WE HAVE SOME STARTLING THINGS TO READ TO YOU; BUT FIRST I WANT TO SAY THIS, SOMETIMES I SAY THINGS THAT SOUND VERY HARSH. IT IS JUST MY WAY OF EXPRESSION. THEREFORE, TO ANY VIEWER OF A VIDEO OR ANYONE THAT WOULD HEAR THIS ON TAPE OR WOULD READ IT IN THE CONTENDER, I DO NOT WANT PEOPLE TO THINK I AM SOME HEARTLESS CREATURE WITH A WARPED MIND. I DO NOT WANT ANYONE TO THINK I LOOK DOWN UPON THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE THIS OR THAT OR ANYTHING DIFFERENT THAN WHAT I AM. I AM WHAT I AM BY THE GRACE OF GOD. EVEN AFTER ALL WE CAN SAY OR DO IN THIS LIFE, IF WE MAKE IT TO GLORY IT WILL BE BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND NOT BECAUSE WE HAVE MERITED ANYTHING BY OUR GOOD WORKS, NOR BY JUST SIMPLY BELIEVING THE RIGHT DOCTRINE. WE HAVE TO HAVE SOMETHING IN US THAT KNOWS HOW TO WALK WITH GOD IN THAT TRUTH. GOD PROVIDES US AN OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW HOW TO WALK WITH HIM; BUT MANY TIMES OUR OWN SELF INTEREST AND RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS WILL BLIND OUR SPIRITUAL EYES TO WHAT HE HAS PLACED BEFORE US; AND EVEN THOUGH OUR MIND MAY GRASP THE RIGHT DOCTRINE, THESE OTHER THINGS WE HANG ON TO KEEP US FROM ALLOWING THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO ACTIVATE THAT TRUTH IN OUR HEARTS. THEREFORE, OUR PURPOSE IN PRESENTING THIS MESSAGE IS TO ALLOW YOU TO SEE SOME OF WHAT OTHERS HAVE GIVEN THEIR ALLEGIANCE TO AND LET YOU SEE WHERE THE BIBLE SAYS THEY WILL END UP: SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO LOVE FOR THE TRUTH.
WHO WAS BUDDHA?
In what we call the Far East, all the way from India through the Orient, there was a man who rose up between the fifth and sixth centuries B.C., and became known as Buddha. He was the founder of Buddhism; which was none other than something like a philosophy of life. This only added a teacher that was to be the beginning of another religious belief the great country of India was affected by. Buddhism spread all over the country of India. It spread into the Far East. In five hundred years, that part of the world was filled with temples, all kinds of paintings and art work. Men have picked up this life style of Buddha. May I say this, young men accepted the same life style. They became celibate in their living style. They became known as monks. They gathered around these temples. They lived from the alms of people. They too had a rosary they used to pray to a god they knew nothing about. Yet, here was a great teacher that had left them a life style. That is why I said, when we were there in 1978, we were taken to the place where he made his start. There are 27 caves ( I believe that is correct) in this mountain canyon. In those caves, some of those rooms are as big as this church interior. On the walls are all kinds of paintings portraying the followers, the lifestyle they lived, their festivities, the music and all such like. In every room there is an image of the physical Buddha in a certain physical pose. Some of them portray him standing, like he is standing at attention. All of those figure positions mean something in that Buddha teaching. To some, he is sitting with arms crossed and his legs crossed. You have seen that in certain books. He was known as a great meditator, a thinker, a philosopher. He became known as the enlightened one, but it never brought peace and salvation to lost mankind, just another religion Satan shot out there in the dark to further confuse people. (This world is full of confusion today and it will get worse instead of better.) Finally, we come to the time of Christ. Satan was still on the scene. The reason I am saying these things is because we are going to be reading things to let you know we are living in a day of modern man’s thinking. If you had a dream or vision of some terrible thing going to happen, you have a lot of modernists that would say, We simply see that as mass hysteria, but there is also such a thing as supernatural manifestations that are projected into the natural world using natural man, because he is the instrument that seems to be the vehicle the hidden world, the mystery world, the spirit world contacts. These are the things that our modern, educated society cannot relate to. That is how the spirit world is. It is a world of mystery. It is a realm where Satan can be at the head for yet a little season of time. We need to realize though that even though Satan is allowed to project into natural society his works of darkness, the spirit world is also a realm where God has preeminence. By allowing Satan to forerun Him in just about everything He intends to do, the Creator is really just using him to put mankind to the test. The true seed of God recognize the false, flee from it and follow truth; while the rest just coast right on along having a good time on their way to hell. True Christians are in a constant warfare. Did not the apostle Paul say, (in Ephesians 6:11) “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil?” He also said, (in the next verse) “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” There is an environment about this earth, where not only the Spirit of God is present, but the spirit of Satan also; along with a great host of angels and demons. It is like a tug of war as each force vies for our attention and allegiance. That is why we are always subject to spiritual warfare and it will be like that continually until this grace age ends and Jesus takes us away with Him. Satan will rule through his antichrist vessel for a period of 3½ years after that and then he is bound for a thousand years. That is as soon as this world will be free from his wicked influence.
HOW CATHOLICISM GOT ITS START
We were talking earlier about the Roman emperor Constantine and what part he played in the inauguration of this trinity doctrine the world of religion is sold out to. We spoke of how he came to be the beginning of head number six on the beast that has seven heads and ten horns. Now I want to read something to you that will enable you to see how he came to his position of rulership. Coming into the third century after the advent of Christ, the Church had already existed almost three hundred years. However, in the Middle East where it started and especially in the realm called Asia Minor, which is actually Turkey today, the generations in the third century began to be a people that were not like the apostolic Christians we read about in the book of Acts, and the people the epistles were written to. Confusion began to come among them over the doctrine of the Godhead. It was important for the devil to destroy the original teaching of the Godhead that the Jewish apostles brought to us Gentiles. It must have been important or the devil would not have gone to so much trouble trying to destroy it. When he finally succeeded in destroying the total formula at the Nicaea council in 325 A.D., there was a substitute formula adopted in its place. It is called the “trinity”. We do not have time to go into all the history, but it is a fact that Roman Catholicism as we know it today has shoved that trinity doctrine down the throat’s of mortal mankind for centuries of time. She plainly tells the world she is the original, the originator and the protector of the great mystery of the triune godhead. She is glad to let the world know she is, but the real truth is, Catholicism rode in on that doctrine. The Bishop of the Christian assembly at Rome began to be one highly respected and looked up to. That was the devil’s first trick, as far as getting Christians off course and then throwing a blow at them that was destined to affect man’s spiritual thinking for ages to come. The devil watched all that was taking place as those old guards of the apostolic faith passed from the scene, so he knew the exact hour to strike. Up until the hour of Constantine, Christians had been despised, persecuted and martyred. Their blood is in every arena in the old world. Finally Constantine, a young man that history declares always had a feeling for the Christians, came into a place of authority. He had seen his former leaders treat them with such hostility, yet he was powerless to do anything about it until he actually came to the throne. When word reached Constantine that a particular leader was dead and he was asked to come to Rome and take over, there was much rivalry for that position. He knew he would have to fight to gain that position upon that imperial chair in Rome, so he prepared himself to meet the challenge. As we said earlier, that old imperial system of rulership was in a very weakened condition. Those who ascended to that throne did not last very long. They were either assassinated or they just simply committed suicide or something. A few were slain in battle. Anyhow, we are looking into the terminology used in Bible prophecy about the head that was wounded as unto death and the deadly wound was healed. Some of you will remember that Bro. William Branham just made a passing remark referring to it as old imperial Rome, but are you aware that there are many people who do not even know what the word imperial means? Well, there are many dictionary definitions for the word, but in the case of Roman rule, it simply pertains to a dictatorial or dogmatic rule. What is the difference between imperial Rome and papal Rome? As far as the city, nothing. It is how the spirit that was in the ancient Caesars eventually became the spirit that was in the pope. That actually makes the difference in the terminology. The rulership was basically the same. The old Caesars sat in Rome and ruled and a thousand years later, a pope was sitting in Rome, ruling the very same way. Now tell me what is the difference. Imperial Rome dates back to the title those old Caesars carried. They were known as sovereign, universal rulers. The emperors regarded Rome as the imperial city, the city that should rule the world. That is why it is a city empire. When you talk about the Grecian Empire, you do not see the name of a city mentioned because you are talking about a people and a territory. The same way with the Medes and Persian Empire. That is a people, territory empire. You read little about the capital city. Babylon the first beast, was a city empire, the next two were not, but the fourth and last beast to rule the world is a city empire. These are things we ought understand, but not get so technical about it that we lose our perspective. We just simply intend to show some of what took place to fulfill Bible prophecy. Constantine accounts for head number six on the old Roman beast; so I want to read from these pages I copied from an early European history book. It shows how he came to power. Constantine, a pagan, the head of an army, was on his way to Rome to take over the rulership so let me read this: “There were thus six competitors for the empire and a scene of contention followed scarcely parallel in the annals of Rome. Maximan quarreled with his son and was put to death. Chlorus died not long after, which reduced the number of aspirants to four. Maxentius speedily commenced upon hostilities and Constantine, at the head of the powerful army, marched toward Rome. During this long journey, that famous change took place in his religion of politics which resulted in the overthrow of paganism and the establishment of Christianity as the religion of the empire. One evening while employed in meditation upon the conflicting things that was about to take place, he sent up sacrifices, offerings to heaven for divine guidance. As if an answer to his prayer, a luminous cross suddenly appeared above the declining sun, bearing the inscription, In this overcome. The same night a vision confirmed the miracle and Constantine became a convert to Christianity. A royal standard was made to resemble that scene in the sky and carried before him as an ensign of victory and celestial protection. Maxentius was defeated and drowned in the river. The competitors was thus reduced to three.” It goes on and tells in the book about this experience he had; how as he made it known when he gained the entrance to Rome and how it brought about a great attraction to him. Here stands a man that has been divinely guided to gain this position. As he took control, he made a decree through the Roman Senate that the Christian people would no longer be persecuted. They would be recognized from then on. It tells in another book why Constantine made the religion of the Christians the major religion of the Roman Empire. Do you know why? Because it was a growing thing. Something about it was attractive. It was amazing how up until that hour the Christians had such faith and loyalty to their belief that they were willing to be pitched to the lions and to be tortured in every conceivable way, rather than recant and all such like. Let me read what another historian says. This is the history by John Marsham. “He prayed for light and while marching with his forces a miraculous cross appeared to him in the air with the inscription, Conquer by this. The same night Christ appeared to him in his sleep with the same sign of the cross and directed him to make his military ensign of such.” That is from two separate histories. I read that to let you know, Constantine, a pagan, Roman emperor, somehow or other was suddenly directed by some kind of divine guidance. That was not mass hysteria. He was a human being whose mind, whose life and his influence had reached a point in time that the devil knew he could use him through the empire he was going to rule over; so he just simply helped him along. Catholics will say, Constantine became a Christian. He became a Christian in name, but this vision was not from God. It was a trick of the devil. We will understand more about this as we go on. It tells us that after he set the council at Nicaea and assembled the people there, it was finally voted to kick out the old teaching that had been preached and upheld in prior times for a new formula pertaining to the Godhead. There is where they put in the trinity. Following that, as Christianity became the accepted religion of the Roman Empire, this Rev. John Marsham who printed this history in 1835, said, The world came into the church. That is why I say, Constantine, the sixth head, introduced Christianity to the Roman state for courtship. I hope you understand what I mean? Simply this, when the world was no longer going to persecute her, then the world could look at her and make up her mind and the world began to accept her. This is the courtship. They liked her. Keep in mind, the oncoming generations that were the generations of people that filled the ranks of so called Christendom were losing their contact with God in the real spiritual relationship and eventually they lost their whole foundation because they no longer retained their revelation of the Godhead. What was still referred to as the “Church” was destined to become an institution of Satan. That is why we have to understand that Satan works in the realm of man’s political structure to accomplish his devious schemes. When he sees it necessary to use something that looks very divine, he will shoot it forth and insert in it something to accomplish his purpose, because he knows what he is doing. While Constantine no doubt means well, in the history of the third century we read what happened. Christianity was brought in and the world (the people of the Roman society) begin to court and flirt with her. Christianity drifted off into apostasy. Every decade or so, or every century or so, rituals, ceremonies, things pertaining to worship began to change and the word of God was slowly pushed right out of the picture. We come to the history of the sixth century and find that apostasy had just about taken all of Christianity, even in the Middle East, the very area where it had its beginning. They had lost (speaking in general terms) their ability to be led by the Spirit of God. They were just simply carrying out a man-made ritual. Keep in mind, Christianity had its beginning in Jerusalem. Just as Paul went to Turkey, which was Asia at that time, other apostles went into Arabia, into Egypt and so forth. Christianity did not just exist in Rome and the Middle East; it spread everywhere. Likewise, when that trinity form of water baptism was introduced as a result of the Nicaea council, it also spread everywhere. Catholicism claims to be the original Church that was born in the book of Acts; but what she is built upon did not exist until after 325 A.D. and the devil used the Roman Emperor Constantine to set the stage for every bit of it. Those first century Christians never even heard such a phrase as “The blessed holy trinity” they lift up as such a divine mystery. Nevertheless, that Catholic dogma is what people who joined the ranks of the Church were subjected to for centuries to come, until the Reformation broke forth and set some of them free. We will come back to this; but for the purpose of showing what Christianity was faced with after she lost her revelation of the Godhead and other foundational truths of the Christian faith, I want to go ahead and cover another religion that swept through the very same lands the gospel had been proclaimed in.
THE BEGINNING OF MOHAMMEDANISM
In Saudi Arabia, in the sixth century, as the Christians were getting cold and taking everything for granted, there was a man by the name of Mohammad stepping into the picture. He was the prophet that suddenly had an experience with God and as a result of his experience he became known as the founder of Mohammedanism. He was supposed to have had a vision and out of that experience he began to be a great teacher. In the oncoming decades and generations to come, his teachings began to cover all of the Middle East, right where Christianity, up until that hour, had been in preeminence. His teaching began to override everything else. In many places the later followers of Mohammed became warlike, aggressive. In certain places they went, they destroyed the Christians. Others accepted the Christians right to exist just as long as they were willing to live in peace and not be aggressive and such like with their Christian teaching. One thing about those Muslims, they do not worship Mohammed their prophet; they worship Allah (their name for God). They do not even deny Judaism and Christianity; they just simply believe their prophet was greater than Moses and Jesus and that he had the last and greater message for mankind from God. I want to take you to his experience, recorded in H.G. Wells’ Outline of World History; just to show you how the devil works. “While I was sleeping in the house, Gabriel came and stirred me with his feet. (I do not know whether Gabriel would really walk up and kick you or not, but that is what Mohammed said happened to him). He brought me out of the door. There was a white animal, half mule and half donkey, (When we read our Bible, it is a donkey or it is a horse, it is not a half breed.) with wings at its sides, with which it propelled its feet. Qatada said he was told by the apostle, (apostle is what Mohammad called himself) when I came to mount him the animal shied. Gabriel placed his hand on its mane and said, Are you not ashamed, Oh Baruk, (That is what the animal’s name was) to behave this way. By God, no more honorable man before you than Mohammad, has ever ridden you before. The animal was so ashamed that it broke out in a sweat and stood still so that I could mount him. (This was all in a vision at night.) In his story, Alhasan said the apostle and Gabriel went their way until they arrived at the temple in Jerusalem. (This was in 600 and something A.D. when actually there was no temple at Jerusalem.) There he found Abraham, Moses and Jesus among the company of the prophets. The apostle acted as their leader in prayer. There he was brought two vessels, one containing wine and the other milk. The apostle took the milk and drank it, leaving the wine. Gabriel said, you have been rightly guided and so will your people. Mohammed, wine is forbidden you. That is why the Islamic’s are like they are today. Now it goes ahead and tells here other experiences this man had. But the point is, right out of the midst of the Arab world, right in the same area where Jews were living, still practicing Judaism and right in an area where there was Christian influence, this man Mohammed began to be dealt with like that. As he used those visions (and there are multiplied numbers of them in the writings of the Islamic book) I have to ask, is this really God changing His plan? No, it is Satan being permitted to use a human being at a strategic time when people that could and should know how to be able to walk and communicate with God, were cold and unproductive in the work of the kingdom of God. What about those Jews that were there? This goes to show they were so far out on the limb of a traditional interpretation of their law and the prophets, they did not even know where they were. The Christians of that hour, some 600 years after the advent of Christ and the birth of the Church, were so traditionally oriented and in such a sound sleep spiritually, they were out of contact with their Creator. God will not tolerate a condition like that forever. When He gives a people something that is to be spiritually beneficial, they had better cherish it and be productive with it; because, the minute we begin to play with it and consider it to be something common, He will take it away from us. Many times we are chastened for having allowed such a thing to happen. That is why as Mohammed began to teach his revelations to gain followers, many Jews were converted to his teaching. It tells us in the history of the Islamic writings that many of the Jews in the area of Arabia were actually converted to this teaching; because, they felt that this man was telling them a truth. Even some of the so-called Christians were converted. In the oncoming centuries the Islamic people of this belief became aggressive. Out of Saudi Arabia, they began to explore. The first thing they did was grab the area of the Holy Land. Then they spread into Egypt. Then they spread eastward into Syria and into the area of Iraq and today the teaching of Islam is just about everywhere you go.
WHAT ABOUT THE NAME FATIMA?
I will read what is written here about this name Fatima, to get the history setting connected up. We just want to show where the word Fatima originated. This is taken out of the Islamic book. The word caliph is talking about what we in the Christian realm would call a bishop. They call him caliph. It speaks here of the family of this prophet (and he had more than one wife). There was dissension and bickering among them. All this lurked in the background of the Moslem affairs as this started out, so let us read. “The rule of the first two caliphs was now coming out into the light of day. (We have heard of Mohammed Ali. Well Ali, who was the nephew to Mohammed the Great, was the adopted son also and the son-in-law of the prophet. What a conglomeration) Ali was the husband of the prophet’s daughter Fatima, and had considered himself the rightful (meaning Ali had considered himself the rightful) caliph to take over. His claims formed an undertow to the resentment of the city of Medina and of the rival families of Mecca against the advancement of the Onayyads. (Here is the other woman, which was the wife of Ali.) But Ayesha, the favorite wife of the prophet, had always been jealous of Fatima and hostile to Ali. The splendid opening of the story of Islam collapsed suddenly into this dispute and bickering of heirs and widows.” Well, you have heard of their harems. They have more than one wife. Notice as I read from H.G. Wells. “The prophets death in 632 was the first crisis of the Moslem community. Neither the quorum or Mohammed had made any provision for a successor. Indeed he is quoted as saying, prophets have no heirs. Although he had contracted several marriages after Khadija’s death, his wives had born him no children. His son Abraham, by his Egyptian concubine Mary, had died in infancy. His closest relative was his cousin and son-in-law Ali, who as the husband of Khadija’s daughter, Fatima, was father of Mohammed’s grandchildren.” On and on the story goes. Anyhow, that is how the word Fatima comes into the spotlight of what we are reading about in the histories of things that will come about. In the centuries that followed, the country of Egypt became a Christian society, all the way into Ethiopia. By the time we come to around the eighth century, the followers of Ali had come out of Arabia, come into Egypt and they had desecrated every Christian church, killed a lot of the Christians, those that did not convert to their teaching. They left some, but they were no longer in preeminence. All across North Africa this great Islamic scourge of judgment began to go, uprooting, tearing down and destroying, where Christianity right after the advent of Christ, had been growing and flourishing. It kept on growing across North Africa until it came to the country we know as Morocco. There in Morocco these people accepted this Islamic belief, then later, Spain was invaded by the Moors, the Moroccan Islamic believing people. It tells in history this wife of Ali, her name Fatima, that name became a famous name in the Islamic people’s belief. Wherever they went they named things, places, after her. When they came into Spain and the area of Portugal, they lived there until Columbus was in the process of discovering the new world. When we were in Spain we went to old Toledo. There we were given a brief glimpse of what it was like when the Moors were there and when Jews lived there. We will leave this portion of history for now. I just thought we should take time to look at Mohammed and Fatima while I had the little history book here before me.
SCRIPTURES SOME STUMBLE OVER
For a little while now, we will deal with something I believe is more important than a lot of people realize. People become divided over various things; especially preachers, teachers of prophecy and such like. The thought is this, one will say the antichrist is such an such a man; and another will say the false prophet has to be some other man. Then there are those who say, the antichrist has got to be a Syrian, simply because of a certain scripture. On and on the differences of opinion can go. Do you know why? Simply because that is exactly what it is, just an opinion without any substance of vindication. It is all because somewhere that kind of mind has lost track of the real picture. In Daniel 7:25, the word horn appears. That is the horn that Daniel saw come up in the midst of the ten and how that horn magnified himself. He had a mouth speaking great things. He had eyes like a man. We understand in secular history that the rise of the pope in Rome eventually superseded all the powers and rivalries of these temporal kingdoms (horns) that are seen as nations after the fall of imperial Rome. Some preachers and students will say the healing of this wounded head is the healing of imperial Rome; but like I said earlier, they say that, not knowing what the word imperial is actually referring to. The word imperial began to have its meaning centered around how the ancient Caesars ruled from that city. Imperial Rome, was the Roman empire under the dogmatic rule of the old Caesars; before the break up of that empire. Therefore, it would only have been portrayed as one head. That was imperial, sovereign, political, military Rome before she began her decline. The fall of it was not the literal fall and decaying of the city, geographically; but the decaying and weakening of the old imperial political system that had been established by the ancient Caesars. What we need to be aware of now is the fact that the old imperial power was replaced by what is called in secular history, papal power. That is why Revelation 17 speaks of the beast that was, and is not, and yet is, saying that it shall ascend out of the bottomless pit. No man comes from there. No geographical territory comes from there. It is a spirit that ascends out of the bottomless pit. Just think of it, the spirit of the ancient Caesars came up out of the bottomless pit and where did it go? Into the pope of Rome. That was how Satan brought together a world empire of his own. When that system fell from its old imperial position, that spirit just absolutely changed its appearance. It eventually expressed itself in the papacy. That is what made it different. Instead of political, imperial Rome ruling all of Europe, it became papal Rome ruling all of Europe. The power of the popes outlived all other monarchies, kingdoms and systems of government that had become identified through time in these various horns. Now it is very evident and a proven fact at this point in time, that coming from behind the curtain of papal secrecy and Vatican Bureaucracy, are the plans that are already in motion for the restoration and final identifying of the pope once again as the leader of Europe; which in the end is going to climax all the prophecies concerning the antichrist that is to come forth. You see it today, how it (the beast) has slowly been rising out of the sea. We can say the rising began with what began to take place at the close of WW2. We read from this man’s writing, this Malachi Martin, that the United States at the close of WW2, was definitely the military giant; and that their monetary means, technology, education and investment in other lands, was the very thing that helped bring this about, the healing of that wounded head. That is why the lamb beast in Revelation 13 is not something just to be hypothetically thrown out there saying, it is unimportant. We do not have to worry about that. Observing the role the United States has played in all of this is very important. If this Catholic writer himself will accept and identify the United States for what she has actually done in the last fifty years, then it behooves you and I to realize it is much later in time than a lot of people think. Time will not allow people to just play around with ideas very much longer, just simply ignoring the facts. Remember saints, we are looking at a beast rising up out of the sea for its end time role; but the main focus should be upon the man who will direct that beast; and he will be none other than the pope of Rome. He is called a horn, a prince, and a king in Daniel; and in the New Testament he is called son of perdition, false prophet, man of sin and antichrist; and I am sure there are some who say, How come this one man is called so many different things? Here is how we have to look at it: We first must have a knowledge of what others who have held his office in prior eras of history have done, prior to the time when the papal head of the old beast is healed. The thing that throws a lot of people off is that they do not take what is written in Daniel 7 and apply it all the way through. If you will start with chapter seven and read right on through chapter eight and pay attention to Daniel’s questions and the answers given him, you will have a lot of your own questions answered. When he saw the Roman Empire come into existence, then the ten horns appear, and in the midst of the ten this other little horn that magnified himself above his fellows, that little horn (power) could be none other than papal power. There is only one picture in secular history that gives you the right picture of how this symbolic terminology applies. You have to see in the rise to power of the pope of Rome. The pope of Rome was that horn of Daniel 7 that magnified himself above his fellows, the predecessors, these temporal, political, national horns that were territorial. When you read Daniel 9:26-27, it does not refer to this character as a horn. It associates him with the title of prince. In verse 26, Daniel saw the people of the prince that was yet to come, come and destroy Jerusalem and the temple. That was all done by the Roman army under the leadership of Vespasian and then his son Titus as Vespasian had been sent forth by Nero to deal with an uprising among the Jews. History writers and a lot of theologians will agree on this much: that it was the Roman army that destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish temple; but they fail to see the connection to the antichrist in that verse. The prince that shall come is the antichrist; therefore, if it was the people of that certain prince that destroyed the city and the sanctuary, and those people were Romans, that very explicitly tells us that the antichrist will come from Rome. Even though many of those soldiers may have spoke German, Greek and who knows what else, they were all under the command of a Roman General who received his orders from the imperial Caesar; so the people of that prince to come were the ones that destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. That destruction took place in 69 A.D.; but the prince that shall come was for a time yet in the future as we deal with this subject. That is when verse 27 comes into the picture. Let us read those two verses so you will have a better picture of what we are dealing with. Dan. 9:26 “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: (We all know that was Jesus, but from there on it is someone else.) And the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. (27) And he (the prince that shall come) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst (or middle) of the week (the seventieth week of Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy) he (that prince which will be the antichrist) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease (That initiates the 3½ years of great tribulation that is to be worse than anything the Jews have ever known before). And for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” If you will agree that those old popes back during the Dark Ages did some horrible deeds, then just try to imagine what the one this scripture refers to could do that will be worse than anything any of those others ever did. It will literally be hell on earth for 3½ years until the great KING comes from heaven with His mighty army to judge the whole thing. How will a sweet, peace loving, baby kissing pope become such a devil, you may ask? Well, Revelation 13:2, gives us the answer, “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” The dragon is the devil, the same spirit that anointed Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus: after he had been taking part in the same ministry with the other eleven apostles for 3½ years. Yes saints, the same spirit that was on the old Caesars of Rome and then on the popes of Rome will once again rest upon the pope of Rome; because, that wounded head is healed. Verse 3 says, “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Of course, this terminology causes a lot of people to get the wrong idea. When you stop to realize that the papal office received very little attention from the time of the wounding by the Reformation on up to the middle of this century, the whole world wondering after the beast just simply means the pope is back in the forefront of world attention. Modern mankind today is begging for someone to take the initiative in introducing to the world a formula for world peace; and this fellow is going to do just exactly that. People want some kind of kingdom where they no longer have to worry about wars and all kinds of turmoil. They want to take the money spent on those things and use it to drink, carouse around, build nice homes, eat and get fat as pigs. Bro. Jackson, why do you talk like that? Because that is what the Bible says Belshazzar and his bunch were doing when the heart of the lion was changed and was made to stand up like a man. They lost that vicious, conquering desire and turned to throwing parties, drinking, playing games and celebrating. When man gets to living in pleasure, drinking, reveling, God sees them like a bunch of pigs. If you did not know that, it is because you have not read the word right. Bro. Jackson, you sound like you agree with wars. I do not, but as long as man is left to live on this planet, being born of woman with the inherited nature to sin, there is always going to be something in the making to prevent any kind of lasting peace. You may educate one generation and think you have an ideal situation; but along comes the next generation just as wild as can be. The devil is going to make sure he agitates them enough to make renegades out of them. All he has to do is stir up their inbred nature and selfishness and greed will do the rest. That is mortal, sinful man’s way of thinking; how or what can I do for me? Therefore, when we think of this prince that is to come, what does the word prince mean? In the natural, a prince is the son of royalty. When you read in history of ancient times among those royal families, any time it was necessary for some kind of agreement be worked out between two rival powers, many times instead of the king, the head of the state, going first, he would send his son, the prince. The prince in going became an ambassador of peace. If the son was accepted, that paved the way for the eventual head of state to make his appearance. Keep in mind, God sent His Son into this world, to do what? To be the Prince of Peace. First though, provision was made for inner peace. Inner peace is the most sought after thing one could ever think of; but far too few people in the world today ever find it. If we can accept God’s offer, His kingdom within brings that inner peace. The external peace is not included in that work of grace; but this internal peace will eventually be the thing that over rides Satan’s world and his kingdom; and then the Prince of Peace will come again and give peace to the whole earth. That is why in Haggai chapter 2, it tells you concerning the shaking of all things, that as the shaking sets in, for its last day purpose, it will lead to peace. (2:9) “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place (Jerusalem) will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.” That means peace to the earth of course; but He had to first come and offer man inward peace. That is why He said, Peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. In me there is peace, happiness; but in the world, tribulation. The Catholic Church turns it right around. They materialize it, making it completely a false interpretation of scriptures. Nevertheless, we must realize that this prince Daniel spoke of is pointing to the future role of whoever this little horn will be. Once this horn becomes established here in the end time, when that prince is to appear, we can say this, the horn is definitely the power that now becomes invested in the last day pope, and he is actually going to be Satan’s prince. He is actually the earth’s false Messiah also.
Coming to Daniel 11, in the first part of the chapter the angel is telling Daniel something, how to understand the Grecian Empire, how it will be broken up and how within the midst of the breaking up there would be a horn rise up and do terrible atrocities against the holy people. That little horn was none other than Antiochus Epiphanes, a Syrian prince, but a king. He did just exactly what the prophecies portrayed. I have the history; but that is not what we are focusing on in this message. He was a Syrian and fulfilled all he was supposed to; but we want to learn everything we can about the little horn that came up among the ten on the Roman beast. When we come on down to verses 36 on through 45, the picture leaves Antiochus Epiphanes and goes all the way to the end time. I know it sounds like the thought is still in Syria, timewise; but it is not understood like that. However, a lot of people will look at what this Syrian did and become convinced that the antichrist will have to come from Syria. Well, let me say it again, the king in verse 36 will not be a Syrian; he will be a Roman. At least his office is a Roman office. The spirit that motivates him will come out of hell; but the man himself will come from Rome when he steps forth to fulfill his end time role in prophecy of the scriptures. Satan can come and go as he pleases for as long as it takes to fulfill all he is destined to do.
God can cause him to appear on one standpoint for a period of time and then God can cause him to have to relinquish his hold and disappear for a period of time, and yet allow him to come right back. Man cannot do that. A man only lives within his particular generation, and then falls asleep and is buried; but the spirit that has motivated his life is free to move right on to someone else. Once he is buried, he is out of the picture; but the spirit that motivated him does not die. It is either an angel of God or a spirit out of hell. His deeds will testify of the kind of spirit he is led by. That is the way we have to look at it. When you take secular history, you see how Antiochus sacrificed a sow on the altar in Jerusalem desecrating the temple. He made the Jewish people eat swine flesh, had some of their children boiled in oil and so forth. All of that animosity and hatred that he executed against the Jewish people set a profound type of how the spirit of Satan would in future tense time, characterize and manifest itself against the Jewish people in the last days when God would allow him to come against the Jewish people, which are now restored to the land of Israel, to fulfill one of the most abominable periods of hatred against a race of people that has ever been known in human history. The spirit of Antiochus, a Syrian king, will be on the prince of the people that destroyed Jerusalem in 69 A.D.; and it will cause that prince to act like a devil. So verse 36, in Daniel 11, picks up with the king that shall definitely be in power in the last days. It tells us how that king, starting in verse 36, how he will magnify himself above all gods, how he will not serve the god of his father, but the god of force, meaning military, scientific and the god of gold, meaning wealth, earthly monetary means. It plainly tells you how he will plant his tabernacle between the seas in the most glorious holy mountain. That is exactly when the antichrist, the world’s false prophet will come out of Rome (in the middle of the week) and break his covenant with Israel. When he crosses the Mediterranean to fulfill the words that it says between verse 36 and 45 of this chapter, true saints of God will have already had him revealed to them. The apostle Paul made that very clear in his Thessalonian letter. Where did the apostle Paul get his revelation he wrote in his epistles to the Thessalonian Church? He took his Old Testament scrolls and went into the Arabian Desert for three years; and by studying them and seeking the will of God, he came out with a revelation of the plan of God which we find in the 14 Epistles he wrote to the different Christian Churches. In the second chapter of his second letter to the Thessalonian Church concerning the coming of the Lord for His church, the bride, and our gathering together unto Him, he plainly told them that it will not come until there first come a falling away, and the man of sin be revealed, the man he also called the son of perdition. Is it not strange that prophets and now an apostle call this certain character by so many different titles? These are figurative titles. You have to investigate each one because they each bring out something about this man of sin. That is why you just do not simply call him an antichrist and say that is all he is. He is a horn, a prince, a false prophet, and all these things; and they all have a meaning. He is everything all wrapped up in one body of clay. These titles all have something to do with his spirit, how he fulfills his prophesied role.
A CLOSER LOOK AT TITLES GIVEN THE FUTURE ANTICHRIST
As we examine the scriptures, we find various titles attributed to the coming antichrist that cause a lot of preachers to dogmatically say, that could not possibly apply to the pope. Well, I disagree with them. Every terminology used to speak of the antichrist fits the pope of Rome at some juncture in time. Not just the present pope, but those who have sat in his chair. The identity is with his office first and then each particular man in his hour of time. Remembering that the little horn Daniel described spoke of papal power, we would have to agree that many men have fulfilled that part. When Daniel, in verse 36 of chapter 11, called him the king that shall do according to his will; and exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished, don’t you ever think that cannot apply to the pope of Rome. I will challenge any doctor of divinity that wants to argue or discuss the issue to try and prove me wrong. When you go back to the 12th century A.D., from then until the hour of the Reformation, there was no leader in Europe, no king in Europe and central Europe or eastern Europe that could wiggle out from under the control of the pope. Papal power had jurisdiction over all other temporal kings. That in itself made him a king, because he usurped authority over every other king of those ten horns. I read out of the histories the other night how between the 11th and 12th centuries, the popes started saying how they have been invested with the universal authority to be God’s invested leader on earth. He may be dethroned by no man because his position is imparted to him by God. That is blasphemy. Yet he himself can dethrone kings, emperors, potentates, magistrates, or anyone else he figures is a secular man. He can remove him from office. Secular history shows he did it. Henry the Fourth of Germany called him a false monk. He wound up, during the winter, standing in the snow to repent. We have already covered that. Also, Frederick Barbarossa of Italy wanted to unite Italy and Germany together in one territorial nation; but when he went up against the pope who was against it, he ended up kneeling and kissing the pope’s feet in an act of repentance. He too had to do it. Then Philip of France drove one woman away and married another. He too had to submit to that authority of the pope in Rome. I would like to ask some of these doctors of divinity to please tell me, what man, what office, what system, for three hundred years before the Reformation, had any more authority in Europe than the pope of Rome? All other kings were subservient to him. Your secular histories plainly tell you that. Therefore, I ask you, what does that tell us about the future one? Though he may not call himself a king, the spirit on him will make him exactly that. It has already been demonstrated in others before him; back in the Middle Ages, just before the head was wounded. The generation alive on earth today knows very little about how life in Europe under the papacy was. The Reformation, the period of time in which the head was wounded, lasted long enough for generations of people to live and die until the true reason for the Reformation became of very little meaning to the masses. Therefore, the healing has come about when society in general had forgotten what the general society was like when that head was in power, when it was alive, when it was flourishing and when the territories of Europe were under his control. After so long a time, oncoming generations just seem to go to sleep on history. It becomes unimportant to far too many and without the knowledge of what has been, it is difficult to understand what is yet to come; that is actually tied to what has already been. You do not just simply take a couple of verses of scripture and build a revelation upon them without first having some foundation for it. I will just give you a little example. Remember the scripture in John 17:11-12 where Jesus was praying to the Father and said, “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name; those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled?” Well there are preachers and others today that are convinced Judas Iscariot will be resurrected to fulfill the antichrist role. How pathetic! Others apply these titles to more than one man in the end time; but I just have to ask, if in the end time there is going to be an antichrist and he is one person and there is going to be a false prophet and he is another person, who in the world is this son of perdition? How come this title stands out? Do you know why preachers in the realm of theology today have the idea that Judas is going to be resurrected from the dead? Simply because Jesus referred to him as the son of perdition and then Paul wrote what he did to the Thessalonian Church, the verse we read about the man of sin being revealed, the son of perdition. They connect the two and say, that proves the antichrist is going to be a Jew. It is going to be Judas. No it is not. God had the Bible written like a riddle. That was God’s way of keeping the wise and prudent of the world out of it. Let them play with it, because play is what they do. They assume, they hypothetically jump at this and that and it sounds good to a lot of intellectual minds, but in the end it has little benefit. Why did Jesus refer to this character as the son of perdition? We know this, as they had been setting together and eating the last supper, the Passover, the Lord’s supper, as they came down to the end of that supper feast, Jesus told the group, Verily I say unto you, one of you shall betray me. They all began to ask, Is it I, Is it I, Lord, who is it? They asked him directly, Who is it? Because he had said, one of you. He finally reached over, took a hunk of bread, dipped it in the broth and handed it to Judas and said, What thou doest, go do quickly and said no more. You know what the Bible says. Satan immediately entered Judas’ heart. He got up and went out and the rest of the disciples thought Jesus was saying to him, go buy something for a certain purpose. Judas left and where did he go? He went to the highest authority in the realm of Judaistic government, a high priest. He did not go to the Roman governor. He went to the Jewish hierarchy, to Caiaphas the priest. There he plotted how he might betray his Lord and Master and Saviour. All this is how the Spirit of God was guiding the fulfilling of His word. Why did Jesus call Judas the son of perdition? Take a dictionary and look up the word perdition and see what it means. The word means destruction. When the words son of appear with it, together they speak of one anointed or appointed, to lead someone or something to destruction. Therefore we would have to say, Judas, at a precise time, was foreordained by God to do what he did. God did not force him to do what he did; but by foreknowledge He knew what was actually in Judas’ heart and how he would respond to the devil’s enticements. The Bible plainly tells you how he was numbered with them, that he partook of everything they did and so forth. Yet he did not go with them to the upper room to receive what they received. In that upper room is where they received their seal, which in truth is that seal of eternal security. Without that seal which we refer to as the baptism of the Holy Spirit, one does not have that Spirit of eternal life abiding in them; and without that Spirit, what did the apostle Paul say in his letter to the Romans? I will read you three verses that should answer that question. (8:9) “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. (8:11) But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. (8:14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” So Judas was foreordained in the mind of God because God knew how far he would go and what he would begin to act like along toward the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth. Actually, Judas was a weak man and it was demonstrated by the way he would give vent to his human feelings. Therefore, when Satan entered him, it was his way of taking something weak, with a lack of proper understanding and using that to lead something to destruction. He led Jesus, the Son of God, man’s Saviour to what looked in the natural like total destruction. He was tried before Caiaphas, before the high priest, then finally, after they had judged Him and condemned Him, knowing they could not minister capital punishment, they had to take Him before the Roman governor Pilate. They said if he had been a woman we would have stoned Him to death; but because He is a male, we have to bring him to you for capital punishment. Read the scriptures. It is all right there. Therefore, He was before the high priest all night, and by daylight the next morning, he had been taken before Pilate. When they led Him out on Calvary’s hill, Satan had accomplished his plan. He had anointed a man who again set a type of the man that will come upon the scene in the end time, that will not only be the horn, the prince, the king, he is also going to be the son of perdition and the man of sin that Paul spoke of in 2nd Thessalonians. Paul called him the man of sin, the son of perdition. We have a lot of titles to look at; but these titles bring out certain characteristics of the man they apply to. Satan works through all of that to accomplish his diabolical plan; but thanks be unto God, He (God) has given us the privilege of being able to understand these things that are hidden from the wise and prudent of this world; that we may have ample opportunity to arm ourselves for spiritual warfare and be equipped with everything we need to overcome. There are a lot of people going to church today that are not prepared to engage in spiritual warfare. The devil can beat them half to death and they have no defense against it; because they are following the Lord afar off, just like Peter was before he received the Holy Ghost. For the purpose of our study though, just remember the term son of perdition means one ordained to lead something to destruction. After Jesus had been tried, condemned to death and taken to the hill to be crucified, the scriptures tell you of something that happened to Judas. As that Satanic anointing began to lift from Judas, he began to have adverse feelings about the whole episode. When he tried to give back the thirty pieces of silver he received for betraying Jesus and those Jews refused it, that spirit he had given himself over to caused him to commit suicide. That is the reward for serving the devil. Judas thought he was really doing well when he received payment for betraying his master and he walked away not even feeling condemned. Then when he began to regret what he had done and tried to give the money back and they refused it, he took it out and threw it down in the temple court. He did not want it. That shows he began to have a different feeling about what he had done; but he was like Esau; he could find no place of repentance. He was anointed to lead his Savior to destruction and ended up destroying himself instead. Nevertheless, none of that in any way proves the antichrist will be a Jew. He absolutely will not be a Jew. For every single scripture you can find that might cause you to think he will be someone other than the pope of Rome, I can no doubt show you a dozen that tells the spiritual mind he will be the man that holds that papal office. God allowed Judas to set a type of how in the end time, the man of sin, the son of perdition is going to be anointed of a spirit out of hell, to lead the world of carnal mankind who are caught up in religious ignorance, spiritual darkness and misunderstanding into total deception. Does the Bible not say the whole world wondered after the beast that had the deadly wound and was healed? He will deceive the whole world, except for a little element of believers that have walked with their Creator in a revelation of truth. The whole world will wonder after the beast that man of sin is controlling. The whole world will say, who is like unto this beast? Who is able to make war with this restored European beast we hear so much talk about today? You just have to remember, the beast itself is not the man; but eventually, sitting atop of that beast will be that wounded head that has also been healed and restored to its former estate. The power of that papal office is definitely going to supersede all the powers of earthly governments; because earthly governments will have reached a point in time where they have scraped the bottom of their political barrels and spent their economies into bankruptcy, trying to solve an unsolvable problem. World conditions will force them to turn to the one man that will seem to have the solution for their dilemma and that will soon put the pope right back in the position he was in many centuries ago. Will he be aware that he is the man prophetic scriptures refer to as the antichrist? He will be just like Judas was. He will think he is doing a good thing up until the time Satan anoints him to step forth and break the covenant with Israel and set in motion an all out persecution and slaughter of everyone who in any way opposes him. Each of these forerunners, Antiochus Epiphanes and Judas Iscariot fulfilled something that characterized not the racial identity, but the spirit that would motivate the antichrist. His racial identity is not even important. It is his office that fulfills all the Bible prophecies pointing to him. It matters not whether the man himself is Italian, German, Polish or what, just as long as he holds that papal office. Papal power is what we are looking at.
A LOOK AT WORLD CONDITIONS
As for the falling away, the apostle Paul said would take place before the revealing of the man of sin and our gathering together unto the Lord in the catching away of the bride church, I would just like to say this: In the immediate years following the era of WW2 and on into the fifties, there was a move of God through the earth in a way we would call a revival; but since that time, things have really gone in the opposite direction. God gave people in many nations access to the glorious gospel of salvation. God even demonstrated Himself in a marvelous way by anointing men to pray for sick and diseased folk and healing them in a miraculous way. However, as that began to taper down, we find that the church world in general began to slip and slide into overall apostasy. It is an absolute fact, spiritual revival fires cannot live very long in a revelation brought to light a hundred years ago. That is why Jesus used the parable, you cannot put new wine into old bottles. As that new wine goes through its fermentation process, it has to be in something that will give with that pressure. Old dried out skins will burst wide open. Neither can you take a new piece of cloth and patch an old garment without it shrinking and tearing the hole larger. All these things have to be understood in a spiritual way. You cannot give spiritual revival to old denominational people and expect it to keep a fire burning very long. When you put a new revelation in an old denomination, it just blows the thing all to pieces. We have certainly seen that. Anyhow, what I am saying is the falling away is already behind us. We are just in a little period of time God is using to set everything else in its proper order before Jesus comes for His bride. The apostle Paul was showing that the falling away would be an apostate spirit that would settle in on the whole Gentile world of religion. It is very evident here in 1992 that apostasy is covering a world wide scope. There are a lot of carnal, religious programs and gimmicks being projected in various ways in an effort to keep people motivated, but it is without revelation and understanding of God’s plan and purpose; so it is no wonder so many of them are winding up like they are. The falling away comes first, then the man of sin. Why did Paul say the man of sin? I have an explanation I want to put in here. As you and I would look at the pope, if he is called the man of sin, we would say that means he is for every evil thing there is on the face of the earth. Saints, you must realize the word sin, as used here, is not a word describing getting drunk, or smoking cigarettes, nor any of these other fleshly manifestations we have had preached to us as sin in our former days. All of those are simply fruits of sin, fruits of the sinful nature man inherited from birth. The one sin Jesus spoke of when He observed the Pharisees was unbelief. He said, if you would have been blind (physically), I could have healed you and you would have been without sin. They were spiritually blind and full of unbelief; so there was nothing He could do for them. Of course, it is wrong to do those thing; but what causes a man to do those degrading and unbecoming things? It is his unbelief. Satan controls those who do not believe in the atoning and cleansing work Jesus accomplished on the cross. The one sin that holds people bound up in Satan’s clutches is the sin of unbelief. Then that spirit of unbelief in a person will cause him or her to give vent to their natural attributes in various ways. To some it is smoking, to some it is drinking, to some it is dope, to some it is carousing around. They just simply get carried away with something that the flesh craves. We are living in an age when people who have no respect for God and the things that have always been looked upon as respectable, will go to any extreme measures to satisfy the cravings of their flesh or I should say their carnal nature. That just gives you a little look at what a lot of people look at as sin; but I want you to know, this man of sin, this false prince we are looking at, is going to be Satan’s prince and master of every conniving gimmick of unbelief there is. The man of sin will produce and will be identified as having more blasphemous things attributed to him than we could ever imagine. I could go back and get that old history book I had with me the other night and read to you what the popes in the 11th-15th centuries claimed to be and what they claimed to have invested in them by the living God. You could easily see why such a man would be called by Paul a man of sin. He is not a man that has a holy outlook for society. They call him the Holy Father. He is not the Holy Father. In the eyes of God, he is abominable. He is the man of sin. How could he be holy? Even right now, before Satan anoints him for his last days role in human history, any man who sits in that papal chair is an abomination to God; because, he claims endowments and attributes that only God Himself possesses. Denominational religion will never see him for what he really is though; because they are all so spiritually blind they think he really is a holy man. Like one brother was telling me, a certain religious program had a bunch of preachers sitting around more or less in a talk show type of setting and it came out that just about every one of them would like to have an audience with the pope. Brothers and sisters, I would rather have a bunch of dogs lick me than to be blessed by the pope. I would be afraid something would happen to me. Peter never was called Holy Father. Neither was Paul called Holy Father. Neither were any of those other dedicated men of God ever called Holy Father. Nor were they ever blessed by anyone who called himself that. It is just a trick of the devil. He could not care less how low in sin a nation goes. He will use all of that when the time comes. That is why he can tell these leaders of certain world governments, I know you are planning for a world government; but do not forget gentlemen, I will be there with you. You will need me for spiritual moral guidance. The moral guidance he is talking about is political, how the rich are to distribute their money to help the poor. Well, you know how that old story goes. Those who really do need the help seldom ever get it. What I hope you will all see is that this peace loving pope of Rome (if not this present one then another one) is destined to be the very instrument of Satan and what a beast he will be. He will certainly not be an ambassador of peace very long before he becomes a tyrant. Even while that 3½ years of the false world peace is in effect, it will not do one thing to curb the onslaught of immorality in the world and Jerusalem, which is commonly looked to as the holy city, will be no exception. The dope will continue on, the gays will continue on, AIDS will run rampant and perversion of every kind will continue right on. The fruits of man’s sinful nature will be manifested more and more, right on up until Jesus returns with His great army of saints in judgment. Why do you say that Bro. Jackson? Because it tells me in Revelation 11 that in the city of Jerusalem, in the middle of the seventieth week of Daniel, the two prophets are going to be killed by Satan’s antichrist forces and lay in the street of the city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt. (Rev. 11:8) “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” Naturally, that is figurative language used to describe the prevailing spiritual condition in the city of Jerusalem at that time. Sodom speaks of perversion and Egypt speaks of captivity. In the last forty some years, Jerusalem has become a tourist attraction. You can go there and see people from all over the world. Furthermore, I am sad to say, perverts and hoodlums of every description are there also and they are leaving their influence. When Jesus spoke of His coming again, He tied it to a time when the overall condition of world society would be as it was in the days of Noah and Lot; therefore, Jerusalem has to be numbered among all the rest. That is why I can say by the time the week of Daniel is set in motion, the outward social image of Jerusalem is going to be a society of people wrapped up in all the immoralities of the world. Well, Bro. Jackson, I thought they were going to have a revival. They sure are. There is going to be a Holy Ghost revival for those that will hear the two prophets; but that in no way means those others are going to hear anything that will change them. They are going to yield themselves even more to the devil as that week of years progresses. The antichrist will not care how many drunks there are on earth when he takes office. He will do nothing to change the conditions of immorality and degradation prevailing in the world, even though for the first 3½ years of that week of years, he will be looked upon as a great man of God devoted to overseeing a peace covenant between many nations. He is the instrument of spiritual perversion. Those popes make the Bible say what they want it to say. They will take certain scriptures about Mary and pervert them, exalting her to the high heavens. No wonder the Bible refers to that certain pope as the false prophet.
MORE ABOUT FATIMA VISION
I keep coming back to this Fatima vision we are hearing so much talk about mainly because it plays such an important part in all we have been talking about in this message. We are looking at a pope, an antichrist, a false anointed one, a prince and all those other titles we have already mentioned which all point to the same man. Antichrist means falsely anointed. There is not a thing about the pope that is of a divine anointing. False prophet, in the end time he is going to claim to have certain insight invested in him by the God of heaven; but the truth of it all is that whatever he has received, it has all come to him through his blessed Virgin Mary. The pope says very little about Jesus; the One who gave His life to atone for man’s sin. You would think it was Mary that hung on that old cross for us when you pay attention to what Catholic people are thrilled about today. I read to you from some other books already; but I have some more I want to read and I hope you will pay attention. On page 626 of Malachi Martin’s book we find the beginning of something I want all of you to hear. He said, there is one thing that will happen before the end comes, Russia will be brought back to the mother; and he said it because of the Fatima vision. Well, that was news to me. Then I overheard some men in another place talking about this. I heard one say, well you know there is the Fatima vision to yet come to pass. What a lot of the world did not realize, in 1982 Ronald Reagan, our president, and Pope John Paul (pictured together in Time Magazine) were secretly planning how to bring about the downfall of the Communist regime. It was to start in Poland because that is the homeland of the present pope. Well look what has happened to that Communist Party since then. What a shamble. That is just one of the things that has been going on behind the scenes. All of this is building up to a mass deception as Satan plans his strategy for using the pope to bring about his end time attack on the people who believe in God. What startles me is how the supposed to be Protestant masses are rallying around the pope today. After reading from that one little article I mentioned earlier, I said if the pope was to come on the news today and say the blessed Virgin Mary appeared to me this morning and told me to go on the air and tell the world that something is about to happen and people are to do such and such, Catholic and protestant alike would start doing exactly what he would tell them to do. Wherever Mary is supposed to have been making these appearances, she is telling the people they must pray many rosaries. Thou must dedicate such and such to me. The gospels tell us if there is any dedicating of anything, we are to dedicate it to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Mary has nothing at all to do with it. I know a lot of people do not like to hear this, but every bit of that is a trick designed by the devil to give back to fallen mankind a substitute that sounds logical to a carnal mind; yet in the plan of God it is anti-Bible, anti-Christian and is designed to lead unsuspecting souls to destruction. What I want to read is about two and one-half pages long; so I ask your indulgence. I feel it is important that I read it at this time. I will pick up where the present pope was in his convalescent home recovering from the bullet wound he received from that would be assassin. It tells in here that when he was in that machine back in 1981, he had bent over out of this pope mobile (they call it) to look at a pen on a little girl’s dress. It was the picture of the Fatima vision. Just as he bent over, the assassin’s bullet missed him. Two shots were fired. They were aimed at his head, but missed when he bent down to look at the pin. The gunman then pumped more shots at him that went through his stomach. While he was recovering, he spent much time in prayer.
READING FROM BOOK
Not able personally to exercise any effective monitoring and direction of Polish affairs, John Paul turned more and more intently to prayer. Prayer especially to Mary, as the geopolitical hope of Poland and of the world because he was now sure Mary had saved him from intended death in St. Peter’s Square May 13th, the official feast day of Mary as our Lady Fatima. He fell into a mode of prayer to her as the lady of Fatima. She would save Poland from destruction. From across the Atlantic came the head-on condemnations by President Ronald Reagan of the “evil empire” and news that the United States was rearming and repositioning its military forces. It was in this mode of prayer and the mode of total trust in Mary, that John Paul had what has been as far as publicly known, his only supernatural vision of things to come. (He had a vision. That leads me to the word of God which says, (Revelation 19:20) “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” The word false prophet reveals the spirit of the man it points to and we already know that is the pope of Rome, the antichrist. Of course, the reference to the beast in this verse, points to the spirit of that beast system of government. All of these titles or terms point to one and the selfsame man; but when Jesus comes, there are two spirits He deals with first. One is political and natural. The other is of the man who is supposed to be spiritual; but in reality is Satan’s tool, the false anointed one. What does the word prophet actually mean? We think of those in the Old Testament as seers. Visionary is another term for such a person, one who sees something in the spirit. It speaks of one who is invested with something supernatural that enables that person to look ahead and see events, conditions and so forth. Well, if this pope is Satan’s last day instrument, then we can expect him to be busy in this very way. As I read in this book, it is very reasonable to see why the word of God calls him a false prophet. The man that fulfills these scriptures in the last days is going to be so anointed of Satan he will stand before the world on his stage of political affairs, predicting and arranging things that are going to deceive the world. Just pay attention and let us read what he saw.) There is no gain saying that he did have that vision. (Meaning without contradiction) What he finally understood by it will be a matter of opinion and speculation until the day that he himself speaks openly, if ever, about it. Apart from the incidental fact that he received that vision while convalescing in the Policlinico, the most noteworthy trait of the vision was that it came as an exact repetition of a miraculous happening recorded 65 years before at the hamlet of Fatima in Portugal. It was just as if he had been present at Fatima around midday, October 13, 1917. We have no difficulty in knowing all the details of that 1916 happening in Portugal. All was seen and recorded by press photographers, media reporters from Portugal and other countries, writers, scholars, government officials, and a substantial crowd estimated by the press at the time, to have topped 75,000. What those on-the-spot witnessed and saw and recorded is what John Paul saw in the luminous skies of Lazio above the seven hills of Rome, in August 1981. The happy circumstance that so many witnessed were present at Fatima (Now he is talking about Fatima first.) That day was due to a simple fact: As of the previous July, the October 13th happening had been predicted. Involved as chief actors in the whole Fatima event were three peasant children, a brother and sister, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, nine and seven years old, respectively and their ten year old cousin, Lucia dos Santos. (It tells here how the two younger ones were illiterate, they did not know how to write or anything, but Lucia did.) The brother and sister were illiterate. Lucia could barely read or write. They spent their days herding their families’ sheep. These three children claimed that on the 13th day of each month, beginning with May 13th, 1917, Mary had appeared to them at a particular spot called Cova da Iria in the neighborhood of their sheep pastures; that she told them she had an important message for all the nations and all men and women; and that, after coming to see them each thirteenth day of the coming months, on October 13 she would, by the power of God, perform a miracle in order to substantiate the authenticity and vital importance of her message. By one means or another, news of the successive appearances spread throughout Portugal, Europe and the two Americas. Hence the throng of people gathered at Cova da Iria in Fatima at midday on October 13th. Not only the month and day and place were predicted by the children; the exact hour-midday-was foretold. What happened at that precise hour was a camera man’s dream, something even Cecil B. DeMille could not have fantasized. It had rained torrentially all night on Friday, October 12th. On the morning of the 13th the hamlet of Fatima was blanketed in driving rain beneath a cloud bound sky. Everyone and everything was sodden; the dirt roads were quagmires of mud; there was a good three inches of water at Cova da Iria, where the three children were waiting with their families, surrounded by thousands of visitors. Toward midday, the voice of Lucia, the eldest child, was heard: Look up at the sun! All looked up. The rain suddenly stopped. The heavy veil of clouds broke asunder. The sun appeared. At the sight of that uncontrollable waves of surprise, awe, fear, panic and joy swept through the crowd. The sun they now clearly saw was the same sun John Paul II later saw in August 1981. This was not the unbearable bright midday sun, normal in the skies of Portugal and Rome, the sun you cannot stare at without damaging the eyes. This sun was a fast-spinning plate of brightly shining silver, a giant pinwheel turning on its axis, casting off beams of colored lights of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet that tainted faces, clothes, cars, carts, umbrellas, animals, ponds, grass, mountaintop and horizon in all the successive hues of the rainbow. Everyone was able to stare fixedly at this brilliant disk, but yet without pain and without being blinded. All were fascinated by the rim of color around the spinning disk of that sun. At first deep red, the rim’s color changed successively to all the colors in the rainbow. That was the first part of what the onlookers later described picturesquely as the “dance of the sun.” It lasted two or three minutes. The second part of the “dance” started with a cessation of the spinning motion. Now the sun roamed back and forth among the clouds, seeming to tremble and pulsate within itself, appearing and half disappearing behind puffs and strips of cloud, occasionally stopping and spinning again on its own axis and throwing off those brilliant shafts of multicolored light, then resuming its roaming among the clouds. Then third part of that exotic dance came when the roaming stopped. That brilliant disc was stationery for awhile, trembling, pulsating, rotating on its own axis. Then, without warning, it plunged from its position above the clouds, hurled in zigzag fashion toward earth and toward the upturned faces of those tens of thousands. One observer described later how the similar look of wonder on the faces around him in the crowd changed first into looks of puzzlement, then immediately into white faced fear according as that solar disc, ever rotating and pulsating, came closer and closer, appearing bigger and bigger in its reeling descent, the heat increasing as it came nearer and nearer. As this molten mass of light and heat zigzagged downward, cries of anguish and horror, prayers, and exclamations rose up: “It’s the end of the world!” “We will all die!” “God forgive me my sins!” and the like. But in the middle of the downward plunge of that blazing sun, the voices of the three children were heard above the cries of anguish: “Pray and pray hard! Everything is going to be alright!” (Now I realize I am reading from a man’s writings, and some people will hear me on tape and on the video and they will say, does Jackson believe in all that nonsense? I believe what God has said in His word, to be the truth; but I also believe Satan has been given opportunity and freedom to express himself in and to and through any kind of device God so allows him to. Remember this, if this papal system is to fulfill all the Bible says he will in the last days, then God is going to allow the world to become so sucked into this kind of thing, ignorantly and deceptively, that it will not be just the teachings of the papacy, but the fact that this man has had some kind of supernatural experience and the world has fallen over backward to agree with it. Listen saints, we had a true prophet here with us in the 60’s. He also told us things that would happen in the last days; but did the Catholic Church run after it? No. Because his ministry had not been vindicated by the Vatican and never will be. He brought us the revelation of six seals and we know his ministry was vindicated by the Spirit of God; but do you think the Vatican is going to listen to that? No, but the little bride of Jesus Christ listened to it. While the true spiritual people accept what that prophet brought to this age, the world religion will invariably go after that which is false. To them, the counterfeit always looks best. Do not ask me why; that is just the way it is. True Christianity built upon a revelation of the word of God and Holy Ghost convictions has never been the popular way. It is not prettied up enough for people of the general run of religion to be attracted to it. Oh, they enjoy the excitement of miraculous occurrences; but they will not submit to the true word of God. Nevertheless, this antichrist man called the false prophet is going to have sufficient anointing to enable him to do some things that will catch the attention of world leaders as well as the great mass of apostate religious people. He is going to see some things that world leaders, politicians and masses of people are going to literally say, I believe it. He saw Mary, so I believe he has the answer. Our problems will be solved. Something has to happen to fulfill what it says in verses 3 and 4 of the 13th chapter of Revelation, “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” You have to realize, something is destined to make him stand out above everyone and everything else in that hour of time at the end of the age. There is yet a little more I want to read, so bear with me.) But for a time it did look as if that disc was going to smash into the crowds, crushing and burning all before it. At the peak of these fears and horror, the disc halted, reversed its path and ascended back to the sky. It stopped moving. The spinning ceased. There were no more colors thrown off. The people could no longer look at the midday sun. (In other words, it was back where they could no longer look at it.) It had its usual, unbearable, noon day glare. The winds started to blow with noticeably greater force. All noticed the rise in the force of wind. They noticed too that there was no movement whatever in the branches of the trees. No sooner was it noted that the leaves and branches were motionless in the middle of strong winds than they notice again, all together that there was no water on the ground, no mud. All was dry and dusty. Then someone shouted, “I’m dry! Bone dry!” The cry suddenly became universal. Everybody’s clothes, a few minutes before heavy and cold from rainwater, were now dry and light and crisp and warm. “They looked as though they had just come from the laundry.” One still surviving witness recalled in 1989. (The next chapter tells us in August 1981, John Paul, as he prayed to the virgin Mary about his role and what he faced in the new world to be, the same Mary came to him, much in the same manner. I will finish reading the rest of what I wanted to read into this message a little later. I do not want to read so much at one time that it becomes hard to sit and listen to.
WHAT IS COMMONLY BELIEVED ABOUT POPE JOHN PAUL
I had to read what I did in order to bring in what I wanted you to hear about what the Fatima vision actually pertains to. It tells us in here that the girl Lucia, later became a nun and was still alive until, (I do not remember exactly). She wrote what she heard in this vision and put it in an envelope. That was sent to the Vatican and beginning several years ago, the various popes would read that, and that pope would say, this is not for my day. It is for a certain pope. However, when this present pope came into power, all the cardinals and all, knowing this, seeing conditions in Poland as they were developing, they have all looked at him and agreed, he is the man to pick up that letter and fulfill that Fatima vision. They believe he is the man; and evidently he believes it; so now it is just a waiting game; but probably not for very much longer. There is still one portion of that particular event that has not yet been made known to the world. Regardless of what it contains, God is still in control of that which will be allowed to manifest in these last days. I do not for one minute believe these visions came from God; but I do believe God has allowed the devil to come on the scene for a certain purpose in these last days, to prepare a man who he will eventually use to affect an apostate religious world system. Masses of people in the world that do not know anything for sure are definitely groping for an era of peace. He is Satan’s false prince; ordained to offer them that peace; but it will be a false peace; because he is not the true Prince of peace. He who will be looked to as a prince of peace, will turn out to be the ruthless man of sin, the son of perdition who is anointed to lead a great host to destruction. Being anointed by the devil to fulfill his role in human history makes him the antichrist many have spoken of, but know so little about where he will come from. There is no doubt in my mind, that God will allow Satan to give him enough supernatural insight about temporal things to deceive the nominal church attending, spiritually ignorant masses of this age. What he projects to the world will have such a dynamic effect, the world is going to follow him. Then you know what that makes him? As they line up behind him, that means he is leading them; and that is what makes him the son of perdition. He will be ordained by the devil, and anointed by him to lead the world to destruction; just as Judas was anointed to lead Jesus to what Satan thought would be destruction. Any way you look at it, all except those foreknown by the great Creator are going to be deceived and led down the road to destruction by this false prophet, this antichrist, this false prince of peace the world has so much confidence in.
DATE SETTING AND FALSE DOCTRINE
I have two tracts that have been handed to me at different times. While they have a similar appearance in the picture on the front, they are not from the same ministry at all. The paragraphs and sentences are not structured the same, so it is not a copy one of the other. However, the general message is the same. This one says, October 1992 Jesus is coming again, the rapture will take place. The other one sets the actual date, October 28, 1992, Jesus is coming again. Then it is more or less the same general framework of the other one; so their information no doubt is from the same teaching. I am not criticizing. Except for the grace of God, I could be in the same place they are. It is just the grace of God that somehow spares some of us from such as this. We are living in an hour Satan is making his bid for all who will follow his ways of deception. We are told by the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, that in the last days this spirit would be so close it would deceive the very elect, if it were possible. We have to realize there has to be things come forth in the religious realm, here at the end of the age, that is going to reach right into minds and hearts of people who are not as stable as they ought to be: to put them to the test; and as a result of that, people are going in every direction broadcasting their version of what is supposed to be the word of God instead of walking together in the truth. In various elements of the Branham following in the past number of years, different individuals have set times for certain events to take place; but that certain time would come and go without their expected occurrence being manifested: so they just keep pushing it off instead of admitting they were totally wrong in doing such a thing. We have grown accustomed to things like that from that element; but these tracks came from a different realm of religious belief: which just serves to reinforce my belief that we are getting close to the end of time. We are moving fast toward the end; and there will be a rapture; but a lot of people who claim to be ready for that blessed event will be left right where they are when the Lord takes those who are ready to go. None of those denominational people out here in the world today even give a thought to the necessity of God sending a messenger to this age. We have been privileged to have a part in what God has been doing on behalf of His bride Church for the past three or four decades because we accepted the truth when it was presented to us. We know Bro. William Branham was God’s prophet messenger to this age; but other supposed-to-be Christians look upon his teachings as nothing but junk. They have their own way of looking at the scriptures and that does not include a Gentile prophet; but the truth is, God did send one and they missed out, just like those scribes and Pharisees did when Jesus came walking in among them almost two thousand years ago. Some things they preach and talk about are scripturally true; but the overall picture of Christianity outside of this end time restoration of truth is void of that essential element God is looking for in His people. God could not care less about their beautiful church buildings and all of their good works around the world, if they are yet following after antichrist doctrine, which is what your denominational churches are all following and teaching. Anyhow, October 1992 was someone’s projected time for the coming of Jesus, and since there are always some who grab hold of such predictions and run with them, I am sure there were a lot of people waiting for October to come. When that comes and nothing happens and they are still here, do you know what that does? It injures the human ability to have confidence in anything after a while. This is what causes people many times to say, “I just simply cannot believe anything. They are all alike.” That is when they throw everything to the four winds and walk away from everything that even reminds them of God. All of that is like the old proverb, when someone cries wolf, wolf, wolf, for so long, there comes a time when the cry is just ignored: even if the wolf really is coming. Then the wolf comes and catches them unprepared. Saints, there is just no substitute for following the Spirit of God in truth. Anything less than that will eventually come to a bad end.
A SCENE THAT COULD BE A REALITY VERY SOON
WHAT ANTICHRIST IS
We have dealt with the various titles attributed to Satan’s end time antichrist; but there are still a few things I feel we need to clear up. Antichrist and false prophet are two of them. Keep in mind, antichrist is a word that describes something that is anti to the true anointed. The word Christ is a word that refers to anointing. We know the man called Jesus, who was the Christ, was the man anointed of the Holy Ghost. God (that sovereign Spirit) dwelled in Him in the fullness of His divine headship. Those who saw Him saw the true Christ. Well, when that same anointing rests on other men, they are going to say things that are always consistent with what Jesus said. They will not necessarily use his exact words; but what they teach will certainly not contradict anything He taught. On the other hand, an antichrist will come on the scene; he is not an atheist. He believes in God; but what he teaches does not ring true with the genuine. It is sad to think how we have so many religionists, especially preachers on TV, that have always thought this coming antichrist will be an atheist. That proves they do not know their Bible. They know nothing of the types. They think the word anti means, he does not believe in God. That is not what is means at all. The word antichrist speaks of a false anointing. If it is a false anointing, then it is going to come on with something that appears to be word, scriptural, but it is actually going to be a perversion of scripture. We can take that back to Judaism in the days of our Lord’s first advent. Judaism was a Jewish society in the days of Christ, that knew the law and the prophets word for word; but their belief about what they knew is as far from reality as daylight is from dark. Had they have been under the right spirit to have understood those scriptures and what the prophets meant, they should have been able to look up and recognize Jesus when he stood in their midst and began to preach and demonstrate the things he did. There were some that recognized him. Others persecuted Him. This goes to show that those Pharisee Jews that denied that Jesus was the Christ, were not atheists. They still went on believing their old Judaistic way. They believed in Jehovah; but they did not believe that this man called Jesus was one anointed of Jehovah, nor that He had been sent by Jehovah, nor that Jehovah lived in Him, and had been speaking to them through Him. This made them antichrist. Yet they believed in God. John spoke of antichrists and so did Paul. In the little Epistle, John wrote, 1 John 2:18, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” In the Gospel of John, he picked up on the prayer of Jesus, where Jesus referred to Judas as the son of perdition, so when he spoke of antichrist you can believe he knew what he was talking about. Jesus said, John 17:12, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” What Judas did, was carry out a type of what this last one will be. Then Paul picked up on it in his 2nd letter to the Thessalonians from reading the verses from 36-45 in the 11th chapter of Daniel. We will just read verse 36 for now, “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that is determined shall be done.” That is exactly what Paul says in 2nd Thessalonians 2, verses 3-4. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, (the day when we are gathered together in the rapture) except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” That scripture is pointing to no one but the very antichrist himself. That is what the pope of Rome will do in the middle of the week of Daniel; after he has the two prophets of God killed; he will set himself up in the temple of God that has been rebuilt by that time; and he will demand to be worshipped. All of these other titles he has been called by are just for the purpose of emphasizing the many faces of that one man. In that man, is one spirit, the spirit of Satan that has come out of hell to be embodied in the man who will rule that satanic kingdom for 3½ years in the end time. You could actually say seven years; but the first 3½ years will be a time of false world peace. The first 3½ years will look so good to the average man of the world he will easily be deceived and led to destruction. They will be destroyed at the coming of the Lord; because they followed the false prince of peace, instead of the true Prince of Peace. The many antichrists the apostle John was talking about in his first little Epistle, were just forerunners of this last one yet to come. Here is what he wrote, (1John 2:18) “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” Even in that first age of Christendom in 90 A.D., there was already a spirit loose among them perverting the true revelation. That just serves to make us aware that Satan’s plan for mankind goes way back. What he is so busy doing in our day is not the result of something he just thought of lately. It is just that the restraining work of the Holy Spirit held him back until all men had been given a chance to choose their spiritual direction. When a generation came along that rejected God, He (God) just simply began to remove the barriers and let that spirit of wickedness have more and more room to work. The acts being carried out so openly in today’s society are not something new; they are just no longer restrained by the Spirit of God as before. Perversion of the word of God goes hand in hand with every debased act of immorality you see in the world today. The Spirit of Christ stands for a true revelation of the word of God; and the word of God teaches holiness and moral integrity; therefore, a perversion of that produces just exactly the opposite; unholiness and immorality and wretchedness. Like I said earlier, do not think those antichrists John was talking about were atheists. They believed in God in some misconstrued way; just like the pope does. In their hearts, they feel they are so right they just simply could not possibly be wrong. It is that way today in the religious world. I am not talking about the little backwoods mission that is sometimes run on a wild revelation. It is some of these big TV evangelists and others like them, that have such a dismal picture of the overall plan of God as layed out so clearly in the Bible. Sure they preach Jesus was the Saviour of lost mankind and that everyone needs the Saviour; but when it comes to a revelation of God’s plan and purpose in reaching down to lost mankind, there is where they miss the boat. You cannot believe in a three person god like they do and preach all of the Bible. There are a lot of very vital scriptures they have to skip over. It did not start out that way in the book of Acts; so what happened? Someone perverted what Jesus and His apostles taught in that first age. Who did it? Those antichrists John warned them about. They have been on hand to do their dirty work in every age of Christianity; and the pope of Rome will do his part to cram that perverted gospel down the throat’s of Laodicean church-goers; right on up to the end. In the beginning, those being used by that antichrist spirit did not change anything doctrine wise immediately; they just served to get the church in such a confused state, it became necessary for something to be done to establish something for the church to be guided by. That is where Constantine came into the picture. By 325 A.D., all of that anti stuff had been going on for well over two hundred years; and you can read in the book of Revelation what was written to those seven churches of Asia, and see what a pitiful shape some of them were in already, in 96 A.D. Add two hundred years to that and you can imagine what kind of shape the church was in when the great emperor Constantine that had just been visited by a spirit of Satan called together the council at Nicaea; to deal with the confusion among the body of believers.
WHAT ARIANISM WAS
In one old book I have been reading from, printed in 1835, is the history of Christianity written by a man by the name of John Marsham. He brings in about the Arian doctrine that was being strongly debated prior to the Nicene Council. Actually, the Arian doctrine that was kicked out at Nicaea to give way for the trinity formula of the godhead to be accepted was more right than the trinity. However, there were a few points in Arian’s teaching that really belittled the man Jesus the Christ too much; and put him too completely on a human level. Arian was right, saying Jesus did not previously exist in any form before His birth. That is what we preach. We preach that Jesus the man was not and could not have been God the Father because Jesus, the man, the Son of God had a beginning and the Father did not. While it is true the Bible says He was tempted and tested in every way as you and I, yet without sin, Arian went a little further and said the man was inferior to God and was capable of sinning. The Webster’s Dictionary gives a short definition of Arianism; but that does not cover all he taught about Jesus. Here is the dictionary definition. “(Arianism, a teaching that the Son of God is not of the same substance as the Father; but was created as an agent for creating the world)” To say that Jesus was capable of sinning is the same as saying He had a nature to sin, like we are born with. He was tested to prove He would not sin; but that in no way indicates that He was subject to sin. There is quite a difference. He was begotten of the Father, so He was definitely of the same spirit substance as the Father, if you can refer to spirit as substance. As for the flesh, the Father had no flesh. He is a sovereign Spirit and has never had a body of flesh of His own. That is why He incarnated His perfect Son; so those of that first age could see a physical demonstration of a man totally directed by the Creator. From the standpoint of whether he could have chosen to sin like Adam did, you have to realize He had a mind of His own. The Father did not program Him like a robot as some are prone to believe. It was purely a case where there was no attributes of sin in His makeup; so even though He was tested by the devil, there was nothing in Him that had any desire to yield to those things the devil confronted Him with. His only desire was to please the Father. The very nature in Him was like the Father; but He Himself was not God. He was the Son of God and God was in Him; and He did exactly what God wanted Him to do; but He was not God; and the Father did not force Him to do what He did. I believe that is as plain as it can be said. In this case, you can choose the lesser of two evils and still be like a lost ball in high weeds. Arian teaching something about the Godhead that was closer to reality than the trinity the popular vote settled for, did not make his version right. All Satan needs to throw you for a loop is a streak of doubt in your mind about some very important facts in the scriptures. That is what keeps a vast number of professing Christians in bondage. They just never seem to get the true picture. The great Creator, knowing everything from beginning to end about His Creation, would not have chosen a vessel to incarnate that His foreknowledge already knew would fail. He knew that Son would not fail. Jesus was just as much God from the divine side, as He was man from the total human side. Yet we have to remember that the man himself was not God. You have a vast number of people in the world that have not the slightest notion of the true plan of God. They have been fed denominational dogma for so long they have no concept of what the true and living God is. They think He is a person, always looking for an opportunity to punish someone. He is not a person. He is a Spirit and He gets no satisfaction out of punishing anyone. He is our heavenly Father; and as our Father, He is obligated to punish those who need to be punished; but He does not do it for enjoyment. When He chastens His children, it is for their own benefit; not for His. These who believe Bro. William Branham is God, have no revelation of what deity is. Bro. William Branham was born of woman and was born with an inherited nature to sin just like all the rest of us so there is no way he could be God; but does that element of people know that? The mere fact that he refused to drink, smoke, talk bad and carouse around, did not make him free from the attributes of a fallen nature. God was in him in a greater measure than mankind has witnessed in anyone since the apostolic days of that first century; but that was still by measure; not by incarnation, like He was in His Son Jesus.
HOW THE WORD ANTICHRIST STANDS OUT
You can search the Bible through and you will find this antichrist character called a lot of different things; but the actual word antichrist is not used by anyone except the apostle John. Paul never called him an antichrist. He referred to him as the man of sin, the son of perdition, the wicked one and so forth; but he did not use the word antichrist. Yet, when you stop to think what the word means, you know what John said hit the nail right on the head. He said there were many antichrists in the world already, even in 96 A.D. It took an antichrist spirit to bring Mary, the mother of Jesus, into the picture the way the Catholic church presents her. You will find no place in the Bible where anyone ever prayed to Mary. Not even in the second and third centuries, had anyone ever been known to pray to Mary; but someone somewhere got the idea and it sounded so good, just look where that idea has advanced to. It certainly was not a true anointing of God that got that practice instituted as a cardinal teaching; so you would have to agree that it was introduced by a false anointing, an antichrist. I can just hear that thing as it got going. Don’t you think we ought to give Mary a little recognition in this plan? After all, look what she gave birth to. She gave birth to God. That is why they call Mary the mother of God. That is antichrist doctrine. She gave birth to the Son of God, not to God himself. Yet to fit their formula, they make the Father God, the Son God, and the Holy Ghost God. Then they have to refer to their god as three persons. Then knowing that according to the New Testament scriptures, we have the Spirit of God in us and also the Spirit of Christ, they try to fix that up by saying, The Holy Spirit comes forth from both the Father and the Son at the same time. That really gets tangled up when you stop to think about one person coming forth from two other persons. Yet, when you have a true revelation of it, explaining the Godhead is as simple as 2+2=4. Knowing that the Holy Spirit in regeneration is the same Spirit that is called the Father in creation, sure clears up a lot of confusion that has existed for hundreds of years. One thing is certain, those first century Christians knew they were not worshipping a God that is represented in three persons. It took an instrument of Satan to fabricate such a mess as that. It was only done by twisting the scriptures. People look at Genesis 1:26, where God spoke to His angelic helpers (which are spirit beings just like God is) and said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth;” and they are sure the Father is talking to His Son Jesus, and to the Holy Spirit, just because He used the words us and our image. No saints, once you see that God was talking to His angelic helpers, it clears up a lot of other scriptures that are puzzling to Trinitarians. That antichrist spirit working in his willing vessels has been perverting the scriptures for 1900 years ever since those old guards of the faith passed off the scene; and the worst perverters among them has been the Roman Catholic Church led by the popes. Therefore, it should not be hard to believe that the end time antichrist will be the reigning pope of that hour since we have recorded history to show us what they have done in the past. You cannot help but wonder why the intellectual people in the world always seem to accept Satan’s perverted version of the scriptures rather than the vindicated truth. That is why the apostle Paul said, (1st Corinthians 2:14) “But the natural man (or natural mind) 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.” True revelation has to go beyond the mind and get down into our spirit in order to be a revelation that can withstand Satan’s attack. You may not everyone be able to teach the revelation to someone else; but when you have a revelation of truth in your soul, you can sure spot those who teach otherwise. The antichrist will be revealed to you, according to the apostle Paul, before the time of the rapture of the Church. We already know what office he will come from; we just do not know for sure whether Pope John Paul will still be around then. If he is the man to fulfill that last day role, we already know from Revelation 19:19-20, what his end will be. “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet (There is that man) that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
That is the spirit of that beast system and the spirit of the antichrist that is cast alive into the lake of fire even before the Millennium starts. He will have already crossed the Mediterranean and sat himself up in the new Jewish temple that will be rebuilt. He will have already created a bloodbath and been responsible for the martyrdom of a great multitude of people who believed in God enough that they would not renounce their faith in Him to save their lives. When his hour of judgment comes, the battle of Armageddon has already been set in motion. The coming of Jesus will climax all of that when He comes with His saints to cleanse the earth and set up His earthly kingdom. Saints, I want to be with Jesus when He comes that time. Revelation 17:14, says, He is King of kings; and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. Imagine anyone being so stupid in that hour to think they can wage a natural warfare against supernatural forces. Nevertheless, that is the picture the Bible gives. This whole thing is a beautiful picture if you see it with your spiritual vision; because God is climaxing His great plan of redemption for lost mankind.