AS MOST OF OUR READERS KNOW BY NOW, WE ARE WORKING OUR WAY THROUGH A SERIES OF MESSAGES THAT PRESENT A VERY IMPORTANT PROFILE OF GOD’S DEALING WITH MANKIND FROM HIS BEGINNING RIGHT ON THROUGH TO THE END. WE HAVE EVEN GONE BACK BEFORE ADAM’S BEGINNING, BACK TO THE PREHISTORIC TIME WHEN SATAN HIMSELF WAS AN ARCHANGEL BY THE NAME OF LUCIFER; AND SHOWED YOU WHY LUCIFER WAS CAST DOWN FROM HIS ORIGINAL POSITION, TO BECOME KNOWN AS THE DEVIL, THE ENEMY OF GOD AND OF HIS HUMAN FAMILY. WE CALLED THAT PART, “THE TESTING AND FALL OF SATAN”. FROM THERE, WE WENT TO THE MESSAGE CALLED, “THE TWO LAWS OF EDEN”, WHICH SHOW BEYOND ANY SHADOW OF DOUBT WHAT THE ORIGINAL SIN IN THE GARDEN OF PARADISE WAS. WE THEN GAVE YOU “THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL”, TAKEN FROM REVELATION, CHAPTER 14, TO CLEAR YOUR MIND’S OF ANY MISCONCEPTION ABOUT WHAT THAT GOSPEL IS, AND WHAT IT IS DESIGNED TO ACCOMPLISH DURING THE LAST HALF OF WHAT WE REFER TO AS “THE SEVENTIETH WEEK OF DANIEL”, WHICH IS THE LAST SEVEN YEARS OF TIME ALLOTTED TO MAN BEFORE JESUS RETURNS IN BODILY FORM TO SET UP HIS KINGDOM ON EARTH. WE DEALT WITH “THE WOMAN OF MYSTERY” OF REVELATION, CHAPTER 12, TO BE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THE WOMAN CLOTHED WITH THE SUN, WITH THE MOON UNDER HER FEET AND A CROWN OF TWELVE STARS UPON HER HEAD, IS THE NATION OF ISRAEL IN HER MILLENNIAL GLORY; AND NOT THE BRIDE OF CHRIST. THE “AGE OF REGENERATION” MESSAGE SHOWS GOD’S REDEMPTION PLAN AS IT HAS BEEN WORKING AMONG LOST MANKIND DURING THIS DISPENSATION OF GRACE; AND THE “THREE PHASES OF THE FIRST RESURRECTION” MESSAGE, CLEARS UP MISUNDERSTANDING ON THE FIRST AND LAST RESURRECTION. THAT BRINGS US TO THE POINT WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW, IN THIS SERIES OF MESSAGES; SO LET US TAKE SOME TIME TO LOOK AT THIS STRANGE BUNCH OF GENTILES THE GOSPEL MESSAGE HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED TO FOR THE LAST ALMOST TWO THOUSAND YEARS; BEFORE WE CLIMAX THE SERIES WITH “THE FALSE PROPHET”, AND “THE CITY OF PARADISE” MESSAGES.
MAN’S WAY OF DOING THE WORKS OF GOD
Israel is working very hard, in an economic way, to make room for all these Russian immigrants that have been coming back. While at one time the census, I believe was a little over three million Jews in Russia, we do not have to believe that all three million have to go back to Israel in order to constitute the fulfillment of whatever God has planned. Nevertheless, if these that are going back are the remnant of the ten Northern tribes, there will be enough of them get back there to fulfill the scriptures. Out of those that are back in the land, there will definitely be a 144,000 as it states in the 7th chapter of Revelation, sealed with the Holy Ghost. Twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, is what that number amounts to. One chief Rabbi made the statement that they as Jewish people, though religious they may be, (he was a religious orthodox Jewish rabbi) he was against this thing of the Jewish people thinking this great exodus was leading to some kind of Messianic fervor. He stated how the Israeli people had been disturbed too many times before by false Messianic hopes that never did amount to anything. Well, you know, you cannot help but ask the question, When Paul said that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, what point in time are we looking for? Here we are, nineteen hundred years beyond Paul’s statement; and we would have to be totally blind, not to see that the signs of the time we are living in, are exactly what Jesus said we would see prior to His return; so we need not be in total ignorance about this thing that is taking place in the world. God is shaking everything into place for the end time wind up. According to what we read in the scriptures, we are definitely just short of that great event of the coming of Jesus for His bride Church. What it will take to open the eyes of those Jews and make them realize that they have not come back to the land of their forefathers just to have a secular state, to be able to be independent from other nations, and have their own economy, only the Lord Himself knows. I do know this, they will not go on for hundreds of years of time before they have the chance to meet their Messiah. Their Messiah is none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Yes saints, we can truly sing that little chorus, He’s Coming Soon; and know that it is close at hand. Well we have a little thought to go along with what we see taking place in the world today. There have been several things develop lately that will have a direct bearing on the whole picture we are looking at. Turn with me in your Bible’s, to the 10th chapter of Acts. There are some young people even in this assembly, that I want to relate some of these things to. Many times, they hear us mention the name William Branham, along with other things, that might leave a big question in their minds, What does this all add up to? Therefore I will try to answer some of those questions. As a child growing up, I heard an aunt of mine mention a man in the Jeffersonville area who was supposed to have an unusual ministry. He prayed for sick people and they were miraculously healed by the power of God. At that time, as a little boy growing up, none of these things meant very much to me. They did not seem to be all that important to me. You all know my testimony, I did not want to be too religious because I thought it leaned towards fanaticism; and God forbid that I get tangled up in religious fanaticism. I read articles, where people would get so religious they would pluck their eyes out, cut their fingers off; and all sorts of things like that. I just simply could not see anyone having that kind of religion. I thought, To be a godly person was to be honest, never curse, pay your debts, stay out of trouble, and everything was bound to work out all right. Well if that is all there is to it, there would not have been any need of a Saviour] dying on the cross of Calvary to pay our sin debt. That kind of man or woman would never realize their need for a Savior until the Spirit of God somehow gets their attention turned to the fact of what the Bible says about us. Romans 3:10, says, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (3:11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (3:20) Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (3:23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (4:3) For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Man’s nature is to be rebellious. He has a nature to be as earthly minded as possible. He is not going to seek after God just out of his own instinct, or his own will. It is just not in man’s fallen nature he is born with to sock after God. For various reasons some try to be religious; but just being a religious person, without that personal relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, has no benefit whatsoever to your lost condition. You can be very religious, and still be on your way to hell; for true salvation only comes by accepting the only provision available to lost mankind; and that is the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Natural minded mankind, without the Spirit of God bringing him under conviction, wants a religion that will not humiliate his dignity, nor bring him to any kind of confession of his wrong way of life. Well that is what salvation is all about, confession of our rebellious ways and forsaking them. Every man, woman and child has to one day face up to the fact, that we as human beings are born into this world as sinners. When we begin to reach an age of accountability, our nature begins to be rebellious towards the right things of God. You have heard people say, I have always been religious. Cain was too; but he missed God by a million miles, even after God told him, Do that which is right and you will be accepted. He just simply did not have it in his makeup to humble himself before God and do right. He wanted to do what he thought was best; no matter what anyone said to him. It just goes to show, man has a self willed attitude about him that he does not want anyone else to tell him what he needs to do, especially what he needs to do to make things right with God. While I was in the Methodist Church God saved my soul. He did that because I came to Him the right way, repentant; but At that time I knew nothing at all about what we now call the Holy Ghost movement, Pentecost. I knew nothing about divine healing, the gifts of the Spirit nor anything like that. Most Methodists today, if they know anything at all, about all they know is that their church system dates back to the days of John Wesley. They could never trace beyond that point; yet the true Church of Jesus Christ can be traced right on back through the Dark Ages, all the way back to the days of the first apostles. They (Methodist) could never connect what they believe, with early Christendom that we read about in the book of Acts. That Church in the book of Acts did not worship a three person God, or maybe I should say, a God manifested in three persons. They knew assuredly that God is a Spirit; and that His only begotten Son Jesus, was the only person in the Godhead. However because these modern day church people called Methodists were born into families that were Methodist by name, they just automatically became Methodist themselves; but most of them would have a hard time explaining why they are Methodist. I am not saying this to belittle any individual person, I am only laying facts on the line.
YOU CAN BE RELIGIOUS AND STILL GO TO HELL
We are Gentiles, living 1900 years after the advent of Christ, and 1900 years after the first century of Christendom. In our religious systems that exist today, people are fast becoming religious pagans. When you start talking like that, someone naturally gets offended and says, You are talking about my church. Absolutely. That is exactly what I am doing; because, if I were to take you back 1900 years when there were no such designations as Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Pentecostals, you would see Christendom, the true Church of Christ, called only by the designation Christians. Where did those people come from? Was it because they were born in families of Christians? You know they were not. They were either converts out of Judaistic families that had a vague knowledge of the Old Testament Law, or they were pagans.
GOD’S COVENANTS AND THEIR RECIPIENTS
God’s first covenant of salvation, which contained types and shadows of better things to come, was given to the Jews. He gave that covenant to only one nation. That one nation was to show forth a type of what God was doing in the earth to redeem lost mankind; and they were to be a light to the Gentile world round about them; However it was not long until they had lost that purpose and objective and no longer were a light. They quickly drifted into the tendencies of what other nations about them were doing. Therefore, instead of them being a means that would cause Gentiles to change their way of life, it wasn’t long until they began to change their way of life instead, to be more like the Gentiles. They began to pick up the ways of the Gentiles. That is why I say, The early Christians were brought in, either out of Judaism, or ancient paganism. Paganism was the religious structure of all Gentile people. Gentiles worshipped many different deities; but none of them could give life. When you go through some of the ancient cities of the ancient world, like old Corinth, Athens Greece, and places like that, you see the remains of ancient deity temples. In most nations they had a god for everything. It depended upon what the particular need of the person was, what god that person would worship. That is how they come and worshipped. That is the condition the Gentiles were found in when the gospel of Jesus Christ came to them. The revelation of Jesus Christ, when it was first given to the Gentiles, was not just some man giving them a story about a man born in Israel. It was a story for sure; but it was a story that became quickened by the presence of the Holy Ghost to give eternal life to all who would believe the story and accept its Provisions. The Holy Ghost, sooner or later, would do some kind of miraculous work, a supernatural display of His presence. The Holy Ghost is none other than the Spirit of God Himself, the great Creator which is able to convey to even Gentile pagan worshipers the revelation of Jesus Christ, and to make Gentiles understand that the words he or she is hearing, are the absolute words of God. Therefore Christianity became a body of people made up mostly of Gentiles, with converted Jews in it, and that being the structure and condition of early Christendom, God was still able to blend those people together in such a unity and understanding of what the faith of Jesus Christ is, there was no way they could have believed in a trinity, as long as those first age saints were alive. They knew they had received the baptism of that same Spirit they had been allowed to see manifesting Himself in so many miraculous ways. The Spirit of God in those people, in that body of believers, is what made up the body that caused Paul to write, “For we are all baptized by one Spirit into one body.” This made the believers, even though they had been worshipers of pagan deities, temples of the living God. Just think of it, those Gentiles were never told they had to go back and compare their life with the Old Testament scriptures. No. What they received they received it apart from the Law. For several years, as Christendom started out, there was yet no Ncw Testament written. The writing of the four Gospels in the New Testament, came about by the various writers writing what they had observed during the time of Christ’s presence here on earth. However they were not written until years after Christ had ascended to heaven and the Church was very active carrying on the works He had started. As the years passed and Christianity began to spread out and take on its universal structure, conditions soon began to develop within those various assemblies that necessitated some kind of response come forth from the different apostles, depending upon whom their existence was attributed to. Most of them were ministered to mainly by the apostle Paul; because he was the apostle to the Gentiles. Nevertheless certain apostles wrote various letters dealing with conditions that concern conduct, behavior, and the moral fiber of the Church body. That is what you read in the various epistles. By about thirty years after Pentecost, the four gospels were all written, and most of the epistles were written. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ was in motion among the Gentiles; and the Jews, you could say, were put on hold. The Gentiles had been given the revelation of a new covenant message. What I mean by a New Covenant is this, The dispensation of Grace we are living in, is that new covenant of salvation God said He would make with the house of Israel after those days, meaning of course, after the Law period had run its course. We all know Jesus Christ according to the scriptures, was born of woman in the fullness of time as the Law dispensation had ran its course and come to maturity. It was all typed right here in the scriptures by certain festivities the Jews observed. I am not going to go into the calendar in a complete coverage, but just give you a little information to consider. The Israeli people do not observe the solar year. They observe a lunar year based upon the new moon. The month of Abib, which corresponds approximately, (and when I say approximately, you have to realize that over a period of so many years it will fluctuate between the 21st of March and somewhere up into a certain period in April) but when it is in proper balance, it will appear somewhere after the equinox, the 21st of March. This new moon marks the beginning of the Israeli lunar year. It all goes back to the time they were brought out of Egyptian bondage. The Passover Lamb was put up; and on the evening of the 14th day of that new month, (starting after the beginning of that new moon) it was slain. Most of you know enough about your calendar, that you know there are only approximately 29 and one half full days in a month, when you mark it that way. That means this, When you start with the new moon and come 14 days later, (since the Israeli day does not begin at midnight like ours does in our Roman measurement, but begins at sundown) in the evening on the 14th day, you are actually leaving the 14th day and starting the 15th day. That is when the Passover Lamb is slain. That means as the moon comes up that night, it is entering the 15th day of its growth, and the 15th day after the new moon, brings the moon to full round. I hope you are following me in this. That means that Christ, (the true Passover Lamb) had to appear on the scene and be crucified, (some number of centuries later) when the Law, (which was a reflection of what was to come, like the moon is of the sun) had come to the end of 1450 years and was reaching maturity. Jesus was born, grew up into manhood, presented Himself to the nation of Israel, and when the Passover season was in motion, on the evening of that 14th day of that month of Abib, (or Nisan, as the Jews called it after the Babylonian exile) God seeing that the Law dispensation had come to its fullness, with all of its types pointing to this very time, Christ is on the scene, ready to bring the whole thing to a climax. As the Jews slew their sacrificial Passover lamb, so was Jesus the true Passover Lamb slain. He first ate the Passover supper with His disciples; but by 9 o’clock the next morning, He Himself was hanging on that old cross. That meant this, The moon, during the night, was full. That meant also, that the Law was full. It tells us in the Roman scriptures that Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness and salvation; and since that time every one of us have had to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to obtain salvation. He was the end of the Law, as far as righteousness is concerned. Therefore seeing that the types ran their full course and were all fulfilled in Jesus Christ, we have to realize that God made another covenant; and when He made another covenant, that covenant was the dispensation of Grace that we are living in, which all is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ and His redemptive work at Calvary, This is according to what God spoke through His prophet Jeremiah. Notice, (31:31-31:34) “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they break, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” God, dwelling in the believer, is the One that does the instructing and teaching now. Which literally means, you no longer have to rely naturally and carnally upon the basis of what merits righteousness, just because of what man has said. If you are truly a child of God, then the Spirit of God is inside of you. He is taking your human intelligence, your spiritual ; makeup, and quickening to it what you need for spiritual growth. The Holy Ghost (which is what that Spirit in you is called) leads you to the revealed truth of the word of God, enabling us to walk pleasing to our Creator. Though it is true that I am standing here teaching and instructing you, your salvation is not based upon how much you learn just from the words I am speaking to you. It is the Holy Ghost in you saying Amen, that is right, and so forth, that is really doing the teaching. When the Holy Ghost was first given to believers, on the day of Pentecost almost two thousand years ago, it was first given to the Jews. This is when that New Covenant began. God made it with the house of Israel. Therefore salvation was to the Jew first; but the nation as a whole, rejected it; and it was offered to the Gentiles; and Gentiles have had the responsibility of carrying the gospel message to the world ever since. God raised up a Jewish apostle by the name of Paul. He told him he would be a light to the Gentiles; and that he would be a means of salvation to the ends of the earth, meaning to the end of time. That meant his message, sooner or e the earth, so to speak, and would reach throughout the various generations that would follow one after the other. This new covenant was forerun by the apostles who first ministered to the Jewish nation; but when God saw the Jewish nation as a whole, rejecting it, He got His quota from among them and turned His atten-tion toward the Gentiles. Individual Jews could still be saved, but attention was primarily focused upon the Gentiles. When God turned to the Gentiles, this began to fulfill various prophecies of the scriptures that up until that hour had not been understood. As we look back through the past 1900 years, the things that have transpired, you can see how the prophets of old were prophesying about you and me. Yet, they did not understand any of it. How could they understand what they were saying about Gentiles, who in their natural way of looking upon them, were just pagans, idol worshipers, unclean dogs. They grew up to think of all Gentiles in that way. They could not have known how God would perfect praise among the Gentiles. When the apostle Paul came upon the scene and started his ministry among the Asiatic Gentile people, he had the understanding that God was giving Gentiles that same covenant of eternal life that had been given to the Jews that had received it. Yes saints, for over 1900 years now the only way anyone has found God’s salvation, has been through faith and trust in the shed blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
ACTIONS OF TRUE FAITH V/S SPIRITUAL IGNORANCE
By 70 AD., Jerusalem was invaded. God had about a million of those Jews slain; but not a one of those early Christian Jews were harmed. Do you know why? Because they remembered the words of Jesus that they heard when they were standing out there on the mountain. When you see Jerusalem compassed with great armies, then let him which is in Judaea (meaning the countryside) not come into the city. Flee to the mountains. Get away from here as fast as you can. Those that are in the city, don’t come down from the housetop, and think you are going to take your furniture and everything with you. Get out of here, for these be the days of vengeance, that all things that are written may be fulfilled. In 69 A.D. when the Roman army came, those Christian Jews that were still there in the city of Jerusalem, and scattered throughout the Holy land, knew this was the sign Jesus had spoken of. They fled into other regions beyond their borders. Not one of those Christians were martyred or sacrificed by the Roman army. After that though, pre-eminence has been among the Gentiles, as far as the gospel of Jesus Christ is concerned. God even sent us a Gentile prophet messenger; yet when you say something about it to most people today, they will deny the possibility of such a thing. The very idea of God sending a last day prophet to the Gentiles, just simply blows the mind of a lot of Gentiles in the world today. They will emphatically deny it saying, It is not written in the Bible that Gentiles ever had a prophet. That is the way they want to look at the whole thing; but let us go back to the Bible and see what it says. First I want to read my base text, which is Acts 10:24; and show you why I say, Gentiles are a strange people. We are a strange people. We are not only a people with different colored eyes, different colored hair, we have blue eyes, gray eyes, brown eyes, green eyes, and all such like, Jews are not like that. I am just using that as an example. We are also a people with multiple ideas. One says this, and another will say something else. It is just our makeup. It is hard to find six Gentiles that will look at the same thing and come up with the same opinion. We are just that way. Therefore, in the book of Acts, we are going to look at two scriptures. The apostle Peter, being a Jew, (and this is approximately eight and a half years after the descent of the Holy Ghost) had an experience on the housetop of a friend at Joppa. Afterward, he goes, (being led by these ) Gentile men) to Caesarea, to preach to a people he knows nothing about. It was all signified in the vision he had on the housetop. Let us read Acts 10:24 now. And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends. And as Peter was coming in, (Watch what a happens. This is a picture of our ancient ancestors. I do not care whether you are Irish, Italian, German, French, Greek, or what have you, this is a description of our ancestry.) Cornelius met him, (He was a Greek.) and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.” Him, who? Peter, of course. Who is Peter? He was a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ He was one of those chosen to be an apostle of Jesus Christ; but he knew nothing about what would happen later on, as the Church lost its original guards of the faith. At this point (the time of Peter’s meeting with Cornelius) Peter knew nothing about there ever being a great so-called “Church,” (which in reality is just a system of religion) that would use his name saying that they are built upon Him. No. This occasion with Cornelius took place many years before Catholicism ever came into existence. The popes today will tell you they are the successors of the apostle Peter; but that is just their word: there is no scripture for such a thing. There is no way they can be a successor of the apostle Peter. First, they do not believe nor live like Peter did. Neither do they preach what he preached. They believe in a trinity of Gods; and Peter had a true revelation of the Godhead, knowing that God is a sovereign Spirit, and that He is not a person. There is just simply no comparison of the Popes of Rome to the apostle Peter. If Peter were alive today and stepped into one of those pagan prison’s of the soul’s of unsuspecting mankind, you would hear him scream loud and clear, “Tear this thing down! I hate it!” Anyhow Cornelius, (a Greek) has had a vision and seen an angel; and the angel has told him what to do. This was the beginning of salvation for this Gentile Greek and his household, which I believe were all his relatives. Nevertheless just as he had always fell down prostrate, to worship before ancient deities in the past, he had the same idea about Peter: that this is the proper way to receive him into their midst. He just fell right down before Peter to worship him. Well I want you to notice what this true servant of God did in response to that gesture. Notice the 26th verse, (Acts 10:26) “But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.” No Jew in his right mind, would tolerate any such as that. They were the ones that had the true revelation of the existence, and of the substance of the true, One God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We have another such instance in the 14th chapter of Acts; with Paul and Bamabas over in Asia. This is just a few short years beyond Peter’s experience with Cornelius; and it took place in an area that today is called Turkey. This is the area where early Gentile Christendom got its start.
GOD’S SERVANTS REJECTING WORSHIP
In Acts 14:8, we read these words, “And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: (This shows the setting for what took place afterward.) The same heard Paul speak: who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, (Paul discerned that this man had faith to be healed.) Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. (Now let us notice this Gentile response to the miracle God had performed in their midst.) And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. (Do you wonder why I chose this scripture to read? It is because I want to parallel it with this present age; and show you what Gentiles will still do, when the Spirit of conviction is lifted from them.) And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.” Those Gentiles that had seen that miracle and heard what was said, immediately got an idea, The gods have come down to us! and they were ready to worship Paul and Barnabas right there, and then. This lets us know, those ancient pagans worshipped planetary gods. If they did not worship the god of the sun, they worshipped the god of Jupiter. They thought all of those planets out there, had a deity responsible for them, that should be worshipped. “Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. (Those apostles had an opportunity to rob God of His glory like we see many people doing today: but notice how they reacted.) Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, (meaning, with the same human feelings) and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities (vain religious traditions) unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.” There is no way a Gentile convert in that first age of Christianity could have gotten by with such behavior, without being made to realize how vain it was. They were made to realize that the resurrected Christ that was being preached among them, though He could not be seen with the natural eye, was exemplified in the lives of those doing the preaching. Therefore when the people saw the right picture and turned their nature to worship in the proper direction, they became very enthusiastic; because they were not preached to about a god of history. They were being preached to about a living God that is ever present and ready to take up His abode in every individual one of them right then and there, if they would believe the gospel message and surrender to that One true and living God. That is why they so easily received the Holy Ghost, (which is the Spirit of that God Paul and Barnabas preached about) and became living examples of the grace and mercy of God. Some will say, But I thought we receive the Spirit of Christ when we receive the Holy Ghost. Saints there is no difference. When that sovereign Spirit which is the Creator incarnated His only begotten Son Jesus there in the river of Jordan that day, they became one Spirit. Therefore when a believer receives the Holy Ghost, that person receives the combined Spirit’s of both the Father and the Son. That is why, when we yield to the leading of that Spirit within us, he will remold our character, and cause us to reflect the same likeness of character and spirituality that was manifested in the person of Jesus. That is what caused the apostle Paul to write as he did to the Colossians, (1:25-27) “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Yes, it is Christ in us which gives us this hope of glory. We could never attain unto it without the Holy Ghost leading our lives. As we read of the life and ministry of Jesus, we cannot help but try to imagine how wonderful it would have been, to sit there in the boat when He stilled the storm; or when He came walking on the water that night and rescued Peter from sinking, or to have been there when He was on the mountain side and fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes. We would have said it was wonderful, because having been a partaker of the display of the power of God like that we would naturally, at least from the human standpoint, feel like it was very special; but let me say this, from the standpoint of spiritual benefit, those who knew Jesus according to the flesh had no more favor with God than those of us who have never known Him after the flesh. Fleshly attachments do not merit spiritual benefit.; only our personal faith and trust in the word of God are worth anything spiritually. In other words, Do not get your eyes on man and what man can do for you; neglect your spiritual soul. Only the Spirit of God can feed that part of a true Christian. Saints: We just have to read the signs of the time we are living in, to know that time for Gentiles is running out.That is not setting dates; like, days, weeks, months, nor anything like that; but when you see all these things coming about, it is certainly no time to be nonchalant about it all. You cannot just go play ball; and have the whole thing go away. Nor can you just take a vacation trip until it all passes over.
WHAT KEEPS A TRUE REVELATION ALIVE? AND WHAT CAUSES MAN TO LOSE THE TRUTH?
Saints, I want to remind you of something we need to keep fresh in our mind’s. When we see Jesus as God’s means of salvation, we naturally have to see that it was His physical makeup that identified Him as the Son of God. That physical body is what one day was destined to suffer shame and disgrace and die to pay our sin debt; but the Spirit in Him could not die. He is an eternal, living Spirit which had no beginning, and will have no end. He is always alive. When this God that cannot die gave this new covenant to those first century disciples to deliver to lost mankind, it was the Gentiles that gladly received it, and that have had the responsibility of carrying it to the world. That is why when you read the Epistles that were all written to Gentile assemblies, dealing with error, false teaching, doctrines, morality and other spiritual issues, you cannot help but see how early Christendom was a completely united body of people. It mattered not whether they were Asians, Greeks, Italians, Jews, or what: they were all looked upon as one people in the One person of our redemption, (which is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ) God has taken all and made them to be one new creature in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as time moved on, it was not long until Gentile people, (We may as well call them preachers) began to rise up among the assemblies teaching things that were not completely according to the original revelation taught by the apostles of Christ. Therefore as time began to fade out of the first century of Christendom, and was beginning to bring on the second century, most all of the early converts had either been martyred or just died, leaving an oncoming generation of newer people to fill the gap and carry on the work of God. These people were not the aggressive, spiritual, loyal, faithful people that the first generation of Christianity was. Which as you think about it, just goes to show that whenever God moves among one generation of people giving them a definite experience of His grace through the working of His Spirit and grace, even though they may pass the knowledge of the experience onto their off-spring, or to another up and coming generation, that does not guarantee that the up and coming generation, unless they have the same experience themselves, will pass it on to the next generation in the same revelation it started out in. In other words, an assembly of people can go through the same motions and say the same things as those that have passed from the scene; but if what they are talking about has not come to be a personal experience to them, they will eventually stray from the course. When what you are relating to others is just a memory of something related to you, and you have not had the same experience and personal relationship with God, as the ones that have related it to you, it will eventually reflect something different, that can lead others off of the true course. Mankind, in his human structure, is just not capable of fulfilling God’s purpose in any thing; no matter how sincere he may be. The Bible declares this to be the truth; and History books vindicate the accuracy of what God’s true servants have declared. When you go beyond forty years of time after God has…
done something, there seems to be another generation coming upon the scene that begins to take it and drift away from the originality of it. Therefore I am bringing this message along this thought to try to bring it to this day and hour of time we are living in. We are looking at how strange Gentile people are. When you go back into the Epistles and think of Paul, the apostle that wrote most of them, even though he was a Jew, it is nowhere stated that he had ever personally known John the Baptist It is not even stated anywhere that he had personally known the Lord Jesus Christ; but he was a man that had been dealt with by the Spirit of God, as he went about seeking to exterminate that whole bunch of first age Christians which he called heretics. That is why he was going to Damascus, which is the capital city of Syria. He was going there to arrest and bring back to Jerusalem those he found believing in Jesus, and have that bunch of those heretics executed. Therefore we can see at that time in the story, it is very doubtful That he had any first hand knowledge at all about John the Baptist, what his role was in the introduction of Israel’s Messiah. It is also very doubtful that he ever had any personal contact with the Lord Jesus Christ, even though he was on the Sanhedrin court. He might have been on the court assembly at the time Jesus was there, Yet nothing is written that he had a personal contact with the man called Jesus. When he was knocked down by the power of God on the Damascus road, and heard the voice speak, he said, Lord, who art thou? The answer came back, (Acts 9:5) “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” From that point we begin to study Paul’s testimony and experience; and in the study we begin to realize that he was a highly educated man. He knew all the written scriptures of the Old Testament. He was a staunch observer of every bit of it. That is why he wrote in one of his epistles, that as touching the Law, he was blameless. He kept it down to the minutest iota; but he was doing it at that time without the revelation that God had changed the order of the day. He was living under the New covenant, and still trying to please God by observing the ordinances of the Old Covenant. Saints, when God turns something loose, He means for every true child of His to turn it loose also. This is what caused Paul to go on into Arabia after his experience on the road to Damascus; he had to get an understanding of why he should now serve Jesus instead of the old Law. He speaks of this in his epistle to the Galatians. He stayed out there in the Arabian desert three years studying those old scrolls and seeking God for direction as he looked toward the future. Now imagine, he was a firm believer in the Mosaic Law. He was very familiar with the writings of all the old prophets. He knew them well. Well he went to Arabia where he could be alone with God; and when he came out of that desert he was ready to take his place among the rest of those apostles of Christ. You can read in the book of Acts, and begin to piece together his testimony. God sent Paul to the Gentiles; for he (Paul) was drawing from the Old Testament scriptures, the revelation and understanding of how God would go to the Gentiles to take a people for His name. Paul knew those Old Testament scriptures. so he knew that this was prophesied; and how afterward He would return and build the tabernacle of David and close up the walls and breeches thereof. Saints, that is just ahead, and this generation will see it. As a matter of fact, the prophecy of God taking a people for His name from among the Gentiles is just about over. For 1900 years the Spirit of God has been among us, taking out of the various centuries, and out of the various nations a people that will be identified by the name of Jesus as their Saviour, but this will not go on for ever and ever. God has a cut off point for everything He is doing. Well when Paul came to the Gentiles he knew their background; and he knew what had already been started; Therefore when you read the 19th chapter of Acts, you see that he found certain disciples at Ephesus; and how he recognized that their experience needed to be updated. He asked them, Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? They said to him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. Let us just read a few verses. (19:3) “And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” If you read the previous verses, you will find out that a Jew called Apollos, who had come from Alexandria Egypt, and was well learned in the scriptures, was the man that had baptized them. He was a disciple of John the Baptist. Now just imagine hearing them say, We were baptized unto John’s baptism. John was beheaded a long time before that; so the natural question was, Who baptized them that way? It had to be one of John’s disciples. Now imagine Paul saying, who is John? I am saying all this to cause some of you young people to try to understand something that took place in our 20th century. I am a living witness of what happened. There were days in my younger life that it did not make a bit of difference about anything like that; but you believe me, It sure makes a difference today. You will notice, Paul did not discredit John the Baptist, he just simply explained to them the need for something more, saying, John truly baptized with the baptism of repentance, or unto repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on the one that was to come after him. Then Paul expounded the whole story to those twelve believers and connected the missing links. When he told them what was still needed to make their experience complete, and found them ready to comply, he took them out and rebaptized everyone of them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then when he laid his hands upon them they received the Holy Ghost and began to speak in tongues and prophecy. I brought all of that in, to help you see that the early Gentile Christians were founded on the true doctrinal points of the new covenant gospel, just like those individual Jews that believed were. Predestination, eternal security, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, every bit of it, because it is the baptism of the Holy Ghost that seals all of this in God’s plan of salvation to the redeemed person. However after you leave that first century, and other generations begin to fill the vacancy where the original ones had been martyred or died off, we find that the revelation and understanding of these Bible doctrines began to diminish. As we go back in history, by the time we come to the 5th century A.D. early Christendom could hardly be recognized among them. Those that had the true revelation were gone. When you come through three centuries of Christendom, preachers were rising on the scene that did not have what Paul had. In those early days when the preeminence of the gospel and Christianity still had sway in Asia, which was Turkey, Greek philosophers and other educated men began to rise. You would have to read some of the ancient history of Christendom, to see what Christianity was bombarded with. True Bible doctrines were attacked. The revelation of the Godhead was attacked. That is why in the third century, 325 A.D., bishops were in a squabble as to whether God is three persons in one being, or whether God is ONE SPIRIT manifested in three offices. Not three persons, but three offices. Well if it is three offices, it means this: the first office was God the Father in creation. Everything came into existence by His power. That is His Word. Then when the time for salvation came, God would manifest it in the person of His Son. To do what? To reconcile the world back to Himself. Therefore it was the Son who presented His physical, human being to be sacrificed for the sins of lost mankind. As He did, He fulfilled that role; and God immediately took right up and seated Him on the right hand of power. Then God in the third office work appeared upon the scene as the Holy Ghost, (an indwelling SPIRIT) which in reality is the same Spirit that created all things. He manifested Himself in that office for the first time to New Testament believers on the day of Pentecost, to take up His abode in the individual believers. First it was God in creation. Then it was God in His Son, bringing about redemption; and now it is God in you, because He is that Spirit you received. Doing what? Renewing your fallen nature that you were born with, changing you into the very spiritual image of His only begotten Son Jesus that obediently suffered and died for you. That is God in three offices. It makes up the whole family of God. This is how God has redeemed His foreknown sons and daughters that were lost, and without any hope in the world otherwise. This revelation went into obscurity. That did not change the truth of the written scriptures, but the understanding was completely lost. That is why in 325 A.D. those bishops changed the revelation of the Godhead to fit their carnal understanding; and came up with a triune God. That made it easy for pagan priests that were being converted and brought into the ranks of what was known to them as Christianity, to fit right in. They had always worshipped a plurality of gods, so they readily accepted God as a plurality of persons. Man is always trying to make the Bible easy to understand. That is why they are always changing it, they are trying to bring it down to a human level of understanding. Well God is not going to do any such thing for anyone. The Holy Ghost was given to believers to enable them understand His word; because the Bible was purposely written in a way to shield the true revelation from carnal minded mankind. There are certain things in it, that though they may look as plain as the nose on your face when you read them, there comes a time when you have to ask yourself, What is He talking about? Did not the apostle Paul write to the Corinthian assembly, that the nat-ural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned? Right there, is the reason the church world is in the condition it is in today; pulpits are occupied by preachers that are void of the Spirit of God; therefore there is no possible way they can gain understanding of spiritual depths in the scriptures.
A VIEW OF WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON IN THE WORLD
Have you ever wondered why so many of the old prophets were inspired to write things that pertain to our day and hour? That was God’s way of concealing certain truths that He would reveal to His chosen servants in their particular hour of time, when He had called them to preach. Revelation is by the Spirit of God of course; but the deeper things of God are not revealed to anyone apart from God’s written word in most cases. You have heard me say many times, that the Church a hundred years ago had no need to understand many of the things that have been revealed to us in this Laodicean Age; because they had no need of knowing them. Men have stood in pulpits and declared that the Book of Revelation never should have been written; and others have said, It is like a mud hole, the more you stir it the muddier it gets. That was because God had not revealed it in any major way back then. I look at it as God’s love letter to the bride of Christ. It tells her what to look and listen for in these last days, as well as what will take place among the Jews. To me, it is a beautiful picture of how all of God’s redemption plan is going to end up. Chapters 21 and 22, give us a preview of what the world will be like, after everything has been redeemed and sin is no longer in the picture. Hallelujah! God told Abraham when He was bringing him into the land of promise, that He would make of him a great nation. Let me just go to Genesis 12:1, and read about three verses, so you can see the whole picture. Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” The Jewish nation today does not know what that means; but if you know God in a true born again experience, you know what it means. It means God has visited us Gentiles. He gave us something we had no right to expect. That something is that we can be children of God, and also children of Abraham by faith. Because the faith he was moved by to leave the land of Mesopotamia and go to a land he knew nothing about, is the same faith it takes for Gentiles to forsake their old way of life, take up their cross and follow Jesus without seeing with the natural eye, the One they are following. It is the same faith; and it is directed toward the same God. Nevertheless as you follow the course the Church took when those original guards of the faith had all passed off the scene, you will have to notice a downward trend from the faith and revelation they had. As you come on over into the 5th century, and then on into the Dark Ages, you find that Christianity became stripped of every doctrinal truth the Church held precious, until around 1500 A.D., when the Reformation began to get underway. No wonder secular history calls it the Dark Ages, that is exactly what it was, not only spiritually but in every way. There was just simply no progress made during that thousand years we have come to look at as Satan’s Millennial reign. What was supposed to be true Christianity had become nothing more than a carnal institution of reli-gion founded by the devil. Rome Italy, that had once been the seat of an Imperial Empire, eventually became the scat of what the world looks upon as “The Church of The Lord Jesus Christ.” Those old bishops of Rome, which eventually came to be called Pope’s, ended up in the same seat of authority that was held by the Emperors. In other words, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church ascended to that position through a long process of time covering many, many centuries from the office of just being the bishop of Rome. Now they say the Pope is the head over the universal Catholic Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Well I grant you, he is the head over the universal Roman Catholic Church; but you believe me when I tell you this, That system of religion that has imprisoned the souls of unsuspecting multitudes through the centuries, is NOT the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. That old system finished stripping the Church of every essential doctrine taught by the apostles of Christ; and replaced them with man made rituals they can collect money for performing for the poor souls that are under bondage to them. In earlier centuries of time there was no such thing as what we now observe in the western world as an Easter holiday, separate from the Jewish Passover season. In ancient times the early Christians observed the resurrection of Christ to correspond with the Jewish Passover season; simply because Jesus was crucified in the Passover season. That is why I started out back there, in that evening of the 14th day as the Jewish people were assembled in their various places where they were going to eat this Passover supper. Jesus had told His disciples, Go into the city, where you will meet a certain man. Tell him the Master hath need of that place, the upper room. It was sort of a civic center, a place that different people could acquire for certain occasions, to use its facilities. There Jesus and His disciples prepared the normal Passover supper. The sacrificial lamb, all the bitter herbs, the bread, the wine, all that pertained to the observance of that feast. As they sat there on the evening of the 14th day of the month, the 15th day was starting. The sun is setting; and the moon was coming up, and it was full. The Law was full. It had served its purpose, come to its fullness, and its usefulness was over; for God was ready to intro-duce a new covenant. The man sitting there eating with His disciples, was the fulfillment of all that the Law of Moses had been pointing that nation toward. When He was crucified and buried, then rose from the grave and ascended into heaven to become the High Priest and mediator of a better covenant than the old one they had been living under, God did away with the old, that He might establish the new. The Law said, Thou shalt not; and men tried to live up to it; but the New Covenant delivered those souls from having to be restrained by, Thou shalt not, by placing something within believers that causes them to say. I have no desire to do those things the Law was designed to keep men from doing. You cease to want to be contrary to God’s will and purpose for you. Instead of always going your own way, you now say, Lord, which way? Well even though the faith of those original apostles became a lost item to the Church, God began a process of restoration of that faith by causing a few men to begin to look at those systems of religion through the Bible, instead of looking at the Bible through the systems. It is easy to see, if you have a spiritual eye, that every denominational system on the face of God’s green earth today is opposed to some Bible truth those apostles of Christ taught to the Church in that first age. They will explain it away by saying, That is not for our day, it was for the days of the apostles. That is why the Church of Christ so-called, will declare that God does not heal today, and say that speaking in tongues was only for the twelve apostles of Christ. I can prove by the scriptures, that they are wrong. What about the apostle Paul? He was not of the twelve; yet in 1st Corinthians 14:18 he wrote,”I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all.” Then when you go back to Acts 2:4, where the 120 disciples were gathered in the upper room waiting for the promise of the Father, what do you think it says there? Go read it, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” I remember back some years ago, when that carnal bunch of supposed-to-be preachers offered to pay ever so much money to anyone who could show them a miracle. God will never do a miracle that could open their eyes. They are just like the Pharisees of old. They are going to split hell wide open, challenging the reality and truth of God’s word. When God used Martin Luther in his hour of time as He did, what was He doing? He (God) was beginning an era of time in a world that had been stooped in religious darkness for hundreds of years, in which time it seemed that the gospel light of salvation had almost gone completely out, when He would little by little restore the brightness of that light to those who would walk in it. During that long period of darkness, when apostate Christendom dictated everything, they even refused to allow the secular world to advance in learning. They went into the Dark Ages riding horses. They came out of the Dark Ages still riding horses. They went into the Dark Ages burning candles, they came out burning candles. They built everything the same way the whole time. There was no advancement, no progress whatsoever. Once the Reformation started though, and men began to wake up to the reality that their faith must be in God, and not in some system of religion, something started happening. That was the beginning of God wounding one of the head’s on that old 7 headed beast you read about in the 13th chapter of Revelation. It was the sword of the gospel in the Reformation, that first began to wound that old papal head of Romanism. God whacked at that old pope again and again. Martin Luther gave him a terrible blow. It was not long until John Knox came along and gave another whack. Then there came Calvin, and later John Wesley out of a sister church that was just as bad as Catholicism. Keep in mind, These reformers were not men converted off the streets. They were usually clergymen, Catholic priests, or Bible scholars of the system they were related to. It had to be this way because God was going to show the religious world how He could take the intelligence of human beings and confound those religious systems. That is why He did not use fresh converts like Billy Sunday and that type of man. He used men that knew those systems inside and out. John Wesley’s father was a minister, and he had brothers that were ministers; but according to available information, he was married to a woman that was somewhat of a wildcat. Actually in this day and hour he would not be scripturally qualified for the ministry. She never went anywhere with him. From what I have read she was always complaining about something he was doing. I have wondered why it would be written like that; but we just have to remember, God used men back then. because of the great darkness that was upon the earth, that He would never set in authority over His Church that has been restored to apostolic truth. John Wesley’s departure from the old system eventually left us with Methodism. Then out of that came the Nazarene, the Pilgrim – Holiness and so forth all of the same basic revelation as Methodism. However when the twentieth century rolled around, it was a group of Methodists God began to deal with concerning the baptism of the Holy Ghost and, speaking in tongues even though the Methodist Church itself fought Pentecost.
GOD ANSWERS PRAYER IN HIS OWN WAY
The Methodist wanted nothing at all to do with speaking in tongues. Neither did the Baptists, the Nazarenes, the Lutherans, nor the Church of God. Well most of us know by now who God used to restore this phenomenal of what was called the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues and divine healing. We go to Topeka, Kansas in a Methodist mission which was established in a two story home. They were all Methodist people. Methodist people today do not want to talk or mad about that – They have no time to read about any of that, to find out where we are at in the twentieth century. When you go back and read what was written about this great move of God among that group of Methodists, what do you find that they were praying and seeking God for. What were they fasting for? They knew nothing about what God was going to do; but they were all praying earnestly for a move of God. Their prayer was this, Lord we are living in a wicked city. We need help that can only come from you. I suppose Topeka, Kansas might have been a rough town at the dawn of the twentieth century. That was almost ninety years ago. There were probably a lot of men still carrying guns, shooting up the town, and things like that. These Methodists were praying that God would put conviction on those sinners and bring them to Christ. Well God heard their prayers; but instead of dealing with the situation their way, God had His own way of doing things. Before long, one of those Methodist sister’s began to speak in an uncontrollable language different than her own language. She had no idea what was taking place; and neither did the others; but what was taking place caused the man in charge, which was the pastor of the group, to begin searching the Bible for an answer to what was taking place. Soon, he announced to them, This is what happened on the day of Pentecost to the 120 disciples of Jesus. Being satisfied that what was happening was according to something God had done before, they all continued to pray and fast, and as the days passed, it was not very long until every person in that gathering had received the same experience. Out of that Methodist home and mission, went a group of these people playing guitars, singing and testifying of what God had done among them; and they came out of Kansas into Missouri, and on down into Texas. While they were in a place in Texas, relating these things, there was a black brother, a Nazarene present to hear them. He had already been invited to come to Los Angeles, California and speak to a Nazarene group of people in a revival. Bro. Seymour was this man’s name; and you just have to try and imagine how this Nazarene preacher felt, and what he thought as he sat there listening to those Methodist people tell what God had been doing among them, how they had been speaking in tongues and so forth. According to the article I read, while those Methodist people were testifying about the experience they had received, the anointing came upon them and they began to speak in other languages. Bro. Seymour was wanting the experience; but somehow, it did not come to him. However in his heart he said, It is a true experience and manifestation of God; and He is going to give it to me. When I get to California, I am going to tell them about it. So off to California he went, on a train. He was asked by a friend, Are you going to preach this when you get there? He said, I sure am. (Saints I am relating all of this to lead into my point in this message. When Bro. Seymour got to Los Angeles and preached in this Nazarene mission, the first night or two he made no statement, if I remember right. However when he did mention the experience, believing it was the right time to do so, it split that group of Nazarene people wide open. Some left and others stayed. From there on the Holy Ghost began to move. From that meeting place they went into an old warehouse. That is why it was called Azusa Street. They used crude benches and all sorts of things. Bro. Seymour would come in, I forget how long, it was somewhere around three years of this great outpouring of the Holy Ghost. People from the ends of the earth heard about it and came from far and near to be in those services. They even came from Australia, India, Africa and many foreign lands to be where God was moving. They then went back to their places as missionaries, to tell the world what God was doing on Azusa St. That was the beginning of what the world sees today as the Pentecostal, tongue speaking people that a lot of denominational people will have nothing to do with; but you still have to remember, It all started with Methodists and Nazarenes. They did not change their mode of baptism. They did not change their revelation of God to see His oneness. They still thought that predestination was of the devil; and the idea of eternal security was out also. That is basically the picture you see in the Pentecostal ranks even yet today, which brings us to another point. I want to read in Malachi for that. Just as there was a Malachi fulfillment in the days of Israel, when the Law had reached its maturity and John the Baptist came upon the scene to fulfill that part, so did there have to be a fulfilling of the rest of it in our day. I am going to read two verses, Malachi 4:5-6; and then show you how this whole picture fits together. When I was in the Methodist church I would read this, and whenever I did read it, I automatically knew (because of the book of Acts and the gospels) that this was speaking of John the Baptist. That much is indisputable; but let us read it again; and see what else is in those two verses. The prophet Malachi, 400 years before the advent of Christ, says this: “Behold, I will send you Elijah (Well we know who Elijah was when we read the record of Kings.) the prophet before the coming of the great and (and, is a conjunction) dreadful day of the Lord.” It is easy to see that this is speaking of two advents, the great day and the dreadful day of the Lord’s coming. Well, His first coming was the great day, when He came to fulfill the plan of the Father concerning man’s redemption; and the dreadful day is just ahead, when Christ will come revealed from heaven in flaming fire, taking vengeance upon them that know not God and have pleasure living in unrighteousness. Do not think that will not be a dreadful day for all of those multitudes of ungodly men and women who hate even the mention of God in their presence. Read the last few verses of Revelation 19, and you will get the picture. That is the dreadful day, making two advents of His physical appearance here on earth. One was a great day. That was when salvation would be brought forth. The next one is when judgment and wrath will be brought forth. Verse 6, shows us what this Elijah is to do when he is sent on ahead of the coming of the Lord. “And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, (I used to think that was a genetic thing; and that as time would get close to the end, society would break down and there would be such an enmity between parents and children that God would have to come on the scene and cause a spirit of reconciliation to reconcile the natural children back to their natural parents and the parents back to their children. That is what I thought it meant; but notice that there is another conjunction.) and the heart of the children to their fathers. No Methodist today knows how to read those two verses of scripture. All they see is John the Baptist, and they close the book. They are quick to tell you, God cannot and God will not do this and that. Let us just see what the Bible says about that. Open your Bible’s to the gospel of Luke; and we will see if It does not say He will. As I have said, I was in the Methodist today knows how to read those two verses of scripture. All they see is John the Baptist, and they close the book. They are quick to tell you, God cannot and God will not do this and that. Let us just see what the Bible says about that. Open your Bible’s to the gospel of Luke; and we will see if it does not say He will. As I have said, I was in the Methodist Church when the Lord saved me, back in February 1952. I began to hunger for God in a way that I knew there was nothing in the Methodist Church that was going to satisfy me; yet I did not know what to do other than just pray, Lord, send a revival. I was praying like that, Lord send a revival and set this church on fire. Do something Lord! I thought if God ever did anything, it would have to be done through the Methodist church. When you are raised up and made to believe in a certain system, nine times out of ten that is where your mind is going to stay, unless God does something to you and for you, outside of its ranks. One February morning in 1952 just before I was going out to do some work, I picked up the Bible and sat on the couch reading. My eyes fell on this, “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, (This was written 400 years after the prophet Malachi was already dead, but he had left his prophecy) of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth; And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. (They were a God fearing couple.) And they had no child, because that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he (Zacharias the priest) executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.” Try to picture in your mind this scene recorded in these next few verses. Zacharias went into the first room where the table of shewbread and various other things stood, and that is as far as he went, for he was there to bum incense; and all the rest of the people were outside praying, so notice the description as we read this. “And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. (In other words, it was a small table, constructed for that purpose.) And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he (Watch now.) shall go before Him, (we have to understand that the angel of the Lord is saying to Zacharias, Your son whose name is to be called John shall go before the Lord, or precede the Lord) in the spirit and power of Elias, (because in the days of John the Baptist, this was the way the word Elijah was spoken in their tongue. Just notice what the angel quoted to Zacharias. This is what stood out to me. I was just a young person in the Methodist Church. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to do what? Here it is.) to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children.” That takes care of the first part of the sixth verse of Malachi 4. I ask myself the question, Why did the angel stop quoting the sixth verse right there? Instead of quoting the rest of that verse, the angel went to another statement. “And the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.” These words are applicable to how the words of John the Baptist, when he preached, would affect those that come to hear him. There would be disobedient ones hear him; but out of that some would be justified. That is what you have to understand. “To make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” All of that is related to Christ’s first coming. Nothing is said concerning the rest of verse 6, of Malachi 4; which says, “and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Yes John’s ministry was to turn the heart of the fathers to the children; and that left it for another to turn the heart of the children to their fathers. We can see that; but there are an awful lot of church going people in the world today that cannot see such a thing. They think it is ridiculous for anyone to talk like this. John preached in such a way, the scribes, the elders, the men of authority, (the fathers) went out into the wilderness to question him. Out there in the wilderness, is where they saw their own congregation being baptized by John. The fathers were how the priests, the scribes, the elders of Judaism were made to look upon their congregation, leaving and going to follow this strange man. When John the Baptist looked over the heads of his audience and began to see these characters peering over the heads of the others, (you can always see the big shots looking around somewhere.) What is going on? He yelled out, Who told you to flee from the wrath of God? You generation of vipers, bring forth fruits fit for repentance. No doubt some of them were wanting to get baptized, so it would look legal for their congregation. John put an end to how those religious leaders were looking upon the scene of that day. However the point is this, Nothing was quoted by the angel in the last part of the verse, and the heart of the children back to the fathers, because fathers here, has to be understood in this manner, fathers is the elders of old Judaism as the Law has come to maturity. God was going to take what this was in types and shadows, and fulfill it in the hearts of a new generation of people who were truly Jews; because the gospel was to the Jew first. Salvation was to the Jew first, so out of those congregations, right under the noses of those elder leaders, the fathers, they had to watch their children go off into a new revelation, a new covenant. Here comes Matthew. Here comes John. Here comes Peter. Here comes the various ones. Later here they are following John. Even one of the disciples of John the Baptist one day, when Jesus was coming out of the wilderness, and the disciples began to collect around him, what did this disciple say to John, Behold He who you baptized, there are more following ; Him than you. What did John say. He must increase, I must decrease. So you have to see how the fathers, it is a spiritual thing to a spiritual children. They had to watch their children, spiritual people, walking off in a new revelation. Out of those children came men like Peter, Matthew, Mark, Luke. John, Nathaniel, James and on and on. Later, here came Paul. These are the fathers of the New Covenant message that we read about in the epistles, the gospel of the new covenant. The apostle Paul wrote, I believe it is 16 of the New Testament Epistles. He wrote more than all the other apostles put together. In there, is the faith of what we Gentiles received. We see what happened. Down through time, we Gentiles lost it. So God, by His spirit, through the Reformation, used men to gradually restore this, and this, and this. When we come to the end of what the Pentecostal message was, and in that Pentecostal message God dropped the revelation of water baptism and the name of Jesus Christ, that split the Pentecostal people, and out of that came what was known as the apostolic faith, or the UPC, Apostolic Assemblies, or Jesus only, however the Trinitarians wanted to call it. No matter what others called it, that was still the greatest thing that had happened to the church in a mighty long time. People were believing in speaking in tongues, the supernatural, and everything. Right here is where Christendom existed coming into the 20th century; and that brings us to the point where God would soon cause that Malachi 4 to pick up again for its end time fulfillment.
WHO ARE OUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS?
On that February morning in 1952, as I sat there reading the scriptures, it was just like something said, Why did that angel stop quoting Malachi right in the middle of the verse? Then I turned back to where it said, “and he shall turn the heart of the children unto their fathers.” Those old Judaistic fathers that lived back here in the days of Peter, James, and John, are not your spiritual fathers. Those were the church leaders that had to observe the new covenant starting. They were also the ones John the Baptist rebuked. He called them snakes in the grass, whitewashed tombs and all sorts of things, because he knew their purpose for being there. You may ask, Who is our spiritual fathers? It is what you read in the Ncw Testament, Peter, James, John and those who stood for the true revelation in that first age. Look what Christendom has done to that revelation the first apostles taught; All you have to do is just look at the Gentile denominational churches today, and you see nothing but a bunch of Babylonian confusion. The Baptists do not believe in sanctification. The Methodists do not believe in eternal security. Lutherans do not believe in predestination; and it seems that some do not believe anything hardly. Yet each movement was used of God in some way to restore a truth from His word that the Church had gotten away from. All of these truths were in the first age Church of the book of Acts, but in the light of time and people, we Gentiles are lazy people when it comes to spirituality. We are not going to do a bit more than we have to. We want to ride on a bed of ease. When anyone would suggest that we change our theology, or change our minds in any way, it just simply kills our pride. That is exactly why it plainly says that He will send that spirit of Elijah again. To do what? To turn the heart of the children back to their fathers, lest (or before) I come and smite the earth with a curse. I am glad He did not leave us in spiritual darkness. When I read those words on that cold February morning, while we were still in the Methodist Church, I said, If we are living in the days just before the coming of Jesus Christ, He will send that spirit of Elijah again. I did not know much, but I knew that was a revelation God had put in my heart. It was in the Fall of that same year that My wife’s cousin came down our way squirrel hunting one day. I had just finished eating dinner, when he walked up and started talking to me. That was the year (1952) Bra Branham had gone to South Africa and been used of God in one of the greatest displays of miracles you have ever witnessed. Many of you have read about it, what the records of South Africa say about it. When Glenn told me what had happened, and told me Bro. Branham was back and that he was to have a meeting in Jeffersonville that night, he then made the statement of what had happened in 1933, down at the Ohio River, there at the end of Spring Street, where the old ferry boat used to dock. I remembered the foot of Spring Street from an experience I had when I was just a small boy. We lived 20 some miles out in the country, and old 31 was a rock road. I was about 4 and a half years old; and my folks started to Louisville, Kentucky in an old Model T Ford. My sister and I were sitting in the back, and I remember how we came chugging down the road in that old Model T, and right down the bank of the river we went. I thought, Oh Daddy, I hope we have good brakes. There was no boat then to catch that old Model T; but he stopped it. There were two horse drawn wagons sitting there in front of us, waiting for the Ferry Boat to return to that side. After a while we saw it come around the foot of Second Street and on up to dock at the old pier. The teams and wagons went on first, then we went on behind them and some other cars got on behind us. We were just about out to the middle of that old river when the old barge began to weave and toss and the horses got scared. All the men on the old barge were grabbing horses trying to calm them down; and all of that scared me, as a little boy, not knowing much about what was happening. I remember thinking, This thing was going to sink, and we were surely going to drown! Well so much for that; but right there, is where Bro. Branham was baptizing when the Spirit of the Lord said to him, “As John the Baptist was sent to forerun my first coming, thou will take a message around the world, that will prepare the way for My second coming.” When those words were told to me, I did not know that man from anyone else; but I said, If those words be true then this is that man that is to fulfill the rest of that verse in Malachi 4. I was privileged that fall, in the month of October, to see and hear that man minister. I can understand how, back in those days, back in the 1950’s, some people when they went, because of hearing about him praying for the sick, and the things he preached, would get offended. It is not everyone that wants to hear truth. They want to hear someone who will agree with them. If he would make some statement about Methodism, and what a terrible system it was becoming, if you did not have a revelation, and some knowledge of God and His word, you would get just as offended as anyone could be. How many times have people said, “He is always talking about my church, always running the church down. He cannot be a man of God and say those things.” Well saints, Jesus did the very same thing. He was the only man this side of the Reformation that had the anointing of God to take everything the various Reformers had dealt with in rela-tion to the word of God, and put it all piece by piece, back in the scriptures to make a beautiful picture appear. Brothers and sisters, if you are ever going to be a Bible believing Christian and believe and live, having the same faith and understanding the first Christians had, you will have to throw away most of this traditional religion you have picked up and carried through your life, being either a Baptist, a Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal or whatever you may be, and allow the Spirit of God to lead you to a we revelation. Most of us have carried tradition around like some people do a bunch of Grandpa’s old antique furniture left to them. You haul that old furniture from place to place until it is just about to fall to pieces; and you will not part with it because it belonged to Grandpa. Well that is exactly how a lot of people are about Christianity: What was good enough for Grandpa is good enough for me. Believe me saints, we are living in a day when that is no longer true; for God has restored the original revelation of His word back to the true Church, and hand-me-down religion will no longer be acceptable to Him. Before He sent His servant to lead to back to what the Church strayed from, He would accept anyone who earnestly walked in all the truth available to them; but now that the true light is restored He will not accept anyone who refuses to walk in it. Your hand-me-down Christianity is like that old furniture, every time they load it up and unload it, another piece falls off. After so much of that, it is nothing like the original. Well we will patch it up, but it is seldom ever restored. That is exactly the way religion is. I inherited it from Mother. If it was good enough for her, then it is good enough for me. Yes, but look how old it is now. It is falling to pieces, and all scratched up. I am not making fun of anyone; I was in the same shape; but when God led me to the restored truth, I was not about to hold on to Methodist tradition and reject the word of God: and you had better not either, if you value your soul. It just simply comes down to one sure fact, God had a messenger here in the end time; and since his message has been delivered to the Church, God will not accept anything short of that. He was not another Billy Sunday. He was not a Dwight L. Moody. Those men did not deal with doctrine; they just preached salvation. They did not care which church you belonged to, just as long as you were serving God. God sent this end time messenger just in time; for this world was headed for a spiritual disaster; and true Christians needed something that would hold them, as they fight their way through the rubble. The faith of our spiritual father’s will do just that. Hallelujah!
WHAT FOLLOWED AFTER GOD’S PROPHET TO DECEIVE CARNAL MANKIND
In the 1950’s, you never heard anything about gay rights. You hardly ever heard the word homosexual even mentioned; but in the 60’s here it came, like a giant steam roller. By that time though, God’s prophet had already brought his message to the Church saying, God’s Spirit is going to call out every one of His end time children from wherever they are, and put them back in this blessed old book. He will leave the Methodists sitting there, the Baptists sitting where they are, the Lutheran, the Pentecostals, and all the rest, because they refuse to change. They are spiritual Babylon, the daughters of that great harlot system of Revelation 17. God’s true Church in this hour of time is not divided into denominational divisions; they are all of one spirit and of one mind, believing the true revelation of the word of God.
WORSHIP BELONGS ONLY TO GOD HIMSELF
The ministry of that prophet messenger did in many ways exemplify that of the Lord Jesus Christ, so it is no wonder that some of those who never did get a spiritual revelation of his calling of God, would look upon him to be more than he was; since the mind of Gentile people is prone to be like that anyhow. That is why I titled this message, GENTILE’S ARE A STRANGE PEOPLE. People here in this Laodicean Age, as Gentile time is closing out, saw things done through the man as he ministered, anointed of the Holy Ghost, that would have made you feel like you were sitting at the feet of Jesus. This is what my little message is all about. I want to help people see that they can honor a servant of God without attributing to him honor and worship that belongs only to God Himself. Many times that little man would stand on a platform looking out into a large audience and describe a person’s type of garment, tell them their house number, what state and city they were from and many other things that only the Spirit of God would know. It made you feel like you were sitting in the presence of Jesus, like when Jesus saw Nathaniel coming, and said, Behold an Israelite in whom there is no guile. Remember? Nathaniel said, How did you know me? Jesus said, while you were still under the fig tree, I saw you. Those same things were repeated through the ministry of Bro. Branham. What was the purpose of that? This is the part we have to understand, If Jesus had not been filled with the Holy Ghost, (which is the very Spirit of God) He (Jesus the man that was born of virgin birth) would never have been able to do anything like chat. He never would have seen any more than you and I would have seen. However the Holy Ghost in Him, in the full measure that it was, simply means that the Father was in Him looking through His eyes. When He walked on the water, was Jesus merely demonstrating to put on a big show for them. No. That was the Father who has the power over gravity and everything else, vindicating to those with spiritual mind’s that He was in His Son in the fullness of all of His attributes. To do what? To activate a New Covenant He had promised through the prophecies of those old prophets. The Son Himself, regardless of how little He might have weighed, would have been taken under by the law of gravity just like anyone else, except that the Father had a foreordained purpose in displaying Himself like that to vindicate the ministry of His only begotten Son. The Father in Him had already shown Him that He would walk on water; so when He went walking out to that old ship on the water that night, He did not have to worry about going under and drowning; and when he said to Peter, Come on! He already knew exactly what would happen. That vindicated the fact that God will enable us to do anything. He tells us to do; but-fear will cancel it out when we begin to look at natural circumstances around us. Jesus never did put on a display just to please someone’s flesh that desired to be entertained. He never advertised when He was going to be in any certain place. Many times it was just the opposite, He told the people, Do not tell anyone. He was not seeking glory for Himself: He only wanted to glorify the Father. It was the same way with Bro. Branham; he never sought personal glory; he just obeyed the Spirit of God that was leading his life. We have to realize, It was the Holy Ghost doing the works of God through him, using the flesh of a Gentile person who was born into this world a sinner just like anyone else. The difference was, he had a unique calling of God that no other Gentile person has ever had; and no other Gentile will ever have. There is only room scripturally, for ONE MESSENGER TO THE LAODICEAN CHURCH AGE; and we need not look for another. From here on out to the end of the age, God will use the ministries of His five fold ministry to perfect the called out Church, which is the true bride of Christ. The Gentile Church has no further need for that Elijah ministry; for the true God in His ONENESS has already been identified; and we are rejoicing in the benefits of that revelation. The spirit of Elijah has always been a GOD IDENTIFYING Spirit; and we can certainly testify to the fact that the Elijah ministry of Bro. Branham was no exception. That was his great heart cry, that the true Church of the living God Come out from among that Babylonian confusion, and get back to the word of God in the same revelation the early apostles taught. God is not three persons! He is ONE sovereign SPIRIT! That is what I heard him say, what did you hear? I know some heard a little voice telling them he (Bro. Branham) was God in flesh; but I heard no such voice. That voice was not of the Spirit of God, that was of the adversary of God, antichrist. Oh yes, I did hear a lot of voices making that declaration; but I knew where it was coming from. Without the Spirit of God to give them understanding, many of those who witnessed the ministry of that prophet of God became pagan worshipers, given over to idolatry. That is what you are, if you are attributing deity to anyone other than the ONE TRUE GOD; and I can dogmatically assure you, Bro. Branham was not God. He deserves to be recognized only as the prophet messenger to this Laodicean Agc, greatly anointed of the Spirit of God for the ministry he was called to; but that is all. He (Bro. Branham) was not more than a man; it was that Spirit that ministered through him, that was more than a man. I hope all of you understand the difference, lest some of you also become idolaters like a lot of these others who claim to be following his ministry, have. No sooner had he delivered his message to this age, and it began to be published, here came the gay rights movement right behind it. Not only do they want equal civil rights, they want equal rights in every phase of the ministry of the Church, even in the pulpit’s; regardless of the fact that their way of life is abominable in the sight of God. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of that kind of condition existing there; and He has not changed His mind one bit about it since then. He will also burn these ungodly perverts when His time comes, without mercy, because they are filled with an unholy spirit; and they have treated holy things in an unholy way while they claim equal tights. No longer do we see the Holy Ghost holding back the tide of evil. It looks like the Holy Ghost has turned everything over to the criminals, and perverts and idolaters of this age. Like we said earlier, In the days of the early Church, Gentiles wanted to worship Peter, then Paul and Barnabas; just simply because they saw the power of God exercised through those vessels of clay; and carnal minded Gentiles are no different today. They are like Cain of old, they have a feeling to worship God; but they are without an ounce of revelation, as to what God will accept. They themselves are trying to do God a service without being called of Him for that service; so they have no scriptural authority to stand up against these others who want to do likewise. When some pervert demands equal rights, what can they say? As for these idolaters who want to worship Bro. Branham, who among them can stop them; they all somehow have missed the boat. Gentiles out of various denominational churches have somehow or other assumed that this man was none other than Jesus Christ in physical form. Therefore they want to worship him, not even suspecting that the devil is playing a trick on them. They want to worship him and call him God. That is exactly why so many of the denominations out here today, say he started a cult. Well let me tell you, What Bro. Branham started is certainly not a cult; but many of those who seemingly obeyed the call to COME OUT OF THOSE BABYLONIAN SYSTEMS OF RELIGION AND GET BACK TO THE WORD OF GOD, have turned what they are in, into a cult, if I know the definition of the word. I do not defend those who by their very actions testify to the fact that they are a cult; but do defend those who are following the true revelation of the word of God delivered to us by the ministry of that prophet messenger God sent to this age. He did not start this foolishness a bit more than anything in the world. That man lived a simply life. He never asked to be anything great. It is the people themselves that do not have a true salvation experience by the Spirit of God that causes people to know how to walk with God, that will take the things Bro. Branham said, and the things he did, and try to deify the man whose vessel God used. They are no different than Catholicism. Look what the Catholic Church has done since their coming into being. They are supposed to have the very nails that held Jesus on the cross. Of course we know that is instigated by the very spirit they are of; but I ask you this, Even if they did, what is a nail, when it comes to preaching the gospel of Christ and ministering to sin sick souls? They are also supposed to have the sword that cut John’s head off. What good is that sword? They are supposed to have pieces of wood that was part of the cross. What good is that wood? What can it do for a lost soul that netels to know the truth about who God is, and what He did to redeem them from their lost condition? Do I sound hard hearted? I am only trying to get some of you to face reality; and examine yourselves in the light of God’s Word. What are you holding on to. What is more precious to you than anything else in the world? If it is anything other than your personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, you arc heading for disaster. Have you ever noticed that all the Catholic churches that have ever been built through time, the altar’s are plated with marble and gold, and they have to have a buried relic of some kind? If they cannot have some little piece of something they claim pertained to Jesus Himself, they will have the shin bone of some ancient saint, or something like that. That is devil worship. That is paganism. Yet they claim to be built upon the foundation of early Christendom. The Pope claims to hold an office Jesus delegated to the apostle Peter; yet there is nothing about him or his ministry that resembles the apostle Peter in the least. It is just a bunch of dead people worshiping dead men’s bones and such like. That is why Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and scribes like He did, calling them whited walls and saying, You indeed polish and garnish the tombs of the prophets. When he referred to them as being whited walls it meant, You are as void of the Spirit of God as those tombs that hold nothing more than dead men’s bones. Well we have an element of people today, that like pictures of the place where Bro. Branham was baptizing when the Lord spoke to him of his calling. I want you to know, the Holy Ghost is not hovering over the foot of Spring Street any more. That place has already served its purpose in the plan of God. Neither is the Holy Ghost dwelling in that cave where he used to go too fast and pray. There are a lot of places around southern Indiana where God spoke to him to go pray for sick people; but God has not hallowed those places above any other. That does not put God in those places, God is in His we people; and He is in His word; but He cannot be found dwelling in any of those places where He spoke to His prophet messenger. He is a sovereign spirit. He does what He has purposed to do. There are many things the apostles did. Think of the ship Paul was on when he was down in the hold praying. After about 17 days while that old ship tossed to and fro, Paul went topside to speak to his companions saying to them, (Acts 27:22-24) “And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.” If we had that boat today, we could cut it up and sell little pieces of it and make a pile of money. This is what people do. They want a God they can put in their pockets, or that they can put in a shrine some place. God wants to dwell in your heart. He is not coming for a bunch of people carrying pictures, pieces of wood, rocks of all shapes and sizes from places that they feel are somehow sacred. He is coming for a people that has His word in their heart’s by revelation given by the Holy Ghost that is dwelling inside of them. That is what the new covenant is. God has said I will come down and write that in their minds, and in their hearts. That just simply means, I will give them the revelation and understanding of how to approach me. I will put it in your heart. That is where God motivates the whole thing from. People buy all sorts of how-to books and sermons; trying to find out how to approach God; because they do not know how to read the Bible, when all they have to do is just surrender to Him. You do not have to be smart. You do not need a bunch of learned words to speak to Him. He wants to hear from you just like you are, with your words, even if all you can say is, Lord, I know nothing about praying; but I want to know you and walk with you. If you are sincere, He will take it from there and cause you to know you have been heard. Yes, unregenerate Gentiles are strange people: but those who know how to walk with God in truth are precious in His sight.
WHY I SAY GENTILES ARE STRANGE PEOPLE
A lot of people who claim to be Christian’s, do not understand the first thing about the Bible. They all have a few verses from the Bible, that they think they understand; and they couldn’t care less about what the rest of it says. The system of religion they belong to, usually treat certain things in the Bible as unprofitable, saying, That was for the days of the apostles. It does not apply to twentieth century Christians. Some of their favorite expressions are, That has been fulfilled already: We are not supposed to understand this, and so forth. By the time they get through, they only have a few verses of scripture scattered here and there through the Bible that they can use to compile the articles of their faith upon. It is all because they do not understand how so much of the Bible is written, to be revealed in a time of its application, to the living element at that time. Yet none of it is to be discarded at any time; because as Paul wrote to Timothy, (3:16-17) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Regardless of what age anyone may have lived in, the Bible was written to minister to every hungry heart throughout the entire span of Christianity. Even though certain things have been fulfilled already, we must always remember Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He never changes. The plan of salvation is still the same. The promises of God are still yea, and Amen, to him that believeth; and the things of the Old Testament are still used by the Spirit of God to open our understanding of the whole scope of the plan of God for man’s redemption. If we miss the will of God for our lives, we are without excuse; for He has certainly been long suffering toward every one of us. To rethink some of the things we have been speaking of, let us go again into the book of Acts, chapter 10, verse 25, the scripture that tells us how that Roman Centurion Cornelius, responded to the apostle Peter when he was sent by the Spirit of God to minister the words of salvation to those gathered there. “And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.” This is why I say, Gentiles are strange, or crazy people. You may say, Bro. Jackson, you ought not say things like that. Well wait until you understand what I am talking about. The Bible will prove that we Gentiles are strange or even crazy people. If we are without the grace of God in our lives we are. We know all about the moon. At least some do. We know all about what is on certain planets and all such; but how many of these scientific wizards really know anything about God? I received the National Geographic magazine the other day and looked through it. They have some pictures in there that are really something. This Voyager spacecraft we put out in space years ago, has been taking pictures like crazy. They are sent back to our scientists to analyze; and they are just gloating like little frogs in a pond. They have eaten so much of this kind of stuff, they are all swelled up just like a frog. I am talking about their reaction to all of those pictures. When it is all said and done, and God brings an end to all of this rat race down here, I wonder what their pictures will be worth then? We do know for sure that God is going to have the last word. He will let them go for now, and let them run, figure, plan, and plot; and when the time is right, He will call an end to the whole thing; and judge those who have given their lives to such things while denying the very existence of the God that set all of this in motion in the first place. It shows a picture of the planet Neptune, and the moon that goes around it. It tells how it is three times larger than the earth. It tells how far out in space it is: and once this Voyager has gone beyond a certain point it has gone beyond our galaxy. I would hate to be on that thing, never to return. Anyhow, my point is this, As the gospel era opened to the Gentiles, their conduct and behavior was very unstable. Gentiles had a lot of religious ideas; but they were mostly about pagan gods. As I said earlier, You can go into some of these ancient cities and get a first hand view of what the Gentile world was like two thousand years ago. There is a temple, an idol, and an altar for every kind of deity they imagined might exist. They had a god for everything; and most of them were ignorant of the true God. Gentiles, if they saw a man, for some reason, that looked like he had certain spiritual qualities about him, immediately they want to worship him. They just assume there is deity in him. We see that here in Acts 10, which we read already, but did not finish commenting about, it is where Peter, with other men, was led to the house of Cornelius. I remind you, in the hour Cornelius lived, he was not a hillbilly. We blame everything on hillbillies; because we just assume they do not know anything. Well Cornelius was not like that. He was a Greek, a man of authority in the Roman army, so I believe it is reasonable to as-sume that he had knowledge according to what was available for one to know in the hour he lived. One thing we do know for sum, he had been worshiping the true God in some way that God honored; for God gave him a vision. He had been told by the angel of the Lord what to do; and that involved the apostle Peter to whom Jesus Had given the keys to the kingdom of heaven, (Mat-thew 16:19) “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Peter had received the instructions to go with the men Cornelius sent to him; so they approached the house where Cornelius and many others were waiting; and as they entered into the house Cornelius fell down at the feet of Peter to worship him. Just try to imagine, This was an officer of the Roman Army falling at the feet of a Jewish man, about to worship him. Why did he attempt to worship him? Simply because this was common practice throughout the Roman world back then. History declares that on certain occasions, the Roman emperors, the caesars, would purpose to make their appearance in society, in the streets of Rome; and as they would ride through the streets in the royal chariot, the citizens of the city would fall prostrate before the chariot, along the sides of the road, worshiping and adoring the gods that were supposed to be manifested in that Roman Caesar. This was a familiar scene in those days; but notice how that Jewish man responded to this practice. Peter took him up, saying, Stand up: I myself also am a man. This tells us that you would not get a Jew to worship man, nor receive worship of man like Gentiles did. It is true, Gentiles may have known more about the world and natural elements of the earth, and things like that, when it comes to intellectual learning; but they knew little about the God that created all of that. In ignorance, according to superstition and tradition, they did those things, not wanting to miss out on any benefit they might be able to receive. Paul and Barnabas reacted the same way Peter did, when Gentile pagans tried to worship them; but the world is full of Gentiles that will receive worship of another; and as I said before, The Catholic Church is the leader of them all. They will tell you that the pope of Rome is the successor of St. Peter. I always say this, If he is the successor of the apostle Peter, then let him use Peter as an example. You never would have found Peter changing the word of God and substituting his own words in place of that which was already written. The Catholic Church does that; but no true man of God does. No true man of God will accept adoration like the old pope does either. People fall prostrate before him, kiss his feet, kiss the ring on his finger and look to him for benefits that can only come from God Himself. Even the pope himself is deceived into believing he is the successor of Peter; and that he is the vicar of Christ, Christ’s personal representative on earth. Only a devil will make a man conduct himself like that man does.
HOW THINGS GOT OFF COURSE
I just want to give a brief background of Christianity through the ages; and try to show you how things got so far out of proportion from their original beginning. We touched on some things; but I will just give a little more background. Catholicism as it exists today, as one of the greatest religious institutions on the face of the earth, did not become what it is in a day of time. For the first five hundred years it was not known as the Catholic Church, like it is titled today. The word Catholic means universal. We know the true church of the living God is a universal Church; but God never intended that the universal Church of the living God have any natural headquarters, in any natural city, anywhere on earth. There is no central seat of authority for the true Church. The Pope of Rome never has been the holy see in the eyes of God. Rome never has been the holy city. There is only one city on the face of God’s green earth that can rightly be called by men, a holy city. That is Jerusalem, where God chose to reveal His name, around a thousand years before the time of Christ. That city is where the temple was built; That is where the royal kingdom was established; and where the royal family lived. It was called a holy city by the Jews, because of the temple. After the temple was built, God told those Jews, (It is written in Chronicles and Kings.) No matter where they may be at, as long as they prayed looking toward that place, He would hear their prayers, and would answer from heaven. Jerusalem is the only natural city God ever intended for men to honor; and it will not do for you what some people expect when they go there. There is no salvation virtue present in any of those places marked by man as places where miracles took place two thousand years ago. There is no healing virtue lingering there either. We go to those spots if we have the opportunity, because they have historical significance; but not to receive special virtue from having been there. However if any Jew ever prayed with that thought in mind about looking toward any city as a holy city, you can be certain of one thing, It will be Jerusalem he is looking toward, not Rome. We should realize today, especially when we look at prophecy of the scriptures in the light of church history, that the adoration, the honor, the attention and worship that is bestowed upon the pope by universal subjects, is the same honor and worship and so forth that was given to the ancient caesars, more than two thousand years ago. When the Roman Catholic Church in later centuries gradually changed the gospel, inserting tradition, changing a link here and a little there, each century would bring another pope on the scene that wanted to leave a name for himself. Therefore he would gradually begin to adopt and set in motion certain trends to be observed. At first, it would not be canonized; but would just be in-stituted and observed until it became a tradition to be accepted and patterned after. Once it is an accepted tradition, then it is canonized. It becomes a dogma, a cardinal law, and to them it is blasphemy to go against it or disobey it. In our day, we have a law passed by the lawmakers of the United States and upheld by the Supreme Court, that makes it against the law to speak against things that the Roman Catholic Church has done. I am breaking a law in the eyes of some; but God has called me, to tell you the truth; and this is necessary, in order to see where the Church got off course. We have to be convinced that we are going the wrong way, before we can be persuaded to make a change. If you are following the traditions of man, thinking you are serving God, you have a right to know how you got into such a shape; and what it will take to get you into a right relationship with your Creator. I want you to know, the Constitution of the United States was not written by Roman Catholic men. They were all Protestant men. The Roman Catholic Church never should have been allowed to get its claws in our society like it has. The Constitution has been twisted all out of proportion by liberal politicians that have been allowed too much liberty. I dare to say, When those men wrote the Constitution, showing that every American was to have freedom of worship, you can rest assured of one thing, they were doing this to protect the oncoming generations of the American society, from ever being brought under control or rule of that old hierarchy system from the old world, that had reigned such havoc on, and bought such a dark age period on that Roman society as it did. Those Protestant people that left the old world to get away from that old pagan system of religion, tried to draw up a Constitution that would protect the oncoming generations of American people from such an idolatrous, pagan system; and those who could have kept it that way have left the gate open and look what we have today. Little by little, that freedom our founding fathers held so dear, has been stripped from us; and the perverts and criminals have all the rights now. As I said, Gentiles are strange people. The world’s inventions have basically come from Gentile inventors. The Jews going home today, carry with them the knowledge they have gained while in dispersion among these technology advanced nations like the United States and Canada. If we are looking at agriculture, all the Jews that have gone back to Israel to be instrumental in helping build the Israeli agricultural community, are basically from the United States and Canada. They went back with the new technological, agricultural learning of how to make an acre of ground produce its potential. With that, other things he has used, putting them together, he is able to make his desert bloom and flourish like a garden, just as the Bible said it would in the last days. Not only have they knowledge of agriculture, but also of construction, the building of things which they were in urgent need of. They have taken this learning from Gentile technicians and architects and construction men, and have put it into practice in their home land. Why am I saying all of this? We can give the Gentiles that kind of credit; but when it comes to knowing God, it is a different story. Gentiles will not keep an original truth in its original state very long. Sooner or later the nature of a Gentile will cause him to begin to drift away from it. We can look at a biblical type of this. No one can deny the fact that Noah and his wife, and their three sons and their wives, were in the boat called the ark. Well I for one, refuse to accept the idea that they did not all believe in the one God that spoke to Noah and said, Build a boat, because there is going to be a flood. No doubt time and time again, Noah repeated that story to his sons, and no doubt he said, My Sons, do not ever forget why you are in this boat. It is because the God of heaven that created all things has allowed us to find grace in His sight. Well regardless of what they knew, when you go to chapter 12, 13, 14, in Genesis, you see how the trend to drift away began to come about. Man will just simply drift away from truth. Baptists are Baptists, Methodists are Methodists, Presbyterians are Presbyterians, and Lutherans are Lutherans; but actually most of them are what they are by tradition; and not by any kind of experience. An experience is something God has put inside of you because of the truth you have been brought in contact with. As I look back in my younger life, back during the depression years, the first time I ever remember being taken to church, as far as like a home church, was the Church of Christ at Borden, Indiana. I will never forget how that all struck me. I was just a little boy, and the Church of Christ had no piano, nor organ. I remember how the old song leader would get up – there and pull that tuning fork out ) of his pocket and set the scale to C, or B flat, and then bang it on the pulpit and go hummmm, and everybody else would go hummmmm and get their vocal ; chords in tune. Then “Blest be the tie that binds.” You become so used to that it just becomes part of you. However when I was about 13 or 14 years old, we moved from that place, to another place and because my mother and dad were from Methodist background, we started going to the old Methodist Church. They had a piano in the corner. Well it was not so hard to accept the piano, because I always thought when I ; would read in the Bible, especially in the book of Revelation, how there are golden harps in heaven; and if they are in heaven, why should the Church down here not have music also; but you can never get the Church of Christ to see that. They say, We speak – where the Bible speaks, and keep silent where the Bible is silent. Yes, that is the sad part of it, the Bible is mostly a closed book to them. That is why they cannot see any further truth than what their founding fathers saw. They just simply do not know how to interpret what they read in the Bible; so they just go around and around with what they have. As for me though, Yes, it was very easy to go along with the piano. However I will always remember my reaction to another instrument in the church house; My wife and I were already married then. We went to a little mission controlled by Methodist people; and here came a sister that night with a guitar. The minute I saw her get up with that guitar to sing, I thought, My goodness sakes! What has the devil brought in now! I blushed. I thought that was terrible. I brought all of this into the message to call your attention to the fact that religion is in a bad shape. So called Christianity is just religion; and it is in a bad shape. It is about like a bad case of chickenpox. You just break out all over with it, but it does not make you feel very good. Nevertheless, the song that sister sang was beautiful; and the melody of the guitar along with the piano made it sound so wonderful. Well I was not long getting over that feeling about the guitar; but the first time I was exposed to the worship and praise practices of the Pentecostal people, I received another shock, they had two guitars and a banjo, and an accordion, and then I heard the drums. I thought, For goodness sakes, the whole thing is falling apart. I have to tell you though, That made me start reading the Bible. I wanted to know, Where does this all come from? When you read the Psalms, they are not only songs, they are prophecies in songs; but since they were prophecies in song, they were sung. God gave them to the Jewish people. In those psalms God told them to worship Him on everything that made a noise. Praise Him on the loud sounding cymbals. Whether it is a piano or an organ, loud sounding cymbals. If you could see some of these cymbals they would play in the Army parade band. If you were standing close by, it sounded like it would lift you off your feet. The main thing is, the Jews did not worship their God inside a building, like you do. They worshiped God at the temple, in the outer court. The temple was not a building they went inside of to sing and pray. The temple was only a place where certain priests went in once each day. Once each year the high priest would go into the inner room, behind the veil, but only once each year. Saints, We will finish this next issue. Continued next issue.