The Book of Life, Part 1 – 1986, October


THE LORD HAS BEEN DEALING WITH ME ON SOMETHING THAT I HAD NEVER EVEN THOUGHT OF AS A SUBJECT IN THIS WAY. IT CONCERNS THE BOOK OF LIFE, AND WHETHER GOD EVER REMOVES NAMES FROM IT. PEOPLE ASK THESE QUESTIONS WHEN THEY READ THE LAST VERSES OF THE 22 CHAPTER OF REVELATION: DOES GOD REMOVE NAMES FROM THE ND BOOK OF LIFE? WHAT DOES IT MEAN, ADD TO, AND TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORDS OF THIS PROPHECY? YOU CAN SEE WHY THEY MIGHT ASK THAT: KNOWING THAT WE TEACH PREDESTINATION AND ETERNAL SECURITY, ACCORDING TO THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD. THEREFORE I WANT TO GO INTO THE BIBLE, AND JUST LET THE SCRIPTURES THEMSELVES ANSWER ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS, AS WE GO ALONG. I DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG WE WILL BE ON THIS MESSAGE: I AM JUST GOING TO START AND LET THE LORD TELL ME WHEN TO STOP, AND THAT WILL BE WHEN ALL YOUR QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED FROM

THE BIBLE, AND YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO BELIEVE SOMETHING JUST BECAUSE BRO. SO AND SO SAID IT. WHEN YOU ARE ABLE TO CATCH A REVELATION FROM THE WORD OF GOD, THAT IS WORTH MORE THAN HEARING IT TEN THOUSAND TIMES WITHOUT A REVELATION. SOME QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK

 

Open your Bibles to the 22 Chapter of Revelation, and to verse 17, and we will get our starting nd scriptures for this subject. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. (That is an open invitation.) And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, (That means, the prophecy of the book of Revelation. This is God’s last warning to mankind, but it is a total prophecy, so notice as we go on.) If any man shall add unto these things, (meaning, the things contained in the book of Revelation.) God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: (The plagues found in the book of Revelation) And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” You would not believe how many times I have been asked the question, Bro. Jackson: If predestination is a fact, then what does that mean? Or they will say, Is it possible that someone’s name could be removed from the book of life? Let me just say this, and then we will read some more scripture. Yes predestination is a solid doctrine, taught by the apostles of Christ, regardless of what may seem to contradict it. One thing to remember, is that the scriptures do not contradict themselves; we just have to get them lined up together; in the light of what the writer was dealing with. Furthermore this scripture we have just read, did not become a known scripture until 96 A.D., so keep that in mind, for there was a reason for it to be like that. In other words, In 40 A.D., this scripture was not even known. But it is the last words written in the New Testament, and we intend to show why it is written then.

 

TRUE DOCTRINES OF THE BIBLE

 

Go with me now to the gospel of St. John, which was written by the same man that wrote the book of Revelation, but under different circumstances. We will begin reading in verse 37 of chapter 6, and read some words of Jesus, that definitely establish a foundation for the doctrine of predestination. Pay attention to the words of this verse, and you will see that He was not presenting a maybe-so situation; He was making a definite statement. “ALL that the Father giveth me shall come to me; (That word SHALL makes this a positive declaration, and it pertains to ALL that the Father, the great eternal spirit, gives to Him.) And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” I hope you caught every detail of that verse, for it actually has predestination and eternal security, both, in it. Your modern day religionists will say, Sure Jesus said that; but you have to hang in there. Listen to me, saints: A person who makes a statement like that, is void of understanding, as to what the new birth is. God never makes a mistake. He does not need a pencil with an eraser on it. Furthermore do not picture this sovereign God, as trying to get something done; for He gets done exactly what He has foreordained to get done, and it always meets His conditions, He does not compromise. Man can wrestle with thoughts, and words, and meanings, until his hair turns gray and falls out; but that does not change the mind of God one bit whatsoever. Alright now, verse 38 holds a beautiful truth; but an awful lot of people dwell on what they think the first six words mean, and they never even catch the point that Jesus was making. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.” Jesus definitely is NOT stating that He came down from heaven as an already existing person. This is merely terminology that speaks of the origin of His life. His conception in the womb of that young virgin, was a supernatural conception brought about by the spirit of God; while every other man on earth came the normal route, by the union of a man and woman, according to God’s law of reproduction. Therefore when you read verse 38, be aware of the fact that the point Jesus is making, comes after those first six words. Why did He (Jesus) come to earth? Not to do His own will, (speaking from the standpoint of His human make up) but the will of Him that sent Him, which simply means that HE was on earth to do the perfect will of the great eternal Spirit. His human mind was completely subject to the mind of the Creator, at all times. What was the Father’s will for Him? Verse 39 tells us. “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of ALL which He hath given me I SHOULD LOSE NOTHING, but should raise it up again at the last day.” That speaks of the resurrection of course. But do you realize what we have here? Jesus was standing there speaking what was exactly the foreknowledge of the Father, known by Him (the Father) from before the foundation of the world. Verse 40, “And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, (meaning every one that has a revelation of what He is to their redemption) and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” You have heard people say, Why should I have to repent and be saved? I have never done anything bad. That proves that such a person has no revelation at all: that he is a sinner by nature; and therefore needs the Savior. Well those Jews got to murmuring against Jesus, because He had said He was the bread of life, so let us go to verse 44 and see how Jesus answered them. “No man can come to me, except the Father (the great eternal Spirit) which hath sent me to draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” He knew He was to be the actual resurrection. In another place He said, I am the resurrection and the life. Notice now, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” As you analyze all of this, you will find that every statement Jesus made: was a positive statement; that shows predestination. He did not use that word, nor did He go into lengthy details, but He definitely did speak things from the mind of the Father; that the Father knew before the foundation of the world. THEY WILL COME TO ME; in their respective order, and in their generation of time, as the Spirit of the Father draws them. In other words, that sovereign Spirit must first convict the lost man or woman of their lost condition, and cause them to realize that provision has been made for them, and then they call upon the name of the Lord Jesus and find their salvation. That of course, brings Romans 10 to mind, where Paul said, verse 13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him, in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” They have to hear something, and God has ordained that they hear it from the mouth’s of other mortal men; but God, by His great foreknowledge, directs it all from beginning to end; and what Jesus said to those people that day, lets us know that predestination according to foreknowledge, and eternal security, are both true doctrines, when they are applied properly. Therefore with that in mind, let us go to the 17 chapter of John, where Jesus prayed before going to the garden. This prayer was th prayed in the presence of His disciples, and it is the 12 verse that we want to lay emphasis on; but in th order to get the setting, maybe we should start with verse 6. Jesus (the man) is praying to the great eternal Spirit, the Father of all creation, concerning those that the Father has given Him, and there is much to be learned from the words he spoke.

 

THE FATHER’S NAME MANIFESTED TO SOME

 

The one who said, I came not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me, is in prayer to the one that sent Him, and in verse 6 says, “I have manifested thy name (publicly displayed thy name) unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: (There were multitudes that followed Him at one time or the other, but we know that all of them had not been given to Him. Most of them found fault with Him, and walked away; but of those special ones He says this.) Thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.” When you go back and study all of the gospels, you find that Jesus said a lot of things along the way, that His disciples pondered, and wondered about, but all of those that were truly foreknown of the father, even though they did not understand everything, they have kept and respected what they did understand. Therefore he said to them one day, (John 14:26) “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” At least they did believe that He was the Christ, the anointed one that was to come, and that the words He spoke to them, were the words of life; and that caused them to faithfully follow on, even though they did not understand. Verse 8, “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; (So the words He had been speaking were not His own; they were the words the father had given Him to speak.) And they have received them and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” Brothers and Sisters: When you are looking at the subject of predestination: you do not look just at the word itself. That is only an explanation of the terminology found in the words of Jesus and His apostles throughout the New Testament. No human mind will ever overrule the sovereign mind of the Creator. All we can ever do, is either cooperate with Him, or rebel against Him. That is what determines the degree of fellowship we have with Him. But I hope you all realize that if you are children of God, you were foreknown of Him before the foundation of the world. He has never been persuaded by anyone: to increase the size of His family; beyond that which He knew it would be, before he ever created the first man. He knew, before you were ever born what your choice would be: concerning His word; therefore your name was not placed in the book of life the day you got saved; it was placed there before God ever started to create. This is predestination, but it is according to God’s foreknowledge, Him knowing way back then, what our choice would be. The reason a lot of people fight against predestination so hard, is because of the misconception they have in their mind, of it. They actually think we are saying, that God went down through the list of names of all the people that would ever be born, and just merely picked out some to be saved, and doomed all the rest to hell. No. Let me say it again, and listen to how I say it, Predestination is based upon God’s foreknowledge of what your choice will be, when you are confronted with the gospel of Jesus Christ, or with whatever determined each person’s attitude toward God, as in the Old Testament times.

 

TWO MINDS – BUT ONLY ONE PERSON

 

As we go into verse 10, we find Jesus saying, “And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee.” This is a beautiful thing we are reading here, for it shows the complete unity and harmony between the Father (SPIRIT) and the Son (which was human.) All that the Father ever gave Him; is given right back to the Father in the end. “Holy Father, keep through thine own name (That means, Keep them in the revelation and understanding of what that name implies and what it consists of.) Those whom thou hast (past tense) given me, that they may be one, as we are.” In the mind of the Father, this whole plan of redemption was a completed picture, before there was ever anything to be redeemed. Let me say also, when Jesus used the word WE, He was not speaking of another person; for the other mind involved here, is the mind of that sovereign Spirit which is our Creator, but not a person. Some people have such a hard time comprehending the fact that there was always two minds, the mind of the Father, and the mind of the Son, but the son was the only person. Well, as we have said, That is a revelation in itself, but if you do not have that revelation, there is a lot of scripture that you cannot possibly understand. The Father was in the Son, yet the Father remains to be an omnipresent Spirit, and from within that one human body of flesh, both minds operated. Verse 13, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, (There, again, we see predestination) and none of them is lost, (Notice now) but the son of perdition; (That was Judas) that the scripture might be fulfilled.” (Psalms 109:8) He was one of the original twelve, but he was not a foreknown son of God. He had every chance given to him that the others had, but Satan anointed him to betray Christ, long before any of them ever had an upper room experience; where they received their seal. It takes the baptism of the Holy Ghost to complete the new birth experience; therefore any time before that, a person can drop out of the picture, and there is no reason to wonder if their name was taken from the book of life; for it was never in it. As I said, God does not make any mistakes. Some will say, Then why was Judas chosen as a disciple, if he was not foreknown of God? The scripture had to be fulfilled. God saw Judas doing that, before the foundation of the world, but God did not force him to do what he did. He was given every opportunity, just like Cain, but he chose to yield himself to the devil, just like Cain did, and in so doing, he set the type of the Antichrist. Jesus chose him in the spirit, strictly that the mind of the Father might be fulfilled; and up unto the time Satan anointed him, you could not accuse him of being a man that was always differing with Jesus and the other apostles. When Jesus sent the twelve to preach the message of the kingdom, He commanded them to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out devils, and Judas was one of that twelve that obeyed that command. In other words, He truly had an equal opportunity to follow Jesus all the way. It was his own choice, to yield himself to the devil and betray the Lord, but it was already foretold in the prophetic scriptures, that one would do that. It was no surprise to God, but God did not force him to do what he did. When those disciples returned from their missionary journey and reported to Jesus, He made no distinction between them, yet in His heart He knew that the day would come when one of them would betray Him, to fulfill what was written in the Psalms. He knew the day would come when that certain disciple would yield completely to the spirit that ruled his life; but in the meantime, He did not force it to manifest itself. Only at the Passover supper, after Judas had already had tremors of doubt flooding his mind, did Jesus openly remark, that one of those that had eaten bread with Him, would betray Him. This was also recorded in Psalms 41:9, and Jesus knew those prophecies were there all the time, yet He waited for the exact moment of time to reveal what He knew; only after Judas had begun to entertain wrong thoughts and motives. All of this was characteristic of what was manifested in Cain, when he slew Abel, but it also characterized the Antichrist spirit that would come on the scene later on: to try to destroy the effectiveness of the true Church; and bring it to naught. But the term, son of perdition, speaks of one ordained to lead something to destruction, which in this case, it was to lead the Son of God to Calvary, where the devil thought He would be destroyed. The final agent, called the Son of perdition, will be the literal Antichrist; that will break the peace covenant with Israel and declare war on anyone left on earth; that believes in God. But between Judas and this man, there has been centuries of time that this spirit of Satan (Antichrist spirit) has tried to destroy the effectiveness of God’s purpose in the Church; which is the body of Christ, the bride. So in His prayer, Jesus said, I have kept those that thou gavest me, and none of them is lost, except the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.

 

WAS JUDAS A SON OF GOD?

 

Now just to look at this betrayal of Jesus a little closer, look on over in chapter 13. After Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet He said, “Verily, verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.” Naturally they all began to look at each other and wonder which one it would be. Finally John asked, “Lord who is it?” Then Jesus said, It is the one to whom I will give a sop, when I have dipped it; and Judas was the man, but the others still did not know which one it would be; for they did not understand what Jesus meant. Nevertheless Jesus said to Judas, “That thou doest, do quickly,” and he went directly to the high priest to plan how he would do it, for Satan took him over when Jesus handed him the sop. Judas had already lost all the feelings he ever had for Jesus, and he was ready to manifest that tare spirit that was in him. That is why Jesus took the occasion to speak to him as He did. Nevertheless the scripture had to be fulfilled, and it was not the drunks in the neighborhood tavern that would betray Him; it had to be someone that had walked in fellowship with Him. In other words, Judas was a tare all along; he never was a son of God. He was given every opportunity that those sons of God were given, but the spirit in him would not allow him to go all the way to the upper room. All through the ages, every tare has been given every opportunity that the elected children of God have been given; but God, because of His foreknowledge, knew that every one of them would find some reason never to yield their lives completely to Him. I do not mean to dwell on this, but I do feel the necessity to lay stepping stones in the strategic places, as we go along. Now some will still ask, But was Judas’ name in the book of life? Only from the standpoint that he was given every potential that the other eleven apostles were given. Certainly his name was never recorded as an elected son of God. The scriptures do not contradict themselves, and we know that the scriptures show that the book of life was completed from before the foundation of the world, (Rev. 17:8) and that the Holy Ghost is our seal; that seals us as sons of God until the day of redemption, (Eph. 4:30) and all whose names are written in the book of life, will receive that seal; for Jesus said, (John 6:37) “All that the Father giveth me SHALL COME TO ME.” He said also that it is the will of the Father, that He should lose none that were given to Him, except the son of perdition, which was known of the Father from before the foundation of the world, and He is to raise up again, in the last day, all the rest. Well even though Judas was taken over by the devil and led to betray the Lord, the scripture declares that he later came to his senses and realized what he had done, and tried to return the 30 pieces of silver that was paid to him by the Jewish religious leaders. He said, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. But they had what they wanted, and simply told him that that was not their problem, so he threw down the money, and went and hanged himself. Some people look at the word repented, in Matthew 27:3, and wonder about it, but let me tell you, This was another case like Esau. The Bible says that Esau sought repentance with all his heart, and could not find it, and Jesus even called Judas the son of perdition, and the Bible nowhere teaches that a man can cease to be a son of Satan, and become a son of God. No. What the Bible declares is that we are servants of the devil before our salvation experience; not children of his. Anyhow the same devil that led Judas to betray the Lord, also led him to despondency, and ultimately to destruction.

 

GOD’S TRUE WAY HAS NEVER BEEN POPULAR

 

For too long, Christians have been influenced by the Armenian version of the free moral agency of man, and emphasis has been laid upon the scripture that says, God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Peter simply used that terminology in describing the longsuffering grace and mercy of God, and He gives everyone ample opportunity to partake of all His benefits, even though His foreknowledge allows Him to know what every person’s eternal destination is. The way God spoke to Cain back there in the very beginning of man’s history, proves that God gives every person a chance. What did He say to him? If you do good, you will be accepted. In other words: bring a proper sacrifice. Multitudes of people in the world of religion today, are guilty of the same thing Cain was. They have a self-willed form of worship, whereby they offer to God their education, their beautiful buildings, their money and political and social influence; but they fail to yield their heart and soul to Him, to be led into what He calls righteousness. The Bible says, Man’s righteousness is as filthy rags, and that is true; no matter how good it might look to the flesh. Brothers and Sisters: Do not be disturbed, when religion in general looks upon people like us, as a cult; for God’s true way of righteousness has never been the popular way. Furthermore we must realize that not everyone who walks with us is a predestined seed of God, for in the case of Judas, he served the Lord faithfully almost to the very last. But he did not make it to Pentecost, and there receive the promise of the Father, which, as we have already said, is the gift of eternal life, the seal that gives us eternal security, guaranteeing that we can never be lost. That is what a seal is; it is a guarantee, and God only gives it to those whom he foreknew to be sons and daughters. I do not believe there is anyone in Faith Assembly that would argue the point of election and predestination through the foreknowledge of God; but for the sake of anyone who would want more evidence, let us go to the Ephesian letter. This was written by the apostle Paul, a man sent by God to the Gentiles, with such a beautiful revelation of the redemption plan of their Creator. He had preached there in Ephesus for three years, and this church was founded on the revelation of truth that he taught them, and this church sets a spiritual type of the true body of Christ because of it’s pureness and dedication in those years before the tares got in. This epistle leaves no doubt about Paul’s revelation on the subject of predestination, so let us read a few verses there.

 

PREDESTINATED ACCORDING TO GOD’S PURPOSE

 

We are in Ephesians, chapter 1, verse 3, and we will read at least 8 verses. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; According as He (the Father) hath CHOSEN US in Him (Jesus the son, who was the Christ) BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, (Why?) That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: (Notice now) Having PREDESTINATED US unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ (or through Jesus Christ) to Himself, ACCORDING to the good pleasure of HIS WILL, (and Romans 8:29 tells us that this predestination was according to his foreknowledge) To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; HAVING MADE KNOWN UNTO US the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He (God, the eternal Spirit) hath purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, (pay attention now.) BEING PREDESTINATED according to the purpose of Him (God) who worketh all things after the counsel of HIS OWN WILL.” We will just go ahead and read a few verses from the first epistle of Peter, that carry this same terminology. In verse 2 of chapter 1, we learn that he is writing to the ELECT, who became such, according to the FOREKNOWLEDGE of God the Father. Then in verse 18-20, he brings out specific details about their redemption. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was FOREORDAINED BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, but was manifest in these last times for you.” That just gives us an opportunity to see that Paul and Peter both had the same revelation about this subject of predestination. Now Jesus did not use these particular words in John 6 and John 17, but those apostles took the things He said and enlarged upon them, and we find them using the terms elected, foreknown, predestinated, and sealed, and they are proper terms, because that is exactly what Jesus was teaching, and in the end, God’s redeemed family will stand before Him holy, blameless, and spotless, just like He saw them all, even before He ever created that first thing. Not one of them will be there because they were forced to be; because they every one, will have made the choice to serve God when they heard the gospel of their salvation. But, saints, be sure you understand that a person does not have that seal until they receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the seal that gives them eternal security. Another thing we need to be aware of, is that there are multitudes of tares claiming to have the Holy Ghost, and sometimes only God knows who has what. Out here in the Charismatic realm, they have everyone receiving the Holy Ghost, simply because they speak in tongues. But there is something wrong, because the spirit they receive never seems to lead them into all truth, like Jesus said the Holy Ghost would do. All they ever seem to care about is outward manifestations, something the flesh can enjoy. They teach evidence, and interpret the Bible to mean exactly what they want it to mean. The elected child of God does not do that. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” That means until the day you are resurrected, or you are changed, and caught up to be with the Lord. That is the final stage of our redemption. Your redemption was not complete the day you knelt at an altar and accepted your salvation. But every elected child of God is baptized by the Holy Ghost, and that is the seal that keeps them secure until the day their redemption is complete. It matters not whether we go by way of the grave, or remain alive until the rapture takes place: that seal is still good either way. That is why Paul wrote to the Romans, chapter 8, verse 11, “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

 

FALSE CHRISTS – AND FALSE PROPHETS

 

Let us go to the 24 chapter of Matthew at this time, and notice how Jesus prepared His disciples for th what would come later. In verse 4 He said to them, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Now why would He make such a statement as that? Because He knew that after His departure: somewhere in the course of time, the devil would be allowed to turn loose a spirit that would run parallel to the ministry of those disciples: and that they would have all kinds of satanic powers: designed to deceive people, and turn them from following a true revelation. It did not start on the day of Pentecost, and it did not start the next year; but over a period of time it gradually projected itself into the body of believers with a little adverse idea here and there. Not only did Jesus say to them, take heed that no man deceive you: He also said, (verse 24) “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” He knew full well, that those false christs and false prophets that would come on the scene, would not be sons of God, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, but in order to be in a place where they could get a foothold in the church, and have that opportunity to deceive others, they had to have certain potentials, as old Cain did. Those first age Christians from the day of Pentecost, and so forth, could not be deceived, because they were what Paul referred to as the pillar and ground of truth, but their children that were raised in the environment of the body of true believers, were not necessarily true revelated believers themselves, so that gave the devil the leverage he needed, in order to inject a little different idea here and there, as time went on. Then as those old guards of the faith passed from the scene, the next generation that stood in their place did not have a pure revelation of the apostolic doctrines that were taught in the early years of Christianity. Therefore as centuries passed, and the devil remained faithful to his purpose of deception; it eventually led the Church into what we call, The Dark Ages. Why would God allow the devil to do that? For the same reason He allowed him to use the old serpent in the garden of Eden. It is God’s way of testing His people. The first Christians passed the test because they were already the called out ones of their generation, but just as it was in the case of Jacob and Esau, not all of the children of those true Christians were foreknown of God. Some of them were predestinated seed of God, and some were not, even though they had all been given the same opportunities to serve God; as they were raised in a Christian environment. In other words, this was the devil’s golden opportunity to move make believers into places of leadership in the local assemblies, as time moved on. A tare knows all about the function of the church, even though they themselves do not have the Holy Ghost seal. Judas did everything those other apostles did, because he had been instructed right along with them, and the Spirit of God worked with him when he went out, just like He did with the other eleven, because they were doing what they had been instructed to do. But in the case of old Judas, he never did make it to Pentecost and receive the seal. You say, Could he have? The answer is the same as it was to Cain; “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted.” God said that to Cain, and He meant what He said; but at the same time, because of His foreknowledge, God knew what Cain would do. Well it was the same with Judas; he was given the same opportunity to walk faithfully right along with the others; all the way to Pentecost. But because of His foreknowledge; God know what he would do; therefore it could be recorded ahead of time that he would betray the Lord, and that is why Jesus did not hesitate to refer to him as the son of perdition. Regardless of what some may want to believe, the parable of the good seed and the tares, spoken by Jesus in Matthew 13:24-30, 37-42, plainly shows us that there are two sets of children in the world, children of God, and children of the wicked one, and God is allowing them all to grow together until the end of the age; and in the meanwhile the natural eye cannot tell them apart. The tares look and act just like the true Christians. Therefore it is not the old drunk staggering down the street, that is deceiving people today; it is the same old tare spirit that led the church astray in the second age; that is still out there deceiving people, and leading them to destruction. Some of them can preach up a storm, and pray the most beautiful prayers you have ever heard, but somewhere along the line, they deviate from the original truth; established by the apostles of Jesus Christ.

 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUE CHILDREN – AND TARES

 

When the apostle Paul was dealing with the subject of false apostles, (tares) and such like, in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, he made some very strong statements about them. I think it would be good for us to turn to the 11 chapter of 2 Corinthians and read a few verses. He is forewarning them of th nd something that is coming down the road, something that would one day cause the church to pass through a long, dark period. He did not say that; but we can say it, because we can look back through a church history, and see what happened. We will just pick it up in verse 13, for I am only interested, at this time, in showing you the terminology he used. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing IF HIS MINISTERS also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” You may question as to why Paul was talking like that, at that time; but standing here, looking back, we can see that he hit the nail right on the head. The devil can make people get drunk; he can make people kill other people, and he can make them do all sorts of perverted things; but he also makes a lot of people religious. They are not children of God; they are just religious. They will never have eternal life dwelling in them; but they will confuse the religious picture right to the very end, for according to the parable, it is only at the end of time, (or the end of the age) that they are gathered together for burning. With a spiritual eye, we can see that they are already being gathered together; but the true church is yet far from being completely free from them. That is what makes it hard for a lot of people who truly are predestined to receive a revelation of truth; they are still hearing a lot of this antichrist gospel, that these self appointed angels of light are preaching. Oh, God will get His crop; we do not have to worry about that; but we do need to be aware of what is going on, out here in this world of religion. For according to the words of Jesus, there in Matthew 24, it is here at the end time that these two spirits will be so close, that even the very elect would be deceived, if it were possible. Brother these tares are putting on a good show. Who do you think Jesus was referring to in the 7 chapter of Matthew, if it was not tares? Who th else could He have been talking about? In verse 21, He said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: (In other words, they were not foreknown as children of God; they have been make believers all the time, and have no place in the true kingdom, with God’s foreknown children, so that is why the response will be, I never knew you) depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Saints: when you study this thing all the way back through time, from the time that spirit was first allowed to get into the church, you can see that it has always been that tare element, that could believe one thing one day, and something else the next, never really able to settle down, and stand for a true revelation. Now that does not mean that they will never be loyal to anything. I believe Judas, when he was first chosen, was just as loyal and faithful to Jesus, as Peter and the rest. You have to look further on out, to see the difference between Peter and Judas. The night Jesus was arrested, Judas was the instrument that betrayed Him to the Jewish religious leaders. But that same night, Peter denied even knowing the Lord, and even cursed to put emphasis on his denial. Well if we have been in a position to judge those two men that night, we would have said, Peter is just as bad as Judas. At that time, we would not have remembered a former time when Jesus asked His disciples, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? Then when He asked them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter was the one that spoke up saying, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, and Jesus said to him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed into unto thee; but my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Sure he was a hot head, he was stubborn, quick tempered, and even fearful, the night Jesus was arrested: but Peter had a revelation, and it had been said to him, by Jesus, “When thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren.” So as we take these things into consideration, we have to realize that Jesus knew what was in Peter, and how the Holy Ghost could change his old nature and make him a powerful instrument in the kingdom of God. Can any of us truthfully say that we have never been weak in the flesh, like Peter was before he received the Holy Ghost? God looks beyond that human weakness, knowing that the Holy Ghost will put a back bone in us, that will cause us to stand for the revelation we have in our heart when the time is right. What did Peter do, on the day of Pentecost? Was he still scared? Did he deny knowing Jesus that day? No! When that bunch of Jews started mocking those disciples, saying that they were drunk of new wine, Peter stood right up in the midst of them and said, Now wait just a minute: (That is my words) “These are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.” Brother, this time he grabbed the sword of the Spirit, and began to preach. He was not ashamed of Jesus, and he was not afraid of any of that mocking crowd. He would never deny his Master again. From that day on, he would defend Him. So actually the point is this, The elected, predestinated child of God can make mistakes, and falter along the way, but the end result is, God will always deal with them as children, just like Paul talks about in Hebrews. “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Heb. 12:6-8) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” We ought to be thankful that scriptures like that are in the Bible, for they help us understand a lot of things that take place. A lot of the reason the church world has existed as it has through the centuries, is because of that very thing. If you have wondered why the disciplinary means that God used to keep believers straight in that first age, has not been used in the churches of the world today, it is because that tare element in them cannot be chastened as sons. The Spirit of God cannot work among them in a disciplinary way, because they are not His children; therefore a lot of the disciplinary means that might have been used in the body, has just sort of faded into the background, and God deals with His true children in ways that only they, are able to recognize the chastening hand of the Lord in those things. God does not put the chastening of His children on display, for all of the tares to see and enjoy but you can be sure, He does still chasten all that are truly His children. So Paul said, “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, (All who? All children of God) then are ye bastards (meaning illegitimate children, and that is exactly what tares are) and not sons.” Tares are not even sensitive enough to be ashamed of their attitude toward the word of God. They will speak evil of truth, and say that it is out of the pit of hell, because they have no spiritual revelation. Peter wrote that this kind speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption. The man or woman that is truly born of God, loves truth. Truth is as important to them as breathing. That is why, in the first age, everything was dealt with from the standpoint of total truth, because there were no tares among them. But then, as time passed and the tares got into the Church, God dealt with each age according to the measure of truth they had, and His true children always remained secure in Him, those whose names were written in the book of life from before the foundation of the world. I want, at this time, to go to the 4 chapter of Philippians, and read th three verses, where the apostle Paul spoke of certain ones, and referred to them as having their names in the book of life. Verse 1, “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life.” What is that telling us? Those devout, dedicated Christians stood out, in an age where they were no tares, so Paul knew they were in the body of Christ, and that their names were written in the Lamb’s book of life. Paul also knew that there was a spirit coming down the road, that would one day defile that pure environment that the first age body of believers enjoyed. Oh yes, there were those that did wrong, here and there, but they were dealt with as children of God, and the church itself was kept clean.

 

SOME PREACH A WAVERING GOD

 

The way some preachers preach: they make God to be a god of confusion. They will have a person to be saved one day, lost the next, and saved again in the next revival. Their converts never have anything they can really trust in, except their own goodness. They are scared to death of the word predestination, and will avoid it as long as they can, and then when they have to deal with it, many times they will claim it ought not even be in the Bible. I thank God that it is in the Bible, and I see no reason whatsoever, for a true child of God to be afraid of it. I feel good about having my soul secured, and in knowing that it was all worked out, before the world began to take shape, by the word of a sovereign God. One reason I feel led to deal with this message, is to show the true children of God that they ought not allow the devil to play with their mind. Sometimes when people get sick and discouraged, they allow Satan to tamper with their mind, and actually cause them to doubt their salvation; that they have according to the word of God. Saints! That is when we really need to rely upon the promises of God; instead of doubting Him. Furthermore do not look at everything that befalls you, as some kind of chastening, for God allows some things just strictly for our growth. I always like to remind people that Jesus prayed for them, just before He went to the cross to complete the work for our redemption. In the 17 chapter of John, is recorded the last public prayer Jesus prayed, before He went to the garden of Gethsemane where He agonized in prayer; and in that prayer He was praying for His disciples that were with Him, and then prayed, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” Brothers and Sisters: You were included in that prayer. When doubts come, just remember this, your name was written in the Lamb’s book of life before the foundation of the world, and He does not erase names, like we might be prone to do. Jesus told His disciples one day, Do not rejoice just because the devils are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. Now that is something to rejoice about. As I said earlier, Our names were not written in the book of life the day we knelt at an altar, and surrendered our heart to God. If it is there at all, it was placed there by the sovereignty of God before the foundation of the world. Revelated children of God ought not even waste their time listening to those tare preachers who have no respect for a true revelation of the word of God. You know whether you are a believer or not, and those preachers breed and cultivate doubt, by the very way they preach and teach from the Bible. Their preaching annuls every positive promise of the bible, because of their lack of revelation. But let me say to you, Trials that come your way are not for your destruction; they are for your perfection. Not only are they for your perfection; but God is glorified as He brings you out on the victory side of them. Nothing we suffer should ever bring us to a loss; for the scriptures declare that we grow in the stature of the Lord, as we come through these various trials. One thing we should always remember, when the load gets heavy and circumstances seem to be stacked against us, God has a purpose in our lives, and He will not allow Satan to destroy any of us and defeat that purpose. I want you to remember also, that God did not make any mistakes, when He recorded our names in the book of life. The devil is always behind everything that causes a person to wonder or doubt, or to question God. Paul and Peter both wrote epistles, and even though their approach to these various doctrines of the Bible might differ somewhat; they both had the same revelation, and what they taught, eventually produces the same results. Neither one of them leave any doubt in your mind about what they believed about election according to the foreknowledge of God, and about God’s eternal purpose concerning those whom He foreknew. Yet there are preachers all over the world today that take these epistles, and present a God that is always changing His mind. That is why I said their preaching annuls every positive statement in the Bible. Preachers that preach just to get a following to support their particular programs, could not care less about election and predestination according to the foreknowledge of God before the foundation of the world. They would rather have people feeling lost and condemned, when they fail to respond to the demands that are placed upon them. That is how they keep their followers under their control. There never was any problem like that until after the tares got into the church structure. Even in the case of Ananias and Sapphira, there was no doubt about whether they were children of God or not. God would not bother to kill a tare for being deceptive; if He did: there never would have been any accumulation of tares, for that is their makeup. Ananias and Sapphira did not do half of what some of those tares did later, as they got their foot in the door. We do not know how long this man and his wife had been in the fellowship, but it is obvious that they had been accepted, and that they were supposedly following the pattern of that hour, as the believers who had extra holdings sold them, and gave the money into a community fund, designed to care for everyone who had a need.

 

LOOK FOR GOD’S PURPOSE IN ALL THINGS

 

In the 4 chapter of Acts, it tells us that the multitude of those that believed, were of one heart and one th mind, and that they had all things common, and those that had extra possessions, sold them and brought the price of that which was sold, and laid it at the apostles feet, and distribution was made to each believer according to their need. This was not a doctrine taught by the apostles; it was a voluntary thing instituted to cope with the economic pressures of that hour. Ananias and Sapphira had no doubt pledged to do as the others were doing, but there was a weakness in their flesh. Instead of having complete confidence in what was being done at that time, they no doubt thought, Maybe we ought to hold back a little of this, just to be sure we have enough ourselves. Well God had already shown Peter what was going on, and God was not going to allow that kind of thing to get started, for it would have allowed that kind of a spirit to work among the others as they learned about it. Therefore when Ananias came in ahead of his wife, Peter confronted him with what they had conspired to do, and reminded him that they had not been forced to sell their certain possession and give the price of it into the common fund. But since they had pledged to do so, (give it all) and then kept back part of it, it was the same as lying to the Holy Ghost. Well God just took the breath of life right out of him, as Peter confronted him with what the Holy Ghost had shown him, and the same thing happened to the man’s wife, when she came in three hours later. This is the only case like this, that we have any record of, and it was probably the only time it happened, for the Bible says, Great fear came upon all the church, and upon all that even heard about it. The key there, is that great fear came upon all the church. Why? Because Ananias and Sapphira were both part of the church, and they saw what happened to them, for not being sincere. Let us read a few verses, starting with verse 11, of chapter 5. “And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. And of the rest durst no man (or woman) join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.” In other words, the Holy Ghost was adding to the church daily, but unless the Holy Ghost dealt with their lives in this way, no one dared to join themselves to that element of society. Remember, these were all Jews, and not one of them would have dared go against that old Judiastic spirit, without the Holy Ghost first giving them something to make them willing to face the consequences. The very cause of that economic pressure the church faced, was because of an open boycott by Judaism. You would have to be a Jew, to really know what it was like to be disinherited because of something like this. Gentiles never had any such problem. Nevertheless my point is, These unrevelated preachers say, Ananias and Sapphira were lost. They were not lost! That was God’s way of keeping the church pure, and His way of taking them through the weakness of their flesh. It brought fear and respect among the believers, and kept the make believers out of the camp of the believers until the second age, when a new generation was on the scene. Brother it took total surrender, to get into the church in those days. Everything was preached positive; for there was no one around to present any negative side. It takes that antichrist spirit to do the negative preaching. That is what causes people to say, God must not love me; or He would not allow me to suffer so, and a lot of preachers encourage that kind of talk; but I want to remind you, that God’s love should not be questioned, in the things that happen to you. In the 8 chapter of Romans, verse th 28, the apostle Paul says, “And we know that all things (ALL THINGS) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” It is wonderful to sing about it, and to testify about how all things work together for good to those that love God, and are called according to His purpose, but how do we react when persecutions, trials, heartache, humiliation, and ridiculement are allowed to be thrown at us? Can we look through all of that and see a purpose of God being worked out in our lives? We may not be able to see clearly at the time, how God could work in our circumstances, to cause them to work for good; but we should at least believe His word, that declares it to be so. God does not pile these things upon us Himself, but the devil is always standing ready to do the worst that god will allow him to do, to every person who believes and trusts in God; therefore it is our responsibility to look for the purpose of God in the things that happen to us, instead of just feeling sorry for ourselves. Notice the next verse; it puts your thinking right back on foreknowledge and predestination, and lets you know why God allows adverse circumstances in our lives. “For whom He (God) did foreknow, (foreknow to be a believer) He (God) also did predestinate to be conformed to (made like unto) the image of His Son, (Jesus) that he (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Like I have already said: if people can just get their mind off of that idea that God chose a few out of a great multitude, to be saved, predestination can be a beautiful revelation to them. Furthermore be assured that God knew about every person that would ever walk upon the face of this old planet. By that foreknowledge, He knew how every one of us would respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ, when we heard it, and only those whom He saw accepting that work at Calvary as the atonement price for their sin debt, were ever referred to as the elect, or as the predestinated children of God. These are those that He determined before the foundation of the world to perfect, and make into the image of His only begotten Son; and I might add also, that He already knew what that image would be. He knew what Jesus would have to suffer in life to mold that certain image in Him, and He knows exactly what it will take to mold that image in us. Of course the image this refers to, has nothing at all to do with our physical appearance; it refers to that spiritual image and character of the inner self. Tell me now, How many of you know what the Bible says about the sufferings of Jesus? Look at Hebrews 2:10, for a moment. “For it became Him, for whom are all things, (that is God) in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Now if it took sufferings to perfect the only begotten Son of God: who was already sinless, do you even imagine that we could ever be perfected, and made like unto His image, without some sufferings to mold that certain character in us? Jesus was never physically sick, but He did suffer everything that other men could throw at Him, and in spite of it all, He willingly submitted Himself to the cruel punishment at Calvary, and death upon the cross, to pay our sin debt, and set us free from the bondage of sin and eternal damnation. He set us free from the bondage Adam’s disobedience placed us under, by His perfect obedience in suffering all things at the hands of evil men. Who is set free? Those that believe the gospel and submit to its provisions. Who do all things work together for good, to? Those that believe the gospel and submit to its provisions. These are the ones that are the called according to God’s purpose, and are predestinated to be conformed to the image of His son. But saints, please remember that even though the word predestinate does pertain to determining a destiny beforehand, it was only through his foreknowledge that He did it, and that was because He saw the choice we would make in life, concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus was a perfect example of the kind of sons God will eventually end up with in the eternal age. That is why He will be known to us as our elder brother, because He was the first one of the family God will end up with.

 

OUR ASSURANCE IS IN GOD’S WORD

 

Alright let us look a little more at these verses here in Romans 8. They really bring out the beauty of God’s working with us to bring us to the reality of this great salvation. Verse 30, “Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” That verse is packed with the beautiful handiwork of God. Whom He did predestinate, them He also called. That means, Him knowing already what the all important choice will be, once a little baby is born, God waits for the proper time in his or her life, and then he extends His call to them. He begins to woo them by His Spirit, to cause conviction and God consciousness to take hold of their lives. Now knowing that every little baby is born with a nature to sin and rebel against God, our thought is that it would be better for Him to call them while they are still young and tender. But remember, we cannot question the wisdom of God. If He waits until a person is in their 30’s, 40’s, or even until they are of an old age, before He calls them, we have to know that he had a reason for doing it that way. Denominational churches are filled with people who have been coaxed, pressured, and some even tricked, to get their names placed on the church roll. They did not have the drawing of God to do what they were persuaded by man to do, so they just had to play along with the program, and all too many times, go through life, never having had a genuine salvation experience. That is why the preacher, or someone has to follow them through life, and pamper them like a little baby. They cannot grow up in the Lord, because they are not in the Lord, so it is just a make-believer situation all the way. There are ever so many ways that carnal men have taken it upon themselves to play God, and get people saved, and get them active in the church, and we could never mention all of those ways, so just let it be sufficient to say, There are many ways that seem right to men, but they are not necessarily God’s ways. One thing is sure; those who are ordained to eternal life, God knows exactly when and how to strike them, in order to get their attention, and bring them to His plan of salvation. Brother, those that come because of a genuine call by the Spirit of God; oh what a change you see in their lives. Another thing I might mention, when man goes out looking for prospects for the church, he goes more or less, looking for those whom he considers would make good church members, people that look like they would fit well into the church program. On the other hand, a lot of those that God calls, are people who have lived such messed up lives, it is hard for man to see how God could ever make anything worthwhile of them, or why He would even try. But I am so thankful to know that the grace and mercy of God is not allotted to us on the basis of whether we deserve it or not, or whether we have done enough to merit it. Hallelujah! It is given freely to all who will receive it, no matter what kind of tangled up life we have lived in the past. It is not what we have been, but what God can make out of us, that counts. Therefore because He foreknew us, He predetermined that we should be changed into the spiritual image of His only begotten Son, and because we were predestinated, He called us, and when we responded to that call according to the scriptural provisions made for us, we were justified, (made to be as though we had never sinned) and after our justification comes the glorification. He gives us the Holy Ghost, which is actually the life of the new birth. It is the seal of God, and guarantees that we can never be lost eternally. Now of course we all know that this does not just automatically apply to everyone who claims to have the Holy Ghost. If it did, then we would have to say that Jesus spoke something in the 13 chapter of Matthew, that was not right, for He said, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow th is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” You could not look at the great multitude claiming to have the Holy Ghost in our day, and call them few. But there are a few that truly have found that straight and narrow way that leads to life, and they do not fight against true scriptural doctrines, for they know that God is in control, and that their soul is secure in Him, regardless of the trials, tests, and pressures of life. Therefore as Paul spoke of these various truths, he said, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Oh sure, the devil is against you, but according to the word of God, he is already defeated. He can only do what God allows him to do, and that is for the perfecting of those who are heirs of salvation, according to election. I like this next verse. Surely to goodness none of you think Jesus was a man that could take all of that hatred, criticism, and abuse from those who were against Him, and not even be affected by it. He was human and had feelings, just like the rest of us. The only thing is, He kept everything in the right perspective. He had a mission in life, and allowed nothing to hinder Him in completing it, and Paul being completely aware of all that Jesus suffered, and how the Father allowed it, said this, verse 32, “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up FOR US ALL, how shall HE not with Him also freely give us all things?” To the multitude that witnessed the crucifixion of our Lord that day, it looked like He was completely forsaken, as He hung there on that old cross, with the life’s blood gushing from His pierced side. It even appeared to them that God had forsaken Him, because they did not know what His death was accomplishing in the redemption plan of God. Even His disciples said, “We trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel.” So to those that witnessed that cruel act, it looked like the man that had said, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger,” was completely forsaken, as He hung there on that old cross, with the life’s blood gushing from His pierced side. It even appeared to them that God had forsaken Him, because they did not know what His death was accomplishing in the redemption plan of God. Even His disciples said, “We trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel.” So to those that witnessed that cruel act, it looked like the man that had said, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger,” was completely forsaken, as He hung there on that old cross, between two criminals. But, Hallelujah! He was not forsaken. This was all according to the plan and purpose of the Father, and He had submitted Himself to it voluntarily, knowing what He would have to suffer. Why would He do it, some might say? Love motivated Him, and that kind of death was necessary, in order for Him to be the propitiation for our sins. Furthermore He knew what the outcome would be. To Him, death was not the end; it was only the beginning. Think of what He became heir to, through that obedience. Not only did He become the great high priest, that would intercede for all lost mankind, He became the sole heir to the beautiful riches of God’s eternal wealth, and King of the world to come. But do you realize that he suffered all of that, in order that he might share His inheritance with us? In Romans 8:16-17, Paul wrote, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” Yes, as ugly as the actual occurrence was; it was a beautiful thing that was accomplished there at Calvary that day. So listen, as Paul continues. We are in verse 33. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” Maybe you were an old drunk. Maybe you were a bank robber, or a filthy talking loud mouth. It does not matter what you once were; if God has done a work in your life, He has put those things as far as the east is from the west, from you, never to be remembered against you any more. So do not let the devil sit on your shoulder, reminding you of your past, and questioning your salvation. But, Bro. Jackson: How can I be sure? First let me call your attention back to Romans 8:16, one of the verses we just read, “The Spirit itself (the Holy Ghost) beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God.” I will say this, You cannot be born again by the Spirit of God, and not know it. If your salvation experience is only a hope so thing, then you have not fully believed the Bible to be the infallible word of God, and that is where it all has to start. If you only have some preachers religion, even though you may have great respect for him as a man of God: that is not good enough. When those Jews, on the day of Pentecost, cried out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter’s answer was, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST. (Acts 2:38-39) For the promise is unto you, (to those Jews of that hour) and to your children, and to all that are afar off, EVEN AS MANY AS THE LORD OUR GOD SHALL CALL.” That last part is what included us Gentiles, so knowing that the provision is there, a little self examination will settle the question. Has the Lord called you? Have you experienced that convicting, wooing, drawing power of God’s Spirit? Have you been made to realize your need for a Savior? If so, Have you yielded to Him, and submitted to the scriptural requirements that we have just read? God does not want you walking down the road of life full of doubt and fear, but the only way to avoid that, is to fully believe His word, knowing that he stands behind every word of it. That is what faith is. Even before Christ paid man’s sin debt at Calvary, those who believed God, and looked forward to that day, were justified by faith. Romans 4:3 says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” But I’m not worthy to be saved; some will say. That has nothing at all to do with it, for the Bible says, (Eph. 2:8-9) “For by grace (that is unmerited favor) are ye saved (How?) through faith; (That means believing God’s word) and that not of yourselves; (No, we cannot earn it) it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Brother! Sister! God wants us to be thankful that we ARE children of His. He does not mean for one of His elect to go through life just merely hoping that he or she will make it. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Knowing that there is no condemnation to those who are truly children of God, caused Paul to write as he did in these verses we have been reading. “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Go on devil: bring your accusations, it is God that justifies. Hallelujah!

 

GOD IS MOLDING US INTO ACCEPTABLE VESSELS

 

Now listen to this man who knows he is elected, as he really drives his point home. Verse 35, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Brothers and Sisters: The true children of God are not very well liked, out here in the world today. There is a Spirit in us that is recognized by the spirit that is in the world, and it causes people that do not even know you, to have an automatic dislike for you. If you were a tare, they would like you, for a tare spirit does not make them feel convicted of their sinful ways. Nevertheless the Bible tells us to “Count it all joy when ye fall into divers (various) temptations.” You are not to go looking for trouble, but the fact is, if we will just live for God, and stand up for our convictions when we need to, trouble will find us soon enough. But as the Bible says, We are not ignorant of the devil’s devices. He is shrewd, and ever so clever, as he tries to maneuver the children of God into compromising situations. But the one who said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, is always there to set the limits on what the devil is allowed to do to us. In the hand of God, we are just like a piece of metal, heat it to exactly the right temperature, and beat it into whatever shape he chooses to. You need not try it though, for he knows exactly how hot to get it, and how long to keep it in the water and oil, to build up the consistency of temper that it requires. If you do not get enough temper in it, it will bend, under certain conditions, and if you get too much, it will shatter, so it has to be exactly right, and the experienced blacksmith knows when and how much. Well God is the same way with us: if we are never allowed to be put in the fires of persecution, we are likely to bend a little, under certain stressful conditions. But on the other hand, He has to make sure we are never tested beyond that which we are able to stand, lest we become over burdened and just simply blow up. That is why we cherish 1 st Corinthians 10:13, so much; it gives us the assurance that God is always on the job, on our behalf. Notice, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted (or tested) above that ye are able; but will with the temptation (or trial) also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” You see, God is the faithful one, and He knows exactly how much it takes, of Satan’s buffeting, to mold us into a vessel that will be acceptable to Him (God.) He knows exactly what He is making out of us, and I assure you, He is not putting us in the fires of persecution to destroy us, so have faith in the fact that He is working on behalf of all His children, and know that all things do truly work together for good to them that love God, because we are the called out ones, according to His purpose. There is no need for any one to think God saved us from our sins, just to put us in a warehouse as stock material to use later. No sir: He is busy molding us into the image of His only begotten Son. That is why Paul said, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is Christ Jesus our Lord.” Now that was a long list of things he mentioned there, but he wanted us to know that once we are in the family of God, by the new birth, nothing can ever change that relationship, and nothing will keep God from perfecting His purpose in us. Too many people out here in the religious circles today, believe that this perfection is all hinged upon, or subject to our good works, and how much money we give to (what they call) the work of God. No. Those things affect our fellowship with God, depending upon our attitude and motives, of course, but they do not determine God’s purpose in us, nor affect our relationship to Him. Brother! We are in the hands of a God that knows what he is doing: so do not resist His work of perfection in your life. Your resistance is what determines many times, how much of the fires of persecution it takes, to put the proper temperament in you. So when Paul said he was persuaded that these thing shall never be able to separate us from the love of God, the US, is not the religious multitude; it is the elected, predestined child of God, that was foreknown of Him before the foundation of the world. That is who Paul was writing to.

 

A TYPE OF ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION

 

As Paul continued on in chapter 9, we find him going into a type, the elect, and yet whosoever will, which Jacob and Esau portrayed. This is another scripture that beautifully portrays election and predestination according to the foreknowledge of God. We will just pick it up in verse 11. “For the children (Jacob and Esau) being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God ACCORDING TO ELECTION might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth; it was said to her, (Rebekah) The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” No one could have known why God would look upon these two unborn babies like that, until many years after they were born. By foreknowledge, God knew what they would both be like, and what they would do; therefore He could say to their mother, before they were ever born, “The elder shall serve the younger,” and centuries later, through the mouth of His prophet Malachi, God said, “I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau,” Now carnal mankind has his own opinion of this, and some of them have even had the nerve to speak against God, concerning these instances with Esau and Cain, but the true, revelated seed of God will see it clearly, That is why Paul continued on like this; “what shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For He (God) saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Brothers and Sisters: As you read on through these verses, you are bound to see that Jacob was a type of the elected child of God, and Esau was a type of the tare, that, in the end is ruled by his flesh. Esau was the first to come out of his mother’s womb; and therefore stood in line to inherit his father’s blessing, but God knew what Esau would do, therefore his destiny was determined before he was ever born, and so was Jacob’s; for the same reason. If you go back to the book of Genesis, and follow this story, you will see that Esau was a man of the field, a hunter, and Jacob more or less, stayed pretty close to his mother, and in his heart, Jacob really desired his father’s blessing, and his mother knew it. Remember, God had said to her, “The elder shall serve the younger.” Therefore she was ready to play her part in Jacob’s deception, to get the blessing of his father, that by birth, rightly belonged to Esau. But notice what led up to that act of deception. Esau had been out hunting, maybe even several days, without finding anything, and when he came home exhausted, feeling like he was going to die, he was willing to do anything necessary to get some of the nice hot soup Jacob was boiling. At that moment, to live, meant more to him than anything else in the world. He said to Jacob, Feed me, with some of the good soup: I am starved to the point of death, (This is just my way of paraphrasing their conversation.) And Jacob said, Only if you give me (or sell me) your birthright. Well old Esau feeling that he was about to die, said, I am about to die, so what profit shall this birthright be to me? So for one little bowl of soup, Esau sold his inheritance. The Bible says, he despised his birthright, and after that, their mother helped Jacob deceive Isaac their father, in order for him to receive the blessing that Isaac would have bestowed upon Esau as the firstborn. Now some will say, Did God tell them to do that? No. But He knew they would. That is what we mean when we talk about God’s foreknowledge. Why else would He predetermine a person’s eternal destiny, if He did not already know what that person’s choice would be, concerning their eternal destiny? You must always remember, The invitation is extended to whosoever will, and it remains so today, even though God already knows who will accept the gift of eternal life. No tare can ever say he has not had the invitation extended to him, for that is what the gospel of Jesus Christ is; an announcement of an eternal inheritance, for all who will believe the report, and meet the conditions of acceptance, from the motivation of a heart that has been mellowed by the drawing power of the Holy Ghost. The spirit in a tare will not allow them to go all the way with God, but can they truly say they have not had the same opportunities everyone else has had? That is why Paul could say, “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.” Not even Cain, who was a direct blood descendant of the old serpent, could accuse God of being unfair, for God gave him his chance, saying to him, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” People have various opinions about all of this, but there is only one sensible conclusion that you can come to, and still be able to include all the scriptures that apply to what we are talking about. You just have to realize that because of His foreknowledge, knowing what every person’s choice in life would be, God could write the record ahead of time, without being unjust in doing it, and we, therefore, refer to it as predestination. Old Esau’s destination could be recorded before he was ever born, because God, before the foundation of the world, had seen him selling his birthright, to satisfy the craving of his flesh. Therefore Paul uses these two brothers, Jacob and Esau, to illustrate, in setting a type of what he is teaching. Jacob was a type of the elect of Christ, that will stop at nothing, until he or she has received that birthright, and Esau was a type of the tares in the world, self willed people who do what they want to do, regardless of the eventual outcome. They will always run a program, parallel to the true plan and purpose of God, and many times, what they do, looks real good to the unrevelated person who is just sort of investigating what certain ones teach and stand for, but the truth is, a tare can never build anything for God, spiritually speaking, because they do not have the Spirit in them, that it requires to work on God’s building.

 

THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST

 

Go with me to the 3 chapter of 1 Corinthians, and let us look some more, at the positive way this rd st great teacher presents a truth. Paul wrote this epistle in 59 A.D., and we need to keep in mind the fact that there were no tares in the framework of the church at that time, so whatever he says, he is saying it to the people who are born again of the Spirit of God. In other words, they are children of God. We will start in verse 9. “For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. (This gets into attitude, motive, conduct, and all of that.) For otherfoundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Realizing that we are not our own, and that we are bought with a great price, our testimony, our ministry, our every act and deed of life should be centered around the one who paid the great price for our redemption, Jesus Christ. He is the foundation upon which everything that is built for God must be laid. “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; (Remember now, tares are not yet in the picture, and none of us could ever start building anything until after we were children of God, in that new birth relationship.) Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” That of course, is speaking of the judgment seat of Christ. That is where every believer’s works will be tested. Furthermore the judgment seat of Christ is not on earth; it is in heaven, after the bride has been taken up. Yes it will only be bride saints, that will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. No man of the world, nor any tare, will have any part in that judgment. This will be when our works will be examined, and rewards will be given out, to those who have served the Lord with the right attitude and motive, and when this judgment is completed, the bride will know what place she will have in the Millennium. Each member of the bride will stand before Him, to be judged as an individual, and that is the only judgment the bride will ever be subjected to. Her eternal destiny will have been settled already, or she would not be at this judgment. Notice verse 14, “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” Remember, the reward is not eternal life; he has that already. The new birth is eternal life. You do not have it one day, and lose it the next. You are either a child of God, or you never were a child of God. There is just simply no such thing as having been a child of God at one time, and then the day coming, when you no longer are a child of His. You Methodists who may read this message in the Contender, can cough and splutter as much as you need to, but eternal security of the born again believer, is as real as God Himself. When we become one with Him, in that relationship, there is never a separation ever again. The reward mentioned, is some kind of ruling position delegated to those whose lives have merited it, to be effective when Jesus comes back to earth to rule for a thousand years. His bride will sit upon thrones also, and rule with Him. But some, because of a weakness in the flesh here in this life, will not be permitted to receive the same reward as others. We pick that up in verse 15, and also in chapter 5, which we will read after this, Notice now, “If any man’s WORK shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself SHALL BE SAVED: yet so as by fire.” I think you can see for yourself, that this is not talking about the man himself being destroyed by fire. It is just a matter of a weakness in his flesh, where he has allowed the devil to keep him from ever being able to get control over it, that causes him to lose any potential position of authority that he might have otherwise had, in the Millennium, but the soul of the person is saved. Those judgment fires will purge out that weakness in order to keep it from passing on over into the eternal age, because those who stand in that judgment, will already have a body that is eternal. I know there are a lot of religious people in the world today, that would disagree with what I have just said, but that is where we just have to let the word of God speak, even if it makes every man a liar. That is why we are going right on over to chapter 5: Paul enlarges there, on what we have just read here, by speaking of a certain situation he knows of, right in that Corinthian assembly.

 

CHURCH DISCIPLINE IN OPERATION

 

You will see from the way Paul writes, that he is not just assuming something; he knows what he is dealing with. We are in the 1 verse of chapter 5, and I want you to remember, that this is children of st God he is writing to, and writing about, for there were no tares among them, in 59 A.D. “It is REPORTED COMMONLY that there is fornication among you, (He just brings out one case, so do not jump to the conclusion that the whole assembly is involved in any such thing) and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.” Why are you reading this, Bro. Jackson? What are you trying to bring out? Brothers and Sisters: I am trying to show you how the Spirit of God dealt with particular issues in the body of Christ, before the tares got in among them. Our revelation has to be based on how God worked with the body, when it was in the first years of its existence, to keep it pure, before the tares got in to cloud the picture. No matter how religious they appear to be, a tare is a child of the devil, so after they got in among the saints, and were able to have a voice in what was done, the church as a whole, never again had the harmony of the Spirit, to deal with situations like this man, and like Ananias and Sapphira. God does not kill a tare for doing wrong, but in that first church age, He would take the breath of life out of His children, rather than allow them to defile the whole body by a weakness of their flesh. So here is what Paul instructed the rest of the church body to do with the man that had allowed the devil to lead him into this situation. Verse 3, “For I verily, as absent in the body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Now here is where Paul is going to tell them how to handle this situation. No. He did not tell them to take the man’s name off of the church roll. They did not even have such a thing then. But the solution was simple.) To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, THAT THE SPIRIT MAY BE SAVED IN THE DAY OF THE LORD JESUS.” That corresponds exactly with what we read in chapter 3, and shows beyond any shadow of doubt, that these were elected children of God. Brother if we had lived back there in that apostolic hour, and had done something to necessitate being dealt with by that body of believers, you could have expected to hear something like this, “Look brother, you have brought reproach upon the body of Christ, as well as your own life and testimony. Therefore you are forbidden to come among us from now on, and may God let the devil do with you whatever is necessary, in order that you be delivered from the error of your ways.” If such a person did not repent, and get their life cleaned up, they were destined to get sick and die. That is what he meant by deliver such an one to the devil, for the destruction of the flesh. God Himself could have just simply taken the breath of life out of him, like He did Ananias and Sapphira, but in this case, the man was to reap from that which he had sown. Nevertheless his name remained in the book of life, along with every other name that has ever been recorded there. Now you will never get any of these denominational churches to see this, because their revelation on other essential truths is all messed up. But the true saint of God should have no problem with it, because it fits right in with a proper revelation of the word of God in other important areas. There are some though, that have trouble reconciling this, with what the apostle John wrote in his first little epistle, so let us go there and read a few verses.

 

THE OVERCOMING LIFE OF THE BELIEVER

 

We are in the 3 chapter of 1 John, and the place we want to read is verse 9. This was written by the rd st same man that wrote the gospel of St. John, a man that walked with Jesus, and heard every positive statement Jesus made, that is recorded in the 6 and 17 chapters of that gospel, about the chosen th th ones in the Lord. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” Now that sounds very contradictive to what we have been reading from Paul’s epistles, if you only look at the actual words that are written there, but you do not throw away a revelation that you already have, just because you read a verse somewhere that seems to contradict it. Remember 2 Timothy 3:16-17, which says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of nd God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (Why?) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works,” and trust your teacher (the Holy Ghost) to help you fit it into your revelation. God did not have these scriptures written to confuse His children. If anyone is to be confused by them, it is the tares. Remember now: the only unpardonable sin, is unbelief toward God, and remember also, that once you are born of the Spirit of God, His Spirit that dwells in you makes it impossible for you to commit that unpardonable sin of unbelief. Now you who have the Scofield Bible, may notice that there is a letter there, and the notation by it, is that this means practice sin. That of course, is true; the person who is born again, does not premeditate to practice sinful things. It is always a weakness in the person’s flesh, that causes them to do wrong, and that is why there has to be chastening. If the born again believer never did anything wrong, then those scriptures that talk about God chastening every son whom He receiveth, were written in vain. That is why I say, Do not ever try to build a revelation off of one little portion of scripture without first laying it alongside every other scripture that has to be taken into account. Therefore when you read this 9 verse, remember that it has to pertain to something that goes a lot deeper than just merely doing th or saying something that falls into the category of sinful acts and deeds of the flesh, or you will have to throw away a lot of other scriptures that are in the same Bible. John was talking about something that a born again believer CANNOT DO. Why? Because he is born of God. Well what is the only thing that a true child of God cannot do? You would have to say that it would be, to disbelieve the One whose very life is in him. So that life of God that is in His true children, is what causes them to bear a proper testimony in their every day life. Human nature is against God; therefore it has to be kept under subjection to the inner man which is born of the Spirit of God, and that thought goes along with verse 10, which says, “In this the children of God are manifest, (or made known) and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” In that first church age, before the tares got in, there was a genuine love of the brethren, in the church; but later, as those tares began to infiltrate their ranks, the whole atmosphere changed. That genuineness was no longer the predominant thing, and the body more and more became legalistic. Turn right on over to the 5 chapter, and notice verse 4 and 5. It was 90 A.D., but John was still talking in th that positive way, to the body of believers. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” That is still the truth; but as you look around you, at what professes to be the church of the living God, you have to say, Where is the reality of that verse of scripture? Most of these modern day churches will not agree with you that it is wrong for Christians to smoke, drink socially and dress like some of them dress. They would never enjoy coming to Faith Assembly; they think it is too strict here. People who think like that, will always look for a church somewhere, that will let them do what they want to do, and never say anything to make them feel bad. They want their religion to be easy on their flesh, and yet be spiritual enough to pacify their religious feelings. If they want to wear slacks, shorts or bikinis in a public place, they do not want to hear anything about it. That is why they do not like to come to Faith Assembly. Those who are born of God overcome the world, because they lost their taste for the things of the world. Even though a child of God may at times get involved in something that is of a worldly nature, that spirit of conviction will eventually cause him, or her to realize that what they are doing is wrong, and they will take steps to get free from it. Living a Christian life is not just buckling down and keeping a set of rules laid down by the preacher, and all the time looking for the day when that preacher will get out of the way, so you can do as you please again. No. That is not the Christian life. That is how a tare might feel about it, but the true child of God has a heartthrob to be like Jesus. They are not looking for opportunities to sin and get by with it.

 

REVELATED FAITH CHANGES LIVES

 

I used to go to Sunday School in the Methodist Church because Daddy and Mommy made me go. I did not like getting dressed up in a suit; I would rather be in my overalls, out around the barn, with a hammer and saw. Church did not mean anything to me, so I would just sit there disgusted; waiting for the moment when I could get home and out of that suit, and back into my overalls. But when God got hold of my life and I became born again, my appetite changed, my outlook changed, the things I wanted to do changed, I loved going to church. The faith that caused that change in attitude and motive, is what overcomes the world. It is not a Methodist faith, nor a Catholic faith, but the faith that gives you a revelation of what Jesus has done for you, and what the purpose of God is for your life. In other words, we do not have anything in us that can overcome the world, until God puts His very own Spirit in us, and that measure of His Spirit that is in us, is all we need to overcome the world. That is why I have said, God will never require us to do something, without first enabling us to do it. He never places us in an impossible situation; there is always a way for us to do what He requires us to do. So verse 5 says, “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” Now that is not talking about a theological belief. You have to have Him in you by a revelation, in order for that scripture to fit your life. You could go out here in these night clubs and bars, and take a poll among those that patronize those places, Do you believe Jesus was the Son of God? Probably two thirds of them would say, Yes. But are they overcoming the world? No. They are a part of it. Whatever they believe about Jesus, (or at least most of them) is only in their mind, and the devil is in control of that, or they would not be where they are. The beautiful thing about all of this is that God can take any one of those, at any time, and work His work of grace in their lives, and deliver them from that bondage of Satan that is wrecking their lives. There is more hope for some of those people than there is for a lot of people who go to church every time the door is open, for they have sold out to the particular system of religion that they are involved with, and there is not one thing in them, that even cares whether what they believe is what the apostles of Christ believed and taught. All they care about is being faithful to their church program, and seeing how many people they can persuade to accept their form of religion. If everyone who has a genuine revelation of the plan and purpose of God, was as dedicated to that purpose, as a lot of these people are to their church systems, it is hard to imagine what we might see take place. One thing we can take comfort in though, is the fact that God has already purposed to mold us into the image of His only begotten Son. We are not just hoping that everything will turn out all right; we already know what the end of the story is, and what we will be privileged to be, and do, and in the meantime, we know that all things work together for good to us, because we love God, and are called according to His purpose, Hallelujah! We are still in the world, but thank God, we are not of the world. Our ultimate goal is to be free of everything that does not honor God, and to be conformed into the image of His only begotten Son; but for now, we have to live our lives in the midst of a crooked and perverse society of carnal people, whose lives are almost completely taken up with thoughts of what they can do next, to gratify their flesh.

 

PARTAKING OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

 

We are skipping around a lot, but we are endeavoring to bring out scriptures that can give us a good insight of how God dealt with His church to keep them pure, before the tares got in among them, so let us go to the 11 chapter of 1 Corinthians, where Paul dealt with the partaking of the Lord’s supper. th st He has told them about how Jesus, the same night He was betrayed, had taken of the bread and wine, and instituted something that would stand throughout the era of the church, to remind believers of what the Lord has done for them, to set them free from the bondage of Satan, and restore them to fellowship with their Creator. In verse 26, Paul says this, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.” Some churches partake of the form of this ordinance every week, and some others, once a month, and so forth, and how ever they have it set up, in their bylaws, to partake of it, they believe that is exactly how it ought to be done. But the Bible only says, As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come; it does not speak of any certain time to partake of it. So as Paul instructs this Corinthian assembly in the matter, he writes, “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” That person would be presenting a false testimony if he partook of this ordinance having unconfessed sin in his life. “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” To partake of this in a worthy manner, is to actually say to the Lord, Lord I thank you for bearing my sins to Calvary, and I look to you day by day for strength to live a life that is conformed to your purpose, Notice verse 29 now. “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, (meaning that through a weakness of the flesh, they have done things that are contrary to the known will of God, and have not repented, to get their life straightened out) eateth and drinketh damnation (judgment) to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” The tares were not even in the picture when Paul wrote this epistle; therefore every word of it has to apply to born again believers. As I said earlier, This is God’s way of keeping the church clean, until the pattern of what Jesus is coming back for, is clearly established. Every sinful thing that any believer did, was revealed and dealt with. Nothing that defiled that pure body was allowed to continue unattended to, and those who did not repent and clean their lives up had a sentence of death hanging over them. “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” That means they were dead. In other words, if a precious soul through neglect, failed to yield fully to the Lord in a dedicated manner, sooner or later that person was destined to take sick and die, for God would not allow them to continually burden the Church with a reproachful situation. An untimely death was eminent, and the rest of the body knew why it happened. It has never been like that, since the tares got in, for God does not chasten tares. They are children of the devil, so God lets him do his own chastening, so to speak. But I must keep impressing upon you, that we are not reading about tares; we are reading about spiritual weaklings in the body of Christ, that the spirit of God had to deal with, in order to keep the body clean, and keep them moving forward, to fulfill his purpose for them, and in them. The purpose of God cannot be changed; so everything else has to be made comfortable to that. The Church that Jesus Christ is coming back for, is to be a body completely purged of all sinful attributes, and that first age church had to exemplify that, for God sowed good seed in the beginning, just like the parable of Jesus, in Matthew 13, portrays. When He was asked to explain that parable He said, “He that sowed the good seed is the Son of man; (speaking of Himself) The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; (children of God) but the tares are the CHILDREN OF THE WICKED ONE: (the devil) The enemy that sowed them (the tares) is the devil; (He sowed his children among the children of God while men slept; meaning, after those guardians of the faith passed from the scene in death.) The harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.” The tares were not a surprise to God. He knew they would appear on the scene; but He purposed to have a pure body of redeemed saints walking on earth, before they got there. Therefore he that is born of God, does not willingly practice sin (sinful acts and deeds) and he that is born of God cannot sin the sin of unbelief, for his seed (the Holy Ghost, the life of God) remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. You do not have to be afraid of these scriptures, unless you are a tare, for God has purposed to perfect His true body of believers; not destroy them. The Holy Ghost, that we have abiding in us, is that germ of life that cannot be denied by those who have it. To everyone else though, the written word of God is just a dead letter. That is why Paul said in his Corinthian epistle, “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.” You could read these scriptures to a tare, and they would not mean a thing to him. “Do you mean to tell me that God would kill a man for doing wrong? (They will say) I just simply cannot believe that a God of love would kill anyone, just because they did wrong, for after all, who can live above sin?” Well that just goes to show that it was a tare spirit that projected this idea that we all have to sin a little every day. It sure did not come from what the apostles of Jesus taught, in that first age. Of course I realize that there are those who would say that I am too hard on you; but please remember that I am only pointing you to what is written in the word of God, and trying my best to get you to see that this was not written to tares, but to those who were truly born of the Spirit of God. The fact that God does not use the strict discipline measures among His body of believers now, like He did in that first age, does not in any way indicate that His purpose has changed, and it does not mean that He no longer chastens His children. He just simply does it in a way that is sometimes known only to the one who is being chastened. Since He does not chasten tares, there is no such thing as having a body of people, exemplifying the love and purity that was exemplified in that first age, as long as there are tares among the true children of God; so He just merely deals with the individual believers, over a period of time, to bring them to the kind of dedication He desires to see in them. I will say this, When God gets his true body of people out of Babylonian confusion, we are going to see Him work once again in ways that we have not heretofore envisioned for these last days. He has not exhausted His resources, you know.

 

APPLICATION OF SCRIPTURAL TRUTHS

 

We have two more verses in this Corinthian letter that I want to read, for they establish an important truth that we need to be very conscious of; as we endeavor to live for God in this evil age. Verses 31 and 32 of this 11 chapter is where I want to read. “For if we should judge ourselves, we should not be th judged. (We always have an opportunity to examine our own lives, and correct the error of our ways, before the chastening rod of God falls on us, but if we do not, He is faithful to do His part.) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, (Why?) That we should not be condemned with the world.” The world is going to hell. That is a condemnation that rests upon them, because they are not of God; but the born again believer will never be subjected to that condemnation, because our Father will chasten us, and deal with us as sons, and His Spirit that is in us will cause us to submit to Him. Therefore regardless of the conflict between the flesh which is weak, and the Spirit which is born of the Spirit of God, we have passed from that state of being condemned with the world. That is why Paul, after speaking of that great conflict between the natural and the spiritual portions of our total being, said in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation TO THEM WHICH ARE IN CHRIST JESUS, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Now of course some will look at the last part of that verse and say, But what about the believer who continues to walk after the flesh instead of after the Spirit? That is not an option given there; that merely states what the walk of the born again believer is. The walk of the truly born again believer is always after the spirit, regardless of how many mistakes that person makes in life because of a weakness of the flesh. I marvel at the grace and mercy of God, and my soul rests in Him, because I believe it is as our brother from Montreal Canada, is always saying, “The best is yet to come.” God is saving the best until last, and that will be only for the elected bride of Jesus Christ. The tares will have no part in that. Alright now, let us go back to the little epistle of 1 st John, where we will see some more of the discipline that was in effect, in the first age of Christianity. In chapter 5 verse 16, we pick up this part. “If any man see his brother (when he said brother: he was not talking about a church member; he was talking about a true born again brother in the Lord Jesus Christ) sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and He shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” What does that say to us? It lets us know that in the beginning, the Church knew what categories certain sins fell into. They knew that there were certain things God would just simply not tolerate, and that if a believer allowed the devil to trick him, and get him into a situation that fell into that category, an untimely death would take him out of the picture. They knew that they were not even to pray for that situation. On the other hand though, there were other things that believers did, through a weakness of the flesh, that in the eyes of God were classified as sin, but when handled properly, those who were guilty of these things would be spared alive, and restored to fellowship among the other believers. In other words, there can be a healing of a sickness that is upon a person, to chasten that person for being out of the will of God. This is what they were admonished to pray for. “All unrighteousness is sin: (We all understand that.) And there is a sin not unto death.” It is important, as we look at these various scriptures, to distinguish the difference between spiritual death and natural death. The born again believer is subject to natural death, just like everyone else, unless he is privileged to live in the generation that will be alive when Jesus returns again, and he is one of them. But the born again believer can never die a spiritual death, for he has already passed from that death, unto life eternal. Therefore when you are reading scriptures such as these, which were written to believers, the death mentioned could only apply to physical death. So as John deals with these sins of the flesh, and how the Spirit of God looks upon them, he then comes right back to that positive statement concerning those who are born again. Verse 18, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; (In other words, Unbelief does not rule his life. He gets up every morning, very conscious of the fact that he is a child of God, and desiring that the Lord will help him conduct himself in a proper way through the day.) But he that is begotten of God keepeth Himself, and that wicked one toucheth Him not.” We can learn from these scriptures, but we cannot apply them to the body in this hour of time, when there are yet so many tares mingling with the body of believers. Those Jews of that apostolic hour, knew exactly what God would tolerate in the things that were classified as sin in the lives of believers, but can you picture the churches of our day trying to use these scriptures to correct their church members? Denominational church leaders have tried to use some of these disciplinary scriptures against certain ones that would not adhere to their church rules, but God could not have cared less, whether their members kept their rules or not, for He did not establish their rules. These correctional provisions were not placed in the holy scriptures to give anyone the authority to enforce a set of rules; they are there to show how the Holy Ghost dealt with unrighteous deeds in the lives of children of God, before there ever were any bylaws and church doctrines, for anyone to be concerned about. The true child of God does not need a set of rules to follow; the Spirit in him, or her, is what ought to be directing their lives. Because of the image tares have presented, and the fact that God does not chasten them, theologians have been able to brainwash the world, and make it appear that God just leaves it up to every individual to believe whatever he or she wants to believe, and in the end everything will be all right, if they were sincere. They fight the very thought that anyone could have been foreknown and predestinated before the foundation of the world, because without revelation, they cannot fit that in with, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” They have to try to keep it open, so that anyone can be in that element called, the bride. Well as I have already stated, The call is still there, but God, by foreknowledge, knew who would accept the invitation, and who would not, before He ever set about to create anything, so regardless of what your great theologians teach, the book of life stands as is. It was written before the foundation of the world, and there has never been any new names added to it. There is a song that some sing, about a new name written down in glory, but it is only a song; it is not the word of God. This is not a hit and miss situation; God knows exactly how many places to set, at the marriage supper of the Lamb. There will not be one extra place set, and there will not be anyone there without a place prepared for them. Brother I am glad to have the keeping of my eternal soul in the capable hands of a God like that. When I lay my head down at night, I do not have to worry about where I will be, if I never live to see another day dawn. As I said earlier, We are either children of God, or we are not children of God, but if we are, we have eternal security. Nothing can go wrong; to change our eternal destiny. Praise His name! I love him.

 

HOW TARES GOT IN

 

Now the fact that there were no tares in that apostolic church, does not mean that they were without concern in that matter, for we know by the scriptures that the tare spirit was knocking on the church house door, trying to get in, even as early as 54 A.D., when Paul wrote the Thessalonian epistles, and referred to the mystery of iniquity, which was already at work, but was being withheld by the Holy Ghost, until its time. That just lets us know that those apostles were aware of what Satan wanted to do, and they recognized that he was already at work trying to gain an entrance. We also find John mentioning that spirit of antichrist, which he said was already in the world in 90 A.D., when he wrote the little epistles. Now some will say, Just exactly how did that tare spirit ever get into the church? Brothers and Sisters: It was not a sudden thing; it took many years. After the gospel was preached unto the Gentiles, and various assemblies were established, just little by little, Satan was able to inject a thought that someone would grab hold of. Of course we have to realize that it was not in the minds of those who received the original gospel, preached by the apostles, that these thoughts were injected. But as time passed, and certain ones were converted right in the local assemblies, under the teaching of local people, not every one of them received the real thing. It was not really obvious that they did not receive the Holy Ghost; but in the process, something captured their minds and kept them from receiving the true baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is the seal of God. Therefore, there in the local assemblies, were people assuming roles in the leadership of the body, (over a long drawn out period of time, of course) that did not have a genuine born again experience. That gave Satan an opportunity to plant a little thought here and there, now and then, until the day finally came that their revelation of the Godhead, was turned into a trinity. Now it ought to go without saying, that Satan could not work a trick like that, in one or two generations. It took many generations with just a slight deviation here and there, for him to work a work like that. But history shows that by 325 A.D., Satan’s people had control of church politics, and God was declared to be a trinity of persons, instead of one God in three offices, as the original apostles had taught. You say, How could such a thing happen? Well that just proves what Paul said, a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. In 2 Corinthians 11:13, we find Paul heading off something that Satan has tried to sow in that nd assembly, and this was written in 60 A.D., long before that first age ran its course. I am reading this again to make this point concerning that tare spirit, and how it gained its entrance into the church. It had come to Paul’s ears, that certain men who were not ordained of God had tried to project certain ideas forth in that assembly, so he wrote saying, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” Paul knew, from what he had heard, that these men were not ordained of God; but he also knew they were not just some fellows from the neighborhood saloon, that had decided to go tell the Church a few things. They had to be men with certain acceptable credentials, or they never would have been allowed the opportunity to project their thoughts to the Church. He goes ahead to say in verses 14 and 15, “And no marvel; (In other words, This should not be hard to understand, how deceivers could do such a thing.) For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” In this case, Paul could not say, Turn them over to the devil for the destruction of their flesh. But he did know that sooner or later, their end would be destruction anyhow.

 

SHUN VAIN BABBLINGS

 

Let us go back to 2 Timothy and see what Paul wrote to that young preacher in 66 A.D., while he was nd in Rome. First he says to him, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” There has got to be a way that the word of God forms a consistent pattern, or picture, as it is presented, in order to lift us up out of confusion and misunderstanding, and give our faith a solid foundation to stand upon, and that is only possible when the word of God is rightly divided. You know that is the truth; for people take certain verses from the Bible, to support some of the strangest ideas you have ever heard. This comes under the heading of vain babblings, which we see in this next verse. “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” A lot of people seem to just live for the opportunity to take a certain point, and go unto all the technicalities of it, but they never really get a revelation of truth. That is why I have said, What is the use of me trying to explain every detail of something, to someone who just wants to argue or debate about it? If a person is really looking for truth, and they have that Spirit of truth in them, which Jesus said would be our teacher, they do not have to have every little detail explained to them. The Holy ghost will put their mind in the stream of thought that is being projected, and they will get the rest of it from Him. Jesus did not try to explain every little detail of what He taught. He spoke a lot of things in general, totally dependent upon the Holy Ghost to take it, and break it down to the believers, later on. In John 14:26 and 16:13, He said the Holy Ghost would do that, when He came. Therefore the same admonition that Paul gave Timothy, still holds true today. Shun these endless discussions and debates, that lead you into worthless babblings, for that is how Satan leads us into his traps. He will get you to thinking you can help someone, and all the time, he is just pulling you apart.

1986-10-The-Book-Of-Life-Part-1

Exploring Eden, Part 2 – 1986, August


WE ENDED PART 1 OF THIS MESSAGE, AFTER DEALING WITH THOSE VERSES IN THE 12TH CHAPTER OF HEBREWS, WHERE PAUL WROTE OF THE CITY OF THE LIVING GOD; THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM. THEREFORE WE WANT TO PICK UP THE THOUGHT RIGHT WHERE WE LEFT OFF, AND EXPLORE THAT BEAUTIFUL CITY. EVERY TIME WE DO THIS, SOMEONE LOSES THEIR IVORY PALACE AND THEIR STREETS OF GOLD; BUT WHAT IS TRUTH FOR: BUT TO GET RID OF ALL THOSE OLD HAND-ME-DOWN TRADITIONS THAT ARE COMPLETELY CONTRARY TO THE WORD OF GOD. WE WILL LOOK AT THE FOUNDATIONS, THE WALLS, THE STREET, AND ALL THE REST OF IT, AND TRUST THE LORD TO GIVE A REVELATION TO SOME WHO HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT OF THIS CITY AS A LITERAL CITY. WE WANT YOU TO SEE WHO MAKES UP THAT CITY, AND HOW THEY GOT THERE, AND WHAT IT ALL REPRESENTS IN THE TOTAL PLAN OF GOD.


FROM A GARDEN – TO A CITY


I take no particular pleasure in tearing up your golden streets, just for the sake of wrecking something; but for too long people have written songs and painted pictures portraying this city of Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, as such a literal thing; it is time for true saints of God to see it for what it really is. Dottie Rambo wrote a song, Build My Mansion Next Door to Jesus; and someone else wrote one, Build Me a Mansion in Gloryland, and people think like that, when actually we are the mansions, and God dwells in us. Adam did not dwell in a city, and my honest opinion is; If man had never sinned, there never would have been a city. But through time, cities have become a very real part of man’s life on earth. Therefore what God portrayed as a garden, in the beginning, is portrayed as a city, in the last chapters of Revelation. I do not know what Cain had in mind, when he built the first city; but as time moved on, cities became recognized as places where people grouped together for protection against outside forces, and eventually the Israelites, which had been nomads, began to possess houses, villages, towns and cities, as they came into the land of Canaan, and then God chose one particular spot in that land, where He would put His name. That is the spot we know as Mt. Zion today. But prior to King David’s time, it was a Jebusite city. I might say also, This is the mountain where Abraham brought Isaac: to offer him up as a sacrifice to God many hundreds of years before that, so this mountain and the city that stands atop it, is not just there by chance; it was all in the plan and purpose of God. David conquered the city when the Jebusites occupied it, and set up his palace there. Then God revealed to him that there was to be a temple built, a place where He would put His name, but He would not let David build it, because he was a man of war; therefore it fell Solomon’s lot to build the house of God there, after he succeeded his father as king. He built the first temple on that spot of ground, and God filled it with His Shekinah glory, and it became sacred to the Jewish people from that day on. In the 6th century before Christ, when the Israelites began to forsake God’s laws and ordinances, He brought the Babylonian army against them. They came in three separate periods, each time taking slaves and destroying parts of the city. But the third time, they completely destroyed the city, and the temple; leaving everything in total ruins, and took all the healthy people captive. That is when the seventy years of their captivity actually started, and it was after that seventy years, that Zechariah and Haggai were allowed to take workers and reconstruct the temple. When you read the description of its dimensions though; you find that it was a much smaller building than the one Solomon built; yet those who built it, were hoping that it would be the temple their Messiah would come to. Well it was the one that was standing on that sacred spot of ground, at the first advent of Christ, but we all know now, that the one their Messiah (and our Lord and Savior) will sit in, has not even been built yet.


RENEWED INTEREST IN TEMPLE MOUNT


About 40 some years before the first advent of Christ; there were Jews that began to put pressure. The felt that they were living just before the coming of their Messiah, so old King Herod seized that opportunity to play politics with them. He set about through a period of high taxation, and in an effort to appease those Jews, to add to, and beautify the temple. He had it turned into a monstrosity of a building, and decked it with all sorts of finery. That is what the disciples of Jesus was looking at that day, when they showed it to Jesus. They called His attention to the beauty of it; but, you know what He said to them: Tear it down, and in three days, I will raise it up again. That should have let those disciples know that that was not the house He was going to sit in. It was beautiful, of course, but it was not the one the Messiah would rule and reign from. Now brothers and sisters: You may wonder why I am saying all of this, but I was reading in the Jerusalem Post, that a group from the Israeli Knesset, had wanted to go over on the temple mount and explore the possibility of finding a place where the orthodox Jews could go, to read and pray. They reverence the ground as a sacred place, because they know it is the place where their original temple stood. Naturally the Moslems did not go for their ideas, for they thought they were just coming to make trouble. It really did turn out like that, when there was a clash between some of those that went along to guard, but it was not planned like that. Nevertheless, now that the issue has gained attention from both sides, some of the Israelis are now saying, The whole temple mount belongs to Israel. That is the truth, scripturally, but it will take some kind of conflict for it to become a reality, because the Moslems now have possession of it. I find all of this very interesting though; for now they are even considering the possibility of building a large synagogue on the eastern end of the temple mount area. I feel that if those Jews are beginning to get that kind of feeling about that temple mount, we could be getting close to the hour of the coming of Jesus. Because the scriptures verify the fact that when He does come back to earth again, a brand new temple will be sitting there waiting for Him. Jesus will not have to stand around waiting for it to be built. Remember: The Antichrist will desecrate it, before Jesus ever gets to it. Now that does not mean that he will mar the construction of the building; it is just the fact that he sits in it for three and a half years, projecting his ungodly deeds, and at the same time claiming to be God. When Jesus comes; it will be re-dedicated before He enters it. But my point is, We Gentiles need to take note of the fact that Jews are beginning to feel like that about the importance of them being allowed to worship and pray, and read their scrolls, on the temple mount. That does not mean the synagogue is going to be the temple. It just lets us know that in their natural way of thinking, they are wanting to get on that ground. They are going to ask Jews all over the world to contribute to a fund dedicated to that end. But the whole thing also lets us know, that those who do believe in the coming of the Messiah, do not really know their scriptures, for it was stated that they hoped their Messiah would come before it was completed. I just have to say this: If in the eyes of God, it is getting close to the time, they will not have to put pressure on anyone to help build a synagogue there; God will let them have their temple ground, without that Moslem mosque standing on it. He will see that it is destroyed in a war of some kind. World sentiment would never allow that thing to be torn down, so I am persuaded that this is how it will be accomplished. When it happens like that; then the Jews will have possession of their temple ground, and they will not have to let any Moslems claim any rights to it, ever again. Is that not how they got possession of the western wall, and other parts of the city? God uses this sort of thing to fulfill His word, when the time is right.

 

 

A LOOK AT PARADISE


Let us go back now, to the 2nd chapter of Revelation, where we read that one verse already. This is the portion that was written to the church at Ephesus, in that first age of Christiandom. The church itself was in Asia Minor, in an area which today is known as Turkey. But the thing we are most interested in here, is the word paradise, mentioned in this way, for the first time in the New Testament. This paradise is what made the garden of Eden stand out, in the story of man’s beginning. God chose to place the man He created, in this atmosphere, for he was created without sin, and completely innocent. Therefore it was no strange thing that he should dwell in eternal life, for what ever purpose God had created him. But sin disrupted God’s plan right at the onset, causing man to be separated from the spirit world that he had been privileged to have access to. After that separation, no mortal man has ever been allowed to press himself back into that realm again. But God’s plan of redemption, ordained from before the foundation of the world, is so designed to restore us back to what that paradise relationship was. Redemption gives back to repentant mankind, the eternal life that Adam was removed from. As I have already said, Eating of the tree of life is not what gave Adam and Eve eternal life; it was the fact that they lived in the garden, (paradise) which was the very anointing presence of God, their Creator. The very fact that they lived in that environment, gave them eternal life. Of course some people will say, If a person had eternal life, how can they die? Well there are two things to consider; God is that eternal life that we speak of; and when He comes into our lives by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, that is our seal. That is our assurance that we have eternal life according to Romans 8, and Ephesians 4:30. Adam lived in that eternal presence on the condition that he obeyed the commandment of his Creator; therefore what happened to him was a result of his own choice. But we have not received this seal of eternal life on any such conditional basis; for we had to meet the conditions before we received it. That is why we can rightly speak of eternal security; because God only gives that measure of His Spirit to those whom He has foreknown, so it is not a hit and miss situation. Therefore as we come back to Adam, we must realize, he did not have that eternal life given to him as a seal: he had to be tested, and when he was tested, he failed. That is why I said, Eating of the tree of life, is not what gave them eternal life: it was just the fact that they were dwelling in the presence of Him who is eternal life, until they were driven from that presence because of sin. Because they had chosen to do so, they were left to eat of the tree of knowledge, and produce offspring outside of paradise. Therefore all of their offspring were born into the world, without, or outside of that eternal life realm, and it has remained so ever since. But in Revelation 2:7, we find those words written to the church at Ephesus, over 1900 years ago, in that first age of Christiandom. ” He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh.” Let me say this before reading the rest of that verse; In every age and hour, there has always been something of a predominant nature, that God has worked through, to perfect His purpose in the lives of those who were to be heirs of eternal life. There has always been something of a testing or trying nature, that believers have had to overcome. But what people have had to overcome in one age, may not necessarily have been the predominant thing that saints of another age would have to overcome. Every age has its own trials and tests, but God’s grace in every age, has always been sufficient for those that trusted Him. “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, (where is that tree?) which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Saints, we must realize that to eat of the tree of life now; is not an act; it is an experience. The act of reproducing has already been performed, but it did not bring forth eternal life. Therefore no wonder Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again,” and “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” for that Spirit is the life of that tree. That tree is only symbolic within the paradise, which is the realm of the Spirit of God. Therefore the baptism of the Holy Ghost, is the overcomer’s promise, and it is his assurance that he has received the essence of what the original fruit would have been, which would have been eternal life.


Without the Spirit of God, there is no way we can live forever, and neither can we please God;

becausewe do not have a nature in us, to know how to please God. But by that Spirit in us, (the Holy Ghost) God is slowly leading us back into His presence, back into that realm where He abides. No, we do not have a full measure of His Spirit, but the measure that we do have is our sufficiency for the journey ahead. If we should die, and our bodies go into the ground before our change comes, then that measure of the Spirit that we have, is all that it will take to get our bodies up out of those graves, and clothe them in immortality. Then we will have the fullness of that same Spirit, that will enable us to fulfill whatever our purpose is, in the Millennium. Right now though we are looking at paradise, so let us take a better look at it. As I have said, Artists have tried to paint what they believed paradise should look like, and others have had all sorts of imaginary pictures in their minds, but none of them could ever really express what paradise was really like. Adam and Eve were the only humans that have ever been able to tell what it was really like, and we have no record that they ever did so. One thing is sure though; it takes more than just beautiful trees and flowers to express the true picture. Paradise opens up another dimension, another world: that becomes just as accessible as the natural world we now live in. It is a realm where it is just as common to see angels moving about, as it now is to see birds flying around from tree to tree. Through the ages, God has given certain patriarchs, and certain individuals, a little glimpse into that heavenly realm, but none of them have ever seen the full scope of what it really is. You remember how Jacob laid his head down on a rock one night to sleep, and while he was asleep, God let down a ladder from heaven, and he saw angels ascending and descending. Oh it all looked so real to him, as he saw those angels going back and forth with such ease. That experience caused him to say, (when he awoke), Truly this is the house of God, for I met the Lord face to face. In other words, God just pulled back the curtain, and allowed him to have a little glimpse, and he told about it the best he could, like others have. Yet if we should take all of these stories and put them together, we would still not be able to explore paradise for what it really is, for I am sure that there is yet much of it that mortal men have not yet been privileged to see. But the point is, God can lift us up in the Spirit, and let us see anything He chooses to. That is how various scripture writers were able to describe so vividly, certain pictorial scenes they were privileged to view. Just suppose John: when he was taken up into heaven; saw only a great halo of light; how would he have known what to write? But what did he say? (Rev. 4:2) “I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” You can read it all if you want to, but God showed him all of that great heavenly scene, in order that he might be able to record it for later generations to read, showing the relationship of Jesus, to the great eternal Spirit which is the Father of all things. Now brothers and sisters: what I am trying to show you, is that when you are dealing with paradise, you are dealing with the spirit realm; so you have to get your eyes off of natural things. Oh yes, in the beginning, the natural, and the spiritual were all seen together, and what a beautiful picture that must have been, but when we talk about paradise today, we have to keep it on the spirit side, in order to properly express it.


OVERCOMERS ARE PILLARS


Let me go now, to the third chapter of Revelation, where we will see some more of this language of the Spirit identified with natural things that man is familiar with. We read where Paul wrote to believers, how that we have come unto Mt. Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven. That is what we have come to; but it is not a geographical location: It is pointing to a spiritual reality, that which we have obtained in the Spirit. So let us read, starting here in verse 12 of the 3rd chapter of Revelation. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.” What does that mean? Do you know what a pillar is? Are we going to literalize it, and say that God is going to turn us into columns of concrete or stone? That is what a pillar is, you know. A pillar is a support column for a building or structure, and the only natural building God is interested in, is the temple that shall be built in Jerusalem, in which Jesus will sit and rule during the Millennium, and I am sure God is not going to make us literal columns in that building; so what is John actually writing about? As we have already said, The true Church, the bride of Christ, is going to be changed into immortality before the Millennium starts; and rule and reign with Jesus during that one thousand years. That is why John said, We know not what we shall be like, but we know this, when He appears we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is. Therefore knowing that He is immortal we know that we will be immortal also. He is the Bridegroom, and the true Church is His bride. For what purpose? To rule and reign with Him for one thousand years, of course. Therefore to be a pillar in the spiritual sense, is to be a person of spiritual support, capable of holding up the weight of responsibility and obligations in the body of Christ, that the Church has to stand for, while the gospel is being offered to lost humanity in the world all around us. In the book of Acts, we read where it mentions Peter and James, and those who were esteemed to be pillars in the church. Well you certainly could not say that they were concrete, or stone, in the literal sense; but they truly were spiritual posts that held up a lot of weight, as the church moved out, in that first age. Their responsibility was great. Notice now, as we read some more of that verse, for we are looking at spiritual applications. “And he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God.” Here again, that writing is only figurative; for it actually means, I will give him a revelation. You will find that same terminology used in the 14th chapter of Revelation, concerning the 144,000 Jewish servants of God, that are sealed in chapter 7. When John saw them; they were standing atop Mt. Zion with the Lamb, (which is Christ, in symbolic language) having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. That simply means, that by divine revelation, they knew Jesus who was the Christ, carried the revealed, redemption name of Jehovah. In other words, It was written in their minds, as surely as if it was written right across their foreheads with an indelible ink, who Jesus is, and what He is. It is a revelation that cannot be taken away from them. Alright, “I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is the NEW JERUSALEM, which cometh down OUT OF HEAVEN from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” Overcomers will not only have a revelation of the redemption name of God; they will also have a revelation of the city of God, the New Jerusalem, that John saw coming down from God out of heaven, and lastly; they will know the new name that Jesus is to be called by. Yes, when Jesus comes to rule and reign on earth for a thousand years, He will be called by a new name. But do not be deceived by those who claim to know what that new name is; for no one knows it yet. There are some who will eagerly tell you, that Jesus’ new name is William Marrion Branham, but they speak by the spirit of Antichrist, for that name will not be revealed to any of us, as long as we are in this mortal flesh. That name will be imparted to us, when we are changed into immortality. That new name will not be in use until the Millennium age. Men of this age would desecrate it, if it was known to them. God has allowed these serpent seed type of individuals to hear, and carry many precious revealed truths, in the past twenty some years, but there are some things that they claim to know, that they will never know, because they are reserved for overcomers. Furthermore; being able to transmit a revealed truth is one thing, and having a revelation of that truth is something else altogether. You can certainly confirm that, by taking note of where some of these followers of Bro. William Branham are today; and what they are doing and saying. A true revelation would not allow a person to do what some of them are doing today.


THE NEW CITY


Let us leave the point we are on now, and go to Revelation, chapter 21, where we can really begin to explore this new city we have been mentioning. We have sung about a city foursquare, with streets of gold, and ivory palaces; but how many of you will admit that these streets of gold and ivory palaces, are all illusions from traditional interpretations; with no scriptural foundation? When you look at the Bible, you discover that the street of gold is singular, and that ivory palaces are not even mentioned. But regardless of what you may say; there are some who will always visualize this city to be a literal, tangible city, and they will still be looking forward to living in an ivory palace somewhere within it. Well all we can do is present the truth; we cannot force people to receive it. To you who do have an ear to hear: let me say this though, The city we are looking at, is not a picture of the Millennium. The Millennium is over when this picture comes into focus. In the Millennium, Jesus will rule and reign, from the natural city of Jerusalem there on Mt. Zion, in a literal temple built by men. That temple is yet to be built, and it will be only for the Millennium, so let us now look closer at the city John wrote about here. Remember, all scripture of the Bible has to link together, regardless of what some men may be trying to teach. God’s wrath will be poured out upon ungodly mankind, at the end of the great tribulation time, and there will be an element of natural people left alive that will be judged worthy to live during that Millennium reign. This is who Christ and His bride will rule over during that time. Then when the Millennium is over, and all the ungodly people from every age have been resurrected and cast alive into the lake of fire: (In other words, all whose names were not found written in the book of life, at the great white throne judgment.) the next thing to be inaugurated is the eternal age. That is when the new city actually comes into the picture, so let us begin reading in verse 1 of chapter 21, and see what the Bible actually says about it. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Now brothers and sisters: This is not talking about a new paradise: (the habitation of God, or the third heaven, as Paul referred to it in 2nd Corinthians 12), it is talking about the immediate atmosphere around the earth, which at present is filled with all sorts of satanic spirits. The Bible tells us that Satan is the prince of the power of the air. He is the god of this world, of all the ungodly forces that affect man. It is those satanic forces that create havoc, and all the sin, turmoil, and strife that we see out here today. But when redemption is completed, in the earth; this will eliminate all the opposing forces of evil from the atmosphere around the earth also. All of that will be destroyed in the lake of fire; so this will then leave the earth and the atmosphere around it clean. There will not be another planet earth; that is new; it will be the same planet. But it will be cleansed, and redeemed back to God, the great eternal Spirit, and sin will never be allowed to mar the picture ever again. As for the new heaven: do not ever think that the devil has been allowed to clutter up the habitation of God. The domain of God, called the third heaven, does not need to be made new, or cleansed; there is nothing wrong with it. That realm called paradise, has been kept free from Satan’s evil influence. The rich man was told that there was a great gulf between where he was, and the paradise that Lazarus was in, so that one could not pass from the one to the other, and that also included the devil. When Lucifer (now called the devil) was cast down to earth, his evil influence has been limited to the earth and its immediate atmosphere ever since. That is why it has to be cleansed and made new again. The Methodists look at this verse, and at that scripture in 2nd Peter, that speaks of how the heavens and the earth shall melt with fervent heat, and they say, The planet is literally going to burn up. That is what the Bible says; they will tell you. Well that is what the words in the Bible sound like they mean; but when you line them up with the rest of the Bible, you get an entirely different picture. It is the same with that part that says, “And there was no more sea.” That should not give anyone the picture that there will be no more water; for as long is there is any kind of plant life growing, there will always be water to water it. That just simply points to the fact that the earth will no longer be two thirds covered by water. I believe, if we will read Genesis right, we will discover that this planet did not have large bodies of water like the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, before the flood. There were lakes and bodies of water; but every continent was connected together one with another, by land linkage, and there was more land of the earth’s surface exposed, to eventually be inhabited, rather than what we see today. You can read the first chapter of Genesis, and you will see that before the flood, when the earth was closer to the sun, God had those waters gathered together in a way that they served as a filter, to filter the rays of the sun. That is what gave the earth a perfect climate the whole year around. In all probability, it would never have rained as you and I know rain, for the earth was watered by dew. In other words, When the earth sweats, you can get your feet wet in the morning. But what all of this terminology really means is that John was seeing the earth in its redeemed state, after everything has been restored back to its original beginning, so let us read on. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, (Remember now, what we read, in chapter 3, about those that overcome: I will write upon them the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God. To that point, it is the same language, but notice the rest of this verse.) prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” What is this actually saying? This is none other than a pictorial representation of the way God has displayed paradise again, for its connection back to earth.


WHERE ETERNITY BEGINS


Man was driven from paradise in the beginning, because of sin. But now the earth has been redeemed, and paradise is being restored back to earth again, for its eternal purpose. Eternity begins here, and continues throughout the endless ages, wherein time will no longer be calculated. Why do I say that? Turn with me to the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians. The apostle Paul is writing a revelation, and here is what he states, starting in verse 22. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Because of Adam’s sin every child born into the world has that imputed death sentence hanging over them. That is what he meant by, all die. But let us not interpret the last part of that verse to mean that in Christ all are made spiritually alive, nor eternally alive. God has invested in Him, power of death, hell and the grave, therefore He will be the means by how all will be brought forth, to eventually be placed somewhere, even if it is the lake of fire. “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” As time draws near for the age of the Millennium, Christ will literally take from the earth every redeemed overcomer. Those who have died will be resurrected, and with the living element of overcomers, will be taken to glory, until such a time as the Millennium rule is ready to be set up. At that time, they are seen coming back to earth with Him, and will rule and reign with Him for a thousand years. Martyred tribulation saints will also be resurrected to rule with Him during that time. “Then cometh the end (the end of what? The end of the Millennium.) when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father.” Now right here is where we could go into the Godhead. For there are a lot of people, especially in oneness Pentecost, that just have to sort of scoot through this verse, because their limited revelation keeps them from being able to handle this verse. Jesus the man, has been invested with the power and authority of Jehovah; the invisible God which is Spirit, and that investment has enabled Him to rule and reign until He has accomplished the purpose and mind of God. After that, there is no longer any reason for Him to continue to rule as King, as He has done throughout the Millennium. That is why it says, “Then cometh the end, the end of the Millennium. “When He shall have delivered up the kingdom of God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” That takes place at the great white throne judgment. (Rev.20:11-15) That is where everything that still pollutes the earth is burned. Alright now, verse 27 says, “For He (meaning God) hath put all things under His (Jesus’) feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He (the Father) is excepted, which did put all things under Him (Jesus). And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, (Christ Jesus) then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him (the Father, the eternal Spirit) that put all things under Him, that God (the great eternal Spirit) may be all in all.” Brothers and sisters: That takes you right back to Revelation 21, verse 3, right where we left off. “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men.” What does that mean? It means that God has accepted his redeemed family of humanity, and now He is placing Himself back on earth, in the fullness of what paradise was in the beginning. Actually what it amounts to is that the spirit world, and the natural world is coming back together again. Do not look at the word tabernacle, in this usage, as a building. God does not need a building. You are the only building He ever really wanted to dwell in. So notice the rest of that verse. “And He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Saints: Just think of that. It is describing the eternal picture and objective that God has been bringing mankind back to for the past six thousand years. It is like He infuses Himself into His redeemed family to start the eternal age of time without end. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” Of course we realize that all things are made new as a result of God’s process of redemption, and not because of an act of creation. Rather than creation, it is an act of restoration, whereby all things are returned back to their original state. “And He said unto me, Write: For these words are true and faithful. And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.” Now why would He use the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet here? It is because all things had their beginning in Him, and anything that has an end, will end because He has decreed it to be that way. He is the originator of all languages upon the earth; for we have read how He came down, when all men were of one language and one purpose, building a tower to reach into heaven, and confused their language. But as for the Alpha and Omega usage here: He is simply using terminology from the language of the Bible; to say that everything that exists, had to have its origin in God, and He is the one that will terminate whatever is to be terminated. Anything that does not pass through His plan of redemption and gain His acceptance, is definitely going to have an end. Well after He spoke of being the beginning and the end He said, “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” We would not want to put that statement all the way out in the eternal age; for that is what He has been doing right on through the ages. This was written in a letter, and given to the churches; therefore certain things of the contents of the letter has been for the present day, in every age. It is just like that first verse of Revelation 22, where John saw a river of pure water proceeding out of the throne; we know that it not a literal river. It is the same water Jesus was talking about in John 7:38. He had said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” Then He said, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Verse 39 goes ahead and tells that He was speaking of the spirit that believers would receive, and we know that on the day of Pentecost, after Jesus had resurrected and ascended into heaven, those believers that were assembled in the upper room waiting for the promise of the Father, truly did receive that Spirit, and the living water started to flow. Ever since that day, thirsty souls have been able to drink from that fountain freely.


THE WATER OF LIFE


It is God’s purpose that every redeemed child of God should have something flowing from that life, that would cause others to want to drink from that same source. Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, He that drinketh of the water that I shall give, will never thirst again. The very fountain of that water of life, was standing right there by that natural well, where the woman had come to draw water. So the woman said to Him, Sir: Give me this water, that I thirst not, and neither will have to come here to draw. Well she later did drink of that water, the same water that is offered here in verse 6. Therefore with these thoughts in mind, let us try to picture the language that is being used here, as we proceed. “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; (That is still an admonition for you and I, in the hour we live in.) And I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Verse 8 is a warning to all who read it, or hear it, of what will become of those who are guilty of such things, but the actual event does not take place until the end of the Millennium. However, it does take place before the eternal age begins, so we need to pay attention, and get these lined out in our minds. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” All of this is to give the lost sinner an opportunity to prepare for that glorious event which is ahead; for once that hour arrives, God will not allow anything to disrupt it. Satan will never enter the picture again. Therefore if we can correlate the verses we read from the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, and what we are reading here in Revelation, we see Jesus invested with these attributes of the Father, until such time as He delivers the whole redeemed creation back to the Father, and then, He will be known to us as our elder brother.


JOHN SEES THE BRIDE OF CHRIST


As we go into verse 9 and 10, we see God manifesting Himself in a way that allows us to actually see with the eye of our spirit, the paradise that Adam and Eve were driven away from. It is not of tangible substance, that scientists can explore; but the spiritual eye of God’s redeemed can see a beautiful sight here. Let us pay close attention to the language used here; for it is important to our revelation. “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” John had already seen the bride saints coming to earth on white horses, following Jesus, in chapter 19, and judgment was set up, and they have ruled with Christ a thousand years, throughout the time known to us as the Millennium, and now we find this angel saying to John, Come hither, and I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife, so notice now, “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God.” Here we see a manifestation of the omnipotency and glory of God Himself. You will remember the words of Jesus in John 14, where He said, “Ye believe in God, believe also in me. (This is the English translation.) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.” Now as I said earlier, God does not live in a house, and He is not reserving a mansion for you either: not a literal house. Another translation of John 14:2, reads like this, “In my Father’s domain, there are many resting places.” Resting places for what? The soul of man. I feel like this translation brings out the true thought a little better. But let us look closer at this city John saw descending out of heaven from God. “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” Now women who love fine dishes and glassware will better understand my illustration. They love to go into a store that specializes in this kind of thing, and inspect the china and crystal. You can take a piece of crystal glass, and let the light strike it just right, and it will reflect light and sparkle just like a diamond. But what is glass made out of? It is made of sand, an element of the earth. It takes a very special refining process to change that sand into something so beautiful as pure crystal. But that is my illustration of what we are looking at here in these verses. We are looking at a description of something that has been refined, made pure just like fine crystal. There is not a blemish to be found. It is clear as crystal, (Now verse 12) “And had a wall great and high, ( Now we are looking at a beautifully constructed wall around that city.) and had twelve gates, 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 three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations; and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Alright, there is twelve gates giving entrance into the interior of what that city is as a means of habitation. You do not live in a wall; it is only a symbol. A wall is a protection bulwark for whatever is inside it. Imagine going through a gate, in a wall, and when you get inside it, there is nothing there. Well the wall is significant though, for it symbolically speaks of God’s plan of salvation. In other words, Unless man comes God’s provided way; he in no way will enter into that habitation with God. Alright now, there is twelve gates in the wall, and they were strategically placed. In ancient times, as cities grew, and became recognized as places for habitation, protection, trade, commerce and communication, their gates had to be strategically set, they did not put them just anywhere. Their position was determined by the lay of the land, and the accessibility in and out of the city. The gates were set first; and that has significance spiritually; for we see all through the New Testament, that God’s plan of salvation and redemption for mankind, was set up first through the children of Israel, under the law dispensation. When you go back through Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and take into account all of these sacrifices, feast days, and so forth, and see what they pointed to, you eventually come up with the revelation that every one of them pointed to Jesus Christ, and what God would minister to the soul of man through Him. It was all introduced through types and shadows, under the law dispensation. That was the entering into, of this great plan of salvation. Under the law, God established these gates, that are actually what gives entrance into His great plan of salvation.


THE WALL’S FOUNDATIONS


After the gates are established to a natural city, then comes the process of building the wall, which is that part between the gates. As they closed in, between the gates, that is what became the wall. But notice what is strange about the wall of this city: it had twelve foundations, which today we call the footing. In the natural, you do not build a wall to show the footing, or foundation. But a proper foundation is necessary, if you want your wall to stand. If the foundation is not good, sooner or later, the wall will tumble. For most foundations, they dig a deep trench, and in it they pour concrete, and when you look at it, there is nothing beautiful about it. Then once it has hardened, they start the building upon it and before long, they throw dirt against it, until it is seldom seen at all after that. You only see what is built upon it. But what is strange; the foundations of this wall is exposed, and the reason it is exposed is because God wants you to know what your salvation is built upon. It is not built upon denominational traditions; it is built upon the revelation and teachings of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. It started with their revelation, and in process of time, the true children of God will wind up with that same revelation they had. God has never changed, and His word has not changed. It is man that has changed, and it is God’s restoration work that will bring us back to that original revelation. Praise His wonderful name. But even still, as we look at this wall; it has not just one, not two, or three, but twelve foundations, meaning 12 layers. Let me remind you of something though, in ancient times they did not pour concrete foundations. Here is what they did, especially in the Middle East, where they have a tremendous amount of rock formation deep within the soil. Wherever the corner stone was to be; they would dig down to bedrock, which is that solid layer of rock beneath the soil, and all other rocks. Now finding bedrock was one thing, but preparing it to lay other stones upon was something else completely. They had to chisel them, until they were level, for many times they would be slanted. Then in order to prevent slipping, they would chisel a niche in the rock. In other words, a slot in which they would lay the stone. Then, no matter how much weight is put upon it, there is no chance of it slipping from its position. In order for your building to come out right, the corner stone has to be perfectly level. Brothers and sisters: Somewhere on Mt. Zion, deep down beneath all that rubbish, when those Jews get a chance to dig down to bedrock; they are going to find that original cornerstone: that King Solomon laid, about a thousand years before Christ. Yes it is still there, ready to be cleaned off, and the Millennial temple built on it. But the point is, that corner stone is anchored and leveled, and every other stone that goes into a foundation has to be leveled the same way. They chisel down until each stone is level, so actually it could look just like stair steps down there. But there has always got to be one spot that everything else is lined up with.


THE CUBED CITY


I was reading about the great pyramid Keops, when the English archaeologists dug down to find those foundation stones. They took pictures to show how the builders of that monstrosity of rock formation had chiseled out notches at all four corners of the foundation, and set those stones in such a way that they could not possibly slip, no matter how much pressure was put upon it. The cornerstone sat right there in that niche, holding the line, through all of those centuries. Well the reason I wanted to explain that, was because we know that Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone of our building, is holding a true line, and the building is being erected exactly according to God’s plan. All of this just lets us know that what God builds is built exactly according to specifications, as we have in His word. Denominationalism has tried to throw up a spiritual building, but it is built of faulty material, and God will not accept any of it. The only thing God will accept is what is built upon this foundation right here, with Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. The revelation of those twelve apostles is what the whole plan of salvation for the New Testament Church is built upon. That is the only way you can look at this, and come to any conclusions as to why you are looking at the foundations, and not at the wall itself. The wall speaks of your salvation, but God wants you to know what it is built upon. Therefore the completed structure gives us shelter and protection, but it is all based upon the fact that God invested some men with an understanding of how the word of God was to be applied. However when you have really reached out and accepted the Lord by faith, according to the way His word declares you should, and your life is secure in Him, the devil will still throw a lot of things against the wall, to test your particular, individual experience. But listen to me saints; the devil is not going to be able to destroy you, nor take your salvation away from you. He can only rattle around, make a lot of noise, and try to convince you to doubt your salvation, but he can only go as far as he is allowed to, and that is for our testing. Not our destruction. Let us go on now. Verse 15 “And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. (We are reading scripture that creates great questions in the minds of people, but we want to try to see what is symbolized here, as we look at the whole thing. This angel had a reed to measure the city, the gates, and the wall.) 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.” I want to explain something here. When Bro. William Branham preached the message titled, “The Future Home of the Earthly Bride and the Heavenly Bridegroom,” he read these scriptures, and made the statement that this city did not necessarily have to be something that was square. He said it was more like a pyramid, and people all around this world today, because of his statement, are saying that this city, when it comes down, will be like a pyramid. You need not try to convince them otherwise; for their mind is settled on it. But I happened to know Bro. William Branham better than a lot of them, and I knew what he really believed about a lot of these things that they are so far off base with. Many times, if you know how a person thinks, you will better understand what he means when he says certain things a certain way. I did not get the education that some of you have, but I do know one thing for sure: you cannot take the wording of verse 16, and get a pyramid out of it. The only part of a pyramid that is square is its base. All the other angles are strictly triangular, so you cannot possibly fit these dimensions into a pyramid. The only thing you can say is that all four sides of it are equal, which no doubt was the comparison Bro. William Branham was making. All four sides of it are equal with each other; but you certainly cannot say that the length, the breadth and the height of it are equal. That is terminology that belongs only to a cube. When you make the length and the breadth of something the same you have squared it, and then if you make the height of it the same as the length and breadth, you have cubed it, and there is no possible way to make a pyramid out of such dimensions. You will find no triangles in a cube, for every side is completely square, and if you uncube it, you change it’s dimensions. If something is foursquare, and you take one inch off of it anywhere, you have uncubed it, and it will no longer fit the description of what we have here. This just lets me know that you cannot take one thing away from this, nor add anything to it. It is the Church of the living God, in her complete restored relationship to Him, and there is not one thing that anything can do to alter it. You cannot change the word of God, just to make it fit your carnal ideas, without taking away from the revelation of it, the very thing that makes it a reality. What I would say to you is, Do not get so taken up with the size and shape of this city, that you fail to see what is being portrayed. In other words, When God places the fullness of His presence back on earth again, everything will be perfect. There will be no need for anything to be added, nor taken away. Paradise will cover the whole planet, just like it eventually would have, if Adam had never sinned.

 

 

WALL OF JASPER – CITY OF GOLD


All right now, we are going to look at the wall of this city in this next verse, but please take note of the fact that the city is one thing, and the wall is something else. They are not to be thought of as the same thing. “And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” Brothers and sisters: What does that tell you? It lets us know that the substance of what the city itself is, does not compare with earthly gold. It is that gold that is characterized in the New Testament as an impartation of the faith of God, that He puts in us. It is not your faith, and my faith, that brings us to God; it is His grace, working through a revelation that He imparts to us, so that we can truly say, He is a God of mercy and grace. He first has to enable us to recognize the fact that He is reaching out to us, and no one can appreciate that more than I do. I wrestled with life, with the Bible, and with salvation itself. I did not want to get too fanatical about anything in that way. As for the Bible, I thought everyone ought to have one, but I did not want to get too close to it. I was bound by a cigarette habit, and did not know how in the world I could ever get free from it. Oh yes, people will tell you, Whatever you want or need: just take it by faith. But I say, By whose faith? When I was wrestling with all these things, I had no faith. Yet when the time was right, I felt something come into me: that gave me the ability to come and believe and accept the grace of God. That little spark of genuine faith ended all of that wrestling I had been doing. God has to impart that little measure of faith to us, in order for us to even be able to reach out and accept what He has provided for us. It gives you a completely different outlook on how to approach God, and that is why it is of more value than any earthly gold. I would not trade it for all of the riches this world has to offer. Yet there are professing Christians everywhere that measure everything by the amount of this world’s riches they possess. No wonder the Lord said to Laodicea, which actually portrayed this age of materialism, you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. His counsel was, Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich. Well, that is the kind of gold we see here in verse 18. To buy this kind of gold, is to make an eternal investment, for that investment is in heaven itself. You will not be able to go to any of these earthly banks and buy this gold, for it is something that comes only from God. He gives us that first little measure of this gold, to enable us to come to Him, and then He gives us many opportunities to invest it and receive increase. That is what our experiences and trials accomplish for us, in this life. In every moment of weakness, God always gives us whatever we need on order to overcome. Therefore every trial we prove ourselves faithful through, we come out of them with an increased measure of faith, because God always imparts to us whatever is needed, in order for us to be able to meet His standards, and that is the Bible definition of gold that is pure like clear glass. Therefore it is impossible for you to take your Bible, and prove that this city is to be a literal city of earthly gold. No. It is an environment like unto that which Adam and Eve knew in the very beginning, before they let the devil rob them.


WHAT THESE PRECIOUS STONES SYMBOLIZE


Verse 19 takes us to the foundations of the wall of this foursquare city, so notice what it says. “And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones.” Remember, it is in the foundations of the wall, that the names of the twelve apostles of Jesus are found, and here it speaks of how the foundations were studded with all manner of precious stones, so we need to see the significance of all of this. It lets me know that it is not just the great dimensions of the wall that we are to dwell upon, but the quality of the material that the wall is built upon. Have you ever wondered why the foundations are so beautiful, when in the natural you do not even see the foundation? To me, it says that God wants us to see and recognize the quality of the spirit of the men who resisted the devil and fought the battles to bring this gospel of salvation to us. These precious stones speak of those faithful soldiers of the cross, who laid their lives on the line, to stand for the truth of God’s word. People who know about these particular stones will tell you that they came from such and such a place, and of certain rock formations that in the ages past, had been subjected to tremendous pressure or heat. So when you transpose this thought to the lives of those men whose names are in these foundations, it lets us know that God not only gave them a great revelation, but He also gave them the virtue to be able to stand the pressure, and the persecution that went along with such a revelation. Just remember first of all, that Christianity was new; so there were no allies to fall back and fellowship with. They were right in the midst of Judaistic Jews and Gentile pagans, all of which were against them. Therefore the character and determination that their lives reflected, caused them to be compared with the beauty and value of these precious stones which we are going to look at right now. “The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.” We have a man right here in the congregation that can tell you about these stones, how they are formed and everything. But the point is, these stones speak of the character and revelation and durability of those who laid the foundation of our faith. God is using this city terminology to describe the paradise that He is bringing redeemed mankind back to. Chapter 21 lets us see it from an external viewpoint, but when we get to chapter 22, we will see it from an internal position, the throne of God, the river of water of life, the tree of life, and everything that paradise truly is. He who sits on the throne there, is not to be thought of any longer as a mediator, nor a king, for this setting is on out past the Millennium, when Jesus the Christ is seen as our elder brother. That will be his position throughout all of eternity, after redemption is completed.


TWO TYPES OF PEARLS


We are looking at a city that for too long, has been looked at only as a natural city, just like the garden in Genesis has been seen only as a beautiful natural garden. When God really began to deal with me on this, I could see that they were driven from paradise; but I also noticed that God did not say: Now Adam, Be sure you take the tree of knowledge with you, yet we know that the tree of knowledge has been with man ever since. Therefore seeing that the tree of knowledge was not a tree that had to be dug up and transplanted, we understand that the tree of life was not plant life either. Neither of these trees were plant life trees, but spiritual laws by which mankind would have to live. He would eat from one or the other, but not from both of them. Therefore paradise was more than just a beautiful garden of trees, shrubs, and flowers, and this city that we are looking at is God’s way of showing man that paradise is coming back to earth again. When? After the redemption is completed. After the Millennium has run its course, and the great white throne judgment has removed every defiling thing from the planet. As I said earlier, This is not a city of great castles and ivory palaces, as natural minds have imagined it to be; it is a spiritual realm, where God’s full presence will once again dwell. It is a city; but it is not the kind of city you thought it was going to be. It is a beautiful, glorious, blissful atmosphere, where God’s presence is back on earth again, as it was before the fall of Adam. Therefore this message is not just to tear up your streets of gold, and pull down your ivory palaces; it should help you better understand what God’s plan of redemption is moving toward. It does tell us that the twelve gates were twelve pearls, but let us try to get a better look at what those gates are significant of: being called pearls. There are two types of pearl. One is called “Mother of Pearl,” and it’s existence is brought about in a completely different way than the jewel pearl. A jewel pearl is formed from a grain of sand inside of an oyster shell. As that grain of sand causes the body of the oyster to become inflamed; it begins to secrete a mucus-like fluid that gels around that grain of sand, to prevent it from going any deeper into it’s body. The oyster keeps supplying that, until over a period of time a pearl is formed around that little grain of sand. These are beautiful; but I am sure that the gates of pearl we are reading about are not pearls that have been formed inside the shell of an oyster. These are surely mother of pearl; because mother of pearl was used in ancient times, for the beautification of important buildings. You see a lot of it in Israel. They cut it into little squares and use it like ceramics, and it is beautiful. This kind of pearl is solid, and I believe it fits into what we are reading about here in Revelation 21:21. These gates were of solid pearl. Really, as we read this 21st chapter, we are finding a unique description of what is called a city. It has a wall great and high which has twelve foundations, with the names of the twelve apostles of Jesus in them, Then we see that there are twelve gates, with twelve angels standing by, and the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel written thereon, and the foundations were garnished with all manner of precious stones. Well in ancient times, cities were built with walls for defense purposes, to protect it’s inhabitants from invasion by various forces from without. The foundation of those walls were not even exposed, like these we see here. They were underground, and strictly for the support of the walls built thereon. Therefore this description here is very unique, for the foundations are exposed. Furthermore they have the names of the twelve apostles of Christ written on them, so when we consider the whole thing: we have to realize that anything of these walls that would be named after the twelve apostles, could not be interpreted in a literal, materialistic sense. They never sent one truck load of any kind of earthly building material to heaven, to be added to the foundations of a literal wall. What we must attribute to them, has to be considered in the spiritual realm, and it will be in connection with what they accomplished in preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore the foundations here, has to be in relation to the revelation those apostles had of the plan and purpose of God, and how they first laid that foundation to be built upon, for the next two thousand years by others that would be called of God, and revelated. The city is foursquare, and the wall measured 144 cubits. Well, when you consider the sum of 144; it is the number 12, squared. So when you look at this city, its wall, and the gates of it, you are looking at something that is to be understood as relative to the salvation of your soul, and your personal relationship with the Lord. It pertains to every redeemed person that will be allowed to dwell inside of it, in the eternal age. In other words, your salvation and experience with God, is all based upon that which was preached by those twelve apostles, and we are built up, a spiritual building, an habitation for the Lord. But as I see it; these numerical measurements given here, are more for the purpose of concealing the truth from natural minds than anything else, for the natural mind will always take this kind of thing to dwell upon. The spiritual reality of what is symbolized is not even important to carnal minded people.


CLEAR AS CRYSTAL SPEAKS OF PERFECTION


What we are really looking at, is paradise, as it is restored back to God’s earthly family, and the literal measurements that we see recorded here in these verses, could not come anywhere close to encompassing all that is in the full scope of this great scene. I say that for this reason; paradise, in Genesis, was associated to a geographical area, but it was not a geographical area in itself, for it pertained to the anointing presence of the great Creator. Therefore I say to you; whatever Eden was in it’s original beginning, if sin had not entered in, would have been worldwide today. But because it did not reach that worldwide scope, it is hard for man to understand the language of the word of God that symbolically shows us what God is moving us toward. No matter how you look at a cube, you are looking at something that is perfect. In other words, if it were not perfect, it would not be a cube. As I said earlier, If you add to or take anything from a cube, you no longer have a cube, so when God gets through with this spiritual building, it is going to be that perfect. No matter what side of a cube you look at, you see exactly the same thing, so God just let this be worded like this, to scramble up theological minds and drive them crazy. They get completely taken up in technicality of why this? why that? and why would God do so and so?; that they miss the whole truth of what is really projected. They take this spiritual city, and try to make a literal city out of it. But saints, in this city, you do not need a roof over your head, nor air conditioning to keep you cool in the summertime. God displays Himself in this beautiful environment so that His redeemed family can live and walk in this beautiful atmosphere throughout eternity. Talking about the city, verse 16 says, “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.” That lets us know that it is cubed, and it is no accident that this sort of terminology is used here, for you cannot change one thing about a cube , and still have a cube. So it speaks of the fact that every revelation of the scriptures is understood according to the perfect plan of God. Every scripture fits right into its place, and nothing can be changed. God’s plan is perfected. “And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.” In that wall is represented two sets of twelve’s. Twelve apostles in the foundation, and twelve gates with the names of the tribes of Israel, but you do not say twelve plus twelve, for the revelation of God’s perfection is in twelve times twelve, which makes a perfect cube. So we are going to see what all of this adds up to here in a minute, for both the gates and the foundations are relative to the wall. “And the building of the wall of it (this speaks of the substance of what the wall was composed of) was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” First we take note of the fact that this jasper, in its substance identity, does not even have a color to it. Let us go back to verse 11, where John saw this beautiful city coming down from God out of heaven. It says, “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, (In other words, like the reflection of it) even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” That lets us know that even though jasper stones, as we know them today, are of a variety of colors, much emphasis was laid upon the fact that this one was clear as crystal. That speaks of something in its most refined, purified state of being. But the point we want to emphasize is the fact that something that clear would cause no obstruction to the sense of sight. You can see through it, but it reflects something, and in this case, what is reflected is the glory of God. You all know what happens when you set a piece of fine crystal out here in the sun. As the sun strikes it, you see a most beautiful sight. It sparkles just like a diamond. But the emphasis is upon the clearness, and the reflection. The wall was of jasper, and the city was pure gold, but each substance mentioned is as clear as glass. It makes you wonder where people ever got their ivory palaces, and their brass door knobs, from the description we see here. Tell me, where do people get such ideas? It certainly does not come out of the Bible. Brothers and sisters, we are exploring a city you can see through; every bit of it is of clear substance. The only thing about any of this, that speaks of any color whatsoever, is the precious stones the foundations of the wall are garnished with, and that has to be because the stones, in their particular identity, are characteristic of the life of the apostle they each represent. It has to do with the revelation they each cherished in their hearts, and how they toiled through the heat of the battles and pressures that were put upon them, to preserve that revelation, in order that others might be able to build upon their experience and teaching. If you would study up on the origin of these particular stones, you would find that they come from different parts of this old earth, and that they were formed in ancient times by tremendous heat and pressure, and they are not found just everywhere you might go; they are only in certain places. The Creator designed it that way. Whether we realize it or not, everything fits into a purpose of the Creator.


WHERE FAITH COMES FROM


Now saints, do not think for even a minute that this city we are reading about is made of any gold that is associated to this planet earth. The gold taken from this planet is not clear as glass. I have a little watch here, and certain parts of it have been washed in gold; but I want you to know, it is not gold that is clear like glass. Earthly gold can only be made so pure; and it is never that pure. It is never so pure that you can see through it. This gold that is so clear you can see through, speaks of the faith and the revelation of the saints of God. Let me try to help you see that. In our fallen state, we have nothing with which to approach God with. There can only be something in us, crying out, until such a time as the Creator see fits to impart to us something that we can approach Him with; and that is not something tangible, that can be measured with earthly instruments; it is that measure of faith that only God can measure. It is referred to in the Bible as grace. Just for an example of human nature in its fallen state, take an old drunk that has spent a fortune, neglected his family, and actually made himself a bum. Many times when he is sober, he will say, “Never again”. But when Saturday night comes, it is the same thing all over again; he has no power over the stuff. Well it is the same in other areas of life. You can get so miserable you wish to goodness you could change your situation; but inside of you there is something that just keeps driving you on down the road of life. You can turn over a new leaf, and try your very best; but until the grace of God touches your life, you just keep right on stumbling along, wishing things were better. Then one day the hand of God reaches down and imparts that measure of grace. Hallelujah! From then on things begin to change. You cannot see what He has imparted to you; but you know there is something inside of you that is making a difference. It is a gift from God, and it is called grace (unmerited favor). You may be a millionaire; but this imparted grace is worth more to you than all the money in the world. Why? Because it can give to you something that money cannot buy, peace of mind, and peace with God. It can change you from what you once were, to what you want to be. Yes, it is gold; but not the kind you can lock up in a steel vault and boast about. This gold comes from the realm of deity, and cannot be handled with our hands. That is why there is no color to it. Faith is what we are talking about; and grace is how we get it. You have probably heard people say, Oh I have all kinds of faith; but that is not right. Faith is not something we store up, and brag about having it; but it is something we live by, and it does return dividends, when we invest it wisely. Our faith should keep increasing; but it should never make us boastful, for it is all a gift from our Creator, and we merited none of it.


SPIRITUAL GOLD


I just have to praise God every time I think of how He has dealt with my life. When I was growing up I would read these last two chapters of Revelation, and could not see anything other than a literal city. That is what you see with you natural eyes; but when a revelation comes, it makes that faith have a far greater meaning to you. It lets you know where you are going and what you are looking for. So this gold is the most precious possession we can have. It was James that said, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” We all need patience; but most of the time we do not like to look at it this way. We like to look at our trials and tests as problems. Well they are problems; but they are temporary. These problems are not going to last through your whole lifetime. God allows problems and tests; because in them, He can school us, so that our faith is not based upon someone’s little church program. Praise God! We see things today that we did not see twenty years ago, things that we have by faith. I just have to cherish it as something valuable, knowing the source from whence it came. Some things we learn by the Spirit revealing them to us, but other things are learned as we come through a hard trial; and anything we learn like that, always serves to make us more determined to walk with God. In his first epistle; Peter spoke of how the trial of our faith is much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried by fire. Well what did the Lord say to the Laodicean Church, which also applies to the Laodicean age? “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich.” We all know good and well that this is not talking about materialistic gold. He is talking about true revelated faith, something that will stand the test, anchor your soul, and establish you in a true relationship with God. Yes this gold only has spiritual significance; but it is of greater value to us than anything else in the world. That is why this city of gold reflects so beautifully; it is all of spiritual value, imparted to us by the one who is the giver of all good gifts, the Creator. The scripture says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: (God) for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Therefore any way you look at it, faith that lays hold of the word of God, is the most precious thing there is, and that is why it is referred to as gold.

 

 

THE URIM AND THUMMIN


Alright, we have a city of gold and a great wall about it, and that wall has twelve foundations, in which are the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. My, my, if we could just read the autobiographies of those twelve men. They were locked up in prison, stoned, beat and ridiculed, all because of the revelation they carried in their bosom. Maybe some were even burned at the stake; but do you think any of that could change the revelation they had? Of course not. If they had compromised, we would not have the gospel message today. No wonder their names are in the foundations of the wall of that beautiful city. The whole thing is built upon the revelation they stood for. Paul wrote to Timothy, That ye may know how to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. The Church of the living God has never been a denomination. There was a time when the Spirit of God worked in those systems; but you have to go all the way back to the beginning of the particular systems in order to find when the Spirit of God worked in them. You will not find Him in any of them today. God will always be found where His word is; and for the Church, it was the word those apostles preached. No wonder their lives are represented by those beautiful stones. When you go back into the Old Testament and see how God worked through twelve beautiful stones, set in the breastplate of the priest, to confirm truth, and give judgment, you will better understand why they are so significant here in the foundations of this wall. When any problem came up, or anything the priest had to be confronted with, they conferred with the Urim and Thummin, which was the breastplate he wore. The Spirit of God would cause light to strike those stones, to vindicate truth. Well if the Urim and Thummin was important to them in those days: I believe this is the Urim and Thummin of the word of God in His total revelation and plan of salvation. Brother: When the Spirit of God strikes these and they all reflect at once, you can rest assured God puts His approval upon that. These things are not here just to take up space in the Bible; they all speak of something beautiful. It has always been the responsibility of apostles to hold a line on the word of God.


GATES OF PEARL


Let us look now at the twelve gates of this city. Verse 21 says, “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate (each gate) was of one pearl.” Now saints: If this is a spiritual city, (and we know that it is) we have to ask ourselves: just what do those gates represent? We know they represent something pertaining to the twelve tribes of Israel; but what? Well I will try to explain it, so follow my thought: so you can catch the whole picture. We have already said that the city itself is that glory and presence of the eternal Spirit, descending out of heaven with all the immortal saints of the ages, coming back to earth for the beginning of the eternal age. God will once again dwell fully in His true people. He cannot have two brides; for that is polygamy, and even though we read of a lot of polygamous marriages in the Bible; God is against such a practice. His pattern was one man and woman, becoming one flesh, just like He started them out in the garden of Eden. So according to verses 9-11, this is the bride, the Lamb’s wife, descending with the glory and presence of God. The Bible teaches that Jesus will rule and reign for a thousand years, with His bride, in a rule of righteousness, before this scene here in chapter 21 becomes a fulfilled reality. Who is the bride? It is people that have been redeemed through the ages of time, and have overcome the enemy of their souls. What will they do in the Millennium? They will rule with Christ, over all nations, with power and authority. Remember, the Millennium is not yet the perfect age. Therefore we will be in a capacity for one thousand years, that we will not be in, in the eternal age. In the Millennium we will have power and authority, to bring all things under subjection, that we will not have in the eternal age. Our authority to rule will terminate when the kingdom is handed back over to the Father, as Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 15:24-25. The earth and all things therein will then be fully redeemed, and the Creator will then dwell fully, once again, back in His creation. That is how it started, and that is how it will end up, when redemption in finally completed. So as I have already said, This is paradise coming back to earth again. God had to show John something in order for him to be able to write what he saw; but only those that are anointed to do so, will ever be able to understand what he wrote, for the natural mind will always literalize everything. In chapter 19 we are seen descending from heaven with Christ, on white horses, to complete Armageddon, and set up the millennial reign. But saints: Listen to me, when Armageddon is over with, and everything is fully subdued, you will not have to hand that horse over to anyone and tell them to go feed it, for that horse is only a symbol of power and authority that we will have, to rule with Christ here on earth. Do you understand that? We have to be able to see these things as spiritual realities, rather than natural things, so with that in mind, let us explore these gates of pearl. When Moses was taken up on Mt. Sinai, and instructed to build the tabernacle, his own testimony was that the Lord had cautioned him to build it, or design it, after the pattern of the heavenly. That tells me that God let Moses see something. He saw God’s blueprint, which was none other than this city described here in Revelation 21 & 22. This was the city Abraham looked for, an eternal city, not made with man’s hands. Well if we are looking at a city, that was not made by the hands of men, it just stands to reason that it would have to be a city of spiritual qualities. So what are the gates significant of? They are significant of the Old Testament law, that was given to the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, through which we find this great plan to salvation laid out, in types and shadows. A gate is something you enter through, right? You do not climb over a gate; you enter through it. Therefore what this actually speaks of, is the fact that this great plan of salvation was revealed to mankind, for its future application, through the law of Moses, in types and shadows. As I said earlier, walls are never constructed without first deciding where the gates will be located. The gates will always be set at strategic points for the most advantage in entry. God did not make this plan of salvation hard for us to enter into, but we do have to enter into it through His provided way, and that way was first revealed through those various types and shadows set forth in the law given to the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. They had that law for 1400 years before God manifested what those types and shadows were pointing to. Now some will ask, “does that mean that all the Old Testament Jewish saints are in the bride?” No. Not at all. But you must remember; that when the time came for the covenant to be changed from law to grace, it was Jews who first entered in. In other words, the first race of people to ever enter into this city, this spiritual habitation, was Jews. Did not the apostle Paul say that the gospel was first to the Jew, and then to the Gentiles? Even though God ordained that eventually Gentiles would make up the major part of the body of the bride, the Jews were the first to partake of this glorious salvation. Now in the homeland, at the time when the gospel first went forth, were represented mainly the two Southern tribes of the children of Israel, so what about the other ten tribes? We know according to the scriptures, that they will never be back there, to be dealt with by the Spirit of God, until the last days, so does that exclude them from having any part in the body of Christ? Absolutely not. When Paul and the other apostles went into other nations, preaching the gospel, who do you think were the first to hear them? Those Jews of the other ten tribes, which were scattered in dispersion, were the first ones they preached to. The apostle Thomas went all the way into India preaching the gospel. That is where he was killed; there in one of the strong holds of the Hindu religion. Yes, they always sought out the Jewish element of people to preach to first, wherever they went preaching the gospel. There was a dual purpose in that, of course. Not only were the Jews to be the first to hear the gospel preached, but from among them, God would always raise up someone to interpret the apostle’s message to the Gentile element in every place. They could preach to the Jewish element in their mother tongue, but when they preached to the Gentiles, the message had to be heard in their native language, whatever it happened to be, so that gave them a twofold purpose in preaching to the Jews of each area first. But the point is, there will be Jews from all twelve tribes, in the bride of Christ, which will be represented in the total makeup of this city we are exploring. God knew where they were, and what it required to reach them, and therefore the gospel message reached all that were foreordained to hear it, in that first age of Christiandom. The epistle of Paul to the Hebrews, was an epistle written to the Jewish Christians in dispersion, for the term Hebrew, means stranger-or foreigner. When Abraham first went into the land of Canaan, the Canaanites called him a Hebrew, because he was a foreigner, and that is what those Jews in dispersion were to the native people of these various areas. Well what we are saying is that Jews were the first to enter into this spiritual habitation called a city, through these twelve gates of pearl, and Gentiles came in later, and through the ages since, this spiritual city has taken on some huge dimensions, but none can be measured by the means of natural mankind. Now the gospel will once again be presented to the Jews, when the two prophets of Revelation, chapter 11, come upon the scene, but that will not be for the purpose of adding another bunch of them to the bride of Christ, for the total element will be in heaven with Jesus the Bridegroom, before they all hear the gospel. Therefore we need to understand that God is gathering another element of Jewish people to be dealt with strictly upon a different basis. As an indirect result of their preaching, or prophesying, there will be a great multitude of martyrs come out of the great tribulation, having washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. These are seen in the last half of Revelation, chapter 7, worshipping and giving glory to God, and they will reign with Christ in the Millennium, along with the bride, but they themselves are not a part of the bride. Now those types and shadows were all right there in the law of Moses, pointing to the one who would one day come upon the scene in Israel to perfect God’s plan of salvation, but none of them actually gave any clear promise to the Gentiles. Only what God spoke to Abraham, saying, In thee and thy seed, shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, actually gave a definite promise to the Gentiles, and who then knew what that meant? Hallelujah! I am glad and thankful to be among those that are so blessed, for except for the grace and mercy of God: I could be on my way to hell, with this great multitude of degenerates we see out here in the world about us.


STREET OF GOLD–SEA OF GLASS


Alright now, as long as we are in chapter 21, we are only looking at this city from an external viewpoint; we have not yet seen the inside. Chapter 22 is what takes us inside, where we see the internal description of this beautiful city, which is none other than paradise, back on earth again. Verse 21 of chapter 21, speaks of the street (singular) of that city, being pure gold, like transparent glass, but chapter 22 is what begins to give a description of it, form an internal viewpoint. As for the street, singular, of it: we know that a literal city of these dimensions has many streets, so there has to be a reason why this one street stands out, a street that is pure gold, and is as transparent glass. What does such a description add up to? We know that literal gold, no matter how much it is refined, never appears like that, so we have to look beyond the natural for our answer. In chapter 15, a sea of glass is seen in heaven, and standing upon it, are those that have gotten the victory over the beast. (When? In that dark tribulation hour.) And over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name. In other words, That is the martyrs of chapter 7 that have been killed because of their faith in God, during the reign of the beast in the 3 1/2 years of great tribulation. What they are standing upon, speaks of the faith they had, that made them willing to die, rather than deny their God. Yes there is going to be a great multitude of both Jews and Gentile foolish virgins, that will be faced with martyrdom in that hour, and all they will have to stand upon will be their faith in God. Verse 3 says, “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.” That speaks of two elements of people, the Jewish saints will sing the song of Moses, and the Gentile foolish virgins will sing the song of the Lamb. Now as to what they are standing on, just consider this; glass is a substance made from sand, and sand is an element of the earth that has to be put in the fire, and be melted down before it can be turned into clear glass. So this sea of glass, speaks of something that has been through the fire, and been purified, and when you consider our faith, that is exactly the case. It is made pure by the fires of persecution, and by the various trials and tests of life itself. But the key as to the identity of these who stood upon this sea of glass, is what they had gotten the victory over, and when we know what they had gotten the victory over, we can better understand what the sea of glass they are standing on represents. So we will say this, The sea of glass is figurative, and temporary, for when God resurrects them, the sea of glass will pass out of existence. It will no longer be needed.


SPIRITUAL HOUSE FORESHADOWED


In the 16th chapter of Revelation 21, the city was measured and found to be of equal length, breadth, and height, so let us go to Ephesians 3:14-19, and see how the apostle Paul used that same terminology. “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, That He would grant you, accordingly 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, (watch this 18th verse now.) May be able to comprehend with all saints (to comprehend is to understand) what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Paul is speaking of a faith and love that measures in all directions, and that is able to comprehend all things. A person who truly loves God cannot help but come out knowing more than he did, when he started out, but the true love of Christ in our hearts, far surpasses all the knowledge in the world. When you hear a lot of people talk, you know that everything they are saying is coming right out of the top of their head, and that kind of knowledge is not worth two cents, spiritually. That kind of knowledge possesses very little of the love of Christ. Yet carnal people use that head knowledge to try to make everyone else look like a bunch of idiots. Brothers and sisters: I thank God for a revelation and for a love that runs deeper than just this outer shell. That kind of love will not cast precious pearls before the swine of this world. Jesus never spent time messing around with know-it-all types of characters that just wanted to make a show of what they knew. But the point is, Paul used terminology like this to speak of our growth in Christ. Alright now, I mentioned the epistle to the Hebrew Christians. Some scholars dispute about Paul being the author of that epistle, but I have no doubt whatsoever that Paul was the author of it, for I see Paul all through it. Furthermore he was not excluding the Gentile Christians in any way, but the things he had upon his heart to write about, were mostly things that only Jewish people would understand back then, when Gentiles were fresh out of paganism, and would not have known anything at all about types and shadows and ordinances of the law of Moses. Only Jews would relate to terminology such as this, “God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (what Gentile would have been familiar with that terminology?) Hath in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things.” Gentiles at that time, might not have even used the term, fathers, in referring to their elders, and certainly they were not familiar with the law of Moses, and the writings of the prophets. So now, let us go to chapter 3 in Hebrews, and let us pay attention to the references pertaining to a house. “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (He is bringing out the Jewish side of this.) Who was faithful in all his house.” What kind of house was that? Well, you go back to Exodus, Numbers, and Leviticus and you will see it there. But remember, as Moses came off the Mount, his testimony was that God had told him, See that thou build it after the pattern of the heavenlies. That is why I said, Moses saw something while he was up there. God had to let him see the blueprint for the true church, the bride of Jesus Christ. So pointing to Jesus, Paul continues, saying, “For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath built the house hath more honor than the house. For every house is built by some man; be He that built all things is God.” Here Paul is pointing to the fact that there is another house, which was foreshadowed in the law, by a house built by man. But the house it foreshadowed, is a house built by God Himself. Moses built the tabernacle in the wilderness, which foreshadowed the house we are reading of, in the 21st chapter of Revelation. Verse 5, “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; (meaning, coming on later) But Christ as a son over His own house; whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” Praise the Lord! Saints, this is why we are looking at this city from it external description; what we are seeing is a preview of the anointing presence and glory of God, as He has chosen to display Himself, when He comes upon the bride Church people for the eternal age. Actually though, inside, it is the same paradise that Adam and Eve were in. It is just that, as the centuries of time have come and gone, God has let it take on the image, or description, of a city, instead of a garden. But we must keep in mind above everything, that we are not dealing with a materialistic, tangible substance; for when you have an immortal body, you no longer need literal walls, air conditioning, umbrellas nor stoves. We will have no use for any of these things in that eternal age. People have talked about living in a mansion, and living next door to Jesus, and all such things as that; all because of what Jesus said in John 14, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” Almost every denominational church type funeral will have that scripture included in it. But the truth of the matter is; we are the mansions of the house of God, for He dwells in us. Different translations of the Bible have different wording of those verses, but the important thing is to be in God, and have Him is us. We rest in Him.

 

 

THE TRUE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH


There is yet one more point of language application that we want to look at here in the book of Hebrews, so let us turn to chapter 8, verses 1-6. We get the similarity of the language used here. “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: ( He is going to sum up what he has been dealing with in prior chapters.) We have such an high priest; who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Well, if the Lord pitched it; what did He pitch it for? It was so He Himself can dwell in it. Therefore we must realize that God is not coming to earth to dwell in a natural building. He does not need a natural building; and neither will you. Therefore our purpose now is to understand what paradise really is. Is it another glob of earth with more trees, flowers, and such like? Mankind has been searching for paradise, for the tree of life, and the fountain of youth, ever since Adam and Eve were driven from the garden of Eden; but what they do not know: is that God is every bit of what they have been searching for. It is hard for a carnal mind to visualize God as being all of that. Verse 3, “For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man (Jesus) have somewhat also to offer. For if he (Jesus) were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when He was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith He, (God) that thou make all things according to the pattern showed thee in the mount.” Brother, Moses was up there with God for 40 days and nights, while that great display of His power so terrified the children of Israel at the foot of the mountain, that they turned their backs to the mountain and said, Let Him speak to Moses. Not even an animal could come close to the mountain without being stoned. God made the old mountain a holy place while He was revealing Himself to Moses. God just kept moving from scene to scene, instructing Moses specifically, on how to set certain things pertaining to the tabernacle, and the ordinances the congregation was to observe. Those Jews came on the scene, lived their lives, and died, for centuries, fulfilling all those ordinances, without ever really knowing what they pointed to. We, here at the end time, are able to look back and know that they pointed to what God was going to do through His only begotten Son Jesus, the Christ. Jesus was the fulfillment of what every one of those sacrifices in the law pointed to. So verse 6 says this, “But now hath He (Jesus) obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” Of course we all know that the covenant, was a covenant wherein He would give eternal life to mankind, and that eternal life was actually God giving a gift of Himself to that of the believer. As we have said already, God is a spirit; and it is a measure of that Spirit which He is, that he imparts to every true believer, through His only begotten Son Jesus, the Christ.


GOD HIMSELF IS LIGHT


Having made these points from the writings of the apostle Paul, let us now go back to the 21st chapter of Revelation and pick up where we left off. “The street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” That is how John saw it. Now in verse 22 he says, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” We know that the word temple, in our earthly usage, is always related to a particular kind of building, constructed for the sole purpose of man meeting God therein. This is where man goes, to approach God, and worship Him. That is why, under the law, King Solomon was instructed to build that beautiful temple, and told exactly how to build it, and what a magnificent building it was. But we realize today that this natural building, with all its splendor, was only a type of the true temple of God, that you and I are. That is why Jesus said to His disciples, (when they said, Look at the beautiful building), Tear it down and I will raise it up again in three days. He was speaking of the temple of His body; but they did not know that, then. In a natural temple, there is a cornerstone; we have already talked about that. But in God’s spiritual temple, Jesus Christ is the architect, the administrator, the high priest and also the chief cornerstone. This building starts with Him, and it has to end with Him. We cannot say that there is going to be a certain place inside this building, where the presence of God will be manifested, because the whole thing is the presence of God, as He has come down to earth to dwell with His redeemed creation. Notice this next verse now, but do not let it confuse you. “And the city had no need of the sun, (That is true, because the whole thing is light. Do you understand what we mean by that? God Himself is light, and He can either illuminate your pathway, or completely blind you, which ever suits His purpose. I will never forget the time when I received the Holy Ghost: When I got up, all the lights in that building looked like one gigantic light, and everything was so light to me, it seemed that if I opened my eyes wide, I would be completely blinded by that great light. Therefore God Himself being light, this city has no need of any other light, so we will continue reading the verse.) neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Now saints, there is no contradiction here; we just have to let some other scriptures reveal to us what is meant here. Jesus, the anointed One, that took our place at Calvary, was crucified, buried, then arose from the dead, and has been high priest ever since, will come back to earth with His bride saints, and rule as King, with all authority, for one thousand years. But when that is over, and redemption is completed, and the earth has been cleansed of that stain of sin: and all the wicked dead have been resurrected and cast alive into the lake of fire, and there is no more trace of sin: the whole redeemed kingdom will then be delivered back up to the great eternal Spirit, the Father of all creation, and He will then come back fully into His creation. That begins eternity, and that is when this city will be a reality. Not naturally; but spiritually. It just simply points to the fact that the great eternal Spirit is back on earth, fully dwelling in His redeemed family, as He did in the beginning. But it says here that the Lamb is Jesus, the Christ, referred to in Paul’s writings, as the firstborn, and the first begotten from the dead. Therefore let us realize that if He is the first begotten from the dead: He is the beginning of the redeemed family of God, and brother: in ancient times, the law of God declared that the elder son stood in line to inherit the father’s birthright. Therefore it was to him many times, that the younger children had to look for whatever they might benefit from the father’s inheritance. Of course we realize that many of those firstborn sons forfeited their birthright, but Jesus is one firstborn son that did not forfeit it, and because He did not, we are going to know Him in eternity as our elder brother. No longer will He be Prophet, no longer will He be Priest, nor King; but we are going to see Him strictly as the elder brother that loved us enough to take our place at Calvary. Every time we see Him, we will be reminded of the fact that He shared the Father’s inheritance with us. Hallelujah! There will be no selfishness, nor jealousy. All of the redeemed children of God are going to be so grateful that they will gladly give Him that recognition as head of the family, even though we are all equal, then. Every redeemed soul will know his or her relationship to the Creator. There will be no one elbowing, trying to get ahead of anyone else. All of that kind of stuff is attributes of the devil, and he will be completely out of the picture, then. Now as we consider the great host of angels that have been loyal to the Creator; we realize that some like Gabriel and Michael have been greater than the others, so do you not think it will be the same way in the family of the redeemed? Some will be greater in the quality of what they are, as a person; but they are not going to be lording it over one another. Each individual will know within his capacity, how to conduct himself, or herself, as the case may be.


WATER IS A FILTER


There is another point I want to make here in connection with what verse 23 says, about there being no need for the light of the sun or moon in that new city. It just reminds me of a verse in the 30th chapter of Isaiah, but before we read it, let us go back and read Revelation 21, verse 1, which says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Now it says that there is no more sea; but you believe me: there is still going to be just as much water as there has ever been; it will just be as it is today. So now let us look at Isaiah 30:26, which says, “Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of His people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.” Brother when the sun comes out seven times brighter than before: you had better have something between you and it, to serve as a filter, or you will burn to death. That is why I say, God will take the water from those huge oceans and seas and put it right back out there in space, where it was before the flood of Noah’s day, and it will once again serve as a filter between the sun and the earth. Now in order for the sun to be that bright, the earth would have to be brought back closer to it, and that is exactly what will happen. Instead of it taking 365 1/4 days for the earth to go around the sun, like it does now; it will be brought back, to a perfect circle of 360 degrees or days, as it was before the flood, and that extra water that we have had here ever since then, will once again be back, serving its original purpose. Well when you get the sun shining 7 times brighter than before, and on the night side, the moon shining as bright as the sun: there will be no more night. There will be no night on the planet earth. I doubt if there will be much sleeping going on then; but we will leave that to eternity, and get back to the 21st chapter of Revelation, and continue on.


WHAT FOLLOWS THE MILLENNIUM?


As we continue looking at this city of gold, verse 24 says, “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.” Now who are these people, and where do they come from? This is absolutely the natural people that have come through the Millennium period. In Matthew 25, we see Jesus separating two elements of people that have survived the great tribulation. One group is ushered into the Millennium, and the other group is reserved for the lake of fire. Those who are spared will be people from every nation, that will repopulate the earth during that thousand year reign of Christ and His bride on earth. This of course, is what Zechariah 14:16 is pointing to, for it says, “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, (The King is Jesus) the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” This then, lets us see that there will be people from all nations that are spared, and they will have children born unto them, and from that vast number, a large element of them will pass right on into eternity. Now since I have led into this, let me say a little more about these natural people that are spared, and ushered into the Millennium. The Creator never goes contrary to His word, nor His purpose; therefore He sees that there is a remnant saved from all nations, that is, left alive, saved from destruction. These are the ones Jesus and His bride saints are going to rule over for one thousand years; them and their offspring, as it says in Revelation 19:15, with a rod of iron. Satan will be bound, during that time, and will not be around to instigate trouble, but you have to realize that these mortal people still have that old Adamic nature, (fallen nature) and therefore have to be ruled over with a rod of iron until that old nature is brought under control. Isaiah 65 tells us that longevity of life will be restored then, so a person born at the beginning could still be living a thousand years later. God would be unjust to allow those people to pass into eternity, having never been tested by evil, so that is why Revelation 20:7-15 tells us that Satan will be loosed out of his prison, and allowed to go out and deceive as many of those mortal subjects as he can. Now Bro. Jackson: Do you really mean that the devil is going to deceive some of them? Absolutely. The Bible tells us that the number he deceives, is as the sand of the sea. You must remember; they have only known what it was to live under a righteous rule. They have never had a spirit coming to them in the wee hours of the night, giving them thoughts that were completely contrary to the will of God. Therefore when the devil does get his chance at them, a great multitude are deceived, and gathered into a great army to battle against the true saints of God. What is Satan’s motive? He wants to get back in control of this planet. It says in chapter 20 that his great army compassed the camp of the saints, and the beloved city which is natural Jerusalem, where Jesus has ruled as King for a thousand years. God will let him (Satan) gather an army, God will let him have a motive, and He will let all of those deceived ones have a motive with him: to get control of the planet, but then notice what it says in verse 9. Once they are all in position, as though to take over headquarters, fire drops out of heaven and devours them. The whole deceived mass is consumed with a supernatural display of fire from God, and the devil is then cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and the false prophet already are. When it gets to that point; God does not play around with them. What is left of the mortal people after that, will be those who were tested by Satan, but were not deceived. Their names will be in the book of life, and they will pass on into eternity with Christ and the immortal saints. But before the eternal age begins; the great white throne judgment has to be set up. This will be the last time Christ will sit on any kind of throne, for when this is completed, all things are then delivered back to the Father, according to the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, and we are in eternity, and Jesus is known as our elder brother. But this great white throne judgment is what we see described in the 7th chapter of Daniel. He saw the judgment set up, the books opened, the wicked destroyed, and the kingdom given to the saints of the Most High, just like we see here in the 20th chapter of Revelation. Let us read a few verses from Revelation 20, starting with verse 11. “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Brother that is going to rid this old planet of all traces of sin. No evil or corrupt thing will be left in it. Only the righteous saints of all ages will remain. One thing you might take note of, in those verses we just read, is the fact that no dead were given up by space. The sea, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; but none came from space. I do not know how all of this is going to work out, if they keep pushing this space program; but I do know this book (the Bible) has to carry through exactly right, regardless of what man thinks. I was just thinking about that space ship Challenger that blew up. If it had blown up just a little later, it would have been out of earth’s gravity pull, and those bodies would have been sprinkled around out there in space. But as it is, they are back on earth, lying out there in a grave of water, awaiting their time to be resurrected.

 

 

INSIDE THE CITY OF GOLD


Well saints, I told you when we started this message that it would lead off into many different directions before we finished it, so I imagine you can see by now what I meant. I felt like we should try to give it full coverage though, while we were on it. The city we are looking at is only for the redeemed, so that leaves a lot of people to be accounted for, that have lived on this old planet in the centuries since Adam’s fall. But the great white throne judgment takes care of all of them; therefore let us get back to verse 25, in the 21st chapter of Revelation, and complete the message. “And the gates of it (the city) shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.” Now these nations of people are those mortals that lived on earth during the Millennium, whose names were found written in the book of like. Let us go back and read verse 24. “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.” There is a place for those nations of people that were saved from destruction, and they are going to dwell right here on this planet in the eternal age. They are not bride saints; they are going to be subject nations. They will be more like servant type people, even though they have eternal life. They will be the vine dressers and caretakers of the earth. That is the best I can explain it, for the scriptures do not give a detailed account of what their responsibilities will be. Remember though that the gates of this city speak of the entering into, of the plan of salvation. So it says that they shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. Then verse 26, still speaking of the nations, says, “And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. (the city). 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 brings us to the point where we can go inside the city now. Everything we have seen this far, has been seen from an external viewpoint. We sing the song Inside the gate, Inside the gate, so let us see what it looks like inside the gate. Let us see if there are any ivory palaces, or any brass door knobs. No. You are not going to see any of that; for all of that has come from traditions, and not from the scriptures, because this city is as clear as glass. “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, (Brothers and sisters: Everything in this city is clear. Surely after studying this, our spiritual vision ought to be a little better.) proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Yes, saints, inside this city, God is going to be the central figure, or we will say, the central source of attention. So notice this next verse, as we are looking at that throne position. “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month.” It says, In the midst of the street, so what are we looking at? We are looking at a boulevard. Let me describe it like this, as we enter into this city, we can see somewhere in front of us, such a display of the majesty and glory of God. The way He has manifested His presence: He draws all attention and respect from His creatures. But notice: we enter the city on a divided street, because the river of water of life from the throne of God, comes right down the middle of it. Of course this is all symbolic, but that river of life speaks of the ever flowing presence of the Spirit of God: flowing to the soul of man. It is not a natural river at all. It is not a river that gives life to the natural trees that are growing; it is a river of the eternal presence and moving of the Spirit of God, which is the water of life that Jesus referred to. So as we think of the street here, let us visualize a divided highway, with a body of water as a median, for here: is symbolized how we approach unto, and depart from the presence of God. In other words, it is not just a mingling; all coming up and down on the same pathway. On the road from here to North Carolina, as you approach one city, there is a body of water between the two sides of the highway. You go into the city driving on one side of the body of water, and you leave the city driving on the other side, and this little lake, or whatever it is, is lined with beautiful trees. Just thinking in the natural, I used to think of this setting right here in chapter 22, when I would pass there, for it is just exactly what we have pictured right here in this spiritual setting. Just remember: the street is pure gold, clear as glass, and the river of life as clear as crystal, so if the street is divided: the river is the median that separates the approach and departure to and from the presence of God. Therefore brothers and sisters: that kind of picture is going to take up the major part of what is seen inside this big beautiful city of gold. Alright now, in the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life. In other words, the trees are plural here. It is no longer just the one, that started out in paradise where Adam and Eve were. Here we see rows of them, and they are not standing on each side of the street; they are on each side of the river. “On either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month.” Notice here, it is in the female gender. In the original paradise, there was one tree, by which, if man had not sinned, every son and daughter of God would have been born off of the life of that tree. Then as they multiplied themselves in relationship to that tree, it would have become many trees; because the fruit of it is all figurative of the offspring of the law of it. But because of sin, Adam and Eve were driven from paradise, and the tree of life, until Jesus Christ came, who was the righteous branch grafted in. Hallelujah! This was not a fruit born by natural process, off of that tree. So we see here that the tree of life is still in paradise, but in plurality, and in the feminine gender. There it was masculine; but here, it is feminine, because it is to signify, or point to the Church, the family of God which is now positioned in relationship to God, and His plan. If you can understand the spiritual language, the leaves are figurative of the nature and attributes of God, when He dwells in His creation, in the fullness of His substance. The fruit then, is not something that is to go on and bear offspring. It is speaking of the nature that the redeemed family manifested in this present life, while still in this natural body of flesh. Now we speak of nine fruits of the Spirit, and this speaks of twelve, but we will not be able to bear the other three until after we take on immortality.


NEW NAME FOR OVERCOMERS


Let us look at two or three more verses, and then we will consider this message finished. Verse 3 says, “And there shall be no more curse: (of course not, for redemption has ended the curse.) but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; (the city) and His servants shall serve Him: (servants here, speaks of the nations that have been preserved out of the Millennium and brought over.) And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” Some will ask, What does that mean? There would be one of two things that it means. Either it is a word that means, every true, redeemed child of God, that has been fully restored to that full relationship to the great eternal Spirit; now understands fully what God is to them, or it means that the redeemed people of God, who are no longer subject to sin: that has separated them from their Creator, are now lifted up in full relationship to Him, and He can now fellowship with them as He did in the beginning, with Adam and Eve. It has something to do with the way God will manifest Himself to His fully redeemed and restored family, but to try to pin it down exactly would be going a little too far. After Jacob wrestled with the Lord all night, he said, I have seen the Lord face to face. But we know it was really an angel that he wrestled with, so we just have to leave room for this figurative language, and know for sure that if we are true children of God, we will understand all we are supposed to, when the time comes. So, “They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” It was said to those of the Philadelphia age, concerning the overcomers, I will write upon him my new name. Well it says more than just that. Chapter 3, verse 12, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and I WILL WRITE UPON HIM THE NAME OF MY GOD, AND THE NAME OF THE CITY OF MY GOD: which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from God; and I will write upon him my new name.” This is a promise to overcomers; but rest assured: you are not going to have that, while you are still walking in mortal flesh. It is only there: that this new name is going to be a reality. “And there shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun.” Why? Because inside this city, they are walking in the presence and glory of the creator Himself, who is light. That is why there will be no night; the Creator has brought paradise back to earth. “For the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” There will be just as many beautiful trees and even more so, as there is now, and there is going to be natural water flowing. There will be fountains, streams, springs and lakes, but there is not going to be large oceans like we have now, for all of that excess water will be restored to its original purpose also, the purpose we have already mentioned. “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.” Brothers and sisters, Five hundred years into the Millennium, we will know a lot of things that we do not know now. Living here, just before the Millennium starts, we can sure see the need for it. How many of you really can see the need for the Millennium? Of course you can. We can see and understand things about it today, that people living 500 years ago could not understand. It was just a fantasy to them; but it is more than that to us; it is a necessity. Therefore if that be true: I say this, by the time we are 500 years inside the Millennium, we will understand the eternal age. Why do I say that? Brothers, this mortal flesh is a handicap, when it comes to understanding spiritual things; but after living in immortality for 500 years, we are going to know and understand things that this old flesh could not now stand to know. Hallelujah! Praise His name. I do pray that this has helped you though, and I believe it has. Amen.

1986-08-Exploring-Eden-Part-2

Exploring Eden, Part 1 – 1986, July


Introduction

WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY DEALT WITH THIS SUBJECT IN A MESSAGE TITLED, IN SEARCH OF EDEN, BUT LATELY THERE HAVE BEEN SOME THINGS OPEN UP TO ME THAT HAVE JUST MADE THIS PICTURE SO BEAUTIFUL. THEREFORE TAKING A LITTLE DIFFERENT APPROACH THAN BEFORE, I WANT TO COVER SOME THINGS THAT I BELIEVE WILL BE OF INTEREST TO YOU, AND WE WILL TITLE THIS MESSAGE, EXPLORING EDEN, FOR THAT IS WHAT WE WANT TO DO. WE HAVE COME FROM MANY WALKS OF LIFE, WITH ALL KINDS OF IDEAS ABOUT THE BIBLE, MAINLY AS A RESULT OF WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT BY THOSE RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS IN OUR FORMER YEARS. BUT WE ARE RAPIDLY APPROACHING THE END OF THE AGE, AND IT IS THE PURPOSE OF GOD FOR HIS TRUE CHILDREN TO HAVE A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE SCRIPTURES BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT COMPLETELY, SO LET UP PRAY THAT GOD WILL JUST OPEN OUR UNDERSTANDING AS WE LOOK AT THESE VARIOUS POINTS OF INTEREST IN THIS MESSAGE. WHAT WE WILL BE LOOKING AT WAS NOT EVEN RECORDED UNTIL SOME 1400 YEARS BEFORE THE ADVENT OF CHRIST, AND CERTAIN THINGS WITHIN IT ARE WRITTEN IN FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE THAT IS NOT EVEN RELATED TO NATURAL GEOGRAPHICAL TERMINOLOGY: THEREFORE, IT TAKES THE HOLY SPIRIT TO CLEAR IT UP FOR US. I HAVE BEEN THINKING OF HOW WE ARE SO PRONE TO LOOK AT THE LONG LIFE SPANS OF PEOPLE BEFORE THE FLOOD, AND THINK HOW THEY COULD HAVE COMMUNICATED ORALLY FROM FATHER TO SON, THE TRUE STORY OF THE ACTS AND DEEDS OF MANKIND FROM THE TIME GOD PLACED THE FIRST MAN UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH. WELL NATURALLY THERE CAN BE A CERTAIN PORTION OF TRUTH PASSED ON, IN THAT WAY, BUT THERE IS SOMETHING ELSE TO CONSIDER ALSO. IF MAN, IN SUCH A SHORT SPAN OF TIME AFTER ADAM AND EVE WERE REMOVED FROM THE GARDEN, COULD BEGIN TO LOSE HIS CONTACT WITH THE CREATOR, DO YOU THINK HE WOULD HAVE NECESSARILY REMEMBERED AND APPRECIATED EVERYTHING ELSE THAT WAS COMMITTED TO HIM? ALL EIGHT PEOPLE IN THE ARK KNEW WHY THEY WERE THERE, AND WHEN THEY AGAIN SET FOOT ON DRY GROUND, THEY ALL KNEW THAT IT WAS BY THE GRACE AND MERCY OF GOD, THAT THEY WERE PRIVILEGED TO DO SO, BUT THREE GENERATIONS LATER, THEY WERE GOING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION FROM WHAT GOD STARTED THEM IN. THEREFORE I AM CONVINCED THAT WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT HERE, FOR THE MOST PART ANYWAY, WAS GIVEN TO MOSES BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD. HE BROUGHT THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL OUT OF EGYPT, AND 1450 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST, HE WROTE THE FIRST FIVE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE. GENESIS IS THE FIRST OF THE FIVE, AND IT RECORDS THE HISTORY OF CREATION, THE ORIGIN OF MAN, AND WHAT HAS HAPPENED BECAUSE OF SIN. SOME OF THE TERMINOLOGY PERTAINS TO NATURAL GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS, BUT THERE ARE ALSO PARTS OF IT THAT ARE WRITTEN IN SPIRITUAL TERMS, AND GOD MEANT FOR IT TO BE WRITTEN THAT WAY. WHY? YOU MAY ASK. BECAUSE GOD KNEW THE COURSE MAN WOULD TAKE THROUGH TIME, AND HE WANTED THE TRUTH TO BE CONCEALED FROM THESE INTELLECTUAL MINDS THAT ARE STRICTLY THE PRODUCTS OF WHAT HAPPENED IN THE GARDEN BETWEEN EVE AND THE SERPENT. YOU CANNOT EVEN TALK TO THEM ABOUT THE CREATOR; THEY DO NOT WANT TO HEAR IT. BUT THOSE WHO ARE PREDESTINED SEED OF GOD ARE HUNGERING FOR TRUTH, AND IT IS TO THEM THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS REVEALING THE HIDDEN TRUTHS OF THE SCRIPTURES, SO LET US YIELD OURSELVES TO HIS LEADING, AND ALLOW HIM TO TEACH US FROM THIS BLESSED OLD TIME TESTED BOOK.


THE BEGINNING OF MAN


First I want to explain, or define, the word of Eden. It is an English word that means, The Beginning of God. Not that God Himself had a beginning but it is the beginning of what God planned. That is why He said, I am the beginning and the end. You have to associate the word beginning, with something that has been created by Him who had no beginning. Then if there is an end, He is the terminator of it. Therefore it is God from beginning to end, regardless of what you are looking at, because He is the great designer of all things. In our modern world of science, if you want to study about prehistoric man, you go to the central parts of Africa, China, and Burma, where they have found traces of what they call that. But if you want to study about mankind today, you go to the Middle East and explore between the Tigris River and the Nile, because our history shows that this is the cradle of our existence. Our beginning had a different setting than what modern man tries to put us into. Our beginning started somewhere in the Middle East, in a place referred to as Eden, or paradise of God. Mankind has always been prone to think of that garden as a place where beautiful trees, flowers, ferns and all such like would grow, so let’s look at it very carefully. Turn to Genesis 2:7 where we will get the first scripture for our thought. “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.” That means he became conscious of his earthly environment. All five senses were activated; sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; (The garden was the paradise of God.), and there He put the man whom He had formed.” That put something in the process of starting. Eastward has to illustrate to us that God is setting in motion a beginning for His purpose for man, He positions him geographical wise to the earth, in a precise spot where his beginning is going to be related to time. With their modern instruments, men have put the international date line, where Thursday meets Friday, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But I am convinced that this precise geographical area where God placed paradise, and where He placed the man He created, is also the place where east meets west, and north meets south. As far as God is concerned, all directions are determined from that point. That is exactly why in the 16th chapter of the book of Revelation, it refers to the kings of the east; not kings in the Middle East where this was. It is speaking of kingdoms and empires that would be on earth in the ending of time, and it is that area of the world that is completely east of the area of Eden, where He began His Bible setting. Therefore, we associate the kings of the east, as from those areas of East Asia, and all the way into the Orients, which were never even thought of, in the early times of Bible prophecy. So we will need to think of east as a fixed point somewhere in the mind of God, but let us not get too technical with it. The main thing to remember is that man had a beginning, and time is in relationship to this man; for God does not even live in time. Verse 8 says that God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. But let me remind you again, this is Bible language. God did not use hands to plant this garden, for my Bible tells me, (written by the apostle Paul) that Abraham sojourned in a strange land, looking for a city whose founder and builder is God, not made with hands. Therefore if this city Abraham was looking for, the city we read about in the last two chapters of the Bible, was not made with hands, then this garden was not planted with hands either. When we read about this garden, you have to get your eyes off of the ground and off of the trees, and see something else there, or you will not see the garden it is referring to at all. If you can just envision what the garden was, in relationship to the ground, earth wise, this will help you to better understand when I say, Adam and Eve were not driven out of a geographical spot of ground, but were driven from the most cherished thing that could ever be in life, the presence of God. Remember that now, and we will read verse 9. “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is good for food.” Where did these trees come from? They came out of the ground. These trees were not what constitutes the garden, for the same kind of trees were also growing out of the ground everywhere else. This man Adam could not be everywhere. God associated him with a beginning point. So without reading the rest of that verse, I want to go to verse 28, in the first chapter, at this time, and see Adam, long before he was put in a body on earth. Here we see him in his spirit makeup, created in the image of God. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” To replenish, is to fill it up again. That ought to let some of these intellectual atheists know that the earth has been full of something, somewhere in th eon ages past. That proves there was a prehistoric world, but it is in no way associated with our present existence. (We have thoroughly covered that subject in another message.) So God told them, (while they were still only in spirit form, without human bodies) Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Now verse 29, is associated with the part of verse 9 that I did not read, there in chapter 2, so notice what it says. “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed (carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, and all such like from the vegetable family, are your herb bearing seed) which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Naturally the trees were, we will say, the peach, the apple, the fig and date, and such like. Long before he was ever on earth in a physical body of flesh, God was feeding this into his intelligence, so that when He did put him here, he would already know what he needed to know. Then in verse 30, He tells him what has been given unto the animals for their food.

 

 

WHAT IS PARADISE?


Alright, God has Adam and Eve fully instructed, and now He is placing them in a physical body, formed from the dust of the earth, in order that they may be able to carry out the instructions already given them. But keep in mind, the Creator is directing his approach to the whole thing. He is the one that puts the man in a particular spot on the earth. Actually when we think of this paradise of God, it is something that we cannot even describe by any earthly picture. Artists and painters in all ages of time have portrayed what their imagination tells them this paradise might have been like, but I am fully persuaded that none of them have ever actually been able to show it like it really was. It was not trees set in a straight row, nor flowers planted in pots, and grass trimmed a certain way, that made paradise what it was; for paradise is not something you can explore scientifically. Nevertheless man has always pictured it as a beautifully landscaped area, where the trees are so magnificent, the flowers ever blooming, and if there is an animal in the picture, it will usually show a lamb and a lion somewhere close together, and angels in the background, looking through the trees. Well such as environment truly does speak of paradise, as we think of paradise, but what made this environment Adam and Eve was in, paradise? It was the spirit of God, the Creator, who had placed Himself there, to be man’s shelter, his inspiration, his guiding force, his motivation. Without motivation, man does not know which way to go. As we study the New Testament, we are made aware of the fact that God desires to come back inside these vessels of clay. God does not need buildings to dwell in; it is these human houses that He desires to dwell in. He is not affected by cold nor hot; He is everything. Therefore let us try to think of paradise as a place where God has placed Himself in a manifestation of His glory and presence, a place where man starts God’s long awaited plan for the earth. This was a new beginning for the earth. The earth had been populated before, but not with the same species as is found upon the earth today. Its former inhabitants were prehistoric creatures ruled by angels. That is when the angels were tested, and that is when Lucifer exalted himself, and caused God to have to cast him down from his high position as an archangel. But now, let us read verse 9 again, “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food. (Adam knew what every one of those natural trees were for) the tree of life also in the midst of the garden.” Please take note of the fact that nothing at all is said about the tree of life growing out of the ground. That tree, is not a tree that you can examine biologically, nor geographically, for it does not grow out of the ground like those they were given for food. It is not even associated with the earth; therefore it does not exist on the earth’s nutrients, and cannot furnish nutrients to physical man. It is a tree that stands symbolically in the realm of paradise, through which man, in his God sent purpose, was to replenish the earth. The language used there, is a key to help us understand that it is not a natural tree. It was in the MIDST of the garden. A peach tree growing out of the ground will repopulate by producing more of its kind, but this tree of life, that was in the midst of the garden, we would have to say, was a spiritual law, by which man’s reproduction was to be governed. The tree of knowledge of good and evil, was also in the midst of the garden, and likewise was not a tree that was growing out of the ground. Both trees are symbolic in their function. That is why we printed the article, The Two Laws of Eden; for they really are two spiritual laws. When you go to the 2nd chapter of Revelation, you discover that paradise still exists, and that over comers have a promise of partaking of that tree, which still stands in the midst of paradise.


MAN OUTSIDE OF PARADISE


Does it not seem strange that after 4000 years, when God spoke to John on the Isle of Patmos, telling him to write the things he would see, and send it to the seven churches of Asia, Ephesus was the first one of those churches mentioned. Well that is because Ephesus was the one that typed the apostolic age, the beginning of the era of the Church. During this dispensation of grace, typed by those seven churches, God has been calling His lost children to repent, overcome, and partake of that tree of life, which still stands in the paradise of God. Paradise is in the realm of the spirit; it is God’s domain. It is that spirit realm that Adam and Eve were driven from, and in reality it is not a place that is made up of trees and other plant life. The language of the Bible can make it sound like that, but God wants us to know that paradise is in the presence of the living God. Let me ask you this, though. Are we to believe that eating from the tree of life in Revelation 2:7 is exactly the same as it would have been in Genesis 2? No. In Genesis the tree of life was in relationship to God’s perfect plan, for man to repopulate the earth. Had Adam and Eve partaken of that tree, instead of good and evil, they would have repopulated the earth with offspring, which would have had the same Godlikeness and image that Adam had. But since they chose to partake of the other tree, which in reality was the sex act, for pleasure, rather than just for the purpose of bearing offspring into the world, like God had told them to do, they had to suffer the pre-announced consequences, which was to be driven from that presence of their Creator. They were no longer allowed to abide in the presence of that Spirit which is eternal life. That is what God meant in Genesis 2:17 when He said to them, ” In the DAY that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” They did not die physically as soon as they disobeyed God, but they did die spiritually, when God removed them from His presence. Therefore we will have to say, Adam and Eve did multiply and replenish (refill) the earth, but they did it from the wrong tree. Birth is still the result of a sex act between a man and a woman, but because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, there is no eternal life in it. That is the difference between partaking of the tree of knowledge, instead of the tree of life. When they partook of the sex act for pleasure, rather than for God’s original purpose to reproduce themselves, they perverted that beautiful relationship, and God expelled them form His presence, (the garden) which was paradise, and the world has been filled with offspring that came from the tree of knowledge. We are all products of the tree of knowledge. Alright now, did Adam dig up a literal tree, and transplant it outside of a fenced in garden? Is that how you think of those two trees, that were in the midst of the garden where God’s son and daughter were placed? I hope all of you in this assembly know better than that by now. Those two trees were not literal plant life trees at all; it was two spiritual laws whereby Adam and Eve had a choice as to which they would follow. That is why modern man is climbing the limbs of the tree of knowledge right today, wanting to explore space, and all suchlike. Well we have all been made aware of the tragedy that has shaken the world, when those seven people in the space shuttle were blown into oblivion, and that has caused me to do a lot of thinking. It seems that our president, and all those involved in the space program had reached a point where there was no limit as to what they would do next, or try next. It reminds me of what was taking place in the plains of Shinar, when all men were of one mind, and one purpose, and they had set about to build themselves a tower that would reach into heaven. God Himself said that if He did not intervene, nothing would be restrained from them which they had imagined to do. Therefore He came down and confused their language, and scattered them, and that put an end to their great plans. No. I am not saying that we should look at this space program as exactly the same thing, but I will say this: God will just allow the thing to go so far, and then He will surely call a halt to the whole thing. I just thought, as I hear that we have that thing out there, taking pictures of the planet Uranus, to try to find out how many moons it has: they may just as well count the mice in my corn crib, and tell me how many grains of corn they are eating every day. What benefit is that kind of information? Will that feed the poor souls that are starving to death the world over? They could care less about that; their great knowledge has driven them to bounds beyond compassion for such things. It just lets us see how crazy earthly minded people have become, eating from the tree of knowledge.


EATING FROM THE TREE OF LIFE


There is nothing wrong with science, as long as God is allowed to be the administrator of it; but when He is no longer wanted, and no longer needed, recognized, nor appreciated, then I am afraid He will turn all of that technology into heartbreak and sadness. But praise God, there is a people on earth today, who, even in the face of all of this scientific technology, are partaking of the tree of life, as we find in Revelation 2:7. Those who repent, accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and overcome Satan and all of his powers of darkness: are promised that. Jesus Christ was that righteous branch of the tree of eternal life, that Isaiah prophesied about. He was the very fruit of everything that you and I should have been. But we were not, because we were born off the tree of knowledge. Therefore to eat of the tree of life, according to Revelation 2:7, is to have access to what that tree symbolizes in its eternal meaning. It is to have access to the life of God, which, once you receive it, you have eternal existence. It is God’s eternal life, coming to blend in with your spirit, which makes you one with God, and gives you eternal life. This is what God’s plan of redemption is all about, to get us back into the place with God, that Adam fell from. All of this language points to an experience the believer must receive. Then when you go to Revelation 22, you see pictured there the whole family of God, which through redemption, have partaken of the tree of life, through the ages of time. Symbolically it shows the completed work of God in redemption, with the tree of life on either side of a pure river of water of life, which proceeded out from the throne of God.


THE AREA CALLED EDEN


Let us go back to Genesis, back to the garden, before we proceed any further with these scriptures in the book of Revelation, for we want to make sure we realize that even though much of this language pertains to things in the realm of the spirit, there was definitely a geographical spot of the earth that Adam and Eve were associated with. The tree of life in the midst of the garden, ( the paradise of God) was associated only to the spiritual realm, the glorious realm where the presence of God abode, but there was a certain geographical area where man has to have his beginning, and he was to be subject to the mind of his Creator. Always remember, God did not put man on the earth to do what he (the man) wanted to do. He was put here with a commission, to repopulate this big earth, but he was supposed to be subject to the mind and leadership of his Creator, and fill the earth with sons and daughters of God. But God is not a dictator, so He placed two trees (two spiritual laws) in the midst of the garden, and instructed His son accordingly, so with that in mind, let us go to verse 19, of this 2nd chapter. I believe Moses was inspired by God to write these things: for if it was just a handed down story, from generation to generation; it would have gotten way off course before it got to him. But let us read what Moses was inspired to write. “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden.” Remember now, Saints: This particular river is in relationship to the natural area where God has placed His paradise, for the water in that river, whatever its purpose was, it was to the plant life in that particular spot. But do not bother to go running to a map, trying to find that river, for we have had the great flood and many centuries of earthquakes, and so forth, that have changed the layout of the land from what it was in the day of Adam’s beginning. Well there was a river there, and this is what Moses wrote about it. “And from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.” As for these four heads, we just have to realize that God used language such as this to confuse a lot of intellectual brains who would read the Bible only from a critical standpoint, never desiring to benefit from it in any spiritual way. I was just thinking this week, how mortal men will go to a seminary, spend a fortune of earthly money, study Greek and Hebrew, and the proper usage of words, and when they finish their education they speak everything so exactly right, it makes a fellow like me ashamed of himself. But brother, his little garden is so natural, there is no possible way he can see the paradise in it. All they can visualize, is a fenced-in garden of beautiful trees, shrubs, flowers and all such as that. But remember, Eden was the territory, and the garden was paradise within that territory, so notice now, as we look at the heads of this river. “The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.” If you look at some of the old Bible maps, you will find that word Havilah, running right across an area which is now called Saudia Arabia. But it is all desert now, so you are not going to go there, and find this old river bed. Well it says there was gold there, and that the gold was good. It was out of the land of Saudia Arabia, that King Solomon imported gold by the untold poundage. Archaeologists claim to have found some mines, or the ruins of some ancient mines, that they believe was King Solomon’s mines. “And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the land of Ethiopia.” Looking at a map, you will notice that the land of Ethiopia lays south of Egypt, yet the major part of Ethiopia is a plateau, mountainous region, higher in altitude than the lowlands of Egypt. Therefore where it says that this river compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia, it means that it drains all of that whole area of land. All of the other streams run into it, just like out West, in the United States, you have the Great Divide. Everything on the east side of the Great Divide eventually works its way to the Mississippi River, and everything on the western slopes of the Great Divide will go into the Pacific Ocean. Therefore when we think of this river that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia; it is the Nile River, that drains the great watershed of all the high plateau elevations of Ethiopia. Down through the lowlands of Egypt, it eventually finds its way to the Mediterranean Sea. Those two rivers were to form a boundary line, so let us get the other two. “And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria.” Your ancient Bible maps will show that to be the Tigris River. “And the fourth river is Euphrates.” Just before they go into the Persian Gulf, these last two rivers meet, forming a Y, and from there, they flow as one. But when we see these rivers so specifically identified, we are looking at a geographical boundary of the total area called Eden, that was named after the garden of paradise. Therefore we can say, somewhere between the Nile and the Tigris, which is the eastern and the western end of it, God planted a garden in the eastern portion of it, and that is where He started His beginning of the present man that you and I are the descendants of.


ADAM HAD RESPONSIBILITIES


Verse 15 gives us a repeat of part of verse 8. “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” Many questions are asked here. Why did God put Adam in this kind of a body, and what were his actual duties? This spirit man, that was created in the image and likeness of God, was given this body of clay so he could have earthly contact with the natural things of God’s creation. Being made in the image and likeness of God means that he had certain capabilities that were to be expressed. He was an offspring of God, so he would think like his Father, act like his Father, and carry out the things of his Father. Having a body, that his Father did not have, Adam was placed in an earthly realm among trees and other plant life, not only to dress, but also to subdue. There were certain things to be administered to the plant life, yet within that same realm of paradise, I believe there were certain spiritual forces, all pertaining to the realm of God, which Adam knew, and knew how to apply. In other words, if Adam had followed God’s original plan, there never would have been any extreme seasons of cold and hot, dry and wet; but would have remained about the same all year long. That is why you read in the Bible concerning the Millennium, how that the law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, in those days. Now brothers and sisters: whatever the word of the Lord is, in those days, it will not be pertaining to salvation, as it has to us. It will be a word of instruction and increased knowledge, for the purpose of restoring back, something that has been long lost and unassociated to the human concept. Natural man, in his present existence explores in the scientific realm, and thinks he is really tapping into unlimited resources, but oh, if he only knew his Creator, what a difference it would make. We look at the earth today, and see the starving millions, and you look at Africa: it looks like a cursed continent, with this great drought which has swept through Chad and Ethiopia, and is moving right on down through that central region of Uganda, and on southward. We received a letter from the Christians there, and they were telling of suffering, as a result of the drought, political unrest, and many other hardships, and I could not help but think of how it will be in the Millennium. There will not be any droughts in that day, when Jesus Christ and His bride rule upon this earth for a thousand years. There will be no starvation then, because the curse that was put upon this earth will be lifted. The Bible says; The field shall yield its increase, and it even says that those which sow the grain, shall overtake the ones that are reaping the former crop. In other words, Here comes another bunch, Hurry up, and get that reaper going, we have to plow this field again. That is just my way of illustration, but it will be one crop right after another one, and there will be no need for all of this high powered fertilize we have to use today. The reason we need all of this fertilizer and insecticide now, is because of the curse of God put on the ground when Adam sinned; it will not yield its full potential. Whether you want to admit it or not, man has just about reached the end of his vast technology. Jesus will need none of natural man’s great wisdom in the Millennium. Things will be run in the order that Adam should have ran them. Oh, saints, just think: If sin had never entered the picture, after 6000 years, the whole earth today would have been just like the spot where God placed Adam and Eve. That was the ultimate purpose of the Creator, in it all, so that is what the earth will be like, in its redeemed state, a complete paradise.


HOW LIFE SHOULD HAVE BEEN


Let us continue on in verse 16. “And the Lord God commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat.” God is not changing anything. He is just reminding Adam of what is already there, in his intellect, which was put there when He created him, before he ever had a physical body. In other words, The fruit of every plant life tree, thou mayest freely eat. “But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Adam knew what God was talking about; he did not have to say, what is that? He knew exactly what the tree of knowledge was, and the tree of life also, and he knew that when he disobeyed God, what the result would be, for God had already made that clear to him. Therefore we will say it like this, Adam had two realms of understanding. He knew that the fruit of the plant life was for the replenishing of the nutrients of the physical body that he already had, and he knew that the fruit of the tree of life was for the replenishing of himself; to fill the earth with others of his kind. I hope every person under the sound of my voice, and especially to you young people, will realize that the original sex relationship between man and woman was to be strictly by the law of life, and was to be controlled by the woman, just as it is in the animal kingdom. You do not see animals conducting themselves in the filthy, perverted ways humans do. Up the road here, you cannot help but notice the sign which says, “Talk to me dirty.” We are supposed to be the offspring of God, and yet man, in his natural human makeup, continually thinks and talks in such derogatory terms as that, always pointing to perverted sex. Life was to be a sacred thing, and the sex act was to be for the purpose of reproduction of life, and not just for pleasure. A person could learn a lot about God’s original plan for mankind, if he or she would just pay close attention to the animal kingdom, as they go about their regular routine of life. They do not have that uncontrollable sex urge to contend with. They still function just as their Creator created them to. The female has her period of time when conception is possible, and that is when the sex relationship takes place, and only then. Woman’s monthly period is a result of the curse; for in the beginning, before the curse, she would have that one period, that she would be very conscious of, when she would carry out a relationship with her husband in complete innocency, for the sole purpose of reproducing themselves, knowing full well that they were doing exactly what the Creator had told them to do. You can see this same law of life working in plant life. When you see a tree blooming, what is that a sign of? It is male and female life mating, and the fruit is the product of it all. In the animal kingdom, that time is referred to as the mating season, and the female always knows when she is coming into it, and chooses a mate to produce little offspring for the Creator, and you never see them putting on an act to entertain each other, like perverted humans do. When the mating is over, the male animal goes his way, to enjoy the freedom of the forest, and never has any feelings of having done anything wrong, for he is doing exactly as the Creator meant for him to do.


ADAM-EVE-THE SERPENT-JESUS


When the serpent yielded himself to the devil, the serpent being a creature much in the physical likeness of man, the devil was being permitted to come against the son and daughter with a test, so now I want to show you something. Adam and Eve were given only one test, and they failed it. Why test them on anything else, after they had already failed this crucial test? But think, when Jesus, the second Adam, which was the only begotten Son of God, became filled with the eternal Spirit of the Father, He was driven by that Spirit, into the wilderness, where He also was tested by the devil. Why was He tested? He was tested for the same reason Adam was. He was given the chance to prove that He would be faithful to what He was foreordained to accomplish. He had to be tested, as to whether there was any chance of failure in Him. Jehovah knew He would not fail, but it had to be that way for your sake and mine. Why was Jesus not given only one test, you may ask? Let us look at it this way: If He had failed the first one, there would have been no need for the second and third, but He did not fail the first, nor the second, so He had to be tested in every area of life, and overcome, in order to accomplish His foreordained purpose. He set an example before all believers, of overcoming by the word of God, and at the same time proved that He was a worthy sacrifice, to pay our sin debt before God. Therefore when we are tested, tempted, and tried, we can look to Him who died for us and remember that He set a perfect example for us. He did not overcome the temptation with any power beyond that which we all have available to us. Now some of you may say, “But He was perfect, and had the fulness of the Spirit of God in Him.” Yes, but He did not rely upon any of that supernatural power to overcome those temptations. He did nothing that any other true child of God could not do, for He overcame every temptation by holding up in the face of Satan the written word of God. What you must realize that Satan cannot force a child of God to sin; he can only place the temptation before you, and you make the choice as to what you are going to do. One thing is sure though; if you are determined to overcome, you have the enablement of the Spirit of God within you to help you do it. What you must realize, is that if it had been impossible for Jesus to yield to Satan’s temptations, then He was not our example at all, and the temptation was a farce. No brothers and sisters, if He had jumped from that high place as Satan tempted Him to do, He would have fallen to His death, and there would have been no Calvary, and you and I would not be here today. On the other hand, if Adam and Eve had stood their first test, there might have been a second one, because they were not only commissioned to replenish the earth with their kind; they were to do other things also. But because they failed the first test, there was no reason for another, for they had already forfeited the whole thing. That lets you and me know why we are like we are today, and why the whole earth is in such a terrible state of disarray, because Adam failed first. Alright, so Adam and Eve were introduced to the intimate act for the pleasure of it, instead of for the sole purpose of reproduction, which means that they partook of the tree of knowledge, but if God had killed them physically, He would have thwarted the whole purpose; because, basically, He put them there to replenish the earth. You must keep in mind the fact that we are looking at this from the standpoint of God’s foreknowledge according to what we read in the first chapter of Ephesians. He knew all of this before the world was ever created. He knew what Adam would do, and He knew what Jesus would do. That is why He could inspire the prophets to write what they did about Him. God saw Him on the cross paying the penalty for Adam’s sin, before there was ever a star or anything. But His immediate action, to cover their nakedness is recorded in verse 21 of chapter 3. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” You see primitive man portrayed: living in caves and wearing coats of skins, but this is not necessarily the picture we are getting here. God was getting ready to move them out, but He was not going to let them go, without showing mercy, so He made those coats of skins for them. Therefore when they looked at them: they had to know where they came from, and what kind of animal they came off of. They were made to realize that an innocent animal had to give it’s life: in order for them not to have to look at their nakedness. But even still, they would have to carry their guilt and you know how the devil likes to torment people. He leads you into sin, and then he will never let you forget it, once he has you trapped. But God did not want those two to live the rest of their lives condemned, without knowing that He had provided something to cover them. Nevertheless, once He had them covered, they had to be removed from their former environment, lest they go ahead and reproduce themselves from the tree of life, after learning of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It was just like what God said to the children of Israel, in Deuteronomy 11:26, “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse.” It had to be one or the other; it could not be both. God told Adam and Eve which tree to partake of, in order to fulfill His perfect will in their reproduction, but He created them with the ability to make choices and they chose the other tree. Therefore after He clothed them, He separated them from the beautiful paradise. (3:22) “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live for ever: therefore the Lord sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken.” Most of the questions come from the statement, “Lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever.” But it is because they cannot see that tree, so I want to go slow and try to make it clear. They had already eaten (or partaken) of the tree of knowledge. They knew the wrong that they had done, and they knew how bad they felt because of it. If you have never robbed a bank, or stolen anything, are you worried about being punished for that? No, you are not. But once you do those things, you know how bad a person would feel. You then measure that feeling against the time when you did not feel that way. In your mind, you know where good was and you know where evil was, and what a terrible conflict is set up within. However we must keep in mind that eating from the tree of life, as it is spoken of here, is not what gave Adam and Eve life, nor could it. Remember, they are in paradise, which is life itself. Therefore to eat of, or partake of the tree of life, meant that they would reproduce life, eternal life, which is of their kind. In other words, if God had left them right as they were, they would have lived forever, because they were in paradise, and paradise is eternal life. As long as they dwelt in paradise, they would have retained that knowledge of how to partake of the tree of life and reproduce themselves with offspring endowed with eternal life also. God had to drive them from His presence, (the garden) in order to prevent that. Let me repeat something I said a few minutes ago. Eating the fruit of the plant life trees was for the purpose of renewing their natural physical flesh, and this tree of life was only to be eaten of now and then for one specific purpose, and that purpose was to reproduce themselves and fill the earth with offspring which would also have eternal life. Therefore when God stripped them of His eternal presence, and yet allowed them to go ahead and reproduce themselves, then naturally their children were void of eternal life also. Why? Because every species was to bring forth of its own kind, and Adam and Eve no longer had eternal life. A lot of people get worried when they hear this statement, thinking it is contrary to the Bible doctrine of eternal security of the believer, but let me assure you, it is not the same thing. Adam and Eve had that eternal Spirit, but it was conditional, depending upon whether they passed their test, for God had already told them that to eat of the tree of knowledge would bring death. On the other hand, those believers of every age, who have obeyed God from the heart, and have been sealed by that same Spirit, (baptized by the Holy Ghost) have a promise, (Heb.13:5) “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” God does not give and take back His Spirit, like children playing with toys. He only gives that new birth experience to whose who have already been approved. In Ephesians 4:30, you find these words, written by the apostle Paul. “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” You could also read Romans 8, Galatians 4, and many other scriptures to confirm the promise of God to believers, and you will see that it is not the same situation as it was with Adam and Eve. Therefore let me say it again, the tree of life itself, was the means by how that eternal life was to be extended to the offspring Adam and Eve would bring into the world, and it in no way gave them eternal life, for they were already dwelling in eternal life, which is the very presence of God Himself. This is what gets people’s minds all confused, so I want to make it as clear as possible, for the wording here in the Bible, makes it sound like they could eat of the tree of life, and that is what would give them eternal life, and allow them to live forever. Sure, God said, Lest he put forth his hand, and take ALSO of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever, so let me say this in a way that I believe will help you catch the point. Suppose God had just talked to Adam like this, Adam: Now that you understand that the sex act can be used for pleasure, I am not going to allow you to stay here and eat of this tree also, and live in this realm forever, in your sins. What did He do then? He did not drive him away from the tree, He drove him away from paradise, and his habitation in paradise is what gave him eternal life. Therefore when God drove him from paradise, He took that eternal existence from him. So what it all adds up to, is the fact that we must get back into paradise in order to have access to the tree of life. “Therefore the Lord God said, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden.” Why did He not just move the tree? Because the tree was something that was related to paradise itself, so He drove him from paradise, to till the ground from whence he was taken, and brothers and sisters, that is where all the other trees were growing, and that is where his own body was taken from. Now as I have said many times, Adam and Eve were not driven from any geographical spot of ground. Geographically they remained right where they had been all along. But the difference was, they were no longer dwelling in that anointing presence of the Spirit of God. It was not a literal garden they were driven from; it was a spiritual environment, called paradise.


CHERUBIMS GUARD THE WAY BACK TO GOD


What did God do after He had driven Adam and Eve from His presence? Verse 24 says, “So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Now let us keep this straight in our minds. If the garden was paradise, and paradise is the presence of God, then what were the cherubims guarding? East of the garden would have to pertain to something of what God’s original purpose was. Those angels were not restraining Adam from going where he wanted to go, and neither were they keeping him from any of the plant life trees God had originally given them for food. No. Those angels were spirit beings, that knew the entrance into the anointing presence of God, and from the time Adam and Eve were driven from that presence, no man, nor woman has been able to walk into the anointing of God just any time they desire to. On the other hand; the devil has so possessed a lot of people today, witches, fortune tellers, and all such like, until they can go right into that spirit as quick as a flash, but I hope none of you would ever be fooled by such a spirit as that. Man has remained on the outside of that spiritual presence of god ever since Adam and Eve were driven out. Oh, yes, we can have a measure of the spirit of God in us, but we cannot activate that anointing just any time we choose; God activates it when He chooses. Let me say also, There has not been a man or woman back in the paradise of God that Adam and Eve were driven out of, except those who have died and gone to glory. What ever you may imagine paradise to have been like, only those who have gone like that, have been able to see why it was such a beautiful place. It is only your spirit that goes there, and that makes what John saw coming down from heaven a beautiful reality. It is not that city of gold, that we have tried to make it, but rather, those righteous souls that God has redeemed through the ages. John said, (Rev. 21:2-3) “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” It is called a city, and what better way could it have been portrayed, than that, in order to conceal the truth from intellectual minds? Well let me get back and make another point here. As Adam and Eve stood there, with their coats of skin, and God pronouncing the curses upon them, God said to Eve, “I will greatly multiply they sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Now in medical terminology, what does that mean: I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception? It means: I will multiply the periods you normally would have had just for the purpose of conception. God has designed her with all the beauty and sacredness you could ever imagine and in her body, there was a law of the Creator, that was activated only by Him, and she was the only other one besides Him, that would ever know when that law was working, for the purpose of reproduction. That is why she would have known what eating from the tree of life was, and it was definitely not to give her and Adam eternal life, for they were already in the presence of God who is eternal life. No. That tree of life was for the purpose of giving eternal life to their offspring. But remember, the whole thing was tied to the presence of God in the garden. Had they never sinned, paradise never would have left. We would all still be enjoying it. But you can walk the world over, trying to find that garden of paradise, and never find it, for it is no longer there. Brothers and Sisters: Just try to imagine how Adam and Eve must have felt, when God removed them from that glorious realm. God did not erase the memory of what they had previously enjoyed with Him; therefore they lived the rest of their lives remembering, but unable to get back into that same anointing. That is why God set the cherubims between them, and Him, to make sure they did not. They were the only two humans that were ever privileged to know that original anointing, and they were the only ones that ever knew where those angels stood. From that time on, they were only in God’s permissive will. No. God did not leave the earth altogether, but they were sure never going to walk and talk with Him, in that same beautiful atmosphere that they had before. They became sinners, subject to a law of God, as they partook of sex for pleasure; and just look what the devil has done with it all. No wonder the Messiah had to be born of a virgin birth: all other mankind had that sentence of death reigning in them.


THE SERPENT’S SEED AND ADAM’S SEED


As Adam and Eve were driven from the garden, Eve had in her womb the seed from two sources. There was the seed of the serpent, but there was also the seed of Adam, and both were there as a result of sex for pleasure. However those who disagree with serpent seed, just love to read the first verse of Genesis, chapter 4, for they think the wording there proves their case, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Eve’s statement was true of course, for all life comes from God. He is the only source of life. But what you have to be sensitive enough to pick up, is the revelation of the next verse. “And she again bare his brother Abel. (In other words, they were looked upon as twins, but they were not twins at all. Even their very natures declared they were not twins.) And Abel was a keeper of sheep, BUT Cain was a tiller of the ground.” That is what the serpent was. Now the term for this dual conception is SUPER-FETATION, and here is what Webster’s Dictionary gives as the definition of that word. “Successive fertilization of two or more ova of different ovulations resulting in the presence of embryos of unlike ages in the same uterus.” Please notice, that verse 2 does NOT say, And Adam knew Eve again, and she conceived, and bare Abel. Eve gave birth to two boys, but the record shows that she knew only one man, Adam, and all the evidence shows that it was not twins by Adam. Cain is not even in the genealogy of Adam. That alone ought to tell people something. But notice verse 25 of chapter 4. “Adam knew his wife again: and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, SHE SAID, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.” Adam’s genealogy runs down through Seth’s descendants, and the descendants of Cain are given as separate from Adam’s line.


I cannot see for the life of me, why so many theologians will read these same scriptures, and then gag and cough, and carry on so, when serpent seed is mentioned, and say, That is a doctrine of the devil. Well what seems strange to me, is that they are always ready to tell you what the tree of knowledge of good and evil was not, but none of them will ever tell you what it was. Even with all of their education, most of them no doubt, still look at those two trees in the midst of the garden as plant life trees, just like all the other trees. That is why I have said, No true revelation of the word of God ever comes out of a theological seminary. Those man made systems with all of their theories, cannot produce a true revelation from the word of God. Hand-me-down traditions is what comes out of those places, so let me say once again, The garden God planted, was not something that covered the whole region of Eden. In the scriptures we read earlier, we saw that the area of Eden was all the area between the Tigris River and the Nile River, so that is a vast stretch of territory. But the Bible says, “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden.” That garden is not something you can explore biologically, for it was much, much more than just plant life growing: God’s presence was there. His purpose was to be the motivator of whatever the man He had created, did. When He put Adam there to dress and care for the garden, do not ever think He said, Now Adam: It is all yours, do as you please. No. He does not put man here like that. He does not call a man to preach, and say to him, Go, preach whatever you want to. I assure you there are a lot of them doing that today, but the truth is, God never called them to preach. A lot of them have been sent out by their parents because they felt they should have a preacher in the family. But let me tell you: If God does not give a man something to preach, all he can do is rattle, strictly from a natural mind. A revelation is not something you can get, just any time you want. You can study theology as long and hard as you can, but until God gives you a revelation on something, it remains hidden to you. You can only see what is written in the Bible, until the Spirit of God anoints you to read between the lines.


GOD PROJECTS HIS PERFECT WILL


I said a long time ago, and I will keep on saying it; If the garden that man was driven from had been just some geographical spot of ground somewhere, that man was forbidden to enter into, it would still be there, and man would still be forbidden to enter therein. That is why we have got to realize that it was the way God placed His presence there, that made it a garden of paradise. Had man not sinned within that realm, eventually the whole earth would have been filled with that same presence. That is what the Millennium is coming for, to fulfill the long awaited purpose of God: wherein the knowledge and glory of the Lord shall cover the whole earth, as the waters cover the sea. Let us just refresh our thinking. The Bible says God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. Does that mean that God had them in a place where there was no ground? No, there was just as much ground in the garden as there was anywhere else in Eden, for as I keep pointing out, The garden was not a geographical spot of ground. God’s presence is what made it a garden of paradise. It was God’s beginning place for the man He had created in His own image. That is why it says He planted a garden eastward in Eden; that was the beginning place. But before the plan got off of the launching pad, the devil already had it messed up. Yet we must realize that God permitted the whole thing to go as it did, in order that He might be able to show forth His other attributes. If He could create, He could also show mercy and redeem, so do not feel that this took God by surprise. He knew all of that, before He ever created the first star or anything else. Our biggest problem in trying to study the scriptures, is all the whys. If God knew this, why did He allow that, and so on? It was His purpose to express all of His many attributes, and in order to do so, He had to allow the circumstances that would necessitate it. Well, as Adam and Eve went forth from the garden, that left them as the only humans that would ever know what that original paradise was like. Those boys did not ever know, for they were born off of that other tree. They were earth bound from birth, just as all the rest of us have been. Adam and Eve were the only two people that knew why those cherubims were there. It was so they could never press themselves back into the presence of God, and hold on to eternal life: carrying out the plan of God. Let us just use that thought for a moment. What about the children of Israel? When God brought them right out through the Red Sea, and took them to Kadesh Barnea, and the spies came back with their report, you know the story; they had already complained too much. God told them they would wander in the wilderness forty years, yet after He had already pronounced their penalty, the decided that they would force the hand of God and battle that bunch of heathen anyhow, but God was not with them, so they took a licking. Anytime you read in the Bible where God projects His perfect plan, and man, through his unbelieving attitude, complains about it, then God turns them to a secondary plan, and if they still try to force themselves in, after God has made the change, they are always blocked, just like Adam and Eve were. God had driven them from a realm where they could see angels just as clearly as they could see each other, and He knew that they would try to get back into that realm, if He did not take steps to prevent it. Therefore He placed those cherubims between them and His anointing presence, so they could never press themselves back into that realm again. That left them subject only to the tree of knowledge, and every last one of us are a product of it. That is why we all act like we do. That is why we have the kind of knowledge, to know how to get to the moon. But when it comes to the word of God, we are blind as bats. If it were not for the grace of God, we would not know a thing about Him. When we try to imagine what paradise should have been like, we try to conceive of it with our natural mind, and all we can think of is apple trees, peach trees, fig trees, and all such as that. Well all of that was there, abut that is not what made it a garden of paradise; it was the presence of God that make it paradise. Their testing tree was in the midst of the garden also, and to the natural mind, it seems like that should be just another of those plant life trees, but I assure you, Adam did not transplant any of those trees, and we still have the tree of knowledge with us today. Satan tested Jesus with the fruit of that same tree: If thou be the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread. Well that sort of thing was going to be part of His ministry, but He did not fall into Satan’s trap, and fail His test, like Adam did.


GOD’S MERCIFUL PROVISION


Adam failed his test and no doubt he and Eve thought many times, how it was for them before they disobeyed God’s word. Yet outside the garden; they were covered with those skins, so that caused them to know that they could trust God to be merciful to them, and that somewhere in time, He would take care of the situation. But Adam no longer had a servant, he was going to have to till the ground himself. Some people think I am crazy when they hear me say that Adam had a servant, but I assure you, that is exactly what the serpent was. Have you not read in the Bible how God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him an helpmeet 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 to Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof?” Well, out of all those animals, there was not one of them that could be to Adam what he needed, to fulfill the command of God to be fruitful and multiply, but Adam did get a servant from among them, that could talk and communicate with him, and it was through that servant, that Satan first got to Eve. The Bible says that the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field, and that is a word that means cunning, or crafty, usually in a bad sense. So he came to Eve and said, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” In other words, Are you sure you know what God meant? That is how the devil works on people, even still today; he questions the word of God that you hold on to. He questioned Eve, through the serpent, and he questions you also: Are you sure it was a sex act, that caused the fall of Adam and Eve? Our critics are usually not that kind; they will tell you straight out that you are crazy, for believing a thing like that, yet they cannot tell you what their sin was. They would rather say, I do not see that it matters, what they actually did. It sure does matter. I would hate to think that the whole human race was born in sin, just because Eve ate a nice big red apple, and then gave one to Adam. Well there are a lot of people in the world, that would rather believe that, than to know the truth, and if they continue to pursue that course, they will end up right where Cain is. Do not ever think Cain repented of his evil ways. God offered him a chance, but he chose to murder his half brother instead, so he will burn with all the other serpent seed that have spurned the word of God since then. Those two boys grew up, never having known what Adam and Eve knew, about the garden of paradise. But when they grew up, they knew that they were fully responsible for their own standing with God. Abel had a revelation imparted to him by the Creator, because of the quality of the spirit he had within him. He knew God had to be worshiped with a blood sacrifice. But Cain carried just enough attributes of his mother to give him a religious feeling, and make him feel that it was his duty to go to church. He was like a lot of people are today; they go to church at least once a week, but they have no revelation whatsoever of the word of God, and when they leave church, they do not want to talk about it anymore until they go to church again. If you try to talk to them about a revelation that is burning in your soul, they get very uncomfortable and bored. All they want is a simple little sermon when they go to church, and all the rest of the time they want to spend on some worldly pursuit. God cannot speak to them because they do not have a spirit inside them that reaches out to Him, and desires to know His will for their lives.


GOD WANTS OUR HEART


Abel brought a blood sacrifice to God, according to the revelation he had, and Cain, no doubt thought that was awful. You know, there are a lot of people in the world today that would not kill an animal for anything in the world, and when they read in the Bible how God required that certain animals be sacrificed, they will even speak against God for requiring it. Yet it was people like that, that cried, crucify him! When Pilot asked, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” It makes you wonder how people with a murderous spirit in them, could be so sympathetic to animals that God allowed man to kill. Brothers and sisters: I am not advocating the idea of killing animals just to test out your gun, but when you take the attitude that some people have, it is nothing less than a rebellion against God. Well all Cain knew was that he was supposed to bring something to God, and being a tiller of the ground, he must have thought God would be very pleased when he brought the best of what he had raised: with his own human efforts. Being a son of the serpent, he had that natural instinct to know what to do with the soil, to get the very best out of it. Do not try to tell me that God would give Adam a servant whose duty it would be to till the ground and not put within his intellect the biological laws of vegetable life. So Cain had inherited that ability from his father; therefore he must have been very proud of what he brought to God that day, but God rejected it, just like He does the works of our hands yet today. God wants our hearts, not our material possessions. Well the point is, without a revelation, it is impossible to please God. Abel had a revelation, and Cain did not, therefore Abel’s offering was accepted and Cain’s was refused, and the more Cain thought about the whole thing, the madder he got, and when he got the opportunity he committed the first murder this side of Genesis 1:2. How did murder get into his mind? You may ask. It was an attribute of the devil, transmitted to Cain through his father the serpent, that had yielded his spirit to the devil. Lucifer, the devil, was a fallen angel from the prehistoric world, which had committed murder during that time, when the angels were tested here on this earth. God stripped him of his place as the anointed cherub, that stood in the presence of his Creator, and from that time on he has been the devil, the enemy of God. He was permitted though, to stand in the shadows and wait for this present creation to be placed upon earth, and then allowed to take a whack at the plan of God, by putting it in the mind of the old serpent to seduce Eve. Some have said that God made a mistake by allowing that, but no, this was all foreknown of Him from the beginning. It was the way He had determined for Adam to be tested. Satan programmed the psychological makeup of the old serpent, just like he has these sex deviates of our day, that abuse little children, cut them to pieces, and hide them. All of this kind of behavior is a result of what happened there in the garden of Eden, when the serpent yielded his mind to Satan, and Eve yielded to him, and then pulled Adam into the whole plot. That serpent only had one opportunity though. God did not even ask him to give an account of what he had done. When Eve said, “The serpent beguiled me:” God said to the serpent, “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” There that serpent stood, in an upright position, with an intellect and the ability to carry on a vocal conversation with Adam and Eve, and right before their eyes, he became a crawling reptile. That took place while they were still in paradise, and the serpent lost his identity forever. He will never be restored to his original form. But I want you to know, that outside of that beautiful environment, every time Eve saw him, she recognized him. That is why God said, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” Eve hated him. Now she did not hate every snake she saw; she only hated the serpent. She knew which one he was, but generations since then, have no way of knowing. As for what I said about the serpent not being restored, you will find that in Isaiah 65:25. The prophet, speaking of the Millennium says, “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.” Yes he is still out there (or at least, his seed are) multiplying themselves, in that cursed state, never to be restored back. That is why man does not have a servant today, and that is why the scientists are still searching for the missing link between man and the highest form of the animal kingdom. That missing link is now crawling on his belly in the reptile family, instead of walking upright as he did before he was cursed.


REVELATION MAKES THE DIFFERENCE


Let us think about the serpent’s son Cain, for a few minutes now. Having his father’s God given ability, he could really grow those fruits and vegetables. He knew just exactly how to take care of them. Our garden experts of today could not even hold a candle to him. Brothers and sisters: I have to say these things like this, because we are exploring the field of intelligence, and this serpent’s main function was gardening. When God stripped him of his arms and legs, and put a curse on the ground, that left Adam to till the ground himself, and raise his food, and get callouses on his hands. God said to him,”In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return to the ground.” Then when Cain grew up, he had that natural instinct in him: to know how to till the ground and grow crops. But Abel, being Adam’s son, had the natural ability to take care of animals. God had told Adam, in the original commission, Subdue the earth, and have dominion over every living thing, so Abel was a keeper of sheep. Well anyhow, it came time to make an offering to the Lord, and both of these young men brought the best of what they had and offered it unto their Creator. The only trouble was, Cain did not have a revelation of why the offering was to be made, so he brought some of the best of what he had raised with his own hands, tilling the ground. Naturally, without a revelation as to why the offering was being made, he no doubt thought God should be very pleased with him. But those fruits and vegetables had no significance in God’s plan of redemption, so He had no respect for Cain’s offering. But when Abel brought the best from his flock, and offered a blood sacrifice; that fit right in with what God had already done, for He had to kill some animals, to get the skins to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness. Right there, is where Abel’s revelation came from: knowing what God had done to cover his parents, after they had sinned, so when he brought a sacrifice to God, because of a revelation he had: that pleased God, and He visibly manifested some kind of presence to him, that made Cain very jealous and angry. That was God’s way of saying to Abel, you are accepted. Then God spoke audibly to Cain, saying, “Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” In other words, Cain: If you bring the right sacrifice, you will be accepted also, but do not feel that just because you are a good Baptist, or Methodist: I am obligated to come to you on your terms. Well, Cain was just like a lot of these religious people of our day; Bless God, you are not going to see me act like that! So God said to him, “And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” Sometimes it pays to observe what others are being blessed in, and just keep our mouth shut, and do likewise. Many times that is how we learn what pleases God. It was not in Cain’s nature to try to do any differently though. Instead of taking heed to those words, he just became more and more bitter as the days passed, until finally that bitterness got such control over him, he just had to destroy the thing he felt was keeping God from blessing him. Man’s natural approach to a situation like that, is, I will destroy the thing that stands between God and me, and then God will have to talk to me. Well God did talk to him, but it was not what he wanted to hear. He allowed Satan to motivate him, to commit the first murder this side of the garden of Eden. Satan himself was already a murderer. That is why Jesus said what He did to those Jews that tormented Him. In John 8:44, (after those Jews had been contending with Him for quite some time) we read where Jesus said to them, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” Somewhere in the prehistoric age, Satan, who was then known as Lucifer the archangel, had done the same thing he inspired Cain to do; he had become a murderer. So there stood Cain, after he had killed Abel, and hid him, and God said to him, “Where is Abel thy brother?” That was not what Cain wanted to hear God say to him, so notice how he answered (Gen.4:9). “I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” There was a lie, another attribute of what Jesus said the devil was, a liar. But God said, “What hast thou done? The voice of hy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.” At that moment Cain knew that he had gone too far; there was no avenue for him to appropriate God’s forgiveness, so his next thought was to run away, just get away from everything that would remind him of what he had done. That is why a lot of people react, instead of facing their problems, they just try to run from them. So Cain left there and went to dwell in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.


EARTH POPULATED BY ONE FAMILY


We have already pointed out that the region of Eden ran all the way from the Nile, in Egypt, to the Tigris, which is in the borders of ancient Assyria. That would be your extreme dimension east and west, of the area called Eden. Of course we realize also that the garden of paradise was in the eastern part of this vast territory, so that lets us know that God purposed for man to have his beginning in the earth, in the place where all directions meet. It is man, that has placed the international date line out in the Pacific Ocean. God had nothing to do with that. But what I want to point out is that Cain left Eden and went even further east. That would have put him in an area like Pakistan or even in India, and that is where he began to multiply his kind. Now one of the first questions people ask you when they quiz you on this subject is, Where did Cain get his wife? Well, there was only one place where he could have gotten a wife: she had to be his sister. There was no other place for him to get a wife. It was the same way after the flood, when only Noah’s family was left alive to repopulate the earth. Those men had to take their sisters, cousins, nieces, and so forth, to be their wives. The Bible does not name any certain woman, before the flood. The genealogies run down through the firstborn males, and then it says, and So and So lived after he begat that certain son, so many more years, and begat sons and daughters. Therefore many of those daughters became the wife of one of her brothers. That is how the earth was repopulated from the seed of one man and woman. Just a little plain common sense would answer those questions for us, without asking anyone else. So as we continue on here, let me say this, As you read on down through chapter 4, and on through chapter 5, which covers the genealogies of Cain and Abel, you realize that there is a great mass of people involved, in those two lines, and none of them had ever seen paradise. They had no thoughts about anything like that. Adam and Eve had known what a beautiful garden of paradise looked like, and if they had never sinned, that same beautiful environment would have spread out over the whole earth. But Satan was allowed to get into the picture, and that changed everything. In that environment, Adam would have ruled the animal kingdom and he knew certain laws related to the repopulation of the animal kingdom. Therefore if they had never sinned, you would not have a situation like we have today, with the stronger of them eating the weaker. That is referred to a keeping a balance of the environment, but all of that is necessary only because Satan is in control of all of this overpopulation, both of man and beast. Under God’s original plan for the human race; man and woman never would have known the sex relationship for any purpose other than to reproduce life, and give God another son or daughter in His own image and likeness. Every woman would have known the exact time that she could conceive, and that is the only time that she would have entered into a sex relationship with her husband, and the child born from that relationship would have been born into the world with eternal life. Brothers and sisters, there are an awful lot of people in churches throughout the world today; that would call me a filthy mouthed preacher if they could hear me say these things. But those same people allow their little children to sit in public schools and be taught all about sex, and they never say anything to try to stop it. They teach those children all about sex, and tell them what a beautiful thing it is, but they never tell them that to enter into that relationship outside of marriage, is against the will of God, and that they will have to pay a price both naturally and spiritually, for the error of their ways. When they tell them that there is nothing wrong with participating in that relationship and that old fogies like us, only imagine it to be wrong, that is that same old devil that was back in the garden of Eden, talking to Eve through the serpent. What we are seeing today is exactly what the devil was after, there in the garden. He wanted to drag this relationship to the lowest levels of human degradation, that it could possibly be brought to. Women will strip off stark naked, just to entertain a bunch of filthy minded, lustful men. Now you may say, But Adam and Eve were naked, there in the garden, but let me remind you that the presence and glory of God was their covering until they disobeyed. They did not even think of themselves as being naked, until after they had sinned. After that, they could only see themselves as two naked, physical beings.


GOD WILL CLOTHE US


Think about this: When you die, and go into the grave, your body is going to rot, and so are those clothes that you are buried in. Therefore when you come forth in the resurrection, the only covering you are going to have, is what Adam and Eve had before they sinned. It will be up to God to clothe you with something that will not wear out; like the clothes we wear today. We will not have to be bothered with shopping for clothes to cover our immortal bodies, and neither will we have to be concerned about what Satan is doing. He will be out of the picture forever, as far as the immortal people are concerned. Satan’s crew is still trying their very best to gain the thing Eve lost, in the garden. As we have already said, No woman since then has known exactly when she can conceive, nor when she cannot. But medical science is trying their level best to find ways that women can have sex without taking the chance of getting in trouble. If she could only know exactly when that period was, she would know when to play around and when not to. I know this is straight talk, but things have gone too far for us to keep our heads buried in the sand like an ostrich, and pretend like everything is exactly like it should be. Satan is after your children and he is not going to let up, so the least you can do is try to warn them of some of his cunning devices. Crime of every sort is on the increase, but the most abominable thing in the sight of God, is the perverted way that human beings are using their bodies. Animals do not behave like that. The only time you see anything irregular taking place among the animal kingdom is when Satan tampers with certain ones, to entertain perverted mankind. But as a general rule, they conduct themselves exactly as their Creator meant for them to: they have that relationship only for the purpose of reproduction, and they know exactly when the time is right. God did not put the animal kingdom here to be tested; they were put here for you and me to rule over. Of course we all realize that the nature and habits of animals have been affected by what took place in the garden of Eden, but their reproduction laws remain the same. Only the woman’s was changed. I get happy just thinking about the day when Satan will bound for a thousand years, and the immortal saints will rule with Christ for that whole time, and all of God’s creation, except the old serpent, will be redeemed and restored back to its original beginning. No I am not including the wicked and ungodly element of degenerate mankind in that: they will be destroyed in the lake of fire. But that old lion, over there in Africa, that enjoys killing and devouring other little animals, will wake up some morning and the sun shining in his eyes will be different, and those other little animals will no longer have to flee from it. Today he likes blood and meat; but in that day, his shaggy old head will bow down and eat grass just like a milk cow. What will cause the change? Jesus the second Adam, will take over the reins, along with His immortal bride, and Satan will not be around to cause trouble. Hallelujah! If some of these scientists could hear me talking, they would say for sure that I am crazy. But I say, If I am crazy, just leave me alone, I like what I am seeing. The Millennium is going to be the front door, back into paradise, so why should we not be happy about it. Even if I knew that I would die tonight, I would still rejoice to know what God is going to do in this old planet earth one day soon. It is a beautiful subject, and the truth of it comes from the only book in the world, that has stood the test through the ages. Modern man has no respect for the Bible, because he is a product of what Satan started there in the garden of Eden. The serpent was designed intellectually, by the Creator, to know how to associate all things relative to the earth; and when he became a tool of the devil, to plant his seed in the womb of Adam’s wife, there came forth from it, a species that was part man, and part serpent. To some extent he had the same outlook as Adam’s sons. But in other ways, his reasoning could never rise above the natural earth that he was of. His offspring were smart men, but they were void of the spirit of God. Some of them were fine musicians by the standards of the world, and some of them were craftsmen of various sorts, and through the ages, the world has recognized them for their great talents in music and art, and so forth. But the sad thing is, it was all done leaving God out of the picture. I have no particular pick against any of that kind of music, but when something is designed without giving any recognition to God at all, I find it hard to get very thrilled about it. The world loves that celebrity image, that goes with such as that, and the celebrities live off of the praise of mortal flesh, never realizing that they owe their lives to God, and that their talent came from Him. Little old David was a musician too, but when the inspiration struck him; can you imagine him lifting his voice and starting to sing in high C, about everything else other than God? No. Every time he opened his mouth, out came something about the Creator. To me, he was a celebrity, and I am persuaded that he was the kind of man that God is still calling today. He has no delight in these men of renown; for most of them are always trying to prove that God does not exist. They would rather believe that we evolved from something that evolved from something else, going all the way back to a slimy old frog pond somewhere. They are so smart, yet their theories are so ridiculous that even little children can see through them. But that is a serpent seed; they cannot give God any recognition.


GENERATIONS OF MIXED SEED

 

 

A lot of people want to blame Noah’s wife for being the cause of serpent’s seed on this side of the flood. But I want to show you why she was no more to blame than Noah was. The Bible says Noah was a just man and perfect (or upright) in his generation. But it does not say that he was a pure seed of Adam. Noah was the firstborn of a man by the name of Lamech, and the Bible says that after Lamech begat Noah, he lived five hundred and ninety five years, and begat sons and daughters. Now if Noah was a pure seed, so were his brothers and sisters; therefore I ask you, why did they all perish in the flood? Furthermore, since it was common practice for brothers and sisters to marry and raise children: if Noah was a pure seed, and desired to please God, as the scriptures indicate that he did, why did he not marry one of his sisters, in order to keep his line pure? There is absolutely no scripture to justify anyone saying that Noah was a pure seed, and that his wife was the one to blame for serpent seed on this side of the flood. The Bible says that Lamech (Noah’s father) lived 595 years after he begat Noah, and begat sons and daughters. Therefore if Noah was a pure seed: so were his brothers and sisters, so there would have been no reason for Noah to take a wife of mixed blood line. Furthermore why were none of his brothers and sisters spared, if they were pure seed? Another interesting thing we might pay attention to, is the fact that Noah never begat any daughters. That forced his sons to have to look elsewhere for their wives. But those sons of Noah did begat daughters, in order that Noah’s grandsons might have wives to carry out the commission God had given: Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. Now Shem, Ham and Japeth were brothers: all having the same father and mother, but I want you to look at the mixed variety they fathered into the world. That was not just because they had wives of mixed bloodlines: they also had those mixed attributes in them. The pure seed had already dropped out of the picture a long way back down the line. By the time of Lamech’s and Noah’s days, there was no such thing born, as pure seed of Adam, for the two lines had already been mixed a long time before that. Chapter six, (which is not a continuation of chapter 5, for it goes back and picks up where this mixing of the two lines first started) tells us that as men began to multiply upon the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, the sons of God (which were Seth’s line, still living in the region of Eden) saw the daughters of men, that they were fair; (to look upon) and they took them wives of all which they chose. Those daughters of Cain’s line were so beautiful, that these sons of Seth’s line could not resist them, once they began to come over and parade themselves before them. It was not the sons of Seth, that first introduced polygamy, but once they stepped across the marginal line of safety, they no longer had any resistance left in them. The Bible says, They took them wives of all which they chose. Therefore from that time on, they married back and forth, had polygamous marriages, and eventually there ceased to be any pure seed born. That is what caused Enoch, the seventh from Adam, to ask himself, just how much longer can God tolerate this sort of thing, without doing something about it? That is why he gave his firstborn that prophetic name: Methuselah. By revelation, somehow or other, he knew: when he is gone, it (the end) shall come. His revelation was right, but the end did not come for a long time after that; for Methuselah lived to be the oldest man on record, nine hundred and sixty nine years old. All the time that little boy was growing up, Enoch watched him; thinking that just any moment, the end would come. He was looking for God’s judgment in his day; yet Methuselah lived six hundred and sixty nine years, after God took his daddy on home to be with Him. All of that expectation no doubt, is what caused Enoch to walk so close to God, that God just took him on, and got him out of all that ungodly mess. But just as his name implied, the year Methuselah died, the flood hit the earth, and wiped the slate clean; except for Noah and his family. Somewhere within the geographical boundaries of Eden: Noah built a boat; and right there, is where the storm began to hit. That torrential downpour continued for forty days and nights, without any let up; but Noah was ready. He took his family, along with all the animals God had instructed him to take, and entered into that odd shaped old boat, and the heavens opened up. Now that boat wasn’t built in a port, nor on skids to be launched. God was going to launch it, without Noah doing one thing to help. Those flood waters just lifted it above every tree top, and Noah’s family just sat there rocking. He did not have a compass, nor a pilot wheel or rudder, and he had no idea whatsoever as to where they were going. But months later, the old boat came to rest on top of Mt. Ararat, at the northern borders of Eden. God did not take it too far from the cradle of civilization. Therefore when the waters abated, they came right back down off of that mountain, down across the foothills of Turkey, right back into the plains of Shinar; where once again, another civilization was started. They were in Eden; but they were not in paradise. Eden has always remained, but that spiritual realm that Adam and Eve knew, has never returned to Eden. I have been accused of saying that the garden of Eden did not have natural trees growing there. But what I really said, and will say again, is that the garden of Eden was more than just some spot of ground with a lot of trees growing in it. The trees growing in the garden were no different than the trees growing outside of it, if we may use that kind of terminology. For surely we know by now, that it was God’s presence that made it a garden of paradise.


NOAH CURSES CANAAN


Aright, before we go to the New Testament, I want to say a few words about something here in the 9th chapter of Genesis. Something that took place after the flood. The 9th chapter starts out telling that God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.” That terminology literally means Fill it up again. Of course we all know that the earth was inhabited by a great mass of people before the flood, therefore it is no strange thing to us for God to say, Replenish it. We understand what He meant. On the other hand, when He said that to Adam and Eve, a lot of people think that was very strange, because they do not realize that the earth was inhabited prior to Adam’s day. Yes it was inhabited by prehistoric creatures, when angels were tested: and one third of them joined forces with Lucifer, against God. But what I want to deal with, starts in verse 20, so let us read it. Noah and his family are back on dry ground, and they have their commission from God, and time brings us to verse 20. “And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: (which is grapes) and he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.” Now the few words I have just read, does not even say that Ham laughed; it just said that he came and told his brethren, which were outside. “And Shem and Japeth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.” The reason I am mentioning this is because we have certain men today, that are always elaborating on what they believe Ham did, that so displeased Noah. First let me say this though; Noah’s whole family came from the other side of the flood, therefore they were well acquainted with the immoral conditions that existed then. Yet out of that hour and time, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Not that he could be compared with Seth, nor any of those earlier generations, but because he lived above the overall condition of immorality that prevailed all around him. God does not compare us to the standard of what someone was 400 years ago; He looks at us in the hour we live in. The moral condition before the flood was excessive drunkenness, sodomy, incest, and a general breakdown of human decency and respect for others. Then of course, there are always those who just love to laugh and enjoy someone’s predicament; I have seen it many times. We have all seen drunk people conducting themselves in ways that they just naturally created fun. But in the army, I saw some of them get so drunk they would see spotted pups, pink elephants, and all such like. So the point is: It is wrong to exploit another persons predicament, and use it to gratify our own flesh, laughing and making fun of them, which I believe is exactly what Ham did: when he saw his father lying naked in his drunken condition. However some of these know-it-all preachers, take the word nakedness, and compare it with the 18th chapter of Leviticus, and get their own private interpretation of Ham’s sin. We cannot take something that was written in the law hundreds of years after this event took place, and build a revelation, just because of one word. We all know that words take on different meanings over a span of 5 or 6 hundred years, so just a word alone is not sufficient to build a revelation off of. Nevertheless there are those who insist that Ham committed an act of incest with his mother, while Noah was in his state of drunkenness; and there are others who will argue that he committed an act of sodomy with Noah, when he found him lying there drunk and naked. But saints, I am convinced that if he had committed any such act, as either one of these, he would not have wanted to expose his guilt by telling his two brothers anything about it. No. I believe that what we read here, is exactly what happened, except that it just does not give the specific details of how Ham laughed and made fun of his father’s dilemma. Ham had seen a lot of this sort of thing before the flood, where individuals would make fun of others, that were found in this condition, and maybe without even considering how this sort of thing would look in the eyes of God, he did the very same thing; he made fun of his father and did not try to do one thing to help him. Well as I was made to think on this subject again, it lay heavy upon my mind, and then I remembered reading something in the Bible that had shed more light on this subject. It is found in the 2nd chapter of Habakkuk, verse 15, so let us read it. “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor to drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look upon their nakedness!” Now that does not apply to his father’s wife, nor his neighbor’s wife; it means just exactly what it says. Notice that next verse; it shows how God looks upon any individual who would do such a thing. “Thou art filled with shame for glory: (That is the state of a man who would do such a thing, glory in someone else’s predicament), drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the Lord’s right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.” The root of it all is that a person who would do such things, is full of shame. Well a lot of people would say, Oh, you should not read such things as that. But let me tell you something, you are living in a perverted age, and I will not try to pull the cover over such a picture, when the whole world is full of this same kind of spirit. I am not trying to make this sound derogatory, I am only trying to give you some scriptural basis for that which we believe and teach. It says, “The cup of the Lord’s right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.” That just shows that God will reverse the situation, on those who will allow themselves to stoop that low. Even though such a person might not even consider committing an act of incest, or sodomy, God still looks upon this sort of thing as an abomination, and He will not let such a person get by with it forever. To me, these scriptures speak of a breakdown morally and mentally, and they let us see that there are limits to what God will tolerate. It is one thing to laugh at some of the funny things a drunk man will do; but it is quite a different story when we take delight in something like that, or when we look forward to the time when such a person will get drunk again, just so we can laugh at him. Saints: I hope I am saying this in a way that will allow you to see what I see. God had already destroyed that whole mass of people whose spirits were filled with that kink of outlook and attitude toward each other, and Ham was among those that had been spared to repopulate the earth again, and he knew better than to do such a thing. Which, as I said, I believe he just simply came to his brothers laughing and said something like: You ought to see the old man! Boy, if he isn’t something to see. He told them in a way that sounded funny to him; but to show the respect that they had for their dad; look what they did. They took a garment and walked backwards to cover him, without looking upon him in his state of embarrassment. The last six words of verse 23 should explain verse 22. Ham saw the nakedness of his father, and Shem and Japeth walked backward to cover him, in order not to see the same thing. Nakedness in both verses, has the same application. So let us notice verse 24 now. “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. And God shall enlarge Japeth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” As for how Noah knew what he had done, we have to believe one of two things; either he awoke from his drunken sleep and started asking questions when he found someone else’s garment over him, or the same inspiration that gave him the authority to curse Ham’s fourth son, (when at the time he did not even have any sons) let him know. If God revealed it to him like that, then it was not necessary for him to ask any questions. I do not know which way it was, but I am fully persuaded, that what Ham did, was just laugh and make fun of him. I brought with me the writings of a Jewish historian; Josephus, and on page 41, we will read what he had to say about this incident in the life of Noah. This is not scripture; it is what this historian accumulated and wrote, so let us read it. “Noah, when after the deluge, (the flood) the earth was resettled in its former condition, set about its cultivation and when he had planted it with vines, and when the fruit was ripe, and he had gathered the grapes in their season, and the wine was ready for use, he offered sacrifice, and feasted, and being drunk he fell asleep, and lay naked in an unseemly manner. When his youngest son saw this, he came, laughing, (That is what I said before I ever read what Josephus wrote about it), and showed to his brethren, but they covered their father’s nakedness. And when Noah had been made sensible of what had been done, he prayed for prosperity to his other sons, but for Ham, he did not curse him by reason of his nearness in blood, but cursed his prosperity, and when the others has escaped that curse, God inflicted it on the children of Canaan.” That was his fourth son, and Ham had no children at all, at that time. His first child was Cush, his second was Mizraim, the third Phut, and then Canaan was the fourth. Now with that, I am going to let the record stand, and hope that every one of you are as convinced as I am that it was not an act of incest, nor sodomy on the part of Ham, but in the eyes of God, to laugh and make fun the way Ham did, is just as bad.


THE NEW BIRTH IS NECESSARY


I wanted to get that point about Noah in this message, for I believe it has been the cause of a lot of unnecessary speculation; but now, let us go on exploring Eden. Adam and Eve did not die physically when they disobeyed God, but they did die spiritually, just as God had told them they would, if they partook of the tree of knowledge. Being put outside of that original paradise, was their first death. God cursed them, clothed them with coats of skin, and put them outside of that blissful realm of paradise. There are two particular things to notice: They died spiritually, never to be restored back to that blissful state, and they were left alive for centuries, to till the ground, and to multiply themselves upon the earth, under the law of the tree of knowledge. Now let me say this; If our mind is vague about any of this, do not worry about it, for it will all break through one of these days. Just remember though, that they were spiritually dead. That is why the term new birth is so important; it makes us alive again. Not the terminology itself, but the reality that it speaks of. That term was never used though, until a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus, (a doctor of divinity) came to Jesus one night. Jesus said to him, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Why did He talk like that? No one had ever even thought of a new birth before. Therefore Nicodemus answered just like anyone else would have; he said, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus was not talking about the kind of birth Nicodemus was thinking of, but instead of explaining it the way we might think He should have, He simply said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Then He said to him, “That which is born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.” The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom, that cannot be seen with our natural eyes. One cannot say, Here it is; or there it is; for it is within you. Jesus was slowly introducing the usage of words and terminology, that would begin to point man’s thinking back to God, and away from natural logic. Paul tells us in Ephesians how that we are a spiritual house, lively stones, built upon a holy foundation. We are made to be a spiritual house, to become a habitation of God, by His Spirit. So in Hebrews 12:18, Paul takes from the Old Testament, a little event and display of God, that took place before a natural minded people, and goes on to give a spiritual application. “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burneth with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, (You can read that in Exodus, chapter 19), and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more.” That was a great display of God in His sovereignty, which did not look much like paradise to any of those who witnessed it. Just imagine, a mountain peak covered with a dark cloud, streaks of lightning flashing, and loud claps of thunder, that seemed to shake the whole mountain. Yet it was not raining. It was the way Jehovah chose to manifest His presence, to draw attention to Moses, and to the others at the foot of the mountain: Do not come too close. What a God! They could hear the trumpet, and they could hear the voice, and it scared them half to death. “For they could not endure that which was commanded, and if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake.” My, it must have been a fearful thing, to look up there and see such a display of God’s omnipotency. That is really what you would have to call it; for it was not God in His glory; it was His power that was being demonstrated: so that even Moses expressed fear. But notice verse 22 now, what Paul turns all of this into. “But ye are come to Mt. Zion, and unto the city of the living God.” Think about that now brothers and sisters. There is not a one of you in here; born of the Spirit of God, that could even say, I came to a literal mountain and touched it. No, Paul was not speaking of a literal geographical area, as the Israelites were, in all of their associations with Jehovah. When God brought them out of Egypt: they knew they had been in Egypt; they knew they had come through the wilderness, and they knew they had come unto the land that God had promised them. God set a type through them, in the natural, of all that He would one day do for mankind spiritually. Mount Zion, in the natural, is the mountain where God chose to put His name in the Old Testament era; and that is where He had a temple built by King Solomon, in which He manifested His Shekinah glory. But you and I did not come to a literal mountain; we came to a spiritual mountain, a mountain that cannot be seen. Therefore if we can begin to see what Paul was looking at, and if it is opening the door of our thinking, then when we get to the book of Revelation, we will have no trouble seeing that new Jerusalem, that descends from God out of heaven. In other words, the paradise that our ancient father and mother were driven out of is the paradise God is bringing us back to. There, it was a garden, but here, it will be a city. It was God there; and it will be God here. There was no city, in the beginning. There was no need for one. Mrs. Adam never had any of the appliances this generation cannot possibly do without. As you read the book of Genesis, you will see that it was Cain and his line that first began to build cities. It was that line that started all of the murder and perversion, and their cities became a refuge for them to protect them from their enemies. Even the Israelites did not live in cities until God brought them into the land He had promised them. There, they became possessors of villages and houses, as well as cities, that had been built by the Canaanites. That is how city dwelling slowly began to be a practice of life for the people of God. But even as the people of God began to settle in the promised land, He still did not immediately place His name in any particular spot. In His foreordained plan, there was a particular mountain upon which stood an ancient Jebusite city called Salem: that He had chosen to place His name in. Time itself brought about the manifestation of that. Keep in mind; when the world was not thickly populated, there was no need for the people of God to dwell in cities. That is why Abraham did not choose to dwell in Sodom and Gomorrah. He dwelt in the hills, and in the desert, but he never dwelt in a city; he just dwelt near them.


WHAT ANCIENT CITIES WERE


God knew that mankind in general would one day increase in population to the point where it would be necessary for many of them to begin to function within that of a city structure. Therefore as time moved on, many of those cities were not only places of refuge, but places of dwelling, of communication, of commerce and trade. But in ancient times, the one thing that stood out about any city, was how its walls were built. Those walls were not constructed just to set up curio shops in them; they were built for the protection of the inhabitants of the city. A city without strong walls usually never grew to be very large. So we must realize that the walls were to signify the defense and military capability of the city, to protect its inhabitants. Remember now, a city is not just a beautiful place with beautiful houses, with gold locks, and all such like. In reality, a city was a place wherein life functioned, and it was a place of safety. But what about the city John saw in the book of Revelation? In the 21st chapter it was described from its outer dimensions, and it looks exactly like a city. But I want to tell you something; There is not one house in it. You can say I am crazy, if you want to; but I will just simply tell you to go read your Bible again. It tells you how tall the walls are and that the wall of it has twelve foundations. Not the city, the wall. Now that means it has twelve layers. When you go to natural Jerusalem, you do not see the footing of those walls. How many of you know that the foundation of a wall is a footing? That is what carried the weight of it. If your foundation is not sufficient, your building will not stand. Well, it says those foundations are named after the twelve apostles. But do not try to tell me that John, James, Matthew, nor any of them, ever hauled anything up there to help build those walls. No saints, I am not crazy; I just believe a lot of people have been reading their Bibles wrong. When John described it, he said, “And the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. Now what does that tell you? That is a gold like you have never seen, but it is a gold that you have been living by. That gold is what put you on the road back to paradise; back to the habitation of God. Read what it says: The city was pure gold, like unto clear glass, and the street of the city was pure gold, as it was transparent glass. So not only was the city of that kind of gold; the street of it was too. But I assure you, there is not one ounce of natural gold in heaven. All of this is symbolic. God used terminology that would be familiar to us, to portray the value of those invisible, or spiritual things that we are pressing toward. As I said earlier; the closest man can come to portraying what he believes paradise was like in the beginning, is to construct a beautiful park with trees, flowers, and whatever they feel speaks of serenity. What are those places for? For people to get away from the rush, rush of everyday life, and relax for awhile. Just to be able to walk in serenity and quietness is a desire of mankind at times, but in this day and hour our parks are filled with thugs and perverts, so that it is not safe to go within the bounds of them. Many of the cities are the same way, all over the world today; just incubators of evil. The devil rules them. Now please do not misunderstand me; I am not condemning people who live in cities, but merely stating facts as we deal with this message. At any rate; the paradise of God is leading us back to is portrayed as a city, and that is something I do not want to miss. This is our eternal habitation with Him, in the eon ages to come. There will be no heaters, no air conditioning, no refrigerators, nor any of the things we see in a natural city today. The only thing those apostles ever sent up there was human souls.


THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM


I had better finish what I was reading in Hebrews before I go too far with this city of Revelation 21 & 22. In Hebrews 12:22, the writer (which was Paul) said, “But ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, (Brother, that’s what she is!), which are written in heaven, (That is exactly why God does not need a church book down here; our names are written in heaven in the only book that matters; the book of life.), and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator (or administrator) of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” This gospel of salvation that we talk about, is God’s new covenant, that He has made with mankind, and Paul clearly states right here; that we have come to Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. Naturally he is speaking of a spiritual experience, rather than a natural one. I will never forget the night I surrendered my heart to God, out here in a little old country church. The only mountain I encountered, was Raymond Jackson; I had to get myself out of the way, in order to find that peace of mind and assurance that I was looking for. In a spiritual sense though: we really do approach the habitation of God to seek refuge, or a sanctuary within His realm. That is the only true security we have in this life; everything else can fall apart in a day’s time. But what did God say to the church at Ephesus, in the first Church Age? (Revelation 2:7) “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” What it really boils down to, is yielding to the perfect will of God. He has opened up to lost mankind, that which man had not had access to, since the day Adam and Eve were driven from the garden of Eden. Nothing short of a sovereign act of God could open up the way whereby we could be escorted back into His presence, and receive that measure of His Spirit that enables us to overcome Satan. Though it is only a measure, it is still sufficient for anything we need, until we reach the other side. Only when He lifts us up out of the grave, in immortality, will He grant to us the fullness of what Adam lost. But praise God, every one of His redeemed children are represented in that beautiful city that John saw coming down from God out of heaven. Men, for centuries, have been looking for the tree of life; or we will say, for a paradise somewhere. But the actual paradise that we are looking for, is in the spirit world; it is the presence of God the way Adam and Eve knew it. As we have said, God is omnipresent, and omnipotent, so He can manifest Himself any way He chooses: to let His children know that they are living and walking in His watchful presence. But one day we will once again dwell in the fullness of His glorious presence. That is why, when John saw that new city coming down: prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, he heard the words; “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” The Methodists teach that we are all going to die one day, leave this world and go to heaven, but that is not the picture we get from the scriptures. The Bible tells us that heaven is coming down. In other words, God is coming back to earth in the fullness of His great being, to dwell with us here. That does not mean that God has been away from the earth for six thousand years; it just means that His glory had been withheld from the earth, and from His creation, because of sin. No wonder David said, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” We were everyone born into this world with a nature to sin; that is why we needed redemption.


Now we still plan to go into Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, and explore that city which lieth four square; but this is enough for now, so look for the completion of this message in our next issue. May the Lord bless you every one.

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