I WANT TO TAKE A TEXT FROM MATTHEW 24, VERSE 34 AND PRESENT A MESSAGE TO YOU THAT I BELIEVE CAN BE VERY MEANINGFUL AT THIS TIME, THE TITLE COMES FROM TWO WORDS IN THE VERSE “THIS GENERATION,” WHICH WILL IMMEDIATELY POINT YOU TOT HE THOUGHT WE ARE GOING TO DEAL WITH. I FIRMLY BELIEVE THERE ARE PEOPLE LIVING TODAY WHO WERE AWARE OF WHAT WAS TAKING PLACE WHEN ISRAEL EXPERIENCED HER REBIRTH AS A NATION OF PEOPLE; THAT WILL STILL BE ALIVE WHEN JESUS COMES FOR THE RAPTURE OF THE BRIDE CHURCH, MADE UP OF PEOPLE FROM EVERY NATION UNDER HEAVEN. NATURALLY SOME WILL SAY, OH I HAVE HEARD THAT FOR YEARS; AND THE TIME JUST KEEPS MARCHING ON. YES, THAT IS TRUE. I NEVER WOULD HAVE BELIEVED TWENTY YEARS AGO, THAT THE CHURCH WOULD STILL BE HERE TODAY; BUT OUR PERSONAL OPINIONS DO NOT CHANGE THE WORD OF GOD ONE BIT. EVERY PROPHECY WILL COME TO PASS EXACTLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THAT WHICH IS WRITTEN; AND THIS ONE IS NO EXCEPTION. THERE HAS TO BE PEOPLE ALIVE WHEN JESUS COMES; THAT HAVE WITNESSED THIS THING FROM START TO FINISH; FOR THE WORD OF GOD CANNOT POSSIBLY FAIL. THEREFORE AS WE GO INTO THIS MESSAGE, I HOPE YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT I AM NOT SETTING THE DATES FOR IT TO TAKE PLACE, BUT RATHER, JUST POINTING TO THE FACT THAT THE TIME IS AT HAND.
AN HONEST LOOK
Let us read our text and then see what the Lord will reveal to us as we examine the scope of this prophecy, (Matt. 24:34 “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” This generation shall not pass, means they will not all be gone in death. There is a scripture in the Old Testament, (Ecclesiastes 1:4) which says, “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.” That is the cycle of life on this earth, for as long as God has ordained time to last for mankind. However when we look at time in relationship to prophecy, we also have to accept the fact that there is going to come an ending of time, as far as mortal man is concerned. When God’s purpose is completed, concerning redemption and restoration, then the whole order of life on earth will change; but everything must come in its predetermined order. Many times young people become frustrated because they see the world as it is today; and it is hard for them to grasp what older people mean when they say, It wasn’t like this 50 years ago. You know, if you have nothing in your mind of the past, to compare present conditions with, it is hard for you to grasp the reality of such a statement. I am sure we all could say, Yes I have read in the Bible, where it says, As it was in the days of Noah so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man; but we realize there is no one alive to tell us how it was in Noah’s day. Neither is there a Library book we can go read, to find out how it was. However once you and I come to the hour, that whatever it was like back then, is going on right in front of us, then we have to take that as one of the signs that we are getting close to the coming of Jesus. When we say that, we are not telling you He is coming tonight, next week, or next year. This message is not to tell you when He is coming; but rather to help you understand how to look at the coming of the Lord in connection with this present generation. It is the Spirit of God, that vindicates to us that the spirit of the age is as it was in the days of Noah and Lot; when violence and perversion were the order of the day. The Bible tells us enough about what brought God’s judgment upon those ancient societies, that we certainly have no trouble recognizing those same conditions all around us today. As for Matthew 24, when we look at it in its full scope, it is an entire prophecy Jesus spoke to His disciples shortly before His crucifixion. They had been at eh temple; and as they were leaving, His disciples had remarked to Him about the beauty of the temple. That is when Jesus said to them, “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Of course that puzzled the disciples; so they came to Him a little later saying to Him, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” That is what led up tot he prophetic discourse He entered into, whereby He spoke of the conditions that would prevail upon earth just before the time of His return. He spoke concerning what would happen to Jerusalem when she was compassed with armies, and so forth; (You have to get some of this out of Luke 21.) And of persecution, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars, and came on down tot he statement we have chosen for our text. Naturally every word He spoke concerning these things, was something that would be revelatory for the disciples and Christians who lived in the generation that would be affected by them. He started with immediate and near future things those disciples must prepare to see and experience, and look for. That is why the first things we begin to read in Matthew 24, are not speaking necessarily of things that will transpire in our day; but rather of the day and time of those disciples who followed Him then. Jesus gave many things in Matthew 24, that were to be signs; yet He did not put everything in chronological order. Some things were just thrown out there; and as you read them you can actually get two different pictures; simply because you do not know where to fit it all in. Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the reader will be thinking, Where does this go? Where does that go? However it was no mistake on His part; He knew why He was saying things like that. In fact, if you could put yourself in the disciples’ place, (They were Jews) all they had ever heard was the Law and the prophets, read and discussed, and commented on. When Jesus began to relate these things, the signs of His coming and of the end of the world, those disciples heard things they had never before heard any mention of. I assure you though, they never forgot them. Some of the things that were mentioned, actually came to pass in their lifetime. What He said about Jerusalem being compassed with armies, which Luke recorded, and Matthew did not, was one thing He spoke that was for their day. (Luke 21:20 “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. (21) Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the mist of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter there into.” That was His way of saying, When you see that coming about, do not think you are going to take the whole world with you. Just get out of there; and save yourselves. Verse 22, “For these be the day of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” Vengeance here, refers to God’s anger against a nation that has been visited by the Messiah they have read about and longed to see; yet when He came, they did not see Him. Because of the way He came, they could not recognize Him. No wonder Jesus stood there a few hours prior to that, and looked at Jerusalem saying, (Luke 13:34) “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” Why? Because they knew not the hour of their visitation. In Matthew 24, Jesus is speaking these things in such a simple way, those disciples would never forget them; because they were hearing things no man up until their hour, had ever heard before. The things He said in the first verses of Matthew 24, were for the Christians of that hour, in that generation; but then He began to approach the end time by jumping the centuries; because He knew there would be a parallel of those conditions at the end time. In other words, similar conditions would begin to develop in the world at large. Yes these end time signs will be witnessed throughout the whole world; even though much of what is prophesied to hit the earth will hit primarily in the old world nations. You can paint yourself into a corner; if you try to apply every prophesied event to the entire planet Earth; because as you consider the whole scope of prophecy pertaining to the end of the age, you have to realize that some people are going to be spared the heartache that others will have to endure.
HOW SATAN WILL DECEIVE MANY
I hope all who hear this message will listen carefully to how I am trying to say certain things. The spirit of the world today is a universal picture. There is not a nation on earth that really has a social, moral image of what decency is. They are all about the same. Immorality of every sort is running rampant in the nations around this old globe today; and people are being deceived by the thousands. Nearly everyone you meet is a professed Christian; yet you find very few that really do have a scriptural revelation of true Christianity. That is why great numbers of them are so easily deceived; and find themselves captured by some demon possessed person that truly preys upon them for material gain. Even great numbers of people who have sat under the teaching of a true revelation, have been deceived and turned into a cult. As Jesus continues speaking, He comes on down and begins to give the insight of a spirit that will grab many people in these last days; for He said, When they say, He (The Lord) is in the secret chamber, go not forth. Or He is in the desert, go not there. He is using that to tell you and me that there is going to be such a sprit in the last days. That spirit will come on the scene, simply because God has used a man in such a way there would be people start believing he is the Messiah. In fact, those people will not be literally looking for the same Messiah the first generation of disciples saw go away. This generation will, by some strange revelation Satan has injected into them, be believing that this Messiah has suddenly become a different man. That is why for twenty some years we have had people constantly insinuating such things about Bro. William Branham. Shortly after some of them moved here from Tucson, certain one’s of them used to say, You have to come to Jeffersonville, to the Branham Tabernacle to hear the word of God because that is where it is stored up; but you have to go to Tucson, Arizona to get ready for the rapture. Well what I have asked is, Suppose you were caught half way between Jeffersonville and Tucson when the rapture takes place? What then? I realize of course, that I am going to bring some things so close to some people’s doorstep’s, it will make them made. They will say, You are intruding where you ought not. Well I want you to know, They have dumped the roadway full of junk; (Carnal human ideas) and someone has to deal with it, to clean up some of it. God has not commissioned the angels to do that; He is anointing human vessels to serve in that capacity. There has to be a road made so clear of all of that, that truth can be seen for what it really is. That is our only purpose for dealing with some of these things. Therefore I remind you once again, that Jesus said, Do not run to the desert to see the Lord. Why? Because He knows where every one of us are; and when He is ready for us, that is where He will look. As Jesus continued with His discourse He gave the endtime people a little something to think about saying, Matt. (24:27) “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be;” but many people fail to look at that properly. This is not talking about the mystical coming of Jesus for His Church. The world will not see Him when He comes for His Church. This appearance is when He comes in the heavens, and is seen coming riding white horses, and His Bride is with Him. There is one thing I am sure of, God will let that great panoramic scene transpire; and it will truly be as Jesus said; but His comparison to lightning does not mean that His coming at that time will be like a flash of lightening; and be over with. No that description pertains to the scope of it. God will let that scene come into focus, and its projection hang in the heavens while this entire planet makes a complete revolution; to fulfill the part that says every mortal creature that breathes on the face of this earth, at that time, will have to look toward the heavens and see there, something no man has ever seen before. This is just my way of saying it; but every eye shall behold that heavenly scene.
THE FIG TREE
We started out with verse 34, to get our text fore this message; but the verses that lead up to that verse, give us the background for such a statement. Therefore let us notice verses 32-33, as Jesus answered their three part question. (Matt 24:32-33)”Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Jesus Himself no doubt knew there would be a long period of time transpire between the first generation and the endtime generation of people that would be alive when all those things would be fulfilled. To the end time people He has said, Stay away from those fanatics who want to have a secret monopoly on the coming of Jesus. Some believe it is going to be William Marrion Branham, that comes fro the bride; and they are going to have him stuck off somewhere in a secret place. If they were able to do it that way, do you know what that would be like? That would be just like the Catholic Church. That is the same spirit the Catholic Church has on it. Some people who may read this, no doubt will say, Well I have a right to believe whatever I want to believe. You sure do; and so do the Roman Catholics; but does your right to believe anything you want to believe, make what you are believing the truth? Do you think for one minute God is going to change anything, jut because you believe it to be a certain way? Is that what makes it truth? Oh, no. It only means someone is going to be disappointed; because that someone is deceived. It is sad; but these people are going to miss God altogether. Whatever Jesus spoke, He did not speak it giving you and me an option, just to interpret it any way you so desire. It is very strange, that some people feel that way about spiritual things; when man’s intellect requires a continuity of things in the natural. Yes there is a law of continuity; that establishes how things will function. For instance, just suppose someone decided that our alphabet is all wrong, and would say, That “A” is not really an A. Where would that put us? Suppose we took our arithmetic numbers, and got the idea that a 2 is not really a 2, it could be a 3, all depending on how you look at it? You know where we would wind up. The same applies to literature, geography, history, and so forth. I used that to get your attention; that I might say to you, There are basic laws governing everything; in any society and culture. Those fixed laws are what determine how that society functions and communicates, and how it can stay a society as it is. Furthermore 2 and 2 are 4 in any nation, no matter what language the people speak. Well if we all have to believe and accept certain fixed things like that, so is it with the word of God. There are no special privileges for certain people. What it says to one, it says to all; but it takes the Holy Ghost to reveal the hidden truth. That is why the wise and prudent have no edge over anyone else. As Jesus continues His statements, He actually begins to deal exclusively with the end time. He gives us a sign by which we can anchor our faith. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree.” Jesus could have just said, Now disciples, as you stand here listening to me talk to you, I want you to know that the city you are now viewing, you are going to live to see it torn down. You will be scattered to the outlying nations round about. Jerusalem and the Holy Land will almost become a forgotten object in the history of humanity. He could have said it like that, but He did not. He just put it in a parable illustration; and left it for the Holy Ghost to reveal to whomsoever would look to Him for the interpretation. Those disciples that heard His audible words are not alive to tell you and me how they heard them; they just recorded them for us to read and understand in our day; because they were for us. They were not for the Christians to be worried about 60, 70 or 80 years ago; but they are words that you and I need to be deeply concerned about in the hour we are living in. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree.” This fig tree refers to nothing other than the regathering, the rebirth, the regrowth of Israel as a nation. “When his branch is yet tender,” really speaks loud and clear. Now I want you to watch a tree. It is winter time here in Southern Indiana right now. The peach trees have lost their leaves. The apple trees have lost their leaves. The plum trees have lost their leaves. The grapevines have lost their leaves. The trees and vines have all gone into a dormant state. That was a picture of Israel through 1900 years of international dispersion. The land was there; but that which caused it to be a sacred land was the people God had given the land to; and they were not there. As He spoke about the fig tree, “When his branch,” think about this. It is always the small twigs on the ends of the larger libs which are the feeders to the little twigs, that all of a sudden, in the Spring of the year, when the sap begins to come up, begin to get those little green buds. Then as the days get longer, the sun gets brighter; and as the temperature changes, all of a sudden those buds swell. Then they just burst open. At first you see just a little structure of a leaf. Then that little thing you saw, becomes a fully matured leaf. It just takes a few more days and a little more sunshine; for it to become a fully matured leaf. That period of the fig tree bringing forth its buds, bringing forth its leaves, putting on the foliage, is actually what Israel has been doing for the last forty one years. Now, there is a generation of people sitting here; as well as scattered all over this world, that remember when the holocaust hit Europe; and Eastern Europe. That six million Jews were not slaughtered just to fulfill the pages of history about a tyrant; and the terrible massacre by that tyrant (Which was Hitler) and his henchmen. No. That was in this generation; and it was to accomplish the means; and set the stage for God to begin to regather the children of Israel out of international dispersion; and bring them back into the land of their father’s; so that land could again begin to become alive with the Jewish people, the people that actually give it its identity. Just keep in mind, the first stage you see in a fruit tree is not all there is going to be there. You watch it burst open and put forth its leaves; and remember, that is not all accomplished in one day. It takes a little time. It is not a whole summer; it is a few days in early spring. You can almost see the leaves growing; from one sunset to the next sunset. After awhile, you become aware, that the same tree you could see completely through its branches a few days before, is now filled in with foliage which has completely engulfed the whole tree. Is that all we look at? No, notice, “When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh.” Whey did He mention summer? Because it is the summer season that brings the fruit. We are at a point in time, related here to the end time. Israel has had forty years; and I will have to say, That fig tree is a healthy tree today. She put forth her foliage; and because of that you cannot help but look in the Middle East now, and see a nation. The whole Middle East is now looking at Israel; plotting and planning and conniving, and wondering what they can do, to kill this thriving tree. Do we look for more leaves to form on this tree? No. The season is approaching for the fruit of what God brought them back for, to start showing itself. Jesus said, “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Brothers and sisters, these words are directed to you and me. Some of you are old enough to remember, forty one years ago, in May 1948, the world voted; in United Nations, to petition a little piece of the land of Palestine; and give it to all those refugee Jews out of Europe; so they would have a place to go home to. Little did they realize they were starting this prophecy and parable in fulfillment. However forty years later, something else is now hanging over this world. I have to say, the next stage, she is going to bloom. When you see a fruit tree start blooming, you stop looking at the leaves. It is then, you begin to see the real beauty of it; because that bloom is telling you, This is what that tree is all about. That bloom is the means for fruit to appear. “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things.” Keep in mind, All these things, are relative to the things He has warned us of, in the preceding verses, what some will be doing, how they will want to secretly have a monopoly on the coming of Jesus, and on where He is going to be. We have Him shut up in our bridal chamber; they will say. We have Him here, there, or somewhere. Did you know, that is just how selfish some people are? We are not going to share Him with you; because you do not believe like we do. I want you to know that there is one thing sure, When Jesus comes, He is not coming on the option of the fact that there is someone down here preparing the way for Him to come; and then they will introduce Him to His bride. You know, that is the way carnal minded, mortal mankind wants to do things; but this whole thing was designed by God; and it will all take place according to His plan. Either we fit into God’s plan or we do not. It depends upon what we believe; and how we respond to the chance He gives us. As He said this, “Know that it is near, even at the doors,” it lets us know, something is about to happen; to fulfill the rest of that parable. First He says, “You know that summer is nigh.” That means, The season for the fig tree to bear fruit, is close at hand. Well then, the next thing “when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” What is near? The coming of Jesus Christ, both for His Church, and then later, after the tribulation, He is coming to rule and reign on the earth for a thousand years. “Know that it is near, even at the doors.” Brother that is why I say, There are things taking place in this nation today; and around this world, that lets us know, It is later than we really think it is. It is just the way things have come about; seemingly so slow, that makes it so. Sometime the things that really do make a difference, are so uncalculated that the conditions just creep up on the world; even so with Christian people, that truly do believe the word of God the right way. The first thing you know, we are looking something right in the face, that puts us closer to something that is about to take place, than what we thought we were.
ALERTING THE BRIDE
When Jesus said, “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things,” He said it to put in the thoughts and minds of people, that at the end time the real Bride of Christ is definitely going to be awakened; and these many things He has mentioned, are going to stand out before her. She is going to be looking at them every day she lives, measuring conditions, listening to what is going on in the world, and seeing those things in the light of the Bible. These things, when you see all these things coming about, you know it is even at the doors. First, it is summer. That pertains to the fig tree of course; but these other things are relative; and you and I have to watch them; because they are forerunners of that which we are waiting for. All of these things Jesus mentioned, are controlled by spiritual forces; and they effect people in various ways. This is what we have to be wise enough to study; in order to recognize the hour we are living in. The generation that recognizes the season Jesus was talking about, is the generation verse 34 applies to. “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Many of the things Jesus mentioned have been taking place right on down through the centuries; wars, earth quakes, famines, pestilences, spiritual and political deception, and all such like; so what makes the difference? The season. He gave that parable of the fig tree, to mark the season (the generation) in which all of these conditions would exist; and would be a sign of the end, that spiritual people could gauge time by. The generation that witnessed the Fig Tree putting forth her buds, will not completely pass off the scene before Jesus, with His bride ushers in the Millennium. In verse 12, He said, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” We can certainly recognize that, as a condition of our day. (24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Multitudes are being deceived by characters like this; but not the true bride. She is just registering it all, as one of the signs she is to look for; in this generation of the budding of the Fig Tree (ISRAEL). As we look to this next verse one might wonder, Why did He say that? Think of the many times we have heard people say this very thing. (24:35)”Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” I have heard television preachers say, “Jesus said heaven and earth will pass away.” Well yes, He did say that; and what a statement it is, if you do no know how to read it. He meant something by that; and what He meant is not to be interpreted in a literal sense, when we read it. Many people say it literally will pass away; but I say, Then who is Jesus coming back to, when He returns to earth to rule and reign? Did you know He is coming back to earth to rule and reign? Yes He is. In the 19th chapter of Revelation, he is seen coming back to earth with His bride; and in chapter 20, it speaks of immortal saints ruling and reigning with Him for one thousand years. Yes I know Peter wrote of a new heaven, and a new earth; but ask yourself, what makes it new? In 2 Peter 3:13, we read, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness;” but what makes it a new heaven and a new earth, is the fact that redemption and restoration has cleansed and eradicated from the spirit world every trace of sin. Therefore it is redemption that made it new; instead of a new creation. Well then, you may say, What passed away? We have to realize first of all; that the planet is not going to pass away. Neither is the universe going to pass away. However according to the word of God, this earth is going to be renovated by fire; and so are the heavens. When it says the heavens though, that does not mean it is going to be burning out there in Jupiter; because there is nothing out there that has sinned against God. The fires that are pictured in 2nd Peter chapter 3, have got to be relative to this planet where sin and the devil has polluted things for six thousand years. I believe the statement meant something like this; It would be easier for heaven and earth to pass out of existence than for His word to fail. He (Peter) is speaking of the sure fulfilling of every word of God spoken by all of the prophets of all ages; therefore I am completely convinced that he is not setting forth something that would be contrary to the rest of what God has spoken. In verse 6, he said this, “Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, PERISHED;” but we all know without a doubt, that the planet itself did not perish in the flood of Noah’s day. What perished, was everything upon the earth, that was not in the ARK with Noah. In other words, I believe what Peter meant was, Whatever I am telling you now, you watch for it; because it will come to pass without fail. You can stake your life on it. You can build your hope on it; because it is coming just as sure as the world turns. That is how sure Peter was; that you could depend upon the word of God; and I am just as sure as he was. Therefore realizing that Jesus has said, As we observe these conditions, and these signs that are in the world today, this generations shall not pass away till all be fulfilled. That is why I am living, by the grace of God, as a child of God, and looking for the coming of my Savior’ in this generation. I do not know exactly when; but as long as He gives me breath to breathe, I will be living with the hope in my heart, that one day I am going to see Him appear. However if for some reason He sees fit to put me in the ground, there are still some of you of that generation He spoke of, that is going to be alive to see it. Naturally I do not personally believe that blessed event is very far in the future, at this time; but that is all in the hands of God Himself, when He will draw the curtain upon this age. All that is required for this prophecy to be true, is for some of this generation that were conscious of what was taking place in May 1948, concerning the restoration of those Jews to their homeland, to still be alive at the end time. Therefore whether I am still alive to see it or not, there is going to be an element of people in this earth that is going to be alive when this does all transpire, and they are going to be testimonies of the fact, that they can look back through life and say, I can see now, when it all started; even though I did not see clearly back then, what was taking place.
WHAT DAY AND HOUR WILL JESUS COME?
Let us notice verse 36; as Jesus continued speaking things for the benefit of His bride. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” What benefit would it have been, if Jesus had told those 1st age Christians the exact year, day and hour of His return? Can we even begin to imagine, what the devil and his carnal minded religious bunch would have done, if Jesus had revealed the exact time of the consummation of this age? They have perverted and degraded enough as it is; with so many people believing it could take place just any day, right on through the centuries. In other words, watching for His return. Believe me saints, Jesus had a reason for saying. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man; for He knew that carnal minded people would begin to play around with that of His coming, in the end time. Therefore He just gave some more signs for true children of God to watch for, saying, (24:37 “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” In the last twenty five years, from just shortly before Bro. William Branham was taken off the scene, there has been an upsurge of perversion. Twenty give years ago, in most of our localities, we did not hear much about dope; but we did begin to hear a little about homosexuality; and all this type of perverted lifestyles. Even Bro. William Branham stated, as he observed it, The Bible said it would be this way. “As it was in the days of Noah so shall it be;” because it is a sign of the end time. Saints do you really realize what the picture in American is today? Of all the nations in this world, the United States has slid further down the scales of morality, into immorality, than any other nation on the face of this earth. We were a nation established out of the effects of the Reformation which went on in the old world, closing out the period known to the world as The Dark Ages. That is why we carried the identity as a Christian, Bible believing nation until the last 40 or 50 years. It was based upon our overall laws and moral judgments concerning how the Bible looks at certain social and moral conditions of mankind. We lived for many years; having very few serious problems; but that is not the case today. Our nation is reeling like a drunk man, sick to the core, with no promise of being healed. Brother, when I say sick, I mean it is SICK! It is SICK, SICK, SICK ! A while back, we watched a little of a program on television, where they were interviewing some of these people who were willing to describe Satanism, the cultist sacrifice of human lives, and so forth. Forty years ago, such a thing was not heard of in this country. At least you could not find anyone who was willing to admit that they were mixed up in it. It is just hard to describe today, how people of this nation would have reacted to news that some of their neighbors were Satan worshipers; fifty years ago. Nevertheless my point is, All of this Satanism perversion and widespread criminal activity is a sign of the end time; and our nations is one of the sickest one’s on the face of this earth today. The r3eason for our dilemma, is the fact that we allowed Satanically inspired human individuals to get the Bible, and prayer taken out of our schools. That was the same as saying, God, we do not need you either. When this generation said that, or did that, then God turned this nation over to a reprobate mind; and they have believed every damnable lie the devil has told them since. Furthermore in the last twenty five years, our nation has literally become drug sick. I heard them interview a man on the news; in Chicago; a man from the American Bar Association. It was stated, that after several months of investigating court cases, the processing system of dealing with drug addiction, and drug kingpins, the jails are full of them; our court dockets are loaded to capacity; and dope addiction is still on the increase. Teenage pregnancy is also on the increase; as well as homosexuality, and perversion of every sort. Why is all of this still on the increase, after all of the efforts that have been put forth, and all of the millions of dollars that have been spent, trying to get it under control? It is simply because we as a nation that carried the gospel light to other nations of the world in this twentieth century; have allowed Satan to move in, corrupt the minds of our young people, rob us of our God-given rights as parents, to the extent that we are no longer able to discipline our children, without running the risk of being pulled into court and charged with child abuse. Do you not agree, that we are a sick nation, without any hope of recovery? I am not limiting this end time sign just to America; I am only calling attention to where we have fallen from, and why? Think of it! Our jails are loaded to capacity. When they bring one in the front door, they have to let one out the back door, in order to make room for the latest. WHEN WILL JESUS COME FOR HIS BRIDE? According to the signs He gave us to watch for, it will surely be very, very soon. Whether you realize it or not, we have Sodom and Gomorrah conditions present with us today. Not only have we the dope addiction, it has become a disease, an acute epidemic. On top of that, we have teenage gangs that have nothing else to do; but roam the streets at night, just looking for someone to rob or kill; or something to literally destroy, just for the perverted pleasure of doing it. I am talking about 12, 13, 14, 15, and on up to 19 year old young people, that are no different than that society of people in Sodom and Gomorrah, that God literally destroyed from the face of the earth, because of their moral depravity. When those two angels came into Sodom that night, they did not need to go through the city sorting out the good from the bad. They already had a commandment from their Creator, Destroy everything but Lot and his family members that are willing to go out with him; and that is exactly what they did. It is very strange, when the sun sets, the devil goes on the prowl. When the sun sets in the evening, the gangs come out. They are ready for war. They are ready to mutilate. Who can they pick on? They have no respect for young or old people. They are out to kill with a thrill. It is sad to say, but some go so far as to join some kind of cult gang, get caught up in a spirit, just to kill. Do you know, some of those Canaanites that lived in the land of Israel, before the children of Israel got there from Egyptian bondage, sacrificed their children to the gods. They called him the god of Molech. Near the city of Jerusalem, which was the city of the Jebusites, is a valley on the southwest side, called the valley of Hinnom. There in that valley, is where they offered their children to the god of Molech. You can read in your history books, and in the Bible, what took place 3000 years ago; but when you see the same things taking place in your very community, in this twentieth century, you surely must know that the end is near. You can rest assured this nation will take a slap one of these days, like no other nation has ever taken; for even though God is long suffering, there has to be a limit to what He will allow a society of people to stoop to; before He declares to them, that He is still in control. We hear of Bangladesh, with their many million population, a low lying country at the foothills of the Himalayas, that runs toward the sea. When those typhoons come, they just flood the land and people having nowhere to go, drown by the scores. A cyclone hit, and it was so devastating they were at a loss fixing the death toll, and the other damage estimates. It was a terrible disaster, with all those human lives being snuffed out; so do you think God is going to let this nation go on this course forever, without paying for some of this ungodliness? One of these days it is going to start. When it does, this people in America is going to cry and scream, God, where are you? They will look for Him then; but for many, it will be too late.
WITHOUT GOD’S LOVE INIQUITY ABOUNDS
Yes saints, the FIG TREE is in full foliage; and we are living in a time just like it was in the days of Noah. Perversion is the order of the day. To tell these schools, We need sex education about like we need a lettuce bed on the moon; is as fruitless as anything one could do; for they have already sold out to the devil in that matter. Do you know what sex education has brought upon this nation? A decay of principle and morality; and a total breakdown of parental authority. In fact, your youth has been taken in these institutions and their minds have literally been raped with instructions about this relationship they thought the world needed so badly. Just look what it has done though; innocent girls crying, running away from home. They do not know what to do. It was not this way fifty years ago. I remember when America was 146 million people; and our jails were not out of space to take in anyone else. Now we have 242 million people; ten times more laws on the books; but nothing to prevent Satan from taking our children and using them in his evil schemes; and not enough teeth in our laws, to make lawbreakers think twice before breaking them. We do not need more laws on the books; we just need some people with enough common sense to apply what is there already. But no, this new generation of politicians cannot look back; our former ways were too old fashioned. Well God is going to make them look back, before very much longer; and let them see where they missed it. It is too late now, for very much of a turnaround nationally; but the people of God sure do stand in a place where they ought to examine themselves in the light of prevailing conditions in the world. If you cannot say in your heart’s, Yes, the spirit in the world today, is bound to be exactly as it must have been in the days of Noah; and in the days when God sent His angels to Sodom to save Lot and his family from that awful destruction. When a spirit becomes so universally tolerated and accepted as this spirit of perversion and outright ungodliness is today, even Christians have a tendency just to ignore it; rather than cry out to God because of it vexing their soul’s. I want to read a few verses from 2nd Peter; where Peter wrote of God’s former judgments upon such wickedness. Verse 1-9, in the 2nd chapter, will be enough for now. (1) “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, (The world is full of this.) Even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (3) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: (They would sell your soul for their own pleasure) whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. (4) For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; (5) And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; (6) And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrown, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; (7) And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (8) (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) (9) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” As long as the sun was shining, those gangs in Sodom were asleep. Those angels came into Sodom in daylight, without any trouble; but when night came, the dirty rascals filled the streets. That is America for you today. I am not confining this thing just to America; it is just the fact that America used to be recognized as a Christian nation; and now she is worse than them all. There are places in the jungles of Africa I would rather be dumped, facing the wild animal kingdom; than to be dumped in some of the streets of Los Angeles, California, New York City, Chicago, Illinois, and a lot of the rest of the cities of this country today. That is the way America has become. The signs Jesus spoke of are here. Do you think this over all condition is going to be voted out? Can the legislature appropriate money and change it? No. It is prevailing today; because God knew what the inherited nature of degenerate mankind would stoop to; and He knew He would judge it when it reached that low again; so through the mouth of Jesus He told us what to look for. Therefore these are signs of the END. What else do we see in God’s word, pertaining to all of this? In the 12th chapter of Daniel, as Daniel inquired of the things he had heard, saying, (Dan. 12:8) “O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?” It was said to him, “Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” What does that mean, “The wicked shall do wickedly?” It means the natural sinner is going to do some ungodly, rotten to the core, things. In Matthew 24 Jesus says, and because iniquity shall abound, (that is a picture of our day) the love of money shall wax cold. People will lose the feelings of knowing how it is to be loved or to love; and the love of God will not even cross their mind’s; because their lives become so taken up in all of the perversion and other evils of our day. Another thing we can see, that Paul gave as a sign of the last days, is found in 2nd Thessalonians 2:3, where he wrote, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the day of the coming of the Lord) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” Would you not say we are in that falling away? Looking at the last forty years in our nation, there were a few years in the first part of that forty years, that this country had a genuine visitation of the Spirit of God. Yes, a visitation sent by God, giving this country, as well as many others, a chance to walk with Him in truth. He raised up a prophet right here in the United States, before these various signs and conditions of the devil really began to be the order of the day. Now our whole religious world has literally turned thumbs down on truth. In fact, we are looked upon by them, as a cult. Do you know, the Catholic Church, and the World Council of Churches, are so apostate they are abominable in the sight of God; yet they are so deceived they actually think they are the church. They would put you and me in the same category as Satan worshipers. No, the Catholic Church will not agree with sacrificing unto Satan. Neither will the World Council of Churches; but when it comes to people like you and me, and the truth we stand for, and what we see ahead, their judgment is, that there is no difference between us and Satan worshipers. That is the world we are in today. They have turned away from truth. They have fallen away from the truth, whatever measure of it they ever had. No it is not Satanism, that has fulfilled the falling away prophecy given by Paul; Satanism flourishes, simply because of the falling away of what the world has been led to believe is the Church. These carnal churches have become so compromising, and so hypocritical, it has caused many young people to go looking for something else; and Satan was right there, to take advantage of the situation. One of those young men they interviewed in prison, on that TV program I mentioned, addressed his remarks to the Christian community saying, Stand up for what you believe; do not be hypocritical. Anyone who is not altogether spiritually blind, can see what the hypocritical church world really is. It pretends to be something God has ordained to present the gospel message of salvation to the world; yet the greater percentage of them are as ornery as they can be. In fact, it is no wonder the book of Revelation, in chapter 17, speaks of Protestantism as harlots. We will come back to that later on in the message; but for now we will continue with the falling away; and with the course it has taken in the last few years. We need also to recognize, that the image of the beast is alive; and doing its part in wrapping up this end time package of destruction. It is literally fulfilling those last verses of the 13th chapter of the book of Revelation. Do you remember what was revealed to Bro. William Branham, as he was preaching on the revelation of the seals, in 1963, concerning that fourth horse rider, the gray horse? The Bible calls it a pale horse; but that has to pertain to gray, which is a mixture of white and black; because we know these horse riders represent the spirit of antichrist; as it runs parallel to the Spirit of God dealing with the Church in the grace age. Yes that gray horse is absolutely galloping head long in the denominational realm of religion today because this spirit of eceumenism is where that thing is. The whole world, outside of the true Church of the living God, is being deceived by it. No wonder it is hard to get people to see truth; those systems of religion have power, they have money, they have political recognition, social recognition, and all the right programs to attract carnal minded mankind. That is what the natural, carnal mind goes for. It is not truth that people are looking for in the main stream churches; they want something to entertain their flesh.
DO THE TEN HORNS HAVE A PART TO PLAY
We can definitely say, that in the last forty years the ten horns of Europe have all been revived. The geographical area of the old Roman Empire, that which used to be ruled from Rome before it became split up into the various nations, is what makes up the ten horns on the terrible beast of Revelation 13:1. Notice, “And I (John) stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” This is that old Roman beast that eventually broke up into various territories of people that fought each other for centuries. However, today they are reunited; and committed to each other in a common bond, and working together for survival; and for the establishing of a utopia on earth. Naturally Europe’s aim is that she will be the focal point; and that is exactly according to Bible prophecy, which declares that the old wounded head must be healed. When we can read in the papers and see where the pope has gone in the last few years, we realize he has traveled further, made more speeches, and has had more tears shed over him; than any other pope we know of. He seems to be a man in good health. He is not saying a thing that would give the world any indication that he has any intentions of being a world leader. Nevertheless when you know the truth, you cannot help but notice the way he says things; and the way he goes about doing things, that sooner or later, (when God’s time is right) will cause those gen horns to say, PAPA: you are our man. That will start the ball rolling; and everything else will fall right into place. Just as it says in Revelation 17:12, “The ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” I cannot take the time to explain all of this terminology to you who may hear these things for the first time; but we have printed messages on all of it, that can be obtained for the asking. They (these ten horns) have received no kingdom as yet; meaning no world kingdom; but they receive power one hour with the beast. That speaks of that allotted period of time wherein the beast will again rule. Verse 13, gives a further view of what we have said. “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” That is just for a short honeymoon, until the rest of God’s plan concerning them is completed. Verse 17, gives us that; so notice, “For God hath put in their hearts (these nations that make up the ten horns) to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of god shall be fulfilled.” Europe is restored, the cities are rebuilt, they have become an industrial system that is knocking at the doors of America. In the east, out of the Orient, comes another giant, the Japanese economic, industrial complex is doing the same thing. You know, saints, America today is a dying empire; after having lived such a short time. I have heard on the news, about the Japanese coming out with a new type of television; a larger screen, more clear picture, and so forth. The Europeans are working on it too; but the Americans are not. I know nothing about electronics; yet I do feel that it is a shame, that after having given to the world all these modern conveniences, this country is losing out completely. Something has happened; we are a sick, dying nation. Israel is in their homeland; and all these other nations are falling into their prophetic places for this end time wrap up; and scores of people who have had an opportunity to follow a true revelation of the word of God, are abominable in HIS sight today; because of the way they have treated what He gave them opportunity to receive. A brother from India has related to me, that there are those in India that do not even teach the people to believe in the literal coming of Jesus Christ, the ONE who was translated 1900 years ago. They are looking for the “Messiah, William Marrion Branham,” to come. God hates that Idolatry. That is why I say, All these various conditions in the world at large, both in the religious realm, as well as in the political, social, and moral realm, are signs of the end. They cannot hang like this forever. They are telling the Bride, Don’t go to sleep. We are getting close to the coming of Jesus, that is a sure thing; but do not accuse me of setting a date for that blessed event; I know better than that. The main thing is we dare not go to sleep. We must live and walk each day with our spiritual eyes open; and our spiritual ears unstopped, watching the world move closer to that climax; the time when Jesus is coming back, knowing that this present generation is going to see it. All of those signs are for this generation. Former generations had no need for them. Between the AIDS, dope, teenage gangs, teenage pregnancy, political and spiritual corruption, and all of the rest of these signs, the bride of Christ should be sufficiently alerted to make herself ready. Somewhere there has to be a small element of mortal flesh kept pure and clean enough to pass over into the Millennium. God is going to use a clean element to regenerate and repopulate the earth. Do not ever get the idea He is going to take a bunch of these doped up, AIDS plagued, creatures to do it. When our nation said, We will not give that P.L.O. leader a visa, all the nations of the world looked upon us as if we had committed terrible act; except for Israel. It leaves the United States and Israel standing all alone. I have to say, God has just kept the hand of catastrophe back, because somewhere in this nation there is something of a spiritual element He wants to use, for a spiritual purpose. There is also that economic realm He wants to use; just to support Israel; and take her to a certain point.
INIQUITY ABOUNDS – LOVE GROWS COLD
Jesus told His disciples, the ones that really walked close to Him, “It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven;” and I am convinced that applies to us also. I am referring to the true disciples living in these last days. Therefore our whole message, as we deal with this subject, is to inform you of this. God will not leave you and me ignorant, concerning His coming for His church. There is no need for you or me to ask a million questions about it. Nor is there any excuse for jumping to conclusions, concerning His coming? We will see the scriptures that give us a concrete approach on how to prepare ourselves for this glorious occasion; when the times comes. However, when the time comes for you and me to know something, we will have to be in a condition spiritually, to receive it. You will not find God sending His messengers out to these sporting events, to tell you how to prepare for the coming of the Lord. I am not trying to tell you what to do; nor what not to do; but whatever you do, you had better leave some time for fellowship with your Creator; if you care anything about your spiritual soul, and want to know what He is revealing to His Church. Having said that, I want to take a few minutes to look at verse 12; in this 24th chapter of Matthew.
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” He was talking about a time when iniquity will become the predominant picture of the entire age. That is what causes love and respect of human dignity and character to wax cold. This is the time the apostle Paul was thinking of, when he spoke of people being lovers of pleasures, more than lovers of God. Jesus did not leave it there though; He continued His thought saying, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” This is a general admonition, that is applicable for every generation. Somewhere in every generation, in every decade of Christendom, there is always some kind of opposing force of Satan projected against the true child of God; as that person desires to live and walk with their God. Somewhere that spirit will throw something out there to make it hard for him or her to overcome and live a victorious life. However he that endures, the same shall be saved. You do not endure salvation; you can enjoy salvation; but you do have to endure to some degree, what the devil, through the world, throws at you. Jesus just spoke these things, some for that day, some for all ages, and some for the end time generation; and left it for the Holy Ghost to reveal what applied to each generation. In verse 14, He said something that was for all time; starting with the apostolic age. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” He never did say the world would repent and believe. He said, This gospel, (which was the unadulterated gospel preached in the instances recorded in the four Gospels and in the book of Acts.) Must be preached unto all nations. That is why there had to be a messenger come to this end time generation, to take the shroud of perversion off of the real gospel, and open up the way for true saints to gain understanding of it in the light Jesus and His apostles preached it in. It had to be preached in all the world; for a witness unto all nations; before the end could come; but I believe this last 24 years has seen that accomplished. All the other signs are looming before us, saying the time is at hand, for God to bring this thing to an end.
A WORD TO THE FIRST, AND TO THE LAST GENERATION
In verse 15, Jesus is speaking specifically to those disciples of that present generation; Old men, old women, middle aged men, middle aged women, young children, whoever was represented in that overall body of people that were following Him, this was applicable to them; and history proves they received the admonition, for when Jerusalem was destroyed, in 70 A.D. by the Roman army, those Christians were not there. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” Remember, the thing that started this discourse, was when the disciples came to Jesus calling His attention to the beauty of the temple. His answer was, (24:2) “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Their reply to that was, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” From that question, He entered into a long discourse telling them of things to come, and signs to watch for, in order to know when the time was at hand. When He came to the part about the destruction of Jerusalem, he did not go into details about what He was talking about. He merely said, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place.”Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” He is referring them to Daniel’s prophecy; and how to read it properly. As He speaks this way, He is actually telling them how to look at the city and that beautiful bunch of buildings, that were all going to come down; but within that, they are told what to do in order to escape that destruction themselves. When you see the abomination Daniel spoke of, standing or existing in the holy place, “Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” You will notice also, that it says, “Whoso readeth, let him understand.” This lets us know there were certain things they were to read; and know how to read it. There is a right way to read something, and there is a wrong way to read it. He was not talking to the man of the world, of the Jews of that day. He was talking to those Jewish Christians living right then. Meaning those that live out in the country side, in the province areas. When you see this existing around Jerusalem, that is the sign to get out of here, get away from this place. He comes on down through there; I will not read it all. Take verse 19. “And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!” I believe there were Christian women that were with child when this thing happened. Was Jesus saying it was wrong for a Christian woman to be with child? This did not touch the Christian woman. This was a warning to that unbelieving element of Judaism who had not seen a thing. They had been exposed to something, and did not recognize what, or who it was; therefore God was going to judge them for their unbelief. He would tear down their holy city. This remark was applicable to them. That is why He said, “Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.” He is talking strictly to that generation, what to do, how to prepare, where to go, when they see that sign begin to encircle Jerusalem. Now He has warned the believer, and some of them are going to live to see every one of these words fulfilled in their generation. It behooves you and me not to just merely read our Bible, thinking that there is not a thing in there for us, in this hour of time. There is something in here for everyone to take and apply personally to each of our lives. As we read verses 21 and 22, I want you to understand, This speaks of something we must be able to look at, discern, and recognize that it is something that shall be fulfilled in this generation; just like the destruction of Jerusalem came in the generation that heard Jesus speak these things. Just as those disciples were warned, when you see in Jerusalem, the abomination that maketh desolate, standing in the holy place, flee, and that was their warning; something is coming in this generation; and the warning was issued almost two thousand years ago. Listen, as we read these two verses. (21) “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (This tribulation part had a two fold application.) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Jesus warned all three categories mentioned above; get out of that city, get to the mountains, get away from here. That was their warning. That is why nowhere in the Roman history of the siege of Jerusalem, when Titus and his troops brought it to an end, has there ever been found, that there was even one Christian executed in all of that. They fled before the siege hit, simply because they were spiritual enough to recognize the signs and take heed to their warning. If God’s word was so true then, I have to say, It will be just as true for this generation. We are moving rapidly toward a rapture; but there is only going to be one kind of people raptured from this world, and that is people that know how to read and understand the word of God. It is not coming through some intellectual professor; for that which they teach, basically, is all antichrist in nature. Regardless of how much they preach the second coming of Christ, if somewhere it does not bring the hearers in line with all of the other basic doctrinal truths of God’s word, they just as well go out somewhere and croak with the frogs. It will help no one. Therefore saints, verses 21 and 22, are verses that we have to read with a dual understanding. Not only was the city of Jerusalem besieged, the city finally wound up with all those various sects of Jews huddled inside the walls for safety; and there was no safety to be found inside those walls when that Roman army made their final move. The Saducees had fled there, the Pharisees had fled there, and the Asene Jews from down in the Dead Sea had fled there. Those holy, virtuous looking people had come from all parts seeking refuge inside those walls; because the words of Jesus meant nothing to them; but the Christians, taking heed to His words, did exactly what He told them to do; they fled into the mountains. (24:16) “Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” That statement needed no further explanation than, When you see this sign, FLEE. We have a lot of holy looking Nazarenes, Pilgrim Holiness, and also followers of Bro. William Branham, that look holy enough; but they do not properly discern and believe the word of God. They want you to believe they are holy; but that holy look on the outside is not all God requires of those who would be partakers of His blessings. Their holy look does not give any indication of what it is going to be like when something strikes this world. (Saints I am not against a holy look; that ought to always be a part of our outer makeup; but that alone is not sufficient. Jesus is not coming for just that look alone. You must have something inside, that believes, appreciates and properly responds to the truth of God’s word. My talking like this, is why they say, That Jackson is against this, that, and whatever. They are not listening to me the right way. They do not want to listen. They want me to listen to them; but they think what I have to say is useless. I am just simply saying, Read it right, and read all of it; so you do not end up with a lopsided picture. As for me personally, I am willing to wait and let time tell who is right and who is wrong; but by that time it will be too late for a lot of stubborn souls that have been so pious in their attitude and appearance; because they will be right in the middle of what Jesus warned believers about. In 70 A.D., Christians were admonished to flee into the mountains; but in this last generation, Christians are admonished to clothe themselves in a revelation of God’s word, and let their holiness reflect from within, as well as from their manner of dress and outward appearance. Then when THE GREAT TRIBULATION strikes this generation, they will already have fled to their place of safety; which will be that great marriage supper in heaven; instead of natural mountains here on earth. This is what the apostle Paul was speaking of, in 1st Thessalonians 4:11-18, the very event we are looking forward to. Let us read it. (11) “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, (Listen to this saints,) and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; (12) That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. (13) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord (Christians of this generation) shall not prevent them which are asleep. (That is Christians from other generations.) (16) For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain (Christians of this present generation) shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” Brother, listen to me. When you listen to the news, and hear what is going on in the world, these are comforting words; because we know assuredly, that God cannot allow these prevailing conditions to go on much longer; without judging the whole thing; and when He judges it, we will be with Him.
A LOOK AT THE END
I have said many times, We cannot all be right; when there is so much difference in what various groups believe; and I say it again today, knowing in my heart that God will vindicate truth; and being persuaded in my heart that I have no selfish motive in any of it. I am looking for a better reward than just the satisfaction of knowing what we have stood for here, is a true revelation. I am looking for an eternal reward; not because I am right; but because God’s word is true, and I believe every bit of it. Let me say again, Verses 21 and 22 held a warning to those Jewish disciples in this sense, “For then (when that sign appears) shall be great tribulation.” That tribulation in its first advent, was not referring to a universal tribulation. It was a tribulation brought on by God’s judgement against that Jewish nation for having rejected their Messiah. That tribulation was going to occur to the people caught up inside that walled city of Jerusalem, who would flee to take refuge there; because they failed to take heed to truth for their day. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world.” Though it had its first advent application, it also carried a dual application. In its first application, it brought the city of Jerusalem to ruin. The city and the temple were left in more or less, a desolate state, until centuries later when the time would come about, that again in the same place, God would see that they were restored. Then when the appointed time arrived, He (God) would pick up these same verses and hang them over another generation. However this time, this picture would not apply just to one geographical location; it will have a certain universal application; which we will see as we go along. Yes, great tribulation, “Such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” That does not annul anything; we just have to understand what it is talking about. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved.” I do not remember the exact period of weeks and months of that siege against Jerusalem, by the Roman army; but if it had not ended when it did, there would have been no Jew left alive in there. They were dying from starvation. Every morning, (it was recorded in one history I was reading, I believe it was in Josephus) the streets would be filled with people that had died in the night; and had been thrown out of their dwelling. When the sun would come up, the inhabitants of the city would take them up and throw them over the walls into the valley of Hinnom. Titus was supposed to have gone around the city one morning, and seeing all this, looked up into the sky and said, This cannot help but be the wrath of their God. In that setting, it is recorded that two women roasted and ate their newborn babies; to survive the ordeal. You know, that takes you right back to Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy was written so far in advance; yet God warned them while they were still in the wilderness, wandering; saying to them. When you come into the land that I will give you, I will plant you there. If you should go against my word, the day would come when women of Israel would do that very thing. What a reproach! Yet it was fulfilled. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened.” Brothers and sisters: whatever is in these two verses was definitely applicable to that generation of Judaism, wherein thousands that were not Christians perished; simply because it was God’s judgement against that nation of Judaism for having rejected their Messiah; and thousands will perish when the second application becomes effective; because they have rejected the word of God for this hour. Not one Jewish Christian perished in the siege; so that in itself proves how God takes care of those who have the right kind of respect for His word. Therefore jumping a great span of time, we pick up these same two verses at the end time; because when the antichrist comes, we know that he is going to break that peace covenant he has made with many nations; right in the middle of that 70th week of Daniel, when the ministry of those two prophets of Revelation 11, has reached its peak. The 9th chapter of Daniel says, (9:27) “And he (the antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many (nations) for one week: and in the midst (or middle) of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Once again a terrible bloodbath will be inaugurated against a certain element of Jews; because of their endtime rebellious, agnostic way of looking at why God has brought them back into the land. Just watch now. We are leaving everything that is applicable to the first century or generation of Christians. He is pointing to you and me. Watch what He says. (23) “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” In other words, it is a repeat; but this is for the endtime. Notice what it says in those two verses; and remember, This is for our day. You may not believe me, but I am going to say this anyhow, back about 1961, 1962, 1963, and on up until Bro. William Branham’s death, we had an element of people in this country that was fulfilling that verse exactly. Why do you think he left the meeting in Canada and came home to preach the message, “The Bruised Serpent?” He plainly told us it was because people were making him the Messiah. Lo, here is Christ. What does the word “Christ” mean? That is a Greek word the English has taken; which means, anointing, or the anointed one. You could just as easily read it like this, Lo, here is the Messiah. It would have the same application. I will never forget when we were building our house, in 1958. I was in the house one morning, working; and one of the brothers who now lives in Arizona, but then had moved to this area from another state, came down to see what I was doing; and to help me for a little while. While we were in there working, he asked me this question, Bro. Jackson, do you think people would know Jesus Christ today, if he were to come dressed like you and me? I did not know what he was getting at; but I said, I believe the ones that were ordained to recognize Him would recognize Him, just as the disciples back then, did. They would have to recognize Him from the standpoint of a spiritual revelation. Then the brother said, Well what I really mean, Bro. Jackson, have you ever thought about who Bro. William Branham might be? When he said that, I said, Brother, I know one thing for sure; he is the Malachi 4:6 for our day. He is the angel messenger of Revelation 10:7, for our day; but anything above and beyond that is out of the question. He never said any more. That was along about September or October of 1958, that far back. By the time we came to 1960, that spirit was growing, and reaching out, affecting more and more people. If you do not understand why this verse is worded like it is, that is one of the reasons. “Then if any man, (any man) shall say unto you,” in other words, it shows a picture of someone trying to tell someone else, We have found something. Or, We have found the Christ, or the anointed ONE. That could never have been possible, until God would have a man here on earth that He had anointed with such an unusual ministry, that his ministry would characterize much the ministry of Jesus. Anyone that can now understand the Godhead, ought to know, that having the same Holy Ghost anointing that was in Jesus Christ in the fullness, does not make any mortal man the Messiah. He can be anointed of that same Spirit; for Jesus’ own words declare to us that the same Spirit of truth that was in Him, will take the things He (Christ) manifested, and demonstrated, and show them unto you. There were certain things about the ministry of Christ, that to me, were held off from other countries. God saved it until the end time; because He wanted to give the end time Gentile church world a sign, which is in relationship to the same kind of sign He gave the Jewish nation. That was their real Messiah; but this was a manifestation of the Holy Ghost; to characterize and fulfill the words of Jesus, He will take the things of mine and show them unto you. The Holy Ghost will do that; not Bro. William Branham. Remember, Bro. William Branham, was a mortal man; just as mortal, and just as subject to human error as any of you. I say that from the standpoint that no mortal being is ever above making a mistake; I am not accusing Bro. William Branham of making mistakes. I have always contended that God allowed him to make dual statements; in order to reveal to the spiritual people the total spiritual ignorance of those who followed his flesh for whatever reason. The Holy Ghost is not a man. He never was a man. He is God Himself. He was in the person of His Son in the fullness of all His divine attributes, to make Him the one and only Messiah. He (the Son) was the firstborn of every creature, the first begotten from the dead. He is the head of the redeemed family. He is the beginning and the ending of God’s whole redemptive plan. No other man can take His place; no matter how much he is anointed of the Holy Spirit. He is only able to receive a measure of what Jesus had; as God, according to His plan of grace, has permitted it to be demonstrated. Therefore the effects of verse 23 were not to be manifested until God had a man on earth like that, a man that silly Gentile minds could begin to believe such things about. Gentile people are a foolish people. When Paul and Barnabas came among the Asians, a certain miracle was done by the Spirit of God, through them; and the very next morning, they found the whole city wanting to assemble and offer sacrifice to them. They said among themselves, “The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.” Those apostles were not going to allow anything like that though. The Bible says they rent their clothes and ran in among those people saying, “Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities (that is what Paul called such foolishness, VANITIES) unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.” No true man of God will ever let carnal minded mankind attribute to him, that which belongs only to God. The apostle Peter did the same things in the house of Cornelius; when those Gentiles tried to worship him. The Bible says, (Acts 10:26) “But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.” Naturally that same spirit was till around, when God used Bro. William Branham in such an outstanding way; and it reacted the same way; causing mortal flesh to attribute the things of God to that of another mortal man. This is the end time though; that spirit was supposed to show itself; and set in motion conditions for the end; so let us continue on. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the every elect.” I will never forget when Bro. William Branham preached that message, “The False Anointed Ones of the Endtime.” We had never had men who would really talk like they have in the past 30 years; until Bro. William Branham came on the scene; and many times, in an unusual way, as he would be on the platform and God would anoint him to discern and tell people about their conditions of life and so forth, he sometimes would make statements like, God has anointed me to pray for the sick. This gift you see is God’s anointing, the way He uses me. Can you not see the jealousy that began to get hold of preachers, especially evangelists who want the world to know they were still in the picture? They began to feel that people were looking to Bro. William Branham too much; so they had to say something to draw attention to themselves. That spirit has produced, especially in America, a category of evangelists claiming that God has called them to pray for the sick, and so forth. Now you hear ever so often, God has given me a ministry; and a commission to preach to the world. Each decade this spirit gains momentum. For 30 some years it has run the roads, the airways and so forth, trying t out do that little man. Many times plotting, creating lies, trying to put his light out. Well that is what we have seen in the ministries of Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart and all of that particular category of ministries. They are not going to preach truth. They could not get the kind of support they require, if they preached the whole truth of God’s word; for nominal Christendom is not interested in hearing anything that will require them to change their way of life to follow it. I am not saying those things to degrade or put them down. I do not have to put their light out. They do not have that much light in the first place. The light I am referring to is a revelation of the truth of God’s word. I do not say, that somewhere along the line God has not saved a soul through that avenue of beginning. God always responds to a genuine hunger for righteousness. Do you think God would let them spend all that money contributed by innocent souls, without using some of it to accomplish certain things that must come about? God will never let His word return to Him void; and all of these preachers preach enough of His word, from the written standpoint, to give sincere souls a start in the right direction. However, He is not about to use anything like most of what you see out there, to put His true Church on their proper course, here at the end.
END TIME FANATICISM
In verse 32, Jesus is not talking about something for the first century Christendom; this is without any doubt for you and me. This is why when we can see these things, we know we are getting closer and closer to the coming of Jesus Christ. The end of the world is moving rapidly toward us; so notice again what He said about it. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree.” Why did He put this parable in here at this particular time of His talk to the disciples? First off, in the 15th verse, down through the 17th, we know that the city was demolished and the Jews were carried away; and the fig tree died, or went into a dormant state. For 1900 years there was not fig tree budding, turning green, or putting forth any foliage that it could be identified by. For that length of time, it was almost left completely out of secular history. Yet when we come to this parable, this parable tells you and me, that somewhere when these other things in the end time are beginning to develop, there will come a sign to the world. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender.” I remember when the state of Israel was born, May 8, 1948. You older ones will remember too. That is why we had to have a war like WW2. That is why there had to be a man like Hitler. It was a war that scared the younger generation of that hour. They saw it as a terrible thing. Then when the war was over, they set about with plans to prevent even the remotest possibility of another war like it. They all began to run the other way. They became pacifists. I have noticed much in the News lately, about another thing that has hit the world. We now have a movement that is campaigning against stores selling fur coats. It showed one episode some time ago, this woman was in a department store, and evidently had a fur coat on. The guy that belonged to this pacifist group that is against this thing of killing animals for fur coats, called her a stupid woman. I thought to myself. Young people, do not ever join that thing. Regardless of what your personal feelings may be, what they are doing is way out of line. Let me tell you this: That same kind of people, if Jesus were here today, would be so agitated they would probably be the first ones to say, Get rid of Him; at any cost. It is very strange, we have some people today, that are so pacifist when it comes to how an animal is killed, yet they treat their fellow human beings like life is so cheap. They do not want anyone to wear a fur coat, and so forth; but listen to me, God did not see it like that; for many of the decorations in the temple, the Lord’s temple under Solomon, was made of ivory brought out of Africa. You know what ivory is, where it comes from, and how they get it. Yes it is the tusks of elephants. Not only that, the tent itself was made of skins; and animals had to die for that. That is why I say, all of these things you see today, may look good to a carnal society that does not know the Bible; but all of that is brought on by a spirit of Satan. Whatever God is for, they are against. That is how we have to look at it; when what they are raising so much fuss about, is something God Himself was the first to do; kill animals to make coverings for Adam and Eve. If God killed animals to make coats, who can say it is wrong to do that? Saints: That is just another sign of the day and hour we are living in.
PROGRESS OF THE FIG TREE
As we look at the Fig Tree, Jesus said, “When this branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is night.” Well, in 1948, the life (the sap) that had been down, in a dormant state for so long a time, began ti rise in that new statehood. The Jewish population was very small and limited. Nevertheless as they began to respond to the affect of this new statehood, Oh how the devil, through those Arabs, began trying to kill, or choke that little sprout. While that branch was yet tender, it fought a 1948 war, a 1953 war, a 1957 war; yet that little branch kept getting larger and larger. Finally, forty one years later, it has grown into a tree. It is in full foliage. A tree only passes through that state for a certain period of time, then there is not more leaves to look for. What is the next thing? Notice what the parable says. “Ye know that summer is nigh.” The season for the fig tree to bear fruit is at hand. The fruit, in this sense, is talking about somewhere in the near future, there is going to be a spiritual awakening, a spiritual revival; and God is going to redeem from out of that nation His spiritual people, through the ministry of those two Jewish prophets of Revelation 11:1-7. I hope all of you understand; that the summer season is applicable to the Fig Tree Israel. The whole world ought to realize that; but of course they do not. You and I have seen it though, so we are without excuse, if we fail to react properly. In the other part of this parable, Jesus is pointing to you and me. “So likewise ye, (Now He is pointing to you and me. “Ye” is not the disciples then, “Ye” is to you and me.) When ye shall see all these things, (It is all these outstanding things Jesus is mentioning, that are for the endtime, and these signs are for the believer.) Know that it is near, (What is near? The coming of the Lord.) Even at the doors.” Now the doors are not something that is applicable, or related to a summer season. The doors are how you and I are to look at His soon coming. Let me illustrate it like this, You are sitting in your home. The news comes on, A criminal has just escaped from jail. He is very dangerous. He is known to be armed. He was last seen on the outskirts of Clarksville. Do you know what people would do? They will run and lock their doors. Yes, they will. Why? Because they do not want that mean man walking through their door. Jesus had a reason for speaking this like this. “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” When you have your doors locked, you know no one is going to burst through those locked doors without making a lot of noise. Is that not true? He will have to tear up something, to break in on you. You are not going to be caught by surprise; Right? Likewise Jesus is not coming for the Bride, by slipping up on her. It is the professing Christians, that are all caught up in worldliness, those that claim to know so much, yet know so very little, that are going to get surprised; when Jesus takes His Bride, and they are left here to face the great tribulation. Look how Jesus warned that first century. Did that siege of Jerusalem take those Christians by surprise? They had been looking for it for years; and they recognized the signs, when it was time to flee to the mountains. It was almost 40 years; before it came about; but with those words ringing in their heart’s, they were ready. Sure some of those who heard Him say that, had died before it came; but there were others that lived to see it come, and they were ready. When ti got close to that hour, they knew exactly what to do. They knew exactly where to go. The point is this, When we see these signs hanging here in this religious world, as well as in the political world, and we have already observed the fig tree for over 40 years, and know it is in full foliage today, we had better know the time is short, for us to make our final preparations to meet Him (JESUS) in the air. Israel is the fifth major military power in the world. In fact the Jerusalem Post states that other nations, from Latin America, and South America, as well as Africa, are signing contracts with the Israeli industrial military manufacturers of weapons. Israel is moving to the front, in being able to produce some of the most modern, highly sophisticated military weapons there is on the face of this earth. No doubt as we get closer to the end, it is going to be a way God causes that nation to more and more be able to make the money that is needed, for whatever is to transpire, to bring the rest of the Jews home, in order for all the necessary fruit to be there. With all these signs hanging here before us, we would be foolish Gentile Christians, if we just ride off down the road, taking no heed to the fact of when He can come for His Church. His coming for His Church is what is right at the door. That is why He follows up in the other verses of Matthew 24, saying, “Then shall two be in the field;’ the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broke up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Where will they be taken to? In the translation, (the rapture) Luke says, Two will be grinding at the mill. That speaks of industry. One will be taken, the other left. Two in the field. That is the agriculture. One will be the taken, the other left. It very plainly says, Some will be ready, and some will not be ready. Some will be thinking, I still have to do So and So; before I will be able to get back in church regular. In other words, Some are going to be living too much for this old world, and ignoring these signs, when His coming for the Church is right at the door. That is why Jesus put it in this perspective, using this summer scene, He knew those who were ordained to take heed, would take heed; and all the rest would go on doing whatever they were doing, not really believing that the time is at hand. They ought to realize why Israel is back in their homeland, and being blessed as they are; but spiritual blindness prevents it. Nevertheless all these thing we are seeing fulfilled in the spiritual realm are hanging before us; and what Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled,” should cause us to be a little anxious, knowing what we know. That is why I chose this title, THIS GENERATION, for this message; I wanted it to be a focal point. When we see all these things then this generation will not pass away before Jesus takes His bride to glory and starts the count down for the climax of this whole thing. I may be dead; and a lot of you older ones may be dead; but I know this, there are some sitting here that will see the consummation of all Jesus was referring to. When I say older ones, I do not mean to infer that all the older ones are going to be dead. The very prophecy itself lets us know there has to be enough of the older ones who remember the war, (WW2) that started this whole thing unfolding, live to see the whole thing carried right straight on up to the coming of the Messiah. Whether I am alive or not, changes nothing.
This we know assuredly, according to Paul’s revelation, whether we live to see it all climax, or whether we die and lie in the ground until ti comes, all who prepare to go with the Lord when He comes to take His Church to glory will go together. Before anyone goes up, all who went into the grave prepared to meet Him, will come out of that grave and ascend in immortal bodies, just like all the rest. Hallelujah! The point we are looking at in this message is this, We are seeing earthquakes, or hearing about them, we are hearing about the various devastations hitting various areas of the world, and I am persuaded that there will be other things hitting this old world, that will let us know, we had better be sure we are walking with God. We had better be in fellowship with out God, walking with Him in a way He can communicate with us. This thing is moving rapidly. The year 2000 is just ahead. When you think about it, that is not very far away at all. In fact it is too short, for the way a lot of people are living. I am not saying the year 2000, marks anything; but I would sure hate to see this century end, and me not be ready to meet the Lord; after all the opportunity He has given me to be ready. Any way you look at it, we are moving rapidly toward the development of some kind of world shaking trend. Only God knows for sure just exactly what is ahead for this old world; but we are without excuse; if we are taken by surprise in anything.
A LOOK BACKWARD
Let us go back about 3400 years; and watch the beginning of the story. The children of Israel went down into Egypt, just as a few families, to get away from a drought stricken area. God ordained that of course; to make His word come to pass. He told Abraham, Your seed will sojourn in a strange land for 400 and some years. Afterward, when the iniquity of the Amorites is full, (In other words, when God is ready to judge them, then He will call for this chosen race of people, the seed of Abraham) you will return. Time passed, and 1450 before the advent of Christ, God sent Moses to tell the children of Abraham, in Egyptian bondage, that He had heard their cries. He had seen their hard labor and everything. He was going to come down to deliver them. Here is what we need to look at though, When you read in Genesis the things that begin to transpire, you will surely realize that things did not immediately get better for them the very minute those Israelites were told, God has heard your cries, and your prayers; and He is going to come down to deliver you. No. Things got worse. Saints: I am not a doomsday prophet; but there is one thing sure, we are not riding on a wagon with rubber tires and bells, and all the tapestry; just passing right on through this life. No. We are moving toward an event that is going to be just as real for you and me as it was for every one of those Israelites that walked out of Egypt; (I am talking about the rapture) but there are some things to face before it comes. Yes the rapture is going to be just as real for us, as walking across the Red Sea on dry ground was for those Israelites. It is absolutely fantastic, to think that God is literally going to change our vile bodies into immortality; and transport us to glory; but I believe with all my heart, that this is exactly what is going to happen one day soon. He is going to resurrect the dead in Christ, and take us away to glory. No airplanes, and no rockets will be needed. There will not be anyone holding up the flight while they get an engine serviced and lined up just right. God knows exactly what He is going to do. The main point is, It may get dark, as far as the world and things the devil throws at you goes; but when the time comes, nothing the devil does is going to keep those who are ready, from going with the Lord. Those who look for the coming of Christ in the right way, will make it; no matter what the devil does. What kept so many of that great multitude that came out of Egypt by the hand of God from going all the way into the promised land? It was unbelief. You cannot have faith in something, and at the same time have unbelief about it. Faith and unbelief are no more compatible than light and darkness are. One will always drive the other away.
SOME OF THE SIGNS THE BRIDE WATCHES
Verse 36, in this 24th chapter of Matthew says, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Brothers and sisters, we do not need to know the day and hour that Jesus will return; just knowing the season is sufficient. Those who have it in their heart’s to live for God, have no need to know exactly how much time is left. That is only for those who want to live for the world until He starts His descent; and then rush to make themselves ready. It will be too late then. Nevertheless we have all we need, to keep us alert and watching for His return. We will read these next verses again; for they tell us where we are time wise. Verse 37, “But as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” We certainly do have the equivalent of the days of Noah here right now. Sexual perversion is so commonplace most people hardly bat an eye at it. The News is full of all types of violence almost every day anymore; and there is little that can be done about it. Teenage crime is at an all time high; and thousands of little grade school children are hooked on dope; which accounts for a lot of the crime. That is how they get the money to support their habit. As I think about the days of Noah, and of Lot, I think about how the secular world has tried to glorify Elvis Presley. He is the one that started that shaking, quaking, rock to music that is now called Rock and Roll. Back in the 1950’s, he stepped out upon a stage and started that type of what the world calls, entertainment; and before very long others picked it up; and now they call it Hard Rock. That is about all you can get on a lot of radio stations today. That kind of music is associated with devil worship and demonology; and you cannot play around with it without becoming a part of it. Listen to me, young people; Elvis Presley died a miserable death, because he knew he had sold himself to the devil. Furthermore what is just as bad, is that there are a lot of people today, that believe he is not dead. Some time ago, I noticed the headlines on one of those gossip magazines you see in the grocery stores, that said, Space satellite has sent back message, A statue of Elvis Presley has been found on Jupiter. Satellite is all shook up. If you believe any such stuff, you will get all shook up. The point is, that is a spirit for these last days. Run from it! You cannot entertain it and love it without becoming part of it. NO, “As it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; (Brother, when you take Matt. 24, and Luke 17 together, you get a pretty good picture of what Jesus said this old world would be like just prior to the time when the judgment of God strikes it again; and if you know anything at all, you know every rotten, evil condition that existed before the flood, and before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, is present in our societies today. ) But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them al. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” You may laugh now, and make fun of us old fashioned folks who believe what is written in here; but the day will come, that you will scream and cry for one of these old fanatics to come and pray for you; and it will be too late. Your chance to repent and receive God’s mercy will have passed; and you will be left to reap the reward of the wicked, just like all of those who laughed at Noah in his day. I may be among those who are considered old fashioned; but let me tell you, I believe every word of this book; (The Bible) and I am persuaded that we are approaching the end of time. At least the end of this Gentile age, when God’s wrath will judge all ungodliness.
TRUTH ABOUT THE SEVENTH SEAL
The fact that we have wickedness in the streets of our cities is one thing; but there are things being done supposedly in the name of the Lord that is almost as bad. I have said for years, Religion is cruel; and I still say so today. Satanic spirits have taken over; in many places where the Lord used to be respected and His word held to be true, even though the people did not have the revelation then, that true children of God in this generation have. In other words, when you look at things in the light of what Jesus spoke in these parables, you have to conclude that this is the generation He was talking about. Even in this, (What is referred to as the Branham following), it is hard to find very many people who have the message he brought, straight in their mind’s. Take the seventh seal of Revelation 8:1, for instance. For the past twenty some years, I have done my best as a brother in the Lord; and as a preacher, to tell people the seventh seal has not been broken yet; but there are people running the world over, telling that the revelation of it was given by Bro. William Branham; when the first six were revealed. Brothers and sisters, the seventh seal is still intact even this very hour. It definitely has not been revealed. These people who are preaching that the seven seals were revealed in 1963, when the revelation of the other six came, have missed the boat. They no longer know what to look for. They will tell you that the seven thunders was the revelation of the seven seals; but I am here to tell you that the seven thunders have not sounded yet either. I want to read from the Seven Seal Book, the exact words of Bro. William Branham. These sermons were preached in March and April 1963. I have said many times, Though Bro. William Branham, was an uneducated man like me and a lot of other hillbillies, (meaning simply that we are very poor in speaking with proper grammar); he still got the message of truth out, to those who had an ear to hear what the Spirit was saying to the Church. We do not always know an adjective from a noun, and things like that; but that does not keep God from speaking to a man whose hart and motives are right. God ordained it to be that way; to confound those highly educated theologians who believe God only speaks through educated people. We are reading from page 575 in the Seals book. I do not intend to preach to you out of it; but I want you to hear what he said about the seventh seal. I have said, He was the only man this side of the Reformation that has through the years, spoken in dual terms; one statement being according to the true revelation, and the other being according to man’s traditional ideas. Therefore because certain things were said in 1963, which is in the seal book, other men have risen on the scene and said, Those things that were said prior to this, if it was not just like this, they are not to be taken as Thus Saith the Lord. They will tell you that this is the Thus Saith the Lord for our day. This is the pure true word revelation. This is why we will take this now, and it is our Bible; they will say. Here is what he said about the seventh seal. He is giving reference to some things that he had said in the sixth seal, to come to this seventh seal. Listen, “Did you notice when the Jews asked Him that? (Meaning in Acts the first chapter, where the disciples asked Jesus, Wilt thou now deliver the kingdom to Israel? And He said, It is not for you to know the times nor the season which the Father has kept in His own power and authority. In other words, that is Jesus’ way of saying. You don’t need to know that now, because that is not the important thing. But you will receive power. In other words Jesus is saying, Get your mind straightened out. Stop worrying about these other natural things. He gives reference to that. You know when we compared the Scripture here with Matthew 24 with the six Seals, the Seventh Seal was left out; (It is true the seventh seal is not in the sixth chapter. It is only mentioned in the eighth chapter. It goes to show, that there is a sequence of time.) Because, you see, Christ said only God Himself knew–not even the Angels. No wonder, it wasn’t even written. You see, they hushed–nothing taken place then. Angels don’t know it; nobody knows when He’s coming. But there’ll be a…There’ll be seven voices of these thunders that will reveal the great revelation at that time. So, I believe, to us who…if we don’t know it, and it won’t be known ‘til that time, but it will be revealed in that day, in the hour that it’s supposed to be revealed in. So, the thing for us to do is to be reverent before God and serve Him, and do all that we know how to do, and live good Christian lives. Here now, we find that the Sixth Seal has been opened to us; we see it, and cannot be broke to the public until that hour arrives. Now, there was some reason that God let this seven voices be thundered, because it must come, see, for they…we find that Christ, the Lamb, took the Book in His hand, and He opened that Seventh Seal. But you see, it’s a hidden mystery. No one knows it. But it…right along with what He said: no one would know His coming; they also would not know about this seven thunder mystery. So you see, it’s connected together.” I will stop reading right there for now. What he was actually saying was, When the seventh seal is broken, that is what unlocks the thunders. Then the thunders will sound things that are not written. That is why God kept them from being recorded, or anything mentioned about it in the other dispensation. Notice here, as I read this, “That much we have an understanding of it today, because the rest of it is all unfolded, but this is not unfolded. But sitting in my room, and I heard this…not heard it, (notice how he is talking) rather, but seen it unfold to this seven thunders. Now, that’s as far as we can go, right there. And now I trust that each and every one of you will serve God, and do that which is right, and love Him all your life and serve Him, and God will take care of the rest. (It has been twenty some years since this was preached.) Now, we have in the completion here by, by the grace of God, all the mysteries of the six Seals, (That is what I have said for twenty some years.) That’s been sealed up, and we understand and know here that the Seventh Seal is not to be known to the public.” Brothers and Sisters, I say this, If they have done such harm to this message in the other things, what would it be like, if whatever the seven thunders uttered, and was forbidden to be written, had been written? What if it had been made known to the public twenty some years ago? What do you think people would have done with it? It would have been so fouled up by now, the Lord Himself would not be able to recognize it as anything that ever pertained to a true revelation. Anyhow Bro. William Branham plainly said, It is not to be made known to the public now; God will see to it, that by the time it is to be made known through those thunders, the people that it is for will be spiritually in line; and their mind’s will be in shape to absorb it. The rest will be so far away, they will not even be looking for the coming of the Lord. Now here is another remark he made. “You see Israel gathering in its own homeland. But you notice, He omitted the revelation of this Seventh Seal. And here when the Seventh Seal, when He opened it, He also omitted it again, see. So we see that it is a complete mystery, therefore, the hour is not yet for this mystery to be known, therefore, we’re this far and the rest of it will be known right around about the time that Jesus appears on earth again for His Bride, or whatever takes place at that time.” I do not see how anyone can read those words, and still say the seventh seal was broken when the other six were broken an revealed. I will read something to you from the Seven Church Ages Book, page 327; then I will tell you why people are going backward, instead of forward. This is what God wanted the man to say about the seventh seal, and about the thunders to come later. I care not what this preacher or that preacher may say; nor how holy he or she may look, there are things in printed form today, that we are going to have to get straightened out. If we do not get the seventy weeks of Daniel straightened out, and know what we believe, and why we believe it, someone is bound to get time all fouled up. You can have pictures of Bro. William Branham hanging in your houses from basement to attic, and from hallway to stairway; but if you do not have a revelation of what God meant for that man to say to us, and give it the right respect, you are going to stay here when Jesus takes His Church to glory. Yes, I said you are going to stay here. You are not one bit better than those Asene Jews of Jesus’ day, who were so holy they stayed completely away from everyone else. Jesus never did go to them. That is why I can say now, The time has come. The generation Jesus was pointing to is alive today. His words are not pointing to that apostolic generation that walked with Him in the natural; they are pointing to you and me. I say also, Whosoever reads it, let him understand; lest he be left here to face the great tribulation; and the wrath of God.