TEXT: REVELATION 10:7
AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER WE HAVE ALL HEARD SOMEONE MENTION THE MYSTERY OF GOD, AND MOST OF THE TIME IT HAS BEEN IN RELATION TO REVELATION 10:7, A VERY CONTROVERSIAL VERSE OF SCRIPTURE AMONG THE RANKS OF PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW THE TEACHING OF THE LAODICEAN CHURCH AGE MESSENGER, BRO. WILLIAM MARRION BRANHAM. SOME KNOW WHAT THIS MYSTERY IS, AND MANY WHO THINK THEY DO, DO NOT. THEY ARE THE ONES THAT CAUSE CONFUSION AMONG THE SAINTS WITH THEIR VARIOUS IDEAS AND PRIVATE INTERPRETATIONS. BY THE SAME TOKEN, MANY KNOW HOW TO APPLY THE WORD ANGEL, AS IT IS USED IN THAT SAME VERSE, BUT SOME DO NOT, AND THEY ARE FOREVER ARGUING SOME POINT OR THE OTHER, TRYING TO GET SOMEONE ELSE TO AGREE WITH THEIR PRIVATE INTERPRETATION OF WHAT IT ACTUALLY APPLIES TO. NEVERTHELESS, REGARDLESS OF ALL THE CONFUSION, THERE IS A TRUTH CONTAINED IN THAT VERSE, AND THE TRUE SAINTS OF GOD ARE GOING TO HAVE A REVELATION OF THAT TRUTH BEFORE THEY LEAVE HERE IN THE RAPTURE, FOR GOD DID NOT HAVE THE SCRIPTURES WRITTEN JUST SO CARNAL MANKIND WOULD HAVE SOMETHING TO PLAY AROUND WITH.
YOU SOMETIMES WONDER, JUST WHAT ELSE SOME OF THESE CARNAL MINDED PEOPLE WILL COME UP WITH BEFORE GOD BRINGS IT ALL TO AN END. ONE SUCH PREACHER, IN WHOM, AT ONE TIME I HAD A LOT OF CONFIDENCE, HAS RECENTLY COMPILED AND PUBLISHED A LITTLE PAMPHLET, USING BRO. BRANHAM’S NAME, AND STATEMENT ABOUT LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA BEING SUNK INTO THE OCEAN BY A MIGHTY EARTHQUAKE, BUT GIVING HIS OWN INTERPRETATION OF IT ALL. BRO. BRANHAM DID HAVE A VISION, IN WHICH HE SAW THIS TERRIBLE SCENE, BUT THIS MAN SOMEHOW GOT THE IDEA THAT IT WOULD HAPPEN DURING THE TIME OF THE 1984 OLYMPICS, AND A FEW DAYS LATER, THE RAPTURE WOULD TAKE PLACE, AND HE EVEN STATED WHEN THE MILLENNIUM WOULD BE INAUGURATED, AND PRINTED IT ALL IN A LITTLE PAMPHLET WHICH HE DISTRIBUTED FREELY. HE WAS NOT SATISFIED JUST TO DO THAT THOUGH, HE EVEN SENT A COPY OF IT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE POPE OF ROME, FOR WHICH HE RECEIVED A LETTER OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT, STATING THAT THEY HAD RECEIVED THEM. WELL, NEEDLESS TO SAY, THE 1984 OLYMPICS ENDED, AND LOS ANGELES IS STILL STANDING, AND THIS MAN HAS BROUGHT MORE SHAME AND REPROACH TO THE NAME OF THE DECEASED PROPHET OF GOD THAT HAD TO VISION. NOT ONLY THAT, IT BRINGS A GREAT REPROACH UPON ALL WHO SEEK TO FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS OF BRO. BRANHAM, AND PLACES THEM IN A POSITION WHERE THEY WILL BE SCRUTINIZED EVEN MORE CLOSELY BY THOSE WHO ALREADY THINK WE ARE NOTHING MORE THAN A CULT. IT IS THIS SORT OF THING THAT WILL CAUSE CERTAIN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO PUT PRESSURE ON EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT A PART OF ORGANIZED RELIGION ONE DAY IN THE NEAR FUTURE. IT JUST GOES TO SHOW HOW THE DEVIL OPERATES. IF HE CANNOT SUCCEED IN DESTROYING YOUR MIND WHEN YOU ARE STILL IN YOUR YOUTH, SO THAT YOU ARE MADE TO ACT MORE LIKE AN ANIMAL THAN HUMAN BEING, AND IF YOU HAVE ANY INCLINATION TOWARD SERVING GOD, HE WILL TRY HIS LEVEL BEST TO GET YOU GOING 90 MILES AN HOUR IN THE WRONG DIRECTION, WITH SOME FANATICAL IDEA THAT IS COMPLETELY CONTRARY TO TRUE REVELATION, OR HE WILL GET YOU SIGNED UP IN ONE OF THESE WELL ESTABLISHED DENOMINATIONAL CHURCH SYSTEMS, WHERE THE PEOPLE SIT, FEELING SO SECURE, YET WITHOUT ANY TRUE UNDERSTANDING OF THE ULTIMATE PURPOSE OF GOD IN REDEMPTION AND RESTORATION WHATSOEVER. THEREFORE THOSE WHO DO HAVE THEIR HEAD ON STRAIGHT, AND HAVE A TRUE REVELATION OF THE WORD OF GOD, HAVE MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR, FOR IT WAS NOT BY OUR OWN WISDOM THAT IT TURNED OUT TO BE SO. A LOVING GOD, THAT FOREKNEW US FROM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, HELD BACK THE FORCES OF SATAN, THAT WOULD HAVE DESTROYED US, AND BY HIS OWN SPIRIT, DREW US TO HIMSELF. HALLELUJAH! MAY HE EVER BE PRAISED AND WORSHIPED.
Let us open our Bibles to Revelation 10:7, at this time, and read that verse. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, AS HE HATH DECLARED TO HIS SERVANTS THE PROPHETS.”
Another man that used to live in this area, and that took a very selfish attitude toward certain things, sent us a letter recently, in which he stated that the voice in Revelation 10:7, was not the voice of the 7th church age messenger, but rather, everything in chapter 10, is for the nation of Israel in the time of Daniel’s seventieth week. Now I am sure most of you know what I mean, when we refer to the seventieth week of Daniel, or the last week of Daniel, do you not? It is the last week of the 70 prophetic weeks in which God would deal exclusively with the nation of Israel because of their transgressions, a prophecy that was given to the prophet Daniel while in Babylonian captivity. Sixty nine weeks (483 years) of that prophecy were fulfilled before the first advent of Christ, leaving one full week (7 years) of time for God’s dealing with the Jews after Gentile grace has been closed out. Many people refer to that time as the great tribulation time, but actually, only the last 3 ½ years of that week of years will be the great tribulation; the first 3 ½ years will be a time of peace and prosperity from the standpoint of the political world. This week is ushered in by the Antichrist and many world politicians signing a great peace covenant, which we know will only last for a short 3 ½ years before the old Antichrist himself breaks the covenant, and begins a great slaughter of Jews, and that very act is what throws the great tribulation into effect. We will read only one verse of scripture from the 9th chapter of Daniel at this time, the verse that deals with that peace covenant, for we have all of this explained in other messages that we have in print already. All right now, the one verse in Daniel 9:27, and the one that shall confirm the covenant with many is the Antichrist. Notice, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst (middle) of the week he (the Antichrist) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, ad for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Political governments will turn their authority over to this great peacemaker for that prophetic week of time, but he will betray their trust in the middle of that week and become a tyrant instead of a peacemaker. Woe be unto those that are left here until then. Brother I want to be with those saints that are caught up to be with Jesus at the marriage supper at the beginning of that week of time. My only interest in that peace covenant, is the revelated teaching of the truth about it. When that week of time starts, it will also put into effect Revelation 7:1-8, where it tells of 144,000 servants of God being sealed in their foreheads, and chapter 11:3-13, where it tells of two witnesses (prophets) that will prophesy to the nation of Israel for a period of 3 ½ years. It is the prophecy of these two Jewish prophets, that accounts for the 144,000 Jewish servants of God being sealed in their foreheads. They are sealed with the baptism of the Holy Ghost and a revelation of who Jesus Christ is, their promised Messiah.
LOVE LETTER TO BRIDE
One thing we always like to point out about the book of Revelation, is that the fulfillment of it does not come about in the same order in which it is recorded in the Bible. When you are trying to write an accurate record of a dozen things that are all taking place at exactly the same time, you just have to write it, and follow each thought through, and the reader is responsible for getting it sorted out when it is read. There was no possible way for John to record all of these events in the order of their fulfillment while only making a record of them. It takes specific teaching and a Holy Ghost revelation to get them all in their order of fulfillment, and that responsibility is delegated to the five fold ministry of Ephesians 4:11-13. Furthermore as we have pointed out before, The book of Revelation is God’s love letter to the end time element of the bride of Christ, those that will be alive to witness the old Antichrist being introduced to the world. So it was not needful for saints of other ages to understand very much of what is written therein. That has caused some carnal minded men to make statements such as, The book of Revelation is like a mudhole; the more you stir it, the muddier it gets. Others have said, It never should have been written, and also, John must have been having a nightmare when he saw all of this. But I thank God for it, for it lets us see how all of this is going to end up. It allows us to see the true bride with her bridegroom, and also the disposition of ungodly men who have spurned the grace of God that has been freely offered to them down through the ages. We do not rejoice over their destruction, but we do rejoice because of the accuracy of God’s word, for the assurance of our salvation depends solely on whether God keeps His word or not.
ONE MAN’S PRIVATE INTERPRETATION
The man who wrote disagreeing with our teaching on Revelation 10:7, pointed back to Revelation 3:14, where John wrote specifically to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, as though angel in both verses should point to the same being. So let me remind you once again, that these letters to the seven certain churches of Asia described conditions that were then present in the individual assemblies in 96 A.D., and the letters were sent to the man in charge of the local assembly, and the man was referred to as the angel of Such and Such a church. But those seven churches had spiritual conditions in them that would identify with the overall spiritual conditions that would be found in seven distinctive ages, or phases that the universal church of Jesus Christ would pass through during the dispensation of grace, and just as each of those local assemblies had one particular man that stood out as their spiritual leader, so also has each age had one particular man that stood out above all others, and he is called, the messenger to the age. Therefore Revelation 10:7, definitely is referring to this seventh church age, which is the age of Laodicea, and not tot the pastor of the local assembly in Asia Minor. Furthermore let me say this, A lot of people just simply do not want to accept the idea that a mortal man could be referred to as an angel; they believe that every time the word angel is used, it pertains to a spirit being. That idea will get you into trouble if you pursue it, for you will have the apostle John writing letters, and sending them to a spirit being some place, and we all know better than that. Can you imagine some mortal man writing a letter to Gabriel, or Michael? It has never been done, and there is no authority in the scriptures for teaching such an idea. In 10:7, the seventh angel referred to, definitely speaks of the Laodicean CHURCH AGE messenger, even though the word angel is used throughout the rest of the book in reference to spirit beings. I am convinced, God has it written like that to confuse carnal theological minds. Their intellectual abilities cannot sort it out, no matter how much Greek and Hebrew they are able to use. That is how one fellow tried to prove we were wrong. He wrote saying, The Greek word that was used here, is the same one that was used over in such and such a place, and we know that over there, it is speaking of spirit beings. Now Saints: It is not my purpose to discredit educated people, for God does have a purpose in all of that. When He wants something recorded in a precise way, it is the educated person that is able to do that, but thank God, that it does not require an education to receive a revelation. God can talk to any person who has an open mind, and is willing to learn. Praise His name!
GENTILES TO BE FELLOW HEIRS
As we come back to our text verse, what we are really looking for is what this mystery of God actually pertains to, for it is singular. It does not say MYSTERIES of God, but MYSTERY (singular) of God should be finished, as He (God) hath declared to His servants the prophets. Some are quick to say, Oh that is speaking of the revelation of Jesus Christ. But brothers and sisters, that does not settle it, for they base that idea on Colossians 1:27 where the apostle Paul referred to the mystery among the Gentiles which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Naturally that is a part of the revelation of the mystery of God mentioned by John, in Revelation 10:7, but that does not cover the whole thing, for we are looking for a revelation of the mystery of God, as declared to His servants the prophets. Therefore the best place to go for a true understanding of this mystery is the epistle written by Paul to the Ephesians. The church at Ephesus was the model church among the Gentiles, and be 64 A.D., the gospel is among the Gentiles in preeminence, but by this time, Paul is a prisoner in Rome. It was from his prison cell in Rome, that he felt moved upon to write to the saints at the Ephesian church, whom he had not seen for many years, so let us open our Bibles to chapter 3, and we will begin reading right in verse 1, for it is important that we see how he approaches the subject of his thoughts. “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles. (There were still some Jews in the congregation at that time, but they were the minor element of the assembly.) If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation He (God) made known unto me the MYSTERY: (Now as you read this in your Bible, you will notice that from the word mystery in verse 3, on through verse 4, it is in Parenthesis. Paul inserts some words of explanation about how the revelation of this mystery was given to him to expound to them. So let us just skip the part that is in parenthesis, and go directly to verse 5, so you can catch the complete thought without the break. We will reread verse 3.) How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery: which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is know revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel.” Alright we can see, that, mystery was the theme, a mystery that in other ages had been hid from the understanding of the sons of men, but is now made known unto the New Testament apostles and prophets by a revelation of the Spirit of God, and being preached to those who would be the beneficiaries of this great revelation.
PAUL’S REVELATION EXPLAINED MORE PERFECTLY
In the Lamsa translation, verse 3-7, are recorded like this, “For the mystery was made known to me by a revelation, as I have briefly written you before. So that when you read it you can understand my knowledge of the mystery of Christ, Which in ages past was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs and partakers of His body and of the promise which is given through Him by the gospel. Of that very gospel, I have been a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effectual working of His power.” Paul had preached this revelation to them, when he held that great revival there, that lasted for almost three years, but here in this old Roman prison, he has the strong urge to write to the Ephesian Church and fill them in more perfectly on this great revelation, whereby the Gentiles who had always been looked upon by the Jews, as dogs, and without hope in God, were now partakers of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the Jews to whom the promise was given. Paul, having been a Pharisee before his conversion, knew all of those prophecies written by the prophets of old concerning this great mystery, and now that he has a revelation of it, his great desire is that all men might be made to understand, and accept this great truth. He continues in verse 7, saying, “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, (Paul always remembered how he at first persecuted Christians, before his own conversion, and that always made him feel very unworthy to be used of God as he was in preaching the gospel. His experience on the road to Damascus, where the power of God struck him blink, and turned his whole life around, had made him a humble man, so he says, I am less than the least of all saints. But God had committed to him a great responsibility) that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; (Is he referring to how much money and material things he has brought and distributed among them? No, he is speaking of the greatest riches that a person could ever possess; salvation for his sin sick soul, and to be joint heirs with Jesus Christ in the family of God. Hallelujah! What great riches is there? What doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole word, and lose his own soul? The Jews were first partakers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but, Praise God, the Gentiles have had it for over 1900 years now, and we are reading the very words that gave them understanding of what this great treasure was, so let us look at verse 9, and see some more of what Paul’s great burden was.) And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”
UNDERSTANDING GOD’S PURPOSE
The King James version, and all translations that have been taken from the King James text, conclude verse 9, with the words, who created all things by Jesus Christ, and that causes a trinity mind to feel that he has a right to believe that Jesus the Son existed as a person with the Father in creation. But we have gone into much detail in other messages, proving to you by the scriptures, that Jesus the Son of God never had any physical existence until the virgin Mary gave birth to Him two thousand years ago. Before that, He existed only in the mind of the Father, the great eternal Spirit that created all things by His own word, and that is exactly how verse 9 reads, in the original text. It simply says, “which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things.” That leaves you with a true revelation. But when the King James translators added those last three words, they actually perverted the whole thought. Without a true revelation of the Godhead, people who read the first chapter of John’s gospel, just automatically assume that Jesus was a person, working with the Father in creation. But a true revelation allows us to see that God, by the same means in which He created everything else, also created an embryo in the womb of a young virgin, that produced the flesh being of His only begotten Son. Alright now, why did Paul feel that he should endeavor to make all men understand this mystery concerning the Gentiles? Verse 10 tell us. “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.” Brothers and sisters, let me just say at this time, Church pews around this world, are filled with people who claim o be children of God by a new birth, and the larger majority of them are totally ignorant of the plan and purpose of God in redemption. They go to church faithfully; they are faithful to the programs of their particular church, and they talk a lot about being born again, but very few of them actually have any revelation whatsoever of what the new birth really is, nor what it places one into, when it does take place. Somehow they are made to believe that if they will got to church and be religious, they will inherit eternal life for it, but they receive no instruction on what the truly born again souls are to be partakers of. The old Methodist, with whom I am most familiar, believe that God saved them just so they would escape hell and go to heaven, and that one day God will burn the earth, and that will be the end of the whole picture. Well I am thankful to know that God does not end it all in that way. Sure He will burn up the wicked, and purge the earth with fire, but the earth will still be here, and children of God will still be here on it, or in it. It is those spiritual realities that take place beyond the point of most churchgoers understanding, that Paul refers to as the unsearchable riches of Christ, and that allow the true church to see and understand the manifold wisdom of God in the whole thing. That is why I have said many times, The things written in the New Testament are only for the true bride church, and definitely not for the world of religion in general. Therefore when I say something that may sound like I am being very selfish, I am not selfish at all; I am just extremely thankful to God for His grace and mercy that has been extended to include me in. If it were left up to me, I would try to include everyone, but who receives this grace, when, where, and how they receive it, is strictly in the hands of God. All we can do is preach a true revelation of the gospel of Christ, and let the Spirit of God draw those that are ordained to receive it. Therefore knowing that the Spirit of God has to draw a person to the place of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, has a humbling effect instead of making one proud and selfish. We just have to realize that we are what we are purely by the grace and mercy of God.
A LOOK AT GOD’S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM
Let us just look back at verse 9, and see what else is there, that we should mention at this time. The apostle Paul is talking about how God has called him to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ among the Gentiles, and then in verse 9, he says, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things,” and that brings up the question, If it has been hid in God from the beginning of creation, How does Revelation 10:7 fit into the picture? Just what does it mean? What did the seventh messenger (angel) have to do with it? These are some of the questions that people ask, and they are questions that deserve an answer, so let us go back to the Old Testament, where God made a promise to Abraham that included not only his natural seed, but also his spiritual seed, and I believe we can fill in the missing pieces to the puzzle. When Abraham was seventy-five years old, and had no children of his own, God spoke to him saying, “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” After Abraham left Haran and journeyed to the land of Canaan, God appeared to him again, and said, “Unto thy seed will I give this land,” but Abraham still had no seed. Nevertheless he did believe God, and he built an altar, and worshiped God there. At another time, after Abraham and Lot were separated from each other, God appeared to him saying, “Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.” But Abraham still had no seed. A few more years passed, and Abraham questioned God about this promised seed. For God had said to him, “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” That caused Abraham to say, “Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? Thou hast given me no seed: and lo, one born I my house is mine heir.” Then God said to him, “This shall not be thine heir; but he that cometh forth from thine own bowels shall be thine heir, and thy seed shall be for number as the stars of heaven.” This promise hung over Abraham for 25 years before his own wife Sarah gave birth to that promised son, when she was already ninety years old. But God does not live in time, nor is He hampered by circumstances of the natural. He is always able to perform His word and fulfill His promises, regardless of circumstances. I am sure, you all know the story, how Sarah tried to help God, and caused her husband to gain a son by her Egyptian maid Haggar, and he was called Ishmael, but even though he was Abraham’s first born, God still told Abraham that the promise He had made to him, was to be fulfilled through Isaac, his son of promise by his wife Sarah, and through that son was all the nations of the earth to be blessed. Naturally it was hard for Abraham to conceive what all of that meant, as God would say these things to him, but the scriptures say, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness. Well, even though Abraham did receive the promised son, he still did not know to what extent the promise of God would reach, but he did believe God. After Abraham was laid to rest, Isaac still carried that promise. Because from him would come a line of genetic people that would grow into a great multitude, and from time to time, God would lift up one of those men, and use him for a prophet. He would speak to that man concerning things to come, and cause the man to write it down in a record that would be passed from generation to generation. Things that pertained not only to the Jewish race of people which were Abrahams natural seed, but some of them pertained to what God would do for Gentiles through the see of Abraham.
WHAT THE OLD PROPHETS WROTE
Abraham’s natural seed ended up in Egypt, and remained there for over 400 years, before God miraculously led them out of Egyptian bondage by the hand of Moses His anointed. He led them to the foot of Mt. Sinai, where all the rest stayed, while Moses went up upon the mountain, and prostrated himself in the presence of God for 40 days and nights, while God showed him in types and shadows the end of His promise to Abraham. Naturally Moses did not understand it all, but he did record it for future generations to read, and we all know, it was recorded in symbolic language. Those festivities that the children of Israel observed from year to year, actually pointed ahead to something God was going to fulfill in the spirit, and make the Gentiles partakers of it also. But during those years, along came prophet after prophet, speaking of the things God would do among the Gentiles, and none of them understood what the prophecies actually pertained to. Furthermore during all that time (1400 years) Gentiles were looked upon by the Jews as unclean dogs, and rightly so, for Gentiles were pagan idol worshipers, and there was nothing that they would not do. They had no knowledge of one God who is Spirit, nor how to worship a God that they could not see. They made their own gods, and they had many, believe me. That is why a trinity is so popular among Gentiles today; their hereditary traits are stronger than their revelatory attributes. No matter what anyone tells them about God being ONE, they still have to hold to what their ancestors believed. The only exception is the few that are able to hear the voice of God, and you believe me, compared to the multitudes of religious people out here in the world today, they are few. Through all those years, the Jew could read in the Psalms & Prophets how God would perfect praise from the Gentiles, but how could he ever look upon any Gentile as being fit for anything like that? It was spoken to, and written by Gods servants the prophets, but none of them understood what it meant. Yet in the days when the seventh angel was upon earth, this mystery concerning the salvation of Gentiles, and how they would be fellow heirs with Jewish saints, was already revealed. It had been in operation for over 1900 years, but there was yet a work for the VOICE of that seventh angel to do, after the man himself was already in the ground. His voice was his message to the true bride of Christ, and that bride is made up of people from all nations around this world, many of which had never even heard the name William Branham, while he was still alive. Therefore many people who would have to hear his voice (his message) had never heard of him in 1965, so his voice had not yet begun to sound to them. We just simply cannot look at everything pertaining to the universal church, and make judgments based upon conditions here in Jeffersonville, Indiana, where the seventh angel preached his major messages. We have to allow time for God to deal with every individual soul that is to be a recipient of His grace, in every corner of the world, before we can conclude that anything is finished, as pertaining to the bride of Christ.
WHAT GENTILES HAVE INHERITED
Four thousand years passed between the first events of the garden of Eden, and the birth of Jesus the Christ. For over 1400 years of that time the Jews had the law, the prophets, the many types and shadows that pointed to what God would accomplish through the one whom they looked for. Yet when He came, they rejected Him, because He did not measure up to their preconceived ideas of what He should be like, and what He should do, therefore what was first offered to them, and only a few of them received it, was then offered to the Gentiles, and they have had it for almost two thousand years now. But when you look at the overall picture of what is called Christianity today, the true gospel of Jesus Christ is treated in much the same way among them, as the author of that gospel was among the Jews when He stood among them in person, preaching to them. They called Him a devil, and tried to kill Him many times during the 3 ½ years He preached among them. Who did those things? The educated religious leaders, and their devout followers. That is who crucified the Son of God, while His only crime was that He offered them eternal life according to the promise of the God they claimed to serve. He came, fulfilling all those scriptures they had been reading in their synagogues every Sabbath day, and those great doctors of divinity, and their scribes, failed to see one thing in Him, that would cause them to say, He is the Messiah. Yet God did give one of them a revelation, and sent him to the Gentiles who had never had the privilege of knowing the man Jesus in the flesh, and by the power of the Spirit, he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to them, and they accepted it. No Gentile has ever been privileged to know Christ after the flesh; only through a revelation by the Spirit do we know Him, and accept His gospel. What about this mystery though; some will yet say? It is none other than the church, called out from among the Gentiles. Once the time came, that God offered His plan of redemption to humanity, He took from the pages of those Old Testament prophets, all those prophecies that pointed to us Gentiles, what we are to do, how we are to be blessed, and so forth, and placed the living reality of them in the hearts of Gentile believers. What was a mystery to all those old prophets that wrote of it, is a living reality to the called out Gentile bride of Christ. Paul had stood for two years, in the school of Tyrannus, there in Ephesus, preaching the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ to Gentiles, and by the power of His Spirit, God drove back the powers of Satan, opened up their superstitious minds, and gave them a revelation of how He was fulfilling among them, the prophecies of Amos, Isaiah, the Psalms, and the covenant made with Abraham, and Paul watched those scriptures come alive in that great revival, as those Gentiles so freely received the gospel. Then during the years between then and the time he winds up in a Roman prison, he had watched as the word of God grew among them, and prevailed, so he is very thankful in his heart, that God gave him the insight to preach it to them. To the Colossians he said, It is Christ in you, the hope of glory, and that is exactly right, for that is where the hope lies, and that in itself is a mystery. But the mystery of God as referred to in Revelation 10:7, is that the Gentiles were included in those spiritual promises which seemed to have been made only to the Jews. Not only did we receive a revelation of Jesus Christ, but also an understanding of the plan and purpose of God in His complete redemption process. Nevertheless religion as a whole would treat Jesus Christ the same way those religious Jews treated Him, if He showed up today preaching what He did then, for it would not fit into their church programs. No, they will never get a chance to put Him on trial in the flesh, but they are putting Him on trial just the same, because of the way they are treating the revelation of His word. They trust in their theological degrees and their great educations, but no true revelation has ever come out of a seminary, and it never will; that is man’s way. They have taken the ONLY PERSON of the Godhead, and made Him the second person of a triune concept of God. They call Him Lord and Savior, yet there is no possible way that He could be the Savior and Lord of people who despise revelation truth like they do. Sure He can still dal with an individual soul in those systems, but the system that holds those souls captive is as dead as a doornail. The Spirit of God left those systems long ago. I know it sounds like I am terribly narrow minded when I talk like this, but when God gives you a revelation, He expects you to let that revelation help you face reality. Burying your head in the sand will not get one extra soul saved. Some people actually say, Oh they are so sincere, I believe if we will just leave them alone, everything will be all right. Well I wish that could be true; but that is just an illusion. God knows what He is after, His word tells us what He is after, and He will not accept anything less.
TRUMPET ANGELS SOUND JUDGMENTS
Let me just remind you, that the whole book of Revelation is a prophecy, and that denominational church people know that much about it. The main trouble is, they try to make application of much of it, without any revelation of what it actually says to the bride of Christ. Just believing certain fundamental truths, like the eminent return of Jesus Christ, the rapture of the true church, the battle of Armageddon, and the great white throne judgment, is of little benefit if you do not get a revelation of how God is going to fulfill those scriptures, and what He is going to accomplish in the fulfilling of them. Untold numbers of Jews went out to hear John the Baptist, as he stood pointing souls to Jesus Christ, and many of them left stomping mad, because what they heard crossed their traditions. Is that not the case with Gentiles today? How many do you meet up with, that really want to hear the truth? You tell them that Revelation 10:7 pointed to a man that lived in this age of Laodicea, and they look at you as though to say, You are an outright heretic. Brothers and Sisters: You know that is the truth. They want to believe that the angel of that verse is the same as the 7th trumpet angel of chapter 8. Brother, when those trumpet angels begin to sound, their sounding will not have anything at all to do with the mystery of God among Gentiles. Their sounding will be exclusively to Israel, and it will be in connection with the ministry of the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3-7. Those trumpet angels are to be the executioners of judgment in Israel, as those two witnesses pronounce that judgment upon the nation. First you need to realize that those seven angels of chapter 8, each have a trumpet, but the angel of 10:7, does not have a trumpet; he has a voice. It refers to the voice of the 7th church age messenger that has already been on earth, delivered his message and left his voice, and that voice is being sounded around this old world. His voice is his message and every true bride person must hear that voice. Oh, I am not saying they have to hear the name William Branham; it is the message he delivered to the living element of the bride of Christ that they must hear, in order to be set free from religious traditions of their past, and step into the beautiful light of God’s revealed word.
HOW VOICE IS APPLIED
Alright now, let us just go directly to Acts 13:26-27, to establish the fact that we have not misapplied the word voice in our text scripture. Keep in mind the fact that Israel had been without a writing prophet for four hundred years, so Paul was definitely not speaking of prophets of their day and hour as he uttered these words. He was reminding those Jews of how John the Baptist had been sent ahead, to prepare the people to receive their long awaited Messiah, and how, even though they had read the writings of their prophets concerning Him, they still failed to recognize Him when He came. Let us go back to verse 24, where we will get a little more background on what Paul is saying. “When John had first preached before His coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel, and as John had fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not He. (The Christ) But behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of His feet I am not worthy to loose.” (Now Paul picks up right there with this discourse to them, in which he uses the word voice, or voices, in the relationship that establishes our point, so notice.) “Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this SALVATION sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew Him not, nor yet the VOICES OF THE PROPHETS (notice now) which are READ EVERY SABBATH DAY, (That had to be the messages of those old prophets, all of which had been dead for hundreds of years at that time, so he concludes that verse by saying) they have fulfilled them (the prophecies) in condemning Him.” Naturally there is much that could be said right there, but what we are after, is just to establish grounds for applying the word Voice to the message of the messenger, rather than just to the vocal sounds he uttered while still alive, and among us. Those Jews were reading the messages of their prophets, and every one of those prophets are dead, yet Paul referred to it as the VOICES of their prophets. Therefore I say to you, When we read Revelation 10:7, let us face reality, and apply it correctly; for when Bro. William Branham was still alive, only a small segment of the universal bride of Christ was ever privileged to hear the actual vocal sounds of his voice. On the other hand though, since his death, his VOICE (message) has been around this old globe again and again, and it will continue so, until every predestined soul has heard it.
SCRIPTURE INTERPRETS SCRIPTURE
Saints: This is the reason I have said so many times, The scriptures themselves, interpret the scripture for us when we allow the Holy Ghost to guide our thoughts. Another good example of that is Rev. 12:14, concerning spiritual Israel (the woman) during the time of the great tribulation, when the Antichrist and his evil forces are determined to destroy everything that believes in God. It says, “And to the woman were 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 half a time, (3 ½ years) from the face of the serpent. Verse 6, of that same chapter, tells us that the woman flees to a place God had already prepared for her, for a period of 1260 days, (3 ½ years of prophetic time) and verse 16 lets us see that the dragon of that verse, is the serpent of verses 14 & 15, and verse 9, allows us to see that they are both terms that apply to Satan the Devil, the enemy of God. But my main emphasis is on the two wings of a great eagle, so let us read Exodus 19:3 & 4. “And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I BARE YOU ON EAGLES’ WINGS, and brought you unto myself.” Alright, there you have the same terminology, Israel being delivered from their oppressors on the wings of eagles. But did Israel fly out of Egypt on the backs of great eagles? Of course not! You will ever one say. How were they delivered then? By obeying the words of God’s anointed, Moses and Aaron, and that is exactly what will deliver those Jews of Revelation 12:14. God’s two witnesses of Revelation 11:3, will have been on the scene in Israel, prophesying to them of the things that are soon to come upon them, and instructing them as to where to go, and how to go there, when that crucial hour arrives. So the message of those two prophets (witnesses) of God are the two wings of a great eagle that will cause that spiritual element of Jews to know when to flee, and where to go, for it will be a place already prepared of the Lord for that specific purpose. Now please do not ask me what that has to do with Revelation 10:7, for if you have been paying attention, you should know that I used this, only for the purpose of confirming spiritual terminology, and to show you how the scriptures themselves will vindicate a thing when the Holy Spirit is allowed to put them together for us.
THE BRIDE OF CHRIST MUST HEAR THIS VOICE
Those long range prophecies of Isaiah, Amos, Zechariah, Ezekiel, and all of them just lay right there for Jews of every century to read, but only in the generation that they were to be fulfilled, did those voices come off of those old scrolls, and become a revelation to those chosen of God for that purpose, and the end result of that era, is that the early church was founded by souls that heard the voices of those old prophets, and that opened up a new era, the dispensation of grace, during which time, the things those old prophets spake are a living reality to God’s true people, the church. But because of Satan’s perverting tactics, the church got off course, and it required another voice (message) to get her free from traditions, and back on a true course, and that is the voice this message is dealing with, so let us read our text verse again. “But in the days of the VOICE of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.” We have two main points to focus on in this verse; the mystery of God, and the voice of the seventh angel, and it is very important that we understand the truth of each point, and allow for a universal application of everything the lord reveals. As I said already, When Bro. William Branham really began to preach the things that were applicable to the universal church, of which the seals more or less climaxed, his name was yet unheard of in many areas of the world. Nevertheless he did have a message that called for God’s people to get out of denominational systems and get back to the word of God, and that had to reach the ends of the earth, for God’s people everywhere were held under bondage by what we may just as well call Catholic dogma. For even though the Reformation brought many souls out of Catholicism, it failed to get them free of Catholic doctrine. Yet when this man’s message begun to work its way around the world, (after his death) it found lodging in the hearts of believers in some of the most unlikely places you could ever imagine. Not only was it calling them out of traditional religion, it was making them hungry for more of the revealed truth of God’s word. Those who were privileged to hear him, or hear taped messages, or read the messages he preached, were made to see the Jesus of the Bible in a way they had never seen Him before, and I thank God that I was one of those who were so privileged. But I am even more thankful that God is able to deal with the hearts of people who never even heard of William Branham, and give them the same revelation of His word, simply because they had ears to hear the VOICE (the message) of that little man, years after he had been lain in the ground. That, in itself, proves that it is not the audible voice of the messenger, but rather, his message, that the people of God had to hear. His message was to deal exclusively with God’s last day winding up of His redemption work among Gentiles. It dealt with every aspect of getting the true people of God out of man made systems, getting them free from manmade doctrines, and revealing the true God of all creation to them. God’s true people who have heard this man’s message, now know that God is one, and definitely not three persons. They know that water baptism is to be administered by immersion, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, according to Acts 2:38, and that every true child of God has the privilege of approaching God’s throne of grace and mercy on his or her own behalf, without the intercession of another mortal being. In other words, what we are saying is this, When the universal church of the living God has been totally affected by the application of this message, then, and then alone, will all of that which was written by those old prophets concerning this mystery of God, be fulfilled. But as for right now, that voice is in the earth today, and it will remain so until every predestined soul has heard it. No, it is not the seven thunders that will perfect the church ,as some believe. Salvation is completed, or perfected by the restored truth of God’s word, as was delivered to this age by this 7th age messenger of whom we have been speaking. Well, some will say, What are the seven thunders for then? The thunders will project something in the prophetic realm for the bride of Christ. Only after she is restored to the true understanding of the word of God and moving toward the rapture, will the thunders have a genuine application for the church. I believe it will have something to do with current events in the world, as Gentile time runs out, things that coincide with the return of Jesus Christ and the rapture itself. You can be sure of this much though, Whatever those thunders utter, will be things that are not written in the scriptures. Naturally, when I say that, there are always some who jump straight up, and say, How can that be possible? Well, Brothers and Sisters, I say, If those two prophets can be in Israel, prophesying, for 3 ½ years, things that are not written, why get so frustrated over the idea that those seven thunders can prophesy? Why deny the very possibility of it? To do so, you limit God. But remember, God will not be limited by our ideas; He has a plan to perfect.
JOHN WROTE WHAT HE WAS SHOWN
Just for the sake of understanding, let’s try to place ourselves over in the week of Daniel where we can watch God deal with those Jews that are to be sealed with a revelation of Jesus Christ and the baptism of the Holy ghost. Naturally what we know, comes mostly from a book of the Bible, that the Jews do not even accept as authentic scripture; the book of Revelation. It is a letter to the Gentile church, but it is mostly about God’s endtime dealing with the Jewish nation, simply because it is the will of God for the church to know what is going to take place. The aged apostle John, the author of the book was not a doctor of divinity, but, oh, what a revelation he had. He wrote the gospel of St. John and the three little epistles over in the back of the New Testament, and in his writing, it is plain to see that he dwelled much on the deity of Jesus Christ, and the oneness of God, and the love of God. But when he wrote the book of Revelation, he was not writing his own revelation; he wrote according to his instructions. He was projected into future time by the Spirit of God, and shown things that were yet to be, even into our very day and hour; and he had been instructed to record it, so that is how this book of Revelation came to be written. But after looking at this 7th verse, here in chapter 10, and realizing that it definitely points to the Laodicean Church age messenger, we now want to go into chapter 8, where after verse 1, it deals with events that will take place in the first 3 ½ years of the 70th week of Daniel, under the ministry of God’s two witnesses, or prophets of chapter 11. We want to look at the events that take place at the sounding of the seven trumpet angels, and see if we can tie it all together to form a complete picture. But let us first read verse 1, for that verse belongs to the church. “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” Now saints, I have stated over and over, since the death of Bro. William Branham, that when God dealt with him as He did, and brought him back to Jeffersonville, and by the anointing of His Spirit enabled him to teach what he did about the seals, this is one seal he was not permitted to break and explain. All of the first six were revealed, and all explained, and Oh how beautiful it was to sit there, and hear them placed exactly in line with the scriptures. Your denominational preachers have never done that. Those who have even endeavored to touch on the seals, have been so far off course it was almost a laughing matter. They treat the whole thing as though it is all yet out ahead somewhere, and will be fulfilled after the bride is gone to glory, so she has no need to know anything about it. Brothers and Sisters: Those who believe that, are going to miss God for sure, just like those religious Jews did at the first advent of Christ.
SEVENTH SEAL BROKEN
Here is what we have go to understand about the breaking of this seventh seal. When it is literally broken, the first thing it signifies is that the mediatorial work of Jesus Christ is finished. He will no longer be high priest. Secondly, it means that the little sealed scroll that He has been holding in His right hand is no longer a rolled scroll, for when that last seal is broken it will be unfurled. That is why verse 2 of chapter 10, shows the little book (scroll) open, in the hand of the mighty angel that comes down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow upon His head, His face shining as the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire. That is a description of Jesus Christ Himself, but at that time, He appears only in angelic form, for it is not yet time for the rapture to take place. This is His announcement, that His mediatorial work is finished, every name in the little scroll has been interceded for, and it is time for the seven thunders to utter their voices to the church, and the two witnesses to begin their work in Israel. All of that is tied to the opening of the seventh seal that was not opened in 1963, it is yet ahead of us, but when it is opened, chapter 10 immediately goes into effect, and the whole program of redemption takes a drastic change. That is when the events of chapter 8:2-13 begin to take place in Israel and the Middle East, so let us see if we can get a picture in our minds, of what will happen. Naturally I am aware of the fat, that a lot of people will say, Bro. William Branham plainly stated, that those seven trumpets are for Israel, for the Jews. That is true; they do not affect the destiny of the church whatsoever. But I will have to come right back, and say, Those things that are important to the Jews as far as literal application, are very important to the Gentile church for understanding, because they are written in her letter. You have to remember, that no Judiastic Jew will even accept the book of Revelation as authoritative scripture, so the understanding of the whole book is for the bride of Christ, even though most of the fulfillment of it deals with the Jews. So let us, for the sake of understanding, picture these events. The seventh seal has been broken, Christ, in angelic form, is standing with His left foot upon the sea, and His right foot on the earth, (This scene points to universal dominion.) With the little scroll open in His hand. That moves time to the beginning point of Daniel’s seventieth week, so let us watch these seven trumpet angels of chapter 8, beginning in verse 2. “And I (John) saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. (Brother when that week of time starts, there is going to be some drastic developments among earth’s society, for things are really going into a turmoil.) And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth; and there were voices, (two of those voices that will begin to be heard about that time, will be God’s two witnesses, or prophets of Rev. 11:3) and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” Now Saints: When this heavenly scene is set, the application and effects of it are going to be in the earth. Verse 7 gives us the sounding of the first trumpet, and its effect, and as I have said many times before, It is ridiculous to think these seven angels would be pouring out judgment upon the earth in the same period of time God’s two prophets are calling for those same judgments, if they were unrelated. But if you can see that these trumpet angels are actually applying the effects of the judgments those prophets are authorized of God to call for, to vindicate their ministry, it will all fit together, to form a complete picture.
THREE TRUMPET ANGELS SOUND
Alright now, let us read these first three trumpets, and then we will go to chapter 11, and correlate them with what the two prophets are doing. Let us read verses 6 and 7 now. “And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 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 was burnt up, and all green gras was burnt up.” Please notice, that only a third part is affected. That shows that this is not a universal picture on earth, so it is obvious that it affects only Israel and their surrounding countries of the Middle East. As we proceed, you will see that it would not even be sensible to place these happenings anywhere in the earth, except in the area where the two prophets will be displaying the power and authority of God to a political minded, peace seeking element of Jews that have so readily signed a peace agreement with the Antichrist. Right now there is an element of Jews in Israel that would sign that covenant on a minute’s notice. On one hand, there are Jews believing with all their heart, that they are back in the land getting things ready for their Messiah. But on the other hand, there are those whose mind is on nothing but politics and money, and their own social status. Taking serious the messages of those two prophets would not even be considered by them, without some sort of display as Moses put on for Pharaoh in Egypt. So let us read verse 8, and see what else the Lord will do to convince them that He is in control of things. “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: (It does not say that a great mountain was literally cast into the sea. It is just that the effects of what takes place is as if such an occurrence took place.) And the third part of the sea became blood; 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.” The sea, here, applies no doubt, to the Mediterranean Sea, the same sea around which all the prophetic beasts of Daniel and Revelation are associated. But you will notice that the judgment is still limited in scope to a 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.” All of this, but still only a third part is affected, so let us go to chapter 11, where we can see what God’s two prophets are doing at this same time.
EVENTS IN THE WEEK OF DANIEL
It is important now, that we keep our mind on only the first three trumpets, as we look at chapter 11, for their effects are realized in the first half of that week of time while the two prophets are on the scene in Israel. Chapter 11, starts out with John measuring the temple, a temple that was not even in existence when he wrote this prophetic letter, for Titus and his Roman army had completely destroyed the temple that was standing in the days of the first advent of Christ. “And there was given 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.” The temple he is told to measure, is yet to be built. “But the court which is without (outside) the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city Jerusalem; shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” Now the court was the walled in area around the temple, where the children of Israel came to worship Jehovah, for only the priests were allowed inside the temple itself. Being inside the court separated them from the mainstream of activity in the city itself, and they would stand, and look toward the altar, as the priests offered sacrifices upon it, and burned incense. Standing on the wall, on one side would be men singers, and on the other side would be woman singers, (mainly Levites) and they would sing various Psalms and choruses. The people who came to worship, did not come and sit in a building like we do, and sing songs, and listen to preaching. Nevertheless their worship was acceptable to God, as long as they participated according to the law of Moses, even though the priests were the ones who went through the various functions described in the Old Testament. Well, you know more or less how they worshiped Jehovah, standing in the court area, but here, John is told not to measure the court, for it is given unto the Gentiles. That simply lets us know, that when the time does come, that the Jews get their temple spot back, time will not last long enough for them to restore the court and everything, before the Antichrist breaks his great peace covenant, and takes control of the temple himself. The temple will be built, and the Jews will offer sacrifices upon the altar, but time runs out before they get the court area rebuilt and restored, so John is told not to measure it, for it is given unto the Gentiles. What Gentiles? The Gentile army that the Antichrist will bring in, when he breaks the covenant, in the middle of the week, to fulfill the rest of Daniel 9:27. He denies the Jews any further access to their temple, and seats himself therein, according to Paul’s revelation in 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-4, and that is for the overspreading of abomination, as he sits there showing himself to be God. But he will not be able to accomplish all of this without His European army to back him up. The last part of verse 2 tells us how long all of this will last, forty and two months, 3 ½ years, the last half of Daniel’s week. Therefore keep that in your minds, and let us go to verse 3, where we will see the two witnesses given power, or authority to execute God’s purpose in the land of Israel. “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall PROPHESY a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” As I said earlier, it is not written what they will prophesy, but you can believe this much; it will be something that will open the blinded eyes of those Jews that are back there from all over the world. From every nation, Jews have gone to dwell in Israel, and every one of them that has any hope in God at all, have their own ideas about the coming of the Messiah, so what those two prophets prophesy, will definitely be something that will open their blinded eyes, and allow them to believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah they are looking for. Verse 4, “These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” It is not strange, that in this Gentile letter, which the Jews do not even accept as authoritative scripture, is found the first mention of the identity of those olive trees and candlesticks mentioned in Zechariah 4:11, 14. Jews, for centuries, have read those verses, without having any idea whatsoever of what they pertained to, but here in this Gentile letter, we are made to understand, that they will be two Jewish men, anointed with the anointing of Moses and Elijah of old, to awaken spiritual Israel and get them ready to receive their Messiah. There was no way for Jews of other ages to know that this symbolic language pointed to two men who would be prophets of God. But what does the symbolism actually tell us, some will say? Well, we know for sure, that men are not trees, and neither are they candlesticks, so why are they mentioned in this likeness? First let me remind you, that candlesticks are for the purpose of giving light, and it is from those olive trees, they get the oils to feed through those wicks, so looking at it from that standpoint, that is exactly what these two Jews will do, give light to their Jewish brethren. They will prophesy for 3 ½ years, under the two greatest anointings that have ever been bestowed upon mortal mankind, right straight from the throne of God. You can check it in the Old Testament, and you will see that Moses and Elijah of old, had those two great anointings. Down in Egypt, every time God told Moses to go to Pharaoh, and tell him to let my people go, He allowed Moses to pronounce plagues on the land, to vindicate his authority. At Moses’ command, here came lice, frogs, flies, hail, locusts, water to blood, and all such like. Then take Elijah, and look how God vindicated him. He was sitting upon a mountainside one day, and the king sent a captain and fifty men to bring him down, and what did he do? He looked at them, and said, “If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty,” and immediately it was done. Another time he looked at old King Ahab and said, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word,” and that is exactly how it was, and during that time He challenged 450 prophets of Baal to prove that their God could send fire down upon their altar, to consume their sacrifices, and he allowed them a whole day, to go through all their fanatical manipulations. Then as evening drew near, and it came time for the offering of the evening sacrifice to Jehovah, old Elijah prepared his offering upon the altar, and just for a demonstration to those heathen, he had twelve barrels of water poured over his offering, and the wood, and then he called upon the Lord, to send the fire, and immediately the fire of the Lord came down and consumed everything on, and around that altar, and because of that, the people who had been unsure about what God to worship, everyone fell upon their faces, and cried out to Jehovah. Now that was divine intervention, at the word of that old prophet who knew that he was in the will of God in those things. But now, back to Revelation, chapter 11. When you put those two together, that is exactly what we are going to see here. Verse 5, “And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.” No, they will not be breathing out literal fire from their mouths, to burn their enemies; it will be Holy Ghost fire. God will slay them, just like He did Ananias and Sapphira, over in the 5th chapter of Acts. But notice now, this is just a small portion mentioned here, of all that will be taking place. “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over water to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” In that one verse we see both the ministry of Moses and Elijah. Elijah shuts off the water, and Moses turns the water in the streams and sea to blood. What will that accomplish? After so long a time, it will get some attention from those skeptics and scoffers. It only gives a little sketch here of what will take place as they call for various plagues, but it is enough to let us see that these trumpet angels are working with them. The sounding of these trumpets in heaven, is what anoints these men to execute their ministry on earth, and they have two primary purposes. First, to seal one hundred and forty four thousand Jewish men with a revelation of Jesus Christ, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. That is what we see in chapter 7:1-8. But at the same time these men are hearing their prophetic revelation, another element of Jews will be hearing and believing also. This will be men, women, boys, and girls of all ages, referred to in chapter 12, as the woman that flees into the wilderness, to hide from the Antichrist for 3 ½ years.
As we said already, the two wings of a great eagle, that delivers her safely into her place, already prepared for her of the Lord, is the message of these two prophets. They will tell them where to go, and when. The woman element if spiritual Jews are ordained of God to repopulate the Jewish race of people, in the Millennium, so God hides them from the old Antichrist, and preserves them for that purpose. On the other hand, the 144,000 Jewish men will scatter back into the nations from which they came, preaching the everlasting gospel, and warning their brethren still in dispersion, not to accept the mark of the beast, nor have anything to do with him. Refusing will get them killed, but their martyrdom will get them a reward of eternal life, rather than damnation, as will be the lot of those who fail to take heed to their warnings. Among those that are killed for refusing the mark of the beast, will also be all those Gentile foolish virgins, spoken of in Matthew 25:1-13. So you see, the events of many chapters are all being fulfilled at the same time, so there was no possible way for John to record them in the exact order of their fulfillment.
TWO PROPHETS IN ISRAEL
Alright now, let us look more closely at the ministry of these two witnesses. “They have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over water to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” That lets us know, there are more plagues involved than just what is mentioned right here in this verse. As often as they will, is a key phrase here, for they were authorized to use these means whenever needed, to get the attention of the people. So let us reread verse 7, in chapter 8. “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 was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” Let us not look at this as a literal fire just burning up everything immediately, for when we look back to the book of Exodus, where Moses turned the water to blood, that condition lasted long enough, that the fish in the waters died, and the stench of it was smelled throughout all Egypt. So when we read over here where one angel sounds, and blood, fire, and hail were cast upon the earth, it simply lets us know, that these are all conditions which shall be brought about as these two prophets see fit to call for them to accomplish their purpose. Therefore in order to get it said as I see it, let us try to dramatize it a little. Let us just suppose we are Jews in Israel, and we will think and act like Jews. The two prophets are on the scene, but how are they going to get 144,000 specific Jews sealed away for God, in the midst of such modern day atheism? Let us just suppose the Antichrist has already been introduced to the world, and world leaders are all caught up in a process of economic recovery. They have a guarantee of world peace, and security for everyone, and the old man of sin is busy making his speeches, whereby flattery and deceptiveness holds his hearers spellbound. In Israel, Jews are there from all over the world, some looking for the Messiah, and others only interested in the dollar, and politics. Most of these do not even know whether there is a God of Abraham or not. Over on the Gentile side, God is just winding up His redemption program with them, and the church is just about ready to leave, so His Spirit is beginning to deal with the Jews. How will these two prophets begin their work in Israel? You can rest assured, they will not start by preaching to the street cleaners. I believe they will go straight to the politicians, just as Moses went right to Pharaoh. No doubt, one of their first questions will be, Why have you sold this nation to this Antichrist, for such a false peace plan? Regardless of who the top men in Israel may be, the point is, God has got to get their attention somehow. He has already dealt with His two prophets and they know what He is going to do, and they know what their part in it is, So they begin to lay it on the line, exposing this great world peace maker, and telling them what the God of their fathers is going to do in that land. But how do you suppose those scientific minded politicians will respond to them? They will laugh them to scorn. Who do you think you are, coming in here, talking to us like this? Well it is time for a demonstration. What they do first is immaterial to our point, but God is going to do something to get their attention, and do not think all the rest of the Jews in Israel are off somewhere having a picnic while this is going on. No, first of all, the whole land is not much larger than the state of Rhode Island, so whatever takes place, all will be aware of it. I can just see it, as these angels begin to sound, and one plague after another is poured out upon that land. At first, those stubborn politicians get even more rebellious, as they endeavor to explain what is taking place, by their scientific theories. But do not tell me that Israel’s economy is not going to be affected by all of this. Right now, they are exporting tomatoes, potatoes, and vegetables of every kind, that are being grown in that Jordan Valley, because God has blessed the land, and enabled them to do that. The scriptures speak of how the Jews will return to the land, rebuild the ruined places, till the desolate places, and the desert would blossom as a rose. It is doing that; they are exporting fruit and vegetables by the tons. But you let the heaven be shut up, and them go without rain long enough, and it will be another story. A few weeks without rain, and they will think nothing about it, or even a few months, they can still laugh and make fun. But what do you suppose they will be thinking when a whole year passes, and there is still no rain? Six months later, still no rain. I believe they will start to look back to the time when those two prophets stood before them, and said, Our God sent us to speak to you, and you refuse to take heed; therefore that you may know that we speak by His authority, there will be no more rain in Israel until we call for it. By this time, world news commentators will be dramatizing the whole thing to the whole world. Not only is the land suffering this great drought, and all their crops burning up, but they are also suffering from the affects of all these other plagues. But you remember how it was down in Egypt, when Moses was dealing with Pharaoh. God would tell Moses what to say to him, what to ask for, and what would be the consequences if he refused, but then God would harden Pharaoh’s heart even more, that He might be able to show His great power even more. It will be the same way in Israel; God will harden the hearts of those reprobate Jews, and demonstrate His power through all these plagues, but all the while, the two prophets are prophesying, and other Jews are hearing it, and believing it, and that is what the whole thing is about, in the first place. God has those two spiritual elements there, that must hear His word, and prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord. Hail and fire, and all manner of plagues are being poured out upon the land in just exactly the right places, according to the purpose of God.
DRASTIC CHANGES IN ISRAEL
I picture the fire more or less as streaks of lightning that streak along the ground during an electrical storm, and the Lord will cause the fire and hail to strike just exactly where He wants it, and the crops in the valley will still be burning up for lack of rain. Was it not so in Egypt? Did not God strike dead, the cattle and livestock of the Egyptians, and spare alive, all that belonged to the Jews? In the 9th chapter of Exodus, we can also get a picture of this hail and fire mixture, that will let us better understand what will be taking place in Israel. Verse 23, “And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the FIRE ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.” It is the changes of the air temperatures, that cause hail, and God knows exactly what to do, to make it so. He knows exactly how to create one layer of extremely hot air, to get water, and then another layer of colder air, and when the two are turned loosed together, you see God’s great ice-maker in operation. But the important thing is, it will strike the land of Israel when the two prophets call for it. That Moses anointing will curse the water, and turn it to blood, just as Moses did in Egypt in his day. All for the purpose of showing a modern intellectual generation of political minded Jews, that the God of their father Abraham is still God, and still able to do anything He has ever done before. How many world politicians do you suppose would even believe or think of God in a supernatural way, just simply by hearing what is written in the Bible about what He has done in the past? Very few. Most of them have their scientific theories to explain it all away. But you let God move upon the scene, and by what may appear to be natural forces, suddenly turn them into supernatural demonstrations of His destructive ability; that will stop their blasphemous mouths. They will not be able to explain it away, because God’s two prophets will be right there ordering it at will, to vindicate their ministry. By the time 3 ½ years of this have transpired, I say, those political Jews will hate the very ground those two men walk on. Furthermore, What do you suppose the old Pope is thinking, after watching all of that on the national television news broadcasts for 3 ½ years? He has heard what those two prophets have said about him, he has heard them testify of a supernatural God, who is still in control of all tings, and he has witnessed that great spiritual revival among the Jews, as the 144,000 servants of God were sealed by the Holy Spirit, and the woman element brought into the revelation as well. Therefore I believe it is safe to say, His great love for all mankind will be turned into vindictive hatred for the Jews by then. I dare say, He will have no more love for the Jews, than Pope Pius 12th had for them in W.W.2. Yet these modern day Protestants, who are as blind to truth as anyone could possible be, will say, You have no right to talk like that, about a man of God such as he, for he loves everyone, and he desires world peace. I say, He is just exactly the kind of man it will take to fulfill Daniel 8 & 11, a man of flatteries, that can gain the confidence of world leaders, whether they believe in God or not. He has already swooned half of the world into drunkenness by his sweet talking, baby kissing, and ground kissing tactics. How much more would he need to do? You let Ezekiel 38 & 39 come into the picture, and the whole world will be ready to run to him, Papa! What can we do? They will anxiously sign a peace covenant, propagated by him, and as we have already said, That is what sets the week of Daniel in motion, and brings the two prophets upon the scene in Israel. So let us go back to Revelation 11:7, and see what it says will happen, in the middle of that week. We know it will be in the middle of the week, for verse 3 tells us that they will prophesy for 3 ½ years, which is exactly half of that week of years. Notice now, “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.” Remember now, No corporal bodied beast is going to come up out of the bottomless pit. That is terminology that applies to a spirit of Satan. Only the spirit of something, comes up out of hell. Therefore that is speaking of that spirit of Satan, that is going to move upon the world beast system, and the man who is the head of it, and cause them to kill the two prophets, and inaugurate an all out slaughter of spiritual Jews. No wonder it is called THE GREAT TRIBULATION. Daniel 12:1 refers to it as a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time. But that same verse concludes by saying, “And at that time thy people (Daniel’s people, Jews) shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” God has His own definition of deliverance, so we have to understand it, by the other scriptures that give us a more detailed account of how it all turns out.
SPIRITUAL SODOM AND EGYPT
One thing is certain, once those two prophets have prophesied for exactly 3 ½ years, God will not allow them to continue beyond that, for His word is precise. They are allowed 1260 days, and the Antichrist is allotted 1260 days, and by that time, the Lord Himself will be making His literal descent from the heaven with all of His bride saints with Him, so you can understand why it is God Himself that keeps time, and makes sure everything is kept right on schedule. By the time those prophets have prophesied for 3 ½ years, the old Antichrist will have already formulated a plan to put a stop to them, so the very moment God releases that spirit, his plan is put into action. He has them killed, and verse 8 says, “And their bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” Now why would a city that otherwise is referred to as a holy city, be referred to here as in likeness to Sodom and Egypt? Sodom was a wicked city of perverts, that God sank beneath the crust of the earth, hundreds of years before Christ, and we all know that Egypt speaks of bondage, as far as concerns the Jews, so what does this mean? We know it is referring to Jerusalem, for it is the same city where our Lord was crucified, so let us consider this terminology for a moment. By the time this hour approaches Jerusalem will be an international city, completely infested with Gentile filth. Even already, because of being a city of international tourism, people have gone there with their dope, alcohol, and every immoral practice imaginable, and the Israelis now have the same problems with their youth, that other nations have, but by the middle of that week, it will be ten times worse, so it is no wonder their overall spiritual condition will be comparable to that of Sodom. Furthermore when the Antichrist breaks that covenant and brings in his Gentile army to take control of the city, Jerusalem will then be as much a city of captivity for the Jews living there, as Egypt ever was in the days of old, especially in a spiritual sense, for they will not even be allowed to use their temple at all. The Antichrist will be sitting in it claiming that he is God, just like Paul says in 2nd Thessalonians. So, saints, I hope this helps you understand why such terminology is used in connection with what we generally refer to as the holy city. But there is more; so let us read verse 9, “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 (allow) 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.” Only through the medium of television, could people of all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples witness such an event as this. The devil has used television all these many years, but in that day and hour, God will use the thing to fulfill His scriptures. The bride church will be gone, and the world will be totally controlled by unregenerate mankind. They will have watched these two prophets totally wreck Israel’s economy, and having no concept of the spiritual harvest God has reaped from their ministry, it is natural that the whole world should look upon them only as troublemakers, and be happy about their deaths. I can just hear them now; Well, those two trouble making Jews finally got what they deserved. They should have been killed a long time ago. Those responsible for their deaths will be looked upon by the world in general, as heroes, when it first takes place. That is why it creates a festive atmosphere around the world, and causes people to rejoice, and send gifts to each other, as at other occasions when the heart is made merry. Everyone will be so happy about their deaths, no one even takes the time, nor shows any interest in burying them. But that is exactly as God want sit to be, for He still has something else, He wants the world to see. Those prophets shut up heaven, and forced Israel’s economy into a disaster, by the power and authority of God, and it failed to open the eyes of all these skeptics. They turned the water to blood, and caused all manner of plagues, and that still had no eye opening affect upon unbelievers around the world. So the Lord just says, God ahead, and rejoice. Send your gifts and congratulate each other, and just leave my servants lie there before your television cameras, and when the time is right, I will show you something that you will have to acknowledge as the power of an omnipotent God.
DEAD PROPHETS RESURRECTED
The body of Jesus was not allowed to lie dead for a full 72 hours, for it had been prophesied, that He would not be allowed to reach the point of corruption. But in this case, God wants this condition to get to the point where news commentators will begin to say, Why in the world do they not bury those stinking things? You leave a dead body lying in the street for 3 ½ days in the hot climate like that, and the body will swell up, and look like it could explode any moment. It will have flies swarming all over it, and the stink will be unbearable. But God wants this situation to reach those extremes, and the whole world to know about it, and then He will act. Verse 11, “And after three days and a 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. (What a shock! One moment they are lying there, all bloated, and infested with flies, and the next moment they are standing upright, upon their own two feet. No wonder fear fell upon all who saw what was taking place.) 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.” Brothers and Sisters: When Jesus ascended into heaven, His enemies were not allowed to witness it, only His disciples saw Him go. But when these men ascend up into heaven, there is no one to watch, except their enemies. I just say that to make a point, for naturally there will still be Gentile foolish virgins alive around the world. Also many Jews that will never bow to the Antichrist. But the world in general will be a miserable unbelieving mess. This world has never faced an hour like that, yet, so mankind has no concept of the emphatic reaction of a total unbelieving society of degenerate mankind. Now verse 13, “And the same hour was there a great earthquake, (Now this is not the earthquake of God’s wrath, that we see under the 6th seal. This one only affects the area in and around the city of Jerusalem.) 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.” Seven thousand is a lot of people to take out with one whack like that, but those that were left alive after that, had no trouble finding words to attribute these happenings to the hand of God, a God they had refused to acknowledge even existed prior to that. Now, Did that mean that those who survived the earthquake all gave their hearts to God, and got saved? No. Not at all. It just simply means that they were finally forced to come fact to face with reality, and admit, Only a supernatural God could do a thing like that.
HOW GOD RECEIVED ACKNOWLEDGMENT
I remember back in June 1967, when we were building this church house. We had a little radio, so we could listen to the developments in the war between Israel and Egypt, and when Israel, in only six days, drove back Nasser, and his Egyptian army, that had boasted how they were going to push Israel into the sea, pretty soon thereafter, one big general after another began to say, That had to be the hand of God, that enabled Israel to do that. Yes. They gave glory to God. But how many of them yielded their hearts to God, and experienced the new birth because of it? Very few, if any, I am afraid, and that was while the Spirit of God was still working among Gentiles for that purpose, so why think it could be any different over here. No. It just simply shows us, that God is able to force men to acknowledge Him, even though all hope of their salvation is past. You young people of Faith Assembly, and as many as ever hear this message, I sincerely hope and earnestly pray, that none of you will still be here on earth when that hour of time arrives, for you have heard the truth, you have had your chance, and you know it is going to be hell on earth for a full 3 ½ years, before Jesus and His great army from heaven, intervenes, and brings it all to an end. You know what you will have to face, if you miss the rapture, and are left here. You may feel that you do not have time to serve God, in a busy society such as this, but let me tell you something, That is the best investment anyone could ever make, with the time they have, for it pays guaranteed dividends for all eternity. Oh, I am so thankful for God’s precious word. It is food for my soul. I do not see how anyone can face life in this wicked age of perversion, murder, rape and every other sort of ungodliness, without the strength that comes from a personal relationship with Him. Even so, I long for the day when Jesus will come, and catch His little bride away.
GENTILES HAVE HOPE IN GOD
I would like to go into the epistle of Paul, to the Colossians now, and nail down a few points concerning this mystery of God, so let us turn there, and start with verse 19, chapter 1. Paul wrote this epistle from his Roman prison cell, in 64 A.D., expressing his gratitude to this Colossian assembly for the good report he has received of them, and speaking of Christ Jesus, he says, “For it pleased the Father that in Him (Jesus) should all fullness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, (In other words, By the blood that Jesus shed upon the cross, God has reconciled back to Himself, all things, as we would think in terms of redemption.) I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you that were sometime alienated (or until this time alienated) and enemies (That has to be Gentiles, he would write to like that,) in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He (Jesus) reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight.” Oh, if we could only imagine what an unworthy bunch of creatures we Gentiles were, to receive such grace and mercy from a loving God. No one has ever been worthy of it, but when you read in history, how ungodly, filthy, and corrupt our pagan ancestors were, you can better understand what a drastic change took place among the ranks of Gentiles. Jews were never alienated to the point where they had no hope in God, for the promises concerning them were still a great mystery, unrevealed to any man. But now, Paul says to them, You are unblameable and unreprovable in His sight, verse 23, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” God chose one race of people through whom, for centuries, He kept the revelation of Himself alive, while all of the rest of the human race went their various pagan ways of devil worship and such like. God just gave them over to serve their own lusts. But, Oh, blessed b the day, when He reconciled us to Himself through the shed blood of His precious only begotten Son. What a miracle! But now, Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, sitting in an old Roman prison in 64 A.D., sees that the gospel is among the Gentiles in preeminence. The Jews, to whom it was first preached, and that first accepted it, are gradually fading out of the picture. Oh, there were still Jews being saved, but it was the Gentiles that were really taking hold of this newly acquired treasure. But Paul issued an admonition, Continue in the faith, and get yourselves grounded and settled, and do not allow the devil to get your attention focused upon something that will draw you away from the hope of the gospel, whereof I am made a minister. Verse 24, “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, (Why would he rejoice in his sufferings? Because he knew his sufferings were a result of having fulfilled the will of God, and God was allowing him to suffer, to set an example, of how a person can still keep the victory in Christ, no matter what they may have to suffer, nor where.) And fill up that which is behind in the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the church.” Everything he is mentioning, is for the sake of the body of Christ, the church. “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God.” Now the word dispensation pertains to a period of time. Paul knew that there was a period of time, and he knew that he was living in it, when God would reveal and fulfill those promises to the Gentiles, that had remained a great mystery to all men of every other age since they were given. He is going to mention the word mystery, two separate time now, and even though it is the same word, it does not have exactly the same application in both instances. Let me just alert you to the difference, before we even read these next two verses. In verse 26, the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but is now made manifest to His saints, is the revelation that God has made Gentiles fellow heirs with the Jews who are of the household of faith. In other words, none of those old prophets ever knew what those prophecies pertained to, but now the saints know they pertained to how God would show grace to Gentiles. But when you come to verse 27, Paul is speaking of how God also allows us to know and understand how the whole operation works, what this great riches among the Gentiles really is, that the spirit of Jesus Christ would actually indwell us. Christ in you, the hope of glory, definitely is a great mystery until God gives us a revelation of its reality, but that is not the mystery that puzzled the old prophets, and Jews lf all other ages. I hope you see the difference. The mystery of God that had not been revealed to me of other ages pertained to something God was going to do for a certain people, but had never made it known yet, salvation for Gentiles. The application of that mystery had been in affect for almost two thousand years now. That is why we are here today. If this thing had ended 1500 years after Paul wrote this epistle, where would we be today? (That is just to provoke thought.) Thank God for His great love and mercy, that is now made manifest to the saints. “To whom (he says) God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Christ in the individual believer is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles. 28 “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” In other words, Not only was it the will of God to save us, but He also wanted us to be brought into the knowledge and understanding of how the whole things is going to end up. Even to the Millennium, the resurrection of the wicked dead, the final judgment, and everything.
LOOKING BEYOND JOHN 3:16
As I said before, You could not preach anything about the Millennium in the Methodist Church, for they were complete convinced that after this life, they would just float off somewhere on a cloud into heaven, and one day, God would burn up the earth, and that would be all there is to it. What a waste of so many scriptures in the Bible, if that is all there is to it. Brother, they know very little about the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ, simply because they have chosen to believe a myth, and close their eyes to the rest of God’s word. John 3:16 holds a wonderful truth, “That God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” but brother, there is more to it than that. There is an understanding, and a fellowship to be established also. God wants to be able to speak to you about things beyond the point where you believe John 3:16. He wants you to understand that you are part of a kingdom, that is not of this world, even though it is in the world, and He wants your worship to be something more than just memorizing and quoting a few scriptures, and repeating a prepared prayer, and that sort of thing. Dear Brother, Sisters: it is a wonderful thing, to be able to sing that song, He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today, He walks with me, and talks with me, along life’s narrow way. Hallelujah! He will never talk to you just because you are reciting someone else’s prayer. How do I know He lives? He lives within my heart. Yes, Paul was writing this epistle to people who knew the living reality of Jesus Christ living within them. He loved them dearly, because they dared to break loose from Judaism, and paganism, to follow the revelation he preached to them. Not only did he preach to them, but taught them in all wisdom. Why? Verse 28, “That we may present every man (or woman) perfect in Christ Jesus.”
MYSTERY OF THE INCARNATION
Let us read a couple of verses from chapter 2, while we are still in this Colossian epistle, for in verse 2, Paul speaks of the mystery of God in a different way. It conveys a different thought, yet it is still tied to the mystery of what God would do among the Gentiles. He says, “For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh.” Basically, What he is saying is, I really desire that you know how great a love I have for all who are of this great family of God. Even those that I have never met face to face, for this love is not of the flesh, but the Spirit, (the Spirit of Jesus Christ that indwells every true child of God) and his great hope is, that they every one may be comforted, calmed, and knit together in perfect love. Brothers and Sisters: Little jewels of revelation to a true saint of God, is greater riches than all your millions and billions that can be accumulated of man’s riches. Verse 2 now, we have not read it yet. “That your hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches, of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father of Christ.” I believe you can see that Paul is dealing with the revelational aspect of those who are beneficiaries of the mystery of God that had been hidden from men of other ages, and here in verse 2, he is speaking of the mystery of the incarnation. The fact that the eternal God of all creation, actually indwelt His only begotten Son, thereby making them, not two persons in one body, but two Spirits that blended together into one Spirit, and possessed only one body. The Father was never a person; He was an omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient Spirit. But the Son was a person, and He had a spirit. Therefore the Spirit which was, and is the Father, simply entered into His Son, and the two became one Spirit, making Jesus, God in the flesh of a man. This is a great mystery, but it is a scriptural reality to every true child of God, because a certain measure of that same Spirit dwells within each and every one of them. Carnal mankind has so perverted the gospel of Jesus Christ, since the days when Paul first preached it to the Gentiles, it is hardly recognizable anymore. But thank God for the few souls scattered here and there around this earth, that do truly know their God. They know that the doctrine of the trinity is out of the pit of hell, and that God has never been three persons, and never will be. But church houses are filled every week with poor deceived souls, that just feed upon any old garbage the devil puts upon their table. Oh, they are religious, but so were the scribes and the Pharisees. Therefore, now that God has restored the true light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and they have rejected it, their religion is vain, and without any spiritual benefit whatsoever, and they think we are a bunch of fanatics.
GOD’S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM
Alright now, let us go back to Ephesians 3 and read those verses again, and then we will go into the Old Testament. For if there was a mystery written of, that had not been revealed to men of other ages, it had to be written in the Old Testament. Ephesians 3:2-6, “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: how that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ. Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by His Spirit; THAT THE GENTILES SHOULD BE FOLLOWERS, AND OF THE SAME BODY, AND PARTAKERS OF HIS PROMISE IN CHRIST BY THE GOSPEL.” That will refresh your minds, as to how Paul spoke about this mystery, to the church at Ephesus. So now, let us go to Genesis 22:15-18, and see where the promise was first mentioned in the Bible. “And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, (Laid his promised son Isaac upon the altar, as a sacrifice unto the Lord, thus obeying a command of God. But God did not require him to go through with the whole thing; after He tested the faithfulness of Abraham, and saw that he truly would have followed his command all the way) and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the NATIONS OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Alright, we can see that God has made a promise to Abraham, that in blessing him, He will multiply his seed (his genetic seed) and make them as the stars of heaven, and as the sand of the sea shore for number, when at that very time, Abraham only had this one son, and he had just brought him up to offer him upon the altar, as a sacrifice to God. But that very obedience so pleased God, that He sent His angel to convey the promise of this blessing upon him. They he reached out beyond Abraham’s natural seed with a promise that Paul referred to as the mystery of God, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Hallelujah! I was included in that promise, and so were you. But poor old Abraham was so glad that God had delivered him from having to slay that young child of his, he probably did not even wonder what God meant by that last statement. At least not at that time. Actually this promise concerning all nations of people, or all families of the earth, was first made to Abraham over in chapter 12, when God first spake to him, telling him to get out of his father’s house, and go to a land that He (God) would give him to possess. Naturally Abraham never lived to see that promise fulfilled, but nevertheless, the promise did lay there in the scriptures, and God, who always keeps His word, would see that it was fulfilled in due time, but meanwhile Abraham’s natural seed multiplied according to that promise, and various one’s of them, which had the ministry of a prophet, or who were prophets among them, from time to time, would speak of this promise God made to Abraham concerning all nations. But none of them ever knew what God would do to fulfill that promise.
GOD’S GRAFTING PROCESS
In Romans 10, Paul is reminding those Jews of the fact that God is no longer to be looked upon only as the God of the Jews, and in verse 12 says, “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Then he goes ahead mentioning how Isaiah had prophesied concerning this blessedness, and how Israel had failed to lay hold upon what was offered to them. Paul continues on in chapter 11, showing how the Gentiles were made partakers of the gospel through the Jews, rejection of it, and then admonishes Gentiles not to be haughty and high minded, lest God just simply reverse the process, and cut them off. We cannot read it all, so we will just read a few key verses. Verse 7, “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Then in verse 11 he says, “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? (In other words, be completely forsaken by the Lord) God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.” Verse 15, “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” Then referring to the Jews as branches broken off, that Gentiles may be grafted in, he says, verse 17, “And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, (Gentiles) were grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches, But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. (In other words, What could be grafted in limb possibly boast about? It adds nothing to the root of the tree, but rather, it is the root that is giving life to it.) Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, (Israel, to whom the gospel was first given) take heed lest He also spare not thee.” That is just a very simple way of saying, You Gentiles have no right to be boastful, nor demanding, for God has no obligation whatsoever to save your wretched souls, unless you believe His word, humble yourselves, and stand by faith. He is not indicating that anyone who has been born of the Spirit could lose their salvation. He is merely saying, Do not get the idea, that just because God has turned the gospel to you Gentiles, It is a free ticket to glory for every Gentile, for it is only going to be effective for those who believe the gospel, and walk by faith with God. Regardless of what God does for anyone though, there is always someone who will come along, and try to exercise some authority over that person, like in the 15th chapter of Acts. Paul and Barnabus had been on a missionary journey into Asia Minor, and while they were at Antioch, certain Jews came down from the Jerusalem area, and started teaching those Gentile believers, that except they be circumcised according to the law of Moses, they could not be saved. Finally it got to causing so much of a stir among them, Paul and Barnabas, and some of the other brethren, decided that they should go up to Jerusalem, and present the whole matter to the apostles and elders there. After much disputing about the matter, Peter finally rose up and said, “Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made a choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” After that, Paul and Barnabas gave a good report of how God had mightily wrought among the Gentiles many miracles and wonders by their ministry, and by this time, James was ready to speak. He stood up, and said, “Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon (Simon Peter) hath declared how God at first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name, (Now listen to this) and to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, (James is going to quote Amos, so listen.) After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the GENTILES, UPON WHOM MY NAME IS CALLED, saith the Lord who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them which from among the Gentiles are turned to God.” Amos lived in the 8th century before Christ, so he had looked down through the scope of time, beyond the destruction of the temple, even in its second destruction, and had seen a time when the Gentile nations had been blessed by something that God had done among them, something that would cause some of them to be called by His name. Even that proves that God’s purpose among Gentiles was that they should understand His incarnation, and His redemptive name. We are to be called by that redemption name. Not by a bunch of titles projected by carnal mankind. Do you think Amos had any idea what God would do to fulfill those words he uttered? Of course not. No one did. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound (when his message begins to echo around the earth) the mystery of God should be finished as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” When that message has fully made its way around this earth, and every predestined soul has heard it, then all of this mystery of God concerning something He was going to do on behalf of Gentiles would be completely revealed and in operation. There would be no mystery left unrevealed in the prophecies of those old prophets, concerning the subject. Oh to Israel as a whole, it is still a mystery. They cannot yet, until this day, understand how we foolish Gentiles could accept the Jesus their ancestors had crucified, as our Savior and Lord, even though prophet after prophet of their own race prophesied of that very thing.
INTERCESSION FOR ALL PEOPLE
I am reminded of so many of the Psalms that speak of the Gentiles, or heathen, as is the case many times. Psalms 2:8 says, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” In Psalms 22:27, we read these words. “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.” When you read, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance,” that pertains to Jesus Christ as high priest. He is not just to intercede for the Jewish nation only, but also for the heathen. That reminds me of something one brother up in Canada, called and told me. Canada is working, trying to get an anti-hate law passed, a law that would make it illegal to print anything condemning homosexuality, perversion, drunkenness, or anything like that. If you preach against any church system, no matter how corrupt they may be, nor how unrevelated they are, if you print it in your literature they can deny you the privilege of sending it through the mail. Brothers and Sisters: That just lets us know for sure, that time is running out. The great falling away, that is to take place just prior to the Antichrist being revealed, is here already. Of course some will say, Oh, there has always been a falling away of some sort, so how can you say that? Well we do know that this is so, for that is what brought about the Dark Ages, but the falling away that Paul wrote of in 2nd Thessalonians, was to take place just prior to the time the Antichrist would come on the scene, and we are now living in a day when scriptures have been fulfilled to the point where that can take place very soon now. There is a scripture that says, a day will come, when good will be called evil, and evil called good, and I say, that day is here. The world of religion is fast walking right on into apostasy. Lukewarmness and indifference is the order of the day, so do not try to tell me that God will let this sort of thing go on and on until this present generation has passed off the scene. I am fully convinced by the word of God, that this present generation will live to see God wrap it all up, and call the little bride church to come up hither. Hallelujah! I get excited when I think about how good God is, and what we have to look forward to.
EVERY MAN FULFILLS HIS ROLE
I cannot help but think about the apostle Peter, on the way to the house of Cornelius that day. Little did he know, that he was on his way to unlock the door to a great mystery, that had puzzled men of every age before. That just shows how God is able to get His word fulfilled, without even explaining to those that are to be the instruments used, ahead of time. He just creates circumstances, that cause the right ones to walk right in, and fulfill their part in the process. He has never sat the old Antichrist down, and explained to him what he must do to fulfill His will. The devil has never told him either. But when the time comes, he will just do what comes natural for him to do, and he will be walking straight into his prophesied role. The nations of Europe will do likewise. That is why Revelation 17:17 says, “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill His will.” It was the same way when the Jews of old observed all those feasts, and projected all those types and shadows. They thought that was all there was to it. Yet those were the very things that pointed to us Gentiles, for our blessing could come only through the one that all those types projected. Oh, how I praise God for His great mercy and grace. Not only did He include Gentiles in His wonderful plan of salvation, He has even allowed us to understand it, and be able to see to the end of it all. Yes, That is right. I am fully convinced, that the living element of the little bride church, when Jesus comes for the rapture, will have a good understanding of what God is doing, and will yet do. So let us move on, and take a closer look at some of the things He has already revealed to us.
JOHN SAW MILLENNIAL TEMPLE
We have looked at the first three trumpets, in chapter 8, and we know that they will sound in conjunction with the ministry of the two prophets in chapter 11, and we have pointed out how John was instructed to measure the temple of God, and the altar, and how there was not even a temple to measure, when he wrote the book of Revelation, which proves that he was projected by the Spirit, into future time, and saw the Millennial temple, that will be built sometime before the middle of the 70the week of Daniel. It will have to be built before the middle of the week, because the Antichrist will move into the temple, immediately following the deaths of those two Jewish prophets, and he will desecrate it for exactly 3 ½ years before Jesus comes from heaven with His army of saints, to put an end to his reign. As we have said before, also, the literal return of Christ is under the events of the 7th trumpet, but the 7th vial also has to do with His coming, and so does the sixth seal. But that is not dealing with three separate comings of Christ to earth, it is just that each of these scenes portray to His literal return. When we see what is to be done under the 6th seal pertaining to closing out the great tribulation, and pouring out the wrath of God upon sinful mankind, we know He will come, in that. Then when we read what is recorded under the 7th trumpet, how when that angel sounds, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever, and a great earthquake takes place, and thunderings, and lightnings, and great hail accompany the event, we know that also deals with His literal coming back to earth. But then we turn right over to chapter 16, verse 17, and we see the 7th vial being poured out, (a vial of wrath,) and the armies of earth gathered for Armageddon, locked in a struggle for survival, with dead bodies heaped on tope of each other, and there is an earthquake, thunder, lightning, and great hail, almost identical to the other two settings, and we know that all three portray various phases of the one great event, the literal return of the Lord Jesus Christ. You just have to realize, that even though John saw all of this taking place at the same time, he still had to write them down, one at a time, and run some continuity between the various angels that were used of God in the overall picture. Of course, God had a purpose in having the book of Revelation written as it is. I am convinced that God, knowing how educated minds would take over world religion, here at the endtime, He just made sure that their education could never reveal the true order of events of the book, nor what they pertained to. That is why Billy Graham, and your other big name preachers are still looking for the four horsemen of the first four seals yet to ride, when in truth, three of them have already finished their ride, and the fourth one is already riding. (We are going to print a message on the four horsemen, at some future date, the Lord willing, so I will say no more about them at this time.) Their walls are covered with acknowledgments of their great educations, their heads are filled with theories about the Bible, but when it comes to actual revelation of it, some of our ten year old children have more genuine revelation of the word of God than they do. I know this may sound carnal to some of you, but it is the truth. Furthermore when we get through preaching on a message here, you do not have to go to Webster’s dictionary and look up the meaning of a lot of big words. A true revelation can be preached in very simple language, easily understood by all that hear it, regardless of their educational background. I sometimes listen to certain of these television preachers, for a few minutes, and there is just no doubt about it, they are preaching to a certain educated class of people, and the more simple people are left completely in the dark about what they are saying, simply because they use words that a lot of us have never even heard of before. Tell me honestly, Can you see God in preaching like that? They even refrain from using may words that are actually in the Bible, simply because they are offensive to their compromising supporters. If God was to give them a true message, they could not preach it, because God does not mince words, just to keep form hurting some guilty person’s feelings.
THE SACRIFICIAL ROCK
Let me get back to what I was saying. John was told to measure the temple, and the altar, but not the outer court. The temple and the altar always go together, or maybe I should say it a little different than that. The temple is of no benefit without the altar, for those officiating priests first have to offer sacrifices upon the altar, before the work inside the temple can have any significance. But it is a fact that they can offer sacrifice upon the altar, before the temple is ever completed, for we read how those Jews that returned to the land to build the second temple, first cleared off the altar, and offered sacrifices to Jehovah, before they ever started building the temple itself, and I believe it will be like that again, when they finally do get control of their temple grounds again. Now I have never believed that the Jews themselves would just take the area by force, and tear down that Moslem Mosque that now stands over their sacrificial rock. I believe the Arabs themselves through some sort of miscalculation, will accidently blow the thing up, and when they do, that will be the time for the Jews to take control of the area. World opinion, and world pressure, would never allow the Jews just to march in there at their own discretion, and destroy that Moslem holy place. There have been some radical groups that have planned to do that, but that is not the way God has planned for it to end up. You can be sure of one thing though, When that week of time starts, the Jews will have their temple grounds, and it will not take them long to get started rebuilding their temple. I have said also, When the time does come, for work to begin on that temple, God will have all the Gentile help, and Gentile dollars needed, already lined up, and waiting. I was just reading in the Jerusalem Post, that our government is working on a plan for economic aid to Israel, whereby they will not have to keep coming back every year, and hassling a bill through the Congress and Senate to continue it for another year. In other words, once it is thrashed out, and set in motion, it will furnish economic aid to Israel over a long range period of time. When I read that, I thought to myself, Yes, Sir, God’s prophets of old wrote about how He would milk the breasts of Gentiles and so forth.
GOD WILL USE GENTILES
Open your Bibles to Isaiah 60, and let us read a few verses there, that I believe will bless you. Verse 9 says, “Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces (or wealth) of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. (Let us just skip down to verse 16 now.) Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. (Now the material for the temple.) For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver; and for wood brass, and for stones iron: (You will notice that all fo the material is upgraded from that used before.) I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exacters righteousness.” Now it is going into an actual Millennial setting. You can read the rest, if you wish. I just wanted to show you, how God, more than twenty six hundred years ago, caused His prophet to foretell how He would use Gentiles, and their wealth in the rebuilding of the Jewish temple, the one that the Lord Jesus Christ will sit in, during His Millennial reign on earth. But before the Lord Himself ever gets to sit in that temple, the old abomination of desolation (the Antichrist) will sit in it for 3 ½ years, showing himself to the world, that he is God. That is why the temple will have to be cleansed and reconsecrated before the Lord Jesus will enter it. Brothers and Sisters: I marvel at how precise the word of God is, and how blind the multitudes are, not to see how perfectly it all fits together. America is looked upon by the world at large, as the richest nation upon earth, and yet she is bankrupt, but somehow her old paper dollar still manages to keep its value amidst all the rest of them, and no matter how stubborn and atheistic some of our politicians may be, somehow, or the other, when it comes to helping the nation of Israel, God always manages to work their minds around to where they will do the right thing. Do you know why? Because it is going to fulfill His word. I was just thinking, If this bunch of educated politicians and diplomats could just simply read the Bible properly, they would know that they are playing right into the hands of God, the great designer of this whole world they think came into being by some process of evolution. Hallelujah! They are serving God, and do not even realize it, but as far as any salvation benefit from it, they have struck out.
TWO 3 ½ YEAR PERIODS AHEAD
Alright, John was told, “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.” Of course we everyone know that 42 months is 3 ½ years, and when you take that to the 13th chapter, where it tells of the beast which had seven heads and ten horns, being wounded in one of its heads as under death, and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after that beast, you read in verse 5, “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies: and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” Well, that is the same 42 months in both instances. It starts exactly in the middle of that 70th week of Daniel, at the killing of the two Jewish prophets. This in itself, should be enough to convince any right thinking person, that there is yet seven full years to be fulfilled to the Jews, for chapter 11, verse 3, plainly tells us, that those two Jews will prophesy for exactly 3 ½ years, before they are killed, so how can anyone believe that Jesus was crucified in the middle of that week, leaving only 3 ½ years of it yet to be fulfilled? Any time I add 3 ½ to another 3 ½, I get a total of 7, but there are a lot of fellows running around these days, calling themselves preachers of Bro. William Branham’s message, that cannot add 3 ½ and 3 ½, and get 7, simply because they have more confidence in a statement Bro. William Branham made, than they do the word of God that Bro. William Branham preached from. Furthermore Bro. William Branham proved by the scriptures, that the Jews still have a full 7 years, when he taught on the seventy weeks of Daniel, but these blind leaders of the blind cannot accept that, because it was not the last statement he made about it. Well regardless of what they say, the Bible cannot be wrong, and it is written there, clear enough for any rational person to see, so as far as I am concerned, that settles it. It is God Himself, that regulates these things. He is the one that allots 3 ½ years to the prophets and another 3 ½ years to the Antichrist, and there is not one thing that anyone could do to lengthen or shorten either period one week. It will be exactly 1260 days each, and God Himself will keep the time. I have been asked many times, Bro. Jackson: Does the Antichrist sign a covenant with Israel, that states it is for only seven years? The answer is a definite, No. They will sign the thing to be forever. It is God Himself that will see to it, that it lasts for only 7 years before Jesus literally returns to earth, and we know already, that the last half of the seven years will be hell on earth, instead of universal peace and prosperity like the covenant is supposed to guarantee. For the first 3 ½ years of it, the only thing that disturbs their peace, is what those two prophets will be doing there in Israel, but when the middle of that week comes, and that 4th trumpet angel sounds, (8:12-13) heaven puts on a display. That is the sign of the Antichrist. God is showing His displeasure with Israel for signing that peace agreement with him. This 4th trumpet marks the middle of the week, and announces three woes that are going to strike the inhabitors of the earth, at the sounding of the other three trumpets that are yet to sound. That brings you to chapter 9, where the 5th trumpet sounds, and what you read there definitely lets you know that time has already gone beyond the middle of the week, and the Antichrist and his forces are in control. So in our next issue we will pick up with the sounding of this 4th trumpet, and point out some things that definitely are triggered by its sounding, and then go on into chapter 9, and look at trumpets number 5 and 6, and then we will see a break in the record of things, before we come to the 7th trumpet. It is all the way over in the last verses of chapter 11. May God bless you every one.