The Things Of Christ – 1974, March

Rev. Raymond M Jackson

1977-03-The-Things-Of-Christ

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INTRODUCTION

WHAT WERE THE THINGS OF CHRIST WHICH WERE FIRST IN GOD AND LATER PLACED BY THE SPIRIT INTO CHRIST’S MYSTICAL BODY ENABLING THEM TO DO GREATER WORKS THAN CHRIST IN HIS EARTHLY MINISTRY?

PART 1 – NEW HOLY GHOST OFFICE

We are approaching a subject which we entitle “THE THINGS OF CHRIST.” Our scripture setting is found in John 16 and deals exclusively with Christ’s final teaching session only hours before His crucifixion. Perhaps no other teaching session in all His ministry will prove as enlightening and invaluable to the disciples as this final one (John, chapter 14-16) which deals strictly with the office work of the Holy Ghost in that of the believer, a lesson which transpired sometime after the Last Supper and before the arrest in Gethsemane.

Note carefully, the Truth revealed especially in John 16:12-15 concerning the Holy Ghost or Comforter who is to be sent in Jesus’ name (John 14:26), and how this Spirit referred to as the Spirit of Truth or Father is shortly to take the THINGS OF CHRIST and show them unto the disciples. Matthew, you recall, was the first writer to openly declare the Holy Ghost to be Father of Christ! (Matthew 1:18-25) John 16:12, Jesus in His final teaching session, after Judas had left the fellowship, (John 13:30) informed His disciples He yet had many things to say unto them, however, they couldn’t possibly bear them now. Howbeit (however) when He the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all the Truth.

TWO THINGS HOLY GHOST DOES

Notice especially two statements found in Part B of John 16:13 declaring what the Holy Ghost will do once He is in His office. (1) He will not speak of Himself but shall speak of only that which He shall hear, (2) And He shall show you things to come! Jesus, referring to the Holy Ghost Father God – says when He is come into His new office work He will never speak of Himself. Why, Beloved, will He never speak of Himself? Once the Spirit of God enters His new office work (the 3rd) He will never speak in any respect to draw attention away from the man Christ, as though giving you the impression there is still yet another Spirit or Person to be glorified, but instead will seek to devote or draw all your attention to the fleshly man Christ, His only begotten Son born of a virgin womb from the seed of God, (Galations 4:4). The Holy Ghost’s attention is forever centered around this man Christ, the only Person of God of whom the gospel story itself is centered around, (I Corinthians 15:1-4).

CHRIST IN SPIRIT FORM

Therefore beloved, the only way possible for Christ to ever be seen in the life of believers must come through that of the Spirit (of Christ) – else how could Colossians 1:27 be correct in declaring, Christ in you, your hope of glory. Seeing the impossibility of an embodied, fleshly man called Christ dwelling in you, the only other alternative for Christ to personally dwell in you would be through His Holy Spirit!

The Bible declares each believer, baptized by the Holy Ghost into this one mystical body of Christ on earth has within them the Father, Son and Holy Ghost through this One Eternal Spirit. If I were trinitarian minded and said I believe what the Bible taught, when various verses indicate the Father is in us, the Son Christ is in us and the Holy Ghost is in us as believers, I would have to interpret that to be three different and distinct persons in the believer.

FATHER, SON & HOLY GHOST IN ONE SPIRIT

However, I am convinced God is not three separate and distinct persons but instead is only one inseparable Spirit who fulfills three office works of God, and once that inseparable Holy Spirit comes into our life John 16:13-15 declares He will: (1) show you things to come, (2) glorify Jesus the Christ only. Beloved, it is only through this Holy Spirit taking the THINGS OF CHRIST and placing them in the believers life are we allowed to see Jesus Christ living in the midst of His people for whom He came to save and redeem, (Matthew 1:21).

SHOWING GODLY CHARACTERISTICS

No Sir, not until the departure of Judas Iscariot into the night to betray Christ does Christ, now having only His true devoted disciples alone, present to them His final teaching session on the Holy Ghost as we hear Him declare that the express purpose of the Holy Spirit working in a believer’s life would be for none other purpose than to draw our fullest attention to the very Godly character of Christ Himself. The Spirit which was in Christ (II Corinthians 5:19) will draw our attention to the godly characteristics, traits and attributes of Christ, those godly attributes which portrayed within Him the nature of Deity or ability to be godlike and secondly, the Spirit when He is come into that new office work will show to the revelated believer the power of Christ, that power which demonstrated the works of Christ.

PURE & GODLY LIFE MAKES HIM DIFFERENT

John 16:14 – (14) “He shall glorify Me for He shall receive of Mine and show it unto you. (15) All things that the Father hath are Mine therefore He will take the things of Mine (THINGS OF CHRIST) and show it unto you.” The Holy Spirit, whom we know to be none other than the Spirit which dwelt in Christ (Romans 8:9-11) as well as the Father, when that one Spirit is come into His new office work He shall take those certain things which were invested in the man Christ and present them unto the Church, His mystical body. The Spirit will take those things which made Christ stand out or be set apart from all other mankind things which made Him to be the God man or godly man He is, and present these things to the revealed Church in order that they one day might become the same as He. Remember THE THINGS OF CHRIST which made Him different or stand out were not found in some particular outward mode of dress or appearance. No, because John 4:9 declares the woman of Samaria recognized Jesus as a Jew apparently from His appearance and dress. By no means did His outward appearance make Him different from others. Dress wise He looked as any other man of that hour. Hence, Christ was no oddball or hippie in His society as some think, yet what made Him different from others was in the pure life He lived and godly nature while here. Jesus who was declared both Lord and Christ was the Son of God, born of woman into a pure sinless body of flesh in which the Eternal Spirit chose to dwell and manifest His Eternal attributes through in order to draw mankind’s attention unto the only route mankind could return to God, I Corinthians 5:19.

Hence, it is important to recognize, first of all, that the Spirit of Truth called God the Father was in this godly fleshly man on earth! Once the Sonship role was finished, Jesus declares that the Spirit of Truth (another Comforter) would come into that third office work of God and now take those things which had made Christ different and make them known unto the revelated believers. I repeat, these things to be shown of THE THINGS OF CHRIST unto the believer was not found on the outside of the man Christ but instead was inside! For without these THINGS OF CHRIST being in the mystical body of Christ which the Spirit is going to take and show unto every revelated believer, you simply wouldn’t have the Spirit of Christ in the believer at all but would be some other Spirit instead. Moreover in order for that same identical Christ to live in the mystical body of Christ through the Eternal Spirit, would require those same attributes or characteristics which were first placed in Christ to now be placed in the revelated church.

ATTRIBUTES OF FATHER IN CHRIST

Verse 15 declares, “All these things that the Father hath are Mine and the Spirit will show them (all these things) unto you.” Let us examine this statement. (1) Whatever the Eternal Spirit, God the Father is in all His Eternal attributes characteristics or makeup has now (every bit) been placed in the Son, Jesus the Christ, born of woman. Therefore, whatever Christ is in His makeup, attributes, characteristics or traits which He received from the Father will all be taken by the Holy Ghost (the one Eternal Father, Matthew 23:9, in this new office work and emptied into His mystical body left here upon earth to carry out His divine will and purpose. Moreover beloved, when that happened you can’t help but see God in the midst of His true revelated church, those people whom God the Spirit has placed the THINGS OF CHRIST within in order they might be reconciled back to Himself, making them also the sons of God, even as God was in Christ on earth. The objective of God, in order for you to become a son of God and have a hope of glory through the Eternal Holy Spirit, is that Christ (your only hope of glory) in Spirit form might dwell in you. A work accomplished only through the office work of the Holy Ghost as He convicts you of your sins and makes a true revelated believer out of you. Beloved, you can by no means split up the THINGS OF CHRIST into certain sections or parts declaring that part which you have chosen in Christ. The THINGS OF CHRIST which you may have chosen can well be a part of Christ, although by no means is it Christ in the fullness of God As He has purposed to be in us, the Church!

PART 2

FULLNESS OF GODHEAD – WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

Turn to Colossians 2:9, which declares all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in Christ. What did Paul mean by “all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ?” Simply this, everything God the Father is, was placed in the man Christ here upon earth. No, not in His bulk Spirit form which fills all space, but in every attribute or characteristic that God the Father is, that attribute in its fullness was placed in Christ, the Son. Hence, Christ could honestly declare, all things (attributes or characteristics) the Father hath are mine. True, else how beloved could Christ remark to Philip in that final teaching session, he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father, John 14:16:11.

How could this be? Remember first off, the Father is not a person having hands, feet, etc., as Christ, who was a man, has. Furthermore the man Christ was not Eternal, seeing He had a beginning but the Father Spirit, which is this one Eternal life giving Spirit is Eternal whose shape no one has ever seen, who fills all space and heaven is declared to be His throne while earth is His footstool.

NOT JESUS ONLY

Therefore in Christ what do we see, some second person? GOD FORBID! We see in Christ everything that the Eternal Father ever was, in all His Eternal attributes. An attribute is defined as a characteristic of a person or thing. God, who is made up of many attributes, invested them all in this earthly sonship office of God which originated here on earth through Jesus the Christ who was born of woman. Attributes might be a difficult word for some to grasp, but remember an attribute is a characteristic of a person or thing. Just as you were nothing but attributes once, laying there in the loins of your father before being transferred from your father’s loins unto the womb of your mother, where approximately nine months later you were introduced unto your earthly father as a person! No, the Eternal Spirit in His bulk Spirit form was not in Christ, that would make Him Jesus Only. Instead the Father God being in Christ was there in every Eternal attribute or characteristic which Father God is, else how could Paul declare, it pleased the Father (Spirit) that in Him (Christ) should all the fullness of the Godhead dwell bodily? (Colossians 1:19, 2:9) For the fullness of the Godhead to be bodily in Christ did not require the heavens to drain nor empty themselves of the Spirit and presence of God, thus requiring His entire bulk Spirit form to be placed into a mere body of flesh, called the Christ! Only those Eternal attributes or characteristics which God is, was there in that man.

GOD NEVER SEEN

The Eternal Spirit called God, in all His entirety of attributes or characteristics had never been seen by man at any time, John 1:18. In other words, no man had ever seen God’s eternal abode. Israel had often been privileged to see various manifestations of Him, Hebrews 1:1. They had witnessed the mountain vehemtly shaking at His presence; they knew He was there but could not see Him. They even saw the Red Sea split and felt the sensation of the wind blowing all night. Truly Israel had seen all these manifestations of God although again I repeat, they were never privileged to see His Eternal being. Moses saw his hinder parts, and Abraham had lunch with Him as he entertained three angels, one of the three was the Lord in an visible manifestation to appear unto Abraham. Yet no one had ever seen God in His Eternal being of attributes or makeup. Israel could not possibly perceive what this omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere), Spirit called God was actually like! No beloved, not until the fullness of the Godhead (everything God ever was) appeared bodily one day in this one man called the Lord Jesus Christ.

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD IN CHRIST

This life-giving, invisible Spirit called God the Father in every attribute that He is was now in Christ on earth. Every attribute the Father is in LOVE, POWER, TRUTH and everything else you could think God to be is all there in Christ! That is why Christ could declare to Phillip after 3½ years, have you been so long time with Me Phillip and still don’t know who the Father is? He that hath (truly) seen me (through revelation of the Holy Spirit), to know I am truly the Lord, hath seen past this vail of blood, and flesh, seen past this earthly role of sonship into the Eternal realm of those godly, divine life-giving attributes, within my own life and makeup, if you have seen past all that Phillip you have seen the eternal Father. No, not until Jesus who was made both Lord and Christ was born from that pure, perfect seed of God as well as the pure created egg of the virgin womb which God borrowed to form that perfect, sinless little body of flesh which would hold all these Eternal attributes that God is, would grow into manhood and walk this earth. No, not until this event had Israel ever seen God. If you can’t see Him through the revelation of the Spirit in Jesus Christ, you will never see Him. Eternal life of God with naked eyes, their hands were also privileged to handle Him, I John 1:1-2. This life-giving Holy Spirit. God the Father Himself, who is made up of all these divine attributes and characteristics, chose one day to walk among men in order that mankind could see God the Father living and ministering through a perfect sinless obedient vessel of clay and it was this vessel of clay, heard to speak to mortal men saying, he that hath seen me hath seen the Father! Why then say show us the Father and it will satisfy us, John 14:9? And then declare in John 16:15 shortly before the cross that all things the Father hath are mine and get this, all things will the Spirit take and give unto you! Therefore, all that mankind could every hope or conceive in HIS THOUGHTS CONCERNING God the Father’s love, power, etc., every characteristic and attribute of God the Father was all in Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Everything concerning the expression of God in power to meet every need of mankind; every attribute of God or characteristic of God was found in that one fleshly, perfect, sinless man, Jesus who was both Lord (God) and Christ (anointed one).

CHARACTER GOD DESIRES IN CHRIST

For what purpose, that God now as a man, could illustrate to fallen mankind exactly what kind of character or nature that He, as God desires sinful fallen mankind to be. Christ the perfect man, was the very fullness of the Godhead bodily, that is, in every attribute dwelling in Him, to demonstrate to mankind, exactly how God had always wanted mankind to live, since the first Adam was placed on earth. That exampleship God desired had been lived and portrayed in a perfect man called Jesus, the anointed one (Christ), who is standing here declaring unto His chosen disciples, all that the Father hath are mine and these things that are mine will soon be taken by the (Holy) Spirit in His new office work and shown or distributed unto you!

FURTHER ILLUSTRATION

It could be illustrated further in this manner, the Eternal Spirit says to fallen mankind, LOOK, you have never seen what I expected from mankind. How could you seeing the first Adam (your daddy) fell and by taking on a sinful nature of unbelief and death was only able to father into this planet a fallen human race of disobedient humanity of flesh filled with death!! However, you watch this man I sent, the second Adam who was born of a pure seed of God, who is My Son and is also a new order or new breed of mankind, not like others that are filled with death, instead he is full of ZOE (God’s Eternal Life)! Take a good look at this man’s life, see His loyalty and obedience to do the perfect will of the Father. Look at His exampleship in life and you will see what order of man I desire you to be like. Therefore, unto the revelated mystical body of Christ, the Church, I will give you all these things that made Him what He was as a perfect, obedient Son, full of Eternal Life. I will empty Him and present all the THINGS OF CHRIST unto you, that you in turn one day shall be like Him at the end of the age.

CHRIST OUR OLDER BROTHER

Remember in order to be Christ-like doesn’t mean we run a race with Him, oh no, that kind of Spirit would destroy the very objective we were seeking. Isn’t it strange how some people simply can’t bear for anyone to get ahead of them. Nevertheless, I am glad in the family of God we do have an older brother, the second Adam, who was our example, yet strange to say in natural families one thing that irked the other children was to have an older brother. For some reason they seem jealous of him. In God’s family, as God the Spirit presented Himself in the office of His sonship, the man Christ Jesus was born of the seed of the Holy Ghost, His Father, must in a family relationship be recognized as your older brother, our example. Yet, as very God He is the manifestation of your Saviour and Redeemer in order to reconcile you back to that great Eternal Holy Spirit called Father. The Holy Spirit, who is not some third person but is very God Himself in His future work, is using that supreme sacrifice of the Lamb to regenerate mankind or shall we say, renew, quicken or restore mankind back unto Himself.

CHRIST, HIGH PRIEST

Hence, once Christ became the resurrected Christ, He commissioned His disciples with the great commission and ascended into glory to accept His new office work of High Priest before the mercy seat (Hebrews 9:8-15), while the Holy Ghost would take the things that were in this man Christ, things that made Him what He was, and manifest these great characteristics or attributes unto the Church which is seeking to return to God.

GREATER IN WHAT CAPACITY?

Approaching that statement in John 16:15, the things of Mine (Christ), did Christ mean to imply when He said, “these things (or signs) shall follow them that believe”, Mark 16:17-18, that future Christians would be in some way different than He Himself had been – CERTAINLY NOT! How could you be Christlike or have the Spirit of Christ within you and be different? Moreover when Christ in Mark 16 stated, “These signs shall follow them that believe”, He was linking that statement up with another previous statement He made when He said, “These things (deeds) that I do, ye shall do also and greater works than these, shall you do.” (John 14:12) How could they do greater works than Christ? Greater works than these in the respect that Christ was speaking in reference to His many membered mystical body on earth, which even at that hour the statement was made, already potentially stood before Him a plurality of disciples. Later as the THINGS OF CHRIST was taken by the Spirit and distributed into the mystical body of Christ as He saw fit or as it pleased Him, watch those works of that first generation after Pentecost, 40 years or so, as those disciples allowed the Holy Ghost to work through them in whatever capacity the Spirit so chose as He had distributed all these THINGS OF CHRIST within the body that all could see Christ in the mystical body continuing on with His work! Therefore, as a many membered body of Christ now scattered over a larger area, the body would do far more deeds than Christ did in the sense they would now have His attributes (gifts) within them as they could cover a far wider area than the one man Christ could possibly cover! GREATER IN THAT SENSE ONLY!

PART 3 – WHAT ARE THE THINGS OF CHRIST?

With these thoughts in mind concerning THE THINGS OF CHRIST, how the Spirit is to place these things in the body of Christ, let us find out what these THINGS OF CHRIST are, because whatever these THINGS OF CHRIST are will produce a character of Christ-likeness in the revealed Church.

SIGNS FOLLOWED COMMISSION

The THINGS OF CHRIST to be distributed to the Church are better known as the nine gifts of the Spirit recorded in I Corinthians 12:1-31, a period of time which is well covered within the Book of Acts, a book which we must accept to be the history that covered roughly the first 45 years of the early church, and that entire book is a confirmation of what Mark declared in Mark 16:16-18 concerning signs following believers. Mark declares through verse 20 that after the day of Pentecost the disciples went everywhere preaching, not signs but the gospel of Christ which was the death, burial and resurrection of Christ thus baptizing converts in the name of Jesus Christ in order to identify them with the death, burial and resurrection of the one who died, was buried and rose again! No, they didn’t preach signs, they preached Christ who was the Truth; they preached the Great Commission, and they preached the Great Commission in exactness of revelation and understanding as Jesus had declared after His resurrection. Because of their loyalty to the Commission, to cherish it so obediently in their hearts, God worked with the revealed Church in signs and gifts of the Holy Ghost. (Hebrews 2:4)

CARNAL ATMOSPHERE IN HUMAN THINKING

I Corinthians 11:1-31 was a portion of a letter written by Paul in answer to certain timely questions which were disturbing an established church at Corinth, Greece, a church Paul established on his second missionary journey. Since the day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost had been distributing the THINGS OF CHRIST unto the body of believers. Thus, the gifts of the Spirit to the Church was not only in the church at Corinth, but were in all the established churches of the First Age in this truth. Paul, in his letter, is by no means writing to undo any of the virtues or THINGS OF CHRIST as some without the Spirit have taught. Instead Paul’s interest was only to correct the error, the mis-practice or the ignorance upon the part of the church, ignorance which was keeping them from fully or truthfully understanding the true objective and usage of these THINGS OF CHRIST. However, probably within the little young church a spirit of spiritual competition had developed. The abundance of the grace and power of God being poured out on the Corinthian people, shall we say, had developed a carnal atmosphere of human thinking which was trying to blend itself into the grace of God. This carnal spirit resting on many of those precious saints causes them to sort of run a spiritual race of competition. In other words, I have more gifts or THINGS OF CHRIST than you do. Some people not even in the family of God wants no one else to get ahead of them, no, not even in spiritual matters. Such carnality should never be entertained in Christians.

Imagine believers running a rat race against each other in the things of spirituality, treating the THINGS OF CHRIST as though it is something you gamble with, something you compete against or play with. No beloved, these things of Christ are to be lived in, walked in! In order to walk closely in the family of God every child must recognize what he is supposed to be and do; recognize what, he, through the Spirit, has been given, the potential opportunity or ability to do and do that beloved and no more! Simply being willing to walk with God. Once people reach the place they are just as happy, contented and thrilled to see God using or blessing another believer as they are to see that blessing resting upon themselves, will we then begin to see a people actually showing a Christlikeness in every respect.

The first three verses of Chapter 12 Paul uses to exhort the Corinthian Christians to be thankful for that which the Word of God had accomplished in their lives, seeing how in times past they had been so superstitious (or religious) being led away after all these useless, vain dumb idols by so-called gifted priests or teachers who were supposed to have various gifts from the (planetary) gods. To understand such a statement one would have to be aware of the idolatry which existed in the city of Corinth before Paul came, and see the numerous heathen temples of planetary gods built to Apollos, Venus, Jupiter, etc.. Signs of such idol worship are still visible today. Paul informs the Corinthians no man under the influence of the true Spirit can ever say Jesus is accursed, neither can any one declare Jesus is the Lord, but in the Old Testament is Jehovah God and Paul taught in Ephesians 4:4 there is only ONE LORD!

3 OUTSTANDING WORDS

While studying this chapter on gifts three words used by Paul in verses 4-6 to express certain thoughts seemed to jump up before me. The three words are SPIRIT, LORD AND GOD. Why would Paul choose these three separate words (SPIRIT, LORD, GOD) to express the officework of the Holy Spirit in the distribution of the THINGS OF CHRIST! Paul is dead, yet his revelation of truth lives on, therefore let us consult that revelation in order to see what Paul had in mind when he penned these three separate words, SPIRIT, LORD AND GOD.

To Paul they are not three separate persons. Paul, even in his Jewish religion, believed only in one Eternal God and that truth did not have to change once he came over to Christianity. In the faith he learned the redemptive name of his Lord God (Acts 9:5) was JESUS.

DIFFERENCES IN THE NINE GIFTS

In Verse 4, Paul is ready to show the Corinthians various things concerning the true gifts as he first declares there are diversities of gifts or (THINGS OF CHRIST). True, there are nine different gifts and we desire to study each of them at least enough that we may recognize their various functions within the body of Christ. Paul declares there are diversities of gifts which simply means all different, not one of the nine gifts are alike. For example, tongues is not like prophecy, yet both gifts originate and operate, by one and the selfsame SPIRIT. Wonder why Paul didn’t stick with this word SAME SPIRIT in his next two verses as he does in verse 4?

LORD OF EACH OPERATION

Verse 5, Paul refers to the differences in the administrations or functions of each separate gift and says it was accomplished by the same LORD, not SPIRIT. The reason Paul uses LORD here is because the word SPIRIT itself doesn’t signify that the SPIRIT is LORD or master of every operation of the gifts. In other words, you don’t do what you want to with the gifts, since He is LORD and master of each operation, He operates the gift whenever, wherever and however it pleases Him! Different administrations or functions show that in each person a gift operates through can operate in a number of different ways, therefore, you can’t have a certain rule how it is to function, it simply functions as He wants it, He is the LORD of each operation! It is the Holy Ghost’s administration throughout this one grace age. As a matter of fact, He is the only one who will have an administration in the true body of Christ. We think of presidents in America who have had various administrations in running the country, we refer to Nixon’s presidency as the Nixon Administration. Therefore, in God’s kingdom it is the Holy Ghost’s Administration!

CLIMAX OF GIFT – GOD IS PRAISED

In verse 6, Paul refers to the different operations of the gifts but it is the same GOD who works all in all. Paul uses the word GOD here because God is the highest word that could be used to show the SPIRIT is God, and God means an object of worship. Therefore it is the Spirit as God who deserves the highest admiration and praise for what these gifts have accomplished through their different operations once the gift has reached its fullness or climax. Then in verses 7-28 where ever Paul mentions these gifts or THINGS OF CHRIST he returns to his former expression of THE SAME SPIRIT distributing them throughout the body of Christ as He sees fit! In order for people to catch his meaning in different expressions of the Spirit concerning these gifts he had to use the word LORD and GOD as well as the same SPIRIT showing this one Eternal Spirit was LORD and GOD. Don’t forget, according to verse 3, an entire verse which deals with Jesus, says no man calls Jesus Lord, but by the Holy Ghost!

SPIRIT WON’T LEAVE YOU IGNORANT

Therefore, we know in John 16:14, when Jesus told His disciples when He the Spirit of Truth is come He would be the one who is giving out these gifts. Furthermore, He is also to be Lord over them, and thirdly He is God seeing He is the one to be praised for them; His name is Jesus, He shall take the things of mine and show them unto you. He will never speak of Himself but of Me; He will glorify only Me. Isn’t that what the Spirit is doing here in I Corinthians 12? It is the same Spirit of God who is Lord working in the new office work, distributing the THINGS OF CHRIST after that He, the Spirit of Christ, (the father) in His new office work has first wooed and convicted you of your sin of unbelief, John 16;8-9, bringing you to a realization that you should accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. It is this Spirit of God who is Lord that baptizes you into the mystical body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13) and beloved, that Spirit of Truth will not leave you ignorant as to the objective of God in your life. Recall that objective of God is that you be conformed to the image of His dear Son (Romans 8:29). However, if you don’t know that His dear Son was Lord God Almighty in flesh and that the Spirit now in you is not some third person but is the very Spirit of Christ who distributes all things of Christ into the mystical body, then all you would know is, there is a Spirit in me, I don’t know where it came from or what it is doing! All I now is I feel it about me. HOGWASH! When the Spirit of Truth is come, He testifies of Christ, telling you all about Christ. He doesn’t leave you in ignorance as to who Christ is, (John 15:25, John 16:13-14). And through a demonstration of these nine gifts, the Spirit distributes throughout the mystical body you see a demonstration of Christ in the earth throughout the Book of Acts.

EVERY BELIEVER GIVEN SOMETHING

Leaving verse 6, Paul now drops his Holy Ghost thought down on to the level of the individual through which the gift will operate. No longer does Paul use the phrase Lord or God to carry over a certain emphasis. Instead he returns to his original phrase, the same Spirit. Once these nine gifts of the Spirit or THINGS OF CHRIST have equally been distributed throughout the entire body of Christ, verse 7 declares, and please remember this following statement in verse 7 can only be applied to a setting similar to Paul’s day in the first church age, the spiritual manifestations of the Spirit is given to every believer (Paul says) to profit withal. Note that, given to every believer, not to profit the individual the gift operates through, but instead is to profit everyone is the body of Christ, according to the Apostle Paul.

EARLY CHURCH CONSISTED OF TRUE BELIEVERS

What a truth is concealed in this small verse! However, in order to grasp such a statement one must recall fully the setting of that early church in Paul’s hour, some 30 years after Pentecost. Here Paul teaches two facts: (1) All believers of that hour had been baptized into the mystical body of Christ, not by water baptism but by the baptism of the Spirit. True, once the early church believer had embraced the gospel of God as taught by the apostles this one Spirit of God baptized every believer into the body of Christ. (2) Every believer once baptized into the mystical body by the same Spirit was also given, along with his portion of the Holy Ghost, a gift or his portion of the THINGS OF CHRIST!

HAD GOSPEL NOT GOTTEN OFF COURSE

However, remember this can only apply to the revelated born again Holy Ghost filled believers who made up this mystical body of Christ on earth in Paul’s day! Had the gospel of Christ not gotten off course after the first century, this setting could still continually have been applied! The same Spirit of Christ which ascended on high, returning ten days later to take up His permanent abode in the church, which at that hour consisted of only 120 believers, however, before the day was finished, according to Acts 2:37-42, 3000 more precious souls were added to that mystical body. Several days later 5000 more Jews we know were added (Acts 4:4) making at least a grand total of 8120 souls filled with the Holy Ghost as the gifts of the Spirit are distributed equally among the body. And get this, not a tare nor unbeliever was in the midst! And so, on down through the centuries of time as people have been truly converted to truth, the same Spirit has given to each his portion of the THINGS OF CHRIST as He baptizes them into the body. For what purpose, that this mystical body, made up strictly of Holy Ghost filled revelated believers might live Christ, teach Christ and demonstrate Christ on the earth. (John 14:12-16, 14-15)

However, one must not forget, according to the revealed scriptures and history itself, everything did not remain under the beautiful leadership of that same Spirit of Christ as was in that first generation of the grace age! No, another Spirit took over to guide the church! By the time the true church had passed out of the Apostolic Age, which overlapped well into the second Century, the church was slowly losing her ability to carry the true Word seed or revelated knowledge of the Word of God as they had so beautifully accomplished within the first generation, that Jesus was truly the Old Testament God in the flesh! Nevertheless, by the time the church reaches 325 A.D., and that man-made Nicean church council called by the Roman Emperor Constantine, the church was now no longer the kind of spiritual church she was when Paul was writing to the Corinthian church during that first age when she was fed by the early five-fold ministry. Instead the church in the 3rd Century was rapidly being filled with carnal, unconverted pagans who had left their religion within the Roman Empire and had come over to Christianity since Constantine had made Christianity a state religion.

The Bible declares in Matthew 13:24-30, that even as early as the 2nd Century, after the death of those first apostles and five-fold ministry, Satan had succeeded in sowing false doctrinal seed among the mystical body and had already begun to implant certain personalities who continued to sow false doctrine. Naturally once such teaching began to take hold of the people’s minds, this automatically wrecked the framework of true revelation as taught in the early church and slowly began brainwashing the minds of the 2nd Century saints causing them to lose that fervency for revelatory knowledge, and the power of God was also beginning to diminish from their midst. Why? Because God will not confirm error! God confirms only the truth as shown in Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:3-4. Sure, for a while no doubt these believers within the 2nd Century continued to live and exemplify Christ in that of Christian character, rejoicing over the fact they are saved from their sins. Nevertheless, once the devil was permitted to enter into the midst of believers sowing his false doctrine, doctrine which many saints in the 1st Age had already been battling according to the scriptures. Satan, finally entering their midst, led to the warping of their spiritual revelation, the framework of their thinking concerning the fact God is One. Instead Satan slowly now implants into their minds that God is 3 persons. Note, as long as the church was made up of true born again believers, as they were in the days of Paul, Satan could not penetrate the church. Not until 325 A.D., was Satan successful in turning his theory into a creed or church doctrine. Once this promoting of a teaching began what do we see, the diminishing of the power of God as it leaves their midst, for the setting is now no longer as it was in the day of Paul, when He wrote I Corinthians 12:7.

The true revelation of Christ now seems to slowly deteriorate and with it also deteriorates the power of God, because the power of Christ or THINGS OF CHRIST must feed into the framework of the true revelation. God’s presence leaves what is called the church of that hour. Why? Because God cannot confirm error. On and on this deterioration of Truth continued until you reached about 500 A.D., and the church which is now scattered over Europe filled mostly with unbelievers is approaching the threshold of the dreaded 1000 years of Dark Ages or Satan’s Millennium. Christianity, as known during the first age when Paul addressed the Corinthian church in chapter 12, simply did not exist! Therefore, I Corinthians 12:7 could not apply to this type of people. No beloved, THE THINGS OF CHRIST Paul spoke of concerning how the Holy Ghost operated these gifts in the body and further said every man was given a gift of the Spirit could now no longer be applied to such a church.

GIFTS DEMONSTRATED IN DARK AGES

Nevertheless, here and there during that Dark period, God by His grace would raise up certain men who possessed only a dim vision of what little spiritual light was available in that hour and God would be seen to confirm and bless that, through certain gifts and demonstrations of His power. No, by no means, was God confirming this well organized belief of God in three persons of a trinity or any other carnal church doctrine. God merely confirmed their spirit of love to detest this evil corruption within a blinded religious system! No where did God ever confirm with signs following the doctrine of the Catholic church!

That beloved is the position the church world lay in once the first dawning light of Protestantism, around 1500, broke over the horizon and slowly through time God began to restore certain basic doctrinal apostolic truths to the church. However, around the opening of the 20th Century the believers are brought back unto a Holy Ghost experience wherein once again in great measure do we see the gifts of God begin to automatically function wherein the gift might once again profit withal, according to I Corinthians 12:7, and on the end of that final gentile Laodicean church age came a gentile church age messenger to restore within Laodicea all Truth which had been embraced by the apostles, but lost through these various church ages. Yet God returned this Truth to restore a potential bride of this hour shortly before Christ returns. Through this God-sent messenger the believers could now make a full return to the teachings of that first church age or first generation after Pentecost and experience, once again, that same Pentecostal new birth experience thereby embracing the one Spirit who distributes al these THINGS OF CHRIST into the mystical body, whereby the body might demonstrate Christ once again in the earth as Paul had taught.

However isn’t it strange, now that God has given us this restoring message to place us back whereby I Corinthians 12:7 might operate in our lives as effectively as it did in the first age, that now we have people who declare they are a part of this message, who when they were out there in some Pentecostal church, they fully believed in these THINGS OF CHRIST! And no doubt occasionally, or quite often, God may have used them in different operation of these gifts to a certain measure. However, it seems as if the very moment they stepped outside the doors of that carnal organizational system and stepped over into this glorious revelated message of apostolic truth, which places us in perfect alignment with I Corinthians 12, suddenly it seems all their electrical wires from glory have been cut lose and everything spiritual in the way of gifts suddenly stopped! Beloved, it should not be that way! Nevertheless such a condition does exist, although I am sure somewhere God will change the situation even if He has to use a world condition to do so.

NOT BELIEVERS AND TARES

During that early hour the church, or mystical body which had a setting such as I Corinthians 12, was not filled with tares and true believers as you see once the church approaches the 2nd Century. And in the hour of I Corinthians 12:7, everyone who was being added to the church by the Spirit not only was baptized with the Holy Ghost, but it was this baptism of the Holy Ghost which placed revelated believers in the mystical body of Christ, thus completing the New Birth. Hence the baptism of the Holy Ghost is not something optional, IT IS A MUST!

HAVE I A GIFT?

Does that mean, someone in the body of Christ may ask – that I have a gift in my life? Certainly! Isn’t that what Paul said! Now I remind you the setting, gospel-wise, must be the same as in Paul’s day to make this scripture, I Corinthians 12:7, apply in your life. Remember, when the Holy Ghost baptizes you into His mystical body, He is already fully aware of your capacity as you dedicate your life obediently unto His will. That Spirit of Grace within you called the Father, called the Spirit of Christ, called the Holy Ghost, knows the ability you possess in allowing the Spirit of God to work His will and purpose in your life. Therefore, according to Paul’s teaching there is the potential of some gift lying in every Holy Ghost filled child of God (though bear in mind the setting of I Corinthians 12:7 was within that first generation of saints in the grace who embraces all the truth to their bosom, in an hour when a congregation lived holy and clean, not resembling the man of the world whatsoever.)

PAUL NOT ILLUSTRATING HOW TO GET GIFTS

Note these nine gifts, even though the church did not fully understand their spiritual operation, they were nonetheless already operating in their full capacity within the body of Christ on each during that first church age as Christ had promised in John 16:13-15 that they would be! Christ had kept His promise! The evidence was most visible among the body of Christ!

Isn’t this beautiful, Paul isn’t writing to the Corinthians church as well as the other churches who would read this letter also, explaining unto them anything about how or what to do in order to get the gifts started to operating in their life. No, they needed only an understanding of the gifts which were already operating. They needed to know how to treat and respect these things of Christ now operating in His body. It wasn’t a question of how many of these things they could have, provided they could pray and fast, because Paul tells them the gifts were distributed by the same SPIRIT, as He saw fit, NOT ACCORDING TO WHAT THEY WANTED! As the person was baptized into the body of Christ by this one Spirit, that potential, or THING OF CHRIST, came with the believers portion of Christ! And Paul declares to one is given one thing and to another is given something else. Paul is showing the church they must not get in the way of these gifts with carnal ideas toward them, because they are only the vessel through which the gift operates. The Holy Ghost, who is Lord of the operation of the gift, will operate it whenever He Himself so chooses! It can not ever be operated wherever or whenever we choose, says Paul.

PART 4 – RECOGNIZING THE 9 GIFTS

Having informed the Corinthian church, everyone in that church age up to the hour within the first generation of believers had already received the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal. Paul begins with verse 8 to name the various, different nine gifts of the Spirit. Beloved, these THINGS OF CHRIST are given by that Spirit who will never speak of Himself, but seeks only to glorify and exemplify Christ through these nine gifts. Therefore, to make a foolish statement as some are doing today, saying there is no gift of the Spirit within the true mystical body of Christ today, is the same as to say, there is no Christ in the body of true revelated believers as was found in the first generation of the revelated saints! A statement of such caliber is to further admit that as a people of the end time you have never even been returned through the message of the prophet to the true apostolic teachings of the apostles, for the teaching here according to the Apostle Paul is, that once the Holy Ghost placed you into the body of Christ He gave to each believer a certain potential of the THINGS OF CHRIST, else how will Christ be lived and exemplified to this age!

NO. 1 – WORD OF WISDOM

Having clearly stated in verse 7 everyone in the body of Christ (up to that hour) had received something in the way of the manifestation of the Spirit, Paul begins by saying in verse 8, “for to one person in that body is given the WORD OF WISDOM.” Notice, the Spirit did not give to everyone the Word of Wisdom because Paul further states, to another He gave the Word of Knowledge to another something else, etc. This thing of wisdom is seen continually in Christ’s ministry. Read especially Matthew 21:23-27. Wisdom kept Him out of many traps set by religious leaders. Wisdom gave Him the correct answer. Read Matthew 22:15-46. This wisdom was one of the THINGS OF CHRIST to be placed in the body!

WHAT IS IT?

What is wisdom? There is only one book on earth that can show us what Holy Ghost wisdom is like and that is the Bible. In this book we have a beautiful account which portrayed what wisdom is or the manifestations of what wisdom is. The Bible speaks of Solomon, who in his day did not desire silver and gold, instead asked for the wisdom of God in order to know how to lead his people in Israel. Jesus himself referred to the wisdom of Solomon declaring how the Queen of Sheba came to hear and see the wisdom of Solomon (Matthew 12:42) and Jesus said, “Behold a greater than Solomon is here!” Two women appeared before Solomon. (I Kings 3:16-28). Both had given birth to children and even shared the same bed. One woman apparently had smothered her baby and out of her grief for a live child stole the other woman’s baby. An argument arose which brought in the elders of the city, who after examining the situation, declared it was one which required Solomon’s wisdom to unravel. Listening to both women’s stories, Solomon drew his sword to divide the living child in half. Watch the wisdom of God in operation. Wisdom can be cruel, yet it never fails to get the job done. Solomon knew the real mother would give up the child rather than see it killed. One woman cried out to spare the baby’s life and give it to the other woman, thus Solomon knew who the real mother was.

Sometimes the wisdom of God may not appear ethical and at times appears quite crude, nevertheless, it is always effective in assisting you to make the right decision or judgment. Your case in needing wisdom may never be like that of Solomon’s, yet you may have a decision which you cannot possibly know what to do or what decision to make without God’s wisdom to assist you. What then is the operation of this gift of the word of wisdom? It is the impartation of Godly wisdom that God Himself imparts to you through His Spirit, which is already in you if you are a member of the true revelated body of Christ. Wisdom often serves as guidance! Suddenly you are faced with an important decision, you need an answer pondering the situation which confronts you, it appears through one line of thought the thing could go one way while looking at it from another angle it appears it would go another way. Sooner or later it is something you must face and when you do it will require action on your part in making a decision. It may be a decision of such nature there is no book you can consult, not even the Bible for an answer. Recall, the Bible records only the action of wisdom portrayed in others of by-gone days as situations and conditions affected their individual lives. There might be a similarity to fit your need, then again there might not. Remember, there is not a situation which God cannot handle.

A LITTLE WISDOM IMPARTED

God is unlimited in wisdom, therefore, the Word of Wisdom referred to by Paul as a gift given by this same spirit who is also God and Lord does by no means imply that God gives to the believer of this particular gift all the wisdom which God possesses. No! It is only a Word of Wisdom. Sometime in your life a condition arises where it appears Satan has you hemmed in, nevertheless, if you walk humbly before God, He won’t allow that situation to last forever without revealing to you what to do.

Seeing that this godly wisdom which was first in Christ is now in the mystical body of Christ, God may choose to give you the answer you need personally, or on the other hand, He may give your answer through another believer, and that Word of Wisdom pertaining to the certain situation you are in will show you exactly what to do. The answer is the imparted Word of Wisdom needed to meet that particular situation. Remember in our study of the gifts or the THINGS OF CHRIST we are only seeking to identify the gifts that are definitely within the true body of Christ in order that we may recognize their function. Our purpose is not to show how they operate within a believer, they will operate however the Holy Ghost wants them to operate.

Wisdom may appear simple, nevertheless it works. Was it quite simple in Solomon’s case, he simply picked up a sword to divide a living child. It doesn’t even have to be a huge task in order for that gift, the Word of Wisdom, to manifest itself. The situation at hand may be very small and requires only a small word or deed to work out this problem, nevertheless, whether large or small whatever the answer comes be sure to give God glory. If you can’t thank Him for the small things, you will never recognize Him in the large things. Paul teaches in I Corinthians 14:1, that we should desire the cultivation of the spiritual gifts in our life. If we desire this gift of the Word of Wisdom of this God who is unlimited in wisdom, then beware we be not a person prone to much gossip. Gossip and the Word of Wisdom would surely somewhere take our lives off balance.

NO. 2 – THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE

The second gift or THING OF CHRIST mentioned by Paul, also recorded in verse 8, presented to (still) another person in the body of Christ by the same Spirit (which never spoke of Himself) is the Word of Knowledge. Yes, definitely within the body of Christ some (not all) whosoever the Spirit chooses to receive this gift are given the Word of Knowledge. The Word of Knowledge was seen in Christ’s ministry in John 1:47-51 and Matthew 17:27. How do we recognize the Word of Knowledge in operation? Again when the hour arrives that you are confronted with something, shall we say a situation develops and you need to know what course to take, you are faced with two lines of thought. Seeing God’s knowledge of everything including the future is unlimited and shall we say, somewhere in the future unbeknown to you, you are about to be involved in a car accident. Through this Word of Knowledge God may speak and warn you as a believer concerning this accident. With the Word of Knowledge there is a good chance you can avoid this accident, provided you heed what you are shown concerning the accident. Either God Himself, who is on the inside of you, may choose to show you personally through your own fleshly vessel what will happen if you do a certain thing, or He may choose to use another believer to warn you concerning the wreck.

LEVELS OF OPERATION

Recall in verse 5-6, Paul declared there were differences of administrations concerning the gifts as well as different functions or operations of the gifts, nevertheless, it was the same LORD controlling it all. There are differences in the operations of these gifts. The Word of Knowledge can appear on 3 levels: (1) VISIONS – which is the highest order of the Word of Knowledge. Many people observed Bro. William Branham under the anointing of the Holy Ghost as he would inform people of the secrets of their hearts and people thought this was a gift of discernment in operation. No, that particular part operating in the prophet was not discernment, or as Paul said, the gift of discernment of spirits. No beloved, that working within the prophet to inform him of the secrets of people’s hearts was none other than the operation of the Word of Knowledge! You will see the difference between the two gifts once we study the discernment of spirits. When Bro. William Branham looked upon a person and told them their names and such, that wasn’t discernment, that was Knowledge! God who has all knowledge knew all of that, didn’t He? Therefore, when the prophet told people all these things to build their faith, that was a Gift of Knowledge drawing off the past tense. When he said I see through the vision that you are up for an operation, that is knowledge drawing on the future tense. And remember beloved, as we stated, visions are the highest manifestations of the Word of Knowledge. Knowledge is that gift which you always read about being in the lives of the prophets. (2) DREAMS – is the secondary level of Knowledge while (3) IMPRESSIONS – is the third level of Knowledge. God may choose to simply impress upon you something so heavy that you literally, without a vision or dream, feel it in your soul so strongly this is what will happen if you pursue the plan you have in mind. In a prophet’s life, such as Bro. William Branham’s, the gift of Knowledge was continually working on one of the three levels – through visions, dreams or impressions.

IMPRESSION THE 3RD

Back to the car wreck, say you’re planning to do a certain thing in the future, for instance take a trip and the very moment plans are made, suddenly inside of you have that feeling or impression, no, it’s not a dream and it’s not a vision, it’s the 3rd level of operation and God is going to permit you to draw off of His unlimited knowledge of the future, and concerning that trip you have an impression that if it is carried out something is going to happen. That something inside of you is the Holy Spirit operating through the WORD OF KNOWLEDGE, because He possesses all knowledge of all things and it is through this gift that God imparts knowledge, either by vision, dream or impression, and here by the 3rd level of the operation of the gift, an impression, you have received warning if you take that trip something will happen. You see, God knows that and He further knows how to press this upon your Spirit. What is it all about? God the Spirit is merely allowing you, through this gift, the ability to have just a little foresight into what He already knows. He does that to equip you with a little understanding whereby we may prepare ourselves to either avoid, in this case, the accident or once it happens whatever the situation may be you will have prepared yourself for nothing drastic to come out of it. Irregardless to which of the three levels; visions, dream or impression, it is the Spirit of God through this gift seeking to guide His children, because as we saw in verse 7, the manifestation of the Spirit (in some manner) is given to every true believer to profit withal.

EXAMPLES OF KNOWLEDGE OPERATING

Several examples of the gift of the WORD OF KNOWLEDGE I would like to mention. First that great 2nd Century martyr Polycarp, John the Beloved’s loyal student who lived among the 2nd Century disciples, in an hour when the truth was deteriorating away from the right revelated, apostolic standard as it was in the first age, was shown in advance concerning the martyr’s death he would die. Peter the apostle also testifies how he could see himself leaving the scene of life, and Paul, did not he also declare how he knew his own departure was getting close. It is because they lived so sensitive to the Spirit of God, the people allowed the Holy Ghost to guide their lives. Returning from Asia Minor to Jerusalem, Paul testifies how he would go to Jerusalem bound in the Spirit. Paul had that feeling in his soul how he would meet trouble in Jerusalem. Paul declared how the Holy Ghost bore that same witness in every city that bonds and afflictions awaited him in Jerusalem. (Acts 20:23)

NO. 3 – REVEALED FAITH VS. PRESUMPTUOUS FAITH

The third thing of Christ Paul mentioned is referred to as THE GIFT OF FAITH. Note if you will how Paul groups these 9 gifts in groups of threes. WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE and now FAITH makes up what is referred to as the thought (or mind) gifts. Out of all 9 gifts FAITH is the one gift which truly affects us more perhaps than the others, because of the necessity of FAITH even for conversion and the new birth. I sincerely believe this gift of FAITH, though on different levels, absolutely lays in each believer’s life and no doubt when conditions are perfect, if we walk with God as we should, we will see the gift of FAITH more in operation to produce the purpose in which it was placed with the body of Christ to accomplish.

What is scriptural FAITH and what does it feed from? In short, scriptural FAITH (though it appears on different levels) is a revelatory faith or is something you can believe in because it is something that has previously been revealed unto you by the Spirit to do, then BY FAITH you do it! It is a promise of God whereby you may link your FAITH up to. Hence, revelatory faith is something far more than merely blind belief. It is not having faith in something when there is no assurance that something will happen once you have believed. REVEALED FAITH is not blind reaching out in the unknown, hoping you made the right decision or choice!

By examining Hebrews 11, we will better understand what scriptural revealed FAITH is. By the way, Hebrews 11:6 declares without this kind of faith it is impossible to please God! Verse 1 declares, “Faith is the substance (or the assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence (or the conviction) of things not seen.” Then we are presented with a list of Old Testament saints showing how their lives had all been motivated through revelatory faith where both conviction and assurance played a great part in their faith. In verse 1, the original word for substance means assurance, hence revealed faith is an assurance of the thing hoped for and it is the conviction of things not seen. Inside every believer is that certain feeling which produces certain convictions. Therefore, revealed faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Throughout that 11th chapter of Hebrews, we are confronted with patriarchs the writer uses to exemplify that kind of revealed faith.

As we have often stated, not one of these men mentioned here who walked by faith, from Abel on down, suddenly came up with some wild notion or idea (which they called faith) that they wanted to travel or journey the route they embarked upon. No, not one of them one day suddenly had a wild notion, strike them to do what they did and call that action on their part faith! If they themselves or some other human prompted them to believe what they did, then where did that particular desire originate?

In each case God spoke before they acted – AND HERE IS FAITH IN ACTION! Once God had spoken to their inner being, that planted within them an assurance and a conviction needed to move out in the direction they were told. Faith on their part was merely obeying the voice and holding on until what was supposed to happen, did happen. It was by no means a presumptuous faith on their part. In each case God had spoken!

REVEALED FAITH IN NOAH

Watch the scripture portraying this revealed faith in Noah and others. And remember, without this faith it is impossible to please God! This faith that pleased God is not a presumptuous faith. Verse 7 declares by faith Noah built an Ark! Beloved, this doesn’t mean Noah was sitting around one day watching the growing evil of the hour and suddenly decided it would be wisdom on his part to build a boat, seeing that when it rained a flood would come and all would be drowned if he didn’t! Yet that is about the idea of our modern teaching of faith, simply take it by faith, move out by faith and God will honor etc…. He honored Noah, Abraham and others because they moved by faith. Beloved, a revealed Bible faith does not work that way. Suppose Noah had taken it all by presumptuous faith, that God was going to destroy the world by water and he built himself a boat without having previously heard one word from God concerning a flood? No, God never told Noah, you simply take it by faith! God told Noah what to do! Noah’s test of faith was this, how do I know or what proof do I have it is going to rain? The assurance and conviction in him that a flood was coming was in the fact God had spoken and said it will (and God can’t lie).

Noah had never seen rain nor a boat that large, nevertheless, Noah’s test of faith came over whether to build such a thing, seeing there wasn’t that much water around to float it. But by faith Noah built an ark! If a voice speaks to you which you are convinced is the voice of God to do something which you have never previously thought of doing, and secondly you recognize the natural impossibility of the thing ever happening, would that not be a test to you to do it? What assurance would you have the thing would ever happen? Yet if you are positive the voice which spoke was God’s voice (As Noah was) and you act by faith upon what that voice said, then you are acting upon revealed faith and not presumptuous faith or as we hear of today, simply take it by faith. Your very action in doing what the voice has commanded you becomes the expression of assurance and conviction inside you that once you perform this deed which you were instructed to do (irregardless to how the voice came) it is because your convictions which motivate you to do this, acting on this revealed faith means you are just as positive what you are doing once it is finished or promised, that is acting on faith (revealed faith)! And remember, it is the only kind of faith that can please God! Noah wasn’t a man who looked upon the evil of the day and knew what to do. Oh, no, he did not know what to do until God spoke to him! Recall, Genesis 6 declares after God looked upon the evil situation He then saw Noah, a just and perfect man in his generation. However, now until the Eternal Spirit approached Noah did he know what to do. Yet Hebrews 11:7 declares, by faith he built a boat to save his household. Building a boat so long and so high wasn’t something Noah had thought about. I repeat, what Noah did was not presumptuous thinking and then moving out on his own thoughts saying, I will do it by faith, God will honor it. Noah acted on the only kind of faith that pleases God – REVEALED FAITH!

ABRAHAM – BY FAITH

Another example of a man acting on the only kind of faith that can please God was ABRAHAM. In verses 8-10, Abraham wasn’t sitting outside his tent one day when suddenly he got the thought or notion in his mind he would, by faith, move to a strange land, therefore, he would simply move out by faith and God would honor his move. No, God spoke to Abraham and told him to move! Verse 8 declares by faith Abraham sojourned in a strange land. Where then does Abraham’s faith enter into the picture? How do I know as I move out this is a move in the right direction, what assurance do I have this new land will be a good land? How do I know the outcome? The Bible declares Abraham believed God and staggered not at the promises, yet by no means was the move one of presumptuous faith. He acted on revealed faith – the only kind that can please God! Even though he was tested every step of the journey, it was still revelatory faith, God spoke to Abraham to make the move! Abraham, like Noah, was guided by that assurance and conviction he felt inside his bosom. His testing along the way was to build within him that type of spiritual character God desired to instill in Abraham, seeing he was to become the father of faithful. Father of all those who through the centuries would also walk by revealed faith, in other words, acting upon what God told them to do.

Speaking of presumptuous faith of which we hear so much about today, just move out by faith and God will honor you, I am ruling out the fact God, often in His mercy, does honor what we do through a mere presumptuous faith, yet remember, that is not walking by revelatory faith, the only kind of faith that pleases God and without it it is impossible to please Him! God is not obligated to honor presumptuous faith as He is revealed faith.

SAVING FAITH – WHAT IS IT?

Seeing the scriptures boldly declare in order to be in the kingdom of God we must first be saved by that kind of faith that pleases God, that revelated faith – without it it is impossible to please God, don’t you think we should establish just what saving faith is and what God expects from it! Remember it is not the gift of faith spoken of in I Corinthians 12:9. Why did Jesus declare, no man comes to me except the father draw him (John 6:44)? No, you cannot be saved whenever you choose, there must first be that convicting or drawing power of the Spirit called Father. Jesus, referring to Isaiah, declared all that should come to me will be learned of the Father. Therefore, before you can ever know God in revelatory truth as to who He is, it is going to require revelatory faith of the Spirit to be imparted to you as it was in Hebrews 11. After God has convicted you of your sins, it will require a revelatory faith to start you out walking in faith with God.

THE GIFT OF FAITH – WHAT IS IT?

Having briefly explored several aspects of the revealed faith, along with presumptuous faith, let us now examine the gift of faith in I Corinthians 12:9. This gift of faith is not that tried and tested faith of which we spoke. No, instead it is that special anointing or operation of the body of Christ. The gift of faith is the anointing or the demonstration of that imparted faith to be exercised only in an hour when it is needed, mainly to minister to someone standing in need of prayer or simply a word wisely spoken through that particular anointing of faith. Regardless to whatever manner that gift of faith in the believer operates, it will always accomplish God’s purpose. Remember in the discussion of these 9 gifts it is not my intention to tell you how they operate, seeing the scriptures declare there are diversities (differences) of operation. Our desire only is to show their identity as they have been scripturally placed in the body of Christ. The point is, irregardless to public opinion concerning these THINGS OF CHRIST, if He placed one gift in the body He wouldn’t stop until He placed all the gifts in the body! And once that hour arrives for the body of Christ to actually take on the full measure of the stature of Christ, as recorded in Ephesians 4:12-16, I assure you it won’t only be in the stature of the revelatory part of Christ, it will also be in the expression of portraying or showing forth the THINGS OF CHRIST! After all beloved, wasn’t that God’s entire objective of having a mystical body in the earth to begin with, to represent Jesus Christ here on earth!

The gift of faith is something you have not worked for, had you done so it would not be a gift! It is that special anointing which rests upon us that when we look at a situation which often seems hopeless, we nonetheless have that unshakable assurance inside of us that everything is going to be all right. (Luke 8:49-50 is one example where the gift of faith operated in Christ’s ministry.) There have been many men of faith in this century greatly anointed of God to pray for afflictions of divers kinds of diseases. No, it wasn’t the gift of the WORD OF KNOWLEDGE that assures them everything will be all right; it wasn’t being able to tell the sick who they were, what city and state they were from, their house number etc., no, none of that! Nevertheless something inside these men God was using, when they came in contact with such an afflicted person, it is that special gift of faith that rose upward and assured the man of God as he lay hands on that incurable disease that every thing would turn out all right.

Let us bring this gift of faith down to your level. Say we are faced with a situation or circumstance which seemingly there is no way out. If God has not, through the gift of knowledge, already fore shown us the way out then once you are under this kind of pressure it is then this gift of faith will shine. Whether it would simply be God anointing or inspiring you to give you that needed assurance that everything will be all right, although in that hour things couldn’t look darker, or whether God might simply impress upon another believer, operating through the gift of faith to say unto you – the Lord impresses me to tell you not to worry over this situation because everything will be all right. Don’t you think for a moment, beloved, that somewhere out there in front of us there is not going to be all kind of room for this gift of faith to operate!

NO. 4 – GIFTS OF HEALING

Verse 9, Paul mentions another gift, only here he refers to it in the plurality – the GIFTS OF HEALING – not the gift of healing. Yes, there are many (kinds) of gifts of healing placed throughout the true body of Christ. Remember we are not discussing how any of these gifts operate, we are not even identifying the effects of them upon individuals through which they operate, we are seeking only to identify them in their operation. The gift of healing is that special anointing of God placed inside a vessel of clay which may or may not be accompanied with outward physical manifestations.

Concerning this endtime message of revelated truth, we witnessed a man who possessed a gift in his life which I seriously doubt such a gift has ever been seen in all church history, including the Book of Acts outside the life of Christ. However, don’t you try to compare other gifts on the same level with the gift in this man! That attitude does the program of God injustice! Maybe by illustrating with a quarter I could better show you what I mean. A quarter is equivalent to 25 pennies, isn’t it? Yet you wouldn’t belittle the penny simply because it wasn’t a quarter, would you? I grant you, a penny won’t buy much, yet you can get a penny’s worth and if you had 25 pennies you would buy the same thing you could with a quarter, wouldn’t you? Therefore, never belittle God’s spiritual monetary program. True, He does have certain gifts within the 9 which stand out far above and beyond the others, even as you have certain organs within the human body that also stand out far above other organs, yet you don’t belittle uncomely organs simply because certain ones are not a noticeable as others.

Keep in mind, when Christ placed Himself in the New Testament church He distributed Himself by His Spirit whereby there is going to be different levels of His representation, characteristics, demonstrations illustrated throughout His mystical body. And certainly it would be wrong to pick one gift above the other. Yet sorry to say, this is what we find today. Back in the 50’s we had a true deliverance move of God. God anointed men with faith and through them He also places the gift of healing, because it was God’s hour to present to the world a demonstration of His goodness and mercy through that of healing, etc. Men who knew little of the Truth of this hour, yet out of a simple prayer of faith prayed for multitudes of sick and God honored their prayers. Bear in mind we are not discussing the disobedience of any individuals who fail to walk further along in Truth, we are only discussing these gifts and how you can’t pivot one against the other because each one has a particular purpose and objective given by the Spirit to produce a certain ultimate goal or objective which the Master and Lord placed in His mystical body.

OUTWARD MANIFESTATION

Concerning the gifts of healing, they can be manifested through that of some kind of physical sign to the individual they operate through. Outward physical sensation can even accompany the gift whereby the individual may know their vessel is being anointed for that particular gift of healing to operate, since I don’t possess the other person’s anointing or sensation I cannot possibly explain the operation of the gift in someone else’s life, only that individual through which the gift operated would know that. Our purpose is to examine strictly from the point of identification. The individuals themselves will recognize their own anointing. How could a person declare God had given them a gift of tongues if they never heard themselves in another language, the same would be true with the gift of divine healing.

FALSE IDEA

Beloved, here is the sad, pathetic attitude or feeling among many who declare they follow this true revelated message, and until God creates some world shaking event to shake such people into a different frame of thinking they, no doubt, will continue on in this frame of mind. That lopsided thinking concerns the gift God placed in Bro. William Branham’s life, and no doubt what God did through that man’s life He will never repeat in that measure again. Nevertheless, we must realize many men prayed for the sick with great results years prior to any of Bro. William Branham’s meetings. Therefore, don’t think for a moment as some do, that there wasn’t divine healing before the prophet came to the age! To those with that kind of attitude I would have to ask, where on earth have you been? In early Pentecost there were such men as Wigglesworth, Charles Price or Bosworth, etc. True, these men in their respective hour did not see the truth revelatory wise that many of our readers are walking in, and I would have to say that you wouldn’t be seeing any more truth today than what they saw had it not been for a church age prophet messenger who was sent to the age! Nevertheless, chapters could be written concerning the early years those men ministered to the sick and God confirmed their action by healing the sick. True, their healings were not on an outstanding world-wide scale, national or city scale later demonstrated throughout those years of 50’s. However, healing was evident in those early Pentecostal years leading into the late 40’s and 50’s.

GIFT IN PROPHET

My personal feeling why God placed such an outstanding gift in this one man’s life we call Bro. William Branham, the messenger to Laodicea, was because there was a message he had to preach and the gift in his life was truly a higher anointing to draw special attention to the vessel of clay who was going to declare that message. Believe me, the demonstration of that gift in his life wasn’t to declare to the world; Look, you have never seen healing until this hour! It is sad when people look at it that way and furthermore will go off and declare nobody even had the Holy Ghost until Bro. William Branham brought the teaching to the age! God forbid such silly teaching of carnality! Beloved, when God declared to another He gave the gifts of healing, you will have to accept it whether you want to or not, because He, by His Spirit, distributed plurality gifts of healing throughout the body and you can’t interpret it on the basis of what you heard and saw demonstrated in the prophet’s life. That great anointing was strictly a vindication of a message as well as a messenger. And no doubt you will never see it again performed in that fashion. It was not even in the Book of Acts, which portrayed the life of the apostles and early church as well, but only in the life of Christ. Yet at no time in the apostles’ lives did anyone ever line up people in prayer lines and one by one they were told their names, addresses, illnesses, etc. True, the gift of knowledge operated throughout Peter marvelously when he told Annanias and Sapphira what they did and God vindicated it with death. A similarity is seen in the Apostle Paul’s ministry when he spoke to a man who was trying to lead astray his converts, God rebuke you, be blind for so many days and unable to see, declared Paul! No one speaks in that manner unless first he knows in advance that individual is going to be struck with blindness, yet no where in the Book of Acts or in church history do we see those men forming prayer lines and telling one after the other their names, addresses, etc. Most of the miracles recorded were performed through the prayer of faith or the gift of healing.

Even the gift of miracles lay in the lives of those men, yet no where on record did the gift of the word of knowledge ever operate in any believer as it operated in the life of Bro. William Branham. However, don’t belittle God’s gifts as some have because you don’t see them operate in others in this fashion!

SPECIAL ANOINTING

Bro. Branham had a special anointing upon him which worked through his hand against diseases and afflictions unto such a point if he did not remove his wrist watch the power of God was known to have shattered his unbreakable watch crystal. Remember beloved, the gifts of healing can either be accomplished by physical manifestation or certain other sensations which only that individual through whom the gift operates will know and understand.

To another, God says, the gifts of healing – And how would any man know that these gifts lay there in his life, placed by this same Spirit, unless somewhere they are evident through certain sensational healings! Only the person in whom the gift operates will know the anointing of God as the gift itself is being stimulated in behalf of someone who is to receive the benefits of the gift. Don’t misunderstand, I am not telling you how to operate the gift, we seek only to identify it and remind you that somewhere either some physical or emotional sensation would accompany the gift, however, it is up to the person alone who possesses the gift to become acquainted enough with the operation of the gift itself to know its operation.

NO. 5 – GIFT OF MIRACLES

The next gift given to still another believer yet by the same spirit, of whom Jesus declared will never speak of Himself but only show the things of Christ – is the WORKING OF MIRACLES. With this gift we will definitely see the difference between a divine healing and a miracle in healing, although we can associate the working of miracles along in the same category with the gifts of healings much the same as we would associate speaking in tongues with that of interpretation, because without the gift of tongues the true benefit to the hearer would never be understood.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEALING & MIRACLE

Understand there is a difference between a healing and a miracle. Say someone has TB who received prayer and over the period of weeks the doctor checks the patient declaring something is happening, in other words the reaction of the tests if showing less and less positive, yet still minor traces remain of TB. He instructs his patient to return in 2 weeks. This next checkup shows TB is lessening and this time he instructs his patient to return in 3 months where upon this checkup shows a completely negative test, no sign of TB whatsoever. That beloved, was a healing but not a miracle. What is healing in relation to a miracle? Healing is God’s own act of slowly allowing you to recover from something, whereas a miracle is instant. For example, say a man is totally blind and all functions of his natural eyesight have completely deteriorated, either destroyed by accident or disease, and doctors declare an eye operation would in no-wise be successful. Here is the difference between a healing and a miracle. If the person is prayed for and the power of God begins to undo slowly through a process of days, weeks, months and etc. that damaged eyesight until vision has returned, that is a healing! However, if the eye was prayed for and the individual instantly saw, the divine act of God immediately reversed the entire situation of the eye and made a miracle out of it.

Another instance of miracles would be if a person had a cancerous growth on the side of the face, prayer is offered and the cancer immediately disappears. That would be the work of the Gift of Miracles whereas had the cancer, over a process of time, eventually disappeared as it continually shrank, that places it under the category of healing. There are many evidences of miracles in our generation granted to people through the prayer of faith, through the Word of Knowledge and through the expression of the Gift of Healing. Miracles are whenever God immediately reverses the order of the situation or immediately undoes the existing condition.

GIFT OF MIRACLES MEETS NEEDS

Too often we want to associate miracles with the opening of the Red Sea or Jesus calming the stormy Sea of Galilee or perhaps Christ raising the widow’s dead son. True, these are great miracles which immediately changed the present tense condition unto just the opposite, didn’t it? Although throughout the New Testament area miracles are more closely associated with that of meeting the physical needs of mankind such as Peter and John on the way to the temple where lay the lame man, placed daily at the gate to beg alms. Peter and John no doubt had often times passed that poor man, nevertheless, on this particular morning they were anointed with the Gift of Miracles. No, we are not aware of the particular anointing resting on those men or what began to transpire in Peter’s life shortly before he commanded the lame man to rise and walk, Acts 3:1-11. Commanding the lame man to rise and walk, Peter took him by the right hand (verse 7 declares) and lifted him up and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength as he went leaping off unto the temple ground, praising and glorifying God. THAT BELOVED WAS A MIRACLE! Furthermore, it was the Gift of Miracles in operation. That miracle produced and instant healing for the lame man.

PHILLIP’S MIRACLE UNUSUAL

Let us examine another miracle which happened in the life of a deacon by the name of Phillip, Acts 8:39, when Phillip was given a free air ride after baptizing a eunuch of Ethiopia. However, this type of miracle could never be classified as the gift of miracles operating in the body of Christ as spoken of by Paul. Here was a miracle of God yet it wasn’t a miracle in the nature of a gift of miracles spoken in I Corinthians 12:10. Bear in mind, through this study our only purpose is to identify the function of these gifts whereby we may recognize their presence in the body of Christ seeing the Spirit has placed them there to operate.

NO. 6 – GIFT OF PROPHECY

To another person, Paul declares, is given another of THE THINGS OF CHRIST, which you recall was in His corporeal body and which this time He refers to as PROPHECY. What is Prophecy? It is God expressing His thought to you personally or to two or more persons in an understandable language of the people who are listening. For instance, if you had a congregation of only French speaking people, then God’s gift of Prophecy would address them IN FRENCH, not in English as they could only understand French. In prophecy, the Holy Spirit is using some person’s vocabulary to get this inspired point across. The inspiration for the operation of the gift would come upon the individual to be used, and since there are diversities of a variety of operations within different people (according to verse 6) that anointing would come upon the person and as the gift operated it would be God expressing His own thoughts in an understandable language of the people He desired to address.

3 REACHES OF PROPHECY

Remember a prophecy can have three reaches. God can be speaking (1) in the present tense, and within the prophecy He may choose to reach (2) into the past tense, to bring out an example or illustration and then if God so chooses that prophecy can project its thought (3) into the future tense. Prophecy, according to Paul, is for edification, exhortation or comfort (I Corinthians 14:3). Yes, God can be speaking in a present tense and reach into the past calling your attention to a former time where He has done something for Israel, etc. The highest degree of prophecy is when that prophecy reaches out into the future and speaks of things yet to come. However remember, simply because a person prophesies does not imply they are a prophet, because prophecy can also rest upon a woman as well as a man, I Corinthians 11:5.

MISTAKEN IDEAS ABOUT PROPHECY

Some have the mistaken idea that a Gift of Prophecy only reaches into the future tense of time and if it doesn’t it isn’t prophecy, while still others – because the dictionary defines prophecy as preaching, has the mistaken idea that prophecy is preaching the gospel. Therefore, when the scripture declared in Acts 21:8-9 that Phillip the evangelist had four virgin daughters, all of whom prophesied, to them this meant Phillip had four women preachers in his household! Beloved, I am not a woman hater but there were no women preachers in the early church! Paul, the Apostle to the gentiles, declared in I Timothy 2:11-12, he would not suffer woman to teach (the scriptures) or to usurp authority over a man but to be in silence, or to learn in silence, with all subjection! The only offices available in the early church for the ministry of the Word set in by the Holy Ghost is recorded by Paul in Ephesians 4:11-16 where he declares the Spirit gave to some men the office of apostles, some he gave prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and some teachers and note – they were all men! Their qualifications are found in I Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9 and furthermore these five offices, according to Ephesians 4:12, is the only thing that can perfect the church here at the endtime!

PROPHET OFFICE NOT SAME

Back to the thought, does merely prophesying declare a man to be in the office of a prophet? NOT NECESSARILY! There is a vast difference between the office of a prophet in the Old Testament and one who merely fills a New Testament office of prophet. No where in the Book of Acts was any of these people, who merely prophesied, ever referred to as New Testament prophets! Paul told the Corinthian Church they could all prophesy, one by one, as shown under the gift of Prophecy, I Corinthians 14:31. No, a gift of prophecy, I Corinthians 12:10, does not merely prophesy concerning things in the distant future. Nowhere recorded in the Book of Acts did any of those men referred to as New Testament prophets such as Agabus (Acts 11:27-28) Barnabas, Simion, Lucius, Manaen, Judas, and Silas (Acts 15:32) prophesy far reaching events to transpire in the future.

NOT FAR REACHING

Agabus came to Antioch and through the gift of prophecy, which did not reach out too far into the future tense when he signified by the Spirit there was going to come a great drought into the land, which you will notice was fulfilled in the days of Claudius Caesar, Acts 11:28. This event transpired not too many months or years out into the future. As we stated, the office of the New Testament prophet was no where near the caliber as was the office of that Old Testament prophet. Therefore, don’t confuse the Old Testament prophet office with that fivefold ministry office of a New Testament prophet. (Ephesians 4:11) The only outstanding marvelous ministry we note in the New Testament prophet was his gift or ability to prophesy, however, recall the record shows his prophecies did not have that far reaching future tense as was quite common within the ministry of the Old Testament prophets! Therefore, none of these men referred to as New Testament prophets prophesied of things centuries in advance. John the Revelator, the last of the original apostles marooned on Patmos, through visions was given a higher degree of prophecy, (seeing the distant future) although even with John the Revelator he did not receive those far reaching future tense events through the Word of Prophecy! His prophecy concerning the distant future was shown to him through a VISION. Prophecy therefore may come through three routes: VISIONS, DREAMS OR EXPRESSION OF THE WORD OF PROPHECY. Naturally whichever way prophecy comes, in the final analysis, it is going to come through the word being expressed, either spoken prophetically or written, isn’t it? If it is a vision or dream showing something is going to happen, in order for others to understand, it would have to be in the expression of words. If what was shown was not a vision or dream and it is to be catalogued under the spirit of prophecy, it has to be an expression of word in an understandable language to the hearer. The spoken word of prophecy is where God simply takes over the mentality of the person’s thinking and inspires that person to speak the thoughts of God, and in so doing we associate it with the gift of prophecy, one of the THINGS OF CHRIST which was seen continually in the ministry of the Lord Jesus, and has now been placed within the mystical body of Christ by the same Spirit. However with Christ, prophecy was not some special anointing, His words were simply prophecy. See Matthew 24:1-51 for example.

GENERALLY NOT FAR REACHING

The gift of prophecy placed within the body is usually a prophetic utterance dealing within a present tense situation which can easily reach back into the past as well as reach somewhere into the very near future of time (if God so chooses), reaching perhaps not more than 5 to 6 years in advance. Although in certain isolated instances I have heard of God speaking in somewhat a more distant future tense than what the mere word of Prophecy usually presents. Usually when God does that it is being done in relationship to a particular group of people. I will illustrate. I once read an account concerning the European Armenians back before the turn of the century being mightily blessed of God in an outpouring of the Holy Ghost in their part of the world. God spoke through prophecy telling these people to prepare to flee to another land. Eventually through a period of years they wound up in America and by wagon train they traveled across this country and was in California when the Holy Ghost fell in 1903. Here was prophecy spoken somewhat in advance covering a span of time, though not a half century seeing all the prophecy transpired in a generation of time, yet it was spoken a number of years in advance and was on behalf of a certain people.

JUDGING PROPHECY

Often I have heard it said, prophecy should be judged. I agree! So does Paul in I Corinthians 14:29, yet beloved there is only one way you can judge prophecy and that is by the Holy Scriptures, not by how you feel or what you think about it! To some people if they hear someone prophesy a prophecy which the scripture declares is for edification, exhortation and comfort, I Corinthians 14:3, and if that prophecy didn’t say something was going to happen tomorrow or in three months or next year (something future tense), they would declare that was not prophecy, seeing their idea of prophecy involved only what to be aware of tomorrow, etc. Prophecy can and will on certain occasions do just exactly that, however, don’t you limit prophecy to only that!

NOT ALL SPOKEN IN FUTURE TENSE

Are you aware the biggest percentage of the prophetic writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah and men of that caliber when prophesying did not speak concerning the future whatsoever! True, many of their prophecies dealt with the present tense rebuking the children of Israel and reached only into the past tense bringing out certain examples showing the goodness of God toward them. Concerning prophecy in the Old Testament we note the old prophets lived in an hour when certain spiritual conditions had developed in Israel, hence when the prophet wrote or stood to prophesy there was a present tense rebuke and this present tense rebuke did not dip into the far future! No, it was often rebuking a present tense situation, although God often speaking of the present tense hour, would reach into the past tense saying, did not I bring your fathers out of the land of Egypt and blessed them and did thus and thus….

PROPHECY CAN

Therefore beloved, that is why prophecy in the body of Christ can: (1) carry a rebuking thought from God or (2) can bring forth words of edification, comfort and exhortation seen in I Corinthians 14:3, or (3) prophecy can reach those high peaks wherein that gift reaches out into the future and pulls the future into the present hour concerning certain things for people to be watching for in days ahead.

NO. 7 – DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

To another by the same Spirit is given the DISCERNING OF SPIRITS. That gift is the ability to know whether or not an individual speaks or is motivated under the anointing of the true spirit or the false spirit. As I explained earlier under the Word of Knowledge, many people thought while watching Bro. William Branham’s ministry telling the people they had certain diseases or came from certain places as he through the Spirit was seeking to build the faith in the believer – all this they associate with discernment. In some far flung identification you might consider it all in a category like that, however, to me that was not the discerning of spirits of which Paul is referring to here. Instead that was the gift of the Word of Knowledge operating through the prophet, and to me that is the highest demonstration of the operation of God we have in the entire Bible. For a prophet such as Elisha to sit in his room and instruct a man called Naaman, whom he had never seen, to go down to the old muddy Jordan River and dip 7 times and he would be healed, such a thing for a man to do in his own carnal thinking would be foolish. Elisha did not sit in a little room and cook up such an idea. The story is recorded in II Kings 5:1-27, yet when Naaman finally obeyed what the prophet said, he was healed. I want you to know, the prophet did not even look at that big shot. Today he would be considered most unsociable and many preachers of today would jump over backwards to have the privilege of working with such a guest personality as General Naaman. Jordan may have been a dirty river, nevertheless, it was the pride of Israel. Naaman naturally would rather have gone to a much cleaner river in Syria to bathe himself and he was infuriated by what the prophet said. I say all this to show you how much God thought of this great personality coming to meet HIS PERSONALITY.

PERSONALITIES IN EARLY CHURCH

We are living in an hour when especially within this glossolalia, charismatic move you are seeing all kinds of great worldly personalities linking up with ministers of this hour. It is strange how the religious world flocks after a worldly personality of stage, screen or television simply because they testify to some kind of glossolalia experience! We are living in a day unless you are some kind of converted snake in the grass you don’t have any influence on people. You have to be some crook or low-down scum of the earth and suddenly make a change in your ways and when you do, the whole world runs after you like a little puppy dog doing tricks. May I say, it wasn’t so in the beginning! Great personalities of that hour had little to do with the true church and shocking as it may sound, if they were converted they were converted to TRUTH. The Holy Ghost they received in that hour showed them WATER BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sins and led them on into deeper truths. No, it didn’t allow them to continue to live in sin or be worldly, living and looking like the world! You just don’t see those renown personalities being used in the scripture!

RELIGIOUS WORLD DECEIVED

The prophet Elisha wouldn’t even come out and talk to his great visiting personality even though he had brought all kind of wealth to reward him for his healing. Big personalities in the days of the scriptures, when converted, were not pushed out in front but had to sit in the services with the rest of the congregation. Not so in this hour, when the religious world cares nothing about the Truth, all they are interested in is hearing about some of these big personality who got converted. Yet if God were to reveal truth to the man and he walked in it and dared testify to it they would say, throw that poor misled devil out! No beloved, this religious world is deceived! It is not truth they are looking for, it is only an escape route out of hell for which they are searching!

NO ESCAPE WITHOUT TRUTH

However, I am afraid without the truth of His Word there won’t be much of an escape route for them. HEAR ME! The revelated Word of God is the only acceptable escape route! Our generation is headed rapidly into the wrath and destruction of God, therefore, some seek an escape route through dope, others try a route through immorality, while some say let us try it religiously, only don’t get too involved. Old Babylon therefore presents every kind of door of teaching imaginable and in the end of their analysis of the interpretation of Christ’s escape route is that you can believe anything you want to just as long as you believe in Jesus! ACCORDING TO THIS BIBLE THAT IS NOT TRUE! There is truth in this book you must identify yourself with and embrace, and furthermore, this Bible informs us of the deceiving hour in which we live and declared an hour of even greater deception where the spirit of deception or seducing spirits would be so close to the real truth that it would deceive even the very elect if possible! But remember beloved, if the grace of God has saved you He won’t stop until He brings you to the full knowledge of Truth!

DISCERNMENT IN CHRIST

Therefore, if ever there was a gift needed to operate within the body of Christ, truly it is this gift of discerning of Spirits. There are numbers of instances where this gift operated in Christ to discern Spirits, one particular incident in the life of Christ (Matthew 16:23). Christ told His disciples He would have to go to the cross. Peter, before being converted, (Luke 22:32), declared Lord, be it far from thee, you don’t have to go to the cross. And Jesus looked at Peter with discernment and said GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN, THE THINGS YOU SPEAK ARE NOT THE THINGS OF GOD. Jesus wasn’t calling Peter a devil, yet He was speaking to the spirit influencing Peter to have to look at what is going on under the cloak of Christianity to discern most of it is of the devil for the purpose of deceiving. The devil in the honky tonk, beer joint, etc., isn’t going to deceive you. His attempt to deceive you will come religiously, therefore, we need the grace of God in this respect to be able to look at what is going on under the cloak of religion and identify it as to whether it is motived by the right or wrong spirit.

DISCERNMENT IN PAUL

When the woman who followed Paul and Silas for so many days continued crying out, these are the servants of the most high God who have come to tell us the words of life (Acts 16:18), the first few days Paul didn’t say anything. After all, what she was saying was Truth, however beloved, she was motivated by the wrong spirit! About the third day the same thing happened and no doubt the Apostle Paul said, somehow that just doesn’t have the right ring to it! I must say today there is an awful lot of things going on in certain circles of Christianity dealing with this high pressure personality evangelism that just doesn’t have the right ring to it, yet sooner or later if this thing is of God (which I doubt) it must come to the whole Truth of the Word. As they say in the court room, do you solemnly declare that what you are about to say is the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. To this deceived religious world who claims Christ, I would like to say, do you confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord and truly the Saviour of your soul and do you solemnly declare you will submit yourself to the understanding of His whole Word of Truth! Because if you won’t it could be because some old religious seducing spirit has gotten hold of you and allows you to hear just barely enough of the bible to deceive you and never allow you to walk on in the Word of Truth!

What the woman is saying is Truth, we are man of God and we have come with a truth yet somehow it doesn’t carry the right ring! The Spirit of Discernment came upon Paul and he declared, no wonder it didn’t sound right, it sounds religious enough but it is motivated by the spirit of the devil! Come out of her you devil in the name of Jesus Christ and from that time the evil spirit which troubled the girl departed. What let Paul know the girl operated under the wrong spirit even though what she said was truth was that DISCERNING OF SPIRITS Christ placed in the body whereby the church would not be deceived by spirits – that they might know the working of the true Spirit from the false when it speaks, I John 4:1. We most assuredly need that gift to operate in its fullest capacity in this hour!

We are down to our final two spiritual gifts or THINGS OF CHRIST in the body and remember, we are not discussing any particular operation of them seeing they operate different through different vessels of clay. Our purpose is to seek only their identity and declare to all God set these nine gifts in His body on earth and nowhere has He ever removed them from His true body. No not even in the darkest hours within church history when it appears they ceased to operate, because church history proves that even through the Dark Ages in certain scattered isolated areas of Europe there would be a few scattered remnants of people who simply could not tolerate the present religious evils of their hour, and usually it was under such dire circumstances of oppression and severe hardships of pressure that drove these scattered remnants to seek God for survival and existence, in that hour certain spiritual gifts would be moved to operate, to lead and encourage these people. And what about this hour or restoration in these last days, if the church is to be restored back to her original apostolic teaching she must also be restored back to that same degree and identity of having all these gift ministries operating through her as she closes out the present age, ready to leave for glory.

NO. 8 – DIFFERENT KINDS OF TONGUES

To another DIVERS KINDS OF TONGUES. What does the Apostle mean? He is saying to another different kind of languages of tongues are given. In other words, we would say a gift of speaking in other languages is in certain people, just as other gifts which Paul declares in I Corinthians 12:27-31, in this many membered body of Christ also. And God set some (not all) in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, gifts of healing, helps, government and last of all he mentions diversities of tongues. Then Paul, as he was noted for doing, answered a question by asking a question. Watch Paul ask this question, Are all who are set in the body of Christ apostles, are all prophets, teachers or workers of miracles; do all have the gift of healing, do all speak with tongues, do all interpret? THE ANSWER TO EACH QUESTION IS NO! Because if you will note from verse 7-11, Paul is constantly showing that the same Spirit of God is dividing the THINGS OF CHRIST as He sees fit, or as it pleases Him to place them throughout the body. He therefore gave to one, one thing and to another He gave something else and to another He gave still another gift and so on. When did the Spirit give this believer his portion of the THINGS OF CHRIST, when he received that portion of His Spirit that completed his new birth and he was added to the mystical body of Christ.

And to another the Spirit of God gives divers Kinds of Tongues. On one occasion you may hear the individual speaking and it will sound like one language and the speaking may sound as if it remains in that language for a while, and then you will notice a slight change in their vocabulary of tongues. Here I want to pause and say, tongues are not prophecy, although tongues are a manifestation of the power of God placed in the mystical body of Christ to represent that part of Christ which was 1st here in the corporeal body walking on earth.

3 OCCASIONS CHRIST SPOKE IN TONGUES

When Christ was on earth we have a record of 3 different times He spoke in other languages. Mark 7:34, was one event where He spoke in tongues praying for a deaf and dumb person. Mark 5:40-41 is another time He spoke in tongues raising a dead girl, and the third time was in Matthew 27:46, while hanging on the cross. Remember Christ had within Him the THINGS OF GOD, the Father, and it was the operation of the Spirit that would take those THINGS OF CHRIST which had been manifested through His corporeal body and later place them all in the mystical body of Christ.

TONGUES A SIGN

Therefore, the GIFT OF TONGUES or languages is in the church. They are not necessarily for the edification of the believer, on the contrary, the gift of tongues is the one gift which portrays a sign among the body of Christ not toward believers, but toward that of the unbeliever, I Corinthians 14:22! Beloved, just the operation of the gift of tongues alone spoken of in a congregation (without interpretation) does not edify the believer at all. Furthermore, Paul declared if there is no interpreter in the congregation, keep silent.

TONGUES IN PRIVATE PRAYER

Although, may I say, when a person is in his prayer closet praying in the Spirit as shown in I Corinthians 14:2, many times revelated believers pray in languages which they themselves do not understand. It is an anointing of the Spirit to the person in secret prayer and it builds up their own spirit and in this kind of praying, there is edification to the believer, yet in a congregation it would be of no edification, and unless interpreters are present this should not be used, I Corinthians 14:27-28. Tongues is placed in the body of Christ so it can be manifested to the unbeliever as he hears. Verse 22, the case in the early church the unbeliever would no doubt be associated enough with tongues to know the individual speaking in tongues or languages did not know other languages, and he will wonder why that person could speak in another tongue. Tongues is a sign to unbelievers, not believers. How often do we hear people say, if I don’t hear someone speak in tongues I don’t believe they have the Holy Ghost. YOU ARE AN UNBELIEVER because Paul said tongues is not for the benefit of believers but for unbelievers! Think about it and prayerfully read verse 22 again. It is only when tongues is accompanied with the sister gift of interpretation that it can benefit the congregation, because as we shall later see the gift of interpretation places the unknown language in the language of the listener whereby they may rejoice over what was uttered in the other language.

The gift of tongues was placed in the body as a sign to the unbeliever! However I would say the gift of tongues, even though it is accompanied with interpretation, is not a gift that is ever going to take the place of the Word of Knowledge. While it is true, when the interpretation of tongues is declared, often times details about a certain condition are brought into the open which brings about the same understanding in pointing to a future condition as would the Word of Knowledge. Nevertheless remember, it can never take the place of the Word of Knowledge, even though at times it brings about an understanding that the Word of Knowledge alone would produce. No, the gift of tongues with interpretation can never take the place or do away with any other spiritual gift, because God wants all of these gifts kept within His mystical body and seeing there is difference of operation in different vessels, I am not telling you how any of them operate other than say, let us get acquainted with all of them and be able to recognize their separate functions as they are going to definitely be in operation within the endtime church! Tongues as languages are expressions of the power of God through individual believers which enables them to speak in other dialects as that ability was in the corporeal body of Christ.

NO. 9 – INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES

Now to the last of the nine gifts or THINGS OF CHRIST placed in His mystical body by the Holy Spirit and that is to another person is given the INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES. Remember according to verse 11, that all these gifts differ and have different operations, although they are all placed in the body of Christ and distributed by that self-same Spirit as it pleases Him. Paul began in verse 4 declaring, there are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit, and in verse 11 He winds up this part of this subject by saying, the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. See beloved, that takes this out of our hands. It is the work of the Spirit who divides to every man severally as He will. That is why I mentioned early in the lesson when Paul spoke concerning the distribution of the gifts he used the phrase, THE SAME SPIRIT, then when he left that thought and came to the administration of various functions of all these gifts, he refers to these as being under the administration by THE SAME LORD, shown as Lord, the Spirit is the headship and through the anointing of that leadership He works in the believer. Yes, He is master of it in every operation, and when any of the gifts have completely fulfilled its purpose in its operation it is then the term THE SAME GOD is applied in verse 6. The Word GOD means an object of worship and shows the highest order of admiration, praise and worship that can be attributed to the Spirit whereby in the final analysis, or in the end, it is God who is glorified for what was accomplished. Yet remember SPIRIT, LORD AND GOD are all one and the self-same object of worship and Jesus is His name!

VARIOUS VIEWS

Now to the GIFT OF INTERPRETATION, different people seem to hold various views as to what interpretation is. Some declare the interpreter knows in advance what he is to say, while others will declare he doesn’t. Both can be right seeing the Bible declares there are differences of operations in these gifts. A person knowing in advance the words of interpretation could be every bit as true as the one who doesn’t, depending on the manner the Spirit chooses to operate through the person. However, don’t go to seed on that! If there are diversities of tongues then the gift of interpretation has to be in like manner also! That is, as God has spoken through a language, He knows what He said and since the Holy Ghost spoke it the Holy Ghost may interpret it anyway He sees fit. Is not God the author of every language?

WITH TONGUES CAME UNDERSTANDING

Think back a bit before the tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1, everyone spoke the same language and to halt the erecting of the tower they had intended to stretch into heaven to protect them from a flood, which God declared would never again destroy all mankind, He simply gave them different languages. However don’t forget, as God confused the languages that night He also had to give understanding of these languages at the same time. What a terrible situation this would have been had a wife, husband and children all in one family gone to bed speaking another and could not understand each other. They wouldn’t have even known what was going on in their own families. You see, it is one thing to say He changed their languages, which was true, but I say He had to add some understanding to their own tongue also. I don’t believe God broke up any homes; He broke up their languages because they were all trying to settle in one geographical area in the land of Shinar. Earlier God had told Noah to go out into the earth and re-populate it, but here several generations later they wanted to stop and build a city and tower that would reach into heaven and build a name for themselves, lest they be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth. See, they didn’t want to fulfill God’s commission, therefore by changing their language they were scattered abroad throughout the earth, seeing they could not understand each other.

INTERPRETATION GIFT DIFFERS

Therefore, when God came down in the power of the Holy Ghost in the early church and manifested tongues, He also brought the gift of interpretation to go along with the tongue gift. Hence, it is not necessary that the person interpreting have foreknowledge of what is to be said in order to interpret the tongues. Some people interpret tongues with eyes closed, seeing the words before them, while others hear a voice saying those words and they repeat them. Some say just a few words are in their mind and when they speak those words more flows into their mind and they continue to speak. All these methods stem from the fact there are diversities of operation. It is all God’s way of giving the understanding of what was said in tongues.

GIFTS NOT REMOVED

Furthermore, when Paul declared in I Corinthians 13:8, that tongues shall cease and prophecies shall fail, he didn’t mean they would cease out of the body of Christ! By no means, they are the THINGS OF CHRIST which are in His Spirit distributed into His mystical body, thus to say the THINGS OF CHRIST would cease is the same as to say Christ would cease to exist in His body! No, it simply means they shall cease to fulfill the purpose they were placed in the body for in the first place, not that they would not still be in the church! He also declared knowledge in the Bride of Christ would vanish away! Are we to interpret this to mean there is no knowledge? Amazing how people can go to seed on certain points! Prophecy and the Gift of Interpretation is associated together and in operation often produces the same effect of edification and understanding to the congregation, I Corinthians 14:5, just as knowledge and wisdom are two parallel gifts which work and are associated together operated by the Holy Ghost as they are ministered to the person or persons, often times they accomplish similar edification and understanding.

Beloved, nobody can give you a gift! It is God who does the distributing of the things He has taken from the corporeal body of Christ and placed in His mystical body on earth to represent Christ. Therefore, to have a gift you must first have the baptism of the Holy Ghost, then it is up to us to walk humbly, become more sensitive to the Spirit of God and become a praying person that God in His own way might lead and direct us through these gifts He has chosen and ordained to guide His mystical body through the earth wherein they may, in turn, represent Christ in the earth.

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Rebuilding The Temple – 1973, September

Rev. Raymond M Jackson

1973-09-Rebuilding-The-Temple

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INTRODUCTION:

 

WHAT ASTOUNDING CLUE, REVEALED IN REVELATION 11:2, DEALING WITH A PRECISE, ALLOTTED 42 MONTHS PERIOD, INDICATES WHEN ISRAEL’S 3RD TEMPLE SHOULD BE ERECTED? FURTHERMORE, WHAT DID GOD REVEAL THROUGH ZECHARIAH & HAGGAI, HIS TWO (2ND) TEMPLE RESTORATION PROPHETS IN 512 B.C. CONCERNING A LATTER HOUSE AS WELL AS TWO MIGHTY PROPHETS BEING ON THE SCENE WHEN ISRAEL REBUILDS HER TEMPLE? WHY WERE THESE TWO PROPHETS SINGLED OUT TO REVEAL SUCH AN ASTOUNDING PROPHECY CONCERNING A 3RD HOUSE?

 

PART 1 – THE PALACE OF DEITY

 

Each day Gentiles the world over, visit the old Solomon temple grounds in Jerusalem located in the very center of the earth and spread over the sacred historical Mt. Moriah, famed for its role in the day of Abraham where the patriarch was ready to sacrifice his only son to the glory of Almighty God. Genesis 22:2, and where, according to II Chronicles 3:1, the first temple stood, completed in the year 960 B.C. by King Solomon.

 

WHAT IS A TEMPLE?

 

First, what is a temple? It is a building set apart for the worship of a deity. With the rebuilding of the temple as shown in Revelation 11:1-2, sometime shortly before the ushering in of the millennium, Israel will have seen three separate temples built at Jerusalem, each bearing the name of the temple as well as all three being built upon the same site, along the same general pattern! The Hebrew term for temple, hekal, is an old Akkadian word signifying palace, a large building frequently joined with Jehovah and denoting THE PALACE OF DEITY! The Greek term for temple is naos (shrine) and hieron (a sacred place).

 

MOUNTAIN PEAK IS SACRED ROCK

 

Today all that appears visible standing above ground on the holy spot of Jerusalem which has any connection with the original Solomon temple, destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 B.C., is the sacred rock altar used in Israel’s animal sacrifice which actually is not simply a rock sitting on top of the ground some 5½ ft. high, but instead is the top of a mountain peak, showing this stationary rock can never be moved! Even though two Jewish temples have been destroyed on this 31 acre site, spread out over Mt. Moriah, nevertheless for over 2,550 years this unmoveable rock has remained as it is throughout some 23 separate times Jerusalem has changed Gentile hands, from the beginning of the day of the Gentiles in 587 B.C., when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, carrying away the last of the people into captivity and Jerusalem lay in total ruin and waste 70 years.

 

7TH CENTURY DOME OF THE ROCK

 

Today, high above this protruding mountain peak or sacred rock looms the dome of the Mosque of Omar, better known as THE DOME OF THE ROCK. When Arabs captured the city of Jerusalem and Palestine, the Arab or Moslem leader Calip Omar first built a temporary house of Moslem worship in the temple area. Then in 691 A.D., some 50 years later, the present Dome of the Rock was built on the site of the old Solomon temple grounds and has stood since that day bearing the name of Omar, although during this period of time it has undergone many changes.

 

WESTERN WALL DATES BACK TO 2ND TEMPLE

 

In passing, we might also mention something else connected with the old temple grounds which is the Western Wall surrounding the court area and the rock (or mountain peak), this wall better known as the Wailing Wall today is Israel’s holiest shrine, and to the Jewish world as well. The wall itself is a section of the defense rampart (or court wall) which encircles the temple court in ancient times. The rows of large stones date from the 2nd temple. However, over the course of centuries, debris of successive wars and destruction was thrown here, thus resulting in a great part (or 21 layers) of the wall through time, being covered with soil, in so much that the large portion of the wall itself (21 layers) is hidden beneath ground level. The lower part of the Western or Wailing Wall actually dates back to the time of Solomon’s temple.

 

Capturing the old city of Jerusalem in 1967 brought the control of all Jerusalem into Israeli hands for the first time in 2,554 years! The meeting at the Wailing Wall June 7, 1967, by various Israeli forces who participated in the capture of the Old City was the climax of the 6 day war. Immediately following the 6 day war the large square in front of the wall was cleared of shabby shacks and poor houses cluttering the area. Today the wall is the most hallowed site of all Judaism. Official mass ceremonies are held here, as well as young recruits for the Israeli army take their oath here. Pilgrimages to the Wailing Wall or Western Wall are made, seeing this is all they have to remind them of the old temple and has been a featured sight in Jewish life for many generations. The Jews believe the divine presence of God rests eternally upon this Wailing Wall and on the eve of Tisha be-Av, legend declares that in the dead of night a white dove, the divine presence, appears and coos sadly with the mourners. At night the stones are covered with drops of dew, which tradition declares to be the tears the Wailing Wall sheds while weeping with all Israel.

 

For a number of years archeological expeditions have been carried out along the southern wall of the temple site. Many remains of the Herodian period are being uncovered, as well as the reins of a Moslem structure (dating back to the 7th and 8th Century.) A large stone engraved with a Hebrew inscription carrying the words of Isaiah’s prophecy, “And when ye see this your heart shall rejoice and your bones shall flourish like young grass.” (Isaiah 66:14)

 

DAILY ALTAR SACRIFICE CEASES 70 A.D.

 

Titus surrounded Jerusalem in April of 70 A.D., and a month later captured half the city, where at this time the daily sacrifice ceased upon the holy sacred rock altar and has not been in use by an Israeli priest since that hour. In August of 70 A.D., the second temple went up in flames and after 143 days of siege, on September 4, the Holy City fell with the perishing of some 1,000,000. However, with all that perished the one thing that did not perish in the siege or could not be torn down was that Wailing (Western) Wall, but was left to stand. After the Roman siege, the old, bedraggled, the sick and crippled, which had been left to mourn the plight of the city, those who were in no condition to be chained and hauled away and sold throughout the Roman Empire, were the poor souls left to throw themselves against the only visible thing that could remind them of the glory of God and the magnificent temple and there wail, mourn and cry excessively over the ruins of the city and over the holy temple, their pride and joy. No doubt asking themselves certain heart searching questions, WHY HAS OUR GOD LEFT US? LOOK WHAT HE HAS DONE TO US! WHY HAS HE ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN TO OUR MAGNIFICENT TEMPLE? And no doubt they mourn the loss of the most beautiful building throughout the Roman Empire, the holy temple. This beautiful, magnificent, enlarged, elevated temple which had only finished receiving its complete face lifting in 64 A.D., six years before Titus destroyed it, was first built by the exiled Jews returning from Babylon as a simple, plain, modest structure and remained so for 500 years before Herod the Great began work on it. (19 B.C.)

 

CYRUS ORDERS 2ND TEMPLE BUILT

 

Cyrus the Great, who gained control of Babylon in 539 B.C., gave a proclamation permitting the captured people of Judah who had been deported by Nebuchadnezzar to return to Palestine and rebuild the temple of God, II Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-4. Only this temple that was rebuilt was by no means an extravagant, luxurious, decorated temple as was Solomon’s, who spent 7 years in building and decorating the first temple. No, these returning Jews simply did not have that kind of money or assistance to build such a fabulous temple, seeing the only money they had was donated from the treasury of Cyrus the Great. The returning Jews were given vessels of silver and gold as well as animals and precious things (Ezra 1:6). Cyrus even returned to them the holy vessels taken from the Solomon temple by Nebuchadnezzar 70 years earlier, (Ezra 1:7-8). However, the Jews could only afford to build a plain, modest temple which stood for some 500 years unto the time of Herod the Great, who won the favor of the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus in 37 B.C., and was awarded the crown of Judea to serve as king over that territory.

 

HEROD REMODELS 2ND TEMPLE

 

Herod sought desperately to win the confidence of his people by giving royal charity in the time of famine and other means, but all in vain! The people of Judea deplored him, seeing he only used the throne of David as an usurper. The main reason Herod was disliked as King was the fact the Herodians were not of Jewish stock, instead descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob. Their second reason for disliking Herod was he turned to the Romans for support and seemingly he could not understand nor get along with his subject people.

 

However, there was one good point in Herod’s favor which finally won the approval of the Jew and that was his extravagant taste in architecture. This article is not concerned with Herod’s rebuilding such cities as Samaria nor his own magnificent Herodian palace, but the fact Herod in 19 B.C., began an extensive long range project on the modest temple which actually was not totally completed until six brief years before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Yes, the thing Herod did was take the plain, modest temple which had been erected by the returning Jews from Babylon, some 500 years earlier, and enlarge, elevate and beautify it beyond words.

 

Since we are discussing what the Jews are wailing over since 70 A.D., and because continually throughout the gospel writings we hear much concerning the extravagant beauty of the Herodian temple which John 2:20 described as having already required 46 years in the building program, yet wasn’t completely finished until 64 A.D., briefly before the destruction by the Romans. Although the main part of the temple, beginning in 19 B.C., only required 18 months to complete, yet the final touches were still being added even in the days of Christ and was not totally completed until 64 A.D.

 

In order not to offend the sensitive feelings of the Jews and to win their favor, Herod, who wanted to repair, rebuild and glorify the present modest temple, chose 1,000 priests, many of whom were trained to be stone cutters and carpenters, to enlarge and beautify the temple whereby no profane hands would have touched the shrine of the inside of the temple. Herod, with a solemn promise not to disturb their present worship in any manner, began his extravagant building program on the temple. Although it occupied the same ground plan as that of its predecessor, Herod did increase its elevation by 100 cubits and Josephus tells us it was constructed of glistening white marble stone.

 

HEROD’S REMODELING, NOT ANOTHER TEMPLE

 

No, by no means can Herod’s temple be looked upon as a third temple, because according to Herod’s own words his plans called only for beautifying and enlarging the present temple. The temple and its courts repaired and redecorated by Herod, this vain extravagant man, Josephus said, occupied an area of one stadium of 500 cubits (Talmud) which was arranged in terrace form, one court being higher than the other with the temple itself the highest of all, whereby it could easily be seen from any part of the city thus presenting a very impressive appearance, Mark 13:2-3.

 

TEMPLE PLACED ON HIGHEST TERRACE

 

We can by no means linger long upon the extravagant building program of Herod who sought to win favor with the Jews as he beautifies their 2nd temple other than to say, the temple itself after his elevation program was finished, stood much higher than even the court of the priests and the altar required a flight of 12 steps to reach the temple itself! According to Josephus, the Jewish historian, the new foundations were of massive blocks of white marble, richly ornamented with gold both inside and out. Some of these stones were 45 cubits long, 6 broad and 5 high. Yes, truly Herod, this vain man, a builder of many cities and heathen temples, glorified this sacred mountain peak of Moriah beyond measure! The ancient men of Israel said, he who has not seen the building of Herod has never seen a handsome building in his life. Is there any wonder that on several occasions the disciples of Christ approached Him discussing the beauty of the temple, only to hear Jesus say in Matthew 24:2, “Verily I say unto you, the time will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another.” (Speaking of the hour Titus in 70 A.D., would destroy this magnificent structure).

 

The grandeur of the building consisting of gleaming white marble was on the eastern side covered with plates of gold which reflected the rays of the rising sun. This area, twice as large as that of Zerubbabel’s temple, was 26 acres in size and surrounded by a high wall. Around the outside of the walls ran porches, the finest one being on the south side called the Royal Porch, which had four rows of dazzling white marble columns of Corinthian style, or 162 columns in all. The eastern porch was called Solomon’s, John 10:23, Acts 3:11, 5:12. One thing must be mentioned which was added to Herod’s temple, not applicable to the other temple was the various fortresses located upon the walls to protect the magnificent temple area from the enemy. Around the temple itself was the court of the priest where stood the rock altar of burnt offerings (which stood in front of the temple) and the laver which was accessible to men worshipers only. Above the entrance of one of the porches, Herod placed a golden eagle, an unclean bird which was the Roman emblem and was most distasteful to the Jew. However, shortly before his death it was destroyed.

 

Beloved, had Herod not taken it upon himself to remodel and beautify Zerubbabel’s temple, this plain, modest temple building would have been standing in the day of Christ, and the Jews would not have bragged and been filled with such pride concerning its beauty. Memories of its towering, glistening beauty tortured and plagued that Jew’s pride as they mourned the loss of such a magnificent temple, now laying in utter ruin! Yes, Jews left behind after 70 A.D., came to the Western Wall or Wailing Wall (the only thing left standing on the location) to mourn their loss of both temple and city! Undoubtedly Herod’s temple, as it was now called, was the most extravagant building in wealth of the entire Middle East and Europe as well seeing Athens nor Rome, two contemporary cities of that period, had nothing to offer in comparison to this second temple once it was redecorated, elevated and beautified through Herod’s architectural genius. More than once Christ’s own disciples showed their spellboundness toward its magnificent beauty and wealth only to hear the Master’s words ringing back, every stone upon another shall be torn down!

 

WALL BLOCKS VIEW – NOT PART OF TEMPLE

 

In the light concerning the prophecy of Christ (Matthew 24:2) prophesying of every stone being torn down within the temple itself, Gentiles whose frame of thinking has been geared to understand that the Wailing Wall or Western Wall is a part of the temple itself (which is not true), wonder why the Wailing Wall stands since Christ prophesied that no stone would be standing? It must be understood that the Western Wall is by no means a part of the old temple building itself, instead is only a portion of the old court wall which surrounded the temple area to keep out heathen Gentiles from observing the Jews worshiping their God around their altar of sacrifice. The temple, as you recall, was only the building divided into two rooms, while the court walls were something entirely separate from the building proper enclosing the vast 31 acre court area where the temple stood. The wall served much the same purpose as would a palace fence built around a kings palace enclosing all the palace environment such as servant quarters, etc.

 

ALTAR STANDS IN FRONT

 

Directly in front of the temple stood the altar of sacrifice which was the first thing seen as one entered the Eastern or King’s Gate. In Solomon’s day this King’s Gate, Eastern Gate or gate called Beautiful which now for hundreds of years had been sealed by the Moslem’s, led out of the temple area down the gradual sloping valley of Jehosophat (sometimes called Valley of Kidron) which faces the Mt. Of Olives, a distance of approximately ¾ mile. The road leading from the little village of Bethany which lays several miles off the Eastern slope of the Mt. Of Olives ran through Bethany, over the Mt. Of Olives down the sloping valley of Jehosophat, ascended up the gradual slope of Jehosophat straight through the Eastern Gate on to the temple grounds itself.

 

ARCHED BRIDGE SPANS VALLEY

 

However, because of numerous ancient architectural drawings concerning the period of Solomon, it is believed he erected a huge arch bridge from the King’s Gate which crossed above the Valley of Jehosophat bringing the flow of traffic directly from the Mt. Of Olives straight on to the arched bridge, through the Eastern Gate on to the temple area. While crossing the bridge, the traffic looked directly through the Eastern Gate to the temple grounds and the first thing the visitors eyes fell upon was that great rock altar, of animal sacrifice, standing in front of the temple.

 

HISTORY OF MT. MORIAH

 

Therefore, we recognize the fact that this altar of sacrifice is the top of Mt. Moriah (which the Jews refer also to as the stone of foundation) and the fact in Solomon’s day the temple grounds, along with the temple, the Eastern Gate and altar were all on eye level as one entered the Eastern Gate. What a tremendous amount of work must have been involved in bringing all this ground on to an eye level with the Kings Gate! The altar of sacrifice, which not only the Jew believed to be the center of the earth as well as the very spot Abraham offered Isaac, but also according to them the word Moriah, which is derived from Mora (Hebrew) means awe, and from that mountain, they feel, went forth the fear of the Lord to all mankind. Another Jewish word in connection with Moriah may be derived from Orah, meaning light, Therefore, when the Almighty commanded, let there be light, the Jews believe it was from that mountain light first shown forth to all mankind. To the Jew Mt. Moriah has quite a history!

 

MELCHISEDEC, HIGH PRIEST AND KING OF SALEM

 

Jerusalem, the city where the holy temple or palace of God was to be located, came first into the Bible spotlight around 1900 B.C., when Abraham, having returned from a victorious battle with much spoil, met Melchisedec, King of Salem, who brought forth bread and wine and was the priest of the most high God, to whom Abraham gave his tithe and he blessed Abraham. Genesis 14:17-20, Hebrews 7:1-4, sheds more light on the picture concerning this high priest of Salem named Melchisedec calling him king of righteousness, King of Salem and king of peace who had neither father nor mother, without descent (Melchisedec was none other than God in a theophany form who received Abraham’s tithe and gave him communion.)

 

HOLY CITY JERUSALEM

 

The city of Jerusalem, which is located high up in a mountain chain called Mt. Zion, is some 2,700 feet above sea level. After a fortress to the Jebusites fell into the hands of David who captured the mountain area around 1101 B.C. He made this area to be his capitol of Israel calling it Zion and the city was held exclusively by David and his successors for 400 years, at which time the period known as “the day of the gentiles” began once Nebuchadnezzar, in 587 B.C., became the first gentile king, overran the holy city thus destroying both city and (Solomon’s) temple and hauling away the people captive for 70 years.

 

Mt. Moriah, which lays in this chain of mountain called Mt. Zion, standing some 2,700 feet above sea level being in the center of the earth, was the ideal spot for Solomon to place the holy temple. II Chronicles 3:1, then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in Mt. Moriah where the Lord appeared unto David his father. (Genesis 22:2) Around the middle of the 18th Century B.C., Abraham is instructed to take his son Isaac into the land of Moriah, upon a mountain of which he would later be shown and sacrifice his son, Joshua, around 1300 B.C., when entering the Promised Land, did not take Jerusalem, however in 1010 B.C., David captured the stronghold of the Jebusites making Jerusalem the capitol. From that time on Jerusalem is in the historical spotlight and plays the most important role being the city where God locates His most holy temple which Solomon builds in 950 B.C.

 

What a spectacular sight this must have been from the valley below where villages were located, stretching all the way down to the Dead Sea roughly 40 miles away to the lowest point in all the earth, 1300 ft. below sea level, when at night this magnificent holy temple area was well lighted. Naturally, from the highest level of the city Jerusalem on top of Mt. Moriah, the brilliant light reflected on the skyline which could be seen for many, many miles away as the people in towns and villages below the holy city level looked up and saw the lights of the holy city of Jerusalem.

 

Beneath all this mountainous area where Jerusalem sets are vast networks of mined out tunnels which were brought about when Solomon mined great quantities of granite rock out of the mountains, using it to erect his magnificent temple. Removing this rock left networks of tunnels below the old city and throughout her hundreds of years before the Babylonian captivity and total destruction of the city, these tunnels served Jerusalem to house livestock, garrisons of troops and especially in Solomon’s day, housed his armored chariots and over 1,000 horses. Naturally, the entrance of all tunnels was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 B.C.

 

PLAIN, SIMPLE TEMPLE

 

70 years passed from 587 B.C., until finally Cyrus the Great, the Persian leader, released the Jews whereupon some 50,000 (Ezra 2:64) returned to rebuild the temple inspired by the prophecies of Zechariah as well as Haggai, two prophets who had been sent back to encourage and strengthen the Jew during their 20 year period of rebuilding the temple. However, due to many hindrances of the enemy (Ezra 4:13, 4:21, 4:6-7) it was not until some 20 years later, around 536 B.C., before the second house of God was actually completed, and although not very much is actually known from scripture concerning the building of this simple, plain temple other than the fact that according to Ezra 4:1, the adversary halted the work of rebuilding the temple for many years by sending a letter to the King of Persia, it was only through the encouragement and prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah that the people finally arose and rebuilt the temple in the year 516 B.C. (Ezra 5:1, 6:15)

 

PROPHECIES REVEALING LATTER HOUSE

 

It was during the process of rebuilding the temple (built on a much simpler scale than the original) that these two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, through their prophecies and visions reveals an astounding thing! THIS TEMPLE WILL BE DESTROYED AND SOMETIME LATER ANOTHER WILL RISE UP IN ITS PLACE! Yes, these prophets positively show a third temple will be erected at a later date. Later in this article we will discuss more thoroughly those precious eye opening prophecies and visions which bring forth two mighty revelations concerning the future plans of God for a new temple to be erected once again, sometime after Israel has again been driven out of her homeland (70 A.D.) And later returned (1948) once again becoming a nation of people!

 

TEMPLE ON EXACT FOUNDATION, THOUGH NOT WALLS

 

It should be added that although after 16 years of hindrances this 2nd temple was finally erected and furthermore on the exact foundation as that of the Solomon temple, although the temple court walls which surrounded the temple were not built upon their exact original foundation as before in Solomon’s day! Nevertheless, they did build walls and they were set back as close to the new temple and sacrificial rock as the people were to determine from certain traces of the old original court walls as to where they should go. Historically, today it is only the lower layers of the Western or Wailing Wall which extend back into this period, however, it is not built on the original first foundation site of the court wall itself. Isn’t it interesting further to note that according to Revelation 11:1-2, in the rebuilding of the 3rd temple, which John is instructed to measure, he was told to leave out the measurement of the court walls altogether!

 

WALLS ENCLOSE TEMPLE AREA

 

Beloved, Israel has never been without walls around her temple and worship area. No, not even in the days when she followed the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. There was always walls around her worship area, yet here John in Revelation 11 is instructed not to measure any court walls. WHY? Because beloved, this 3rd temple would go up in such an hour that it would run so close to the time the anti-christ would take over for his last 3½ years before the millennium, and even though there would be time to erect a temple, though maybe not in its completeness before the anti-christ took over, there simply wouldn’t be enough time to transpire to build the court walls which normally keep Gentiles out from observing Israel’s worship as she stands around her altar of sacrifice. Once Israel gains her holy spot and receives the sacrificial rock and begins sacrificing to God and is in the process of erecting her temple, before those court walls could go up something dreadful will happen in Jerusalem leaving her with only 3½ years before the millennium (Daniel 9:27, 12:11, Matthew 24:15-22). No, there simply won’t be enough time to bother erecting these walls because it won’t keep the Gentiles out anyway seeing they will tread down the holy temple area as well as the holy city for a space of 42 months or 3½ years.

 

WALLS KEEP GENTILES OUT

 

Recall, the court walls only prevent the Gentiles from viewing Israel in her worship service around the altar in the priest’s court. Something is going to happen allowing the Gentiles to tread down this sacred area as well as the holy city itself for 3½ years. Please note, it is in this special 3½ years where lies the clue as to the period when this 3rd temple will be erected! Surely there is no one who thinks that in the first 3½ years of the millennium, Gentiles will be allowed to tread down the holy temple area, while it is true Gentiles will continually be coming to Jerusalem according to prophecy (Zechariah 14:16-20) to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts; but there is not a verse in the Bible to indicate any Gentile, during the millennium, will ever be treading down the holy temple ground as well as the holy city for 3½ years! Therefore, sometime before the millennium begins something is going to happen in Israel that shall bring into focus the prophetical setting of Revelation 11:2.

 

PART 2 – REVELATION 11:2 PROVIDES CLUE

 

WHEN & WHERE TEMPLE IS BUILT

 

Having briefly observed the historical setting of Solomon’s as well as Zerubbabel’s temple (the 2nd temple), which was redecorated extensively by Herod some 500 years later only to be destroyed in 70 A.D., we are now ready to approach the following question from the scripture: WILL THERE BE A 3RD TEMPLE ERECTED? IF SO, WHEN AND WHERE WILL IT BE ERECTED? For all three answers we turn to Revelation 11:1, as we hear the angel instruct John, who is in the Spirit, to take a reed (like unto a rod) and measure three things: (1) the temple of God (2) the altar (3) them that worship therein, (or round the altar). As already stated, the only place Jews could ever worship God, seeing they are never permitted to enter into the temple for worship as that temple was designated strictly for the office work of the priest only, was always standing around the altar of sacrifice within the court area.

 

WHAT KIND OF TEMPLE IS MEASURED?

 

The year is 96 A.D., and the aged Apostle John is fully aware Israel’s temple no longer exists in Jerusalem, but has laid in ruins for some 26 years and furthermore since 70 A.D. Israel has not even had a daily animal sacrifice offered on her rock altar. Titus destroyed Jerusalem along with her (2nd) beautiful temple, however, here in Revelation 11 in 96 A.D., John is being instructed to measure not a new city, seeing the hour he has been projected into Jerusalem has already been rebuilt, but he is instructed to measure a new temple. What kind of temple do you suppose John is going to measure? Will the temple be the church as some think the temple of God is referred to in Revelation 11:1? If the temple of God is the believer which he is to measure, how would anyone ever measure the altar if it too is spiritual, seeing the only altar the Christian has ever had is where the Lamb of God was slain and offered once and for all, (Hebrews 10:10-12) several hundred yards outside the Damascus gate at Jerusalem on a hill called Calvary. Why go and measure that altar, it will never again be used!

 

GRACE AGE TEMPLE BUILT FROM LIVELY STONES

 

True, I do not deny that during the grace age the temple of God is the believer in Christ as clearly shown in I Corinthians 6:19, II Corinthians 6:16, nor do I deny that during this marvelous grace age we have a covenant with God, and not only is the believer the temple of the Holy Ghost, but furthermore, Hebrews 12:22-23 teaches us we have even come (in this grace age) to our Mt. Zion, unto our spiritual city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn. All this is true for the Gentile grace age, but Revelation 11:1-2 is not dealing with the grace age, it is dealing with Israel at the end of the age!

 

Scripture such as John 2:19 seems to mislead certain Gentiles where Christ, having been asked for a sign showing what authority he had driven money changers from the temple, simply answered the Jews by saying, destroy this temple and in three days I WILL RAISE IT UP! This spake He not of the natural temple, but of the temple of his body! This answer seems to imply to certain Gentiles that Christ would no longer be concerned with Israel ever having another natural temple. II Corinthians 6:16 teaches, Ye are the temple of God, you His bride people, during that grace age. Yet none of that annuls the fact after the church is gone that Israel will again have a natural temple! These and other scriptures are the ones that topologist play upon to do away with the fact that Israel’s temple is no longer important and that as far as God is concerned from this day on the only temple He is concerned about is the body of believers which is the only temple He will ever dwell in. That only holds true for the Gentile grace age period while God is gathering out a people for His name (Acts 15:14) however, read the next three verses which pertains strictly to Israel once He has gathered out His Gentile Bride! Although notice something, when God deals with Israel and when Israel is within her own land she has always had a temple as well as an altar of animal sacrifice, but the Gentile age has never had a natural altar nor a natural temple, but Israel has! Israel will again have her temple not after the millennium begins, but at least 3½ years before the millennium begins as it is plainly shown in Revelation 11:1-2. However, there are to be no court walls measured for this new temple seeing all that holy area around the altar of sacrifice is to be given over unto the Gentiles to trod under foot for 42 months, which, according to the Hebrew calendar is 3½ years, exactly the allotted time the anti-christ is given to rule and reign before the millennium begins!

 

WORSHIPERS AROUND ALTAR IN JOHN’S VISION

 

If John is to measure something, he must be looking upon whatever it is he is to measure, although in reality the year is 96 A.D., and he has been placed on the Isle of Patmos. In the future sight he has been projected into, taking place somewhere around the Day of the Lord shortly before the return of Christ, John is actually seeing the setting as it will appear in that distant day, although at this time (96 A.D.) The temple area lay in ruin and no doubt Titus’ 10th Roman Legion is still encamped at Jerusalem to keep order.

 

Therefore I ask you, according to Revelation 11:1, when John was given a reed likened unto a rod (used as a measuring stick) and told to rise and measure the temple of God, what did he measure? Did he take his reed and measure himself or some other believer for the temple of God? Was he himself not a (grace age) temple of the Holy Ghost! If John was being instructed to measure the church or believer who is the temple of the Holy Ghost today in the grace age (and we realize we are lively stones in the grace age making up a holy temple for God to dwell in), Ephesians 2. And what about those that worship therein or around the altar? What did he measure then? Last but not least, what about the court walls which are without the temple itself that John is instructed to leave alone and not measure because that temple ground is to be given unto the Gentiles? FOR WHAT REASON? To trod under foot the holy temple area along with the holy city for 3½ years! How, beloved, can anyone spiritualize this particular temple altar, worshipers and court walls saying it is the Gentile church? How can anyone make Revelation 11:1-2 apply to anything other than that of a literal setting, located in a literal Jerusalem, the Holy City, the only literal spot God has ever ordained where a natural temple would sit and furthermore, the only place He has ever had a rock altar of sacrifice was in Jerusalem. No, the temple will not sit just any place in Jerusalem, but only one designated spot, on top of Mt. Moriah, next to the sacred rock. See beloved, if you could spiritualize all this other, making it to be the church as some have, I simply can’t imagine how anyone could spiritualize the court walls which is to be left out for Gentiles to tread under foot for 42 months. You say it pertains to Babylon overrunning the church, IT DOES NOT! Oh, don’t you see the problems you can run into when you spiritualize a thing too far when it has only a natural setting. Not only do you destroy in your thinking the original setting God wants you to actually see, you spiritualize it to a point you run into no man’s land and it links to nothing, and the beautiful picture God wants you to see in your understanding is destroyed.

 

Note, whatever God intends to do naturally, even though you spiritualize it, it will not stop Him from doing in the natural what He intends to do. It only shows an individual who takes a natural biblical setting and can’t see it happen that way and spiritualizes it, always runs into serious trouble with the scriptures (II Peter 3:1-18). Such people remind me of those who must always interpret certain passages in Isaiah pertaining to natural lions being in the millennium to mean something spiritual because it goes cross grain with their idea of the millennium. Therefore, they feel the lions spoken of in connection with the millennium are not natural lions with their nature changed, but merely old lionish natures of people being calmed down, HOGWASH! Beloved, face it, there are some things written in this book that will require natural fulfillment as well as some spiritual things that will require spiritual fulfillment, and it will take some spiritual minds to look at this thing correctly in order to know what is natural and what is spiritual!

 

Yes, I wonder what ran through the mind of John as he has been lifted into the presence of God and ushered out into the Day of the Lord where he is told to take a rod and measure the temple of God, the altar and them that worship therein? If he had been like some today who always want to spiritualize everything, what do you suppose the poor man would have measured? However John is not confused, he knows exactly what to measure for in the Spirit he is standing in the center of the earth in Jerusalem where God placed his name, standing before the very object he is to measure. I want you to know there were already some worshipers around that rock altar in his vision also!

 

JOHN FAMILIAR WITH 2ND TEMPLE’S HISTORY

 

No, it isn’t the Herodian temple destroyed some 26 years before 96 A.D., that John has been instructed to measure. No doubt he well remembers having visited that magnificent temple quite often, first as a lad with his parents where he probably viewed the vast construction program already in progress in the Herodian period, which involved the workmanship of 1,000 priests, and he further recalls having visited the temple with his Lord and fellow disciples, often hearing his Lord tell of the hour when not one stone would be left standing upon another. John was also well familiar with the Jewish history surrounding the early struggles which evolved around the building of the holy sacred temple when Zerubbabel, Haggai, Zechariah, and Joshua the high priest all returned with 50,000 Jews (Ezra 2:64) from the exile in Babylon to rebuild the temple.

 

Sometime after Cyrus had given his order for the Jews to return and rebuild the temple, he left his throne in the hands of his son Artaxerxes, (Ezra 4:7) and journeyed off to conquer new territories. Yes, John is familiar with the problem which arose from the adversary of the Jews who already lived within the land of Palestine, who wanted to assist Zerubbabel in rebuilding the temple, (Ezra 4:2-10). Nevertheless, when Zerubbabel refused, the adversary wrote the new king telling him once the Jews had rebuilt their temple, city, etc., they would not pay him their taxes (Ezra 4:13). Upon hearing this the new king, not aware of the previous arrangements made by Cyrus, halted the building program of the temple, (Ezra 4:21) and thus was the work on the house of God suspended until 16 years later in the 2nd year of the reign of Darius the next king who found the decree which Cyrus had made, (Ezra 5:13, 6:1).

 

ANTIOCHUS IV. CALLED EPIPHANES

 

No doubt John is also well familiar with the Syrian Antiochus (Epiphanes) IV whose horrible persecution and defilement came against the second temple from around 175-164 B.C., all because the priest refused him entrance into the holy temple when he wanted to look around. John knows also Antiochus IV is a forerunner in type of the dreaded anti-christ who will unlawfully overrun this 3rd temple (II Thessalonians 2:4) before the real Christ comes into it (Ezekiel 43:4-8). Recall, when Christ comes into it, it is already built. It is the very temple John is instructed to measure, where he is told to leave out the measurement of the court walls. Antiochus IV (175-164 B.C.)

 

“EPIPHANES” – GOD MADE MANIFEST

 

This dreadful forerunner of the anti-christ soon gained the surname of Epiphanes, meaning “God made manifest.” This Gentile leader who defiled Israel’s 2nd temple and brought on the bloody Jewish Maccabee revolt was also called Antiochus (Epiphanes) the madman! And a mad dog he was! He entered the holy sanctuary of the 2nd temple, took away the golden altar, candlesticks and other sacred vessels (brought back from Babylon) and slaughtered many of the men, making a decree that the people forsake their own law, and as a result many of the Jews sacrificed to idols and profaned the Sabbath. Epiphanes, the madman, ordered idols to be erected and pagan altars to be set up using sacrifices of unclean animals. According to Josephus, Epiphanes reached the height of his abominable crimes against the Jews when, in 168 B.C., he ordered a sow sacrificed on a pagan altar on top of the holy rock altar of God and whoever refused to act according to the words of this cruel tyrant who ruled explicitly over the 2nd temple, was put to death. Mothers who circumcised their children were hanged on crosses while their children were hung by the neck until dead. Many Jews, rather than submit, were put to death. The bitter persecution of Antiochus IV resulted in the uprise and open revolt against him by the Jews in 168 B.C., led by a priest named Mattathias, which led into the famed Maccabeen revolt against the Assyrian Antiochus IV.

 

ANTI-CHRIST FORERUNNER

 

Thus we have seen the desecration of the 2nd temple which also had its evil tyrant to overrun it, who foreshadowed the man of sin who will overrun the 3rd temple shortly after it is erected, which temple John is instructed to measure, (Revelation 11:1). This man was only the foreshadow of the dreaded evil anti-christ of whom Paul spoke in II Thessalonians 2:4, who would sit in the 3rd rebuilt temple of God (Revelation 11) changing also the order and proclaiming himself to be God and demanding worship. Note further, Epiphanes IV foreran his evil role before the true Christ came to his temple (Malachi 3:1).

 

MT. MORIAH, LOCATION FOR 3RD TEMPLE

 

No, beloved, when Israel does rebuild her temple it cannot be on some other spot apart from the holy temple area as some think! If God would allow Israel to rebuild it in some other place than the holy spot on Mt. Moriah, He could have also chosen some place for Israel to inherit other than Canaan land! If God can change His mind after having built two temples on the same foundation at different intervals of time and then allow the third temple to be built elsewhere, He would never have had to bring Israel back to that old piece of ground in Palestine (before 1948) and resettled her! He could have just as easily resettled them out in the vast humid areas of New Mexico or Arizona. The Yuma desert and surrounding areas resemble much the arid area of the holy land. But as we want to emphasize, when Israel rebuilds even her old cities she always builds on the exact foundation of the old city itself. Therefore, once God places his finger on a certain geographical spot of ground in reference to Israel, that is exactly where He means for things to be located! Note for instance, when God chose a city, He chose Jerusalem. It didn’t matter how many Jebusites were present in 1010 B.C., or how strong their fortress might have been, God allowed David to capture their stronghold and call it Zion. It became David’s capitol and has remained God’s chosen city since that day! Once God places His finger on Jerusalem it is going to become His city of peace even though we realize Jerusalem has witnessed more wars, turmoil and confusion within that old city than probably any other one place in the world. Nevertheless, it is still called the city of peace because someday when Jerusalem will at last be at peace, the whole world will be at peace, and you can rest assured as long as Jerusalem is not at peace it is a good indication everything else in the world is in an uproar and mess also! So forget about Israel rebuilding her temple elsewhere! God doesn’t operate that way with Israel!

 

ISRAEL ALWAYS REBUILDS ON OLD LANDMARKS

 

Since the six day war, the U.N. has debated whether or not Israel must give up part of the Sinai. Sometimes it sounds like she might negotiate while all the time she is digging out from under the sinking sand old ruins of some of the Biblical cities, and upon those old foundational ruins there builds new settlements. What is she doing? Israel is fulfilling scripture! Did not God say He would bring her back into the land the He gave to her fathers and she would build the waste places and inhabit the desolate places. SHE IS DOING IT! I want you to note when Israel builds a new city or village, she doesn’t go out 15 miles from the old location and rebuild. No, instead she looks for those old landmarks and then rebuilds thereupon. Searching out these old landmarks ought to inform these modern interpreters of Baal whether God intends to rebuild His temple or not, and if so, on what ground He will rebuild, exactly where the old landmark for the temple is! Why? Because it fulfills the Bible. Therefore, do you see why the church must also return to the old landmark which has been buried far beneath the old Babylonian rubbish for over 1,500 years and rebuild!

 

TEMPLE REBUILT SHOWN BY 42 MONTHS

 

Archeologists, digging around the temple area, are finding stones, walls, etc., which have not seen the light of day for hundreds of years. Such great discoveries lets us know the original old landmark of the old walls within the Solomon period will be the spot Israel will rebuild her 3rd temple and that will be shortly before the end of the age, just in time to allow those final 3½ years, or 42 months, to be given over to the Gentiles and the anti-christ power where he shall rule from that newly erected temple and do his diabolical work treading down the holy temple area while he sits in the newly rebuilt temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God for a period of 42 months. Thus the angel told John, don’t bother to measure the court wall. Israel would never have time to erect those court walls before the area would be overrun by the Gentiles.

 

WHAT JOHN SAW IN THE SPIRIT

 

John has had quite an experience up until Revelation 11, seeing how in Chapters 4 and 5 he is caught up into the presence of God where he sees a throne set in heaven and a book is taken out of the hand of him that sits on the throne and opened by a bloody Lamb. He sees the four beasts with the six wings, creatures who are full of eyes that rest neither day nor night before the throne, but continually cry “Holy, Holy, Holy…” In Chapter 6, John sees the bloody Lamb open the seven seals upon the scroll. Before the 7th seal was opened, in the spirit John witnessed the sealing in of the 144,000 who are called out by two prophets sent to Israel in the hour that her temple is being rebuilt and the altar of sacrifice is re-established. Furthermore, he saw the great Gentile multitude who had come up out of the great tribulation resulting from the 3½ years of persecution by the anti-christ, (Revelation 7:14). In Chapter 8, he witnesses 30 minutes of silence while the 7th seal is being opened and the seven angels begin to sound their judgment trumpets, which primarily affects Israel and the Middle East. In Chapter 10, he witnessed the sounding of the seven thunders utter their voices, yet he was forbidden to write what they spoke. He further mentions the voice of the 7th angel, who is none other than the 7th Gentile church age messenger, (Revelation 10:7). How when he begins to sound the mystery of God should be finished. WHAT SHOULD BE FINISHED? Not every revelation, for John said, ONLY THE MYSTERY OF GOD! Then in Chapter 11, John is instructed to take a reed like a rod and measure three things: (1) the temple of God (2) the altar and (3) them than worship therein (by the altar). However, in verse 2 he is warned not to measure the court itself.

 

JOHN SEES TWO ANOINTED ONES PROPHESIED BY ZECHARIAH

 

Furthermore, in verses 3-12, he sees those two anointed prophet messengers who appear at this same time to prophesy to Israel for 3½ years to pronounce judgment upon Israel! WHY? For having made a covenant agreement with the anti-christ (Daniel 9:27). They smite the earth with all manner of plagues as often as they will. Also within that 3½ years calls out the 144,000 Israelites with a revelation of who Jesus is. After prophesying for 3½ years, John says these two prophets are destroyed by the anti-christ, or beast power.

 

ISRAEL, THE PREGNANT WOMAN

 

In Chapter 12, John sees Israel (not the church) as a pregnant woman, pregnant with prophecies concerning her Messiah, ready to burst into bloom. John sees Israel’s last 3½ years of history before the millennium reign begins fleeing from the presence of the anti-christ, who has now taken over her 3rd temple exactly as Antiochus (nicknamed Epiphanes), the foreshadow of this anti-christ, who took over the 2nd temple, and stopping the daily altar sacrifice, etc.! Is that not what this antichrist also does in the middle of that covenant week with Israel, (Daniel 9:27, 12:11)? Does he not also stop the daily sacrifice that is then on the altar, thus becoming himself the abomination of desolation that standeth in the holy place recorded by Jesus in Matthew 24:15, as he quoted the prophet Daniel, (Daniel 12:11)!

 

TITUS NOR MOSQUE IS ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION

 

But Brother Jackson, could not that abomination that maketh desolate be none other than Titus and the Roman army destroying the temple area in Jerusalem in 70 A.D.? No beloved, this thing that fulfills the prophecy of Matthew and Daniel happens only after cutting off the daily sacrifice and exists for only a period of 3½ years, whereas the holy place has continually been trodden down ever since the day of Titus. What is it then? It is none other than Rome and the anti-christ for a period of 3½ years before the close of the Gentile age.

 

CUTTING OFF SACRIFICE HOLDS HIDDEN CLUE

 

Neither did Tutus overrun Jerusalem simply for 3½ years. History proves Jerusalem since Titus’s day, was continually overrun by Gentile nations until 1967. Again I repeat, the Mosque of Omar didn’t stop the daily sacrifice spoken of by Daniel 9:27, 12:11, which sacrifice so many want to spiritualize and make to be Christ, when these verses have nothing to do with Christ whatsoever as being the sacrifice, but instead deals strictly with a daily sacrifice being cut off on the Jewish altar. The cutting off of that sacrifice, beloved, is the clue to when the abomination that maketh desolate stands in the holy place. But someone else may say, could not that abomination standing in the holy place recorded by Daniel by the Mosque of Omar or Dome of the Rock which has stood since the 7th Century? In one sense you might say the Dome of the Rock is an abomination, but is not the abomination spoken by Daniel. Why? Because the Moslems did not cut off the daily sacrifice and then place the Dome of the Rock over the holy Jewish altar and allow it to remain there for only approximately 3½ years! No, the Dome of the Rock has stood over the holy altar since the 7th Century, and besides that, there was no Jewish temple nor altar of sacrifice in existence in the 7th Century when the Moslems overran the holy city and placed the Dome of the Rock over the altar.

 

WHY MOSLEM’S INTERESTED IN ROCK

 

Why the Moslem’s are interested in this rock? The holy rock is important to two religions; Judaism and Muslimism. The Mosque, or Dome of the Rock, is the second holiest spot outside of Mecca in Arabia, and Moslems are required once in their lifetime to visit the holy rock. Mohammed, the last prophet of the Moslem religion, followed Jesus (some 400 years) with far more revelation thus causing Mohammed to be greater than Jesus. The Moslem religion accepts 38 prophets, of which Jesus is only one of the 38 who brought truth. The sacred rock holds a special interest to Moslems due to the fact their tradition teaches that from this rock Mohammed ascended into heaven. Embedded within the rock is supposed to be a footprint of this prophet as he ascended and a few hairs of Mohammed’s beard is also kept there. Both Arab Moslems and Jews alike in reality are mainly from the line of Ishmael, Abraham’s son of the flesh by the Egyptian handmaiden Hagar, along with also a mixture of the other sons of Abraham’s 2nd wife, after the death of Sarah, while the true Orthodox Jews descend through the line of Isaac through which the promise came. None but the seed of Isaac can inherit this promise. The Moslem religion is to Judaism what Catholicism is to true Christianity, a thorn in the flesh or a counterfeit of the real thing!

 

GENTILES TREADING TEMPLE AREA 42 MONTHS

 

FURNISHES VALUABLE CLUE

 

Time has come that we would look more closely at Revelation 11:2, which will not only prove Titus and the Roman Army nor the Mosque of Omar could possibly fit the scriptural abomination that maketh desolate standing in the holy place, but will show us approximately when the holy Jewish temple will be erected and where this mysterious special allotted time of 3½ years comes into focus where the Gentiles are allowed to tread down the holy temple area and holy city as well! Now beloved, I ask you a very simple question, we know from history the Gentiles have continually trodden down all of the holy city for no less than 2554 years and their trodden down did not cease until 1967. Then if you were going to place a little 3½ years over a period of 2554 years since Nebuchadnezzar crushed Jerusalem and the day of the Gentiles began, WHERE WOULD YOU PLACE THAT PERIOD OF TIME? The truth is, there is nowhere you could place that 3½ years into the period between 70 A.D., and 1967, and it is certain you can’t spiritualize the 40 and 2 months, stretching them out over all the period or long history that the Gentiles have trodden down the city, and if you can’t put it in the millennium, face it, where will you place it? Beloved, there is only one slot of time the 3½ years spoken of in Revelation 11:2 could possibly fit and that is somewhere between now and the coming of Christ to enter the millennium reign. It is the only place left for the 3½ years to fit in!

 

TEMPLE & ALTAR MUST GO TOGETHER

 

Revelation 11:1-2, deals strictly with a future restoration of the Jewish temple and the altar of sacrifice and don’t forget, those two always go together. Therefore, this should let Gentiles know once the temple is erected, it must be erected near the sacrificial altar and not on some other spot of ground elsewhere. Because it is this Jewish altar in operation, according to Daniel 9:27, the anti-christ brings to a halt. Nevertheless, before the anti-christ cuts off the sacrifice in the middle of his prophetic week, scripture teaches that two prophets come to Israel, not only did they prophesy against Israel, smiting with plagues as often as they would as a rebuke to Israel for aligning herself with this beastly system of Rome, but for 3½ years , Revelation 11:3 says these two prophets prophesy in the streets of Jerusalem and in the area where the temple is being constructed and the altar of sacrifice is in operation, where 144,000 of the House of Israel, according to Revelation 7:3-8, 14:1-5, will receive the revelation of who Jesus is as they are sealed with the Spirit of God (Revelation 4:3, Ephesians 4:30). Now when is all this being accomplished? In the first half of the 70th prophetic week before the anti-christ rises in power strong enough to cut off these two prophets (Revelation 11:7), stop the animal sacrifice on the Jewish altar, and take over the temple for the remaining 3½ years after their death, and become the abomination that maketh desolate, (Daniel 9:27). The period of his horrible reign begins after the daily sacrifice is cut off and continued for 1290 Hebrews days. WHAT COULD BE CLEARER!!

 

BLOODY ALTAR NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REDEMPTION OF 144,000

 

Now concerning the 144,000, let us make one thing perfectly clear, this 144,000 from Israel, no doubt, were greatly stirred over the fact Israel is in a revival with her new temple and altar of sacrifice although their redemption and revelation of who Jesus is, which comes from these two prophets, have nothing whatsoever to do with the fact there is animal blood or animal sacrifice daily on the Jewish altar! (Hebrews 9:11-15) No, the 144,000 were not redeemed to Christ because an animal sacrifice lay on the altar. Then why have an altar, some will say? Beloved, what these two prophets are saying for the 3½ years does not change the majority of the Orthodox Jew whatsoever, he will continue seeing only the newly erected altar of sacrifice that is in progress. And he will lean heavily upon this as they did in the Old Testament days until that sacrifice is taken away from him in the middle of that final prophetic week of Daniel 9:27 and 12:11, which is clearly shown in Matthew 24:15, to be the hour for the abomination that maketh desolate to stand in the holy place for that final 3½ years before the millennium reign. Again I repeat, Daniel 12:11 declares from that time of cutting off the daily Jewish altar sacrifice (which has nothing to do with Christ, instead deals strictly with animal sacrifice on the Jewish altar) and the abomination that maketh desolate is set up, the anti-christ power will run for 1290 Hebrew days.

 

Isn’t it interesting to note that during the first half of this final prophetic week, 144,000 of the house of Israel are getting their eyes open to truth, yet still the greater percentage of Israel will be blinded by the promises and smooth words of the anti-christ before he breaks his Covenant in the middle of the week! Then all Israel gets their eyes open to who the anti-christ is, once he cuts off their sacrifice and moves into the temple to become Daniel’s prophesied abomination that maketh desolate. Beloved, one thing is certain, whether you want to say Israel has only 3½ years left or 7 to fulfill prophetic time before the millennium, the office work of these two prophets, whoever they are, will certainly not begin once the millennium has started. No, it all takes place before the millennium begins. The anti-christ’s final 3½ year reign of terror will not be after the millennium begins, it is shortly before. Therefore, what the prophets do and what the anti-christ does to fulfill his role must all be concluded in that final prophetic week, because when the millennium begins the two prophets have already prophesied for 3½ years and been killed by the anti-christ power and he too for 3½ years has run his course.

 

WHAT YOU FACE IF ONLY 3½ YEARS LEFT

 

Now I ask you, if there is only 3½ years left to that final prophetic week, called Daniel’s 70th week, to be fulfilled watch what you will run into. You have these two prophets prophesying for 3½ years; they are killed and their dead bodies lay in the street for 3½ days before they are resurrected. Don’t forget, God also limited the anti-christ to 3½ years. If the two prophets in Israel are prophesying during the same 3½ years while the Antichrist is treading down the holy place and Jerusalem, then he would be killing the two prophets, not at the beginning of his reign of terror, but instead at the end of his reign! See, he would be just coming into enough power at the end of his reign to cut off the two prophets and stop the daily sacrifice at a time when the Bible clearly reveals him to be losing out, because at this time Christ is coming to take over! Now if all this is accomplished by both prophets and the anti-christ simultaneously, Christ will be on His way down when all this is taking place, because Matthew 24:29-30 declares, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, (anti-christ reign of terror, 3½ years) the sun will be darkened, and the moon shall withdraw her light, and the stars of the heavens shall be shaken: (30) And then shall be the sign of the coming of the son of man.” No, the truth is, there is a full prophetic week left, during the first 3½ years the Antichrist sits in Rome (not Jerusalem) carrying out his own diplomacy, while in Jerusalem you not only have a Jewish temple worship restored along with the altar sacrifice, but you have two prophets who are having a revival among certain Jews. Then beloved, after their 3½ years of prophecy the anti-christ cuts them off, as he is now ready to fulfill his 3½ years reign of terror.

 

HOW BEAST SPIRIT KILLS PROPHETS

 

For a few moments let us deal with the spirit of the best in Revelation 11:7, who comes out of the bottomless pit to make war against the two prophets, overcome and kill them after they have finished their testimony of 3½ years. Who is this beast spirit that rises out of the bottomless pit? We know a corporeal bodied man does not rise up out of the bottomless pit, but a spirit can. It is the same beast referred to in Revelation 17:8-18. This beast is none other than the resurrection of the political power of the Old Roman Empire, which before crumbling passed through seven imperial forms of government with the last head of government being referred to as the 8th is of the former (7th) power. The 8th form is religious, while the other heads were political (Revelation 17:11). The beast which ascends from the bottomless pit is the spirit of the devil which entwined itself in olden days around the first seven heads of the Roman Government before jumping over on the new head which was in Rome also. The 8th head, or form, which is referred to in scripture as still that of the 7th was the papal power or final form of government to ever set over the old Roman Empire! Even after the old Roman Empire had fallen, the popes were still able to rule the European territories referred to after the fall as the ten national powers of Europe, which are receiving their resurrection back into the 4th beast through the European Common Market.

 

8TH HEAD IS PAPAL OFFICE

 

Although time came in history when the 8th form of power (papal head) received a deadly blow to its headship which almost killed it, Revelation 13:1-10 teaches in time to come that 8th head would be healed and all the world would wonder after it! That head, or papal power, over the subjects of Rome will be completely healed somewhere around the time the covenant week of Daniel (Daniel 9:27) goes into effect, and the two prophets come on the scene who rebuke Israel who, I might add, in the past had been aligned with the U.S. as you well know. However, in the final period of time for the Gentiles, Israel is not aligned with the U.S., but instead with this resurrected beast system of old Imperial Rome of which the 8th head which was healed will once again be in headship!

 

8TH HEAD RECEIVES AUTHORITY OF 7TH

 

Yes, the beast system is none other than the 4th world empire which passed through seven great imperial head ships or office in its makeup. After so long a time without any life of the beast existing, what do we see? The spirit of this thing (Revelation 11:7) having already sometime earlier come up out of the bottomless pit, entwined itself once again around the last headship office Satan used for a mouthpiece before it vanished from the scene, which the Bible declares was that papal office wounded unto death. Seeing the papal office in olden days had wrestled from the 7th head or form of government which was political all authority and power simply means as the spirit of Satan, which had been working through this old system for hundreds if years now, sees the 7th head on the beast collapsing because of weakness, he simply jumps over into another part of Rome onto another chair, placing all authority that went with the imperial chair over onto this other chair, only this time it is religious. Nevertheless, it still leaves his power to be in Rome. It should be noted, the spirit of the devil, who works through the headship of this beast system even in its resurrected stage and is responsible for killing Israel’s two prophets a little over 3½ years before the millennium reign begins, first many hundreds of years ago as early as 39 B.C., began working through the first imperial headship to that beast. Through men called caesars and these caesars who represent the first head or office on this beast whose office was in Rome (and has always been in Rome) were cruel, evil, barbarous tyrants. It was the very incarnation of the devil himself. The caesars were worshiped as the God of heaven!

 

ROMAN RULERS WORSHIPED AS GOD

 

Now bear that statement in mind as you watch that spirit of the devil pass through every one of those heads on that beast, through the hundreds of years it existed, finally completely losing out under the 7th head where the papal power snatched all of its authority over onto the papal chair. Remember, in the resurrection of that empire it will be the 8th head, which of course is of the 7th, that will be the mouthpiece! That mouthpiece is going to leave Rome and come to Jerusalem, cut off a Jewish sacrifice that is in progress, kill two prophets, and take over a newly erected temple, becoming the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet. And he does that in the middle of a covenant week, (Daniel 9;27). (See VATICAN, VOL. 3, NO. 7)

 

8TH HEAD ONCE HEALED BECOMES MOUTHPIECE

 

Now let us quickly bring that old dilapidated Roman system into its final 3½ years as now it is the 8th which is of the 7th that was wounded unto death (16th & 18th Century), but is finally healed. Revelation 13:4-10 informs us that the devil or dragon gave power to this beast and this beast was given a mouth (the wounded 8th head now healed) to continue for 42 months or 3½ years, look what he did. Opens his mouth and blasphemes against God, blasphemes His name and (blasphemes) His tabernacle at Jerusalem as well as them that dwell in heaven, makes war with the saints of that hour and overcomes them and all upon the earth shall worship him, whose name is not written in the Lamb’s book of Life, slain from the foundation of the world. When does this transpire? In that final 42 months before the millennium begins. It corresponds perfectly with Revelation 11:2-7, where we are told this spirit kills the two prophets after their 3½ years were finished.

 

PART 3 – VISIONS & PROPHECIES

 

CONCERNING 2 PROPHETS & 3RD TEMPLE

 

Who are these two prophets who die in Jerusalem after prophesying for 3½ years in sackcloth, and if any man hurt them during their hour of prophecy fire proceedeth out of their mouth and devoureth the enemy? What manner of fire proceedeth out of their mouth? No, they don’t spew fire from their mouth like a fire dragon to devour their enemies! It is more like when Peter spoke to Annanias and Sapphira in Acts 5 and they dropped dead. Peter was simply anointed of the Holy Ghost and those words proceeding from his mouth were anointed with Holy Ghost fire, bringing instant death. Recall also, the prophet Elijah in the day of Ahab when Israel was in her worst hour of apostasy, fire did not proceed out of his mouth though he spoke the words declaring if I be a man of God let fire devour these men (and 102 men were burned to a crisp, II Kings 1:9-12), the judgment of God fell and burned up these men. It was the fiery judgement of God against Elijah’s enemies. Elijah only spoke Holy Ghost anointed words. Thus, it is true with the two prophets who walk the streets prophesying to Israel, smiting the earth with judgments (especially the Middle East), trying to show blinded Israel the error of her ways in uniting herself with this beast system and its mouthpiece, which is the 8th of the 7th head now healed who speaks for the beast in that hour, Daniel 9:27. Of these two prophets, the Lord God definitely referred to them in verse 4 as the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. Verse 6 declares these two olive trees and two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth have power to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy, and have power over waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues as often as they will. Why are these two men in Revelations 11:4 referred to as the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of heaven? You can rest assured that in the proper hour when these two prophets come stomping out into the open, fulfilling Revelation 11:3-6, they will not be two young kid preachers! I further have my doubts they will be men fresh out of the Jewish Seminary, although it is for certain they will have come from God’s school.

 

ZECHARIAH PROPHECIES OF TWO PROPHETS

 

To learn more concerning these two men and how they were to play an important role within the final prophetic week of Israel’s history, as well as mankind’s final 7 years on earth before the Gentile dispensation closes out, we must go back some 500 years before the birth of Christ, to a time when the Children of Israel had returned from Babylon to rebuild their 2nd temple. I want to show you here from the prophecies and visions of two prophets, Zechariah and Haggai, prophets who were sent back to encourage Israel while she was in the process of rebuilding their 2nd temple, how these two prophets brought prophecies, not only concerning a time when Israel would be having her 3rd temple rebuilt, but also a great deal is learned concerning the two prophets who will be on the scene when Israel is rebuilding her 3rd temple. Isn’t it interesting to note while the 2nd temple was being rebuilt, Israel already had two prophets on the scene prophesying to the people future events concerning another time when Israel would be returning from another period of exile and would be in the process of rebuilding a 3rd temple when two great prophets would come on the scene. Zechariah had visions concerning the two prophets who are to be in Israel, which is positively confirmed in Revelation 11:4-6 as being the two prophets Zechariah spoke of, while Haggai gives forth prophecy showing the 3rd temple will be far more glorious (Haggai 2:3-9) than that of the 2nd temple they were presently building.

 

During that period Cyrus the Great had issued a decree for the Jews to return to Israel and rebuild the temple of God. Why? Because Solomon’s old temple was in ruins in that hour, exactly as the old Herodian temple is in ruins today. Zechariah and Haggai, the two prophets, are on the scene while the 2nd temple is being rebuilt along with Zerubbabel, the governor of the people who governed in social matters, and a man name Joshua is to be the high priest of this 2nd temple. Wonder why this man was called Joshua, which in Greek means Jesus? Why wasn’t he named Aaron or some other name? Because the name Joshua (Jesus in Greek) will also link to this spiritual temple for the grace age as well as the 3rd Jewish temple that will be built in Israel in time for the final 3½ years to be given back over to the Gentiles, who before 1967, had continuously overrun Jerusalem since Nebuchadnezzar’s day, for a period of 2554 years. Therefore, sometime after 1967, and some 3½ years before the millennium begins, once again the Gentiles will tread down Jerusalem as well as the holy temple area. However, this time not before a 3rd temple has been erected and an altar of sacrifice re-established, and then for only 3½ years, the shortest period the Gentiles have ever had to tread down Jerusalem, but they will be the most severe, (Matthew 24:15-21).

 

Therefore, it is clearly evident these two prophets, although they are spoken of as minor prophets, were actually restoration temple prophets on the scene as Israel was building her 2nd temple, both prophesying future events concerning Israel! Prophecies by these two men prophesying in Israel while Israel cleared away the burned out mountain of rubbish left by Nebuchadnezzar’s army 70 years before and prepared to reconstruct the temple, are most fascinating and too important for us to simply overlook. Yes, while the 2nd temple was under construction, God was also showing Zechariah a future event pertaining to the two prophets which we are studying about in Revelation 11. Note, the angel addressing John called them practically the same thing the angel speaking to Zechariah 500 B.C. calls them, the two olive trees and the two candlesticks (lamp stands)! At this time when we touch Zechariah 4, Zechariah has already had a number of visions which pertain primarily to his own period and what is being accomplished in the building of the 2nd temple. However, Zechariah saw something that did not pertain unto his period, this he was most concerned about. Zechariah says the angel awoke him out of sleep, asking him what did he see? Where upon he replied, I saw a candlestick all of gold. Actually what Zechariah saw was the golden Jewish Menorah used only in the temple worship which consisted of a bowl to hold the olive oil in. Upon the top of the bowl were 7 lamps, in other words, it had a stem running from the large bowl holding the oil, out through 7 pipes or stems which formed little burners at the end of the stem, making 7 lights. But he saw something else standing on each side of the Menorah which really stirred his curiosity! According to verse 3, he saw two olive trees, one of either side of the bowl and he asked the angel what these were? For the moment the angel seemed to ignore his present question concerning the two olive trees and began to explain something else to him which had a present tense meaning. In verses 5-6, the angel answered him, “This is the Word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel (the Jewish governor of social affairs of returning people who is mentioned in both Zechariah and Haggai’s writings) it is not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord.” No doubt Zechariah wonders how such a statement could possibly link with the two olive trees and lamp stands he saw (actually there is no connection, nevertheless keep watching).

 

MOUNTAIN OF RUBBISH

 

Listen as the angel continues saying something in behalf of Zerubbabel the governor with this returning people. (7) “Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain.” Remember the setting, Israel had been returned for quite a few years, yet still no temple has gone up. Because after Cyrus gave his decree to build the temple, he left his throne in the hand of another and journeyed elsewhere. When the enemy of the Jews wrote the new king saying, once the Jews had finished their city and temple, they would not pay taxes to him, and for some reason not being aware of the decree made by Cyrus, he stopped the work which remained stopped for 16 years until the 2nd year of Darius the new king. It is in the 2nd year of Darius’s reign, in the 6th, 7th and 8th months, that these two prophets are stirring up the people with prophecy to come forth and begin to rebuild the temple after such a lengthy time. Bear in mind, even though Israel does not have her 2nd temple up, for a number of years her altar of sacrifice has certainly been in operation. The angel of the Lord has addressed a great mountain standing on Mt. Moriah, which is nothing more than a vast mountain of rubbish and charred ruins which once had been a beautiful city as well as a magnificent temple, only now it all appears as nothing. Huge stones piled in every direction, and over that 70 year period weeds and brush have grown up everywhere. Poor Zerubbabel (the governor) has been placed in charge to see the house of God and the city are rebuilt. However, no sooner do these people return to face this gigantic mountain of rubbish, which is their responsibility to clean away, than a spirit of discouragement hits them. Even though word finally arrived from Darius, the 2nd Gentile world ruler, that after 16 years they may continue their building, the Jews seemingly have lost interest. They had to be stirred by the words of these two prophets as God speaks to get His house rebuilt. Zerubbabel, having looked at this mountain of rubbish, perhaps in his heart says, O Lord, look what a mess! How will it be done? Our people are dishearted over what they see. Then we hear the prophecy to Zerubbabel saying, Who art thou, O mountain (of rubbish)? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain! It won’t be by might nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord. Notice the Lord is telling Zerubbabel he will move on the hearts of the people and stir them mightily with the spirit to work. Without bulldozers, cranes or even dynamite, the Lord says it will be leveled like a plain.

 

Zechariah is concerned about who those two olive trees are and as yet he has not received an answer. Why? They do not concern his hour, therefore, the angel continues with the present tense prophecy that does effect his hour as he says, after they clear that mountain of rubbish away, Zerubbabel shall bring the headstone to Joshua the high priest shouting Grace, Grace. The headstone was none other than the cornerstone used in Solomon’s temple, which at present, lay in that mountain of rubbish. First they had to find the headstone and place it into the building. They are moved on by the spirit of God to begin work and finally clean up this terrible mess, and as they do they find the chief cornerstone (with 7 eyes) of the first temple and place it in the second, (all measurements will be taken from this stone). It is Zerubbabel’s responsibility, according to the prophecy, to bring the head or cornerstone with shouts crying grace, grace and place it at the feet of one called Joshua who is to serve as high priest of the 2nd temple. Later we see how Joshua, being the high priest of the 2nd temple, will be connected with the Lord Jesus of the 3rd temple.

 

Continuing to discuss only the 2nd house, the angel says, (9) “The hands of Zerubbabel has laid the foundation of this temple, his hand shall also finish it.” Don’t worry Zerubbabel, the house of God will be rebuilt and it will be rebuilt under your direction.

 

THINGS HEADSTONE SIGNIFIES

 

Observe once again the cornerstone or headstone which was found and Zerubbabel brought it to the high priest, Joshua, which contained the engraving of 7 eyes, which absolutely is a type of Jesus Christ. Joshua the high priest means Jesus Saviour, who is or high priest, (Hebrews 10:19-25), and also is the chief cornerstone (rejected stone) that went into our spiritual temple foundation in the grace age of which the redeemed are lively stones, becoming a part of this spiritual temple for the grace age among the Gentiles. Although this is true, don’t spiritualize that natural Jewish temple as the house to be built during the grace age whereupon Jesus is to be the chief cornerstone. Even though this cornerstone or headstone (used in the 1st and 2nd temple), engraved with 7 eyes, does show a spiritual type for the grace age temple, please don’t confuse the two. Don’t spiritualize away any of the Jewish temples: don’t be guilty of taking scriptures which clearly apply to Israel’s rebuilt natural temple and make them apply strictly to this grace age either. Remember, there is a spiritual temple for the grace age and there is a natural temple to be erected for Israel shown in the scripture.

 

Zerubbabel brought the chief cornerstone and laid it at the feet of Joshua. This headstone in the two natural temples represented the 7 attribute spirits of God: (1) Jehovah-jireh (the Lord will provide), (2) Jehovah-rapha (the Lord that healeth), (3) Jehovah-nissi (the Lord our banner), (4) Jehovah-Shalom (the Lord our peace), (5) Jehovah-ra-ah (the Lord my shepherd), (6) Jehovah-tsidkenu (the Lord our righteousness) and (7) Jehovah-shammah (the Lord is present). Recall, when Jesus (which is Greek for Joshua) the Christ became our high priest, offering His own blood becoming also the chief cornerstone to the spiritual temple which was laid, He was these 7 attribute spirits of God all wrapped in one body of flesh, or one spiritual chief cornerstone. Furthermore, it is Jesus the Messiah who came in the 2nd temple, was rejected and then became the chief cornerstone to our temple for the grace age. However notice, the Jews will actually be building the 3rd temple for Jesus their Messiah to sit in during the Millennium reign, (Ezekiel 43:4-7).

 

WHY ZECHARIAH & HAGGAI SHOWN SETTING FOR 3RD TEMPLE

 

Zechariah still can’t shake the vision from his mind concerning the two olive trees he saw. The angel explains all about the restoring of the present house of God but Zechariah, still inquisitive, asks, what about the other two things you showed me? I want to know what they are. (Verse 11-14) Why was Zechariah shown these two olive trees at this time? Why were they not shown to another prophet in another hour? It is important because the prophet is shown these olive trees during an hour when Israel had (1) returned from captivity and (2) returned to rebuild her 2nd temple. In such a setting as this God gave Zechariah this vision of the two olive trees and the candlestick which absolutely had nothing to do with the present rebuilding of the temple. Zechariah and Haggai were the two (restoration temple) prophets present here in Israel for that hour prophesying things pointing to future events. That future event is confirmed in Revelation 11:3-6, concerning Israel’s future temple and two prophets. And note, both temple and prophets as well are reconfirmed (together), confirmed 600 years later by John on the Isle of Patmos, and get this, in a day and hour when Israel did not have a temple standing, seeing Titus had destroyed the 2nd Jewish temple 26½ years prior to John’s vision. (Revelation 11)

 

Back to inquisitive Zechariah who ask again for an explanation of these two olive trees & candlesticks. Notice verse 12, “What are the two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?” And the angel says, (13) “Knowest thou not what these be? (14) These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”

 

TWO GREAT ANOINTINGS ON EARTH

 

Zechariah, one of those two (restoration temple) prophets who is present for the rebuilding of Israel’s 2nd temple, has looked way down into Israel’s future and saw the time when she shall rebuild again, and there he saw the two prophets that will be present. His prophetic sight had taken him down to the final seven years of Israel’s history before the end of the age, into a time recorded in Revelation 11:4 to have been fulfilled by these two prophets at the end of the age. Get this, two prophets who come to Israel as she has once again returned from captivity and once again rebuilt her temple exactly as they were doing in 519 B.C., when the vision broke. When you examine that statement of Revelation 11, it reads almost identically word for word as to what the angel told Zechariah, and John also in 96 A.D., is being shown exactly who these two olive trees are to be. These two prophets are the two golden candlesticks or the two olive trees which stand before God of the whole earth. This is what it means, these are two of the greatest anointings of God Israel will ever experience, and note, they will experience these two anointings at the same time while she is in the process of rebuilding the 3rd temple.

 

Recall, it was the messenger to the age who revealed how this lamp stand with the 7 golden lamplights was represented by the grace age as those 7 lights represented the seven gentile church age messengers recorded in Revelation 2 & 3. All 7 receive their revelated light from where? The same golden bowl of oil, which is the genuine Holy Ghost. Also note Revelation 4 & 5, John was taken up into heaven where he notices seven spirits of God. Now in reality we know this one spirit God is no more seven different or separate spirits than He is three separate spirits distinct persons! What then is the meaning to all this? Recall that headstone with the seven eyes which was the cornerstone of the rebuilt temple we discussed showing the seven attribute powers of God to this people. God is only one spirit (Ephesians 4:4), however, within this one spirit called God lies these seven different expressions or attributes of Himself to His people.

 

In Revelation 1, when John saw Jesus standing in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks (Revelation 1:12-20), we realize what John saw was that spiritual light (Jesus said, I am the light of the world!) of Christ unto those seven Asiatic churches, yet was also the light of Christ which would be exemplified through the seven dispensations of the grace age, and with each age would be attached an angel messenger! But where did that light originate which lit the seven candle lights? FROM CHRIST OF COURSE! He is that light. No, by no means is God actually seven different spirits, nevertheless, within him are those seven attributes of power which God may, whenever and wherever he chooses, execute and recall whenever He does choose to act through those attributes of power it is always here upon the earth where they are manifested! Therefore we are fully aware that it is also here upon the earth, through the two olive trees mentioned in Revelation 11:4 & Zechariah 4:11-14 that the golden oil will be poured out in a full demonstration of his mighty power.

 

GOD IS GOLDEN OIL POURED OUT

 

Scripturally, what is the purpose of an olive tree? To originate olive oil, right? Therefore, if an olive tree is a symbol of oil, what then is oil a symbol of? It is the symbol of the Holy Ghost and the Holy Ghost is none other than God. Then in the vision of Zechariah 4, that makes the spirit of God to be none other than this golden oil to be poured out! Yet how will it apply to Zechariah’s vision, and furthermore, how does it fit into the picture of the two olive trees when the angel declare they were the two anointed ones? Zechariah 4:14, while Revelation 11:3 declares them to be those two powerful prophets who have power to smite the earth with all manner of plagues as often as they will. In reality it means this, these are the two special anointings God has chosen to demonstrate Himself through within a certain precise period of time (3½ years).

 

MOSES CARRIED ANOINTING FOR DELIVERANCE

 

Beloved, one of the greatest anointings of God to ever rest upon one man, rested upon Moses while delivering Israel from Egyptian bondage. Moses smote Egypt continually with plagues and turned water into blood. Please note the comparison: (1) Moses, as a man, symbolizes that great anointing of God. As a man he was chosen to lead a people to safety who were in exile and bondage and over in that hour of Revelation 11, Jerusalem will also be in bondage under the rule of the Antichrist and shall need delivering, and 144,000 shall be delivered! (2) Moses was a man chosen to be a lawgiver which was God’s word for that hour when Israel needed to hear from God in order to know how God would have them to walk and live. (3) He was a man anointed to execute judgment upon the earth at a time when God was ready to gather His people together to take them from their place of bondage and (4) since that day at no other time has there been that anointing to hit the earth. One day when that anointing was on Moses, Egypt became pitch dark. What was it? It was the anointing of God resting upon Moses as he had authority to execute it. Moses spoke and lice came from every direction. What was that? That was a plague! When that man spoke water became blood, hail fell from heaven ripping crops to pieces. When Moses spoke every firstborn in Egypt died. What was it? It was an anointing from God resting upon a prophet in an hour of judgment dealing with a people to lead them out of bondage. According to Revelation 11, at an hour when the temple is being rebuilt, the Jewish sacrifice altar in operation and shortly before the holy place is to be turned over to the Gentiles, not for another lengthy period of 2554 years, but this time only for a period of 3½ years that same anointing that was upon the man Moses the prophet, will once agin hit this earth. Although there was no process of building a temple when that special anointing first visited the earth, nevertheless, Moses as a lawgiver showed Israel how the tabernacle of badger skins and goatskins should be built, which was none other than a shadow of the very temple itself.

 

ELIJAH CARRIED ANOINTING DEALING WITH APOSTASY

 

What about the other special anointing or the other olive tree? Recall these are special anointings of God. True, any true anointing a man ministers in is an anointing of God, however, there are certain anointings of God that hits this earth for a precise objective of God. That is the kind of anointing I want you to see! What is that next anointing which is also represented by an olive tree, the holy anointing. It is the anointing of Elijah! Sure Israel had other prophets, Isaiah, Amos, Hosea, Nehemiah, etc., all these were prophets, yet not anointed like Elijah. He was not a prophet called to lead from or perform an exit. No, he was a prophet sent to deal with apostasy, and did that anointing which rested on Elijah ever know how to deal with apostasy.

 

That anointing on Elijah contested false prophets of Ahab and Jezebel, while Moses spoke and lice, hail, blood and death followed. Elijah prayed and shut up the heavens for 3½ years that it ran not in Israel. See, Elijah also brought judgment. Now do you see these two special anointings? They are God’s severe anointings dealing with man while he is seeking to execute a precise object and purpose in the earth to deal with a certain situation. Elijah came at an hour when the ten northern tribes had drifted far from the true original worship. As this great apostasy was in Israel, that anointing came on a man as he stomped out the woods. Elijah dealt with apostasy. One day Ahab called forth 50 men to go forth to get Elijah and all Elijah said was, if I be a man of God, let fire come down and burn them up. It happened and was repeated again, making a total of 102 men burned to a crisp. No, it had never been seen on this fashion before. That particular anointing did not even rest on Moses (II Kings 1:9-12).

 

Now can you see when it speaks in Revelation 11:5, how from these two anointings on these two men that fire proceedeth from their mouth, it is not a literal fire coming from their mouth, it is that special Holy Ghost anointing on the spoken word. What are these two olive trees? They are non other than these two special anointings of God, and the reason the vision was given to Zechariah and not another prophet in a different hour is because it goes in connection with the rebuilding of the temple in a future date. No, it didn’t fit into the building of their present temple, it carried altogether a future application, when these two great anointings of God (two olive trees) will be used by the Lord only as He deals with man for some precise reason and purpose. Such of Elijah when he dealt with apostasy and the judgment of God was, Lord, don’t let it rain, and for 3½ years it didn’t. What a horrible sight Israel must have faced in that hour when both men and cattle suffered extremely. Why? Because Israel had strayed from the ordinances of God.

 

Yes, I want you to know when that man of sin signs that 7 year Covenant agreement with those political minded Jews (Daniel 9:27), as they are in the process of rebuilding their temple, (Revelation 11:1-2), having their altar of sacrifice in operation, out of the woods will come these two special anointed prophets who prophesy for 40 and 2 months or 3½ years. Once God sent Moses, then 1000 years later he sent Elijah, however, never before has these two anointings been sent at the same time. Therefore, these two anointings will come together to rebuke Israel for what she has done. Simultaneously God gives them both barrels of His anointed gun or both anointings at the same time. Why? Because Jerusalem is in bondage to a covenant agreement and there are 144,000 people who need delivering, while God wants to judge the political Jews for their action and He sends these two prophets to walk the streets and prophesy, pronouncing judgments and plagues. Revelation 11 says, they have power to shut the heavens, that is what Elijah did. Revelation 11:6 further says, they have power to turn water to blood, that is what Moses did. However, it further says they have power to smite the earth with all manner of plagues, therefore, we are shown within the 6th trumpet judgments within that hour, how hail falls from heaven, (Revelation 8:7). Recall among other things, Moses plagues Egypt with hail. Yes, they have power to smite the earth with plagues.

 

HEAVENLY & EARTHLY SCENE

 

Now please observe carefully two scenes. The first one is on the earth and the second will be in glory. On earth two Jews will come stomping out of the wilderness to appear on the streets of Jerusalem prophesying for a space of 3½ years and striking the earth with plagues as often as they will, while in glory from the great throne of God I can see the vastness of that Holy anointing of God suddenly being turned loose, and beloved, that mighty anointing of God (the Golden Oil) will empty itself through these two prophets here upon earth! Once again the earth will see the anointing that rested upon Moses and Elijah or Elijah and Moses together in action. Why? Because God will send those two anointings once again into the land of Israel, prophesying and pronouncing judgement in an hour when they are erecting their temple.

 

ELIJAH’S SPIRIT ON JOHN

 

Recall in the day of John the Baptist he came in the spirit and power of Elijah, although he was not Elijah, (Luke 1:17) and that spirit stood on the earth at the end of the Law age announcing, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. John the Baptist was closing one dispensation and introducing a new one. Furthermore, it was an interlinking anointing, therefore, watch that anointing when it hits this earth again, coming to Israel, prophesying judgment at a time when the Gentile age is closing out and introducing to the hearts the millennium that is to come, an age Israel has long waited for. I don’t know who these two men will be, that is not the purpose of this article, only to show these two men will walk together in the anointing that rested on Moses and Elijah.

 

MOSES & ELIJAH APPEAR TOGETHER

 

Recall further out in Matthew 17, when Jesus had stated some of you shall not taste of death until you have seen the son of man coming in the power and glory of His kingdom. Six days later Peter, James and John are taken up on a mountain where they saw a vision of what Jesus will be like in the kingdom age. The scripture declares the face of Jesus did shine as the sun and His raiment was white as light. There was a glow about Him as His face did shine while His raiment was white as light. Is that not the picture we see in Revelation 19, when heaven is opened as Jesus is ready to split the eastern skies and return in the power and glory of His kingdom to rule and reign?

 

What else was seen in that vision? Recall, Moses and Elijah appeared together talking unto Him. In other words, here stood those two great anointings like this earth has never seen before and note these two anointings were together in the vision. Beloved, this vision the three disciples are looking upon pertains to what Jesus would be like in the kingdom. Yet it is shortly before the kingdom is ushered in that there shall be these two mighty anointings which were on Moses and Elijah that shall come to Israel during her last prophetic week of time which proceeds and closes out the whole calamity of God dealing with the human race. No, I do not say it will literally be these two men called Moses and Elijah, but undoubtedly it shall be those two mightiest anointings of God resting upon two men of that hour, but from those anointings it shall appear like Moses and Elijah are back on the earth again.

 

HAGGAI’S PROPHECY CONCERNING LATTER HOUSE

 

Haggai, one of the two restoration temple prophets on the scene while the 2nd temple was being constructed, is given prophecy concerning the glory of the latter house, or 3rd temple, which one day would replace this 2nd temple. This book consists of only two short chapters, yet what powerful chapters they are. Again I ask, why would it be Haggai and Zechariah (In 519 B.C.) who are being shown about the temple (or the latter house) as well as the two prophets in Israel’s future? Because these are the two prophets who fulfill the present role while the 2nd temple is under construction, prophesying concerning the glory of the 3rd temple to encourage the elderly people who are building the 2nd house who could remember the glory of the first house.

 

The setting of Haggai is exactly the same as that of Zechariah, only his prophecies come several months ahead of Zechariah’s. Both prophets prophecy in the 2nd year of Darius, the Medo-Persian leader of the 2nd world empire. It was not until the 2nd year of Darius’s reign that this decree made by Cyrus was discovered and Darius gave new orders to proceed with the building of the house which will only be a plain, undecorated house of the Lord completed four years later during Darius’ 6th year of reign, and will remain so until 500 years later when the architectural genius King Herod takes it upon himself to enlarge, beautify and elevate this present simple temple, which has no present description other than Ezra 6:3.

 

From Haggai’s prophecies we know this hour was far from being what the first house was, and the older people who could remember the glory of the first house were very disturbed and sorrowful over being unable to do any better (lack of finance, etc.) Bear in mind, 16 years had passed and not one block has been laid upon another during that time. As the prophecy opens, the spirit of God is somewhat fretted with the people over this lengthy standstill as He declares in 1:2, this people say the time has not come, that the Lord’s house should be built. Verse 4, God says, through the prophet, O ye, who dwell in your cieled houses, and let this house lay waste, it is time (after 16 years) for you to build. Verse 5, now therefore consider your ways. Verses 6-10, God tells the people why they haven’t prospered any better than they have in their last 16 years. You haven’t built my house, says the Lord! Verse 8, He instructs them to go to the mountains to bring wood and build my house of which God says I will take pleasure in and I will be glorified saith the Lord. Verse 14 declares the spirit of the Lord stirred up the spirit of the governor, the high priest and the remnant of the people, and they came and did work in the house of the Lord of host their God.

 

See also Ezra 3 thru 6 for the complete story of their 16 years in the land without a house. The families, having returned to their original cities, Ezra 2:70, met in Jerusalem and erected the altar whereby they might offer burnt offerings, (Ezra 3:1-3), beginning the 7th month of the 1st year. Ezra tells how in the 2nd year they met, laid a foundation, and started to build a wall when stopped by the new king and work was delayed for 16 years, Ezra 3:8-13, Ezra 4:11-24.

 

2ND TEMPLE NOT AS GLORIOUS AS 1ST TEMPLE

 

GRIEVES OLDER JEWS

 

Haggai 2 begins with another prophecy unto the people saying, who is left among you (elderly people) that saw “this house” in her first glory (Solomon’s temple), and how do you see it now? It is not in your eyes in comparison of it (1st house) as nothing! In other words, God is saying, isn’t this little plain, undecorated building in your sight as nothing compared to the glorious former house (Solomon’s temple)? Undoubtedly what has happened, God has revealed the peoples thoughts, especially the elderly people who could remember Solomon’s temple from their youth before the captivity and its destruction. God is saying to these people, who saw this house in her first glory?

 

Note the phrase “this house”, irregardless to which building the Lord refers to, whether the first, second or third temple, He always refers to it as “this house” as you shall see as you read the chapter. God has reference to the glory of Solomon’s, yet spoke of it in the present tense “this house” speaking of “this house” in its first glory, although destroyed over 80 years! Undoubtedly many could say in their hearts Lord, I can remember, and this little thing we are building isn’t anything compared to what we had in Solomon’s day, (they seemed ashamed of this building)!

 

No doubt Zerubbabel felt very downhearted knowing he couldn’t build one like Solomon had, nevertheless, God encourages him with prophecy telling him it will serve the purpose. Ezra 3:10, 11, 12 declares the old people wept who could remember the glory of the first house as a child. See also II Kings 25:9. Why did they weep? “This house” was nothing compared to the first house, so plain while the other one was so ornamented. The lavish beauty of “this house” under Solomon required seven years to complete, whereas this present structure (2nd house) required only four.

 

5 THINGS MISSING IN 2ND TEMPLE

 

The description of Solomon’s temple is found in I Kings 6:1-38, II Chronicles chapters 2 thru 4.

 

Furthermore, five things, according to Talmud, were missing in the 2nd temple which was found in the 1st temple: (1) the ark of the covenant, (2) the sacred fire, (3) the Shekinah glory, (4) the Holy Spirit and (5) the Urim Thummim. Josephus declares the holy of holies was empty in the 2nd temple and a single slab marked the sot where once stood the ark of the covenant. Truly this house was nothing in comparison to Solomon’s temple which God also referred to as “this house”, (Haggai 2:3). However, in their downheartedness God informs them in verse 9 that the glory of the latter house (3rd temple) shall be even more than the glory of the former house (Solomon’s temple), therefore don’t worry about it, just build the house.

 

LATTER HOUSE BUILT IN HOUR OF SHAKING OF ALL THINGS

 

Verse 6 declares, yet in a little while will I shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land (this shaking comes at the end of the Gentile age). God continues by saying, I will shake all nations (when?) At the end of the Gentile age. Beloved, we are in the closing hours of this Gentile age. Why else do you think America’s political structure is being shaken to pieces? First with such dissatisfaction of the nation with the Vietnam War, and secondly the Watergate situation, and thirdly with America losing her prestige among nations, while the dollar sinks to a new low, bouncing like a straw on an angry wave on the money markets of the world. Not only is America, but the Gentile nations of the world are being shaken to pieces, that is evident everywhere. No, this setting cannot be placed at Christ’s first coming, only at His second.

 

Watch now for some vital clues coming up on that 3rd temple, although God still refers to it as “this house” when He says, the glory of the latter house will be far greater than that of the former house. Recall, former house in verse 3 was Solomon’s as they are erecting the 2nd house which apparently had no visible glory at all. The glory of the latter house was nothing to do with any part of the 2nd building destroyed in 70 A.D.

 

Begin looking for the appearing of this latter house sometime around the time of the shaking of all nations as well as the shaking of all things, for the nearer we reach the end the more things will be shaken! What else did God say through Zechariah, and the desire of all nations (in the millennium) shall come and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord! Irregardless to how many houses God built, He also referred to it as “this house”. The setting has moved now from the 2nd house, to the end of the Gentile age to the latter house where God shakes all nations, etc. (See also Haggai 2:21-23) Now we begin hearing him begin to talk about a time that He will fill “this house with glory”! Somewhere in that period and not during the time Zerubbabel is building the temple which was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans. The setting ends with the Gentile age and enters into the Millennium where God begins to tell how He will fill this house with glory. However our point is, the 3rd house is already built somewhere in the closing of the Gentile age before the Lord enters into this house at Jerusalem and fills it with glory!

 

EZEKIEL WITNESSED GLORY ENTER LATTER HOUSE

 

Pause there for a moment and turn into Ezekiel 40 thru 47 which describes this house in that hour beginning with the millennium! Remember, John the Revelator in Revelation 11 was given a reed liken unto a rod to measure the temple, altar, and worshipers and note also in Ezekiel 40, we are told of a man who was given a measuring rod and also told to measure the temple (this latter house)! I am not saying John was that man, but I am saying John was also given a reed and told to measure the temple of God. Ezekiel 43:4-7 informs us how the glory of the Lord entered into this rebuilt house, when the Lord Himself entered into the house by the way of the Kings Gate toward the East. Ezekiel says the spirit of the Lord picked him up and stood him in the inner court (of the newly built temple) and he says he beheld the glory of the Lord fill the house. Haggai 2:7 declared He would do just exactly that! Ezekiel further declares he heard the Lord (Jesus speak out of the house, 3rd rebuilt temple in Jerusalem at the beginning of the Millennium) saying, Son of man the place of my throne and the place of the souls of my feet where I will dwell in the midst of the Children of Israel forever and my holy name shall the Children of Israel never again defile.

 

FIRST HOUSE NO COMPARISON TO GLORY OF LATTER HOUSE

 

I repeat, through Haggai, God is speaking to those dishearten, sorrowing, elderly people who could remember this house in its first glory, telling the people about the time all nations are being shaken at the end of the Gentile dispensation, another building will be going up, far superior to anything yet. Verse 8, the silver is mine and the gold is mine, saith the Lord. In other words, I could build a nicer house now if I wanted to. Do I not own all the gold and silver? Just wait, don’t feel bad about it because this house (2nd temple) is so plain, I am satisfied! Verse 9, because the glory of this latter house (3rd temple) shall far surpass that of even the former house (Solomon’s). This prophecy came about to encourage the older people who could well remember the glory of that former house of Solomon and who felt so downcast over what they were erecting. But God said, cheer up, the glory of the latter house will be greater than even the former one you are thinking about, and in that place will I give peace. See beloved, it is in that 3rd rebuilt temple God will give peace to the world. Haggai, through prophecy, is telling the people, be of good courage and build the present house with the means you have because the former house would be nothing in comparison with the latter house (3rd), and later God encourages Zerubbabel’s heart with still another prophecy. Verse 20-25, In that day, when I shake all things and overthrow the thrones of kingdoms, destroying the strength of the heathen, in that day, O Zerubbabel, will I take thee my servant and make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts!

 

Someone may ask, will the temple be built around the time the anti-christ makes his covenant? It could be, the Bible doesn’t say, But one thing is for sure, there will be a temple there when he breaks his covenant in the middle of the week. How long would it take for Israel, with modern day equipment to put up a temple? She could easily do it in 3½ years, seeing that the Jews around the world would contribute heavily toward its erection. Three years after the 6 day war Jews in America alone had donated one billion to the expense of the 6 day war, what will the Jews from the U.S. and Canada donate to this dream once it is announced the temple is ready to be built. Undoubtedly that is why God has allowed the Jews with money to remain in America and Canada, to pour in the money for that project when the time comes.

 

Did you know the only thing keeping the Jews from offering sacrifices today is he can’t get possession of that rock, however, when he does you can be assured that he will clean off that area and begin offering sacrifices to Jehovah and a temple will soon be going up. However, until that rock falls back into her hands they will never offer a sacrifice on any other altar, it is forbidden in the Old Testament. By no means will you ever see a temple of God erected on the same holy site while that Mosque of Omar stands over the rock. Therefore, it is important to note when the angel instructed John to measure the temple, he instructed him to measure the altar also. Why? Because the two go together and are inseparable in the worship of Jehovah.

 

PART 4 – DESECRATION BY THE MAN OF SIN

 

5 THINGS 42 MONTHS DOES NOT IMPLY

 

Back to John’s vision as we begin to bring our message to a close, it is the treading down of the temple area by the Gentiles for that special 42 months period which gives us a clue as to when this latter house will be erected, seeing it must be erected in time for the fulfillment of the last 3½ years, or 42 months, before the millennium. Please note the following things that the treading down of the holy city area for 42 months has no reference to: (1) It has no reference to Titus treading down the temple area and city in 70 A.D., seeing 42 months is nothing compared to the period of time the Gentiles trod down the holy temple area under Titus. (2) It has nothing to do with the Dome of the Rock being located over the holy rock, seeing the Moslem’s have stayed more than 42 months since the 7th Century. (3) It ha no spiritual application in the fact you could take the 40 and 2 months and somehow spiritually stretch them out over the 2554 years the Gentiles have continually trodden down Jerusalem until 1967. (4) It cannot be applied to the grace age temple of the Holy Ghost throughout the Gentile dispensation and (5) The 40 and 2 months the Gentiles tread down the holy temple area and Jerusalem cannot apply unto the many Gentile tourists, the Gentile news media from around the world who will be present during that period the temple (latter house) is being erected.

 

None of this can apply to the meaning of the 40 and 2 months Gentiles once again tread down Jerusalem and the holy temple area. No, beloved, this will be a special specified period of 40 and 2 months when the European Gentile beast power and its mouthpiece, the wounded 8th head, takes their final stand in Jerusalem, especially in the temple palace which has been erected for their Messiah, the Lord God whose names is Jesus, who is prophesied in Haggai to fulfill His latter house with his glory.

 

FINAL 7 WEEKS

 

Yes beloved, somewhere out in the near future, though Revelation11 does not give explicit details showing exactly what world conditions will develop that will bring that temple into existence, nevertheless somewhere in front of us is going to develop some worldshaking events in the Middle East and irregardless of what the U.S., England, France or anyone else wants to do, they are helpless once God is ready to act in behalf of Israel. Somewhere in front of us when time is just right that prophetic minded orthodox Jew is going to get his dream fulfilled as he receives that holy temple ground and that altar of sacrifice goes quickly into operation. That holy spot of ground will not fall in the hands of the political minded Jew who cares little about whether the prophecies of a holy temple is fulfilled or not, seeing his interest is only political and trying to persuade the world to see his vision for Israel, that is to be recognized as a nation among nations and to have a chance to live in peace and have prosperity. No, that political Jew is not back in Israel with intentions of fulfilling Bible prophecy to restore a temple, although that orthodox Old Testament minded Jew is there for that purpose, and one day that spot will fall into his hands and his dream will come true and when it does you can mark it down, Israel being God’s timepiece will once again begin to measure time prophetically. Prophetically time will begin to tick off as man will have only around 7 years to complete his Gentile dispensation and usher in the millennium.

 

A MAN (OF SIN) SETS IN TEMPLE

 

During that final seven years prophesied, especially within the book of Daniel which include the words of Jesus in the gospels as well as Paul’s writing in II Thessalonians 2:3-4, will spring into a reality and close out the final history of mankind as he heads into the millennium. According to Daniel 9:27, when the anti-christ makes his political agreement with that political minded Jew, and don’t think that spirit to sign that kind of agreement is not already resting on that politically minded Jew even today, it is! No, that doesn’t imply the Orthodox Jew is happy over the situation, nevertheless, that political minded Jew must begin to lean forward that office seeing that one day, according to Daniel 9:27, they will sign a covenant agreement with the prince of Rome. That political minded Jew in that hour must be willing to negotiate world trade, world peace, and prosperity for the survival of his own nation with Rome, and he makes this agreement with the anti-christ looking at it strictly from the political angle the anti-christ introduces his seven year peace covenant with Israel. (Daniel 9:27) When that happens, that will absolutely align Israel up with a political agreement with the Common Market nations. When that political Jew signs that covenant, ushering in that 7 year period, somewhere around that hour (I know not when as the Bible is silent to when only showing it must be ready for the final 3½ years) Israel will begin building her temple on that holy spot by the altar of sacrifice because these two pictures must run simultaneously and perfectly parallel, because the scripture declares in Daniel 9:27 that in the middle of that final prophetic week the man of sin will break that political covenant. After the breaking of that covenant, for a short duration of 42 months or 3½ years , Revelation 11:2, he will literally sit in that rebuilt temple. (II Thessalonians 2:4) Dear Soul, this is a literal fulfillment and not a spiritual as some think, for there is no way possible for the man of sin to literally sit in a spiritual temple within the grace age, because during the grace age you are the temple of the Holy Ghost if the Holy Ghost dwells within you, and at no time does the Holy Ghost and the devil occupy the same temple at the same time!

 

Isn’t it amazing that Ireanius, that 2nd church age messenger, according to the anti-Nicene fathers declares that the Christian church taught (around 150 A.D.) that the man of sin, who is none other than the anti-christ, will literally sit in the temple at Jerusalem! And may I point out, in that period, 130 A.D., the Roman Emperor Hadrian razed Jerusalem to the ground after another revolt and built a much smaller city dedicating it to Jupiter and excluded all Jews from the city, yet still with such a setting the early church was teaching a literal fulfillment to the man of sin one day sitting in the temple of Jerusalem for 42 months and IT WILL HAPPEN! He is the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place described by Daniel during the last 3½ years of Israel’s history, in a reign of terror described in Matthew as the worst days on earth. (Matthew 24:15) After he takes away the daily Jewish sacrifice, his days to set there are recorded in Daniel 12:11.

 

GENTILES ONCE AGAIN TREAD DOWN JERUSALEM

 

(Matthew 24:15) When you (Israel) see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place, you who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Some might say this is a fulfillment when Titus destroyed the temple. No dear soul, Titus did not fulfill this because he didn’t cut off the sacrifice and allow something to stand in the holy place for 1290 days! Therefore, we see clearly Revelation 11:2 has yet a future fulfillment. It will only be fulfilled after Israel has made her political covenant with the anti-christ to fulfill Daniel 9:27. Then in the middle of that prophetic week the anti-christ cuts off the daily sacrifice, moves himself from Rome to the newly erected temple at Jerusalem where he sits for 3½ years. I might point out that although some of you might think that a pope would never leave Rome. Pope Paul has already clearly stated that for the sake of world unity he would gladly move his office any place in the world, and the Bible declares where one day that office will be moved, INTO THE TEMPLE AT JERUSALEM. When this sacrifice is cut off ushering in the last half of the 70th prophetic week of Daniel, that temple would have already been built and the altar already put into operation for the breaking of that covenant and the cutting off of the daily sacrifice by the antichrist is fulfilled upon that holy spot, and then you shall see the fulfillment of the abomination that maketh desolate sit in the holy place. What is it? He sets himself in th temple and cracks that Roman office whip for then the 8th Head of the beast, which was wounded unto death, is completely healed, and the world wonders after him, ready now to fulfill the 42 months or 3½ years which coincides perfectly with Revelation 11, 12 and 12, as he calls in his international police force, and don’t think Jerusalem and the holy temple grounds won’t be well guarded for that 3½ years. No, it won’t be Swiss guards there, it will be his international police force, and you can rest assured the millennium will never usher in until the anti-christ has run his 3½ years to coincide with the true Christ who ministered also approximately 3½ years.

 

TEMPLE DEFINITELY BUILT BY MIDDLE OF WEEK

 

This precise 3½ year period of Revelation 11:2 can only transpire after the temple and altar have been re-established. It isn’t necessary for Israel to wait until her temple is built before she begins offering animal sacrifices to Jehovah? Oh no, this was revealed when Israel returned from Babylonian exile. In the first year of her return the altar of sacrifice was already in operation although it was some 18 years later before Israel had her second temple erected. Therefore, you see once this holy rock altar is cleared away, that is the Dome of the Rock moved, there is nothing to hinder Israel from immediately beginning to offer daily sacrifice sometime before her temple should be erected. Recall in Daniel 9:27, as well as Daniel 12:11, it was the daily sacrifice that was cut off, not the temple seeing the anti-christ himself shall use the temple for his own diabolical purposes. Beloved, this 3½ years of Revelation 11:2 is a special period and can only apply in Israel’s history sometime after she had re-entered the holy city and taken full possession as she did in 1967, and by no means can you possibly spiritualize these 42 months nor can you stretch them out over 2554 years that the gentiles did continuously tread down the holy city as well as the temple area. Dealing with Israel you must keep three things in mind: there is a holy land and Israel became a nation on that land in 1948, there is a holy city called Jerusalem and Israel took full possession of that in 1967, and there is a holy spot which at this moment Israel does not have but somewhere ahead of us something will happen that will place that temple area into her hands, and when it does you may rest assured that Revelation 11:2 is just around the corner.

 

SUMMARY

 

God showed two prophets two future happenings concerning the rebuilding of Israel’s 3rd temple, or latter house, which would come in the latter days! Zechariah saw the two prophets in vision while Haggai spoke freely of the greatness of the latter house to be rebuilt in the latter days which would far outshine either house. And still, after all of this, there are people who want to spiritualize the events of Revelation 11, making it something to represent the gentile church when so many scriptures point to it as being a natural house or temple! GOD FORBID!

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The Candle Was Lit – 1973, March

Rev. Raymond M Jackson

1973-03-A-Candle-Was-Lit

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Turn with me to Revelation 2 where we shall endeavor to teach a subject concerning a certain influential church called Ephesus, which was founded in the first Gentile age on Paul’s third missionary journey. Here it was that God lit Himself a spiritual candle which shined throughout all Asia for three years. However, by the time this church (at Ephesus) was forty years old God has sternly rebuked it and threatened to remove its candle!


Our study will cover this great influential church at Ephesus of which God chose to name the first age of Ephesus displayed to the gentile world, especially throughout Asia, its beauty of spirituality, morality and character, her revelatory capacity, love and unity as it displayed the grace of God within their lives. And we see its location in Asia Minor will explain why God chose such a city to beam out His powerful revelation of truth from the mouth of His chosen Apostle , the apostle to the gentiles, unto all Asia. Thus founding the most important church in the first church age only to have received a severe rebuke forty years later and a warning if they did not repent their very CANDLE FROM WHICH THE LIGHT HAD GONE FORTH AND INFLUENCED ALL ASIA IN THE TRUE REVELATION OF CHRIST WOULD BE REMOVED. (Revelation 2:5)


EPHESUS became so great it shook the very foundation of the religion worshiping the goddess Diana, whose headquarters was at Ephesus, as people everywhere were being converted to the true way of life, turning from paganism. God even wrought special miracles from that place by the hands of Paul, the like of which he never did in any other place throughout all gentile churches. In this article we shall learn the sad reality that for God’s purpose, the usefulness of any outstanding church is approximately forty years, and we shall see how it applies to our own age as well.


OUR GENERATION AND ITS USEFULNESS


Therefore, after some forty years the Lord Jesus is demanding repentance from this great church and says if they do not repent He will remove their candlestick out of its place! As already stated, forty years appears from scripture to be the life span of usefulness to God in His true original program and purpose within a local church! Forty years also seems to get the usefulness of a man as well as a church irregardless to how long either may exist. His great drive seems to burn out in those first forty years of service, the same is true with a church!


ONLY 40 YEARS


Revelation 2:1-6, as we see this church some forty years after its birth as Christ returns to earth (on the Isle of Patmos) and instructs His only original apostle still living to write a letter to this Ephesian Church, which He has chosen to use as a model and the characteristics found within that church during those early hours signifies and displays the qualities found in the gentile churches during the first age!

 

 

JOHN ON PATMOS


Banished to the Isle of Patmos (for the testimony he held) only a short distance off the coast of Ephesus, John had been exiled to this barren, snake infested island in the year 95 A.D. when the church to whom he is writing called Ephesus is now forty years old and is no longer the great spiritual, dynamic, Holy Ghost led church it was in its originality under Paul’s ministry! Here is an urgent message to Ephesus from the Lord Himself to repent of what they were doing there which also was affecting all the other gentile churches in the same revelation! I WANT YOU TO GET THIS, Ephesus was the kind of church which was so influential upon all other churches within the true message that the other churches were greatly swayed and followed closely in whatever example Ephesus set before them (such as, what had only been a deed of action in Ephesus, because of their influence that same thing had already by 95 A.D. become a doctrine over in Pergamos. (Revelation 2:15)


LETTER FROM DISAPPOINTED GOD


We want to read this short letter which is straight to the point, and written by a disappointed God to Ephesus, who is now some 40 years old and is the very church He was chosen to exemplify the spirit of the first age, seeing that He also named this first age after this church. (1) “Unto the angel of the Church of Ephesus write these things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand and walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks: (2) I know thy works, and thy labor and thy patience.” These three words carry great weight as to what Ephesus has gone through during her forty years, as we shall later see. “And how thou canst not bear them that are evil: and hast tried them who say they are apostles, and are not, and hath found them liars. (3) And hath borne, and hath patience, and hath not fainted. (4) Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thy hast left thy first love! (5) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works over; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thy repent.”


From this statement you can see why we have entitled our message, THE CANDLE WAS LIT! Where? AT EPHESUS! However, we want to discover what happened to this candle of revelation which was lit at Ephesus some forty years prior, who is now being told to repent and do their first works over. What were their first works? Who had tampered with this revelated light which was so influential upon all the other churches that whatever Ephesus did, caused the other churches in the message to follow? For instance, when Ephesus blazed with glory and was so Holy Ghost led it caused an influence upon the other churches of that truth to do likewise. When it did something unwise it caused others to stumble! WHY? Because at Ephesus the messenger of the first church age ministered and pastored here, and as already stated what eventually happened at Ephesus, which at first was nothing more than a deed or action had shortly become a doctrine within the church at Pergamos a short distance away who followed the influence of Ephesus, as did all the local churches of Asia and Europe. Somewhere something happened at Ephesus that affected that great spiritual light in its original power and effectiveness, hence causing another condition to not only begin there, but also develop within the other churches among the gentiles, and we shall see later what that condition was! After forty years Ephesus’ testimony is not as influential in pushing the mainstream of God’s purpose for her, as it was when her revival fires burned brightly. And if this church is getting such a severe rebuke from the Lord it is important we discover why He is so displeased with His MODEL GENTILE CHURCH, which is still affecting the worship and leadership of the Spirit within the other churches influenced by her action!


Continued on we read, (6) “And this thou hast, (there in Ephesus) that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes which I also hate. (7) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Now remember this letter is being written unto the guilty church. Before you can apply any of this letter to the age itself, it must first be applied to Ephesus, the guilty church). We will also learn, by the grace of God, what it was she was guilty of because if the same thing happens to us who at the end of the age have now returned to the true original faith once delivered unto the saints, then we also are in trouble! “He that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” The reward for overcoming what hinders this church and all other assemblies will be Eternal Life (especially for those within the first age)! Therefore, whatever condition arose in Ephesus could easily be a matter of life or death, could it not?


THE NICOLAITANE SPIRIT


We have heard much concerning what Nicolaitanes are which is first spoken of in the church of Ephesus. Biblical scholars and historians of whom you read, all seem to agree with Nicolaitanes mentioned in Revelation 2:6, which the Lord saw in the Ephesus Church and furthermore saw was prevailing their influence over, not only that church, but the other churches of the message as well for even before 95 A.D. was not actually an individual group of people in Ephesus called by that name, Nicolaitanes, instead they teach it was a spirit which was being harbored by some there at Ephesus in that influential church, and their influence was beginning to create quite a problem throughout all the latter part of the first age! Let me say, this Nicolaitane spirit is blocking and hindering the definite move of the Holy Ghost in his leadership among his people in the congregation of the churches, and I want to emphasize something, I have yet to read one scholar or historian who has ever stated what promoted or what caused this spirit to take hold and ever gain foothold at Ephesus and their influence in turn caused other churches to take the same step or action insomuch that Christ himself stated Pergamos had made a doctrine out of this thing and was teaching as a doctrine the thing Ephesus was doing which to them was only a deed or action taken on the part of the ministry.


Yes, the scripture gives enough clues we can easily determine what happened that caused a Holy Ghost led church with an open fellowship such as Ephesus, to suddenly change from one mode of worship into something else which became known by the Lord himself as Nicolaitane deeds, which He said He hated, and furthermore the true saints in that congregation also hated!


I want to re-emphasize that this spirit which God hated ruling over His people in 95 A.D. was not present and could by no means ever be present in Paul’s day, nor was it present in 64 A.D., when Paul wrote his beautiful letter to the model church of that first age called Ephesus. Whatever transpired causing that spirit to show itself happened after Paul died, and later we shall read in Acts 20, when Paul gave his final address to the Ephesian elders, whom he was leaving in charge of the work at Ephesus, that this thing was going to come!


In order to understand more clearly what this FIRST WORKS of this church were to which they are commanded to return or else He will come and remove their candlestick, we must go back more than forty years to study what led to the founding of this great church.


PART 2 – PAUL’S FIRST VISIT TO EPHESUS


Time is drawing near once again for another Jewish feast in Jerusalem and Paul wanted to be present. No doubt it gave him great opportunity to witness to many Jews. Therefore, we note Paul leaving Corinth after having ministered 1½ years and takes with him Aquilla and Priscilla, crosses the Dardanelles Straits and comes directly into the capitol city of Asia Minor, the very headquarters of the Diana religion. Perhaps as no other city in Asia Minor this was the most influential. What was its name? EPHESUS! It is Paul’s first visit to Ephesus. On this missionary journey there will be no church founded however, as usual when Paul arrived in this beautiful, gentile city stooped in idolatry, where does he go first, straight to the local Jewish synagogue and is permitted to bear testimony of his wonderful, glorious revelation of Jesus Christ; not giving them too much during the first visit, nevertheless it has been enough to excite the curiosity of the Jews as they flock around him desiring that he stay and tell them more of this wonderful story. To this he explained he could not because he had to be at Jerusalem in time for the feast, nevertheless he promised faithfully he would return to Ephesus as he had been extended a hearty invitation by the Jews to return. Note, he does not take Aquilla and Priscilla with him to Jerusalem, instead, leaves them at Ephesus and journeys on alone.


WHY PAUL WENT TO JEW FIRST


Here is something interesting, have you ever noticed or wondered why in each gentile city between Acts 13 and Acts 19 Paul would always seek out the Jew first? Yes, beloved, within each gentile city Paul visited scattered throughout the Roman Empire there was always found a Jewish colony. The history or origination of Jewish colonies in gentile territory can reach as far back as 600 B.C. in the Babylonian dispersion. Jewish synagogues were established in each town, however, for the main seven feasts of which all Israel observed, the Jews would always go to Jerusalem to the temple. If Paul was an apostle to the gentiles, as he most certainly was, why did he continually seek out the Jew first? There are two main reasons.


BRIDGING THE LANGUAGE BARRIER


(1) The gospel was to go to the Jew first, (2) The Jew of that certain locality who had been reared in that area, knowing the customs and traditions and the tongue of these gentiles – these converted Jews could bridge the gap for the Apostle Paul to work his way into the heart or main flow of the gentile society in that area! As these Jews all spoke the original mother tongue, Hebrew, which Paul also spoke, they also were familiar with the language of the gentiles of their particular locality. Thus, God had bridged the language gap or barrier of all gentiles by permitting these Jewish colonies to be located in each of these cities, even long before he was ready to send his Jewish Apostle among the gentiles to preach the gospel in their language!


GENTILE LANGUAGES AND HEBREW BOTH AT PENTECOST


In Acts 2, we see how both the Hebrew and the national tongues wherein those Jews who visited Pentecost when the Holy Ghost came into the life of the believer played such an important role. The Jews from various nationalities who were visiting Jerusalem on this particular feast day testified how they had heard the praises of God coming from these Jewish Galileans in the tongue in which they were born! Acts 2 shows some 16 nationalities on the day of Pentecost. However, when Peter personally addressed all these Jews present, he spoke in the old mother tongue, Hebrew, the language in which all Jews regardless to which country they were from were familiar with.


CLEARING UP TONGUE CONFUSION


Therefore, I would like to clear up something that has been taught denominational circles – that the tongues in apostolic days were inspired languages in which these Jewish missionaries would speak under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit while they witnessed in these foreign countries! Furthermore, they say tongues ceased after the evangelism of the early church throughout the Roman Empire. To this teaching after the empire was evangelized in the first century, there was no more need for these tongues. However, this is not the purpose of the unknown tongue or language spoken of by Paul to the Corinthians which it appears many of them did speak. These are not tongues in which God permitted missionaries to speak while in foreign countries. The only time you find such a setting and this time was to preach the gospel, but to catch the attention of the Jew at Pentecost when God permitted those believers there to be speaking in some 16 foreign languages. Therefore, the tongues spoken there according to the Jews were their own native tongue wherein they were born and this is what aroused the interest of the Jews of these nations who were visiting Pentecost. However, when Peter preached the sermon, he spoke in the old mother tongue, Hebrew, which all Jews everywhere understand. No, tongues were not given for the purpose of evangelism in foreign countries, because as already stated, whenever Paul visited in each city he first visited the Jewish synagogue where after some Jews were converted through these contacts he was able to venture into the flow of the gentile society of whatever area he was in because it was these converted Jews who could speak these different dialects and were a great assistant to Paul. In short, by placing these Jewish colonies throughout the world of that day, God had already bridged the language barrier of that hour when the hour arrived He would send his Jewish apostle throughout the gentile nations of Asia and Europe to preach the gospel of Christ in their own language.


UNLOCKING THE CHURCH AGE


Watch closely the events now coming up surrounding Ephesus and the birth of the church which had great influence throughout the gentile church world for no less than 8 years. Aquilla and Priscilla, having been left in the city of Ephesus with these hungry Jews while Paul journeyed on to Jerusalem, did not seize the opportunity of doing a great deal of witnessing in this most susceptible field! There is definitely a reason why! Watch these events unfold as we near the birth of the church at Ephesus.


ONE ACT OF WITNESSING


Meanwhile, an eloquent speaker and lawyer named Apollos, had somewhere in the past come in contact with the revelation of Jesus Christ as had been taught by John the Baptist some years prior. John, you recall, came in the spirit and power of Elijah to forerun Christ’s first coming, baptized disciples telling them to believe on him who should come after him – that is on Christ Jesus. Apollos had come to this Jewish synagogue at Ephesus where Aquilla and Priscilla had an opportunity to hear him speak. He was powerful in the scriptures as far as his revelation had led him and he was more than faithful with what revelation he had, convincing the Jew that Christ was the Lord God in the flesh. Some of these Jews believed in his teaching as far as he was able to teach them, however, Aquilla and Priscilla, having been with Paul 1½ years or more, knew Apollos’ revelation was not up to date as Paul taught it. Note what they did! They were not like people of today, by no means. Aquilla and Priscilla took only Apollos aside (not his converts) and explained to him the way of God more perfectly (Acts 18:26). No they never did touch his converts; they never explained one thing to them! Out side this one act there is not one mention of anything these two did, yet truly there was a great opportunity in this area though Aquilla and Priscilla never touched it! Bringing Apollos’ revelation up to date, which would include the true name of Jesus, water baptism and receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, Acts 2:38 was all they did, they in turn sent letters of recommendation by Apollos over to Corinth where Paul had converts and had pastored there for 1½ years. Apollos leaves and goes to Corinth where evidently from the letter Paul wrote later to the church at Corinth Apollos was very successful in his ministry there, (I Corinthians 3:4-8). Aquilla and Priscilla apparently discussed this revelation with no others, instead waited for the return to Paul to teach the revelation to those hungry Jews.

 

 

EPHESUS LEFT STRICTLY TO PAUL’S MINISTRY


We are now approaching Chapter 19 of Acts, the most important chapter of our study where we see Paul’s first convert in Ephesus which shall lead into one of the greatest influential churches in all Asia. Paul returns from the feast at Jerusalem, Acts 19:1, “And it came to pass while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coast of Asia Minor came down to Ephesus.” Paul is now back in Ephesus, but not at the Jewish synagogue, and I want you to watch every minute detail in this chapter for some of the most important developments as we shall now see some of the works unto which this church in 95 A.D. was commanded to return to in that first love. “Finding certain disciples..” (Whose disciples were they, not Paul’s, he didn’t have any new disciples in Ephesus). These men no doubt have fallen under Apollos’ influence . Although they were (Apollos’) disciples they will make a statement which proves Aquilla and Priscilla had not been witnessing to the Jews about this revelation, for these twelve say to Paul they had not so much as heard where there be a Holy Ghost! Apollos did not know that either until he met Aquilla and Priscilla. This shows the Holy Ghost would not permit Apollos to remain in Ephesus to preach the true way, because as you shall see, Paul must be the founder of this special work!


PAUL’S FIRST CONVERT


Knowing they were believers or disciples he asked under what were they baptized and they replied, “Unto John’s baptism”. Note, Paul knew all about John’s ministry. You see, the prophet John, even though he was the forerunner for the first coming of Christ, coming in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17) was not continually preached upon throughout the early church. You can be assured that early church knew the role and ministry which John had played in the scriptures! Imagine Paul saying to those men after being told they were baptized unto John, WHO IS JOHN, I NEVER HEARD OF HIM!! No, beloved, Paul knew exactly John’s position in the scripture and he recognized that position although John was recognized in no more than he was called to do – ANNOUNCE THE FIRST COMING OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!


Remember, we are approaching the birth of the Ephesus Church whish is in approximately 54 A.D., and it is in this period God is opening up what He calls the first gentile dispensation or age called Ephesus, and furthermore it is these twelve men who are Paul’s first converts in Ephesus that constitutes the birth of the church! Therefore, the Ephesus Church Age has opened with this church at Ephesus being in the center spotlight!


Reading Acts 19:4, we are told Paul explained to these twelve men John had truly baptized with water, declaring to all his disciples they should believe on him that should come after him, that is on Jesus Christ. Watch these events as they unfold as they are most important seeing the church come into its infancy. We are now about to witness something pertaining to the Holy Ghost which is only recorded three times in scripture!


GENTILES TO HAVE SAME HOLY GHOST POWER


God is preparing to unlock something pertaining to this thing of how people say you must receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost in a certain special way, watch this closely! Out of all the churches Paul has founded, whether it be Corinth, Thessalonica, churches in Derbe, Lystra or throughout Asia or Europe, not one of them expressed how a single disciple received the baptism of the Holy Ghost or what experience they went through! However, here in Chapter 19, Paul comes straight into Ephesus, meets twelve disciples and the first thing he asks is about the Holy Ghost. And notice, we are told how they received the Holy Ghost. There is definitely a reason it had to be in this manner because it is with this church God is officially doing something for the third time, opening His gentile dispensational church period in its first stage and the church will pass through seven stages before the end, according to Revelation 2 and 3. Here is the initial opening of the gentile church age as twelve men receive Christ in His fulness and become the first twelve candidates of the new church at Ephesus! The official opening of this church can not be just any old way, it must be exactly according to the true pattern, else how could it ever be the model and influential church that shall rise to such prominence under the ministry of the Apostle Paul within the next three years that all Asia and the gentile church world shall be influenced by it. No wonder Christ demands this church to repent and return to its first works in 95 A.D. It is because of that great influence and sway it held over the other churches of the age! Were she to repent, she would be influential in leading the others to follow her example!


EPHESUS AND THE 3RD OPENING


Thus, as we watch the gospel in action upon these twelve men, we are seeing the working of the Holy Spirit within that first gentile church age. That is why the Holy Ghost is so precise in every detail concerning Acts 19, especially those first six verses. And as Paul officially opens this gentile church age at Ephesus with these twelve disciples, it explains why Aquilla and Priscilla never started a church or fellowship through their personal witnessing before Paul returned. No, by no means, shall this be an ordinary church, for we shall see things transpire in this church that transpired in no other gentile church under Paul’s ministry, and furthermore we shall see WHY they transpired.


SOMETHING HAPPENS FOR 3RD TIME


The fact we see the messenger to the age, the Apostle Paul, take these twelve men and although they have been baptized once, they must be baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus and come into this thing correctly and receive the Holy Ghost, speak in tongues, and prophesy in order to illustrate there is absolutely no less happening here or being received as this gentile church age is officially opening, as did appear in the other two official openings found in Acts 2 and Acts 10 on these other two great occasions found in scripture, though many years apart! (1) When the Holy Ghost officially came on the day of Pentecost, infilled those 120 Jews in the upper room and the scripture declares, they spoke with tongues. I AM TEACHING SOME TONGUE EVIDENCE DOCTRINE, that must be clearly understood. I am merely showing you how on these three special occasions (only), some 10 years apart in each case He initiated the opening with the same power and presence of that same Spirit (His).


Although from Pentecost up to this hour it must be remembered tens of thousands had all received the same Holy Ghost, yet there is not one mention as to how any of them received the Holy Ghost only on these three special occasions is it shown, some 10 to 20 years apart! The purpose, as stated, is to show God is giving the same measure of grace to the gentile church and she will have the same Holy Ghost, the same revelation, and the same gifts as when it officially opened with the Jews.


LOCATION OF EPHESUS


Ephesus, where God lit His candle to light all Asia, was the capitol city of Asia Minor and in Paul’s day was a contemporary city to Athens, Greece, as well as Rome. As a matter of fact, the road from Ephesus which led around the Mediterranean Sea went straight to Rome. Thus came the slogan, all roads lead to Rome! This beautiful seaport city lay on the coast of Asia Minor facing the Aegean Sea next to the country of Greece and protruded down into the Mediterranean Sea, thus separating two areas of land by a large body of water coming from the Straits, draining into the Black Sea. Probably the most important factor of this city was religiously, seeing it was the headquarters of the Diana religion with its temple location there. This religion had spread its influence across all Asia from the city of Ephesus. Perhaps this more than any other reason is why God chose Ephesus to establish His church to bear such influence over all Asia as had the Diana worship from their headquarters in Ephesus. From here God would spread His true light of revelation throughout all Asia by His first church age messenger.


TEMPLE OF DIANA


Ephesus not only was the center of the Diana religion, but was also the location of the great temple of the goddess Diana, which had influenced all Asia religiously for centuries. This rich industrial city being one of great culture perhaps is why the headquarters of the Diana religion was established here and her worshipers spread throughout Asia Minor (and the world). Just as Athens, Greece, which lay across the Aegean Sea had those great Acropolis buildings dating back to 1600 B.C. and still further on many miles west stood that great ancient city of Rome with her many pagan shrines and temples being used to worship pagan deities, both male and female, likewise was Ephesus the third city being the headquarters of the Diana religion.


Undoubtedly this goddess has been greatly responsible for the tremendous growth of Ephesus due to the fact that the Diana temple was located within the city. This temple in its magnificent beauty required 200 years to complete, its dimensions reached 425 ft. long, 220 ft. wide, 60 ft. tall and was supported by 127 pillars. Yes, it was through this pagan temple that the worshipers of Diana of the Ephesians were successful in spreading their influence and worship throughout all Asia Minor. Therefore, can’t you see why the God of heaven would choose this very city to light His candle of true revelation and beam that light across Asia where in less than 3 years He had rocked the very foundation of this ancient (woman) religion! Perhaps more so than Martin Luther when he shook the Catholic Church in 1517, thus beginning the Protestant Reformation!


WORKING OF HOLY GHOST – SAME


Already we have been in Acts 19:1-6, step by step Paul’s conversation with the twelve men who knew only John the Baptist’s revelation of Jesus Christ. Taking these men, re-baptizing them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, laying hands upon them and seeing these 12 Ephesians disciples speaking in tongues and prophesying proves one thing; God is giving unto the gentile church age that same full measure of grace with nothing watered down nor diluted in the way of the Spirit, but giving exactly the same full measure of grace issued to the Jews on the day of Pentecost some 20 years prior, and also to the household of the Roman Centurion Cornelius as the gentile age itself was opened in Acts 10, as his household received the Holy Ghost in the Holy Land ten years earlier at Caesarea as that second phase was opened within the grace age.


EPHESUS – 2 OUTSTANDING EVENTS


Furthermore, to show you as God is opening in Acts 19 the gentile church age at Ephesus there were two outstanding events which standout through the ministry of the Apostle Peter as Jerusalem, 20 years prior, that are similar to the two miraculous events which happened at Ephesus under Paul’s ministry demonstrating the power of the Holy Ghost given to the gentile church is exactly the same as that when the Holy Spirit lay strictly in the hands of the Jewish disciples at Jerusalem some years before Israel declared herself completely unworthy to receive any part of the gospel, remaining strictly with the Law of Moses and the temple worship.


Now to examine these two things which happened in Paul’s ministry at Ephesus which was very similar to two things which happened in Jerusalem. (1) At Jerusalem the very shadow of Peter healed the sick. At Ephesus came forth aprons, cloths, handkerchiefs, etc., from Paul’s body that was carried throughout Asia, and as that material was placed upon the body of the sick and afflicted, they were instantly healed of whatever disease they possessed, including demon possession. (Acts 19:10-12). (2) The slaying of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 as they lied to the Holy Ghost concerning certain property which had been sold. The Bible declares fear fell upon everyone around and no man dust join himself to them for fear. Now at Ephesus we are told Paul’s great meeting held within this school building drew such crowds, coming from all over Asia (converts of the Diana religion) who repented and were saved, filled with the Holy Ghost and healed, and the name of Jesus Christ grew so strong and powerful, it is recorded a Jewish priest named Sieva had seven sons of which the scripture calls vagabond Jews (exorcists, fortune tellers, zodiac studiers). No doubt these seven son were most ambitious and would enjoy having a following of their own, had watched Paul casting out devils and observed the name of Jesus which he used was powerful against demons. These seven sons find a demon possessed man upon whom they use the name of Jesus to cast out these demons. Bravely they say, come out of the man in the name of Jesus of whom Paul preaches. To this the demon responded, Paul I know and Jesus I know, BUT WHO ARE YOU? With that the demon possessed man attacked the seven men, whipped, beat and stripped these insomuch they ran from the house, wounded and naked, (Acts 19:16)! Such an event was noised about among all the Jews and Greeks dwelling at Ephesus and (note this just as in Jerusalem) fear fell on them and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. (Acts 19:17)


CONTINUAL 2 YEAR REVIVAL (ACTS 19:10)


Following the conversion of the first 12 in Ephesus, Paul returns to the Jewish synagogue where he ministers 3 months and leaving there took over a school building of one Tyrannus where he ministers daily for two years, wherein all which dwelt in Asia heard the Word. (Acts 19:9-10)


BOOK BURNING


The true disciples of Christ began to multiply out of this idolatrous pagan woman religion as Paul was kept busy for a full three years, preaching day and night, teaching the unsearchable riches of Christ. Sins were confessed, heathen converts straightened out their ways of living and the Bible says those which used curious arts, a common thing in the Diana religion, gave up these things, brought their books before Paul who built a bonfire and burned them in the streets of the city and the price of the books was over 50,000 pieces of silver! Naturally this was shaking the very foundation of this religion of Diana insomuch that near the end of Paul’s third year at Ephesus he had almost crippled the craftsmen’s trade who made the little (woman) Diana trinkets, statues, things to be kept in the home of which the priest would bless. (Reminds you of another religion which has statues, images, prayer beads, etc., and the blessing by priests, does it not? Which is also nothing but a hand-me-down tradition). People throughout Asia were not buying these things from the craftsmen who had in the past had a tremendous business in Ephesus before Paul came.


SILVERSMITH TROUBLE


Demetrius, a silversmith, who made shrines of Diana, along with the other craftsmen who also had grown wealthy, now see their business almost shattered! Things have become so desperate by the time the people burn their books the craftsmen call a meeting to see what steps can be taken to stop Paul before he turns all Asia away from the worship of the goddess Diana.


Reading from Acts 19:21-41, we pick up the story showing Paul’s remaining days in Ephesus are limited. After the burning of the books Demetrius calls a meeting of the craftsmen of his trade telling them how the goddess of Diana has been made to be despised and if something isn’t done soon, her magnificence would be destroyed whom all the world worshiped (by Paul’s teachings). In one form or another this woman religion is worshiped throughout the world, one place she may be called Diana, in another Mary, and another something else. Verse 28 states when they heard this they were filled with wrath and cried, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. Verse 29 discloses the entire city was filled with confusion and taking hold of two of Paul’s traveling companions, men of Macedonia, Gaius and Aristarchus, the crowd rushed with one accord into the theater, and when Paul would have entered in before this mad, confused multitude the disciples begged him to refrain. This great amphitheater now became a mass of confusion as one group of the Diana worshipers cried one thing and another group cried something else, while the majority were not even aware why they were there!


SHOUTING FOR 2 HOURS


For two solid hours they cried GREAT IS DIANA OF THE EPHESIANS! The uproar was of such magnitude the town clerk who tried to quieten the confused, violent mob, assured them if Demetrius and the craftsmen had a quarrel against any man to take it before law for they were in danger, said he, of being called into question (by the Romans) for this day uproar. With this demonstration of Diana worshipers it seems Paul’s ministry in Ephesus after three years is finished. However, study carefully the entire 19th chapter of Acts for that great three year ministry where his time was spent as God lit this candle at Ephesus spreading His revelation light throughout Asia from this one lighthouse from Ephesus.


PAUL LEAVES EPHESUS


Paul left in Ephesus a church which was influential over all the other churches of the same revelation. Just as the great Goddess Diana supposing to have been an image fallen from Jupiter and worshiped throughout Asia with their strategic spot, temple etc., located in Ephesus, likewise did God place His beacon light in Ephesus not only spreading the light all over Asia from that one candle, lighting many fires, but was so influential it became the symbol of all churches of the first age. Therefore, is there any wonder Satan would especially attack this one church after Paul’s departure.


We note in verse 21, even before this great uproar brought about by Demetrius and the craftsmen against Paul, already Paul was feeling in his spirit his time was about up in Ephesus as he had a desire to visit Rome. However, before this could be accomplished he must first pass through Macedonia, Corinth, Achaia and other places before returning to Jerusalem and later visit Rome.


MESSAGE TO ELDERS


While at Corinth Paul decides to return to Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost, which by the way, will be his final trip, for here he will be captured and eventually, upon his request, be sent to Rome to appeal his case before Caesar. However, watch especially what he does here! Remember, he has left the church at Ephesus where he pastored for three years and that church became a light of inspiration to the gentile age during that period. Now Paul is so moved in the Spirit that he must deliver a final message unto the Ephesian elders themselves (not to the congregation). Elders are men who hold certain offices within the five-fold ministry. However, Paul does not return to the church itself in Ephesus to deliver this urgent message. Instead, on his return to Jerusalem he passes through Miletus, a town a short distance from Ephesus, and sends word to the Ephesian elders to meet him there. Here at Miletus Paul warns these men of certain things (Acts 20) and conditions which will arise at Ephesus in the church after his departure.


WARNED OF 2 THINGS COMING


He beings by saying to these men left in charge of the church and made overseers by the Holy Ghost – “You will see my face no more.” Naturally such a statement grieved the elders who dearly loved Paul. Nevertheless, Paul knew his personal ministry in Asia was completed and he would never return! The church at Ephesus had now been turned over to others, however, the three years Paul labored there he had withheld nothing in his teaching concerning this faith and revelation of truth that they should know. For the final time addressing the saddened Ephesian elders at Miletus who see the seriousness of this meeting, Paul continues by saying he must be at Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. I go bound in the spirit but I know bonds and afflictions abide me in Jerusalem. How did he know that? The Holy Ghost was constantly witnessing this one thing to him in every city he visited. Such a continual witness could come only through the nine gifts of the Spirit which many, I am sorry to say, do not believe in today, nevertheless, were most prevalent and in operation in the assemblies of the early gentile church day! Paul told these serious minded Ephesian elders, AFTER MY DEPARTURE GRIEVOUS WOLVES SHALL DECEITFULLY ENTER INTO THE FLOCK AT EPHESUS, RIPPING AND TEARING THE POOR SHEEP TO SHREDS WITH THEIR FALSE REVELATIONS AND THEORIES (which were prevalent in that hour, mainly over the godhead).


Not only did he warn them to beware of the false apostles etc., who would come but GET THIS, men within their own ranks within the church would rise up at Ephesus and begin to lead away souls after their wild, fanatical teachings which, no doubt, they would declare to the local assembly to be revelations from God! It seemed the devil was going to turn loose with everything he had in the way of false teachers and bombard the very gate of this influential church after the departure of this great apostle. Paul warned them to watch for this for it would come, watch those two things especially!


PAUL IN ROME


Leaving the Ephesian elders at Miletus, he journeyed on to Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost where, no doubt, he desires to witness unto the multitudes of Jews. After all, it was at the Feast of Pentecost Peter won 3,000 souls…remember? Paul arrives at Jerusalem and, as the Spirit had warned him, ran straight into trouble as he was confronted by an angry mob who had cooked up quite a story against him. For his safety he is arrested by the Romans and placed in jail. The angry Jewish mob threatens to kill him, however, the Lord spoke to him in a vision saying, as you have witnessed of me in Jerusalem so also will you bear witness of me in Rome. Recall, he told the Ephesian elders he had a desire to see Rome! All these things have great importance because it was sometime after Paul reached Rome, around 64 A.D., approximately eight years after he had established the church at Ephesus he wrote his immortal letter praising that great church for the influential way they were known throughout Asia as a church of great love and influence. (Ephesians 1:15)


EPHESIAN LETTER WRITTEN FROM ROME


It seems in those first few chapters of that letter Paul touched upon so many of the great doctrines of Christ; GODHEAD, PREDESTINATION, SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER, oh yes, in Ephesians 4:30, we find him telling this church, Grieve not the Holy Spirit whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption! This was a later warning unto them for, according to his own prophecy to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20, Paul knew the time would come if they were not very careful they would grieve the Spirit. Roughly 30 years later we see the Spirit is grieved (95 A.D.) as he is rebuking the church saying He has somewhat against them and demands their repentance. Notice, in that great Ephesian letter Paul does not go into lengthy detail concerning these church doctrines. Why should he, he did that during those three years teaching them night and day warning all men to repent and flee the wrath of God! He had already taught these great doctrines to that church, withholding nothing! The thing I want you to notice in the Ephesian letter – there is not the slightest indication this spirit spoken of in Revelation 2 as deeds of Nicolaitanes had even begun to work in the hour of 64 A.D., in this great church which at that hour still remained with an open Holy Ghost led fellowship! It is evident in all of Paul’s gentile churches or fellowships as he is the messenger to the age, he promoted an open fellowship in the assemblies among the saints, yet everything was run decently and in order (I Corinthians 14:26 & 40). Paul’s anointed ministry and manner of life, and his zeal so inspired this church that their love, devotion, doctrinal teachings, zeal and missionary efforts became known throughout all Asia. Churches throughout Asia were formed, although not personally founded by the Apostle Paul, instead various people came and lit their fires of revelation off the gospel candlelight that burned at Ephesus, the capitol city of Asia Minor, which still remained that model church who influenced all the other gentile churches of that hour in the revelation of Christ in their manner of following the leadership of the Holy Ghost.


Thank God Paul never lived to see this dreadful condition in his beloved church at Ephesus which had developed in 95-96 A.D. Paul lived only approximately one year after writing the Ephesian letter before he was beheaded at Rome on Nero’s chop-block. Therefore, the Apostle Paul had been dead roughly 30 years when John received word to write to the seven local churches of Asia, Ephesus being first and received a rebuke that none of the others received because Ephesus was responsible for what happened-which affected that age and the other 6 ages as well!


ROME NEVER ACCEPTS PAUL AS CHURCH AGE MESSENGER


As we previously stated, Paul had left Ephesus for several years before he ever saw Rome. However, eventually he finally went to Rome where in 64 A.D. he wrote that great Ephesian letter, and at that hour the church was much like he left it. It is believed that while Paul visited Corinth after leaving Ephesus, he writes a letter to the Roman church expressing his desire to come their way that he might impart unto them some spiritual gift, (Romans 1:11-15), informing the church he was ready to preach the gospel at Rome also. It should be noted the church at Rome to which Paul writes from Corinth was already presently established in Rome, being neither founded nor influenced by the Apostle Paul, as were the churches throughout Asia Minor and some sections of Europe. AND GET THIS, it was the churches throughout Asia whereupon hundreds of years later who eventually became known as the Greek Orthodox Church or the churches of the East who after 800 A.D., severed all relations with the Roman Catholic Church whose headquarters was in Rome and who held sway mainly over the western churches. It appears the eastern churches could never accept a gentile pope that dwelt at Rome claiming to be from the line of bishops of whom they claim the Apostle Peter to be first Bishop of Rome, while all Asia still accepted Paul as having been the gentile church messenger to the gentile church (and not Peter), as it had been mainly Paul’s ministry from Ephesus pastoring that great work for three years wherein multitudes throughout Asia came to Ephesus and were converted. Therefore, the church at Rome which later influenced most of the European churches, particularly with that idea that whatever they did was correct especially in teaching the bishop of Rome to have been the successor to the Apostle Peter and not Paul who all Asia still was accepting as the church age messenger, and this conflict between the East and West grew stronger as it always presented a problem until this final break.


ROMAN CHURCH NOT ESTABLISHED BY PAUL


It appears from Acts 2 that orthodox Jews, and perhaps some gentile proselytes converted to the Jewish faith, were present in that great audience in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost when those disciples came out of the upper room, drunk on the spirit (Acts 2), and one of these languages the Holy Ghost was allowing to be uttered in the street of Jerusalem by Galilean Jews was that of a Roman tongue which caught the attention of some of the Jews from that area, and they were converted off the revelation of the Apostle Peter to whom Christ had given the keys to the kingdom and these had obeyed Acts 2:38 and returned to Rome where they established a fellowship of worship around this revelation. At first the fellowship consisted mainly of a nucleus of Jewish Christians until later it became a mixed congregation once gentile began to be added to the fellowship. Such a fellowship of Jews and gentiles had created a friction which Paul had heard about, and from Corinth he writes an inspiring letter to the Roman Church wherein he spares no punches as he knew his office saying, thou who sayest thou art a Jew, thou makest a boast of the law etc. (Romans 2:17-29). Certain things had leaked out from the church at Rome and had reached the ears of Paul. Paul, being the apostle to the gentiles, wrote a letter to straighten them out on certain things and informed them of his coming to Rome. However, it must be noted after Paul’s death at Rome he was never accepted as the gentile messenger to the age as he was in Asia. Furthermore, it was this European Roman church sometime after Paul’s death which began drifting into domineering ideas of Catholicism and never once lifted up nor recognized Paul to have been the gentile church age messenger of that period. Instead contrary to Galations 3:9, they adopted the Apostle Peter as their messenger and further pretended he was first bishop of Rome. Peter was not the gentile messenger nor was he ever in Rome, and it was that lingering influence of Paul’s throughout Asia Minor and Greece as him being the true gentile messenger which was so strong it, among other things, finally caused the Eastern Greek Orthodox Churches to sever fellowship with the Roman Catholic Church in the 8th Century! Paul’s missionary work throughout his three journeys had been mainly influential through all Asia and the eastern part of Europe called Macedonia, today know as Bulgaria and Greece.


EPHESUS, A GREAT LIGHT


How many can see God lighting His candle at Ephesus and the other churches of Asia Minor, (Revelations 2 & 3) coming to Ephesus to light their revelation from the one fire at Ephesus instead of Paul making personal visits into these various places and personally establishing the local works himself throughout Asia? Yes, they were all lit in the three years Paul, the church age messenger, was at Ephesus.


Remember, Paul, in warning those Ephesian elders in Acts 20, had stressed these two extreme problems or conditions which would arise sometime after his departure (apparently meaning after death). Grievous wolves would come into the congregation at Ephesus to deceive many, and he warned further that some of their own men in Ephesus would rise up and draw away disciples! Leaving the Ephesian elders whom he would never see again, Paul departs for Jerusalem and is captured, moved to Caesarea where he spent some two years, and during this time wrote many of his epistles back to his gentile churches. From there he was placed aboard ship and taken to Rome where in 64 A.D., he wrote that beautiful and inspiring epistle to the Ephesian Church which we note at that time was still a great church, walking in its first love and still in tune with God! Had not something happened somewhere after Paul’s death that swayed this church onto a different pattern of devotion, she would never have received the rebuked she did in Revelation 2, some thirty years later. Ephesus, that beloved church pastored by Paul the church age messenger to the gentiles, had set the stage and was Christ’s model church of the age. However, what prompted Christ to write certain things to rebuke to this church who had exemplified the spirit of love, unity and doctrinal stand of which Paul taught, happened somewhere roughly between 67-95 A.D., less than 30 years. What she stood for and exemplified, as Ephesus lit the age, could not be seen in the church 40 years after her birth!


A CHURCH AFTER 40 YEARS


Much can happen to a church in forty years which plays such an important role as did Ephesus. Conditions and events can develop to such a point within a church such as Ephesus, in 40 years which will determine her course and destiny as to the direction the church will travel in unity, doctrine, etc. Recall, any church such as Ephesus which plays a major role in God’s program, irregardless of how great it is to the age, if it steps out of line of God’s program He too will rebuke it! I hate to say this, nevertheless bring this over into our present age. After God has been gracious enough to re-establish us in the true revelated, apostolic truth as taught by those original apostles, let any church playing such a major role of influence as did Ephesus to her age and see where such a church in our age is after 40 years – WILL IT GO THE SAME ROUTE?


Sorry, but the 40 years span I particularly have in mind concerning this age is from 1933-1973, when something was accomplished within the state of Indiana which greatly affected the Laodicean gentile world! I am aware some of my statements could hurt, however, I am only interested in one thing – IS GOD’S WILL BEING ACCOMPLISHED? God never permitted Paul to live long enough to see what would occur in these local assemblies which were influenced by his beloved Ephesus, the model church to the age. If he had lived to see it, undoubtedly it would have broken his heart. Perhaps none of the other six messengers lived to see the way their church went after 40 years either! To think the aged Apostle John had to be inspired around 95 A.D., to write such a letter of rebuke to what was once one of the finest gentile churches in all Asia Minor! As a matter of fact if you will notice there was something wrong within each of the other six churches as well in which Christ addressed in Revelations 2 & 3. Although by no means were these seven churches all the churches in Asia Minor, why are only these particular seven chosen from the great number of churches? Nothing is said concerning the church at Lycaonia, Derbe, Lystra, Galatia, Corinth, etc., only these particular seven in Asia Minor. God has found fault with all seven and what happened certainly was not Paul’s fault. The blame lay with other people at Ephesus after Paul’s death. Although we have traveled 1900 years since Paul’s day no matter how greatly God may have used a man or his church, let that church choose to go another direction contrary to the true plan and purpose of God and it too shall be rebuked as was Ephesus the model church one it finds displeasure in the eyes of God!


PART 3 – LETTER OF REBUKE


Bear in mind, the birth of the church came around 54 A.D., and forty years later the aged Apostle John, on a barren, snake infested island called Patmos, is inspired of the Holy Ghost to write the most stern rebuking letter this church ever received! No, the condition present in 95 A.D., was not there when Paul pastored for three years and pushed that church into the very spotlight for all Asia to see as an example and follow.


John, forty years after the birth of the Ephesus Church is compelled by the Spirit to write certain things to Ephesus in Revelation 2, saying, “Unto the angel of the church at Ephesus write, saith he that holdeth the seven stars (7 messengers to the 7 church ages) in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.” These seven golden candlesticks stood first of all for the revealed light of the seven local Asiatic churches who lit their testimonial light from the one light at Ephesus. However, we see this hold a two-fold meaning! These seven local gentile churches wherein the light was shining which had been lit from Ephesus, this light was the revelated light of Christ. Furthermore, each of these seven local churches exemplifies the Spirit of Christ which should be portrayed or projected and would shine throughout the seven gentile ages.


EXAMINING EPHESUS’ 40 YEARS WORK


To Ephesus, the Lord is saying, I KNOW THY WORKS. Works in this sense represents the deeds accomplished throughout the church’s ministry for the Lord over the past 40 years serving in the dispensation of the kingdom of God. However recall, as Christ observes that which He considered works that being accomplished for His name, He further notes what spirit their labor is accomplished in! Believe me, Christ is far more concerned over the human vitality or enthusiasm and devotion displayed toward the work which is done as they (or we) carry out our labor of love for Him in his service. In this Ephesus Church after 40 years, the devotion has become merely a thing of routine and not in the fervency, zeal and love it displayed in the beginning. Of this God was not well pleased!


Christ sees whether their labor (as well as ours) springs from a heart of pure love, zeal and devotion or whether it is merely something that has become a drudgery and constant struggle. Whichever, it will register on the countenance of the heart or spirit of the fellowship of the church. Ephesus, I know thy works and thy labor. Remember, before you can apply any part of this letter to the first gentile age as a whole, it must first be applied to that local church in Ephesus whose fellowship exemplifies that which is going on in the age at this hour! I know the effort and enthusiasm you have in time past put into the work to accomplish something for my name. I know thy works and thy labor or the strain under which you have performed your work. Why is it worded in such manner, because God examines the heart or spirit (of the church) which registers that strain or joy and enthusiasm in which the work is performed. Your effort and patience, see, all these words such as work, labor, effort and patience all link together in what they are doing because the moment you begin doing something for God that exerts action on your part, either you will face the works for Him with love and patience or it will become impatient, discouraged, desiring to give up and quit. And he says, I know thy works, the things you have accomplished. I know your labor and your effort you have put forth or the patience and the attitude how you faced up to the responsibility. Recall, he has reference to the effect these grievous wolves and the many within their own fellowship who have over the years rose up, teaching perverse things leading away disciples as Paul spoke of in Acts 20, who had left the fellowship. Constantly trying them who claimed to be apostles and finding them to be liars became quite a strain after awhile. The strain of such activity couples with the gradual loss of their first love and devotion was beginning to tell on this model church and it was affecting the spirit of the age among the other gentile churches also!


EVIL WAS HATED


Christ continues by saying, you cannot bear them who are evil. Still after 40 years they despised sin, corruption, evil of any nature, desiring to live clean and holy lives and hear the wonderful truth from God’s true servants. The Anti-Nicean fathers books cover that closing period of the first age as it goes into the second gentile church age. And beloved, in those early days, those men such as Ireneaus, Polycarp and others were strict. Today we really don’t know what being strict in Christian living is compared to how they taught it. This is a day when you speak concerning men and women appearances they take it so lightly. However, in that day you wouldn’t be fellowshipped or spoken to if you did not live and dress properly. One who didn’t live and dress according to the Christian testimony of that day was treated as an unbeliever! Because from your conduct and personal appearance, to them that revealed what you had on the inside and after 40 years we note Ephesus still possessed that loyal, fervent spirit within the church of standing against evil.


TRYING FALSE APOSTLES


Now we approach that part of Christ’s letter which closes in on the very purpose of John writing, the purpose which led to their dilemma as it spread its influence across Asia. After, he said, you cannot bear them that are evil, he continues by saying, you have tried those who claim to be apostles and found them to be liars. I wonder, beloved, just how many of these false apostles with wild revelations had come through Ephesus, falsely claiming to be apostles? Recall, Paul in Acts 20 informed the Ephesian elders they would be coming. Paul at that hour of informing the elders this, had been the only apostle to have ever been to Ephesus. However, sometime after Paul’s Ephesian letter had been written in 64 A.D., and he passes off the scene, many have come through pretending to be apostles with great revelations. Paul said grievous wolves and men among yourselves will rise up, not spring the flock, therefore, Paul was charging these Ephesian elders to guard that flock from such sheep killing wolves and dogs in disguise! (Acts 20:29)


Paul’s three year ministry at Ephesus, as he was the messenger to the gentile church age and through all God accomplished as he labored night and day, no doubt witnessed that Ephesian church to grow into a considerable size and influential work consisting of perhaps many hundreds of believers. Many had come through this church area in the latter part of these 40 years pretending to be apostles, for after all Paul had been an apostle with great revelation and these characters to be able to sway any weight upon such a revelated church as Ephesus would certainly have to pose as an apostle with perhaps deeper revelation to even interest such a congregation. To think what prestige it would be to these characters who wanted to make a name for themselves among christianity to be able to say: I PREACHED AT EPHESUS WHERE PAUL (THE MESSENGER TO THE AGE) PREACHED!


The first age was certainly the age of going forth of apostles as God spoke great revelation through them. There were the twelve who ministered to the circumcision and even throughout the region of the Roman Empire during that day. Furthermore, it was a day when a man spoke freely what his calling in Jesus Christ was. It was also an hour a man’s calling could be recognized by the evidence of the things which either went before him or after him that bore testimony whether he was such or not. It was an hour that Peter, Jude, Paul and the others could truly say, I am an apostle of Jesus Christ because surely Christ had sent each of them. Furthermore, it was an hour when it was established and written that such men as Judas, Agabus, Titus and Silas were prophets. Yes, it was an hour when man, called of God and set forth in the gentile church age in this five-fold ministry was not ashamed of his calling nor would back up from his office! Whatever the man’s calling, prophet, apostle, evangelist, teacher or pastor, the Spirit of God bore witness to it!


Recall further, it was a day when very little of the Word (New Testament) going forth had been written. Instead it was given out in an oral manner, spoken from the mouth of anointed men. Not until sometime later did the various letters of the New Testament begin to be written. Yes, beloved, this was an age of apostles when men went forth declaring a revelated Bible message and having authority from God to set things straight or set something in motion within the kingdom of God. Ephesus was that church of great influence wherein the candle was first lit for gentile churches throughout all Asian cities as they came to Ephesus during those three years of Paul’s ministry, and lit their candle thus returning to their own cities to begin their own fellowships. With Ephesus holding that influential position it is no wonder these false apostles and prophets after Paul’s death, would want to first go to Ephesus to make a name or stake a claim, much like in the gold rush days of 1849, when everyone wanted to go to California! Well, everyone who wanted some kind of recognition as someone outstanding couldn’t pass up the opportunity of going to Ephesus! These false apostles, of which Paul warned the elders, would come by and bombard the congregation with their revelations and over a period of time split and divide believers as they stood in the open assembly slipping in these wild revelations through their testimony because Ephesus, as well as all the churches at the time, did have an open fellowship in the assembly. An open assembly worship naturally presented a greater opportunity for these false apostles and those who wanted to have the opportunity to say something deceptive. However, remember it was also just as great an opportunity for the true anointed servants to say something uplifting as it was for the others to tear down! The true servants could manifest tongues, prophecies, etc., to edify the assembly. It must not be believed that every man who testified at Ephesus bore false revelation, by no means! God used this open fellowship of assembly worship to bless his saints as his Spirit could work among them, permitting a true uplifting testimony of revelation and blessing to be shared by all the congregations of that day, especially Ephesus. These false apostles felt if they will let me in Ephesus to say something they will allow me in almost anywhere to witness, especially after they hear I have been to Ephesus, AFTER ALL, THIS IS WHERE PAUL WAS! My, I have been to Ephesus where the messenger to the age stood and preached… What a boost to their prestige!


That is somewhat like it is in our day. An evangelist would come by certain churches and say, I know Bro. William Branham; I was in a meeting with him; I have been in his tabernacle, leaving an impression on the believers as he desires to worm his way into their confidence with such smooth speech, thinking this gives him some prestige or some great anointing when perhaps if the truth was known they may have been in the meeting, however sat 40 rows from the platform! It reminds me of an evangelist who came through our area once declaring he had come from great meetings in Alaska and Bro. William Branham had told him my church probably needed a good evangelist. However, later conferring with Bro. William Branham I found out he said no such thing, he was only using Bro. William Branham’s influence to get his feet in our door (oh, they still do it across this land). The first sermon was THE FOURTH MAN, an Oral Roberts speciality. How perfectly he had it memorized as I later saw this sermon typed written word for word in his Bible. It seemed, after the first night, according to him, our little building wouldn’t hold the congregation he would draw. Therefore, off he went a few miles away to Louisville to rent a larger building where he lasted only a few nights. Sure, he like so many others who sought Bro. William Branham’s reputation and influence for their own advantage, was a good speaker. These characters worming their way into Ephesus were also good speakers, but that didn’t make them true preachers of the Word! Concerning this evangelist who came our way, we later found out he left town owing a bill for gasoline and the rent on the building in Louisville. I only use this one incident to illustrate how these characters travel around professing themselves to be great deliverance evangelists, using Bro. William Branham’s reputation to further their end. Such characters should have joined Al Capone and John Dillinger, seeing they are crooks also!


When did these false apostles begin to come to Ephesus? AFTER PAUL’S DEATH? No, they wouldn’t dare come around while Paul was alive and try to foul up the lives of true believers, they knew better. This was an hour when men who wanted to be recognized spent much time studying the great doctrine of the godhead which Paul had taught to the gentiles. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be long before some of these men, as Paul stated in Acts 20, would begin to get the idea this doctrine (along with others) needed to be dressed up somewhat.


Therefore, the absence of the original apostles from the field, as many were being martyred or imprisoned, left the field open for these evil characters or sheep killing dogs who desire recognition! It left the way open for these wolves to run rampant, tearing the flock of God to pieces. And where did it happen more than any place else – EPHESUS! She was overrun with these new off colored revelations concerning the godhead as these revelations would be flowered up and twisted many ways. I repeat, in those days within the gentile churches it was definitely God’s intention for these churches to worship with an open fellowship! As a matter of fact, it seemed within the Jewish synagogues there also had been somewhat of an open fellowship where a man had the opportunity to testify. Look how Paul testified in them! On various occasions the leaders of the synagogue would ask Paul if he had something to say. No doubt it was probably true also in the early church. These certain characters also had opportunity to say something as they pretended to be in some part of this fivefold ministry. However, they were seeking to take away from this revelation which had been delivered by Paul by placing a new twist here and there. Like Paul said they would draw away disciples after their way of teaching. Oh, but praise God, there were always those loyal saints who could still say, that isn’t according to Paul’s revelation when he stood here! There were those who would guard that precious revelation with much fervency although as stated not much had been written at that hour. Nevertheless, they knew it was not as Paul had taught it and they would say, you are not teaching it that way, so that makes you false! Be gone you false apostles, we don’t need your newfangled revelations!


Ephesus was definitely that drawing card of which these false ones needed to work their way into other gentile congregations across Asia, etc. If ever one place had received more than their share of false teachers in that hour it was Ephesus. Likewise did Jeffersonville, Indiana, receive more than their fair share when the prophet messenger was alive! It too, became a drawing card for every kind of religious card shark and quack (religiously speaking) who, like those false ones in the day of Ephesus, here in our day would also attach themselves to this message who wanted recognition. Merely let be noised abroad that Bro. William Branham would be present at Jeffersonville for a few services and these would also be present in the Jeffersonville meetings (in the early days) distributing their little tracts which mostly supported their own particular idea or theory.


Later we will cover in this message how it was just such things as this which was directly responsible for BRO. BRANHAM MAKING A CERTAIN ORDER IN HIS CHURCH WHICH WOULD AFFECT THE SERVICES OF THE BRANHAM TABERNACLE ONLY, AND FURTHERMORE, HOW CERTAIN UNSPIRITUAL CHARACTERS WHO HAD ATTACHED THEMSELVES TO THIS MESSAGE, HAVING NO MORE LOVE FOR GOD OR HIS PRECIOUS TRUTH THAN THEY DID FOR HIS MARVELOUS NINE SPIRITUAL GIFTS (AND FRUITS), WHICH OUR LORD PLACED WITHIN THE BODY OF CHRIST, USED SUCH AN EVENT TO THEIR ADVANTAGE WHICH IN TURN AFTER NINE YEARS HAS SPLIT AND HINDERED THE WORK OF GOD AS DID EPHESUS SUFFER AS WELL AS THOSE EARLY GENTILE CHURCHES TAKE A BEATING FROM SUCH CHARACTERS IN THEIR DAY! That spirit is still here among the gentiles in an hour when God has restored his truth to the Bride of the Lord!


You have tried them who say they are apostles and are not and have found them liars and have borne and have patience for my namesake. Meaning, yes Ephesus, for my namesake you certainly have put up with much from these characters who seek to invade your open fellowship which I gave you and try to trouble you.


These false teachers coming mainly to Ephesus were working on the theory that Jesus was not the MIGHTY GOD in flesh nor as John declared him to be (Revelations 1:8) THE FIRST AND LAST OR ALPHA AND OMEGA! Instead, later it was from these forerunning false apostles or anti-christ spirit revelations that Christ was declared to be the second person of the trinity, a doctrine finally adopted in Nicea 325 A.D.! However, while the true fivefold ministry was on the scene they taught no doctrine! John declared they who confessed Jesus Christ was the anointed one and had come in the flesh were of God, in short meant this – he, the anointed one, was the very Old Testament God come in the flesh and any other teaching short of this revelation was anti-christ! Furthermore, when John stated they have gone out from us because they were not of us simply verified Paul’s address to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20! Paul, as did all the apostles, taught Jesus Christ was God manifested in flesh, II Corinthians 5:19, I Timothy 3:16, Ephesians 1 and Isaiah 9:6, to mention only a few. Every true convert baptized throughout Asia which came to that revelated light at Ephesus accepting Jesus Christ was baptized according to how Paul taught these first 12 at Ephesus, in the name of Jesus Christ. Paul taught the church whatsoever you do in word or deed, do in the name of the Lord Jesus to the glory of God the Father. (Col. 3:17)


ANTI-CHRIST SPIRIT RIDES


Apostle John’s writing in 90 A.D. (I John 4:1) verifies this as John teaches the church to believe not every spirit but try the spirits to see whether they be of God because many false prophets (teachers) are gone out into the world! Yes, by 90 A.D., they had already gone out. In this letter John tells the churches how they may recognize the true ones sent of God, opposed to the false ones who are nothing more than the anti-christ spirit which was already going forth mightily in that first age. John, in his letter, revealed how the people of the assemblies are being affected by men of whom he terms anti-christ agents, running about loosely teaching every kind of doctrine and revelation contrary to that of the apostles. John calls them false christs as he says, there are many anti-christs and they have gone out from us because they were not of us. Truly the devil was permitted to ride in that hour and come against Ephesus just as he has been permitted to ride in years past against Jerusalem when Judaism harassed the church there. However, here he is riding against Ephesus and he will continue to ride until he gets a chance to accomplish his work.


1ST SEAL – WHAT WAS IT?


Turn again to Revelations 5, where John, writing in symbols showed a white horse rider coming forth in the first age, under the first seal. Many within the church world believed the white horse rider to be the Holy Ghost riding in the first age, however, when the real meaning came forth in 1963, by the prophet to the age, it was revealed to be none other than the spirit of anti-christ riding in the first church age! How was he riding? He was riding parallel to the Holy Ghost in order to do his satanic work! If the Holy Ghost through men had already been accomplishing the work of God then the anti-christ will ride parallel to do the work of the devil. What else did the first seal say? The white horse rider went forth to conquer! And that beloved is exactly what he did by first sending out those false teachers to harass and frighten the already weakened church as they were losing their first love, causing the elders to remove certain congregational liberties of their open assembly to block these men from entering – this was only the first step! Satan knew once these men had taken this step, they believed it to be a good step in the right direction as they shut the door on these false teachers. The Holy Spirit was grieved, as Satan knew he would be, and slowly but surely through this first step of removing certain congregational liberties in Ephesus, the Holy Spirit was slowly pushed out of the fellowship as he became more and more grieved.


Nevertheless, five years later in 95 A.D., God could still see at Ephesus there were many who had remained loyal to the name of Jesus revelation as taught by Paul, for in this respect they had bore the brunt and had shown much patience with those characters and for his namesake had labored. Nevertheless, all this harassing by these false teachers had left its effect and begun to show the strain upon this church’s spirituality as it was undergoing such an exertion of strength struggling to remain faithful and loyal to that great revelated light Paul had left with them. Evan as late as 95-96 A.D., God could see they were still remaining loyal, true and faithful to that one name of the Lord Jesus Christ who was the Christ (but not some second person). “And thus had not fainted…” No, they certainly had not given up. Their patience had been greatly tried and taxed to the very breaking point with these characters but they had not given up! Although they had fought long and hard to remain true to certain doctrinal truths and because they were slowly losing their first love which was really going against them no in the battle, they were reaching a point of exhaustion, fright and discouragement over what these false teachers from the outside were planting, as well as those whom Paul spoke of would be working from within the fellowship to raise up from among them and cause people to believe their line of thought! Some of those over-ambitious characters, who, like some in our day feeling they have a call in their life from God, simply couldn’t control themselves until they had fully come into their ministry (as Paul taught the Corinthians) thus leaving themselves open to be invaded by anti-christ spirits helping to lead the church astray!


REMOVING CERTAIN CONGREGATIONAL LIBERTIES


The officials left in charge in the Ephesus church, had reached a breaking point dealing with these characters. They thought for the benefit of the church and the spirituality of the church it would be far better if they would make certain rules in order to keep out all this false and no longer have this open fellowship as it was through this, these false teachers were getting through to the people. However, remember by what they did, it not only shut out the false teachers it also shut out the true ministers, true gifts as well!


This was what Satan wanted, to get the order of the service changed because, as things were, he could never bring in a priesthood to domineer over the saints! These men, no doubt, thought the wisest thing to do was make AN ORDER AFFECTING THE SERVICES! An order or rule which would affect the worship of the local assembly. More on this later when we touch on the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which Christ said he hated as well as did many in the church. Recall deaar ones, that which was done t Ephesus as this order was made, led not only to them receiving the rebuke, 40 years later but the age as well! Because what had only been a deed of action at Ephesus had become now a doctrine in other churches who looked to Ephesus and had followed their example, such as the church at Pergamos!


LOST FIRST LOVE


However, watch Christ now touch on that part which broke his heart concerning this model church. Nevertheless, I find fault against thee (remember Ephesus typifies the age) because thou hast left thy first love. What beloved had caused such an influential church to leave or loose their first love in less than 40 years? This church we know had fought evil, tried false apostles, etc., although when Paul wrote his Ephesian letter in 64 A.D., none of this which was not present in 95 A.D., had transpired.


As Paul, in his Ephesian letter used the illustration of the love of a man and woman for each other to illustrate the love of Christ and his church, allow me to use man and woman briefly to illustrate what Christ meant when he said Ephesus, you have left your first love (ME)! When a young couple falls deeply in love, throughout their courtship it is evident they only have each other in their sight. Their continual topic of conversation is concerning each other. Something inside their heart has drawn them closely together in so much they can now see nothing but each other. Following months of courtship comes marriage and after their honeymoon they must now begin to face up to those responsibilities which marriage has placed upon them. The first few weeks breakfast is wonderful. No matter if the food is slightly burned, their thoughts are still only upon each other. After work he is met at the door with hugs and kisses. However, as the weeks turn into months and months into years, with the constant strain of financial and other pressures, watch what happens! She begins to stop greeting him at the door in the evenings and that continues until finally for them life has merely become a routine, cooking is no more a joy – I will just fix anything, he will accept it! Recall, we are only using such an illustration to show how that Ephesus Church under Paul’s ministry 40 years before had such a fervency and such magnificent zeal and love for God it was still known in 64 A.D. throughout Asia as Paul commended her for the zeal and faith and her devout reputation to her spiritual husband. However, from the continual harassment, persecutions, ridicule and those things she endured from false ones, which at first when she walked in that first love and devotion did not bother them at all; they did not mind the things they had to suffer for his namesake as they were walking closely by his side, as time passed the continual drudgery of these men who invaded their precious open fellowship in the assembly with false testimonies began to have an affect on them, especially after they began to lose their first love as the illustration showed of the young couple when after a time of this continual harassment of obligations, their first love simply dwindled into a life of routine!


Where was that stamina, that first love, that devotion? Sure, Ephesus was probably doing about as much as she always had, that wasn’t the point – THE POINT WAS, HOW SHE WAS DOING IT! Now things were being done merely through routine AND GOD HATES A ROUTINE!


Yes, Ephesus you are probably doing about as much as ever only now it has become routine, return to doing those things for me in the manner you once did, full of zeal, enthusiasm, full of love for my Word, etc., don’t feel that you must do it, feel that you want to do it! Remember from when you are fallen and repent and repent and do the first works over, else I come unto thee quickly and remove thy candlestick out of its place! Be sorry for your present attitude of complacency; you are now doing things from routine and taking things for granted; I see no deep love and devotion in what you are doing. Oh, yes they still loved clean living, and they hated evil, but their love and devotion was burning low. They no longer receive that personal enjoyment that once they did when they could say, Lord, I thank you. That was all gone now, God isn’t receiving that anymore and that beloved, is what He wants! Remember He loved us when we didn’t love Him. Repent, Ephesus and go back to your first love, that original enthusiasm you once showed in your service toward me. Do what you do with joy and gladness, I know you have endured much: you have had every kind of teacher to come along; I know you have been torn to pieces but don’t let that destroy your love!


Poor Ephesus, the model church to the gentiles portraying the age did not repent and today Ephesus is no more! Earthquakes and invading armies ravished that capitol city and its inhabitants. History records how the Moslem world conquered all Asia, including Ephesus. One Moslem leader from Egypt came to Ephesus with his armies and massacred its inhabitants. Such things caused this city of Ephesus to be laying waste and in desolate ruins, and today only a few illiterate tribes dwell in this area who can only reminisce of Ephesus and her former day of great culture and learning. No longer is Ephesus that city of which you could hear the shouts of joy of these early Christians during the first age under Paul’s influence when the books of idolatry were burned in the streets! No longer is she that city which had a stout, stalwart church whose gospel light caused all Asia to walk in truth. Instead today she is nothing but ruins of her former glory. Sad but true, the candlestick remained no longer lit, nor did it continue to shine a true revelation for Ephesus.


NICOLAITANES DEEDS


(1) WHAT WERE THE NICOLAITANES? Something else after 40 years was seen in Ephesus by the Lord of which He said He hates as well as did many of the people. But this thou hast there that thou hatest, the deeds of the Nicolaitanes. As we previously stated, the Nicolaitanes were not a group of people or a sect of people called by this name within the Ephesian Church. Bible scholars and historians alike teach by breaking the word apart that Christ used – NICO means to conquer, LAITANE, the laity – therefore Nicolaitanes means CONQUER THE LAITY or congregation. YES, it is one thing to know that this Nicolaitane spirit was a conquering spirit from the ministry ruling over that church which also affected the age, and furthermore affected everyone of the next six ages, including our present age until the very end. We further know, this spirit that came upon the elders (ministers) later led the church away from the fivefold ministry as God had set it in the church and led it into a domineering priesthood who carried the church into Nicea 325 A.D., and on into the Dark Ages under a Trinitarian doctrine! Yes, we know what eventually happened because this spirit got into the church. The important question I ask each reader as we read together between the lines: WHY WAS IT EVER THOUGHT BY SOME PEOPLE AT EPHESUS THAT SUCH A SPIRIT OVER THE CONGREGATION WAS DEEMED NECESSARY? WERE THEY NOT HAPPY IN THEIR OPEN FELLOWSHIP, SHARING THE GREAT BLESSING OF GOD TOGETHER IN TESTIMONY, ETC.? Then why was such action deemed necessary? Nevertheless, what happened played right into the hands of Satan as some 400 years later, through a priesthood, he carried the church into the darkest ages known to church history! Christ is rebuking this church whose influence is affecting the age because He didn’t want the church to go this route and demands the church repent and return to its first works – of which it did not!


For a period of time let us examine more in detail what actually caused this conquering spirit in the first place to ever take hold of the ministry. Why did the ministry deem it necessary to take such action which involved the removing of certain congregational freedom of the people? Recall, these deeds, hated by Christ, were caused from the action of someone. No, it wasn’t the janitor nor from the congregation!


At first no doubt that conquering spirit was only upon a certain portion of ministry at Ephesus, and recall what was done was not accomplished over night. I am sure those men’s idea to do this thing was not on the spur of the moment. There was a condition developing in the church of which the ministry thought necessary action on their part should be taken to curb this serious problem.


Whatever these deeds were in their accomplishment had greatly hindered and displeased God, and furthermore will bring the church into a spiritual decline of which Christ will find no pleasure.


Ephesus, that influential church, having now that domineering spirit of the ministry ruling over the laity, had all eyes of the other gentile churches walking in the same message or revelation throughout Asia Minor looking upon her in such a way they too according to scripture had been influenced to follow the same procedure or take the same precaution though curtailing certain congregational liberties with their churches. However, what is so pathetic, the deeds which occurred here at Ephesus (though not a doctrine) were something that would spread everywhere, especially as we see the Pergamos Church before 95 A.D., which , by the way, would be the gentile church in Asia Minor to exemplify in spiritual type what the 3rd church age would be like as it closed out, going into the 4th church age, Thyatira. Pergamos, as we are told, wasn’t just doing deeds, they had already taken the deed of action at Ephesus and made a doctrine of it! They were teaching it, they were putting it into practice and other churches would be following their example!


(2) DEEDS OR FIRST STEP OF THIS CONQUERING SPIRIT – What is the definition of a deed? Webster Dictionary defines a deed as: a thing done, or the act of doing something, or it is action expressed. Through Paul’s lifetime there was no such thing as the deed of the Nicolaitanes, therefore, this conquering spirit only appears sometime after the death of the first church age messenger and somewhere before 95 A.D. Therefore, it is here we must read between the lines using what scriptural knowledge we already have to determine what took place in less than 30 years. We are sure something definitely happened at Ephesus which necessitated action on the part of the elders of whom Paul declared the Holy Ghost had made overseers of the flock to guard them, Acts 20:25-31. Why had this conquering spirit gotten upon the ministry who were already weakened by the continual harassing of the false apostles, false revelations, etc. What promoted this spirit to act? These are the things which hold the secret to the deeds of the Nicolaitanes. No, it is not simply enough to know that Nicolaitanes was a ruling, domineering spirit over the congregation by why was it ever deemed necessary by this church ministry that a spirit of this nature act or perform the thing called a deed? No doubt as the continual harassment of these false teachers who needed Ephesus as a launching pad into influential prestige among the other churches following in the message whereby they might be looked up to as some great person, and the fact Paul spoke of such teachers as heretics of which he said, after the first and second admonition reject. Titus 3:10, could be the very things which prompted the elders to take this first step they did in removing certain congregational freedoms and liberties. Yes, it is true Paul said reject such characters as this, however, no where did he teach to change the order of the church or remove certain congregational liberties by which the people were being so greatly blessed in order to stop the appearance or shut the door on these anti-christ spirits parading through the gentile church world!


SEARCHING FOR SHORTEST EFFECTIVE ROUTE


Get this, the leadership of the church has grown tired, become exhausted and weakened over this continual bombardment of false ideas and testimonies and with their first love being extinguished, there seems only one thing to do, that is shut the door on this stuff which has caused such heartache. Instead of these men at Ephesus relying upon the wisdom of God through His nine gifts of the spirit as they had done in the past to expose the thing as error, they now look only for the shortest and easiest route to eliminate all such things from the congregation.


Through their elimination process they not only shut the door on the false, they shut the door on everything that comes along. Their feeling is, there is so much false going on we will not allow anyone to preach here we personally do not know. Beloved, when they closed the doors noone was allowed to preach except the ministry already in there! Slowly but surely, the Holy Spirit is now beginning to be dampened and the precious 9 gifts of the Spirit which had edified, uplifted, instructed and revealed many things to the congregation, now begin to dwindle as the church is losing its first love and spiritual eyes! Yes, it all began as an action or deed on the part of the elders to curb a condition which had prevailed for some time and to curt this action, rather than brand these men as heretics, notify congregations they had left the faith, call them by name as Paul did, (I Timothy 1:19-20, II Timothy 2:17-18) they took the easy route and shut the door on everything which grieved the Spirit of God more and more until finally in 95 A.D., they received this letter from God himself demanding their repentance! No you can’t blame this deed on the congregation, janitor or someone of that nature, the blame goes directly to the ministry who was looking for an easy way out of this dilemma, an act which at first seemed harmless. Correcting the problem was fine, that should have been done! What grieved God was the method used in eliminating their problem. In the long run it had proven to be a trick of Satan for the long range program which would end in the Dark Ages! These elders could not see that at the time, seeing they had already lost that close fellowship and communion with Christ as He informed them they were leaving their first love. That with the fact they were running scared caused them to take away certain congregational liberties to curb their problem.


SATAN AND HIS SCARECROWS


Recall, when Satan desires to catch the church in a plot or snare he will always throw out a few scarecrows to get the people’s attention looking in another direction as he runs through the door and lays his trap, while all the time the thing or object the people have been watching was nothing other than Satan’s scarecrow! Yes, the objective is to get you to look away while he runs past and leads you into the trap he has set for you. God had taken Paul and in three years practically crippled Satan’s kingdom throughout Asia, beginning at Ephesus. This religion which highly exalted a woman called Diana lost untold converts to the new revelation of Jesus Christ. Satan would not take such a blow sitting down, instead he sought to return the people back into a false religion wherein within less than 600 years he had succeeded to bringing in a priesthood to replace the fivefold ministry God had set in the church, and slowly the people are turned down the revelation of Paul back to a pagan religion where the center of the religion is another woman whose name, this time is not Diana, but Mary! Such an act on the part of the elders had grieved the Spirit, (Ephesians 4:30) who could no longer work freely among His people through His nine gifts of the Spirit nor His gifted fivefold ministry outside this particular body of fellowship. Nevertheless, it was the feeling of the elders at Ephesus because the fellowship there was so open it represented such free access for these false teachers, apostles, etc., and even those among themselves to rise up and do much harm to the body. Their manner of worship which Paul had left to them was making it too simple for these false teachers to gain access of standing in the congregation testifying to their false theories. What they were going to do was shut the door on all this.


OTHER CHURCHES FOLLOW EXAMPLESHIP


Satan could sacrifice the loss of the opportunity to invade the privacy of the church through the false teachers seeing that was nothing but a scarecrow anyway to drive these men into this excited state of action because Satan knew only too well, it would curb and eventually cause this God given leadership, of which route God had chosen to bless his people to leave the scene also. The eyes of all the church world was upon Ephesus (especially Asia) seeing the messenger to the age had pastored here and the feeling from the other churches was, if any church in the message knew the leadership of God for the hour, it must be the church at Ephesus. Naturally, the other churches facing somewhat the same problem, though not nearly the extent Ephesus was, thought it proper procedure to follow the EXAMPLESHIP of Ephesus. However, what was only a deed or act of doing something at Ephesus, certain other churches took this deed of action and went so far as to make a doctrine of it! That which was only a mere deed at Ephesus became a doctrine at Pergamos before 95 A.D.


HOW NICOLAITANE SPIRIT DREW STRENGTH


A moment ago we stated after the door was closed at Ephesus and other churches followed their example, and the Spirit of God could no longer have control of their services; where once the great blessing of God had been present, soon became a vacuum. We know a vacuum does not stay empty, something will fill its place and to take its place or fill the vacuum came the necessity to place more and more emphasis upon the ministry, lifting it higher and higher.


Why was this? Recall, the people of Ephesus are mainly converts from that once powerful Diana religion and in their heathen ways before converted it was a normal procedure to allow a heathen priest to rule and domineer their life. Their pagan background of priesthood is responsible as they had been taught to place the priest of Diana upon a pedestal and highly exalt them. Thus the convert having turned to Christ after taking such an open beating from these false teachers, and seeing how the elders have now taken this step they feel will protect them as this deed became an act on their part to shut out this kind of spirit whereby it may no longer attack them or at least they wouldn’t have to put up with it, now they began to exalt the ministry!


FROM HOLY GHOST LEADERSHIP TO MANMADE LEADERSHIP


As the nine gifts of the spirit fade from the assembly and the joy leaves as well, the program of the church slowly begins to change! Now instead of Holy Ghost leadership it becomes man’s own carnal leadership and ceremonial rituals. No, it did not immediately become a priesthood, however, these men began to steer the course exactly like that of the priesthood until it became a form, day in and day out. Gifts began to vanish from the assembly, as well as true revelation which had fed their hearts. Slowly but surely this all created a vacuum. It creates a hunger in some but a satisfaction in others, because you always have that element of people who wouldn’t know a revelation from a theory. Revelation doesn’t concern them, they are only interested in a short sermon in order to get out quickly, to go home! No, let it be understood they have not as yet taken the attitude or set themselves up as priests, however, they are taking on a priestly attitude in the way they handle things. Month after month this continues and that which first a few men did to correct a situation as the church came under attack by the anti-christ spirit, the church now begins to become more motivated and controlled by a certain party of men.


Ephesus reaches a standstill. That love which once they had – diminishes, as Ephesus is now controlled by this Nicolaitane spirit and the ministry which once came through those doors to take the great congregation onward into new heights of the Spirit is heard no more. Satan has set his trap which he will spring several hundred year later at Nicea Council 325 A.D.! This conquering spirit, or deeds of the Nicolaitanes, took hold of the congregation as they no longer were a congregation taught by the revelation of the Spirit. The Spirit now grieved can no longer move among them. Satan had now thrust his dart to the very heart of the church and spiritually killed it, which was his main objective. Now can you see the DEEDS OF THE NICOLAITANES and what caused it? It was caused by those minor anti-christ spirits continually harassing the church until it forced the church to do something, either to rely completely upon God and His inspiration or take the easier way and rely on carnality and the inspiration of the devil who had built a plot to bring the church to naught.


PERGAMOS MAKES DOCTRINE


No sooner had Ephesus done what she did and Pergamos heard about it. Pergamos now becoming more worldly minded each day, took this and made a doctrine out of it, teaching it as a mandatory thing! Because of that spirit, beloved, the devil used Pergamos’s doctrine because recall, Pergamos exemplifies the 3rd Church Age. It was that very spirit which sat at the Nicea Council, held a few miles from the coast of Pergamos in 325 A.D., when, of all people, Constantine the Roman Emperor gathered all the bishops together for a settlement on the doctrine of the Godhead! That spirit which was at Ephesus became a doctrine at Pergamos sewing the seeds and building the groundwork in that universal (priesthood) ministry whereby at Nicea the ministry which started in the first church age of apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists was not something of the past! Church rituals had been manufactured to fill the vacuum of true worship and freedom of the moving of the Spirit. And get this, that great revelation of the one God as taught by the Apostle Paul at Ephesus slowly is covered over by the theory of two other persons in the Godhead. That church which was a great light and where God lit his candle to shine across all Asia, before 155 A.D., had already accepted and begun to teach and baptize into the Trinitarian theory! HOW ART THE MIGHTY (CHURCH) FALLEN!


PART 4 – AFTER 1900 YEARS HAS HISTORY REPEATED ITSELF?


How well do I remember back before 1955, the Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana, a church and a lighthouse that I feel served in this age to the gentile Laodicean Church Age the same direction and purpose as did that of Ephesus where God lit his candle in the first age. A church that possessed great revelation due to the fact the messenger to the Laodicean Church Age, the final age, stood and taught the revelation of truth as did the Apostle Paul, fulfilling the office of Malachi 4:5-6, Revelation 10:7, as he was bringing a people back unto the true revelation of the Word.


EARLY DAYS AND OPEN FELLOWSHIP


How well do I recall those early years when one was permitted to shake hands within the church with his brother or sister, something that is of a scarcity among people of this message today. It was an hour when the service had finished, it was not thought strange to see the prophet himself standing in the middle of the church aisle, inside the house of God, perhaps with a dozen people standing around him as he told them of the goodness of God, many times until after 11 o’clock when finally everyone would go home. However, these are scenes that are witnessed no more at this great lighthouse to the gentile age. New rulings have long since gone into effect, however back in those early days, that is before the Tabernacle actually became a prominent drawing card and known around the world as that of Ephesus, and before all these off-color characters (spiritually speaking) began to crown into the picture who forced the Branham Tabernacle to make an order removing certain congregational liberties which affected everything from the back seat to the pulpit. WHY? Because certain things had gotten completely out of hand or completely out of scriptural order in the church.


AFTER 9 YEARS – LOOK!!


May I say the remarks I will make are not made because I am bitter or have some personal ax to grind with anyone. My only interest is, ARE WE OBEYING THE WORD OF GOD? Did you know after nine years of such an order that was produced in the Branham Tabernacle to eliminate many problems which had arisen within their own congregation as certain people were taking far too much liberty causing an extreme amount of confusion and resulting in an embarrassment upon the ministry and the lighthouse itself and churches everywhere feeling, as did Pergamos in the first age, that they too must insert this order, not actually knowing why only that the prophet had placed it within his own church in Jeffersonville, such assemblies are dead having no more leadership of God than the Roman priesthood, who, in the beginning destroyed the original fivefold ministry set in by God and commanded to be left in force until this ministry had brought us all into the perfect unity of the faith, (which has never yet been accomplished) and secondly killed the gifts of the spirit which led and blessed and instructed those first assemblies. After nine long years these assemblies who took it upon themselves to copy or patten themselves after the Branham Tabernacle in respect to a CHURCH ORDER which was being used strictly for a punishment upon an unruly segment of the congregation has killed all movement of the Holy Spirit in their assemblies! For since then it has been difficult for the Spirit of God to find freedom in such congregations as these, to operate His gifts and being the Spirit He is, one easily grieved, (Ephesians 4;30) most of such assemblies have become strictly led only by certain individuals within the congregation. Today, it has reached the point that few in this message know the difference between CHURCH ORDER and SCRIPTURAL ORDER IN THE CHURCH.


SCRIPTURAL ORDER IN CHURCH, WHAT IS IT?


WHAT IS ORDER IN THE CHURCH? It is anything sanctioned by the Word of God! Anything the Word of God sanctions is perfectly in order in the church until certain individuals within the congregation oversteps those scriptural God given privileges within a fellowship and must undergo correction, as what happened in the Branham Tabernacle more than nine years ago. May I say, the prophet was perfectly entitled to whip his unruly children of the church in any manner he saw necessary to discipline them, however, for someone else to take this deed of action by the Branham Tabernacle and the prophet himself, place it in their own church, teaching it as a doctrine as they did in Pergamos saying, all churches and pastors who do not follow this procedure are not in the message, nor in the bride of Christ, is going too far! The day any individual tells you, you must whip your church children in your congregation as did the prophet sone nine years ago when there is no cause for you to do likewise, seeing your problem is not the same as was his, you don’t have the lighthouse that reached across the gentile world; you don’t have these characters and certain individuals overstepping their scriptural liberties within the congregation, and for some individual to say unless you do the same thing you are not in the message, and take that order and use it as a whip or a means to frighten people and churches into a certain line of thought which can lead only to total spiritual disaster and a complete driving away of the liberties of the Spirit among his people when there is no cause whatsoever, is to play into the hands of Satan to destroy the very revelation of truth which has delivered unto a people in this hour to place them back within that same early church fellowship with the Holy Spirit they had in the days of Paul and the early fivefold ministry.


Therefore, the CHURCH ORDER, which was merely a deed of action used in order to correct certain problems developed in one church, became a DOCTRINE and a guideline to others as to whether or not you are in the body of Christ or in the message of the hour unless you yield and accept it as a DOCTRINE into your congregation accepting those certain regulations governing the gifts of the Spirit, which was one of the major problems in the Branham Tabernacle – when you don’t even have any gifts of the Spirit in operation WHY WOULD YOU NEED AN ORDER TO REGULATE THEM? Don’t you know a saddle is to be put upon a LIVE HORSE and NOT A DEAD WOODEN DUMMY!! Unless your people have gotten completely out of order, why would you want to punish them by taking away their liberties as so many did? Is there any wonder the Spirit of God was so grieved whereupon nine years later these churches who accepted this as a doctrine has driven the Holy Spirit far from their idea of worship! Yes, beloved, we have reached the point today, nine years later, certain men have taken it upon themselves to push this church order which could only be applied to one place and that was THE LIGHTHOUSE OF THE AGE! Men, first of all, who did not even have enough spirituality and God given leadership about them to know what they had in their minds of doing would kill every precious assembly, driving out the Spirit and the gifts as they used it for a whip or a club over people’s head! There is nothing one of these characters could have done that could have pleased Satan more! They did not seem to have enough spirituality to know to leave the order where it belonged or had been originally placed in the beginning! Therefore, we have reached the place that thousands know what the CHURCH ORDER was (as it was used for a correction rod) but they DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES CONCERNING THE SCRIPTURAL ORDER OF THE ASSEMBLY.


WHAT IS ORDER IN THE CHURCH? It is anything that has a scriptural O.K. on it! THAT IS TRUE BIBLICAL ORDER IN THE CHURCH! If it is scriptural praise, it is order in the church! If it is preaching, it is order in the church; if it is singing, it is order in the church; if it is gifts being divinely operated by the Spirit, it most certainly is order in the church. WHY? Because it is all scripturally sanctioned and okayed by the Word of God. That alone is what makes it order by the church. However, and don’t ever forget this, because this is partially what happened at the Branham Tabernacle causing that order to go into effect – if anyone is misusing any of that mentioned above or anything else of a scriptural nature whether it be praise, singing, preaching, prophesying or whatever then it becomes an act or deed of necessity to correct any misusage of that which has already overstepped its spiritual liberties!


MANY MISUSED FACTORS PROMPTED CHURCH ORDER


Therefore, as I stated earlier, in those years before the 60’s when the Branham Tabernacle had not become such a prominent drawing card like that of Ephesus and every so-called preacher with every kind of idea had not as yet linked himself into ths unspoiled picture, I can well remember for example, standing in the vestibule within the old building as Bro. William Branham had delivered a lengthy sermon on some major Bible teaching that morning and we would be gathered back in the evening for the night service when in those days they came from far and near, from the East, West; from Texas to Maine, Canada etc., and there would always find certain characters standing – blocking the hallway, handing out tracts which would pertain to their own personal idea. Never will I forget one particular evangelist standing there one night in the vestibule with his revelation on HOW MANY WERE ON THE CROSS AND EVERYTHING ABOUT THE CRUCIFIXION ,ETC. Such things became a common sight of which down at Faith Assembly and many other congregations we did not have such problems, standing there in the vestibule of the Tabernacle teaching their own personal little doctrines to a dozen men or whoever they might corner, filling their heads with all kinds of ideas before the service. Imagine when a people had come from all over the U.S. and many parts of the world to hear an end-time prophet proclaim a great revelation as his message was restoring us back to Bible truth when he would have to follow such characters who had overstepped their liberty to promote their own ideas before the prophet came to speak! Or sitting in the church itself, talking and yakking to perhaps 6-12 others concerning their own revelation, God forbid that a prophet of this caliber would have to take a bunch of minds like that and try to get them straightened out in about 1 hour and 45 minutes, seeing all this other garbage had been dumped into their ears! I ask you, what would you do? Really, what I feel should have been done, however I can only speak for Faith Assembly Church, the deacons should have shown these characters the front door and said GET OUT OF HERE AS YOUR INTENTIONS ARE NOT WALK IN THE TUE REVELATIONS OF CHRIST, and still leave the church door open as these are the exact instructions the deacons of Faith Assembly Church have from me personally considering any such characters who invade our assembly. And as the little song goes, when the people get to acting up in the pew what should you do – THROW THEM OUT, but leave the church door open and let the church roll on!


Another problem arising in those days was people had come along who portrayed themselves to be so spiritual and in line with this truth, yet wouldn’t live right, refusing to pay their just and honest debts. In other words, dead-beats for the most part! However, they enjoyed standing in the open congregation of fellowship and operating spiritual gifts. See when you have such a collection of things which converge on the church and these conditions seemingly get no better only prevail worse and worse, what would you do? You are forced to act and the fact you act or what you do becomes a deed. You are forced to act because of prevailing conditions. And I say, with all due respect to this great man of God which God so greatly used in this hour who knew, because of these many arising circumstances which was greatly affecting the spirituality of this lighthouse in which God chose to light his candle to the gentiles to spread the full revelation of truth to the 7th and final church age restoring a Bride people back to the unadulterated Word of God, and probably not aware of the fact in a few years after making this church order he would be off the scene, leaving the order to run in every direction or to about anyone’s interpretation as to what is was all about, something had to be done to correct these who had overstepped their rights as a believer. And because of his own personal makeup, a kind, loving, easygoing man who didn’t enjoy hurting anyone (instead of making an example out of this individuals) he made a church order which affected not only those guilty of trespasses, but also affected the innocent as well! For the order covered everything from the back seat to the Bible stand.


RESULTS OF INDIVIDUALS PUSHING CHURCH ORDER


Let me go on record as saying, as unwise characters began to push this church order out of its original bonds where it was supposed to be kept, like what happened at Pergamos etc., now after nine long years of this in other churches, placing it where it had no business has completely killed off the nine gifts of the Spirit which are supposed to be in the church of which this message was supposed to call out a people to be ready to go with the Lord who would have those nine gifts of the Spirit in operation within their local assemblies. After nine long years of misguided individuals taking this one order of correction, given to and for the BRANHAM TABERNACLE ONLY, having used it in such a pathetic way, it has spread enough fear, doubt, unrest, distrust and created enough spiritual disease that the nine gifts and nine fruits of spirit lay dormant and yet everyone is crying HOW WILL IT ALL END, and some are even going so far to teach and believe it is going to take a PERSONAL RESURRECTION of Bro. William Branham to return and straighten out this mess in order for it to be ever ready to go in the rapture.


PAUL NOT RAISED TO CORRECT FIRST AGE


All I have to say is this, according to the scripture God didn’t resurrect Paul to come back from the grave to straighten out that first age after it had followed Ephesus’ exampleship and made a doctrine out of the thing crippling the influence of the spirit of God to move through his church, destroying the authority of the fivefold ministry and brining in a priesthood which carried it into the Dark Ages. NO, GOD DID NOT RESURRECT PAUL AFTER HIS DEATH, but He did speak through John on the Isle of Patmos saying to Ephesus, You left your first love and have there those who hold deeds of the Nicolaitanes of which I hate. Therefore I command you to repent, else I take away your candlestick. Oh, I realize after nine years when I make a statement like this people who have no scriptural grounds to hold to and have no intentions of returning to the scriptural truth in which this prophet’s life was dedicated to restore us unto before Christ would come for a Bride whereby at the wedding supper we would be a people all believing the same thing, these people will say oh, YOU ARE SPEAKING AGAINST THE PROPHET! You see, that is what they always say, because they do not have anything scriptural to support them, therefore, they hide behind this favorite statement.


I WANT TO SAY AGAIN JUST FOR THE BENEFIT OF THESE INDIVIDUALS, I AM NOT SPEAKING AGAINST WHAT THE PROPHET DID IN HIS OWN CHURCH, AND FURTHERMORE, WHEN I VISIT THAT ASSEMBLY I AM COURTEOUS TO OBSERVE EVERY RULE MADE BY THAT GREAT MAN OF GOD CONCERNING THIS ORDER OF CORRECTION MADE FOR HIS LOCAL ASSEMBLY. But brother, God forbid the man who says simply because the prophet did a certain thing in a certain way as he saw fit to spank his unruly child, that I must in turn spank my child the same when my child may not have done this, THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE! God is not looking for copycats of this nature, He is looking for people who will copy after the one and only – THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! Question: If you had 7 children and only one overstepped his privilege, would you punish all 7 or only the one who overstepped his privilege?


Therefore, when this certain CHURCH ORDER went into effect at the Branham Tabernacle, true it stopped those characters from sitting long hours in advance of the service teaching their own private doctrines to a dozen people or standing in the vestibule expressing their own views and distributing their tracts, however, it didn’t stop them from moving out into the parking lot, because the order only covered the inside of the building. At least they couldn’t do it within the meeting house anymore! It stopped the false prophesying from the congregation, but don’t forget IT ALSO STOPPED THE TRUE PROPHECY which had also been coming from out of the congregation. You see, the true also suffered! And now that CHURCH ORDER has been in affect for some nine years, all over this country, an order intended for only one place, simply because of unscriptural dealings by certain individuals, it now not only affects one place as it was originally intended, it seriously affects multitudes of other places! After nine years the hearts of many people know something is wrong and perhaps even see their gross error, only are too proud to admit it. That’s a gentile for you. In general he is too proud to admit he was ever wrong. I want to say, had they left the order alone where it was originally intended to be, the message itself could have moved on in the Spirit of the Lord! When the prophet himself said after making this disciplinary order to affect his local church, WE WILL LEAVE IT IN FOR A WHILE THEN WE WILL SEE WHAT THE LORD WILL HAVE US TO DO ABOUT IT! It was definitely his intention after it had served its purpose at this one location to have been lifted, however, before the prophet could do this he was taken from the scene and this order, as it was picked up by others who didn’t care if a gift ever operated, who didn’t care whether God’s blessings ever flowed through the congregation, their orders became, get rid of your tambourines, get rid of your guitars and your special singings. In reality they were saying get rid of everything God could use to bless a soul with an then they would use the church order, as a whipping post, to get their carnal ideas across! Until today it has reached the place preaching church order, to these characters of which they can find no scriptural grounds for doing, has become more important than seeing a soul walk in the true revelation or be baptized in the same Jesus Christ! It seems the subject of CHURCH ORDER was the first thing a preacher wanted to get in the pulpit with and begin to hammer and beat everyone else in the face with, using such unscriptural phrase to frighten people as, God will severely judge you if you don’t or your are not in the message thus you couldn’t be in the Bride! Throw out those tambourines, guitars and special music!


BLINDED INDIVIDUALS DRIVE OUT SPIRIT


Therefore, these individuals drove out what little Spirit had remained in these assemblies robbing them of their personal joy and oral expression of liberty and most of all destroyed the gifts of the Spirit from operating in the church. Now you sing two songs, have a short prayer, read out of the books and simply say something about the prophet, dismiss the service and go home feeling – BOY, WE SURE ARE IN THE MESSAGE AND READY FOR THE RAPTURE, when beloved, they who walk in that kind of attitude and atmosphere are as the old saying, “DEAD AS A DOOR NAIL”! Why, the Baptist have more Spirit than that! No, I am not making fun, but I realize after nine years what this has done to the churches and what the church has come to. These poor people haven’t manifested a gift of God since that day! Naturally, after nine years why should they believe in them. After nine years of all this they have no more spirit or know anything more about God. No, it is sad to say they don’t even know as much as they did nine years before about God and won’t ever know. WHY? Because they invited this into their hearts and shut the door on the leadership and manifestation of the Spirit of God!


OVERCOMERS IN EACH AGE


Christ continually says to the churches, he that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh (overcometh what?). This condition within the church and to the age. I say, as it was in that hour of the Ephesus Age, it is up to the individual to overcome those things which hinder them as well as the worldly conditions of the hour. It is up to the individual to recognize his own liberty in the Word of God as God through His sovereign grace gives him the liberty to be in and participate as a yielded vessel in the plan of God. Yes, it is up to the individual to overcome those spiritual conditions, rise up and shake himself and walk in the love of God, allowing the joy of salvation to live within his heart. The condition itself will go on, not getting any better yet, God says to the individual, to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. Oh, how thankful I am there is a great promise of what we may have access to in the other life if we overcome!


MANY IGNORANT OF REASON FOR CHURCH ORDER


I have met people across the country who had no idea why CHURCH ORDER was ever brought into effect in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Many people have their idea that the prophet needed all the time himself and that is what caused it to be made. Well, if that be true then what about the great percentage of time he wasn’t there? He certainly didn’t need the time then and what about since he has been gone these seven years, he certainly hasn’t needed the time. No beloved, that is not why CHURCH ORDER was made! I remember so well when I first began going to the Tabernacle when it had an open fellowship, it was this very thing that made me feel so at home. No sooner had we set down then someone shook our hand and said we are glad to see you, where are you from etc., and after the service invited us to return. Although when I heard that man speak for the first time in my heart I knew I was going to return. After preaching he would come down and stand in the aisle where we would all talk until late hours before going home and we felt like we had been to church!


SATAN MUDDIES WATER IN OPEN FELLOWSHIP


However, it wasn’t long before you could sense there were these certain individual people who didn’t want the Holy Ghost to move, some of them who were out of certain denominational churches who sat in high places, who wouldn’t give their tithe there but instead send it back to a denominational church. Beloved, I have never done a dirty trick like that! I believe in paying my grocery bill where I buy my groceries! And in those days the congregation was always left open for the Holy Spirit to have option in whatever it saw fit to do. And so, often the Spirit would move and bless the people. There was always someone who wanted to make a fuss about it. Nevertheless, God would move back the opposition as He moved in with enough momentum for a short period of time it would seem like the Holy Spirit was going to have complete authority and the right to work and do as it pleased Him in the congregation. You can rest assured when the devil knows that, he will have to put another shot in the arm. Then it wasn’t long until people would take advantage of testimony time talking about things which should be thrown in the trash can and every time it seemed the Holy Spirit would give the opportunity and liberty to testify of God’s goodness, these same individuals always wanted to hassle and wrangle about foolish things, which isn’t testimony but complaining! And coming to prayer requests, some people don’t seem to know the difference between prayer requests and how sick someone’s dog is. I am not complaining, I am presenting you a picture of when people have liberty in the congregation how the devil doesn’t like it and does everything possible to muddy the water!


ORDER MADE AFFECTING ALL RATHER THAN HUMILIATE GUILTY

What does he do, he shoots just enough human nature and ideas into it to aggravate the situation and create a condition. Rather than humiliate anyone or make anyone a victim of circumstance, let us just make an order. This will be done and that will be done and when we have done this for a while we will see what the Lord will have us to do. No sooner was this said and done sure, it stopped the testifying, the prayer requests and those long-winded preachers who couldn’t say anything, but the word of the prophet, when the congregation already knew the word of the prophet – beloved, let me say, if the name of Jesus Christ cannot become the central theme of your message and your preaching and still be thankful in your hearts to God He was kind enough to send a prophet to straighten out our thinking and put us back in the truth of the Bible, then there is something carnally wrong in our minds. Because I want you to know all prophets prior to Christ’s coming, as well as these since His coming, God has willed that everyone who preaches anything in respect to this gospel preaches it centered around and about the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ said if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me, nevertheless, I once heard an individual make the remark about this scripture, which pertained only to Christ hanging on the cross, saying, He was going to lift up William Branham. Beloved, may I say this, if you don’t lift up Jesus Chris who died on the cross, I have my doubts that very much of the atonement which flowed from the cross of Calvary will ever be your portion! Everyone knows when Bro. William Branham preached he magnified and lifted up that Christ who hung on the cross and never once was it ever his intentions to be lifted up himself. The virtue of Calvary didn’t come from this man, however, by the spirit of this man he pointed you through the revelation to that Christ.


Yes, as I said, this church order stopped those long-winded preacher in the pulpit who couldn’t say anything but, the word of the prophet, although once the prophet himself had delivered a lengthy message those individuals couldn’t wait until they had dashed to the outside world and because they had no leadership of the Holy Spirit to guide them to know what God was doing, their feelings like Pergamos was WHATEVER IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE TABERNACLE IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR HERE! Beloved, through their diabolical leadings they have placed the church in the state it is as they have killed out the Spirit and His nine gifts and diseased the nine fruits of the Spirit, as they took their whip (this order) and did worse to the grace of God than the Catholic Church ever did!


Church order placed in other churches did not kill the Spirit in every assembly because some were ALREADY DEAD!


MANY WEIRD IDEAS SINCE CHURCH ORDER


Briefly I want to show you I am not ignorant of what I am speaking, of how the spirit which has led these people has now led them into revelations straight out of the pit. I say the man I heard called William Branham the prophet, what he taught me placed me BACK IN THE BIBLE, and if you haven’t been placed BACK IN THE BIBLE you are still wandering and drifting today! To any of our new readers who might not understand what I am teaching and you think this is simply awful, you should have set in some of those early apostolic churches before 96 A.D. when the elders at Ephesus had clamped down on the Spirit of God and heard some of those ridiculous revelations which floated through the congregation!


Recently I received a call from a very disturbed person who had been in this message two years. Somehow they had received one of our Contenders with the message REVEALED SCRIPTURES PRODUCE CONSISTENCY. The individual informed me how because of a deep hunger for God they had been led from a certain denominational church and had been given some literature concerning what Bro. William Branham had taught. Later they began to attend this certain church whereupon as the months passed by instead of being helped they realized they were becoming more confused. The person said, I was aware God has sent a prophet and what he had taught was supposed to put me back in the Apostolic faith, however, the more I listened in this certain place I wasn’t hearing at all what I had been reading. I was only hearing certain parts. It soon reached a place I was very disturbed. Each time they got in the pulpit it seemed every other word, said this individual, was THE PROPHET, THE PROPHET, until they began to wonder WHERE WAS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IN ALL THIS. If I dared open my mouth, continued this person, people would try to hush me up with this phrase, NOW DON’T YOU BLASPHEME! I heard this until I thought my life was dominated by fear. Now, the caller said they have taken the extreme in this church to teach that people should remain unmarried. Remember, I said, Paul wrote to Timothy saying in the latter days some (thank God not all) would depart from the faith teaching that very doctrine. I know where that idea came from, it came from certain individuals’ personal interpretation of what their twisted minds understood Bro. William Branham to mean when he preached on MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE. No, they didn’t get that idea from the Bible. And I said to this person, those poor people who didn’t take on that kind of spirit, got influenced by another which is just as rotten, referring to one’s mate that if you feel God did not give you the right one, ditch her and get another, or else just keep her and get a second one. Beloved, it is time we returned to this Bible! I am only saying these things to show you when the people wandered off the trail once they accepted a church order because it did not pertain to their assembly as it was used strictly for disciplinary action.


To show you how far this thing had drifted, many who took that route (of church order) since now driving the Holy Spirit from their churches, no teach no one has the Holy Ghost, and I personally doubt that anyone who remains very long in that atmosphere does have the Holy Ghost. A friend of mine, doing missionary work in Trinidad has made three visits, said each time he visited the island things were drifting further and further into the state of apostasy. Men from our local area, who are supposed to be a part of this message, had been on the island teaching in churches that no one was born again until they came into this message. That, by the way, is what they were teaching last spring. However, on his recent journey he discovered the northern part of the island where churches had been established in this message, all of them had been caught up in this teaching as he was given no opportunity to speak in any of them. One pastor whom he questioned was bold enough, who had this diabolical spirit upon him so strongly that not only did he explain it to the missionary, he wrote it down, dated and signed it and we have a copy. It goes like this; THERE HAS BEEN NO ONE BORN AGAIN APART OR OUTSIDE OF WILLIAM MARRION BRANHAM SINCE THE DAYS OF THE NICEA COUNCIL UNTIL THE DAY THE SEVEN SEALS WERE REVEALED BY WILLIAM BRANHAM, GOD’S PROPHET IN 1963. There has been no one between these two periods of time born again outside the prophet.


Now do you see why some misguided souls go through the land teaching no one has received the baptism of the Holy Ghost because they certainly do not have it themselves.! If they did, they would not teach such rotten stuff from the pit and think THEY GOT IT EVERY BIT OFF A MESSAGE ENTITLED, “THAT STATUE OF A PERFECT MAN.” When Bro. William Branham taught that message he never intended for anyone to develop such a carnal opinion as that. He preached that message to get you back in the Bible as he preached all his messages; to make a real Christian out of you wherein Christ might dwell in your life, and certainly he was not responsible for such a weird teaching as that! Such characters as these running over the country are ruining God’s people! Instead of helping them go forward, they are responsible for them going backward, and what they can’t make go backward they cause them to go sideways. And they say to me, Bro. Jackson, you know we have to have love! Beloved, I say these sheep killing dogs, or dumb dogs as Isaiah called them, wouldn’t know the love of God if they saw a boxcar load of it! The only thing they love is for you to get deceived like they are, get in the same ship with them and sail out in no-man’s land far, far away from the truth! REMEMBER, BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER!

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