God was reminding the children of Israel how he had delivered them from Egyptian bondage through a prophets message and leading. He reminds them of how he bore them on EAGLES WINGS to bring them to himself. (That prophet was Moses.)
Here in verse 14 we read, and the woman was given TWO WINGS OF A GREAT EAGLE that she might fly into the wilderness into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and a half time. (Notice the language here how it corresponds with Daniel 7:25, 12:7.) She flees into her place which God has prepared for her. There will be certain areas of the world as we know it today, that will never be touched by the beast system of that hour. God has those two prophets telling the Jewish people where these places are located, and how to get there when the time comes. This is why it can be said that she was given eagles wings, it was the message of those two prophets. Now we have another clue in verse 16 which helps us to see that the place where the woman flees to will no doubt be somewhere in the new world. It is said that when the serpent cast out a flood after the woman the EARTH helped the woman by opening up her mouth and swallowing up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. The political Jew that found favor with God. This woman seen fleeing into her place of hiding will be made up of spiritual minded Jews, some from each of the twelve tribes, who will be kept alive and moved right over into the millennium for the purpose of repopulating that race of people, just as God will preserve a seed from every other nation for the same purpose. This element of Jews referred to as the woman fleeing, is not to be confused with the 144,000 servants who were sealed by the ministry of the two prophets. They have a job to do.
SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN
We have read a number of verses where there were thunderings, and lightnings, and voices, and even earthquakes, but let me stress one more time, that all of these are minor, compared to that which will occur when Jesus is revealed from heaven taking vengeance upon them that know not God. Let us turn just back to Matthew 24:29, and read what Jesus said that day would be like. Remember when this scripture applies now; it will be after the Antichrist has ruled for 3 ½ years, the great tribulation has run its course, and the battle of Armageddon is raging, there in Israel, where world powers have come together for the last great war that man will ever fight. Jesus and His heavenly army intervene, and dead bodies of men and horses are piled high, and the fowls of the air are called to feast upon the flesh of kings, and captains, and horses and so forth. Let us read. Verse 29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: AND THEN shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: AND THEN shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Now for the benefit of any new Christian that may not be familiar with the order of events, let me say, that this coming in the clouds is not to be confused with 1st Thess. 4:17, where the resurrected saints from all ages will be caught up together with the living element of the bride, to meet the Lord in the clouds, or caught up together in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. This catching away is at the beginning of the week of Daniel, and His literal coming back to earth is at the end of the week. Now just for the sake of keeping the record straight, Do not be looking for the rapture before Ezekiel 38 & 39 is fulfilled. I personally believe all this turmoil in the Middle East right now, is leading up to the fulfillment of those scriptures, and we know that it will be a very short miracle war. It will not last very long, but every nation that is mentioned in chapter 38 will have to line up with Russia and fulfill their part. It is true that many of those areas are no longer called by their Bible names, but God still knows who they are. I have said it before, but I am going to say it again. I believe it will take this Ezekiel 38 & 39 conflict to usher in the Antichrist’s peace covenant. World War I brought about the League of Nations. World War 2, the United Nations, and Ezekiel 38 will bring the Antichrist on the scene with another covenant designed to keep the world at peace. Brothers and sisters, the others did not work, and neither will this one. The very mediator of this covenant, is the one who will blow it all to pieces. Does he have all of that in mind when the covenant is made? No. Neither did Judas plan to betray Christ in the early stages of his apostleship, but Satan, has his ways, and in the case of the Antichrist, we already know what provokes him to do what he will do in the middle of that week. Three and one half years of listening to those two prophets, who will not have one good thing to say about him, will be all that he can take. Satan will enter him, just like he did Judas when it came time for him to fulfill all that had been prophesied about him.
WHAT PROVOKES THE ANTICHRIST?
In part one of this message we covered the first part of chapter 14, where the everlasting gospel is being preached to the world, and we pointed out the fact that it will be that 144,000 servants of God that will be doing the preaching. They will be pronouncing judgment upon apostate religion, warning people about the beast and his mark, and also about the image to that beast. Tell me now, Where do you suppose they learned all of that? From those two prophets, of course. Don’t think their ministry there in Israel will not be in the national news, every day. It will be. You let two Jews step out, and begin to prophesy to that nation, and the eyes of the world will be upon them, especially when they begin calling for those plagues, and shutting up the heavens that there be no rain, and so on. They will be warning that nation about what is in store for them, and be rebuking her for signing that peace agreement, and at the same time be revealing their great covenant maker to be the Antichrist. Three and one half years of hearing that on the news every day, is all the old pope will be able to stand. In his anger, Satan will enter him, and his first order will no doubt be, Kill those two fanatics that are causing all the trouble in Israel. That is when he will take over the temple, forbid the Jews to use it any longer, and seat himself in it as the very God of heaven. No doubt he will be mad a long time before that, but the word of God tells us that nothing can harm His two witnesses until they have finished their testimony; therefore the old pope is restrained by the hand of God, until the middle of that covenant week arrives. In 3 ½ years time, political Israel will be judged for signing that covenant with the Antichrist, and spiritual Israel will be sealed with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the seal of the living God. The pope will not like it, but he will just have to sit there in Rome with hands off of them, until their allotted time has run its course.
WHAT THE POPE SAID
Just to give you a little preview of what is ahead: someone was just telling me about hearing the pope make a speech. Some of you may have heard it also. In it, he stated that Israel is to blame for all the problems in the Middle East. He said, A big mistake was made when the U.N. petitioned that land to Israel, for it caused thousands of Palestinians to be kicked out of their homes, and now they have no place to go. They are refugees, been refugees ever since. He went on to say, It is not right that they should be denied access to their homeland, leaving the picture before the world, as though Israel had intruded into something that did not belong to her. In voicing his opinion he stated that he believed Jerusalem should be made an international city, and put under international control. There is only one world leader that talks like that, the pope of Rome, the apostate head of Christendom, the Antichrist. It is because of what he will do, that we have the first two verses of chapter 11. Notice that John wrote, “And there was given to me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles; and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” Saints, do you see how beautifully these scriptures fit together, and what a picture they present, once you get them put together according to their order of fulfillment? Just looking at chapter 11, we see that the forty two months in verse 2, apply to the last half of the week, and verses 15-19, deal with the coming of Jesus, at the end of the week, but once you know how to read the chapter, it is not confusing at all. Chapter 12 is the same way. Verse 1, gives a panoramic view of Israel, (the woman) that encompasses her whole history as a nation. Clothed with the sun, and crowned, speaks of her millennial glory, and the moon under her feet speaks of the law age that she passed through, and then verses 2-5, reveal the woman that produced the man child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, and also the beast that stood ready to kill Him, if you read verse 3, along with chapters 13 and 17, and Daniel 7:7-25. Then because we already know that the woman is Israel, and that she will not flee into the wilderness until the middle of that week of years, we realize that there is two thousand years of time between the fulfillment of verse 3, and the fulfillment of verse 6. That eliminates confusion brought about by some who claim that the woman is the church, and that the man child is the overcomers who will be raptured. Those who believe that, have not even taken time to consider the fact that in the mind of God, the overcomers are the church, and that the church cannot be at the marriage supper, in heaven with Jesus, and at the same time, be on earth fleeing for her life from the Antichrist for 3 ½ years. That is confusion, and I hate confusion, but a true revelation of this word of God is food for my soul. It makes me feel good inside. Hallelujah! Praise His name!
As we look at chapter 13, we find John watching a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns. Not only did it have 7 heads and 10 horns; it also had characteristics of a leopard, a bear, and a lion, and was given the seat and authority of the dragon. We have printed different articles that go into detail describing how this beast happened to have 7 heads and 10 horns; therefore we will not go into all of that here. We will just say that the beast was that old Roman empire, that at one time had only one great head. That was down through the last of the old Caesars, Nero being the last. The seven heads John saw on this beast, were the seven forms of imperial rulership that the empire passed through, after the death of Nero. Naturally there were many emperors of Rome, down through the years, but only 7 of them actually stood out in a way to be considered a head. Our article titled, The Abomination That Maketh Desolate, gives their names, and goes into detail on why their forms of government stood out as the 7 heads that John saw on that old Roman beast. Verse 3, speaks of a time when one of those heads received a wound that looked like it would be unto death, but the wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast. That speaks of the wounding of that papal head, by the reformers, and by the sword of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the healing of that wound is what we see taking place right now. All of the protesting daughters of the old mother church system (Catholicism) are returning home to their mother, through the great ecumenical movement of our day. Therefore the wound is almost completed healed. The authority of the pope of Rome has just about been restored to the point where he can step into his end time role, to fulfill Daniel 9:27, and all these other scriptures that point to him. Now chapter 17 lets us know that the pope of the Roman Catholic Church is actually the eighth, but the beast only had seven heads when Daniel and John both saw it. The reason for that is that they were looking at political heads. Charlemagne of Germany was the 7th head. His form of imperial rulership placed head number 7 on that old Roman beast; and as time progressed, the pope just began to reach right over and take over that last form of old imperial rulership. That is why Rev. 17 :11 says, “And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” In other words, those old popes just began to exercise their authority above that of the emperors. They have never called themselves emperors, but in process of time, they moved themselves into a position where they could rule men’s lives with the same authority that the old Caesars ruled with. Therefore the head that Johns aw wounded was that ecclesiastical head that had taken over the 7th form of imperial government, and it is that ecclesiastical head that is being healed.
WHAT ABOUT THE BEAST?
Do not let this word BEAST, throw you off course, for it is used in three different ways, but they all pertain to the same thing. It applies to a system in some of its usages. At other times it applies to the man who is the head of the system, (the pope who is the Antichrist) and at other times it applies to the spirit of it all, and of course we know, that is the devil himself. As you read through verse 7, and on into the following verses, you see the beast terminology leave the system and go directly to the man who is the head of that beast system. It is the man that is given 42 months. It is the man that opens his mouth in blasphemy against God, and it is the beast man that the number 666, belongs to. Verse 18 tells us that. In verse 11, John saw another beast. This one was coming up out of the earth, and had two horns like a lamb. He says in verse 12, “And he (this two horned beast) exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” Keep in mind now, brothers and sisters: these visions cover great spans of time. Remember also, that horns represent power. The old Roman empire was broken up into 10 different kingdoms; that accounted for the ten horns on the first beast, but where does this second beast fit into the picture? That is America with her political and ecclesiastical powers. The first beast rose up out of the sea. Sea is symbolic of people. That first beast rose up from the midst of people, but this second beast came up out of the earth. Pilgrims came here seeking religious freedom from Roman Catholicism. They set up a form of government where the people themselves ruled, instead of a dictator. In her early years, this country was not looked upon as a world power, but she later became that. John watched her all the way from her humble beginning, right on through until she had formed an image to the first beast. It is this nation that has pushed the ecumenical council of churches. It is the religious leaders of this country that is leading all of the protestant daughters back home to mama. It is this country that has performed great scientific miracles, so that they have caused fire to come down from heaven in the sight of men, and it is this country that has deceived great multitudes, and used them to form an image of the first beast. The first beast has led human souls to destruction down through the ages, and now, Protestantism has formed a system that is doing exactly the same thing. The hour will come, when anyone who does not belong to organized religion will be denied their God given rights and privileges. People like us will not even be allowed to openly refer to ourselves as being of the church of the living God. There are people hanging on to this message right now, that will sell out and take the mark of the beast when things really begin to get tight, simply because they do not have a revelation in their soul that will enable them to stand against the pressure in that hour. People who just drift in and out of church, and never really take a definite stand for present truth, are prime candidates for the mark of the beast, regardless of what they may have heard. If you do not make it out of here in the rapture, and God leaves the breath of natural life in you for awhile, you will do one of two things. You will either accept the mark of the beast, or you will be killed for refusing it. Now here is my point. If you are not able to serve God now, in an hour when there is very little persecution of Christians, how will you be strong enough spiritually to stand up before that beast and refuse to take his mark? Some have even said, If I don’t make it in the rapture, I will just have to be a foolish virgin. You just have a head knowledge of the truth, without any revelated understanding, or you would not say such a thing.
Vicarius Filii Dei is a title assumed by the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. The meaning of this title is, (one who stands in the place of God), Vicar of the Son of God. We know from the scriptures that we are priest unto God, and have no need for any man on earth to stand between us and God. (See Rev. 1:6, 5:10.) Therefore, this is a blasphemous title that the Pope has taken to himself. We will print, (following these remarks), this title, worked out in Roman numerals. In Latin the U has the same equivalent as the V, which makes it work out perfectly to the number of a man according to Rev. 13:18. As you add these columns together you get the number 666.
IDENTIFYING THE NUMBER
Let us take a little time before moving too far away from the 13th chapter and try to point his number 666 to the rightful owner of it according to scripture. I realize that there have been many men through the centuries of time whose names could have been worked out to 666 by the method we are going to demonstrate. But there has never been another one who could fulfill the scripture that must line up with such an identity. Chapter 13:17-18 we find that there will come a time, (during that week of Daniel), when no man can buy or sell without the mark of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom, says verse 18, let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred three score and six. We can see here that this number belongs to a certain man, and that certain man is identified as the beast. Now let’s now get confused by the different ways that the word beast is used throughout the book. First of all the beast is a spirit, which is the devil. Secondly it is a system which is inspired and motivated by the devil, and thirdly it is a man who is incarnated by the devil, and that is the man that we wish to identify. Daniel 9:26-27 identifies a prince that shall come in this way. THE PEOPLE OF THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME SHALL DESTROY THE CITY AND THE SANCTUARY, Verse 26. Now we know that the people who destroyed the city were Romans, led by Titus in the year 70 A.D. Therefore, the prince that is to come, who will confirm a covenant with many for one week, will have to be a prince of the people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary. This makes him a prince of the Romans. Now who is the prince of the Romans that would be in a position to fulfill all the other prophecies tied to this particular office, but the Pope of Rome? He is the only Roman prince with worldwide influence enough to mediate such a covenant of peace. Notice in Daniel 9:27, he, (that same prince that is to come) breaks his covenant with Israel. Daniel 7:8 refers to him as a little horn that rises up with eyes like a man and a mouth speaking great things. Verse 26 shows that he will speak great words against the Most High, (God) and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change the times and the laws; and THEY, (the saints of the Most High, see Rev. 13:7), shall be given unto his hand until a time, (one year), and times, (two years), and the dividing of times, (one half year). Daniel 7:11 identifies the little horn with the beast and shows that it is all destroyed by fire after it has been allowed to run its course, (see Rev. 19:20, and 20:10). This prince that we are identifying has assumed a title that belongs only to God. (Sovereign, IMPERIAL, UNIVERSAL RULER.) That makes him a blasphemer. Rev. 17:3 speaking of the names of blasphemy in connection with the woman which was sitting upon the scarlet colored beast ties this prince to the Catholic church which he is the head of. Assuming this position of sovereignty makes him the false prophet of Rev. 16:13, which ties in with all these other titles and all of them point to the same man.
There has never been a religion on the face of this earth that could fit any more perfectly Dan. 7:25 than the Catholic church, for they truly have changed many things already and will climax it all in the last half of that week of Daniel, especially by the time the mark of the beast becomes law.
Brothers and sisters, we are living right at the edge of a cashless society. Computers are taking over jobs that it has taken hundreds and thousands of humans to do in the past. The hour is fast approaching, especially in Europe, when there is not going to be any nickels and dimes and quarters in peoples’ pockets. The cashless system itself is not the mark of the beast, but it will have the whole world already programed and ready for the beast to take over, when his hour arrives. That is what the scripture means when it says, “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” When that hour comes, ten million dollars of your present currency could not buy one loaf of bread. That is why I say, If you do not have something real in your soul before then, you will sell you soul for a loaf of bread and think little about it, until after it is too late. God’s 144,000 Jewish preachers will be on the scene preaching the last good news that this world will ever hear, but there will be great multitudes that will completely ignore their warnings. On the other hand, chapter 7:9 lets us see that there will be a great multitude that does take heed to their warning. We have already covered their situation earlier in the message. There is just one other thing that I would like to say right here, concerning the foolish virgins who will be martyred in that tribulation hour.
WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE
Taking the setting from Matthew 25:1-13, we have touched on these foolish virgins from time to time, and sometimes we use certain terms a little too freely for them to have a genuine scriptural application. I am mainly concerned with the term BAPTISM of the Holy Ghost. When the apostle Paul used that term, it only applied to those who were completely immersed in a genuine revelation of the truth of God’s word, those who accepted the revelation of the oneness of God, and the revelation of water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and walked in all the truth of the gospel that Jesus died to make effective. But it seems that we are living in an hour when the term is applied to every experience anyone has where they feel the anointing presence of the Spirit of God. Saints: Listen to me. If all of these people who are having experiences, and calling it the baptism of the Holy Ghost, were truly receiving the BAPTISM of the Spirit of God, truth would not be rejected by so many of them when they hear it. If I read the Bible correctly, Jesus plainly stated that one of the things that the Holy Ghost would do for believers, would be to guide them into all truth, and teach them all things. Why is this not happening? How can they have the BAPTISM of the Holy Ghost, and still fight against truth? I am afraid that many of them are receiving a counterfeit experience, and others are receiving a measure of the Spirit of God, which in reality is the Holy Ghost, but it is improperly referred to as the BAPTISM of the Holy Ghost. Open your Bibles to John 6:63, and I will try to clarify what I have just said. Jesus had just told those who had been following Him that except they eat His flesh and drink His blood, they had no life in them, and many of those that had followed Him so very close up to that point, were offended, and walked no more with Him. I got ahead of the verse I wanted to read to you, so let us read it now. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; (gives life) the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” He went on to say, There are some of you that do not believe. He knew who they were; and He went ahead and said to them, But you cannot come unto me unless it were given unto you of my Father. That is when many of them turned back from following Him, and that is when He looked at His twelve apostles and said, “Will ye also go away?” Then Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the WORDS of eternal life.” I want you to understand that eternal life only comes to us when we hear and believe the WORDS of eternal life. When you are hearing words that are saying, God is three person, a holy trinity, and that the second person of that triune Godhead loved you and died for you, you have only heard a half truth. You have not yet heard the WORDS of eternal life. When you heard that the pope is the vicar of the Son of God, and that he has the authority to forgive you, if you will confess your sins, you have not heard the WORDS of eternal life. If you are depending on that for the salvation of your soul you are bound for the lake of fire, even if you have layed on the floor and spoke in tongues all night. In other words, the words of eternal life, are the words that those apostles of Christ preached by revelation of what Jesus had taught them while He was with them. Whoever heard them preach, heard the unadulterated gospel; therefore when they believe it and obeyed it, they received the BAPTISM of the Holy Ghost. They were baptized into the body of Christ, just like Paul wrote to the Corinthian church in his first letter. (12:13) “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” It is the baptism of the Holy Ghost that places us into the body of Christ, and the body of Christ is the bride of Christ. If you are in that body you are going to be caught away to the marriage supper before that dark tribulation hour arrives. Are you following me? To the apostle Paul, and all the others who wrote epistles that are part of the New Testament as far as that goes, the body of Christ, the bride of Christ and the church all meant the same thing. These are terms they applied to those who had received the gospel, and been baptized in water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
WHAT FOOLISH VIRGINS RECEIVE
Now let us come back to the 25th chapter of Matthew. We all agree that the oil which the wise virgins had, and the foolish did not, is the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of God is the Holy Ghost; let that be clear also. The WISE virgins are those who have the BAPTISM of the Holy Ghost, and they are shut in with God in a revelation of truth. They have the seal of eternal life. They could never be lost; they could never miss the rapture; their destiny is sealed. But what about those foolish virgins? How could they be called VIRGINS spiritually speaking, and still not have oil in their vessels? First let me remind you that this is a parable. There will not be a literal setting where some folks are asking others for some of their portion of the Holy Ghost. What this is pointing to is these denominational people in our day that are waking up to the fact that they need the Holy Ghost. They have been living off of certain truths from the word of God, and let me say also, Every truth from the word of God carries a certain amount of the Spirit of God with it. When the truth that they have been holding to, came forth through their founders, that truth came by the Spirit of God. But as new generations came on the scene, they held the letter of that truth, but did not have the measure of the Spirit of God that their founding fathers had; therefore symbolically their lamps have gone out. When they realize that they need the Holy Ghost, they are told of certain meetings they can attend where they always pray for interested souls to receive the Holy Ghost. That is where the term, Go to them that sell, and buy for yourselves, comes in at. While they are all caught up in the excitement of those meetings, those who already had the Holy Ghost really get serious with God. They are allowing the Spirit of God to bathe them with the revelated word, which is purging them from every trace of Babylon. They are shut in with God. “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.” That simply means that He has not had that kind of close relationship with them, that He has with the others. It is not, that He knows nothing at all about them, and there will not be a literal door shut against them. It just means that by the time they finally begin to see enough going on in the ranks of their charismatic fellowships, that it causes them to realize they still do not have all they need; they begin to seek out those places where they know revelated truth is preached, but even though they hear what is preached, the Holy Ghost does not open their understanding. They just simply cannot understand what they are hearing. “But, Bro. Jackson, did not they receive the Holy Ghost? Some will ask. We have to believe that they have received a measure of the Spirit of God, which is a measure of the Holy Ghost, but I believe we err in saying they received the BAPTISM of the Holy Ghost. I believe they receive enough of the reality of God’s word, that they are willing to die a martyr’s death at the hands of the Antichrist, rather than denounce it. But if you insist that they receive the same portion that the bride has, then I will have to ask you this, Why could they not get in the revelation? Why will they not be raptured? Why will Jesus say, I know you not? You have to remember that this parable is not fulfilled in a day’s time. All the foolish virgins do not return at the same moment. This will be a condition that will exist for a period of time in the closing days, weeks, or years of the grace age. Therefore let us not try to pin this thing down too tight. Let us leave room for all of the scriptures to be applied. Just to say, Yes, they receive the Holy Ghost, to most people would leave the idea that they will receive the same measure that the bride has, but I hope you can see that if they did, they would not be left here to face the beast, and neither would the revelation be closed to them. Remember, Brother Branham sounded the midnight cry while he was still alive, so this condition has been in effect for a number of years already. Concerning the charismatics he said, That is your foolish virgins going after oil. Our main concern should not be trying to figure out who the foolish virgins are anyhow. We should be devoting all of our time and efforts to obeying the truth that we have received. Remember, there is another parable there in Matthew that is being fulfilled also. I am talking about the one in chapter 13, about the sower that went forth to sow. Verse 23, lets us know that only those who understand the word they hear will bear fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. According to the parable, a lot of people will hear the word, and follow for a while, but by and by, either they will not be able to bear the reproach that goes with following truth, or the deceitfulness of worldly gain, and the pleasures of life will choke the word, and cause them to be unfruitful. If you can see the reality of what Jesus spoke in this parable, you will no longer ask, Why do we need to know all of that anyhow? That is why I stress the importance of understanding what we hear. Like I have said many times, If you die tonight, you may die without understanding a lot of things. But if you are privileged to live until Jesus calls for His bride to meet Him in the air, you will need to understand what is in this book, or you will be left behind. The hour will come when you will face the Antichrist for a showdown. You will either give up to him and be damned, or you will resist him unto death because you have enough of God in you that you cannot give up.
BECAUSE SATAN’S TIME IS SHORT
Brothers and sisters: We are living in a very serious hour of time. Every spirit that the devil has running loose, is playing with our mind. Satan knows that his time is short, and that whatever he is still planning to do, must be done in a hurry. That is why we are being flooded with so many strange doctrines that are leading souls away from truth. The devil is not trying to get you back out in the night clubs, and back to an open life of sin; he would rather have you going to church every Sunday, resisting truth, and holding up for some strange doctrine that one of his emissaries are preaching. If he can keep you going to church every time the doors are opened, and cause you to present a good image before people, yet fill your mind with a lot of strange ideas, you are more benefit to him there, than you could ever be anywhere else. False prophets started riding that white horse of deception while John and Paul were still alive; they both wrote about them. Paul referred to them in this way, “The mystery of iniquity doth already work,” (2nd Thess. 2:7) But John wrote, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1st John 4:1) In another place he said, “Ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many Antichrists.” He went on to say, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” Those old apostles could write like that almost 2000 years ago, before the gospel had ever been captured by the Catholic church and dragged through the Dark Ages, so why would anyone expect to get through this age without being bothered by the Devil? The horse is a different color now, but that old spirit is still the same. People come into the church, they sit there a while, looking things over, and many times the individuals themselves do not even know what makes them act like they do, but when the time is right they make their move. Some of them just get mad and run off. Others try to take over the church, and if they cannot do that, they try to tear it all to pieces. Why do they do it? Simply because they are controlled by a spirit other than the Holy Spirit. Many times a spirit of jealousy will get hold of them. They want to preach; they want to be a deacon, or they want to rule the service with some gift that they are supposed to have, but any way you look at it, if a person’s actions and motives are not in the interest of the whole body of Christ, there is something wrong with their experience with the Lord. The Holy Ghost will never lead a person to be jealous, self centered, self willed, nor even to seek attention. All of this is a product of that Antichrist spirit that has been riding on through the ages. Now saints, listen to me; Do not try to make a literal application of everything you hear, upon your brothers and sisters in the church. Most of us older folks came out of religious systems where many of these carnal ideas were played up; therefore, ever since God called us out of those systems, He has been doing a clean up job on our minds, causing us little by little to take on the mind of Christ, but some have progressed faster than others, so do not be too hasty to judge those who are not just exactly like you think they ought to be. Following revealed truth brings about a constant renewing in the spirit of our mind. Every time we receive some revelation, it enables us to see more clearly the overall plan of God’s great redemption process. Naturally when someone rejects truth, and turns from it, that in itself marks that person, but just mere faults and failures as a result of the weakness of our flesh, has to be left in the hands of God. He will either straighten the person up, or shake that person loose from the body of Christ, depending on whether the individual is a predestined seed or not. As in the case in 1st Corinthians, chapter 5, where there is immoral conduct involved, the church has the authority to deny fellowship to guilty parties until such time as they repent and straighten up their lives, but their eternal destiny is known only to God. I am saying these things now, in an effort to keep some of you from misapplying what I said about Antichrist manifestations in the church. Let each of us give ourselves fully to following the truth that God reveals to us, and leave Him room to work on others who may still have a lot of ideas that are not just exactly right.
WHAT ARE YOU BUILDING UPON?
Let me say a word right here about some other ideas that have crept into the church. We have become so accustomed to modern conveniences, and all the electronic helps such as public address systems, tape recorders and such like, that a lot of people would not even come to church if we did not have them. A lot of these modern preachers would not even attempt to preach if they did not have all of these helps. Brothers and sisters, there is coming a day when God will allow a bomb to put a lot of people to the test. When there is no air conditioning, no amplifying systems, no electric lights, no electric organs, pianos, guitars and such like; will they still preach? Will the people still come to hear those who do continue to preach? You might do well to take a moment to think about that. What will you do if worship conditions suddenly revert back to what they were nineteen hundred years ago? There are places in the world right today, where the gospel is preached under much the same natural conditions that Peter, Paul and those other early Christians preached under. There are some that would be happy if they could just have a couple of Coleman lanterns they could hang up someplace. Do you realize that practically all of what we call modern conveniences have just come into existence in the last 40 or 50 years? Material progress both in the church and otherwise, was very slow up until the age of Laodicea; yet there were hungry souls going to whatever extremes were necessary in order to hear the gospel preached and fellowship with other believers, right here in America. That is why I am led to say, I enjoy helping my brothers over seas, in the ways that seem practical, and to the extent that we are able to do so, but I pray that they will not just look at America, and say, You have everything, and we don’t have anything. I know that, but I also know that when this gospel started out from Jerusalem, there were no automobiles, no trains, and no airplanes. They had camels, donkeys and ox carts, and now and then their gospel journeys required them to go by way of water, but they did not have luxury liners to travel on. Nevertheless, the gospel was preached, and from that humble beginning, it has covered the earth. Wherever God has a yielded vessel, there is always a way for that vessel to be used. I sometimes feel like it would be good for a lot of people, if they would just take time to check up on what they are building the kingdom of God upon, and what they measure success by. I thank God for a comfortable place to worship, and I am thankful for the public address system to speak through, but I can still remember very well, the time when I did not have either one. When I preached 4 long years in that little old garage building, back when this church was started, I never even thought about wanting a P.A. My mind was on trying to fulfill the will of God for my life. All we really need in order to sing, pray, preach and worship God is what we were born with. Sometime our singing might not sound so beautiful to the professionally trained ear, but when we are singing to God from a thankful heart, it is beautiful to Him.
SINGING FROM THE HEART
I do not know why I got so far away from what we were dealing with in our message, but perhaps it was for a reason. Therefore let me relate something I read in a little tract a few years ago, then we will get back to the book of Revelation. This really happened in Europe many years ago. It told how a little group of saintly people would meet together on certain occasions to pray and sing and worship the Lord. They had no music, and no musicians, but they loved to sit together and sing unto the Lord. Finally they decided that it would be nice if they could invite a little singing group that they had heard of, to come and entertain them. The group was very talented, and it caused these folks to feel very privileged when they agreed to come. They felt very blessed to have this group of professionals singing for them. But do you know what happened? One of them had a dream that night, and in that dream, Jesus appeared to the person, and said, Where was the singing tonight? The person answered back; Lord, we had that singing group there, you know, the professional group. We felt that this would be to your glory. He answered back, I am not interested in their talent; I am interested in your heart, because you sing from the heart. Brothers and sisters, not everything that sounds good to the carnal ear, the natural ear, sounds good to God. He listens to the heart that it is coming from. If we will keep our hearts in tune with God, we can do like the apostle Paul said; we can sing and make melody in our heart unto the Lord, no matter where we are.
THE DOOM OF BABYLON
Since we are discussing these chapters in the order of their fulfillment, I would like to go now to the 18th chapter where we will see this 144,000 Jewish servants condemning spiritual Babylon, and pronouncing her doom. Actually the seventeenth and eighteenth chapters go together. The 18th chapter pronounces judgment upon spiritual Babylon, while the 17th chapter identifies her and shows her destruction. These two chapters show how God looks upon the Roman Catholic church. Both chapters speak of judgment. Now it is not a picture of two different judgments on two different systems, but it presents a dual picture of how God looks upon this harlot system, and what the end will be when time runs out. The judgment will fall upon that system as the week closes out.
The Bible says, “Through the mouth of two or three witnesses, let every word of the Lord be established.” These two chapters present a two fold witness of these things. Now, chapter 17, portrays her as a woman, and if she is a woman, then the image is used to portray the relationship that she had with her associates. What kind of relationship, (legal or illegal?) You will notice that chapter 18 portrays her as a city, why a city? Biblically, cities in ancient times served three purposes, the center of trade, center of communication, and center of refuge. Therefore, God is showing here in the 18th chapter the commercial ties of mystery Babylon with the monetary systems of the world; how she controls it all. From the salvational standpoint, poor unsuspecting souls have been led to believe that they can find spiritual security in her creeds and rituals. That is why it is so hard to convince a Catholic person that such a system is wrong. Therefore, Catholicism is looked upon as a city, (spiritually speaking) from the standpoint that human souls, as they realize that because of their sinful nature they need to take refuge in some kind of religious structure, they have fled to Catholicism. It makes it easy; her gates are broad and wide, (Matt. 7:13). It matters not whether it is trade, communications, or refuge, sooner or later it all finds its way back to its headquarters in Rome. Now, Rome it self is not Mystery Babylon, but Rome as an ancient city has been the seat of the spirit from which these isms originated. This is seen in the 16th chapter, and we will look at it there later, but now let us look at the identifying verses between chapters 17 and 18. One of the seven angels who had the vials came and talked with John, saying, “Come here: I will show you the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: with whom the KINGS OF THE EARTH have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wind of her fornication,” (17:1-2). Now look at the first three verses of chapter 18. You will notice there, an angel crying mightily with a strong voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the KINGS OF THE EARTH have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are grown rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” Can you begin to see how 17:2, and 18:3 identify the whore and the city as being the same? Look at chapter 17:4-5 and “the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication; and upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Now verse 5 tells us who the woman is, but lets look at verse 16 of the 18th chapter to see the same description given of the city that was given of the woman in 17:4, clothed in purple and scarlet color, decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls. You see, it’s all speaking of the same thing! Now, notice, back in 17:5, she mothered something into the world. Do you know what that something is? It is every protestant denomination on the face of this earth. If you will look far enough you will see that somewhere, somehow, they all have a kindred spirit. That is why we are seeing the formation of the ecumenical council of churches. It is moving over the earth, blending Protestantism and Catholicism back together, (healing the wounded head, Rev. 13:3). Look at chapter 17:6, the woman was drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. Now go to chapter 18:24, and read, “In her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” One is a woman, and the other is a city, but is there any doubt that they are both the same?
There are three things that stand out in the 18th chapter. “The nations are drunk with her teachings, the kings have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” The merchants refer to the business and financial institutions. Through the ages of time, Catholicism has bled her people of every cent that she possibly could, then turned right around and invested in every form of financial institution that there is. That is why she is able to pull the strings on politics. She controls a major part of the stocks and bonds of the major businesses through her citizenry. Therefore, who can tell her what to do? The angel told John though, “Come, and I will show you her judgment.” In other words, time is running out. God is going to let something tear the woman to pieces, or as it says in verse 16 of chapter 17, “They, (the ten horns, which we have identified in chapter 13), will hate the whore, and make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire.”
Remember, now, Rome itself is not mystery Babylon; it is just the seat or headquarters of it all. Rome does not sit upon many waters, nor could we say that the kings of earth have committed fornication with Rome. However, we will say that the kings of the earth have committed fornication with Catholicism, which also is called the mother of harlots, (Protestant religions.) God will judge everything that has been identified with her. That system always gets in with the kings and political leaders to spread her teachings, and pull strings for her political maneuvers. That is her fornication tactics. She builds schools and hospitals so that she appears to be a genuine humane institution, but it is all planned in such a fashion, that she is able to control the souls of those who are identified with her.
Many of these modernists have the idea that the Antichrist is coming out of Russia, or some other far fetched idea, but he will come out of Rome where the Catholic cardinal group still hold to that purple scarlet color.
SEVEN HEADS TEN HORNS
In chapter 17 John saw the woman riding or sitting upon a beast which had seven heads and ten horns. The heads were full of blasphemy. (Not the horns, the heads.) The horns each had a crown. That is typical of the ten nations of Europe, which are all tied to Rome through some kind of an agreement. The crowns on these horns show that they represent something or someone that has authority to rule over something. These are kings, (chapter 17:12), which receive power as kings one hour with the beast. This is referring to that hour of tribulation during the week of Daniel. Keep in mind now, it is not blasphemy to be called a king. This blasphemous title belongs to whoever sets himself up in the seat of the old caesars who claimed to be, SOVEREIGN IMPERIAL UNIVERSAL RULERS, claiming that their office was established by the gods. This is where the Pope comes in. When the old Roman form of imperial government became so weak that the devil no longer could work through that, to control the subjects, he just left the old caesars throne and jumped over to the papal throne and began to elevate that position. The papal throne, (church government) became the 8th head which was blended in with the 7th head. It did not put 8 heads on the beast. It only united church and state. The 8th head on the beast, (which is of the 7th, verse 11), is also the little horn that Daniel saw exalting itself. Daniel did not say that the beast had eleven horns. What then is that eleventh horn? It is papal power, it is power not attributed to the government of a nation. Papal power is not Roman government. It is church government. The Pope doesn’t even claim to be the ruler of Italy. He does claim, (especially those in the dark ages), that blasphemous title that was held by the old caesars, so that he is looked upon as the universal ruler of man’s soul, and of his secular, and material way of life. Therefore, there never was 8 heads put on the beast. The 8th head is only symbolic of church government rising up to take the preeminence over the last form of old Roman imperial government. Realizing then, that chapters 17 and 18 are describing the Catholic church riding upon the 10 major powers of Europe, let us look at verse 14, 16, and 17. Verse 14 shows that these ten horns will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them. This will take place at the end of the week of Daniel. The events of verses 16 and 17 will take place first though. Verse 17 states that God puts it in the hearts of these ten to agree and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. Then as the week comes close to its end, communism has managed to work its way into the ten horned nations so that verse 16 can have its fulfillment. The ten horns hate the whore, and make her desolate and naked, and eat her flesh and burn her with fire. This is a picture of the ruthlessness of communism against religion. When communism comes in, religion goes out. The two are not compatible. Communism is anti-God. This is not to be thought of as Russian or Chinese communist destroying the whore. This is a new breed of communism that has come up in western Europe by this time. It will come in on the wings of socialism.
After verses 16 and 17 have their fulfillment, then these will make war with the Lamb, but they will only do so out of necessity. When heaven breaks open, and Jesus with his army of saints descend upon this ungodly mess, they will have no other choice but to fight. It will not do them any good though, for the Lamb will overcome them. He will fight them with the sword of his mouth. It will not be hand to hand combat. He will speak the word and it will all be over. That is why I said, “Jesus will destroy communism after communism destroys Catholicism.” They will make war with him, but it will not be a result of months of planning. It will be a sudden thing. When Jesus speaks, the earth will start shaking, and the mountains start sliding into the sea, causing the island to disappear; this will be the end of communism.
Sure those communistic politicians will have worn the mark of the beast, but don’t forget, to them that mark is only for a financial advantage. When that week has run its course, they will kill every Catholic priest, bishop, layman, and nun, that they can get their hands on. They will have stripped the Catholic church of all her power. That is why she is pictured as being destroyed. Catholicism will be destroyed by communism, fulfilling Rev. 17:16, and communism will be destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ and his army of saints seen coming to earth from heaven on white horses in Rev. 19.
SEA OF GLASS
As we looked into the first 13 verses of chapter 14, we saw the 144,000 Jews which were sealed by the ministry of the two prophets in the first half of the week, over in the last half of the week preaching the everlasting gospel to all people throughout the earth. This, as we said earlier will be a message that will warn people not to bow down to that beast system in that hour. That ministry will be greatly responsible for the group of tribulation saints that will be martyred during the last half of the week. They are the saints that verse 12-13 of chapter 14 are speaking of. Notice what it says. Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Have you noticed how many times these two categories are identified throughout the book? Under the 5th seal we saw only one group identified. This is the group that was slain for the word of God and the testimony which they held. This identity always points to the Jews, for they do not have the testimony of Jesus Christ as the foolish virgins do. Therefore, the dual identity which we notice in all of the other places plainly speak of the two groups which are gathered together and referred to as tribulation saints.
John heard a voice, saying to him, “Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their words do follow them.” That verse will only be a reality for that particular group that is martyred in the great tribulation.
Notice, now, as we go into chapter 15 what John saw. He saw another sign great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. There stood those angels ready to pour out those vials of the wrath of God which we will see in the 16th chapter. John speaking in verse 2, “And I saw, as it were, a sea of glass mingled with fire.” You know how glass is made. It is made through a process of putting sand in hot flames of fire. This is typifying the faith of the ones who are seen standing on it, because they have stood upon their faith, even unto death, while it was tried in the hot fires of the great tribulation. Those seen standing upon the sea of glass, mingled with fire, are identified, as those who had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of him name, having the harps of God. Now, look at verse 3, they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” You see, there in the words of the songs they were singing is that identity again. Only a Jew can sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and Gentiles have been singing the song of the Lamb for almost two thousand years now. They will be singing about him when they are dying for their faith in that tribulation hour. Notice, (Thou King of saints), they already see him as King. Remember, in chapter 12:11 we read, they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, (Gentile foolish virgins), and by the word of their testimony, (this would be the Jews). Here, John is getting a vision of their spirits, standing before the throne of God, on the sea of glass which typifies the faith which they were standing upon when they were killed.
As we begin to get a picture in our minds of all these events, we have no trouble understanding why it will be necessary for the woman, (Israel, in the twelfth chapter), to flee into the wilderness where she will hide from the beast. Otherwise, the Jews would be completely liquidated, and there would be no see left alive of that genetic line to reproduce that nation in the millennium. God preserves this group though, and this is why John could see her clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet. She was pictured in her millennial glory, with her King on his throne, and the moon under her feet which symbolized the law age being in the past. The law age was by this time beneath her, for she had finally attained that which her prophets had spoken of so long ago. This will be the fulfilling of Zechariah 14, where the remnant of the people from all the nations that come against Israel will go to Jerusalem once each year to worship the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the feast of Tabernacles. The law shall go forth from Jerusalem and all nations shall flow unto it.
THE EARTH WAS REAPED
By the time the events of chapter 15 are in motion it will be time for the remainder of chapter 14 to come back into the picture. Verse 14, and I looked and, behold, a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat, like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. You recall, when he was sitting on the mercy seat, he did not have a golden crown upon his head. At that time, he was portrayed as having white hair. Then, when he was seen in chapter 10, with the little scroll open in his hand, and crying with a loud voice, with those thunders issuing forth, he still did not have a golden crown. This time he was identified by his voice. He sounded like a lion roaring. (The Lion of the tribe of Judah.)
Now, when he is seen on the white cloud, tribulation is coming to a close. Time is running out on earth. This marriage is over, and he is now King of kings and Lord of lords. He has his wife, and he has his crown. He is seen here in angelic form. This is to portray the authority that he has over all of the spiritual forces of Armageddon. It has all just about run its course by this time. In the 15th verse, an angel is heard calling out to him, “Thrust in thy sickle, and reap; for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” In this 15th verse, the word ripe means rotten. The world is rotten, and a stench in the nostrils of God by this time. The term used in verse 18 verifies this. This angel said to him who sat upon the white cloud, thrust in thy sickle and reap, for the clusters of the earth are fully ripe. The earth is red with the blood of martyrs. The time allotted to the Antichrist has just about run out, and Jesus is invested with the authority to set these spiritual forces loose, by the thrusting in of his sharp sickle. Verse 16, “And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.” Armageddon is having its effect. Notice, verse 19, the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. (Where is this wine press?) It is the valley of Megiddo. Verse 20, “And the winepress was trodden without the city.” (Certainly it will be without the city), for the battle of Armageddon will not be fought at Jerusalem. “Blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horses bridles.” What a time that will be! You can see that it is just about all over with. Therefore, we can now return to chapter 6, verse 12, and pick up the opening of the sixth seal. When the sixth seal is opened, there is a great earthquake, the sun becomes black, and the moon becomes like blood; the stars of heaven fall to the earth, and the heaven departs as a scroll when it is rolled together. You see God’s wrath being turned loose? Here is where the mountains will shake loose and slide into the sea. This will cause the islands to be covered up, or as it says, they were moved out of their places. Verse 15, “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?” (From the wrath of the Lamb), he will not be in the role of a lamb at this time, but this is his identity, and it lets us know that Jesus Christ, who was the lamb that was slain and offered up to God for the sins of the whole world, is now executing the wrath of God on earth. By now, you should begin to see that the sixth seal is actually the wrath of God being poured out upon a godless society after the word of God has been fulfilled concerning the week of Daniel.
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET
You will see, as we go into it, that chapter 16 is a blow by blow description of the wrath of God being poured out, but first let us look back at chapter 11:15-19 for it is the seventh trumpet angel that announces the end, by saying, “The kingdoms of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” He is the one that announces the wrath of God. Notice verse 18, “and the nations were angry and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward to thy servants, the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldest destroy them who destroy the earth.” If you have followed these seven trumpet angels through the 8th, 9th, and 11th chapters, you will have noticed that they announced the major events through the week of Daniel. In chapter 8 the first three angels announced the plagues that were associated with the ministry of the two prophets. Then in verse 12, we see the fourth angel announcing the middle of the week, where the two prophets are killed, and the persecution of the Jews begins. In chapter 9:1, the fifth angel announces hell being turned loose on earth. The bottomless pit is opened, and all the demons were loosed upon the face of the earth to torment men. The sixth angel sounds in the 13th verse. This turns loose the four angels who were holding back the forces of Armageddon. They were seen in chapter 7, holding back the four winds. Now they turn these winds of world conflict loose, and they blow up the events that sets the stage for Armageddon. By the time this 7th angel blows his trumpet, the battle of Armageddon has been raging already through the last months of the week of Daniel. Therefore, Jesus is not coming to earth to fight the battle of Armageddon. He will put an end to it when he comes with his army of saints from heaven.
SEVEN VIALS OF WRATH
Remember, now, it is God himself who is the time keeper of all these events. He does not have some man standing somewhere with a huge calendar marking off the days for him. He was the one who was keeping time when Christ was cut off at the end of the 69 weeks, and he will know when the last week of Daniel is ready to be brought to a close.
As we go into the 16th chapter let me say once again, these are the last of God’s divine dealings against unregenerate humanity and the devil’s system that has been allowed to run its course and reach its peak. In these portions of the book that we are dealing with now, you will notice that they really do stack one on top of the other. The sixth seal of chapter 6, and the seventh trumpet angel of chapter 11, and the seventh vial angel of chapter 16, all deal with the same thing. All three chapters deal with the Wrath of God, which is only poured out at the end of the week. You will see also the 17th and 18th chapters brought in with chapter 16 when we get to the portion that deals with judgment of the great whore, and of Mystery Babylon. The 19th chapter falls right in with chapter 16, in the last part of the chapter where He, (Jesus) is seen coming from heaven with his army on white horses to make war, and smite the nations with the sword of his mouth in judgment. He is seen in the 19th chapter treading the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of God. Throughout the last half of the week of Daniel, which we can call the time of Jacobs trouble, God has been allowing conditions to build up, which to him is just about like a huge brush pile. It is fit for nothing but to be burned, and that is exactly what God is getting ready to do, (burn it). Notice verses 8 & 9, the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun, and men were scorched with great heat, so that they blasphemed the name of God, who had power over these plagues, but they did not repent to give him glory. A vial is a pitcher, (a container for liquid). Of course this is all symbolic, but what better way could it be described? God instructed these angels to step forth and pour out their vials, (these 7 vials of wrath). It is just like pouring gasoline on that brush pike, and striking a match to it. When these angels get through everything will have been judged of all that corrupt system.
In verse 18, we read, “and there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great.” This earthquake is under the judgment of the 7th vial, but lets look back to chapter 6 to get the parallel of these two chapters. Under the sixth seal there is a great earthquake, and the heaven departed as a scroll … What for? To reveal the coming of Jesus. This is in perfect harmony with Matthew 24:29-30 where it says, “immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give it’s light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” Doesn’t that sound just like the sixth seal of chapter 6? Notice, Matt. 24:30, “and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” You see! It is all speaking of the same hour of time. We can easily see by looking at all of these scriptures together, that the sixth seal is the end of man’s rule on earth. Six is man’s number. The sixth seal hangs right over the 16th chapter, and the events of these chapters will lead you right to the 19th chapter where John saw the heaven opened and Jesus with his head crowned, and his eyes like a flame of fire, coming to smite the nations. These things are all taking place at the same time. They are not separate accounts of different happenings. As these angels are pouring out their vials upon the earth, no man can see this happening. This is all taking place int eh spirit world. You cannot see them being poured out, but if you should be one of those who are left here till that time you will sure see the effects of them. All of the celestial bodies will be disturbed by these angels of God’s wrath. The stars fall, the sun turns black, the moon turns to blood, and the mountains and islands disappear. Men will be plagued with grievous sores, and their drinking water will be turned to blood, as in the days when Moses stood before Pharaoh. “You talk about vengeance.” This will be a time of God taking vengeance on all who have worshiped the beast, and his image. It will be the time that the apostle Paul was describing in 2nd Thess. 1:5-10, where he was speaking of the day that Jesus comes to be glorified in his saints, and how he would take vengeance on them that know not God. In that hour men will be worse than animals.
God is just. He will not let this thing fall on innocent people. He will know right where to direct these plagues, so that they will fall on the right people. As we said before, by the time this last vial is finished, it will have completed the sixth seal, the seventh trumpet, and the seventh vial.
Try to catch my thought now. When I say that these events are all transpiring at the same time, I am referring to the events of the various chapters that we are discussing at this time. I do not mean to say that all of these vials are poured out at the same time. These are a series of plagues that come one right after the other over a period of time in the last months of the week of Daniel. Neither would I have you think that I believe all of the waters of the world will be turned to blood. This type of thing will be kept primarily in the middle east setting, in the territory of the prophetic world. God would not destroy all of marine life throughout the whole world. You may have noticed in chapter 8 during the time of the ministry of the two prophets, only one third part of the waters, trees, grass, ships and creatures were affected. Even this is limited to the prophetic world. The judgments affected only one third part of that area, but the wrath is a total thing. It is not limited to one third part.
You will notice also that when the fourth vial was poured out, men were scorched with the sun, this lets us see that he sun has not yet turned black, but it will, under the seventh vial of wrath when the end has finally come. Each vial sets forth a tormenting condition. Notice the 5th vial is poured out upon the seat, (or throne), of the beast. The beast must be looked upon as the combined unification of the world systems, but the seat has to be the position or place of authority that governs, or rules the life of that beast. “And his kingdom was full of darkness’… In other words, full of the devil, no spiritual reality. There was nothing about it that God could condone.
SEAT OF AUTHORITY
The seat of authority could be no other place but Rome. This beast system has been in authority thru this week of Daniel, with the Pope, (who is the Antichrist) sitting at the head of it. In the middle of the week he moves into the temple at Jerusalem but his real identity is still Rome. By the time this fifth vial is poured out, the beast will have just about run its course. Those communist politicians who have gone along with that beast for that hour of time will become very uneasy. By this time they will have seen the blood bath by the beast. They will have had opportunity by this time to see the failures of the Russian brand of communism. Therefore, they will begin to make their move to destroy the religious element of the beast. This is where chapter 17:16 is fulfilled. You must keep in mind the fact that the same element of the citizenry that make up the great whore, are basically the same citizens that make up the beast that she rides upon. It will be the political heads of these people, (the ten horns), that hate the whore, (the religious element), and make their move to cause communism to destroy everything that goes under the name of religion. When this European brand of communism has destroyed religion, they will feel like they have a super brand of communism all of their own, but the Orientals will not let them enjoy it for long. Notice where the sixth vial is poured out, (upon the great river Euphrates). Look back to the sixth trumpet angel in chapter 9:13-17, where the four angels which were bound in the Euphrates were loosed to go forth and gather the armies for Armageddon. You noticed these angels were bound in the Euphrates, but they were loosed after the middle of the week had arrived. They were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, to slay the third part of men. When they were loosed, they began to prepare the military setting for Armageddon. Now, look back to chapter 16:12, the sixth vial is poured upon the Euphrates, and its waters are dried up, preparing the way for the kings of the East. I say, when this sixth vial is poured out, the Orientals are already in uniform ready to move toward the valley of Megiddo. Verse 13, and I saw three unclean spirits, like frogs, come out of the mouth of the dragon, (that is the devil), and out of the mouth of the beast, (the world system), and out of the mouth of the false prophet, (the Antichrist). These are demon spirits which go into all the earth working miracles), political miracles. During most of the week of Daniel these demons were more or less confined to the activity of the beast in the setting of the prophetic world, but now they will go forth to the kings of the earth, (the whole world), to stir up strife and gather them together for the battle of that great day of God Almighty. If you will read these verses right, you will see that Jesus has the authority to loose spirits which will gather these armies together for the purpose of fulfilling the word of God. Verse 15, goes right along with chapter 19:11-19, where it all builds up to the climax. We can now see that the stage is set for the climax of it all. That earthquake of the sixth seal is the same one that we see here in the 7th vial. Somewhere on this earth that quake will have its center. When it goes off it will rock this whole planet. That is when the sun will become black, and the heavens will depart as a scroll when it is rolled together. This is the time that Jesus and his army of saints will be making their literal descent to the earth, as seen in chapter 19:11-16. Look back now to the seventh trumpet in chapter 11:15-19, and you will see that it lays right here also. You will see in verse 18 of the 11th chapter that there is to be another phase of the first resurrection when he comes. The bride has already been resurrected. She will be coming back with Jesus. Then as soon as he is finished dealing with this beast system, there will be another group resurrected. It will be those tribulation saints that you see in chapter 20:4. Now let’s read this 18th verse. “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants, the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldest destroy them who destroy the earth.” You see what that verse holds; he is coming to destroy something, and to give reward to someone. What does the bible say about his reward? You will find it in chapter 22:12, “and behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” You will see that each believing saint of every age receives a reward. Not the gift of eternal life, they have that already. It will be a reward for what each one has done in service, in that realm of having eternal life. Every person will receive his just reward.
SATAN IS BOUND
Now, just for a few minutes, let’s try and get this millennium reign of Christ in its proper setting. Look at chapter 20, first off, Satan is bound for a thousand years and cast into the bottomless pit. This is the same bottomless pit that was opened when the 5th trumpet judgment angel sounded, and demons were loosed upon earth. Now the devil is put in there to stay until the millennium reign is finished. In other words, there will be no more hell on earth, as there had been in that week of Daniel.
The next thing we see in this 20th chapter, verse 4, “I saw thrones,” not throne, but thrones, more than one. It says that judgment was given unto them.
Now, in the amplified translation, it reads like this, “the right to execute and pass sentence,” and we know that according to the teachings of the apostle Paul, the saints will judge the world. Therefore, the saints will definitely sit on thrones going into the millennium. They will be judging the nations. No books will be opened at this time. This takes you right back to Matt. 19:27-28, also Matt. 25:31-46, where no books are opened. It is just nations of people coming before Him to be judged.
Now, for just a few minutes, let’s identify this group here in verse four. Many have rejected the idea that there is another phase of the first resurrection after the great tribulation is over with, but if there is not then I ask you, where did this group come from? Look at the description of them, “and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God.” Now there is your two groups again, (Jews and Gentile foolish virgins). Now look at the rest of the verse, “and who had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Now I want you to catch the key here. This was a group that did not worship the beast, nor his image. There never was, and there never will be a time when people were required to worship the image to the beast, except during the great tribulation. Neither will there ever be a time when people are required to wear the mark of the beast except during that time. This is a group that was killed because of their faith in God, a group that would not worship the beast, nor his image, nor take his mark, yet they lived and reigned a thousand years with Christ. So you see, it is absolutely necessary for there to be another resurrection as that week of Daniel comes to a close. Then verse 5 concludes by saying, “This is the first resurrection.” Verse 6 says, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” These will be resurrected martyrs who died for their faith. They will have immortal bodies. They will have been judged already.
All the old patriarchs looked forward to a kingdom age when their Messiah would rule and reign in Jerusalem from the throne of David, but none of them ever knew how long that kingdom age would last. Yet the Gentile church has carried a letter for almost two thousand years that reveals the duration of that age, and many of the Jews that have considered the book of Revelation to be without authority, will have their understanding opened up to it very soon now. God will take away the veil, and allow them to see. Brothers and sisters, we do not need to know exactly when God will do that, but we do need to be ready at all times to meet Jesus in the air, when He calls out, “COME UP HITHER.”
THE ETERNAL AGE
When the millennium is over, then will the apostle Paul’s revelation be fulfilled which we find in 1st Cor. the 15th chapter. “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” The resurrection of the wicked dead, will clear their dead bodies from the earth, all wicked spirits will receive their reward. The lake of fire will be the final cleansing agent. There will be no more need for hell. This will be the effects of the great white throne judgment. There will be no more need for any kind of sacrifice. For God will accept all of his redeemed creation. This will be the eighth day. The ETERNAL DAY or age. This automatically takes you into Rev. Chapters 21 & 22. To finish Paul’s statement in 1st Cor. 15:24 “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God the Father, (THE GREAT ETERNAL SPIRIT), when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” Who did all of this? THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE KING OF KINGS, THE LORD OF LORDS. THE FIRST AND THE LAST. AMEN