ON DECEMBER 4, 2004, GOD EXTENDED A CALL TO OUR PRECIOUS PASTOR, BROTHER, FRIEND AND STAR APOSTLE TO THIS LAODICEAN AGE, PASTOR RAYMOND M. JACKSON, THAT NONE OF US EVER EXPECTED. HE CALLED HIM TO COME UP A LITTLE HIGHER AND REST FOR A WHILE. Yes saints and friends, God called our precious brother and faithful pastor, Raymond M. Jackson, who had faithfully stood for the true revelation of the mysteries of the Bible in the face of much opposition and hardship for the past thirty nine years, to come on home and let the five fold ministry carry on for a little season. All of those who are called to this office know what to stand for, because they have sat under the faithful teaching of this apostle for many years and loved and respected him, as we everyone here in his home church do. All of us who loved and respected him, will greatly miss him, but we will never allow Satan to sidetrack us with any kind of false hope: We will just press the battle with a little more determination, remembering how he taught us to stick with the Word of God, no matter what comes down the road to distract. God will never leave His true children without the spiritual guidance we everyone need. He is always present to anoint and give leadership to those whom He has called to care for His flock. We who are left here to carry on, have a great outlook and vision of what to look for as Gentile time comes closer and closer to and end, which is when God turns His attention back to the Jewish people and opens the last week of Daniel’s seventy week prophesy concerning the children of Israel. Our faithful pastor has spent many hours of his ministry making sure we understand what this last week will hold for the Jewish people; and what Christians will take part in as the age closes out. He has greatly stressed the importance of our knowing what to look for when our time is drawing nigh. For that dedication to his calling and the patient way he has kept presenting it to us we will always be grateful. He was always thinking from the standpoint of the many who had never heard the true revelation even for the first time, as well as those who had heard it, but just not understood.
LOOKING BACK ALMOST FIFTY YEARS
Brother Jackson’s own words were as follows, “In the month of April 1950, the Lord began to deal with my soul and I had to surrender my heart to Him. A great hunger began to build up in my heart, not only to want to live for Him, but also to know the truth of His blessed Word. I always had a great respect for the Bible: I thought every home ought to have one, but I had heard so much about the fanatical things some had done because of what they read in the bible, I just did not want to get too close to it myself. That all began to change after the Lord got hold of my heart. It soon got to the point that I just could not seem to get enough of it. I looked for every opportunity to learn more about God and His Word. In the year 1952, a relative of my wife stopped by our home, and during that visit he told me about the ministry of a man by the name, William Marrion Branham, how God was using him in miraculous ways. Later that year, we were privileged to go hear him preach; and after hearing him that one time, I knew he had something I wanted to know more about, so for the next two and a half years we sat under his ministry and heard him preach in a way that made Jesus Christ of the Bible stand head and shoulders above any other man on earth.”
Needless to say, a hunger like that led our brother deeper and deeper into the Word of God and in April 1955, the Lord spoke to him about starting a church. He obtained a small building in New Albany, Indiana, where he started out. Then circumstances caused the little work to move to a place in Clarksville, Indiana for a while; and later on, back to another place in New Albany, Indiana, where they stayed until 1967, when the Lord enabled them to build the first part of what is known around the world today as The Faith Assembly Church Site. He first thought it would just be a small mission where he would have a group to preach to, never even having a thought that the time would come, when he would travel around the world preaching to hungry souls; and then publish a paper of his edited sermons that would find its way into almost if not every nation on the face of this earth. (The first issue of the Contender was published in March of 1969.)Then the Lord opened up the way for him to have a web site, where people from every nation under heaven would be able to log on and hear him as he preached and taught this precious revelation of the Word of God that burned in his soul day and night.
There has been additions to the facility through the years as the congregation grew, but Brother Jackson has never been one to spend the Lord’s money on beautiful buildings with stained glass windows, just for a show. He always said, “As long as we have a place where we can get in out of the weather, that ought to be all we need;” and he has invested the tithes and offerings of the saints into getting the Word of God to as many people as possible in all the years of his ministry. He always said, If this ministry is of the Lord, He will supply: We will not have to beg for money to do the work of God. Therefore many who have come to Faith Assembly through the years, have had to ask someone, How do I give an offering? That is because an offering plate was never passed around in the congregation. We have a mail box slot in the wall where people drop their tithes and offerings; and the Lord has always met every need through the years without our brother having to preach on tithing. His belief was, That the saints do not have to be coaxed into supporting the Lord’s work; and he was right.
This may seem a little lengthy to some, but we have been taught to give honor and recognition to those to whom it is due: as our brother has been so faithful to do through the years. Therefore these simple words just barely touch on what could be said about a man that loved God and the people of God like Brother Jackson did; and demonstrated unselfish love and compassion like few others of our time. Yes we will miss him, but we would not call him back, even if we could. He has run his race and finished his course; and we all want to be where he is. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Rev 22:21) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
THE SEALS PART 1
JANUARY 2005 THROUGH THE YEARS I HAVE PREACHED ON THE SEALS OF CHAPTER 6, IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION, BUT TODAY I WANT TO START WITH THE FIRST SEAL AND GO RIGHT ON THROUGH. I BELIEVE IT IS TIME FOR EVERYONE WHO IS LOOKING FORWARD TO THE COMING OF THE LORD, TO SET THEIR GOAL IN THE REMAINING TIME WE HAVE LEFT TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT THESE SEALS ACTUALLY PERTAIN TO. IT IS ONE THING JUST TO SKIM OVER THEM AND MAKE A FEW REMARKS, BUT WHAT WE EVERYONE NEED TO DO, IS MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT THEY PERTAIN TO AND HOW SOCIETY IN THAT SPECIFIC TIME IS IMPACTED. I DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE TO COVER THESE SCRIPTURES THE WAY I FEEL LED TO, BUT WE WILL TAKE AS MUCH TIME AS IS NEEDED TO MAKE EVERYTHING AS CLEAR AS POSSIBLE, SO PRAY FOR ME AS WE BEGIN TO LOOK INTO THEM, THAT I MAY HAVE THE LEADING OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD THE ENTIRE TIME IT TAKES TO COVER THEM.
We are gathered here this morning as a congregation put together of hungry souls from various denominations of the realm of religion and from various geographical areas. If I were to take a poll, to determine what we all came out of, I would have a very long list. Regardless of where we came from though, the grace of God has brought all of us to a time like this for a purpose. I am going to preach on the subject, “The Seals” of Revelation 6, but first I want you to turn to chapter 4 for a moment. There is something going on in the religious realm today, that makes it necessary for us to look at what has been going on through the ages of time. I am not the wisest person that has ever lived, but I am thankful to God for allowing me to study some history in my lifetime, and to see and recognize some of the things that are taking place in our day. First I will present the chart back here. This object represents a large scroll. This blue line represents time from the birth of the Church after the crucifixion of Christ, straight on through to the week of Daniel. The tribulation period is on this side of the dividing line in the middle of the week of Daniel; and the coming of Christ with His Bride to rule and reign, and the resurrection, and so forth are all at the end of the week. There is something in this book that the denominational world is not looking at, because it is God’s love letter to the Bride of Christ. Let me ask you a question, How many times have you ever heard a TV preacher get up and preach from the book of Revelation? I know you will hear John Hagge from Texas, a Baptist preacher, preach a little something now and then, but what about the others? There are a few historical events that he would have right, but on the meaning of the symbols and things, he is about as far off as you and I are from the moon. I do not say that to belittle the man, but I do have to say that the denominational preachers as a whole, in the world today, have just thrown their hands up and said, We don’t understand it. There is a reason why they do not understand it. Let me say that again, There is a reason why they do not understand it: it was not written for anyone but the end time bride of Christ to understand. I will ask you another question, Did God allow anything at all to be written in the Bible, that in time would never be understood by anyone? Absolutely not! Let me say to you as we go back to a time two thousand years ago, back to a time when many of the Bible prophecies were written; and look at the conditions of the world leading up to the advent of the coming of Christ. Did the religious, Judaism system understand what was going on? No. Absolutely not. There were a few people God had spoken to, but they were not of the political element: not of the intellectual know-it-all’s. They were sincere, pure hearted people that had a love for their God, people that could not help but see the apostasy around them and the political corruption, so God knew exactly how to deal with them at such a time, to establish a testimony that would be recorded in the scriptures, as well as in history. At that particular time though, their testimony, as we read it now, did not seem to touch the society as a whole. However as we look back to that time, we can see that they did leave quite a testimony, that would be recorded in history, as well as in the Bible. Saints: We are living in an hour of great privilege, because God has allowed us to get a picture of His plan and purpose for the ages. Many adverse spirits have been allowed to pervert the truth of God’s Word and lead God’s people into and through a long period of darkness, but He had His foreordained way of restoring the true light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the end time element of the Church, and we are the beneficiaries of that great restoration. We are privileged to hear and understand things of the scriptures that even the great apostle Paul did not understand. Naturally I am speaking mostly of the things that are written in the book of Revelation, because those symbolic writings were not meant to be understood by anyone other than the Bride of Jesus Christ right here at the end of Gentile time. In order for us to understand what the seals of Revelation, chapter 6, pertained to, God sent a prophet in our day, that He so wonderfully revealed those things to and through; and we now know how they are applicable to the time we live in, and we can look back and understand what has been going on through the ages, coming right on up to our day and time. I get happy and rejoice, when I stop to think how blessed we are. God has truly shined a great light upon our pathway. If anyone fails to walk in that light, they have no justifiable excuse, because it has been shone around the world in our day. REVIEWING THE STEPPING STONES OF TIME When you turn on your television, to Trinity Broadcasting Network, as well as some of the other stations where different preachers are heard, you may see thousands of people sitting or standing there, that are supposed to be worshiping the Lord, crying and praising Him with their vocal cords, but have so little revelation of what God is really doing in this hour of time. They take subjects of the Bible that pertain to the salvation of the soul of lost sinners, or maybe those that deal with healing, but they present nothing that can really help their followers prepare themselves for the soon coming of the Lord. They have nothing through which they discuss the soon coming of the Lord, and give their followers any indication of what is ahead: therefore the younger generation being brought up in the world at large, are totally ignorant of what to expect, and they are cut off from anything of this hour we are living in. That is why I want to say to the young people who may hear this, I pray that I can present these things in a humble, sincere way that you can understand, because I want to bring in enough history that you cannot deny the fact that history provides us with the stepping stones of time, how the Church has progressed; as well as what has been out there trying to hinder Christendom from reaching its hour of fruition. Therefore I ask that you turn with me to the 4th chapter of Revelation, where we will look first. The time of this writing was 96 A.D. Let me say also, The new world as we know it today, had not been discovered. In 96 A.D., John wrote a lot of the symbols, of heads and what we read of the beast and everything like that, which at that time had not even developed. It was pertaining to things and conditions that would develop as time moved on. The Roman Empire with a caesar sitting on the throne, was exactly where the Roman Empire was at the time John was on the Isle of Patmos writing these things. I have a reason for bringing it out that way, because when we do come through time, we realize that because John lived in exile on the Isle of Patmos in 96 A.D., that is where his body was at the time of writing, but remember, in the 4th chapter, when the voice from heaven said, Come up hither, John was taken up in the Spirit, completely out of 96 A.D. and was projected into the future tense of time. Well, what do you mean, Bro. Jackson? I am saying, He was projected into the time where the things he would write about would fit what was going on. He was writing what he was looking at; and none of the things he saw then, were related to how things were on earth while his body was on the Isle of Patmos, in 96 A.D. I hope you everyone understand that. As we go along please try to understand that God is carrying him along through time in the Spirit; and what he wrote pertained to what would be taking place at a future time: Some of it even two thousand years beyond 96 A.D. and more. The first three chapters, as he wrote them, contained what the Lord, as High Priest, spoke to him concerning the seven churches of Asia. They were to exemplify the spiritual state of Christianity throughout the Gentile Era of time, right on up to the end. We are living in the 7th one described, the Laodicean; and I believe you would have to admit, the description fits this present age exactly. His body was on earth during the time he wrote what we read in the book of Revelation,, but he could say he saw all these spiritual conditions developing, because God was moving him right on along through time in the Spirit, so he could actually see all those conditions developing in the seven churches, as well as political developments that paralleled what was going on in each span of time. As we continue on, you must realize also, that when someone sees many different things at the same time, those things are not always recorded in the order of fulfillment, therefore the Spirit of God must reveal the order of fulfillment to this end time people that are ordained to understand; and that is because people living in no other era of time, had any need to understand what the living element of the Bride of Christ are ordained to hear and understand just before time closes out for Gentiles. The conditions described as John wrote about the seven churches of Asia, fit exactly the seven parables of Matthew 13. Therefore when we come to the end, what was described in that 7th church pertained to the Laodicean age, which corresponds to the age you and I are living in. When he wrote the details, his body was still on the Isle of Patmos in 96 A.D., but let us now notice chapter 4. A SCENE IN HEAVEN Remember, the aged apostle John wrote all of what we will read, and the Spirit of God was moving him forward in time and allowing him to view in the spirit, all of that which he would write about, though the fulfillment was to be far in the future. That is why he wrote of these events as though they had already taken place. It is of utmost importance, that we be conscious of that. Let us read, starting in (Revelation 4:1). “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: (This door could be none other than an entrance to the spirit world.) and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter. (Meaning, in the future tense of time) and immediately I was in the Spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, (When his spirit was taken up in that great and glorious vision, he had lost all reasoning of anything pertaining to 96 A.D. He was seeing the Spirit world in the time frame that what he saw would be related to. God had a reason for letting him be taken up and seeing all of that in that respect.) and one sat on the throne. (Now we have to realize, we are not Trinitarian people, so there is no need for a Trinitarian saying, Well there is going to be three thrones. There is not! There has never been but one! That trinity spirit on people, came into being by the antichrist spirit that immediately began to deceive followers of the Christian faith after most of the first century guards of the true faith had left the scene.) And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” When we look at this description, we must come to an understanding: Jesus the Christ that had been raised in immortality and taken up into heaven, has been positioned upon a place that is the Father’s position in heaven, a throne. Let me say this, God, being a sovereign Spirit, is omnipresent, which means He is everywhere; and up until the time Jesus was taken up, He (God) was not related to any particular chair or spot in heaven. Do you understand me? The reason is, He does not have a form that requires a chair. He has no visible shape, so He does not need to sit on a chair. That is why, back in the Old Testament (Isa. 66:1) we read a scripture, Heaven is my throne, (The whole thing is His throne.) “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?” Therefore when we see a throne literally portrayed, it is a position that Jesus has been taken up and placed in for the duration of His intercessory work as High Priest, but it is a position the Father has given Him in heaven, in His own position. We have to look at these descriptions and see what is implied. It says, He that sat was to look upon like a jasper, (talking about some kind of stone) and a sardine stone. There was a rainbow around about the throne like unto an emerald. All these descriptions of the reflection of these stones, are bringing out certain likenesses of the divine heavenly Father. That is what they are; and Jesus is the ONE sitting on the throne. Do you understand? It is a position that Jesus has been taken up and placed in, upon a throne, then all these reflections of stones and the rainbow, are to signify that the Father has absolutely placed His anointing around Him. That is the only way you can describe the heavenly Father, because He does not exists in matter, or a form. He is only described in the reflections of lights. Therefore it goes to show that Jesus has been taken up and positioned in a place of authority that the Father has delegated to Him, and He has a position that looked to John like a literal throne. Therefore the Father has surrounded Him with the manifestation of His glory. This is what John sees and describes first. Notice as we go on. “And round about the throne (This was not some little insignificant looking chair: it is definitely a large display of the glory of God. Let me say this, There was a time, when what we are going to read about, did not even exist in heaven. I will say to you, When the day arrives, that Jesus steps off of that throne position and that scroll is open in His hand, that picture in heaven will never be seen again, because He will no longer have a reason to be back on that throne: His intercessory work will be finished. There will never be another Gentile saved after He leaves that throne position in heaven.) were four and twenty seats: (In other words, other chairs, but smaller.)and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, (We have to understand that these elders are not angelic beings: they definitely have to be earthly characters of time. There are twenty four chairs, and all the chairs were occupied.) clothed in while raiment; (The fact that it is white raiment, lets us know these elders have had to be redeemed by the grace of God somewhere in time.) and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. (These lamps are only symbols of the seven spiritual attributes of the divine God Himself.) And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: (We are looking at a heavenly scene, and it is not a small event, but a very large scene.) and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. (That is why we have the head of a lion, the head of an ox or a calf, the head of man, and the head of an eagle on the chart we are using, but round about the throne in that heavenly scene, they were in a complete bodily form.) And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” When you read the descriptions of these angelic beings with the wings, you could go back to Isaiah and read where the prophet spoke about how the glory of the Lord appeared to him. He saw that throne, and he saw these angelic beings with the wings. Then when we go to Ezekiel, which was several years later, he had the same picture, but it was more in detail. This is why I say what we are reading here this morning, never existed in heaven prior to the hour that Jesus was taken up. It was only given to the prophets in pictorial form. All of that goes to show, it was prophecy in the making. It does not mean heaven looked like that at the time of those writings, but it was prophecy in the making. When you read the account in Isaiah, you are only seeing the starting of it, but when you come to Ezekiel’s account, he sees more detail. He sees one like unto the form of man sitting in it. When we see that scene, which was prophetically portrayed back there, it is now literally existing in heaven, in fulfillment. Notice as we read here, “And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, (They are actually giving honor to the eternal God, so let us get that straight.) The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, (Only the eternal God created all things) and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” So they are giving glory to the eternal Elohim, the omnipotent one, because He created all things for His own pleasure. That is what we have to understand. Now we come to chapter 5, The original writing of the scripture was not broken down into chapters. You just go from verse to verse. “And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book, (When we started out, he was looking at somebody, and all he could say was, that He was like unto a jasper, and a sardine stone, so he was only describing the glory of God invested in Christ. We should look at it in that way. When Christ was on earth and they saw Him, He did not look like that. He looked like a man. He did not look like that after He was raised from the dead: He still looked like a man, only He was raised in immortality. Then when He was taken up, God’s glory surrounded Him; and anointed Him with all this manifested glory of His being, enabling the immortal Christ to be seen now from a different viewpoint. It says, And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book, and even though it says that in the English translation, we must realize that in the original Hebrew, it was not seen as a book, because books did not come into existence until about the Middle Ages. How many realize that? It was a scroll.) written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.” Let me illustrate that to you. I have a sheet of paper in my hand. We will just suppose it is a scroll, and with a scroll, you only write on one side of the paper. The inside, as it is rolled up, is the part that contains the written message. When you roll it up with the written part inside, it leaves the backside exposed, and the prevailing edge is actually what is sealed. That which is on the inside is what it is all about, but the scroll in the hand of Jesus was sealed with seven seals. That is the way all important documents in ancient times were sealed, such as government papers, deeds, and such. They would seal it so that it kept the scroll from being unfurled to know what was in it until such time as its contents were to be revealed. In the hand of the One that sits on the throne in heaven, is a scroll; and it is important that we find out what that scroll pertains to. Let us continue on with our reading. “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, (scroll) and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, (Brothers and sisters, when John saw this scene, he was caught up in the spirit and was in heaven, but I want to relate to you, that it was not heaven as it was in 96 A.D., but rather as heaven would be in the future tense of time. It is necessary that we read this in that light, or understanding. No man in heaven, nor in earth, was able to break the seals and open the scroll.) neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. (It is important that the transition of attention be directed, not to the description of the throne, nor the beasts and other things, but to the One seated in the center of it all, holding a scroll in His hand.) And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: (He is saying this to John, and notice it was one of the elders: not an angel.) behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath (past tense) prevailed to open the book, (the scroll) and to loose the seven seals thereof. (So now John, when that has been introduced to him, let us pay attention to what kind of scene he begins to view.) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, (That would be the center of the total description.) and in the midst of the elders, (They are on the outer side of these four beasts) stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, (Notice, we just read before here, that before the throne there is a lamp that signifies the seven spirits of God. Right? Now we see a Lamb, as it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes,) which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” When John began to see this, please keep in mind, (I do pray, that if there is anyone listening that is a Trinitarian, they can get a picture of what John was seeing.) Well Bro. Jackson, he is looking at a Lamb. Well let me say this, figuratively, yes, he was looking at a lamb. How many know what I mean, figuratively? It is symbolic of something. It has seven horns and seven eyes, but that is only figurative, or a symbol. We do know that a lamb is always pictured as an animal of sacrifice in the Old Testament period. So John sees in the midst of the throne, this lamb, as having been slain, having also the description, seven horns and seven eyes, that are the seven spirits of God which go throughout the face of the earth. Now notice, “And he (Who is he? It is the Lamb.) came (so there was physical motion, a movement) and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.” Now do we have a contradiction? I said to start with, It is the immortal Jesus sitting in the center of this throne, shrouded with the glory and majesty of Elohim around Him, because that signifies the position the Father has taken Him up and positioned Him in. As John looked upon the scene, in the midst of the throne, there stood this Lamb. Keep in mind, the Lamb is only figurative. How many realize that? It does not literally exist, but is a pictorial scene symbolizing the authority merited by the sacrifice of the Lamb at calvary. Just think saints, who it is that is holding the scroll? It is the One sitting on the throne, if you catch that the right way. The One sitting on that throne was holding the scroll. When it says, Who is worthy to open the scroll? It is important that we pay attention. Why do I say it is important? Simply because, if it was important in heaven, please do not shake your head and say, I am not interested in all this. If you do, the day will come that you will wish you had listened with interest. If heaven could be concerned, and John was about to weep, shame on the person that professes to be a Christian and says, I don’t want to hear that bunch of stuff, it is nonsense. If any of you have such an attitude, then get out of here, because we believe it is important. Now see there, Bro. Jackson, that is what we have against you: you always sound so cruel. Why don’t you get off that high horse and speak kindly? Brothers and sisters, time is short: You have to make a point that shock people’s mind’s now and then. These things were not written just to take up space. I never plan to sound harsh or cruel, but I am aware that some get that idea when I try to place emphasis on certain things. We can see here, that the Lamb came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat on the throne. So we must picture a Lamb, four legs, head like a lamb, seven horns and seven eyes, but it says He appeared as though He had, past tense, been slain. The Lamb came. (I have raised sheep myself, and in the natural there is no such thing as seeing a lamb coming with cloven hoofs and taking anything out of the hand of a man that is immortal. How many understand me?) So these pictorial scenes are symbolic of a transition of authority that has been given. The immortal Christ, is surrounded with the glory of Elohim the eternal God and Creator. That is a position the Father has taken Him up and positioned Him in, there in heaven. For two thousand years He has been mediating for something, and we know He has been mediating and interceding for the names written in the scroll that is pictured in this scene. The scene John viewed when he was told, Come up hither and I will show you things that shall be hereafter, the very language lets us know that it is to be a future tense event; and being right at the end of this age, we know it is something that we need to allow God to reveal to us. John sees this scene unfolding in heaven, so let us just imagine a Lamb, which in the natural we always refer to as a dumb beast, (I use this terminology to try and show you a transition. You have all been to school, so you know what the word transition means, so here comes this four legged Lamb, to take the scroll out of the hand of Him who is sitting upon the throne. He takes the scroll, figuratively, and as He does, the scroll remains in His hand, because as the Lamb comes forth, I say to you, the immortal Chris sitting there, it is just as though He almost vanishes and the Lamb takes the place. Therefore the figure of the Lamb is what breaks the seals. Are you following me? This goes to show that the Father in heaven, the eternal Spirit, knows the time has come, when it is necessary that this heavenly scene begin to be made known to Christian people on earth. Let me say, This transition goes to show the time had come in heaven and on earth, when the Father is going to delegate to His immortal Son, the right to break the seals on the scroll and reveal its contents; and it will be done on the merits that He (the Son) had been the Lamb on earth, that had died and risen up from the dead, and then ascended into heaven where He has interceded for the contents of that scroll for two thousand years. Therefore when we say He is going to break the seals on the merits of what He accomplished as the sacrificial Lamb, slain for the sins of all mankind, that is just a way of showing why He is worthy to break the seals, but when the seals are broken by Him, He will no longer be a Lamb. He is a High Priest sitting there. He breaks the seals on the merits of His accomplishment as a sacrificial Lamb, not because He is High Priest. What we are looking at, is the immortal Christ. He still sits there, just as majestic as ever, but that Lamb, as He takes that scroll, we can say then that the image of Jesus kind of moves into the background, and the Lamb fills the whole pictorial setting for that time. You are looking at the merit-ship of Christ, and not necessarily at the figure of Christ. Do you understand? Let us watch how this thing goes on. “And when He (the Lamb) had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, (How many can see now, that all we see is a Lamb sitting there. You do not see the immortal man sitting there: you just see the Lamb. That goes to show, that the image of the Lamb has overshadowed this scene, but it is all figurative. When He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb. We know this, they are falling before the immoral Christ, but they see the Lamb that has suddenly taken the scroll. All this shows transition of authority. It is the divine heavenly Father, investing in Christ His immortal son, the right to do it on the merit s that He had been the sacrificial Lamb on earth.) having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: (They are saying all this in respect to the fact that they see a Lamb.) for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God (This lets us see who these elders are. They are clothed in white. These elders can be none other than the twelve patriarchs of the Old Testament, and the twelve apostles of the New Testament. Now it is important that you listen carefully to what I am saying. That meant John was already there, in the future tense when this was actually being fulfilled, but not in 96 A.D., when he was writing this. Do you understand my point? When he said, Come up hither and I will show you things that shall be hereafter, he was taken into the future tense and saw twenty four chairs, each having an occupant, when we know that John, physically, was still alive on the Isle of Patmos. You must understand that. That is how a lot of people err so badly trying to understand what is written in this book: It speaks in past tense, because John had seen what he wrote, but literally, he was still alive on the isle of Patmos, writing what he had been carried into the future in the Spirit and shown. We just have to realize that even though he was speaking in past tense terms, everything he was writing was for a future fulfillment. That is important to your revelation. When he was told, thou will see things that shall be hereafter, it was exactly like that, because he had been carried away in the Spirit, to the hour of time in the future when each event was taking place. That is why he was able to write about these future events as though they had already taken place. He was carried to a point in time, that he could see those souls under the altar, (the fifth seal) but when he wrote of what he saw, he was in 96 A.D. writing; when the actual event he was describing was still way off in the future. Somewhere in the future tense of time, it would be necessary that the scene we are reading about in heaven, be revealed to a people on earth. I was in the Methodist Church for many years and heard a lot of doctors of divinity, both in the church, and on radio, but never, did I hear them describe anything about these things we are looking at in this message. There was a reason why they did not deal with these symbolisms: simply because only one group of people on earth would ever have the revelation given to them by the Holy Spirit; and that would be the living element of the Bride of Christ right at the end of this last Church Age, the Laodicean. Only one kind of people will ever hear and understand this revelation, because it was of no benefit to former generations.) by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” These elders are describing it, Thou hast redeemed us out of every kindred, every nation and tongue. Well, the gospel of Jesus Christ had just got started not too many years before 96 A.D. when John was shown all of this, if you understand what I am saying. That is why it is necessary for us to understand that what we are reading about, this heavenly scene unfolding, time wise on earth, John had to be looking way off into the future tense of time, to the era of time we live in, to see the end time picture. That is hard for a lot of people to grasp, but it is important, if you are going to have a right understanding of these different pictorial settings. SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS I know the denominational people do not have a right understanding of what these seals represent; and I have to say, It is a shame that they are so blinded to the fulfillment of prophecy, the symbols, the figurative transitions of things that are represented, but all we can do is just present it: we cannot force anyone to understand. They have lived so long on John 3:16, and John 5:24, that they cannot seem to see anything else, just the same song, the same verses, the same lesson, but never learning anything beyond that. I am not making fun of them, so I ask you, Do you know why they are like that? Because the spirit of antichrist has blinded their eyes and shut their heart’s up and they do not even realize it. I realize some may say, But Bro. Jackson, I know a lot of good people that go to denominational churches. My answer is, Yes, as far as mortals living good moral lives, I do too, but they are spiritually blind, if they are sold out to that system of religion they are in: That is a scriptural fact. No matter how much we love them, nor how sweet natured they are, they are still spiritually blind. Only the Spirit of God can change that; and saints, time is running out for anything like that. Be thankful that you answered His call in time. LOOKING BEYOND 96 A.D. As we continue on, please notice this, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Especially notice, every kindred. In 96 A.D. when John wrote this, the gospel had not gone throughout the whole world, so when John was taken up into heaven, he was not seeing things as they were in 96 A.D.: He was looking into the future tense, after the gospel had been around the world, so that their words have a global setting. “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: (Now why would the elders say this, kings and priest?) and we shall reign on the earth.” All because that heavenly scene that John is seeing here and describing, once Jesus has broken the last seal and leaves that heavenly throne, He will no longer be High Priest. How many understand that? He will come to earth in angelic form, and that is when you see chapter 10 of Revelation, come into fulfillment. Then, when He has taken the Bride up in the rapture, and the marriage supper has taken place, the stage is set in the heavens, so that at the end of the tribulation period Christ may come back to earth in bodily form, not only with His Bride, but He is coming with all the Old Testament saints as well. Those elders are no longer sitting on thrones in that heavenly scene: They are on earth with Jesus and they are going to be given positions of kings and priests, which explains why they were saying, And we shall reign on the earth. John then said, “And I beheld, (His gaze was so fixed.) and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; (a multitude of heavenly angels) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” It is actually Christ Himself getting all the glorious attention, but based on the merit-ship that He had been the slain Lamb on earth. Do you understand what I mean by that? All of the authority that has suddenly been given so much attention, has been given to Him, not because He is there, but because He had been the sacrificial Lamb on earth. It was through His death, burial, and resurrection when He was on earth, that the price for the sins of all mankind was paid, so that He became the Mediator for every name that was included in the scroll He was holding. That is why it is called the scroll of redemption. “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I (John comes in there.) saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, (Notice what John says.) and (conjunction) unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (That lets us know John still knew who was sitting there, the immortal Christ.) And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever.” Now John is looking at Jesus the Christ, the one that had paid the sin debt on earth. His blood was shed, His life was given; and because of that, the time had come for John to be taken up into heaven and given a revelation of a heavenly scene, that somewhere in the future tense of time would be made known to a generation of believers, only when God knew there was a people on earth that should receive the knowledge of what he was talking about. Brothers and sisters, you could not preach this to the denominational church world at all. This reality projected John into the twentieth century, because there was never another time when believers should have that revelation. This scene was not revealed to Martin Luther, John Knox, Calvin, or John Wesley: It was only to be revealed to the bride of Christ in this age of Laodicea. This scene was given and written to describe heaven at a time when there would be a prophet on earth that God could reveal it through. When I say that, the denominational world would say, A prophet on earth? You have to be joking! We have never heard of such a thing, and do not believe it. We have never read or heard anything about a prophet in the last days. On and on they go, in their state of unbelief. What is really ironic, is that almost all of us came out of one of those denominational church systems. I look back and have to say, I thank God, that He saw fit to lay His hand on my life and lift me up out of that spiritual blindness. He could have left all of us in our old systems of religion to rot and die along with the others.
CONFLICT BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND RELIGION
If John 3:16 or John 5:24 or Acts 2:38 was all we would have ever known, we would not have been in any condition to ever understand any of that which has been written here. What is written in the book of Revelation was not written for the denominational world of religion: That is why they are not even interested in hearing it. Oh they will touch a little here and there now and then, but they do not understand one thing of any benefit to a spiritual soul, because they do not feel that any of it is important. They feel it is more important to repeat John 3:16 every time they get together, sing about it and shout Hallelujah with tears streaming down their faces, than to care anything about what is written in the book of Revelation. God knew exactly what He was doing when He showed John these scenes so long ago. He knew there would be a time on earth when there would be a people, the beginning of a generation, out of which the Bride of Christ is going to be taken, that would enjoy and benefit by the revelation of these hidden mysteries. He would start revealing the picture of this heavenly transition, and they which are ordained to understand these things are the only ones that are ever going to see the true picture. They are the only ones that are going to understand, because those who are not of the bride have no need to understand. They are the only ones that are going to be concerned about these seals, trumpets, vials, the sea of glass, the four beasts and all, simply because they are those who are ordained to walk with God in truth as the bride of Christ. As I look back I just have to say, God saw me shut up in that old Methodist system, starving for some real meat of His word. Oh yes, He had saved me already, but I desired more of His word than what I was getting there. I soon started reading some things I knew about, such as what Calvin and Knox had preached, but none of that was allowed in the Methodist Church. I know I have told this before, but I feel like telling it again at this time: When the student pastor of the Methodist Church we were attending went back to Louisiana for a vacation, he asked me, Bro. Jackson, would you take over the charge while I am gone? I agreed to do it and got ready to preach what I had been reading. There were five churches on this charge, and the main one was at Elizabeth. I had been reading about predestination and eternal security, so I got up in the Methodist church on Sunday morning and preached predestination. I really felt good about it, and when I left there I thought I had done a pretty good job. That all changed on Monday afternoon, when here came the Sunday school superintendent driving down the road, coming to see me. I thought, What is he doing here? He got out, shook my hand and said, Bro. Jackson, you are a good man: we like your style of preaching, but I don’t believe we ought to touch those things that the church don’t believe in. When he said that, it was like I had been slapped in the face. I thought, I sure am a smart aleck. He then said, Bro. Jackson, I believe we ought to just stay away from the things the church does not believe in. When he left there I was feeling so terrible: I thought I had really made a mess of it, but on the other hand I started thinking, Well now, Peter was a fisherman and he did not have much education. Andrew and some of those others were common, ordinary laborers of that day. They did not have an education in theology, but they preached these things. Then I thought, If they preached it, then what is wrong with me preaching it today? I started to think real seriously about the fact that it was written in the Bible, but we were not to preach or teach it. That just happened to be along about the time I would come to the knowledge of Bro. William Branham’s ministry. I had already been asked if I would take the charge as the pastor of those same churches, when the pastor and his wife transferred to another place; and I answered, Well if they choose to select me I will, but when that district superintendent came down for a meeting with them, they sent me outside while they discussed it with him. His answer was, No, the Methodist conference has now voted and passed a rule that nobody is allowed to be a pastor until he has at least two or three years of Bible school education; and I didn’t even have a high school education. When they came outside and told me about that rule, it made me feel so bad. That evening, I went down into the barn, and before I started to milked the cows I got down on my knees and said, Lord, I read about Paul, Peter, James, and John. I know they preached these things that I am forbidden to preach: What is wrong with preaching these things that are written in the Bible, in our day? That is when I said, Lord, I do not have to preach, but I will do my utmost to live for you. That night, along in the wee hours of the morning, I went into a dream and saw myself walking down a big highway, going toward a big city. I could tell by the way I was walking, I was looking for something. As I looked ahead, I saw a huge tent. The thought came to me, It must be one of those evangelists that travels around the country preaching divine healing and salvation: I believe I will go inside and take a look around. I walked across a big lawn getting over to the tent. It was still daylight so I just walked in, and over to one side of the tent I could hear something like the sound of a typewriter. As I stood there, a man raised his head from where I heard the typewriter and said, Sir, may I help you? No sir, I am just looking around. I was just slowly walking around, mainly looking at how huge the tent was, when the man stood up and came toward me and said, Sir, you have a need. I said, I do? He said, Yes, may I pray for you? He laid his hand on my head and started to pray; and all of a sudden that tent disappeared and Jesus Christ came right to me. When I saw those eyes, how He was looking at me, I started weeping. He pulled my head up to His chest and I started crying and thought, Oh, if I could just die like this, it would be so wonderful. When I awakened, I was on my knees in bed, with my pillow in my hands, ready to go over the foot of the bed. I was trembling and thinking, What was all that about? I had already met Bro. William Branham by then, just one time. The second time I went to see him I told him about the dream. He said, Bro. Junie, the Lord is getting ready to lead you off into deep water. That is an old spiritual expression, but it has merit. I have to look back and say, Thank God! He really did. I sat there and began to realize, That little man has something inside his bosom and I want to know it whatever it is.
CHURCH AGES AND SEALS
When it came time that God dealt with him to preach the Church Ages, (in December 1960), God then dealt with him to move west, and in doing so, he had the glorious experience of going up Sabino Canyon, up into the mountains and praying. God spoke to him there, and then sent him back here in March and April 1963, to preach another very important series of messages. He preached the revelation of the first six seals, found in the 6th chapter of the book of Revelation. That is why I said, All of this was given, not in relationship to 1500, 1600, 1700, or 1800 A.D., but rather in relationship to the twentieth century. Why? Because that is when God would have a people on earth, that He would use a prophet to break this down and give them the true meaning. When Bro. William Branham brought forth that revelation of the first six seals, it was a joyful occasion, but do you find the denominational church world interested in hearing any of it? Not at all. Who was it for then? It was not for them: They were not looking for it and did not want anything to do with that kind of preaching. There was another element of people on earth that were hungry for it though; and we have been feasting on that revelation for thirty nine years. As time passed it began to mean more and more to us. I am thankful to God that He allowed me to see this. That is why I say the things that he brought out of these seals were actual facts recorded in history, how Christianity has suffered and so forth. Well as we continue to read these scriptures, John is still looking at the throne and says, “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, (He sees the Christ, He knows that Christ is the One that is breaking the seal; and that it is on the meritship that He had been the sacrificial Lamb.) and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, (All of this manifestation of sounds can only portray that God is going to speak. The thunder he heard, keep in mind, one thunder, not ten, not six, not five, not seven, one thunder.) one of the four beasts (It was not an elder, but one of the four beasts) saying, Come and see.” It was not an elder that said anything, it was the beast. What beast was it? It was none other than the lion beast. I will never forget how Bro. William Branham described that lion. That lion represents the power of God, and the lion is a wise beast. Keep in mind, though he is a beast, in his animal makeup, it is always his business to outsmart his opponent. How many realize that? That is why he is called the king of the jungle. One thunder sounded and it was the lion beast saying, Come and see. It was one beast, and that beast was the lion. When Bro. William Branham brought that out, that it had to characterize and portray the Spirit of God that would be characterized through this animal, and given to His children on earth, this ability to be smart, very intelligent, brave, and not cow down, it made sense. That is how the Church, the individual believers were protected. When you take all the lion characteristics and watch how Christendom behaved itself, you will not find that they ran off screaming when those who would persecute them came around. Those believers were captured by the hundreds and taken to the arenas to be slaughtered in some fashion. Do we read anything in history about them running off somewhere crying and screaming, I am not ready to die? No. It was just the opposite. If you do not believe it, get hold of the writings of the anti-Nicene fathers and read how the historians wrote the records, and also look at the nature of a lion described. Put him in captivity. Does he go lay down? No. Picture a lion, always roaming, with a little grumble. Paul and Silas were locked up in jail. Were they crying out, Oh God, why are we in here? They started singing and praising the Lord. Is that not right? Do you remember what happened? The Lord came and opened the door, (He sent an earthquake.) making a way for them to go free. When you read about the patriarchs of old, when they were put in jail, instead of them being able to keep them a long time, it was just as that old lion would wait his opportunity: You just have to take all the characteristics of a lion and allow that to portray the whole body of believers. It is how God, through the nature and likeness of the animal, gave the believers on earth all those characteristics to enable them to defend their faith and enjoy doing it. Look at Stephen for an example: He was certainly not a hypocrite. When they knocked him down, he was not crying out, Oh God, why did they do this? They were hitting him with rocks, when all of a sudden his face lights up and he says, I see Jesus. You can read it in the book of Acts, chapter 7. A smile begins to come over his face, and even though the rocks were hitting him, all he could see was the beauty of Jesus making intercession for him. That is the joy he died with. A lot of people today, just cannot realize how God was able to give His people grace to die, and to suffer for the faith while living, as well as in death. If the denominational people of today, could only be made to realize what histories have written about the thousands that have suffered such ordeals, they would have a different outlook about the Christian faith. Of course when it comes to the revelation of God’s word, it was not the lion that brought the revelation of these seals to Bro. William Branham: We are not living in the lion’s era of time. Neither are we living in the ox’s day. We are living in the days of the flying eagle. He flies higher, he can see further, so that is where the revelation comes in. As we look at these symbols, that eagle’s head speaks of a prophet position. That is why I say, The time on earth has arrived, and God had a prophet on earth through which He could project His power to a people on earth, not to the church world, but to those that have a feeling that they could be living in the last days, when God is going to make His Bride ready, so that group of people receive the benefits of what that eagle symbolizes, because he is flying high and he can see into the Spirit realm, and see the picture of everything. Therefore he can communicate it down here to the believing element: Bro. William Branham brought all of this out, so concerning the first seal we read this, “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Many that did see this, just automatically said, Well, he took these from the earth’s wars. However I will never forget the time when Bro. William Branham read that, what he said. Notice, he had a bow and a crown, but he did not have arrows in his quiver. How many understand the significance? Because you have got to reach back and get that arrow, put it up to the bow, draw back, and shoot it. That is why Bro. William Branham said, This is a symbol of the spirit of antichrist. To the natural person, the fact of the bow and crown, Oh my God, hide me from him. But it is that lion spirit that the Spirit of God works through, My child, study him carefully, he is not going to hurt you, because he has no arrows. He scares the daylight out of others, because they see how he looks, and that is exactly how the spirit of antichrist works. How was that spirit of antichrist manifested in the first age of Christendom? When you read the book of Acts, and the book of Galatians, the writing of Timothy, and all the epistles Paul wrote, you see all the negative things that various men rose up to teach, which were against the teachings of the apostles, so it was to oppose them, and therefore was none other than the workings of the spirit of antichrist. Satan had various agents he would send out to follow right behind the true servants of God; and as soon as the coast was clear, they would show up on the scene claiming to be servants of God and teach false doctrine, just enough variation to get people off course. That is why Paul would come back and find certain congregations in an uproar and have to get them straightened out. Paul would came back there, and find the church in confusion because some had come supposedly from Jerusalem, portraying themselves to have been sent from Peter and the church at Jerusalem and they taught the people, Except you be circumcised after the manner of the Jews, you cannot be saved. All of that goes to show the beginning of the workings of the antichrist, the spirit of Satan using the negative or the ignorant side of people, to set a stumbling block before them. When Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to talk to the elders, to find out if they had legally sent them, they found out they had not. Saints, that is just the way some people will go about promoting their own selfish ideas, by claiming to be in fellowship with those whom the people trust. Some may say, Well I went to the Branham Tabernacle, and heard Brother Branham there. I sat under his ministry; and with that, away they go, I got this revelation, and I got this revelation, and I got this revelation. If some of that kind are out there today and hear me say this, I have to say to you, You are just as much antichrist now, in 2004, as those were way back there, when they went out teaching circumcision to New Testament Christians. When you follow this through, and read what the apostle John wrote in 90 A.D., how some were teaching against the deity of Christ, denying that He was the Lord, as well as many other contrary things, you can see why it was the work of antichrist. In (1 John 4:1-3), we read these words, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” Anyone who takes it upon himself to preach and teach things that are contrary to established and accepted truth of God’s word, are under the spell of that antichrist spirit. Notice, (1 John 2:18-19), “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. (19) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” The deity of Christ and the Godhead were the major things in dispute in those early years, but look at all the other little minor things, circumcision, eating of meats, holy days, observation of certain days for certain things, all of which were contrary to sound, New Testament teaching. We find Paul, as the years went by, when he had to deal with things that had been brought into the Church by false teaching, very stern. What did he say, (Col 2:16) “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” He said, Christ is the end of the Law for every man that believeth. I have to say, If that antichrist was working in Paul’s day around those things, wait until we get on over to the time of the Reformation, and we will see exactly how it has worked right on through, and how it had planted seed that affected multitudes of people. They thought they were believing in Christ Jesus, and in some way they were, but it was how the scriptures had been twisted and perverted that had them so far off course. That gives you a little idea of how that white horse rider worked, even before Christendom reached the end of the first century. Therefore do not ever think that just because the spirit of antichrist changed from a white horse to a red horse, that he was any less effective in perverting the truth of God’s word. We will see as we go along, that the antichrist spirit has continued right on through to this very day, just using different disguises from one era to another. I pray that we can see, that God never sent this revelation of His word in 1500, at the beginning of Luther’s part of the reformation. He never sent this revelation to Calvin in 1700. Neither did He send this revelation at the beginning of the Pentecostal revival. He sent it right here, in this Laodicean age, at a time when there is an element of believers that He knows will make up the living element of the Bride of Christ. This revelation was set forth to begin the choosing and giving to them what the Bride is to be like when He does come for her. To us, God works in many strange ways, but all His works were known of Him before the foundation of the world, and these that are for these last days were not meant for any other generation to understand except those who are to be partakers as Gentile time comes to a close. The true bride people will rejoice in what God has revealed to us in the past forty some years, but all the rest will find the book of Revelation to be very dull and terribly mixed up. That is because it is not written in the chronological order of fulfillment, and only the Spirit of God can reveal its order of fulfillment. Therefore it is as I have always said, a love letter to the Bride of Jesus Christ. The bride cherishes every bit of it, and almost everyone else looks upon it as a book that never should have been written. We will see just how precious it is as we go along in this message.
JOHN SEES A GLORIOUS SIGHT
Let me say to you before going any further, I did not choose to start this subject on the seals just because there was nothing else to preach. God definitely let me read something this past week, that caused me to realize we are living in the days when this book of Revelation should be of deep interest to every true believer, no matter what part it is. That is why I said, The fact that you may have heard these things preached once or twice before, does not mean that you should just let your mind wander off on other things while we are on this subject. Brothers and sister, please do not let the devil sit on your shoulder and entertain your mind with things of his choosing. You may think, Well I already know that, but I say to you, Do you? That is the kind of mind the devil likes to play with. The antichrist spirit really enjoys using your mind when you have an attitude like that: He can sit on your shoulder and feed all kinds of things into your mind. Please, for the sake of your eternal soul, try your best to allow the Spirit of God to give you a revelation of the things we are going to deal with in this message. I have already said a lot of things about the throne that John saw, but before we go on any further into the seal itself, I want to take you back and show you how each statement, each little word, carries an important thought. John has already seen the One sitting on the throne, and how He was made to look upon, like a jasper and sardine stone, and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. All of those are manifestations of the majesty of the eternal Spirit, God Himself, as He has cloaked His Son with this kind of identity. Therefore the person John sees sitting there is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ that was taken up two thousand years ago. He was taken up to be a High Priest, and that is why Paul, in the scriptures, speaks of Him as being the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. Therefore when John was taken up into heaven, and told that He would see things that would be hereafter, let us try to reconcile our thoughts to the fact that hereafter covers a huge span of time. The Lord is not just saying fifteen, twenty or a hundred or two hundred years later: He is referring to thousands of years. I want to show you something saints, and that is this, As we look into these things that are before us, each little word, and each little scripture carries a deep thought. Having said that, I am now going back to that 5th chapter, to catch something else. Keep in mind, it is John that has been taken up. He is the one that is seeing all these transitional movements of the pictorial things that He is describing. (Verse 1) “And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne (He is looking at none other than the Lord Jesus, the immortal Christ. He saw the book, but it is actually a scroll.) a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. (He is looking at the scroll of redemption that Jesus is holding in His hands.) And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book , (scroll) neither to look thereon. (John said…) And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.” If John could weep after seeing the heavenly scene like he saw it, brother and sister, as a mortal creature, let us never get so complacent that we lose interest and say, Well, I have already heard that once. John saw something that touched his heart. I am not saying we have to sit here with tears streaming from our eyes, but if John was taken up in the Spirit world and saw this, and he is expressing his emotional feelings, then it must be important that you and I be able to visualize as to what depth John saw something there. Just listen to this 5th verse, “And one of the elders (Now as we said earlier, Those elders are none other than the twelve patriarchs of the Old Testament, and the twelve apostles of the New Testament. The reason I say that, is because, when John was taken up, his body was still related to 96 A.D. in time, but when he was projected into the future tense, he was projected way into the future somewhere beyond man’s ability to reason. Let us notice how John describes this, and one of the elders, and as I have already said, John was one of those elders, so he is projected into the future to a time when he could see himself in that scene around the throne, along with the other twenty three. I must keep emphasizing the fact that physically, John was still alive in the Roman Empire, in 96 A.D., so it would have been impossible for him to be alive on earth, and at the same time be sitting around that throne in heaven, except he had been carried into the future in the spirit, to view that scene as it would be at a much later time. Therefore he sees the throne scene as it will be at a time after he has passed on in death, and is there in his spirit. How many understand? That is the only way you can look at this scene, so somewhere way off in the future tense John is in his place; and begins to weep when it seemed that there was no one worthy to break the seals on that scroll of redemption, so he says, And one of the elders…) saith unto me, Weep not: (Notice what this elder said) behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” So John is introduced to a person, a being, having this quality and authority, and we have to realize who that Lion is, that is of the tribe of Judah? It is none other than the One sitting on the throne. Is that not right? The reason I emphasize this, is because we need to associate this with time, knowing the Church started in 33 A.D.; and a few years later it is 96 A.D., but when John is taken up and projected way into the future tense, it could not have happened anywhere along in here, (pointing to chart way back before our time.) but watch, somewhere over in here when the being was introduced to John, He is closer to the event where He will be the Lion, than He was back here. How many see that? Yes, John was seeing a scene in heaven, at a time when he himself, would be seated in one of those twenty four chairs. Of course it was not long after he wrote these things, that he was seated in one of those chairs, but what he wrote concerning this great display in heaven, could never be fulfilled until just before Gentile time comes close to an end. It is important, that we realize that.
WAS JOHN LOOKING AT A LION OR A LAMB?
John was taken up into heaven in the Spirit and projected right into this area right here, (pointing to the chart at 1963 and beyond.) because Jesus is coming closer to the Lion of the tribe of Judah position, which is his Kingly position, than He was way back here. Considering this part, these verses are very important, because they tell us something, if we can just have a mind to read it in the light it was written in. Hath is a past tense word, so we know this, when that being was introduced to John, it was not the Lion that had died: It was the Lamb, but looking at the Lion, what he sees is pointing to His future kingship. John is looking at the being sitting on the throne; and being introduced to the Lion that is soon to be, but the merit that qualified this setting was all brought about by the fact He had been the sacrificial Lamb. That is what we have to see. That goes to show, there was a strategic time in the plan of God, that this book of Revelation would begin to be revealed to an element of people on earth, and I have to say again, The denominational realm of religion in the world has very little interest any of this. Think of the Bible schools, the theological seminaries, that their ministry goes to, and to study what? Theology, theories, that is all it amounts to. The times are very few and far between, that you ever hear any of them take a meaningful text from the book of Revelation. Do you know why? They have so little understanding of what is written in it, they are not able to present a picture before their listeners, so they can know what is contained therein. What we have to realize, is that this entire book is written in symbols, and is prophetic; and just not merely a letter written; therefore because it is a prophecy and because it is hidden from the wise and prudent of this world, in other words concealed, it takes the Spirit of God to reveal what is concealed, and especially so concerning this sealed up scroll of redemption. I will say right now, There is a chosen element of people on this earth, that are to receive the knowledge and spiritual benefit of what it is all about. Therefore seeing that John was projected into the future tense of time, we must realize also that what he described here in this fourth chapter could not have been seen in the Middle Ages. Neither in here, (moving along on the chart) but only right here. He was projected into this time right here, (pointing to 1963 on the chart) because there are other scriptures that back this up. I am not going to try to hold you on this, but these are important facts that let us see what all is involved. “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain.” I must stress again, that John has been looking at the One sitting on the throne, and he has already described His appearance. Then he introduced a certain title name, yet when something took place, which we will describe as the transition of authority, when it was passed from the Father to the Son, it is described in this image of a Lamb. I want to say, the image of the Lamb is only to portray that the time has come, that He who is High Priest, He who through the centuries has been interceding for the names contained therein, earned the right to break these seals when He allowed Himself to become the sacrificial Lamb, slain and offered for the sins of all people. Therefore now that the time has come that the seals be broken and the revelation contained therein be made known to an element of people on earth , the understanding is not made known to just any people anywhere in time. In the plan of God there is a strategic time for that to take place. That is why it could not have been in the Dark Ages, and neither during the time of the Reformation, but only right here in the last century of time before the Lord Jesus returns to earth. I just have to say, If we can look at each one of these verses and see exactly what the Spirit is bringing out of them, then we would have to say, God chose the precise time to reveal all of this and we are the people that are to receive the knowledge and understanding of the contents of this scroll of redemption. I want to say also, I thank God from the depths of my soul, that He did not leave me sitting out there in an old cold denomination somewhere, wondering when this was going to take place, when that was going to take place, when He has already revealed out of this book of prophecy, that it is a love letter written to the Bride of Christ, sealed, and not to be opened until a certain time. Saints, we are very blessed to know that this certain time came about in the middle of the twentieth century. We also know this event in the twentieth century, places us within a few short years of the literal coming of Jesus Christ.
LOOKING AT THE LAMB
As we continue on here, notice the description of the Lamb, “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain. having seven horns and seven eyes, (All of that is symbolic, but John watches this animal like creature.) which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he (this animal) came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.” I am going to try again to portray this scene here before the eyes of John. John himself, was looking right at the throne. He already sees the immortal One, Jesus Christ sitting there. He sees the appearance of Him, His countenance looks like a jasper stone, sapphire, then around about Him the halo or the rainbow. All that is to portray the glory and majesty of the eternal Father which is Spirit. How many can see that? God has literally robed Him with His own majestic Spirit. What a position to be taken up into. Watch though, as John is looking right at that throne, he had already described the One sitting in the throne position. Right? Now when he saw this Lamb, where did He see this Lamb come from? That is important. Did the Lamb come from over here on this side, or did the Lamb come from over here? The answer is neither. John was looking right at the throne, and the Lamb came right out of the midst of the throne. The entire countenance of Jesus had been faded into the background, and the image of a Lamb was projected forth. Saints: This is where it gets a little difficult to explain, so bear with me. As the Lamb begins to become illuminated in the forefront, where He holds the central vision, or attention, He then goes to the One on the throne, so He would actually have to turn and go to Him, because it says He goes and takes the scroll out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne. At that point John sees two different objects, does he not? (What makes it hard to explain, and hard to grasp, is that the One on the throne and the One turning to receive the scroll are in reality the same.) Though Jesus is seated upon the throne in His place of intercession, He has to be transformed into a Lamb in this vision, to illustrate what merited this authority to open the seals and reveal what is contained therein; and that is because He (as a lamb of sacrifice) offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the entire world population throughout the generations from Adam and onward. Let me finish reading it, “And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.” So all this transition where the Lamb appeared, and in the projected actions was seen taking the little scroll, means He had to move to do this, but we have to understand this entire scene in the projected vision, was to portray the eternal Spirit investing in the immortal Christ, the High Priest, the authority to start breaking the seals on that scroll, and that authority is based on the fact He had been the crucified sacrifice, the Lamb of God on earth. Actually though, the Lamb as an animal, did not exist except in the vision. It is only a pictorial transition to portray merit. Do you understand me? One thing is sure though, the immortal Christ did exist. He is the central figure of the whole thing. What we have to keep in mind, is that this Lamb appearing, is only to show that the Father is now delegating to His immortal Son, the right to start breaking the seals, based on the fact He had been the Lamb of God on earth. “And when He had taken the book, (Now the Lamb has the book.) the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” I want to say, Those very words spoken right there, prove the fact that time has transpired, in order for these elders to say this. It takes you way beyond 96 A.D., because the gospel had not gone into a lot of nations in 96 A.D. Do you understand what I am saying? This song being sung, goes to show that the gospel of the Christ, of the crucified One, has been preached and proclaimed around the earth, and it has been responsible for redeeming souls out of every generation of people living in the various nations around the world, by the time John was seeing this event in heaven (while in that vision). There worshiping, are their spirits, their souls, up there in glory. Therefore they can rejoice because they have been redeemed, out of every kindred, tongue, and nation, people, and so forth. That proves beyond any shadow of a doubt, that time wise, the revelation of this letter is coming forth when the gospel of Jesus Christ has just about finished its purpose in the world at large. It has been proclaimed around this globe; and even though it is not completely closed yet, time for Gentiles to hear and receive it is fast coming to a close; and God has a definite purpose in giving a picture, or understanding of this letter to His children at such a time.
A GLOBAL PICTURE
Now I want to go to verse 11, so please pay attention to what John said, “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; (What a multitude of spiritual beings there in heaven.) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.” Notice, when He was first introduced, He was introduced as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Right? The Root and offspring of David. Are you following me? Now notice what it says here. “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Amen. Brothers and sisters, I would have to say, that right at this time, Christ is literally being seen as the Redeemer of lost mankind, that has been born and raised upon the face of this earth. The time has come when He is going to leave that position; and when He does, He will never be back in that meditative position any more. Why? Because what He has been interceding for will all be sealed. What is He going to be then? He is coming to earth to rule as King of kings, and Lord of lords. “And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down, and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever.” I just felt it was necessary to bring those points in, that we have an opportunity to acquaint ourselves with the pictorial form of the Lamb, which is only to portray authority from the great eternal Spirit, that is being bestowed upon the person of Jesus the High Priest and King to be. He has been interceding to the Father on behalf of those names recorded in that little scroll. Did He know who was in there? No. When He was taken up two thousand years ago and placed in that position, He was not told the names of those He would be interceding for: He was interceding for all the Father by His foreknowledge, had recorded in there before the foundation of the world. You will find no scripture to specifically state that, but I do want to say this, In that scroll, the primary subjects are those that will make up the Bride of Christ. They are the first and foremost. However, in that scroll are also written the names of the multitudes of other saints that were martyred, crucified, cut off in whatever way, that never were allowed to live long enough to develop their lives into a really fruitful state. Regardless of what some may say, those multitudes that were cut off early in their salvation experience are not lost, even though they do not meet the standard set for the Bride saints in fruit bearing. That is why you see them in the 7th chapter of the book of Revelation, in white robes.
THE LION BEAST AND THE WHITE HORSE
Well I must get back here and continue on, because there are still some points I would like to bring out about this white horse rider. I spoke about the first beast, when the first seal was opened: that it was the first beast that said, Come and see. There is a reason why it was a Lion. “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse; (I have already described what this Lion beast typified. It is the power of God projected to the believer, but not to the people on earth of every day life. No, it is to the individual person that by faith has reached out and accepted Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior. This Lion beast speaks of how the Spirit of God is projected to that person and every true believer in that specific period of time. As that person will encounter many satanic obstacles in his or her walk with God, as they are seeking to serve the Lord in a dedicated way, therefore that help is present. Let us go ahead.) And I saw, and behold a white horse: and He that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Now there is something important shown right here, so I want to take my time as I explain it to you. I remember the night Bro. William Branham preached this first seal, how he described that white horse rider saying, That is none other than the spirit of antichrist, as it was the spirit of Satan beginning to ride in that first church age to pervert and deceive. It is described here. The creature sitting on the horse is not portrayed as a cowboy. It is not portrayed as somebody riding in the Kentucky Derby. It is portrayed as a person that is supposed to be of great authority: something like a king coming to conquer something. Therefore since it did not have any arrows, it had to be a bluff, because anybody that lived in the time when a bow was the means of weaponry, knows there has to be arrows in what they call the quiver, but this white horse rider did not have arrows in his quiver. Do you catch the point? I can remember just how Bro. William Branham said it, This is the spirit of antichrist projected to Christian as a bluff, yet seeking to conquer (as many as can be deceived). We must ask ourselves, What was there to be conquered? Was it nations? No. It was sent forth to conquer the spirit of the individual believers. It was not the devil coming down the road like some drunk person. No. He was portrayed that way, hoping to be accepted as someone of great authority. Let us just try to look back to that first century for a moment. When we read the history, this spirit of antichrist did not come through the means of legislature, through that of what the king might project. No. This spirit of antichrist always comes right out of the very ranks of the people that are supposed to have been converted to Christ through the gospel preached to them. Therefore when we begin to break this picture down, no wonder, that in 90 A.D., just think, in 90 A.D., sixty some years later after the Church had been born, how we see John looking at it. He said, Even now, there are many antichrists among you. That is why he would say in another place, (1 John 4:1) “Beloved, (He was not talking to kings and magistrates and princes and such. He was talking to the average person that was a believer.) believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” No, he was not that drunk staggering down the road? That drunk is a poor excuse for the spirit of antichrist. Would you not agree? That drunk person is not the kind of image of anything you have to be scared of. We have to say, What you need to be aware of, is something in that person that has risen right out of the midst of the very body of believers and begins to propagate something contrary to the sound teaching you have already received by revelation. We have to realize, This is not talking about one that rose up down in Morocco or Egypt, and is traveling all over Europe trying to deceive. When John wrote these words, Beloved, believe not every spirit, for many false prophets have gone out into the world, we must ask, Well where in the world did these false prophets come from? I will say it again, They rose right out of the very ranks of Christendom that had been established by the apostles of Christ. They heard Peter, they heard Paul, they heard James, and all the others. Yet they rose right out of the ranks of the believers, because they happened to see something a little different than the way the apostles had taught it. Somewhere, as time progresses, there are always some of these individual characters sitting among you, that will began to get another picture or supposed-to-be revelation; and they began to say to themselves, I will prove to them, that I can get a revelation also; so they begin to take the very words they have heard, and begin to get a picture of their own origin. That is the devil’s way of taking right out of the midst of genuine believers, some individuals that are not genuine believers, that really are interested only in making a name for themselves, so he causes them to start very slowly and cunningly, to teach things a little different, and they use flattering words to capture the attention of others that are not totally grounded in what they have been taught. It could have been your brother, it could have been your brother-in-law, or anyone else you would never suspect as being of a different mind set. It could even be your father, or your son. By the time John was given this great vision and revelation to pass on to the bride Church, it was 96 A.D.; and as he has already written in 90 A.D., They went out from us for they were not of us, for had they been of us, meaning had they stayed with the truth we have in our hearts, they would never have changed to go after something else. When we go back into the early days of the birth of the Church, the spirit of this antichrist began to break out and come forth teaching little things at first, but contrary to sound doctrine. That is why in Paul’s writings, he began to warn them about those that want to teach, or hold on to the Law, that want to teach circumcision, and the keeping of the Sabbath. That kind of teaching would put those who had already been delivered from the Law of Commandments, right back under bondage, because as it is written, (Rom 10:4) “ For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Those that had been enlightened, believed and received Christ as their personal Savior, can never be justified by the Law of Moses any longer. Having faith in Jesus Christ, brings an end to keeping the letter of the Law for the sake of righteousness.
A CHURCH IS BORN
When Paul wrote the letter to the Romans, keep in mind that this assembly had not been established by any of the apostles of old. How was that church established then? First of all let me say to you, On that particular day of Pentecost, it plainly tells you, that there were many Jews present out of every nation, devout Jews out of every nation, which were Jews of dispersion, that had come to Jerusalem to worship, and they all spoke different dialects, because they spoke the dialect of the country or area where they were from, as the Jews in dispersion were prone to do. Keep in mind also, Rome was the predominant city of worldly recognition, because that is where the world was ruled from. Therefore those Roman Jews were in Jerusalem to keep this day of Pentecost, a feast day for Jews, when they suddenly heard the commotion of those disciples of Christ coming out into the street speaking in the language of their home area. There were as the scripture says, one hundred and twenty disciples that had that experience, so God just allowed a number of them to speak the wonderful words of Jesus Christ in a language that would be understood of those Jews from each nation represented there that day. That is actually when God allowed the New Testament Church to be born, there in the upper room where they had been waiting for the promise of the Father, as instructed to do by Jesus Himself just before He departed from their midst. After a process of time those devout Jews began to hear the wonderful words of God in the language where they were born; and you can only imagine the affect that had on them. When the question was asked, What is this, seeing we hear the wonderful things of God in the language wherein we were born? It was Peter, the spokesman, that had the keys to unlock the mystery, that began to say, These are not drunk as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. Then he began to preach to them the gospel of Jesus Christ according to what they knew from following Jesus three and a half years and both seeing and hearing what God had ordained them to. Many of those in that crowd were devout Jews from Rome. They had been there to observe a feast day and their heart’s were opened by what they heard that day; therefore in that overjoyed state of mind they allowed the Spirit of God to come in and affect their lives also. Then they followed Peter and that great host of others out to where they could be baptized. That act started them in the faith of the newborn Church. We have to understand, that somewhere in the weeks of time after that, they returned to Rome with the beginning of this faith of Jesus Christ burning in their soul’s; and before very long they had introduced that which they had burning in them, to those they were in contact with, and who was there to fully report the affect that had on them