WE PRINTED A MESSAGE SOME TIME AGO, TITLED, “CHILDREN OF LIGHT,” IN WHICH WE DEALT WITH THE PROPHECY IN ZECH. 14:6-7, THAT WE ARE GOING TO USE IN THIS MESSAGE ALSO. I JUST FEEL THAT WE SHOULD LOOK AT IT AGAIN, AND APPROACH IT FROM A DIFFERENT STANDPOINT. AS I PREACH THIS, WE WILL BE REFERRING TO A LITTLE CHART SHOWING THE SUN: BUT THE NATURAL SUN IS ONLY A SYMBOL, TO HELP US RECOGNIZE WHAT REALLY DID HAPPEN AT THE DAWNING OF THIS AGE REFERRED TO IN ZECHARIAH AS A DAY. SOME OF YOU MAY FEEL THAT YOU ALREADY KNOW EVERYTHING THAT WILL BE BROUGHT OUT IN THIS MESSAGE; BUT I ASK YOU TO HAVE PATIENCE, AND PRAY FOR ME AS I TRY TO PUT INTO WORDS WHAT I SEE, FOR THERE ARE YET A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD THAT DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE CONCERNING SOME OF THE THINGS WE WILL DEAL WITH. WE JUST RECEIVED A LETTER FROM SOME FOLKS DOWN IN LOUISIANA SAYING, “BRO. JACKSON: PLEASE PRINT A SUBJECT THAT CAN HELP SOME YOUNG PEOPLE. THERE IS SO MUCH CONFUSION IN RELIGION TODAY, A PERSON DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE.” SAINTS, THAT IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH. WHEN GOD BEGINS TO DEAL WITH YOUNG PEOPLE, THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN SUBJECTED TO REVELATED TEACHING OF THE DEEPER TRUTHS IN THE BIBLE; THEY AUTOMATICALLY BECOME TARGETS FOR BOMBARDMENT, FROM EVERY SPIRIT OF RELIGION OUT THERE IN THE WORLD TODAY. THE VERY FACT THAT THEY HAVE BEEN MADE TO HUNGER FOR THE DEEPER THINGS OF THE WORD OF GOD, PUTS THEM IN A POSITION WHERE THEY WILL BE SUBJECTED TO MUCH CONFUSION; FOR EVERY SELF APPOINTED PREACHER IN THE WORLD TODAY, IS OUT THERE BIDDING FOR HIS SHARE OF HUMANITY, THAT WILL HELP SUPPORT HIS PROGRAM. ONE THING WE CAN BE SURE OF THOUGH, IS THAT EVERY TRUE CHILD OF GOD WHO SEEKS TRUTH TO WALK BY, WILL EVENTUALLY HAVE THAT TRUTH PRESENTED TO THEM; FOR GOD WILL NOT LEAVE HIS CHILDREN IN IGNORANCE FOREVER.
WE ARE TITLING THIS MESSAGE, “SUNRISE – SUNSET,” BECAUSE THE THINGS WE ARE GOING TO DEAL WITH PRIMARILY, FIT IN BETWEEN THE BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE AND SUNSET OF ONE DISPENSATIONAL DAY. MANY TIMES IN LIFE, YOU HEAR PEOPLE SAY, “WHAT A BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE,” AS THAT DISC COMES UP OVER THE EASTERN HORIZON, TO START ONE NATURAL DAY OF TIME. LIKEWISE AS IT DROPS OFF OVER THE WESTERN HORIZON, AND CAUSES THAT BEAUTIFUL GLOW, YOU CAN HEAR PEOPLE SAY, “LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL SIGHT.” WELL THE SAME GOD THAT CREATED ALL THESE NATURAL PLANETS, AND SET THEM ON A PRECISE COURSE, SO THAT SUNRISE AND SUNSET CAN BE CALCULATED WAY AHEAD OF TIME, ALSO DECLARED THROUGH HIS PROPHET ZECHARIAH, THAT THERE WOULD COME A DAY (A PERIOD OF TIME) IN WHICH CERTAIN THINGS WOULD TAKE PLACE, AND IN THAT DAY THERE WOULD BE A PERIOD OF TIME WHEN THE LIGHT OF IT WOULD NOT BE CLEAR, NOR DARK, SO LET US OPEN OUR BIBLES TO CHAPTER 14, VERSES 6 & 7, AND READ THE EXACT WORDS THAT ARE RECORDED THERE.
ZECHARIAH’S PROPHECY IN FULFILLMENT
This prophecy was given in the 5th century B.C. The Jewish rabbis had it in their scrolls; but did not grasp the first thing of its true meaning; therefore when this day dawned, most of them still remained in the darkness of their inherited traditions. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.” There was no way for anyone to know that this day would cover a span of two thousand years of time, which would be known to mortal man, as the age of grace. A time, in which He (God) would do something for fallen mankind, that man could not do for himself; be reconciled to his Creator. Therefore let us be sure we understand right from the very beginning, that this is a dispensational day, and not a day of 24 hours. Though its dawning was ever so beautiful, there came a period within it, that the light was not clear, nor dark; but it was still daytime, and still is. This dismal period within this one day, is comparable to a natural day when dark, heavy clouds obscure the light of the sun. It is dark looking, but it is still daytime, in contrast to night time; for the sun has not gone down. Verse 7, reveals something more about the day. “But it shall be one day (a dispensation of time) which shall be known to the Lord, (in other words, Once He sets it in motion, He will not forget what He did it for) not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.” Evening time of a natural day, is that period just before dark, when the sun is in its steep descent, ready to make its exit over the horizon. Therefore to compare this spiritual picture with a natural one, we would visualize a day that the sun comes up in the dawning, ever so beautiful. And some hours later, dark clouds roll in, and hang there for hours hiding the sun, and making it a dismal looking day. Then late in the day, those clouds move on, and the sun in its descent is just as beautiful as it was in its ascent. If you can picture a day like that in your mind, then just apply that same condition to this dispensational day, that the sun (Son) rose so beautifully in. What this prophecy confirms to us, is that this day will close out with the same beautiful light of understanding that it started with, almost two thousand years ago. This prophecy tells us nothing of what the light of the sun (Son) reflected in that first age of Christendom, in the dawning of this dispenstational day. It just picks up somewhere in the midst of that period of time when the true revelation of the gospel of Christ was obscured by spiritual darkness. Therefore I feel led, to really go into this; and see if the scriptures will not show us how beautiful the light of this day was, in its apostolic beginning. There are many scriptures that will do that. But then, we have to go into history to get a picture of the dark clouds that rolled in; to blot out that beautiful light.
A LOOK AT THE LAW
May God help us now, as we go back to watch the sun come up, in this dispensational day of Zechariah’s prophecy. Wherein the Gentiles were included in what God designed this day for. Our Gentile ancestors were immoral, heathen, devil worshipers, who according to Ephesians 2:11-13, were completely cut off from all the promises of the Old Covenant, which was given exclusively to the nation of Israel. When this day dawned, Israel had lived for over 1400 years, under the law; and within that law were certain festivities and ceremonials, all of which pointed forward to this day of grace. Those animal sacrifices and ceremonial days, were every one types and shadows of things pertaining to Jesus Christ, and what His sacrificial offering would accomplish in the redemption of lost mankind. Therefore we no longer live under any kind of law; we are living under the very reality of what all that pointed to. Praise God! Saints: who can anyone blame, if they miss out with God, and end up in hell, after what has been done to redeem mankind from that curse of sin? All any of us can do for a lost person, is preach the gospel to them; that is, let them know of the provision that has been made, for all who will believe and accept it. After that, it is up to that individual whether he, or she believes unto salvation or not. Anyhow the law age was to last only for a certain period of time. That was typified in their feasts of sacrifice, like the Passover. You can look back in Genesis, and see where the Lord told the children of Israel, while yet in captivity, that one the evening of the 14th day, they were to take a male lamb, of the first year from the mother ewe, and kill it, and roast it, and eat it all before morning, and for the next seven days, they were to eat unleavened bread, and this was to be a yearly observance from then on. This was to cause the future generations as well as the present one, to look back to the time when the Lord delivered them out of bondage. What was the significance of the 14th day of the month, some will say? Well let us look at the Jewish calendars to get the setting. The months and years of the Jewish calendar, are not regulated by the sun, like our Julian calendar is. Theirs are lunar instead, always starting with a new moon. Of course it is commonly accepted that there is an imbalance in our solar calendar, so without us going into why, let us just go ahead with our thought. We know also, that from the appearing of the new moon right on through its fullness, and back to its dark state, is approximately 29 ½ days. Each month should be exactly 30 days; but it comes a little short. Nevertheless since the Jewish months and years are always regulated by the moon, their days do not start and end at midnight, like ours do. That in itself should have told our ancestors something. They began in darkness, and ended in darkness; but not the Jews. Their days start at sunset, and go through those dark hours first; all of which is significant in the type it sets forth. Therefore when that new moon appears, they start counting days, and the evening of the 14th day brings that 14th day to a close, and time is starting the 15th day. Once a year, in the first month of their year, is this Passover feast observed on the evening of the 14th day, and then for the next seven days they eat unleavened bread. This whole thing together, pointed to the crucifixion of Christ the true Passover Lamb, and the 7 Church Ages that would follow. Through 7 Church Ages, believers have feasted on the unleavened bread of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Their deliverance from Egyptian bondage was a type of our deliverance from the bondage of sin. They look back to the night God delivered them from their bondage; and we look back to Calvary, the time when our Passover Lamb was offered up, purchasing once for all, deliverance from sin, for all who believe and obey the gospel. In both instances, the partakers were pointed back to a finished work, or purpose of God; the first being a type of the second.
TYPES AND SHADOWS – THEN GLORY
As time went into the 15th day, the moon reached its full circle, and from there on, it began to decrease until finally it ended its cycle, and it was time for it to start the cycle all over again. Now the cycle of the moon does not change; it continuously makes that same cycle. But the law age ended according to that type, and the age of grace has been in effect ever since. Therefore using the moon for a type, God showed that after 1450 years of living under the law, (That is 100 years for every lunar day of the new moon) Christ Jesus the true Passover Lamb, was the end of the law to every one that believeth. We can get that from the scriptures, if you will turn with me to the 4th chapter of Galatians, where in the 4th verse, Paul wrote this, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Then in Romans 10:4 we find these words. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” This gospel was first preached to the Jews, the people that lived under the law, but Praise God! We Gentiles were also included in this new covenant, that was sealed by the precious blood of God’s only begotten Son. Well saints, the fulness of the time that Paul wrote, of, was the fulness of the law age, which contained types and shadows of that which was to come. Through those types and shadows God proclaimed to the nation of Israel, that the law age would not last forever, but they did not understand. Nevertheless they will had first accessibility to the great revelation of God’s purpose for His people, perfected through the shed blood of His own dear Son. Now let us define the difference between a type and a shadow. A type is simply a similarity, and does not necessarily carry a complete likeness. But a shadow is a profile of the very thing itself. Hold your hand up before a light and notice the profile it casts on the opposite side. It may be a little out of shape, depending on the angle from which the light strikes it; but you can still recognize the fact that it is a hand. Israel had great scholars that studied the law. They knew every word by heart, and had all the ceremonies in exactly the right places; but they still did not know what their law was pointing to. All of that is portrayed as a night time season, and that is why the law age ended at sunrise of this day we are now living in, called the grace age, and referred to by the apostle Paul as the day of salvation. As for the law age being called the moon age, do not think it strange, for as you well know, the natural moon reflects the light of the natural sun; just like the elements of the law reflected the grace age. That is why the 12th chapter of the book of Revelation shows a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars upon her head. The woman is the nation of Israel, and the setting is her Millennial glory. The moon under her feet shows that she has passed through the moon cycle. The crown of twelve stars, speaks of her twelve tribes. She is a nation of twelve tribes, and when God brings to pass all that the prophets have prophesied about her: she will be standing over in the Millennium, the queen of all nations, with her twelve tribes restored. As you read the whole 12th chapter, you will recognize that God allowed the apostle John to see a panoramic vision, covering the full scope of Israel’s history. For in verse 2, she is with child, and in verse 5, she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. That man child was Jesus, and we certainly do believe He was caught up unto God, and to His throne. Verse 6 shows her fleeing into the wilderness, during the great tribulation, the time of the Antichrist world rule. The law even typed the Millennium, and just a little farther down in the 14th chapter of Zechariah, you see a prophecy concerning the Millennium. Verse 16 says, “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, (Jesus Christ) the Lord of hosts, (as He rules all nations from the throne of David) and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” There is your Millennial setting. But remember this, the woman, (Israel) in the 12th chapter of Revelation, does not incorporate all of the millions of Jews that are upon the face of this earth. Only the spiritual element of the twelve tribes, those who have been loyal to Jehovah, will be represented there in her Millennial setting, or position. Do not let this picture of Israel (the woman) shining in her Millennial glory, confuse your thinking; the grace age Church will be the wife of King Jesus, just like Revelation 19, and 2nd Cor. 11:2, and Eph. 5, declare. Nevertheless the nation of Israel will have the distinct honor of being the nation of people through which the Messiah came, and His glorified presence will be in the land of Israel, as He sits upon the throne of David, ruling and reigning for one thousand years.
TWO PROPHETS – REJECTED
Just merely memorizing the scriptures, will never enable you to see the beautiful picture that is laid out here before us, a picture that allows us to look more than a thousand years into the future, all the way to the end of the Millennium, when Jesus lays down all rule and authority, and delivers the kingdom of God back up to the Father, as the apostle Paul describes in the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians. Brothers and Sisters: the reason I am saying all of this, is because there are so many people who have memorized the statements Bro. William Branham made about various things, so that they can quote them word for word; but they are void of revelation, as to the scriptural reality he was looking at. Being able to quote Bro. William Branham, or even being able to quote the whole Bible, is not worth two cents to your inner self, that only grows staturally, on revelation of what the word of God says. God sent those law quoting Scribes and Pharisees of Judaism a prophet, when the nation had been 400 years without a prophet, and they, as a nation, still missed God. John was a preaching prophet. He never wrote one passage of scripture in the Bible, and neither was Bro. William Branham a writing prophet. Both men, in their day and hour, took those scriptures that were already written, and brought forth the revelation contained therein. John knew the law age was running out, so his main cry was, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Which in reality meant, There is a new day dawning. Prepare yourself for it. Then when he introduced their Messiah to them: were they ready to receive Him? You know they weren’t. They were just like the Gentile church world is today. They had their own ideas and interpretations of the plan of God, and they were not going to budge one inch from them, no matter what anyone said. That which their types and shadows had pointed to for over 1400 years, stood right among them, and they chose to hold on to the types and shadows, rather than the real thing, and they lost everything, for what they were holding on to was no longer there. God had put a new covenant in effect, and they still tried to live by the old one, so they were left sitting in the dark. If that was true then, do you not see that it is still true today? Bro. William Branham came on the scene with a message for this generation living in the closing hours of the dispensation of grace, and got exactly the same response John got in his day, rejection by the big shots of organized religion. His message was, Get back to the Bible, back to the true revelation taught by the apostles of Jesus. Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, just like Peter declared in the 2nd chapter of Acts. He was truly a prophet sent from God, to turn an element of people in this generation, back to the faith of our apostolic fathers, before the Lord’s return for His Church, but most of those who were looked upon as the Church at that time, rejected his message, holding to the traditions of their fathers, and God passed them on by, and left them in darkness, even though they are living in a dispensation of light. Do you know what that proves? The world is full of people who can never receive light, even though their faith is constantly exposed to it. Some are motivated by excitement, and they will run after anything exciting, whether it is scriptural or not; and others bathe themselves in the solemn quietness of their dead traditions, where nothing can excite them. But God has a chosen few, who get excited over the true revelation of His word, but hey are real cautious, to check everything by what is written in the scriptures, knowing in their hearts that God will never do anything contrary to what is already written. These are the ones that shall be caught up to glory, to feast with the Lord at the marriage supper, as the sun sets on this day we are living in. Brothers and Sisters: We really need to be grateful to God for what we have, knowing that this great light of revelation has been made available to the multitudes in our generation, and only a very small percentage of those whose lives it touched, ever allowed it to strike their inner man. That same spirit that kept the multitudes from accepting the light John brought to his generation, also kept the multitudes from receiving the light Bro. William Branham brought to this generation.
THE MESSAGE OF JOHN – AND OF JESUS
Let us notice what the apostle John wrote concerning John the Baptist, in John 1:6-8. “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He (John) was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.” Well the Light he bore witness of, came on the scene and walked among mankind for 3 ½ years, doing miracles and teaching everywhere He went, to the extent that everyone had their chance to see the great Creator, walking in human flesh. For He constantly affirmed, It is not I, that doeth these works, but the Father that dwelleth in me. In other words, He did everything possible to make it simple for the Jewish people as a whole, to see what was standing in their midst. Yet as He came to the close of His earthly ministry, only a very small number out of all those that had been touched by His ministry, understood even a little bit, of what had been going on in the land of Israel for 3 ½ years. Their Messiah, that they had all talked about, and longed to see, came to them and they watched Him, and listened to Him, as He opened the scriptures and revealed who He was, and only a little hand full of mostly uneducated people, followed Him all the way to the end, and obeyed His instructions. In the closing verses of the gospel of Luke, we find His last words to those who watched Him ascend into heaven, where He has been for almost two thousand years now. Verse 48, “And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Only 120 disciples, out of all the multitudes that had followed Him at one time or another, obeyed His last words, and waited together, for the promise of the Father, which was the Holy Ghost that they received, there in that upper room, on the day of Pentecost. What can we say then, about the light John reflected to his generation? It is comparable to the early glow you see in the eastern sky before the actual sun, the disc itself, comes up over the horizon. The skyline begins to light up, and you can see where you are walking, by that early glow of light, before the disc itself comes into view. In other words, There is enough light to drive away the darkness. Therefore as you give that a scriptural application, John brought them enough light that they all should have been prepared to greet their Messiah when He came to them. But the majority chose to remain in the darkness of their traditions instead. Did Jesus shine a different light than what John was shining? No. When Jesus came on the scene, He just picked up right where John was, and started blending right into the glow of what John had been doing to prepare them for this greater light. As He began to preach, and miracles began to follow, the glow of the light John had shone, just got brighter and brighter, for Jesus was speaking of the same dispensation John had been proclaiming. In Matthew 3:1-3, we read of John the Baptist. Notice, “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esias, (Isaiah) saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” Now let us go right on over to chapter 4, verse 17, and see what Jesus started out with. “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” When Jesus heard that John was in prison, He picked up John’s message right where he had left off, and His own ministry enlarged from there on. He began to speak of the kingdom of God, which is God in His people, in this dispensation of time called, the kingdom of heaven. You can read the 13th chapter of Matthew, and find six parables Jesus spoke, that started out, The Kingdom of heaven is likened unto, or like such and such. His disciples asked Him (Matt. 13:10) Why speakest thou unto them in parables? His answer was, “Because it is given unto you (those who would truly receive Him) to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them (the unbelievers and scoffers) it is not given.” In the 4th chapter of Mark’s gospel, the unbelieving ones are referred to, as them that are without, meaning, without spiritual understanding, and in Matthew 11:25, as He prays to the Father, He reveals who they are, the wise and the prudent, the smart people who have gone to the seminary and studied religion, and have their own theories about everything. They could hear the same word those disciples heard, but they could never receive it; because it was not dressed up enough for them. Nevertheless the light kept getting brighter and brighter, until the sun in all of its beauty and splendor was fully visible to those who were ordained to benefit by it. That is how this glorious day of salvation opened up; when Jesus Christ came to fulfill all that was prophesied of Him, in that first advent. Of course there are still prophecies lying there, yet to be fulfilled of Him, but they are for a later time, after His high priest office work is finished. He came to Israel according to the scriptures, and presented Himself to them; but all of those who might have been expected to recognize their Messiah when He came to the, failed to, because He did not measure up to their carnal expectations. They just simply could not accept the idea that their long awaited Messiah would come to them riding on a donkey, and associating with the common people on the streets. In other words, It was just too simple for their educated minds to accept. God, by His great foreknowledge already knew what they would do though, so their rejection of Him fit right into the total plan of redemption He had designed to benefit all of lost mankind. Those Jewish religious leaders of that day were just like the great Gentile theologians of our day; they only saw in the scriptures what they wanted to see. Zechariah wrote, (9:9) “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass.” It was right there all the time, but it just simply did not register with them.
THE NEW COVENANT MESSENGER
Let us go to the 3rd chapter of Malachi, and notice the very first verse there. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: AND THE LORD, WHOM YE SEEK, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold. He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.” Malachi prophesied that there would be a messenger sent, to forerun the messenger of the covenant. John the Baptist was the forerunning messenger, sent to prepare the way for the messenger of the covenant, that was to come after him. Jesus Christ was that messenger of the covenant mentioned here, the covenant Jeremiah prophesied about in the 31st chapter of the book by his name. Verse 31, is where we want to start reading. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: (notice now) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, saith the Lord, (after what days? After the days when the law has run its course) I will put my law in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Under the law, individuals did not have the Spirit within them, like believers do under this dispensation of grace; so this is exactly what Jeremiah was prophesying about, a time when every true worshiper of the living God would have the law of God in his, or her own heart, because of the indwelling presence of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of God dealt with Israel as a nation, in three offices, under the old covenant; prophet, priest, and king. The average Jewish person desiring to please Jehovah, had to look to instructors, to tell them what to do. Those priests and rabbis of the various sects of Judaism, taught the law, and explained its meaning. But after 1450 years of that, they handled the law of Moses just like denominational religion is handling the gospel of Jesus Christ in our day. In other words, without true understanding or revelation, they just put their own interpretations on all of it, until they had so many versions, none of it made any sense. Whenever you have so many incomplete pictures of what is supposed to be one complete picture, those looking at those pictures, still have too many decisions they have to make themselves, as to which one is right. For almost anyone with any spiritual sense at all, knows a perfect God does not have a dozen different versions of the same thing. You can turn on your radio, or television, any day of the week anymore, and hear some preacher quoting scripture from the Bible, and then using that scripture to justify some idea he wants to project. Oh sure, they all hit something right, or close to right, now and then; but they are without revelation of the true meaning of what they are dealing with. Now naturally some will always say, What makes that Jackson think he is so right, and everyone else so wrong? Well I have never said that myself. But I will say this, At least I do know that Jesus is not the 2nd person fo the triune God. Therefore I do know for sure, that those who divide the one sovereign God into three parts, making each part a person, and yet try to explain how those three persons are still one God, are blind leaders of the blind. Furthermore you never will hear me bounce on some doctrine taught by the New Testament apostles, and proclaim that it is from the pit of hell, as some of your great preachers of this hour are doing. The great commission is, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
GOD’S REDEMPTION NAME
Brothers and Sisters: Listen to me. You just simply cannot stop light. You cannot change the day. The dispensation must go on, regardless of what anyone thinks or says about the light that is projected in it. As this dispensational day dawned: almost two thousand years ago, Jesus, that perfect, sinless Son of God, walked among mortal mankind for 3 ½ years, revealing the great Creator to that Jewish nation through the person of His own flesh. Both by demonstration and by precise teaching, He revealed the Father, and the redemption name of the Father to them. The name Jesus, (Joshua in Hebrew) is the name through which God would redeem lost mankind back to Himself. That is why Jesus, as He prayed to the Father, there in the 17th chapter of John said, “I have manifested THY NAME unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world.” You would have to be spiritually blind, not to understand that the only name He ever manifested, was the name Jesus, which in the natural was His own personal name. It became a compound name, the moment the Father incarnated Him, there at the Jordan River, when John baptized Him. He was no longer just Jesus the perfect Son of God; He was now God incarnate. Meaning, He who is God, is now dwelling within that human body of clay, which was, and is the only human body God (the sovereign Spirit) ever dwelt in permanently, in the fullness of all His attributes. However, Jesus knowing the plan and purpose of the Father, knew that His own personal ministry on earth could only reach a certain element of mankind, and then, the heavenly Father would change the order of events. Not the day itself, just the way in which mankind would be reached with the good news of the kingdom of God, still within the same dispensational day His ministry caused to dawn. Once the dispensation went into effect: it had to continue on, until the whole redemption plan of the Father has been completed. Therefore Jesus began to speak to His disciples, of that which they were to have, in order to fulfill the perfect will of the Father as He had done. We will go to the 14th chapter of John, where in the closing hours of His ministry, Jesus began to say to His disciples, verse 25, “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He (not a person; but a Spirit dwelling in believers.) Shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” This new covenant could not fulfill its intended purpose, as long as Jesus walked among mankind in human flesh; so He prepared His disciples for the change they must experience, as He Himself moved into another office work, that of high priest. You will notice though, that Jesus said the Father would send the Comforter in His (Jesus’) name, and that causes a lot of people to reject the idea that this is also the redemption name of the Father. But let us just go right back to John 5:43, and see what He said there, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye received me not.” He was telling them something very plainly, but they could not make the connection. In Isaiah 7:14, we find a prophecy given by Isaiah, concerning a son that shall be born of a virgin, and Matthew 1:20-23 explains that prophecy, so people in this grace age ought not have any question at all about the name Jesus, nor even about the godhead, except those who are just plain spiritually blind.
GOD WITH US
Let us look at Isa. 7:14 first, and then we will go to Isa. 9:6, and then to Matthew. “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name (Notice now) Immanuel.” Now we will go right to 9:6, where the prophet was speaking of this same son. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, (Don’t miss this) The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Now we Gentiles did not know it; but the name Immanuel, spelled Emmanuel in Matthew, means God with us. How was God with us? In the human body of His only begotten Son Jesus. That is how He was with that generation of people John preached to. The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, the man Mary was going to marry, and said to him, “Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. (Her conception was supernatural.) And she shall bring forth a sin, (The same son Isaiah spoke of.) And thou shalt call his name JESUS: for He shall save HIS people from their sins. Now all of this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, (Isaiah) saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, GOD WITH US.” He was given the name Jesus, at birth, but it did not take on its compound meaning until Jesus was baptized by John, and the Father (SPIRIT) came down, and entered into Him. That is when they truly could have said, This is God with us. But did that Jewish nation see this truth? NO. They could only see a man that was tearing their traditions all to pieces, so all they wanted to do, was argue with Him, and then try to kill Him. The church world in general, is still like that today. The only difference is, they do not have this physical body to argue and fuss with. What they do to His word amounts to the same thing though. Some of these talk shows and religious debates they have on TV remind you of a bunch of children playing. You can sure tell by listening to them, that they have not received this Comforter that Jesus spoke of, For “He (said Jesus) shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Most of what you see and hear today, are people seeking honor and recognition for themselves; which is absolutely contrary to what those early disciples of Jesus did, when the Spirit from the Father entered them. Just pay attention, as you read the New Testament, how Jesus always gave glory to the Father, and how that same Spirit, when it came into His disciples, gave glory to Him. Those disciples of that day, had no purpose but to glorify Jesus. Well Jesus enlarged on that verse in John 5:43, so let us finish reading it “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: (But) if another (the Antichrist) shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” Who was He talking to? The nation of Israel, and, yes, they will receive the Antichrist, when he comes in his own name, with a great peace plan for all nations. Jesus, the true Prince of Peace, came to them almost two thousand years ago, and they rejected Him. But when this false prince comes on the scene with his great plan, they will fall for it completely. Not the spiritual Jews, but the political element of the Jewish nation.
THE LIGHT IS MOVING ONWARD
Saints I hope you are getting the picture of how the sun is likened unto this dispensation of grace, or vice versa. When that disc comes fully over the horizon, it does not just hang there in one spot. It keeps rising until it reaches the very peak of illumination, and then it starts moving on off to the west, to finally disappear over the horizon. But on a clear day it remains bright for as long as it can be seen. On the other hand, if during the day a dark cloud moves over and obscures is, you could say, like Zechariah, The light is neither clear, nor dark. But when that cloud moves on out of the picture, there is that great light once again, still in the same day. It shall be just as light as it was before the dark cloud came. That is the spiritual picture we are looking at here, as we observe how the S-O-N projected a great light into the world at His first advent, and how His disciples stepped up on the same plateau He was on, and continued projecting that same light, until Satan was allowed to bring a dark cloud into the picture, and blot out the light of truth for over a thousand years. You could say, “He has already had his Millennial reign,” and failed to accomplish his purpose His purpose has always been to try to destroy the Church. He first tried to destroy Jesus, and failed. Then he tried to destroy the Church, and failed, and now He is trying to destroy the faith of the individuals that make up the Church. We are in the evening time of that day of grace, and we are privileged to walk in the same glorious light those first age believers walked; but Satan does not like it, and he does everything he can possibly do, to bring reproach upon the true people of God. We have a revelation that he cannot destroy; but he finds ways to keep most believers from reaching their full potential. We should all be little Jesus’, if you catch my though. For Jesus is the family name of God’s redeemed family. Church theologians want to climb a wall, when they hear someone talk like this; but my statement is in line with the scriptures. In Eph. 3:14-15, the apostle Paul declared this, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” As I have already stated, Jesus even though it was the personal name given to this son Mary gave birth to, it was also the Redemptive name of the Jehovah they looked to for their redemption. Therefore when it came time for God’s plan of redemption to be inaugurated, that name became a compound name. After the incarnation there at the Jordan River, when someone called out the name Jesus: they actually got the attention of the great Creator Himself for He was dwelling in this vessel of clay, that had been called Jesus from birth. The name given to Mary’s little baby son, was important enough for God to send His angel to them, to make sure that was the name given to Him, for it means, God with us; and it was to fulfill a 700 year old prophecy. Therefore based upon Paul’s revelation, and what we already know from other scriptures, it is absolutely correct to say that the name JESUS, is the family name by which God’s whole redeemed family is called. We have the same Spirit in us, that Jesus had in Him; and within that Spirit lies every attribute that Jesus manifested during the 3 ½ years of His ministry. Only the measure is different. It is that Spirit of the Father in us, that teaches us all things, and brings things to our remembrance. But believe me saints: That never was meant to give the pope of Rome, the authority to write a bunch of new creeds, and call it the word of God. One brother from Georgia was telling me of a Catholic woman that taught certain subjects in a school he took some courses at. She does not really go along with the whole system of Catholicism. But on the other hand, she will still tell you that it is the church of the living God. When he said to her, But they teach things that are not in the Bible, she answered back, Well we all know the Bible is the written word of God; but since that time, certain things came up that had to be dealt with, which when it was, the traditional word came into being, and we believe this is the word of God for our day. Even though she disagrees with many things of the system of Catholicism, she still believes that system incorporates the Church of Jesus Christ. Brothers and Sisters: Can you not see that these words Jesus spoke are not a reality to an awful lot of people who call themselves Christians? If the Spirit they claim to have, was in them, He would be teaching them all things.
OUR POTENTIAL – AS CHILDREN OF GOD
Let us go to the 26th verse of chapter 15, and notice something else Jesus said, (of the Comforter that was yet to come) at that time. He lets them know that the Spirit they are going to receive, is the Spirit of Truth, and that it is from the Father, so let us read it. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me.” Now some people seem to have the idea, that since God dwells in the heavens, He has to leave a portion of heaven, in order to come to believers and indwell them. No, saints, He is omnipresent. He never has to leave any place, in order to manifest His presence somewhere else. He has always filled the whole universe. It is just that when He set this new covenant in motion, He had purposed to place His holy presence within the lives of individual believers, in a way that He had not previously done, in other dispensations. In former days, the prophets had spoken of this one to come, whom we know was Jesus. But in this new dispensation; every believer was to have the measure of the Spirit of God in him, or her, and that Spirit in them would testify of Jesus. To testify of Jesus in the way inferred here, is to actually present the gospel message. You do not have to be a teacher, in order to testify of Jesus Christ, and what He has done for lost mankind. Those first disciples were to bear witness of what they had witnessed with their own eyes, as they walked with Jesus; and they did it by the anointing of that Spirit that was in them. We who have become believers since that hour, are to testify according to the revelation given to us by the anointing of that same Spirit, what we have seen and heard of Jesus Christ with our inner eyes and ears. Jesus Himself always testified of the Father, the great Creator whose purpose He was on earth to fulfill. But we, because everything we have, came through Him, testify of Jesus. It is just an enlarging of the whole purpose of God. It was God the Father, who kept Himself from dwelling in people in previous dispensations, that chose to send His only begotten Son, to reveal Him (God) to this dispensation. How did He send Him? By getting inside of Him, and using His eyes, His hands, His feet, and so forth, to manifest things that only God could manifest. Therefore when Jesus was with His disciples, after his resurrection, He said to them, “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” Then he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” They did not receive the Holy Ghost at that moment though; this was only a preparatory command. He had to get inside of them first; before He could send them, as the Father had sent Him; and that is exactly what happened a few days later, there in that upper room in Jerusalem. Since He and the Father were blended together into one Spirit, when we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive both the Father and the Son. We have within us, both the potential for the wisdom and knowledge of the Father, as well as that nature to be perfectly obedient like the Son. The reason we fall short in so many areas, is because we fail to allow the Spirit within us to lead us. We have not yet learned that obedience the Son exemplified; but we do have that enablement in us, if we will just lean to yield to it. Even Jesus, the perfect Son of God, had to choose to obey the Father’s will, when Satan tempted Him there in the wilderness, after His baptism. He had already received the Spirit of the Father. But that Spirit in Him did not force Him to obey; He had to make that choice Himself. When He overcame Satan’s temptations, it was by the same means that you and I have to overcome him. He did not use any power against the devil, that you and I do not have to use also. He simply said to the devil, It is written, thus and so, and the devil knew He meant to obey the word of God, no matter what He was tempted with. That should be our determination also.
HOW WE BECOME CHRISTIANS
We could go into chapter 16 and find Jesus going into more detail about the Comforter He had promised to send to them. He has been talking to them (His disciples) about going away; and it has made them all very sad. Not understanding everything that must be accomplished, they no doubt began to feel that all hope would be lost, if He left them. That is what caused Him to say what we are going to read next. Starting in verse 7, He said, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” They already knew the Comforter was a Spirit; for He had just finished telling them, that the Comforter was the Spirit of truth; so what did He mean, saying, I will send Him unto you? Well let us look back into chapter 14, verse 23, for a clarification of that. Maybe we should read verse 21 first. “He that hath kept my commandments, and keepeth them, he is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” That statement brought about another question, How is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world? Then Jesus answered back, “If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and WE will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Do not let the word we, cause you any trouble, for it is not two persons, but rather the combined Spirits of both the Father and the Son, and Jesus the Christ could not come to them in Spirit form, as long as He was still with them bodily. But once He ascends into the heavenly presence of the Father, and takes up his intercessory work as high priest: those who have loved Him, and kept His commandments, will receive the promise of the Father. It all took place just like He said; and almost two thousand years later, those who love Him, and keep His commandments, still receive of the same promise. In Romans 8:9, Paul wrote, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” As long as Jesus remains in His office as high priest; the day of salvation is still in effect, and it is still possible for anyone who will accept Him as Lord and Savior, to be filled with. There is one other factor though, the most important of all. In John 6:44, when those Jews were contending with Jesus, He said to them, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” No doubt, a lot of people have gone through life, actually conscious of the fact that they needed God in their lives, but always saying within themselves, I am not ready to become a Christian. I want to do this, or that, or something else; and then I will get my life straightened out with God. Not unless the Spirit of God draws you. God has many ways to touch the lives of lost mankind; and cause them to be drawn to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. But no one, at any time, has ever been granted the privilege of determining that he, or she will live a certain length of time for the world, and then surrender to God. A lot have no doubt gone out into eternity thinking that; because of the fact that they have in one way or the other, been subjected to a Christian influence along the way. But God Himself is the sovereign one. He is the only one that can plan everything ahead of time, and have it turn out exactly as He had it planned. That is because He is able to move forces to bring it about. That is why he could inspire His prophets to prophesy certain things thousands of years in advance. Through His foreknowledge, and His omnipotency, He was able to do that, even to know the end of all things, before He ever started to create anything. Therefore we will just say this; It is an unseen force that begins to deal with a lost sinner, to place conviction upon him, and cause him to realize his need for salvation. Of course some will say, Well, if it is God Himself that draws us to Christ Jesus, and it is not His will for any to perish; why does He not just draw everything, and get all lost people saved? I don’t want to go too much into that, because we are trying to keep this message dealing with events within this day of salvation, from sunrise to sunset. But we do have a number of articles in print already, that explain why some are tender toward God, and others cannot hear the voice of God, nor be touched by the drawing of His Spirit. From the time Cain began to father children into the world, until this very day, there have always been attributes present in an element of mankind, that makes it impossible for them to hear and obey the call of God. The Creator even gave Cain a chance to walk with Him; but Cain was already born of another spirit. In 1st John 3:12, it tells us plainly that Cain was of that wicked one. On the other hand, there have been sinners that seemed to be so hard hearted and bitter, and so self willed, that would just simply melt like butter, under the influence of the drawing power of God. Well that is the reason; they had something in them that could be touched by the Spirit of God. The Lord has a way of causing a sinner man’s burdens to become so heavy, he finally just falls upon his knees, and cries out, God have mercy on me; I cannot walk without you any longer.
WHAT THE COMFORTER WILL DO
Saints: When we start a message like this, we never know exactly where the Spirit may lead. But I am fully persuaded that anything we present from the word of God is going to help someone, somewhere, because the Bible says His word will not return unto Him void; but it will accomplish the purpose for which it is sent. He might direct a whole service in a certain channel, just for the benefit of one soul that might need to hear certain things. Anyhow we were looking at some verses in the 16th chapter of John, where Jesus said, if I depart: I will send the Comforter to you. Then in verse 8, He continued, “And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” Let us first define the word sin. He was not talking about reproving the world because of smoking, drinking, or gambling. These are all manifestations of the flesh of sinful mankind; but Jesus goes beyond all of that, right to the heart of it all. The man of the world does all those things that are contrary to the way of righteousness, because of the sin of unbelief, that rules his heart. That is why I said that Jim Bakker’s dilemma has been a tragedy. A lot of people looked to him and his wife as two people who had the answer to their problems in life; and then learned, in one of the worst ways, that they had the same problems. Oral Roberts has also allowed his own image to hit a very low level. Then there is Jimmy Swaggart, who preaches hard against some sins of the flesh, and all addiction and immorality, and has the praises of a lot of people in the world. But he holds to a trinity concept of the godhead, and impresses a lot of people by the way he chews up the truth of the oneness of God, and the way he condemns people who uphold certain scriptural doctrines he does not believe in, even saying they are out of the pit of hell. You do not have to take my word for this; just go back and examine some of his teaching. Take predestination for instance; a beautiful doctrine taught by the early Church fathers, and see what he said about that; and then tell me he is a servant of God, called to minister to the bride of Christ. God may let a man get by with that for a while; but He will not let him go on forever. The most you could say for him is that he is ministering to a great mass of foolish virgins; and foolish people do foolish things. But one day, his world will cave in, because he does not embrace the whole truth of God’s word. I simply do not know just how far God will let him go; I only know he is guilty of denying some very precious truths of the Bible he preaches out of. There are two other things Jesus said the Holy Ghost would reprove the world of. First, of sin, then “of righteousness, because O go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” Why would He say that like He did, about righteousness? You have to look at who it was that actually condemned Him, and caused Him to be crucified. That self righteous bunch of Pharisees, who were the religious leaders of that day. Oh how clean and godly they looked. Yet their hearts were full of hatred, self-righteousness, and pride. I do not mean to debase the outward image they portrayed, I am simply pointing to the fact that true holiness has to radiate from within and not just be worn on the outer shell. If you think Jesus died on the cross, just to get people to wear long hair, and long dresses, you have got the wrong picture. That is just one little part of true holiness before God. If true holiness does not reign in your heart, all of this outward holiness is vain. The outward part is not wrong; it just needs the proper motivation from within. In other words, The very righteousness that was revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, those religious leaders resented it, and said, Away with such a person. I believe with all my heart, that Jesus had certain standards for His outward appearance, and a certain life style that He adhered to. But I am persuaded that He was not crucified because of the way He dressed, nor for the clean life He lived. He was crucified because of the things he taught, for that just simply tore their religious ideas and practices, all to pieces. What He taught, made them so mad, they saw Him as a devil, rather than a righteous man. They were so set in their traditions, they judged everything to be evil, that disagreed with their ways; and that brings us to the last one, of the three things Jesus mentioned. The Holy Ghost was to reprove the world of judgement, because the prince of this world is judged. That ought to let us know that we ought not be too quick to judge everything we see and hear. Take time to lay it along side the scriptures; and then just judge the act, not the person, or persons involved. If you condemn everyone who does something you do not agree with, you may condemn a lot of people God is going to deal with. Those Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, thought they were judging Jesus according to the law of Moses; but as it turned out, they judged Him according to their interpretation of it, and they had the wrong picture of what the law was given for; so they judged unrighteously, and sent an innocent man to the cross. Jesus knew His mission in life and that is why, when the time was right, He voluntarily went with the men who came to arrest Him. If He had been guilty of anything worthy of the sentence they pronounced upon Him, He could not have accomplished for mankind what was accomplished on that old cross. Because He was innocent, and perfect, without blemish, He was able, as a sacrifice for the sin debt of all mankind, to pay the debt in full. He died to set us free. Hallelujah!
HOW GOD DEALT WITH ME
We are going into the book of Luke to look at some words Jesus spoke to His disciples, just before He ascended into heaven; but first I want to tell something that happened to me while I was in South Carolina recently. I will not call it a dream; for I honestly do not know for sure what it was. It is just a strange way the Lord dealt with me; and I am just waiting to see the outcome of it. I told my wife about it; but I am only going to relate certain parts of it at this time; because I do not want to set up a situation where people can ever say, Well, it has come to pass. Years ago I had a dream in which I saw an Oriental looking person and so forth. However that dream was not fulfilled until years later when we went to India. Therefore I intend to just wait until the Lord sees fit to manifest whatever this is pointing to. I will not call this a dream, for I do not know exactly what it was. But there in South Carolina on Sunday night, after we had held the first service, and gone back to the cabin where we were staying, this happened. Sometime during the morning hours, it was like my mind was just taken and projected into a scene. I saw myself standing somewhere; not in a pulpit. It seemed more like I was just standing somewhere, talking to some people, and answering questions some of them were asking. Then in this scene, I looked and saw a small group, like maybe 6 or 7 people, off at a distance, but coming toward where I was. As they approached, they moved right through the rest of the people and came right to the forefront of them all. I watched, as they worked their way through the rest of the people, and then stood right in front of me listening. But within that small group, there was one certain lady, that stood out from all the others. I will never describe her to you; because I do not want the devil to get hold of it and cause someone to try to fulfill it. If I ever see the lady, I will surely recognize her, for I can describe the dress she was wearing, the color of her hair and everything, right down to the shoes she was wearing. She never spoke one word, she just stood and listened, looking right at me; and all the time I was asking myself, What is she here for? There was just something about her that was different. She was very modest in her appearance; and gave the impression that she was not a forward type of person, but she was definitely listening closely to what was being said. She cast a picture in my mind, of a person searching for truth; but was not going to fall for everything she heard. Now she could very well be a symbol of something; I cannot be sure about that. But if she was not shown to me as a symbol, then somewhere, sometime, I am going to meet her; because I know exactly what she will look like. I could describe her to some of these professional artists; like the police use, and they could sketch her exactly as I saw her. I am really prone to believe it is a person I will meet sometime, because of the deep impression I have of the way she was dressed, her features, and everything; so that is what I will be looking for, and I ask the prayers of all my brothers and sisters, as I endeavor to be led by the Spirit of God. I believe there are yet things that the Holy Spirit will do for the people of God, and it may be done in strange ways; but people in the world will never get a chance to commercialize it. Everything God has done in the past, has been commercialized and imitated; but I somehow feel that it is going to be different; from here on out to the end. So if God sees fit to use us in some way, let’s give all the glory to Jesus, and tell of His wonderful love. He’s worthy. He’s the one that paid the price for the liberty we have, and He’s the one that is coming back one day soon for those that love truth, and allow truth to direct their lives.
JESUS’ LAST WORDS TO HIS DISCIPLES
We have been using these little charts just to focus attention on what we are dealing with, as we look at these various scriptures. By putting up this first chart, calling attention to the sunrise in all of it’s glory and beauty, and then pushing it to the left, as we insert these scriptures dealing with what takes place between sunrise and sunset, of this glorious day of salvation, we will then place the sun over on the other side, where it is, just before it disappears over the western horizon, and you will have something up here that you can see with your own eyes, to give the whole thing a little more impact. Somehow the children of God must be made to see that the gospel light of the end time, is the same gospel light the early church walked by; but just like the light from the natural sun; in the evening time, you just see it from a different angle. The evening light is the same as the morning light, but seen from a different angle. The evening sun casts the shadows on the other side. We go into the New Testament scriptures to see the effects of the gospel light in its dawning upon mankind. But here in the end time, we look back through time, to see what mankind has done with the opportunities that this light has given, and we are able to make an accurate appraisal, because we have that same light in all of its glory and beauty, that the early Church had. Let us go now into the 24th chapter of Luke, where we find the last words Jesus spoke to His disciples, before He ascended into heaven, to assume His intercessory work on our behalf. Verse 49, is the focal point; but I believe we should go back to verse 46, to start reading. Jesus opened the understanding of His disciples, so that they could understand the scriptures. (Now verse 46) “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to raise from the dead the third day.” Naturally He is speaking of the various Old Testament prophecies that touch on this. The only difference is, He has perfect understanding of what they are pointing to, and His disciples do not. But He goes ahead and says, “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye (the disciples that followed Him) are witnesses of these things.” Those who had walked with Him for 3 ½ years, were personal witnesses of His entire ministry. They had heard His teaching and seen with their own eyes, the many miraculous works that were done; but they still needed one other thing before they would be equipped to continue the work He had started, and that is what verse 49 speaks of. “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” I thought for quite a while about how to arrange these various scriptures we are using, in order to get your attention focused on the main points first, and this is the order I finally came up with. In other words, They had a commission to fulfill, but they were not to go anywhere, nor do anything, until they had received the promise of the Father. They had walked with Him to the Mount of Olives, where He ascended into heaven from, so the 120 disciples that actually received the promise of the Father in its first outpouring, were the ones that went directly back to Jerusalem, and assembled in an upper room until the promise came.
LOOKING BACK TWO THOUSAND YEARS
We have already read the scriptures where Jesus told His disciples about the Comforter which the Father would send in His name. He told them this Comforter would be the Spirit of truth; and that it would teach them all things, and bring all things to their remembrance, that He had spoken to them. In other words, We might say that they should have known exactly what to expect, as they assembled back there at Jerusalem. But let me ask you something. If you had been one of them that stood there that day, and been in the same frame of mind that they were in, would you have known what to look for, when He said. “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you?” It is important that we catch what happened in that apostolic age; and then be able to look at some of the things that are going on in the world today, without having our own personal faith shaken. The world is full of people who claim to have received this promise; but their very lives prove that what they received was counterfeit. Therefore let us go back to the 16th chapter of John, and take up where we left off. These verses in John were spoken before the crucifixion, and the verses in Luke 24, were spoken after His resurrection, yet they all fit together to make the picture complete. We look at all of them together, as we seek to identify the rising of the sun, in this day of salvation. We want to watch the light of this gospel revelation, as it dawned upon an age of time starting a dispensation. Notice now, as we go back to verse 12 in the 16th chapter of John; where Jesus is speaking to His disciples. “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” What did He mean? Why did He say that? He simply meant that without the Holy Ghost dwelling inside of them, to illuminate their spiritual intelligence, they could not possibly understand all that was involved in the Father’s great plan of redemption. This is why you see so many blind leaders of the blind, in the world today; their spiritual experience is void of this necessary element Jesus is speaking of. Just shaking some preacher’s hand and getting your name placed on some church roll does not automatically give you this promise of the Father. You have to come according to the scriptural formula in order to receive this promise Jesus was referring to, and without it, your mind is subject to believe anything that comes along. Verse 13, “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth (A-L-L T-R-U-T-H) for He shall not speak of Himself; (Talking about the Holy Spirit) but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.” That verse backs up what He said in chapters 14 & 15; where He first began to speak of the Comforter. But there are two points here in this verse, you ought not miss. First, the Holy Spirit is there to lead you into all truth. But according to the words of Jesus, He would also show things to come. Now to those disciples standing there, that was every bit for the future. But for the true children of God in this hour, it is a present reality. There stood Jesus, in the midst of a people who had looked and longed for His hour, and failed to recognize who He was, because of their spiritual blindness. Nevertheless to His disciples, Jesus was making a promise of something that would change their lives, when they received it; and He said to them, “He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” Then you have these great men, who have studied the Bible forward and backward, comparing everything with Greek and Hebrew, that will stand up and tell you we are not supposed to understand everything. Their educated minds never will. But true believers will have a Spirit in them, that will reveal the whole plan and purpose of God to them, and will cause them to worship and glorify Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. Jesus the Son, always glorified the Father who was invisible; and now the Father, who still remains to be invisible, yet dwells in the believers of this dispensation, and is referred to as the Holy Ghost, glorifies the Son, whom to us, is invisible also, because we have not seen Him in the flesh. But we will! Praise God, and I do not believe it will be very long until we do. The way Gentiles have seen Jesus, throughout this dispensation of grace, has been by divine revelation wrought by the Holy Ghost, as the word was quickened to their hearts. That cannot be done with theology. But by a revelation of the truth of God’s word: Jesus can become as real to us, as He was to those who walked with him two thousand years ago. Those same attributes that made Jesus stand out when He walked among mankind, the Holy Ghost has taken, and demonstrated among, or through the body of believers which is the Church. That is how Jesus is glorified. That is why it is so important for the Church to be in perfect harmony: Jesus was the light while He was here on earth; but He pointed to the hour, when the true Christians (of every age) would be the light of the world. It is a continual reflection of the revelation of the true and living God. First through His only begotten Son, and then through His redeemed sons and daughters ever since. In His only begotten Son, was all the qualities and virtues He has determined to perfect in us. Jesus was already perfect, before the incarnation; but there was no deity in His makeup, in the first 30 years of His life. Now please do not take this as a contradiction to Hebrews 5:8-9, when I say He was perfect; I am saying that there was no sin in Him. He was without fault in every way. Yet in order to fulfill His predetermined destiny on our behalf; He had to be tested by Satan and prove that He would not forfeit His inheritance, like Adam did. This is what those verses in Hebrews point to, because when His testing was completed, and His obedience established once and for all, He was completely acceptable as the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. Therefore this being accomplished on our behalf, we now have the Holy Ghost in us, to make us like Him.
THINGS JESUS DID NOT KNOW
Now I will direct your attention back to those verses we read in Luke 24, where Jesus gave His disciples a commission, and promised to send them power from on high, to enable them to fulfill it. Those disciples had the various statements He had made, in their minds. Yet they were without a revelation, as far as knowing how to put them together. In one sense of the word, they had a little picture in their mind, because they had walked with Him for 3 ½ years, and seen the miracles that were done, and heard Him teach, but there was still a lot of things they did not understand. Nevertheless deep down inside of them, there was something that made them hold to their belief, that this man has got to be the Messiah. Therefore when He said, “But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high,” there was nothing else to do, but obey Him, so they went right back to Jerusalem, assembled themselves together in an upper room, and waited. That brings us to the 1st chapter of the book of Acts. This book was written by the same man that wrote the Gospel of St. Luke, so even though we will be reading some things here, that were not recorded in Luke’s gospel, they were still spoken at the same time. You just have to realize that, and put them together in the overall picture you are seeing. Starting in verse 4, we find these words, “And being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of me.” He was just reminding them of what He had said to them before He was arrested and put to death. “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” That picks up a statement made by John the Baptist, before Jesus came on the scene. In Matthew 3:11, John said, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” What He was really saying to them was, The time has come for this baptism of fire John spoke of, to be activated. Acts 1:6, “When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel?” They could not get their mind off of the Old Testament scripture, that spoke of the great Davidic kingdom; with Israel being restored. They thought they understood that; but somehow they were not quite able to make that connect up with the things Jesus had been saying to them. But here is His answer to that inquiry. Verse 7, “And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power.” In other words, This was something known only to the eternal Spirit, the Creator of all things, something that Jesus, the Son, did not have to know, to fulfill His roll in the redemption of lost mankind. When I say, Jesus the Son of God, did not know everything, it throws some people who do not know how to rightly divide the scriptures, for a loop. They immediately think of Matthew 28:18, where Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” He was speaking of al power to perform every necessary function pertaining to redemption. In the 24th chapter of Matthew, verse 36, He had already made a statement that proved He did not know everything, about everything. Speaking of the Antichrist, the great tribulation, and the judgment of God upon wicked mankind in the previous verses, He comes down to verse 36, and says, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father ONLY.” At that time, Jesus did not need to know when these events would take place. Because He had the assurance that whatever He needed to know, it would be there when He needed it, for the Father which did know everything, was in Him. You just have to bear in mind the fact that even though they were one Spirit, there were two separate minds in the picture; the mind of the eternal Spirit, and the mind of the Son. Therefore the Father in Jesus the son, would never let Him be backed into a corner and suffer humiliation; because He did not know something He needed to know. At the right moment, what He needed to know, would be there. Jesus, answering His disciples like that, no doubt threw them for a loop; at least momentarily, but He came right back with the main point of what He was dealing with, and said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” It says, witnesses UNTO me; but it really means, You shall be witnesses OF me, or for me, eventually even to the uttermost part of the earth. Verse 9 continues on with the report. “And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up: and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” Where did He go? He went to fulfill a prophecy of David, in the Psalms, (110:1) “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Realizing that the Father is not a person, that one could see seated on a throne: you have to realize that this speaks of the fact that Jesus is seated on the right hand of Majesty, or, we will say, on the right hand of authority. The right hand speaks of a favored position. You will recall, that when the apostle John was caught up in the Spirit, and allowed to view that heavenly scene, the only form he saw sitting on a throne, was unmistakably, the man Jesus, known as the Christ; for the great eternal Spirit does not have a physical body Himself; other than that of the Son in which He dwelt. When you read the 4th and 5th chapters of the book of Revelation, you can become very confused if you do not first have a true revelation of the godhead, and know in your heart that John could not possibly be literally seeing two human forms, one the Father, and the other the Son. We have all of that scene explained in other messages, so I will not go into it at this time, except to point out a couple of things that are written. In chapter 3, where Jesus appeared to John, and instructed him to write to the seven churches of Asia; you find Him saying, in chapter 3, where Jesus appeared to John and instructed him to write to the seven churches of Asia; you find Him saying, in chapter 3, verse 21, “To him that overcometh will I grant to SIT WITH ME in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne.” These were the very words John was instructed to write.
JESUS IS BOTH INTERCESSOR AND JUDGE
Now when you read the 7th chapter of Acts, where it tells of Stephen’s testimony to the Jews; right before they stoned him to death, he said, “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” But there is no contradiction between these scriptures, because they each portray something of the position He holds throughout the entire grace age. In His seated position, He portrays the ancient authority of the great Creator, the judge of all things, with His hair white like wool and like snow. Then in His standing position, He stands as a lawyer, before a judge, interceding for the heirs of salvation. In each, is seen something of the investment of authority He now holds, and will hold, until He has fulfilled all that has been allotted to Him to fulfill. Remember though, the fact that He has sat down with His Father in His throne, does not mean that there are two persons sitting side by side on a huge chair, or throne. It simply means that He has been endowed with that which pertains to the Father, and the one who is our intercessor, also holds the authority to judge all ungodliness. Paul, speaking of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Timothy, said, “Who only hath immorality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, nor can see.” In other words, He now dwells in the midst of that glory and majesty of the Father. Brothers and Sisters: I have to put all of this in the message; because I want you to see that it was a revelation held in the hearts of those early apostles and disciples, which were all Jews. As I have said many times, This is a Jewish book. Not one word of the Bible was written by a Gentile. Therefore this revelation tore their theology all to pieces; for what they had come to expect because of Old Testament prophecies, was not fulfilled anything like they expected. Not all of those who followed Jesus received the promise of the Father that he spoke of, either. Actually, out of all those who had seen His miracles and heard Him teach, only about 120 obeyed His last words, and waited at Jerusalem for that promise; which was fulfilled to them on the day of Pentecost, there in that upper room.
IN THE UPPER ROOM
Let us move time back 1900 and some years, and go to that upper room where those disciples waited. It was a building on the summit of Mt. Zion; the very place where the Lord had eaten the Passover supper with them. That seemed like the most logical place for them to wait because of the sentimental attachment. It was a public building, but to those close disciples, it had a special attraction; for He not only ate with them there just before His crucifixion, He had also humbled Himself and washed their feet. They would not forget those things, nor those things He said to them there that night. From the 13th chapter of John, on through the rest of the chapters, until he went out into the garden to pray, Jesus is speaking to His disciples there in that upper room. Then you find Him still speaking to them, as they walked together to the garden of Gethsemane, where He was later arrested. This is when He told them they would be offended because of Him, that very night. He quoted a scripture from Zechariah 13:7, “I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” Then He said, “But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.” You can read the gospel of John, beginning in chapter 13, right on through chapter 19, and then go back to the 26th chapter of Matthew, and you will have a pretty good picture of what led right up to His crucifixion. But let us go back to the upper room, where those faithful disciples assembled together, after Jesus ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives, after telling them to tarry in Jerusalem, and wait for the promise of the Father. We are in the upper room now, in the 2nd chapter of Acts. There is not one Catholic present, nor Lutheran, nor any other brand that people have on them today. It was a small group of Jews, some men, and some women. The mother of Jesus was among them, She had a testimony that none of those other women had; for she had given birth to a little baby, which was conceived in an outstanding way; and then stood in the crowd 33 ½ years later, and watched that angry mob crucify Him. It would not be hard ti imagine the feelings that must have gripped her heart as she stood there. But then He had risen from the dead three days later; and she remembered the prophecies given concerning Him, no doubt. That gave her hope; even though she did not understand many of the things He had taught, she knew that somehow, all of this was working to fulfill a plan and purpose of God. She, with all the others, have gathered back here in the upper room; and they are waiting for something that has been promised. But not a one of them knew exactly what to expect. They had been told a lot of things; but they did not know what to look for, or listen for. It seems strange that He never even gave them a hint, on how to identify what they were waiting for; but of course He knew the affect it would have on them, once they received this promise, so He just simply told them to wait for it. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, (Acts 2:1) they were all in one accord in one place.” They were in a better shape at that point in their lives; than many of the followers of Bro. William Branham, who had walked with him for years, hunted with him, fished with him, and listened to him preach and teach; for they were all in one accord; and it is hard to find any agreement between these of our day. The only reason I am using such a comparison, is because of the hopes and beliefs that these people had, concerning what they thought Bro. William Branham was supposed to do; just like those disciples two thousand years ago had in their minds about Jesus. One group settled down in perfect unity, and waited for the word of God to be fulfilled; and the other group has covered most of the world, teaching their individual ideas, and in their hearts, they are waiting for the words of Bro. William Branham to be fulfilled according to their interpretation of what he meant. Now the fact that those disciples were in one accord, does not mean that they understand everything Jesus had said; but at the same time, they were willing to wait, instead of hitting the road, trying to make something happen. They had no radios, no televisions, no tape recorders, typewriters, printing presses, nor copy machines. Brother! They had to have the Holy Ghost. They did not have any man made devices, to recall for them, the things Jesus had said, in His ministry among them. Without the Holy Ghost, they would have soon been just a confused, disillusioned little group of people who had heard too much to return to their former traditions, yet without any definite direction in life. That is what we are seeing today. Nevertheless they were in one pace, in one accord, when the day of Pentecost (another of the Jewish festivity days) arrived. “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” Now the day of Pentecost followed 50 days beyond the Passover. It was a feast whereby the first fruits of the harvest were offered unto the Lord for an offering. From the first fruits of the grain harvest they would make two leavened cakes, or loves of bread, to be offered to the Lord, along with the meat offerings, and so forth. We will not take time to go into all of the requirements of the feast, except to say one other thing; they numbered 50 days from the Passover; or as it says in Leviticus, on the morrow after the seventh Sabbath. There is some debate about the terminology using the Sabbaths; but it was a Jewish festivity, and they knew when to observe it; so we will just be concerned with this event that took place on the day of this certain feast of Pentecost, when 120 disciples of Jesus Christ received the promised Comforter, that was to guide them into all truth, and bring all things to their remembrance, which Jesus had spoken unto them. While the crowd down in the streets of Jerusalem were going about the necessary preparations for this feast of Pentecost, this 120 disciples of Jesus, had something else on their mind. They had probably almost forgotten about the actual day that it was; for their minds and their talk, was without a doubt on that which they were waiting to receive. Now the Bible does not say they had been in that upper room 10 days. But calculating from the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and the fact that the Bible says He was seen of them for 40 days after His resurrection, we would fix the day of Pentecost 10 days beyond that, or 50 days from the morrow after the Sabbath, which works out, to fulfill the types and shadows. Therefore while the rest of the Jewish people were involved with keeping up the traditional practices, handed down from generation to generation, this 120 Jewish disciples were experiencing the reality of what these feast days pointed to.
FIRST RECIPIENTS OF HOLY GHOST
The Jewish people were not exactly ignorant of what the Spirit of God could do to a human body; for they had read and heard, how their prophets of old had been slain in the Spirit and remained speechless for periods of time. Nevertheless they had no real reason to expect the manifestation to do anything like that for them; so when the winds began to blow, I am sure they stopped all their talk, and waited in complete silence, to see just exactly what would happen. They knew this was not a natural wind blowing; and that it had to be something supernatural, so they no doubt got real still, and listened, and about that time, they began to see something also. Notice verse 3. “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.” This could have been in the form of little streaks of lightning, or it could have been just like the blaze of a candle burning; but the point is, They heard something with their ears, and saw something with their eyes, that got their immediate attention and reminded them once again of the words of Jesus, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you.” With open minds, and open hearts, they were no doubt thinking, Lord, have your own way with us. “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, AS THE SPIRIT GAVE THEM UTTERANCE.” I have a reason for wanting you to pay close attention to the words, “as the Spirit gave them utterance,” for there are multitudes of Charismatic people in the world today, who believe it is all right to help the Spirit, so they endeavor to teach people to speak in tongues, (most just jabbering) and when they begin to make a little sound of some kind, the verdict is, That’s it! You’ve got it! Meaning the Holy Ghost, of course. But in that upper room, they needed no one to instruct them. The Holy Ghost was able to do all that needed to be done. They spake with other tongues. They did not have to learn to speak in tongues, in order to receive it. Nothing like this had ever been witnessed before, since time began. God was doing a new thing. Daniel, Ezekiel, and other prophets of the Old Testament, spoke of how they became as dead men, and such like, as the Spirit would come upon them; but they never experienced anything like this. Another thing we want to notice here, is that these disciples were not just jabbering; they were actually speaking in languages that someone, from someplace in the world could understand. These next verses tell us that. These were all Galilean Jews. Just ordinary Jews, who had never learned foreign languages; yet according to the record, there were at least 16 different languages being spoken by the group of 120, who had just received the Holy Ghost. Some speaking one language, some others another, and so on. Let us read the next verses, and notice exactly what was said. “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, (There for the feast days) devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, (Why?) Because that every man heard them (these 120 disciples) speak IN HIS OWN LANGUAGE.” And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in OUR OWN TONGUE, WHEREIN WE WERE BORN?” That lets you know they were not speaking in the Hebrew tongue, which is the mother tongue of all Jews everywhere. They pinned it right down to the native tongue, spoken in the area of the world they each came from. These next verses list at least 16 different places these Jews had come from; and each one of them was able to hear one or more of these disciples speaking in their particular home town language. What were they saying? Verse 11 tells us they were testifying of the wonderful works of God. Verse 12 says, “And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?” This was the visiting Jews asking this. The local skeptics had their own ideas, as we will see when we read verse 13. Some have tried to discount what actually took place there in Jerusalem that day, saying that it was just a case where God anointed the ears of those other Jews, so that they heard and understood in their native language. They want to promote the idea that all these disciples were speaking in their mother tongue, and God only caused the others to hear as they did. But you have to remember, This was recorded at a later time, and the record shows that they were speaking in other tongues, up in the upper room, before they came down into the streets where these others heard them. You can call it other dialects, other tongues, or other languages; but if you know anything at all, you will not deny the fact that what they were speaking, was something other than their learned languages. Furthermore it was not unknown tongues, as some are prone to say, for they were clearly understood by some of those Jews present. Let me rephrase that. Not a one of them was speaking in a tongue that no one understood. In other words, God was in complete control of the whole thing; and nothing was done in vain. The tongues being spoken, were unknown tongues to those doing the speaking, but someone understood them. Oh yes, they were unknown to those local Jews who were always ready for an argument. That is what opened the door for Peter, ad gave him the opportunity to preach like he did, beginning in verse 14. Let us read verse 13 now. “Others (That was the local Jews) mocking said, These men are full of new wine.” In other words, They were accusing them of being drunk on manmade wine. I will not go so far as to say they were not drunk; but I am fully persuaded that they had not been sitting up there, tipping the wine bottle. They were filled with excitement and enthusiasm, and a love for Jesus. They could not see Him with their natural eyes, but they now knew that they had the same Spirit in them that Jesus had in Him. When those local Jews made that remark, the same Peter that had denied Jesus at the trial, now filled with the Holy Ghost, spoke right up, saying exactly what the Spirit in him, was giving him revelation on. Verse 14, “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall dream dreams.” and so forth. You can read the rest of it, if you wish; but the point is made. Those old Judaistic Jews could not understand anything that was being spoken; because they had their opportunity to hear what these were hearing, for the last 3 ½ years, from the very mouth fo Jesus Himself, and they had rejected it; so why should God let them in on this wonderful thing He was doing here? This was for those devout Jews that had traveled so far from home, to do all that they knew to do, to worship the God of their Fathers. The Jews from Rome heard some of these disciples speaking in Latin. That was their language, that they spoke at home, and here they heard these disciples speaking prophetic utterance directly to them, and testifying of the things God had revealed to them. Those from Egypt, and from Greece, and all the other places represented there, heard likewise, in their own native language, and they were all thrilled and excited about what they were hearing; but they could not understand why it was happening like that. Are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man, or every one of us, in our own tongue wherein we were born?
PETER USES HIS KEYS TO THE KINGDOM
Peter had been speaking in other tongues along with all the rest of the 12 disciples; but when those critics began to make those remarks, God lifted that anointing from him, and he preached to them in the mother tongue, that every Jew understood. You will remember the account in the gospel of St. Matthew, where Jesus asked His disciples, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” After various answers from them, He directed the same question to them saying, “But whom say ye that I am?” It was Peter, that spoke right up saying, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Now that was a revelation Peter received even without the Holy Ghost dwelling in him, because hew knew the Old Testament scriptures, and it all added up right, to him, and Jesus told him so, saying, “Blessed art thou Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood (meaning no human person) hath revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (this rock of revelation) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.” This is Peter’s first opportunity to use those keys to the kingdom of heaven; for the keys to the kingdom of heaven, in reality, was the authority to open up this dispensation, and that could not be done until after this outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Peter did not walk around with a huge log chain around his neck, carrying a set of natural keys. This was a spiritual door, he was unlocking; and he started right out with a prophecy of Joel, which as far as we know, Jesus never did even bring up to them. It just shows what the Holy Ghost can do, once He is inside of a person who already knows the letter of the law and the prophets. He can just put the picture right in place, and give His vessel the necessary utterance to express it to others. That is how Paul got his revelation, while out there in the Arabian desert for 3 years; after his conversion, on the road to Damascus Syria, to arrest Christians there. Anyhow, Peter went right to a prophecy found in the 2nd chapter of Joel. Beginning in verse 21, Joel begins to speak of the regathering and restoration of the nation of Israel. Then in verse 28, he began to write the prophetic words Peter was referring to saying, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophecy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit.” That was a prophecy to the nation of Israel; but it did not literally mean that every Jew was going to receive the Holy Ghost, as we all know. But in this Holy Ghost dispensation, that the spiritual Jews were first partakers of, it is the Holy Ghost that first begins to deal with a lost person; to place conviction upon him, or her, and cause them to realize their need to be reconciled to their Creator. This prophecy of Joel, was given 800 years before Christ, and it lay right there in their scrolls, just waiting for the hour that the Holy Ghost would move upon Peter to give it a present day application. A lot of people have quoted the words, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,” in the last twenty-five, or thirty years, without really knowing themselves, exactly how to apply it. But you have to realize that no matter how much they are exposed to the outpouring of the Spirit of God, no tare is ever going to make it into the kingdom of God. Some people take 2nd Peter, 3:9, which says something to the effect that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, and they put it with this scripture here in Joel, and in Acts 2, and act as though a little arm twisting can get just anyone saved and filled with the Holy Ghost. But in reality, neither one of these scriptures give anyone any right or privilege to drag someone else into the kingdom of God. Denominational churches are full of people today, or at least their membership rolls are full of names of people who have had this type of persuasion used on them, and there is not one ounce of spiritual benefit to it; simply because the Holy Ghost has never drawn them to repentance. Some use one verse, others use another, to justify what they are doing; but without the Holy Ghost, it is all vain. That is why the Church of Christ has no spiritual life in it. They say, We believe we receive the Spirit of God when we believe; and do not believe this experience in Acts 2, was for anyone except the original apostles of Christ. If that were true, how in the world would that 120 disciples ever have convinced all those other Jews they had something the rest of them did not have? If this dispensation had not come in with a supernatural demonstration of the Spirit of God; those Jews would have gone right on as Pharisees, Sadducees, and so forth, still saying, We have Abraham to our father, and all such as that. But through this supernatural demonstration, God got their attention, and through these disciples, prophesied to them, and called prophecies to their mind that they already knew, and gave them an application. The part about servants and handmaidens in Joel, speaks of the fact that no race of people, nor class of people will be excluded, under this new covenant. Male, female, rich, poor, slave and free, would all be included in the overall application of their new covenant. The law was just for the nation of Israel, and it was only given to them after God had delivered them from Egyptian bondage, and made them free, so they could obey it. Keeping the law could never accomplish what Jesus accomplished there at Calvary; but those who kept it, with the right attitude and motive, were kept secure until the perfect sacrifice for man’s sins was made. Paul said it was a schoolmaster. Yes. In Galatians 3:23, we pick up his statement. “But before faith came, we (the Jews) were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith is come, we are not longer under a schoolmaster. For we are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Of course we realize that was not written to the people of the world; it was written to people who had already believed and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The righteousness of the law had been fulfilled, and all men everywhere were commanded to repent, and accept this new way. No longer would anyone, no matter how serious they might be, be justified by keeping the law of Moses; for what that law pointed to, was already a fulfilled reality.
IS TONGUES AN EVIDENCE?
Now let us look at this: Peter was not preaching an evidence of the Holy Ghost message, like you hear out here in the Charismatics today. He was simply pointing to a prophecy of Joel, that was being fulfilled that very day, and as it turned out, speaking in other tongues came with it; but as I have said so many times before, you cannot use the speaking in tongues as the initial evidence of the Holy Ghost, without inserting something more than can be found in the Bible. People who have the Holy Ghost, are enabled to speak in tongues, just like they did in the scriptures. But there are a lot of people speaking in tongues today, who have not received the Holy Ghost; and they prove that they do not have the Holy Ghost, by the way they deny and profane many precious truths in the word of God. You will not find any place in the scriptures, where the apostles ever preached that speaking in tongues is the evidence of the presence of the Holy Ghost. They did not hesitate to present the necessity of one receiving the Holy Ghost when they believed, but it was preached by revelation, and not by an evidence. God used those tongues as a vindication, in the onset of this new dispensation. But the purpose was not to convince the individual doing the speaking, that they had the Holy Ghost. It was more for the benefit of the others, for those who received the Spirit, knew they received it, because it did for them what Jesus told His disciples it would do. It taught them, called things to their remembrance, and guided their lives into the very will and purpose of God. But you never would have heard a believer deny a scriptural truth. For that matter, no true believer even in this hour of time, would ever deny, nor speak against any truth of the scriptures. But you can sure find a lot of people who profess to be saved and filled with the Holy Ghost, denying an awful lot of God’s word, and accusing people who do believe it, of being off on false doctrine. Nevertheless, no matter what others may do, those who are true children of God, delight in the revelation of His word; and that stimulation of revelation, sometimes causes us to act a little like those who received the promise of the Father, on the day of Pentecost. Some people might say we are drunk at times, if they could see us. I would never want anyone to think I am against anyone speaking in tongues. My main objective in saying what I do about it, is to call attention to the fact that the Holy Ghost is given to believers, for something other than just to enable them to speak in tongues. The main emphasis should be on His leadership in the believers life. Not only in matters pertaining to revelation of the doctrine of Christ; but also in Christian conduct and a proper respect for all that God is doing, and all that He has done already.
THE CROP FOR HARVEST
Brothers and Sisters: I do not mean to be boresome to you; but there are a lot of people in the world today, who have never been privileged to hear what most of you here have heard; so we do not want to be guilty of shutting off the truth from them; when we are given the opportunity to say something that could help them find what they are hungering for. If somehow we can see how clear this gospel light was, in the dawning of this day of salvation; and see the affect the truth had on the lives of those disciples of that day, we will have a much clearer vision of what the effect of this evening light should be, in the lives of believers of this hour. Will God settle for less than what He started with, in this harvest time? Any farmer who sows seed, expects to reap a crop of the very same thing he sowed, increased many fold in number. That is a law of God, and He has purposed that it should work the same way, pertaining to the crop of believers sown in the earth, in the seed time of this dispensation. You can find Jesus using this terminology in the first two parables of the 13th chapter of Matthew; particularly the 2nd, where He said, “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; (or age) and the reapers are the angels.” When were the tares sown? While men slept. Satan could not sow them among the true believers, as long as those early apostles were alive; but when they fell asleep, (died) he managed to start slipping them in, and they have been among the true believers ever since. This evening light is revealing a lot of them; but the final separation is not to be until the end of the age. It looks, in the natural, like the world is full of Christians. But the real truth is, The world is overrun with people who have a lot of ideas about religion, especially in America, but very few that are really hungry for the word of God. That is why everything has to be measured by the revelation taught by the early apostles; for we know God has not changed his mind about the kind of Church He wants. Those who go with Jesus in the rapture, will be cut by the same pattern given in the New Testament, with no exceptions.