- 1 APRIL 2005
- 2 READING FROM BOOK
- 3 IDOLATERS AMONG US
- 4 SOLID ADMONITION
- 5 ANOTHER OF SATAN’S TRAPS
- 6 THINGS YOU NEED TO HEAR
- 7 SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
- 8 GOD CALLED AND INSPIRED SERVANTS
- 9 THE FOURTH BEAST
- 10 GOD’S PROPHET MESSENGER
- 11 CONSTANTINE’S VISION AND THE END RESULTS
- 12 THE SEVENTH HEAD ON THE BEAST
- 13 CRUEL AND INHUMAN METHODS OF DEATH
- 14 A NEW DISCOVERY AND WHAT FOLLOWED
- 15 CHARLEMAGNE, THE SEVENTH HEAD
IN DEALING WITH THESE SEALS, IT IS HARD TO GET BEYOND THE WHITE HORSE RIDER OF THE FIRST ONE, BECAUSE THAT SPIRIT OF DECEPTION HAS CARRIED RIGHT ON THROUGH TIME AND IS STILL JUST AS EFFECTIVE AS IT EVER HAS BEEN. THEREFORE WE DO NOT EVER GET AWAY FROM IT, EVEN THOUGH WE GO ON TO SPEAK OF THE OTHER THREE RIDERS, BECAUSE THE COLOR OF THE HORSES ONLY SPEAK OF THE VARIOUS RESULTS OF THE WORK OF THE ANTICHRIST SPIRIT. THE RED HORSE POINTS TO THE BLOODY ERA OF MARTYRDOM THOSE CHRISTIANS FACED AS THAT ANTICHRIST SPIRIT SET ABOUT TO RID THE EARTH OF ALL WHO PROFESSED TO BE CHRISTIANS, SO AS WE GO ALONG, IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO LOOK BACK AT VARIOUS THINGS WE MAY HAVE SPOKEN OF ALREADY. NATURALLY THOUGH, OUR MAIN PURPOSE IN DEALING WITH THIS SUBJECT IS TO TRY TO HELP SAINTS THE WORLD OVER, TO REALIZE WHERE WE ARE IN TIME AND WHAT WE NEED TO DO AND BE, IN ORDER TO GET READY TO MEET OUR LORD WHEN HE COMES.
We spoke of how the spirit of that white horse rider of the first age, just carried right on over into the second age, even though the second age was known for the era of torture, persecution, martyrdom and so forth, which made it a bloody age. For the sake of you who hear this, I have done a lot of research before starting, because I wanted to be able to back up all that is meaningful in understanding these things. I am therefore holding in my hand, the writings of the anti-Nicene fathers, just one of the volumes, volume 3. This edition covers the period from 145 to 222 A.D. There is a large portion here, that the writer writes about heretics. In the scriptures Paul speaks of a heretic after the first or second admonition, and what did he say to do? Buy him an ice cream cone? No. Reject him, knowing that he has sinned. I have two short paragraphs here that I am going to read, to show you those church fathers back then, and then I am going to bring it to my era of time and relate to you some things that I know have taken place in my lifetime. People just pass it on by as if it is no big deal. Well it is a big deal, if you will pardon my terminology. You and I are required by God to cherish what we have heard. I am going to read this because if the Lord is willing, we are going to print this article.
READING FROM BOOK
“We are therefore come to the jest of our position, for at this point we are aiming and for this we are preparing in the preamble of our address, which we have just completed, so that we may now join issue on the contention to which our adversaries (meaning those that have got a contrary teaching) challenge us. They put forward the scriptures, and by this insolence of theirs, they at once influence some. (So it goes to show, there is always the weak in mind that is easily persuaded.) In the encounter itself however, they weary the strong, they catch the weak, and dismiss waverers with a doubt. Accordingly we oppose to them this step above all others, of not admitting them to any discussion of the scriptures. (In other words, they are not allowed to use scriptures to justify their teachings.) If in these lie their resources before they can use them, it ought to be clearly seen to whom belongs the possession of the scriptures, that none may be admitted to the use thereof who has no title at all to the privilege.”
Here, we find another one. “Now this heresy of yours does not receive certain scriptures, at whichever of them it does receive, it perverts by means of additions and diminution for the accomplishment of its own purpose. And such as it does receive, it receives not in their entirety. (So the point is, there are always shortcuts they try to set forth, to get quickly at their point.) But even when it does receive any up to a certain point as entire, it nevertheless perverts even these by the contrivance of diverse interpretations. Truth is just as much opposed by an adulteration of its meaning as it is by corruption of the text. Their vain presumptions must needs refuse to acknowledge the writings whereby they are refuted. They rely on those which they have falsely put together and which they have selected because of their ambiguity. Though much skilled in the scriptures, you will make no progress when everything which you maintain is denied. On the other side and whatever you deny is by them mis-maintained. As for yourself, indeed you will lose nothing but your breath, and gain nothing but vexation from their blasphemy.”
Now that was written years ago, concerning heresy in the second century, so it definitely allows us to see, that this antichrist spirit does not die. It does not necessarily live in the government, nor in the big places of leadership. It will always live and thrive in every congregation that has weak minded and immature people that want to listen to something different just for the thrill of it. Brothers and sisters, please do not ever think I have not seen some of these characters operate in my lifetime. I have met them and I have learned to love them, and then been betrayed by them later on. I am going to bring in some of those as we go on in the message. First though, I want to say, We are living close to the second coming of Christ, when He comes for His Bride Church. We do not have a lifetime left to prepare ourselves: We are standing at a place in time where we have but a very short time to make up our minds as to what we stand for and where we will stand in defense of it. I say to you, God is putting a ministry together, not just in this nation, but around the world, that will definitely fulfill His purpose in these last days. The ministry He puts together is not your choice, nor mine, but His sovereign choice, to finish what others before them have labored to put forth and stand for. If it was left up to the laity to do that part, it would all wind up a big wreck and a total mess, just like some of the systems of religion we came out of. God makes the choice, because He knows the ability of the person He will use. You may have your own critical ideas, what you may think about a person or a minister, but until you yourself have counseled with God, you may only just be wasting your breath, to complain. Years ago when we first began going to the Tabernacle, (That was in 1952.) we were introduced to a lot of young people. We learned to love all of them. We felt so overjoyed to be out of the denominational system of religion, and was now in something we felt like was going to prepare us for the coming of the Lord, we just felt really blessed. When we heard Bro. William Branham preach about water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, it was not long until my wife and I both decided we wanted to be re-baptized. We met a young man and his wife at the Tabernacle during that time. This young man did not have a television, because he did not believe Christians should have one. Nevertheless, he is the man that baptized my wife and me in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in an old creek down close to our home. We were thankful that we had seen the light of truth and were baptized properly. I purposed in my heart that this young man, (at least to me) was a wonderful person and a good Christian. I had a lot of confidence in him. However as we came to the time when God began to use Bro. William Branham in dealing with the Church Ages, He also began to take some in our congregation and stimulate the gifts of the Spirit in them. Then I noticed that this man began to have a withdrawal attitude about him. I never thought anything about it at the time, but what I am leading up to is this, When the time came that different ones related to Bro. William Branham the dreams they had about him, and all of that pointed to the time when he was going to bring forth the revelation of the seals, he was one of the group that had a dream. I know what his dream was, but I am not going to repeat it at this time. In the dream Bro. William Branham told him what it meant. A short time after the seals were preached, this young man was supposed to have had a dream that totally changed him. In the dream he saw a church house with Ichabod written over the gable ends. Do you know how he interpreted that? His interpretation was, that from then on, God would not be with anybody that worshipped in a church house. I know, in 1967, while we were building this place here, he thought we were going contrary to the will of God. Bro. William Branham was already off the scene. He did his level best to try to get people separated out where he could go to their homes and preach. He really thought that was what his ministry was to be from then on. Only those that were willing to break away from congregations or groups, and worship in their homes, would be met by the Spirit of God. The part that I really hate to mention, is that as time passed, he got what he took as a revelation that a married man and his wife were no longer to engage in any physical activity, if you know what I mean. There was a family in the congregation that had moved here from out west. I will not mention their name, because it is not important to what I am going to tell. The wife of this man took up with the teaching of the man I have been referring to. It was not long until she told her husband, I believe what this man is preaching is the truth, so we will no longer carry on a marital relationship between us. That just simply tore the man all to pieces emotionally. He came many times and sat in our house, just simply crying his eyes out and wondering, Why did this man have the right to teach anything so damnable that it ruined his marriage? Everywhere that preacher went, that was one supposed-to-be revelation he did his best to put forth on as many as possible. He believed those who received that message, were the only ones that would be a separated, holy people, that could be made ready to meet Jesus as the Bride of Christ. When I began to hear that and the affect it was having on people, I said, I will have no more dealing with the man: I will only speak to him when I see him, and that will be the limit of my association with him. He used to print up tracts, and while we were in here worshiping on Sunday morning, he would come through our parking lot and put those tracts on our windshields and drive off. I am only telling this to point out a truth: No matter who you are or how good you think you are, all you have to do is meet up with the right type of personality, a person you think is so wonderful, and if you are not extremely careful, before you hardly know what is happening, you are going to be hit with something that will shake you to your very roots. The sad part of a situation like this, is that too many times people become so proud, and so taken up with self, they are offended and hurt, but they feel too bad to admit, I went the wrong way. I am sorry. I have seen them do it over and over as time passed. A proud and self righteous spirit is hard to deal with. Satan loves to find that kind in a congregation. The antichrist spirit looks for those who are weak, but that have that sweet lovable spirit, because these are the kinds of people he can use as tools of deception. If we could go back in history and bring to our forefront the characters that Satan has used like this through the years of time, I am sure we would have piles of books of testimonies about people who have been deceived by that kind. When Bro. William Branham was alive, many of those people that gathered around him did so because there was something about him that was very fascinating, yet it seemed as though most of them could not respect him for what he was; and what he stood for. Many who profess to be Christians just live day by day looking for something exciting to take part in, but when it comes to settling down to a teaching of the word of God, they have no time for that. That is the kind of people who wanted to build Bro. William Branham into something that fit their own personality, and their way of looking at things. That is why, after awhile it was not enough to just call him a prophet: he became the messiah to them. When you get around a certain element of people who followed him, he is this, and he is that, but none of that bunch ever really honored him for what he actually was; and for what God called him to do.
IDOLATERS AMONG US
Think about it saints, up there in Canada, Bro. William Branham came in contact with a group of people that were wearing medallions that caused him to really realize what was going on. He witnessed idolatry first hand. People were baptizing in his name, instead of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why am I saying this? Simply because we are heading for the end and time is short. God is going to deal with every one of us, for what we sit here and think, what we think about others, and why we think about others like we do. When those people began to project Bro. William Branham like that, he soon found out about it. I know this, When he went on that trip, he first went into the west, then through the northwest and on into Canada. We were all under the impression he would be gone at least three weeks. However in the early hours of Sunday morning I received a telephone call, Bro. Jackson, we just got word that Bro. William Branham will be at the Tabernacle in the morning, with a very important message for us. I thought, What in the world can it be? He was not supposed to be back here this soon. That man, when he did come to the platform that morning, just broke down with tears of crying, and could hardly talk. I remember one statement he made, “I would rather go out as a quitter, than to go out as an antichirst.” Some of you have heard that on the tape, but do you know who he was talking to? He was not talking to the devil, nor to anyone in the white house, nor anyone in political governments of the world: He was talking to people sitting right there in that congregation. You say, Well that was then, but I say, That same spirit can and will follow us, if we give it place. The reason I am saying this, is because some of you may not think that Faith Assembly was established to be anything in particular, and that I just did it because I wanted to preach. I have to say, God established Faith Assembly, because it is the only stepping stone out of the Tabernacle that has dared to uphold the truth that man of God brought to this age. Regardless of where people may live and come from, whether Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Bloomington, or wherever, God raised up this congregation to be in this hour of time, what that Jerusalem Assembly was in the first age. I know some of you may think I should not have said that, but I said it because I meant it; God raised up Faith Assembly to be a Jerusalem in this hour of time. How many know what I mean by that? Those of the Jerusalem Church held a line on the word of God in that first age. God is not going to scatter His word helter-skelter all over creation, with no one to channel it to where it ought to be. He knows what He is doing; and He has enabled me to know what I am doing. That is why we are where we are today. In 1969, when God made it possible to start publishing some things, it was not in my mind to feel, Oh, now is my chance to do so and so. I just simply felt like I had an opportunity presented to me, to put some things God had given me in print, not even thinking it would ever amount to much. Little did I realize back then, that what we started for the purpose I just stated, would go for thirty some years as it has; and encircle the globe. You would be surprised to see some of our mailing addresses. I am very thankful to be able to say, We have not printed one thing in all these years, that I have to hang my head and say, I wish we had not done that. I feel good about what the Lord has enabled us to do; and I want to say, I could not have done it without my brothers and sisters that have stood faithfully with me through all these years, supporting the work with financial gifts and prayer for the will of God to be accomplished. From different nations they have written to me and said, Thank you Brother Jackson, for what you are doing, and I appreciate receiving such mail, but I also want to acknowledge the fact that I could never have done this without the support of brothers and sisters that love God and have a concern for the soul’s of others. I especially appreciate hearing from the different ministers in other parts of the world, that write and say, Some of the Branham-ite servants that have come through here, brought nothing but confusion, but what we read in your paper has helped us sort it all out and we want to thank you for your faithful stand for truth. They say, Bro. Jackson, it is what you have stood for, and what you have said and put in print, that has helped to stabilize us. What am I supposed to do, go to the woodshed and hide my face? No, I just have to say, Thank the Lord for what He has done. The Contender went five years, then ten years, then fifteen and twenty, then thirty; and now we are in our 36th year. Do I take the credit for that? No. Absolutely not. We can do nothing that has any eternal value, except the Lord inspire and direct it. Therefore I gladly say, Lord: you did all of this; and we are thankful to be instruments in your hands. We have printed the truth for 36 years; and we do not have to be concerned about retracting and apologizing for any of it. Of course I realize there are a lot of people that say, Jackson doesn’t know everything; and they are right. You have never heard me say that I do. On the other hand, that which I have said, I know it is right and I am not about to take it back. The reason I can talk like this, is because I will keep my mouth shut until I know what I am talking about. That is why I say tonight, God is going to put a ministry together first, whether all of you or even I like it or not, that will submit themselves to Him for leadership to finish out all of what has been accomplished to this point in getting a bride ready to meet the Bridegroom. It will not be men of your choice, but it is going to be up to you to get on your knees and find out from God, whether those you are hearing, are the ones He has chosen, and if they are, you have to make the choice as to whether you will listen to them or not. I am looking down the road of life, and I am looking for men to come out of the bushes so to speak, that have a backbone and a determination to say, Bro. Jackson, we have heard what you have stood for, we have heard what you preached, we have read what you printed and we are with you. They do not have to pat me on the back: I have never needed or desired that. My great joy comes from knowing we have stood for truth in the midst of an awful lot of confusion for almost forty years now. Therefore I believe we are about to witness the beginning of a means of putting some people together, that do truly desire to walk with God in truth. Some of the preachers I have known, have gone all over creation looking for something that they can feel important in. Saints: I do not feel a bit more important than the least preacher there is in the bunch that really love God and desire to be led and directed by Him. I am just grateful to God, that He has laid upon my heart some things to preach and to put in print, that help hungry saints the world over, find something that satisfies their hunger. That sure does not in any way make me something big, that looks down upon anyone else. I am just thankful God has given me sense enough to look at His word the right way. Everywhere I have gone, I have said to the folks, I am standing for, and looking for some men to come out of the bushes, that will see this truth and be willing to stand for it, because this is none other than a furtherance of the truth; and the message that Bro. William Branham brought to us years ago. It is not in any way a detour from or around it: it is just a continuation of the flow of revelation that God gives. I do not purposely say anything to make anyone feel little. However I do want to say to the young people, Some of you were born and raised here, but that alone does not count for a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone must have their own experience. What your parents have, does not count for you, unless you receive what they received, the same way they received it. By that I mean, This thing of salvation is a personal thing between every soul and the Savior. That is why I say to you young people, Please do not sit here all your life time and never know why you are here. If you do not feel contented, and if you do not feel that your being here has benefitted you, by God giving you an understanding of what Christianity is all about, and giving you something that you can base your life upon, I am not going to hold on to you. If you choose to go somewhere else, then make that your home and stay there. My point is, do not make Faith Assembly your home church, and then run all over creation like a stray dog. That will lead you to a bad end. When I went to the Tabernacle years ago, I was not that way. When I saw the truth in that man’s life, I said, I am going to stand for what that man is preaching, because I know it is right. I have gone to Billy Graham’s meetings, I have gone to Oral Roberts’ meetings, I have gone to W. V. Grant meetings and quite a few others. I have observer these men, and I have heard what they preached, but when I put it all together, not a one of them had a message that you could build upon. They each had a ministry, but I ask you, Where are they today ? What ever came of all their efforts? Some of them are dead. God used them for a period of time, anointing them for specific things, but I want to say to you, In the book of Acts, God never called any man just to preach divine healing. Praying for the sick and casting out devils was only a part of the ministry, as they went about preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. When Paul wrote how he had spent so many years in that place, he sure did not preach divine healing and he sure did not preach about casting out devils, he preached the gospel all that time. The Bible says aprons and handkerchiefs were taken from his presence and placed upon sick folks and they were healed. Paul just prayed over them and God did the rest. Those items were taken throughout the countryside, into the hills and valleys, wherever a touch from God was needed. Demons were cast out, even without Paul being there. But I have to say, Paul left a gospel there, that was worth more than the healings. That is exactly what the ministry in the last days is going to do: They are going to leave a gospel wherever they go. When you hear one speak, and you then hear another one speak, you will hear the other one say the same thing. They may not use the same words, but the message will be the same. Furthermore, none of us are going to try and outrun the other person. What we will do, is lift up our voices loud and clear enough to let everyone know for sure, that they cannot play around with truth and get by with it.
We still have a lot of people here and there that say, Nobody is going to tell me what to do. Well I say to all of you who feel that way, Shame on you. If you will listen right, and take the things you hear and apply it to your life the right way, you will not have to worry about anything like that. On the other hand, if you sit there in that pew and say, I get tired of hearing this same thing over and over, I am going to go somewhere else. You are in need of having a finger pointed at you now and then. There is no Christian person this side of heaven, that walks so uprightly they do not need that now and then. Just think about it and be honest. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I sat there under the preaching of Brother Branham, and heard him say things that made me feel like crawling down under the seat. Never did I say, Why are you talking about me like that? It hit home, because it hit a spot in my flesh where I was not as I desired to be. It ought to be like that. God inspires preaching that will touch the need or needs of those who are sitting present. You might think you know it all, but I will say to you, No, you don’t: If you were such a person and you were totally submitted to the Lord, you would not even think like that. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, saved by the grace of God. We should never get to the place where we think we know all there is to know, and that we have no need of correction. What did the apostle Paul write in Heb 12:6-8? “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. (7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” Those are not my words: They are straight from the scriptures, but I say Amen to every word of it. Oh Bro. Jackson, do you mean to tell me that He still scourges you? Yes. He gives me a scolding once in awhile. I repeat, He gives me a scolding once in awhile. When you get to the place you think you know everything so perfect, you know just how it ought to be, then you open that big mouth and express it; and a day or two later, God lets that hit you right back in the face, and only then, do you begin to say, I wish I had not said that. It is foolish pride that gets anyone in a spot like that, and it ought not be so with people who are believing they are called to be in the bride of Christ. Brothers and sisters, I want to be in the Bride of Christ. I am praying to be in the Bride of Christ. If I am an apostle for the Lord, I want to do the job right. Please do not allow yourselves to sit here thinking, Oh but he is just a human being. It is true, that I am a human being, but when you allow yourselves to think like that, it proves that you are not what you may think you are. Yes, I am a human being, and so are all of you: It is what we allow God to do with our human vessel that makes the difference. All of those that God ever used were just human beings in that sense of the word. Paul was. Peter was. James was. We have so many in this day and hour, that sit on the outside trying to make the preacher perfect, while they themselves are loose at all ends. You could not anchor them down if your life depended on it, because they do not know where to start. That is why I say, God will start with a ministry of men. He will deal with them from the standpoint of their person, whether they can take instruction or not; and whether they can take the pressure that goes with a certain calling, the criticism and everything else. I am not talking about the criticism from the town drunk. There are many times when the people sitting in the pews think they know more than the preacher knows. That is why in the days of Bro. William Branham, there were a lot of them that thought they knew as much or more than he did. There was another situation, and I just bring this in to let you know God can save your life, no matter what you have been caught up in before. He can save to the uttermost, but once He reaches out there and extends His hand of grace to bring you into a realm of truth, to give you an opportunity to redeem yourself and get yourself in line with His will, then please, for goodness sakes, be willing to walk with the Lord in humility. Shortly before Bro. William Branham passed off the scene, there was a young man and his wife from the Nazarene Church, that were having some problems. They had stopped living together for a while. Eventually they got back together again, because someone had evidently talked to them about Bro. William Branham. (Bro. Allen knows who I am talking about.) He was one of those aggressive types, always ready to go. It was not long until he was a song leader from the pulpit. He was one they figured would really go somewhere. When Bro. William Branham was taken off the scene, the young man and his family moved from this area and went north. He started a congregation up there and God allowed it to grow to some degree. He was upholding the truth. I had been there to preach myself, and Bro. Allen had also. As time went on though, he began to get a different idea and claim he had a different revelation on things. Right when God was blessing his congregation with growth, he comes up with something completely different. This is why I have to say, Preacher, watch the weakness of your flesh: It will lead you astray. If you do not keep your guard up, the devil sees everything you do; and he is ready to pounce upon you and take you down. That preacher was called to another woman’s place one day, for some counseling. Over a period of time, it caused them to meet on different occasions. Finally this certain woman started coming to his congregation. Then while sitting in the back of the church one day, she made a comment to her friend, I am going to have him. Within just a few short weeks, she kept her word. If you do not believe what I am saying, just ask Bro. Allen, because he was there the weekend it all came out like a huge explosion. That eventually led to a separation from his wife, which he had been reconciled back to when they were brought into this truth. God requires more from us than that we just learn the right things to say: He has every right to require us to walk in the truth He reveals to us. If we allow our flesh to lead us astray, we cannot expect anything other than to come to a bad end.
ANOTHER OF SATAN’S TRAPS
Saints, that dirty devil does not give up: He had followed the man I have been talking about because of the weakness of his flesh, and knew the exact time to hit him again. When he did, the man separated from his wife, and then later married a younger woman. He was old enough to be her father. Well what does he do next? He supposedly received another revelation, which is where that two soul doctrine started. As he looked back on the first set of circumstances, he considered that was all dead. That soul was dead, and everything about it was dead. Now that he is married again and has children, he has a new revelation, which is that he now has a new soul, a new life, and he was supposed to have gotten all of that from Bro. William Branham’s teaching. How blind can a carnal minded man be? Once you start yielding to the weakness of your flesh, there is no telling what it will lead to. What I am relating to you about that man is the truth; and Bro. Allen will confirm every bit of it. I am saying this to any preacher or to any person, Be careful how you look back to your former background, because that dirty devil will follow you every step of the way, just looking for a chance to trip you up. If he sees that there is still a weakness about you somewhere, then do not ever think he is not going to hit you right there every chance he gets. If he can hit you to the point that he can weaken your image, the next thing he works on, is to get your weakened image to influence other weak people. He will use you to further his diabolical aim and purpose to trap every soul he possibly can. That is why I said earlier, This antichrist spirit feeds on weakness of the flesh, and pride in the human personality. Some people will follow a man no matter what he teaches, because they do not listen that closely to what he teaches. If they like him, they will follow him. People who follow flesh are liable to fall for just about anything. It is his person they are after: Oh he has such a sweet personality, and such a tender way of saying things. They would follow him through every briar patch there is. I will say to every one of you sitting here, If you do not know why you follow me, and you cannot explain it to someone who may ask, then you are as blind as a bat. I have not failed to let every one of you know where I stand with the word of God. I stand for the truth and right principles, no matter how hard it may be on our flesh. I certainly do not want anybody following me because you think I am a good person. My flesh did not buy this truth to start the kingdom of God. It was the grace and mercy of God. My prayer is, that I can overcome any weakness in this flesh and make it crucified every day, to be an example to the believers of the truth of God’s word. That is why I have to say, Sometimes you have to stand before people and be willing to talk to them face to face and let them know where you stand, regardless of fleshly consequences. I will never say a thing about any of you, unless I am willing to say it to you face to face. We do not meet here just to be a lodge of some kind, we are dealing with eternal values. Human souls are the concern of all who are called into God’s ministry. We are here as a body of people put together by the grace of God. We are not sitting here, one has this idea and another has that idea, and another with another idea, thinking it will all turn out OK. We are going to sit here, all having the same beliefs, and we are going to sing about it, and pray about it until we truly learn to function as one body. As I say these things, I realize some people will say, Oh I wish that Jackson would not talk like that. I have to! This is serious! There is nothing else to preach, unless we have this as our goal. It is worthy of everything in my soul. I love people, and I care about people; I my greatest joy is to fellowship with people that love truth. It really hurts to see people begin to lean toward the flesh of another person, because that person does not know truth from error. It is the flesh that they are after, more than anything that adds to their spiritual stature. That is why, when I look back on the era of time when I saw Bro. William Branham and those characters that gathered around him, how they magnified him, and then think of some of the rotten ideas they taught innocent souls later on, and how they projected them out there to poor people that did not have a spiritual mind to know how to separate truth from error, it makes me so thankful for what the Lord has enabled us to do. That is exactly why the movement as a whole over the world today, is taught by denominational type of people, and just look at that movement, what a pitiful shape it is in. Yes, just look at it. It is so wonderful, that on the outskirts of that misguided element of human souls, there is another element of people that have not walked in their footsteps. They have endeavored to uphold the things that little man stood for. They know the difference between carnal minded ideas of mortal men and spiritual revelation that is given by the Spirit of God. I have to say, There are times you have to raise your voice and let the devil know he is not putting anything over on you. If he can get a preacher to preach just one little idea he is not absolutely sure about, he knows he has a human vessel he can use in his plan of perverting the truth of God’s word. I have witnessed the rise and fall of men who have been used like that, and it is not a joyful sight. Therefore we are all sitting in here today, to learn how to be true brothers and sisters of the faith of Jesus Christ. I love all of you with all my heart. I do not love you because you have money, nor because you do not have money: It is because you have a soul that Jesus died to save, and I have been commissioned to have a little part in communicating to you that which He would have each one to take upon themselves as Gentile time closes out. He is coming back for a bride that has dressed herself in fine linen, clean and white; and that means she has clothed herself with a pure revelation of the word of God, laying aside all things that cater to the flesh. Can you not see why we have to be so serious about making sure everything is according to His word? There will no longer be an element of people sitting here,Well I believe this, but I won’t accept that. You will only sit around a little short while and then you will find yourself out in the road, looking for a place where they will allow you to be like you are. I say these things as nice as I know how, but I will not compromise the truth to pamper your flesh. Truth has got to stand front and center. I have met my share of young men that thought they knew truth and thought they knew how to use truth, but when it comes to being an example, they are a poor one. Time itself has proved, and history books have been written about this antichrist spirit, how the world has been filled with untold numbers of people that sold out to the devil, and all because of a little idea that pleased somebody’s flesh. They say, But I am a Christian. Yes, but when you pull out of the heart all these little ideas, there is where you begin to see a picture, and Christ never taught you that. Did He not say in John 16:13-15, “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: (Who will He guide into all truth? Those who love truth and yield unto Him.) for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. (We are living in an hour of time when that verse is so precious.) (14) He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. (15) All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.” What will the Spirit of truth do? Will He lead you into all error? Is that what He said? He will guide you into all truth. That is His business, His purpose in the life of a true believer. It is up to you and me to weigh it, and come to a decision, What I have heard, is that truth? Or is it just somebody’s ideas? I have to say brothers and sisters, I am thankful to God for what He has allowed Faith Assembly to be in the last number of years. He has enabled us to be of help to many sincere souls around the world, that had no God-called spiritual leadership. Thank God: He has His ways of getting His purpose accomplished.
THINGS YOU NEED TO HEAR
In those early years after the death of Brother Branham, there were no other churches around here in fellowship with me. There were isolated individuals in fellowship with me, but nobody else was coming to stand by my side and say, I am with you Bro. Jackson. I have seen them come in here with their books and quotes and everything, and it was a sickening scene to watch. One time, when we were having our convention, a man came in here from South America. I do not think he was from an organization, but he was some kind of missionary that had heard about Bro. William Branham’s teaching and came to Jeffersonville, to check it out. Then when he came through this area and heard about Faith Assembly, he stopped by for a service. On that particular night I preached; and when the service was over he asked me, Bro. Jackson, can I talk with you? He said to me, Bro. Jackson, I liked your service, I liked what you preached, but you know Bro. Jackson, Bro. William Branham put in church order; and I think your people do too much talking. I looked him right in the eye and said, It is my congregation, the Christians are the Church, not the building. We are not going to make this place into a museum to please anyone. I say to the parents, Leave your children at home if you do not want the noise, but I will say also, They are part of your family and I encourage you to bring them. I will tolerate the noise they make and I believe you can also. If you bring them long enough, I promise you, the day will come when they will not be an aggravation to you any longer. They will sit right there under the seat playing with their trinkets on the floor, and they will not bother the preacher at all. Every now and then you can even hear one of them say, Amen. They listen a lot more than you may think. When I think about the time where Jesus Christ was leading his great congregation that day, they came to a certain place, evidently there were a lot of rocks. Jesus sensed the tiredness of the peoples, so He withdrew to the side of the road and said, Let’s take a little break. The people began to sit down. Jesus sat down on a rock. It was not long until here came a woman with a little baby in her arms. You know the story. Soon, there came another one, Master, will you bless my child? About that time those holy disciples of His said, Now this has gone too far, let us put an end to it right now. They were going to say something else, but what did Jesus say? “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” Brothers and Sisters: If you think the Church of the living God is just a bunch of quiet people, sitting, praying a rosary and meditating in quietness, you had better think again, because the Lord is not coming for that kind of church when He comes to claim His Bride: He is coming for a body of people that He can live in and lead by the Spirit. He is coming for people of character and principal, people that know how to appreciate truth and walk in it. That is why I have always been reluctant to try to keep things too quiet, because I find no scriptural authority for it in the New Testament Church. Tradition has caused some people to want to build this kind of thing, thinking that is what God wants, but where do they get that from? Do you understand me? Wherever God is moving by His Spirit and blessing people, there is always a certain amount of shouting and praising His name, so we ought to know that noise does not hinder God, unless of course, the noise is because of a lot of out of control foolishness; and we do not have that kind of situation. Therefore if it is too noisy for you in here, you are free to go anywhere you want to, but do not try to change us. We are here to worship God. Therefore the next time you come back, if you ever do, it will probably be noisier than it is now. That is not because noise makes anyone holy, nor because it makes you more spiritual, but it does prove that there is life among us. He is not coming after this building. He is coming after a people that He can dwell in and lead into a life of righteousness. If He can live in your heart out there in the assembly line and that thing is making all kinds of noise so you cannot hear yourself talk, then why can He not dwell in you the same way when you come in here? When you say Hello brother, it is good to see you, how has the week been with you? You do not need total silence all around you. How many understand what I am saying to you? Do not try to put God into your mold: He will not fit into it. We have a lot of people with all kinds of ideas on how a church ought to look to the natural minded man. That does not change me one bit, because I know the Lord is coming back after a body of people with little babies, other small children, teenagers, twenty year old children, and for some that may be close to a hundred years old. Do not let the carnal ideas of fault-finding man cause you to restrain yourselves from worshiping God in Spirit and in truth, because God is looking at the heart of people that are sold out to Him. I realize tonight, that maybe I got a little off course from our main subject, but I have spoken to you, some things that I believe we should try our best to realize, that it is time we get down to brass tacks and start living for the Lord and be grateful to God for truth itself, instead of worrying about what someone else may think. I am not better than any of you, not one bit better. All I am is by the grace of God, but there are a few things I have learned out of the scriptures that when He comes, He is coming for a people that know how to live for Him, and follow Him; and I am trying to get all of you to understand that. I believe we are in the hour when God is putting the ministry together; and then with the help of the ministry, He can put a people together that have a genuine desire to live for Him; and you are going to see some things that God will do in and through you, that you have never seen done in the denominational realm, because what He does will not be perpetrated nor sanctioned by a committee. It is because you have reached a place where you have a desire in your heart to want God to lead you. If Paul could write in Romans 8, (and it means exactly what it says) “For as many as are lead by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God,” I believe it applies here in the end time, as God puts us together in unity, that there is going to be a people find ourselves led by the Spirit of God, all because we are His children. We might find ourselves changing localities, we might finding ourselves changing our ideas, but in it all, God is going to do it to wash us up, clean us up and get a lot of negative thinking out of us, to where we can see one another as a true brother and sister in the Lord. That is why I say, I am not a bit better than any of you, from the least to the greatest, because we are all saved and made what we are, by the grace and mercy of God. None of us earned the right to be saved and made into sons and daughters of the living God. Saints, I am thankful for what I see in this book. I know He is coming for a people that know how to believe His word one way and see the same picture in the end. That is why, in Ephesians 4;13 -14, it says, that the one and most important, or predominant thing, is, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” That means we have a revelation of the godhead, knowing for sure that God is ONE SPIRIT, and understand what that really means, so that we are no longer confused about how to approach God in prayer; and how to honor His only begotten Son that died to pay our sin debt and set us free from satanic bondage. That is first and foremost, because in the scriptures, we find that this was the first thing the devil jumped onto. That is why you read in 1st John 2, how the antichrist went to work on that deception. We are on this side, God is straightening up these things. Therefore I beg you, do not go around saying, Well I learned that long before I saw you. Instead of being haughty about it, just thank God that you did. Then let us learn to sit together and let God deal with us and wash us, without carnal bickering. Well, I don’t need washing. Yes, you do. He will poke you though that washing machine and He will turn that agitator on and He will have you going backward and forward so many times, you will not know which way is up or down. He will let you go long enough that every little wrinkle and every little blemish has been soaked up good through and through. Then when He shuts that off, He is going to pick you up and run you through the wringer. Oh brother! Get ready for the wringer. He is not going to hang you out on the line, dripping: He is going to hang you on the line, just damp, allowing you time to think over, where you have been and where you are now. Those who are called to be in the bride of Christ, will gladly submit to God’s method of cleansing in these last days of grace for Gentiles.
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
We are on a subject titled “The Seals;” and even though I feel led to deal with certain aspects of life as we go along, I want to be sure we understand the significance of what is revealed in each seal. First I want to give a little explanation of something I received a question about, sent in to me, something about the foolish virgins. The person that wrote it, said that it looked like, after the message of the prophet, this is what showed that they were foolish virgins. As we are dealing with these seals, the antichrist, and the different things that have been going on through the ages, I want to say to every brother and sister, Please, I am not interested in knowing what religious background you have had in life, Catholic, Protestant, or what. I am not preaching this series to make anyone feel bad. I want you to feel, in your heart, that you need to be grateful to God that He did not let you sit in darkness somewhere, unconcerned about you; and just let you dry up and wither away. Millions of people have religion of some kind, but it is not salvation. It is man’s alibi and excuse, and it has been through the centuries of time. If God does not deal with his heart and soul to awaken him and make him become aware of the importance of genuine salvation, man is just left to seek some kind of religion to pacify the need, and he will wind up, just content to be in something. Millions are like that in the world today, and they do not even know what real salvation is. Well, since we are dealing with these seals, I want to explain something about this chart we are using. These periods represent the first four seals. Those four seals have nothing whatsoever to do with salvation. Let us get that understood. These seals are related to a period of time and the workings of spirit forces in those times, both good and evil. Salvation comes from God, working through these beasts, through the different periods of time. Your salvation is brought forth through this, as Christ intercedes for the names in this sealed scroll right here. Keep in mind, There are different souls represented in here. Right here, are those under the altar, and here, is the great multitude we have talked about, and over here, are those seen on the sea of glass. Then right here, is where the Bride saints go up. (Brother Jackson is pointing to the various divisions on the chart.) As you can see, there are four classes of people. Do not think, that just because a certain group is shown wearing a white robe, that they are foolish virgins. That is not what constitutes or determines who foolish virgins are. How many understand that? When we begin to come into the Reformation period, I think it will be more clear and understandable then, how that here in the end time, as Jesus says in Matthew 25, Then, the future tense, is when this will be effective. “Then” did not belong here, (chart) here, or here. It belongs in here, just a short time before this whole dispensation of grace is over. Therefore with that in mind, I am going to ask you to turn into the 6th chapter of Revelation. I am going to read the third seal again. (Verse 5) “And when He had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. (Now what would be the third beast? It would be the head of a man. Because history backs it up, that through this era of time, it was the intelligence of man, that God used in certain men to be able to speak about, and to expose the system of Catholicism.) And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. (All of this is a symbol of something, so pay attention.) And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” The oil and the wine speak of the Holy Spirit dwelling in God’s chosen vessels, and His revelatory and spiritual leadership. Now I want to take you back to Daniel. This is important. Daniel was in Babylon when he had the vision of these four world beast systems. He was living in the time of the Babylonian Empire. He lived in the time as the Grecian era was coming in. Following that, was the Persian period. After that, is the fourth beast, which is described as being more terrible than all the others. I am going to read about this fourth beast. We have skeptics today who will say, We can put no dependence in the Bible, because we don’t know whether it is a book of mythology or what. I want to say to the critics, and I hope some of them are listening, God never intended for you to understand one thing of it. That is why Paul could write in the Corinthian letter, That not many wise men after the flesh are called of God. (1 Cor 1:26) “ For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: (27) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” God has hid these precious things of the scriptures from the wise and prudent, those who think they are so intelligent, the world educated who feel they know it all, philosophers, simply because that kind must have literal proof of anything they believe in. Therefore the more they read of the holy scriptures, the more confused the picture gets for them. They think there is no human being on earth that has any ability to understand, simply because they themselves have no understanding of the mysteries God reveals to His believing children. Well it was not written by educated men, and it was not written for the educated who depend solely upon their understanding of everything before they accept it. It was written by prophets and apostles down through time; and it was written for those who accept the Bible as the holy and inspired word of God.
GOD CALLED AND INSPIRED SERVANTS
I grant you, they had a certain amount of education, but they could not rely upon that degree of intellectual knowledge when they were being used of God. God inspired them to write the things that He showed them and He even showed them how to write it. So when the time comes that the things they saw, whether it is portrayed in pictorial form, or in word structure, should be understood by an element of chosen people, God will absolutely have people on earth to whom that is related to, and it will be given to them to understand, and they alone will understand. I am thankful to God today, that there are things in the Bible that the world will never understand, because I know what they would do with it: They would figure out a way for a monetary gain in every case.
THE FOURTH BEAST
Let me now read this about the fourth beast. (Daniel 7:7) “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; (What beast was this? This was the rising of the Roman Empire.) and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: (This is a description of how powerful this imperial Roman beast system became. Nothing could compete against it. It had been successful in swallowing up every other type of government that there had been before. It had established itself completely, as having supremacy over the world, in that hour that they lived in.) and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.” Now may I say this, The ten horns were not on that beast at first. We need to understand that. John sees it in its completeness, after its transition, but you need to understand, that there was a beginning, when the beast did not have those horns, which speak of power. Time itself brings growth, and the addition to its original beginning. Nevertheless Daniel saw the ten horns standing out, and he saw another addition to them. Notice verse 8, “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: (The wording makes it sound like this little horn just reached out, yanked three of those horns off and threw them away. That is only symbolic, because it is all in here, (in recorded history). Young people, hardly any history you read in schools today will contains what this one has in it. Writers of history today, just figure it is not important that you know all of this, because in actuality, modern historians are trying to change the history of the past. They want to erase it from the human mind. If they can succeed in doing that, then they are hoping to turn the mind of the younger generations around to look forward to what they want the future to be, rather than look back and try to interpret the future on what has already been. Well let us consider this little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked by the roots, and let us look at the little horn and see exactly how that picture was fulfilled. It has a very unique description.) and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth (all of this means something, so we must find out what it pertains to.) speaking great things.” Saints, I want to say at this time, Daniel was in Babylon five hundred years before the advent of Christ when he saw this pictorial prophecy in a vision. The Roman system had not even come on the horizon at that time. Only time itself brings all of this into reality. For instance, when I read here in the 6th chapter of Revelation, time has then brought the Roman beast system of government into the picture. At the time when John was on the Isle of Patmos, he was an old man, yet God saw in him the ability to receive this prophecy and record it, and He allowed him to see it in pictorial settings. He had the God-given ability to retain in his memory, the knowledge of it, and to write it for later generations to be guided by. Rome was in its beginning stage in the days of John. The ten horns had not yet formed at that time, so the little horn was not yet in the picture, therefore we have got to understand, that at the time the seals were shown, (as I said last Sunday morning) John was taken into the future tense of time, to relate to every setting. When I say the future tense, I do not mean just one thousand, twelve hundred, fifteen hundred, but he was taken into the future tense of time, and in this case it was within the beginning of the last one hundred years of Gentile time. The critics can say, Now Bro. Jackson, how do you know you are right? Wait until I am finished with the subject, then I will have to say, just be honest and see if you really have a question. The reality is, God knew all that He was giving to John was in symbols, pictorial symbols. Therefore in order for it to ever be understood by those who were ordained to understand it, even the beginning of Christ interceding in behalf of this, there will have to be a means on earth for God to impute the knowledge and revelation of all this to, so that people on earth in that day will understand, but that is not a problem with God: He just simply anoints and uses human vessels that are yielded to Him, and allows them to see what John saw and then receive the understanding of all of it as the time comes for the people of God to be enlightened. No man should ever get puffed up with pride, when he is allowed to understand these mysteries of the scriptures, because they are given to him by the only ONE that can reveal the meaning to each setting. That is none other than the Holy Spirit. These things cannot be understood by anyone, without the Holy Spirit leading and guiding the mind of the vessel He chooses to use. That is why I always put emphasis on the year 1963. Well why do you say that, Bro. Jackson? Because God had a man on earth at that time, that He had called and definitely chosen to be a prophet messenger to this last church age, the Laodicean age. God did not ask President Roosevelt, He did not ask any in Congress, He did not ask any in the imperial governments of Europe, Can I do this? Everything was by His own sovereign will, to fulfill His foreordained purpose. When the time came, that believers should begin to be enlightened, God had a human vessel on earth that He had prepared for that hour of time. Everything written in the prophecies of the scriptures are for a specific time, so when the time was right, that there was an element of people on earth that it would be necessary for Him to begin to impart the revelation and understanding of certain things to, He had already prepared the vessel He would use.
GOD’S PROPHET MESSENGER
There is much that could be said about how God prepared the man He would use in such an extraordinary way, but time will not permit that, so I will just say, When God had that man on earth, and He had already began to deal with him in the Spirit, and sent him west, dealt with him in the mountains and so forth, all of which you can read in the seals book, what his testimony is, how God brought him back here with a commission and all that it pertained to, the time was right. It was in the months of March and April 1963. When he left Arizona, after God told him in the mountains, This is the third pull, he did not know on his way in coming back here, what the revelation was going to be. God only gave to him the revelation a few hours prior to coming to the service. Then, is when it opened up to him and he saw what he was ordained to deliver to the people. So as we look at this third seal, we are looking at a period of time right in here. (chart.) This is a long Dark Age period which corresponds with the fourth parable of Matthew 13, when Jesus said, (Verse 33, “Another parable spake He unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” She mixed it and mixed it until the whole was leavened. So the three measures corresponds to a time along in here, the bread, the meal. To understand this black horse, I think I said last Sunday, that when we move from the white horse, that deceptive spirit of the antichrist and it turns to be a red horse, it did not necessarily change the characteristics of the white horse, because history proves that the antichrist spirit still played that deceptive role, simply because it was in the churches. Keep in mind also, that the red horse is all Satan, but it is how Satan used the imperial power of the government to execute Christians, trying to kill this up coming, new belief, (Christianity) because it had come from the Jews over to the Gentiles and was fast multiplying. It was growing by leaps and bounds. The devil really went to work. That is why, in that second century and onward, as we come toward this third period here, martyrdom really stood out. History records, that Christians by the thousands, all over the Roman territory, were being rounded up and slain in every imaginable way. Still they could not stop it, because that new faith just kept growing. I want to say, When the time came for the color of this horse to change, let us try to look at this seal in relationship to time when Christendom had become an important consideration to the Roman Emperor Constantine, in the third century, when he was trying to bring the Roman Empire back under control. Out in the outskirts, out in the frontiers, many isolated areas of people were trying to break away from the hold imperial Rome had on them. As I said, This was in the third century. Constantine, up until that hour, had persecuted Christians. Only the Lord knows the hundreds and hundreds that had been arrested and sent to the arenas to be eaten alive or torn to pieces by wild animals, or burned at the stake. There is no need of me standing here, trying to tell you how many were eaten alive, how many were burned at the stake and so forth. It was gruesome. You could read volumes of history, and see the numbers of people which ran into the thousands of thousands, because that was how the devil was trying to kill this invading Spirit. What he did not know, was that it could not be killed. However in our study, we see that the color of the horse changes, and there is a reason for it being portrayed that way. This antichrist spirit is the same right on through, but the results of its workings are pictured a certain way for each period of time, because it did certain things that marked that period and what was accomplished, so that it can correlate to the image of the scriptures. With that in mind, I want to take my time to explain this pictorial setting. Constantine as a Roman emperor, was trying his best to re-establish sovereignty, the supremacy of Rome over all this vast area. I have chapter after chapter of history marked, that could be read, but time does not permit it. Some have said the eight heads of the beast were not the eight kings of Rome. Let me say this, There has been many caesars through the time of the Roman Empire, but not all became a recognizable head in this way. It was only those who would stand out in an outstanding way, that caused them to become recognized as one of the heads; and there were only seven heads on the beast: That eighth reference is pertaining to an ecclesiastical head, while the other seven were political heads; and each head pertained to a certain form of Roman Imperial Rulership.
CONSTANTINE’S VISION AND THE END RESULTS
When I read here about Constantine fighting for these territories to be brought under subjection, Christendom had been persecuted, Christians had been martyred by the hundreds and thousands, and Constantine was the head of a vast army, moving in the eastern direction. History declares he went out to pay some king of worship or prayer to the gods. All of a sudden he found himself in a vision. The vision was right before him; and he saw in the sky, the sign of the cross with the words written, By this, thou shall conquer and shall overcome. Saints, there is a right way to read this and understand it. Some could say God gave him the vision. No, God did not give him the vision. It was the devil that gave him the vision. The devil can even play tricks on Christians, and he can also play tricks on politicians, to get them to do exactly what he wants them to do. When Constantine saw this great phenomena, he meditated on it, then he gathered his lieutenants and officers, and spoke to them of this revelation. History declares that the next morning, as he had all the forces standing in ranks, he related the dream to them. They all consented, that with the sign of the cross, Constantine at the head of the Roman army, using that sign of the cross, they would be successful in winning the battle. Therefore every man’s shield was taken and the sign of the cross was painted on it. Every man was made to pick up the symbol of Christendom, regardless of whether he understood it or not. The fact that they were made to put the sign of the cross on their shields, was meaningful to them when Constantine led the forces into battle, and they had victory over their enemies. This only made Constantine feel that much more grateful that he had obeyed his interpretation of the vision. When we read the histories of that period, they declare that as Constantine returned to Rome, rejoicing over the victories he had obtained, and since he was the emperor, the sole emperor of Rome, he made a decree, that from then on the Christian faith would no longer be persecuted. They would no longer be killing Christians as the Romans had done up until that hour. From then on, Christendom would be accepted, along with all the other religions of the Roman Empire. Since all the lieutenants and officers that were with him had painted the sign of the cross on their shields, and they had that great victory, this naturally made every one of them begin to have more sentiment toward the Christian side, than any other of the pagan religions. That is why we can say, This was the beginning of Christendom being introduced to the political state of Rome for courtship. I hope you understand my terminology. The Roman people, from then on, began to pay a little more attention and respect to the Christian people. It was at this time, as Constantine began to investigate, he observed that Christendom from Alexandria Egypt to Jerusalem, to Antioch, Constantinople and Rome, all of which were major centers of Christianity as it had established itself up until that hour, were in somewhat of a conflict concerning the godhead. When he observed the bishops of those major areas of Christendom, discussing their views about the godhead, it was then, that he (Constantine), a Roman, pagan emperor, made a suggestion to the Christian leadership, Why not have a conference, a convention, and thereby discuss the problem and come to an agreement about this thing? That sounded like a good idea, so in 325 A.D., Constantine, the new emperor of the Roman Empire, was a special guest at this conference. History records it as six hundred and some odd bishops from all over Christendom that attended that conference. Many of the speakers were profound, well educated men; and as they debated, discussed and explained, it was finally agreed by the majority of the bishops that voted, that the trinity concept of the godhead would be sanctioned. Therefore what started out in the first age, under the influence of the white horse rider as just a little spirit, which we read about in (1 John 2:18) “ Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time,” by 325 A.D., it has greatly multiplied. John gave good advice in chapter 4, verse 1, Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world,” but by 325 A.D., those old guards of the apostolic faith had all left the scene and the ranks of Christendom were filled with leaders that were not solidly grounded in that original doctrine. Even in the closing days of the first century of Christendom, the godhead was beginning to become a questionable revelation. Now, less than three hundred years later, Christianity lay heavily in the pagan world. They had absolutely lost the revelation that had come from the Jews, so it is no wonder, that they agreed that there had to be three persons in the godhead, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. No Jewish apostle of old, ever taught any such stuff, but carnal minded Gentiles had to try to account for the three office works of the ONE SOVEREIGN SPIRIT, and three separate persons was the best they could come up with. Many still fought against it, but after preeminence came among the Gentiles, and the Jewish influence began to die off, that true revelation began to die off also, just like a lamp glowing when the oil begins to get low, the flame begins to flutter. The revelation began to diminish likewise. The trinity side took over in 325A.D.. I will say, The trinity became the cardinal doctrine of the then known Christian Church throughout Europe. When you come on through time to around 500 A.D., which was the time that this horse is black, because Christendom was under the leadership of carnal men, things had changed drastically. In the third century, when the trinity concept was adopted, it was not called Roman Catholicism: It was still just referred to as Christianity. However through the rest of the third century and through the fourth and into the fifth century, the bishops of the different known Christian centers just kept arguing and fussing and vying for supremacy, but by the time you come to the fifth century, it was finally decided, that since the world was ruled from pagan Rome, Christendom should be governed and ruled from Rome also. Of course that was only a trick of the devil to take away all authority of the other bishops that may have still had something resembling spirituality. However they all eventually consented to it. On into the fifth century, those bishops then at Rome, began to see the weakening of the imperial government of Rome. They could see that the caesars of Rome were no longer the powerful spokesmen like in the days of Augustus and all of those; and since the bishops during all this time, were becoming less spiritually oriented, and getting more powerful carnally, the Church leadership began to lean more toward the political side of society, rather than the spiritual side. (Brothers and Sisters, I will explain this the best I can.) When the bishops began be aware of this, I have read in history, that from the fifth century to the eighth century, as pagan politicians began more and more to give their support to the universal church, this made the bishops coming on later, feel more and more important. Each bishop, in each and every decade or period of years, began to look at the position that he might one day have by playing politics with the world leaders. At the same time, the spiritual leadership within the church was beginning to deteriorate more and more. This is where, as it says in the scriptures, a measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny, came into being. This is where the dogmas and creeds of Roman Catholicism began to creep in. Since the older generation had been dying off, each new generation coming up had less revelation, and less understanding of the original doctrines of the Christian faith. We just have to realize, that none of this just suddenly came into being. It took the devil a long time to completely undermine and pervert the doctrines Christianity was founded upon. What finally came to be widely accepted as the Christian Church, was a long time in the making. The devil was pushing and projecting all of this for a long period of time, before he finally got things going his way. When that other element of bishops of Rome began to elevate their position, their authority and recognition, they in return began to play politics with the Roman leadership. Therefore by the time we come to the eighth century, we are well within the period of this black horse and that rider just kept on riding. The world was well into that long period known as the Dark Ages, which lasted a thousand years. The Catholic Church eventually came to the forefront, but as you can see, Roman Catholicism did not spring up over night, it was a long, gradual process. When I say this, we must keep in mind, Judaism by then was dead: the Jews had been scattered to who knows where. Most all the early Christian Jews that were in those early assemblies died off and their children after them did not follow in the Christian faith. Therefore the influence of the Jews just disappeared from the picture. Through this, we can see how the Church as a whole just began to die spiritually, being blinded and deceived a little at a time and becoming weaker and weaker, and during that time the power of the papacy began to grow stronger and stronger. Their eyes were upon the political system and such like. Eventually confirmation, and all the various creeds of the Catholic Church began to take the place of Christian practices. The baptism of the Holy Ghost was out of the picture, and there was no more divine revelation. The Holy Spirit was no longer there to stimulate or convict, so the so-called Church had taken the word of God and divided it into formal creeds and rituals. Look what came out of the Lord’s supper: the mass. If you go back into the scriptures, in the gospels, and see how Jesus introduced the Lord’s supper, then compare that to what Catholicism has made into, you can plainly see that it is a long way from being anything like Jesus introduced to His disciples. That was a simple feast. It had all come from the era of the Law. At a certain time in the spring of the year, that lamb was to be slain. That typed the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, for the sins of lost mankind. Yes, Jesus absolutely prepared to eat this feast with His disciples, but that was a far cry from what Catholicism turned the feast into, a mass. Do you understand my point? When Jesus introduced it to the disciples, He took from the Jewish Law feast, and set forth, we will say, the items of what we call the Lord’s supper. It is only a symbol. It is not that we are supposed to sit around and eat it, having a feast. We partake of the bread because it represents His broken body, and the wine because it symbolizes His shed blood, but it was never meant to become a ritual or routine event. The apostle Paul said, (1 Cor 11:26) “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.” Notice, As often as ye. Let us look in Matthew 26, where Jesus first introduced what we refer to as “The Lord’s Supper” to His disciples. (Mat 26:26-29) “And as they were eating, (the Passover Feast) Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. (27) And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; (28) For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (29) But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” The wine represents the blood that was shed on Calvary’s cross for our redemption. Therefore we are partaking of it in symbols. As we come through the years of time, to the Gentile era where the Roman Catholic Church gained the preeminence, they have turned it into a mass, which the world as a whole looks upon as, Oh it has to be something sacred. Well it is sacred alright, but to be partaken of in a Catholic mass is a far cry from making it sacred. They have what they call high mass, and low mass. If you do not have the money, then there is no mass for you. Saints, I have to add a little humor along the way, and I am not saying anything for the purpose of making fun of people. Please do not think that of me. When we get into the time of the Reformation, I am going to take the cover off of everything and let you know, There are people today that are just as proud to be a Methodist as anyone could be of anything, and they have no more salvation than a stray dog running the streets. Nevertheless they are content to be what they are. As long as they are content, they say, This is all that is necessary, which really lets us see just how effective that antichrist spirit has become. Most of what is recognized by the world as Christianity in our day, is just a form of religion, with true salvation.
THE SEVENTH HEAD ON THE BEAST
Following the spirit of antichrist as we move through the history of Christendom, we have observed many changes, but in the eighth century we see the greatest change of all, as church and state become totally merged. Looking at this eighth century, we must keep in mind, that from the fifth century where the authority of the bishops began to change the mode and method as to how they would use the word of God to promote their religious activities, and also find more favor with the political element of Rome, religion just kept becoming more ceremonial until there was no spirituality left in it . That is why it is typified in the Bible as it is, (Rev 6:6) “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” This was under the third seal. Everything pertaining to a benefit of the church had a price on it. They measure this, they weigh this, and it all means it has a cost to it. How many can see that? Three measures of this for a penny, such and such. Each bishop from the fifth century, played, or worked everything to his advantage, as his entire outlook was to use the emperors, the governors, all the governmental leaders as instruments, or as a means to pull himself up to a greater point of recognition. Each time a caesar or emperor would die, it just seemed as though the one that would take his place, had a little more leniency, and a little more respect for the recognition of the church and the church leadership. Then as time finally moved into the eighth century. Charlemagne of Germany came to power and he adored the voice of the papacy. When the hour of Charlemagne came, the political leadership in the entire structure of the Roman era was crumbling. Charlemagne used this opportunity to elevate the office of the pope. He made a law, that from the power of the Roman government, all down through the citizenry, all would become believers in the Christian faith. Then with the sword, this Charlemagne of Germany set out across Europe on a great campaign. Any village he went into, any town he went into, if he found people that had not yet cast their feelings, their sentiments toward that of the Catholic church, he gave them an opportunity to admit that they would. If not, they were executed. From Italy to Norway, for many years this scourge was carried on. There in Norway, where the Roman power tried to force that on the Norwegians, (just a short distance from where Bro. Strommen lives) is where the Norwegians brought them to a standstill. There, is where the European military power had to give it up. My point is, The power of martyrdom that used to come forth from the imperial power of Rome itself, coming into the eighth century, you had this black horse rider controlling society, and everybody within the area of Europe was being compelled to be a believer. If they refused, they were executed. Refusing to become a believer in Roman Catholicism back then, was the same as not wanting to join the communistic regime in later years. I just bring these things into the message so you can understand, it was a very slow process from Constantine’s hour of time on into 500 A.D.; and then from 500 on into 800 a lot of diplomatic things were changing. This office of the pope kept getting more and more powerful. That is why I read to you from Daniel 7, because within the period of time that the fourth beast would be ruling on earth, there would come a time that there would be a little horn rise up among the other ten, and it says, Before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots. It was all a slow process, but I have to say, These seals definitely portray to you and era of time that the devil worked tirelessly trying to achieve his goal. Naturally the target was primarily against true Christendom, not necessarily against those who just professed Christendom. (I do pray you will understand my point.) I have a history book in which I find, “The Doctrines of the Mother Church.” She says that she alone is the authority on the godhead, and that there is no salvation outside the Roman Catholic Church. After time passed into the hour of Charlemagne, the Roman Catholic Church really began to push this out to the people. From there on, the mass was changed and here came this ritual and that ritual. Then finally the time came, but not until later years, that Mary was no longer dead: According to their teaching, Mary was resurrected and taken up into heaven, and since then she is in heaven making intercession through her Son on behalf of you and me. That is why all Catholics are taught to pray to the blessed virgin Mary. Wherever the virgin Mary was buried some nineteen hundred years ago, you can rest assured that those bones still lay there, so to speak. That story about her being resurrected to intercede for anyone is just another big lie Catholicism has put together to keep their people under bondage. Just think of the millions of people over the world, that have been taught to believe that kind of lies, and I have to say, It is not just the poor little man down on the street that believes them, look at the politicians the world over, how they give respect to the power of the Catholic Church. There is just no way to describe some of the tactics that old system of religion has been guilty of using on those who opposed them.
CRUEL AND INHUMAN METHODS OF DEATH
Until there did come an hour in 1520, when the Reformation had its beginning, the Roman Catholic Church throughout that long Dark Age period, controlled everything that could have been progress in Europe. That is why world history refers to it as “The Dark Ages,” because whatever they went into that period of time with, the symbols of art, whatever type of building there were, as well as everything else, they came out a thousand years later with no progress in anything whatsoever. Why? Because the Roman Catholic Church taught that anything of science and learning was evil, and anything of an invention was also looked upon as evil. That is exactly why, for one thousand years, Europe was held in darkness in the clutches of a system of religion that the devil had elevated to supreme power. If you did not go along with it, then the power of the church had the right to condemn you to death. In the 12th century, (I do not remember the exact dates.) when the Jews that were in Spain, (I have been in Toledo where the major part of Jews lived.) did not cooperate with the Spanish Catholic system within the government, (That was because the governmental system had tried, and since there were Muslims across from Morocco that had moved in, here were the Jews, and here are the Catholics.) they were subjected to horrible methods of torture. The Spanish government had tried to adopt a freedom for all the religions so they could co-exist, but every once in awhile there was a purging and it was not a pretty sight. All you have to do, is get the book covering the “Spanish Inquisition” and see what all it involved. It not only involved those who would dare to uphold the true Christian faith, but it would also involve those who dared to believe and be true Jews and uphold true Judaism. I have read where they had their tables of torture, and how they would tie those poor people in chairs, and tie their mouth’s open and force them to eat certain things until they would choke to death. The aim was to poke enough stuff in the mouth that they would eventually choke on it and die, and there was nothing they could do about it, because their hands and feet were tied. I could go into a lot of other things, but it would not be good for me to speak them from the platform, but saints, believe me, that lasted over a hundred years. Who was behind this? The power of the Catholic Church. What used to be the devil working through the governmental, imperial system of Rome, then became the devil, the antichrist spirit, working through the so-called Church, which was just an evil system of religion that had moved into a position of authority. It ruled both the spiritual side, as well as the political side of everything. It was a slow process getting to that point, but once it was there, this is exactly why any man, any seaman who endeavored to try and convince the maritime commission of Spain, that the world had to be round, the Catholic Church condemned them to death.
A NEW DISCOVERY AND WHAT FOLLOWED
In the face of all that opposition, there did come a time in the year 1492, when a man called Columbus came upon the scene. He too was a Catholic. Most of the men who were with him were prisoners. They had been put in prison for various reasons, but they had all volunteered to assist him on his endeavors. Columbus had studied the drift alone the western coast of Europe. He had been up and down from the north side of Europe to the south. He knew some of the vegetation that he had seen drifting could only mean one thing. As he studied this, he came to a conclusion that there had to be certain ocean currents that fluctuate in a certain way. That is why, when he appealed to the authorities, he used it not to find a new world, but to find a shorter route to the Dutch East Indies. When he struck out to find a shorter route to the Dutch East Indies, then the God of heaven let him find a new area of the world. About the same time that the new world was discovered, the head of these men, back in the earlier periods of St. Francis, the poor man of Assisi, had seen certain things within the Catholic realm that they spoke out against. Then when we come to the hour of Columbus and the Reformation, and go back and study the histories, we find that men began to rise up in protest. You can get the early volumes of the anti-Nicene fathers, and see where some of those early men began to speak against the Catholic system. They spoke of the sin and evil that was being upheld and propagated. Some of those men were literally executed by the power of the Catholic Church. It was an evil system that placed no value on any human life unless it agreed with their methods. Satan had his Millennium, working against the plan of God throughout that long period, but then we come to Martin Luther’s hour in our study, the new world had already been discovered. The news had gone all over Europe. Then when Luther came forth with the revelation that the just shall live by faith, God was with him, to protect him and promote his efforts of protest against that evil system that had ruled the world for so long. The wisdom of a man, that prior to that had never been respected, God used in an outstanding way. I want to say this, He was not a back woods preacher that only knew how to raise cabbage and tomatoes. He was an educated man that knew all the ins and outs of Roman Catholicism. If you want to see the authority God enabled them to have, then read some of the writings of those men who wrote to the bishops and leadership of that hour of time. It would make you want to scratch your head and say, Where did they get that wisdom? God invested it in them, to fulfill His purpose. At that time, this black horse rider of the third seal had been riding for hundreds of years. An untold number of people had died in every imaginable way. I do not have the time to stand here and read to you what all really did take place during that dark hour of of man’s history. I will say this though, God used the wisdom of men to speak to that Catholic system; and it was done in a way that the system could not take control of. When Martin Luther began to realize that God was speaking to him, and he went into his room and shut himself away, he came out of there with a purpose that God was behind. He wrote the ninety five thesis, in which he pointed his finger at Roman Catholicism and denounced their evil ways. When he came out of his isolation with such steadfast determination, the people began to gather around him. They followed him down to the church house in Wittenberg Germany, where he tacked that sheet of paper on the door and said, Look, see what I have done! Now, here I stand! From then on, the Reformation was in action. As the Reformation started, the news of the new world was spreading; and that created much excitement. God absolutely let America be discovered, to give a nation a birth right here, a nation that needed to be available for people of Europe to come to, to be able to express and live according to their inner convictions. God always makes a way for people to accomplish what He has predetermined to accomplish in any certain hour of time. That is why we have a reason to be excited by what we see coming in this generation. I saw in the News last night, that there is some crooked, underhanded work going on in the United Nations. I am not going to stand here and explain it all, but something is going on, that lets me know the world is moving very fast toward an end of God’s grace to Gentiles. It is just about eight more months until 2004 ½ is going to be here. God only knows what is going to come knocking on some doors between now and then. Millions of people belong to some kind of church system, and they think that sitting in there, they are secure. Nobody in the Catholic Church is studying these scriptures that we have been looking at. Nobody in the Methodist Church will even read them, nor the Baptist, the Lutheran, the Presbyterian, the Episcopalian, the Christian Science, Jehovah Witness, nor any other of them. Do you know why? Because the revelation of these scriptures is not for them. God has hidden these things from the wise and prudent, but has revealed them unto babes such as will learn and follow truth. We are living right now, when that gray horse rider is riding very fast. People are being deceives by the millions every day. We have much to be thankful for, so let us keep awake; and not allow an evil spirit to bring division among us.
CHARLEMAGNE, THE SEVENTH HEAD
There are so many things that could be fed into this message from a historical point, that would make it more plain, but time will not allow me to bring all of it in, so I am trusting the Lord to help me bring in enough to give you a picture of what is ahead for the true Church in the very near future. There are a few things I would like to bring out, as I point to the chart we are using. We know this era represents the black horse rider. Here, (pointing to chart in the dark age period) is this man’s head. This represents how God would relate His power and salvation and grace to the believer in this long Dark Age period of time. Here, (back in the beginning of Christendom) it shows how He gave the believer the wisdom, and the nature of the lion. Actually the book of Acts characterizes that. Then, when we move into the second century, there is where God gave the believer the grace of a sacrifice, those that were willing to die rather than renounce their faith in Christ. Then right here, as we come back to the dark age period, is where God began to counteract this spirit of antichrist by using the intelligence of men. We have this marked right here, (1963), just before the week of Daniel starts over here, but I also want to draw an imaginary line back here, say about a hundred years back. This head of man, God used through that long period of time, represents the intelligence of man that stood against that spirit of Roman Catholicism. If I would read to you, the history of what went on in the hour of Huss, Swingley, Wycliffe and those that protested against the Catholic spirit and the evil they saw, you would see why they were martyred. Every one of them were martyred for speaking their peace. That brings us right up to the brink of Martin Luther’s hour. When we come to Martin Luther’s hour in 1520, right there, the grace of God began to give those men wisdom and protection, as they protested that system. From then on, we find these reforming men that God had anointed and sent forth to start the Reformation, coming out of Catholicism, and today, those that followed each of them, represent all your major denominations or systems of religion. God gave every one of those men wisdom to counteract that spirit, and He used the political side of things to stand in defense of them, even when through this period of time, the Catholic Church was in control of the political system. I read to you earlier, about that little horn spoken of in Daniel 7, how it would come up among the ten horns and pluck up three of them. That little horn symbolizes the rising of the position of the pope of Rome way back here in the Dark Ages. It is how he began to push himself, more and more, until his authority stood above the political authority. As we come into the hour of Charlemagne, let us understand that Charlemagne was a political man, but he actually had enough respect for the Catholic Church, that he wanted to make everybody in the Roman period a believer. That is why I said what I did, and history backs it up. With the sword, he went forth into every village, every town, and anyone that refused to become a believer, got their head cut off with a sword. It was a horrible reign of terror. We can say this, From the time that the red horse rider was riding, it then began to become the black horse, you have to see the sinister and deceptive workings of the devil in it all. I want to say also, Keep in mind, the same spirit that is behind it all, is the devil himself, because he is that spirit of antichrist. Sure he has many helpers, but it all points back to the Lucifer that God cast down from his exalted position as an angel of God. I want to try to illustrate to you, how that when the Roman world first came into existence, it was ruled by the power of the caesars. They were all kindred men, uncles, nephews, so on and so forth, but they were all a kindred line. Then, when we come to 69 A.D., when the Roman general Vespasian, with the Roman troops, had surrounded Jerusalem, and they had eventually fulfilled the words of Jesus by tearing Jerusalem down, there were over a million casualties, those that lost their life during that siege. Nero was the last of the old kindred caesars. From his period back, all those caesars represented in the Roman government, just one imperial head. That is why, when the Roman system came upon the scene, it only had one head, because all those caesars were kindred, no matter which one you name. When we come to Nero’s time, the last of the imperial caesars, there were thousands of Christians put to death. Also in his hour, Rome was set on fire, and he blamed it all on the Christians. Nevertheless when he died, there were no more kindred men to take the throne, so Vespasian the Roman general, was called back to Rome and installed in the position. He was given command as the emperor of Rome. Then after his period, his two sons fulfilled the position. The reason I want to bring these things in, some people cannot understand when we are reading in Revelation, about this beast that we see coming up, having seven heads and ten horns. When you go to the 17th chapter of Revelation, it tells you exactly how these heads became identified. However I am not going to try to deal with that at this time: I just wanted to bring this along in history, because the devil played a trick on Christendom. When he realized he had gotten inside the church, and was in controlling power through the caesars, as the caesars were on one throne, and their power was diminishing, the devil was on another chair lifting up another man. It is very simple, when you know the devil will never be totally defeated this side of the Millennium, this transformation is the main thing we have to see. As the old caesar headship went through the different stages that brings out these seven different heads, there was that little horn the devil kept exalting. The little horn is what became the eighth head, but that did not put eight heads on the old political beast, because there are only seven heads on it. I hope you understand this, because many get confused by the way it is written. What is referred to as the eighth head, is a part of the seventh head, because the eighth was an ecclesiastical head, that actually stepped in and assumed authority in the place of the seventh head, which actually pertained to a form of government established by Charlemagne, the seventh political head, as is established in history. When you go to Rev 17:11, you can read this, “And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” The eighth becomes a part of the seventh, because it is how the devil, through the decay of the imperial government, as it goes through these stages, is manipulating and lifting up the bishops. It is not until the middle ages that they began to call themselves pope. From then on, as the pope begins to be a contemporary, then it seems as though through the weakness of the political side of the Roman government, that the popes began to play up to the politicians. In so doing, then the political men began to play up to the church. As that began to fall in line, by the time we come into the eighth century, the ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, and on through the fifteenth century, that office of the pope kept getting larger and larger. Finally the old emperors, (They were still emperors, but they became only figureheads.) just became subject to the power of the pope. That is how the eighth head, which was an ecclesiastical head, and did not put eight heads on the political beast, actually became the ruling head, but because it was church government instead of political government, the political beast still just had seven heads. The Bible only refers to the eighth as being of the seventh, because the actual form of government which was established by Charlemagne, just continues right on with a bishop running the show instead of an emperor. Only by that time, the head bishop was called pope. Can you now understand this thing, by my illustration? Church government took over the last form of imperial, or political government. It was then church over state. Prior to that, it was state over the church. By the time we get to 1000 A.D. the pope was well on his way to rulership. What started out as the little horn Daniel saw in his vision, did not put eleven horns on the beast, because there can only be ten horns. What are these ten horns that are signified in the scriptures? They are ten national, or political governments, that came about by the breakup of the old Roman Empire. How did they get their position? When the Roman imperial government began to be weakened, that brings us into period of the emperor Constantine, who was fighting those territories that were seeking to break away and form their own government. When he had that vision, and painted the sign of the cross on the shields of his fighting men, it looked for a period of time, that this breakup of the imperial territories would cease. However after Constantine died it roused back up again. There were those outlying areas, which later became nations. At first, it was only certain territorial people making a break away, but that was enough, that as the church began to gain more and more of a position of power, the political system that held the empire together just kept getting weaker and weaker. You must understand this: Since the Catholic spirit that was being fed by Charlemagne and forced upon all the people, no matter what territory they were of, became so powerful the people eventually became more loyal to the Catholic Church than they were to the pagan, Roman state. Therefore by the time we come past 1000 A.D., it was the power of the pope that began to dictate the terms of rulership. After the last three hundred years of the popes ruling the people, the Reformation started. After the popes became so powerful, few men dared to contradict the dictates of the pope. Those who did, paid a terrible price for it. That is actually what constitutes three of the ten horns being plucked up by the little horn, (the pope of their time) because of the way they were required to surrender up to the pope they stood up against. Think of it: There was a time when no man dared to contradict the laws of the emperor. Then there came the time when no man dared to raise a voice against the pope. No wonder Daniel 7, speaks of the appearance of a little horn, that plucked up three of the first horns by the roots; “and in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” Oh yes, he was that sweet baby kissing fellow that used all his tricks, his personality, and religious influence, yet behind the scene, you found a different kind of fellow. Keep in mind though, it is not just one man, but it is the spirit of Satan using the office of whatever man that held, or that will hold that office. Each man that would take the other one’s place back through time, his vision increased, and his outlook became more and more toward a position of supreme authority. By the time we come to 1500, for the last three hundred years prior, Europe had lived in the darkest hour of European history. There were no inventions whatsoever, because the Catholic Church would not allow it. The Catholic Church was also against education, because they called all those things evil. Outwardly everybody was a Catholic, because they had no other choice. I am not saying these things to point the finger at any person that has come out of the Catholic system. I hope you everyone understand that. I have to say, As we look at the Reformation we sometimes ask, What did it do? It was God’s move for the hour, as He began to restore revelation truth back to the believers. However it seems as though man, in each one of the different moves, just became limited to what he was willing to accept and go on with God in. That is why today, out here in the world at large, we have untold thousands of people that belong to systems of religion, but do not have true salvation, the Methodist, the Baptist, the Presbyterian, the Lutheran and on and on through everything that is identified by those kind of identities. They are in just as bad a shape as the Roman Catholic system is. Why? Because none of them really embrace all the teachings of the original Church. They claim to be a Church in themselves, but they everyone have their limits as to how much of the Bible they will accept and follow. I am trying to go at this in a way that will allow me to bring in enough to show you how this little horn really began to exalt himself and get to the place he eventually got to. You may not understand it all immediately, but if you do not reject it, God will eventually bring you to a point where the picture will become more clear to you.