Preached July 22 – August 5, 2018
Bro. Allen ended the last edition looking at Isaiah 60. He broke off from his topic of Hell is Not Eternal to take time to look at New Jerusalem. We are picking up where he left off.
I was thinking about the Eternal Age and the things that we know about it. We know that the Bride will never relinquish all her authority. Bro. Jackson taught after the thousand-year millennium is over and the eternal age begins, Jesus will become our elder brother and things will revert to what it should have been in the Garden of Eden, had sin not entered in. Christ will deliver up the kingdom to God, and God will rule throughout that Eternal Age.
Animals in the Eternal Age
I was asked a question: will man eat flesh in the Eternal Age? If man does not eat meat, the world will be overrun by animals! It was not necessarily intended that man would eat animals at the beginning whenever man was placed in the garden, because there were not many animals here at that time. Even after the flood there was not very many animals, just what Noah took on the ark. They did kill animals for sacrifice, as Abel and Noah did, but there will not be no need for sacrifices in the Eternal Age. But the natural people are still going to need something to eat. They will not be killing for pleasure, killing animals just to see them die. But God has placed the fish and certain animals here for man to eat. I believe this will go right on into the Eternal Age. Because animals will still die. Animals do not have eternal life. No matter how much you love that little pet of yours, he does not have eternal life. God breathed into the nostrils of man in the beginning, and he became a living soul. The animal kingdom is not living souls in the way that mankind is. Animals are a part of God’s creation that He put here, as He talked to Adam, to be a help to him. We know that the animal kingdom has been a great help unto man, even back in the days when animals were used for labor instead of machines. The animals were a help to mankind, more so then they are right now. But no killing will be done for pleasure, because everything is going to be in a rightful place as that time comes. You can question that if you want to, that is alright with me. But where are all the animals going to be in the eternal age? And how will they be kept from overpopulating the earth? God is not going to wipe them out, but He is going to keep them in numbers. As I said before, in the Eternal Age there will still be children born, but it will be limited. There has been disagreement with me over that. It will not be births in large numbers like there are now. Because when God set mankind here, he was to reproduce himself like the animal kingdom does. It was just to happen at certain times though, like whenever the male and female animals come together. He made them to be husband and wife at the beginning, therefore they were to be helpmates one to another. The man and the woman were to be helpmates one to another, because God put a relationship there that He did not put in the animal kingdom. Of course, anybody can question what I am saying, but I have to look at it in the natural way, as there will be natural people when you go into the Eternal Age. But God’s presence will fill the earth as the water fills the sea. His presence is going to be here in the way it was for Adam and Eve before they fell. Because He told them, the day you eat thereof, ye will surely die. Which became a curse. God will take the curses from the earth. There will be no more curse with man and woman in that Eternal Age. The Bride of Jesus Christ is still going to have some type of rulership in the Eternal Age. Because the presence of God upon the Bride. They will not be called the Bride anymore in the Eternal Age, but they will be kinfolks unto the Lord Jesus Christ through the new birth they have had with Him being the head here on this earth, then beyond. I could dwell more on that, but I will not.
I want to go back to Revelation 21. This goes along with Isaiah 60. We have other chapters in Isaiah that tell about the Eternal Age, like chapters 65 and 66, as well as in other places. The Jewish people will have a part in that Eternal Age, they will have a part because they were Jehovah’s wife at that time. He will bring them back to a portion of that, just as He will to the Bride of Christ, which will have a portion of the rulership, because God has set that up to be the fact. Jesus is our elder brother in the Eternal Age, and He is still going to have possession of different things that God has prepared for Him, as well as the people that have served under Him throughout the church ages. The early church had a special relationship with God, whenever they received the Holy Ghost. That was something very special that had never happened before. Whenever Jesus came, when He bled and died and rose again, after He went to heaven, He sent back the Holy Ghost. He had told them, wait. For ten days they waited in Jerusalem, not knowing exactly what to expect. He said to them while He was still here on earth, the wind blows where it listeth, you cannot tell where it came from. When the Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, they did not know what to think. They did not know what was to happen, but they were waiting for something to happen. They did not know it was going to change them like it did, because they were in the upper room in fear. Then the Holy Spirit took all that fear away. You are going to have things that are going to puzzle you, that are going to bother you, but you will not have to live in fear, because He is our peace, as the Bible says. We thank the Lord for that.
Jews In New Jerusalem
Let us read Revelation 2:21. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” He is seeing the future. It is after the Bride was caught up into that new heaven. As soon as they are caught up, then they go to the wedding supper, which will be a time of instructions, concerning rulership, how things are to be done. It tells you in the 3rd chapter, let him that hath an ear to hear, let him open the door, I will come in and sup with him, and he with me. That is talking about the Holy Ghost that He would give. Then when the Bride leaves this earth, she is going to receive her reward while the week of Daniel is going on in the earth. Then during the millennium, she will rule and reign. Then in the Eternal Age, she is going to be a part of the kingdom, but not to the same extent of rulership as in the Millennium. Because God’s presence will fill the earth as the water that covers the sea during the time of the Millennium, then in the Eternal Age. God’s presence will dwell with men. He said before you ask, before you seek, He will answer. That is what is going to happen. Because God is going to be in the thinking of mankind, as it was with Jesus. Because the Bride is the wife of Jesus Christ, she will have, in one sense of the word, equal footing, but she will not be over the Bridegroom. He is still the head of the family. As it says in the 5th chapter of Ephesians, the husband is the head of the wife, so is Christ the head of the church, head of the Bride. So, He is going to be the head of the Bride all the way through the Millennium, until the great white throne judgment comes. John said, I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. We will go back to Revelation 19:7, which has been quoted very much. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come.” See? He brings it out, the marriage of the Lamb. Jesus will still be that representative of the Lamb sacrifice through the Millennium unto the Jewish nation, and that is where I want to bring in the 144,000 also. “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Over and over, the spirit of God speaking unto John. Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.) And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” So, he is speaking to someone that has been a prophet here on this earth. He is told when he bows down to worship, I am your fellow servant, which would be a Jewish servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus, worship god, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Go back to Revelation 21:9. “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, (I went over this in the last edition. That angel is one of the vial angels that comes to John, which to me would represent the seventh vial angel, because he is the one that carries out God’s judgment upon the earth at the end of the tribulation period.) and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” See? He is still saying the Lamb, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. “And he carried me away in the spirit (See? This angel that is talking to John here, carries him away in the spirit. His spirit leaves his body and goes into a deep relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, as he is shown this. Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. What is he looking at? He is looking upon himself. He does not know it because he is still in the natural, but he is going to be looking on himself because he is a part of the Bridegroom’s wife. He carried me away in the spirit….) to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, (which is God’s people. What is it saying here, a high mountain? It is above everything else, that is what makes it the high mountain. Their rulership in the Millennium is over everything. He carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, he is looking on his own dwelling place, his own existence. And showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem…) descending out of heaven from God.” Bro. Branham, when his wife and daughter died, he began to pray. He became so lonely to where he did not want to live any longer. He realized it was his fault, that is what he said, his fault that this happened to him, because he said, “I had listened to my mother-in-law.” Time went on for quite awhile and he had an experience. He sees himself entering this place, this city, where he first sees his daughter. He sees his little dog, his horse, then he is told his wife is waiting on him. Is this the real picture of the new Jerusalem? This was something given to Bro. Branham to comfort him, but it was not a real picture of the city, because he seen his rocking chair and all of that. No, it is going to be better than that. It is going to be much better than that. But this eased Bro. Branham’s mind. But the picture is here in Revelation, this is your picture, the city coming down from God out of heaven. Why would it come out of heaven? Because she is there. John is looking at something he will be part of whenever this Bride comes back out of heaven, sent by God back to the earth. “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” He is looking into the future. This picture is the best way the splendor of it all can be related. God did not give him something over his head. He gave him something to relate to. That is why you see the golden streets and all that, it is because he is seeing something that he can relate to. Just like the prophets in the old testament, whenever they saw things, God gave them something relatable to look at. “And had a wall great and high, (What does a wall do? We will see. A wall has two sides to it. This presents a picture of the Jews and the Gentiles being brought together. That is why I mention the 144,000 in this, because the wall is a hundred and forty-four thousand cubits. And had a wall great and high…) and twelve gates, (The twelve gates represent the twelve tribes of Israel, which are going to have authority. It is not the same authority as the Bride. They are going to be the gates. They are not necessarily going to make up that part of the city that is foursquare. They are going to be the gates to enter the city. You have the wall here, which I want to get into in a minute.) and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. On the east were three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.” See? He is mentioning each one of these gates that would be in the wall. “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, (Who are the twelve foundations? The apostles. Most of the Jews missed Christ when He was here. There were just a few that did receive Him. Just a few thousand Jews really received the message. The rest of the Jews hated it. They said these men are drunk with new wine. So, they hated what they were seeing happen. They hated when the Holy Ghost entered the saints in the upper room. They had it inside, which the ones who stayed under the Law could never have. They could never receive that Holy Ghost in them when they remained under the law. The prophets were moved by the Holy Ghost, but they did not have the Holy Ghost within them. They spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. These gates represent Jews who have come to the knowledge of Christ. Because they recognize Him. You have the twelve gates and the wall of the city had twelve foundations.) and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” See? It keeps mentioning the Lamb here, because it is important. The wall of the city had twelve foundations. “And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.” He does not give a measurement of the gates, but he gives a measurement of the wall, and he gives the measurement of the city. They are both represented there, the wall and the city, but the gate’s measurement is not listed. The wall of the city had twelve foundations and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. See? This is based on the apostles who were in the upper room and received the Holy Ghost. The base of it is what God did through those early apostles, to bring salvation to the Jews and to bring salvation to the Gentiles. They were the starters of this. Jesus gave them instructions, but they were not carrying them out. Even though they had the Holy Ghost, the instructions were not being carried out. What did He tell them? Go first to Jerusalem, go from there to Samaria, then to the uttermost parts of the earth. But they stayed in Jerusalem. God had to put pressure on them. They were finally scattered out when God allowed James to be killed. At that time, we find that Philip goes to Samaria. Next they stoned Stephen and killed him, and from there they are pushed out again into the direction He said, first to Jerusalem, then Samaria, then to the uttermost parts of the earth. Peter, he was still reluctant, he did not want anything to do with the Gentiles. He was reluctant, so God gave him a vision of a sheet. The sheet was let down by the four corners unto the earth, and on there were all kinds of wild animals that the Jews were not permitted to eat. But Jesus told him there, “Arise Peter, kill and eat.” He began to complain saying, “Nothing unclean has ever entered into my lips.” God had to show him three times. Three men were going to come to him, and when they did, he went with them and the first Gentiles received salvation. See? This is the way the gospel was pushed out through force. You just about have to force a person to do what they are supposed to do. All of us are kind of reluctant to go where we are not familiar. This is the way it was with the Jews, because the Gentiles had a stigma. God was pushing that early church out in order to get the message going in the direction He wanted it to. So, we see the Jewish Christians represented in walls, and the foundations, and the gates of the city. “And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.” He is talking about the city. That is what we are looking at here. The length, the breadth, and the height of it are all equal. This is Bride people. A city is made up of people, otherwise it is not a city. There must people for it to be a city. He measured the city twelve thousand furlongs, which would be around fifteen hundred miles. The length and the breadth and height of it are equal.
A Wall Has Two Sides
“And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, (This was covered this in the last edition. To me, this is talking about the 144,000. I said they would make up the wall of the city. Why? What did I say then? I said a wall has two sides to it. We see in Revelation 14 the 144,000 have received the Holy Ghost. They have listened to the prophets for three and one half years, and received the spirit during that time. Then their ministry began as the two prophets leave the scene. Whenever Jesus chose His disciples, what did He do? He chose those that started out under John the Baptist. Scripture tells you that. Whenever they are going to choose another one after the death of Judas, what did they do? They go and get somebody that goes back to John the Baptist again. Because that had been an education to them. Maybe education is a cheap word to use, but the 144,000 not only receive the Holy Ghost, but they are also educated by two prophets to know what message to take and preach during that dark period of time. You have the two prophets in the first half of the Week of Daniel, you have the 144,000 the second half. Now why did I say a wall that has two sides? Because now the 144,000 see both sides. They see what the law and animal sacrifice was for and they are able to bring it over until they receive the fulfillment of the law and the Holy Ghost on the other side. So they have received the knowledge of the Jesu Christ and not only that, they have received the Holy Ghost. As it says here in the 14th chapter, “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” See? Whenever they receive this, they are still on Mt. Zion, they are still in Jerusalem. This is where the message came forth. It comes from Jerusalem from those two prophets. That is where their entire ministry is. Why? It is to affect Jewish people. Then after that is over, then what do they do? We will see here. “And I heard a voice from heaven,” (Now the settings moves from Mount Zion to heaven) …as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” In other words, they have crossed over. The two prophet’s message is not just prophesied to Israel. It is prophesied to those Jews, telling them what to do, telling them were to go. Because they do not stay in Israel, they leave. Their ministry is to the Jews that have left Jerusalem, and to the Gentiles and to the foolish virgins, and to those Jews that are killed in that period of time. They sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders. No man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand which were redeemed from the earth. They are the only ones that have that message, that is the reason nobody else can sing that song, only the 144,000. It is in harmony; it is in harmony with God. That is the reason it is sung before the throne; it is in harmony with God. They sing that song when their time on earth is over, because they are singing it before the throne. But then it goes ahead, “These are they which were not defiled with women; (Denominations. Fourteen hundred Jews went to the temple mount today. Some took tools to start building the temple, but they were arrested. They keep banging and banging and banging, you cannot keep those Jews down. They are going to keep working, keep working, and keep working. One of these days something is going to happen, and the situation will explode. Then all these men who said the temple will be built next to the mosque, what will they say then? Where does their revelation go to? Let them believe that. You cannot teach them anything because they have had all kinds of visions, and they trust that more than bible. These are they which were not defiled with women…) for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth.” See? These are following the Lamb now. They started out under the law and animal sacrifice, and now they are following the lamb. That is why I said there are two sides to a wall. They see both sides of it. They came to an understanding which was always hard for the Jews to understand. God used Paul, who was born in Tarsus among the Gentiles. He was born outside of Israel, even though he was a Jew. He knew how the Gentiles lived, and he was acquainted with their customs and lifestyle. That is why he could preach what he did. He looked back into the 9th chapter of Genesis where God said all animals were good for food. That was before the law. But when the law came, God was teaching something to Israel, so he barred them from eating certain animals, but Paul said all animals are good for food. But let us go on here.
Message of the 144,000
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel (which is their message. It is not a message salvation through a new birth, because by the time they start their message, everything is already sealed. There is no one else that has that opportunity to receive the Holy Ghost, because the 144,000 are the last ones to receive it. They receive it under the two prophets’ message. The two prophets will receive the Holy Ghost, if they do not already have it by then. But what the two prophets are going to do, they are going to get an understanding of who Jesus really was. As they do, they are going to teach that unto this 144,000 as well as the woman of Revelation 12, which will go into her place. But these have a ministry to fulfill. This is what he is talking about. I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel…) to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, (See where they are scattered?) and kindred, and tongue, and people.” Where did they get that message from? They get it from the 11th chapter. Let me go back there, Revelation 10:8. “And the voice which I heard (This does not apply to the Bride, because Christ is standing on the earth and the sea, which includes the whole perimeter of the earth and the sea. The voice which I heard….) from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.” Why is this little book still open? It is still open to these two prophets, and they will give a message to the 144,000. Do you see that? This is worldwide, the sea and the land: worldwide. “And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, (This will have to be televised because they are going to speak their messages in Jerusalem, the two prophets.) and nations, and tongues, and kings.” Which relates back to the 14th chapter. The two prophets carry a message that goes to the 144,000, and the 144,000 will take it to the ends of the earth. We will go back to the 14th chapter. “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue and people.” Does that not sound like the last part of chapter 10? “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, (See? It is not a message of baptism of the Holy Ghost. It is a warning to the world to stay away from the system of Antichrist.) and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” This message is a warning to the different races of people to avoid the mark of the beast, stay away from it, do not join that system. Their message goes deeper than that because they will tell the punishment that will come on those who side with the Antichrist. It is their testimony that helps the foolish virgins and the Jewish remnant know what to do in that hour. Because they need an anecdote. They need something inside them to move them on in the right direction. That 144,000 have the message. You see how close it is to the end here as they go on. “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” See? This is getting close to the end. As you go on, you are reading the message these 144,000 are preaching. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” Which is at the end of the Millennium. “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: (The patience in that dark hour of time of tribulation. This is their patience, because they have been given a message: hold on. Hold on a little longer, do not give in to this thing. Here is the patience of the saints…) here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” See? I have been telling you the wall has two sides to it: the testimony of Jesus and the commandments of God. The commandments of God which will be to that Jewish group of people that have to go through the tribulation time. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: (See? After the message has come the angel steps out and says, Blessed is he. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth. He is talking about the rest of the tribulation time, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from hereafter, which will finish out the Millennium.) Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; (Death is going to be welcomed, just like it was in Fox Book of Martyrs. People welcomed death. They saw their brethren die. While I was going to school in the Methodist Church, I remember reading some things about this in Encyclopedia Britannica. It was not a gospel book, but it said the blood of the saints is the seed of the church. It is a great testimony when people are willing to sacrifice their life for the truth. Certain people were put in arenas to die. Then others came as spectators to watch this great thing and be amused by it. But whenever it came, whenever they saw the Christians die without screaming and hollering, then it encouraged them to step into the arena themselves. So, they become part of the spectacle. That is people that are going to make up the great multitude, part of them. Yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours….) and their works do follow them.”
Go back to Revelation 21. We have seen the city and measured the wall, a hundred forty and four cubits. “And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” Why would it be pure gold? Gold is something that is tried in the fire. Why would it be as pure glass? That is the purity of the Bride of Christ when she leaves here. That is her purity, as clear glass. Even the street of it is pure glass. Then he goes to the foundations of the city, which you can read. It tells you there in the 21st verse, “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: (He has mentioned this twice. He has mentioned the city twice.) every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” The street of the city, not streets. Street is a bi-way or a highway which you travel on. This is where the spirit of God dwells, right in the city, as we look at that. “And I saw no temple therein: (There is no need of a temple. Why? Why the temple in Jerusalem? Because that represents something for the Jews. But there is no need for a physical temple in this city, because this is not a physical city. It is a preview, a symbol of what is expected in His church, which is His Bride. She is dressed in pure and white linen, which is righteousness, clear street, clear city. You are seeing here the beauty that God has bestowed upon the Bride of Jesus Christ. I saw no temple therein….) for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” See? Why have a temple there, when you have the real thing? We are the temple of God, filled with the spirit of God, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. We see that there. “And the city had no need of the sun, (I read that from chapter 60 in the last message.) neither of the moon, (You are going to see perfectly night and day, it will make no difference. We have night and day now because a person needs a little sleep, he cannot work all the time. Neither of the moon…) to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” That is the glory of God in the church. “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: (The nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of that city, the light of the Bride, the dwelling place of the Bride.) and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” The Bride is will direct the will of God throughout the earth. We will be given a perfect language, the earth will. The Bride will as soon as she is resurrected and caught up to be with the Lord. Us hillbillies will be talking different, you city people will be talking different too. People are always wondering, what language will it be? They would be better off to be wondering if they are ready or not. “And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: (That is the twelve gates.) for there shall be no night there.” As far as the gates are concerned, it is just something to represent something. It represents the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. “And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
Vision of Bro. Jim Barber
Bro. Allen asked Bro. Jim Barber to share an experience he had to the church before he continued his message. This is his testimony.
Bro. Jim Barber: I was not expecting to share this, so pray for me. I hope it blesses your heart, it has blessed mine. Over the last several months I have had three visions. They were all almost exactly alike. I went to prayer before going to bed. I have my special place to pray. I am sure everyone does. I got down on my knees. I was praying, in front of me I looked and saw this great wall. The wall itself was dark and on each side it was dark below the wall, but up through the middle of it was a path of gold. To me it looked like cobblestones, it could have been whatever they made the olden roads out of, but I know it was made of gold. It led up to this gate. At the gate, which was wrought iron, gold wrought iron, and the light that was coming from behind it through the gate was pure gold, going above the wall. It was like something behind that wall was bright, shining, and gave off a beautiful aura. I looked, I did not quite know exactly what it was leading to, but the more I looked, I saw a figure standing in the gate. This figure was just standing there, in all white, but with a white glow around Him. I know who it was, I could tell, I couldn’t see the features, but I could see enough to know it was Christ. It was very hard to sit still at that point. The one thing I noticed the most about Him was He was looking down the road. This did not just show me, I never saw myself in it, but He was standing there with His arms out like this, like bidding me to come on. I woke up from that. A few months later I had exactly the same vision, whatever you would call it. I began to wonder, should I say something to somebody about this, because it was exactly alike. I procrastinated again. A few months later, I had the same vision again, but this time in the last one, the figure started moving toward me, then I woke up. I told this to Bro. Allen a week or so ago. I am not one to get up here and express things like this. I am not a talker to a congregation. I am not called for that. But he said something when I told it to him. I drew a sketch for him, so he would get a better understanding of what it was. He said something that caught me, he said, that was not for just for me basically, that was for the entire Bride. He was welcoming us home. I thank Him, because He has done so much for me over the years. Some know everything that I have been through, but I have been blessed to sit under which I consider the Bride ministry. He has given me a good wife, and I have been blessed to have you for brothers and sisters. You are precious to me and I love you, but I thank God for all things. He brought me this way, and I sometimes wonder, where would I be now without Him. It is not something I want to think about. But I give Him all the praise and glory. Thank you.
Bro. James Allen: I am grateful to hear that. It is something to edify the saints of God. I always want to do that when something comes that I feel is a blessing to God’s people. Just to know that He is that close, He is on the move now toward His people, to give them the things that are needed and the things that many have desired. He is there to do so. Through time Bro. Jim has had different visitations like this, this is not the first time. But I know my brother is a shy person to just get up and say something on his own. So, I prodded him to do so and he did. Praise the Lord for that. Thank you Bro. Jim.
The Tree of Life in Eden
I have some different scriptures I want to go over next. You might say, I have heard these before. How do you know you have? We get to where we think we have heard everything, then there is something more. I will start with the 7th verse. This is the very beginning of mankind. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” What is this saying here? Does he have the Holy Ghost? No. He is a natural man. How do we know that? We are going to find out. He is given life with freedom that he can choose. What did the verse say? The Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed in his nostrils the breath of life. Just like every little baby when it is born, it takes its first breath. That is the life he is living on his own. Adam was a created being; he was not just a mold. But he just was not breathing. All his faculties were ready to work. The blood was there, everything else was there because God did not do that when He gave him breath. He gave it to him before he had breath. The Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground. He formed him. When you form something, you have made the thing to into a certain shape, but not having life in it. Whenever he was formed, he did not have life in him, but he received that life when God breathed in his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. He formed, he is made, he is breathing, he has choices now. You see the choices that are made. “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. (The man whom He had formed.) And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Now we have another thing here. There is a tree that comes into focus in the midst of the garden, which would be in the location where Adam is and where Eve is to be. God put it in the midst of the garden, a tree, because it is a tree of choices. It is not a tree of vegetation. There God put the man whom He had formed, and out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight. These trees of vegetation where already there. There were no thorns, no thistles, these are curses. In Revelation 21 it talks about all the curses being gone. You can take that very deep, which would get into things you could not discuss. “The tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” The tree of life tree was what Adam would have received had he not sinned. Adam would still be a natural man just like natural people will be in the Eternal Age. Because there will be people there. What for? To dress the ground and take care of God’s earth that He has formed man for. Because the earth was made for man. As you look through the scriptures you find that. The tree of life was there and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He has a choice now. The choice is the tree of life or the choice is the tree of good and evil. Why would it call it good? Because there are things good from the tree of knowledge, but it is a tree of knowledge of good and evil. The evil part is what man has taken hold of in the days we are living in. There are also good things which has been enjoyed by mankind throughout the ages of time. But then you have the tree of life which was never partaken of. Because of sin, God blocked man from it. “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.” It goes ahead to name them but I will go on down to the 15th verse. “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” That is exactly what will happen when the Eternal Age comes. Those that live through the Millennium will be given longevity of life. When you go into the Eternal Age there is no more death, because death is a curse. The Bible says there will be no more curse. That is what I am getting to. “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat.” See? Every tree of the garden, so he is given an opportunity for the tree of life. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” See? God promised him a help mate, but then He created the animal kingdom first. Because he is going to name all the animals. God is keeping him busy, because of promising him a help mate, then he sees the animals, all of them have their help mates, but he himself is getting lonely. I will read more here. “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” So you see the results here of sin, what it can do unto a human being.
The Testing and Fall of Man
Now I want to go to the 3rd chapter. “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, (See? Right off you see the devil working. Bro. Kevin said there are two spirits in the world. But there is another spirit, Bro. Kevin, which is the spirit of man, which is separate from the other two. I am not trying to disagree with Bro. Kevin, but there is a spirit in man that has a will of its own. It can choose for evil, even if there is no temptation from Satan. We will see that in those who are born during the Millennium, because the devil is chained, he is bound. But men still do what is wrong because of that fallen nature in them, because they have not received their redemption. Those that are enter the Millennium will be people that have gone through the trial first as sheep people. They go through that trial first as sheep people and they make it into the Millennium. Then your goat people do not make it into the Millennium. But then the sheep people have children which will have their trial in the Millennium. They are going to have to have their trials too. It all comes out at the end of the Millennium after the thousand years is over, the devil is loosed for a little season. He is not loosed during the thousand years, but it is after the thousand years that he is loosed for a little season. In the Millennium many people are born, and they have the opportunity to live forever, just as Adam did. But then they squander their opportunity. Then when it comes to judgment, all the people who are still living on the earth will go on into the Eternal Age without dying. It says there will be old people. Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman….) “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden.” See? He is bargaining with her. God had not spoken this to her, but it was spoken to Adam. So, she has learned this from Adam. But the fall had not taken place yet. And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” I do not know how old Eve is. Adam is possibly a hundred years old, because God has given him time to live. But Eve is certainly younger than Adam. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. So she is coming into this time of her life, without going into any more detail. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” See the reasoning the devil puts before a person. He makes it look good. He makes it look good, just like all these Hollywood actresses thought it sounded like a good deal. But now they are telling on their producers and so on, and they have been a part of this for years. Eve wants wisdom to be as God, because the devil has painted a pretty picture through the serpent. The devil has used the serpent’s faculties in order to talk to her through the spirit of the devil. She listens to what he has to say. This is what started sin in the beginning, it was compromise. God cannot stand compromise. This is what happens. “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, (True, but he is not saying what they are going to be opened to. The serpent does not really have any feeling here of what is going to happen to him. Because he is an animal, the devil is just using him in order to fulfill his will. The devil will work against us in one way or another in order to get us to do something that we should not do. So that is why resistance is so important, resist the devil. He cannot stay around resistance. How can you resist him? You do it in the name of Jesus Christ, you cannot do it on your own. He is a defeated foe in the name of Jesus Christ, because he cannot stand the blood of Jesus Christ. God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened….) and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Why would she want to know evil? He is quoting the word of God back to her, because God said it is the tree of good and evil. So we look at that. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, (He is selling her a bill of goods.) she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” It will not work, there is no way we can cover our sin ourselves, only the blood of Jesus Christ can do that. “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” The deed has already been done. The devil has already done his work and has left, but he has left them alone to face the problem they have. That is the way it is with a person that is wanting to do right and they find themselves in the wrong. Then there is a guilty feeling that comes upon them to let them know there is something wrong. They did the only thing God told them not to do. And they hide because they feel guilty. This was the only thing that they were demanded not to do. The tree of life was there, which would have made every child a child of the Holy Ghost. That is what the tree of life is here, it is the spirit of God. Adam and Eve could have taken of it and received the Holy Ghost. Because that is what the tree of life is. The other one is the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Had they never taken of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then there would never have been any evil in the world because evil is a curse. So what happened? Adam missed what God had promised because of his failure. Adam chose death over life. Then they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, this is when God visited them every day. The time of their receiving the tree of life was on hand, but they failed because they had done received of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This tree of life was the next thing for them. Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” God knew where he was. He wanted an answer. He wants them to answer, even though he already knows the answer. He wants them to admit what they have done, because there are some sentences that are going to be handed out. Forgiveness begins with confessing our sin. “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? (It was his conscience, that is what caused him to realize it.) Hast thou eaten of the tree, (God is asking him questions that He knows the answer to, but He wants an answer. Just like it is with us, at times, God wants an answer. He does not want it to be a one-way talk. He is going to question us. We have the answer, if we are listening to Him. Adam had the answer, because he said, “I was naked.” Before this they did know what naked was. They did not know anything but the voice of God. It may have been several years that God has been visiting them in the cool of the day, when the evening sacrifice was to be offered. God met with them and they met with God. They had a conversation with God. Just like we can talk to Him and He will talk to us. He will let us know what He expects and how our lives are to be ruled by the spirit of God. I am not talking about ruling by man, because when you talk about ruling by man, especially so-called preachers. They will try to put something over on you. Hast thou eat of the tree….) whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, (This is the first time God has spoken to the woman. He met them in the cool of the day, but it was Adam that He spoke to, because Adam is a part of the original creation. Eve came along later.) What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” They passed it on down to where it really came from. God is passing judgment upon each one of them. “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, (See? Adam did what he did to save his wife. Otherwise he would have been left alone. Because God said, in the day ye eat thereof, ye shall surely die. But it could not work that way because man had a conscience now. Now he needed a Saviour. So God took away his access to the tree of life. Unto Adam he said, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife…) and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; (See? He is passing the curse off. Cursed is the ground for thy sake….) in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns and thistles (See? These are curses that God put upon the ground that are still here today. Thorns and thistles….) shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat to thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” What is He telling them here? He said, out of the ground your body was taken, then you will go back into the dust of the ground. This is the second time that death is mentioned unto them. This time God says it is going to happen to them. Now I want to go to Genesis 4:25. “And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began to call upon the name of the Lord.” They missed something. Here you are, two hundred and thirty-five years later, whenever man finally began to call upon the name of the Lord. He has waited a long time. Sin was passed down from generation to generation, even though the sons of God and the daughters of men were not together yet. They were still offering their sacrifices. They still were doing the things that were right in the sight of God.
The Tree of Life in New Jerusalem
So I want to go from there to the book of Revelation. There we saw the Bride of Jesus Christ had come back to earth. Revelation 21:22, “And I saw no temple therein: (See? There is a temple in Jerusalem. The temple will be there all through the Millennium, but here it says, and I saw no temple therein….) for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” Temple worship will not be necessary in that time because God’s people will be spread throughout this earth. But His presence will be there to speak to each one. God’s presence is going to be there to direct them. They will be directed in how to judge and how to be rulers in their kingship. That is the Bride of Jesus Christ. That is what Bro. Jim was talking about. There is a time coming in the Millennium, that Jesus Christ’s Bride will not need a place to worship, because wherever they are, God’s presence is going to be with them. It might be bold for me to say that, but wherever the Lord is, there His people are too. “And the city had no need of the sun, (See? The city is the Bride. The temple had no need of the sun, because it had already said there would be no temple there, for the Lord God and the Lamb are the temple of it. The city had no need of the sun….) neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: (The nations that are saved shall be walking under leadership of the Bride people during the Millennium. I hope you understand that, I hope I am making it plain enough.) and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” Into the shadows of it. The Bride is overseer of the whole planet earth during that time. “And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.” Or under the canopy of the Bride people, that is what it is speaking about, into it. They are not going to be with the Bride, but the Bride is going to be over them. “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” That is the only ones that will be there in that time, the ones in the Lamb’s book of life, which are Bride people. “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, (That has to do with the Holy Ghost.) clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Our whole life in that time will come from God and His Lamb, which is Christ. “And in the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, (That is where we were at in Genesis, the tree of life is back in focus. What is he saying? The tree of life is in that Bride people, which is the spirit of God. So it is just the same thing as God shining His light right there on every Bride person. It is His spirit that will be just like it was with Jesus. Every one that is in that Bride family will have the knowledge of God, how to rule and reign, because it said in the Revelation 3:21-22, that they will rule and reign with Christ. There was the tree of life….) which bare twelve manner of fruits, (Bro. Jackson went over that. He said we have the nine spiritual fruits now, but he said, “I do not know what they are, but there are going to be three more added.” It is going to be in the Bride. All of this is shed around the nations, all of this is shed around the earth. The temple of God, and the Lamb, is inside of people. They are going to have perfect knowledge of everything, just like Jesus. Why? Because they are the Bride of Christ. Which bare twelve manner of fruits….) and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” The leaves, what is he saying? Leaves fall. The presence of God is going to fall upon every nation. But it is that Bride rulership. “And there shall be no more curse: (Everything that is a curse will be done away with except the serpent. Because he will eat dust, as it says, all the days of his life.) but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.” Servants, there you go down the ladder. The Bride people are not servants, they are kings and priests. It is the lower of level of people during that time that will serve Him. They are going to have their place. It is going to be a good place, but look what they have to go through to get there. “And they shall see his face; (It is talking about the face of the Lamb here, but the thing about it is, they are going to see that presence of God, that light. Because God is light. They are going to see that light that is Christ. They shall see his face…) and his name shall be in their foreheads.” His name shall be in their foreheads, sealed. “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” See the rulership? “And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” He knew it would be the endtime when this would be understood, no other time in history. Not in the apostles’ day, not necessarily forty or fifty years ago, but it is right here, right here as we are looking at scriptures.
The Tree of Life In The Paradise of God
It was sixty years ago when Bro. Branham preached serpent seed, 1958. That sure did let a lot of people loose from even wanting to follow truth. Then we come on down to the time when God’s servant was taken off the scene, then you see a big falling away. It has happened in every case since, that these things have happened. Bro. Branham put church order in, then Bro. Jackson was raised up to do his part here in the endtime to fulfill an apostolic ministry that God had given him for the time he was here upon this earth. Things that were said are still going to linger, because it was truth. Things that Bro. Branham said are going to linger, because it is truth, especially when you see the great revelation of serpent seed, of the seven church ages, then last of all was the seals being opened, which was a divine work of the spirit of God. Then you come on down to the time we are living in today. We have passed through several years now since God took Bro. Branham off the scene, until we are here today. Now we are almost fourteen years since Bro. Jackson’s went to his reward, but the message was not taken away, because it was a true message. Many pulled away when he preached that were not many foolish virgins. I remember, I believe it was 1970 when he preached on the seals, then he preached certain things on the Godhead, that gave an opening to believe what we do now, to shut off many of the things that had happened before that. I want to get into some of these things. The scriptures I want to go to next are in Revelation, chapter 2 and 3, then in Ephesians 4. Then in Ephesians 3, and 2nd Timothy, chapter 4:1-12. I want to cover these so we can see the progression of time up to the present. Revelation 2 is something very familiar here, but it covered a time of the first church age messenger, which would have been Paul. All these other six churches were started out from the Ephesian church. When we look at it as they are, we see the failure even before 96 A.D. It was after Paul’s ministry when the decline began. He had to give rebuke to certain men because they had left their first love. They had gone back, not necessarily into the world, but they went back to certain churches because they were afraid of the persecution that had come to Paul. This is the reason why there is a rebuke. The rebuke is not in the first part of it. The rebuke would be in the later part of it, where it says they have left their first love. As we look at these scriptures, there is always something that can be brought out of them that would maybe give more light to brothers and sisters. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that no man should perish but everyone would have eternal life. But God knew that everyone would not accept it, only that chosen few. “Unto the angel (which would have been Paul) of the church of Ephesus write; (See? He is writing unto the angel of that church. Of course, Paul is already off the scene. He is the only one that is off the scene of the seven, whenever this is written, because he has been gone for some thirty years. He had been killed there by Nero in Rome in 66 A.D. He is not alive whenever this is written, because he kept the church in line while he was here, except at the end whenever he was getting ready to be murdered. Then we find that different ones became afraid and went back, if there had been denominations at that time, that is where they would have been. But of course there was none. Unto the church of Ephesus write….) These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.” That is the church, the seven golden candlesticks is the church as you go through time. So he has walked in every church age, the spirit of God has walked in every one of them, because it says so. He has the stars in his right hand. Of course the right hand always means authority. All of these have authority in their ministry, each one of them, as time goes on in the seven churches. “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.” See? This is under Paul’s ministry. The first part of it is in under his ministry. “And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake has laboured, and hast not fainted.” You see all that Paul went through. He did not faint. Even in prison when he was before Agripa and Festus and all those, he did not faint, he did not fail. He stood there and witnessed when he was given the chance. He stood there and witnessed before the governor and the king. Agrippa was a king. It shows where they stood, and where he stood and witnessed. They had little openings where the men would stand to give their witness. “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” The first love was happening under Paul’s ministry, as you go back to Ephesus, as he has been there and spent time there in the ministry, whenever really the church began in Ephesus. It was there that Paul spent two years. Therefore, the book of Ephesians is a book of beginning of the ministry and a book of the endings, as you look at it and as it tapers right on down to this day, as the 4th chapter will say that when we look at it. Because what we are experiencing now has not happened since the early church. I will get to that a little later, the Lord willing. “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; (Not do them over again, no. Do the first works, repent and do the first works. In other words, the first thing they had to do was repent. But they had to realize where they had fallen, what had come about that this has happened unto them, that they are no longer following the leadership of Christ as they were under Paul’s ministry. I know under the others, there were some great things that were done, but you see failures beginning to happen at the end of his ministry, because they were now beginning to leave their first love, the love of truth. Whenever a body of believers begin to leave what they have been taught, whenever it gets lax and they no longer are following that, then the love of God is leaving them. It gradually goes until they are living on their own. It is easy to do that, to just suppose the Lord is there. That is what happened to Israel. They were supposing. They thought God was there whenever they were worshiping different deities and all. We see it happening here after so many years, after some fifteen or twenty years, they are beginning to leave their first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works….) or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” He is telling them, if you do not repent, I am going to remove your candlestick. He is speaking of the spirit that has led them up until that time, He is not removing the church, He is removing their candlestick which is the spirit of God that was in that church. What is a candlestick? It is something that gives light. So, He is going to remove that from them if they do not repent. But here you are in 96 A.D. He is bidding them to repent. Now we are getting into the time when John is living here in 96 A.D. “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” See? It had already begun in that time, some were already following it, but the church here at Ephesus has turned against that spirit. He said you have not followed that thing that I hate, but some have. Otherwise He never would have mentioned it. He is going to remove the candlestick from Ephesus, if they do not do the first works. This is where the failure is coming in this, as He is looking at it. “He that hath an ear, (See? He is talking to individuals now. He always talks to individuals when the people as a whole will not listen. Then He is going to go to the individual. He that hath an ear…) let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; (The Spirit says unto all the churches here as a whole, that He is talking to.) To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Which is in the midst of the paradise of God, in the midst of the Bride of Jesus Christ, because one day you are going to experience that fully whenever we get to Revelation 21 and 22. It is going to be fully represented there, because the tree of life is something that lives forever. It is not a tree of deadness; it is a tree of life. Therefore, God gives us life and we keep that sacred in our hearts, then we have that tree of life within us. We thank the Lord for that. Which is in the midst of the paradise of God, what does the scripture tell us? That the kingdom of God is within you. Does it not say that the kingdom of God is within you?
The Ephesians’ First Love
Let us go back to Ephesians 3:13. We are going to read some familiar scripture, but we will see what we will get out of them. All these seven churches have come up under Paul’s ministry, but they all started out from Ephesus. Ephesus was the hub of them all. All of these had their ignition from Ephesus, that is why it is mentioned first, because that is the first church of the Gentiles that is really following the Lord perfectly. Let us read Ephesians 3:13-21. “Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.” What is he saying? You have not fainted. He is saying here, faint not at my tribulation. In other words, at my imprisonment, that is what he is talking about. “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” The whole family in heaven and earth is named, in the name of Jesus Christ. “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” The inner man. The outer man does not rule over the inner man. The inner man is where Christ lives. The outer man is under our control. We are going to see that when we get to this 4th chapter. We have a lot to do with our spiritual living. He begins it here in this chapter, as I read on. That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man….) “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.” See? Rooted and grounded in love, this is the whole thing that happened in Ephesus, they had left their first love by the time John wrote to them in Revelation. Now here he goes into something, that I had never looked at, I have been told about it, but I never really looked at it in the way I looked at it this week. “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, (He is giving measurements now.) and length, and depth, and height.” What has he done here? He is giving you a cube, just exactly what is in Revelation, the breadth, the length, the height, is what he is talking about. That you may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, length, and depth, and height. He had already said being grounded in love. “And to know the love of Christ, (See? There is something there, if we do not watch we are missing it, to know the love of Christ, to know that He is dwelling in us in love and respecting that. That we can offend the Holy Ghost. Grieve not the Holy Ghost wherein you are sealed unto the day of your redemption. If we are sealed, then that puts God’s stamp of approval upon us. What he is looking at here is the very thing he has talked about, to know the love of Christ….) which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” If you are filled with all the fullness of God, then you have Christ in you, there is no mistake about it, He is in there by faith. This is the spirit of Him, that God gave Him, to be able to exalt His Son. He is exalting His Son in us. This is the thing he is looking at here. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, (He is talking about spirituality. You have heard preachers on television and different places talk about that, that the expectation is different than what it reads here. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think….) according to the power that worketh in us.” We are going to see there is something in us as we look on into the scripture. Because the church of the living God is the body of Christ, with the spirit of God dwelling in us, which is Christ in you, because of His sacrifice. You are now bone of my bone, you are now flesh of my flesh, as it says in the 5th chapter of Ephesians. So we see ourselves in Him. We do not see ourselves in our own body. Our body is what God gave us to glorify Him in. Because the Bible talks about glorifying Him in our body. “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, (which would be our time) world without end.” So it goes right on through the Millennium into the Eternal Age. After the Millennium is over, then you have the judgment and God is emptying the earth of all that would offend, that they may be able to go into the Eternal Age as a pure perfect people, as Adam and Eve would have been had they not sinned. But the church of the living God, I am talking about natural people now, but the church of the living God will be heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. Bro. Jackson went over that, he said He is our elder brother. Now I will read more familiar scriptures to you. I will start in Ephesians 4:7. This has been gone over more times than what I have fingers and toes. “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” According to the measure, see? It goes back to the measure. “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” It is talking of the ministry. He talked about it as a vocation at first in the first part of this chapter. What he is getting to is unity. “Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? (which would be hell) He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.” (See? He went to hell to show that He was the conqueror even of hell. He led captivity captive.) And he gave some, (not all, some, not all) apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” See? He gave what was needed for that congregation. As we have said, the church will not be overstaffed. There will be just enough that God can use. We have got to be in God’s hand for Him to use us. We cannot be on our own. We have got to be a part of this. He gave some this, some this, and some this, as he is going through the list of the ministry here of the fivefold ministry. He is giving to each group the ministry that is needed to fulfill the purpose that God has made for them. “For the perfecting of the saints.” For our perfection. He has done gone over the depth and the height, the breadth and everything. He has gone over all that. But now we are getting into perfection. This must be for our hour. As I said at the beginning, in the very beginning there started out a fivefold ministry. But it deteriorated and the Catholic Church replaced it with a priesthood and a pope. They would not allow a ministry. They killed them, they burned them at the stake. God raised up men. But after He raised them up, even Knox and Finney, men like that, many of them were disgraced until you come down to the time of Martin Luther. God protected him. God protected John Wesley to where he was able to bring forth a message that would enter the hearts of people in love, in correction. Because he was the first one here, after the very beginning, he is the first one to say without holiness no man shall see the Lord, quoting scripture. Because there was not holiness in Luther’s time. Those people were still as mean as the devil. It was amazing how he could stand when he was surrounded by so many wicked people. Because they were the ones giving all the trouble. Fist fights, every kind of thing was happening around him. That is why it said that there were few bride saints in that age. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, (Which we have dwelled on. The knowledge of the Son of God, which is understanding what the Godhead is, that we might know the depth, the height, every direction. Because whenever we get into that cube form, then there is nothing that can get in. We must do that as saints of God. We must do that as the church of the living God, we have got to get into that form of what he is talking about, that we may be cubed into the love of God, then nothing can penetrate us. God will see to it that we get there, or He will do something else, that is all I will say. We get in or we get out.) unto a perfect man, (You might say, well I did not think anybody was perfect, I did not think anybody could get to be perfect. It says so. Whenever it says a perfect man, that is not just talking about one gender. That is talking about man and woman, but it is Christ in us, which is a man.) unto the measure (See? He keeps the measurement. Unto the measure….) of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” In other words, what he talks about in the 3rd chapter, talking about the love of God and so on, here we are here in this 4th chapter, it is a continuation of the 3rd. Do not just chapter it off, because this is a whole letter written unto the Ephesian church. “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, (I believe we are getting close to that place.) by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, (Remember that, speaking the truth in love. That is the ministry, the love of God that flows through their ministry unto the people, which I am no better than you are. It is supposed to be that way. Perfection is not hard. Living a perfect life is not hard. Speaking the truth in love….) may grow up into him in all things, (He is talking about children here, no more children, but grow up into Him. As the church grows, we are to get more like Him, to where one day when He comes back, there is not going to be a little gap here in the top of our head. That gray matter, the whole bit of it, is going to be changed. Do not look at me as being there, and do not look at me as saying that you cannot get there. Because I am not placing myself above you. We are in this together. The ministry here is growing as you grow. That is why we feed you what we know. We are not holding back on the promises of God, because I want to make you feel comfortable in truth. I cannot stand these preachers that think they are something big. You hear these prophecy preachers, preaching Revelation 3. They explain the book of Revelation. My! These little boys and girls in our congregation here could give you a better explanation, because they are listening. I know they are. I do not think they are just sitting there to be here. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things. See? He is separating us out, but He is not taking us out of the world. But whenever we realize that our hope, our anchor is in Him, then we know where we are going. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things….) which is the head, even Christ.” If you listen to a lot of these preachers, you would think they were the head. They have made themselves very big and Christ very small, when it should be the other way around. “From whom the whole body (Listen, from whom the whole body, every one that is in the body of Christ, the whole body, young and old and in between.) fitly joined together and compacted (He is making it to where it is jelled. It is jelled together, glued better than Gorilla glue. It is not duct taped together, no. It has a permanent jelling, until the day of redemption. Compacted. The reason I am bringing this out, compacted is because of the body of Christ. Jesus Christ is not a Christ without a body. There would be no purpose if there was going to be no church that was looking like Him. Joined together and compacted….) by that which every joint supplieth, (Young people, children, you are joints. Why would he mention a joint? A joint is something that goes with something else. Your lower arm, your upper arm, there is a joint between them. He explains in the 12th chapter of Ephesians, then you see the working, I mean the 12th chapter of 1st Corinthians, you see the working of the spirit of God in the body of Christ, as Paul is explaining to the Corinthians church. The Corinthian church did not get it, but he had to tell it to somebody. See? He was talking to a church that did not get it at all. But it was meant for another time. Why do I say that? What does he say in the 1st chapter? Some say, I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Then he mentions him and Apollos, he said, I planted but Apollos watered. See? This all goes together. That is the ministry. One ministry doesn’t have it all. There is no way, because it has got to be something that God has made, has placed there for perfection. We are perfected by a fivefold ministry, do not forget it. He is talking about the body of Christ here. From whom the whole body fitly jointed together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth….) according to the effectual working in the measure (He goes back to measure.) of every part, (This part of my arm is not as long as this part, but it is still a part. You have thirty, sixty, and a hundred-fold. It takes it all. You do not throw the wheat away with thirty grains on it. Because it might take three of them, or a little more, to make up the hundred, but it is all important. According to the effectual working in the measure of every part. We are talking about the body of Christ. Here is the part I want to get to.) maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself (The edifying of itself, see? We are living on the spirit of each other. Fitly joined together, every part. Unto the edifying of itself….) in love.” Edifying of itself. We are feeding from each other’s experience. I am edified by you. If you all walked out, I would not keep preaching. There would be no use of it. The thing about it is, what does it say? The gift is given, it just happened to be me. It just happened to be my other ministering brothers. We did not make the choice. We did not call ourselves to preach. That is dumb. You better get into another vocation if that is it.
I want to go on over to Ephesians 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” This is his same message. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is the way your end your prayer, in that manner. Because you are giving thanks to God through Him. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” Listen to me. You might think, oh, I feel good now, but listen to what he says. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, (Let me say something here, he is making a comparison, to Christ. It is the same thing as the relationship between a man and woman, that is the reason he is using this. This is the reason we use this verse when we marry somebody, as it is recorded in the book of Ephesians. That he might present it to himself a glorious church….) not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” See? He brought this right into the marriage relationship. You cannot have one without another. You cannot. If you are going to live for God, you are going to have to get along at home, not just put up a big front in front of somebody. He goes right back to it, because this is important. “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” If you do not love your wife, you hate yourself. “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; (What do you do if you hurt yourself or cut yourself? You take care of that part. In a relationship, if you hurt that other person, you take care of it. We are talking about perfection. He is speaking to the church, but he is speaking about a relationship between husband and wife. Because this is the best illustration he can give this side of heaven, to show what is important. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. If you hate her, you hate yourself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh….) but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.” You get before that mirror, spray a little here, spray a little there, taking care of the body. If you do not, it is going to stink. We do not want any stink. “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” That is what I said earlier, we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” In love, I added that, it sounded good to me. “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Why do I read that? Because it goes along with the rest of it. That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. It is all connected. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Our relationship should be without blemish.
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