Genesis 1:6 – And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Genesis 1:7 – And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
Genesis 1:8 – And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
On his second creative day, God begins by separating the watery mist which is above the surface from the water which covers the surface. The water above the surface was lifted up, and the empty space between these two layers of water was the sky. These verses indicate to us that God lifted up a large degree of water from the earth into a high barrier that surrounded the world. This water that was lifted up would later come back down in the great flood (Gen. 7:11)
Genesis 1:3 – And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Genesis 1:4 – And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Genesis 1:5 – And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
God uses his first creative day to divide light from darkness. The Sun was already shining, but the mist of water . Even in this first day, the sun is not visible yet, but things are clearing up and light is now reaching through the mist. The Sun and Moon were here already, but they could not be seen. Even on this first day they are still unseen, but the light produced by the Sun begins to filter through.
Genesis 1:2 – And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Gen. 1:2 speaks of a time period after THE BEGINNING wherein God had already created the heavens and earth. This verse deals strictly with the new era of time in which God prepares the earth for man. In Gen 1:1, God created both the heavens and the earth, but Gen 1:2 now finds the earth “void”, meaning canceled or invalidated. The Strong’s Concordance records the definition as “an undistinguishable ruin”. We can see something has happened between verse 1 and verse 2, although it is not explained here. Whatever has happened has caused the earth to become void following its creation. Gen 1:28 gives us a further clue that something has previously been present on the earth, because God commands mankind to “replenish” (refill) the earth. This verse presents evidence that earth existed with a prior creation before mankind was present.
He looked upon what the scripture called the deep, which is space itself. The earth was overshadowed in such a way as to prevent the light from shining through. It is the waters, as a mist, which causes this darkness and prevents the sun from shining through. With the earth in this state, God begins to move upon the scene to begin to bring about a change in the conditions.
Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Here, in Gen. 1:1 this eternal spiritual being is called God. God means an object of worship. He has already begun to share himself with others. Before Gen.1:1 he has already created himself a great host of angelic beings (Heb. 1:6, Job 38:4-7), who also are immortal spirit beings (Hebrew 1:7) like unto himself, even possessing separate wills of their own — separate from the will of the Eternal One. One scripture should be sufficient to substantiate this thought. Recall when God asked Job the question, “Where were you when the sons of God shouted for joy as I laid out the foundations of the earth (Job 38:4-7). However in Gen. 1:1 in the beginning of time he, the Eternal One, as God makes heaven and earth. So we can see that before that time God had already created his angelic host to fellowship and assist him with his creation.
The rapture is very close to us. You may say, “Well Paul thought it was close in his day.” Paul did not know the end of it. Then he began to look at the rapture in a different way when he was getting ready to depart from this world. He began to see that it was in the future. In Thessalonians 4:1, he spoke believing he would still be alive. But then when you get to 2nd Timothy, you see he realizes he will not be living when the rapture comes. But whenever we see today the things that are happening, which are a sign of the time we are living in, it lets you know that we are very near now. The things that were foretold in the scripture are coming to pass, so we can know we are not a thousand years off. No, it is much closer. I remember men preaching about the coming of the Lord when I was Methodist pastor. There was an older preacher who had retired, and had a doctor’s degree from college. I asked him to preach when he had come to visit his family. He said “The coming of the Lord is a thousand years away.” Some in the congregation knew that I had preached the coming of the Lord was nigh. They turned around and looked at me. I did not stop preaching the coming was near though. I just went ahead and let him blow off his steam, then I kept saying what I had to say about the coming of the Lord. Most of the church world does not believe the Lord is returning soon. But we see the truth. The message did not start out with educated minds. We are going to live in the book of Acts. We know that learned men like Paul and Luke came along later, but the men that Jesus called to be apostles to get things started were uneducated and unlearned in man’s knowledge. They were fishermen. Here we are at the endtime and these educated preachers out here will get you into trouble because God has not revealed anything to them. But they think that He has. If somebody does say something that is right, then they are shouted down because men have poisoned people’s minds. They do not know what is going to happen first, or what is going to happen last. They cannot see the picture. But thank God for the knowledge and understanding that we have, that He has given to us to be able to understand truth and to know what is really going on. We praise the Lord for that, and for revelation that He has given to us, the truth of God’s word. May God help us in this hour to uphold truth and give ourselves unto it. Just wait upon the Lord and He will show us more as time goes on, because God is not fooled. God is not mocked. God is not off somewhere where He does not know what is going on. God is aware of everything.
Of all the people that were in Times Square last night in New York, I wonder how many were really Christians, or if any were? There were over a million people there. I wonder if any of them were real believers in the word of God? They probably would not have been there if they were. I was asked where I was at midnight on New Years Eve. I was asleep. I knew it would pass without me watching the ball drop. A six-ton ball. It dropped, and I did not feel a thing. If you look at ISIS and those things that are going on, we see a terrorist shot a bunch of people in Turkey overnight. These terrorists are just a sore that people have not learned how to get rid of. But when the righteous rule, they will know how to take care of it. They would not last if we were in there now because we would do something about it. But we are Christians, we are believers in the word of God and I just hope that in some way somebody gets it into their mind to begin to take care of some of these things. Because God will clean it up whenever He turns Israel loose. It is getting close to that time now. He will destroy them. One of these days, whenever the tribulation is over, God’s Son is going to come back and clean the rest of it to where there will be a Millennium. Things will be clean again. You may say, well according to the word of God, there will still be sinful people. There will be, but not at the beginning. Only sheep people will cross over from this side into the Millennium. They are people who have dedicated themselves through the tribulation. There will be people who will dedicate themselves to God in a way that they will not be a part of what is going on. We know that the mark of the beast will come. The mark of the beast will not cover the earth. The church world does not understand this. Take the ten horns, they say now that it is ten places in the world and they do not know where to place it. It was always Europe. It was always that Roman system. That is the way it will be again. It will be those European nations that were there back in the time whenever the pope took over and all, it will be those European nations that were there, those ten. It has nothing to do with America. It will have nothing to do with Canada, or South America, or Mexico, those nations were not born at that time. They were wilderness. They had the Aztecs and so on that had been here for hundreds of years, but they were all unbelievers. They did not even believe in God. I am part American Indian, as are different ones in our congregation. The Indians as a whole believed in the stars, the moon and sun, and things of that nature. Whatever they believed in, it did not add one bit to anything. As Israel went into the promised land and got rid of the false beliefs that were already there, whenever America was discovered the same thing occurred, it just took time. Then we find that the nation began to take over the whole land of the United States. I do not feel bad about it even though I am part Indian. I do not feel bad about it because as I said, they believed in the sun and moon, stars and everything, but it did not profit them anything. God had a purpose in discovering this land and bringing people here to settle it. That is why it has been fought against so long, because it was Jews and Christians that discovered America and brought the United States through its first two hundred years, before things began to get out of hand.
So, we are here giving thanks to God for His wonderful grace to us and for his kindness. Bro. Ram and the saints in South Africa, God bless you. Bro. Landmark and the saints in Minnesota, may God bless you. Bro Jimmy and the saints in the Philippines, Bro Lands, Bro Kurt, and all the saints in Norway: May God bless you. May He bless all the readers and everyone tuned into truth. We praise the Lord for all our brothers and sisters across our nation, and across the world. Nevada, England, Scotland, California, Canada, wherever you are at, may God bless you. This has been just a little introduction, but now we will look to the word of God.
The Wise Servant and the Evil Servant
I have a few new scriptures I want to include in this message. God is very good. He gives us warning, but He gives us grace. The grace He gives outlasts the warning if we are one of His. Because grace overrides the warnings whenever we place ourselves in His hands. He teaches us in His word. Before He went away, Jesus said, “I will give you power.” Then in Mark 16:15 He said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” That is good news, preach the good news to every creature. So, this leaves a responsibility upon us because He said every creature. He is talking about people. He is not talking about horses and cows, and dogs. He is talking about people. He said here, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” In other words, only believers that are baptized are going to be saved. It does not mention baptism in the ones that are damned because if you do not believe you are not going to be baptized correctly. “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” This is all positive. There is no negativity to that. It is all positive. It is laid out before us. As Paul said, we press into it. It is there for us. These things are for us. That is not necessarily talking about picking up snakes and scorpions; that is spirits, spirits that would seek to take those things away from us. Jesus said we shall cast out devils, so we look at it in that way. Everything in our vocabulary, in our belief, is positive. There is no negative to it. Jesus said, let your yea’s be yea and your nay’s be nay. Paul said, let your yea’s be yea and Amen. Amen closes it. That is the elimination of everything that would be against us. It is expelled and eliminated. In Matthew 24:44 He said, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” The thing about being ready is that if you are ready, you do not know the day or hour, but you are going to inherit it anyway. Because you are ready. It is not saying I am going to get up that morning and get ready. No, it has to start before that. There is a beginning to our Christian life. A little baby had a beginning, and that little baby had to grow. Then it begins to have reflexes. Knowledge begins to grow in it. A lot of it sometimes is just motion maybe. I see a little baby here in our congregation that is growing. If the singing is going on, if it is a regular song, he is motionless, but whenever it gets started, something gets on him and he begins to get happy. That is the way we are as Christians. Whenever we first become Christians, we think we know it all. But then we begin to grow, because Peter said to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What is that knowledge? It is concerning His word. Not just saying, well I have been saved, that is the end of it. I heard a man get up and testify, he was a Nazarene. He said, “I have been saved and sanctified and satisfied.” He was in bad shape because he never did go to the next step. A lot of people back at that time, they thought if they did not grow tobacco that sanctified them. They could wear a watch as long as it was not gold. They could not wear a gold ring because they looked at the scripture in the wrong way. That did not add one thing to them. It did not add one inch to their growth in a Christian life. We must start with something stable in our lives to start out with. If we do not, then we can get on some kind of tangent that will lead us completely off. Let me go on in the scripture here. “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, (He is talking to the ministry here.) whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?” See? He is talking to the ministry there. That is the same thing as it is back in the 27th or 28th verse, wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. There is a big responsibility. Of course we have preached much about the 4th chapter of Ephesians. There lays a great responsibility upon the ministry. We have got to search the scriptures, live the scriptures, and be guided by the word. He is talking about giving meat in due season. Giving meat does not mean we are butchers. No, we are not butchers, we are just handing out meat. In the Bible, meat meant food, not just something you kill. Jesus talks about it in different places, about the meat. Let me read that again. “Who then is a faithful and wise servant whom his lord hath made ruler over his house, to give them meat in due season.”Due season, due time, that is what He is talking about now. We are learning. He said, come and learn of me. We are learning. We are learning more and more about how to live and how to adjust ourselves according to time. What we were five years ago, we are expected to be more today. What we lived five years ago is not completely satisfactory with what we are to be now. God has a ministry to help us grow. The Bible said grow in grace. Grow in grace. “Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” As a ministry, there is something to live up to. We are to be examples of truth, of His word, of the day and hour which we live, and to keep up with the time we are living in. Because the devil is out as a roaring lion.
I liked what Jonathan Cahn had to say about that when we were up there. He was talking about a roaring lion: if he is roaring he is not hunting. He is very quiet when he goes to make a kill, but whenever he is roaring, he is trying to scare something. The devil, when he is roaring, he does not have a hold of you, he is just trying to scare you. He is a bluff. That is what he is today, a bluff. Why did Jesus spend forty days and forty nights in the wilderness? He was starting a ministry. He had to go through something before his ministry started. He had to be baptized because every sacrifice is washed before it is accepted. So He went into the wilderness to be tempted to show us the way, to show that we could go through temptations too. That was not easy. He did not go out there and have a good time playing with the snakes and things of that nature. It said He was with the wild beasts. I am afraid of wild beasts. But there He was, making ready for a ministry that was just before Him. What did He do when He came back? His first sermon was the Sermon on the Mount, where He began, “Blessed be…”, and then He gave warning after the blessing.
“Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.” This is talking about the Millennium. Whenever it is all over, the ones that have bore the responsibility, that have taken it to heart, it was not just a paycheck or getting applause, but it was showing something, doing something that is going to help that poor soul. Why? Jesus had gone through something, He had cast himself unto the devil before He went through His ministry. Just like it was with the Old Testament prophets, God would tell them to prophesy something and when they did, they were shut up in jail. Jeremiah thought he was going to die. They dropped him down in a pit of nothing but mud. He thought that was it. Sometimes for ourselves, we do not have the answer until we get there, but it is important that we warn the people. Why? Because we have gone through it. You are not always understood, but you will be understood by the believers. The others will walk away saying, “Oh, I do not believe that! Who does he think he is?” “But and if that evil servant (See? He is a servant, he has been called. Jesus said many are called – many, many, many – but few are chosen. If that evil servant…) shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming.” Why would he say that? After 2004 ½ came and went, why would he say that? God will wear us out, or He will straighten us up. In both ways, you are feeling the tear, the tear between things you know are right and things that other people see is wrong, they say is wrong. That evil servant shall say in his heart: he does not have to speak it out loud. God knows the heart. (I am still speaking about the Millennium, but it does not sound like it.) My lord delayeth his coming: that matches the same thing said in 2nd Peter 3. “The rapture did not come in 2004, so Bro. Jackson was wrong,” some said. That is not my saying. If you want to listen to that, it is not my saying, you know better than that. When they began to say, “We are not in the third day,” they began to put some of Bro. Jackson’s sayings up. If you go to our Contender website, the first thing you will see is “We are living in the third day,” so before they can go into the archives, they have to look at that. If that evil servant shall say in his heart, my lord delayeth his coming. He has not come. We will make another date. Bro. Jackson never said the end would come in 2004, which goes to show some people never understood to begin with. “That date came and went, so we will make another date,” they said. Now it is 2035, I think they have it. Because they moved the start of the two days up to 70 A.D. The Lord has all this in His hands, and I am not worried about it. The two days are over. We are living in the third day. God will return to the Jewish nation and they will have their revival in this third day. I am not worried about what I said about it. But we see how people who have left us are fulfilling the scripture. Those men are trying to fix something they thought was wrong, but really they missed the picture. “And shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant (The lord of that servant, at one time he was probably in good standing, everything was going smooth. They would sit and say Amen, Praise the Lord, lift their hands. We are not building a wall, we are building a building. If you are building a wall, you just keep on going straight, straight, straight. But when you are building a building you have to make a turn. Because it has four walls. Most anybody can build a wall. But you have to have a blueprint to build a building. Inside that you have rooms, you have a bathroom, fixtures. You have to know where everything goes. You cannot just say here is a bathroom, you may have it in the middle of the floor, you may have it in the hall. We cannot do that. We have to go by the blueprint, and God’s ministry must build according to the blueprint. My lord delayeth his coming? No, that saying is not part of the blueprint. He never did delay it because we did not know the day or hour. The lord of that servant…) shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, (What happened is, he got his mind off of it. He had other plans, worldly plans. If you are grooming young people to go out to sing for the world, then have you got your mind on the coming of the Lord? No, you are looking at the future in a different way, in a different perspective. I have seen it over and over. It never works out right. A little bit of the world becomes a whole lot of the world. There are always signs. The closer you get to the city, the more signs. Then when you get inside the city, you have stop lights. A city that is laid out right has got the red lights and green lights, if you are driving at a certain speed, you will hit the light right every time. They are synchronized. That is the way it is with the saints of God, with the ministry. God has us synchronized if we are going right. There are no detours. Some thought there were. But it turned out there was not because they were not synchronized. The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him,) and in an hour that he is not aware of.” See? It comes down to the very hour. You are going to know when it is time to go. I have not changed my mind about Ezekiel 38 and 39. I have not changed my mind about a war with Israel because there is going to be a war in the Middle East. The Jewish people are going to get their land back. Then they are going to build their temple. After they build their temple, then there is going to be another war where God steps in. That is when that Muslim group, Ezekiel 38 and 39, when they come in there. The Jewish nation could not handle all that, so what happens? God takes care of it. They handle those that are around about them. But here comes Russia, Iran, Turkey, here comes different nations of Ezekiel 38 and 39. Saudi Arabia is already changed because it talks about Sheba, have you come to take a spoil. But God’s got them in place for that whole Muslim mess, which they are arguing and trying to take care of, God is going to take care of Russia. He will take care of Iran, He will take care of Libya, Ethiopia, Turkey, all those places that are mentioned there. God will take care of them on the mountains of Israel, there in Mount Herman. Some who have left us have stopped believing these things. They have rejected the truth. What will happen to them? “And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: (I am sorry to have to say it, it does not give me great delight. There are some we have shaken hands with. Some we have called brother or sister in times past. Because many are called but few are chosen. Oh they have their messages this morning on television. Then whenever they have that super bowl game, these churches get together and have a little service, then watch the football game together instead of have a church service. What craziness! Somebody is responsible. We are responsible. We are responsible. You and I, we will be held responsible. We want no blood upon our hands. We do not just warn you to say I told you so. We are in this together and we are going to finish it together. I was thinking about the love you showed recently to me. I appreciate it. I want you to know that. You are my brothers and sisters. We are walking together, we are in this together, but the responsibility lays upon us as ministers.
Good and Faithful Servants
In Matthew 22:14 it said, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Now I want to go to Matthew 25, verse 14, “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, (His ministry) and delivered unto them his goods.” The Bible says we are stewards of the mystery of Christ. We are ambassadors for Christ as though God called you, you are in God’s place. “The kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants and delivered unto them his goods.”His goods, not mine. Here is His goods right here. He said, here Kevin, take it, here Charles, take it. Remember we are not working for ourselves, we are not appointed by ourselves. We are stewards of the mysteries of God. God has given us great riches, but He did not give them to us to keep. He gave them to us to give to you. So that makes it, every joint. Joints connect things together. Joints are what enable movement. Unless your knuckles can move, your fingers would not be able to grip anything. There are many joints in our hands. “And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; (Here is the mystery of it:) to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.” It looked like that one with one would have been able to do something with it. He is given the lesser responsibility, less load to carry. Unto one he gave five, to another two and another one, to every man according to his ability, and straightway took his journey. There is no angel going to preach the gospel to you. God could have caused the wind, as Bro. William Branham said, to preach the gospel, but He did not. He laid this upon our shoulders. Why? To give out meat in due season. Our diet as we get closer to the end keeps elevating. It keeps getting stronger. Would you take one of these babies and give them a steak? They would starve to death. But in five or six years, if they like steak, they are going to want part of yours. “Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.” See? It is according to a man’s ability. This is talking about servants. According to his ability, according to what God has put in his heart and according to what God was in here. Why? Because the Bible said to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. “And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.” He is taking what God gave him and is mastering it. Because of what he gave us in the beginning, he is adding more all the time, until it is getting more and more and more into a likeness of His character. We sing the song, To Be Like Jesus. On earth I want to be like Him. Well we have to grow. The ministry has to grow. We have nearly reached maturity, we do not have much longer to grow, so we are going to keep truth as long as we have that responsibility. “But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.” What did he do? He wasted it. He did not put it to use, he put it in the earth. He put it into the world because he had no concern. He had no concern for truth and for what it could do, not even one talent. Jesus is saying here, “After a long time (That brings it down to our hour, this is a long time after the Lord left.) the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.” He is doing that in this hour. One had one talent and has done put it in the ground. He has done planted it in the earth. He got rid of it. What did the other two do? They got more because of their obedience. They heard what He told them. They knew there would be a pay day. “And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.” He took what the Lord gave him and put it to use so he could add to it. It was his willingness to take what God had given him and add to that. You have a desire for more and more of that heavenly gift. See what he did with the five talents? He went and gained other five. He loved it, and he wanted more. That was on his own. “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many, that is in the Millennium. “He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; (See? He did not say to him, because he had two and gained other two, he did not say well, this one gained five talents and you only gained two. No. He is saying well done to both of them. Well done good and faithful servant…) thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” It is the same thing, same answer, according to his ability, the same answer. “Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, (He is listening to the wrong voice. “I knew thee that thou was an hard man.” He is not hard. When you get acquainted with Him, He is good. He wants to be good to us. He wants to do you good. But He is not going to judge you on a ministry unless that is your calling. He is going to judge you on the calling that you have. Do not sit back and think that somebody is going to feel bad for something God has called you to do. God gives gifts. His gifts and callings are without repentance. He does not take it back. Then he which had received one talent came and said Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man…) reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed.” See? He is really answering for those other two there, reaping where you have not sown. Somewhere there was a crop. Paul said, I planted and Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. They did not have the same ministry. It was not up to Apollos to try and do what Paul did. If I had just went along, if these brother had just went along, like an old cookie cutter, or like a hot dog maker, and just went along in the same way, you would not be here this morning. You would have lost interest like the rest of them. Who wants to hear nonsense. You cannot even keep a congregation like that. Does somebody get up and testify all the time, have some singing, same old thing. Just quotes, nothing else. It was said by some that left that Bro. Allen and Bro. Bud would just be showing Bro. Jackson’s slides. It turned out that they did that, but we did not. I said on the day of Bro. Jackson’s funeral, I read from Solomon where he prayed and said, “I am but a child,” I left that part out. How could I have been in this for forty years and still been a child. I would have been a stupid child if I had not learned anything in 40 years. But what did I do? On my way to work and back home, I had Bro. Jackson’s messages that he had, sixteen of his last sermons, I played them. I got the meaning of them. When you are sitting here, listening, you lose a lot. You do. By the time you get home, what did the preacher preach about today? Love. It is about love. “And I was afraid, (Oh my, I was afraid. You work through fear. You work through hardness. You work through these things because you know you have something that somebody needs to hear. I was afraid…) and went and hid thy talent in the earth: (See? He says thy talent. It was his talent, but he was to gain at least one.) lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed. Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers; and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Outer darkness, I do not want to go there. That is not a pleasant place.
I have given this part of my message a new subtitle: Rewards. It is the same message, but we will talk about rewards. When I was thinking about this, I recalled it has been fifty-eight years this weekend since I surrendered to the Lord. Fifty-eight years ago, in 1959, January 8th or 9th, I do not remember exactly. That is how long it has been. I never knew it would lead me in this direction at that time. It was in April of that year that the Lord told me he had not only called me to preach, but to pray for the sick. This has not been a mission of mine, but it has been a thing that has never left me. If the Lord ever speaks to you, you will not ever forget it. It was just like when I received the understanding of water baptism. I grew up and was baptized right after I was converted. I was baptized after I was converted in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. That was fifty-eight years ago. Then two years later I heard the truth. In July of the year 1961 I heard a message, a message that I knew nothing about, but it was leading me to something. Then whenever I understood Matthew 28:19. I accepted water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. The first message from Bro. William Branham I heard was on the church ages. That was in 1961 when I heard them, after Bro. William Branham already preached them in December 1960. I heard them and was fully convinced that there was only one God. I do not like to point to myself that much, but I did not know where that was going to lead me. I knew it was going to lead me out of the Methodist Church because I was ready to leave then. A man that preached at the Tabernacle many times, he begged me to stay in the Methodist church though. So, I stayed two more years. Then finally I made up my mind, I am going to get out of here. The Lord spoke to me that I should. The last place I was pastoring was Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Methodist leadership moved me away from Burkesville to get me away from the message, thinking that would do it. They thought other people were having an influence on me, especially a brother named Taylor Capps. He received baptism right after I did. He was superintendent of a church in that area. But we had a baptism and there were five people baptized. Whenever the fifth one was baptized, he gave me his wallet. I was not the one doing the baptism. He gave me his wallet and told me to hold it. He waded out in the water with his Sunday clothes on and was baptized. He was a big help to me because I was a young Christian and he had been to Bro. William Branham’s meetings near Campbellsville. Bro. William Branham had meetings down there and he had heard about them and had went to them. So God blessed some people there in that time and brought them to truth. I remember Bro. and Sis. Capps and Sis. Marie Bean. They all accepted the Lord in water baptism and stood for truth in that area whenever nobody else there would. From that time on, then they began to search out and walk with the Lord. They were able to make a few trips up here to Bro. William Branham’s meetings, Bro. and Sis. Capps did. Then Bro. Capps died not too long after that, but his wife and Sis. Bean continued to stand for a truth. I was thinking about that: it was fifty years ago this year that I came to Faith Assembly to stay. Fifty years ago. I had already come here some, but that is when I settled it: this is where I am going. Ten years later I was leading singing here and preaching pretty often. I never knew where this was going to lead. I never knew what was ever going to happen, especially a little over twelve years ago when Bro. Jackson passed away. It was a great shock to me. People said that Bro. Bud and I could not wait until we would have the opportunity to take over this church: that was a lie. There is no truth about it. But the Lord has helped us. He has kept us from spirits that would have entered in here to use this place to promote themselves. The ministry that is preaching now never preached in Faith Assembly when Bro. Jackson was living. Not a one of them. But here is Bro. Jimmy, Bro. Svein, Bro. Kurt, Bro. Kevin, Bro. Charles, and I, that have taken a stand. We have had to go in directions that people did not like. But if you follow truth, you are going to have to take a direction that everybody is not going to like. The multitude was not always favorable to Jesus. He had multitudes of people that followed Him. Paul mentions that there were better than five hundred living that were believers, which saw the crucifixion and his resurrection. But there were only a hundred and twenty of them – this is not to speak against the rest – but there were only a hundred and twenty of them that received the Holy Ghost in the upper room. But there were others that believed, some no doubt had other things they had to do and just could not be there. I want to be true to that because Paul said there were better than five hundred still living. Now as we look at truth, we see really almost a different congregation than we did when Bro. Jackson was living, nearly half of it is a different congregation. For all that have left us, God has replaced them. The church is just as full as ever. It is because there was a truth that had to be stood for and there had to be a willingness to stand for that truth, above what other people thought. No doubt there are some who will hear or read this message that did not really know that when I preached the third day, there were some that did not really know if this was right or not. But whenever they began to listen and began to understand, then it changed. It changed the whole outlook on things. Today we are standing here believing the word of God.
Different Categories of Reward
As I said, I want to speak about rewards. We are going to go into this in a way that may help somebody to be able to see that your reward is not based only in what you do, but it includes what you hear and what you believe. Everybody was not called to be preachers, everybody was not called to be deacons. It is a calling. It is a blessing to be a part of that, but there is responsibility in that to stand for truth. There are some unusual scriptures in the Bible I am going to go over next. I was in Matthew 24 and 25 up until this point. Those verses really speak about the ministry, his servants. There is a greater responsibility in this hour than there ever has been before in our stand for truth, because we have so much more revealed to us. Of course, the devil has sidetracks just as it has been preached, as Bro. Jackson preached it. He has sidetracks to carry people off course. It is the responsibility of everybody that they stay on the right track instead of getting sidetracked by something. I remember several years ago, there was a brother who is here this morning, he came to me and told me that he dreamed about the platform up here. He said when he saw it, it was solid white. It was more or less marble or concrete. That shows the hardness of what is being preached and what is acceptable to the Lord. The only thing he saw that he did not understand was a loose wire up here on the platform. God took away the loose wire in 2008. So, God has everything under control. He has our lives in control and He has the truth in control. It is not hard to stand for truth. Sometimes you have to stand here, like when I preached the third day, not knowing just what was going to happen. But whenever the four preachers preached their messages, when they got through, I said I gave you the opportunity to say what you wanted to say, but I said, it will not happen anymore. I did give them that opportunity because there was a purpose. God has a purpose in that, because He knew that people were going to make up their minds that Sunday morning. He knew they would make up their minds which way they were going to go. Because there were a lot of loose wires. But God had something He had to correct. You can see today, because of what has happened and what has gone on, it was every bit the truth, because Faith Assembly has not changed. We have just grown. The Bible said to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. That knowledge is understanding. Understanding is what builds stature. I believe this message is going to help somebody. I believe it will help you to understand what your calling is, if it is just to sit in your seat and praise the Lord, you are going to be satisfied with that. There is satisfaction in serving the Lord and listening to the word of God.
There is a scripture that came to me while I was sitting here, it is Matthew 10. I will read that first, which is not a part of my message, but I will read that first before I go into the rest of it, because I want to go back to Matthew 24:36. “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: (That is very plain. Jesus was plain spoken. He did not always mince his words. That would be kind of comparable to what you are hearing today. Because it was as much for our day as it was for their day. Jesus does not mince words here. He said it and He does not apologize for it. He did not say, “Well I am sorry, I was a little too hard, I should not have done that.” He never apologizes. He calls the religious people of that day scorpions, foxes, vipers, that is a snake. But He is not speaking to His disciples. He is speaking to the religious people of that day. This is something that we must accept. The religion of today, or they that walk away, are not a part of truth. He is saying here that he that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.) and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me is not worthy of me.” That is very profound. “He that findeth his life (Or in other words, in this life, he is settled in this life after he has heard truth. He that findeth his life…) shall lose it: (That is a social life. That is not talking about the life of Christ, because we know that whenever we find the life of Christ, we are alright. Everything is going to be alright.) and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” He is talking about the Father. If you deny Christ, then you have denied God. Jesus said in the 17th chapter of John, I and my Father are one. So here it says, “He that receiveth you receiveth me, (See? He is bringing this all the way down from the Father to the ministry. That is what He is talking about here.) and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” It goes the other way, to the Father again. He is saying, if you do not receive the true ministry, you do not receive Christ. And if you do not receive the true ministry, you do not receive God. That is the truth. Sometimes people hear something, and it is against their feeling. I know it touches people, but it is the truth. Can we receive Christ and then not receive all these other things? We cannot be sympathetic with error. We have to go all the way in what we believe. What did He say at the beginning? He that loveth father or mother more than me, more than the word, is not worthy of me. He that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. We are getting down to the nitty gritty of the whole thing of getting ready. I could ask you, how many want to be ready when the Lord comes, if you do raise your hand. Are you willing to follow beyond your feelings? We like to feel good, we like the music. Bro. William Branham said the Pentecostals would dance and shout while the music and singing was going on, but then after it is over with, they just stops, just blah. They do not care once the Word starts to come forth. In Matthew 13, they were gathered in of every kind. But what happened? The ministry, or the angels it said, they began to sit down and to sever the wicked from among the just. What do you think that means? They began to sever the good from the bad, the just from the unjust. We have one head. I am not your head, I am your servant. What is a servant? It is somebody that gives out something. Here is a place, as I have said, will probably make you feel good if you have a right attitude.
“He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; (There are different gifts and callings. All of it is not the ministry. Jesus, of course He is talking in Old Testament terms, but you can apply this verse to the ministry. Everybody is not going to receive the same reward. He keeps going through this.) and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” Because you cannot receive a righteous man without giving yourself unto something. That is the proof of what you really are. See? There is a proof of what you receive. He is setting forth categories of rewards. “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, (A disciple is someone who follows the Lord. He is talking about our Christian neighbors. If you know what somebody believes, if you are not a believer, you are apt not to give them a cup of water, cold water anyway.) verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” He is categorizing these different believers and their different rewards. He starts at the top because people do not realize just what it is to be a disciple. I am talking about unbelievers, they will never believe it. He is talking about hearing truth and still doing what He said. You could come from the top and come down with these three categories. You could say a hundred, sixty, or thirty fold. Everybody is not going to get the same reward, but it is according to what God has purposed in them. It all boils down to truth, how we feel about what is being spoken unto us. It is in how we receive it. The Bible says for us to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. That is to take a survey of what this message of truth really means to us. This is not my message. The third day was not my message, it was just something that was going to be poked at me by a bunch of preachers, because this was a test of time.
Different Categories of Punishment
I am going to go to Matthew 11:20. Jesus is speaking. “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For the mighty works, which were done is you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.” Just as there are different rewards according to our life, so there are also different punishments for the wicked according to their lives. Jesus was not preaching at Tyre and Sidon. Those cities were on the outskirts of Israel at that time. But He is comparing those two cities unto the cities he was visiting. He said “Woe unto thee Chorazin, woe unto thee Bethsaida, for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgement, than for you.” See? Those cities were going to get a worse judgement. Then He goes into something else. “And thou, Capernaum, (This is where Peter lived, beside the Sea of Galilee. We have been there to see some of the ruins. This was a thriving city at the time Jesus was here.) which art exalted unto heaven; (The mighty works exalted the place.) shalt be brought down to hell: (Years after Jesus said this, an earthquake took it under. You can see a few of the ruins there now. You do not see a city. There is no thriving city there because it was brought down to hell.) for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.” Remember, it is even here today: people that live that wicked lifestyle are called Sodomites. Jesus said, “I say unto you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.” See? There are different categories, even in hell, of punishment. He said it would be more tolerable in the day of judgment. They are going to be judged. Why would He say something like that? Because He was there with the ministry to try to teach the people truth. They did not want it. They did not want what He had to say. I do not like to go too far with this, but brothers and sisters, to resist truth brings on a judgement worse than what the Sodomites will receive. That is what He is saying. Why do people not understand? Because the scripture says many are called but few are chosen. There are a lot of things in our lives that we have to let go of as we go on. We are going to have to get rid of the things that would hinder our Christian being, things that we thought were little things, but they control our minds. I realize in being pastor of the biggest assembly I know of, along with my brothers, that puts a great responsibility on us. There have been other preachers that said me “We are running our assembly like Faith Assembly,” because they believe in the direction it is going. They believe in the stand we have taken. So that puts responsibility on me, on my shoulders, to stand for something. Otherwise if it was not stood for, what would Faith Assembly be this morning? We would be exactly like the other churches that broke fellowship with us in 2008. Chaos. A mess. Thank God we are not. God put an understanding in us. He put something in our minds that matters, because it has to come from his spirit.
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, (He is thanking the Father because He has hid these things, because it puts a urgency in you, a desire to get something over to the saints of God that they will understand that your life is not vain. Even if it is just a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, you will receive your reward. You do not have to have the office of somebody else, your life speaks volumes. What it is talking about is how you treat your brother and sister. It goes on up to how you treat the ministry, the message of the ministry. I thank thee, listen to Him. Why would He say something like this? At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent…) and hast revealed them unto babes.” I am no doctor. All these preachers like to be called doctor, bishop, D.D.D., dead dogs. They just say their words so right, they never get excited because they have nothing to be excited about. “Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” He thanks the father that He hid this, because He could see the crowd. He could see those scribes standing over there, and they were there when He said it. As I said already, He did not mince His words. But then He goes ahead, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He makes it more personal. “Take my yoke upon you, (His yoke, being tied together. I saw a yoke of oxen one time. If you go to the Philippines, you will see them there. They still use them. They are a very slow animal, about a mile an hour. Take my yoke upon you…) and learn of me; (Because it is going to be a slow process. What you are doing, you are gaining. You are on a upward grade. We are not on level ground this morning. We cannot be on level ground and climb higher. We like to sing about climbing higher, but the higher you go, the harder the steps. People that exercise, they do not just get one weight and stay there. They must increase the weight. What you are doing, if it is your body, you are getting your body where it will be stronger as you go. Paul even talked about running a race, all run but one wins the prize. Faith is exercise. It is exercied daily. Your spiritual being, Paul said bodily exercise profiteth little. They were walking all the time. That was a form of exercise, but they were not doing it for that purpose. They were doing it for the glory of God. Take my yoke upon you: what He means by that is to get this leveled out to where we are carrying equal weight to Him. Can you do that? Absolutely, because the Bible says you are steward. Stewards means carrying the riches. Because whenever you leave here, you are going to have a knowledge of what is expected. We are expected of something. Take my yoke upon you. Then what does it say? Learn of me. Unless we are yoked up with Him, we cannot learn of Him.) for I am meek and lowly in heart: (See? He is telling there, I am meek and lowly in heart…) and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Get in that category, to where as you travel, as you are yoked with Him, that it gets comfortable. It gets comfortable to stand for truth, because you know this is where your comfort is. It is walking in truth, walking in the light as He is in the light. “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” He is talking about you being yoked with Him because His burden is light. That is what He carried. He took criticism. His life was in danger. Sometimes He refused to go certain places because they had threatened to kill Him. He said, my hour is not yet come. He knew when it would come. He went to Jerusalem. The Bible talked about it, His face was set toward Jerusalem. For three years He had preached the gospel. For three years He had preached truth. He had all kinds of opposition. He was getting ready for that climax. We are getting ready today for a climax, because this thing is going to be over. Do not ever get it in your mind that it is going to keep going and going as it is. There has to be a stop to it.
This morning I heard there was a truck that ran over a bunch of soldiers in Jerusalem, so far there are four dead, fifteen injured. How long is this going to keep on going? How long are the Jews going to put up with this crazy stuff? They are walking on eggshells because of Obama. But he turned them down. He stepped aside and let the United Nations pass their resolution against Israel. I am hoping the next administration does what they said they would for Israel. Look at what is happening now. The west coast, they have rain like they have not seen in years. The east coast has snow, cold weather. My yoke is easy and my burden light. He is wanting us to get a feel of that yoke, to make sure we have the padding to go on that yoke to where it will make it easy.
Our Dedication To Christ Affects Our Reward
Let us go to Matthew 10:38. There are some things we can pull out of that, then we will go to another scripture in Matthew 13. “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me is not worthy of me.” He has done talked about family. He did not even mention friends. Instead he went straight to our closest relationships. That is the inner working of our lives whenever we begin to look at family. There are people in this truth that this has affected. We cannot include everyone in the kingdom of God, even in our own families. Not every one is going to make it. That is hard to consider, and hard to say, but the ones that are going to make it are the ones that are living for truth. So we can see here the pattern of what Jesus is talking about. This is the way He lived His life. In Matthew 12 we see Mary came to him with His brothers and sisters, and tried to pull Him away from the work God has showed him to do. No doubt He was healing the sick and was praying for different ones. They had something more important for him to do, they thought. They had family matters. So Jesus said, “Who is my family? It is he who does the will of my father.” He let them know, unless they were part of the truth, he was not counting them among his family. Family matters are important if they really are true family matters. I am not saying they are not important. However, there are certain things we cannot overlook when it comes to a family. We cannot overlook it. It is a problem. We have to realize there is a root to that problem. It is kind of like a big funnel. You have a whole lot that goes in at the top, but you only have a little stream that comes out. This is what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 13. He was talking about us here at the end time. That seventh parable is talking about us. Sometimes in praying for people, we want to pray for every little puppy, every little pet, which to some people puppies are important. If it is something you love, you can pray for it. Because it is part of God’s creation. But I am talking about somebody out in the world who has had some kind of catastrophe: this is not something for the Bride of Christ to concern themselves about in prayer.
They were talking on the news about the Golden Globes. They said “people can be so high that they will not even know what is going on, because marijuana is legal now.” What a devilish thing that has come into this nation, through it’s borders, and through people here that have legalized sin. Now they have decided that marijuana is not that good for you, it causes a lot of problems in the body. I saw it at Ford. I saw different young men who had been hired. When the line was broke down about eight or ten of them gathered around, smoking that stuff, blowing it into each other’s mouths. All I could do was stand by and see a bunch of dummies. These things have spirits behind them. Legal or illegal. We do not have to bring somebody under bondage concerning these things. I will not. Because it is very dangerous. Spirits have lives and they want to pass them on, pass them down, and pass them down, even to the third and fourth generations. We cannot pet spirits. That is what it is. That is more than a loved one. It is, it is more than a loved one, it is what motivates them. I am not mad, but I am letting you know I agree with what my Brother Kevin Crase has ministered on this topic. I am letting you know that we must stand together as a ministry. We have got to. One cannot pull this way and one that way, and expect everything to be gathered together into one. I can close my hands here, like this, and it will hold water, because it is joined together. But you take them apart, and everything falls through. If you begin to take this word apart, you do not have anything left. That is what the denominational world has done. They are just denominations, they are nothing with God. There are no good denominations. In Revelation 17 He went further. He called them harlots and abominations. They have been unfaithful to the Lord. So we see these things go down deep into the fiber. But God goes deeper. He goes down into the marrow, into the bone. He do not want anything in us lacking. We talk about living in the book of Acts. That is what it was. Whenever they took their beatings as a ministry, then when they were beaten they were told, do not go preach this thing any more about Jesus. But they would go back and begin to preach anyway. What happened? The place begins to shake. That was the Holy Ghost shaking. That is what I want, I want the Holy Ghost to shake us all the way down to the soles of our feet.
“He that taketh not his cross and followeth after me is not worthy of me.” What is He talking about? Arthur Blesset carrying something on his back? That is not the cross the Lord is speaking about, that is a manmade cross. It is a wonder the man has not been killed. The cross is something inside us that we have to bear. Whenever serving God goes against our carnal nature. What did He say here? He that taketh not his cross and follows me, is not worthy of me. Your cross is different than mine. My cross is different than yours. You do not know the cross I have to bear. I do not know the cross you have to bear, but I know if we are Christians we are bearing a cross. I know that. We cannot be followers of Christ and not carry a cross. Paul said, I die daily, nevertheless I live, but not I, but Christ in me. We are coming down to that time that everything must be let go, that He may have His way. “And he that findeth his life shall lose it: (As I said this morning, that is not finding Christ, that is finding a life for ourselves. If what I do on my own is more important than serving Christ, then I am going to pay a heavy price in the judgement. That is what He is saying.) and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” He is not necessarily talking about death. It is he that is willing to set aside his own feelings and desires to submit to Christ. This is not easy. It is a cross. “He that receiveth you receiveth me, (Can we put ourselves in that place, to where the Lord would say, if you receive Him, you receive me. If you receive her, you receive me. That is putting ourselves in line with what Paul said in Ephesians 4: every joint supplies. Every joint, not one joint out of place. When I was a boy playing basketball with my cousin, he blocked the ball on me and hit this thumb and knocked it out of place. I grabbed it and pulled it back, but my, did that hurt. The swelling started then whenever I put that joint back in place. That is when the swelling and hurt started. Some people have had their shoulders out of place. Some people have had this or that out of place. Whenever it does, it hurts. That is the same way it is in the Bride of Christ. Our lives are touching somebody else. When we are out of place, it hurts. He that receiveth you receiveth me…) and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” He is talking about the Father. I did not know when I began to preach on the Godhead that there were people with ideas that they had. It took that message to bring it out, because I had another motive in mind when I brought that message. After two or three messages on the Godhead, things began to flare up. Some that were with us at the time began to show that they were not really with us. They had been secretly holding a wrong belief in their heart for many years.
I am still talking about rewards but it does not sound like it. I want us to understand where we are in Christ, and what we go through, and what is in our hearts which brings us to these rewards. Our motive, the spirit within us matters if we want these rewards. We cannot be pulling this way or that way, we have to get a mindset if we are going to follow the Lord. You see what happens when people walk away. They begin to associate with people who will agree with them. It is kind of like a kitten. Rub it the right way and it purrs, but if you rub it the wrong way it will bite you. “He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; (This is about our attitude. That prophet is preaching the truth and you are going to believe the message because it has to come.) and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a right man’s reward.” See how we are connected? Right on down the line we are connected. I am connected with you. I pray you are connected with me. We are going through this thing together. We are going to look like one unit because we are united. “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of
cold water only in the name of a disciple, (If you help another brother or sister out, or you are praying for them.) verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” I am talking about unity. You are not going to give that cup of cold water to an unbeliever. That is talking about more than water, this is just an illustration. Every one of us have to go through that same funnel.
Let us go to Matthew 13:44. This is the fifth church age. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” He is talking of Martin Luther. His message would not even come close to our message in revelation and understanding, but he found grace. It said of Noah that he was faithful in his generation. But that would not match what it was with Enoch. Enoch was translated, ahead of time. Before the flood came, Enoch was gone. Before the tribulation, the church is going to be gone. I do not care who says otherwise, she is going to be gone. But we remember Noah was just in his generation. He did not meet the standard of Enoch. What did Enoch do? He walked with God. That meant a daily travel, a daily walk. He was looking at something the rest of them were not looking at. He saw something coming that he did not want a part of. God got him out of there in time. We are not worried about the tribulation, we are getting ourselves ready now. We are not trying to hide something in the dark, it will not work. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls.” That is the sixth church age. He has gone on beyond what Luther had. He could see Luther. It just makes you wonder if anybody in Luther’s time will really be in the rapture. I guess some will, but I do not know, because it said they shall walk with me in white. White robes do not get to be part of the rapture. They do not. It has to be fine linen, something beyond white robe that you can look and see the difference. It has a shine to it. Cotton or wool does not have a shine, but linen does. It is woven by nature. “Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Everything he had in the past, he sold and bought it. Wesley was a step up towards complete perfection. Now I want to go to the seventh church age, “Again, (He said this three times now, again. He is gradually getting to where we are at in time. God sent a prophet to take us forward, as he was able. He fulfilled Malachi 4. He was able to carry a ministry as Elijah. Elijah was acquainted with what was right, but Elijah was not the finisher. There had to be something more. But what a great difference that Elijah ministry made it setting things in motion. Again..) the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind.” Every kind, what happens then? Let me read a little further. “Which, when it was full, (I would say there were old boots in there, old dead fish, turtles, scorpions, sea snakes. Everything was in there. But then what happened?) they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.” It is hard. It is hard to say, but there has been a casting away process. The ministry sat down because they were at ease. After you preach a message of truth, you do not go back and muse over it. Jesus did not do that. He did not sit down the next day and say, I wonder why did I say that, that was just foolish. No. He only brought life. Everything He taught was life. They sat down and gathered the good into vessels and cast the bad away. It did not say he sat down. It said they. This puts it on further on in time: they sat down. I hate to see people hurt, but I would rather see people hurt for truth than I would to let them go into error. Because we are in the funnel, we are coming down to where there are just a few compared to the great many it began with, it just took a long time. Kind of like an hour glass. Because it was not meant to be for a few minutes or a few days, or a few weeks, or few months, or a few years, to get to the point where we are now. You might say, well you are putting a lot on yourself. I am putting a lot on the ministry in order to receive that reward that is due unto us, we have got to. What is a prize? Many are running. Many have run. The Bible says there will only be a few make it in this hour. There are many saints in ages gone by, but there are few to see the truth in this hour. “So shall it be at the end of the world: (Where are we at? We are at the end of the world. The end of this world system, not the end of the earth, but it is the end of man’s civilization. There is going to be a cut off period very soon, there is not going to be a whole lot of flesh left. We should not put off accepting that truth.) the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just.” See? The ministry has done their work. In the prior verse they sat down and made a choice, they had to make a choice because spirits have to be dealt with. It is not somebody coming up here and saying thus saith the Lord and casting out spirits. It can happen, but this is something more than that. It is something that affects the body of Christ, the whole body. After the ministry has done their work, what does it say? So shall it be at the end of the world, the angels shall come forth and sever. It goes further than the men who are preaching. It has God’s ministry of angels getting into it. It will sever the wicked from among the just. What will happen to those who are severed? Woe unto thee Choizan, Woe unto thee Bethsaida, Woe unto thee Capernaum. It will be more tolerable for Sodom in the day of judgment than for you. Otherwise there are different levels of punishment. To me, the worst sin that men can do in their body is to live a Sodomite life, because you sin against your own body. But there is something worse than that. That is what He is said. It will be more tolerable for them than for the ones who rejected him. Why did He say that? Because they rejected truth. It will be more tolerable for this evil age than it will be for those that have walked off from truth. My! I am not saying anything different. They were better off never to have known it than to have known it and walked away from it. Really, I hate to read the next verse, because you do feel for people. But I will read it. “And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” It is better to have never known truth, and just be an old worldly person, than it is to know truth and walk away. Someone may ask: “Do you not have feelings?” Yes we do, but He said take up your cross, if you do not take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of me. “Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.” They did not understand. No, they did not understand because it was not given to them to understand. They had to have something to relate to, which they had not related to yet. Because there is a relation, there is a relationship with the spirit in you and with Jesus Christ. They did not have that. In their minds they thought they understood. They were not lying. But they did not, they could not relate to it. “Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder.” (Bro. Jackson went over that and explained that man was William Branham. Every scribe that is instructed: he is taking instruction. We have had instruction. When I was at the Branham Tabernacle everything was hush-hush. If you had a child, which we did, that turned around in the seat looking back to the nursery: look out. I had already gone to the nursery with my younger son Mark, because he was disturbing people. He had moved, he might have wiggled his ear. My older son Steve turned around in his seat, he was on his knees in the seat, not saying anything, looking back to the nursery where we were at. Then one of the deacons came and said, he is disturbing, you have to take him out. They would turn the water fountain off during church service, threaten to close the bathroom doors to punish people. That was evil. I remember Mark crying for water. Here you are, standing with sweat running down you. It was summer, there was no air conditioner. They will have to pay for those things. Bro. William Branham never supported that kind of thing. Those deacons did it. There is a pay day coming. That is a song, there is a pay day coming.
My purpose is in this message is to say, let us get ready to receive a reward. Everybody’s reward is not going to be the same. It is what you are capable of. Matthew 24, He tells you there, he that received five talents, what did it say? He gained five, be thou over ten cities. He that had two talents and gained another two, what did it say? Be thou over four cities. He is doubling it every time. Every thing we do is going to be doubled to us. I am saying this, as I read this morning, he that receiveth a prophet, receives a prophet’s reward. Let me say, the ministry that God has placed among us tonight, whatever they receive, the ones who are following after them, is going to receive an amount. It is according to what God has given us to share. As in Matthew 24, as He has given us a talent to share, it is according to how it is received, what the reward is going to be. I said this morning, and I say tonight, your reward will not depend on what you say as far as even testifying. I remember an older sister who died several years ago, Sis. Erb. She had nothing in this life, but she was not a beggar. She sat back there and listened. She received it. She is not going to lose her reward. I know Sis. Eleanor in her last few times she was able to come here, she was afraid somebody would think something about her because she could not come to every service. She said, “But I watch you on the internet.” She will not lose her reward. I was thinking today about Bro. Oscar and Sis. Beulah Landmark, how they have held a gathering together, it has taken them both. Sis. Beulah, will not lose her reward. We never know what God’s will is for us. “Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heave is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” This is our problem tonight with a lot of people. It is because we have gone beyond what came before. We have gone beyond the ministry of ten and twelve years ago. If Bro. Jackson was here tonight, he would say, “Go on.” I believe that. Because he believed in a five-fold ministry.
Let us go to Matthew 5. Jesus had just come back out of the wilderness. In the 4th chapter He was in the wilderness. He came back and here is gathered a multitude. He did not necessarily know all the future, because He said He did as the Father showed him. He knew He was going to die. He said, for this purpose I came into the world. But He said, I only do those things the Father shows me. He did not crowd His mind, it was a daily thing with Him taking His cross, just as it is with you. He knew what the Father showed Him. “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” He is not saying poor people, He means lowly in spirit. That poor person, He is not talking about that. He is saying, poor in spirit. In other words, they are submitted unto Him. “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: (He is talking about the Millennium, blessed are the meek…) for they shall inherit the earth.” This is our inheritance. It does not look like much now, but wait. Give it a hundred or two hundred years, and the whole thing behind will be forgotten about. I am going to read something in a minute, if I have time, from Malachi. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. (See God in Christ) Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” See what is He getting at? There is another kingdom, a kingdom of heaven that is coming down. It is our inheritance, Revelation 21. I will never get through with this message. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: (Maybe you did not know that in the 5th chapter of Matthew that He was talking about the Millennium. We will receive our reward before the Millennium comes. The Bride of Jesus Christ will receive her reward. Do you believe we are being instructed now? Rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven…) for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth: (What does salt do? It is a preservative, and it gives flavor. God is waiting on His little Bride, getting us ready for the world to come, and this is what is holding the whole thing together because we are salt, preservers.) but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under the foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”
I will go to Malachi now, chapter 4. “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; (This is the beginning of the Millennium.) and all the proud, (Pride is not just because somebody has something, pride is because they do not receive the word of God. They are too proud to see they need God.) yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: (My!) and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” It will get rid of spirits. They will not replenish the earth. They have neither root nor branch. I have locusts trees, you cannot tell where they are going to come from. You can cut a locust tree down and out so far, because it has a root that reaches out there, it comes up again. Every time you mow, there it is. If you have locust trees, you know what I am talking about. It said that there shall be left neither root nor branch. Why? God is not going to allow that kind of thing when the Millennium comes. “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; (Did you ever think about that word, the Sun of righteousness, S-U-N. What is he talking about? He is talking about a new day. He is going to rise with healing in His wings…) and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” He is talking about the Jewish nation. That little calf has a lot of life in it. What is left here is going to have a lot of life in it. God is going to correct the Gentiles, you see that in the last chapter of Zechariah. Some may say, that is too hard. Let me go to Malachi 3:16. “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. (See what was in their hearts?) And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, (When?) in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” Now I want to read that Malachi 4:2 again. “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” I have gone through Matthew 13, the verses there where it is talking about severing the wicked from among the just. Here he is talking about the day that will come, that is in the future, that is when the tribulation is over. When the tribulation is over, God is going to set this thing on fire. He said all the wicked shall be the ashes under the sole of your feet. It is not something to rejoice about, but it is something to prepare us. God is saying to us, get ready, give your life, give all you have because there is a reward waiting, the reward of a crown of righteousness, that every one that serves Him will receive. Do not buck against the word of God. I believe it is being made very plain in this hour that we are living in, what He is expecting of us to follow him as dear children of God.