We have preached several messages along the line of what I want to deal with in this message; but we want to go at this in a different way. We want to title this message, “The Bible, and Its Message.” Why? There are people sitting in buildings everywhere today. They call them churches; and a lot of those buildings are more elaborate than this one, but there is no natural building on earth, that is God’s Church. They are just meeting places for the Church; for the Church the Bible speaks of is people, not buildings. My objective, in dealing with this subject, however long it may be, is to try to point us to the reality of what is written in the Bible, and how we should look at it. Not only does it contain a message of salvation, it also contains a message of what God has purposed to do in, and through those who have this salvation. It is a pitiful picture when we look at Christendom, in all the division and plurality of beliefs today. None of that is the Church. That (what you see out there) is Babylon. Confusion. If you can look at it in the spiritual sense, many sincere people are existing in it, just like Jews who are a natural race, spoken of in the Bible. They were God’s ancient, chosen people. He gave them a specific portion of the earth, the land of Canaan, called Palestine. When they possessed it, in the long Biblical period, they called it the land of Israel. God promised to bless them, and be with them. That land would be theirs, providing His law, His statutes and judgments were observed and kept, by them. Do you know why there are literally millions of Jews dispersed throughout the world today, scattered through Gentile nations? It is because there was a generation of Israelites many centuries ago, that got their minds all settled on other things. They, somehow or other, got the idea that the Bible they had then, which was the Old Testament, could be interpreted to fit their own ideas. When they did that, God raised up prophets to rebukeand exhort them, to turn them back to His original word, which was His law, and covenant. When they failed to take heed, then He promised that He would drive them to the ends of the earth, in dispersion; and that dispersion became a scattering of a race away from the central locality He had given them, and blessed them in, and they became a people that soon began to speak the dialects of the nations wherein they lived. The one common language, Hebrew, that they once had spoken at home, became an almost forgotten tongue. That Hebrew tongue was a language of unity. We are not dealing with languages, I am just using it as an illustration. When they all spoke the same dialect, they all spoke the same way, and had no language problem. However after they became scattered throughout nations, when they came together, if they did not know Hebrew, they jabbered to each other in the tongue wherein they were born. That is a very descriptive picture of what is called Christianity today. Methodism, Lutheranism, Baptistism, Presbyterianism, and on and on the picture goes. No wonder it is called Babylon, (confusion) that is exactly what it is.
FORESHADOWING TYPES OF GOD’S PLAN
You will find that this Bible is not a book that is to be subject to every person’s private interpretation. The apostle Peter made that clear in his 2nd Epistle, (1:20) yet there are literally multitudes all over the face of the earth today, that read the Bible to suit themselves. Many are looking for a church, but it is not THE CHURCH. They are looking for a church that they feel their flesh and their natural spirit fits into, so they will keep on exploring until they find something their flesh feels good in. I am not saying these things to belittle people, but to get you to open your eyes and realize, we do not have another 25 years to play around, looking for something, and still not know what we are looking for. It is either here, or we have missed it. It is here, and multitudes are blind to it. That is the picture I see today, multitudes professing to be Christians, and very little truth being taught among them, but this book has a message of truth, and I want to help you see it. This chart I am using, is just drawn up to give you a little graphic illustration of thought, dealing with time, and the history of the gospel. If we can see what has transpired in the past, and try, in the final analysis, to decide for yourself whether what we see is according to the scriptures or not, we are bound to be better off for our effort. Think of it, before there ever was a New Testament, which we have, there was a people called the Jews. God had given them the OLD Covenant, written by Moses. He wrote the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. Even that far back, those books, if you look at them, and search carefully, they all declare, and show that man is a sinner. He is headed for some kind of disaster, if there is no provision anywhere in the plan of God to rescue him out of his dilemma. When the children of Israel were spending 400 and some years in Egyptian bondage, why did God leave them there that long? It was so they would multiply themselves from a family and clan, into a nation of people, composed of tribes, many thousands in each one. They became a race, they have been in bondage, they have been under servitude, they have been hard pressed. Not a one of them knows the land that was promised to Abraham. They know nothing about it. They have an oral tradition handed down, that they are the people, the descendants of Abraham, through Isaac and Jacob, but they know nothing about God speaking to them personally. Yet when the time came, He raised up a man of the tribe of Levi, and circumstances put him on the back side of the desert in Sinai. There God dealt with him through those circumstances, through a 40 year journey, which he knew nothing about. Then the day came that God spoke to Moses, that He had heard the cry of His people, and He had come down to deliver. Moses was sent back to Egypt, and he was given his brother to do his speaking for him; for Moses was either timid or bashful, or he really did stutter a lot, so God gave him a mouthpiece. Moses was an instructor to him, what to say, when to say it, and how to say it. When God brought the children of Israel across the Red Sea, by a miraculous deliverance, that sea became a natural geographical barrier. God said to them, You will never see that place again. That set a type, that when God really saves you, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, His intentions are that you will never live in, nor approve of the old sinful way of a life any more. In a natural sense, they had all been delivered from their old way of life. In a figurative sense, that sea experience was their baptism. That is what the apostle Paul wrote, in 1st Corinthians, chapter 10. Therefore when the waters closed back, it cut them off from the old oppressions, and ways of the Egyptians, who were never to dominate and control their lives again. You can read the rest of what he wrote there, concerning their experiences on the journey out of bondage. All of that set a type, yet it is still dealing in a natural picture. The cloud of smoke by day and fire by night, was a type of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. It was there to lead them. God took them right to Sinai; there to deal with them in a way that no other human beings had ever been dealt with. There He displayed Himself on top of the Mount. Moses was led up there, and God dealt with him on behalf of all the people. A law of Ten Commandments that you read about in Exodus, was engraved on two natural tablets of stone. Those written commandments became a law. Later God gave (in the books of Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers) certain statutes, ordinances and judgments, that was to be used in judging matters that dealt with theft, murder, adultery, fornication, things that affected their social functioning as a people together. Also, ordinances of how certain things were to be eaten, and how it was to be prepared. All of these things set types. and the first five books of the Bible, which were all written in scrolls later, were given to those people. That was their word of God for that hour. If they walked in the light of that, fulfilled its natural observances, God reckoned eternal life to them because of it. The ones that adhered to it, received that benefit. On the other hand, within the writing of those, was the penalties that would be administered to the individual Jew, if he failed to observe it in its strict observance. He was either stoned, cut off, or something, because God wanted that particular element of people to be a peculiar race, a holy people, and as He was to establish them in the land that he promised to Abraham, they were to reflect and give off a moral, social, picture of how God wanted to project and reflect His will in the earth, among filthy, ungodly Gentile people. They had no sooner gotten in the land and started taking their tribal possessions, when Joshua died, and another generation of Jews were arriving on the scene; and quickly, they began to do what the scripture says. Every man, (and woman) did that which was right in his own eyes. The point in saying that is this: You hardly ever find anything that God has done in one generation, being carried forth in its true meaning a hundred years later. The true purpose is always perverted in some way, as time passes from one generation to another. We find then, following the long period after the judges, Israel passed through other periods. God gave them Samuel the prophet; who absolutely ministered as a prophet and priest on their behalf. The regular priesthood of that hour, was so far away from understanding God’s true purpose in what those five books of Moses set forth: their service was of little benefit. Finally God appointed them a king. The children of Israel had seen that the Gentiles all had a king; so they wanted one too. You might say, They wanted an organization. They wanted a head that would lead them into battle; when all the time God really wanted to be the King, and go before them in all their conflicts. Well, God allowed them to have a king; a man named Saul, but you see what happened to him. He failed to follow God in strict obedience, so God had to reject him. In his place, God raised up another man to be their king; a man after God’s own heart. That of course, was David. Yet when we read the life and scriptural biography of David, we can still see things he did, that were fleshly, and carnally wrong; even though the nation benefited, and was restored back to a closer fellowship and walk with God. Then God gave them Solomon, David’s son, and for the first period of those 40 years, Israel enjoyed the most blissful period of tranquility, prosperity, and spirituality they had ever enjoyed while being in the land of Canaan. The temple was built, the Shekinah glory of God was displayed, and everything was wonderful for a while. However Solomon, in his older years, began to go by the way of flesh. As he did, he began to marry wives, concubines, and they began to cry for shrines, groves, altars, that were reminiscent of where they came from. Therefore, knowing it was against the will of God, he still began to give in to their cries. When you read that picture, the ending of that period began to set Israel on a course of spiritual decay, from which there was no return. God raised up prophet after prophet down through the centuries of time, and they rebuked Israel for her idolatrous ways, and gave exhortation concerning the will of God; but to no avail. They gave Israel many promises, of things for future generations, things which looked way off in the distance, of what God was going to do for that nation; and those Israelites hardly understood any of it. In all those prophets writings that followed the period of the law, you have mixed prophecies; prophecies that spoke of the chastisement that would imminently come, because of their refusal to obey the Law, and also, prophecies related to a time way off in the future. Some of those prophecies written by the various prophets spoke of the advent of their Messiah, which is even written back in the scrolls. You find it in Numbers. Balaam told Balak what there would be; that there would be a star come out of Jacob, and told what the children of Israel would do to the descendants of Moab and the Edomites, in the later days, and so forth. A lot of this squabble we have going on over there today, is leading right up to that. While Shamir, and Perez are both politicians, Shamir has a certain orthodox view that Perez seems not to have. Yet I seriously doubt that either one sees the imminent appearing of their long awaited Messiah.
A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE
Circumstances prevailing in Israel today, have been brought about mainly by the Palestinians that have desecrated the land for centuries. Now they are rising up, to oppose, and be a hindrance to Israel, for any further prophetic growth and possession of the land they are supposed to have: to get everything ready for the coming of their star of Jacob. (JESUS the Christ, their Messiah). Somewhere down the road, trouble like Israel has never had, is going to break out like a sore, and there is not a cure for it, only for Israel to do what God will put on them and force them to do. Many of those Palestinians will be picked up and squeezed out of that land, just like you would squeeze gun grease. I hope you understand what I mean. All of that land must be under the control of the Israeli government when Jesus comes. Therefore if we are moving close to the coming of their Messiah, something drastic will have to take place in the very near future. We will leave that period, and that thought, to come on toward what we are going to talk about. As we come to the last prophet, 400 years before the birth of Jesus, Israel has come through a long time of various problems. They have lived under the Persian rule, they have lived under the Grecian rule; and here is a prophet, Malachi by name, who writes some very interesting words. It is important that we place these words in their proper context as the New Testament period begins. There are literally church theologians today, that because they have degrees in theology, they make boastful claims. Well these theologians did not write the Bible; and neither will they interpret it to God’s spiritual people. Malachi, not living to see it fulfilled, in the 3rd chapter of his writing, said, “Behold, (1st verse) 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.” That scripture was fulfilled 400 years later, and John the Baptist was the messenger that prepared the way for His coming; even though John’s name was not mentioned in the Old Testament, God could have said, John the Baptist shall prepare the way before me; but He left that part for the spiritual people to recognize, while all the rest just went on their merry little way. One thing is sure, God always has a little remnant of people who hunger and thirst after righteousness, no matter what the rest of the world may do. The word me, is implying the Lord Himself. “The Lord whom ye seek,” lets us know that there were some who literally did seek Him. It was a Jewish remnant that looked for their Messiah, according to the prophecies of their former prophets. It is the same way today, among Gentiles. Not all of the people who sit in church buildings, going through some little religious ritual, are looking for the Lord’s return. Some of them could not care less, whether He comes tomorrow, or a hundred years from now. They are not hungry for the things of God; they just go to church because they have a certain feeling that they need to go, whether they find anything there or not. They receive nothing; because they have no ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to the people of God. There are promises in there (in the Bible) for every one of those whom the Lord has called; and if we have a hungry heart, God will fulfill every one of them for our spiritual benefit. Malachi 3:1, was fulfilled to the Jews, after Jesus was baptized by John; when He appeared at the temple one day, and drove out that bunch of business men that had set up shop in the house of God. Just think of it., He came to His temple, in the course of His ministry, to fulfill this very scripture; and what did He find? He found priests, rabbis and scribes, the very religious leaders of that day, sitting there, with their tables set up, selling doves, goats, pigeons, and all kinds of substitutional sacrifices to the worshippers who came to the temple. Were they looking for the Lord? They were not looking for the Lord. They were caught up in the religious aspects of going to the temple; and some of those money changers were putting the profits in their pockets. When Jesus came in there, He came unexpected, unannounced, fulfilling this scripture. “Even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in,” was Malachi’s words, and the word C-O-V-E-N-A-N-T, has got to stand out here. What is a covenant? It is a contract drawn up between two or more parties. God gave Israel a covenant, a promise of life, as long as they obeyed it. Within that covenant, it had its types, it’s shadows, of a better era yet to be. Israel lived under the jurisdiction of that covenant for so many centuries, setting a type of what God willed, one day, to give out to the world, in which, He would fulfill His promise to Abraham; that, “In thee and thy seed after thee, shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” It would require another covenant for that promise to be fulfilled; and that is what the covenant Malachi spoke of, was designed for; the covenant Jesus Himself was the messenger of. Moses was the messenger of the first one. It was a covenant of law; and the covenant of Malachi 3:1, is a covenant of grace; that includes Gentiles in its benefits. Notice also the words, “Whom ye delight in.” That pointed to Jesus of course; but we all know for sure, that the whole nation of Israel did not delight in Him. When He appeared, they were shocked. Some were agitated. There were others that were momentarily shocked; but it woke them up to reality, and they laid hold on what they were awakened to. “Behold he shall come saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? Who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap.” Who can stand it? Who can accept it? We are still looking back to 2000 years ago; when only a small element of the Israeli society accepted what went on then, because for the most part, the rest were not even looking for anything better than what they had. As we said earlier, Malachi gave that prophecy 400 years before it was fulfilled; so only the spiritually hungry ones were able to recognize who Jesus was, when He came to them in such a humble way. God always works in simplicity though, to confound the great scholars who feel that He has no right to work through anyone except one of them.
THE ELIJAH ANOINTING
Let us go to the 4th chapter, where Malachi spoke of Elijah, an Old Testament prophet from many centuries before, that was to come. Here is a chapter denominational churches today want no part of. They send their young men to Theological Seminaries, for them to learn how to interpret the Bible; and when they come out of those places they are so full of unbelief, some of them talk more like atheists than Christians who are supposed to believe the written word of God. They will tell you the Bible does not say God will send a prophet, in the last days. Well, I want to show you that the Bible does say so, if you will bear with me for a little while. Just pay attention to the wording of what we are going to read. The prophecy we just read, in the third chapter, is a prophecy that deals with two individual persons. One is John the Baptist. The other One is Jesus Christ in His first advent. It only has one application. That was all fulfilled over 1900 years ago, in the first advent of Christ. However, this last prophecy, given by the last prophet of the Old Testament to the children of Israel, beginning in verse 5, presents a different picture. I want to read this, and explain something to you, and if there is a doctor of divinity, a theologian, sitting somewhere, that will hear this, or read this, I hope you will get your nose in this Bible and let the Spirit of God show you that what I am saying is the truth. You have your degree in theology; but you are blinded by your own intelligence. Let us read. “Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” I will stop there for a moment, to say this, The Jewish nation, the scribes, the high priest, the rabbis, for 400 years, carried this in a written scroll, but they did not know what it meant. They had their schools of thought; just like your Gentile Theologians of today do. Some actually believed the literal Elijah of old is supposed to come back. They knew he was translated, so they just looked for him to return; but before what? “The coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” If we look at this right, it is speaking of two different comings of the Lord. When He came, almost 2000 years ago, that was the great day; but there is to be a dreadful day of His coming also; if you read verses 5 & 6 correctly. That will be when He comes in judgment. Verse 6, “And he (this Elijah, shall do what?) turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” I will never forget when I was in the Methodist church; I used to read that; but I thought all of it was pointing to an endtime, juvenile delinquent period. Simply because, 30 some years ago, you could begin to see all this juvenile delinquency coming into focus. You began to hear, and read more and more about the generation gap; and just reading that, you began to look at it in a genetic sense. Later, I began to realize, when we see how it was fulfilled in its first advent, it has no genetic juvenile delinquent application at all. This word fathers, here, is not a word pertaining to, like a father over his genetic son. The word father, as used here, is a word that describes spiritual fathers; or we will say, in the religious social realm, referred to as fathers, and when you read in the gospels, and in the book of Acts, fathers, many times, was the way Jewish disciples of Jesus, refer to the scribes, the Pharisees, or the ecclesiastical leaders of the old orthodox system. They would call them fathers. Meaning of course, fathers of Judaism. The fathers of Judaism is what Israel was under the leadership of, when this prophecy had its first fulfillment. This lets us know, God knew that when this prophecy was to be fulfilled, the spiritual picture of Israel would be in a very declined state of condition. The whole nation of Israel would have all kinds of religious concepts of how, when, and what this prophecy actually pointed to. Just like religion today. They have all kinds of ideas. On the other hand, some could not have cared less about the whole thing. They only cared for the things of the day they were living in; and we certainly have plenty of that kind today also. All they care about, is just fulfilling their little religious ritual once a week, and getting back to the pleasures of their worldly activity. They will say, That is not for our day; so why worry about what it means? ” Well I have news for them; part of it is for our day; so let us look at it and see what it truly does point to, “He will turn the heart of the fathers.” I want to take you back 1900 years ago. I do not have time to take you back to the gospel of St. John. Nor back to Luke’s writing. Believe me though, saints, That prophecy went in motion, when John the Baptist (who was the man that fulfilled the first part of this) appeared in Jordan, preaching. It was the down and out, the publican, the sinner, those looked down upon by the Judaistic element of Israel that first began to go out and hear that strange talking man. He was saying things that was reviving an inner feeling in them that had been almost dormant for a long time. John the Baptist was that man. Let me just hold that point right there, and take you to the Gospel of Luke, to the hour when it was fulfilled. I know I have been over this before, in other messages, but I have to put it in here, like this, to give a positive beginning of what started here, so that when we get on over here, we will have an understanding of how it is to wind up. For we do know we are living in the day and time, that God has fulfilled that prophecy once again. Methodist theologians, and Assembly of God theologians, and all the rest are setting up against it. Sure they are educated. Sure they have degrees. They hide behind their knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. They want the church world to know they have this thing all understood. We also have others that believe there was a man in our day who fulfilled the last part of this prophecy; but they have gone astray with their belief. They are saying this, He had everything. Whatever he said, that is the way it is. His sermons have become their Bible. The way they see it, God has given us another set of scriptures. No, God did not give you another Bible. That is why I am titling this, “The Bible, and Its Message.” God does not need any other book. There may be ten thousand people that want another book, and there are others that are printing books to take the place of the Bible, but they will come, and they will go. They will wind up by the wayside; but there will be a people on earth that will hear the real message of the Bible, and they will learn through the leadings of the Holy Ghost, that God has done something to get His people ready for another coming of the Lord. When the time came for Malachi 4:6, to have its first advent fulfilling: what did God do? Did He come down and speak to the high priest? Did He speak to the Scribes in the temple? No. He did not. Did you ever wonder why God always seems to bypass the overall body of clergy in the times He has chosen to fulfill something from prophecy? It is because the overall body of clergy are so wrapped up in schools of thought, they have no time to hear the voice of God. They do not have time to cut away from everything, and let God lead them. There was one man though, a priest by the name Zacharias, that just sort of stood out from the average priest of his hour. He had gone into the temple to burn incense, while the multitude of people were outside praying. He was a man that was getting on up in years. His wife Elizabeth, was too. Just imagine, they had always wanted a little baby, but Elizabeth had been unable to have children; and while Zacharias was burning incense, an angel of the Lord appeared to him saying, “Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” You will find all of that in Luke 1:5-13, if you care to read the whole account. Right now though, I would like to take you back through the centuries of time. Let us try to analyze this old man. He was a Jew, of the tribe of Levi. In the natural sense he was dressed a certain way. That was according to the order of how he was to appear in that little place. He was not in the Holy of Holies part of the temple. He was in the place of the table of shewbread, and so forth. That is where the priests burned incense in the regular course of their ministration to God. I believe with all my heart, this wanting a child had somehow or other bore so heavy upon Zacharias’ mind, and his wife’s mind, he could not get away from it.
In the natural, he took this incense in there to pour a little porton on something, or in something, and to ignite it. That is all in the natural observance and function of his duty. Then, as he was to say a prayer. I believe within his mind, there was something reaching out. Oh God, if you would just have mercy upon me and my little wife, we want a son so badly. Did you notice how the angel addressed him? Fear not, thy prayer is heard. I do not believe the angel was reminding him of a prayer he prayed six months before. It was not some prayer he prayed way back there, and then kind of gave up. Oh, no. He was startled by the appearance of the angel; but not because of his prayer. Just imagine the angel saying something like this, You have prayed, and I have come to answer your prayer. Amen! I tell you brothers and sisters, there are a lot of God’s people going through all kinds of trials, but there is going to be an end to all of it. God will answer in due time. He is going to be real to every one of His children, in the way He sees fit to do it. Imagine this angel saying, “And thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” How many times this man had prayed: how many times he had asked God to comfort their hearts over this matter. I believe when that angel said that, John forgot all about the incense, and what he was supposed to do with it. I know I would. If I had something on my heart that was important to me, as that was to him, I would forget all about what I was there for, if an angel of the Lord appeared to me like that. I would even forget what I looked like. You would too. “And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord.” My, my, he has lived for weeks and months, years, Longing, waiting, and naturally as he had gotten older, you cannot help but realize, his hope had begun to dwindle. Their natural means of having a child was getting lesser all the time. “Thou shalt have joy and gladness and many shall rejoice at his birth.” What a promise! As if that was not enough for this old man to hear so suddenly, think about the rest of what the angel said, “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. (The angel was setting the scene for the fulfillment of a prophecy written 400 years before that) And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. (Notice now) And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias. (For what purpose) to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children.” Where did we read that? In Malachi 4:6, the verse read a little while ago, Zacharias was standing there, an old man, hearing every one of the words. Brother, He didn’t have time to get pencil and paper and say, Let me write this down; He had to remember every bit of it. Imagine that nation of Jews, having the Law, and the writing of the prophets going to the temple in the various seasons of festivity, fulfilling all the functionary things required by law. and yet God says, “Many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord.” That should have let them know, Something is going to be drastically wrong in Israel, when this is fulfilled. Just as it is in the church world today something is drastically wrong. People are conceited, self-willed, self righteous, hard hearted, stubborn, rebellious, and cannot be told anything. They know it all. God cannot even talk to people like that. God can only talk to hungry souls. However as the angel goes ahead, he points Zacharias back to Malachi 4, verse 6. Notice how much of that vent that angel quotes. He did not bring the scroll in there, because the angel already knew what the scroll said, “And he, (Zacharias’ son) shall go before Him (meaning the Lord) in the spirit and power of Elias, (which is actually Elijah, to do what?) to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children.” I want all of you theologians, critics, whoever you are, that question what we teach about this, to notice the 17th verse. The angel did not quote the rest of Malachi 4:6. He stopped in the middle of the verse. That was all John was supposed to fulfill. The rest was for our day. I want to show you something: You who claim God would not send a prophet In the last days, to the Gentile bride of Christ, and claim that the Bible does not prophesy such a thing. You just simply do not read it right. You say He only sends prophets to Jews; but you have no Bible authority for such a bold statement. Malachi’s prophecy, in chapter 3, verses 1 & 2, is a prophecy speaking of something, that when it was fulfilled, the old Jewish covenant brought by Moses was going to terminate. Yes I said terminate. It speaks of a covenant, and the messenger of the covenant, which was the Lord Himself. That lets us know there was going to be another covenant set in motion; a covenant greater benefits. A covenant that fulfills all the types pertaining to life, that was held in shadows until the time appointed of God. That new covenant is also described in Jeremiah, and John the Baptist came on the scene to prepare the way for it to be put into effect. He came to prepare a people to receive the Messenger of the new covenant; because the dispensation of the old law covenant was terminating. God was going to set a new covenant in motion; and that is exactly what we are looking at here in these scriptures. John truly did fulfill the first half of Malachi 4:6; but there remained that last half of the verse yet to be fulfilled, after John had passed from the scene; so who was to fulfill it, and when? The answer to that question is what I want to be sure you understand. “And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the heart of the fathers to the children.” The angel did not quote the rest of Malachi, chapter 4, verse 6; which says, “And the heart of the children back to their fathers,” but that was part of Malachi’s prophecy, so it had to be fulfilled. Here is what he did say though, “And the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.” Those two words are a picture of the Israeli society, of the hour when the first part would go in motion. From the sinner, the publican, the down and out, God turned to them, awakened them, and gave them the wisdom to understand. That is what the word wisdom is implying. He gave them something to understand what He was doing in that hour. Brothers and sisters, who did Jesus say it was, that went out to hear John? The publicans and harlots heard him gladly, and God, by his divine mercy gave them grace, and wisdom, because they were the disobedient of that hour of society. It is true; God only sent prophets to the nation of Israel in Old Testament times; but do not forget, The Jews rejected the gospel; and the Spirit of God turned to the Gentiles, and Gentiles have been carrying the gospel ever since. You may say. God only sends prophets to Jews, but you have to twist the scriptures in order to say that. The new testament covenant, which was given and brought by Jesus Christ. and was preached and proclaimed by the apostles of the first age of Christendom, by the time that first age closes out, the Jewish nation has rejected it, and God has judged them and scattered them and has given it to Gentiles, and we Gentiles, 1900 years ago, received the gospel of Jesus Christ in the form and light and understanding of God’s second covenant. Then once we Gentiles had received it, in its original truth, which we are going to explore shortly, and find out what it was, and what it was not; Gentiles have had the responsibility of carrying it to the world. My point is this, once God gave it to us, in its original truth, the Jews to whom it was first given, and through whom the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled, because of their rebelliousness, were cut off. That is why in 69 and 70 A.D. the Roman army came and besieged the city of Jerusalem. Many thousands perished in that siege; and the Jews that survived were carried away by the Roman army and sold as slaves. Some in Alexandria Egypt, Some in Constantinople Greece, and others in Rome. God scattered them through 1900 and some years of time, to the four corners of the earth, while we Gentiles in our beginning, enjoyed the second covenant God had made with the Jews. This covenant was brought by the apostles of the New Testament covenant. You must keep in mind though, That last portion of Malachi 4:6 belongs somewhere; for John did not fulfill it.
A SOVEREIGN GOD IN HIS PEOPLE
The Bible proves that every event of time God Himself has somehow or other marked in His Holy Word, wherein that interval was broken by some outstanding fulfillment of scripture, the first thing you notice, is, there will be scriptures pointing to that hour. There are prophecies related to the events of whatever is to transpire, and that is exactly where the Gentile church world is today. In fact, they are all so mixed up, over the gospels and the book of Acts, they cannot even get the rest straightened out, to know which way to go or what to do. Just keep in mind, This cross (on a chart being used) acts as a beginning point; because it marks the death of Christ. However as we look at that, remember, John the Baptist, was the fulfilling of the prophecy related to Elijah that was to forerun the first advent of Christ. He was the Elijah, or Elias, for that hour. Jesus came right on the scene, fulfilling scriptures related to His first advent; born in Bethlehem, born of virgin birth, grew up into manhood, went to the river, and the great eternal Spirit came down and filled Him with His divine majesty. God and man became a perfect unity. The Bible does not teach a trinity; like so many believe it does; it teaches a unity between God and His Son, and between God and His redeemed people on earth. Most people always want to put God in some kind of building. That of course, is a traditional hand-me-down idea of God; there is no revelation. The only building God needs is you. If your building is made clean by the blood of Jesus Christ: God moves in, (Dwelling in believers, God is referred to as the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit; for that is what God is, a Spirit) and when He moves in, He is in you to remold, or to create within you the nature and character of His only begotten Son. That is why we can say, Jesus is in us; because the Father and His Son Jesus are one Spirit. Therefore to say we have the Spirit of Christ in us is the same as saying we have the Spirit of God in us. However He will not change the shape of your nose, the freckles on your face, nor the color of your hair or eyes. He will change the way you think. He will change the way you conduct yourself. He will change the way you may have thought you were, to the way you are supposed to be. He will cause you to see things in the scriptures in a whole new light. The world will laugh, the world will scoff, they will say, Well who do you think you are? Of course they will not understand; but you can say, I am a child of God. You may hear, Well you sound more like a cult; but do not worry about that; they felt the same way about Jesus and His disciples of that day. According to the standards the world measures these things by, we could be classified as a cult; but that cannot be avoided. The world is going to find out one of these days that we are not a cult; but it will be too late for it to help them. In the meanwhile we are identified with saints who have already run the race and finished the course. Did not the apostle Paul say, In the way they call heresy, so worship I the God of my father? There are some people, or I should say, Most people will never be convinced that you are right and they are wrong. They are going to condemn you by their standards, and by their theology. They will walk backward over a cliff condemning you, and never see where they are going. Nevertheless let us look at the beginning point of what we believe as Gentile Christians. The four gospels, and the book of Acts, is where it all started for us. That is why it is written like this. The four gospels, to this point, all tell you, not in detail, but everything that is related to the prophecies we have been talking about; when, how and who it pertained to. The four gospels give us a first hand look at the acts and deeds of the Lord Jesus while He walked on earth,and the book of Acts, which is the acts of the apostles who continued on with this gospel of salvation, pertaining to the new covenant, give us a first hand look at what Christians are supposed to be like. Therefore you can say, Christianity began with 5 books also, I hope you see the parallel? The four gospels and the book of Acts, do not necessarily deal with every doctrine that is encompassed in the overall covenant, but in the four gospels and the book of Acts is the beginning of the application of how God’s plan of salvation is to be preached and proclaimed in the earth. I want to take a moment and line these scriptures up, and try to show you why I say this. We have already read here what Luke says in the first chapter; where he records how the angel told Zacharias what was to be; so go with me to the 16th chapter of Luke. Jesus has been on the scene quite awhile, preached to that Judaistic order of that day, and in the 14th verse of the 16th chapter of Luke’s gospel, it says this, “And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things and they derided Him. Imagine the Pharisees, they were the religious denomination of Judaism of that hour, who were looked upon as the most clean living, the most holy, spiritual people on earth; yet it says this about them, they derided Him, meaning they gouged Him, publicly. They were literally gouging at Him, hoping He would say something wrong. That is why He said unto them,” Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; (I will have to say, This is a picture of the Gentile church world today) but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. I do not care what some may say, there is a lot being proclaimed today as being God guided; but God is not in it. He never was; and never will be. When you draw an end to walking with God, it means you are saying there is no more in the book for you to understand. Brothers and sisters: We are required by God, to walk with Him in light. Please notice what Jesus says here, for I want to show you how denominations interpret this. “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” In other words, the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom, cultivated in the lives of a people; while the kingdom of Israel was a social order, or a race, placed and dealt with within a natural geographical spot of ground. That is the difference. The kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of God, one is spiritual, and the other one is geographical. Notice here, though, He said “The law and the prophets were until John.” Did you know, the Church of Christ people jump right on that verse, because it seems to say what they want to hear. Here is what they say, The period of what the prophets said, and the law, all ended with John. Therefore we do not need it any more. That is why they will preach every Sunday, right out of the New Testament; completely ignoring everything in the Old Testament. Did you know, there are still prophecies of promise, of what God would do in the last days, and God is fulfilling them right now? Yet they get up every Sunday morning, open up the New Testament, and proclaim, Jesus said this, and Jesus said that, and John said this, and John said that, never looking back, with any thought that there could still be something out of the Old Testament that God could use to awaken them. Well what did Jesus mean by that statement? What do the Church of Christ people get out of it? To them, it was a statement that closed the Old. Testament, as far as any further enlightenment, application, or development of any other thing in the earth. The Jehovah Witnesses are a people that follow much the same pattern, as well as the Church of the Latter Day Saints, started by Joseph Smith. (which is the Mormons) We are not here to condemn people, but it is these systems that make a prison house of the soul’s of people. What Jesus meant when he made that statement concerning John was this, As far as having life eternal, the law, which said, Thou shalt not, Thou shalt no, Thou shall do this and thou shall do that, was still in effect when John came upon the scene but after that a new covenant, when adhered to, produces eternal life for the believer. Paul said, in Romans 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” He literally was the fulfillment of what the law pointed to, Yet we know this, the law in itself, in its natural meaning, is not dead, because it is still a thing that says to the sinner, That is why you do that. I hope you understand what I mean? Even Paul the apostle. said that the law was made for the transgressor, (the law breaker). Why? Because man was born with a nature to be rebellious and indifferent. To be stubborn, hard to get along with, and actually rebellious against God, is in natural man’s inherited makeup. When God says, Go here, he will go there. If God says, Come here, man’s natural reply is, I have other things to do right now: I will get to you later, at a more convenient time, so to speak. When Jesus said, “and the prophets,” did that mean everything they had prophesied was already fulfilled when John arrived? They absolutely were not. It means this, John the Baptist was the end of the dispensation where God would give writing prophets a place in his program. Did you know, there has not been another writing’ prophet rise on the scene. since then. People will look at you, knowing very little about anything in a revelatory way, and say, Well why did they call John the Baptist a prophet? He truly was: but he was a preaching prophet. He did not give you a book of his own writing. The only thing you read about him, is what is in the four gospels, written by other men. He preached, and when he did, he proclaimed the meaning and application of those prophecies that were related to the time at hand. Those that are related to your and my day, he did not even touch. You just have to know where to apply what was said and the way you know, is by a Holy Ghost revelation. As far as eternal life, and the true righteousness, the law will no longer be effective for anyone.
WHAT ABOUT THE SABBATH?
We have touched the Seventh Day Adventists teaching, and we have touched the Pentecostal Adventists’ teaching, for they say, (Because the law says. ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”) True worshippers of God should worship on Saturday, which was the Sabbath day from the very beginning of recorded time. If we are looking at Israel. through the law. that is correct. However the Seventh Day in the cycle, which God gave to the Jewish nation, as a physical rest day, was only a type of the spiritual rest you and I would have in Jesus Christ, from this period on. You will never prove it to them though, for they are not open to anything more. They will go back in there, and say, Look, Paul went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day. Saints: That proves nothing, except that Paul knew, If he was ever going to be able to speak to a gathering of Jews, he would have to do it when they had come together for worship, which was on Saturday, thou Sabbath day. He could have gone there on Sunday, but he would not have found any Jews gathered there. It is still like that. If you want to meet with Jewish people in their worship place, you have to go there on Saturday. That in no way proves that Saturday is the Christian Sabbath Day. if you choose to use that terminology. First, where did Paul go? He went into the Jewish synagogue, not the Gentile temple. In other words, If you want to meet with the Jew, to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to him, go to his place of worship on the day he sees himself in the scriptures of the Old Testament. As for myself, I find this, In the writings of the book of Acts, Paul came to a certain Church, and as the custom was, they assembled on the first day of the week, for the breaking of bread and fellowship, and this particular building was 3 stories tall. I do not know what floor Paul was preaching from, but there was a man sitting up there, it must have been hot, and they had no air conditioning, And that young man sitting in a window, went to sleep and fell to the ground dead. (Acts 2a7-12.) What was he sitting there for? To hear that man, Paul preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, on the first day of the week, when the Gentile Christians came together for the breaking of bread and fellowship, and Paul, because he only had one short period to stay with them, preached all night long. That tells me something, This bunch of church goers today would be bored stiff; if a man preached like that. They would all go to sleep and fall out and break their necks or whatever. As Paul was preaching long in the night. I believe that young man fought it as hard as he could, and it is no disgrace to go to sleep in church, unless you come to service planning to sleep. That is a different story. That poor young man just fell out, and that stopped the service. They came running down the stairs, but when they got to him he was dead. Paul prayed for him, and said. —Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.” The Paul went ahead and preached until the dawning of the sun. Brother; He had something to preach. He had something to tell them; and they wanted to hear every bit of it. You do not find that kind of hunger in this day and hour. Most places you could go today, the preachers do not preach anything anyone would want to stay very long to hear. They present their program; This is what we need to do Saturday night, this is what we need to do Wednesday night; and so forth, and by the time they go through all that, who in the name of Goodness would want to listen to any more? That religion today. However we are not just talking about religion, we are talking about salvation. That enough explanation of what Jesus meant by saying the law and the prophets. I used that example to show you that the accident of that young man did not take place on the Jewish Sabbath Day. It took place on the first day of the week, when Gentile Christians, according to the custom of the early disciples, gathered together for worship. If you do not believe it, go to writings of the early Antinicean Fathers, and you will find that the apostle Barnabas wrote about it. Why? Because that is the day the Lord rose from the dead. That is enough to say right there.
JOHN’S DISCIPLES QUESTION JESUS
Let us go to Matthew’s account, and see what Matthew says along these lines of what John the Baptist was, in the plan of God. In Matthew, the 11th chapter, Jesus, confirming Malachi 3, the first verse, as well as Malachi 4, verse 6, in its first advent fulfillment, while John was still in prison, was asked a question, and His answer is very important to our revelation, Jesus is in the early months of his ministry. Great things are taking place, and John has heard about it. He still has two loyal friends that have stayed close to him; and he says to them, “Go ask that man, if He is the one we look for, or do we look for another?” Let us see what Jesus was doing, when they came to Him. We are in the 11th chapter, starting in the 4th verse. The disciples of John have already asked the question; so Jesus answered and said unto them, “Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see; The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” In other words, not get mad at me because I say something that does not please their religious views. That is what it means, and it is still true today. The only people that will learn anything of the Lord, are people that have an open heart, and does not let their mind be offended because truth steps on their toes. Have you ever had your toes stepped on by truth? I sure have. It walked all over my shoes of self willed righteousness and preconceived ideas. You know, when you get them all polished, naturally you are going to protect that polished shine; but when truth comes down the road, it will step all over them, scuff them up, and leave you without anything of your own, that you can depend upon. Truth knows no friendship with anything man-made. It will only move in when everything else moves out. Having answered as he did, as John’s disciples departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, “What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?” In other words, you did not hear a man that said one thing one day, and something else another day. He knew exactly what he was talking about. “But what went ye out for you to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? (Dressed like a Hollywood evangelist. Like Richard Roberts, Jimmy Swaggart, and others, with their expensive suits, their fingernails manicured, and their hair sprayed. If you compare John the Baptist with that stuff, his old camel’s hair would have really been terrible looking.) They that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for you to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.” Jesus was thinking of it from the standpoint of who is fulfilling all prophecies of the Old Testament period, pertaining to His advent at that time, nothing pointing to His second advent. He was confirming something. “For this is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” He was actually pointing those Jews, who knew the written word, back to Malachi 3:1. “Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women, there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist.” What was He measuring John’s greatness by? By the fact that of all the prophets that had prophesied to Israel, John was the one ordained of God to introduce royalty. Did he not introduce Jesus to the multitudes at the river of baptism? “Behold the Lamb of God.” That is why he is great. Not everyone has the opportunity to introduce royalty, when they come on the political scene. Jesus was not a politician. He was the spiritual lifeline to lost mankind; and God ordained that He should be introduced by a prophet. Yet he that is the least in the kingdom of heaven is just as important. That is the beauty of it. Notice now, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” What does that mean? It means the dispensation that was being introduced, the dispensation we are now living in the closing period of, started back there by the introduction of John the Baptist. Jesus opened it further, enlightened the disciples more in detail about it; and the religious world opposed it and did everything they could to bring it to naught. Religion is your worst enemy. Just listen to this, As he says these words in the 13th verse, “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” That is another statement, meaning the writing prophets and the law, for the period and purpose that it was applicable for, was until John. Yet that does not annul the future fulfillment of anything written. Verse 14, now, “And if you will receive it, (when He says this, he is asking them to pay attention) this is Elias, which was for to come.” He was still talking about John, or Elijah, which was to come. Those Jews that had stood there, that had been following Him for days knew exactly, that is Jesus’ way of pointing to Malachi 4, verse 6, in its first advent fulfillment. Jesus did not quote the 6th verse any further. That lets me know, there is part B, the last part of Malachi, chapter 4, verse 6, for that Elijah spirit to return again to fulfill; but the next time, he is not coming in respect to this old covenant period. John ended that. He would be coming in respect to this covenant which now lays in the hands of Gentiles. That is a promise and prophecy that God will fulfill. Keep in mind, since we Gentiles have had that covenant for 1900 years, the fact that Malachi, verse 6, part B, still had to be fulfilled (And he will turn the heart of the children to their fathers.) Webster’s dictionary says the word their, which is a plural pronoun, means, a part of the same. The covenant we have today, which started with the teachings of Jesus, in the gospel and so forth, and were carried forth by Paul, Peter, James, and forth by Paul, Peter, James, and John, and those that wrote the various other Epistles, is a finished covenant; all written, and given to the Gentile church in the first age of Christendom. By the time Christendom gets 200 years in growth, the Gentiles are doing it just like the Jews did the first covenant. That is why that Elijah spirit has to come back, not necessarily to a Jewish people, but to the children of those who stood for the original covenant that was given to us Gentiles, and that was truly the apostles; Paul, I Peter, James, John, and those men, because they are now the fathers. They were the children of the old Judaistic period, but they became the fathers of the new covenant, and look what we did with it. That is why, when you I look at the religious world, what a mess it is in, and think that today, we have so called preachers rising, (I call them renegades, because when you see on some of these talk shows, what some of them are doing, you know that is what they are.) using certain portions of scriptures to ‘ lead people off, and they use ; women, just for sex, I will not even go further, you know what I am talking about. That is not Christianity. That is the devil. That is the devil, turned loose at a time when the Christian world has become completely and he is twisting the scriptures, using them to make slaves, and to blind people, to keep them from knowing God. We can see by the picture that has been in existence for many, many years, it was necessary for God to do something among the Gentiles, to get them back in His word; and set them free from religious traditions. I was a Methodist. Many of you were in Catholicism. Some of you were Baptist, but God had a way of getting us out of those places. Hallelujah! I love Him. I am convinced we do not have another 20 years to play around. No. He has done something to deliver us from our vain ways; and now we just need to trust Him to lead us to live it in it’s truthful meaning. The Bible has not changed; and its message has not changed since that first age of Christendom; we just need to know how to read it.
WHY THERE IS CONFUSION
I want to take a few minutes, and deal with why there is so much confusion in religion today; when God’s way is such a simple way. It is not His fault that there is so much confusion; it is man’s fault. Yet it is Satan who promotes man to be the way he is. I hope you understand what took place, at the first advent of Christ; how certain scriptures were fulfilled, that the Judaistic church world ignored. The Gentile church world is doing the same thing right now. It is not God’s fault though; He has always been there for those who hungered and thirsted for reality. In order to see the confused picture now, we have to go back and look at the picture when it started. We know the first advent of Christ, as prophecies related to John the Baptist, and the appearing of the Messiah were fulfilled, Jesus preached three and a half years, and you read it in the four gospels, written by men. Matthew was a disciple. John was a disciple. However Luke was not a disciple; he was a church historian of that hour. Mark became a disciple after Christ had been caught up to heaven; where He sits in a mediatorial position on behalf of those who believe the gospel. Mark was not a personal follower of Christ; he may have been a very young man at the time Jesus walked on earth. We will just have to say, He was a follower of the disciples who were followers of Christ He even wrote of in his gospel; the Gospel of Mark. Just to show you how uniquely the Holy Ghost led the early Church, some of them had followed the person of Christ, and they had also witnessed the deeds of the person of John the Baptist, and throughout the New Testament you read how they walked in such unison with the Spirit of God. The four gospels were not written on the day of Pentecost; they were written by those men at a later time. The book of Acts does not pick up its account until Luke comes in the picture. He was the writer of the book of Acts; so he gathered together the accurate information that we read about in the first part of Acts. Just think of it, there was not a radio, a tape recorder, or anything like that back then. What kept them from getting off course? The answer is very simple; they followed the Spirit they had received on the day of Pentecost; and they knew exactly what it was doing. , They had no mechanical means whatsoever, to back up anything they heard or saw. They had to rely upon the record and memory of certain people who were Witnesses, and had seen with their own eyes and heard with their own ears. Nevertheless a Church got off on the right foot; all learning the same revelation. The ministry of Jesus, which you read about in the four gospels, had a starting point, and it is necessary that we start with something; as we go on into this part of the message; so let us look at a statement Jesus made repeatedly, in His 3 1/2 year ministry upon earth. We will go to St. John’s writing, chapter 5. If we can understand what Jesus meant when He made this statement, we are not completely without revelation. In verse 43, Jesus said this to a living bunch of Jews, who were orthodox in their belief. I (a personal pronoun) am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not. It had come time for Him to make it known to some people that He was to be identified by a certain name. Isaiah 7:14 says, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Emmanuel.” You know the word Emmanuel, is not a name. It is a word that means, God with us. When Jesus was born of virgin birth, they did not name Him Emmanuel. They gave Him a human name. They called Him Jesus. Therefore if His human name was Jesus, then I ask you, Why did He talk like this? Simply because it was the name God had chosen, that His redeemed family should be called by, Just as Smith is a family name, and Jones is a family name, and all Smiths are known from the Jones’, so also are the children of God known by the name Jesus. It is God’s redemption name. Jesus was God’s family name that He was going to give to His family, in which He, God, would dwell. Let’s watch how these disciples repeatedly, through the period of His ministry, heard Him drop these statements. Let us go to John 14:26, where I want to show you something. By the time we come to this hour of His ministry, He sees the necessity to begin to inform the disciples that have followed Him, that there is something else, sooner or later, that must take over where He will leave off. Jesus says this, to His disciples, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Here, the Son speaks of His name, while pointing to something else. He is pointing to another object; but that object will come in His name. This begins to unfold a formula, which causes everything to look at that word, name, and the name Jesus. “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance.” Who will? The Holy Ghost, the Comforter. That is a precise promise, given to those who would believe the gospel. The denominations have theology, but they do not have the benefits of that promise. If they did, they would not be denominations. They would see what Jesus meant. He was not just saying words; He had a reason for saying that. Let us look at John 15:16. He is speaking again to His disciples. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it to you. Again, He stresses, in my name. That is the second time we see Him pointing out to the disciples; that they are to do something in His name; while earlier in His ministry, Jesus has told a bunch of orthodox, I am come in my Father’s name. Is there a contradiction in what He is talking about? Not at all. If you have the Holy Ghost, you know there is not. Let us look at another one. In John 17:6, the hour is just ahead, when He is going to be taken to the cross. Everything He had said in three and a half years, and all the prophecies the prophets have prophesied, along with all the types that are in the scrolls, are going to be activated on the cross; and here He is praying these words that I am going to read, “I have manifested thy name.” (He is praying to the Father, the eternal Spirit.) That points back to what He has said in John, chapter 5. In the three and a half years of His ministry, He has ex-posed the Father’s name, manifested it, declared it, and exemplified it. Do you think all Judaism accepted it? No sir; only. those to whom the Spirit revealed it, would accept what He said. It is the same way today. A name was revealed, and declared; and the name carries a plural, com-pound meaning. It is the name of a man. There were other Jews named Jesus; but out of all those Judaistic men who had been given that name, there was only one man that the Father came down and dwelt in, and desired to be identified with through that name. Therefore the name JESUS, in its compound meaning, is the family name that Jehovah desires to have His whole family called by; once He and His Son become a perfect unity. God, through the person of His son, is seen as the Emmanuel. The outer man is seen by the society of people roundabout, as Jesus the son of Mary of Nazareth. Well He was that; but the name is compound; and belongs also to the Father that now indwells the Son. Let us watch His disciples, now. When He was crucified, upon that old cross, then taken down, and put in a tomb, did that end the scriptures being fulfilled? No, there was a Psalm lying right there in those scrolls that David had wrote. David had rejoiced to see His day, and because he could see it, in the spirit, he said this, “Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell, neither shalt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption.” While the outer world viewed the execution of Jesus on the cross, and as Jesus, the outer man of the Son of God, died like a man, finally crying out in agony, the spirit of life left Him. His body went limp, and society saw death take place. However down in the regions of hell, something else was just beginning to take place. Another prophecy of Psalms went into motion. During the period of time between His crucifixion and the time He rose from the dead, on Sunday morning, the Jewish society was in a state of wondering, What has happened? Some rejoiced, and some were sad; but God’s plan of redemption was being worked to perfection.
THE DISCIPLES CARRY ON
On the first day of the week, early in the morning, when Jesus rose from the dead, the first one that came to the tomb was met; and it was said to her, Go tell Peter that I will meet him in Galilee. He told them that before He was even crucified; that the Son of man must suffer and die, and rise the third day. But behold, I will meet you in Galilee. There, is where He further instructed the disciples on what they were to do from that moment on. The evening of the first day came. There had been a lot of activity going on in Jerusalem that day, from morning until sundown; but Jesus has promised to meet them somewhere in Galilee, in the territory out of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is in Judaea; but He was to meet them somewhere in the Galilean territory, away from the authorities at Jerusalem; so with that we will go to Matthew. Here is where the church world gets all fouled up. I will say this, with due respect to many people who read Bro. Branham’s sermons, and claim to be followers of Him, They are just exactly like these denominational people of our day. They do not have the Holy Spirit leading them. They can quote Bro.Branham until the name Branham becomes a word as long as the Milky Way; but if they do not have the same Spirit the disciples had when Jesus was talking to them, they are bound to go 7 ways for Sunday, preaching things that appeal to their human nature. It was not so, with the early disciples. They knew what Jesus meant: when He said things Jesus meant; when he said things like, in Matthew 28:19. Let us just see, if the disciples of that hour went out doing things contradictory to what Jesus had said, as the church world at large is doing today. In verse 16, of the 28th chapter of Matthew, we read these words, “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. (They knew where to go.) And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him: but some doubted.” According to Luke’s writing, this is where Jesus appeared to His disciples, after His resurrection. Luke also reported that they were frightened; but Matthew just skipped that part. He was a disciple; and he was there, so he just wrote that which stood out to him at that time. Another thing to consider, is that Luke was not a disciple; so he was not embarrassing himself to say they were frightened. Luke went around, years later, and gathered up all this information from people’s personal testimonies; so he just put it all in. (They were all afraid.) I will say to the Greek and Hebrew scholars of our day, If you should perhaps read this message, Shame on you; if you do not see the truth in what we point out. You can quote Greek until you are blue in the face, and yet you can still be as blind and ignorant to the word of God as anyone could possibly be. Anyhow these disciples were somewhere in a mountain place in Galilee. You read this in the light of Luke 24, and John 20. Let us finish reading, here in Matthew. “And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Here is what Matthew records, and here is where your modern day theologians get hung up today. I want you to know, though, the disciples of Jesus’ hour were not hung up: They knew what He meant. Many say they heard what Bro. Branham said; but I say, they do not know what he meant. It matters not, how old they are, nor how young they are, if they do not know what he meant they are going to mess up. Nevertheless, Matthew says that Jesus said this; “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” In the footnotes of your Scofield Bibles, he writes that that was the Father’s new name. That is about as far from reality as daylight is from dark. Those words, standing alone, are not a name at all. They are titles. Yes! They are titles! You cannot make them anything else. He said, “IN THE NAME,” of Him who holds these titles, (singular). If there is a name involved, (and I assure you there is) then it has got to be a name Jesus has already revealed. That is why I wanted to read John 17:6, before we read this. He had already revealed the Father’s name. Then He said the Holy Ghost would come in His name. Therefore when He said this, the disciples automatically knew that the name Jesus, given to Him who became the anointed Messiah of the Jews, is God’s redemptive name. God, who is a sovereign Spirit, and not a person, came down and manifested Himself in the person of a man, His Son. This Son then gave His life, shedding His blood for the atonement of the sins of the whole world; and in so doing, the Father laid upon Him, (His flesh) the sufferings and heartaches of all of us. The name Jesus, is the Father’s name. The name Jesus, is the Son’s name; and the Holy Ghost was to come in no other name than that name. Jesus came, born of a virgin birth, Jesus came, born of a virgin birth, grew into manhood, went to the river for John to baptize Him, preached 3 1/2 years revealing the Father’s name, then the Father came back to dwell in believers, in the office work of the Holy Ghost; and He constantly pointed people to His Son; the GOD-MAN called JESUS. You do not have to know Greek and Hebrew, in order for that to straighten the picture up for you; all you have to know is the Bible. That is why I titled this message, “The Bible and Its Message: We have one more verse here in this chapter, verse 20. What else were those disciples told to do, once they had fulfilled Jesus’ words of verse 19? “Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you, and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Even in 1989, He is still with some people; and will be until the end. Brothers and sisters, historians, theologians, and whoever may hear or read . this message, that was not all Jesus said to His disciples the night He appeared to the eleven; after His resurrection. Let us go to Luke 24; where we will pick up some more of His words to them, spoken at that same time. Like we said, Luke was not a disciple at first, but became a believer later. Therefore, he wrote his gospel record from the standpoint of a historian; and here is what he says took place that same night while they were somewhere in Galilee, and Jesus came in. From the same words Matthew recorded, Luke adds some more in his account of the events of that gathering. When we read it like this, we can understand what the great commission concerning the gospel was. Verse 36, of the 24th chapter, of Luke, “And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified.” Matthew did not say one word like that. Neither will you find John, who was a disciple, saying that. You everyone know why; they were sitting there, just as scared as the rest. Neither of them were going to admit their fear. Therefore when they began to write, they only wrote the things that would show they have been believers all along. I say this to show you, they were human-beings like everyone else. We can all have our shaky moments. There have been a lot of shaky things in this last day; since Bro. Branham was on the scene. Some have been shaken so far away from truth, they could never find their way home; even if they were standing in their own doorway. Jesus said also unto them, “Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye sec me have.” I will confess to you; if I had been there, my hands would have probably been shaking just like theirs were. There comes times in life, when whatever you and I have in us, gets shaken. That is a human reaction. “And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, (They should have been jumping up and down, and screaming with joy; because He had risen from the dead; but they looked at Him with astonishment, bewilderment, and awe, thinking, I can hardly believe this. Am I seeing things? Well what did He do next?) He said unto them, Have ye here any meat? (He had to go further with this thing.) And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before them. (That was to prove they were not seeing a ghost. They were literally seeing their Saviour. He was no longer dead. He is alive forevermore.) And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me.” You have to remember, the New Testament had not yet been written at that time. The things that were taking place then, would be written later; and we have it all, in our Bible today. Verse 45, “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” Brothers and sisters, the reason so many people, (followers of Bro Branham) do not understand properly, is because it takes the scriptures to give understanding of the scriptures; and also what is said about the scriptures. When a statement is made by a man, and the man who hears it does not necessarily know what is meant, because he is not only outside the scriptures, he is outside the thought that was uttered; he does not know where to go with it, nor what to do with it. However Jesus said something to them that night, (At the same time He spoke what Matthew wrote) and they knew exactly what He meant. They did not quote it everywhere they went; they just ministered in the revelation of it. Verse 46, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Jesus did not have to take those disciples aside, and explain to them what name He was talking about, That just makes me wonder, Do these trinitarians not know those words were spoken at the same time as those Matthew recorded in 28:19, of his gospel divide what one said from what another said. They do today, because they have a wrong spirit. He said the gospel of repentance and remission of sins should be preached among all nations, in His name, beginning at Jerusalem. He then said this, “And, behold, I send the promise of the Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” No wonder a lot of so called Gentile Christians today, are so divided over what the scriptures mean. They missed the promise of the Father. They are looking at the whole thing through an intellectual interpretation. Let us go back to Mark 16:14, and read it, to go along with these others. “Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen.” This took place at the same gathering Matthew and Luke wrote about; which we have already read. Notice, “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe.” Do you wonder why Matthew never wrote these words? Or why John never mentioned these words? Neither did Luke. I will tell you why. God was going to see to it that there was going to be enough recorded, that a full account of what He said, and meant, that night, could be had by anyone who cared enough to study the four gospels together. It is just like you sitting here listening to me, all of you, could not be expected to write the same thing, if you each wrote of what most impressed you, in this particular service. I will say some things that some of you will catch, and maybe those certain words will mean a lot to you. Other things, you will hear, but they will not ring a bell of importance; so those things will slide right on by you. Therefore if it becomes necessary later, for my every word to be established, it will be necessary for more than one to come forward and tell what they heard. That is why you have four gospels. Also, they set the type of the four beasts around the throne of God in heaven. They are guards to the very approach to the enthronement of God. The four gospels serve as the mouthpiece of God when He was invested in the person of His Son, and ministered on the earth to that Jewish people. Sure they were written by men, but they were men filled with the Holy Ghost. They were men that heard something: and saw something, and their souls were affected by it. Regardless of how they recorded it., when they put it all together, you get a complete picture of what Jesus said that night: when He appeared to the eleven. To prove what we are saying, let us go to John 20:19, and hear what John wrote about this same meeting. John was a disciple, one of the first ones that joined the ranks, when Jesus said, “Come, and I will make you fishers of men.” This is not three days later, or a week later. No, This is the same day Jesus rose from the dead, at evening time. Here are the words John wrote. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, (They are in Galilee, somewhere in that mountain place) came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them. Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord” That is what John wrote about that night; yet he was right there, at the time Luke says they were all afraid. Do you think John was going to admit that they were afraid? I am not degrading John. He was only a human man. I probably would have been just as afraid as they were. The point is, We need to recognize the human side of this thing as we go along. It will help you a lot, if you will. It will help a lot of people to understand what went on in Bro. Branham’s life; and what God did do for us, if people would just simply allow for the fact that Bro. Branham was human. -Then said Jesus to them again. Peace be unto you; as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” Matthew never said a thing like that. Nor, did Mark. Nor Luke. Do you now see a clearer picture of what was said that night? Jesus did not just appear for five minutes and leave. By the time He left them, they knew what He wanted them to do: and what He wanted them to say, and how they should say it. Furthermore, no one cared how much Greek and Hebrew they knew; just as long as they were able to catch a revelation of what He meant.
A PREPARATORY COMMAND IS GIVEN THE DISCIPLES
In verse 22, we find Jesus giving His disciples a preparatory command. That has to be what it was: for not one of them received the Holy Ghost that day. They all received it at the same time, on the day of Pentecost. Notice, ”And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. (This was something they were to seek.) Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.” If you would read that in the light of what Luke said in Luke 24, that the gospel of repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name, beginning at Jerusalem, unto all the world, you would see how it fits together. Yet when we read it in the writings of four men, the church world thinks somehow or other, that some of this is unnecessary. How come Matthew 28:19, is so big to so many people? Why do so many people think what Matthew said is different than what the other gospel writers said? You have to admit, there is something wrong. There is nothing wrong with God though; and there is nothing wrong with what Jesus said. There is something wrong with some of those scholars who think they know so much about everything. That is where the trouble lies. They know so much, and yet they know so little. They do not know how to put the picture together by the leadership of the Holy Ghost. That is why their picture is so distorted. Anyhow a few days later, Jesus came to the disciples again: just for the sake of Thomas. He was not present at that first meeting. However Jesus did not repeat the great commission to Thomas. He got the report from the others; and received the Holy Ghost (The promise of the Father) at the same time they did. It is Christ in you the hope of glory? Not the literal man Jesus, only His Spirit resides in us, It is also the Spirit of the Father; because their Spirit substance was merged together into one Spirit, that takes the character of the man, and puts it in you, so that your spirit is absorbed by that, and then it becomes Christ in you, the hope of glory, and it is God’s way of making Himself another child in the likeness of Jesus. That sounds to a church historian, or church theologian, like a lot of Greek, that he still does not understand, because he is not born again with it. Anyhow those disciples waited, and the day of Pentecost came. They were not fussing: it says they were in one accord. When you think of the fussing in the world today, you ask yourself, What are those people waiting for? Some are not waiting for anything, because they want nothing. That group did want something though; and they waited for it. When they waited, the Holy Ghost came, on the day of Pentecost fulfilling the type in the back of Leviticus. When that church was filled with the dynamic power of God, every statement that Jesus had made in the 15th, 16th and 17th chapter, was set in motion in the believer. They knew, from then on, the Spirit of Jesus is in me, to lead me and guide me. On the day of Pentecost, in the streets of Jerusalem, let us see how the gospel was proclaimed. We will go to the second chapter of Acts for this. The Holy Ghost has already come. and they have it in the fullness of the purpose God has willed for the Church to have. When Peter preached his first sermon. that set the gospel of salvation in motion. The second covenant became effective. When Peter preached his first sermon, 3000 Jews, who were Orthodox in belief, were saved. They were so pricked in their hearts by what Peter had said, the way he arranged the scriptures of the Old Testament, they had to respond. When he was finished, they were standing there trembling; because the Holy Ghost had already been speaking to them in the various dialects of where they came from. Then what else could they do but run up and begin to ask Peter and the others, “Men and brethren: What must we do?” Well, according to Matthew’s account, Jesus had given Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven; that is, the authority to unlock a period of time wherein God would show mercy and grace to sinners. Now saints; Those keys are not in the Vatican, in a glass cage, like the Catholic Church portrays. They are spiritual keys, and we we going to read about them. In Acts 2:37, it says, (This was after Peter had preached to them.) “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles. Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them. Repent! (Is that not what the gospel writers wrote, that Jesus said should be preached in His name in all the world?) Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” The word remission, corresponds exactly with John 20:23, where Jesus said to His disciples, “Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them: and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.” To me this is the whole thing in a nutshell. The whole gospel story is locked up right there. Repentance does not produce division, nor confusion. On the day of Pentecost. 3000 Jewish converts were baptized in water. They were immersed, buried. They were not sprinkled and poured upon. They were immersed in water, and they received the Holy Ghost, which is still the promise of the Father, because Peter said. it is unto you and your children and your children’s children, even as many afar off as the Lord our God shall call. He did not know it, but those who were afar off were us Gentiles. However, that day, it was only Jews that believed, repented, and were baptized. How were they baptized? Not by getting out there in the water and saying; “Now I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. You say, Bro. Jackson, you sound like you are making fun. Yes, of people who should know better, and do not, because they have no love for the truth. They are too lazy to seek anything different than what they have. We have a hunch of lazy Gentiles in the world today. After 1900 years of the gospel being here, we have built church buildings on every major border. When we travel through the countryside: we see Willow Creek Baptist Church, Turkey Run Presbyterian Church, Hollow Tree Methodist Church, and each one is just 2 1/2 miles apart. That is Gentile Christendom. You are making fun, Bro. Jackson. No, I am describing to you a picture of us Gentiles. We are downright lazy. Too lazy to get out of our seats. Our admonition is, Go ye out to seek Him. We do not have Gentiles seeking anything the right way. They want everything to come to them. We haul them in, in a bus. We haul them to the cemetery in a hearse. I am not saying these things to belittle people. However, it sometimes takes things said, to stir up the fallow ground and get people to think. They think they know so much, when in reality, they know so little. They become so calloused. They have lost their appetite for the meat of the gospel of Jesus Christ: and are satisfied just to eat leftovers all the time. People want religion: but it seems that just any old religion will do. They want their conscience soothed.
A LOOK AT THE EARLY CHURCH
The four gospels give us a look at what the first century Church was taught; and the book of Acts shows them putting it into practice. That is why I said, The New Testament started with five books, just like the Old Testament did. Furthemore, God gave the children of Israel the prophets, to teach them how to live under the Law Covenant; and the parallel of that, is the Epistles He gave us. It is what you and I read in the Epistles, the early church was to draw on. It brought spiritual growth, and it taught the church how to fellowship and walk with God in that growth, and in the first period it showed a Church in such unison, and such agreement. When you look back on it, you will have to admit, the devil did not like it. He did everything he could, to rip and tear it to pieces. However we read by the records of history, there were not enough lions on the face of the earth to gobble up the Christians. Nor was there enough torturing means to destroy them; for the more he tried to grind them up or to burn them up, their kind just broke out like a plague. Why? The Holy Ghost saw to it that truth had its way, and a people for the name of Jesus, will be brought forth. In this early period, there was no such thing as a Roman Catholic, nor a Baptist, Lutheran, nor Presbyterian. They were called Christians. Christ like. You read in the Epistles that followed, what Paul, who was the star of that age wrote, He wrote the most of them, because he was the messenger to the Gentiles. In those Epistles you read of every doctrine the Church was ever to embrace. You see the Godhead explained in clarification. You see the teachings of predestination, eternal security, and sanctification; and you see the necessity and purpose of the Holy Ghost dwelling in believers. It is to produce in you and me, the image and likeness of Jesus. The Church grew in that; and by the time that first age began to close out, the New Testament, which you and I now have, had been completely written. God’s new covenant for this dispensation, and the purpose for which He gave it now in recorded form. Every man and woman is without an excuse. No wonder it is written, “He that bathes and eat, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: or to the Church. When you stop to think how many ears there has been, and how many eyes have read the scriptures through the ages, you almost stand in awe, at the number of interpretations people have gotten from the same scriptures; when the apostle Peter made it very clear, that there is no private interpretation of them. By the time the Church came to the second age, an antichrist spirit was already on the prowl, and even though Paul warned the Church, that the mystery of iniquity was already at work, it still made its inroads among the believers: and eventually pulled the Church off of her true course. Also, John, in 90 A.D., wrote ‘Even now are there many antichrists, whereby we know it is the last days.” By the time she (The Church) came to the close of the second century, going into the third century, the Godhead revelation was being ripped to pieces, and scanned to the wind. A triune revelation was corning in, to take its place. The importance of Mary was beginning to slowly make its inroads. As they began to major on these ocher things, those things that once stood out so vividly, began to fade into the background. Any time truth is sacrificed to please flesh, the Holy Spirit will begin to withdraw Himself. By the time you come to the close of the 3rd century, they have already had a church council, that did just exactly what the World Council of Churches, and ecumenical spirit has done today. They formed a charter. Jesus name baptism was no longer a part of the gospel. The one God, and the name Jesus, is no longer a name of importance. They took from the gospels, that which they could carnalize, and they produced a triune formula of the Godhead, and by it they have deceived the major part of the world population. For once that became an accepted thing, the Gentile church world today is still walking under the poisoning effects of a triune God that does not even exist, and a triune formula of baptism, that WAS never in the scriptures. You will never find such a doctrine in the book of Acts, where the Church had its beginning. By 503 A.D., Jesus is no longer looked upon as the head of the church. It was the bishop at Rome, they began to call the head bishop. Later, he is the Pope, papa; and for the next 1000 years, the gospel of Jesus Christ, that started here in the book of Acts, (this new covenant that had been fully written and recorded in the first age) has been ripped and torn to pieces. Satan sees to it that Christendom, (What they call Christendom) is an institution controlled and influenced by him. People do not like to hear it but Satan controls what the world looks upon as the church. A priesthood that does not know God, stands before people in pulpits around the world, performing rituals, teaching ceremonies and creeds that only a devil could think of. You say, Bro Jackson, that sounds harsh. I know it does; but if John the Baptist was here, he would show you what harshness really is. He would start using that language, behold the axe is laid at the root of the tree. He knew what an axe could do to a bush, and he knew how to use it in a spiritual application. Brothers and sisters, for 1000 years, from 500 A.D. to approximately the dawning of the 15th century, so called Christendom, (Roman Catholicism) has taken out all the major teachings of the early Church that we find written in the New Testament. The Holy Ghost and its manifestation as it was in the book of Acts, is not even thought about any more. Baptism is a mess (That is what I call it) It is a system of sprinkling. Even the Lord’s supper. Look what a mess it is. They call it a mass; but it is a mess. The apostle Paul would not even recognise it as anything he ever had anything to do with. Predestination is not even thought about. Eternal security is not even considered. Neither is sanctification. They have indulgences designed to drain the pocketbooks of poor souls that look to them for spiritual guidance. They sell what God gave to lost humanity as a free gift of His grace. They have confirmation, and anything else except the true gospel. Nevertheless, what does the church world see? Roman Catholicism. Why? Because Satan has them blinded. God did not do it. At the beginning of 1500 A.D., the great whore of Revelation 17, is still riding the old political, beast, hierarchy system, feeding Europe,(riding that black horse) with the bread of death. She (This great whore, which is the Catholic church) is the woman in the fourth parable of Jesus, in Matthew, chapter 13, that took three measures of meal, justification, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and took her creeds and mingled it, and mixed it until she had leavened the whole gospel. That is why there was a Reformation. Did you know, there are Lutherans today that do not know why there was a Reformation, nor what part Luther had in it. They must have thought he lived in the days of John the Baptist. There are Baptists today that do not know why there was a Calvin or Knox. There are Methodists, and Nazarenes, and Church of God people, that do not know why there was a John Wesley. Nor why there was a Pentecost? It would be very interesting to run a little survey asking, Why was there a man by the name of William Branham? What did he do? What did he say? The denominations say he was of the devil. They say his teaching was out of the pit of hell. Well, that is what those Orthodox Jews said about Jesus; “Now we know he has a devil.” Truth is not a beautiful thing to look at, to some people. First off, it is odd shaped. It will not fit in the place given it by the avenge congregation. It only fits the individual that has a heart to receive all that God has for him, or her.
QUICK REVIEW OF MAIN POINTS
There are just a few scriptures in reference to the old and the new covenant, that I believe it would be profitable for us to review, since the title of our message is, THE BIBLE-AND ITS MESSAGE. The Bible, as we hold it today, is a book composed of two different sets of writings. The first is the Old Testament, related to what we described earlier, the covenant God gave to Israel on Mt. Sinai, the Old Testament Law, followed by the dispensation of the writing prophets. John the Baptist, being the spirit of Elijah for that hour was getting things ready for the first advent of Christ. He was the interlinking prophet messenger, but he was not a writing prophet; he was a preaching prophet. This had to be, in order to set the trend and transition period wherein God was bringing an end to the Old Testament, the first covenant given to Israel, pertaining to righteousness for life. However the end of that covenant, did not change prophecies still in the prophets writings, pertaining to this day and hour and the Millennium, nor the eternal age, nor anything else that has not yet been fulfilled. We have Gentile religious systems today, who read where Christ was the end of the Law for righteousness; and also where Jesus said the Law and the prophets were until John; and since that time the kingdom of God is preached and every man presses into it, and they just assume that the Old Testament is worthless to twentieth century Christians. That is the way they read the Bible. It is true, we are living in the end time, when God has done something in this century of time to set in motion the closing trends of conditions pertaining to what He has been doing among us Gentiles; but that in no way annulls those future prophecies still contained in the Old Testament. Gentile religion is a field of confusion; to say the least. Just like Judaism was in the days of John the Baptist and Jesus. Man is no different today, than he was 2000 years ago. Give him a tradition, a ritual, a ceremony, and that is all he thinks he needs to please God. Multitudes today, will acknowledge the fact that the Bible is the written Word of God, but they close their eyes to the reality of its true message. Its true message pertains to man’s salvation; because it proves that man is a sinner, and without the saving grace of God invested in Jesus Christ, we are lost. No matter how many church buildings we go to, no matter how many systems we join and put our name on the book, we are lost, without the shed blood of Jesus Christ, as an atonement for our sinful nature; and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is God’s seal of approval in accepting us as fit candidates to be His children. As we come into the New Testament, we find that preached and taught throughout the whole body of writings. Which we must keep in mind, the writings of the New Testament did not start immediately on the day of Pentecost. What you read, began on the day of Pentecost; but it was some months and years later, before the various writers began to set it in record as a history of what that total event of time had produced. Like I said, Matthew was a disciple of Jesus; John was a disciple of Jesus; but Mark was not a disciple in the beginning: He was a young man growing up to follow the crowd; and he did have, (we will say) a mental idea of the events that were transpiring; but not until after Pentecost and whatever time he really begins to be dealt with by the Spirit of God, did it appear that he was a young man concerned to the point that he would set in writing what we read in His gospel record. Luke, which did not come into the picture until quite some time later, wrote what we call the Gospel of St. Luke, and really it is a history, an autobiography of the events that transpired from the birth of Christ, right straight on through to the crucifixion. and the promise of the Holy Ghost to come, He wrote it as …historian. The first books of the New Testament are the four gospels; and the book of Acts. They run a perfect parallel of the fast five books of the Bible, written by Moses, which contain the beginning of what God had done for mankind; and for Israel in the dispensation of time wherein the Law would be applicable. God would require obedience to the Law from every Jew, if they were to have life at all; after death. We can follow the parallel right on through. After they came in and possessed the land, which is the type of the believer receiving the Holy Ghost, it was then that God gave them the various writing prophets, and in that, the prophets spoke in three tenses. In the present tense, they were always rebuking the present tense generation of Jew, for being stubborn and rebellious, and for having strayed from the Law, from the statutes, from the judgments, which they were to go by. Many times in the rebuke, they were pointed past tense, back to how God had brought them out of Egyptian bondage, what He did by bringing them through the Red Sea, and how He brought them through forty years of wilderness in such a miraculous way. All of that was to remind them of what God had done for them. Then in the third tense, the prophets, as they were looking at the nation in the present tense of predicament, in their apostasy, many times the Spirit would cause them to write into the future, and pick up developments and events that would come many centuries later. Therefore, more or less, they all prophesied of the coming of the Messiah, which is written in the Law, given by Moses. However each one of these writers gave further details concerning the Messiah, the purpose for which He would come, what His coming would affect, and how mankind is to be beneficiaries of the blessings of God in all that is done. When we come to the New Testament, the four gospels, cover the number of years of the advent of John the Baptist, the birth of Christ and so forth, including the period after the descent of the Holy Ghost, within the Church, as the Church collectively grew, and as the gospel went forth to the regions of the Gentiles. In the beginning, the gospel was preached primarily to Jews. Then later, as the overall population of Jews rejected it; we find it is then that God began to lay upon His ministry the calling to preach it to the Gentiles also. There was one apostle named Paul, chosen to be a light unto the Gentiles, who first made such a declaration. Let us read Acts 13:46-47. and take note of the words spoken to those Jews. “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said. It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing you put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.” Actually it is pointing only to the end of the time that God would deal with us Gentiles. Man’s salvation would be determined upon the truth of the gospel, as recorded and written by the apostle Paul. The apostle Paul wrote over half of the New Testament epistles, which give to the Church a further enlightenment of what the second covenant, through the baptism of the Holy Ghost, really means to the Gentile Church. We have already touched on what is included in those epistles; so I am just going to remind you of a few things that stand out in the forefront of all else. Jesus, in John’s gospel, declared emphatically, that He had come in the Father’s Name. He also declared emphatically, The Holy Spirit, The Holy Ghost not the third person of the trinity, but the third office working of the Spirit of God, would come in HIS name. The Holy Spirit is not a person, it is the Spirit of God in an office work. He does not separate Himself into three persons; Jesus is the only person in the Godhead. Everything is from the mind and authority of God the Creator; called Jehovah by the Jews. The Holy Ghost works exclusively to carry out the mind of Jehovah, so when we are talking about salvation to the Gentiles; and the reason He would come in the personal name of Jesus, it is because Jesus is now in heaven. He cannot be seen; yet the Holy Ghost will always point you and me through the word, to an understanding of the person of Jesus Christ; because He is the One who died for us at Calvary; and is now the One that intercedes before the great Eternal Spirit, for you and me. The Son, when He was here, came in the Father’s name, and everything He did and said, glorified the Father. He did not seek to draw attention to Himself. That makes Him a perfect example of the kind of sons God desires us to become. Some of you may wonder why I am taking this route, to deal with this message; so let me say this, (I am just going to use a rough figure) About 90 percent of so-called Christendom teach a triune God. There never was such a thing; and there never will be. All of these theologians will tell you how much Greek and Hebrew they know; as if that means anything to God. I know nothing at all about any such; but did you know, when you go back in the first five books of the Bible, and especially when you come to the books of Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy, where Moses was told by God on Mt. Sinai, how to set up the tabernacle, which was to be a type of something yet to be, Moses did not need a college degree, in order to mediate between God and the people. He constructed the tabernacle in all of its dimensions, just exactly the way God had shown him to. Everything in that tabernacle typed God; in every dispensation there ever would be; and there is not a man on the face of this earth, that can take those books, and show me, that in those Old Testament types, there was a trinity type. There was, and is only one God, who is invisible, and has never been seen, and cannot be seen with the natural eyesight. John the Baptist said He has never been seen by any man; only He who came out of the bosom of the Father hath revealed Him. That meant, when the time had come that God Jehovah, the Creator, who is an invisible Spirit in substance, and not a person, was to be revealed to mankind, it would be through His only begotten Son Jesus, who was without sin. When He chose to manifest the fullness of all His deity. then from Him (Jesus) came His thoughts, that had been lying there through the eons of time. Before there was a star. He, Jehovah, had counseled with Himself. That simply means He meditated. He saw you and me on this miserable planet, lost. wandering through this darkened sin cursed world, where Satan, another spirit, would be in control of natural mankind. Through that foreknowledge. He knew we would need to be saved from our miserable state of condition: so in His mind there was already the predetermined thought as to how He would accomplish this redemption. Therefore in the Old Testament, in types, He portrayed Himself: and if you will study those types, every one of them pointed ahead, to the person of Jesus. The person of Jesus did not in reality exist in the Old Testament. He only existed in the mind of the Father; and in the types set forth in the Law. The only living thing that could activate those types, was the Spirit God Himself. Even though He does not exist in a form, or a shape, He can still choose any means of manifestation, at any time, or interval of time, to characterize something that is to be, at a later time. Also, the person to whom He would manifest Himself, knowing that God is a Spirit, still knew that he was seeing a manifestation of his God. If you will study those types very carefully, they all project forward to the person of Jesus. Notice also, that when it came time for His Son to come upon the scene; it was one of His Angelic helpers that came to Mary, and to Joseph, and made the announcement. He did not send a third person of the trinity to talk to Mary. An angel said, I have come from the presence of God. Any time you read in the Old Testament, especially in Genesis, where in the Hebrew language God speaks, saying, Iet us do such and such, He is speaking in conjunction with how He works with His angelic beings. Since the advent of Christ, almost 2000 years ago, God has not manifested another type. Why? Just think for a minute. It is because all those types consummated in the person of Jesus. God no longer has to use types; for that which was typed has already been here, accomplished His earthly ministry, and is now in His heavenly ministry, interceding before the great eternal Spirit on behalf of all the predestined sons and daughters of God that will ever believe, as a result of followers of Jesus Christ obeying the great commission. We have already read the scriptures pertaining to the great commission Jesus gave to His disciples; so I will just mention where it is found in the various gospel records; so I will just mention where it is found it in the various gospel records; and encourage you to remember that all these words were spoken the same night; and the writers recorded them as they were impressed to do so; none of them giving every detail. Just take Matthew 28:19. I Mark 16:15 & 16, Luke 24:44-47 and John 20:19.23, all together, and you will have a much better understanding of what the great commission is. The book of Acts is a history of the gospel of salvation, how it was presented to the world of lost, sinful mankind, both Jew and Gentile, in that first age. The first time anyone was ever baptized, you read it in Acts , 2:38, and take note of the fact that it was in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. The Trinitarians will jump up and down and harp on Matthew 28:19, saying, We would rather do what Jesus said, than what Peter said. After all he denied the Lord three times, you know. They want you to think you are too dumb to know better, but you do not have to be educated, to read the scriptures all together, and get the full picture of what Jesus said to His disciples that night. Acts 10:48, tells how and where the first Gentiles were baptized; in the name of the Lord, at the house of the Roman centurion Cornelius. Acts 19:5, tells about Paul baptizing twelve more, when he went to Ephesus; and they were baptized in the name of the Lord. They were men that Apollos had already baptized unto repentance, : according to the message of John the Baptist. In every case, all early Church candidates were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, (the Christ) for the remission of sins, that they might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the promise of the Father, which is the beginning of God’s promise prophesied by Joel. In other words, under this new covenant, every person that; will confess his sins and repent of them, will receive remission (blotting out) of everything he has done because of the nature he was born with. Also, he would receive the promise of the Father, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, that came on the day of Pentecost. We might note also, that in most every instance where someone received the initial baptism of the Holy Ghost, they did either speak in tongues, or they prophesied. You may ask. Why do you say that? Simply because, of all the confusion here in the end time, about the initial evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost. Speaking in tongues is not the initial evidence. It never was, and never will be. The apostles did not teach it as an evidence; it was only a sign. If it was a sign, then, why can it not be a sign now? You have to look at two things. First there was a prophecy in the Old Testament, in the 28th chapter of Isaiah, where God said through Isaiah the prophet, that with stammering lips and men of other tongues, (or languages) would He speak to this people. Meaning of course, the Jewish orthodox religionists of that hour. Yet in spite of all that supernatural manifestation, most of them rejected what was offered to them at that time. When He said that, He meant He would speak in languages some of them would understand, and others would not. It was not languages that had to be manifested as a gift in the Church. It was a supernatural manifestation of the power of God, showing that the dispensation had come, wherein He would pour out His Spirit; according to Joel’s prophecy: Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions: All those things in Joel are details of the supernatural manifestations that would accompany the presence of the Holy Ghost. God never did separate one of those manifestations, to be an initial evidence. He simply gave the signs as evidence; that what those apostles were preaching was His true word, that would bring about the fulfillment of prophecy. You must keep in mind. Ephesians was not yet written. Colossians was not written. Philippians was not written, Romans was not written.
None of the epistles we read now, were written, at that time. Not even the four gospels were written. Yet the revelation they had then, was a true revelation. There was no such thing as a Roman Catholic, on the day of Pentecost. There were no Baptists. There were no Lutherans; nor Pentecostals. They were Christians. That was the brand they carried; and that was all they needed to be called. They were followers of Christ. That is what the term first implied. Men, called of God to protest Roman Catholic dogmatic considered to be the founders of these various brands of religion. They were simply used of God to stand for Bible truth in their hour of time, when Roman Catholicism had perverted every Bible truth to the point that it was no longer the word of God. The founders did not organize into a denomination: it was later generations that did that. Nevertheless that is what God’s true ministry of this hour is up against all these brands of so-called Christianity that deny so many of the doctrines taught by those first apostles of Christ. As we look at these New Testament doctrines, just make a note of what is said. Predestination is a Bible doctrine the Lutherans fight against. The Methodists fight it. The Church of God, the Nazarenes, and most Pentecostals fight it, especially trinity Pentecostals. They think the doctrine of predestination means that God created some to be saved and some to be lost. That is not so. That is not even what a sensible man would read, when he would read Romans 8:28 and 29, or Ephesians 1:5. When you take Romans 8:28 and 29, it speaks of God’s foreknowledge. So does Ephesians 1:4, which says,”According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Verse 5, Having predestinated us.” you can read it. God foreknew who would believe what, why, and how. We have to make Him supreme in His foreknowledge. When the day comes that we limit God, that, He cannot possibly know the end before the beginning, then you have made Him like unto mere man. Stop saying that He is omniscient. If He does not know everything, then He is not omniscient. I say He is. Not only is He omniscient, but He is omnipotent; and if He is omnipotent, then He is omnipresent. He is not confined to one area of space. He fills the universe. When we come to the book of Hebrews, it is a letter written to the Jewish Christians scattered abroad. It describes the Law in it’s spiritual application, bringing it out of the types into the reality of what it is to be and mean in the Church. The doctrine of sanctification is described, explained, and projected in the writings of Hebrews. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is not something just for the day of Pentecost, it is for all time. It was the promise of the Father to every man that believes the gospel of Jesus Christ. All of this heads up under one focal understanding, that God is one. The gifts of the Spirit were definitely manifested in the early Church because of the truth of the gospel they embraced. That is why Paul could write in Romans as he did, and in 1st Corithians as he did. For a period of time in the first age of Christendom, all believers were looked upon as Christian, whether it was in Jerusalem among the Jews, or among the Jews in dispersion, or the Gentiles. They all believed the same thing. No matter what language they preached, or taught, or testified in, the Holy Ghost gave them all the same understanding of what they heard the apostles and ministry of that day preach. They did not come down the road with tape recorders, and video tapes. They hardly had any scrolls they could read. They had a revelation in their heart and the truth they preached produced a people that walked and lived in unison, having one mind. What a beautiful picture. No wonder the pagan world of Gentiles despised them. They saw them as a bunch of misfits, and no good, because they would not take part in the functions and activities, and social affairs of life. Most of it was corrupted and Satanic influenced; therefore the early Christians abstained from all those social festivities. Now the point is, as we deal with this message, to try to show people here in the end time, why it was necessary for God to send the spirit of Elijah again. You cannot get the Catholics to believe this; nor the Lutherans. Nor any of the other denominational systems of religion. They say prophets only come to Jews. That is nonsense; If that is a fact, then the covenant you and I have access to would have stayed with the Jews. God told Abraham, long before there was a people called Jews, (Gen.12:3) “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” Also in Gen.22:18, it was said to him, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Did that happen under the Law, the first covenant which was given to the children of Israel? No. The law came 400 years after that. God dealt with the Jews, under the law, for about 1400 years; and then He gave them this covenant of grace: but not too long after that, because they rejected the messenger of that covenant, God turned to the Gentiles: and they have carried the gospel ever since. God got hold of that old stubborn Jew, called Saul of Tarsus, who was raised up in a Gentile city enviconinent. He knew how to speak Greek, as well as Hebrew. Furthermore, he knew the Law in and out He knew how to deal with Jews in dispersion, but he also knew how to get along with the hometown Jews; when he came to the Jerusalem temple. Until God got hold of him, he was a Pharisee determined to rid the earth of trouble-making Christians. Then when God got hold of him, and changed him completely, He told him that he would be a light to the Gentiles, and a means of salvation unto the ends of the earth. (Meaning to the end of Gentile time). Yes, His epistles are still just as precious today, as they were when he wrote them.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GOSPEL MESSAGE?
People are always asking. How did the Church get so far from the true revelation held by the first century Church? Therefore we must keep answering that question: until it is understood. It did not happen all at once. Somewhere within the closing days of that first age of time, as those various apostles began to be martyred, and taken off the scene, Satan set a spirit in the various assemblies to counter the Holy Ghost. He began to raise up men; not drunks, to sit among the Christians. No drunk is going to stagger into an assembly and deceive people. He just began to raise up, supposedly converted men; but men with selfish motives. Men who wanted to be recognized. To a certain limit, yes, they lived and conducted themselves just like they had been saved from their sins. They could say, Oh, I believe in God, I love the Lord. Yet there was a spirit still inside of them, that dominated their soul, controlled their mind, and kept them from being true Christians. Therefore they were tares; and instruments in the hands of Satan, to work against the true work of God. Actually, that was the mystery of iniquity Paul could see, already at work before he left the scene.
That was the false prophets, the antichrist spirit in the minor sense, that John wrote about in his epistles; saying, “Even now are there many antichrists; Whereby we know that it is the last time.” What John did not realize was that it would continue on some 1900 years longer: with that kind of spirit harassing the true Christians. That kind of condition kept enlarging, and enlarging until it filled the earth. Coming into the second century, Christendom began to be invaded by those various false prophets; and because there was not an original patriarch of the faith around, Satan was able to slowly succeed in planting his evil seed among them. In other words, apostate, or false leadership. History confirms that to be the truth. As the Church universally began to be invaded by that spirit of antichrist, false teaching began to be accepted; and the first truth attacked was the Godhead revelation. This began to get Christendom in confusion. When that happens, no matter what some may say, the Holy Spirit begins to let up, in the original way it manifested, and in the way it kept things clean. Evil is no longer exposed, as it had been when the Church followed a true course. Therefore oncoming generations had nothing in their mind to compare conditions to; so Satan was able to pull most any kind of gimmick he wanted to. By the time the third century rolled around, history declares Christendom was in an uproar. Men from all quarters of Christendom began to raise up. They were not only fussing over who had the most authority, the bishop at Constantinople, or the bishop at Rome; they disagreed on many things. That division, at the same time, spilled over into a fight over the Godhead. Well, when you get one fanatic raising up with one teaching, and he goes forward with his so-called revelation, eventually a bunch will follow him. Then the first thing you know, another one will come up with something else; and there goes another bunch. No wonder the Church got into such a pitiful shape. The so-called Christian community is still in a pitiful shape: sound asleep, and in gross darkness.
The only unity they know anything about, is a social unity; which in the sight of God is worthless. They are sold out to the devil; for a present, modern world, super utopia. The gospel they should be proclaiming is not even in their thoughts. The few vases of scripture they do use, has been turned into a counterfeit gospel; that they hide their political and social views behind. Since the Nicaean council, in 325 A.D.,the great revelation of God in His oneness, as understood by the early Church, has been made like unto a bad word; in most places called Christian Churches. Satan made sure the ranks of Christendom was filled with important dignitaries, convened to so-called Christianity. Men who literally, were his evil instruments. They were the ones that took Matthew 28:19, isolated it from all the rest of the great commission scriptures, and it became a lone scripture verse, lifted up above the others; so they have no name in their baptisms; only three tides. The devil succeeded in his major step to get inside the ranks of the Christian Church: therefore from then on, it has been clear sailing for him. By the 5th century, in many areas, the bishop in Rome was declared to be the head of the church. Jesus was out of that picture. Their philosophy was this, As the world is ruled by the emperor of Rome, so will the universal Church be controlled and governed by the bishop of Rome. Of course that was another plot of Satan. The devil had his millennial rule from around 500 A.D., until around 1500 A.D., when the reformers broke in upon the scene. History calls that period of time, The Dark Ages. (Roman Catholicism ruled people’s lives throughout that whole time; and vast multitudes are still held captive by that old spirit of Satan even today). Eventually the Church was stripped of every doctrine of the New Testament Not only was it dark spiritually, it was dark intellectually also; because the Catholic Church fought education. Somehow they were able to convince the world that there is great virtue in being poor and uneducated. There is much more that could be said; but we must move on. The Lord willing, we will take this on into the Reformation, when we continue on, in our next issue. What am I aiming at? Some may say. Simply this, There is a message in the Bible, and the Gentile church world today, does not see it. That is why they deny that God would even send a prophet. Let me tell you something. If Bro. Branham would have been an educated man, knowing how to get all his adjectives, nouns and verbs in proper sentence structure, the church world out there, would have been without their main remark against him. They say, God would not send a messenger to the Church, who is unable to speak properly. There was something about his spiritual life though, that when the anointing was on him, it just made people see the man differently. I have seen this myself. I will never forget one time when we just went by, to visit with him. He was a man, in his later years, that had fellowship with the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship Organization. They had sponsored a lot of his meetings. Do not ever think that there were not preachers in that, who were politicians. They used him for every nickel and dime they could hook him for. They had ways of getting him to agree to certain things; then they would turn right around and reverse it. We went by there that particular day; and got there just after dinner. As we went in and sat down, he said, Bro. Junie. I just got a letter today. The man who wrote it relates something to me, and I already see the plot; because he did not sign his name to it. They think I don’t know what their plot is, but I see through every bit of it. We sat there and talked maybe five minutes, then the phone rang. He answered the phone, and I heard him say. Yes, brother, that’s right brother. When the conversation was over and he sat back down, he said, Bro. Junie, that is the one who wrote the letter and did not sign his name. He was just calling me to feel me out, and see if he could get me to say something that would indicate that I knew anything. Bro. Jackson, he said, they think they fool God, but they don’t. Brothers and sisters, there are Gentile theologians today, who think they are very smart, because Bro. Branham preached against their trinity. He had a right to. He fought their organizations. He had a right to. If Jesus was to come back in person, like He did 1900 years ago, and come walking down this Gentile pathway of Life, don’t think He would not tear into Catholicism and Protestantism, just like He did Judaism in His hour. Jesus was the truth. When that truth came walking down the road, He did not know religion. There was no place religion and truth could fellowship together. So is it in our day. It is true, Bro. Branham was a human man, and he did not have much education, but I will say this, Those things he taught out of the Bible, made more sense than all your Greek and Hebrew scholars put together. He made Jesus of the Bible live; when he preached, and when those fellows talk about Jesus, they just talk about Him in their theological terminology, and when they are finished, you feel like you have been eating dry crackers. That is all they have; and God is not in it. No. You will never get the Gentile church world to believe in Elijah for our day: but do you think the Pharisees believed in the Elijah of their day? No. There is a people on earth today, that do believe it the way it is: and Jesus will soon come for them. Hallelujah! Because it is the endtime, and because the spirit of antichrist is on the scene in full force, to take its toll, out of the following of Bro. Branham has become a category of people that are doing exactly today what they were doing in the closing years of the first century of Christendom. Running the road with all kinds of doctrines and ideas, teaching things to mislead people, and get them away from the truth. Therefore it is a fact, we have to have the Holy Ghost; or we will not make it in. May the Lord bless you. Amen.