Every Joint Supplieth, Part 1 – 1987, April


THE LORD HAS BEEN DEALING WITH ME FOR ABOUT 6 WEEKS NOW, CONCERNING THE FUNCTION OF THE MANY MEMBERED BODY OF CHRIST, WHICH THE BIBLE ALSO CALLS THE CHURCH. I HAVE LAID AWAKE AT NIGHT DURING MUCH OF THIS TIME, WITH ONE CERTAIN SCRIPTURE TURNING OVER AND OVER IN MY MIND, UNTIL FINALLY THAT SCRIPTURE BEGAN TO CAUSE A PICTURE TO FORM, AND THIS MESSAGE BEGAN TO COME TOGETHER. WE ARE GOING TO TITLE THE MESSAGE, “EVERY JOINT SUPPLIETH,” AND I BELIEVE YOU WILL AGREE WITH THE TITLE, AS THE LORD OPENS THE THOUGHT UP TO US. THIS SIDE OF THE DARK AGES, INDIVIDUALS HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE THE DAY THEY ARE BORN AGAIN, THEY RECEIVE ALL THAT THEY NEED. WELL IT IS A FACT, THAT WHEN YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST, YOU HAVE THE POTENTIAL IN YOU, FOR ALL THAT GOD EVER EXPECTS TO MOLD IN YOU; BUT BIRTH IS ONLY THE BEGINNING. YOUR SPIRITUAL STATURE MUST BE MOLDED OVER A PROCESS OF TIME, JUST LIKE YOUR PHYSICAL STATURE IS. PHYSICALLY, WHEN A NEW BORN BABY LIES IN ITS MOTHER’S ARMS, IT HAS NO THOUGHTS ABOUT WHAT IT WILL BE LIKE WHEN IT REACHES ADULTHOOD, AND SPIRITUALLY, WE ARE JUST ABOUT THE SAME WAY. OUR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE SCRIPTURES, ON HOW TO OBTAIN SPIRITUAL GROWTH, MANY TIMES LEAVES US VICTIMS OF THE DEVIL BECAUSE OF THAT, AND WE FIND OURSELVES DRIFTING INTO A CERTAIN TREND, NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT. TRADITIONAL TEACHING HAS PUMPED CERTAIN IDEAS INTO OUR HEADS, AND MANY TIMES WHAT IS EXPECTED OF US AMOUNTS TO NOTHING MORE THAN REFORM, WHEN IN REALITY IT SHOULD BE A COMPLETE RENEWING, BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD WHICH WE RECEIVE. THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT WE ARE BORN SINNERS, EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE NEVER TOLD A LIE, NOR STOLE ANYTHING, NOR DONE ANYTHING ELSE THAT IS ASSOCIATED WITH SIN. WHY? BECAUSE SIN WAS IMPUTED TO ADAM, AS A RESULT OF HIS DISOBEDIENCE TO THE WORD OF GOD, AND WE INHERITED THAT FALLEN NATURE THROUGH OUR NATURAL BIRTH, BEING HIS DESCENDANTS. IN OTHER WORDS, WE HAVE THE POTENTIAL IN US BECAUSE OF OUR INHERITED NATURE, TO BE MEANER THAN THE DEVIL HIMSELF, BUT WE ALSO HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BE JUST THE OPPOSITE, AND ONLY TIME ITSELF PROVES WHICH WAY WE WILL GO. THERE ARE COMMUNITIES THAT ARE COMPLETELY VOID OF ANY CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE, AND THE IDEA OF GOING TO CHURCH IS NEVER EVEN A CONSIDERATION. THEREFORE PEOPLE IN THOSE COMMUNITIES ARE MORE PRONE TO BE DRUNKS, BRAWLERS, AND WHATEVER ELSE YOU CAN THINK OF, BUT YOU SEE NONE OF THAT IN THE LITTLE NEWBORN BABIES OF THOSE PEOPLE. YOU WOULD NEVER LOOK AT A SWEET LITTLE BUNDLE OF LOVE, LYING THERE IN ITS MOTHER’S ARMS AND SAY, THERE LIES A LITTLE DEVIL THAT WOULD JUST AS SOON CUT YOUR THROAT AS TO LOOK AT YOU. YET 15 YEARS LATER, IT COULD VERY WELL BE LIKE THAT. WHY IS THAT SO? BECAUSE IT WAS BORN A SINNER, WITH A NATURE TO REBEL AGAINST THE WAYS OF GOD, AND UNLESS GOD GETS A HOLD OF THAT LIFE AND CHANGES IT, THOSE NATURAL TRAITS EXPRESS THEMSELVES. OH I AM NOT ATTRIBUTING THAT JUST MERELY TO AN ENVIRONMENT. THAT WAS JUST AN ILLUSTRATION, TO CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT WITHOUT CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE, THOSE NATURAL HUMAN TENDENCIES ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE EXPRESSED IN EXTREMITY. CHARACTER, ATTITUDE, AND PERSONALITY ARE BUILT INTO THE MAKEUP OF A CHILD BY THE EXAMPLES AND INFLUENCE OF THOSE AROUND IT. THAT IS WHY THE WORLD IS LIKE IT IS TODAY; CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE HAS STEADILY DIMINISHED RIGHT ON THROUGH THE YEARS: INSTEAD OF GROWING STRONGER, AND GENTILES ARE FAST RETURNING TO THE WAYS OF THEIR ANCESTORS WHICH WERE PAGANS BEFORE THEY RECEIVED THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.


SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE


There is a lot going through my mind as I start this message; but let us open our Bibles to Ephesians 4:15 and read a few verses. “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Out of this world of sinners by nature, God has called unto himself individuals that have responded to the wooing of His Spirit, and obeyed the gospel message according to the measure of revelation that was presented to them; and these individuals, joined together by a common bond, and the Spirit of unity, are known as the body of Christ; for he lives, and is demonstrated through them, because of His spirit that dwells in them. The process of our entering into that body, is called the new birth, or our born again experience; and in that body, which is universal, every member has a particular function to fulfill; just like the individual members as our human body; and when any member lets down on his part, the body is weakened, and fails in some area. But the whole function is built around one thing, speaking the truth in love, the kind of love God has for us, not our human love which we so often exercise our Christian actions in. The love of God looks beyond our physical appearance, right into the depths of our hearts, and deals with us accordingly; to mold us into the very image of His only begotten son. The wart on our chin, nor the freckle on the tip of our nose, has nothing at all to do with our spiritual image. Our spiritual image is portrayed by the way we live our lives and present ourselves, in this wicked world of perversion and degradation. We have to live in the same society with Satan’s crowd; but thank God, we do not have to partake of their evil deeds. We may not have much of a voice in what goes around us, but we have the assurance of knowing that we are under the watch-care of a sovereign God that loves us, and that is able to preserve us until his purpose is accomplished in our lives. I know it appears to some that God is no longer in control; but I assure you, that Satan can only do what God allows him to do. This disease called Aids, which is striking fear in the hearts of so many people, is a curse of God; sent upon this perverted society that has locked Him out of their schools, and their governmental bodies; but they refuse to believe that it is. We never had Aids 50 years ago. Venereal disease of 50 years ago had been around for hundreds of years, and a decent lifestyle kept people free from it, but this Aids seems to reach beyond that, and touch the lives of people who have not indulged in those perverted practices. It just goes to show that when a generation of people reject Christian influence, and make laws to keep God out of the picture, he has his ways of dealing with them. He is the only one that knows what is in the heart of every individual upon the face of this earth today; therefore not one of us has the right to accuse Him of being unjust. In the 9th chapter of Ezekiel, God had His mark set on the foreheads of those that signed and cried because of the abominations that were done in their midst; and He is still the same today. What He hated then, He still hates; and He has His own way of dealing with it, when it reaches a certain state of corruption, and he is not obligated to explain it to anyone.


WE EACH HAVE SOMETHING TO DO


People try to excuse their ungodly ways by saying, I was born that way; I cannot help what I do. But I would like to say this, You were born a sinner; that is true, but time itself has made you what you are today. It takes time for the devil, the god of this world, to mold in us and manifest things through us, that God despises. Likewise when we become a child of God, we are not immediately what God wants us to be, but we immediately have every potential in us, and over a process of time, God molds us into the very image of his only begotten Son. Every advance in our spiritual stature moves us a little closer to that ultimate goal. I have been a Christian for thirty some years, and I am still learning some things from the word of God; so do not ever allow yourself to reach a place where you feel there is nothing left in God’s word to be revealed. Many have done that through the ages; that is why we have all these denominations out here. But the true child of God knows he must keep an open mind and move on with the revelation that is given him, and according to the apostle Paul, every member contributes something. We are joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth. In this great body of believers, we each have a job to do. There is a spiritual something that we each one contribute to the body as a whole, that serves to make that body a little more into the image of what Jesus is coming back after. This building is not the Church; it is only a place where this element of the Church meets to worship God, and to receive further instructions for our journey. Of course, these buildings where we meet should be treated with proper respect, because of what they are set apart for; but the only thing holy about them is the holy people that assemble within, to worship. Well, how can we know what we are supposed to do? Some will say. First let me say this, Our example in this Christian walk was the very Son of God himself. He left us an example not only of how to face temptation and overcome by the word of God, but also how to conduct ourselves in a social way. It is only after we learn how to follow His example in their areas, that we stand in a place where God can truly lead us into a place of service. Otherwise we many times, just simply try to do good works according to how things look to us. Brothers and Sisters: We have got to accept the fact that we are living at the end time. The leadings of the spirit of God are not exactly the same as what they were in the days of the early church. The Christian era is running out, and Christianity is losing its effectiveness in the world at large. Two thousand years ago when Jesus told his disciples, Ye are the light of the world: He was pointing to the fact that the Church (His mystical body) was to be the only means by how truth and the virtues of a divine life would be expressed to the world; to bring hope to those who ignorantly sat in spiritual darkness. But here in the end time, when the Spirit of conviction is fast leaving the Gentiles, and it is becoming more and more obvious that God has just about gleaned the last ones, it seems that the Spirit of God is leading more and more toward perfecting those who truly are born again believers. No that does not mean that we should stop witnessing of God’s saving grace; but we should be led of the spirit, instead of just getting out, trying to tell everything we know, as some have been guilty of doing. Nevertheless it is still important that this perverted society be able to see something in us, as they did in those first Christians, that caused them to say, They have been with Jesus. Why did they say that about them? Simply because they were looking at some people that wanted to live like Jesus, talk like Jesus, and be led of the father like Jesus was. That is what this Christian life is all about. God is seeking to mold within us those very virtues. Satan will always put up road blocks; hoping to sidetrack us, and defeat us, but the Spirit of God in us is our assurance that we can overcome, no matter what the old enemy throws at us.


WE SHOULD EXAMINE OUR MOTIVES


Alright, I am still on verse 15, here in Ephesians 4, that speaks of growing up in the stature of Christ. “But speaking the TRUTH in LOVE, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” To speak truth is one thing, but our motive for speaking is equally as important. We can speak truth either to help someone, or in an effort to cut someone down, or just simply to let someone hear how much we know; so I believe you should be able to see that our motive for doing what we are doing, should be right at all times. Why did you come to church this morning? Was it just because you felt like it was the proper thing to do? Or do you have a hunger for the word of God, and a desire to fellowship and worship God with other saints? Every time we come through those doors; we should have a desire to gain something that will add to our spiritual stature; and also to contribute something to the body as a whole, that will cause it to reflect more of the image of Christ Jesus. People are not necessarily children of God, just simply because they went to a church house somewhere this morning. A lot of preachers went to a building, stepped up into the pulpit, and fulfilled a religious ritual, this morning, that never benefitted anyone the least bit. Furthermore most of what came there to hear them, came only to fulfill a religious ritual, not expecting to gain anything spiritually. They went home just as spiritually ignorant, as when they came. If there really is a true child of God caught in a situation like that, sooner or later, they get so hungry they have to go looking for some spiritual food, and God eventually leads the hungry ones to a place where that food can be found. In other words, we are living in an age, when God is calling his people out of these religious systems, to be perfected; and the people who have sold out to the systems are perishing with them, for it is the blind leading the blind. All those systems are preaching an easy gospel that anyone can accept without having their normal way of life interrupted; but in spite of that fact, the letter of the word of God that they do use, sometimes falls upon the ears of a soul that is hungering for a new meaning in life, and God uses that to get such a person started His way. In other words, God can save us anywhere, but we will never gain much spiritual stature sitting in the assemblies of those religious systems. They do not even have a motive to try to be more like Jesus; they just want to excel in fulfilling their part of the particular religious ritual, and then be free to partake of whatever the world has to offer. Bro. Jackson: are there any exceptions? Yes, there are a few here and there, but remember, Satan himself is the founder of all those systems of organized religion, so no matter how sincere a person may be, if that person is tied to one of those systems, they will never reflect very much of the true image of Jesus Christ.


THE HEAD MUST CONTROL THE BODY


Saints: There are a lot of things to consider when we determine to take stock of our own general outlook and spiritual stature. For just the mere fact that you have come out of denominational religion does not necessarily mean that you are growing in the image and likeness of Christ. Some people never get serious enough for the lord to do very much for them. Being humorous is one thing, and there is nothing wrong with that, but just constantly teasing each other, and gouging one another is not a Christian virtue; that is the nature of an unregenerate person, and we should grow out of it somewhere along the way. God does not tease, and he certainly takes no pleasure in seeing His redeemed children always teasing, and many times hurting people who are more sensitive to that sort of thing. In other words, we can go too far with anything, and God expects us to grow to the place where we realize that; and allow Him to deliver us from it. By speaking the truth in love, we grow up into Him (Jesus) in all things. Not instantly, but over a period of time. We are not able to see Him with out natural eyes, because He is no longer here with us as a person; but from the scriptures, we still have Him as our example. The Holy Ghost in us is able to take our lives and lead us into the very image and likeness of Jesus Christ, if we will just become sensitive to His leading. I do not know how many of you have actually thought this thing all the way through, but the apostle Paul used the human body to illustrate this unique relationship between Christ and the Church; Christ being the head, and the Church the body. Therefore knowing this, we ought to think some very sobering thoughts. A healthy body is completely controlled by the head; so if the head is not in control, the body is in trouble. It takes the whole body of believers to make up the complete stature of Jesus Christ, for no one person possesses it all. But the Church functioning as God intended for it to, exemplifies all the qualities and virtues that Jesus Himself possessed; and that is the only hope for a lost and dying world. As we go about from day to day, we have no way of knowing whether we are rubbing elbows with predestinated children of God or not; therefore the Holy Ghost should be able at any time to lead us to speak a few words to people along the road of life. When we grow up into Him who is the head, we realize that it is the head that does the thinking, the seeing, and the directing of the body. The physical body functions like that; and the day will soon be that the mystical body of Christ will again function in that way. As long as tares and true believers sit together, the body of Christ will never function completely as God ordained it to; but the time is coming when it will; because that is the kind of church the Lord is coming back for. But in the meanwhile, true children of God should be growing, and learning how to be directed by the head. We do not just sit back and wait until God gets all the tares out of our way, before we start growing. Our lack of growth is what makes it possible for tares to sit among us, and feel right at home. When the Church started out it was pure. There were no tares in it, and the head was in complete control; and as long as that generation remained in positions of leadership, the tares could not get in. They only got in as a new generation came upon the scene; that did not have a complete revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and were not completely led by the head. Therefore to turn that condition around, and get the church back in its true function once again, the Lord first had to restore it to a true revelation of every doctrine and precept, and get it once again, looking to the head for its instructions. Then as the individual members of the body take on more and more of the image and likeness of Christ, tares will begin to get very uncomfortable sitting among them, for they will be recognized as being void of the genuine. God knows every true child of His, and he also knows the whereabouts of every tare, and at the proper time, all the tares will be separated, and the little bride will be dealt with to prepare her for her catching away.


WE ARE OVERCOMERS


Alright, there are many things to be said about what we are looking at here in Ephesians. It is Paul’s description of the unique way the Church of the living God is put together. Notice verse 16 as Paul moves on, speaking of our growing up into the head, (Christ.) “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted (how?) By that which every joint supplieth.” Every joint speaks of every member of that great spiritual body; and when each one of us fulfills our place in the body, what will be the result? We will be joined together and compacted just like a jigsaw puzzle that is interlocked. Being compacted does not mean that we will be pressed down. It simply means that we will be knit together in such a unique way, that nothing the devil does can tear us apart. The natural world about us says that such an idea is only a myth, but the true people of God know that we are moving toward a reality that the people of the world are not supposed to understand. People of the world have never seen the true church in action. All they have ever seen of the church, was a sick body; existing in an abnormal state, waiting to be healed. In its spiritual sickened state, with tares on every hand, it could not function in the way the original body was intended to function. God allowed the devil to get it in that state, but He does not intend to leave it like that. Here in the end of the grace age, God will have a body of people who have been tried and tested by the devil, and have overcame him by the very word of God he has tried so hard to destroy by perverting it. Naturally he (the devil) will have people pointing their finger at you, and accusing you of all sorts of things, just like the Pharisees did the disciples of Jesus, almost two thousand years ago; but we know from the scriptures that the true children of God are overcomers; no matter what the devil throws at them. We have to learn how to deal with the devil though, as we grow in grace, for we are not born into the family of God knowing all about dealing with him, in this spiritual warfare. It is only after we have been through many battles and overcome, that we begin to fit together as a body, and are compacted in such a way that the devil cannot get between us. It is the working of the Holy Ghost that puts everything together into such a beautiful picture; and it has to be apart from organized religion. The Catholic Church could never do it; for she is the furthest thing away from what the true body of Christ is to be like. Now when I say, Catholic Church, I am talking about the system itself; not the individuals in it, that are imprisoned by her teaching, for some of them will yet come out of her; into this wonderful light. Brothers and Sisters: do you ever take time just to realize how blessed we are, to be privileged to walk in this beautiful truth? Except for the grace of God, we could all still be in spiritual darkness, heading for the great tribulation. But because our eyes were opened, we are being fitly joined together in this great body; in an inseparable way, with every member fitting into place, just like a jigsaw puzzle. You know how a jigsaw puzzle is, before it is put together; it is just a bunch of individual parts, all mixed up together in a box; but somewhere, there is a picture that shows you what all of that is supposed to look like; once every part is in its proper place. Well, the Bible shows us what the Church is supposed to look like, when every individual member is finally in their proper place, with the head (Jesus Christ) in complete control. Only then, will we be that inseparable body of people that the devil cannot shake apart. If the devil has us locked up in jail, we will pray for each other, and we will not deny the faith, nor squeal on each other; trying to save ourselves. If you have never seen the picture of the kind of church we are talking about, open your Bible to the book of Acts and start reading, and before you go very far, you will begin to get a vision of the kind of church Jesus is coming back for. He is coming back for a body of people that have no selfish motives, and that are willing to die for their faith in God, if necessary. To the world, that sounds crazy; but to the true child of God that knows where the real value is, it makes good sense.


HOW SPIRITUALITY IS MEASURED


I want to make a statement right here now, while we are talking about what the true body of Christ looks like. Do not look at your brothers and sisters of the faith and try to measure their spirituality by their fleshly self that you see. For in the 13th chapter of Matthew, Jesus spoke of seed that fell upon good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold. All three categories pertain to the body of Christ; and the thirtyfold can be just as spiritual as the hundredfold; for their spirituality is measured by what they do with the abilities they have. The thirtyfold is what the apostle Paul spoke of in the 12th chapter of 1st Corinthians, as the feeble part of the body, and in verse 22 he said, “Nay, much more those members of the body which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor.” In other words, we have to have something in us that can see the qualities of Jesus Christ in another person, apart from their fleshly appearance. None of us will ever be anything more than what the grace of God gives us the ability to be. We may look at someone and say, That person is far from being like Christ; but if we will look at that same person and recognize the fact that he, or she is a member of the body of people that desire to be like Christ, we will cease to expect that one person to display every attribute of Christ. We do not all have the same abilities, and we do not all have the same opportunities; but He who knows our hearts, and our every thought and motive, is the only one that can make a true determination of our spirituality. Time alone will prove who is what; for God’s purpose is not all accomplished in one day. Furthermore the fact that we are all fitly joined together, and compacted, does not mean that we are all going to be spiritual giants. God never meant for every member of this great body to be a spiritual giant. When you look at the various members of your human body, which is what this body is compared to in its function: you see certain members that the human body could get along without. Every day, surgeons are cutting away members of human bodies, and many of them function without those particular members, but the procedure usually leaves a scar. Well, that is exactly what the body of Christ would be like, if certain members were eliminated by our choice: but God never intended for it to be that way. He will make absolutely sure that every member is in its predetermined place, and functioning properly. Yes, we are compacted by that which every joint supplieth; and there is no jealousy, nor inferiority, in that healthy body. Let me give you a little illustration of every joint supplying, by just using the ministering brethren sitting back here behind me. If I do not have the right attitude, I can allow a spirit of jealousy to take hold of me when one of these ministers preaches a message along the same lines as what I have preached, and I hear someone say to him, Oh, Brother: You just do not know what that message meant to me. I never saw it like that when Bro. Jackson preached on it. Saints: That is how it is supposed to be. No one preacher is supposed to have it all. God has purposed to perfect the Church by the ministry of a five fold ministry, so I am thankful in my heart, when I see this thing working; like the Bible says it is supposed to work. It lets me know that we are on the right track. I will never be guilty of holding any other brother back; just because of some jealous spirit. I have said all along that we would yet see the ministry of Ephesians 4:11 in the church, before the end. When Bro. William Branham died and various ones were saying, it is all over; I said to Billy Paul, right in the presence of Bro. Neville, It is not all over; God will have a living ministry among the ranks of the church until the very end; whether you want it or not. Praise God! He has that ministry in the church, and I am not jealous. Jesus is not jealous of me; and I am not jealous of my brothers. It makes me happy when another ministering brother gets up here and takes a scripture that I may have preached on last week, and brings it out in such a way that I see smiles on your faces, and know that it is benefitting your soul. It lets me know that it is the spirit of God that is doing the preaching.


CAUSE FOR JEALOUSY


Now I am going to tell you when I will be jealous. If for some carnal reason some of you decide that this church is not moving the way it should: and you could succeed in getting one of these ministering brethren to play along with your plan, and you begin to undermine what we are doing here, and bring division among the people, then I assure you, I will be jealous. It would be just like the apostle Paul said to the Corinthian Church, I am jealous over you with godly jealousy. Why would he say such a thing? He was speaking of the possibility of false teachers beguiling them, like the serpent did Eve; and drawing them away from the truth he had preached to them. As long as truth was preached, he would rejoice with them, no matter who was doing the preaching, but he had no patience with anything else. A true man of God takes great pleasure in seeing the Church edified; and he enjoys being fed by someone else, just as much as he enjoys doing the feeding. That is how God means for us to look at these things. There is no place among the true body of Christ for selfishness and jealousy. It thrills my soul to know that when God gets through with us, we will not be like a bunch of puppets, being manipulated by some human instrument. No. Praise God! We will get our instructions from the head; and every member will function as a healthy body should. Right now, we are all still learning; and every last one of us should be willing to have God change our mind about certain things; if need be. Or our attitude, if we have been looking at something wrong. The point is, in order for God to mold us into the image of his only begotten Son, we have to be willing for Him to change us once in a while. We are being fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, only when those joints are allowing the head to call the signals. The thirtyfold Christian supplies something, the sixtyfold Christian supplies something; and the hundredfold Christian supplies a lot; but that is the way God ordained it to work. None of us can supply any more than what God has committed to us; and that, of course, is according to the measure of our faith. But like the scripture says, To whom much is given, much is required. I will say this though, With tares sitting among you, playing their little games, it is sometimes very hard for the true members of the body to contribute their part, for the tares will rip it all to pieces. A tare cannot be perfected, therefore they are always ready to take issue with anything that is of the leading of the spirit of God, unless they are somehow able to copy it. But just for a little comparison of the operation of the body of Christ in its healthy state, let us look at the physical body, that Paul used for an illustration. The physical body has many members, and every one of them take instructions from the head, when the body is in a healthy state. If my thumb is to move, a thought from the brain travels down through a never channel running down through my spinal cord, and out through my arm, right on down to the thumb. But just suppose there has been a serious injury somewhere between my head and my thumb, and the signal cannot get through, What will be the result? If there is no communication, the thumb will be numb, and there will be no reaction until something changes. When the injury heals properly, the feeling comes back into the thumb, and it will once again react to its signals from the brain. That is just a little illustration to get us thinking about why the body of Christ eventually ceased to function as it did in the first years after its birth. Before the tares got in, and the body was still healthy, the head (Jesus Christ) could move the body in any direction. But the time came that the body of Christ was almost dismembered. It existed in a very sickly state, and there was not much communication between the head and the members, and it remained so for hundreds of years, while the devil’s tares more or less called the shots in what was known as the church. I can never praise God enough, as I have occasion to look back, at what he has brought His church out of; out of a sickly, crippled condition, back to vibrant life and expectancy.


WHAT VARIOUS ONE’S SUPPLIED


Well, we want to get to some examples of how every joint of this great body of Christ supplies something; so pray for me, that I will be able to express it to you, as I see it. Through the years, we have had a tendency to look at certain Christian people and wonder why there seemed to be so little spiritual growth; while in their hearts you know they have the same desire toward the Lord, that others have. Thinking along those lines is what got my mind on the scripture we have been looking at; and eventually caused me to see that every individual person in the body of Christ has to contribute something to the well being of that body. Of course, there are some who will say, well, every true child of God will eventually have some kind of spiritual gift. That may be true; but that is not the only means by which they contribute something to the body. That which is done through a gift of the Spirit, is to be looked upon more as God ministering to the body; and what we want to see is what the individual contributes. Now first we can look to ourselves. Many of you, including myself, are sitting here today because we were supplied with something that brought us out of denominational religion. Someone passed something on to us at a time when our souls were receptive to it, and that something was a contribution to the body of Christ. There are many areas to consider as you begin to think along these lines; but just for an illustration, let us consider scriptural water baptism, and the godhead. When the body was scattered among various trinity religious systems, it was in a pitiful, sick and crippled condition. Yet the Holy Ghost knew exactly where every member of that body was; and what it would take to get every member separated from that, and joined together as it should be. First God began to speak to some trinity people from His written word; about the name of Jesus in water baptism, instead of the trinity titles of Matthew 28:19; and the more they studied along those lines the clearer it became. Then the Holy Ghost opened up opportunities for them to share with others, what the Lord had been dealing with them about; and here was a precious truth restored to the Church; that had been lost for centuries. Naturally that opened up an avenue for the godhead to be considered; Is God one, or is he three? As a person would begin to meditate and study on these things, a great hunger for truth developed within, and an excitement that could hardly wait to share what was being revealed, with someone else. One person’s testimony sheds light upon someone else’s pathway, and on an on it goes, as God eventually shines more and more light upon the pathway of every hungry soul. Now when you are talking about the body of Christ, (the church) you have to look beyond the realm of the little circle you are familiar with, and realize that this body has members in every nation under heaven; and whatever the spirit of God does on behalf of the body, must have time and opportunity to affect the universal picture; and that is accomplished as individual members contribute their part. You may not immediately see it; but every member of this great body supplies something, that benefits the body as a whole.


ALL MEMBERS ARE NECESSARY


I look back through the years at the great move of God that was stirring in the hearts of many people, coming through the 40’s, 50’s, and on into the 60’s; but in those early years, very few people had ever thought anything about a message to the age. Unless God somehow showed you that there was going to be an Elijah spirit come into the picture, (like you have heard me testify that He showed me) you would not have had your mind on anything like that. One February morning I sat down to read the Bible, and opened it up to the first chapter of Luke, and as I read that I said, if we are living in the days before the second coming of Christ, God will send that Elijah spirit again. I did not know when, where, nor how, but in my heart, I knew it would be. Well, my wife’s cousin was already sitting under the influence of that ministry, but I had not heard anything about it until he came down home to go squirrel hunting; and came by the house just as I was coming out from eating my lunch, one hot summer day. That is when he told me about Bro. William Branham and what the Lord was doing through his ministry, and when I heard it I said, If these things be true, then this is that Elijah that is to come. I only had to hear the man one time; to be completely convinced that he was the man. Well, right there is another example of what we are talking about. This member of the body of Christ ministered something to me that I needed to hear, and most of you have had similar experiences, where someone that had already traveled farther down the road, witnessed to you something that the Lord had already made real to them. Anytime you share something that the Lord has put in your heart, you realize that the testimony can be either accepted, or rejected, but once you have obeyed the leading of the Lord, you are not obligated to worry about the end results of it. God has used the testimonies of some to bring about a total separation of you and I, from the systems of religion we were scattered about in. There has to be a total separation somewhere along the line; for it is not scripturally possible that the true body of Christ could remain locked up in those systems, until the rapture takes place. No. The Lord has worked in some very unique ways to get His true Church separated from those systems; and I am sure we can all say Amen to that. Regardless of what finally settled it for you, it was probably someone’s testimony that first got your attention; so I am just using these little illustrations to remind you that we do minister to each other as the Holy Spirit leads us to do so. In other words, the head directs all the other members of the body. In 1st Corinthians, chapter 12, Paul has a lot to say about this many membered body of Christ. We will not read all of it at this time, but notice as we read a few verses, how he states these truths; comparing the human body and the mystical body of Christ. Verse 12, “For as the body is one, (the physical body) and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; (the baptism of the Holy Ghost is the only thing that can put a person into the body of Christ, just like it says here. Therefore if you have never had that experience in your soul: you are not a member of Christ’s body, even if you have attended church all your life.) And have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.” He goes ahead with examples, showing how even the most feeble (lease esteemed) members are necessary, for a healthy body. Why? Because both in the physical and the spiritual bodies, each and every member supplies something that is beneficial to the body. The big difference is, doctors examine our physical bodies and determine that we can function better if certain members are surgically removed; but when we are talking about the mystical body of Christ: no true member of that body will ever be removed. Those members that are not functioning properly, will be dealt with by the head until they are. The foundation upon which our faith is built, has to be straightened up, and every true Bible doctrine has to be restored, before all the members can function in perfect harmony. The beauty of it is, if we are true children of God, we are all standing upon the same foundation; the only foundation that God would ever build His house upon; which is the foundation laid by the apostles of Jesus Christ. I like the apostle Peter’s terminology (1st Pet. 2:5) where he said, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Not only are we the house of God, (being lively stones knit together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth) but we are also looked upon as an holy priesthood; privileged to be able to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. Hallelujah! Saints: we are a privileged people, and we have a great spiritual potential ahead of us; but do not let your guard down; for Satan is still very busy, trying to defeat the plan of God, and he has many ways in which he works.


WHERE SATAN WORKS


I believe we will all agree that God is not just in the process of perfecting individuals, but the whole body of genuine believers. Therefore we should be just as concerned about the spiritual state of our brothers and sisters of the faith, as we are of our own selves. We are not in this race alone; therefore there is no advantage in trying to get ahead of anyone else. The whole body must work together; every individual member supplying his or her part, so here is something we all need to be aware of. The devil cannot separate us over water baptism; we all have that straight. Our minds are settled, concerning scriptural water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Neither can he separate us over any controversy concerning the godhead; for we all know that God is one; and that He is Spirit, and not a person. That one revelation breaks down prison walls that have held precious souls captive, and made it impossible for them to grow very much spiritually. But thank God, we have that settled; and Satan has no room to work in that area. We also have the revelation of serpent seed; which lets us know why we need salvation, so he cannot get between us with any dispute about that. But does that mean that there is no place left where the devil can cause us trouble? I hope none of you feel that way; for I am here to tell you, he will give us trouble right to the very end; and we are charged with the responsibility of recognizing him; and overcoming his assaults by the word of God. Alright since we have our doctrine straight, where will the devil attack us? I think all of you know the answer; he will work on this old flesh. Our greatest enemy is ourselves; if we do not stay on guard, and keep submitted to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Just the fact that we have the Holy Ghost, is no guarantee that we will never again have any trouble with our human makeup. That is the very reason the apostle Paul spoke of having to die daily. Every day we live, Satan is busy trying to revive our old selfish, carnal nature; and if we are not constantly on guard against such a thing, situations can arise that will bring about broken relationships. Our old selfish, sensitive, human nature, can be revived to the point where our Christian fellowship is broken; and spiritual growth comes to a standstill. These things come, from time to time; and there is only one way to deal with them. We must face every situation honestly, and allow the spirit of God to deal with our hearts and submit ourselves to the word of God. We cannot seek special favor; for we are to live by every word that proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God. Jesus was faced with situations where flesh sought special recognition; therefore we will do well, if we apply his examples to our own situations. One such instance is found recorded in the 20th chapter of Matthew; where flesh sought special favors of the Lord, and had to be reminded that the father (the sovereign Spirit) grants these things according to His foreordained plan and purpose, and fleshly desires have no place in it.


PRAYING SELFISHLY


In Matthew chapter 20, starting in verse 20, we find an account of something that took place when Jesus was on the road from Jericho to Jerusalem, just like we all are, spiritually speaking. Maybe some have overcome certain areas of this kind of human behavior, but it still remains to be a problem in the body of Christ as a whole. A lot of it depends upon what category certain ones are in; whether 30, 60 or 100 fold, but the thing we need to realize is, We do not graduate from one category to another. Whatever we are, that is what we will be in the body; but a 30 fold Christian that will submit to the leadership of the Holy Ghost, will still bear fruit to perfection. In other words, we are what we are, only by the grace of God; for we could do nothing to merit this great salvation we have. But notice now. Here is this great mob of people following Jesus. To some, he was just an outstanding man. But to many of them, He was the Messiah they had waited for; and they believed he was on his way to kick out the Romans, and set up His kingdom; so notice verse 20. “Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, (James and John) worshiping Him, and desiring a certain thing of Him.” It says she came worshiping Him; (adoring Him) but she was like a lot of people; she wanted a special favor from Him; something that was very important to her human nature. We have all been guilty of the very same thing at one time or another. Many times it is because we set certain goals of what we humanly want to attain in our Christian lives; and even though we are not talking with Jesus in the flesh, it amounts to the very same thing. Just as this woman did, we say, Lord: There is something that would mean a lot to me; Would you do so and so. Notice now. “And He said unto her, What wilt thou? (What is it you want?) She saith unto Him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.” This thing of striving for a position is a detrimental thing in the life of a Christian person; but a lot of people are guilty of it; just like this woman. In her heart she felt that it would be just wonderful if her two sons could be given these positions with the Lord; but Jesus knew that this was not the way it was going to work. From His own human mentality there would be no choosing done; for He was completely submissive to the sovereign mind of Jehovah; the mind that knew the outcome of everything, before He ever created anything. Therefore He said to her, “Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? (He asked James and John this question.) They say unto Him, We are able. And He said unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: BUT TO SIT ON MY RIGHT HAND, AND ON MY LEFT, IS NOT MINE TO GIVE, BUT IT SHALL BE GIVEN TO THEM FOR WHOM IT IS PREPARED OF MY FATHER.” Regardless of what some of these preachers of our day may tell you, God is not running some kind of program just to cater to the whims of human flesh; therefore to ask of Him selfish things is not praying according to the will of Him who is working all things according to the counsel of his own will; as it says in Eph. 1:11. In other words, No matter what my human desires may be, if they do not please my heavenly Father, I need not ask Him to grant my request. Brothers and Sisters: We have to study our Bibles, to even know how to pray. You cannot really have faith to believe for something from God, without first knowing what is available from the great storehouse of His wealth. In other words, The Bible makes no provision for any of us to ask anything from God just for some selfish reason. This is why Jesus did not just send the mother of these two men on down the road, without first dealing with her selfish motive. He wanted all mankind to be aware of the fact that all things must work according to the mind of the Father. The flesh man Jesus, was an outlet through which the attributes of the Father were expressed; therefore we need to follow His example in our thoughts, words and our deeds, and desire only that which we know our heavenly Father would be pleased for us to have.


CORRECTION WAS NECESSARY


Now what we have been reading about, all took place before any of those disciples ever had the Holy Ghost; so notice what it says about the other ten, when they learned what the mother of these two had asked. Verse 24, “And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. (I can just hear them talking among themselves about James and John thinking they were better than the rest of them. Brothers and Sisters: You know that is the way this old flesh reacts; and that is exactly where the devil gets into the picture; so Jesus had a few words to say to them.) But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. (It is like that in politics, and religion. People in high places actually rule over the rest. But notice what Jesus said to those disciples.) But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief, among you, let him be your servant.” He was not telling those disciples that they would all have to sit on the same size chair, nor was he changing His mind about what He had already said to Peter; about giving him the keys to the kingdom of heaven. He was merely pointing out to them, that the greater you are, the more you have to be willing to do for other people. There has never been a greater man on this earth than Jesus Christ; and He became servant of all. The Bible points to Him as our example, so where do some of these preachers of our day get the idea that they should have for themselves, the very best of everything? Jesus never tried to call attention to Himself, nor did He make any effort whatsoever, to have better things than anyone else. Listen to me, saints: No preacher has any right or reason to feel that he should have more, nor have better, than the rest of the people who sit under his ministry. I mean that with all my heart. For some reason, people of our day seem to have the cart before the horse; when it comes to things like this. God does not call men into the ministry to place them upon a pedestal for everyone else to look up to, and admire; because of their greatness. No. A true man of God will walk with the people where they walk; and be a help to them in all of their trials and tests, instead of a burden upon them. A true leader will walk through the mudhole with you, if it is necessary for you to go through one. If a man of God will walk with his people, they in turn will walk with him. That is what this is all about. God never intended to set some up, to be looked upon as being so much more important than anyone else. The New Testament is full of examples, if a person really has a desire in his heart to walk with God. Furthermore, the apostle Paul left us a perfect example of how to have the victory in our soul; even under the most trying circumstances. Did he lose his joy, and give up, just because he ended up in jail, or found himself shipwrecked, or persecuted? Do you find anywhere that he ever projected himself as being any better than anyone else? The answer is no. He knew he was a servant of God, called to minister, instead of being ministered to, and so did all those other apostles, once they received the Holy Ghost, and began to submit themselves to His leadership. Nevertheless Jesus used Himself as the example of what He was talking about, when He was correcting those offended disciples, and showing them that to be a leader, required one to be even as a servant. Notice  verse 28. “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” What if Jesus had been afraid He would hurt their feelings, and he had just left those ten disciples with their indignant feelings toward James and John? They might have worked themselves up into such a state of resentment, that they could have just turned back from following Him. In other words, truth was on the scene, and truth got the dispute settled, and avoided a very bad situation; and because of it, all those men except Judas, continued on; to supply their part in the body of Christ, in later years.


EXAMPLES OF FORGIVENESS


Some of you may wonder why we are using all these seemingly unrelated instances to the message we are dealing with; so I will put your mind at ease by saying this, There is something in every one of these occurrences that we can learn from; as we seek to be able to supply our part to the body. The feelings between those disciples necessitated some forgiveness, in order for them to fulfill what they had been called to fulfill. In other words, In that one occurrence we saw selfish desires expressed, we saw human resentment activated, we saw truth correct the whole situation, and the plan of God move forward; which means that there was also forgiveness on the part of those who were offended. Let us look at another example of human weakness, and also at a perfect example of forgiveness. In the 16th chapter of Matthew, we find Jesus asking His disciples, “But whom say ye that I the Son of man am?” Peter was the impulsive one among them; and immediately replied, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” He was just as quick to express a revelation, as he was to grab a sword and cut off a man’s ear later on and because of this answer, Jesus committed to him the keys of the kingdom of heaven; knowing that it was a revelation Peter was expressing, and upon that rock of revelation the Church was built. But a little later when Jesus began talking to them about what He would suffer at the hands of the Jews that hated Him, (how they would kill Him) Peter jumped right out there again and said, “Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” In other words, Lord, we will never let them do a thing like that to you. He meant it; but he did not understand everything that was taking place, so Jesus had to deal with this human reaction, just as He had to deal with the ten, on that other occasion, a little later. No, He did not take Peter aside and talk to him, like we might have done; He looked him straight in the eye and said, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men,” In other words, This was an impulsive human reaction, and Jesus knew this kind of boisterous remark was not what it was going to take to please God in the end. It sounded good, but Jesus knew that when Peter was really put to the test, fear for his own life would cause him to react just the opposite of the way he felt at that moment. Now He was not calling Peter, Satan, but it was the spirit of Satan (the devil) that Jesus was actually addressing, because he always causes natural man to react contrary to the plan and purpose of God. Therefore after the Passover supper, when Jesus was saying to the disciples, “Ye shall all be offended because of me this night,” and Peter again responded in his usual way, “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.”Jesus said to him, “Verily I say unto thee, that this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” Then Peter and all the others agreed that they would defend him to the very end, even if it meant their own death. That was just a short time before Jesus was actually arrested, and you all know what happened afterward, when different ones questioned Peter about being one of them that was with Jesus; he denied that he ever knew him, and began to curse and swear in his denial, and immediately the cock crowed, and he was reminded of what Jesus had said to him; and the Bible says he went out, and wept bitterly. We could not take the time to read all of these scriptures, but from these various occurrences, we are able to see some examples of how human nature reacts, and how truth deals with it to bring about the purpose of God. Peter’s real weakness was revealed, and he was forced to acknowledge it, and his heart was rent with remorse, because he had reacted exactly as the Master had said he would. Now I am sure many thoughts raced through his mind as Jesus went through that mock trial and was then put to death. No doubt he wondered, Was he really the Messiah? Will He rise from the dead, like He said? What will we do now, and what will He do if He arises? Though all this was no doubt running through his mind, he still remembered what Jesus had said to them before he went into the garden of Gethsemane where He was arrested, “But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.” Jesus already knew all that was going to take place, and how Peter would deny Him, even before He said, I will meet you in Galilee, so right there, we see a perfect example of forgiveness. Brothers and Sisters: Somewhere we are going to have to reach a place where we can recognize some of these examples that are set before us, and learn to apply these same principles in our own lives. Through these examples, we should be able to get a picture of our own attitudes, misgivings, shortcomings and frustrations, and realize that we are continually yielding ourselves as vessels in the hands of the devil; unless we make a spiritual effort to yield ourselves to the Spirit of God. We fail to supply to the body of Christ, that measure that has been committed to us; when we allow self and personal feelings to cause us to ignore the examples of righteousness that are set before us in the scriptures. That is why I said, Satan cannot separate us on doctrinal things, so he works on our human nature, always trying to get us to look at every situation in a selfish way; I want to alert you to his devises. I believe we will all agree that God did not call us out of denominational religion and give to us this beautiful revelation of His word, His plan for the redemption of lost mankind, and of our eternal reward, just simply to allow us to go on day after day, and year after year, living for self, without any real concern about the welfare of the universal body of Christ that we are a part of. AS we said earlier, A healthy body is one where every member of that body supplies its part in the total function of the body; and the apostle Paul lets us know that the mystical body of Christ is no different; it also requires every member to supply something. We do not decide what we are to supply, we just yield ourselves to the leading of the Spirit of God, and allow the head (Jesus Christ) to direct us.

STUMBLING BLOCKS – INSTEAD OF EXAMPLES


Through the years, as I have stood in the pulpit and preached, there have been many times that I would find myself taking a certain angle to a subject, that I had not really planned ahead of time, to take, and almost without exception, whenever that happens, someone will say, Bro. Jackson: You answered a question for me when you said so and so, and then I realize, that was the part that I had not previously planned to include in the message. I just have to rejoice and be thankful to God every time He does something like that, for I have always believed that a true servant to God would stand in a place where God could use him to answer the questions that are on the minds of His people. I have said it before, and I do not mind saying it again and again, There is a lot more to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, than just leading people to a salvation experience, (as we are so prone to call it) for their salvation is not really complete, until they are taught to walk with God according to His word. Let me be quick to say though, The preacher is not the only vessel God uses, to supply what a new born child of His has need of: they look to older Christians for exampleship, and God means for us to set a proper example before them. Therefore if the older Christians are always bickering about some little personal feelings, they are really a stumbling block instead of an example that the younger ones can look up to. What do Christians bicker about? Some may say. Usually some petty little thing that is taken wrong, or something that their imagination comes up with. Just for an example, one of these other brethren could make some simple little statement about something, and I could take it wrong, and without finding out for sure what he meant, I could start to imagine that he is against me. Then if you allow yourself at a time like that, you will start to be suspicious of the other person and watch for other things that he may do or say, that could strengthen your suspicions. Now some will say, Bro. Jackson: Christians ought not be so sensitive; and you are absolutely right, but do not forget, the devil is still on the loose, trying to defeat the plan of God. That is why I said, We are entering a time when we have got to get control of ourselves. We must find out what is bugging us, and decide what we value as the most important thing, our feelings or the cause of Christ. We certainly cannot serve both at the same time. If we are going to walk with God in the light of His word, we have to get self out of the picture. I meant it, brothers and sisters, I am not just talking. If you have any kind of feelings against anyone, it is time to examine those feelings in the light of God’s word, and take the necessary steps to deal with them accordingly. When you get serious about walking with God, you will not have any problems determining what true Christian conduct is. That is why I said, I am glad for these brethren that sit with me up here. I am not envious of any of them. It thrills my soul to see men that God has truly dealt with, take the scriptures and bring out things that He has shown them. One man is not supposed to have it all; the body of Christ will be perfected by the five fold ministry of Ephesians 4:11, because they will all have the same revelation, and will minister for the same purpose, not trying to build anything for self. Preachers who seek the favor of the people they preach to, will not always tell them what they need to hear; and that can make it hard on those that do obey God and preach a true revelation. I have to tell you brothers and sisters, there have been many times through the years since Bro. William Branham’s death, that it really seemed like we were standing here, in vain; because of the way so many people treated the truth. But we have not stood in vain; for God has vindicated this ministry, and is using it to help people get themselves settled, after being tossed to and fro and literally abused by men who are just trying to make a name for themselves.


CONDUCT OF SOME PREACHERS


We have stood here in the area where this message of truth was first preached; and men from all around the world have come here to look at the tomb of the man that preached it; and visit various places where God manifested something special through him. After touring the area, many of these men have taken an armload of books and tapes, and gone home, and pretty soon they would be on the road, ready to tell the world what this message is. That is when they jump on Jackson, and Faith Assembly, because they realize their version of the message does not match what we preach and teach here; and they feel that they have it right from the horse’s mouth; (so to speak) therefore Jackson is not in the message. Brothers and Sisters: Years ago I did not see what I see now; so a lot of that persecution really got next to me; for my human nature caused me to want to like and respect everyone. I somehow had the idea that every man that carried a Bible and called himself a preacher ought to be given a place to preach. Well I have learned a lesson; that is not what God called me for. I do not surrender my pulpit to every preacher that comes down the road with a Bible under his arm; mainly because I have learned that a true man of God is not out looking for a place to preach. He does not have the preacher’s itch. A true man of God knows that if he has something in his heart that is to benefit this assembly, sooner or later God will put him up. He will not come in here with his chest puffed out; I am Reverend So and So, Can I preach in your assembly this morning? If you surrender your pulpit to men like that, they can do more harm in one message, than you can straighten out in the next three months. I do not have to be that concerned about the people who have sat here long enough to be established in the truth; but there are always some that are still babes in Christ, and they do not need to be tossed up and kicked around by character’s that are just simply running the roads sowing discord. Like I said, I am accused of not being friendly, and of not being in the message, but God knows my heart, and he knows that I have learned what I know about the nature of people, the hard way, for I have tried to fellowship them all.


SETTLING DIFFERENCES GOD’S WAY


I will never forget how discouraged I was when I preached the message, “My Defense,” years ago. In my heart I thought, What good does it do to stand as I do, when there are so many against me? I look back now, after seeing what confusion there is in the ranks of those who are supposed to be following Bro. William Branham’s message, and I am so thankful that God did keep me separated from all of that, even though it was extremely hard on my flesh at the time. I can also see now that while my flesh, my name, and my image was taking such a beating, I was really getting free advertisement for what God would later use this ministry for. Letters like the one we just received from the Philippines makes us realize just how thankful we ought to be; that we have been privileged to stand for this truth, regardless of what our flesh has had to suffer because of it. I can see clearly now, that in order to walk with God in truth, we have to be willing to have our flesh chewed on by those who do not understand. As I have already said, There are many ways that Christians get their feelings hurt, and a lot of them have nothing at all to do with our doctrinal beliefs, and that is especially so, when it takes place right here in this assembly. But if you go around always hurt about something, there is something lacking in your life. God lets the devil work on flesh, for the purpose of getting your life in line with His word, and His will; therefore if it never accomplished that, there is something wrong; we need to do some checking up. Now, lest some of you misunderstand what I have just said, Let me explain it, and use an example. There are two kinds of people that can hurt you, but it is up to you as a child of God to deal with it properly, and to learn something from it, that will add to your statural growth. A tare can say and do things to hurt you, and when they do, many times they are trying to destroy you. That has happened right here in Faith Assembly. We cannot make children of God out of tares, but neither are we to determine that certain ones among us are tares; and use that for an excuse not to conduct ourselves in a proper manner. That is what the devil wants. On the other hand a true child of God, out of plain ignorance, or weakness of the flesh, can say something in a very unwise way, that can be hurtful to you, and if you do not handle it properly, you can go for months with those hurt feelings. I will use these preacher brethren here on the platform, just to illustrate what we are talking about; they will not mind. Just suppose I heard that Bro. Salinas had said something about me, that hurt my feelings, and instead of taking it to the Lord, I go to Bro. Allen and say, Bro. Salinas said something about me the other day, that really hurt me. Then I go into great detail telling him all about it. Am I handling this in a way that will give God a chance to work in it? Then I go to Bro. Adams and say, Bro. Salinas said something about me that was not right, and I am terribly hurt about it; and then I tell him all about it. Now I have two others in on something that can eventually tear up a whole church if it is allowed to go on like that. It is wrong in the sight of God for me to do a thing like that, and it is just as wrong for you to do it. When you spread your hurt feelings like that, it is just like an infection in a natural body; you do not cure it by spreading it. I might be able to make that brother look like a dirty rat, but in so doing, instead of contributing something to the body that will edify and strengthen, I have sown discord, and caused some weaker ones to stumble, and besides that, just suppose the person that told me what they heard him say, had misunderstood his remark: that would make it even worse. But let us just say for the sake of illustration, that the brother really did make an unwise remark, I will make myself even more unwise if I do not do what the word of God tells us to do. Brothers and Sisters: Are you seeing what I am trying my best to get you to see? This is the kind of thing that has caused me to lose much sleep in the weeks and months that I have been aware of what Satan would like to do here. It is a wonderful thing to get our doctrine straightened out; but if our attitudes and motives are not straightened out also, the devil still hast just as much room to work, as he ever did. While we are fussing and fretting about our hurt feelings, we cannot possibly supply anything to the body of Christ. All we are doing is presenting a negative picture that causes outsiders to wonder, when they hear of it, what we have that they do not. If we have the Spirit of Christ in us, then let us handle these things that arise according to the way He told us to. The only way to reconcile such a condition as the one we have used in this illustration, is for me to go to Bro. Salinas and say, Brother: It was told to me that you said such and such, and I feel that if you did say that about me, I ought to find out why, and try to get it straightened out, before it affects the rest of the assembly. Many times, just confronting a person with the thing that you have heard, is all it takes for God to work in it. If that person’s own heart is right, and they have just said or done something, not really intending for it to go further, then God can cause them to realize how unwise or weak they were in doing it; and the whole matter can be reconciled right there. Now I am sure most of you know that there is a right and a wrong way to confront a person that you feel has wronged you. If I grab hold of the brother and say, Bro. Salinas: I heard what you said about me the other day, and I feel that you owe me an apology. I am not presenting myself according to the words and examples that we have in the scriptures, and I probably will not get the desired response. But on the other hand, If I, out of genuine love, and a genuine desire to see the love of Christ working in our midst, will go to the brother and say, Bro. Salinas: I love you; and I have believed that we are brothers in the family of God, so I wonder if you really did say what I heard you said about me, and if you did, then I wonder if you would tell me why, then God has an opportunity to work in the situation and get it straightened out. I do not care if you are a preacher, a deacon, a trustee, or what; the same goes for every last one of you, myself included. Many times it is hard for the old flesh to yield to these scriptural principles, but if Jesus was standing among us in the flesh, He would teach us a lesson along these lines. He would not call a committee meeting to consider the matter; He would just tell you face to face, if you were at fault. Saints: For goodness sakes, when there is some cause for you to be hurt please do your utmost to go and get it reconciled in a Christlike manner, without dragging innocent people in on it. Jesus never had to say, I am sorry, to anyone; nor did He ever have to ask anyone to forgive Him for anything, because He lived a perfect example at all times. He knew exactly when to speak, and how to look at every situation without sowing discord among the other disciples.


LET LOVE DIRECT YOU


It is not within my natural makeup to enjoy dealing with a message such as this, but when the Lord backs me into a corner with something, and keeps me awake at night thinking about it, until a picture begins to form in my mind: I have to know that He means for me to deal with it; whether I enjoy it or not. When God began to deal with me on this subject, I knew that Faith Assembly was going to be faced with the reality of setting aside petty feelings, and conducting ourselves as people professing godliness are supposed to. We will either walk with God by the leadership of the Holy Ghost, and conduct ourselves as mature Christians, or we will face the consequences of failing to do so, after sufficient warning. We cannot just drift along through life, treating our Christian experience like something that we only acknowledge when we feel good. If we are truly born again by the spirit of God, then we are Christians twenty four hours a day, every day, for the rest of our lives, and it is the will of our heavenly Father for every one of us to reach a place in our Christian growth, where we will conduct ourselves according to the examples set forth in His word, no matter where we are, nor what time of day or night it may be. Therefore if you think you can give in to carnal feelings, and create a better image of yourself by broadcasting your hurt feelings, you have another thought coming. You are certainly not walking in the spirit, as the Bible teaches that we should, unless you allow this word of God to work in you concerning these petty things also. How many times have you sat and listened to someone relating something about someone else, without making one single effort to try to get the thing straightened out? We have all been guilty of it; but the time is coming when God will not allow us to do that. The scriptural way to handle that, is, Brother: If what you are saying is true, then let us go to that brother, (or sister, whichever it is) and have a talk with him. We will handle it like that, rather than spreading what we hear to a dozen others. In other words, For the sake of the body, let us take these things right to the source of origin, and get them reconciled. If I have a headache, I do not rub ointment on my toe; I take a pill that will go right to the source of trouble. When we begin to think just how compacted God wants us to fit together as a body, then we understand that there is to be nothing between us. In order to stay healthy, the head has to be able to control every member of the body, so that our every thought, word, and deed has the interest of the whole body at the forefront. When Paul wrote that about the body being fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, he was not talking about our pocketbooks, nor anything else in the material sense. He was talking about something in the spiritual sense that each of us are privileged to contribute to the body of Christ. No matter how small or insignificant you may consider yourself to be, there is some function within the scope of the universal body of Christ for you to perform; as you yield your life to the leadership of the spirit of God. You may be the very one God will use, to get someone to turn loose of hurt feelings they have been holding on to. But remember this, Love is the motive that we should be guided by, instead of just a fleshly desire to see people get along with each other. God has many ways of getting rid of infection and of smoothing the rough edges of the many vessels in His house, so do not try to force Him to work according to your plans. You determine that you are going to work according to His plan, for the benefit of the whole body of Christ. He is not putting this great body together to fit the image of Raymond Jackson; it is going to be in the image of Jesus Christ; the one that willingly shed His own blood on Calvary’s cross, to free us from the bondage of sin and death, so that we could be joint heirs with Him of the Father’s treasure. Hallelujah! If we would spend more time meditating upon our inheritance as children of God, we would be less prone to carry our feelings in a place where they can be so easily hurt. I sometimes wonder if we do not just simply take too much for granted: as though there was no price paid for this wonderful liberty we enjoy. Most of us know very little of what some have had to suffer because of their faith in Jesus Christ, and their refusal to continue to participate in antichrist religious practices.


GROWING TO FULL STATURE


I do not mind telling you, brothers and sisters, that I am very concerned about the hour we are living in; as I observe the things that are going on in the world, and especially in the Middle East. The very fact that a leader of Israel stepped outside the line of what was normally routine, and went to one of the Arab heads of Morocco, to see if there was anything that could be done on his part: to bring about a workable peace process in the Middle East, is reason of itself for us to be concerned. For it is obvious that Syria is a power that must be reckoned with, in whatever is done; therefore the whole Middle East is just like a powder keg; that could explode any moment, and every time it does: it just brings us one step closer to the end of Gentile time, the time when the little bride of Christ is to be ready to meet the Lord Jesus in the air. Of course there are some that will say, Bro. Jackson: You have been saying that for years, and that is true, I have. But whether you believe it or not, one day there is going to be an event take place over there, that will set the stage for that final drama that must be played out before Jesus comes; and if you are one of those that is still playing around with truth when that takes place: I am afraid you will end up in the great tribulation, for it will be too late for you to start dressing yourself up, to go with the Lord in the rapture. Remember the little story where they cried, Wolf! At first everyone was very sensitive to the cry; and it brought about a reaction. But after so long, when they cried Wolf, the ones that were supposed to react, ceased to respond to the cry, and when the wolf really did come, and the cry was sounded, and they failed to react, the wolf got them. That is exactly how this is going to be one of these days. It is true we cannot allow ourselves to be carried away by imagination of what could happen; but neither should we become so calloused in our heart and in our thinking, that we become careless, and begin to think that we have another 30 to 40 years. You are likely to wake up some morning, (if you wake up at all) and find that you need God like you have never needed Him before, because the world you live in has suddenly become a shambles. A lot of people will attend church this morning, and go home knowing no more than they did when they left home; and they will argue and fuss going and coming, not even considering the fact that every trip they make could very well be their last one. Brothers and Sisters: we do not have time to let our lives dwindle away like that. We need to come face to face with the reality that regardless of when: there is surely coming a time when God will require us to give an account of the way we have treated this wonderful, bountiful opportunity that He has given us. We can never be any more in the body of Christ than what God has ordained for us to be; but if we truly are bride children of God, and we fail to allow Him to lead us, he will put the chastening rod to us, until we do. I have said this to you many times before; but let me say it again, When the apostle Paul referred to the Church, he spoke only of born again children of God, for tares were not yet in the picture, and foolish virgins come into the picture only at the end time; so there will be no tares nor foolish virgins compacted together in this great body of Christ. All of those whom the apostle Paul referred to as the Church, will be compacted though, so that there is nothing at all between them. Now I realize that there are verses before these, and I trust that all of you will read them, but I keep coming back to verses 15 & 16, here in Ephesians 4, and I hope you see in them what I see. Paul is talking about the Church being perfected, coming to full stature in Christ, so that we are not tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, and so forth; and then he says, “But speaking the truth (How?) In LOVE, may grow up into Him (Christ) in all things, (Notice now) which is (or who is) the head, even Christ: From whom (It is from Him that we receive our instructions on how and what to supply to the body) the whole body fitly joined together and compacted (How) by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, (including you and me) maketh increase of the body into the edifying of itself in love.” The word COMPACTED, as used here, does not mean mashed, and pressed together like something squeezed into a container; it just simply points to the fact that every member of the true body of Christ fits together perfectly, like a jigsaw puzzle, when the picture is completed. After those pieces are all interlocked, there are some that you can hold up by the edge, and the picture will not fall apart. That is because they are cut to be that way. Another thing about it is, There is no room for anything else in between the pieces. When every piece is in, the picture is complete, and so is it with the body of Christ, after the Holy Ghost gets through refining us. In other words, After he gets through trimming the raw edges off of our human nature, so we can fit together. I know most of you have heard this, and even said it yourselves, like I have in times past: What good am I? What can I do? Brothers and Sisters: That is just plain negative, human thinking, brought about by our failure to read the word of God properly. God does not accept that kind of an excuse either; for if we are born again, we are children of God, no matter how we feel about ourselves, and there is something for each of us to do, that will benefit the body of Christ. Conditions and abilities are regulated by the Holy Ghost; for the effectual working on the part of each individual member of the body, according to the way God has dealt with our lives. It is only when we are led by the spirit of God that we are able to contribute something to the body that will cause it to make increase toward the edifying of itself in love. In the natural human body, the members of the body only contribute that which is necessary for the benefit of the whole body; by the direction of the head. If your back itches, your head causes your hand to reach for some means to scratch it. Is that not right? What we need to see is that every member of the body has some function that adds to the total well being of the body, whether the physical body, or the mystical body of Christ; but each member functions only by the direction of the head, and does not try to outdo the other members.

 

 

A LIVING SACRIFICE


I would like for us to look at a verse or two in the 12th chapter of Romans, while we are on this thought, and look at some of the examples Paul used there. Let us just start in verse 1 and get the full picture. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is (What?) Your reasonable service. (That is no more than what every born again child of God is expected to do.) And be not conformed to this world: (Do not follow the styles and ways of the people of the world at large.) But be ye transformed (How?) By the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, WILL OF GOD. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself (notice this) more highly than he ought to think; (this is just the opposite of thinking that you are not worth anything) but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (That measure of faith is what God gives to each of us to start out with; and the increase of our faith is determined according to the investments we make with it, as we lay hold on the promises and provisions in His word.) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: (Here is your natural and spiritual comparison again.) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. (It takes all of us together, to make the body complete) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, (Now he mentions the different gifts that God has placed within this one body of believers.) Whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation; he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. (Every bit of that has to be under the direction of the Holy Ghost in order for it to fulfill the purpose of God.)Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. (Notice verse 10 now.) Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another. (Let us read just two more verses here, 16 and 21, and then we will talk about how all of this works together to glorify God.) Be of the same mind one toward another. (This is an important key. Being of the same mind allows these other things to work as they should.) Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. (God knows whether we are respecters of persons, and whether we think Dr. So and So would be an asset to our assembly. Saints: The body of Christ is not built on any such special recognition as that.) Be not wise in your own conceits. 21, Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Some will say, Bro. Jackson: Can a true Christian really be overcome with evil? It happens all the time. That is why it is so important for every one of us to be made aware of Satan’s traps; it is the children of God he expends all his efforts on, trying to get them sidetracked from walking with their heavenly Father. Did not the apostle Paul say in Galatians 5:16, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh?” He was writing to Christians. These instructions on Christian conduct were not written to lost sinners; they were written, so all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus, can know what it takes to do so. Now being overcome of evil, does not mean that such a person has lost their salvation; it speaks of a weakness of the flesh causing a person to yield to something the devil has tempted him or her with. Therefore it is very important that we cultivate these Christian attributes in our daily lives; lest the adversary lay a stumbling block before us, and we stumble over it, and break our fellowship with our heavenly Father. We are certainly not going to contribute anything to the body of Christ while we are in a state of broken fellowship with the Father, and furthermore, there will be no peace until such a situation is reconciled. But let us get back to our main thought, “Every Joint Supplieth,” and keep this on the positive side; for no true child of God is looking for ways to do wrong; we are looking for the perfect will of God for our lives.

 

 

A TARE REFUSES CORRECTION


When it comes to gifts, or abilities: God does not give anyone more than they need, nor does He give us less than we need, so really, there is no sensible reason for anyone to be worried about not doing anything; if you are willing to do what God gives you to do. Some people never do anything, because they are always waiting for some outstanding opportunity; when it is the will of God for them to do something simple, without open recognition. That is how we grow to the place spiritually, where we can be recognized, without it having some detrimental affect on us. Therefore we need to be faithful, to contribute what God gives us to contribute, no matter how insignificant we may feel; for it will be spiritual substance in that effectual working, as the body of Christ makes increase, and edifies itself in love. When we each one learn to do the things that God gives us the opportunity to do, and do them with the right motive; the body of Christ will take on a completely different look, or image, in the world she lives in. The only acceptable motivation is love; so if we have any other motive, we need to re-read some of these epistles Paul wrote to the various assemblies in that 1st age. Now please understand, None of us are claiming to be perfect; we will readily confess that God is still working on us, (as the little song goes) to make us what we ought to be; so when we deal with a message such as this, I expect to gain something from it myself, and I pray that each of you have that same desire. Let me say this also, When I use these preacher brethren as I did, it is just for the sake of illustrating something to you, and certainly not that I am trying to foretell something that is going to happen later on; so do not allow the devil to do to you what he did to a lot of people that sat in Bro. William Branham’s meetings. If he called someone’s name, or used a little illustration like I sometimes do: someone would always say, See there? That is a revelation. Jesus used parables to illustrate certain things; so why can we not do the same thing, without someone’s imagination running away with them? I say that, yet I realize as long as there are tares sitting among the saints of God, the devil will use them to pervert anything that is done or said for the benefit of the body of Christ. That is why I said earlier, Much of the word of God cannot be applied in our day, as it was in the apostolic age. There are still too many tares sitting present for it to have the same affect. A tare spirit refuses correction, and reacts in various ways. When you take the word of God to correct a situation, sometimes the tare will just simply run away, find him another church, and do everything he can to try to destroy you. Others will pretend to submit to correction, and start their campaign of destruction from within the assembly. We have been faced with both, right here in Faith Assembly, and there is no reason for us to feel that it will not happen again; for Satan is still on the loose. In an assembly like this, you have tares deliberately saying things to cause hurt feelings, and then you also have Christians who make unwise remarks, like we were saying earlier, and that causes someone’s feelings to be hurt, and if it is not handled properly, the whole assembly will be affected and spiritual growth will come to a standstill. What is the answer? Some will say. Well God has not authorized anyone to search out the tares, and kick them out of the church, so the obvious solution, if we are going to move on with God: is for every true Christian to determine in their hearts, that they are going to live for God, no matter what happens; and start applying these scriptural principles in every situation that comes up, even when our flesh is hurt. As we become more sensitive to the word of God: truth will work on our behalf, and the purpose of God will move forward. Surely, as we look at the present trend of political corruption, and the moral decay of unregenerate mankind, we will have to agree that the Spirit of God is lifting from the Gentiles; and realize that the little bride of Christ ought to be in the final stages of getting herself dressed up in the word of God. The days of running from church to church are over. We have had ample time to learn what truth is, and where it is being preached; and you can take my word for it, when I tell you that it is hard to find. The Bible tells us that there will come a time when there will be a famine for the hearing of the word of God; and I believe you will have to agree, that that time is upon us. Oh there are a lot of people quoting scriptures for one purpose or another, but most of it is without revelation of what those scriptures mean, and without revelation of the godhead, and of the plan and purpose of God; so when you take all of that into account, the famine is in the land today. One thing is sure though; wherever truth is being preached, that is where the true children of God will want to be; for the Bible so beautifully portrays the fact that the true body of Christ will be washed by the water of the word of God. Many will tell you that there is no more revelation to be given, but the true child of God knows that as long as we are still here, God is going to see it that there is a few little nuggets yet to be discovered in the pages of His written word.


AN AGE OF NAKEDNESS


We are living in the Laodicean age, the age of materialism, when the prevailing spirit on people is that they are increased with goods, and have need of nothing. But the eye of God that sees all, sees that those who feel that way are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. They are naked, both physically and spiritually, and too blind to realize it. If you do not believe this is the truth, just take a good look at most of what the world looks upon as Christianity, and you will see that it is exactly like the scriptures portray it. It takes a revelation to clothe your inner man, and when the inner man is properly clothed, the outer man, or woman will be properly clothed also. Now it is true, you could put on clothes and cover your flesh completely, and to the natural eye, you could look as much like a dedicated Christian as anyone else, but if you are without a revelation of the word of God, He sees your soul as being naked, and you as a person, as being wretched and miserable. Brothers and Sisters: I am not pointing an accusing finger at anyone. I do not have to; for the word of God has already done that. Any person sitting here whose life is not measuring up to God’s standards, knows it by now, and it is up to each individual to take the necessary steps to correct the situation. I could stand at the door, and refuse to let you in, unless you come dressed according to my interpretation of proper Christian dress, but I could never change the attitude of your hearts, nor dress you spiritually, without the spirit of God dealing with you first. Therefore I say to everyone of you, and I include myself; Let us look at ourselves in the light of the truth God has given to us, and make an honest appraisal of our attitudes, our motives, and our general outlook toward the things of God, and just see how we measure up. God is going to deal with us in some ways that we are not used to, but it will not be for our destruction, and it will not be just because He wants to hurt us; but it will be because He loves us, and wants us to recognize that we are still lacking in some areas of our Christian development. When He points the finger at me, I must be willing to say, Yes Lord, I see my fault; help me to correct it. If we have wronged a brother or a sister, the first order of business, is to go to them and make it right. If you feel that you have been wronged, and the person who wronged you makes no attempt to get the situation reconciled, it is still wrong for you to hold a grudge against that person, for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay saith the Lord. Saints I am talking to you about Christian conduct; not whether your flesh is justified in reacting as it is. You can be legally right in what you are doing, and still miss the will of God by a country mile. You will not supply anything to the body of Christ while you are holding out for your rights. We have to put this old flesh to death; in order for God to have first place in our lives; and we have to make sure it stays dead, for there are always situations that will bring it back to life, if we allow it. In other words, As long as we are in this mortal flesh, we have to make every effort to see each other as true children of God who desire to walk in the Spirit, lest we ourselves become judges, and our own carnal nature rule over our spiritual nature. Remember: things are not always what they appear to be, and neither do we always say everything exactly like we mean to say it; and even when we do, it can still be misunderstood by some who failed to hear as well as they should. This many times, causes remarks to be made unwisely, that can have an adverse affect on others who hear those remarks; so let us not think that we are immune to Satan’s traps and deceitful devices, just because we are not meaning to hurt or harm anyone.

 

 

HOW TO USE GOD’S WORD


I want to give you another illustration of how the devil will work, trying to bring division in an assembly such as this; and I am going to use another one of these brethren here on the platform with me. Remember though, this is just an illustration; and not meant to cast any reflection toward my brother. Just suppose, I do or say something in a careless way, that offends Bro. Allen. We can do that many times and not even be aware of it. But for the sake of the illustration, just say, others in the congregation become aware of it. Now there are two ways that this can go; one right, and one wrong. If those who know that Bro. Allen is offended, begin to take sides and talk about it, the whole congregation can become divided over something that could easily be reconciled; if someone would just step forward, and apply the word of God to the situation. If I am not aware of the fact that he is offended, it is obvious that I will not be doing anything to try to get the situation reconciled, so it is up to someone else, either Bro. Allen himself, or some other brother that knows the scriptures, and cares enough about the whole body as a whole, that he is willing to do something that some others may not agree with. I will say this, though. If you, personally, know that such a situation exists, you owe it to yourself and to me, to do something to try to get the thing reconciled. Oh, Bro. Jackson: I would be afraid someone would think I was meddling. That is the devil that makes you afraid; for the word of God teaches us how to handle these matters that arise in our midst. Here is what someone should do. Come to me and say, “Bro. Jackson: Do you know that you have offended Bro. Allen, by such and such? I believe you should go to him and apologize; before the word of this spreads any farther.” If I am a brother, a true child of God, I will immediately go to my brother and say, Bro. Allen: I have just found out that I offended you. Please forgive me, and be sure that I did not mean that, like that. When a situation like this is handled properly, the whole matter can be cleared up instantly. But sad to say, Too many times, they are not handled properly; and the devil has the time of his life, tearing up a fellowship of people. Let me just suppose for the sake of presenting another avenue of reconciliation, that no one will do their Christian duty and intercede in the situation. Will Bro. Allen, being a man of God just go on nursing his hurt feelings, and see the congregation torn to pieces? No. Instead of allowing the devil to divide the congregation, he prays about it, and determines within his heart that he will talk to me about it. That is exactly what Jesus said we should do, in such cases. In the 18th chapter of Matthew, in verse 15, we read these words, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” Before we do anything else, we should do this, and pray that this will be the end of the matter. Tares in the assemblies have kept these scriptures from being used effectively through the ages. Nevertheless if we approach these things the way God’s word tells us to, our heart is clean, even if the other part rejects the effort. I assure you: if Bro. Allen came to me, to talk about something on my part that had offended him, I would be anxious to hear what he had to say, and also, to do whatever I could to get the offense reconciled; for in such a case, I would not even be aware of the fact that he was offended. The offending party will not always be innocent in the matter; but the same scripture should be our authority on how to go about getting such a matter reconciled, regardless of the guilt or innocence. Let me mention something else that causes bad feelings in an assembly of people at times. It is business dealings among the church people, when one or more parties fail to live up to the agreements made. If you do something for a brother or sister in the church, it is better if you will just try to do a little extra for them, and not just enough to get by. The devil always finds some way to take the cover off and cause someone to say, I thought he was a Christian, and look what he did. In other words, he has trespassed against them because he has not done all that he was supposed to do, for the word trespass, speaks of a violation of moral or social ethics. Alright, in such cases, do we take the brother to court, and sue for damages? Not without first approaching him God’s way. If it turns out he is a tare, and not a brother, you may have to take him to court; if the situation warrants it; but in such a case, you have not take a brother to court. A true child of God will be sensitive toward the feelings of others, and will try to resolve any misunderstanding as soon as he is aware of it; for he does not want to do things contrary to God’s way, knowing that his heavenly Father will give him a whipping if he does not do right. Well how far should we go, in trying to get a situation resolved scripturally? Until we have exhausted the scriptural provisions. Verse 15 tells us that the offended person first goes to the other party alone, and talks to him about the problem; and when this is done, with the right attitude of course, many times it ends right there. But if it cannot be reconciled there, the next two verses give further instructions on how to handle it God’s way. Verse 16 says, “But if he will not hear thee, (If he fails, or refuses to cooperate) then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” Now saints, you do not take your brother-in-law and your cousin; you take two other Christians that would be just as interested in his welfare, as they would be of yours; and then if the matter cannot be resolved, it is time to use verse 17; tell it to the church. Notice, “And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” That is how Jesus said we should handle these situations, and I tell you: any true child of God would be a fool to let something go that far, knowing that God will not let his true children do wrong and get by with it. The truth is, If a person so stubbornly resists all efforts that are scripturally made, it is a good indication that you are dealing with a tare, and not a true brother in the Lord, except of course, a complete baby Christian that still needs to be nurtured and taught in the ways of the Lord. To knowingly resist, when every effort is being made on the part of the other party, takes you right over to Hebrews 12, where we will pick up in verse 5. “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: (You will certainly be rebuked when you knowingly do wrong.) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, (pay attention to this now, I want you to catch every word of it.) And scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? BUT IF YE BE WITHOUT CHASTISEMENT, WHEREOF ALL ARE PARTAKERS (all God’s children) THEN ARE YE BASTARDS, (TARES) AND NOT SONS.” If we believe that God loves His children: then we should also believe that He will be faithful to chasten those who misconduct themselves, and fail to repent of it. How does God chasten: He has many ways; but mainly the devil is His whipping boy. God just simply pulls back His protecting shield and lets the devil work us over, until His purpose is accomplished. A child of God knows when he is being chastened no matter what form the chastisement comes in. But the main point in all that I have said here, is that we should always be aware of the devil’s devices, and knowing that he takes great pleasure in getting the children of God offended and upset, do our utmost to bring about a condition of healing wherever there is any kind of injury to the body of Christ, just like we do when the physical body is injured. Our first concern should be to make sure we do it God’s way, when we determine that something ought to be done. Regardless of everything else, love is the great healing force, and it always will be.


WHAT HEALS WOUNDS


Any time I think of how the apostle Paul used the physical body of mankind to illustrate his point about this great mystical body of Christ, I think about how our body is designed by the Creator to heal itself when it is injured; if we will just take the necessary steps to promote healing. You have red corpuscles that supply oxygen and carry life in the body; but you also have white corpuscles, that act as a defense system against infection, and so forth. Now naturally, when you cut yourself, you see red, simply because the red corpuscles are more in number, and are the carriers of the body’s energy; but the minute you do cut yourself those unseen white corpuscles, or cells, immediately begin to attach themselves to the structure of the flesh that has been injured. They fight infection by causing the blood to clot, close up the wound, and form a scab. By this means, other invading elements that might have a tendency to penetrate the wounded tissue, are kept out. In other words, a healthy person, no matter how serious the wound, if you can get the blood stopped and the wound closed up, the rest will take care of itself. You may have a scar if it was a bad injury, but you will heal up, because God has designed us in that way. Well the body of Christ is the same way. No matter how bad an injury may be, if those who are in a place to do something about it, will obey the word of God and meet the necessary conditions, the body will heal up. It is no wonder though, that James wrote what he did about the tongue, for most of the trouble we encounter is either because of our own tongue, or someone else’s, speaking words that are unwise. In chapter 1, verse 26, he wrote,  “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is in vain.” Then in chapter 3, verse 2, we read these words, “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” He then speaks of bits in horses mouths, and of the small rudder of huge ships, and how these, though small they be, are able to set the course of travel. Then in verse 5 he says, “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame: it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the father: and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” We will stop reading there, but it might be good, if you would finish the chapter later, for it gets right down where people live, and lets you know why it is necessary every day, to subject your fleshly nature to the leadership of the new man within, the part of you that seeks to follow the ways of God. That takes you back to Galatians 5:16 & 17, where Paul wrote to the Galatian Christians, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Any time you allow fleshly feelings to express themselves, you are very likely to find yourself in an un-Christ like situation, for your old nature will not stay dead, without some special effort on your part to see to it. Your flesh will not just automatically serve God. If it did, we would never need correction, for we all know right from wrong. Now when it comes to a tare, God just lets them go on their own way; until such time as He sees fit to separate them from the body. He will never attempt to perfect a tare, for their place is already prepared for them, and they are going to end up there, no matter what takes place while they are still playing church. We may spend a lot of time trying to correct a tare; but God will not, because He knows they are not His children. They can do anything they want to, any time they want to. But the true child of God, as time gets closer to the end, will become more sensitive to the leading of the Spirit of God, and more concerned about his personal relationship with his heavenly Father. His prayer will be, Lord, help me overcome all these fleshly traits that keep me from being like you. Lord I desire to have my spirit under the control of the Holy Spirit all the time. As we become more and more concerned in this way, not too many of these little petty things of the flesh will bother us. We can leave the negative side, and become more positive, as we serve God together. What good does it do, to pray for God to move in our midst, and to pour out of His blessings upon us, if we do not know how to go about correcting these negative problems among us? It is when we can sit here in one accord, with the true love of God radiating from our lives, that the Holy Ghost will move upon us, bind up the wounds, and heal us, both physically and spiritually.


OUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY


Saints: I hope some of this is speaking to you; for time is too short for us to be negligent about our spiritual lives, and about the testimony we bear to others. Some of you need to learn that your personal feelings are not the most important thing in this life, and that you should never allow personal feelings to stand in the way of something God is doing. If God has to be a little hard on someone’s flesh, in order to correct a situation in their lives, just be sure you do not allow your personal feelings for them to sympathize with their situation, lest you make things worse. Compassion is a godly trait, but sympathy is detrimental, for it never accomplishes anything worthwhile. There are some people that just seem to make a point of being sympathetic in every situation, but the question is, Do they supply anything to the body of Christ? Does their sympathy promote healing where there is hurt, or does it just make the situation worse? You cannot help anyone by making them feel sorry for themselves, even more than they do already; and that is exactly what sympathy usually does. ON the other hand, genuine compassion will cause you to want to do something to correct the situation, and many times you can. But whatever we do, let us be sure we are doing it according to the word of God. As we journey along life’s pathway, there is something for every true child of God to do, that will benefit the body, and if we will all assume our Christian responsibility, as God opens these various truths up to us, we will begin to see some of the same results in our day, that they saw in the days of the apostolic leadership in the first century. As long as we are divided in the way we look at certain things, the Holy Spirit is not allowed to bind up and heal wounds, and it is all because some of these scriptural provisions have been lost truths, not exercised in the church since the days of the apostles. I do not know about anyone else, but I am going to say something to Faith Assembly, and I want every one of you to listen to what I say. When you see a brother, or a sister, doing something, that you feel in your spirit, could be harmful to the body of Christ, it is your Christian responsibility to scripturally do something about it. Do not run to a friend and tell it, and say, pray about it. That is just an excuse to blab it. You get your Bible, and get on your knees before God until you know what to do, and then do it, without telling it everywhere you go. Of course there are some things that need to be told openly; and I am sure that every child of God knows the difference. But just for an example: If you see me downtown, staggering all over the place, and unable to find my car because I have been hanging around some place that I should not have been, you tell someone; and the sooner the better. If you see me running around with another woman, other than my own wife, you tell someone. That kind of thing needs to be told, and needs to be dealt with, and should not be covered over. God did not hold back in exposing that kind of thing in the scriptures, and he has not changed; but when it comes to little petty differences among the fellowship of the saints; you do not broadcast those to the world; you take the necessary steps to get them reconciled. Some of you may say, I could never do anything like that. You consider yourself a nobody, and feel that you are inferior to everyone else; all because you have allowed the devil to lie to you. If you are spiritual enough to know something is wrong, and you can slip around and tell someone else about it, then you are just as able to go right to the source of the problem, and deal with it in a way that will be beneficial to the body. No one except the parties directly involved, ever need to know about it; if it is handled according to the word of God.


HOLINESS IS AN INWARD ATTRIBUTE


Now brothers and sisters, I am not saying that we should get like some of the Nazarene people we have heard of; that is, so wise and holy, we just go around looking everyone else over, just waiting for them to make a wrong move; or go into other peoples houses and look their magazine rack over, to see if they have anything in there that you feel they should not have. That kind of thing will surely cause hard feelings, for God has not authorized anyone to police our houses and force us to put on an outward show of holiness. He has a better way. The Holy Ghost searches our hearts and places conviction on us about those things he finds in our lives, that He is not pleased with. If our holiness works it’s way out to our outer appearance, from within, then we do not have to run and hide a lot of things when someone knocks on our door unexpectedly. In other words, somewhere there has got to be some practical understanding, and some sensible application of scriptural principles in the body of believers, before we can ever reflect very much of the image of Jesus Christ. We must become so conscious of what the Bible says, that it will cause us to start being a little more cautious each day, instead of getting with someone and turning our tongues loose, just to say anything we feel like saying I have heard people say, Well I’m not a hypocrite; I believe in telling it just like it is. Do you know what an attitude like that compares to? A man who goes on through an intersection just because he has the right-of-way, even though there was a speeding vehicle coming the other way. You know what happened; lives were lost unnecessarily, just because someone insisted that he had the right-of-way. Is that the way you want your spiritual life to be? Do you want to have a cancerous infection in the body of Christ, just because you have the legal right of free speech, in the country you live in? If that is how you feel, you are subject to one of two things. Either you will be rejected by God, because you are a tare; or your heavenly Father will whip the socks off of you, to get your thinking straightened out, one of the two, for He cannot tolerate that kind of a spirit where He is in the process of perfecting the body of Christ as a whole. That kind of attitude has had its day; but we are too close to the end, for God to allow it to continue. You must remember, we are of that generation that is being restored to the faith of our apostolic fathers; therefore we must be restored to the same godly principles and precepts also. It is God Himself that predetermined that we should be conformed to the image of His (only begotten) Son, (Jesus) that He might be the firstborn among many brethren, according to Romans 8:29, so if He determined to do that, then I am persuaded that He knows how to get the job done.


ANOTHER WAY WE CAN SUPPLY SOMETHING


Alright we have said quite a bit along the lines of what I call, the negative side of this, so let me take just a moment to speak of what I call the positive side; where we, as children of God, will find ourselves faced with circumstances of a little different nature than what we have been talking about, but of equal importance to a healthy body of believers. There will be times when you will find your brother, or sister in Christ, or even whole families in dire circumstances. It can be some kind of social situation, or financial, or sickness that has hit them and put them in a very serious situation. I call this a positive situation, because it is something that Satan has hit them with, and you are not looking for a way to correct them, but to help them out of their problem. There are many things that can hit a family, that just simply takes them down to rock bottom. But do not ever think because you are not a spiritual giant, that you have no part. Whether God sees you as a 30, 60, or a 100 fold Christian, you are still His child, and have just as much at stake in obeying God’s will, as anyone else. God can deal with you in such a way that you will have perfect insight as to how to deal with the particular problem. He can give you a dream, He can give you a vision, or He can just simply deal with you in the realm of your intellect, by giving you a certain thought, so vividly that you cannot get away from it. Of course we all know the devil puts thoughts in our mind also, and that causes some to be a little leery about acting; therefore you must learn to examine the thing in the light of God’s written word. We check our motive to make sure it is of a godly origin, and make sure we are not expecting our flesh to receive any undue credit, and then weigh it against your natural thinking. Usually what God shows us to do, is the furthest thing from our natural reasoning. In other words, it is not how we see it, but how God sees it, that makes the difference. Therefore if your heart is right in the matter, you will know whether it is God, or the devil that puts certain things in your mind; and more so as time goes on, and you cultivate the presence of God in your thinking. There was a time I had planned to do a certain thing. In my mind, the thought was complete, as to how to go about it, but the time when I was going to do it was a little later on. Then as it got closer and closer to the time I was planning to do this certain thing, I went to bed one night and fell into a sound sleep, and sometime during the morning hours, I awakened with the thought going through my mind, Don’t do that now. Don’t do that now. In my mind, that was all I could think. It took sleep away from me for the rest of the night, as those four words lingered there. But when I finally got up, all the desire I had had for weeks to do that certain thing, was all gone. That just shows what God is able to do, and that is only one of the many ways that people of God are going to be dealt with from here on out to the end. But in order for God to be able to give us positive substance in such things, we are going to have to be willing to be used in these negative things we have talked about also. God wants the whole body to grow; not just one little area. The devil is always looking for the weak points, to make his assaults upon, so if the whole body is strong, he has less room to work.

1987-04-Every-Joint-Supplieth-Part-1

Children of Light, Part 2 – 1987, March


We ended part one looking at a few verses in John, chapter 17, where Jesus was praying to the Father, as the time drew near for Him to lay down His life for the sins of lost mankind. He knew what lay before Him, and He knew that His disciples would be shaken because of it, so His concern was for them, that they would be kept stable, secure, and that they be allowed to partake of the glory that He partook of. Verse 26, which is the last verse of John 17, says, “And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Now to carnal minded persons of the world, it sounds ridiculous for Him to speak of being in His disciples; but the spiritual minded person knows that He is not in His disciples as a person, for He is just one person. But in every true believer that has received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, is that same Spirit substance of the father that was in Him. In other words, we are all of the same Spirit; so the light that was in Him, is in us also. When the time came for Him to be taken up to heaven, he said to His disciples, All things must be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me. He told them that it was necessary that He suffer death on the cross, and be raised the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name (which was the redemption name of the Father also,) among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Then in Luke 24:49 He said, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: (That was the Holy Ghost.)  BUT TARRY YE IN THE CITY OF JERUSALEM, UNTIL YE BE ENDUED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH.” That lets us know why his faithful disciples were gathered together in that upper room when the Holy Ghost was poured out upon them; they were tarrying there, just like He told them to do. Why? Simply because without that same Spirit in them, that He had in Him, they had no power to preach, teach, nor testify of the things they had witnessed while following Jesus. It is that anointing that enables us to speak anything that will glorify God, or cause a lost sinner to repent of his sins and seek the Savior. But let me tell you brothers and sisters, when that same Spirit that was in Jesus was poured into the Church: the Church was then able to do the same works He did. That is what we see throughout the book of Acts; the Church carrying on the works that Jesus had started. Those children of light were reflecting the same light He reflected; the light of the Father. What kind of ministry did God raise up, to lead the Church in those days? The ministry Paul described in Ephesians 4:11, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. There were no Catholic priests, nor Baptist preachers in those days; the Church was in unity, all striving together to fulfill the purpose of God in their lives. Those first Christians had all lived under the law of Moses; but after receiving the Holy Ghost, they every one saw God in a different light. They knew they no longer needed priests ordained of man, to intercede for them before the throne of God; nor did they need those animal sacrifices any longer, for the perfect blood sacrifice had finally been offered up; and it was good for all men everywhere, and for all times. Now does that mean that we should do away with the Old Testament, as some have done? No. There were yet many scriptures in the Old Testament to be fulfilled; and besides that, it takes the Old Testament scriptures to round out our revelation. We are living under the New Covenant; but we are still learning from the old one. Those who cast away the Old Testament, cast away the keys to a lot of revelations God means for His true children to have; especially here in the end time. As we have already said, When Peter wrote: (1st Pet. 1:19) “We have also a more sure word of prophecy,” he simply meant, Because of what has transpired in our very midst, those prophecies of the Old Testament are made more sure, or more real to us; therefore ye do well that ye take heed. In other words, take courage; do not doubt, no matter how hard your trials may be, for those prophecies have been made more sure to us, or more real. What was to be the result? The day star would arise in the hearts of every individual that would yield completely to God’s wooing efforts, and it would be a completely new day to those individuals; but we are still within this one day of salvation. A person’s inner life can be no more than what the dispensation reflects to them; but to be in the stream of God’s perfect will; our revelation must be kept up to date. Those early Christians would not have been continuing the ministry of Jesus, if they had gone out into the streets of Jerusalem and preached the law of Moses to the people. For Jesus came to set them free from the keeping of that law; by placing in their hearts the law of righteousness that would cause them to follow God because of a love relationship. Regardless of what we do though, no human being will ever outshine Jesus Christ. His obedient life on earth is the example we are endeavoring to measure up to. The world has called Him a superstar, in their greedy efforts to put more dollars in their bank accounts; but as we look at this dispensational day; He is the Sun that gives light to the whole world. In other words, There is enough light for every human soul upon the face of the earth to walk in; but as the scriptures say, Some men love darkness rather than light. (In other words, Believe on Him to the extent of actually receiving the new birth.) A lot of people have believed with their intellect, until something else came along and drew their attention away from the Lord, but none of those ever received that new birth experience They fall into either the 2nd or 3rd example of the first parable of Jesus, in the 13th chapter of Matthew. In that parable, only the seed that fell into the good ground, represent those souls in this dispensation of grace that believe all the way through to the born again experience. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is what seals a soul into the family of God. But as I have already said, When we receive the Holy Ghost, that is only the starting point for our statural growth, we are only baby Christians, and only able to digest the milk of the word of God. It is the revelational light we receive from that point on, that causes us to grow up in spiritual stature (in the image of Jesus Christ.) As I said early in the message, the word day, (DAY) has many applications, but once again, let me use the dawning of one 24 hour day, and the light of that day, to illustrate what Peter was talking about, when he referred to the day star arising in the heart of a believer, for our statural growth is a progressive thing, just like the rising of the sun. The sun does not come fully over the horizon in a flash, but when it first begins to show, daylight starts, and the light of that day gets brighter and brighter, as the day goes on; until at high noon, all the dark shadows are at their shortest point. That is what represents full stature in the life of a born again child of God. When we first believe and accept the gospel message, and receive the Holy Ghost: that is comparable to the light of the sun coming upon the horizon; we have a little revelation. The DAY STAR (Jesus Christ) has begun to give light to your soul that was in the darkness of sin and unbelief, but you do not learn everything in one day. It sometimes takes many years for the full revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ to become a living reality to us; but as we receive more revelation, that is comparable to the light of the natural sun moving toward its brightest glow at high noon. Each day with Jesus gets sweeter and sweeter; unless we hit a place of stagnation in our spiritual growth. That can happen you know, if we allow the devil to sidetrack us by one of his clever diversions. Nevertheless it certainly is not the will of God for His children to remain in ignorance. Therefore you could never convince me that the Day Star has arisen in your heart; if you still light candles, and throw coins into the water at the feet of some statue with the thought of it having some spiritual value. If you do that, you are still just as blind and staggering as you ever were; for there is no light in any of that kind of thing. Peter’s usage of the day star arising in our hearts, was pointing to that recreating, remolding process the word of God works in us; to mold us into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ; for that is God’s ultimate purpose in the life of every born again child of His. We are talking about the spiritual image of course; and not that God wants us to look like Jesus physically. I am sure you all realize that. Physically, it does not matter whether we are short, tall, fat, or thin; just as long as our spirit is in tune with the Spirit of God; so he can lead us, and reveal His word to us.

STAR MESSENGERS

 

We have spoken of it many times; but I wonder how many of you here, could actually explain to someone who knew nothing about it, just exactly what brought about the dark ages. Do any of you think the devil took the light away from any of those who already had it? No. That is not what happened. Those who carried the true light of God’s word in their bosom, died, and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th generations and on down the line, never really came into the full revelation; because the devil had preachers scattered around, preaching false doctrine, enough to keep the true revelation clouded over. Therefore by the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries, there was very little true revelation left in what was called, the church. Generation after generation lived and died; without ever hearing the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, You could say that God allowed the devil to have his Millennial reign, a thousand years of darkness. But God was obligated by His own word, to fulfill the prophecies pointing to this end time hour of time. Therefore those dark clouds of dogmas and creeds of man’s religion, had to be forced back, and the true light of the gospel allowed to shine in its full brilliance; before the day of salvation comes to an end. That is why he started giving men like Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, and all those various ones, little gems of apostolic truth. None of them ever preached the entire apostolic gospel; but what they did preach, lightened up those dark clouds, and allowed more light to be shed upon the earth. Many souls were delivered from that state of almost total spiritual darkness, that they were in, as those various ones began to preach what God had revealed to them. Dispensationally speaking, the day of salvation was on the declining side, and the sun was getting very low, coming into the twentieth century. But the hour came, that God raised up a little man; a sinner saved by grace, just like the rest of us, and anointed him for a special purpose. The anointing that was upon him, I have not seen on any man since. He preached the gospel with the same anointing and authority the apostles of Jesus had, in the first century. His name was William Marrion Branham, from right here in Jeffersonville, Ind., and we are fully persuaded that he was the Laodicean church age messenger. He was the seventh angel, of Revelation 10:7, and the seventh star of Revelation 1:16, and 1:20, and through his ministry, the light of that glorious gospel of Jesus Christ broke through those still very dark clouds of tradition and unbelief; and here in the evening time, the full glow of the sun (SON OF GOD) is seen once again. In the evening time it shall be light. Hallelujah! Brothers and Sisters: That is something to shout about! Just think: After all these hundreds of years of darkness, we are able to hear the gospel preached in its full revelation, just like it started out. We now have the revelation of all that those first age apostles preached about, and wrote about. We even have the revelation of the book of Revelation, that remained such a mystery for over 1900 years. I say, We are a privileged people; and we have much to give an account of. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” Jesus said that in Luke 12:48. God will not hold a man accountable for something he never knew anything about; but those of us who have been given a clear revelation of the will and purpose of God, are accountable to Him for the way we handle the revelation; and for the way we live our lives with that revelation inside of us. Now for you who would associate the word star, with night time, let me remind you that there is another usage of that word. There are a variety of definitions in the Webster dictionary; but we are interested in only this one, “a person who stands out among his fellows.” You have movie stars, baseball stars, football stars, tennis stars, and on and on; but the stars we are dealing with, are the church age stars, those outstanding men of God who were the star messengers to the seven church ages in this one dispensational day. The apostle Paul was the star of the first church age, and Bro. William Branham was the undisputable star of the seventh church age. Oh that does not mean that all church going people accept him as that, but those who dispute it, have never received a revelation of the apostolic gospel. They are still existing on the stale bread from the Reformation. What was good enough for Luther, and all of those, is not good enough for end time children of God to receive proper spiritual nourishment from, for much has been revealed since then, and God expects us to eat of all of it.


THE HOLY GHOST – IN BELIEVERS

 

I want to turn to 1st Thessalonians, chapter 4, and show you how that first age star messenger fulfilled his calling. Jesus knew before He left the earth, that He had delivered the word of God to those Jewish people. He delivered to them all that God required Him to. That is why he said, (in John 17:8) as He prayed for all believers, “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them.” Yet the apostle Paul (who never walked with Jesus, when He was ministering on earth) explained things that Jesus never even spoke of; so how do we account for that? That is why Jesus said in John 16:7, 12-14, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away: the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. (For our purpose, at this time, just drop down to verse 12.) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall he speak; and He will SHOW YOU THINGS TO COME. He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” The Spirit of the Father that was in Jesus, caused Him to say everything He said. Therefore when that same spirit filled all those disciples; they too began to speak the word of God; as that inspiration rose up within them. God moved upon them, to speak the things Jesus said they could not bear, while he was still with them. What was the difference? Simply that they all had that revelatory spirit inside of them; to enable them to receive deeper teaching. Now they could be told of things yet to come; and that is exactly what we are going to read; something the Holy Ghost revealed to them through the apostle Paul, that Jesus never did speak of. Now Peter was a spokesman for God, on the day of Pentecost, for the keys that opened up the kingdom of God to lost mankind had been given to him. Therefore he stood in the streets of Jerusalem and said, “Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken (or listen) to my words,” and then he preached Jesus Christ to them, and three thousand souls were saved. But in the eyes of God, Peter was not the star to the age. Paul was the one that stood out among all of them, as the gospel went over to the Gentile; and that brings us to the scripture I want to read. It is 1st Thess. 4:13-17, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, (dead) that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. (That is the picture we see in Revelation, chapter 19) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (This is the rapture of the true Church ; something Jesus never even spoke of: but something every true Christian believes in) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” We are told to comfort one another with these words; for herein lies the hope of every true believer that has ever exercised faith in Christ. How did we learn about the resurrection and rapture of the Church? Through the Holy Ghost that was in the apostle Paul, doing exactly what Jesus said He would do when He came, that is, show you things to come. This is what enabled the church to know what to look forward to. No Jesus is not jealous of Paul, nor of Peter, nor any of the rest that have spoken of things that He never taught on; for that is exactly what they were supposed to do. Just think of all that is being taught here in the end time, that Jesus nor any of his apostles ever taught on. What is it? It is the Holy Ghost, in the five fold ministry of this hour, revealing things that saints of other ages had no need to know. That is why Jesus said, (John 17:20) “Neither pray I for these alone (His immediate disciples) but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” It is through their word that every one of us have been brought into the faith. Where would we be, without those New Testament epistles written by those men of that first church age? We do not believe on Paul, nor Peter, nor any of them unto salvation; but on the word of the Lord Jesus Christ hat they every one wrote about. They all wrote about Jesus; but Paul is the one that stood out among them: he was the star messenger to that age.


THE DAY OF THE LORD

 

This 5th chapter of 1st Thessalonians is what I like, for Paul just goes right on talking about the day of the Lord; which is actually the time when Jesus comes back literally, with His saints, to rule and reign. To the unrevelated person, it all sounds like one coming; but the last verses of chapter 4 are dealing with the rapture of the Church; when the resurrection takes place, and Jesus does not come to earth at that time; the saints meet Him in the air. Let us read a few verses, and you will see the difference. “But of the times and the seasons, (years, months, and so forth) Brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” Does he mean to the Church? No. To those who still sit in the darkness of sin and unbelief. To them He will come as a thief in the night, unannounced. Actually Paul had a little twofold thought running here, for he had been speaking of the rapture of the church, and the sureness of that blessed event; but it was not needful for anyone to know when it would take place. Actually the true saints of God will know when the time is getting close, because of the signs of the times, and the scriptures that are being fulfilled, but the world will know nothing; neither of this coming, nor of His literal coming, because they do not believe the scriptures. They will not be ready for Him, but the little bride will. In fact, they will say, How do we know this is the truth? That could have just been Paul’s own idea about it all. Besides, people have been saying that for years, and He has not come yet. Well brothers and sisters, that is how unbelief works; it deludes the minds of all those who refuse to submit themselves to God in truth. But the little bride knows what to look forward to. Notice verse 3 now, as we go on. “For when they (the unbelievers) shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” No woman knows three days in advance when she is going to be delivered of her little baby. In such a case, she lives in expectancy; will it be today? Will it be tomorrow? But when the time actually arrives, she may be in her car, heading for the shopping mall; and just barely make it to the hospital in time. To the world, the coming of the Lord is going to be just that sudden, and it will be too late for them to turn to the Lord; but the believer will be secure in Him who works all things according to His word. Hallelujah! How blessed we are. “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (Praise God! I like this.) Ye are the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” Go on, Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swaggart, write your books, and the time will come that you will all regret what you have done, but it will be too late. You can raise a lot of money with them; but they do not present a true revelation to the poor souls who read them. The reason we are not in darkness, is because the revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ has lit the way for us. As I said already, God does not save us, for us to remain twenty years in the dawning of our Christian experience, saved, baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and not one inch beyond that. You are supposed to have a noon time in your experience also, and if the clouds do come, in your experience, I will have to say, that is your fault. God does not put them there, for Paul said, ye are the children of LIGHT, and the children of the day. There is no room for clouds of doubt and unbelief, in the lives of God’s revelated children. “We are not of the night, nor of darkness.” Hallelujah! Brother: we are living in the day time; both of our personal experience, and also of the dispensation. Do I say that just because we have heard God’s prophet messenger teach on the Church Ages and the seals? No You can know all about the Church Ages and the seals, but if you do not have a proper foundation (revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ) to lay all of that upon, it is as worthless as a week old newspaper. The revelation of Jesus Christ is not given to a lost sinner, so he can learn about the Church Ages and seals. All of that is for believers, as they progress in their salvation experience. When Bro. William Branham first came upon the scene, it was to the multitudes. The Baptists, the Methodists, the Catholics, and all the rest, both trinity and oneness, could sit and listen to him, for he did not normally touch upon the things that made them nervous. He preached the gospel of Jesus Christ in such simplicity, that a lot of those trinitarian people ran to the water hole to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. A lot of oneness got their revelation of the godhead straightened out, and multitudes were healed; both trinity and oneness, as the Holy Ghost spake and ministered through that little vessel of clay.


REVELATION MOVES US FORWARD

 

I remember one particular Sunday morning there in the Branham Tabernacle, after Bro. William Branham had preached and was ministering to people in the prayer line. I was sitting on the platform because of an overflow crowd; and there was a man and his wife from a trinity church over in Louisville; sitting just 3 seats back from the front. Brother Branham was anointed and began to discern various things, and tell people what was wrong with them and so forth. Then all of a sudden he looked right back there to those people in that third row and said, You, brother: you are suffering with such and such a condition! Isn’t that right? The man threw up his hands, and began to scream. Then Bro. William Branham said, I see a dark shadow moving right over to your wife, and he told exactly what her condition was, and she threw up her hands and began to scream. They both then broke down, and began to weep, and Bro. William Branham asked, Do you believe me to be God’s prophet? Then he said, May the Lord bless you, God has made you whole. That night, both of them came and were baptized according to the light of the gospel of Christ. Hallelujah! That is why God anointed him; that the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ might be confirmed. Brother, the way God used that little man’s ministry, tore down denominational barriers of tradition, and drove back those dark clouds of unbelief and doubt, and the minds of a lot of people were set free in Christ for the first time. That did not change the age, it only changed those individuals that were touched by it. They were able to see Jesus Christ in the same light the first Christians saw Him in. This was that light in the evening time, that Zechariah prophesied about. I must keep stressing the fact that the sun, dispensationally speaking, has not yet disappeared over the horizon. But thank God, we have been privileged to see the glory of the light of that sun in its evening descent, and it is going to take the total five fold ministry here in the evening time, in order for the bride of Christ to be brought to the fulness of the image that she is to project before she leaves here. Many men who profess to be a part of that ministry, are going about, preaching things that simply will not harmonize with the overall revelation of this hour of time; therefore let me say this, A man ought not be too quick about preaching something that comes to him. Each man of this true ministry will recognize that he is not the only one God is dealing with; and that will cause him to weigh anything that comes to him, against what the others are preaching and make sure it does not conflict with the truth that has already been established and confirmed by the word of God. Let me say this also, you who look at Malachi 4:2, and see the bride, there is something wrong, for that does not even apply to the bride. That applies to the Millennium when that certain element of mortal people are definitely going to benefit by the literal rule and reign of Jesus Christ on earth. Therefore there is no way that you can make this a part of the evening light message to the bride of Christ; except just to let her know what it pertains to. However the evening light message is still having its affect around this old world today, and will continue to do so until the little bride is ready to take her flight. I want to re-emphasize something I have already said though; just to be sure you understand it. Just as Jesus never brought forth every truth that pertained to the bride, but left much of it for His apostles to bring out later, so did Bro. William Branham do likewise, when he delivered the evening light message. God used him to restore the original truth of the gospel of Christ, and to clarify the plan of salvation, but there were a number of things he never did actually teach on. God used him to say certain things about serpent seed, a subject that had never been taught before to my knowledge; but he never did actually explain how it really fit into the overall picture. However the same anointing that revealed to him what he did say, was still here after he was gone, to complete the picture. Paul never preached anything about serpent seed; but does that mean that no one else should? No. God saved certain things for the end time element of the bride of Christ, that no other age ever needed to know. I received something from someone the other day and the person who sent it would not even sign his, or her, name, but said, stop preaching this false doctrine; there is no salvation in serpent seed teaching. Well I grant you, there is no salvation in knowing about serpent seed; but it sure does let one know why they need salvation. In other words, it puts more light on the subject. It lets you know why Jesus had to be born of virgin birth. You know, there are a lot of people in the world today, that are ready to tell you what the first sin of mankind was not; but none of them are able to tell you what it really was; and they forbid anyone else to tell it. But this is like what the apostles said, when they were forbidden to preach any more in the name of Jesus, Should we obey God, or man? God meant for the end time church to have certain truths revealed to it, that the first age Church did not have, or He would never have given the revelation to His servants in the first place. Surely you can all see that. Well my point is this, Brother Branham’s ministry drove back the dark clouds of tradition and unbelief; and allowed the end time element of the bride of Christ to see the same glorious light that was seen by the first age saints. Bur when God removed that little man from the scene, He did not remove His anointing. That same anointing is continuing through the five fold ministry, what was started through the ministry of Bro. William Branham, in order that the end time church may have a full revelation of the plan and purpose of God. These quoters that are running the roads quoting Bro. William Branham, have the same spirit on them, that was on those tares that got in, as the first age was closing out. They are doing exactly what was done then. Those men were not trying to bring beer and whiskey into the Church; they were trying to change what those apostles of Christ meant, when they preached the gospel. By the same token, these who are always quoting what Bro. William Branham said, heard his words, and saw his flesh, but never received one ounce of revelation on the things he taught. Therefore they quote him, and then put their own carnal interpretation on what he meant. Is it any wonder that there is confusion in the ranks of those who follow this message? People like that are like the blind man that Jesus prayed for: that saw a little profile of something, and they knew it was important, but they received no revelation on what was meant, so they just quote, quote, quote, and project their own ideas. That is why the true ministry of this hour must have a backbone in them that will fight against that spirit, in order that this glorious light be kept bright to the very end.


WE STAND FOR TRUTH

 

This little assembly has always been ridiculed and blackballed by various elements, simply because God protected me and kept me from falling into that trap of the devil that so many others fell into. I have said to my wife many times, honey, we sat right there with all those others and heard what Bro. William Branham preached; so except for the grace of God that kept our heads on straight, we could be right where a lot of them are, just running the roads, causing confusion. Just like in the days of Christ, there had to be some personal witnesses that would hear what was said, and allow the Spirit of God to give them a revelation of it, for as soon as the man was gone, that spirit came in like a flood, with all kinds of carnal ideas. That is why those first few years after we built here, were such hard years. I had been preaching for quite a few years; but I was still very young in the areas of criticism and pressure, that were constantly comparing my life with Bro. William Branham’s. I never compared myself to Bro. William Branham; but I did hear what was said, and God allowed me to understand what was meant; therefore as the years passed, I came to the place where I could not care less what they say about me. The way I look at it: when they speak against me because of the truth I stand for, they are only digging their own graves; because God Himself is my defender. He is the one that has kept me from all of that confusion; simply because I had only one purpose in mind, I wanted to be put back in the Bible and know the truth of God’s word; instead of just being filled with a bunch of quotes. That is why I am able to look out there at you, and know that you are not sitting here just because of my flesh; for I have not cultivated fleshly attachments in my ministry of the word of God. Furthermore I have heard the testimony of many of you, how you were searching for the light when you first came in those doors back there. I tell you brothers and sisters: I have learned a lot through all of this pressure and criticism, that I would not trade for anything in the world. A million dollars could not buy it; it can only come the way I got it. Furthermore, if I depart this life before Jesus comes for his church, I will leave knowing that I have preached the truth. I have not had to change what I preached twenty years ago, I have just added to it. Therefore regardless of what my critics say, I believe God raised up this little assembly to be a place where the evening light would shine brightly, so instead of hurting me, those critics only give us free advertisement, for we are known around the world. I cannot be accused of robbing anything else, nor of building anything for myself, for I have made every effort to build only for God.


RECEIVING POWER FROM ON HIGH

 

Let us get back to our subject. We are children of light: not by our meriting it, but because of God’s grace. What did Paul write in his Ephesian letter, concerning we Gentiles? Let us read verses 11-13 of chapter 2, and you will see. “Wherefore remember that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; (That was the Jews) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (That allows us to see clearly that Gentiles had no hope in God back then, in Old Testament times.) But now (after the Jews rejected their Messiah) in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh, by the blood of Christ.” Hallelujah! No wonder Peter could write about the day star dawning in our hearts. Brother that is what our personal experience with Jesus Christ is. It puts us in a brand new day. Where our soul used to be in total darkness; it now has total light. We can now look back and see why Jesus told his disciples to preach the gospel to the whole world, at a time when it seemed like the good news was only for the Jews. The commission was, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15-16) However they were to tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until they were endued with power from on high, and of course that pertained to the Holy Ghost that fell upon the 120 disciples who obeyed His instructions, and waited in that upper room there in Jerusalem. Without first tarrying, like he told them to do, there never would have been any results from what they had to say, for without the Holy Ghost to unction them, God would not have honored their words with the necessary vindication. What did they receive? They received the very presence of the Spirit of God in each of their individual lives. God, who is light, was then dwelling inside each of them, and that enabled them to continue the very same works that Jesus Himself had begun to do on earth. What they received was that light that shineth in a dark place, and the dark place is our sin laden hearts, before we receive the gospel. Alright they were to take it to the whole world; but we know there had to be some leadership as to how each individual would respond to that command. It was one thing for Jesus to say, Go. But our going has to be directed, so that it is according to the plan and purpose of God. Therefore the light that shineth in a dark place ultimately turns out to be the gospel preached by the revelation and anointing of the Holy Ghost. That may sound like a tongue twister, but when you analyze it, you will find that it all adds up to the same thing, for by believing and obeying the gospel, we receive that Spirit of God which lights up our souls, and determines our eternal destiny. That is why I keep stressing the fact that as long as the dispensation of grace is in effect, we are still in that daylight, or daytime period of what Isaiah referred to as the day of salvation. Once that day started, it has been daytime ever since, even through the Dark Ages, when very little light was seen. That light is available for all to walk in, but the world prefers darkness rather than light. Why did Paul say, (2nd Corinthians 6:2) “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation?” Because under the law of Moses, it was the night season before the dawning of this glorious day. That is why Peter would write, ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place; for before the day of Pentecost when the spirit was given, that light was not available. Before the dawning of that dispensational day, there could never have been the dawning of such a day in the hearts of individuals. The progression of our own individual experience does not change the dispensational day at all. That day will dawn in an individual’s heart, rise to its peak, and then that person can pass on to their reward, and the dispensational day not be affected at all. In other words, This is just Peter’s way of speaking of the new birth experience that individuals have, during this one day of salvation that covers many centuries. God has allowed Himself this period of time in which he is redeeming a people that can be called by His name, and this one day will last until the last predestined soul has heard and accepted their call, and from this last day element of Christianity, He is perfecting a people that can be taken up alive, like Enoch of old, who walked with God.

 

PROPHECIES MADE MORE SURE

 

Let us look at some of the scriptures Peter was thinking about when he said, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy,” or prophecy made more sure to us. We have to go back into the Old Testament to get them. In Genesis 15:18 before Abraham even had any children, God said to him, “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” At this time, these two people were still known as Abram and Sarai. Bur shortly afterwards, God changed their names to Abraham and Sarah, because they were to be prince and princess of a great multitude of people. All of this was pointing to the great multitude that would cover the earth, from that one promised seed that Abraham was to have by his wife Sarah. In chapter 12, verse 3, when God had first spoken to Abraham, He said to him, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” That was a prophecy pointing to you and me, the spiritual seed of Abraham. Paul dealt with all of this in his epistle to the Romans, pointing out how Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness, and how that Abraham is the father of all who believe and trust in God. In Romans 4:13, Paul says this, “For the promise, that he (Abraham) should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Then in verse 16, he wrote, “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.” Then Paul speaks of Genesis 17:5, where God said to Abraham, I have made thee a father of many nations. Abraham did not realize the potential that was in that one promise, for his mind was on the fact that at that time his wife Sarah had not even been able to give him a seed. Nevertheless God reconfirmed the covenant and promise He had made to him saying, (Gen. 17:15) “Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” It was through Isaac, not Ishmael, that all the families of the earth would be blessed; for through his seed Jesus Christ, that humanly is through the genealogy of Isaac, is where we Gentiles come into that promise. All families, means all races and all colors of all the families of the earth. Therefore through that one seed Isaac we are all included in the promise God made to Abraham. Isaac begat Esau and Jacob, and you all know the story there, how that even though Jacob was the youngest of the two, he received the birthright blessing from their father Isaac, and that promise of God to Abraham came on down through him. Jacob begat twelve sons, and brother, the promise of God was on its way to being fulfilled; that Abraham’s seed would be for number as the sand of the seashore, and as the stars in the sky. This was not altogether a beautiful picture though, when you look at it from the standpoint of the natural, for in Genesis 15:13-16, God told Abraham of the over 400 years of captivity that his seed would be subjected to, before they would come back into the land of promise. Let us read those 4 verses. “And He said unto Abraham, (or Abram) know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, (Egypt) whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” Well all of that was fulfilled just exactly as God had told Abraham; for 430 years after they entered that land, God brought them forth from it through the ministry of Moses, (so to speak) and they came forth as twelve tribes, a great multitude of people, to possess the land of promise. You all know the story of how their unbelief caused God to have to allow them to wander around in the wilderness until all of the older generation died off, and how Joshua and Caleb led the younger generation across the Jordan into the land of promise, and how they went about taking possession of that land.


DISPENSATION OF THE WRITING PROPHETS

 

After the children of Israel came into their land of promise, they are then dealt with in what we call the dispensation of the writing prophets. They would speak of past, present, and future, as the voice of God to this people of Israel, who were the natural seed of Abraham; to instruct, warn, and chasten them, as well as to promise them a Messiah. Each prophet, in his own generation of time, was a mouthpiece of God. There would be times when God would remind them of what He had done for them at the Red Sea, in bringing them out of Egyptian bondage, in order to encourage them, or to remind them of His great power and ability, and what He could do for them, if they would obey Him, or against them, if they refused to obey him. Elijah was not a writing prophet; but much of what he spoke was written by others, for he was a preaching prophet. Men such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, and all of them were the writing prophets, and it is those prophecies mainly, that Peter was referring to, as he spoke about the day star arising in our hearts, and a more sure word of prophecy. Those prophecies are made more sure to true believers, because of the revelation God has given us in this hour of time. Well I did not know when I started on this message, just how this thing was going to unfold; so this is where I really stick my neck out. If any of you leave here, not understanding why there is so much confusion following Bro. William Branham’s message, there is something wrong with you, for I am going to speak very plainly. Even if I had ten natural brothers following this message, I would still have to say what I am about to say. Percentage-wise, there are as many tares following this message as there are out here in the denominational churches. It should not be that way, but I am afraid it is. Furthermore I am sure that most of you must have noticed that God does not chasten nor speak to them. Well, that is the reason: He only chastens His own children. That is why I do not hesitate to say, we are not all children of God. Oh I know a lot of you do not like to hear me talk like this, but I have to. You know what  Malachi 4:6 says: Whoever that spirit of Elijah would rest upon in these last days, was to bring a message to the age, that would turn the hearts of the children (children of God) back to the faith and revelation of the apostolic fathers. Therefore I say to you: If you have not been turned back to the revelation of Jesus Christ that those early apostles had, you are not my brother. Bro. Jackson! That sounds bad! I know it does, but conditions force it to be that way. Furthermore I am not the one that said it; the Bible declares it to be that way. The only ones that are going to benefit spiritually from Bro. William Branham’s message, are the true children of God, all the rest will just use what they can, to benefit their flesh in some way. You just simply cannot change prophecy. Malachi 4:6 is not just stating what should be, it is a prophecy telling us exactly what the results of that man’s ministry will be. Of course the man himself is gone, but his message is still in the earth today, and it is still accomplishing what it was supposed to accomplish: turning the hearts of some back to the faith of those apostles of Jesus. Remember this: Man will fail; but the word of God will never fail; it will always accomplish what it was supposed to accomplish.


Alright Hosea was a prophet of God in the 8th century B.C., when Israel had committed great whoredoms against God. Therefore God instructed Hosea to take a wife of whoredoms, and when he did so, and children were born unto them, God had those children named certain names that spoke of how He was going to deal with that nation because of their adulterous ways. First with the ten northern tribes called Israel, and then with the two southern tribes called Judah. Hosea writes of how God, in a certain span of time, would say to those two southern tribes, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said to them (the Gentiles) Ye are the sons of the living God. When the ten northern tribes were driven from the land, they were never to be back again and be dealt with, until the last days, just before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. However the two southern tribes, even though they were taken into Babylonian captivity, were brought back into the land of their fathers. For what? To be there for the first advent of Christ. They were the representatives of the nation of Israel, when those Messianic prophecies were fulfilled to that people, at the first advent of Christ. Even though the people rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah, the gospel message was still presented to them first. They were to be first partakers of the gospel, before the Gentiles were ever allowed to partake of it. But as a total nation of people, they rejected the gospel. That is why God allowed Titus and his Roman Army to cut them off, and scatter them to the four winds in 69 & 70 A.D., and that is why Paul became very bold one day and said to a bunch of them something like this, It was necessary that the gospel of Jesus Christ first be preached to you; but seeing that you reject it, and count yourselves unworthy of eternal life, Lo, we turn to the Gentiles. God will never deal with that nation again, as a nation of twelve tribes, until that last predestined Gentile soul has received the gospel. The Jews did not understand Hosea’s prophecy; but there it lay just the same, and God did exactly what He said He would do.


SETTLING A DISPUTE

 

When Paul and Barnabas went up to Jerusalem to discuss with the other apostles, the great controversy that had arisen at Antioch, over circumcision, James took the occasion to refer to a prophecy in Amos 9:11 & 12, that was being fulfilled. No matter what God does, there is always a bunch of legalists on hand to find fault with it, and that was the case at Antioch. Certain men came down from Judaea, teaching that except those Gentiles which had believed, be circumcised according to the law of Moses, they cannot be saved. That is what caused Paul and Barnabas to go up to Jerusalem to see the other apostles, and get their mind on the matter. After explaining how God had blessed their ministry among the Gentiles, and how certain of the Pharisees had caused this trouble there at Antioch, Peter was the first one of them to give an answer. He said, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made a choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel and believe. (Not too many years after Pentecost, Peter had been led to one lone household in Caesarea, the house of a Roman centurion, where he preached to all that were assembled there, and they believed. But Peter himself had no ministry to the Gentiles.) And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; And put no differences between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. (We are reading from Acts, chapter 15, starting with verse 7, and we are now in verse 10, so listen to Peter’s conclusion.) Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our father nor we were able to bear? Peter had no revelation of what God was going to do for the Gentiles, when he went up to the house of Cornelius. He simply went because God had backed him into a corner, and there was nothing else that he could do. You all know the story, how Peter was upon the housetop praying, and the Lord gave him a vision in which he saw something like a great sheet, with the four corners tied together, let down from heaven before his face, full of all sorts of wild beasts and creeping things, and how a voice said to him, Rise Peter, kill and eat. That was done three times, and Peter would say, Not so Lord, for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth, and God said to him, What God has cleansed, call not thou common nor unclean. Peter was weighing all of this in his mind when the three Gentile men arrived at the gate below, and the Lord instructed him to go with them, doubting nothing. This was an altogether different situation than when Paul and Barnabas boldly declared that they were going to turn to the Gentiles with the gospel. Sure, Peter was the one to whom Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and Peter used those keys, both on the day of Pentecost, and at the house of Cornelius, but he did not stand out with any kind of calling to preach to the Gentiles. Are any of you wondering why I am going through all of this? Because I want to go back into the book of Revelation and talk about a star. We have already touched on it, but we want to look again at those seven stars in the hand of Jesus, in the first chapter of Revelation.


GOD MADE PAUL A STAR

 

Any time you mention stars, people have a tendency to think of night time, but in this particular setting, the stars do not pertain to night time. They are outstanding men of God, all within this one dispensation of time known as the grace age, and referred to in prophecy as the day of salvation. On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost was give to the 120 disciples, there were twelve apostles in that upper room, but it was not the purpose of God for any one of them to be the star of that first age of Christendom. That was reserved for a man that was still a devout Pharisee for quite a while after the birth of the Church. When Saul of Tarsus was out persecuting Christians, God Himself was the only one that knew what was in store for him. After giving his voice in the stoning death of Stephen which was one of the seven deacons of the early Church, Saul went on a real crusade persecuting all that in any way called upon the name of Jesus Christ, and God had to knock him down in the middle of the road to Damascus, and blind him for three days, in order to get his attention, and get him going in the right direction. Saul thought he was doing God a service, killing those Christians. In his state of spiritual blindness, his zealousness toward religious traditions had kept him from even imagining that God would have anything to do with such an unorthodox gang as that. He thought they were a bunch of fanatics, and that the world would be better off without them. But after God got through working on him, his testimony was, after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers. After God finally got him turned around (Not that God was trying before that) he became as zealous for Christianity as he was for trying to rid the world of Christians before that. Did Paul (That is the new name God gave Saul) know that he was destined to be the star of the first church age? No. Those apostles did not even know there would be any such thing as church ages. They only knew from written prophecies, that there was another dispensation of time wherein God would do something for Israel, but they saw nothing beyond that. John the Baptist introduced that period of time as the kingdom of heaven, and we know that within that dispensation called the kingdom of heaven, there was to be another term used, the kingdom of God. One term applies to the dispensation itself, and the other term applies to something that is taking place within that dispensation of time, the Spirit of God making His abode in the hearts of His children. That is why it could be said, The kingdom of God is within you, because the Spirit of God rules and reigns in the hearts of His true children. Speaking of the apostles though, there were none with any more boldness and fearlessness than the apostle Peter, after he received the Holy Ghost. He stood right there in the streets of Jerusalem, on the day of Pentecost, and rebuked that bunch of scribes and Pharisees that were making fun of those disciples speaking in tongues. He was also an outstanding figure in those early days of Christianity, in that the sick and diseased were laid in the streets in such a way that the shadow of him might pass over them, believing that there was healing virtue in it, and God honored it, but that still did not make him the star of that first church age. The night Jesus was arrested, Peter stood by the fire, scared half to death. But on the day of Pentecost, after he received the Holy Ghost, oh what boldness. This was the same man that had grabbed a sword, and cut a man’s ear off, when they came to arrest Jesus. Well I just mention these things to more or less cause you to consider his human reactions under certain circumstances, and then to see that same man moving under the leadership of the Holy Ghost. As we look at Peter in the scriptures, we see a man that seemed to have the potential to be a star, but remember, his ministry was mostly to the Jews, so we have to look at the whole age in order to get the true picture. Let me just mention one more prophecy pertaining to what God was going to do during this day of salvation, and then we will take a better look at Paul, who really was the star of that first church age. The scripture is Jeremiah 31:33, and says this, “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; (This gospel was first to the Jews, and then to the Gentiles.) After those days, (after that period of the law) saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” This was a new covenant that God was making with the house of Israel, and Paul picked it up in the 8th chapter of Hebrews and says, “In that He saith, A new covenant, He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” The law was the old covenant. It dealt with types and shadows of the new covenant, which is the covenant of grace. That is why we can say, The law was the moon age, because it was reflecting the sun (SON) that was to be seen in the day season. The moon has no light of its own; it is just a reflector of the sun, and that is exactly what the law age was, to the grace age. It foreshadowed what sin was, and what God was going to do, to deal with it. Now God never did tell anyone how long this dispensation would last; but according to all the signs of the scriptures, we are the children of the evening light of this day of salvation, and I believe with all my heart, that this generation will live to see this day close out. But what we want to do now is go back to the dawning of this day and watch how the spirit of God administers this new covenant, and watch how the apostle Paul is led by the Spirit to become the star of the first age.


PAUL – MATTHIAS – AND THE EARLY CHURCH

 

Paul was not in the upper room with the other twelve apostles. He said of himself in 1st Corinthians, concerning those that saw Jesus after His resurrection, “And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.” There has been much debate through the years concerning Paul and Matthias. Paul has been called the 13th apostle, and a lot of people have felt that the eleven apostles that elected Matthias, jumped the gun and missed God. I used to feel that way myself. But in the Psalms, concerning Judas, it says, “Let his bishopric be taken and given to another.” It is also restated in the book of Acts, so those apostles were merely fulfilling prophecy when they elected him, and it did not mess up the plan of God in the least bit. As we have already stated, In those early years, after the birth of the Church, Saul of Tarsus was very bent on persecuting the church, for as a zealous Pharisee, he looked upon those Christians as a fanatical cult, and felt that he would be doing God a service by getting rid of them. God had other plans for him though. He was to be a light to the Gentiles, and a means of salvation unto the ends of the earth, or the end of the ages, therefore his theology had to be changed. So God just knocked him down in the middle of the road to Damascus, blinded his eyes, and sent him to a man that could help him find the true will of God for his life. The man was a disciple of Christ at Damascus, and God gave him and Saul both a vision to show each of them what was ahead. Ananias prayed for him to receive his sight, and when he received his sight he arose, and was baptized and immediately began to preach Christ in the synagogue, that He is the son of God. Before he entered into his true ministry though, he spent three years in the Arabian Desert, studying the Old Testament scrolls, and receiving revelation of what they truly pointed to. (He tells that in his Galatian epistle). After three years he went up to Jerusalem, but the elders there were afraid of him and would not receive his testimony. But Barnabas took him to them, and explained to them the experience Saul had on the road to Damascus, and how he had boldly preached Christ after his conversion. The church at Jerusalem had been scattered abroad because of persecution, but that was really according to God’s plan, for except for that, they would all have stayed right there at Jerusalem, instead of obeying the great commission, and preaching the gospel to every nation. Philip, one of the deacons, ended up down in Samaria where he had a great revival. He was preaching the gospel, casting out devils, and the Lord was adding souls to His kingdom. The thing about it was, none of them actually received the Holy Ghost though, until Peter and John went down there and prayed for them. That is what finalized their new birth experience. The Church was then on the move. As the months passed, some of the others went as far as Antioch, in Syria, first preaching to only Jews, but then the Gentiles began to believe and turn to the Lord. The brethren at Jerusalem began to hear reports of what was happening at Antioch and they sent Barnabas there to verify the report. Now when Saul had been forced to leave Jerusalem, because of the Jews trying to kill him, he went to Tarsus, right back to the city he was raised up in. Therefore when Barnabas came to Antioch, and saw what the Lord was doing there, he went on to Tarsus to find Saul, and when he found him, the two of them went back to Antioch together and ministered to the church there fore a whole year, teaching them. It is a wonderful thing to see precious souls added to the kingdom of God, but it is a tragic thing, when they are never taught anything that could help them grow in their new experience. That is one of the main failures of these great crusades; many of those precious souls that are touched by conviction, are simply sent back to their local church where everything is as dead as last year’s corn stalks, and they never have anyone to lead them on into a genuine experience of salvation, nor to teach them anything beyond John 3:16. Nevertheless Barnabas has brought Saul back into the picture, and Christianity is making its impact in various areas, and the Jewish disciples are finding out that they are not the only ones God is interested in, and at first it was quite a shock to them, but when they understood it better, they were glad and glorified God.


PAUL’S MINISTRY AMONG THE GENTILES

 

After Barnabas and Saul had spent a year there in Antioch teaching an exhorting the Christians, the Holy Ghost spoke to the church and said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. That is when Saul and Barnabas took John Mark, and started on their first missionary journey. Along about this time, Saul began to be called Paul, but still there is no mention, nor indication of a star messenger. On this missionary journey, is when Paul and Barnabas, because of Jewish opposition, announced that they were going to turn to the Gentiles with the gospel. Now naturally we cannot take the time to follow their missionary journeys, so for the purpose of the message, I want to go directly to an event that took place in Paul’s third missionary journey, somewhere in the middle 50’s, as he came into Ephesus. A man named Apollos had been there before Paul arrived, who had preached only the baptism of John. Therefore as Paul passed through, he found twelve disciples there in Ephesus, and said unto them, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost (Acts 12:2) since ye believed?” They said, “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” Paul asked them about their baptism, and they told him they were baptized unto John’s baptism. Paul then explained to them how John had baptized unto repentance, looking forward to the one who was to come, and he gave them the true revelation of Jesus Christ, and re-baptized them, then they received the Holy Ghost and started to speak in tongues, and prophesy. Paul then went into the synagogue for the next three months and reasoned with the Jews. But when they hardened their hearts against the gospel message, he took the disciples with him, and rented a public meeting place and preached there for the next two years. Right there in that one place, was one of the greatest revivals there has ever been. The Bible says, “All they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” During that period of time, all of the seven churches of Asia found in the first three chapters of the book of Revelation, were established. No, Paul did not run up and down the west coast of Turkey, preaching the gospel; that great Holy Ghost revival there at Ephesus drew people from all over Asia, during that two years of time. Just as Peter had his great revival in Jerusalem, so that people were healed merely by the shadow of Peter passing over them, Paul had his revival among the Gentiles, and people were healed and demons cast out, by taking handkerchiefs and aprons that Paul had touched, and laying them on the sick and troubled people who were not able to come to the meetings. Paul had been brought up in the midst of a Gentile society, so he knew how to communicate with them. He could speak their language. He was well equipped to take the revelation that was burning in his heart, and preach it to those Gentiles. It was not just Gentiles that responded though, for the Bible says it was both Jews and Greeks from all over Asia. From that one revival, there were churches established at Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, in the middle to late 50’s, that God would use thirty some years later, to type the seven church ages in the book of Revelation. This was God’s way of saying to Paul, I am now among the Gentiles in the fullness of the light of my revelation. Brother you can be sure of this one thing, all seven of those churches were taught the same revelation. Some of them soon got off course; but nevertheless they all started out right, for they were founded off of Paul’s teaching, and he only had one gospel to preach. That is the reason he could say in his Galatian epistle, if any man, or angel, preach anything different to you, then what I have preached, let him be accursed. He knew he had the right revelation of the plan and purpose of God, and what it took to bring it about. In other words, God gave each one of those churches something that He was going to require of them later.


A STAR BEGINS TO SHINE

 

After Paul left Ephesus, he went back to Corinth, and from Corinth, he wrote to the Roman Assembly, telling them of his desire to come to them after he made a trip to Spain. But first, he felt like he must go back to Jerusalem again, and he wanted to be there for the day of Pentecost. Then as he went back through Ephesus, he called for the elders of the church to meet with him at a certain place; and that is when he told them, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” Even then, Paul was aware of that antichrist spirit, that was trying to get in among the children of God. The church at Ephesus took heed, and stayed on guard a lot longer than some of those others. We learn that from the letters the Lord had John write to those seven churches in the book of Revelation. We all know the story how Paul went to Jerusalem, fell into the hands of his enemies, is falsely accused and put in jail. He ends up appealing to Rome, and was put on board a ship, for the voyage, never to be a free man again. But from Rome, he wrote some beautiful epistles that became a part of the New Testament, in which he shared those beautiful revelations he had stored up in his heart. He never called himself a star; but when you read those epistles he wrote, you recognize that it was a star speaking. He was so sure that what he preached was the truth, he was ready to die for it at any time. That is why he could talk like he did to the Galatians, and also to the Corinthians, when he referred to himself as a wise master builder, saying, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. He said, Every man’s work shall be made manifest, and shall be tried by fire, and so forth. Brothers and Sisters: if we build upon the foundation Paul laid, we have nothing to worry about; but I am afraid there are only a very few building upon that foundation in this hour. Paul could not possibly recognize what a lot of those preachers of our day are calling the gospel of Christ, if he were allowed to return to this life.

 

THE LORD SPEAKS TO JOHN

 

We are going to leave Paul for now and go to the 1st Chapter of Revelation. This was written 30 years after the death of Paul, the star of that first age. That is a long time, but just think, Bro. William Branham has been dead 20 years. I pray that it is not another 10 years until Jesus comes for us, but whether it is or not, God is not done yet; there are still some things to be made known. Alright, beginning in verse 10, John says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.” In 96 A.D., there were other Gentile churches, Corinthian, Galatian, Thessalonian, Philippian, so what is the Lord doing here? We will see as we continue on. John was the last of the original apostles, still alive at this time; and instead of killing him, his enemies had just put him out there on a little island in exile; feeling that he would no longer be a threat to them, out there by himself. They only thought he was out there alone though, for he was having the time of his life. He was in the Spirit, so he did not care how many snakes and lizards were crawling around. Therefore as he worshiped the Lord, he heard this great voice speaking to him. It was Jesus, in His high priest authority, telling him to send letters to these seven churches. He was not the instrument that caused these seven churches to come into existence, but being the last of the original apostles, he has a job to do. Verse 12, “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the son of man, (That lets us know that there was a resemblance of the man John had walked with for three and a half years) clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars: (SEVEN STARS) and out of His mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; (Now Jesus explains these things to John.) The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” Alright what do these seven stars signify? Is it talking about stars that shine in the sky at night? No sir. The whole dispensation is daylight time. That is why Paul said, (Probably in Ephesians) Walk as children of light. Then in Thessalonians he said, We are not of the night, we are children of the day. Everything that was preached in daylight time. But what about this star business? Here is where we must realize, that star is figurative of something that is outstanding, and has nothing at all to do with night time. Well what about the candlesticks? To our natural thinking, candlesticks are something that you burn at night. But these have nothing to do with night time. The seven golden candlesticks called the Menorah, were burned in the temple at Jerusalem day and night, to signify that the presence of the Spirit of God was there. They speak of the seven spiritual attributes of the one God who is spirit, and he is light, both day and night. Each one of these churches was to be the means through which this one spirit which is God would reflect His light to reveal His plan and purpose for lost mankind both day and night. I believe this should be clear enough for all to see; so I want to dwell for a little while on just the star.


WHAT THE SEVEN STARS REFLECTED

 

The star to the first age was already dead when John wrote the book of revelation, in which we see letters being sent to the seven angels of the seven churches of Asia. But the Lord goes ahead and tells John that the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; so what are we actually looking at here? Of course we know that behind every man of God there is that spirit being, called in Hebrews, ministering spirits. These are sent forth as guardian angels of the heirs of salvation, and they minister the anointing for whatever a man is called to do, but were the seven letters written to these angelic beings? No. Definitely not. God does not need to write letters to His angelic helpers. These seven letters to the seven churches had a twofold purpose and application. First they were to the spiritual leaders of the seven literal churches, but their long range application was to be to the star messengers of the seven church ages. Since the star messenger to the first age was already dead at that time, the responsibility to guide the first age on through whatever it was to accomplish in the purpose of God, fell upon the shoulders of the pastor of the church at Ephesus. He could never outshine Paul; but he could hold a line upon what Paul had taught them, as he stood in that position of leadership. Of course the other six churches got letters also, and those pastors were responsible to God for the leadership of their particular assemblies, which at that time had conditions in them that would project into the ages to come, but the church at Ephesus was the one that would project the spirit of the first church age. God did not tell John that these seven churches would type the seven different ages of time within that one dispensation of grace; but we can look back now and see it as plain as anything. When it came time for the spirit of those churches to be projected by God into an age, there was definitely a man in that age that would shine as the star in the midst of the ministry of that hour. That is why Polycarp was the first martyr of the church at Smyrna; it was to project that spirit of martyrdom which prevailed in the second church age. Now I realize I am going into a lot of things; but in a message like this, one thing just leads into something else, and we have to touch on it in order to project our thought. Paul was definitely the star messenger to that first age, but the responsibility to carry on what Paul had started, fell upon the shoulders of the pastor at Ephesus, until Ephesus had fulfilled its exampleship for the first age. The apostle John lived way beyond all the others of the twelve apostles, but was never looked upon as a star. He was lifted up in the Spirit and allowed to view the new Jerusalem, the spiritual city of God, and he was allowed to describe it from its foundation up, but that did not make him the star to the first age. He saw the names of the twelve apostles in the foundation of that city, and naturally his name was one of them, for he had helped lay the foundation upon which our salvation and our spiritual life is built, but he was not he star of that age. The city he saw, was the true church in its end time position, and I want you to know, That church is built upon the foundation of the apostles of Jesus Christ, the revelation they held and taught. Regardless of how the other stars to the other six ages may have shined in their hour, they never outshone those twelve apostles. The revelation of each star messenger had to go back to what those twelve apostles taught and laid down as foundation for our faith. That is why I said, Being a star does not in any way change the dispensation, for all seven of those stars have shined in this one day of salvation, and it is still daylight in that one day. Those apostles laid a foundation in that first age, that the devil has been trying to wreck for almost two thousand years. Gentiles in this hour are returning to the pagan ways of their ancestors, but thank God for the little blood washed church that will not return to those abominations. Even though the gospel was first to the Jews, the dispensation of grace is primarily the dispensation of the gentile church, for when God returns to the Jews, the grace age is over. Now I know there are a lot of people assembling around the message of Bro. William Branham that will not like what I am going to say, but Bro. William Branham, the star messenger to this Laodicean age, did not outshine those twelve apostles of Christ, nor is his name in the foundation of that new city. Those who attribute deity to him, take him right out of the scriptures, for there is no scripture that even remotely points to anything like that. If he was the Elijah of Malachi 4:6; like they say he was, and like I am completely convinced that he was, then his ministry was to turn the end time element of the bride of Christ (the true Church) back to the faith and revelation of our apostolic fathers. In other words, The star messenger in every age was to do just exactly that, point the people of God in this hour, back to the true Bible doctrines laid down by the twelve apostles. But just think, There are men in this hour that devote all their efforts to pointing people to the star messenger, rather than to the message he delivered to this age, a message which lifted up Jesus Christ and turned us back to apostolic teaching.


GOD’S PURPOSE PREVAILS

 

Brothers and Sisters: I know I do not have to tell you this; but our nation, and the world is in a bad shape. It behooves Christians to walk close to God, as wickedness abounds on every hand. Surely we must know that God expects His true children to read the signs of the times, and prepare themselves to meet Him shortly. Oh it is true, things will probably get a lot worse before the end, but they should not have to get any worse, for us to put our lives in order. It is plain that America is that lamb beast of Rev. 13, because she has literally rebuilt Europe, for her end time go around. We have been recognized for our two horned system, the world over, (political and ecclesiastical) and people have come here from all parts of the world because of it. The sad thing is, both our politics and our religion are filled with corruption, and every day it becomes a little worse. That is why I am so thankful to know for sure that God is still in control. Otherwise I would look at prevailing circumstances and say, There is no hope for us. Well I did not know when we started this message that we would be going into so much detail; but I just have to be thankful to God that His word is laid out so beautifully. Some say what we teach here is too deep to understand, but I just have to believe that people like that are too carnal minded to even care very much about spiritual things. Our minds have to be trained to think upon spiritual things, and too much of the time materialism takes the preeminence. There is nothing wrong with having material things; if we will control them, and not allow them to rob God of first place in our lives, to bring our little world to an abrupt end, you just have to know that it is only by the mercy and grace of God that we have anything or that we can be anything. Everything is moved by some spiritual force; either by the Spirit of God, or by that spirit of the devil which is the enemy of God, and is the spirit of destruction, therefore it pays to have the favor of God, lest we be without hope. Now as we look at the first chapters of Revelation, we have an opportunity to view the church some sixty years beyond Pentecost. We know it started out with only twelve apostles as the ministry; but by 96 A.D., when John was given this view of it, and instructed to write, it had apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, helps and governments, and all of that. God added to the ministry as the need arose, just like when it was necessary to select 7 men full of the Holy Ghost and faith, to be the first deacons in the church. As first, they were only table waiters, you might say; but as time passed, they were anointed of God to fulfill powerful ministries. Philip and Stephen were examples of that, there in the 7th and 8th chapter of Acts. There was nothing written back then, concerning a five fold ministry. Paul wrote about that in his epistles after it had already been manifested. That is why he could say, God hath set in the Church the various offices. Nevertheless the purpose of God was activated when that first 120 disciples received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. That is what put the grace age in effect, and started the church on its course through time. It is called by many terms, the body of Christ, the family of God, the sons of God, the new covenant people, all of which point to Christians of the age of grace. This gospel was first to the Jews, and then to the Gentiles, and Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. He is the one who first received a revelation of how God had Gentiles included in His plan of grace. Nevertheless as time progressed God bestowed anointing upon various ones, for various ministries in this great body of redeemed people. They all believed the same revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but they were not all anointed to fulfill the same ministries. In every situation though, it was the responsibility of the apostles to hold a line on the word of God and correct error. That is why the tares never could make any headway getting into the church as long as any of those apostles of Christ were alive. You can see from various epistles, how they discerned that antichrist spirit, and constantly warned the saints of its presence. It was a slow process, but the devil finally managed to get his false teachers mingled among the true saints, and little by little, false doctrine was brought in, and the church was eventually plunged into the Dark Ages, and it surely looked to some of those true saints like the gospel light would be snuffed out completely, but God was never without an instrument that He could speak to. We just have to appreciate the wisdom of God, that could bring the Church through those dark centuries, and then out into the full light of truth again. Hallelujah! I am glad John saw such a beautiful picture of the church, over in the last chapters of the book of Revelation. He saw a foursquare city of pure gold with walls of jasper, and a foundation garnished with all manner of precious stones, and gates of pearls. Praise God! That is a description of the Church in its final stage, after redemption and perfection is completed.


WHAT GENTILES FELL HEIR TO

 

As we look at this city John saw we wonder, What does the wall signify? It speaks of salvation to the individual believer. In the natural, a wall is for protection to the inhabitants. It keeps the enemy out. Therefore your salvation experience, spiritually, does the same thing. It puts you on the inside of that protecting arm of God’s grace, and gives you a safe habitation. It is built upon twelve foundations, or twelve layers, all of which speaks of the revelation of those twelve apostles, and the twelve gates speak of the twelve tribes of Israel through which this great plan of salvation was foreshadowed in their law. Before the gospel could ever be preached to Gentiles who would make up the major part of the body of that city, it first had to be preached to those through whom it was foreshadowed, the Jews. They were the first ones to enter into this spiritual relationship with God through His plan of salvation, and all the writers of the scriptures were Jewish men, but Gentiles fell heir to what the major part of the Jews rejected. Now some will say, How can it be said that the Jews had first chance at the gospel, when only the two Southern tribes were in the homeland at the time the gospel went forth? You have to look at it from the standpoint of what the apostle Paul said later, about the gospel being first to the Jew, and then to the Gentiles, and also from Paul’s own practice as he traveled from place to place. In every city where he preached, he always went to the Jewish synagogue first, and reasoned with the Jews out of their law, concerning Christ, and those ten Northern tribes were scattered throughout the world. When Thomas went to India in 53 A.D., who do you think he went to preach to? Those dispersed Jews of the 10 Northern tribes of course. Let me say this though, We use the word Jew, when speaking of Israelites of both tribes, but actually in the beginning of its usage, it applied only to the two Southern tribes, which were called by Judah. Maybe someone needed that clarification at this point. Nevertheless, even though Paul had a great burden for his Israelite brethren in the natural, he was still primarily as the apostle to the Gentiles. When the time came for the gospel to go to the Gentiles, God had His apostle to the Gentiles ready to take it to them, and by 96 A.D., Gentiles had been in the church for over fifty years, and Paul had been dead for thirty years, so the picture had changed quite a bit from the time the Holy Ghost was first given. John was exiled to the little island of Patmos, to get him out of the way, but God was not finished with him. Being in the Spirit of worship, and hearing behind him this great voice sounding out like a trumpet, he turned to see where the voice was coming from, and to his great surprise, there stood Jesus whom he had walked with sixty some years earlier. He was dressed in his high priest apparel, standing in the midst of seven golden candlesticks, with seven stars in His right hand. God had typed through the law, what those sevens represented, but the Jews never really knew why they were required to eat unleavened bread for seven days after eating the Passover lamb in the evening of the 14th day, going into the 15th day when the moon was full. Eating that unleavened bread and celebrating the killing of the Passover lamb for seven days after the moon was full, pointed to Jesus the son of God, born of woman, under the law, that would be the slain Passover Lamb, that would free them from the law, once the law was full. Now those Jews that were responsible for the slaying of this Passover Lamb, received not the benefit of its provision, for they rejected God’s plan of salvation, and the Gentiles have been feasting on the unleavened bread of the gospel of Christ for seven church ages, looking back to Calvary where it all took place. Now as we have said, Paul was dead in 96 A.D., when John saw all of this; but if there had never been a Paul, there would not have been an Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, and all of those, for he was the instrument through which they all received the gospel light. Now Jesus told John what those candlesticks represented, and also the stars in His right hand, but of course John knew nothing about seven church ages, nor about the stars of those seven ages. He could only see those local churches, and the pastors of them. Nevertheless to Ephesus He said, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” What did He mean by removing the candlestick? Simply that if they did not return to the first love, their light would go out completely, and they would just be a dead formal church, going through the motions as before, but without the reality of the love of Christ burning in their souls. That is the condition of your denominational churches the world over; the light that once burned so brightly has gone out, and those who still carry on the programs of the church, do so because of a routine, and not because God is leading them by His Spirit. They have their priests, their bishops, cardinals and all such, but none of it resembles the ministry of that first age church that carried a pure revelation of the gospel of Christ. Where did all of that come from? Mostly from paganism, in their present forms.


PEOPLE WHO HAVE FOLLOWED TRUTH

 

Let us leave the apostolic age now, and come quickly to the Laodicean age, this present age, the seventh and last. Coming out of the Philadelphian age, to the age of Laodicea, there were nothing but denominational churches. Christianity did not start out like that, but time and conditions brought it to that, so that is what the spirit of God had to work with, around the turn of the century, as He once again began to poor out of His Spirit upon hungry souls that sought more of Him. Different dates have been used, but actually this outpouring of the Holy Spirit began to stand out specifically at Azusa Street in January 1900, so the age itself would more or less be gauged off of that. Azusa Street is where your Pentecostal movements of this age got their beginning. You can read various accounts of the movements leading up to that hour, and of the things that took place in the realms of religion between the Dark Ages, and the age of Laodicea, but no matter how pure they each started out, the devil always managed to sidetrack them, and cause them to end up as just another system of religion. When the Spirit of God starts something it is in its pure stage; but man always has a tendency to allow the devil to turn it into a carnal plaything. There were other movements that spoke in tongues, the Shakers, the Quakers, and the fire baptized Baptists, and even some of the Nazarenes, but none of them ever established that as an evidence of the Holy Ghost, like the Pentecostals of this Laodicean age has. They have dwelt so much on their evidence, they failed to move on with God, just like all those movements before them. Well does that mean nothing was accomplished in any of them? No. Every movement added something to the restoration of apostolic truth that had been lost in the Dark Ages. Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, and all of them embraced some apostolic truth that God was restoring to the body of Christ. That was God’s process by which He worked to bring us to this hour, and to the truth we have. The supernatural experiences God has given through the years, has always drawn persecution from all the previously established movements. Therefore as God began to give that Pentecostal experience here in the age of Laodicea, and it was accompanied by speaking in tongues, divine healing, and various other gifts, then here came the persecution from all those other systems. I have read some of the testimonies from that early hour, and a lot of those people were treated terribly, but none of that persecution kept those hungry souls from walking on with God. Now the supernatural was given, not to establish an evidence, but that the people of God might be able to walk in the Spirit. The church is not just the product of the written letter; it is a spiritual organism that can move with a revelation by the inspiration of the spirit of God. Alright the Pentecostal move in the first years of the age of Laodicea, was primarily speaking in tongues and divine healing. They were all Trinitarians, because they carried the same revelation of the godhead, that the Catholics had. But from Luther’s hour, right on through, little by little God restored apostolic truth to His people. Then in 1908, he began to deal with various ones on the usage of the name Jesus in water baptism. To them, He gave an understanding of His oneness. They did not see the complete truth of His oneness; but they did see a profile of it, and out of that, came the movement known as oneness Pentecostals. But like all the rest, there came an hour when they felt that their revelation should be organized, and when that took place, they shut the door on the Spirit of God. Denominational walls keep those inside them, from ever being led any further by the Spirit of God. That is why He has to pull us out of those systems, in order to lead us any further in truth. When God reveals something to a person that their denominational system does not believe in, there is only one decision for that person to make. They either have to leave that system and walk with God, or else stay in it and dry up spiritually. Most of you older ones have been faced with that decision, for you were not raised up in this, like your children have been. Your children still have to have their own personal salvation experience with the Lord Jesus Christ, but they do not have those denominational systems to contend with. You cannot follow the teaching of men like Pat Robinson, Jim Baker, and Jimmy Swaggart, and be perfected as the bride of Christ all at the same time.


THE LAODICEAN CHURCH – AND AGE

 

Alright now, there was an angelic being watching over that literal church at Laodicea, just like there was all the others, and that same angelic being has waited through time, until the age of time that corresponded to that local church would come. In other words, There had to be an age somewhere within the dispensation of grace, when the spirit of that age would correspond to the spirit of one of those seven local churches in Asia, and the spirit of that church at Laodicea, which was the 7th church mentioned corresponded to the spirit of this age, which is the seventh age since Acts 2:4. The Lord spoke through John to that Laodicean church saying, “Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire,” and so forth. In other words, They had strayed from the simplicity Paul had ministered to them in. Laodicea was a commercial trade center, making the people of that area a little wealthier than people of other areas. Therefore their life style and standard of living had its affect in the local church there, and caused them to be more materialistic than spiritual. They trusted in materialism, more than in the Lord that saved them. Well the Church of that hour no longer exists, and neither does the city where it was located, but the spirit and image of it has lingered through time, and is now resting on this age. We are living in an age of materialism, when the general attitude of people is the same as it was in that Laodicean church. Therefore the spiritual angel that was back there, has hovered through time, through the ages, and waited to re-activate the purpose of God in the age that corresponds to that local church. The spirit of this age of time has been exactly like what God rebuked that local church for; but in this seventh age, God will perfect the bride saints, and take them to glory. No, the Lord is not coming to take His Church, just as a scattered representation from all these religious systems; He is coming for an element of people that have been pulled out of those systems, by the revelation of truth that He has given them, and that has allowed Him to lead them in a holy walk and way of life. This is human terminology of course, but we are living in a bride age. Like I have already said, we are not talking about an 8th age; we are just simply talking about a period of time within this 7th church age, when the Spirit of God will deal exclusively with the bride element, while the age goes on and closes out. This is the evening time of the day of salvation that started almost two thousand years ago, when according to Zechariah 14:7, there shall be light; and I believe we would have to say, That prophecy has been fulfilled. Those dark clouds that shut out the true spiritual light for so many centuries, has been driven back, and the church of this hour is privileged to walk in the same light of revelation that our apostolic forefathers walked in. The star messenger to this age walked under the influence of that same spiritual angelic being, that the pastor of the church at Laodicea was guided by. That angelic being was on hand in both instances to make certain that the purpose of God was accomplished, and as we have stated before, those angelic beings always work through human instruments, to accomplish the purpose of God. Christians down through the ages have carried this prophetic letter in their Bibles, without knowing how to read it, until the star messenger to this church age came on the scene, and delivered the revelation given to him. To those great theologians of your denominational systems, the book of revelation is still confusing. It is supposed to be; for it is God’s love letter to the little bride of Christ here at the end time, to enable her to recognize where she is, and to know what to expect. It goes hand in hand with the prophecy of Daniel, and fills out our revelation of the plan and purpose of God. God meant for the children of light here at the end time, to know some things other believers through the ages have not needed to know, for the crop He is going to reap cannot be inferior to the seed that was sown almost two thousand years ago. It is a law of God that everything should come forth of its own kind, with increase.


THE LAODICEAN STAR MESSENGER

 

Alright according to Malachi 4:6, the (Faith) children of this age were to be turned back to the faith of our apostolic fathers, before the wrath of God strikes; so we just want to be thankful to God for keeping His word. He sent that Elijah spirit that truly fulfilled the other half of the total prophecy of Malachi 4:5-6, on a little man by the name of William Marrion Branham, a man from this area right here. He did not come to establish anything new, as far as the covenant of grace is concerned. This covenant was to call out of the Gentiles, a people that would be called by the name of God, which literally is His redemption name, Jesus. Each individual was to have their own personal experience of salvation, and that is what Peter referred to, as the day star dawning in our hearts. Well all of these redeemed souls together, make up the total body of Christ that the apostle Paul spoke so much about, and it is the living element of this body, here in the end time, that is to be restored back to the fullness of the faith of our apostolic fathers. Why do we need to be restored? Because the devil managed to pervert the true revelation the early church carried, and got the whole thing off course. Therefore those coming into the kingdom of God through the centuries since, were not as revelated as those of the apostolic age, so God activated His plan to restore that true revelation, in order that we may be made into the image of His Son Jesus, who is referred to as the first born of many brethren. God’s children have always been the children of the day though, even in the darkest of the Dark Ages, for as we have been stressing, the day of salvation will not end until every Gentile whose name is in the book of life has been dealt with. As for the star messenger to this age, his calling was to take every revelation that had been restored throughout the Reformation, put them all together, and present them to the end time element of the true body of Christ. Those who had truth restored to them during those Reformation years, never allowed the truth they received to take them any further. They just fenced it in, and tried to hold on to it, and eventually the Spirit of God that gave them that truth just simply moved on, and gave some more truth to others that desired to walk with God. Sure the just shall live by faith; but there is a lot more to it than that. Nevertheless the Reformation gave birth to these various denominational systems, each one holding to some truth that belonged to the overall body of Christ, but how was it ever going to accomplish the end time purpose of God, all divided up like that? Well it could not. That is why God anointed Bro. William Branham, and used him as he did. All of that truth belonged together, and God used Bro. William Branham to put it together, and present it to an element of people that would take it, and walk with God in it. That special anointing is what made Bro. William Branham a star. No it did not turn these denominational systems back to the faith of the apostolic fathers, but the ministry God gave him, allowed him to preach in places where hungry souls in those systems could be called out of them, to walk with God in the fullness of truth. That spirit of Elijah was a God identifying spirit, that always pointed people to the true and living God. Therefore when Bro. William Branham preached those simple, down to earth sermons, you were pointed to one God, instead of a trinity. You were pointed to water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, instead of the titles of the office of this one God. Sanctification, baptism of the Holy Ghost, and the gifts of the Spirit, as well as divine healing, were all given their proper place in the overall picture as the gospel was preached. Now because of the unique calling upon Bro. William Branham’s life, God put certain things on display, to get the attention of the people. That is why certain supernatural occurrences in his ministry were vindicated as they were. God just simply made sure that a bunch of people would sit up and take notice, as he anointed His prophet messenger to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ the way the early apostles preached it. Not only did he preach the same revelation they preached, but God also fed in some things that they did not preach. The apostles never did preach on serpent seed, but he did, and what he preached that they did not preach, never changed the plan of salvation one bit; it just merely shed more light upon why we needed redemption. He preached on the seven church ages; but that did not change the plan of salvation whatsoever. Through the preaching on the church ages, the end time children of God have been able to see from a historic standpoint, how Christianity came through the former ages of time, and how it was persecuted by that spirit of antichrist, and its doctrines perverted. Through the revelation of the church ages, the end time children of God are better equipped to discern false spirits. We are made more aware of the deceptive ways the devil works against the plan of God, and the people of God.


AN HONEST LOOK AT REALITY

 

I never will forget the anticipation and excitement that was generated as God anointed Bro. William Branham to bring fourth the revelation fo the first six seals. No, Bro. William Branham did not break those seals; Jesus Christ Himself is the one that broke them; but He used Bro. William Branham, to make the revelation known to us. Billy Graham, Jimmy Swaggart, and a lot more, have their version of what these seven seals pertain to, but their versions have never been vindicated. What they teach about them does not make a bit of sense. They have all four of those horse riders, riding in the end time, and what a picture they paint. Sure it sounds exciting, but it is not the truth. Each of those horse riders are representative of that spirit of Antichrist as it rode out against the word, and the people of God. The fourth one is called a pale horse, which literally you would have to say is a gray horse, for there is no such thing as a pale horse. A gray horse is a combination of white hair and black hair mixed, and that white and black is representative of that antichrist spirit of deception that is riding in this very hour of time, and will continue right on out to the end of the age. This ecumenical spirit that has pulled all these denominations together, is so full of love, it will put a baby and a rattlesnake in the same crib, and then cry because the baby dies of snakebite. Of course that is just a figure of speech, pointing to the deceptiveness of this false unity that is being propagated. We received a clipping from a South Carolina newspaper, where the Catholics are asking people from all denominations to join them in this wonderful fellowship of prayer, praying the rosary together. Brothers and Sisters: There are Protestants everywhere, that know so little about the Bible, they will fall for that, and be swallowed up by it. Those early Christians died for the faith and revelation they held in their hearts; so do you think after two thousand years, the Lord is going to return for a conglomeration of people believing every perverted thing the devil has offered them, just because they all have love one for another? If He does, there sure has been a lot of words wasted in the Bible. Brother! That is a counterfeit spirit. It has always cost something to walk in truth, and it still does, but according to the scriptures, only those who do, are ever going to be with the Lord. Hell is awaiting all those that allow the devil to deceive them, and live as though God no longer has any standard of righteousness and holiness. If you think God does not care how you look, how you dress, how you talk, and where you go, you are deceived. The devil has you on his merry-go-round, and he will not easily turn you loose. Do you think God sent a prophet to this age, to tell Protestants to get in bed with Catholics, and pretend that everything anyone does in the name of religion is all right? Don’t fool yourself; the call has always been, “Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues,” (Rev. 18:4) and that call is still the same. But on the other hand, do not think for one minute, that all who came out of those religious systems because of the preaching of Bro. William Branham were all children of God. A lot of them were tares, and once a tare, always a tare. The devil’s children are not converted into children of God; but there are a lot of them hanging on to children of God in this hour, and they have a lot of people fooled; because with the mind they know how to put up a front. Then there is another element of tares following this message that actually feel that they have the edge on everyone else. They can quote everything Bro. William Branham ever said, and tell you exactly where and when he said it, but no matter how much they are able to quote, they are still tares. They have no revelation of the word of God, and could not care less what the Bible says. As I have said, God does not even bother to correct them, because they are not His children. Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. Paul goes on to say, (Heb. 12:8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” A child of God may believe something wrong for a while: but sooner or later God will tap him on the shoulder and say, That is a no-no. But do you think God will do the same thing for a tare? Why should He? He would still be a tare. Nevertheless the message delivered to this age by God’s prophet messenger is His plumb line. How people respond to that message is going to be a determining factor, for those who truly received the message have been pointed back to the Bible. They were not pointed to the messenger, nor to quote his verbal words, but to follow the truth of God’s word, that he held up before them. He was not sent to make another covenant, for until the last Gentile soul is in, God is still dealing with mankind on the basis of the covenant that became effective almost two thousand years ago. Through the ministry of Bro. William Branham, God activated the prophecy of Zechariah 14:7, so that here in the evening time of this dispensational day of grace, we again have light. Hallelujah! What a beautiful light it is. We have light on things, that saints of other ages never had. Through Bro. William Branham, God revealed things to end time believers that the apostles of Christ never even touched upon, and it is up to the five fold ministry to continue on in the message Bro. William Branham delivered to the church, but not by just quoting him. They are to stand in a place with God, where He can speak to them and reveal things to them. In other words, The ministry that finishes up this grace age must be the same as the ministry that started it out, and the ministry that started it out was a continuation of the revelation and ministry of Jesus Christ. When Jesus left the earth, He knew that other men would fill in the gap, and by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, present revelations to the church that He never taught on. Jesus spoke of the resurrection: but it was the apostle Paul that was anointed to teach on it, and give the order of it. Then thirty years after the death of Paul, John, who was not a star, and had no thoughts of any such thing, was allowed to see the whole scope of the journey of the church through the ages, including the resurrection and the great white throne judgment. Here is my point. Do you believe Jesus would have been jealous because His disciples taught things He never taught? Do you believe Paul would have been jealous of Bro. William Branham for teaching things that he never taught? Of course your obvious answer is, No. Well neither would Bro. William Branham be jealous of anyone else, for teaching things beyond what he taught. These men were servants of God, simply passing on to the Church what the Spirit of God revealed to them in their hour, and their greatest delight was to see the Church move on with God. It is a terrible heart break to a servant of God, when he sees people take hold of a revelation and treat it as though it is the last thing God is ever going to be able to reveal to His Church. Listen to me, saints, we serve a living God in whom is all wisdom and knowledge, therefore, if time should stand another fifty years, He would reveal things to the church, that have not so much as crossed our minds. I do not believe this old world, in its present trend of moral decay and debauchery can hold together very much longer, but my point is, God does not reveal His total plan to a generation of people and then just sit back and allow them to play around with it for the next fifty years. The plan of salvation will not change from the way the early apostles preached it, but God is faithful to feed fresh manna to those who walk with Him in present truth. In other words, Only a tare would go around telling saints of God that there is no more revelation to be given, beyond that which was given to Bro. William Branham. God will have an end time ministry of men that He has dealt with, and through their own experiences, they will have an understanding of what Bro. William Branham’s message to this age really was, and what it was to do. Therefore they will be men that have been put right back into this blessed old book, (the Bible) that has stood the test through the ages, and they will have a unique way of ministering to the people of God to bring about that perfection and total unity, that the church must have before she leaves here. Furthermore there is still some more revelation to be given to the church before she leaves here, and it will not detract anything from the message brought by the star messenger, nor from the image of the star messenger, but that does not mean that God is out of business.


THE END TIME CHURCH – AND GOD’S PURPOSE

 

Let me take you to the 10th chapter of Revelation, the very chapter that mentions the 7th angel, and call your attention to the last verses in that chapter. John was lifted up in the Spirit and projected into the future, and allowed to see things as they transpired. Therefore when he saw the might angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow on His head and His face as the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire, he was standing here at the end of the age, seeing Jesus in angelic form, off of the mercy seat, with that little scroll which had been sealed with seven seals, now fully open. Brothers and Sisters: When that scene becomes a fulfilled reality, the Lord is ready to come for His church, the age is ready to close out. The sun will set on this day of salvation, and the Lord will return unto the Jews. But notice, That angel standing there with one foot on the sea, and the other on the earth, (which shows universal dominion) cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth, and when He had cried, seven thunders uttered THEIR voices. Those seven thunders spoke something that John was about to write, and a voice from heaven told him to seal up those things and write them not. Then the mighty angel lifted up His hand to heaven, and sware by the mighty Creator Himself, that there should be time no longer. Then that same voice said to John, Go and take the little book (scroll) which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. When he asked for the little book, the angel said to him, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. Now all of that was figurative language, but John ate it and it was exactly like that, sweet in his mouth and bitter in his stomach. Then it was said to him, “Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” Now we all know John was an old man. How much longer he lived after that is not stated, but the fact that he was projected in the Spirit all the way to the end time, and given this experience; says to me that somewhere in front of us, when the Lord Jesus Christ is truly off the mercy seat, and the church is now made up, that same prophetic anointing is going to fall upon the church ministry, and the church is going to be dealt with through prophetic utterances. The fact that John, standing at the end of the age, heard those seven thunders utter things that are not even written, proves that to me. Those prophetic utterances will not be for the purpose of perfecting the bride; that is to be accomplished through that which is written. The Bible tells us how to live a holy life, and walk with God in a relationship of love and humbleness, but it does not tell us of everything that is coming down the road to tear the world to pieces, and things like that. Those prophecies will deal with things just ahead, that are not written in the scriptures, and they will enable the little bride of Christ to know how to conduct herself and maneuver herself through imminent conditions, to be ready to go with Jesus. God will not make these things known to the church world at large, but only to the little bride that is hungering for God, and desiring to get out of here. She will heed what those seven thunders utter; but the rest of the world will not. They could not care less, what this bunch they call fanatics, are saying. Well brothers and sisters: This old world is in a bad shape. Moral corruption and wickedness about on every hand, and will grow steadily worse and worse, all the way to the end; so let us praise God, that He has set us apart from all of that, and that even in the midst of such a mess, He can perfect us and make us into the spiritual image of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. The age will close out, and perfection will be wrought among the true children of God, all because we have been restored back to the word of God, by His prophet messenger to the age, which was that seventh angel of Revelation 10:7, and the Elijah of Malachi 4:6, in the second part. Notice Revelation 10:7, which says, “But in the days of the voice (which means the message) of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God (which is the grace age church Eph. 3:1-6) should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.” No saints, that does not mean the minute he started to preach his message, for that message had to make its way around the world and accomplish God’s purpose in His universal church. The mystery of God is definitely what Paul brought out in Ephesians 3, about how God had included Gentiles in His plan of grace, and it had not been revealed in times past, but was then revealed unto the apostles and prophets by the Spirit. When you start talking about the Church: you have to remember that the church is a universal body of people; therefore anything that is to the church, has to have time to make its rounds around the world, and have its affect. That is why these things have to be tied to the message Bro. William Branham delivered to this age, instead of his personal ministry, for there are great numbers of people around the world, following his message today, that had never even heard of him, when he was still alive. These tares who run the roads with quotes, distort the whole picture, simply because the message has not done for them, what God ordained it to do for his true children, put them in the Bible, and teach them to be submissive to His Spirit. These quoters can never receive a true revelation because they do not have the revealer in them. All they can ever do is just memorize the words of Bro. William Branham and put their own carnal interpretations to it. That is why they have to try to believe statements that are completely opposite to each other. God allowed Bro. William Branham to say quite a few things two different ways. One way would line up with the Bible, and the other would not, and because they are unable to use their Bibles, they just simply say, Bro. William Branham was a prophet, and he said it, so I believe it. That is their attitude about everything, so do not think it strange, if I do not bend over backward trying to fellowship with them. It is hard for me to fellowship anyone who has no respect for the Bible, no matter how much they claim to know about Bro. William Branham. I am accused of having a bad attitude because I find no grounds for fellowship with a lot of these people. But I am absolutely sure that what I have preached is the truth, and they do not like it, and constantly criticize me, and accuse me of being out of the message, while even the scripture says, How can two walk together, except they agree? So what kind of fellowship could we have? Through the years, my congregation has been made up of people who came here in search of truth, so do not think for one minute that I am going to turn my pulpit over to these characters who would literally enjoy just getting in here, and trying to tear this assembly all to pieces. These who come here, are here because they want to be here. I have not twisted any arms, begged anyone, nor put on any kind of program, in an effort to get a following. But I do consider it my responsibility, to see that they are fed properly when they do come, so I do not put everything up to preach, that claims to be a preacher. Another thing I have learned through the years, if you just run around with everyone, they just look at you as one of them, and do not pay one bit of attention to what you have to say. I love to preach to people who are hungry for truth. I would rather go where there were only a half dozen hungry souls, than to preach to three thousand, if there is no hunger there. Crowds do not interest me. What thrills me most is to see a hungry soul reaching out for truth. I was privileged to sit under and also to have personal fellowship with the star messenger to this age, and he pointed me back to the Bible, back to the apostolic truth, and that is why I cannot help but do the same thing for others. I realize that is what my calling is, no matter what other people say about it. Bro. William Branham made that Bible come alive in me; and he made the Jesus of that Bible stand head and shoulders above anything else I had ever heard.


HAVE NO SYMPATHY FOR TARES

 

I hope none of you feel that I am being too hard on certain people; for that is not my purpose in saying the things I have said. I would be more than glad, just to preach the word of God, and never mention anything about these make believers again; but they will not let you ignore them. They are always gouging me in some way, or sending me literature, trying to prove that what I teach is wrong, or grabbing hold of someone in the congregation and feeding them poison, so they force me to say things that I take no particular pleasure in saying. If you really tried to see how the early church ministry felt about these tares that always pervert the word of truth, you might think my words are very mild. Jude called them brute beasts, and clouds without water. Peter called them wells without water, and clouds that are carried with a tempest, to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever, and Paul called them dogs. So I feel that my speech concerning them has been on the light side. None of the apostles ever asked the saints to pray for a tare, but rather referred to them as evil workers, whose reward was already awaiting them. Each man had his own way of referring to them. Jude also referred to them as fruit trees twice dead, plucked up by the roots, and also as raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame, and so on. But the fact remains, they are not atheists, nor town drunks. Somehow their lives have been touched by something they have heard preached, and in one sense of the word they believe in Jesus. But the spirit that motivated them is what caused those apostles to speak out as they did. Yet when it came to a true believer that allowed some fleshly weakness to cause him to do wrong, those same men knew exactly how to deal with that also. Take the case in 1st Cor. 5:1-5, where Paul had to deal with fornication in the church. He simply instructed the church to turn the man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. You might look at such a case and call the man a tare, but those apostles had keen discernment, and they knew the difference between a tare, and a true believer that had a fleshly weakness. No. They did not tolerate sinful practices in the church, but they did distinguish between believers with weaknesses, and tares, who were motivated by an antichrist spirit. In John’s first little epistle, in 90 A.D., he wrote, (chapter 4) “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” Then in his second epistle, concerning those who preach false doctrine, John said this, “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, (the doctrine of Christ, preached by the apostles) receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” Did you catch that saints? Does that sound like John had compassion for those tares in his day? He said, Don’t allow them in your house, and don’t be saying, God bless you, lest you be also a partaker of his evil deeds. It is high time a lot of people quit playing around, and get serious about what they believe. If you know what you believe is the truth, then stop allowing the devil to cram a lot of his junk down your throat, no matter who his instrument is. It is our God-given responsibility to stand up for the truth He has given us. That is how those apostle felt about it, and as long as they were alive, these tares did not make much headway. But those little epistles of John written in 90 A.D., were the last words of admonition and instruction that were ever included in the chronology of the scriptures. After that, the Church was for all practical purposes, subject to the leadership of another generation, and then the tares had a better opportunity to start making their influence count. The book of Revelation written in 96 A.D., is not an epistle; it is a prophecy, dealing with the past, present, and future. First it reveals what has been going on in the church and brings conditions up to date; then it spans time and shows what is going to take place in the end time. You will not find it dealing with the plan of salvation, but rather, dealing with what the Church has strayed from. That is why we always stress the fact that this book is not to be used to deal with sinners. If it had been for that purpose, the Lord would not have waited sixty some years to have it written. In other words, The book of Revelation does not alter in any way, the covenant of grace; it simply enlightens end time believers who will be alive to see the Lord wrap it all up, when the last predestined soul has heard the gospel call What is the gospel? Some may say. It is the good news that tells sinners Jesus Christ has paid their sin debt already, if they will only believe and accept that fact. That is why those early Christians did not need to go around quoting each other, nor quoting Jesus; there was a story to tell, and the Lord wanted each one of them to tell it in their own words. You know, saints, if you have a revelation of something, you do not need to quote someone else, you can just simply express that revelation in your own words. That is what Jesus was pointing to when he said, Father, I pray not for these alone; but also for all that shall believe on me through their word, We are believers, and partakers of these heavenly blessings, because of the word of those apostles and disciples who walked with Jesus, and told the story later, of what had been accomplished by Him on our behalf. Jesus knew what those disciples would do once they received the Holy Ghost, for once the Spirit of the Father got in them, their word would be just as loyal and true to God as His word had been. Therefore these people who go around threatening other people, because they do not say everything exactly like Bro. William Branham said it, are void of revelation, and the spirit of God is not in them. I have said it to you; and I will say it to any of them who want to face me; If they have the spirit of God in them; they could tell what has happened in this generation, in their own words; they would not need to quote anyone else. When those early disciples went forth preaching the gospel, they had no sermon books written that they could carry with them to quote from; they had to tell it in their own words, and that is exactly what God wants each of us to do, if we have any call upon our lives to preach or teach. We read the words of the various writers of the scriptures, to lay the foundation, but we need to depend upon the anointing of the Spirit of God for words to express the revelation that he has given us. Once those early disciples received the Holy Ghost, then the Holy Ghost took their minds back to what Jesus had spoken to them, and then back to the Old Testament prophecies that spoke of what they were experiencing, and the picture was put together in their minds and hearts, and they were ready to tell it in their own words, and what a beautiful story they told.


GOD IS STILL REVEALING THINGS

 

I believe I should remind you once again that even though the star messenger to that first age had been dead for 30 years, God still had a vessel He could use to give a great prophecy to the church. That should let us know that God is not without a voice in the earth today, just because the star messenger to this age is dead. The five fold ministry is in the Church today, continuing on with the revelation delivered to us by that star messenger, and it will remain so as long as the bride of Christ is still here. Jesus is still on the mercy seat, and the 7th seal is still on the little scroll unbroken, and that will remain to be the picture, until the time appointed of the father, for the grace age to come to an end. When that time comes, Revelation 8:1, the breaking of the 7th seal, will be activated, and Revelation 10:1-11 will be in effect. The message of Elijah will have completed its work among the bride, and the seven thunders will begin to sound THEIR VOICES, to acquaint the bride with the coming of the Lord Jesus, for the rapture. AT the same time, the two Jewish prophets will appear upon the scene in Israel, to begin their 3 ½ years of prophesying to the people of that nation, and the seventieth week of Daniel’s seventy prophetic weeks will be in the process of fulfillment. But between now and then, just realize that we are living in that eagle age which portrays the Spirit of God in his servants of this hour, enabling them to soar so much higher and see so much more than the servants of God in other ages, while that gray (pale) horse rider is busy deceiving all those who have no love for the truth. The star messenger to this age is dead, but God is not dead, therefore it will be ridiculous for anyone to believe that God quit speaking to the church when the star messenger was taken from the scene. That is why I have endeavored to stress the fact that God gave the church the book of Revelation, (a book of prophecy) thirty years after Paul, the first age star messenger was taken from the scene. Tares are running to and fro, proclaiming that God fulfilled everything to the Church that needed to be fulfilled, when Bro. William Branham was still alive, and they have a lot of people convinced that there is no more revelation to be given, and to them, that is no doubt the truth; but God still has a few things to say to the bride Church before she leaves here, and only the bride will have an ear to hear them. A few people here and there are still hearing the gospel call, but the primary emphasis in the preaching of this hour is on the perfection of the children of light. No true servant of God is adding to, nor taking from the words of the prophecy in the book of Revelation; but I am so thankful to God that he is revealing things to those who love truth, that the tares simply do not have eyes and ears to see and hear; therefore we can know what is coming upon the earth in these last days, and prepare ourselves for it. I believe the little bride will be left here long enough to see that seventieth week of Daniel start, and the two olive trees of Rev. 11:4, begin their ministry in Israel, and then she will hear that voice from heaven, saying, Come up hither; and up she will go. Those who have died in the faith will come forth from their graves, and all of us will be caught up together, to meet the Lord in the air, never to walk in this old mortal flesh ever again. Hallelujah! What a glorious expectation the children of light should have in their bosoms in this hour, as we see the end approaching. Let us walk with God, and be very sensitive to the leading of His Spirit; for there will be things take place here in the end time, that you will need to hear from God, to know how to handle them. May God bless you. Amen.

1987-03-Children-of-Light-Part-2

Children of Light, Part 1 – 1987, January


WE ARE LIVING IN AN HOUR OF ALMOST TOTAL CONFUSION CONCERNING THE WORD OF GOD. YET THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE PROFESSING TO BE CHRISTIANS IN THIS HOUR OF TIME, THAN EVER BEFORE: AND MOST OF THEM WHO ATTEND SOME KIND OF CHURCH FEEL LIKE THEY ARE ON THE ROAD TO HEAVEN, REGARDLESS OF THE KIND OF LIFE THEY LIVE. SELF APPOINTED PREACHERS ARE RUNNING EVERYWHERE; SO AGGRESSIVE AND SO AUTHORITATIVE, JUST INSTRUMENTS OF THE DEVIL, THAT HE IS USING TO MISINTERPRET AND TEAR THE BIBLE ALL TO PIECES. THEN YOU HAVE THAT GREAT MULTITUDE OF ATHEISTS WHO HAVE NO RESPECT AT ALL FOR THE BIBLE, AND GO TO ALMOST ANY EXTREMES TO DISCREDIT IT; SO HOW COULD THERE BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN CONFUSION, EXCEPT AMONG THE VERY FEW WHO DO HAVE A TRUE REVELATION OF THE WORD OF GOD? THE AGNOSTICS AND ATHEISTS SAY, HOW CAN YOU PROVE THE EXISTENCE OF GOD, AND HOW CAN YOU PROVE THAT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD, AND ALL SUCH AS THIS. BUT I SAY, IT WILL NOT TAKE ANOTHER GENERATION OF PEOPLE TO SETTLE THESE ARGUMENTS, FOR I AM PERSUADED THAT THIS GENERATION WILL LIVE TO SEE THE WINDUP OF ALL THAT IS PROPHESIED IN THE SCRIPTURES. NO I AM NOT SAYING THAT I WILL LIVE TO SEE IT; I MAY, AND THEN AGAIN I MAY NOT; BUT THERE ARE PEOPLE LIVING TODAY THAT WILL SURELY LIVE TO SEE THE END OF IT ALL. THAT IS WHY I SAY, WE ARE LIVING IN A MOST CRUCIAL HOUR OF TIME: AND GOD’S TRUE CHILDREN NEED TO TAKE STOCK OF THEIR LIVES, AND GET IT SETTLED ONCE AND FOR ALL, WHAT THEY BELIEVE AND WHERE THEY STAND. THOSE WHO ARE CHILDREN OF LIGHT NEED TO WALK IN THAT LIGHT, AND STOP ALLOWING THE DEVIL TO KICK THEM AROUND. YOU NEED NOT BE SUBJECT TO EVERY MAN’S IDEAS ABOUT THE BIBLE, FOR YOU CAN KNOW THE TRUTH AND BE SUBJECT ONLY TO THAT. THIS IS THE REASON I HAVE CHOSEN TO TITLE THIS MESSAGE, “CHILDREN OF LIGHT,” FOR BY THE HELP OF THE LORD, I WANT TO SHOW YOU THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHILDREN OF LIGHT, AND ALL THE REST WHO CLAIM TO BE CHRISTIANS.


THE WORLD IS FULL OF PEOPLE WHO WILL SAY, SURE I BELIEVE IN GOD; BUT WHEN YOU OPEN THE BIBLE AND TRY TO PRESENT A TRUE REVELATION OF WHAT IS RECORDED THEREIN, THEY WILL DRAW A LINE, AND FORBID YOU TO CROSS IT. WHY? BECAUSE THEY THEMSELVES HAVE NO REVELATION OF WHAT TRUE SALVATION IS; BUT WITH THE MIND: THEY BELIEVE, ACCORDING TO WHATEVER TRADITIONAL THEORY ABOUT GOD THEY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE RESULTS OF SOME OF THESE RELIGIOUS POLLS THAT ARE TAKEN: IT LOOKS LIKE AMERICA REALLY IS A CHRISTIAN NATION AFTER ALL. BUT WHEN YOU KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT MUCH OF WHAT IS CALLED CHRISTIANITY; YOU KNOW THAT WE ARE A LONG WAY FROM BEING A CHRISTIAN NATION. MORAL AND SOCIAL CORRUPTION TIP THE SCALES HEAVILY TOWARD THE DEVIL’S SIDE IN THE OVERALL PICTURE OF THIS AGE; EVEN THOUGH IT IS THE AGE OF PERFECTION FOR THE LITTLE BRIDE OF CHRIST. THAT JUST GOES TO SHOW WHAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD CAN DO IN THE LIVES OF THOSE WHO ARE THE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS GREAT PURPOSE. HE CAN LEAD THEM RIGHT DOWN THE NARROW ROAD OF TRUTH; WHEN THERE IS NOTHING BUT HYPOCRISY AND OUTRIGHT UNGODLINESS ALL AROUND THEM. HE CAN GIVE THEM PEACE; WHEN IN THE WORLD THERE IS NO PEACE. PRAISE HIS NAME. BROTHERS AND SISTERS: YOU NEED NOT LOOK FOR PEACE ANYWHERE ELSE EXCEPT IN THE LORD. ISRAEL IS BACK AT HOME IN THE LAND OF HER HERITAGE, AND PRACTICALLY THE WHOLE WORLD IS AGAINST HER, BUT SOMEHOW THE LORD HAS CAUSED THIS NATION TO BE A TRUE FRIEND TO HER, AND BECAUSE OF THAT, MUCH OF THE WORLD IS AGAINST US, AND IT WILL REMAIN SO UNTIL THE END, SO DO NOT LOOK FOR WORLD PEACE, BEFORE JESUS SITS ON THE THRONE OF DAVID IN THE MILLENNIUM. HOWEVER AS I HAVE ALREADY STATED, I BELIEVE THIS IS THE GENERATION THAT WILL LIVE TO SEE GOD CLOSE OUT THIS DISPENSATION OF GRACE, AND USHER IN THE MILLENNIUM. SO THE TRUE CHRISTIAN OF THIS HOUR REALLY NEEDS TO HAVE A MIND THAT IS CLEAR, STABLE, AND STEADFAST, FOR I AM PERSUADED THAT THINGS WILL MOVE VERY FAST FROM HERE ON OUT TO THE END.


THE DAY OF SALVATION

 

Let us open our Bibles to 2nd Corinthians, chapter 6, where in verse 2 the apostle Paul refers to a prophecy spoken by Isaiah, (which is recorded in Isaiah 49:8) and gives us the revelation of it. “For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” Paul uses DAY and TIME, in this verse, so let me say this, When we hear the word day: we immediately think of daylight, but in language structure, a word like that is used in various ways, and the children of light must know how to apply the scriptures, and actually see themselves in every scripture that pertains to salvation. If they do not, Satan will side track them somewhere along the way, and cause them much trouble. In his Thessalonian letter, Paul says, We are not children of the night; but children of the day. In other words, children of light. But this is another usage of the word day. Children of the night are the unbelievers of the world, and we who believe are the children of the day. In this sense, the word day does not pertain to a period of time, but to a condition inside of us, for we have the light of God’s word within us. On the other hand, the children of the night have nothing but darkness inside of them, yet all are living in the same period of time. When Paul said, This is the day of salvation, he was referring to the dispensation of time that Isaiah had prophesied about. In other words, The prophet was inspired to write of a time somewhere out in future time, when the Spirit of God would work with mankind, to bring this great plan of salvation to a present reality, and the whole dispensation when He would do that, is referred to as the day of salvation. Therefore the word day, as pertaining to a period of time, can be 24 hours, or the daylight period of 24 hours, or it can be a period of time that lasts for many years, as is the case here. We call it the grace age, because it is a dispensation of time, wherein the Spirit of God deals with individuals, and leads them to a place where they willingly accept the free gift of his grace, which is the free pardon of all their sins. It is God’s appointed time to deal with man on the basis of his own personal salvation. Therefore DAY points to what is inside of us, and also to the period of time in which it was imputed to us. I hope you understand my illustrations concerning the word day, for I have a reason for making these points at this time.


WHAT THE DAY OF SALVATION IS FOR

 

People the world over, are getting hold of the sermons of Bro. William Branham. They are being published in various languages, and sent free of charge, just like the Contender is. But the fact remains that if a person does not have the Holy Ghost inside to do what Jesus said he would do, (guide you into all truth) that person is not going to read anything right. Educational degrees are not worth two cents when it comes to receiving a revelation of the word of God. This is how God keeps light separated from darkness: He only illuminates those who will humble themselves, and come His way. The world is full of all kinds of teachers, preachers, and instructors, and a lot of them have money to spend, to open the doors they want opened; but for the most part; they are just fulfilling the 2nd parable of Jesus, in Matthew 13:24. That is the one that speaks of a man which sowed good seed in his field, and while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat. Then later, when his servants discovered the tares growing among the wheat: and asked if they should go out and gather them up, the answer was, “Nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Jesus said the kingdom of heaven was to be like this, and when the explanation was given: we find that the field is the world; the sower of the good seed was Jesus, and the good seed was those apostolic Christians of that first age. “But while men slept:” speaks of the time when that first generation of Christians were sleeping in death, and no longer on the scene to guard the pure revelation of the word of God. The devil was then able to sow his tare seed (make believers) among those of the second generation, because they did not guard the true revelation as close as their fathers did. Therefore the children of God, and the children of that wicked one, (the devil) have all been growing right along together ever since, and we are now living in the time of the end of that parable. The application of the end of it is a present day reality, so there is no need for us to close our eyes, and pretend that this confusion will go away. It will not go away; it will get worse, for God has already set in motion the separating process; whereby the tares are being gathered together, and of course the end of it all is that they will be burned in the lake of fire, after the great white throne judgment has been completed. The two spirits have both produced seed in each age of time, but you will not find one denominational preacher anywhere today, that can tell you the difference between the two seed lines. They know there are tares present, but if they even mention it at all, they will just say something like, We just have to leave all of that in the hands of God. Jesus said, that in the harvest time, he would send forth His angels to do the separating; and when we read that: we immediately think of spirit beings. Well spirit beings truly are in the picture, but not like we are prone to think. They set in motion the conditions that affect our lives, but God always uses men in the overall picture of what He is doing. As we look around us, and take note of what is being preached: I believe we will have to agree that there are a lot of men today, being used to gather tares together. God’s true servants are preaching a true revelation, and all the rest are preaching something else, and people are choosing what they will follow. That is how it is being done, but it could not be done until after the 7th church age messenger delivered his message to the age; for that message is the great separating factor. That is why I say, It is important how a true servant of God uses the scriptures. Therefore in the scriptures which speak of the day of salvation: though they speak of, or apply to the whole dispensation of grace which includes many centuries of days and nights, the revelation points to only daylight time; not night time. Even though over nineteen hundred years have passed, we are still living in that day of salvation; for the door of God’s grace has not yet been closed. Then we want to realize that in every generation which has lived in that day, the Spirit of God has gleaned from it the children of light, which were foreknown of Him from before the foundation of the world. All of this has been done in the daylight time of the day those prophets prophesied about, and when the night time of that day finally comes upon the world, this dispensation of grace will be ended. No more Gentiles will ever be saved by the preaching of the gospel, but the foolish virgins who are left here when the rapture takes place, will purge themselves through martyrdom, during the great tribulation time of the seventieth week of Daniel.


CONFUSION – AND SPIRITUAL DARKNESS

 

Go with me now into the book of Zechariah, where we will read another prophecy showing the consistency with which the word DAY moves through the scriptures. This prophecy of Zechariah followed Isaiah by more than two centuries, and shows us how consistent the Holy Ghost keeps these focal points flowing. We are looking at verses 6 & 7, in chapter 14, which says, “And it shall come to pass in that day, (Day is the focal point, and after it starts: there will come a time when this applies) that the light shall NOT be clear, nor dark.” That is speaking of the light of that day, which we know is the whole dispensation of grace, and speaks spiritually of the light of the gospel. In the natural, we have seen days that even though the sun rose and set right on time, we never saw one glimmer of its light throughout the whole day. But the point is, it was daytime just the same; for no matter how dark the clouds make it, there is enough light penetrating them, to associate that particular time as daylight. On a day like that; when the sun does set, and night time comes on, oh how dark it is. Well we are talking about a day that Isaiah and Zechariah both wrote about; a dispensation of time wherein God would deal with lost mankind on the basis of personal salvation. But Zechariah goes further, and speaks of a time within that day, (or dispensation) when the light of that day would pass through a stage when it would be neither clear, nor dark, and we need to fully understand what the prophecy was referring to; lest there be unnecessary confusion about it. Let us read verse 7 now. “But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, (Yes, it is His appointed day, and He is not going to let it come to a close, without Him intervening to allow for the fulfilling of all other prophecies.) Not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass that at evening time it shall be light.” Just think, brothers and sisters: Those Jewish prophets prophesied that, and after hundreds of years, the Jewish people still did not know what the prophecies were pointing to. We are living more than 1900 years beyond the dawning of that day: which began at the birth of the Church, recorded in Acts 2, and at that time, only Jews were privileged to see the light of it. But later, when the Jewish people as a whole rejected this light: God took it from them, and offered it to the Gentiles in the same beautiful structure in which it was presented to the Jews. It did not stay like that very long after the Gentiles got hold of it though; for the devil used those Gentile theologians to cloud it over, in an attempt to shut out all the light. They added creeds, dogmas, traditions, and ceremonies of every sort, a little more in every generation, until finally the Christian world moved off into what was known as “The Dark Ages.” The written word of God remained the same; but men’s understanding of it kept getting less and less, until it seemed like all that beautiful light was lost behind clouds of confusion and spiritual darkness. It seems that carnal minded mankind always tries to dress up everything God does, and by the time they get through dressing it up; it has lost its original purpose and God is out of it. Oh the structure remains the same, but the glow of it is gone. Nevertheless, let me assure you that we are still living in the day called the day of salvation, no matter what some may say. I thank God that Jesus is still on the mercy seat, and that human souls still have that door open to them. God Himself is the only one that knows when the last lost soul will come into the fold, but until that time; the day of salvation will not expire, and when that time comes, no man is going to prolong it. World conditions cause us to feel that time is running out, but even still, God is the only one that knows for sure when this day of salvation will come to a close. That is why, even today, we can still say, Now is the accepted time; even though it seems that there is little concern anymore.

 

AMERICA – NO LONGER A CHRISTIAN NATION

 

There was a time when America was considered to be a Christian nation. She maintained separation of church and state, yet the government officials and school officials recognized God’s place in the affairs of mankind, even though they did not all profess to be Christians themselves; therefore she was projected forth as a Christian nation. However those days are far behind us now. Demon inspired and demon possessed people have been able to inject their ideas and influences, and get all of that changed; so that America today is just like an old dead carcass full of maggots. The Bible, and prayer has been kicked out of the schools, and God is not to be considered in anything. Therefore lawlessness is abounding in every level of society, and it will all get worse, instead of better. You do not go away from home and leave your doors unlocked today, like people did fifty years ago. If you do, you may return home and find that everything you own has been taken. These drug addicts and alcoholics have to support their habits somehow, and this is one of their ways. Even small children are caught in these traps of the devil. Sometimes you wonder where God will ever find anyone fit to pass into the Millennium, for the purpose of repopulating the world, after He has cleansed it one more time. Well we do not have to worry about that, God has those souls reserved for that purpose. But you do find yourself thinking about those lines, as you look around about you, and observe the ungodliness that abounds on every hand, and realize how few people even care what God thinks about their ways. Yes, spiritually it is a dismal day, or dismal hour of the dispensation called the day of salvation, just like Zechariah prophesied that it would be. Spiritually speaking, it is neither clear nor dark, as you would think in terms of day and night, except to the little bride of Christ. She knows where she is, in this hour of time, but religion in general is caught behind a dark cloud of confusion and deception.


AT EVENING TIME – IT SHALL BE LIGHT

 

In the book of Acts, when the Church first started out: oh how beautiful the glow of the gospel of Jesus Christ was, as it touched the lives of people. As we have already pointed out, it was first offered to the Jews; and there was only one of two choices that they could make. When they heard the gospel preached, they either chose to remain in Judaism, or they forsook all, to follow Christ; and if they chose to follow Christ, there was only one way to believe. There was no such thing as going to the church of your choice in those days. There was only one Church, and those who were in it, all believed the same thing; the revelation taught by the apostles. The book of Revelation had not even been written, when that first age Church rose to the peak of its beauty. Furthermore the Christians of the first few years had none of the New Testament epistles that are so precious to us. They were all written later, after other assemblies were formed as a result of the missionary activities of those early Christians. Two thousand years ago, our Gentile ancestors were devil worshipers, and Gentiles in general are fast returning to the religious practices of their ancient ancestors. Lawlessness was a common thing then; and our present society is fast returning to the very same thing. We could dwell upon the social and spiritual state of mankind in this hour of time, but I feel that our most urgent need, is to try to clear up some of the misunderstanding that surrounds some of these key prophecies of the scriptures. Human life was very cheap, before the gospel of Jesus Christ came over to the Gentiles. But because God had purposed to take from among the Gentiles, a people for His name: the Holy Ghost moved back the tide of Satan, and began to clean up that society, and Gentiles received the gospel, with the same enthusiasm those first Jews received it with. It was when the first age died off, that Satan once again was able to put forth certain ideas that would eventually lead the Church into a very dark hour of time. In that Thyatira age, the fourth church age, there was very little of that original gospel light left. It was hard for men to actually see what the Christian object really was. Nevertheless that prophecy of Zechariah was still in the Bible, and must be fulfilled, so just before the light went completely out and night time set in: God did something to allow the light to begin to break through, for according to Zechariah, There would be light in the evening time. Brothers and Sisters: That is exactly what the Reformation was all about. Once it began to strike at the 15th century; just as it went the other way, slowly the darkness of the creeds and dogmas of Catholicism, and make room for the fulfillment of that prophecy, just before the sun sets, here in this twentieth century. “But it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.” Nowhere in the scriptures will you find any part of this dispensation of grace referred to as a period of night time. You may think so, as you read certain things in the book of Revelation, that are there to carry a type; but literally, when the night time does set in, the dispensation of grace is over with. That is why I feel so compelled to deal with these scriptures which are related to this dispensation; we need to know where we stand in relation to them. In other words, The dispensation of grace (the day of salvation) is not a period of day and night, you have to think of it in terms like, from sun rise to sun set, daylight time, not night time. Of course I realize that some of you will say, or at least think, Bro. Jackson: Why are you acting like this is so important? Well it is because it really is important; and I believe that the Spirit of God will cause you to realize how important it is; if you will just follow the message until we get through.


WHAT THE REFORMATION DID

 

As we look at this period in which there will be light at evening time, let me say this, I am convinced the Reformation, from the message of Luther, and on through Calvin, Knox, Wesley, and all the rest, was designed by the Creator, to move back the thick clouds of the religious systems of man, and allow the light of the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, to once again begin to illuminate the minds and hearts of an element of people, that will make up the part of his bride, that will be alive on earth, when he comes for her. Just think, right here in the twentieth century, God has rolled back those dark clouds, and allowed us endtime Christians to see the glow of that apostolic gospel. We have been allowed to receive it with the same understanding the early church received it. Not because we deserved it; but because of the mercy of God, as he fulfilled that portion of His word. This is how we need to look at, and understand all prophecy. It is God’s word, that must be fulfilled, and it is by his mercy that any of us are privileged to have a part in it. This prophecy has no Jewish application whatsoever; it is altogether a Gentile setting. Do not try to take the book of Revelation and make it otherwise. The book of Revelation is a total prophecy of its own; and there is nothing in it that breaks the consistent flow of all other prophecies of the scriptures, even though some try to make it so. I have said many times, the book of Revelation is a love letter to the Bride of Christ. It is true that much of it is about the Jews, how God will deal with them after the grace age ends, and so forth, but the revelation therein is for the bride of Christ, as she makes herself ready to meet him in the air one day soon. So called Christianity does not even know where it is, in the Bible. It is completely ignorant of the word of God. They have a few pet scriptures they cling to, and the rest can be tossed in the garbage can, as far as anyone cares. They do not know how to walk with God in the light of the Bible. It is completely ignorant of the word of God. The reason I can make such a statement as this, is because of all the precious truths of the word of God, that they reject, and even go so far as to say, That doctrine is from the pit of hell. That is why I am so thankful today; I realize that except for the mercy of God, I could still be sitting right among them, (those that will not walk in present truth) just as blind as a bat. God saved my soul, and while I was still in that old Methodist Church, down here in Harrison County, showed me some things that the Methodist Church does not teach. One February morning as I sat at home, on the couch, I opened the Bible to the first chapter of Luke, not knowing anything about a Pentecostal experience, nor anything beyond what the Methodists and the Church of Christ believe, and the Lord showed me something that I found to be real as life itself. I was reading about Zacharias coming into the temple to burn incense, and how the angel of the Lord came to him, to tell him that his prayer for a son had been answered, and that his name should be called John, and in verse 17, where he said, “And he shall go before Him (the Lord) in the spirit and power of Elijah, or Elias, (which is Elijah) to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord,” I could not help but notice that the angel did not quote all of Malachi 4:5 & 6. He stopped right in the middle of verse 6; and when I read it that time, I said, If we are living in the days just before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; He will send that spirit of Elijah again, but I did not know how, when, where, or anything else about it. I will assure you of one thing though, It was God that put that in my heart that day. No man had done it. Furthermore that is something your educated theologians refuse to accept, which reminds me of something the apostle Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 1:26. “For ye see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called.” Why? They know too much. That does not mean that Jesus did not die for them; it is just that they are too proud of their own achievements to accept what God has provided for lost mankind. For to come God’s way: Jesus said we must humble ourselves and become as little children, with that same child-like faith. That is why he also said, It is harder for a rich man to enter into the kingdom, than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Now most people think of a needle that women sew with; but that is not what Jesus had in mind at all. Right over there in the old walled city of Jerusalem, there was a hole in the rock wall, near the gate, and it was there for a very good reason. When the sun went down and the guards shut the gate to the city, there was no way for travelers to bring their camels into the city all loaded up. That was how they prevented gangsters from slipping in and doing them harm. The guards would say, Unload your camels, and come through the needle’s eye. That meant they had to crawl through; they could not come into the city with anything concealed. So when you know that, it helps you to better understand what Jesus meant.


THE ELIJAH FOR THE LAODICEAN AGE

 

Modern day religion, especially the charismatics, place a lot of emphasis on material wealth. Their preachers are always talking about how God wants to bless you with a million dollars, or something like that. Now please do not get me wrong; I am not against people having wealth. I would be a foolish person to take a stand like that without any scripture to back me up. On the other hand though, I do know that the apostle Paul instructed Timothy to withdraw himself from perverse and corrupt men who are destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness. Well he did say, Godliness with contentment is great gain; so I hope you can all see the difference, because religion as a whole, has the cart in front of the horse for sure, for money is about all they talk about any more. Why? Because they are blind and destitute of the truth of God’s word. I just have to be thankful for the fact that God gave me something more to preach about, than earthly riches, for I never would have been any good at that; I am just not made that way. As for the way God dealt with me about Bro. William Branham: I want you all to know how much I appreciate that, for it enabled me to keep my feet on the ground and see exactly what God anointed him to do in this age. When a brother told me about Bro. William Branham being in Africa, and what God had done through his ministry there, and what had happened up here on the Ohio River, when he was baptizing some believers, I never doubted it the least bit; but said, if those words be true: then this is that Elijah which is to come. A few nights later, I was privileged to hear him preach and to observe his ministry, and after that, I heard just as many of his sermons as any of those so called experts on his ministry, that are running the roads today. What I saw and heard convinced me that he was the man that would fulfill the 2nd half of Malachi 4:6, and I always respected him as that man. I have lived long enough since his death to see what some of his followers are trying to make out of him, and how others react to it. Preachers have come to Jeffersonville from all over the world to see the Tabernacle where he preached, the cemetery where he is buried, the old station wagon he was killed in, and various places where some of his experiences took place, and when they leave this area, they have a revelation that they cannot wait to give to the world. But most of the time their revelation is as inconsistent with the Bible as Roman Catholic traditions. They just simply cannot be satisfied to allow him the place God gave him, without trying to make a god out of him, or make him God. He was anointed with the power of God, as the Reformation was coming to its climaxing purpose: to take the gospel of Jesus Christ and preach it as the first age apostles preached it. True light once again began to break forth, and we were privileged to see the power of God demonstrated as the gospel was once again preached the way the early Church preached it. God did not do that to make the man himself God, but rather, that we might be privileged to hear the gospel preached and demonstrated in a way that would return us to the faith of those first age apostolic fathers. It behooves every believer to have an ear to hear what has truly happened in our day. For I believe with all my heart that we are living very close to the setting of the sun, in the day that Isaiah and Zechariah prophesied about. That day is still in effect, the sun has not set yet; but it is getting very late in the evening time. Just because there was to be light in the evening time, a lot of people have the idea that the minute Bro. William Branham died, the sun slid over the horizon, and we are living in the night after. No. When it is night, the Church will be gone, and the great tribulation will be upon the earth. The darkest hour the world has ever known will come upon it, when the sun sets in the day we have been reading about, and talking about. I have a reason for taking this approach to this message, for there are certain scriptures that need to be set straight for some people, concerning what God has done in the earth, and what He will do yet.


ANTICHRIST DOCTRINES

 

More than anything else at this time, I want to make saints of God aware of how the enemy will try to blacken and darken this end time message, with all of this confusion that is being perpetrated by people who claim to be called of God to preach the gospel. There are as many tares running the roads, quoting Bro. William Branham in this hour, as there are priests quoting the pope. I have to tell you, when I analyze some of the things they put together, out of Bro. William Branham’s messages, I realize that they have the same spirit on them, that is behind the Roman Catholic religious structure. The Catholics claim to go back to the apostle Peter with what they teach; but they do not know a bit more about Peter, than a jack rabbit. They do not even know, that Peter was not the apostle to the Gentiles, nor that he was never in Rome. Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles, and true Christians know that; but just because of what they heard later, that Jesus said to Peter, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,” they canonized Peter, and gave him a place that God never meant for him to have. They give him recognition as the first pope of the Roman Catholic Church; but they refuse to live like Peter lived. They will not preach what Peter preached, nor baptize the way Peter baptized, yet they hide behind his fleshly image, and cry, We are the Church, and look upon anyone who differs with them, as a heretic. They call their popes, the successors of Peter. Then they will bow down and worship them, something Peter would never allow anyone to do. Brother you talk about a lie out of the pit of hell: that whole system is a lie. Can anyone blame Peter for that? Absolutely not. I guarantee you: If Peter could stand in the streets of Rome today, you would hear some different sounds coming out from there. You would not find any foot kissing, bead counting, nor hail Mary’s. There would either be some genuine repentance, or there would be some people scrambling to get away from him. Well what causes people to do what those poor Catholic people do? It is a satanic spirit; God has nothing in them. Therefore when I speak of what men have done with the image of Bro. William Branham: I am not saying one thing against Bro. William Branham. He is not responsible for what these serpent seed types have done. They are motivated by the same satanic spirits that Catholicism is motivated by. It is what men under the inspiration of these false spirits have projected the flesh of Bro. William Branham to be, that is causing so much trouble and confusion. They apply their revelations to what he said, and then try to rule people who will listen to them, by using fear tactics. But, Saints: Let us remember the words of Paul to Timothy, in 2nd Timothy 1:7 which says, “for God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” When you find a man who is claiming to be a servant of God, using fear tactics in an effort to get people to believe what he is teaching: Mark that man and get away from him, for God does not call men to operate like that. Whatever is taught by the anointing of the Holy Ghost is only for those who have an ear to hear it anyhow, so fear has no place at all in it. Your only reason for fear, is when you know to do right and do otherwise.


A LOOK AT THIS DAY OF SALVATION

 

As we continue looking at Zechariah 14:6 & 7, let me say this: there is not a Methodist anywhere that knows what this pertains to, nor a Baptist, nor a Catholic, nor a denominational Pentecost. It is a prophecy pertaining to the dispensation, and to the age we are living in, but the full revelation of it, has to be opened up to you by the Holy Ghost. You can accept what I say about it, but if the Holy Ghost does not open it up to you, it will only be in your head, and the devil will cause you to wrestle with it from time to time. Therefore let us go back into Isaiah 49, and read verse 8, the prophecy that Paul’s revelation in 2nd Corinthians 6:2 was taken from. “Thus saith the Lord, in an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day (not a day of 24 hours, but a period of time) of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.” That is a prophecy also: written in the 8th century B.C. But it is pertaining to this day of salvation we are now living in. It will not help those who hear the tapes; but for the benefit of you sitting here, we are using this chart back here to illustrate what we are saying about this day. It represents the whole period of time we are dealing with, right from the dawning of the day of salvation, on the day of Pentecost, recorded in Acts 2. Dawning is always associated with the rising of the sun in a solar day of 24 hours. You look to the east in the morning, and you can see the sun as it begins to appear over the horizon on a clear day, and what a beautiful light it gives to the earth as it sweeps toward the west, where it will disappear over the horizon on a clear day, and what a beautiful light it gives to the earth as it sweeps toward the west, where it will disappear over the horizon in the evening, and when it sets, it is night time upon that part of the earth, but all the hours in between the rising of the sun, and the setting of the sun, are daylight hours, no matter how cloudy and dismal it may become during that day. This is what I want you to keep in mind, as we deal with this period of time called the day of salvation, which covers the whole grace age, and runs through many centuries of time. Naturally the sun is always associated with what illuminates the earth in the daylight hours, as we think about daytime; therefore the natural sun of the solar day types the Son of God in this spiritual day of hundreds of years, and the light from that sun (SON) was first projected to the world through the ministries of His chosen apostles, and at the dawning of that (or this) day, that light first illuminated 120 true disciples which were assembled in an upper room, there in Jerusalem, and then a little later, another three thousand souls were illuminated by that same light, and then another five thousand and so on, and through all of the centuries since then, that same light has been shining, even though there have been times when it was very cloudy. As long as there are souls being saved, we are still in that day, no matter how few there may be, for when the sun finally does set on this day, it will mean that the last foreknown seed has heard and accepted the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. This day started (we will say) in the year 33 A.D., and here we are in the year 1986 A.D., and the light of that certain day is still illuminating and leading the foreknown children of God.


A NEW DISPENSATION – A NEW COVENANT

 

The Jewish nation had passed through 1400 years of the law dispensation which consisted of types and shadows of the next dispensation that was to come. All of that was likened unto night time, but in that artificial light, there was life given to every soul that sought after God. The ministries of John the Baptist, and of Jesus Christ Himself, brought that old dispensation (night season) to a close, and opened up the way for the new dispensation (day time) to go into effect. John was NOT a writing prophet; he was a preaching prophet, reaching back into the law and bringing out scriptures that pointed to a new dispensation, which would be referred to as a day, another period of time wherein another covenant would be applied. The old had to come to an end, for the new to begin. There has been no life in the keeping of that covenant, since the grace age has been in effect. Jesus had to give his life, shed his blood, and be resurrected from the dead, in order for this new covenant to become effective, but from that time on, no one, absolutely no one has received eternal life, by the keeping of the law. Trying to obtain salvation by keeping the law, in this dispensation, would be just as vain as going out here, and trying to buy a new car with Confederate currency; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, except the name Jesus Christ. We know that we are living in the day of grace, that those prophets prophesied about, and we ought to know that we are living in the evening time of that day, just as we read of, in Zechariah 14:6-7. As I said, This is a prophecy that applies only to the dispensation of grace. When the age started, the sun, which was the revelation of Jesus Christ preached by the apostles, rose on this day, a day in which this gospel of Jesus Christ was to produce an experience in the lives of every predestinated seed of God, and that experience was explained by the apostle Peter, in 2nd Peter 1:19. There he says, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” As I said earlier, We really need to get these verses of scripture lined out in our understanding. The prophecy of Zechariah, speaks of the day in which there is supposed to be light, but that light became so clouded over, that the light of the sun (SON) could not be seen in its full glow, so a lot of people would think that the light was no longer there. But the prophecy declares, That at evening time it shall be light, and that being the word of God, it could not fail. Therefore here in the evening time of that dispensation of grace, the sun has broken through all of that religious confusion and tradition, and once again the revelation of Jesus Christ can be seen and understood in the same light those original apostles preached it in. This in turn gives the end time children of God the same light and understanding the first Christians had, and the scripture in 2nd Pet. 1:19 therefore applies to the individual believer’s own experience. The light of the gospel breaks through the darkness of unbelief, and becomes a growing thing in your own heart, and puts you in possession of the revelation of Jesus Christ. That is how the day star (DAY STAR) arises in your heart. It is not another period of time; it is something that happens within this same period of time we are dealing with; the period of time that Zechariah 14:6-7 pointed to. This period of time called the grace age is the same period of time that is also referred to as the 7 church ages, and was set forth as such, in the letters John was instructed to write to the seven churches of Asia, which is found in the first three chapters of the book of Revelation. Each one of those seven churches mentioned, represent one of the seven different phases of the New Testament Church would pass through, during this period called “The Grace Age.” We are now living in the 7th, the Laodicean Age, and it was in this time that there was to be light break through once again; and I can testify to you that it has been so. What caused it to be so? Some will say? But the answer is a very simple one; The Spirit of God anointed a prophet in this age to restore end time children of God back to the original apostolic gospel.


A DIFFERENT ANGLE OF THE SUNLIGHT

 

Bro. William Marrion Branham of Jeffersonville, Indiana was anointed of God, and given the true revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which was taught by the first apostles of Christ, and it was through his ministry that there has been light here in the evening time of this dispensation. He never sought fame nor fortune, as we see so many preachers of this day and hour doing. His great delight was in doing what His Creator had given him to do; (Lead true believers back to the word of God) and even though that prophet messenger was taken from among us, in a horrible automobile accident, more than twenty years ago, that evening light still shines because the 5 fold ministry of Eph. 4:11 has stepped into their calling, and from that restored truth of God; they are projecting the light that will fulfill Eph. 4:12-13, which pertains to the perfecting of the true believers, and the unity of the faith that they shall attain unto. In other words, Each believer that sees the evening light, can understand the ministry of Eph. 4:11, and can themselves become enlightened, and reflect the same revelation that was reflected by the Christians of that first age, before the tares got in. Remember this though; Here in the end time, there will be things revealed, and true saints will understand them, that were not revealed in the first age, because in the evening time, the light shines upon the word of God at a different angle. Almost two thousand years ago, when the sun rose, and this light first began to shine, the apostles were seeing things according to what the apostle Paul explained in Eph. 3, verses 1-9; which in itself tells us that the light then, was shining upon the word of God from a different angle. They were having revealed to them from the Old Testament scriptures, this great plan of salvation that Jesus Christ set in force at Calvary, when he laid down his life for the sins of lost mankind. Then they looked far into the future, and by divine revelation, spoke of the resurrection of the saints, and the rapture, (or translation) that is to take place at the end of this age, and such like. But here in the end of the age, in the evening time, that light has shined upon the word of God in its full strength, to reveal some things that they did not see; such as the truth on the prehistoric world, the serpent seed, and the revelation of the first six seals. Then just before the sun sets on this dispensation; it will give off the revelation of the 7th seal, and it will make known the 7 thunders. We already have the revelation of what (WHAT) the 7 thunders will be, but we do not yet know who they will be, nor what exactly their message will be. But whatever their message is; it will be only for the little bride of Christ, that is waiting to be translated to glory, for after she hears them, she will be escorted to the marriage supper of the Lamb, which will be in heaven. When she leaves here, the dispensation of grace, called the day of salvation, will be over with, and the setting of the sun in that day, will bring gross darkness upon the earth; the darkness of the great tribulation, wherein there will be suffering and death for those who are left here. Brothers and Sisters: I sure do not want to be left behind, when the bride takes her flight to glory; do you? Let us then take heed to that which the Spirit reveals to us, for that is how our perfection is going to be accomplished. We just simply cannot drift with the world, and still expect to be taken up, in the rapture.


A LOOK AT THE FIVE FOLD MINISTRY

 

Now at this time, I wish to explain and comment upon the responsibility and ministry of those who will fulfill the offices set forth in Ephesians 4:11. First I will say this, They are to pick up where Bro. William Branham left off. Through them, God will still reveal His will, and His word, and that evening light will be so beautiful. They will be called of God to fulfill these ministries; no man will appoint them, and no man will need to authorize them. Their particular ministry will be vindicated by the Holy ghost to those who are ordained to benefit by it. Of course there will be many men arise, here in the time of the evening light, knowing that it is the season for apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, who will want to be recognized for their own personal revelation of the word of God, but those who are truly called of God to fulfill those offices, will have no such selfish motives. They will all preach and teach the same revelation, and work together to fulfill the purpose of God, knowing that in themselves they could do nothing that would glorify God. These self appointed ministers will start out with some very good intentions at first, but because they have not truly been called of God to fulfill the office they profess to be functioning in: they will be subject to, and at the mercy of, all those adverse spirits that cause men to become puffed up with pride, or to seek personal advantage, or to yield to weaknesses of their flesh, that eventually leads them to ruin. Some ask, Will this kind preach truth? They will all have some truth; but they will not be able to put together the picture that God has ordained for His true children to see here in this evening light. Naturally Satan himself will be behind everything that is not genuinely ordained of God; and his purpose in it all, will be to create confusion, with the intention of accomplishing here in the end time, what he accomplished, starting in the closing years of that first age, and going on into the Dark Ages, but God will not allow the same thing to happen again, for it is time to reap a harvest from the seed sown in those apostolic days. In the meantime, here is what true saints should watch out for. Let’s just say there are five men scattered over the earth, claiming to be apostles. Two of them teach the same thing; and the other three have their own individual ideas of what the revelation of God’s word for this hour is. You know there is something wrong; for what God reveals to His true servants will fit together, no matter where they come from. Those early apostles never had to change their revelation, because some fellow came down the road preaching something different. It was just the opposite of that; for in Galatians 1:8-9, the apostle Paul wrote: because of this sort of thing, “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Brother he was fully persuaded that he had received a true revelation, and also that the Spirit of God would not reveal something to another true child of God, that would be contrary to what he had revealed to him. We are living in a different age; but the devil is still the same. He will always inspire someone to try to outshine God’s true apostles. He will not give up, until he is chained up for a thousand years; and even then, when he is loosed for a little season, according to the 20th chapter of Revelation, he will again go out into the nations, and deceive a great number of people. But remember, Saints: the word of God admonishes us: if we have an ear to hear, we should hear what the Spirit says to the churches, or to the Church, which is the bride of Christ. Of course some may ask, Bro. Jackson: Do you believe there will be other men in the world that may receive revelation on some things you have not yet touched upon? Yes. But I also believe that when I hear them, or read something they have written, it will blend in with the overall picture of what has already been revealed, by the Spirit of God. If someone comes along with something, that at the time, I have not yet been dealt with, about it, and then later God leads me to look at it, and I see something wrong with it; Do not think for one minute, that I will do as we used to do in denominations, and say, Well it is food for thought, or, He has a good point there, or, Oh he is such a sweet fellow, and such a wonderful personality: God will work it all out if we just leave it alone. NO!!! Brothers and Sisters: Listen to me! It is too late in time for people to be allowed to play around with such as that, without being exposed. It is time for all true men of God to be speaking the same thing; no matter what part of the earth they come from, for the Holy Ghost only draws one picture. Now I do not mean to imply that God has no earthly use for preachers such as I have just mentioned; for I am fully persuaded that He uses them to help separate the tares from the true seed. Furthermore I do not believe that any true apostle or prophet has to defend his ministry, by his own efforts, for God Himself will defend every one that He has called; because they will be speaking His word. There will be great spiritual battles develop over the earth as the age closes out, but we already know which side is going to win; because the children of light will walk in the light that is shined upon their pathway. The children of light, of course, are the children of truth.


FULL LIGHT – COMES SLOWLY TO ITS FULLNESS

 

As we look back to the first advent of Christ, and beyond: we can readily see that there was no life received in the keeping of the law of Moses, after that event. Everything contained in the law, pointed to the Messiah, which, as we know, instituted a New Covenant; and after that, those who would follow God, would have to do so, within the bounds and requirements of that New Covenant. In other words, A new day dawned, and we today who serve the Lord, are walking in the light of that same day that dawned then, which was almost two thousand years ago. This is the age of grace and the whole book of Acts is taken up with the history of the church’s beginning, as that new day dawned upon mankind. Just as the natural sun gives off light to the earth, so also did the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, give off rays of light, and the glory of God was expressed through it. Therefore we can say this, The book of Acts lets us see the effect, that the rising of the sun (spiritually speaking) had upon mankind, in the dawning of this new day. Therefore we can say for sure, It was not the light that shined so beautifully then, that caused believers to divide into separate denominations, Baptist, Methodist, Catholics, Presbyterians, and so forth, coming through the Reformation, for that light in its fulness, caused believers to have all things common, because they all believed the same thing. No they did not start right out with a full revelation; their revelation was enlarged each day. Natural light follows the same pattern, and has the same affect as what we see of this spiritual light’s affect in the early hours of this great day of salvation. As the natural sun comes up over the eastern hills in the morning, you can see the disc topping the horizon; and everything that light strikes; has a long shadow. But as the sun rises higher and higher, the shadows get shorter and shorter, until finally they cannot be seen at all. The full glow of the sun has everything illuminated; there is no darkness at all, and as we look back through time, we can see for sure that it was exactly the same way with the gospel light. As time moved on, their revelation of the plan and purpose of God became clearer and clearer. That is why you find nothing in the book of Acts pertaining to the rapture of the Church, and nothing pertaining to the overall doctrines that would stabilize the course of the Church as time moved on, and Satan began his attacks. From the various epistles, we see how the revelation of those apostles grew, and how they imparted that revelation to the other believers, and admonished them on how to handle it. Much of what was written in the epistles covered the same period of time that the book of Acts covered; but the purpose was different. The book of Acts is more or less a history of the birth of the Church, and of its glory and difficulties, in it’s early years. But the epistles go into much detail, dealing with conditions that had arisen, both within the local assemblies and the Church as a whole, giving instructions, and explaining doctrines that were necessary, for the unification of the whole body of Christ. For the Church had not gone too far until Satan began to knock on it’s door, and try to gain entrance for some of his children; (tares) he wanted them within the structure of this beautiful body, that had shut him out of the picture. When people believe and adhere to truth, Satan has no ground to operate on; for he is the spirit of darkness, lies, confusion, and deception. This is exactly why, in those early years, no matter how hard he tried, the devil could not find a place among those saints of God; for the light was so bright there was no place for darkness, and the Holy Ghost, working through that ministry, kept it that way for many years, until they, one by one, were taken from the picture. But while those apostles were still alive, they warned the saints of what would happen after they were gone, as that antichrist spirit continued and intensified his efforts to break down the barrier of truth, that kept the tares out of the Church.


SOME HELPFUL WORDS FROM PETER

 

Let us go to the 1st chapter of 2nd Peter and read it slowly, starting in verse 15, and associate it with Paul’s letters to Timothy. The date of writing was approximately 66 A.D., thirty years before God spoke to the apostle John, on the Isle of Patmos, in 96 A.D., and commissioned him to write the book of Revelation. By this time many of the apostles and ministry of that early hour had already been martyred. Paul was beheaded somewhere around that time, and by the time God spoke to John, he was the only one left of the original apostles, that had brought this glorious gospel to the Gentiles. The Gentile world had lived for centuries knowing nothing of the power of God, nor of any plan that would include them. But before the Church had existed very many years, the light of that glorious gospel they carried, forced back the powers of darkness and included Gentiles in its scope, and Gentiles have carried it ever since. That does not mean that the whole society of Gentiles was changed, but brother, the personal lives of a lot of them were transformed by that glorious light and the Gentile church had its beginning. Then by the time 66 A.D. rolled around, Peter knew more or less, that he was facing martyrdom, and he took the occasion to write this epistle and give advice, warning, and instructions that the church would need after he was gone; so let us read it. “Moreover I will endeavor (or make this effort to leave you something that will help you) that ye may be able after my decease (Who is he writing to? He is writing to all believers of that hour.) To have these things always in remembrance.” Please notice that what Peter is going to say to them, is to be remembered always, and we should be mindful of the fact that when he says we, he is speaking of the entire apostolic ministry, that God has used, to lay the foundation of the New Testament church. “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” Brother and Sisters: As you drive down the streets of any city now days, you will see all sorts of slogans on church bulletin boards. Sermon topics are announced, soup suppers are promoted, and every other thing that the world churches are involved in. It is enough to make a person sick at their stomach. Furthermore a person would be much better off, not to even hear a lot of what is preached in those places; for they are void of revelation and could not possibly contribute to the spiritual growth of a true seed of God. I have a reason for talking like this; for if those people had genuine revelation of the word of God, they would not be where most of them are. Anyhow, Peter was one of the chosen 12 disciples of Jesus Christ, that witnessed His 3 ½ years of ministry, and the things that took place as a result of it, and as he writes of His power and coming, he is referring to His first advent; not the second, which is yet to come; for he says, We were eyewitnesses of His majesty. Peter wanted believers to know that they were speaking of something they had seen with their own eyes, and that it was not necessary to use trickery to get peoples attention. Notice verse 17 now, as he speaks of Jesus. “For He (Jesus) received from God the father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Those Jewish men (the twelve apostles) all received the same revelation of the godhead, even though Peter James, and John were privileged to witness something the others did not get to see. We have already read from Jude, and we will read from others, which together will prove beyond any shadow of doubt, that they all had the same revelation of the godhead, and none of them were afraid to speak of the Son, and of the Father, for they knew what they believed, why they believed it, and what belonged to each one. They knew the Father was a sovereign Spirit, and not a person; and they did not feel the need to remind people often of that fact, then, for the revelation had not yet been polluted by a trinity concept at that time, like it was later. These men were entrusted with the responsibility of carrying this revelation to a Gentile world, and I can assure you of this one thing; Nothing was withheld from the Gentiles; the gospel was preached to them in the fulness of its beauty; even though at first, (to the Jews who believed) it seemed like it was only a Jewish gospel.

 

VOICE FROM THE EXCELLENT GLORY

 

In verse 17 Peter spoke of how Jesus received from God the Father honor and glory, and that causes some to think of the honor, power, and glory that He will have in the Millennium; but what he is actually speaking of, is the transfiguration the three of them witnessed, when Jesus took them up with Him into a high mountain apart from the others. But the point I wish to make is how they all received the same revelation of the godhead, and of the overall gospel. Some of the twelve were at the river; and heard what was said there; and Peter, James, and John were on the Mount of transfiguration with Jesus, and saw and heard Him speaking with Moses and Elijah, and heard the voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him,” but none of this caused them to get a different revelation. That is why the early Church had such wonderful unity; they were all taught the same thing. Therefore as Peter felt the inspiration to write this epistle, he knew it was very important that all believers everywhere, have confidence in the revelation that had been taught to them, and also in the source through which that revelation was first conveyed to them. It came not to them through hear-say; but from the lips of men who had been personal witnesses of the things that had transpired. Therefore above and beyond all that the others had seen and heard, here was the witness of a man who had been on the mount of Transfiguration with Jesus, and had witnessed all that took place there, including the voice from heaven, (the excellent glory) which had restated what was heard at the river, when Jesus was baptized. Now a lot of carnal minds will say, How can God speak words that can be heard audibly, if He is not a person? A lot of people just simply cannot conceive of the fact that God did not have vocal cords, nor eye balls, nor ear drums, nor hands. But that Is because of their traditional teaching; that God the Father of all creation, is the first person of a trinity of persons in the godhead. Well we have said before, Jesus the Christ, was the ONLY person in the godhead. The Father is the sovereign Spirit that spoke the germ of life into the womb of the virgin Mary, and the Son is what came forth from her womb as a result of it; and the Holy Ghost is that combined Spirit of both the Father and the Son. But as for the ability of the Father to speak audibly, not being a physical person, do any of you think that it is your physical vocal cords that do the speaking, when you talk? If so, then why do they not still speak, after the spirit of life has gone out of them? Naturally we associate our ability to communicate with these physical organs of our natural body; but if you will just stop and think for a moment, you will realize that the ability we have, has to come from another source other than our flesh. Our fleshly organs are simply the means through which the spirit manifests itself, and in our case; those organs are necessary for normal function, because God ordained it to be so, but do not try to put those same limitations on Him. He needs no mouth to speak, He needs no eyes to see, nor ears to hear our faintest cry, for He is Spirit, and always has been. The writers of the scriptures spoke of the mouth of God, the hand of God, and so forth, but those references were for the purpose of expressing the thought they were dealing with, and certainly not because they were confused. They knew full well that their Creator was, and is a sovereign Spirit, and that there is nothing impossible with Him; so Peter knew exactly the source of the voice from heaven they heard.


THE GOSPEL CAME – THROUGH ABRAHAMS SEED

 

Notice verse 18 now, as we continue reading from 2nd Peter 1, “And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him (Jesus) in the holy mount.” At the time, Jesus instructed them not to tell the vision to anyone, until after he was risen from the dead, but by the time the gospels were written, they were at liberty to tell all about it, and they did, and that is why Peter can refer to it, as he did here, without going into all the details of what took place. But for you who are not altogether familiar with what Peter is referring to, you can read it in Matthew 17:1-9. Alright now, let us read verse 19. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that ye take heed.” We could rephrase that, and in our terminology say, We have prophecy made more sure to us. Because Peter is pointing back to the Old Testament, to the prophecies that had foretold how God would also bless the Gentiles. God spoke to Abraham one day, before he even had a son, and when it looked like he would never have one, (at least by Sarah) and said, (Gen. 15:5) “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He (God) said unto him, (Abraham) So shall thy seed be.” You can go back to Genesis 12:3 and see where God first said to Abraham, “And I will bless them that bless thee: and in thee SHALL ALL FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED.” That prophecy was reconfirmed to Abraham from time to time, and he truly did live to see his promised son Isaac, take a wife, to begin the fulfillment of the prophecy; but the fulfillment itself was hundreds of years on down the road of time, and Abraham himself would never live to see it. One thing is sure though, He did believe God; and he looked constantly for that promised seed, knowing all the time that after he was born it would still be a long time before he would ever be multiplied, so that his seed would be as the stars of heaven, or as the sand on the seashore, for number. Nevertheless that prophecy lay there, and others were added to it, and the apostle Peter was living in the day when it was being fulfilled, and we are too. Hallelujah! From the call of Abraham to the time the children of Israel went down into Egypt, many years came and went. But 430 years later, when they came up out of Egypt, they truly were a great multitude. Now they were twelve tribes; and not only that, they became a nation established within a land; and scripturally they had to be reckoned with. Well that is one prophecy, and Isaiah 49:8, which we have already read, is another one. Naturally the prophecy here pointed to an element of Jewish people, the people to whom he (God) had given this covenant; therefore the gospel was first to the Jews, and then to the Gentiles, when the dispensation of grace did start, a remnant of Jews had to be the first beneficiaries of this new covenant, wherein God would write His law, not on stone again, but on the tables of the hearts of His covenant children. That took everything out of the natural and placed it in the realm of the spirit. That is why we can see the apostle Paul in 2nd Corinthians 6:2, reaching back into Isaiah and bringing that prophecy all the way over to include Gentiles in its application. No it was not carelessness on his part. We all know how God had to deal with him to get him out of Judaism, and into this glorious gospel, and we know that he did not just jump up and preach the first thing that came to his mind. No, he says in his Galatian epistle that he went into Arabia for three years, and then he came back, ready to preach. What did he do during those three years? He took those Old Testament scrolls, and studied them until the Holy Ghost gave him a revelation of what all those types and shadows and prophecies pointed to, and then the Holy Ghost anointed him for a powerful ministry among the Gentiles. Oh yes, he always preached to the Jews first, in every place he went, but he was known and referred to himself, as the apostle to the Gentiles. Those Old Testament prophecies came alive to him; the Holy Ghost caused him to see exactly how to apply them. Brother! That is why I have said, That first apostolic Gentile church was not just a mere Sunday School class, that studied theories; they have exactly what God had revealed concerning His redemption plan for the ages, and how they fit into it, and we, here at the end of the age should know likewise. Therefore I feel that if we can catch a true picture of what this dispensation started with, God will enable us to understand how it is going to end, and what part we will have in it all. Saints: I believe with all my heart that time is running out for us Gentiles. The gospel has been played around with for 1900 years, but I believe the playing time is over. From now on: To them that hath, more will be given; but to them that hath not, it will be taken away, even that which they seem to have. What does that mean? Some may say, it simply means that God is going to hold you accountable for whatever measure he made available to you, to enable you to start living for Him. Therefore those that have not, are those who never endeavored to add anything to what they received at first. In other words, God dealt with you in the Methodist Church and you have sat right there all your life, never even intending to go any farther. Do you think God will accept that kind of an attitude, here in this age of perfection? No He will not. We must have an ear always, to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church; for there are yet prophecies lying there in the Old Testament, that pertain to the second advent of Jesus Christ, and they will be fulfilled just as complete and precise as all these others have been, and the people whose revelation has been kept up to date, will know where they fit into the overall picture. This standard testimony that so many of the old-timers give: (I am saved, sanctified, and on my way to heaven) sounds good to the natural minded person; but those who are spiritual, know that there is a lot more to it, than just that initial experience where the Spirit of God dealt with you, giving you your chance to walk with your Creator in truth. I have said many times, God does not save us just merely to keep us from going to hell; He has a living purpose for each one of our lives, on the journey in between our initial experience, and the time He calls us home.


THE MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST

 

The early church started out with twelve apostles in an upper room. But as time went on, God kept calling other men who were qualified to be leaders in this body of believers, and anointing them to perform in a certain function of the overall work of the church, until the whole body of believers began to take on the likeness of Jesus Christ. In other words, The Church, then, was a true reflection of the indwelling Jesus Christ. It was not divided into denominations either; it was a pure product of the word of God. Just as Jesus was a manifestation of the invisible God that man could not see, so was the Church a continuation and manifestation of the invisible God that man could not see, so was the Church a continuation and manifestation of the invisible Christ, which could no longer be seen, because He is in his mediatorial work, in heaven. But please do not think for one minute that this makes the Church, the moon. In the solar system, the moon reflects the sun, but when you are looking at the body of Christ, you are looking at a body of people that are filled with the same Spirit Jesus was filled with, but just not with the same measure. If Jesus had not had that Spirit in Him, He never would have performed one miracle. Oh yes, He was the Son of God; and sinless, but before He was incarnated by the Spirit of the Father, at age 30, he had no power to perform miracles. Therefore what Jesus did, was because of that omnipresent Spirit of the Father, that indwelt Him; and when the Father took Him from among men, and poured a measure of the same Spirit that was in Him, into the Church, the Church then became the light that would reflect to the world, in His place. That is why she is called, The Mystical Body of Christ; she is shining the same light He was. But listen to me Saints: Those multitudes, sitting out there in those denominational systems, are not the Church. They do not have the same light, that early church had. The world looks upon that, as the Church; but God does not; for they have not been produced by the word of God; they came forth from a traditional religious system. They all beget more of their own kind; and they claim to have the Spirit of God, but if they did, they would not deny His word, and refer to precious doctrines of truth, as being from the pit of hell. Their fruits declare that they are not the Church of the living God. Brothers and Sisters: I know it is not popular to talk like this, but these things need to be said. There are people who claim to be in the truth, that are just as far from God, as many of these others are. They will lie, cheat, steal, and you name it, in their fervent efforts of trying to be recognized as a great authority in spiritual matters.


SOME HAVE SELFISH MOTIVES

 

I received a letter from a brother in Madras, India, this week. (April 1986) They just had a meeting over there with some people from the U.S. and Canada, and this brother says that someone made the statement that I was supposed to have said that people should not read the Spoken Word books. Brothers and Sisters: That is an outright lie. I have not said that; and I will not say it. We still put those Spoken Word books right back there with the Contenders, when they come in. It is not my responsibility to regulate what People read, or what they listen to. Each one of you are responsible to God for your own soul, and also for what you invest your time in, so when these fellows tell lies like that, they are just trying to put me down, in an effort to lift themselves up. They have that need to be recognized. A lot of them have more money to propagate what they have, than I do; but then of course, I realize that you cannot buy disciples. Furthermore I am not seeking to get people to follow me; I want them to follow Jesus Christ; the one who shed His precious blood for them. That was the only interest the apostle Thomas had when he took the gospel to India in the first century, and ended up with a spear stuck in his back. He did not go there to build a hospital, nor a school; he merely went there with the power of God, to preach to them, and they did not want it. He took with him a pure revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and they did not want it. I seriously doubt that he had more money than he himself needed for bare necessities. Yet I get letters from people everywhere telling me what they could do if they only had a million dollars. That is why, if I had a lot of money, it probably would not last very long, so God just allows me to have enough to do what I am supposed to do, and the rest is all in His hands. In other words, I do not have the financial means to do this thing the way the world wants it done, and furthermore; I have no interest in doing it that way. I just want to yield myself to the Spirit of God, in a way that will help the true children of light, find that light, and walk in it.


PAUL REVEALS THE TRUE MINISTRY

 

Go with me now back to 2nd Corinthians 6:2, where Paul is stating his revelation of Isaiah 49:8. Paul was writing this in 60 A.D., to an assembly of both Jews and Gentiles, and the Gentiles were from a low-down, filthy society of immoral people, that had been lifted up out of that state, by nothing more than the gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. It just goes to show the power that the true gospel message had. They were all washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, and needed only to be taught proper doctrine from then on, and God saw to it that they had a ministry among them for that purpose. It was to the Corinthian Assembly that Paul had wrote, “And God hath set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing,” and so forth. Paul was the one that explained all of that to them; but each one of those men, in their particular calling, was anointed to contribute something to the body of believers, which were a part of the overall Church of the living God. No they were never a denomination in that first age; the Reformation fostered that, much to the hurt of the true body of believers who realized that they were all of the same body. Out here in the world today, you have a few men trying to pull the true body of believers into a unity of the Spirit, out of the word of God, and others, (great multitudes of them) just trying to make some more like themselves, whatever they profess to be. These do not have a revelation of Jesus Christ; all they have is religion. Religion is of the head; but true salvation is of the heart, and it is for the children of light, foreknown of God from before the foundation of the world. Therefore Paul conveys his revelation of Isaiah 49:8 in this way, as he writes to this assembly. “For He (God) saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; (Paul knew he was living in that time.) Behold, now is the day of salvation.” That period of time had already started back then, and we today are still living in it. But oh how the devil has worked, trying to wreck this beautiful plan of God. He has not been able to wreck it; but he has sure been responsible for some awful dark clouds that have overshadowed this day of grace. (We would have to say, That for over one thousand years, it was a very cloudy day. Only a little glimmer of light could be seen here and there, during all that time; spiritually speaking.) But the apostle Paul was one of the chosen men who helped to change the spiritual statue of lost and dying Gentiles, in that first age of Christendom, when the gospel was still pure. Then we come back to the apostle Peter, for he was another one. Just before his own martyrdom, he wrote this 2nd epistle in which he said, (and I am just going to paraphrase it this time, 1:19) we have also the promises and prophecies of God made more sure to us, (He was speaking of something that was in effect right then; telling them that even right then, God was applying certain of those Old Testament prophecies, to those who would receive the benefits thereof.) Whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, (pay special attention) as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. Hallelujah! That is what happened to me! How about you? What caused the day star to arise in their hearts? It was the revelation of Jesus Christ that those apostles preached. What was proclaimed and demonstrated, was by the power of God, and it penetrated the sinful hearts of those poor Gentiles, (that had been held captive in spiritual darkness for centuries) as they believed and accepted it. Therefore try to understand what Peter was saying here in this illustrative way, as the beautiful glow of the gospel penetrated that spiritual darkness of those former pagans, for this is how God was lifting them up out of that lost state. What was happening? The Holy Spirit coming into their lives was the dawning of a new day, for each individual that the light of this new day struck. When God reached down His hand to save my soul, He picked me up out of my stubborn old Jackson state. But when I heard that little man named William Branham, preaching that a person needs to receive the Holy Ghost, and heard him say, You Methodists need it too, that started something working within, I want you to know, I new day began to dawn in my life. Hallelujah! Light came upon things that I could never understand before. But just as the natural sun rises slowly to its peak, before it starts its descent, so does your revelation, you do not understand everything at once. But I will say this, The Holy Ghost in your life causes you to hunger for more of God all the time, and as your hunger grows, so does your revelation for God keeps on feeding those who hunger and thirst for more of Him. Your initial experience is nothing you can just sit back and rest upon; it is just the beginning of what God is going to do in your life. For His end purpose is to make us into the very image of His only begotten Son. It is not the purpose of God to make Baptists out of us, nor Methodists, nor anything else that has a brand name to it. Natural man, trying to do God a service, does that, (makes others like themselves) but the Holy Ghost is interested in only one thing when he goes to work on us, and that is to mold us into the very image (spiritually) of the one who died for us at Calvary. The Spirit you now have in you, is the Spirit that He had in Him, that enabled Him to defeat every effort the devil made, to destroy Him. Therefore as Peter wrote, ye do well that ye take heed, as this light shines upon your life; for God is fulfilling prophecies of the Old Testament, in the light of this glorious day we are privileged to live in, this day of grace. I believe we could say it like this, For every individual that has this true experience, a new day dawns within their own heart, but it is all taking place within the light of this one day of salvation, which is a period of time that has already lasted almost two thousand years. The ministry of Ephesians 4:11, which Paul also spoke of in 1st Corinthians 12, is what God is using to shine the true light of the gospel, to a lost and dying world. But this Gentile Church world today, does not want the glow of the apostolic gospel of Jesus Christ; it would tear their church systems all to pieces. It would completely change the whole structure of their programs of religion, and cut off their dollar flow. In other words, This way of life is not the popular way; but it is the genuine way, and that is what counts. Of course some will always say, What difference does it make, whether we all believe exactly the same thing or not, if we all love the Lord? Well first of all, there is a big IF there, and the difference it makes is our eternal destiny. We will either be eternally secure, or eternally lost; there is no middle ground in the end. We either believe the word of God, or we do not, and that is what makes the difference. That is why your neighbors can hear the same gospel you hear, and never be affected by it. Every age has been like that. The grace age is one dispensation of time, but within that dispensation, there have been seven distinctive divisions, or ages, wherein the Spirit of God worked according to the spirit of each particular age, to cause the day-star to arise in the hearts of individual souls. Therefore what makes the difference, is Christ in you, the hope of glory. That is what makes Romans 8:28 so precious to some, and so ridiculous to others. Paul was talking about the Spirit of Christ, how He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Then he said, in verse 28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Hallelujah! Why is that so? Because God allows whatever it takes, to mold us into a little more of the image of his only begotten Son. Even tragedy in our lives, which we many times have trouble understanding, always serves some purpose of God in our process of being molded into that special image. Bro. Jackson: Do you really believe that? Yes I do. I believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God; and that is one of the things I read in there.


WHAT THE HOLY GHOST DOES

 

Since the Holy Ghost got hold of my life, I have learned to make a place for the total word of God, instead of just a few pet verses like so many are still guilty of. I am no longer scared of what is written in the pages of that precious old book. A lot of so-called preachers of this end time message are scared of it though. They tried for years to preach out of it. Then, when God sent a little man to tell them how, they jumped all the way out of it, and into his sermons, and what they preach today, is completely inconsistent with it. These Spoken Word preachers are no more benefit to the true saints of God, than the Catholic Church is; for they are without a true revelation of the Word of God. Not a one of them were any more blessed than I was, as we sat and listened to that little man preach, and witnessed the power of God that vindicated his ministry. But the God that I saw demonstrated in his life and ministry, never did tell me that he (Bro. Branham) was Elohim, and he never will. A spirit of deception is what does that. God saved my soul, and called me to preach His word, long before I ever met Bro. William Branham. But I will tell you one thing; I learned some things sitting at his feet, that I never would have got in the Methodist Church. Furthermore let me say this, When the Spirit of God began to revelate my soul, I never did feel the necessity to have Bro. William Branham lay his hands on me and ordain me to preach and teach the word of God; for as I said, That had already been done. God had already done that. Everything I preach, I find it in the Bible. I am accused of not preaching what the prophet preached, simply because I do not just get up here and quote him, but that is not what God called me to do. If it is supposed to be that way, why did Peter, Paul, James, John, and all those others, not just quote Jesus? They could have, you know. But the truth is, the same Spirit that was in Jesus, and caused Him to say what He said, was in every one of them, causing them, to say what they said, and none of it ever contradicted what Jesus Himself taught. It is just plain foolish to try to mimic someone else. If you do not have the same revelation: God did not call you to preach; for the Holy Ghost is the preacher. We are only the instruments He uses. Therefore those who do not have the Holy Ghost, are just like the Adventists, the Catholics, and all the rest; they are likely to preach just any old thing that comes to their mind. All can read the Bible; but not all understand; and I am here to tell you: It takes a revelation to preach the word of God. Paul is the one that said, The letter killeth; but the Spirit maketh alive, or giveth life, and that is the reason; for without the Spirit of revelation, the letter itself is dead; so as Peter said, Ye do well that ye take heed. Man cannot do one thing about the dispensational day of grace. God started it; and God Himself is the only one that can bring it to an end; but the day that dawns in the individual believer’s heart is different, for it is regulated by how we take heed to what we hear. It is the dawning of the Son of God in our own hearts, that makes the difference for us. Hallelujah! When the Spirit of conviction strikes our heart, and causes us to step into those baptismal waters, where our sins are remitted, that is the dawning of a new day for us. That is when the Son of God begins to rise in our heart. It is through this experience that old things pass away, and all things start to become new. Your initial experience can be an instantaneous occurrence, but your statural growth is a day by day process; as true revelation builds up in your heart; and that only happens to those who do truly receive this baptism of the Holy Ghost. That is why I cannot see these “professional Christians,” so to speak, in the picture. Many of them, are ever so smart; but without the Holy Ghost, they have no revelation. This light is shining ever so bright; but they still walk under that thin layer of clouds the reformers walked under. A little light came through for them, but not the full light that we have.


DARK CLOUDS AND LIGHTER CLOUDS

 

Thinking back to what Zechariah wrote, concerning a time when it would be neither clear nor dark, neither day nor night, we ought to be very thankful to have been privileged to walk in the evening light, he spoke of. Do we have a clear understanding of what was being pointed to? Let us review some of what we have looked at. This dispensational day started out with the beautiful glow of the gospel of Jesus Christ shining as bright as the natural solar sun on a cloudless day. But going into the second age, the clouds began to form, and the day ceased to be as bright and clear as it was at first. It was still the same day, but dark clouds had began to form, and shut out the light. What were those clouds? It was that spirit of Satan, raising up men to preach Antichrist doctrine. That was Satan’s plan, devised for the sole purpose of trying to put out the beautiful glow of the light of revelation, of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Well we know what happened; that spiritual darkness covered the earth for over one thousand years, as those dark clouds became thicker and thicker. The Church existed under that long dark period called “The Dark Ages,” the period of that one day in which it was neither clear, nor dark, but God only dealt with those certain individual on the basis of what he, or she could understand, in the light of the time they were living in, but still within the one period of time called a day. Alright then, we all know the process of a natural day of time: The sun rises in the east, climbs to a peak, and then begins to descend on its downward course to where it will set in the west, and for a few hours toward the end of the day, we refer to it as evening time; and that is when Zechariah said there would be light again, after all that darkness had made this dispensational day neither clear, nor completely dark for a long period of it. Nevertheless according to the prophecy, God would see to it that these clouds would be driven back, and that beautiful light be seen again, before the day closed out completely. But what about the time prior to it? That would be the years of the Reformation, as Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, and others, caught little glimpses of apostolic truth. None of them ever received a complete revelation like the first age Church had, but the revelation they did receive, caused those dark clouds to get thinner and thinner; and you know the affect that has: As the clouds get thinner, the sun has a more penetrating effect on the underneath side. You still do not see the actual sun, but the day is much brighter because of the thinness of the clouds. Well that is what the Reformation did spiritually, and that condition lasted for many, many years, before the full glow of the sun (Son) was seen again. What drove the rest of the darkness away? The revelation given to the 7th Church Age messenger, here in the twentieth century. The full glow of that wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ, can once again be seen by hungry souls, and we are still in that same dispensational day; the sun has not set yet. Presently, we have full gospel light, just as it was in the book of Acts; but someone is forever coming up with something that causes confusion, until God anoints someone to expose the thing for what it is. I will refrain from mentioning names at this time; and pray that it will not be necessary, but nevertheless, God will not let men who know the truth, just stand by and let false teaching go, without somewhere dealing with it.


THE TRUE MESSAGE – AND THE FALSE

 

I am accused of finding fault with the prophet, just because I realize that he was human, just like the rest of us; but I want all of you to know, I fully respected that little man in every area that God anointed him to minister in. I just never got to the place where I took every word he uttered, as Thus saith the Lord, like a lot of my critics did. Take for instance, when he was preaching the seals messages, he would say, The Church goes through the tribulation, it is the bride that will be raptured. Oh, you had better be careful, Bro. Jackson. I am careful; it is you who run with such statements as that, that need to be more careful. You do not seem to care what the Bible says; just as long as you can find where Bro. William Branham made a statement about something. You will not find in the Bible, where any of those Jews who wrote the New Testament, ever referred to the Church in any way, except that they are the body of Christ, and we all know it is the body of Christ that will be raptured. Do not bother looking for the New Testament Church anywhere outside of this message of truth. Those apostles wrote about only one church; the one purchased by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it was not purchased to send into the great tribulation. The Church is the mystical body of Christ, and those of that body, that are still living when this dispensational day closes out, will be raptured, and everything else will go into the tribulation. The Church, in the eyes of God, has always been made up of the predestined few; the masses have never been in it. The devil has massed a great element of people around the church that the world looks upon as being the Church; and for this reason, they come up with a lot of modern day terminology. But I am here to tell you, that this modern day terminology does not change the revelation of the scriptures the least bit. That is why I insist on saying what the Bible says, about these things. The Church that the apostles referred to, sees herself, here in the end time as being the bride of Christ. A lot of people within the following of Bro. William Branham, refer to themselves as the bride of Christ, just because of certain statements he made; but I would like to say to everyone of them, if you are going to be in the bride, you are going to have to change your ways, and your revelation. The true bride will be sure to know the difference between what he said, that was consistent with the word, and what he said that was only consistent with the world’s religious views and concepts. Can you not find in those same seals messages, where he would say also, The Church goes in the rapture? Twentieth century religious terminology is void of revelation; yet the little man I was privileged to hear, brought a completely clear revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When his anointing was present, it drove back all the doubt and unbelief about the godhead, baptism of the Holy Ghost, sanctification, true water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, predestination, and all those essential basic doctrines that hold the framework of what the Church consists of. Even doctors of divinity would sit there, with tears of joy streaming down their cheeks, as that little man would take that Bible, and make those words therein come to life, or come alive. Brother that was the light of the gospel being beamed out to this twentieth century generation. The light I saw was not a dismal light of the sun, then my name is not Raymond Jackson. When the sun does set on this day, the Church will no longer be here. I want to be sure you understand that; for because of a statement Bro. William Branham made about the bride age: some are now saying we are no longer in the 7th age, but in the 8th. Brothers and Sisters: there is no such thing as the 8th age, in the Bible. Scripturally, the 8th DAY (not the 8th age) puts you right back in the beginning, with everything just like it was before Adam sinned. Actually Bro. William Branham was not referring to another age; he was merely referring to a time within the 7th age when God would deal exclusively with the bride, (The Church) to get her (or it) ready to get out of here. Therefore to keep our revelation in harmony with the scriptures, we must realize that when the sun sets on this one day, the Church will be in glory; with Jesus, and the rest of the world will be in great tribulation, which is total darkness.


GOD IS STILL DEALING WITH SOULS

 

A lot of preachers, (so called) who sat in Bro. William Branham’s meetings, evidently did not see, nor hear very much, with a spiritual ear, judging from the things they preach. They are about like the blind man Jesus prayed for, when Jesus first prayed for him, he saw men, like trees walking. In other words, he did not see the true picture, and that is exactly what you would have to say about these preachers who preach statements and quotes from Bro. William Branham’s sermons, and deify his flesh. They saw a man, and they heard a lot of things; but they do not have the Holy Ghost to help them put the picture together, so that it will run consistent with the scriptures, so they are left to their own carnal imaginations, and that is tragic for those that listen to them. I will not, at this time, mention any names, for I am persuaded that true children of God will recognize their adverse teaching sooner or later, because of the very Spirit of truth that they themselves have. The sun, of that one day we are dealing with, is still a little short of the horizon; so the Spirit of God is still working with predestined souls, to get their revelation lined up with the word of God. Therefore the reason some of these so called preachers present everything as being so secretive, and such a mystery, is because they themselves do not have that Spirit of light that causes predestined souls to recognize the truth when they hear it. But the point I really desire to make, is that the mystery of Bro. William Branham is what drove back those dark clouds, that had kept the true revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ obscured for hundreds of years, and now that there is light once again, (here in the evening time) God has a called out ministry, that will minister in that same light, until all the living element of the bride of Christ is perfected. Therefore when the light of this day of grace finally does slide over the horizon, the last human soul will have received a full revelation of the word of God, that was supposed to, in this day of grace. Brothers and Sisters: I saw something twenty some years ago, and I have been walking in sunlight ever since. I have been over the mountains and through the valleys, but that same sunlight has been with us all the way, and even if I leave here tomorrow, that same sunlight will still be here, until God has finished gathering His predestined children in, from this world of confusion and unbelief. Do not try to put 8 days in a week, and mess up all the types of the Old Testament scriptures, just to make your own little idea fit in somehow. All of this, that we have been talking about, must fit within the 7 church ages. Man has a tendency to refer to a certain period of time as an age; and Bro. William Branham was no different than anyone else, in that respect. That is why he spoke of the bride age as he did; but we do know for sure, that the bride of Christ will receive everything she needs, before this 7th age closes out completely; lest the scriptures are thrown out of continuity, and the revelation distorted. If we do not keep our revelation in continuity with the scriptures: we end up sawing off the limb (so to speak) that we are hanging on to; and that is exactly what a lot of preachers have done since Bro. William Branham’s death.


A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE LAW

 

Let me take you back into the Old Testament, and point out a few things. First I want you to see that the Church is not the moon, in respects to this dispensation of time. The people that really portrayed the moon, were the Israelites. When God called Israel out of Egypt, that began a dispensation of time. At Sinai, they received a law, including certain statutes, that they must observe; and one of them was the killing of the Passover lamb, they were to eat unleavened bread for seven days, counting that first day when it was killed. No Jew today knows why they were to do that. But we know it foreshadowed the seven Church Ages. What takes place spiritually, throughout all of the seven Church Ages, fulfills all of what was typed in that ordinance. Seven days, eating unleavened bread, pointed them back to the evening when the moon was full, and they killed the Passover lamb. For seven days, their memory was pointed back to that, and what it accomplished for them, and all of that typed something for the true believers of a time to come later, and that time, or dispensation, began at Calvary, when our Passover Lamb was slain. For seven Church Ages, believers have been looking back to that day and to what was accomplished there, and then, for them. Every ritual, every ordinance, every ceremony was in some way a type or shadow of something that would be fulfilled in another dispensation, to the people of God. What those Jews did in the natural was to have a spiritual application to the true children of God in this dispensation of grace. Therefore the people of Israel were the people of the moon, which was a reflection of the sunlight of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, the law dispensation was the night season before the dawning of this glorious day of grace; and the moon is the light of the night season. Now the Israelites did not use the same calendar we use; they started their months by the moon, and they were called lunar months. Every new moon started a month. Then, on the 14th day of the month, going into the 15th night, she is coming to her full disc, and that is a full moon, and what the law required in connection with this, set a type of what was to be fulfilled in the next dispensation. For the first 14 ½ days of the month, as the moon moved toward its full circle, the law was pictured. How? Well, 1450 years after the children of Israel were delivered out of Egyptian bondage, God saw the law was full, and our Passover Lamb was slain. Those Israelites observed the law, for 1450 years, and never did see what it pointed to. Nevertheless Paul wrote in Galatians 4:4-5, “But when the fulness of the time was come, (the fullness of the law dispensation) God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, (In other words, Born of woman) made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, (To lead them out from under the law, which was the old covenant, into a new covenant, which was the dawning of a new day and time) that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Hallelujah! Brothers and Sisters: That is something to rejoice about; the fact that we are privileged to be called sons of God. Paul then says, “And because ye are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Sons into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Never again was man to live under types and shadows, but rather in the full, glorious revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God no longer deals with people on a national basis; it is now an individual experience, known only to genuine believers, who have had an encounter with the resurrected Christ Jesus.


WHEN JESUS TOOK ON DEITY

 

John the Baptist was the linking messenger, as the moon age moved to its fullness. Jesus the Son of God and Lamb that would be offered up as a sacrifice, to set the grace age dispensation in motion, had already been born, (just six months after John, actually), when John was on the scene fulfilling his part in God’s redemption program. His message, or ministry was to prepare the hearts of those Jews, who would later be referred to as the apostolic fathers, to receive the Savior. He came out of the wilderness, crying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. He was announcing a new dispensation; and he was announcing it to the Jews, that had lived under the types and shadows of the law. We can look back now, and see all of that very clearly, but back then, they could only see enough to enable them to step into the light that was dawning. The actual revelation did not open up until the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost was given to those who were waiting in that upper room. When Jesus offered Himself at Calvary; he was everything that those types and shadows pointed forward to. Furthermore, humanly He was a living example of what the Creator wanted His new generation family to be conformed into the image of. In other words, God wants us to be reproductions of His perfect son Jesus. He wanted more than just one Son, but He did not have to have the rest of His family immediately. He made the pattern, and the rest will be made from that. Now that does not mean that we will all have the same physical features; but spiritually we will all look alike. Therefore spiritually speaking, Jesus was definitely that disc of light that would light the world, so we would have to say that John was announcing the rising of the sun. Jesus Himself said, I am the light of the world, but men love darkness, rather than light. Why? Because that light revealed their evil hearts, and their evil deeds. What light are we talking about? The light that is the embodiment of truth lived. Light is truth, and truth is light, but in this case, it was not just a ritual, and neither was it engraved in stone; it walked among average, everyday kind of people, and demonstrated exactly what God our Creator, was looking for. But before the incarnation, He was nothing more than the perfect Son of God, for there was no deity in Him. I hope you realize why I so often put emphasis on this fact. It is because so many people have picked up the Catholic teaching, that as a little boy, growing up, He was out creating birds, and animals, and all such as this. Saints it is important to a proper revelation of the godhead, for us to realize that it was impossible for Jesus to create anything, before He was incarnated by the Creator, at age thirty. Now that does not take anything from Him; it only sees Him in the proper light of revelation. At age thirty, after He was baptized by John, the great Creator descended from heaven, and took possession of His human body, and through Him, all the characteristics of the eternal God were demonstrated to mankind. That is how God walked among men in human form. It was only for a period of 3 ½ years, instead of 33 1/2, as a lot of people believe. But in those 3 ½ years, Jews that had lived under the law, observing types and shadows, were allowed to see what all of that pointed to. Not everyone recognized what they were looking at, but some did. Some were privileged to see Him walk on water, and many witnessed the multiplying of the loaves and fishes; but it required a revelation, to understand what was really taking place. Jesus did not choose to put on a show, when He did those things; it was that Holy Spirit in Him; that led Him to do them. In other words, none of the supernatural things He did, were done by the choice of His own mind; but rather by the mind of the Father that was in Him. Now for the benefit of anyone who may read this in the Contender, and think that we are talking about two persons, let me say once again, The Father (God) is not a person; he is a sovereign Spirit; just like John 4:24 says He is. Jesus speaking, said, “God is a Spirit: (not a person) and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit an in truth.” Jesus had one purpose, and that was to do the perfect will of His Father, that dwelt in Him, and He was in no way selfish; for when the time drew near, that He was to lay down His life at Calvary, we find Him praying for these disciples that would be left behind, that they would be kept, and would be sanctified through the truth, and He wanted them to be glorified as He was. We will read a few verses from that prayer in the 17th chapter of John; but before we do, let me say this, Do not think for one minute, that Jesus never felt the pain, misery, and suffering, of the ordeal He went through, at the hands of those who tortured Him, and put him to death. But He was willing to suffer all of that, in order that you and I could be made partakers with him of that which He was heir to.


WHEN JESUS PRAYED FOR BELIEVERS

 

Alright now, in John 17:5, Jesus praying to the Father said, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” I wanted to read that verse because it gives a lot of people the idea that Jesus existed with the father as a person, before the foundation of the world, and that is not what He meant at all. It literally means, Oh Father, position me now with thyself, as thou determined before the foundation of the world. Then in verse 22 He said, And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.” Hallelujah! That is what those in the upper room were waiting for. They were not hiding out; they were being obedient to what they were told to do. So the glory Jesus was talking about, was the Holy Ghost that had been demonstrated in His own life and ministry. When that same Spirit fell back on the Church; it enabled them to continue the same works Jesus had been doing for three and a half years. No wonder He said, (John 14:12) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my father.” Not greater works in value, but greater in quantity, because the church would be made up of many individuals, that would be representing Him on earth. After the day of Pentecost, it was God in all of His people remolding each one of us to represent His only begotten Son, while we are being molded into His very image. Therefore we are not children of the law, but children of grace, and because of that grace, Jesus could say, Ye are the light of the world.

1987-01-Children-of-Light-Part-1

The Book of Life, Part 2 – 1986, November


We ended part one dealing with the apostle Paul’s admonition to one of his young co-workers in the gospel, Timothy. To whom he wrote, “But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” That is verse 16 of 2nd Timothy, chapter 2. Now surely no one would think that he was meaning more ungodliness in the sense that they would drink more, or smoke more, or gamble more. No. He was talking about how that certain kind of mind is always surmising, projecting ideas that are food for thought, like some of the great theologians of our day. Men such as this appear to some people as being men of great wisdom, but in the eyes of God, their surmises are looked upon as ungodliness. In verse 17 Paul goes ahead to give an example of what he is talking about, saying, “And their word (these who pick at the scriptures, and project ideas that are food for thought) will eat as doth a canker: (Have any of you ever looked up Webster’s definition of the word canker? One of the definitions given is, To corrupt with a malignancy of mind or spirit, and that is exactly what Paul is pointing to, in the example he gives) of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” We know nothing else about these two individuals, but it had become evident to Paul, that what they were doing had the same effect in the minds of people, that gangrene does in our physical flesh; it just simply corrupts and eats away that which is there. What those two fellows were doing very plainly demonstrates another characteristic of that tare spirit, for what they were projecting was a false teaching. No. They did not just suddenly spring that teaching on anyone. They built up to it very slowly, by pointing out certain things that would leave just a little thread of doubt in the minds of some people, as to what certain statements meant. The main body of believers that had been taught by Paul, Peter, John, and men like that, were not led astray; but as Paul said, the faith of some had been overthrown by their teaching, or by their remarks. One thing is sure though: Paul was not going to change his revelation, as he makes very clear in these next verses. Notice now, verse 19, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, (In other words, Do not let any of this disturb you saints.) The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ (Those who are truly born again) depart from iniquity,” (or unrighteousness.) If we are truly born of the Spirit of God: we do not need to allow our ears to be filled by adverse opinions, from people who only have selfish motives, people who want to make a name for themselves, or who have been set among you for the sole purpose of trying to lead you astray from the revelation of truth. Nevertheless Paul comes right back to cover the entire scope of what Christianity would identify with, through the ages of time: For according to the parables of Jesus, the tares were destined to get in among the true children of God at some point in time, so notice verse 20. “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.” This is not the same example he used in 1st Corinthians 3:12, where he spoke of gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and stubble, for in that example, he was dealing with individual works, and here in his letter to Timothy, he is dealing with the body as a whole, which is the house of God, just like Jacob’s children were referred to as the house of Jacob.


SPIRITUALLY HEALTHY CHRISTIANS


Paul had been in governors’ mansions, and the homes of various dignitaries, and he had observed the different vessels sitting around, and the fact that some of them were priceless, and others were of little or no earthly value, so he used that in speaking of the different vessels (people) associated with the house of God, which is the Church. There would be those worthless vessels sitting in the church, waiting for an opportunity to participate in the affairs of the body, and the way the devil would use them, would prove that they were vessels of dishonor. Therefore he concludes by saying, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, (a true son of God will) He shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet (or fit) for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” You have to realize that the tare spirit did not get in, by the devil bringing someone down the road, that wanted everyone to start drinking again. No. It was through individuals that presented little revelations contrary to apostolic teaching, and there had to be some who believed them, or it still would not have worked as it did. But the person that is truly born of the Spirit of God, has a longing deep down within his heart, to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, and they are ever searching for spiritual food that the Spirit in them will bear witness with. The Spirit of God in them causes them to hunger and thirst for His true word; for that is how they grow in the stature of Jesus Christ. Let us go to the 1st chapter of 2nd Peter, and notice what he had to say, along these lines. Verse 5, “And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” Of course the word charity means love, the kind of love God has for us. This is Peter’s formula for becoming a healthy Christian, fit for the Master’s use. When you catch a true picture of what Peter was really talking about, you realize that it is something that could not be preached in a denominational church; they do not want to hear it. Oh they like to harp on love and unity, which is what has led most of them into the great ecumenical movement that is sweeping the world today. But Saints: The unity they have is built upon compromise, rather than Christ-likeness. They are not interested in the kind of knowledge that reveals what the true plan and purpose of God is, concerning lost mankind. Their greatest concern, is to be faithful to their particular system’s teachings and programs. You try to talk to them about the deeper things of the word of God, and they will puff out their chest and say something like this; I’ll have you know that I have been faithful to my church for 31 years. I have such and such a number of awards for perfect attendance in Sunday School, and I have always paid my tithes, so do not try to tell me that I still need more. There is just no spiritual hunger there. Instead, there is pride and conceit, and self-centered ambition. Well these things that Peter mentioned, are the spiritual attributes of Jesus Christ, that are to be molded and fashioned, not in the flesh, but in the spiritual character of our lives. This is a picture of the image that God has predetermined to make us conformable to; therefore Peter is not talking to the general multitude of religious people in the world; he is talking to the elect, the foreknown of God. Verse 8, “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The end result of all of this, is that the branches are pruned to the point where they will bear fruit of the nature of Christ. The average churchgoer never really sees the Jesus of the Bible, that was always busy about doing the Father’s will in every area of His life. All they will ever see is a baby in a manger, and a sacrifice on the cross, and they have no real revelation of that, or they would not be sold out to a denominational system of religion. A true revelation of the word of God produces a unity of the faith, that is genuine. Yet each one of these denominational systems have certain doctrines they teach, that the other denominations disagree with. That is why I said their unity requires a compromise. But as Peter writes a believer he says, concerning these attributes of Christ, “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” The true child of God does not just drift along, depending upon God’s foreknowledge and predestination, without ever taking precautions, and without applying righteous principles and motives in his life. For we have all been made to realize that the devil is always setting traps for the children of God, trying to get them off course in one way or another, and he will do it, if we do not keep our guard up. Now am I saying that you will lose your salvation? No. Not if you have the real thing. But you can sure get yourself into lot of trouble, if your dedication is not what it ought to be. For the benefit of you who need to hear it again, let me say, You will never be born again by the Spirit of God but one time. The reason so many people think otherwise, is because of the picture tares have painted. Their version of Christianity has people saved today, lost tomorrow, and saved again in the next revival. The one thing that you need to remember, as you consider all of this, is that a tare is a make believer. He may feel real religious at times, but without the Holy Ghost abiding in him, he has nothing at all to secure him, when fleshly demands require him to turn back to the world. Preacher: Do you mean to tell me that those people deliberately come to church and pretend to get saved, and that it is all known of them ahead of time? No. They hear the gospel call, but the devil will not let them surrender their lives completely to God; therefore what they thrive on is a mental concept of what a Christian is supposed to be, and do, and that is what causes them to put so much emphasis on their good works. But regardless of how many good works they do, that tare spirit in them puts them exactly where Cain stood that day; when he had brought the best of the works of his hands for an offering to God, and God had no respect for his offering. Bro. Jackson: Why are you saying all these things about these people? Sometimes it is more effective to show what a Christian IS NOT; than to try to paint a picture of what a Christian is. It is one thing to say, A Christian is a person that has truly been born again by the Spirit of God, but for many people, there are still a lot of questions to be answered after that, and this helps clear them up.


WHAT ANTICHRIST SPIRITS DO


Alright let us turn right on over to the 2nd chapter of 2nd Peter, where he is dealing with that tare spirit he saw coming down the road. Actually the last two verses of chapter 1 are what opens up the door for what he says in chapter two; so let us read them first. “Knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” (They do not mean one thing to one person, or persons, and something else to someone else.) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and what ever they meant, they were to mean the same thing to everyone who received a revelation of them. They were never meant to be used to prove a point for our personal gain. But just like today, wherever there is a genuine, you will usually find a false somewhere around, and that is what Peter leads into, in chapter 2. “But there were false prophets also among the people, (back there in the Old Testament times, always trying to disrupt the plan of God) even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, (little deviations from the truth at first) even denying the Lord that bought them (Yes, the price he paid was sufficient for all who would acknowledge it) and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” That is the final state of those who allow Satan to use them in this way; no matter how religious they may seem to be. Being religious is not necessarily the same as being a child of God. As we have already pointed out, Cain and Judas were religious; but they were not sons of God. Well Peter wrote this letter along about the same time that Paul wrote the 2nd Epistle to Timothy, when gentiles were being converted, right out of raw paganism where they had been used to worshiping all sorts of deities. Therefore it was hard for a lot of them to rid their mind of all that pagan junk, and it made them easy prey for these tares to work among. Those Judiastic tares did not attack the Godhead; they would reach back into the law and bring up something that they would hold up before the Gentiles saying to them that they could not be saved unless they observed so and so. That is what the Galatian Church was going through, when Paul wrote to them. Those tare preachers from Judaism had come among them, and got them in an uproar; so when he wrote: he reminded them that neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. (Gal. 5:7) “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of Him that calleth you.” He reminded them that it was not God sending these preachers among them, and he had already said in chapter 1, if any man preach any other gospel unto you, different from that which you have already received, let him be accursed. He used no uncertain terms, concerning anyone who would preach something different to them, than the revelation he had preached, which was the gospel of their salvation. Paul knew that what they were preaching was antichrist doctrine, and he knew that it was of a tare spirit, so he did not need to beat around the bush about it, and Peter felt the same way: as is evident in what we started to read. Speaking of the false teachers that would one day be among them, he said, “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” He knew that sooner or later, that tare spirit would come among them, and would corrupt the minds of some that were not already established in the truth. It is hard for us to look back 1900 years, and really perceive how all of this was brought about. Christians in the world today have always had tares among them, and therefore have not known what it was like to have that tare spirit knocking at the church house door, trying to get in. As a matter of fact, this generation has experienced almost the opposite of that. For truth was on the outside knocking, and the tares tried to keep it out. Well they managed to keep the truth out of their systems of religion, but they could not keep the truth from pulling those predestined seed of God out from among them. You will not find the true children of God to be conformable in the ritualistic programs of those systems this late in time, for God has already sent His messenger to this age, to pull them out. God is giving us every opportunity to understand the real truth of His word, and He is doing it in a slow, progressive way, giving us plenty of time to allow the Holy Spirit to open it up to us. That is why we are able to recognize that tare spirit when it is sitting among us; for sooner or later, it just has to deviate from the truth a little bit. The spirit that causes these people to say, Well I just do not see it that way; I see it more like this, is the spirit that keeps them from going all the way with God.


EAGLES AND BUZZARDS


Let me just use a little illustration to show you how tares act, and react. When Bro. William Branham was still alive, before it became obvious that certain people were actually projecting the thought that he was Jesus: you would not have imagined that such a thought would enter anyone’s mind. Everyone sat there so nice and quiet; it just seemed that they were all like little birds feasting on nice juicy worms, the way they appeared to be feasting on the truth of God’s word. They were thanking God for sending a prophet, and declaring that they had never heard it like this, while they were in those systems of religion. That little man would stand there and preach about the eagle stirring her nest, and oh, how everyone would rejoice; yet God knew that not every one of those characters inside that nest were eagles. No Sir: Not that nest. There were characters in that nest that never should have been there in the first place, for they were Spiritual buzzards. Their kind were still back there in those places they came out of. Well we know now that him being the messenger to this age: he cast out the huge net and it was filled with some of every kind. That is how God manifests those who are truly His; they are given the word test, and their answers determine what spirit they are really of. So as we look a little further here, After the man delivered the message to this age, which was the light to guide us out of the darkness of those systems; the first stick God yanked out of that nest, was the man that had delivered the message. That left us all sitting there on the edge of a cliff, wondering, Where do we go from here? All of those that had been sitting so comfortable in that nest, being fed the best that the Creator had, when that nest was torn to pieces; had to go out and live on their own. Brother! The wind picked up some of them, and blew them away, and they have not been heard from since. But there were some others, that began to flap their stubby little wings, and try to fly, when the truth is, they were not even able to walk. These are the ones that have taken the man’s sermons and made them their Bible for this day and hour. Why did they do that? Because the Spirit they already had in them, is what interpreted those messages for them; and I can tell you for sure, it was not the Spirit of God. They still think they are eagles, but they have never yet been able to fly, and the truth is, They never will. But as Peter said, “Many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” Verse 3 really sums it all up, especially the first part, which says, “And through covetousness (wanting to be recognized as having sat under the teaching of God’s prophet) shall they with feigned words (false doctrine) make merchandise of you.” Those who try to follow these characters, are forever being sold out, and traded around, like a pocket knife, or a two dollar watch; for their revelation is always changing, every time you meet one of them somewhere; it seems that they have just received a new revelation from some statement Bro. William Branham made; in such and such a message. We have just taken what Peter said, over 1900 years ago, and given it a twentieth century application. Peter saw that tare spirit coming, and we can look back and see where it has been; but to face stark reality, is to recognize that it is still very much among us. Peter wrote this epistle in 66 A.D., and by 96 A.D., that tare spirit was knocking on the door of every little assembly of saints. I do not mean to make it sound like only the small assemblies were troubled; that is just my way of expressing it.


IDENTIFYING THE TRUE – AND THE FALSE


Let us go on over to the little epistle of 2nd John, written in 90 A.D., by the same apostle who wrote the gospel of St. John, and also the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation was written in 96 A.S., and John was the only one of the original apostles, that was still alive at that time. So here in this little epistle, we will start with verse 6. He is admonishing them, because of the tare spirit that is running the roads, and says, “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments.” (The commandments of Christ, which all of the apostles taught.) That is why I preached the message, “Born Again, And Know It.” That takes church membership out of the picture, in this present hour of time. For the person who is truly born again by the Spirit of God: has a yearning deep down within his heart; God teach me. He does not give us this new birth just to make us a better Baptist, or Catholic. It does just the opposite of that; it pulls you out of those systems. “And this is love.” In other words, This is the way to see the real love of God. “That we walk after His commandments.” The Charismatics out here in the world today, think they have found the true application of this love the scriptures speak of, but they are missing it altogether; because their revelation of the Godhead is wrong. You cannot know anything about the real love of God, (how to express it) when you are rejecting the very truth that would enable you to know Him. Verse 7, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, (knocking on every church house door) who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” Not the major one that is yet to come; but a minor one, of many that have plagued the true children of God all these many centuries of time since those apostles of Christ passed from the scene. “Look to yourselves, (He is talking to the elect,) that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.” In other words, this is John’s way of saying, Hold to those things you have been taught, so that we who have labored among you, to accomplish this for God, in your lives, do not come up short of a reward. My, my: Listen to verse 9. “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, (or teaching of Christ, as has been related by His apostles,) hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” Not two persons, (for Jesus was the only person) but the Spirit of both the Father and the Son, because they were merged into one Spirit. That is why, in some scriptures, we read that we have the Spirit of God in us, and then again, that we have the Spirit of His Son in us, or the Spirit of Christ. It is all one and the selfsame Spirit, for when the Omnipresent Spirit of the Father incarnated His Son Jesus, there at the Jordan that day, they became one Spirit. “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed (God bless you) is partaker of his evil deeds.” John was an old man when he wrote these scriptures. He has stood for truth, fought the battles, seen a lot of things come and go, and here it seems that he is taking time to write this letter to the ones he loved: to tell them how to behave themselves; and how to carry on, in order to stay out of Satan’s traps. John know Satan would really be after the next generation of believers, and he desired to reinforce them before his departure, that they also might continue to bear a true image of Christianity.

 

WHY I SPEAK OF TARES


We will get into the book of Revelation later, where we will see that by 96 A.D. the tares had been successful in getting into some of the churches, and were beginning to set the stage for the devil’s long awaited plan; whereby he would disrupt the whole redemption process of God’s redeeming grace. He was never able to keep any of the predestined seed out of the kingdom of God, but he sure did succeed in destroying the apostolic image, that the Church had carried, through those early years after it’s birth. As I said earlier, It is in the book of Revelation that we read where our names were written in the book of life before the foundation of the world. But there are many scriptures that speak of the Elect, predestination and foreordination according to foreknowledge, and all such as this; enough to let us know that those apostles of Christ all believed the same thing. Oh they each one had their own style of presenting the truth, but you will never find where any one of them ever preached anything contrary to what the others preached. There is an awful lot of criticism out here in the world today, of the doctrines of predestination, eternal security of the believer, and what God did through His foreknowledge. But I just have to say, Any preacher that would preach against any of these Bible doctrines, is sure not anointed of the Holy Ghost. They really resent hearing anyone refer to tares in this day and hour, but I just have to feel that Jesus tacked that title on to the negative element of what is referred to as Christianity, for a reason, and I feel that if He called them tares, it is all right fo me to do likewise. I do not try to pick them out; I leave that to the Holy Ghost; but when you see manifestations that you know could not come from a born again child of God, can you help that? Just remember this; A tare is not one thing, and an antichrist something else; it is all of the same spirit. It is just two different expressions of the same thing; for in reality, Satan is the father of it all, and God knew every one of them would be what they are, before the foundation of the world. You may sometimes feel that I am going to seed on certain things, but I just have to turn back to the 1st chapter of Ephesians, and read it again, because it states so well, in such few words, what men have wrote volumes trying to explain. Paul was a prisoner, in Rome, but he knew full well that those Ephesian believers truly exemplified the elect of God, chosen in Christ. This church was born off of that great revival recorded in Acts 19 and 20, and they bore a true image of Christianity all the way through the first age of Christendom. But actually, when Paul wrote this, in 64 A.D., it carried an application to all believers of the 1st age.


WE ARE BLESSED


In chapter 1, verse 3, we read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” When Paul used the word US, he knew who he was writing to; he knew their lives and the image they bore as the elect of God. Now as we have already stated, Only those who were foreknown of the father will ever experience the new birth, but nevertheless, the gospel call has always been whosoever will, let him come, or let him take the water of life freely. Jesus purchased enough salvation for all men and women, and boys and girls, who would ever live in this old world: and it is free to all who will accept it; but God forces it upon no one. You may think, because we preach and teach election and predestination, and that no one can come to Jesus unless the Father (Spirit) draws him, that we believe God forces His elect into the kingdom; but that is not true at all. He does not force anyone to accept His plan of redemption, but I assure you, He knew from before the foundation of the world: who would accept it, and who would reject it. That is how some come to be referred to as the elect; because by foreknowledge, God knew what their choice would be. But even the serpent seed have felt the drawing power of God, for God gives every one of them their chance to go all the way with Him. That is why Paul said in Romans 9:14, “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.” I will say this though, Unrighteous mankind does not just up and choose the time when he or she is going to accept the Savior and become born again. The Spirit of God controls that; for most of the time, we as individuals are not looking for God when we come face to face with Him; (so to speak) He finds us. Well I said I wanted to read these scriptures again, so let us read verse 4. “According as He (God) hath chosen us in Him (Jesus the Christ) before the foundation of the world, (Because of his foreknowledge) that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Do not ever picture God as trying to get something done, but gets all mixed up, and ends up with a lot of mistakes. No. He knew exactly what He was doing, every time He made a move. His final purpose is, “That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” The children of the very fountain of love, should also have that same kind of love one for another, just like God has for us. That is what John was talking about, over in his little epistles, and that is also what Paul is thinking about as he states what this sovereign God has done, and why He has done it. He continues in verse 5 saying, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, (According to what?) According to the good pleasure of His will.” Saints: That one verse, standing alone, is enough to let us know that we are never going to get God to change his mind about anything, for because of His foreknowledge, everything was already a completed picture in His mind, before He ever started to create anything. He knew how stubborn I would be. He knew how critical you would be. But He also knew when we would accept Him; therefore He knew when to draw us, by His convicting Spirit, that we might receive the inheritance, or at least a measure of the inheritance, that was already set aside for us, so to speak. In every case, these epistles were written to the faithful in Christ, the elect. They speak of that negative element, which are tares, but there is no message nor admonition in any of them, that is to the tares. All of those writers of the epistles, were aware of the antichrist spirit that would run parallel to the Spirit of God; in an effort to throw the church off course; but as long as they were alive, they stood against its influence, and kept it under control. It was only after the death of the last one of the original apostles, that the devil seemed to get the go-ahead for his evil plot against the Church of the Living God. But when he got the thing rolling, it rolled right on through centuries of time, and almost swallowed up all the light of truth. Nevertheless God always preserves a seed, no matter how dark things may get, because He has already determined to perfect an element of people, and mold them into the very spiritual image of His only begotten Son.


LOOK TO YOUR EXAMPLE


Now even though Satan could not get much of a foothold as long as those original apostles were alive, we can see from these epistles that as early as 54 A.D., when Paul wrote to the Thessalonian assembly, there was already reason for him to recognize that there was an antichrist spirit to be dealt with. There is one thing we need to keep in mind though: These apostles were all Jewish men. Their lives and mentality had been molded by the Old Testament law and prophets; therefore they knew assuredly that a new dispensation had come upon them; wherein that which they had looked forward to, was now a reality, and God had given to them the original revelation of how it was to be proclaimed. He also gave them the wisdom and understanding to know how to deal with any contrary spirit that might come down the road. Therefore even though Paul was in prison, in Rome, in 64 A.D., he was faithful to his calling; and wrote letters of encouragement, admonition, and warning to the various churches; and in the Philippian epistle, there is something that I would like to call your attention to, at this time. Turn to chapter 3, verse 17, and notice how he says this. This is the Church that was established as a result of Paul and Silas being in jail, and the old Philippian jailor getting converted. So the years have come and gone, and now from his prison cell, Paul has an occasion to write to them, and here is what I want to call to your attention at this time. Verse 17, “Brethren be followers together of me, (Not of his flesh, but of his dedicated manner of life.) And mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example.” In other words, Mark those that follow us in the same pattern of truth and Christian conduct, as you have us for an example. It was not the flesh of the people, but the way of truth that they upheld, that Paul was concerned about, so notice what he says about the tare element he sees coming upon the scene. “For many walk, (are making their rounds trying to get in) of whom I have told you often, (This shows that he had already been warning them of the fact that they would be troubled by false teachers) and now tell you weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” Now surely, none of you think Paul was talking about the drunks that hung around the local saloon. No. He was speaking of an element of people among them: that supposedly had been converted, but refused to adhere to the ways of true Christian conduct, and had ideas contrary to the truth that the Church had been founded upon. This has led them into a completely different life style, and caused them to present a picture that was not compatible with true Christianity. But notice, Paul is not saying, pray for them, and try to get them straightened out; he said rather, Their end is destruction. They never were saved; yet they had gone through the process and pretended to be. As I said, That is how tares first got into the assemblies of the saints. You may have thought the tares just stormed the Church and took over; but, No. They first came up from within the local assemblies; that is why it took so long for them to outnumber the true saints. Now as we have also said, In most outward appearances tares looked just like the children of God; so what you have to realize is, that there is a difference in the spirit. That tare spirit, no matter how religious it may cause people to appear, is an antichrist spirit. It will always lead to a deviation from the truth; and as Paul said, They mind earthly things (instead of being led by the Spirit of God.) “For our conversation (our manner of life) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, (That is our hope. That is what we are looking for. I certainly would not want to continue on forever in this one, in its present state.) That it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.” Brothers and Sisters: when you really stop to think what we really do have in store for us, it ought to get you excited. Hallelujah! Brother we will no longer have to be concerned about tooth decay, nor about losing our hair, nor about what causes cancer, tuberculosis, and heart attacks; we will have an immortal body just like Jesus. Death will no longer be in the picture; and tares will not longer be among us. What a glorious thought. That is when God will have the family on earth, that His great heart has longed for, if I may use that expression.


WHO ARE OF THE SAME MIND IN THE LORD?


Alright now, notice chapter 4, as Paul brings his thought back to the saints he is writing to. “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, (Why would he talk like that about them? It was because they were the first fruits of his ministry and revelation.) My joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” It is obvious that he is directing these words to those whom he knows are chosen in Christ, the elect of God who hold a pure revelation in their hearts. But he has a further word of admonition for two certain individuals within the group, who must have had a little disagreement about something, so notice how he worded it. You can talk like this to those you know are saints of God; for they have the attributes within them, to heed such an admonition. “I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.” There is no use talking to tares like that, for the spirit in them causes them to have a mind of their own. You just get away from them, and leave them alone. But these few little verses here, let us know that there was a Spirit in that apostolic hour, that knew how to watch people. It observed first, what they believed, and how faithful they were to it; then the manner of life they lived, and how sensitive they were to the leading of God’s Spirit, and whether they would take correction or not. Brother those old guardians of the faith, were not deceived by that slick talking tare element, Satan began to breed up among them. They knew what they were dealing with, and God gave them wisdom, on how to keep everything under control; so that nothing got ahead of its time. Well Paul went ahead saying, “And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life.” That was the first mention of the book of life, in the epistles of the New Testament. But it lets us know that Paul knew they were true children of God, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. If he had never mentioned anything about that other element, you might have reason to think He did not know the difference; but it is very obvious that he did. When you study all of the epistles he wrote, you will find that he clearly identified both those of the Spirit of God, as well as those who were of that contrary spirit, the spirit of antichrist, which is the spirit of the devil. He did not call anyone a tare, just because of some personal feelings he might have had about them; he made sure he identified the spirit that ruled their lives first. He had a clear revelation of what was recorded in the book of life, and he knew that God does not own an eraser. He does not need one; for He never makes a mistake.


EVIL MEN AND SEDUCERS


Let us go back into the 2nd epistle of Paul to Timothy, and in chapter 3, refresh our minds of what he wrote concerning these last days. Approximately two years after writing the Philippian epistle, still in jail in Rome, Paul no doubt has heard reports from those coming to visit him, that let him know what was going on; and how that tare spirit was making inroads, and being the man he was: he took every bit of it before the Lord in prayer, and by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, he wrote this second letter to Timothy, a young preacher that had been much help to him in his ministry; as well as to him personally. In the beginning of the letter, he speaks of the unfeigned faith that was in Timothy, and tells him not to be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. But the point we want to get to, is in chapter 3. “This know also, that in the last days,” I believe we would all have to admit that we are now living in the last days, that Paul was talking about; would you not say so? Furthermore I believe we are living in the end of those last days; and that Jesus will soon come for His little bride. Why do I believe that? Because when I look at world conditions, both in the world at large, and also in what the world calls, “THE CHURCH,” and I think of the rapid deterioration of morals, in the past few years, I realize that at such a downward trend, if the Lord allowed it to go on for many years yet, this generation that is supposed to see the end of all that Jesus spoke of, would pass from the scene, and the world would be filled with one big corrupt mass of humanity, filthier and meaner than animals. Furthermore all of the conditions that Jesus said would be in the world in the end time are already present, even in the realm of religion; so I believe we are living in the end of the last days, Paul was referring to. “This know also, that in the last days, perilous time shall come. For men (and women) shall be lovers of their own selves, (This is a picture of that humanistic spirit, that is running rampant in the world today. That spirit does not give any recognition to God, or Satan. It’s attention is strictly focused on the physical being of man, and what man can achieve through his own intellect.) Covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” Now that is a long list of unchristlike attributes, but all of unregenerate mankind is represented somewhere within that long list. Not every word applies to every unsaved person; but certainly it covers the general condition of unregenerate mankind, here at the end of the grace age and especially the part that speak of people being without natural affection, and being lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Brother, if God is recognized at all, He has to be fitted in, between sports events and personal pleasures. This attitude in the lives of professing Christians, is what Paul was thinking of there in verse 5; when he said, concerning some of these, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: (and his admonition was) from such, turn away.” Now I will just sort of skip through these next verses in an effort to get on down to verses 13 and 14. He says these people will be “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” That condition is at its peak right now, and it is causing people to do some strange things, even to the point of what you would call blasphemy against the truth. Paul speaks of persecutions, and afflictions that he personally has suffered for the cause of Christ, and declares with no uncertain terms, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” You may not suffer everything Paul suffered; but if you stand for truth in this hour, you are a misfit and a spiritual outcast, and you are forced to recognize that this world is not your home. Hallelujah! We are just passing by. So Paul says this, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” Now don’t you ever think he was talking about the Mafia, when he spoke of evil men and seducers; he was talking about those tares and what they would do; once they got a foot hold in the realm of the Church. Brother you can see some of them on television every week, doing exactly what Paul said, deceiving, and being deceived. They fight against apostolic doctrine; but they really love to preach on healing, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit; for this is two things that the flesh can enjoy. The reason their flesh enjoys what they refer to as the baptism of the Holy Spirit, is because the Spirit they receive never leads them into all truth. It requires nothing more of them than to enjoy the manifestations whereby the flesh is blessed. Furthermore a lot of them are always telling people how to get rich quick. It usually requires you to send an offering, and let them pray for you; that god will increase your substance. The methods they use are just plain deceptive. You never read where any of the apostles ever used methods like that. But of course only a tare would, for the true children of God know better than that. They know God did not call them to be beggars for Him; nor to promote deceptive programs to raise money. Nevertheless we know the tares are among us; and that they will go straight through to the end. It is only at the end of the age that the Lord sends forth His angels to bundle them up and get them ready to be burned. Oh yes, the bundling process is already in effect, but the true children of God will not be completely free of them until the very end of the age.


WHO ARE VAIN TALKERS?


Let us just look right on over in the 1st chapter of Titus, while we are here, Titus was a young fellow like Timothy, who was also a fellow worker with Paul in the gospel; so Paul wrote to him, concerning a condition among the Cretian Christians that needed to be straightened out; and the church set in order. He first reminded him of the qualifications of bishops in the Church, and tells him that by sound doctrine, one ought to be able to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. Then he wrote this, “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped.” Now he specifically pointed out that these vain talkers were primarily of the circumcision. This means that they were law-keeping Jews, that supposedly had been converted to the Christian faith, but Paul knew they had not been genuinely converted. That is why he referred to them as vain talkers and deceivers whose mouths must be stopped. He was discerned that they did not have the Holy Ghost in them; but how were their mouths to be stopped? Did Paul want Titus to run in among them and tell those self appointed preachers and prophets to shut up? They no doubt had gotten in among the Jewish Christians and pretended to be saved, but Paul knew that if they had been converted by that same Spirit that was in these other Christians; they would not act like this. They would not speak against Moses nor the law, but neither would they try to convince others that a person must be circumcised and keep the law, in order to be saved. Paul knew what spirit was in them; and what they were trying to do among the Christians; and he knew that their influence had to be stopped, at any cost, but it had to be done by teaching sound doctrine to the Christians; so that they would not pay any attention to any other kind of preaching. This was not a strange occurrence to Paul; he had run into the same situation years before that, in the Galatian assembly. But at least in that apostolic age, that spirit of Antichrist was identified and dealt with; and the Church was kept clean. We have been co-existing with the tares for so many generations now, these scriptures have just been lying dormant with no one knowing how to apply them. This is the day when everyone is a Christian, no matter what they believe. How many times have you heard someone say, We may not see eye to eye on the scriptures, but we are all headed to the same place? What a deception! Yet if you tell them the truth, they accuse you of belonging to a cult. The world accepts this tare element of religion to be representative of the Church of the living God, and therefore anyone that differs with it is a heretic. But of these tare preachers, Paul said this, (verse 11) “Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” Do we have any of that sort of thing going on today? Yes, it is just like the brother said last night, Some of these preachers will preach for ten or fifteen minutes, and take a half hour to beg and plead for money. You will hear them say, God has given me a revelation, or a vision of how to reach the world for Jesus; but I need you to stand with me. It all sounds heart rending, but the Holy Ghost is not in it. They are just teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. Well this next verse lets us know that Paul himself has heard what one of these prophets in that category has said about the Cretian Christians. “One of themselves, (one of these tare preachers) even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.” This is language hard for us to understand in our day, but it is a picture of how that preacher, whoever he was, belittled those Cretian Christians. His accusations were based on the background of the Cretian people, and Paul knew what their background was, the lifestyle they came from, and all of that. But he also knew that the Spirit of God in them, would make them into new creatures, so he said to Titus, “This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, (the Christians; not the tare preacher) that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.” In other words, Titus: Tell those people to forget all those old traditions of their past, and ignore these tare preachers that try to fill their heads with junk, and be renewed in the spirit of their minds, to reflect the Lord Jesus Christ; that they now have in them by the new birth. Then he summed it up like this, “Unto the pure (That is the believer that is filled with the Holy Ghost.) All things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; (Sure, They all do.) But in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” No matter what they preached, and regardless of the fact that they were Jews, Paul knew that the Spirit in them would never point anyone to Jesus Christ. A tare will never be a child of God; they are make believers and do not have within them, anything that can present a true Christian image. Oh they can put on a good act, as long as everything is going well, but when you cross them with something that rubs them the wrong way, look out: for their true nature reacts.


BABY CHRISTIANS


Alright let us go into the 5th and 6th chapters of the epistle to the Hebrews, and see how Paul dealt with their situation. This epistle was also written in 64 A.D., while Paul was a prisoner in Rome, and it was written to Jewish Christians who were in dispersion. That is why it is called, the epistle to the Hebrews; the word Hebrew, means foreigner. There were Gentile Christians among them, of course, but it was addressed primarily to the Jewish element, because he deals much with the law, and what those types and shadows pointed to. But what we want to look at now, is what Paul said to those who had failed to grow beyond the baby stage in their Christian experience, so we will start with verse 11, in chapter 5. He is speaking to them of the high priest Christ Jesus, in terms that they are familiar with, and in verse 11 says, “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. (In other words, This lets us know that Paul has come to realize that these Christians are not ready to receive deep teaching in the things of God. Why? Verse 12 begins to state why.) For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; (What he is saying in no uncertain terms is this, You have been saved long enough, that you ought to be able to teach someone else by now; but you are still baby Christians yourselves, that cannot even digest the real meat of the scriptures) and are become such as have need of milk (Milk is the very elementary truths pertaining to the salvation experience, as you will see here) and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.” The picture Paul sees, is that they have not progressed much beyond repentance, baptism, the laying on of hands for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and believing in the second resurrection, and so forth; therefore he gets pretty plain with them in his remarks. Notice, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” In other words, Milk is for babies; because babies are not born with teeth. But as they take that milk and begin to grow on it, God has ordained that nature itself would cause teeth to start growing in those little gums, and when they get enough teeth to chew solid food, Nature itself demands that they be weaned from the milk, and that they start taking solid food. No, it is not done in a day’s time, but little by little, the transition is made, and spiritually it is supposed to work the same way; but in this case, it has not, and that causes Paul to say, “therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, (Now that does not mean that we do away with those basic doctrines; we are supposed to build upon them) let us go into perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.” These basic doctrines are comparable to what children learn in their first year of school, regardless of what their first year is called. When I went to school, they called it the Primer grade. That is where we started to learn the primary things that pertained to our total education. But when we passed from the Primer grade to the next grade, we did not discard what we had already learned; we just built upon it. Once you learned these basic things, you no longer need to constantly rehearse them, and dwell upon them, but neither do you forget them; they are the foundation upon which your total education is built. Therefore spiritually, it is the same way; when you leave these basic truths, to move on in the stream of perfection, you do not discard them; you just build upon them. So what Paul is saying is, Once this foundation is layed, there is no need to keep laying it; you leave it right there and built upon it, and he mentions those basic truths that some people never get beyond. In verse 2 we see the rest of those basic things he mentioned. “Of the doctrine of baptisms, (of water and of Spirit) and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (Leave those things, and go into perfection.) And this we will do, if God permit.” If the spirit of conviction causes us to realize that we have done something that was not pleasing to the Lord: we do not need to hear a sermon on repentance, and get baptized again, and start all over, we should just get down on our knees in the bedroom, or the corn crib, or somewhere, and just tell the Lord all about it. Learning to do that is a part of our spiritual growth. In other words, We should get these basic truths settled and know where we stand spiritually, so we do not continually have doubts and misgivings about it. You will never grow very much spiritually, as long as you continue to have doubts about your salvation experience, so get that part settled once and for all, and then you can leave those first principles of the oracles of God, (as Paul referred to them) and go on into the deeper things that bring statural growth to your inner man.


WHAT ABOUT FALLING AWAY?


Before we read verse 4, let me say this, People who fight against election and predestination, always like to use this particular scripture, because without a revelation of the truth of God’s word, they think this scripture says that a person who has been born again by the Spirit of God, can actually fall from grace, and be lost again. Brothers and Sisters: That is as far from the truth as they could possibly get; for it proves that they do not have confidence in the fact of God’s faithfulness concerning the sure promises made to the true believer. “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” Paul was not even talking about true believers here; this pertains to the reaction of tares, as they sit among true saints, and partake of those heavenly blessings the Holy Ghost showers down upon them. A tare does not come staggering into the church and take the pulpit. No. He is an individual that from all external appearances, has given his heart to God, and is looking for the same things the children of God are looking for. Satan has to robe his children to appear the same as God’s children, if he is to accomplish his purpose of deception. Remember what we read in 2nd Corinthians 11:13-15, where Paul warned them about the appearance and purpose of those tares that would come among them. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” You will never find one of these instruments of Satan telling anyone that there is no God; they work just like the old serpent did with Eve: Now you know God did not mean for you to be different than other Christians. Oh, Yes, He did; for that which you get compared to, is not representing apostolic teaching. Well God may have said so and so, but He did not mean for us to take it literally. Oh Yes, He did; Those apostles did not concoct those instructions for Christian conduct out of their own thoughts, and from selfish motives; they were inspired of God, just like Paul said to Timothy, in his 2nd epistle 3:16-17. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable (in what way) for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Brothers and Sisters: I want to assure you of one thing: Paul knew what spirit these individuals were of, who fell into the category of what he was talking about. To taste of something is one thing; but to make it your daily diet, is something else altogether. When I tasted of the Holy Ghost for the first time; my spiritual taste buds were activated; and I have never been able to get enough yet. Whatever he serves up; I love it; but that is not true with a tare who loves Holy Ghost demonstrations, but detests Holy Ghost correction. When they come in; and sit among you, they feel that same convicting power of God that you feel; and it will make them feel remorseful and such like. But you must understand, that deep within the spirit of that individual is another spirit embedded; that has him locked up. He can feel the Spirit of God moving, and he loves the sensations it brings, but it cannot ever get deep enough within him, to cause him to have an appetite for all of the revealed word of God. Therefore it only affects their emotional makeup, and leaves them void of the true nature of Jesus Christ: that the Spirit of God is cultivating in the lives of true believers. They come into Faith Assembly here, and if people are not running the aisles, jumping benches, and tearing up something; they go away and say, That is the deadest place I have ever been in. What you preach does not concern them; unless they are trying to build something for themselves. If they are trying to get a following of their own, they will find fault with the preaching, in an underhanded way, always to call attention to themselves. Naturally there are always some who will jump in the boat with them; but true saints that have been fed properly will measure them up by the scriptures, and discern the spirit that is motivating them. According to the words of Jesus in Matthew 24, it is not possible for the very elect of God to be deceived completely, but these false apostles (tares) will present themselves in such a way, that only by genuine Holy Ghost discernment will their evil hearts be revealed. God has allowed it to be like that though, that is a test His true children are faced with, and must overcome; but they will overcome because their names are already written in the book of life from before the foundation of the world.


THESE HAVE CAIN’S SPIRIT


I will not say where it came from, nor who wrote it, but I received a letter one time from a man in a certain church, (and I always recognize this spirit) which said, Bro. Jackson: We appreciate the Contender and the truth you bring out, But when are you going to preach on the woman’s head covering? He said, You do not see much of that any more, women coming to church with her head covering on. By this time, I already knew that this thing called a head covering was nothing more than mockery anyhow, for the only head covering God ever put on a woman, is hair. Man has added these other things, because of his lack of revelation of the scriptures. Furthermore there are a lot of tongue speaking Pentecostal women going to their organized churches, wearing their little hats that are supposed to mean they are in subjection. Yet you can go into their homes between church services, and you will find that they have yanked that thing off, and they are the boss. When she comes to church with that thing on, you would think she is really a saint of God. She can preach you a sermon, shout louder than anyone else, and dance up and down the aisle; but the rest of the time she is meaner than a snake. Now please understand: I am not belittling the saint that can shout like that from a pure heart; but for everyone that can, there are probably 4 or 5 that cannot. You may think this sounds awfully negative, but the reason it does is because I am presenting the negative side. The scripture that got us on this subject requires this kind of an explanation, lest people fail to catch the truth of it, and allow the devil to torment their mind. I am going to read that scripture again, and then we will go to a scripture that will allow us to see what this is all about. Many, through the ages of time, have tasted of this heavenly gift; but not in the same way the true saints taste it. Their lives have not been changed by what they tasted, no more than Cain’s life was, when God spoke to him by an audible voice. Do not tell me Cain never had a chance to do right; for the Bible tells me that he did. We have already read it, but just to paraphrase the event, God said, Cain: Why are you angry? Do you not know that if you do well, you will be accepted? You will have to agree: Cain did have an opportunity to do right; so what more could God have done for him? He could see his brother, over there under the glory of God; just rejoicing in the Spirit: and he had the same opportunity offered to him, but chose otherwise. So the point is, There are things we can learn by watching how God deals with others. Do not ever get too proud to examine yourself, and what you are doing. I am not saying that we should be copy-cats, but we can certainly learn what God will accept, by watching others. We do not have to ask questions, if we will just observe. Cain could see how Abel’s sacrifice was offered; and he could have done likewise. But, no, his mind was already made up, and he was not going to change it; even if God did speak to him in an audible voice, and offer him the opportunity. He no doubt thought, My melons and tomatoes are just as good as that bloody old sheep; and furthermore, that is inhumane. Well, that is the same spirit that is on these modernists of our day; but the important thing is, What will God accept? If God was only interested in something beautiful, then what was wrong with Cain’s fruit and vegetable basket? I doubt if you could have found anything more beautiful that it was, but God wanted something that was offered by a revelation of the worshiper. Therefore Cain forfeited his opportunity, because he had no revelation of why God required a blood sacrifice. That same spirit caused Esau to sell his birthright for a little bowl of soup, when he felt like he was starving to death. Do you think God will just overlook a thing like that? No. Never. That is why the scripture says, Though he sought it with tears, he found no place of repentance for what he had done. In other words, He knew he had done wrong, and he knew that he could not undo what he had done; therefore he could never find any justified thought of expression that he felt would merit forgiveness from God. What he did was not done in ignorance; he knew perfectly well what he was doing, but considered it unimportant at the time. That is how the spirit works; it always causes those that it controls to miss the mark, no matter what kind of opportunity they have in life. Many people, though they do not have the Holy Ghost themselves, they have been in places where they have been partakers of Holy Ghost blessings, and they have heard the truth and received a basic knowledge of the primary things of Christ, and been offered every opportunity to go all the way with God; but something always draws them away, before total commitment. Alright, now that we know who it applies to, let us read that scripture again. “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good work of God, and the powers of the world to come, (the Millennium) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” I can assure you, on the authority of the word of God, that no person who ever truly received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in the new birth experience, has ever been guilty of doing that. But God knows exactly how to deal with tares that sit among the saints. His word does not even tell us how to deal with them; for He Himself takes care of them in due time.


SAME RAIN – BUT DIFFERENT RESULTS


Well Paul goes ahead in verses 7-8, and gives an illustration of what he is talking about. “For the earth (the part which has been tilled and prepared, and seed sown in it) which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briars is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing: whose end is to be burned.” The point here, in the first example, shows that the earth which has been properly prepared, receives blessing from God, and it brings forth fruit fit for the one that prepared it. But the old unprepared earth receives the same rain and sunshine, and all it produces is weeds, and thorns, and such like. That is Paul’s way of saying, The Spirit of God can fall on a large gathering of people, and they will all feel the effects of it, but they will not all come forth unto righteousness. Some will come forth as what God wants, and the rest will come forth as what the devil wants. In other words, Those individuals whose lives have not been cultivated and dressed, to receive the ingrafted word of God which is able to save their souls, can have the Holy Ghost rain fall on them, along with everyone else, but they will still be a briar or a thorn by nature. They may shout, jump and speak in tongues all over the place, but they will never allow the word of God to take root in them. Well the Bible does not say that we shall live by every shout that comes out of our mouth, but rather, by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. A tare will not live by every word like a true believer will endeavor to do; therefore their end is already determined; they will be burned. Not one of them goes unnoticed by the God who has given them their chance. He has them all marked. Alright Paul turns his attention back to the believer, in  verse 9, and says, “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” We have lived in an hour when people will not face up to the fact that there are tares sitting among them. But let me tell you, If you had lived in that first age when they were trying their best to inject their influence in among the assemblies of saints: you would not have found anyone being so nice to them; and afraid to hurt their feelings. Brother, it was just the opposite; they kept them in their place. The Spirit of God in those founding fathers identified them; and they were treated as tares.


WHO WENT OUT FROM US?


Let us go back into the little epistle of 1st John, chapter 2, for a closer look at what we are endeavoring to point out about the tares that the devil has sowed in God’s field. John did not have a revelation of the seven Church Ages, and how the tare spirit would eventually be allowed to come among the saints, and remain so until the end of the grace age; so when he began to see the thing come into the picture, he naturally felt that the end was close, so notice as we go to verses 18 and 19. “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many Antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” No saint was ever asked to pray for any of these vessels of Satan. They were identified, and treated as enemies of the cross of Christ; for there was not one thing that anyone could do to change them. A child of the devil is always a child of the devil; he could never be a child of God, nor a true friend to the children of God, because the two spirits clash. This little epistle was written about 26 years after the writing of the epistle to the Hebrews. Paul had been dead for many years, and John had seen a lot of things come on the scene that Paul constantly warned the saints about, and he remains faithful to the task of guarding the true revelation that the church was founded upon, so notice what he says about those of that hour that had manifested their true nature. Verse 19. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” Let me dwell for a moment on that statement, “They went out from us, but they were not of us.” This church is 30 years old; (I am talking about Faith Assembly) and those of us who have been in it all of those years have seen a lot of people come and go; for one reason or another. Natural circumstances have caused some to move away from the area, and many of them are not to be included in what I am going to say. But those who have left us and turned against the revelation of truth that we stand for, are of the same sort that John was writing about here. I do not mean to sound bigoted, but I am fully persuaded that we stand for a true revelation of the word of God; so what else could we believe about those who walk with us for a few years, and then turn on us, and actually hate us for what we teach? They have come here, shouted, danced, spoke in tongues, and testified about how God sent them here, and what a wonderful revelation they have received from sitting here, and then: by and by they become offended, and turn completely against us, and try their level best to destroy any influence we might have upon anyone else. Therefore I ask you; Based upon what you know from the word of God, do true children of God conduct themselves like that? You know they do not. The Holy Ghost does not teach you something for a few years, and then all of a sudden, tell you that it is wrong. Only a devil will act like that. “They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us, but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” As you diagnose this thing, using the word of God to measure it by: if those people had the Holy Ghost leading them, and they had the same revelation that you had, during the time they were here, they would still be sitting right here. At least they would still be in fellowship with us, for distance does not change that. We just have to face the fact that there comes a time when certain things have to be allowed to happen, or develop, to prove who has the Spirit of God, and who does not. For we are living in an hour when God is separating the tares from the wheat; getting ready to gather the wheat into the garner, and the tares are being bundled up for burning, according to the very words of Jesus, in Matthew 13. The Church has come through many phases, coming out of the Dark Ages, and to the place where she stands today. That is why there had to be a message that would put it all together, and bring the true revelation out of it. Fragments of the apostolic truth were scattered all around, but they had to be collected together, to present a true picture of the plan and purpose of God; and I am persuaded that we (the true church) now have the message that God will require every person alive at His coming, to give an account of. It is in the hands (so to speak) of the Holy Ghost, and He is knocking on heart’s doors, and presenting it, and it is separating the tares from among the true children of God; because it requires something that a tare cannot tolerate: true fidelity to the entire word of God. If the Holy Ghost is in you, it will lead you into all truth. That is what the Bible says. There is a deceiving, compromising spirit in the world church that says, We do not all have to believe everything exactly alike; just as long as we believe in Jesus. Brothers and Sisters: That is a lie of the devil, from the very pit of hell; for it is completely contrary to what the apostles of Christ taught in that first age. I sometimes wonder what some of these people use for a Bible, for it is obvious that they do not get their teaching from the Bible that we believe to be the authoritative word of God. The truth is, Satan has his own translators. They call Mary the mother of Jesus, a young woman, instead of a virgin, like it is correctly translated; and they change the reference to God, from HIM, to HER, and all such as that. Anything to try and pervert a true revelation, but, Hallelujah! The predestined of the Father get a true revelation anyhow, for they have something in them that makes the difference. We see that in verse 20, as we continue reading here. I like this part, “But ye have an unction (understanding, inspiration, anointing) from the Holy One, (You not only tasted, and found that it was good, but you said, I want more.) And ye know all things.” Praise God! What a privilege. God’s truth is not hidden from His true children. It is only hidden from those who try to understand it through the reasoning of the mind, without the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost, which the children of God have in them: is the revealer of the whole word of God. That is why John went ahead and said, “I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth: but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” If you are following the train of thought here, you will see that John is actually saying, Those that went out, held to a little something that was not right, always hoping of course, that sooner or later the church would open up and receive the new revelation they desired to give to it. John continues, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” It takes a revelation of the Godhead, in order to understand exactly what John was saying there. Those who believe that God is three persons miss the whole picture, and so does anyone else that believes God is anything other than a sovereign Spirit, that rules the universe. An Antichrist spirit is not a Communist, nor a Nazi, nor a political spirit; it is a religious spirit that teaches contrary to what the Spirit of God teaches. “Whosoever denieth the Son, (the one person of the Godhead) the same hath not the Father: (the Spirit which is holy) but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” It should be understood that this applies only to those who have a true revelation of the Godhead, and not just anyone who claims to be born again. If John were writing this in our day: knowing what we know about this bunch of make believers, he would go into much more detail to clarify what he meant. But he, being a Jew, and knowing the mind and background of the Jewish people, knew that for them to acknowledge Jesus to be the son of God and their Messiah, they would have to have the Spirit which is the Father, in them. On the other hand, Gentiles have a head belief about Jesus being the Son of God; and they profess to believe that he is the savior of lost mankind, but multitudes of those who believe like that, are void of the Spirit of God, and without revelation. They can go to church and do what true Christians do: including singing, praying, testifying, and all the rest, but they do not have the reality of that sovereign Spirit living within them, and actually directing the affairs of their lives. Therefore to the believers, John said, verse 24, “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning, (meaning the original gospel which the apostles taught, for it was a true revelation of the Father and of the Son, and what the Son is to lost mankind, and how it was the Father IN THE SON, that actually did the works that are attributed to Jesus.) If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” In other words, in the true revelation and understanding of how it all unfolds. “And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life.” To have eternal life is to have that combined Spirit of both the Father and the Son abiding in you. That is what God revealed to those Jews from various nations, on the day of Pentecost, when He anointed the apostle Peter to stand in the midst of them, and declare it. Alright, “These things have I written unto you concerning THEM THAT SEDUCE YOU. (The tares) but the anointing (the anointing is the Holy Ghost) which ye have received of Him abideth in you. (He is not just with you, but in you) and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” Brothers and Sisters: that word anointing, which pertains to the Holy Ghost, which is the combined Spirits of both the Father and the Son, is the sum of it all. If you have that Spirit in you, you are a son of God, and if you do not have, you are not a son of God, nor a daughter of God, which ever the case may be.


GOD’S PURPOSE


The point I really want to emphasize, is that the Spirit of God is not a spirit that saves people just to make good Lutherans, good Baptists, and so forth, and teach them all different doctrines to fight each other with. He will save you while you are in those systems; but in this age and hour, if He does, His purpose is to get you free from that denominational bondage, and lead you into the truth of God’s word. Without the Spirit of truth (the Holy Ghost) to lead them, those people will sit right there in those denominational churches, saying, I have always been a Lutheran, and I will die a Lutheran, or what ever. It is a well established fact that you can be a good church member in one of these systems, without even knowing God. But I am so thankful that God saved my soul, even while I was in that Methodist system, and led me to a true revelation of Himself, and what He has done for me. No, He did not save me because I was a Methodist, but rather because I needed Him, and He knew that when He dealt with me; I would be willing to leave that system of religion, and follow Him. Hallelujah! I love Him; and I just want my life to please Him. That is at the center of my purpose in life. I love this word of God, and it thrills my soul to see others brought into that same love relationship with their Creator, where they desire more than anything else, for God to lead their lives. People of the world think the Christian life is a dull one; but let me tell you something; There is no greater thrill in life than to have the Spirit of God deal with you personally, and reveal His word, and His purpose to you. Brother you can drink of the wine He serves, all night long, without having a headache, and your nerves torn all to pieces the next day.


WHO THE EPISTLES WERE WRITTEN TO


One thing you should notice as you read the various epistles written by these apostles of Christ, is the introduction. They are written to the faithful in Christ, to them that are sanctified in Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus, or to the church which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ, and so forth. But never will you find where they addressed their epistle to any tare, nor where any saint was ever admonished to pray for a tare. They were written in an hour when tares were beginning to appear on the scene, trying to gain an entrance within the structure of the Church. But the Holy Ghost, through these men, was always able to ward off their influence, and keep them out of the Church, and at the same time, mark them, for true saints to avoid. Instead of trying to win them to the Lord, as we see so much of today, those early Christians were taught to avoid them, and we know why: they were already children of the devil. Because of the way that Antichrist spirit worked, and because there were varied degrees in which that element of mankind possessed by that spirit, tried to influence the Church of the living God: it is hard to make one statement that covers the whole thing. Therefore let it be sufficient to say, Regardless of how some of these scriptures are worded, not one of those that ever departed from the faith were ever truly saved. You can lay any of this right alongside of what Paul wrote in the 6th chapter of Hebrews, and you will find that Paul was not referring to anyone that had ever been born of the Spirit of God: crucifying to themselves the Son of God afresh. It was pointed to those who had had every potential offered to them, like Cain and Esau did, and yet went their own way. Instead of praying for them, the admonition was, Do not even allow them to come into your house, nor say God bless you. Of course there came a time, as those first age saints died off, and the Church had begun to enter into a downward trend, that it seemed like the image of the believer and the image of the tare started to blend together. That is when the second parable of Matthew 13 went into effect; for in that parable Jesus said, Let them grow together until harvest time. Therefore as the Church moved into that 2nd age, and that wisdom that was used to keep the Church clean, was no longer present to separate the two, many of those scriptures that had been used to deal with that contrary element, had to be left lying dormant, and it has remained so, right on through the ages. They could not even be used in the Reformation years, because the Church still had not been restored back to the original truth, where those scriptures would be applicable. Can you just imagine the Baptist Church taking 2nd John 10 and 11, which says, “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds,” and using it to refuse a Methodist person entry among them? Oh some have tried it; but can you not see how ridiculous a thing like that would be when neither one has the doctrine John was talking about? This little epistle was written just six years prior to the time when the book of Revelation was included in the scope of recorded scripture, and at that time John was still standing flatfooted against that tare spirit, and being as plain about it as anyone could possibly be. But afterward, if the two elements were to grow together, no one was going to know how to apply those scriptures, until the end time, when the apostolic doctrine has once again been restored to the true believers, and the purpose of God requires it to be so. As I have said, I still remember the time when people from one denomination would say, concerning those of another, Do you think they are really saved? Well we know there is no salvation outside the baptism of the Holy Ghost, no matter what others may feel, nor what they say about what they feel. But those Paul referred to in Hebrews 6, had somewhere been affected by the Holy Ghost rain, and they had been given an opportunity to go all the way with God, and failed to do so. In other words, they were given accessibility to God’s great plan of salvation, but that spirit of the devil which controls their inner being would not release them. People such as these, will fellowship the saints for a season, maybe even for years, but there always comes a time when they will get a different understanding of something, and the end result is, they go a different way. “They went out from us, because they were not of us.” Their conviction and anointing stops when they get a different idea and go a separate way. Yes the Holy Ghost is that anointing that John was speaking of, and His objective is not just to convict you of sin, and show you that you need a Savior, but also to lead your life and bring you to a place where your life lines up with the word of God. Therefore whatever spirit is ruling your life, will eventually manifest itself, the one for your total salvation, or the other for your eventual destruction.


THE EPHESIAN CHURCH – AND AGE


Who would have ever thought back in the 50’s and early 60’s, when people came by the car loads to sit under the ministry of Bro. William Branham, from just about every denomination that you could think of, that so many of them would get the wrong understanding of what he preached? They truly were partakers of the heavenly gift, that God sent among us, but the spirit that caused them to get the wrong idea and return to their denominational system, is the spirit that will lead them to destruction. Their names were never on the book of life; no matter what they may have professed to believe. Well it was the same way with those that finally succeeded in getting in among the saints, as that first age closed out; no matter what they professed, the spirit that kept them from submitting completely to the spirit of God, was that Antichrist spirit, that spirit of destruction. Their names were never on the pages of the book of life, and never could be, because they were children of the wrong spirit. Six years after writing his third little epistle, God gave the apostle John a revelation to write and send to the churches of Asia, in which He revealed present conditions that would exist right on through the entire grace age. Those conditions exemplified in the seven churches named in the 1st chapter of the book of Revelation. I am not going to preach on the Church Ages at this time, but I do want to look at the picture that those seven churches portrayed, as that Antichrist spirit began to make its inroads. In 96 A.D., when John wrote this book of the Bible, the church at Ephesus stood out above the other six. Do you know why? They exemplified the church in that apostolic hour, when the revelation of God’s word was still pure, and they were under the direct affects of the great commission, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Those apostles obeyed the command, but in their hearts they knew that only those ordained to eternal life would believe to the salvation of their souls, just like Acts 13:48 says. This was written concerning the hour when Paul and Barnabas turned to the Gentiles with the gospel, after the Jews had rejected it. “And when the Gentiles heard this, (that the gospel was being offered to them) they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: AND AS MANY AS WERE ORDAINED TO ETERNAL LIFE BELIEVED.” Those apostles could write epistles to the saints, and bring out predestination and election according to the foreknowledge of God, because they had a revelation of the whole thing; and these epistles became the primary means through which the believers were instructed, and through which their confidence and faith was built up in the Lord. No believer of that hour was ever told, as many have been through the ages since: Live the very best you can each day, for if you slip you will be lost again, and will have to come back and do the same thing over again. An awful lot of poor souls have lived like that, never really having any assurance of their salvation, nor any revelation of what true salvation is. Saints: Let me say it one more time, The physical birth that brought you into this world can only take place one time; you can never ben unborn. Well the spiritual birth that puts us into the family of God is the same way; it can only take place one time. Therefore those who are born into the family of God by this new birth, can never be unborn. The Holy Ghost that consummates that birth is our seal, and it is good throughout all eternity. The family of God is called the body of Christ, and we are not born into that body of believers on our own terms, we come only on God’s terms, and this church at Ephesus characterized the overall application of the gospel in that first age, as it was presented by the apostles. That tare element was on the road and trying their best, but they never could get control in that first age, and Ephesus stands out as a church that put those false apostles to the test and rejected their ministry. This is where Paul labored for a period of three years, preaching the gospel. They heard it in it’s unadulterated form, and they remembered it well. Then when he wrote the epistle to them in 64 A.D., he used terms like the elect, predestinated, and chosen before the foundation of the world. So you would have to say, If we were chosen before the foundation of the world, then our names were written in the book of life before the foundation of the world also. But let us look now at the letter written to that church in 96 A.D., and notice what the Lord said to them. We are in Revelation 2:2. “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil.” The word evil, used here, speaks of those who have tried to teach something contrary to what Paul had already taught them. Paul knew they would come; that is why he wrote to Timothy saying, in the last days, evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse. Brother the world is full of them today. They are so convincing; they can end up with the whole life’s savings of a lot of poor souls that follow their ministries. But let us go on. He says to the Ephesian church, “And thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.” Up to this point, the Lord commends them for their steadfastness in defending the true revelation, and His name. They have received the true servants of God that came by to build upon the foundation Paul laid, and they have rejected all those that spoke contrary to what Paul taught them, and the Lord was pleased with that. Their example exemplified the age in which the total church, universally, had to examine those that taught them, and determine whether they were of the Lord or not. In other words, The overall spirit of that apostolic age was exemplified in that Ephesian assembly. Verse 3 speaks of their fruits, and Christian characteristics and so forth. But notice verse 4, how the tone changes. “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” The one thing that stands out here, is how this church, even though it was still faithful in every way, did not have the same enthusiasm and thrill in serving the Lord, that they had in the beginning. The fire that burned so brightly in their hearts at first, has died down, and a lot of what they are doing, is now done out of habit and routine. It is easy to fall into a cycle like that: where you still do the right things, but the eagerness and thrill is no longer there. That is how people eventually end up serving God with works of their flesh, instead of with their whole heart. Listen, Saints: What we do for the Lord today, ought to be just as precious to us, as it was twenty or thirty years ago, when we first came to know Him. We should be just as determined and also have the same motives, as we had then. So the point is: Each one of these seven churches the Lord had John write to, had conditions in them in 96 A.D., that would exemplify the overall condition of the universal Church, in each one of seven specific ages, or phases, that it would pass though, before the gospel goes back to the Jews again. In other words, The universal Church, in that first age, had everything thrown at it, and the tares kept knocking at its door, but it managed to keep them at arm’s length, and keep itself clean as a whole. However these other six churches had conditions in them, even in 96 A.D., that would be the universal picture of Christianity, in the particular age it exemplified. Therefore the Church at Smyrna, even in the first church age, had conditions in it that portrayed what the universal Church would be like in the second church age.


SMYRNA PORTRAYED SECOND AGE


The second church age was marked by poverty and martyrdom, as the tares got in, and the devil tried, through them, to rid the world of all true Christian influence. True saints were put in jail, starved, abused and killed, for the faith in Jesus Christ they held. This was the age that corresponded to the 2nd parable of Jesus, in Matthew 13. “While men slept (that was the old guards of the faith sleeping in death.) His (the Lord’s) enemy came and sowed tares (make believers) among the wheat, (The true believers) and went this way.” Economic pressure and outright persecution brought those saints of that hour face to face with reality. They had to have the genuine, or they could not hold out against these constant bombardments from Satan; and holding out (refusing to deny their faith in Christ) meant martyrdom for many of them, and great poverty for the rest, but nevertheless, Jesus said, You are rich. Now in order to get a true picture in your mind, you must see that this one assembly had these conditions in it, at a time when the universal picture of the church as a whole, still corresponded to what the Ephesus church portrayed. In 96 A.D. the Lord looked at this church in Smyrna and saw conditions there that would prevail universally in the second age, so to them He says, “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer, behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Smyrna, no doubt, was a city that did not have a strategic related position to the commercial trade routes; therefore their material lifestyle was on a very low level, compared to many others. The church in that city then, was made up mostly of poor people. Their material substance was very skimpy; but they must have had a strong faith in God, for the Lord said to them, “But thou art rich.” History shows that as time passed, and the Spirit of God moved rapidly from the first age to the second, this church at Smyrna stood in the forefront of all that the second age held. It was that tare element that betrayed the true saints, and caused them to fall into the hands of their enemies. You might be interested in reading the history of some of those such as Polycarp, in that age of martyrdom. He was pastor of the church in Smyrna, and I believe history reveals that he was the 12th martyr of that one church, in the 2nd age. But God had already prepared him for it, and showed him exactly how he was going to die. Brother those saints did not die kicking and screaming, and begging for mercy; they faced death with their head held high, knowing that there was something in them that would never die, and it would raise them up again.


THE PERGAMOS CHURCH


Alright the church that symbolized, or characterized the third church age, was the church in Pergamos. It was also founded off of those revival fires that burned in Ephesus, when Paul preached there for three years. Yet in 96 A.D., it was obvious that Satan had somehow moved in on them, as we will see from what the Lord had John write to them. Verse 12, “And unto the angel (pastor) of the church in Pergamos write: These things saith He which hath the sharp sword with two edges: I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: (According to this, the city of Pergamos must have been Satanically infested beyond most at that time. The saints there, which had been elected in Christ, came out of that environment. The Lord saved them, and lifted them up out of all of that. Yet their previous background and the fact that they still had to be subjected to that Satanic influence all around them, was probably a very trying thing, and greatly affected their faithfulness in living for God: a truly sanctified life, yet we see as we go on, that they did have something) and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. (He commends them for that, and then speaks of what He is displeased with.) But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” Let us look at this carefully, and try to get the picture. This church was established by the ministry of Paul, and we know what he taught, about such things as this. When Paul and Barnabas went up to Jerusalem, to inquire of the elders of the church there: what should be required of the Gentiles who were becoming Christians, having never known anything about the law of Moses, the determination was, Teach them to stay away from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from fornication. Therefore it stands to reason, that they knew Paul’s teaching, and what he stood for. Yet in 96 A.D., roughly 40 years from the very beginning of that church, they already had conditions among them, that would not prevail in the church universally, until the 3rd church age. Antichrist individuals have somehow got in among them, and been able to gain recognition enough, that they are teaching these contrary things. What they once did, when they were out in the world, is now being taught in the church, as if it were an acceptable way of life. In other words, in 96 A.D., which was still the 1st church age, tares were already in this one church, doing the very things that the Christian church universally, would be plagued by, in the 3rd church age, when the Roman ruler Constantine would begin to exercise his authority in the affairs of the church. He is the one that called the first church council at Nicaea, where the trinity form of baptism was adopted, in an attempt to settle a growing controversy between oneness and trinity beliefs. Nevertheless the 3rd age was the age that matched the third parable in Matthew 13. The fact that those tares got into that Pergamos Church, and changed its image, does not mean that the image of the first church age itself was marred. Those churches we are dealing with, were isolated instances, and did not change the overall picture of the spirit of the first church age one bit whatsoever. It still carried its apostolic image, as was characterized in the Ephesus church. The Pergamos church was weak, and that gave those tares an opportunity to get in, and once they are in, things begin to change, for they are of another spirit. Any person that has the Holy Ghost, should know that no person with the true Spirit of God, would ever get a revelation like those tare teachers were teaching. Reading this ought to really keep us on our toes. For when you stop to realize how quick that spirit of Satan moved on the scene: after Paul’s death, it is no wonder the picture of Christianity is what it is today, after so many centuries of being bombarded with those Antichrist teachings. Verse 15, “So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. (Now comes the admonition.) Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” These guilty parties were given a chance to repent. All a tare can ever do, is go through the motions of repentance, and so forth. Their nature is not changed one bit whatsoever, for no matter what they do, they are still tares, and their end is to be burned in the lake of fire. For once a tare, always a tare. The destiny of those tares did not affect the eternal destiny of those elected children of God at all. Their lives on earth was affected by them, and their Christian influence was hampered, but their eternal destiny was secure: in the One that had called them, the One that recorded their names in the book of life; before the foundation of the world.

 

THE THYATIRA CHURCH


The Thyatira church, by 96 A.D., had really gone to the dogs fast, but just as we said about the others, they did not affect the overall image of the first age. Only God knows how the devil was able to take over this Christian church so soon after its beginning. But by 96 A.D., its general condition portrayed the spiritual and moral conditions that would prevail in the church universally, through those long years of the Dark Ages. Roman Catholicism took over the Christian church, changed the word of God, and ruled with an iron fist for hundreds of years, before the Spirit of God started to move upon the lives of the Reformers. The way this Thyatira church went from the fervency for God, that they had in the beginning; to the place where they were in 96 A.D., shows just how fast the devil can move in and take over, once you begin to compromise a little here and there. Notice, “And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; the last to be more than the first.” Did you notice that works is mentioned twice, and that he said their last works were more than their first? This is the only church He said that to, and I used to wonder why He said it to them. But when the revelation came, of what this local church portrayed in its particular makeup, it is easy to understand why it is said like that, to them. The first works were those things that the church did by the true leadership of the Spirit of God, and the other works were works of the flesh, without the leadership of the Spirit of God. It does not necessarily mean that what they did was evil, as man would classify things, but many of the seemingly good things that men have done through fleshly zeal, are looked upon by the Lord as evil. Nevertheless whatever their works were, it was to portray that spirit of Catholicism, that has built hospitals, schools and sponsored social programs all over the world. The world looks upon these various individuals of the Catholic Church that have been outstanding in some field of the humanitarian efforts of their system, as being real saints of God; and yet they are as far from being saints, as a jack rabbit or a grasshopper. There is nothing wrong with building hospitals and schools, and training young doctors, nurses and teachers, but there is not one ounce of benefit in any of that, as far ss the salvation of a soul is concerned. Those true works by the leadership and direction of the Holy Spirit, are the only works that God will use in reaching lost souls with the gospel. But the Catholic Church felt that there should be a faster way to get the job done; so she designed all these social programs and relief organizations in an effort to try and do, by the works of their hands, what can be done only by the Spirit of God. You just simply cannot build the Church of Jesus Christ by any such carnal means. The Lord did not condemn the church in Thyatira for those works, and neither will He condemn you for the seemingly good things that you do; but let me say once again, There is no true spiritual benefit in any of that. But Bro. Jackson: Don’t you believe many lost souls can be won through well planned programs, which show to them that someone cares? Only if the Spirit of God draws them; and if He is not drawing them, you could never treat them well enough to make saints of God out of them. You can relieve their human suffering, and you can make church members out of them; but none of your programs will ever add one extra name to the book of life.


CATHOLICISM IN THYATIRA AGE


When St. Thomas left the Middle East, and went to India in 53 A.D., he probably did not have enough money to buy a new pair of shoes when he got there. He could not have built one orphan’s home, nor school, if his life had depended upon it. But wherever he went, he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to a few Hindus, and the few that received the gospel and became converted to Christianity, so antagonized their pagan, idol worshipers, in the area of Madras, that they thrust him through with a sword, and he died in a cave. Then centuries later, along comes the Catholic Church, and builds a huge shrine, there where he was supposed to have been attacked, and also an orphanage, and a Catholic Church. That was their works, and they are known the world over for it, but do you think all of that will gain them one ounce of salvation from the Lord? I guarantee you, it will not, and neither will those works of the hands, done by those saints in Thyatira, accomplish anything for the Lord. The Lord does not use such means as that; he just goes to work on the spirit of every individual He has purposed to call to salvation, when the time is right. Well the Lord did mention some things he saw going on in that church, that He did not like, and they were things that characterized the Catholic Church, as she plunged the church into the Dark Ages; and furthermore, the spirit of Catholicism is still the same today. The spirit of Catholicism has always been Antichrist, and her acts and deeds morally, are recorded in the pages of history, and show clearly, the kind of lives her captives have lived. So to that church, the Lord says, “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which called herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” My, My, you talk about slipping fast: this Church really had. I am reasonably certain that in their beginning, this Church was just as fervent for the true work of the Lord, as Ephesus was. But my mind goes back to the book of Acts, where Paul, on his way back from Corinth, going to Jerusalem, stopped off and sent for the elders of Ephesus to meet with him in a certain place, and I am convinced that men from these other churches were there also. I do not believe that he was concerned only about the saints at Ephesus, when all these others stood in the same jeopardy. But what he said to them, is what I want to call to your attention. We will look at Acts 20:28-31, and quickly read it. I just want you to catch this prophetic utterance. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (Notice) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” I just wanted you to see for yourselves that they were adequately warned of what Satan would do, yet we find that after only about 40 years, it has happened just like Paul said it would, and some of these churches were caught off guard anyhow. By the time these letters were written to these seven churches, Paul had been dead for about 30 years already, so we do not know what he actually witnessed with his own eyes, of this Antichrist spirit working, trying to undo what had been done. But we do know that he used very plain words, in warning the saints that it was on the way. So in 96 A.D., this church at Thyatira had been taken over by the devil, for they have allowed this woman named Jezebel, who called herself a prophetess, to get in control of what was taught in the assembly. It was no secret how Paul felt about women preachers, and about women teaching the men, yet here, it is being done, and done strictly for the devil, for she is doing the teaching and seducing the servants of God, and all such like. This lets us know that there are some men in that church, who were supposed to be the leaders of the assembly, and they were taking a secondary position of authority, under the woman Jezebel. Furthermore they have allowed this woman’s character to affect their own lives, for she is teaching them to commit fornication. With whom? Herself, of course, and also to eat things sacrificed unto idols, just like in Pergamos. Well here is what the Lord said about it. “And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” You see, God even gave her a chance to repent, but she was a devil all along, so how could she repent? Yet she somehow managed to work her way into that assembly, on the pretense that she was a true prophetess of God. Oh yes, it is scriptural for women to prophesy; but they were never meant to assume the leadership in the Church. Phillip the evangelist, had four daughters that were prophetesses, and I am sure that they did not have to go to the woods and prophesy to each other. But I am also sure that they were never allowed to assume leadership in the Church. But this woman in the Thyatira church really had them under her spell. How many can see the picture here? Those apostles in that first age wrote their various epistles, primarily to the faithful in Christ, and reminded them of the righteous principles that the Church was to uphold, as she moved on through time, and every one of them was aware of that spirit of Satan, that was trying to gain recognition in the Church. They warned the saints of what was coming, and admonished them to reject anyone that came with a strange doctrine, and nowhere do you find that they were ever told to pray for those people and try to win them to the Lord. Yet in 1986, people have such a mediocre attitude about Christianity, and how to get people to become Christians, they will go to any extremes to get them into the Church, whether they express any interest or not. I am sometimes amazed at the carnal attitudes of some of the people who profess to be Christians. Oh Bro. Jackson: we met a fellow the other night that is a wonderful singer, and how he plays the guitar. You know, Bro. Jackson: I just believe if we would talk to him right, we could get him to come to our church, and if we could: he would be such a blessing to the church, and we might be able to win him to the Lord in that way. Listen to me saints: That is just about as carnal as you can get. When you go out here in the world and drag devils into the church, just simply because you enjoy being around them, the day will come when they will run you off, and do as they please. The Church of the living God is not something you turn over to some well talented individual of the world, hoping that he will be a blessing to you. If you are that carnal, you would be better off going to a night club somewhere, and listen to them on their own familiar grounds, and if he is going to be a Christian, let God convict him first, and let him come God’s way. When you approach these things any way except God’s ordained way, and try to manipulate it by some carnal means, you open the door for the devil to walk all over you, whether as an individual, or as a body. That is why so many churches are in the mess they are in today; they have invited the devil to come in and participate in the activities of the church, and then they wonder why they are void of the Spirit of God. It is because God has a formula for operating His Church, and if you depart from that formula, you leave Him out of the picture. Alright why did this woman Jezebel not repent? Because she was not a child of God. She had no spirit of conviction in her; therefore she was not ashamed of what she was doing. You will never get a tare to truly repent; and be genuinely sorry for their ungodly ways. But a true child of God will always repent, even if God has to whip them a little first. Anyhow, God knows exactly how to talk to His true children, but sometimes we are like a lot of children you have seen: our minds are so involved in what we are doing, He has to yell at us to get our attention. I am sure you have seen children get so involved in what they are doing, you could speak their name a dozen times, and never get their attention, even though you are real close. What do you do then? SONNY! He jumps like he has been shot. Do you know why? His mind was lost in what he was doing. That is the way we are many times, when our Father is calling our name. But the tare is not even in the picture. God does not even try to correct them by chastening; but He does give them a chance, before He rejects them completely, just like He did this woman Jezebel. “Behold I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they (those who commit adultery with her) repent of their deeds.” Now this of course, was pointing to the Dark Ages, but when you bring it right on over to 1986, and give it its spiritual application, you see these Protestant church organizations getting into bed with the Catholic Church, the mother of all harlots.


SPIRITUAL ADULTERY


There were two men here in church this morning that asked, Have you heard what is going on down in Louisiana, in the Catholic realm? I said, No. Among the Charismatics? No. The Catholics have a big move on, down there; and they are really having a move. They are even promising the Protestant preachers who are duly recognized preachers in the denominational churches, that if they will come along with them in this great move, and if through the influence of that move, they want to join the overall Charismatic movement, they will automatically be made a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. Brother! That sounds to me like they are all getting in the bed together; and it all started way back there almost two thousand years ago. What was exemplified in that one woman, characterized the Catholic Church from her inception, all the way through the rest of the grace age. She has always been that kind of woman, spiritually speaking, for her doctrines have always been Antichrist, and she has never attempted to repent of her evil deeds. By the same token, those servants of God, who were committing adultery with that woman, portrayed these Protestant denominations of this age, who at one time were virtuous: by the fact that they had been pulled out of that old system, but are now going back to bed and sleeping with her; and this deceived the world of religion looks upon this as a beautiful thing. Oh how wonderful; that after all these years of fighting, there is unity again. But God said, “And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” I hope none of you here in Faith Assembly are so spiritually blind that you think God is pleased with that spiritual adultery. That is exactly what it is, and it was exemplified in this one local church, long before the Catholic Church was ever heard of. But God knew what the end of it all would be, for when you get on over into chapter 17 of the book of Revelation, the angel says to John, “Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.” That was pointed straight toward the Catholic Church, that has always been an adulterous woman, seducing the servants of God. The 4th parable of Jesus, in Matthew 13:33, matches the Thyatira age perfectly. We will read that one. “Another parable spake He unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman (the Catholic Church) took, and hid in three measures of meal, (speaking of her trinity concept of the Godhead) till the whole was leavened.” Her leaven is her false doctrine, that she has taught throughout the entire world. So remember, the seven parables of the 13th chapter of Matthew, the seven churches of Asia, and the seven church ages, go scripturally hand in hand. The parable, the church, and the church age all correspond, or I should say, They match exactly.


THE SARDIS CHURCH


Now we come to the church in Sardis; the one I really wanted to get to, because it exemplified the age of the Lutheran move, of the Reformation. “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith He that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. (Remember this was written to a local church, still in the first church age.) Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. (Here is what I wanted to be sure to get to, before we finish up.) Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments.” When the Lord said that, He had to be pointing to those few among them that were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. These are the ones that, no matter what the environment about them is, nor how ornery, filthy, and debased others may be: there is something in them that just simply will not allow them to be like the rest. The Holy Ghost in them will always cause them to be different. He does not force them against their will; He gives them a will to be different. “And they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment.” We notice that in all the churches, after 96 A.D., the promise is to the overcomers. These of course, are those that were the elect, the chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world. This sounds like just an overall declaration, but I want to point out something to you. God can no longer speak to the church as the separate elect body, that it was in the book of Acts, because from here on out through the rest of time, the tares will be sitting right alongside the believers, and there is no way that a tare is going to inherit the thins that God has prepared for His children. He will speak to the church as a mixed element, but He does define between those who have not been defiled, and those who have, and so forth. Yet to the mixed element He admonishes this, To him that overcometh, thereby giving all the opportunity, and accessibility to what is available to every mortal human being that will come, His way. As I said, That is why the great commission was, God into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He wanted all to hear the gospel message, but He already knew who would accept it, and who would not, in every age. He will never tell me, and He will not tell you, who is predestined, and who is not, because He does not mean for man to run this thing without Him. It was the Holy Ghost in that early church that kept the body clean and pure, and gave them that keen discernment to detect anything that was not just as clean and pure. That is how the tares were identified and kept out. But once the tares got in, and they all began to blend together, the Spirit of God no longer spoke to the church as that elect, chosen body that it once was. Every doctrine remained the same, but not every one received them the same. Therefore God speaks to the collective body, but the promises are always directed to the overcomers, because everyone that hears must live their lives as individuals, and no one will ever ride into the kingdom of God on someone else’s coat tail. Through his foreknowledge, God already knows every individual that will overcome, and receive those promises, but to mortal man, He always leaves it, Whosoever will, let him come and take the water of life freely. Alright, overcomers shall be clothed in white raiment; “And I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my father, and before His angels.” That is the first time that statement appears in the book of Revelation. Why would God use such terminology, if no tare ever had his name written in the book of life? Let me say this, Through the ages of time, billions of tares have lived and died, all having the same opportunity to walk with God, that anyone else had. But do you not think God knew that they would not walk with Him all the way? Do not be so foolish as to think He wrote their names in, just in case some did decide to be true to Him. No. Their names were never in the book of life. I have never claimed to be the smartest man around, but I can see why God had to say things the way he did, even though He already knew every person that would ever be an overcomer. By making the offer to whosoever will, not one individual can stand in judgment and say, You never gave me a chance. God can point to the very hour they were given their chance, and also to the very place where they jumped ship, and deserted the cause. Therefore just as the gospel was preached to every creature, and the invitation was, whosoever will let him take the water of life freely, He can also admonish all by saying, He that overcometh will not have his name blotted out of the book of life. Remember this, Even though there are certain places in the Bible where you might think so, the Bible does not say anywhere, that God ever blotted the names of tares out of the book of life. But there are quite a few places where we see that the book of life was completed before the foundation of the world. When this life is over, and men must stand before that great white throne to be judged, do not picture the Lord standing there with the book of life in his hand, and page after page completely blank, because of names He had to blot out. No. That book will be just like it was, before God ever created Adam.


We will not take the time to read them all, but if any of you still need more to convince you, read Revelation 13:8, 17:8, 20:12, and Matthew 25:34. If these scriptures and the illustrations we have used throughout this message are not enough to convince you, I need not say more. I will say one last thing though: The only people on the face of this earth that is ever going to understand the true message of the book of Revelation: what it is about, and who it is to, is the true bride of Jesus Christ, living in this age of Laodicea. No church system has ever understood it, and none of them ever will. It is God’s love letter to the little bride, as she nears the end of the race. Amen.

1986-11-The-Book-Of-Life-Part-2

The Book of Life, Part 1 – 1986, October


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

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

 

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

 

TRUE DOCTRINES OF THE BIBLE

 

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

 

THE FATHER’S NAME MANIFESTED TO SOME

 

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

 

TWO MINDS – BUT ONLY ONE PERSON

 

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

 

WAS JUDAS A SON OF GOD?

 

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

 

GOD’S TRUE WAY HAS NEVER BEEN POPULAR

 

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

 

PREDESTINATED ACCORDING TO GOD’S PURPOSE

 

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

 

FALSE CHRISTS – AND FALSE PROPHETS

 

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

 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUE CHILDREN – AND TARES

 

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

 

SOME PREACH A WAVERING GOD

 

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

 

LOOK FOR GOD’S PURPOSE IN ALL THINGS

 

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

 

OUR ASSURANCE IS IN GOD’S WORD

 

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

 

GOD IS MOLDING US INTO ACCEPTABLE VESSELS

 

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

 

A TYPE OF ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION

 

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

 

THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST

 

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

 

CHURCH DISCIPLINE IN OPERATION

 

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

 

THE OVERCOMING LIFE OF THE BELIEVER

 

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

 

REVELATED FAITH CHANGES LIVES

 

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

 

PARTAKING OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

 

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

 

APPLICATION OF SCRIPTURAL TRUTHS

 

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

 

HOW TARES GOT IN

 

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

 

SHUN VAIN BABBLINGS

 

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

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

Exploring Eden, Part 2 – 1986, August


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


FROM A GARDEN – TO A CITY


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


RENEWED INTEREST IN TEMPLE MOUNT


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

 

 

A LOOK AT PARADISE


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


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

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


OVERCOMERS ARE PILLARS


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


THE NEW CITY


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


WHERE ETERNITY BEGINS


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


THE WATER OF LIFE


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


JOHN SEES THE BRIDE OF CHRIST


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


THE WALL’S FOUNDATIONS


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


THE CUBED CITY


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

 

 

WALL OF JASPER – CITY OF GOLD


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


WHAT THESE PRECIOUS STONES SYMBOLIZE


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


TWO TYPES OF PEARLS


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


CLEAR AS CRYSTAL SPEAKS OF PERFECTION


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


WHERE FAITH COMES FROM


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


SPIRITUAL GOLD


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

 

 

THE URIM AND THUMMIN


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


GATES OF PEARL


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


STREET OF GOLD–SEA OF GLASS


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


SPIRITUAL HOUSE FORESHADOWED


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

 

 

THE TRUE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH


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


GOD HIMSELF IS LIGHT


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


WATER IS A FILTER


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


WHAT FOLLOWS THE MILLENNIUM?


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

 

 

INSIDE THE CITY OF GOLD


Well saints, I told you when we started this message that it would lead off into many different directions before we finished it, so I imagine you can see by now what I meant. I felt like we should try to give it full coverage though, while we were on it. The city we are looking at is only for the redeemed, so that leaves a lot of people to be accounted for, that have lived on this old planet in the centuries since Adam’s fall. But the great white throne judgment takes care of all of them; therefore let us get back to verse 25, in the 21st chapter of Revelation, and complete the message. “And the gates of it (the city) shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.” Now these nations of people are those mortals that lived on earth during the Millennium, whose names were found written in the book of like. Let us go back and read verse 24. “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.” There is a place for those nations of people that were saved from destruction, and they are going to dwell right here on this planet in the eternal age. They are not bride saints; they are going to be subject nations. They will be more like servant type people, even though they have eternal life. They will be the vine dressers and caretakers of the earth. That is the best I can explain it, for the scriptures do not give a detailed account of what their responsibilities will be. Remember though that the gates of this city speak of the entering into, of the plan of salvation. So it says that they shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. Then verse 26, still speaking of the nations, says, “And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. (the city). And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” That brings us to the point where we can go inside the city now. Everything we have seen this far, has been seen from an external viewpoint. We sing the song Inside the gate, Inside the gate, so let us see what it looks like inside the gate. Let us see if there are any ivory palaces, or any brass door knobs. No. You are not going to see any of that; for all of that has come from traditions, and not from the scriptures, because this city is as clear as glass. “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, (Brothers and sisters: Everything in this city is clear. Surely after studying this, our spiritual vision ought to be a little better.) proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Yes, saints, inside this city, God is going to be the central figure, or we will say, the central source of attention. So notice this next verse, as we are looking at that throne position. “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month.” It says, In the midst of the street, so what are we looking at? We are looking at a boulevard. Let me describe it like this, as we enter into this city, we can see somewhere in front of us, such a display of the majesty and glory of God. The way He has manifested His presence: He draws all attention and respect from His creatures. But notice: we enter the city on a divided street, because the river of water of life from the throne of God, comes right down the middle of it. Of course this is all symbolic, but that river of life speaks of the ever flowing presence of the Spirit of God: flowing to the soul of man. It is not a natural river at all. It is not a river that gives life to the natural trees that are growing; it is a river of the eternal presence and moving of the Spirit of God, which is the water of life that Jesus referred to. So as we think of the street here, let us visualize a divided highway, with a body of water as a median, for here: is symbolized how we approach unto, and depart from the presence of God. In other words, it is not just a mingling; all coming up and down on the same pathway. On the road from here to North Carolina, as you approach one city, there is a body of water between the two sides of the highway. You go into the city driving on one side of the body of water, and you leave the city driving on the other side, and this little lake, or whatever it is, is lined with beautiful trees. Just thinking in the natural, I used to think of this setting right here in chapter 22, when I would pass there, for it is just exactly what we have pictured right here in this spiritual setting. Just remember: the street is pure gold, clear as glass, and the river of life as clear as crystal, so if the street is divided: the river is the median that separates the approach and departure to and from the presence of God. Therefore brothers and sisters: that kind of picture is going to take up the major part of what is seen inside this big beautiful city of gold. Alright now, in the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life. In other words, the trees are plural here. It is no longer just the one, that started out in paradise where Adam and Eve were. Here we see rows of them, and they are not standing on each side of the street; they are on each side of the river. “On either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month.” Notice here, it is in the female gender. In the original paradise, there was one tree, by which, if man had not sinned, every son and daughter of God would have been born off of the life of that tree. Then as they multiplied themselves in relationship to that tree, it would have become many trees; because the fruit of it is all figurative of the offspring of the law of it. But because of sin, Adam and Eve were driven from paradise, and the tree of life, until Jesus Christ came, who was the righteous branch grafted in. Hallelujah! This was not a fruit born by natural process, off of that tree. So we see here that the tree of life is still in paradise, but in plurality, and in the feminine gender. There it was masculine; but here, it is feminine, because it is to signify, or point to the Church, the family of God which is now positioned in relationship to God, and His plan. If you can understand the spiritual language, the leaves are figurative of the nature and attributes of God, when He dwells in His creation, in the fullness of His substance. The fruit then, is not something that is to go on and bear offspring. It is speaking of the nature that the redeemed family manifested in this present life, while still in this natural body of flesh. Now we speak of nine fruits of the Spirit, and this speaks of twelve, but we will not be able to bear the other three until after we take on immortality.


NEW NAME FOR OVERCOMERS


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

1986-08-Exploring-Eden-Part-2

Exploring Eden, Part 1 – 1986, July


Introduction

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


THE BEGINNING OF MAN


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

 

 

WHAT IS PARADISE?


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


MAN OUTSIDE OF PARADISE


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


EATING FROM THE TREE OF LIFE


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


THE AREA CALLED EDEN


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


ADAM HAD RESPONSIBILITIES


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


HOW LIFE SHOULD HAVE BEEN


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


ADAM-EVE-THE SERPENT-JESUS


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


CHERUBIMS GUARD THE WAY BACK TO GOD


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


THE SERPENT’S SEED AND ADAM’S SEED


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


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


GOD PROJECTS HIS PERFECT WILL


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


GOD’S MERCIFUL PROVISION


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


GOD WANTS OUR HEART


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


REVELATION MAKES THE DIFFERENCE


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


EARTH POPULATED BY ONE FAMILY


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


GOD WILL CLOTHE US


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


GENERATIONS OF MIXED SEED

 

 

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


NOAH CURSES CANAAN


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


THE NEW BIRTH IS NECESSARY


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


WHAT ANCIENT CITIES WERE


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


THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM


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


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

1986-07-Exploring-Eden-Part-1

God Reveals Himself, Part 2 – 1986, May


WE ENDED PART ONE IN JOHN, CHAPTER 6, WHERE JESUS WAS TALKING ABOUT HOW HE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, NOT TO DO HIS OWN WILL, BUT THE WILL OF THE FATHER WHICH HAD SENT HIM, AND WE POINTED OUT THAT IT WAS NOT THE PHYSICAL MAN THAT CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, BUT RATHER IT WAS THE EXPRESSED THOUGHT OF THE FATHER, THAT CAUSED THAT LITTLE GERM OF LIFE TO BE IN THE WOMB OF MARY, THAT ACTUALLY CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN. THEREFORE AS WE PICK UP OUR THOUGHT ON HOW GOD REVEALS HIMSELF, WE WANT TO LOOK AT SOME MORE SCRIPTURE, THAT WILL OPEN IT UP TO US EVEN FURTHER. LET ME SAY THIS THOUGH, UNLESS THE SAME SPIRIT THAT ANOINTED THESE VARIOUS MEN TO WRITE THESE SCRIPTURES, ANOINTS US TO UNDERSTAND THEM, THEY WILL JUST BE SO MANY WORDS. THEREFORE LET US PRAY THAT HE WILL OPEN OUR UNDERSTANDING, AND ALLOW US TO GET A REVELATION THAT WILL LIFT US ABOVE ALL OF THIS RELIGIOUS CONFUSION IN THE WORLD TODAY. WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO SEE GOD, ALL

THE WAY FROM GENESIS 1:1 TO REVELATION 22:21, WITHOUT HAVING TO WONDER IF HE IS ONE TWO, THREE, OR A HALF A DOZEN. NOW A STATEMENT LIKE THIS MAY SOUND A LITTLE STRANGE, BUT WHEN YOU HAVE HEARD AS MANY OPINIONS ABOUT GOD, AS I HAVE, YOU CANNOT HELP BUT WONDER, WHAT ACTUALLY DO SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE ABOUT GOD? THAT IS WHY HELPING PEOPLE GET A TRUE REVELATION OF THE GODHEAD, HAS BECOME SUCH A SPECIAL CONCERN OF MINE, FOR ALL THE BEAUTIFUL TREASURES OF REVELATION ARE ACTUALLY LOCKED UP IN THAT ONE THING. AS LONG AS ANYONE BELIEVES GOD IS THREE PERSONS, ALL EQUAL IN AUTHORITY, THERE ARE AN AWFUL LOT OF SCRIPTURES THAT THEY WILL HAVE TO IGNORE, FOR THEY CANNOT POSSIBLY EXPLAIN THEM. THEREFORE WE HAVE DETERMINED TO APPROACH THIS MESSAGE FROM THE STAND POINT OF SHOWING THE VARIOUS WAY THIS ONE SOVEREIGN GOD REVEALS HIMSELF THROUGH THE BIBLE, AND FOR WHAT PURPOSE THAT MANIFESTATION WAS TO ACCOMPLISH, SO LET US CONTINUE ON. WHAT SAITH THE SCRIPTURES

We received a letter from a man, a minister that has been on the Contender mailing list for quite some time now. He was here on Sunday morning when I preached a message, and as I now look back over some of the notes the man sent, I realize that there are actually some things in the Bible , that when you begin to preach them, people start to get nervous. It seems that they get their mind fixed in a certain channel, and they just simply cannot look at certain other scriptures. They look at them, but they have no meaning, no bearing on the subject. I copied it all down, and now as I look back at the things I brought out about the Godhead, the oneness and everything, I can see that the man’s thinking goes back to the extreme oneness side of thinking. As I have already pointed out, they give no recognition to the Son of God at all. They look at Jesus as strictly a manifestation of God in the flesh. Truly we do have a scripture in 1st Timothy 3:16, which says, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory,” but do not forget, that the same man that wrote that God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 2 of 26 verse, also wrote a lot of other scriptures that clarify that verse. These are the things that people ought to look at. In other words, when you hear a man say something, if he has said other things that are relative to the same subject, then it becomes your responsibility to consider the whole scope of the thing. There are three or four scriptures in the gospel of John that most people use when they are on the subject of the Godhead, and all those other scriptures that actually show the Son talking, they just jump right over the, as though they do not even exist in the Bible. A trinitarian will see them, but a oneness will not. A oneness will see Acts 2:38, and a trinity will see Matthew 28:19, and there they go: one in a ditch on this side, and the other in a ditch on that side. It reminds me of two dogs pulling on a rabbit; sooner of later, they will pull it apart, and then neither one of them will have the whole object. That is exactly the way people do the scriptures; they get certain things, and just pull, and pull, and pull, until they get it away from everything else. Of course I do not want people to think I am going to seed on certain things; but at the same time, I realize that there are people out here in the world today, that need help with these scriptures. Not just because Raymond Jackson says so, but because they are unable to put a picture together. There are a lot of people in the world that will follow a man, no matter what he tells them. He can tell them that the moon is made of green cheese, and they will never investigate, to find out if it is true or not. Brother and Sisters: I hope none of you will go through life believing something a certain way, just because I have said it. You need to make sure everything you believe, lines up with the scriptures. That is every believer’s responsibility.

THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST

As for the scriptures we are looking at, the same man wrote both the gospel of John, and the book of Revelation, but there was a difference in his writing between the two. When he wrote the gospel of John, he used his own language, as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit, to record things as he saw them. But when he wrote the book of Revelation, he had the Lord Himself, telling him exactly what to write. Therefore we have to look at the wording in a different light, yet endeavor to come out with the same picture. Turn in your Bibles, to the 1st chapter of Revelation, at this time. It is titled, The Revelation of St. John the Divine, yet the very first verse tells us that it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and that is exactly what it is. What we need to realize though, is that He is no longer the prophet, that John wrote about in his gospel record; He is now the high priest. But let us see if John’s revelation has changed. If what he wrote in his gospel account is true, it cannot be changed here in this prophetic letter. The truth is, this oneness picture is so beautifully entwined in the scriptures, you are just almost awestruck, as the Holy Spirit reveals it to you. One way you look at it, you see the complete human being, Jesus, the Son of God. Then on the other hand, you can see the complete perfectness and divinity of the omnipotent God portrayed. That is why it is proper to say, He is perfect God, and yet He is perfect man. But as I have already pointed out, God Himself, (Jehovah of the Old Testament) will never be your brother. Naturally you will not find anything exactly like that, written in the scriptures; this is just some words I am using here in our day, to clarify some things. God, whom you respect as your Creator will never be your brother, and Jesus the man, that was born into this world by a virgin birth, will never be your Father. Yet in the scriptures, we see where He is reverenced in that manner. The reverence though, is not going to the flesh, it is going to the deity that is portrayed through Him. Therefore if we lose that picture, we will be no different than a lot of other church going people. Therefore with these few words in mind: let us begin reading here in the first chapter of revelation. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass, and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” Even in that, we see that there is an angelic being, a ministering spirit involved. From beginning to end, all through the sacred story, wherever God moves on the scene to contact mortal man, there is always an angel, or angels in the picture. You would not necessarily see them; but they are there just the same. Let us go on. “Who bare record of the word of God.” The word of God is the word of Jehovah. Jesus never referred to what He said, as His own God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 3 of 26 word. The audible sound came from the vocal cords of the man Jesus, but the thoughts that were conveyed, were the thoughts of Jehovah. Yes, John was a personal disciple of Jesus Christ. He was one of the two that went to the tomb, so he could truly bare record, not only of the word of God, but also of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, (The book of Revelation is not an epistle, nor a gospel; it is entirely a prophecy.) And keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Sprits which are before His throne; (That reference is giving acknowledgment unto God, Jehovah, so notice how John breaks it down.) And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead.” The word, AND, is a conjunction. This proves beyond any shadow of doubt, that Jehovah did not die. Jehovah did not raise from the dead, It was Jesus, the Son of God, that was raised from the dead, as the scriptures say, by the power of God. Anyone who pays attention to the wording in these verses, should be able to see some things. In verse 4, you see these words; “And from the seven Sprits which are before His throne.” You cannot help but wonder how the trinitarians take God, split Him up into three separate distinct persons, and still incorporate these seven Spirits into the three persons. Well, some would say, That is a mathematical problem that would take an Einstein to figure out. Yet when God is truly seen as one God, we realize that He is not seven Spirits; but within the one complete Spirit that He is, there are seven different attributes. Seven is an important number with God, for it speaks of completeness. That is why, in the Old Testament, when God began to unfold His plan of salvation, at various times, He would reveal one of those seven redemptive names. As I have already said, when men began to lose sight of, or true understanding of the one God, they eventually worked it around to where the pagans had a god for every individual thing man had need of. That is why you see so much of what actually amounts to paganism in the Roman Catholic Church. It is a mixture of ancient paganism, and primitive Christianity blended together. They just took a lot of the old Roman deities, and put in saints, to take their place. It all sounds good to carnal flesh, but it is as spiritually unrealistic, as it could possibly be. Yes the ancient pagans had a god for every individual need; but the children of Israel knew that the one true God, was the God of every situation, and that He was the only God they needed. Therefore let me say this; The seven Spirits, are not seven different spirits, separate one from another, but rather, are mentioned like that to designate the quality and virtue, and the attributes of the one true and living God. That is why also, there are seven lamps burning before the throne.

GOD’S SON WAS HUMAN

Once you accept the fact that God is not a person, but a sovereign, omnipresent Spirit, you will realize some other things also. The God that created all things, does not need oxygen to live. He needs no food to eat, nor water to drink. He does not need the sunlight, nor the light of the moon: for He was here before any of that got here. On the other hand though, the Son of God had to eat; He had to drink, breathe oxygen; and all of that, just like all the rest of us, but He was perfect man. So we can see here, John was a Jew, and all these many years later, after he has written his gospel, he still has not changed his approach to the Revelation that he saw manifested in the earlier years of his life. “Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne; AND FROM JESUS CHRIST, who is the faithful and true witness, (Why is He called that? Because He is the only one that ever lived, and died, and rose again from the dead. He is the witness of that.) And the first begotten of the dead. (You can take that right to Romans 8:29) and the prince of the kings of the earth.” He has never been King of the earth yet, but all of that is potentially in Him. “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” He did that by dying for us at Calvary, and having His own blood spilled out there on the ground. That was the perfect atonement for the sins of the whole world, past, present, and future. Verse 6, “And God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 4 of 26 hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” It is through His intercessory high priest work, that we are made kings and priests unto God, and His Father. Now if we were to take the extreme oneness stand, we would have to jump over those last three words, “And His Father,” for as we have been pointing out, they see the flesh of the Son, only as a shell for God to abide in, leaving no room for any human mind at all. Well if that were the case, why was the Son out there in the garden on His knees, praying, Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me? Jehovah God has never been scared of death. But the Son of God reacted like any human would. In Hebrews, Paul speaking of Him, when He was here in the flesh, how He sought God with tears, that if it be possible, that cup might pass from Him, that cup of suffering and death. Do not ever allow yourselves to think for even a moment, that God was out there sweating great drops of blood, afraid to die, or you will find yourself believing in a God that is too weak to do anything for you. Alright, so He hath made us kings and priests unto God. That was a finished work in the mind of God, before the world was ever created, but it was not activated until Jesus was in His high priest work, interceding for us.

THE BEGINNING AND THE END

As we read verse 7, you will see that it reaches all the way out to the end of the great tribulation. “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” This, of course, is speaking of the coming again of Jesus Christ, in His second advent. It will take place at the end of the great tribulation, after the Antichrist has fulfilled his 3 ½ year rule, and when Jesus comes to earth this time, He will truly come down from heaven in a bodily form, and His little bride will come with him. That is when the wrath of God will be poured out upon wicked mankind, and truly, men will wail because of him. Alright, verse 8 gives us a picture of something here, but we want to keep in mind, that these are words that John is hearing. He is relating the introduction, but he has not yet described what he sees. He cannot do that, until he turns around. Therefore the words we are reading, are words spoken from behind him, and that is the way he writes his introduction. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” The beginning, and the ending, gives primary recognition to Jehovah. It is stated that the words alpha, and omega, refer to the beginning and the ending of the Hebrew alphabet. I was asked a question concerning that, in a letter I received, so I just made a tape, and sent it to the person. We have to realize that when Jehovah asks human beings, to give to Him that kind of recognition; that He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the ending, there is a reason why He wants to be recognized in that way. It is because, before there was anything other that God Himself, there was not even a beginning yet. As a matter of fact, He was not even God yet, because the word god, speaks of an object of worship, and there was nothing to worship Him. He was a sovereign Spirit though, and everything had its beginning in Him. A beginning has got to be when something begins to come into scope, or visibility. Until there was something that was tangible or materialistic, there was no beginning, and there could not be anything associated with an ending. So we have to realize that if there is a beginning, it has to be because God is the author of it; you are dealing with creation. Then if there is an ending, we have to realize, that there is going to be certain things within the scope of time, from the beginning to the end, that will pass out of existence, never to be again. Why? Because it never finds a place in the plan of God for an eternal existence. Therefore anything that is created, can in God, have an ending. Knowing in your heart, that God is the Creator of all things, will enable you to avoid the frustrations a lot of people have today. They have missing links in the picture they are trying to put together. There never was a need for any language, until after God created something to speak it. But when god put man here, He also gave him the ability to communicate. As a matter of fact, the whole human race was of one language, all the way over to the tower of Babel. Well, who divided the languages? Jehovah God, because He is the beginning of every dialect, and He will be the ending of them also. The Bible plainly states, that in that day, in the God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 5 of 26 Millennium, He will return unto the people, a pure language. But some people get so technical: they wonder whether it will be English or Hebrew. What difference could that possibly make? God will still be the author of it, just like when He confused the languages, at the tower of Babel. This puts Him in the position of being recognized as the sole means by how anything can come into existence, and also how it can have an ending. If he is the alpha and omega of the Hebrew language, do you not think He is also the alpha and omega of the English language as well? He sure is. But let us finish verse 8, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, (now) which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Yes Jesus is coming again. He is coming from heaven, and every eye shall behold Him, but in Him, is Jehovah, the great God of all creation, coming to do what? To fulfill in the earth, something related to His redemption plan for the nations, as well as the earth. We call it the second coming of Jesus Christ, but let us realize that it is the coming of the Almighty too. That redemptive name which means, the Lord is present, will be applicable when He sits in Jerusalem, as King of kings, Jesus will be seen sitting there, but He will be invested with all the kingly authority of Jehovah Himself. The kingly authority comes from Jehovah, but as it was nineteen hundred years ago, it will be Jesus the Son of God that is seen sitting there.

VOICE LIKE A TRUMPET

“I John, (verse 9) who am also your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” That voice as a trumpet, lets us know that this is truly Jehovah speaking. Was not that the same thing they heard on top of Mt. Sinai? He did not say it was a trumpet, but that it was as of a trumpet. In other words, we will have to say, the voice was speaking with such sternness, and with such volume, it did not sound like just a mere human talking. It sounded like a voice that could be heard to the ends of the earth. Therefore what that actually says to us, is that even though the words are coming from the mouth of Jesus, it is Jehovah Himself, the Elohim, invested in the man, that is doing the speaking. So as this voice is speaking, again it goes back, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.” Everything up until now, John has heard coming from behind him, but in this next verse we will see him turning around, to see the one that has been talking with him, so notice what he sees. “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks.” The seven golden candlesticks that John saw, which looked to him like they were right there on that island, were actually a reflection of what was portrayed in heaven: seven lamps burning before the throne of God. But here on earth, they portrayed how the Spirit of God burned in those seven churches. “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man.” John remembered what He looked like, for he had walked with Him for three and a half years. He knew also what He looked like, when He rose from the dead. Therefore from John’s words there, we will have to say, There are certain characteristics about Him, that have not changed. “One like unto the Son of man, clothes with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” This golden girdle around His chest portrays the role of high priest, that He has been elevated to, throughout this dispensation called the dispensation of grace, which is also the Church Ages. Notice now, as John continues the description of the one He is seeing, “His head and His hairs were white like wood, as white as snow.” From certain visible points, John could recognize that the man he was seeing, was Jesus. That is why he said, one like unto the Son of man. But His hair is definitely a different color now, than what it was when He was on earth. Does that mean His hair has turned white, because He got old? That is not the picture that is being portrayed here. The white hair portrays the ancient authority that was invested in Him, when He was taken up into heaven, and seated, or positioned at the God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 6 of 26 Father’s right hand. The Ancient of days has literally invested in Him this priestly authority which can only come from Jehovah. But the investment is not in the garment. The garment portrays the high priest of course; but the white hair, and the appearance it gives Him, is what portrays the ancient authority of Him who has always been. He is older than anything in the world. The ancient of days is never a person, but rather, the quality of what He is. Therefore all of this is meant to show us that God Almighty, the Elohim which always was, has delegated to the person of His son, the ancient authority to be high priest. But we realize that the actual priestly qualities belong only to God. For that matter, all Kingly qualities belong to God, Jehovah, and also all prophetic qualities. All of that is in that one omnipotent Spirit. But He is able to bestow that anointing upon this obedient Son, and cause Him to be invested with all of that ancient authority. As for His appearance, not only was His hair as white as snow, but His eyes were as a flame of fire. That lets us know that His vision was not limited to what His natural eyes were, on earth. Being as flames of fire, they are able to penetrate every unexplained mystery. Why? Because that was an investment in Him, from Jehovah. It is the vision of that omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient Spirit; therefore it is unlimited.

WHAT JOHN SAW

As we come to verse 15, notice His feet. “And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.” This is significant of the fact that He stood in our place at Calvary, and sin was judged in Him, for every one of us. Therefore as He stood there, being recognized from some qualities as the Son of man; all of these other characteristics speak of that which has been delegated to Him. Let me say this also, The actual immortal man, that was taken up to heaven, whatever the color of His natural hair was, it never changed. Every description we see here is symbolic of something that has been delegated to him to fulfill. It all goes to show, how the object changes from position to position. This is where too many times, people lose sight of what God is. John stood there looking at this image before him, and his description of what he saw, allows us to see a portrayal of what He is, and what He has done, and what has been invested in Him. Those feet of brass, or like unto brass, then, speak of how He stood in our place, and had our sin judged in Him. In other words, just like Isaiah said, (53:6) “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Alright,”And His voice as the sound of many waters.” This takes on a characteristic likeness of Jehovah Himself, speaking, because the natural man that Jesus was, had a voice not much different than any other human voice. But when Jehovah chooses to use this voice, in that manner, this description does not bring out the human side of Jesus; it brings out the divine side, Jehovah Himself, speaking through Him. “And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” John is now looking at His face, and he is seeing something that Jesus did not have, when He appeared to them after rising from the dead. So here again, we have to realize, that this is portraying something that has been invested from the eternal Spirit into Him, to cause Him to have this likeness. This is how Peter, James and John saw Him, on the Mount of Transfiguration, when they were allowed to see a preview of His Millennial glory. When He was transfigured before them, not only did His face shine as the sun, His raiment was as white as the light also. Therefore we will have to say, All of that is a description of the glory of Jehovah invested in Him. But it is to draw complete attention to the person of Jesus Christ, even though it is God almighty that gives Him that complete description. “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” Only those that had demons cast out of them, ever fell at His feet like that, when He was on earth. But can you not see why John would react like that? Right there before him, is displayed the majestic countenance that Jehovah has invested in His obedient Son, and it caused John to react like he did. So John fell at His feet as dead. “And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last.” Once again, attention is turned back to the great Creator, and then the voice said, “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore.” This gives recognition to the physical man who suffered and died. But brothers and sisters, God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 7 of 26 this is such a unified picture, it cannot be seen, except by divine revelation. When Jesus was here before, and was truly the prophet of all prophets, He exemplified that great prophetic Spirit of Jehovah, in the fullness of what it can be. In that day, many Jews saw only a man, but there were others, that saw more than a man. Those that saw more than a man, truly saw their Messiah, God invested. He was more than just a human vessel Jehovah created to get inside of; He was a living soul Himself. Yet because of the way He was conceived in Mary’s womb, by a divine act of the Spirit of God, He was without sin. But you must always remember. He was a complete human being. He cold have exercised His will at any time, and the truth of the matter is, He did exercise His will, but His will was to do the will of the Father, always. Of course we will have to say once again, The life in that vessel of clay, did come from Jehovah, but where did your life come from? This is what we want to illustrate and deal with in our next message. All life had to come from Jehovah, but the very fact that we came into the world by a perverted act, makes us fallen creatures, standing in need of a Savior. Sin entered the picture, when Adam and Eve failed their test. They had a commission, to multiply, and fill the earth, but instead of fulfilling that commission through the tree of life, they allowed themselves to be tempted and overcome, and they ended up fulfilling God’s commission through the law of the tree of death, which was the tree of knowledge. Therefore redemption was necessary, but it could not come through Adam’s genetic seed. That is why God had to act again. But this time, He did not go out, and mix clay and water, and fashion another Adam. He simply created in the womb of a young virgin, a cell of life, that would produce a Son without the fallen nature. In other words, the life of Jesus came into being, by an indirect act of creation. That is why it is right to say, Jesus the Christ, was the only begotten Son of God. He was born of woman, like any other little baby, but there was no nature to sin, in Him, because His life came from above, and ours came from beneath. In other words, our lives are the result of God’s law of creation. That law of reproduction gives us all an existence, but our life goes back through that law, to the very author of life, the Creator. When it came time for this great Creator to show His redeeming qualities, then He gives Himself a begotten Son, to carry it out through. He is called by Paul, the second Adam. Adam our progenitor according to the flesh, was a perfect man, before the fall, and had the presence of Jehovah living in that vessel of clay with him. That was where the test lay. Would they obey the voice of their Creator, and continue to enjoy that presence? Or would they disobey His command to them, and lose that presence? I think we all know the answer to that. The devil entered the picture, and Adam forfeited the position he held. As I have said, we are told in the Bible that God drove them out of the garden of Eden, and placed cherubims to guard the way to the tree of life, but that does not mean that God drove them out of a geographical spot of ground somewhere. He merely withdrew His divine presence from them, and made them subject to the five senses. They no longer had the privilege of communicating in the spirit world, as they had before. God stripped Eve of the knowledge of knowing when to partake of His law of reproduction according to the tree of life. From that time on they would have that intimate relation with each other, and it would serve the purpose of repopulating the earth, but it would be apart from the tree of eternal life. Now they could only see the animal kingdom about them, and the ground that had to be tilled by Adam, instead of the serpent that God had given him for a servant. When they lost that abiding presence of Elohim, they lost contact with the spirit world, that had previously been just as accessible to them as the material world, and they lost the privilege of bringing offspring into the world by the tree of life. All their children had death in them. But Jesus the Christ, was not born by that route; His life truly came from above. However, as I have said before, Do not try to make Him Emmanuel from the moment He was born into the world. That terminology did not apply to Him at any time, before He reached age 30.

INCARNATION MADE THE DIFFERENCE

I get letters from people who have read in the Contender where I made that statement that Jesus was not Emmanuel until after He was baptized by John, and the Spirit of the Father came down to indwell God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 8 of 26 Him, and they say, But Bro. Jackson: How about Isaiah 7:14? Well Isaiah 7:14 just simply covered the whole scope of what He was to be, just like Isaiah 9:6 does, but He was not to be known by any of that, until after the Father incarnated Him at age 30. Only a few people even knew that about Him before then. At the time of His birth, God bore witness to a few people, Anna, Simeon, the sheep herders, and so forth, but to everyone else, He was just another little Jewish baby. The wise men from the East, came and inquired. Where is he that is born King of the Jews? But He was not King of the Jews at that time; He only had that future potential lying within Him. Therefore as I have stressed over and over. He was not God with us; He was not the mighty God; He was not the everlasting Father, an neither was the government upon His shoulder at any time during the first thirty years of His life. He was perfect man, but He was not God. He had a perfect human mind, that could think, make choices, and act upon his decisions, but He never at any time during those first thirty years, attempted to work any kind of miracle, or be anything that would catch the attention of the other people. Then when the Father did incarnate Him, and He did enter into His foreordained ministry, no less than 80 times. He referred to Himself as the Son of man, placing particular emphasis upon the fact of His humanity. Brothers and Sisters: It may seem at times, like I am going to seed on certain things, but if you could read my mail, and answer my telephone for awhile, you would realize that there are still a lot of people out there, searching for truth, and no matter how well some of you may know these things already, we still have to be concerned for the ones who do not yet know them, but want to. No, we are not going to change the world, no matter what we say, but those who are still seeking to know the truth, let us be there with that truth. Those trinitarians and extreme oneness, that have already settled in their heart, what they want to believe, are not going to change, but scattered here and there among them, are still a few people who desire to walk with the Lord, and to know what truth is. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” No wonder Jesus said that, for once you know the truth, you could not care less about what the devil throws at you. His accusations and criticism means nothing to you, once you know the truth. When your conscience is clear before God, let the world scream all they want to, it will not disturb you in the least. Therefore as we put this in print, I want every angle to be covered, so that, the Lord willing, I will never have to deal with this particular message, in this way, again.

ISAIAH’S PROPHECY CONCERNING JESUS

Let us go to Isaiah 7:14, and examine it carefully. “Therefore the Lord Himself (This is none other than Jehovah Himself, speaking through Isaiah the prophet.) Shall give you a sign; (meaning Israel.) Behold, a virgin shall conceive, (It does not say when) and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” The sign was to appear to Israel, and you will notice, it said a virgin shall bear a SON, not just a child, as many people want to believe. It was to be a son, and His name was to be called Immanuel. You cannot get much more specific than that. But still people see things that are not really there. Many of the extreme oneness people, read that verse and say, See there! That proves that He was born God. No, it does not. You cannot put that one verse of scripture above everything else, that gives you a revelation of when that prophecy was fulfilled. I have never yet heard a oneness person say that the name Jesus, is a compound name. If those various deity names, or titles, carry compound meanings, then why would not this redemption name carry a compound meaning also? When Jehovah is manifested in a man, and that man constantly proclaims that He has come in His Father’s name, then how can you help but see a compound name there? We are just looking at the name here, we are not yet dealing with the man Himself, so let us go to Isaiah 9:6. This is the next thing that prophet recorded about that son that was to be born of a virgin. This is actually the Spirit of God, speaking on behalf of the people, that are looking for this great visitation from their God. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government (Now notice these prophecies; they are all given in the fulfilled sense.) Shall be upon His shoulder. (In other words the prophecy carries all the way from birth, to the climax of all that He was to fulfill in the purpose of God, but we have to be able to see an elapse of time God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 9 of 26 in all of that.) And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” I do not find in the scriptures, where anyone ever met Jesus on the street and said, Good morning Wonderful, Good morning Counselor, or anything like that. Actually He was to be all of that, but when? Not at birth. I would have to challenge anyone on that. We have too many other scriptures to look at, not to realize that. Of course, where some will argue the point, others will say, What difference does it make? It makes a lot of difference to a true revelation. Let us read on. “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the lord of hosts will perform this.” Now that prophecy is spoken in the complete fulfilled sense and purpose, but its fulfillment had to await its time.

PROPHECY CONCERNING JOHN THE BAPTIST

Let us to go Isaiah 40, where this same prophet wrote something else, concerning the actual time when those other two prophecies would have another phase of their fulfillment. This pertains to something that took place 30 years after His birth. Verse 3, “The voice of him that cried in the wilderness was John the Baptist, sent to prepare the way, before the coming of the Lord. “Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” What language. That sounds like there should have been someone out there with survey instruments, surveying and driving stakes in those old Judaean hills; does it not? But for the most part, those old Judaean hills are still just like they were two thousand years ago. Listen. “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.” That sounds like quite a highway was being built. But every bit of that is spiritual. Those mountains are figurative; those valleys are figurative, and so are the crooked and rough places. That is the way God hid the true thought, until time for it to be fulfilled. But notice verse 5; this is what we want to see. First there had to be a highway prepared. But to where, and to what is this highway prepared? It was a way into the hearts of the people, and verse 5 tells us why. “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah was speaking of a time when the Lord would show forth His glory. But it was not at the birth of Jesus; it was at His baptism. There was no such manifestation of the Spirit of God at the birth of Jesus, like there was at His baptism. Let us just look back at his birth, and see what happened. When the angel of the Lord spoke, he spoke in the sense of the completed prophecy, but there is a long span of time between birth and baptism, with very little written about Him. Surely to goodness, if the glory was as real at His birth as it was at His baptism, there would have been something more written about this Son of God, in between the two accounts. He was the same man all the way through, but we just have to realize, God did not mean for us to learn of His great plan of salvation just from the mere flesh part of the man. He used that flesh to reveal Himself through, but salvation is of the Spirit. Let us go to Matthew 1:18, where the angel spoke to Joseph who had become engaged to this young woman, knowing nothing of the plan of God. Therefore what was about to happen, would be a great surprise to him, and he had to make a decision. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Now saints, we are not trinitarians, therefore we know the Holy Ghost was not a person, and neither was His father a person. But God (the Father) did possess the person of His Son, for it is written, that Jesus had the Spirit without measure. So notice how this goes. “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make he a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on those things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son. (The angel is going to announce what the name of that son is to be. Isaiah did not give the name; God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 10 of 26 he only told what the name given Him would mean.) And thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Like I said, those prophecies were spoken in the complete fulfilled sense, but if we have spiritual eyes to see, we are going to see that it took time for that name given to that little baby, to take on the full significance of its compound meaning, God with us. The angel concludes by saying, “For He shall save His people from their sins.” Which actually means, Jehovah God Himself shall save His people from their sins, and He will do it through the power and authority of that manifested name. Now that name just simply written down on a piece of paper would have no authority in itself, for there have been a lot of people named Jesus, down through time. So what made the difference? It was that anointing He received at His baptism, that made the difference. Those other Jesus’ did not have it. Verse 22, “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” This was Matthew’s account of the angels appearance to Joseph, so let us go to Luke 1:26, where we will find Luke’s account of the angel appearing to Mary. “And in the sixth month (The sixth month of John’s mother’s pregnancy) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, (That is where Joseph and Mary lived) to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. (The Catholics really love that verse.) And when she saw him, she was troubled at His saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.” Remember, Brothers and Sisters: This took place before what we just read in Matthew. There could have been a number of months in between the two accounts, for the angel appeared to Mary to announce her conception, but he did not appear to Joseph until he found out that she was with child. Notice now, “And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David.” Well we see here, that this son is to be called the Son of the Highest. This was one of the deity titles we looked at earlier, the Highest. “And He shall rule over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; (The word power, actually means authority. There are many places where the translators have used power, where it actually should have been authority.) therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

PROPHECY FULFILLED

Brothers and Sisters: We are dealing with the child of a virgin woman, but here, the angel speaks specifically, He shall be called the Son of God. At what time will He be known as the Son of God? Actually He was always the Son of God; but to most people, it was only known by a divine revelation, after His baptism by John. I do not mean to say that most people say that, but of those who did, it was because it was revealed to them by the Spirit. So we just have to say, a lot can take place as time moves on. We will go on over into the 2nd chapter of Luke, for there are a few points we want to make. God did not speak to Joseph, and tell him, Now Joseph, when Mary gets close to the time for her delivery, you take a trip to Bethlehem. The prophets of old, spoke of Bethlehem, but how was it all going to fulfill itself? God creates conditions that work together to fulfill His word. He will speak certain things, and they become established by His word, but then He has to work conditions to make sure that word is materialized into a fulfilled reality. Here He lets the old Roman emperor make a decree, requiring that all the world should be taxed, so the taxation went into effect right at the exact time, to force Joseph to God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 11 of 26 go to Bethlehem to pay his part. So to Bethlehem they went, to pay their taxes, and during the days they were there, Mary’s time was up, and she gave birth to her first child. In other words, they could not just walk up and pay their taxes, the first day they got there, for the little town was no doubt running over with people that were there for the same purpose. The fact that they could find no place in the inn, lets us know that the little town of Bethlehem was like a beehive. People were coming from far and near, just to pay their taxes. Therefore when Joseph and Mary got there, Howard Johnson’s was full, the Ramada Inn was full, the Holiday Inn likewise. I do not know what they named those places back then, but at least you get the point. Well the last place they went, they were told, The Inn is full, but we do have a stable out back that you could stay in, and that was exactly as God meant for it to be. But the minute you mention a stable, people will say, Oh that is terrible. But let me tell you saints, there have been children born in worse places than that. The point was, God wanted that humble environment for what was going to take place. The child was born there in that stable, and there were shepherds abiding in the field, in the same country, keeping watch over their flocks by night. It was not snowing, the weather was not bad, and when Jesus was born, the Bible says, (Luke 2, verse 9) “And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” There again, this prophecy was spoken in the fulfilled sense, like most of the prophecies were, so you just have to be spiritual enough to look at all of the scriptures, and see how it transpired. “And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” When that angel told them that, they knew better than to go to the Ramada Inn and inquire, Do you have a little newborn baby here? No. The angel told them they would find him wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, so what they had to do, was go into town and look for a stable. “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Well the shepherds came, and saw the little baby, and returned to their flocks rejoicing because of what they had heard and seen. That brings us down to verse 21, where the little baby was legally named JESUS. Of course in their hearts, Joseph and Mary named Him Jesus at birth; but according to their law, when they brought Him to the temple, that is when the name JESUS, became His legal name. It went on record then, and became the name that He would be identified by. It was just like us having our children’s names recorded at the county courthouse. You can name a baby in the hospital room, but until that becomes a recorded fact, the child has no legal identity. The Jews were very particular about those things. In fact, they kept records of their tribal lineage, of whose house this one, and that one was from. They were practically the only people on earth that did so. “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcision of the child, His name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord.” This is when the name really became authenticated, when the offering was made, and the priest made a record of it. “As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord. And to offer a sacrifice according to the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledove, or two young pigeons. (Notice now) And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ,” (or the Lord’s anointed one, which is what it means.) In other words, when Simeon saw that child, he saw it for what it was destined to be, to Israel, and really to the whole word. Through Him, would be accomplished God’s salvation plan for lost mankind. But we all know good and well that when Jesus came to the river to be baptized by John, and that salvation plan was set in operation, the man called Simeon was no longer around, but the beauty of it all was the way God confirmed through him, what this child was destined to be, to fulfill every scripture. Time itself brought about the fulfillment. But God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 12 of 26 to even think that this little baby born in Bethlehem, in a stable, was already Jehovah in the flesh, is completely contrary to too many scriptures, and it keeps many scriptures from even having any importance. Nevertheless the child’s destiny was confirmed to the shepherds, to Mary and Joseph and to the spiritual people at the temple, but to the nation of Israel as a whole, He was not confirmed. As a matter of fact, He was between one and two years old, before the next confirmation was made, and that was to the wise men that came from the east. Like I have already pointed out, Those wise men did not come and say, Where is He that is born Immanuel? They said, Where is He that is born King of the Jews. He was not king at that time, but He was King to be. His first role was prophet, but like we have said over and over, He was not even that, until after He was baptized by John, and the Spirit of the Father descended, and incarnated Him. He was a prophet for three and a half years, He has been high priest for almost two thousand years, and when His Kingship is fulfilled, He will deliver everything back up to the Father, that God, the same Spirit that caused His conception in the womb of that virgin; may be all in all. Where then, does that put Jesus? Does He disintegrate? Or is His position lowered? No. We do not look at it like that. After the whole redemption plan is completed, He will still be the Son of God that He has been ever since the day He was born. He does not lose one thing, because through the whole thing. God has been lifting you and me up, to be like Him, so we can see him as our elder brother. It was God, our heavenly Creator, that we could not see, so He revealed and manifested Himself through this one that could be seen and touched, and He ordained that we could worship Him through the person of this dear Son. There has never been another human on the face of the earth, through which this could be done. That is why the scriptures say that He has been made both Lord and Christ. He is simply fulfilling the perfect will of God in His great plan of redemption. Therefore when the kingdom is all redeemed, and the purpose of God has been completed, then there will be the whole family of God on earth, and Jesus Himself will be the elder brother of this whole family.

SIMEON AND ANNA RECOGNIZE JESUS

Let us look back a few more minutes, at how the baby Jesus was confirmed to be what He was. Simeon and Anna, were representative of the people that had been looking for this special child, which was the hope of Israel for redemption. Simeon was old, and once he saw Him, he said, Now Lord, let me die in peace, according to thy word. He was not worried about remaining on the scene any longer, to see what God would do, because he knew what God would do. That is the part that makes me feel so happy, just thinking about it. Hallelujah! Then there was the old woman by the name of Anna, just moving in the Spirit, that came right to Him. Brother, when the Holy Ghost does something, it is done right, and you can get a true revelation that will move right on through the scriptures without any conflict. That old woman came by and she too, began speaking of Him, to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. You know she did not live to see the day when He would start to fulfill the things she was speaking of. She no doubt died pretty soon after that, but she had lived to see the hope of Israel, Joseph and Mary pondered those things in their hearts, and just waited to see what God would do. Now Luke, the historian, says that they returned to Nazareth after that, but if you will pay close attention to the record of Matthew, you will notice that they did not immediately return back to Nazareth. They went right back to Bethlehem. Luke did not record their flight into Egypt, nor the wise men coming from the Far East; it was Matthew that included those events in this account. No doubt they felt that because of what had taken place at Bethlehem, there was something special about the child being there. Their personal feelings were probably that they should stay right there in Bethlehem. The months passed, Jesus was no longer a newborn baby, and according to Matthew, they were living in a house, when the camel caravan arrived from the east, coming to visit, and pay their respects to a special person. They went to King Herod’s palace, introduced themselves, and said, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? We have seen His star in the East, and have come to worship Him. (There are many legendary stories about this event, but the Bible tells us enough to cancel out many of them, if we will pay attention. Time and space will not God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 13 of 26 allow us to go into them; but you can read the 2nd chapter of Matthew and catch the main points.) King Herod sent for the Scribes and Pharisees, chief priests, and so forth, and inquired of them, where such a child was supposed to be born. Naturally they were all familiar with the scrolls, and exactly what he was talking about, so they said, “In Bethlehem of Judaea; for thus it is written by the prophet, and thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.” King Herod then told the wise men what he had found out; that according to their authorities, this child was to be born about 9 miles down the road, in Bethlehem. Go and search diligently for the young child, and when you have found Him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship Him also. What a political hypocrite; that was a conniving trick, to try and get rid of Him. The star that had guided them, went before them to Bethlehem, and stood over the house where the young child was. That was how they found Him. Now the scientific world has a lot of theories about that star, and every one of them are no doubt wrong. I cannot help but feel that this was a supernatural star, and here is why, you can go outside on a clear night like tonight, and I challenge you to tell me which one of those stars are actually hanging over your head. There no doubt would be one, that you would feel was right over you, but if it were possible to draw a straight line down from it to the ground, you might find that it is a hundred miles away. Yet those wise men were able to actually follow a precise star, that led them to Jerusalem, then on to Bethlehem, where it went and stood directly over the house where the young child was. I challenge any one of you to step outside, and tell me which one of those stars are actually hanging right over this church house. You simply cannot do it.

A SUPERNATURAL STAR

Those wise men were astronomers from the east, and I know they did not have the huge telescopes like we do today, so there had to be some sort of supernatural manifestations that really got their attentions, and they had to know something of what was written in the scriptures in order to associate it with this event. Well whatever there was in the natural elements, God just put a supernatural something about it, and that was the thing that guided them. It went before them, and stood right over the place where the young child was. First it was over Jerusalem; that was to get Herod into the picture, but then it was nine miles away, standing over Bethlehem. That required some sort of supernatural intervention. I hope you understand my point, for I am persuaded that God is not going to write a book explaining it. The wise men followed that star and what did they find? Not a newborn baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. No, it was a young child under two years old, and they were living in a house. Herod had asked them, How long ago did you see this sign, and based upon their answer, when they failed to return to Him with the information he wanted, he made a decree that all children in Bethlehem, and in the region round about under two years of age, should be killed, and that was based upon what the wise men had told him concerning the time they had first seen the star. That shows that Jesus could have been close to two years old by that time. Well they worshiped and adored Him, all based upon the assumption that He was the one born to be King of Israel. Naturally we all know that He was not a King at that time, but the prophecy declaring that the government would be upon His shoulder was a true prophecy, so He will one day be exactly that. He had to be a prophet first; then high priest, and one day He will take the throne of David, and rule for a thousand years, and after that, He will eventually be looked upon as our elder brother, standing at the head of the redeemed family of God. Alright, Herod had told these wise men to return to him, and let him know where the young child was, but they were warned by an angel of God, to return some other way, and bypass Herod, so they did, and were not heard from again. Herod did not like the idea of them making a fool of him like that, and he certainly did not intend to stand by, and allow that child to grow up, being looked upon as King, so his decree was designed to prevent that. But just about the time that decree became law, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying, Arise, and take the young child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him. Joseph did as he was warned to do, God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 14 of 26 and Herod’s troops did as they were instructed to do, and slew all the children under two years of age, but Jesus was spared, because He was in Egypt, and every bit of this was to fulfill scriptures. One was Hosea 11:1, “Out of Egypt have I called my Son.” That is how Matthew expressed the prophecy. The type was set by calling Jacob (Israel) out of Egypt, and the fulfillment of it was when God called His only begotten Son out of Egypt.

JOSEPH GOES BACK TO NAZARETH

When word came that King Herod was dead, the angel said to Joseph. “Arise, and take the young child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.” I can just see Joseph, as he saddles up, loads up their personal belongings, takes his wife and child and starts up the old trail toward home. But as they come into the borders of Israel, he hears that Herod’s son is reigning in his father’s place, and he knew that this fellow was not much different than his daddy, so he was afraid to go on to Bethlehem. Again, he was warned in a dream, so he just bypassed Bethlehem and Jerusalem, and went right back to Nazareth, where they had originally come from. That is where the child grew up, and that also fulfilled another prophecy which stated, He shall be called a Nazarene Brother, the scriptures are being fulfilled right and left, and still no one has recognized Jesus as Immanuel. There were those that God had vindicated it to; who knew that He had this potential lying in Him, but to the rest, He was just another little Jewish boy. As for conditions themselves, you can almost imagine what the people of Nazareth might have said to Joseph and Mary: What in the world ever caused you to move back here? Well there was a lot to tell, but we do not know how much Joseph and Mary ever told, concerning the circumstance that caused them to move back there. One thing is sure though; they knew they were going to stay away from Herod’s son, that ruled in his place, an Nazareth seemed to be the place to be, so all of that worked together, to fulfill other scriptures. At age twelve, when He was found setting among the doctors in the temple, both hearing them, and asking them questions; they knew He was a smart little boy, but they did not know what He was to be. Naturally they marveled at His wisdom, for He, being the Son of God, had unlimited potential. He possessed a perfect knowledge in that respect, and He knew who He was. Never did He have to ask, as some do today, Who am I? We are living in a generation where many people are going around from place to place, trying all sorts of things, trying to find themselves, but He knew who He was. That is why He answered Mary as He did, when they found Him in the temple that day; Did ye not know that I must be about my Father’s business? That in itself, should be enough to let people know that He was not yet Immanuel. He was not speaking a riddle. Elohim was not talking. That was absolutely the Son of God talking. I keep stressing these points, hoping that some extreme oneness people can be helped with them, to the point where they can realize that the Son of God has always been in the picture, from the very day of His birth. Even the incarnation thirty years later, still did not do away with the Son. Any person that cannot glorify Him as the Son of God, has something wrong with their revelation. No, saints, I am not ashamed to stand here and talk like this, for I am not trying to please anyone except God. It would be vain, to try to please the world, the trinity, or even the oneness, for it is the purpose of God, that we ought to endeavor to accomplish. When you know that there is going to be some people go out of here one day, because the truth has set them free, it makes you even more determined to see that they get the truth. I am not trying to convince the world; the world has what they want. But there is a people that have been called out of the world, and they still do not have the truth. These are the ones who must hear, and receive a revelation, in order to be ready when the Bridegroom cometh. It may seem like the devil has completely taken over, and that the gospel of Jesus Christ has lost its power; but I am here to tell you that it is still accomplishing all that the Father ever meant for it to. It is bringing some to repentance and God likeness, and it is judging all the rest. God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 15 of 26

OUR PERFECT EXAMPLE

Getting back to our subject now, let me say this, Not even Joseph and Mary understood from the very beginning, the full significance of what the angel of the Lord had spoken to them. They had to grow with the unfolding circumstances that brought it all to pass. But the Bible tells us that from the episode at the temple, at age twelve, He (Jesus) went down to Nazareth with Joseph and Mary, and was subject unto them. No more did they have to wonder where He was, and never did they have to worry about what He was getting into, like other parents did, for He had no nature in Him, to want to do wrong. Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” He had to eat natural food just like the rest of us, in order to increase in stature, and the fact that He found favor with God, proves that He was not God already, But, Hallelujah! He was the one through whom God would reveal Himself to this lost and dying world of mankind Jesus, the perfect man who knew no sin, went to the cross and died, to redeem you and me who are so unworthy of redemption. An innocent one took our place and became sin, in order that we who were sinful might be lifted up, and be made like unto Him. Just as sin was imputed to mankind when Adam sinned, righteousness is imputed to all those who truly believe and put their trust in that work of redemption that was wrought at Calvary, through that perfect Son of God. When He was growing up, there in Nazareth, it was not His nature to aggravate people. He found favor with God and man, and in order to do that, you have to be morally, socially, principally, and ethically above reproach. People could always speak well of Him. As a man, He set a perfect example. How was He able to do that? Simply because He was not a sinner. There was no iniquity in Him, His nature was to express the attributes of His Father, who was, and still is the true and living, and all sufficient God of all creation. But because of our fallen nature, we had more of a tendency to express the attributes of the enemy of God, the devil. That is what we have been redeemed from. Because of what Jesus did for us, our own nature has been changed, to be more like him. Well, as I said, we do not have any record of what took place in His life, between the age of twelve, and the time when He was baptized at age thirty, but we do know that He possessed wisdom and knowledge. When He came back to Nazareth, after He was baptized, and went into the synagogue, He knew what was written in those scrolls, and He knew where His life fitted into them, and when and how certain things were to be applied, so let us go back to Matthew, chapter 3, where John is baptizing there in the Jordan River.

THE HOLY GHOST BAPTIZER

John has been asked a lot of questions: who are you, and what have you got to say for yourself, and all such like, and in verse 11, he says this. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” That, brothers and sisters, was a prophecy, because none of that would be applicable when Jesus was here in His earthly ministry. That would be applicable only after He had entered into His role as high priest. Notice now. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? John knew he was a sinner, and that at his very best, he fell short of what this man was. “And Jesus answering, said unto him, Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him.” We have already spoken of Isaiah 40:5, but right here is where it was actually fulfilled. This is where the Jehovah Elohim from above, comes upon the scene and possesses His only begotten Son, to literally fulfill the scripture, “God with us,” which is what the name Immanuel means. At this time, the name Jesus begins to take on a compound meaning. “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, (What is taking place now? The glory of the Lord is going to be revealed, in a way that was not revealed at His birth. There was God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 16 of 26 no such demonstration at His birth.) And He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.” This is Jehovah which is a Spirit, and cannot be seen, coming down to incarnate His Son, but in order to fulfill the scripture, “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,” He gave Himself this manifestation, and appeared in the form of a dove. You cannot say that God is a bird, yet that dove expressed the quality of the nature of God, and it sat upon Jesus, that obedient Son, and while the dove was sitting there upon Jesus, the voice still spoke from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” This does not make God a ventriloquist; It simply demonstrates the fact of His omnipresence. Though He will be in His Son in the fullness of all His attributes, He will still fill the whole universe with His great presence. But from that moment on, Jesus could say, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father. There stood the only sinless man that ever walked the face of this earth, and now the great Creator who begat Him, is dwelling in Him, in the fulness of all of His attributes. Adam was made sinless and perfect, but he was placed here on earth with a commission to fulfill, to replenish the earth, and before he could get started fulfilling that commission, he failed his Creator. God imputed a death penalty to him, and that penalty passed upon the whole human race, but God still allowed the law of reproduction to go right ahead and fill the earth with offspring from that law. The difference though, is that every little baby born, already had that sentence of death in it. Every little baby is born with a nature to sin, instead of a nature to be holy. Therefore God gave Himself another Son, for the purpose of redeeming that which is in bondage to Satan, the devil. As we have said already, God sent His angel, and gave the yet unborn baby its name, JESUS. This name would have a singular application for the first thirty years of His life, and then it would become a compound name, by which the Son, as well as the Father, would be known in redemption. Men could see the Son, who was always glorifying the father whom men could not see. But when the Son left the scene, the Holy ghost took His place on earth among men, and He, an invisible Spirit, always glorifies the Son whom men have seen in the flesh. Well that is exactly what Jesus said the Holy Ghost would do, when He came. He said He (the Holy Ghost) would not speak of Himself, but would take the things of His (Jesus’) and show them unto us. That is why we are able to get revelation, because the Holy Ghost is taking those things, and showing them to us.

GOD IN HIS SON

We have gone through the Bible, showing various manifestations of Jehovah God (the Elohim) as He would reveal Himself to men of the Old Testament era, but as we have pointed out, none of those men ever saw God, for He is an invisible Spirit. He has no form that even could be seen but all those people who were privileged to see Jesus, after He was baptized by John, came as close to seeing God as anyone can. That great eternal Spirit dwelt in Him, in the fulness of all of His attributes. Paul said Jesus had the Spirit without measure. Everyone of us who have been baptized by the Holy ghost, have a measure of the Spirit of God in us, but He had the fullness of the Spirit, without measure. Once the Son was manifested, almost two thousand years ago, the Father has never shown Himself in any other kind of manifestation, other than to point us back to Jesus. For as we have already pointed out, all those other manifestations were pointing forward to that one particular Son, in whom would be consummated all types and shadows. “God who at sundry times and divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom (or for whom) also He made the worlds.” We are back in the 1st chapter of Hebrews. It is hard to talk very long in a message like this without coming back to these opening verses of the book of Hebrews. The apostle Paul was not a personal disciple of Jesus Christ, when Jesus walked on earth, but oh, what a revelation that man had in his heart, once the Spirit of God finished dealing with him. Of course there are times when one might think he did not have a revelation, but you just have to remember, that the Bible has been translated by trinitarians, and there are places where that trinity view comes through in the translation. In verse 2, where it says, “By whom also He created, or made the worlds,” it sounds as though God used the person of Jesus to create all things. God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 17 of 26 That is not the thought you should get from that verse. It was God that created all things, and that should say FOR WHOM, instead of BY WHOM. Before there was ever anything created, God’s plan of creation was already a finished thought in His great mind, and He, knowing even then, that man would fall, and stand in need of a Saviour, included that provision for man’s redemption, before He ever created anything, and therefore chose to redeem all things by, and through the person of His Son, back to Himself. “Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person.” before we read on, let me say this, Actually the person of His Son, was a full illumination of the glory and majesty of this invisible Spirit that created all things by His word. It took that perfect Son, who was born without sin, to be so submissive to the sovereign mind of the Father, as to allow Him to direct all His ways. We would have to say that Jesus was possessed by a super mind, that far exceeded the natural mind that the Son Himself possessed. Of course when you talk like this, some people actually get scared, and think you are actually diminishing from the oneness of God. But believe me, you are not. It is just merely teaching it like the apostles of Christ taught it. It is not offensive, to refer to the man called Jesus, as the Son of God, for that is exactly what He is, and neither is it discrediting God, to recognize that the fullness of God was manifested in Him. He was as much God as man, and He was as much man as God. That is why you can say, It is a perfect unity. That is the same picture God has chosen to manifest in each of us. Not that we will become God, but God is moving us toward that perfect unity that we see here. It takes time for all of this to come about, but in the end, in eternity, you become a full fledged, manifested son and daughter of God. That is why it is spoken in Ephesians, “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He (God) might gather together in one all things in Christ.” It is God, the eternal Spirit, showing Himself in all of His glory and majesty, in and through His entire redeemed family, as well as all creation. Redemption will have been accomplished by God, in and through the person of His only begotten Son.

THE IMAGE OF GOD

As we read verse 3 here in Hebrews, chapter 1, we get a misleading thought, if we do not stop to analyze the phrase, “The express image of His person,” forin the English language, the word IMAGE, pertains to something that has some sort of visible form. Therefore what you have to realize, is that the physical form of the man called Jesus, is not what Paul was referring to, as being the express image of God. He was a man, but He was possessed by something that was truly divine. The first miracle He ever did, when He turned the water to wine, that was the image of God being seen there. Mankind was getting a glimpse of what God is, because the Son Himself plainly stated over and over, The Son can do nothing; it is the Father in Him, that doeth these works. Therefore the image we must see here, is not what can be seen with the natural eye, but that which can be seen with the spiritual eye, by a divine revelation. God gave us two natural eyes, to see how to get around from place to place, but inside of us, that inner man has got to have some spiritual eyes that allow him to see where he came from, and where he is going. Otherwise he is lost. Now that verse says, “The express image of His person,” so the word person, is also misleading, for God is not a person. But here again we have to realize that the Bible was translated like this, by people who believed that God is a person, so it is up to you, if you have a revelation of the godhead, to realize that it should read, the express image of His substance. That speaks of what God really is. Jesus was the very expression of the invisible substance that God truly is. Then it says, “And upholding all things by the word of His power.” The word power, as used here, means authority. It is not the person Jesus, doing it, but the Father in Him, directing Him to speak things, is where the authority lay, and that is what this verse is giving reference to. The Son never exercised any authority, apart from what the Father in Him, directed Him to do. “When He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” He purged our sins by laying His own life down. It was not Jehovah dying; it was the Son of God dying, and because of what He did on our behalf, we also have a measure of that same Spirit that was in Him, in us. We can say, we have a measure of God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 18 of 26 God in us. One day, if Jesus tarries His coming, we will die, but the Holy Ghost in us, will not die. He is not in us to keep us breathing the breath of this natural life; He is in us, to give our inner man, which is spirit, eternal life. He will take care of the flesh, a little later on. That is His plan. Yes, Jesus literally took our place, and bore the penalty for our sins. The eternal Spirit heaped upon Him the sins of the whole world; past, present and future. He was guiltless, yet He was despised, and as Isaiah said, “Stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” God let Him be abused, humiliated, ridiculed, and shamed, without doing one thing to stop it. Not knowing who He was: they called Him a blasphemer, an imposter, and they even called Him an illegitimate child, and though He was innocent of every one of their accusations, God still heaped upon Him the sins of the whole world. Jesus the man, took our sins, and let us go free. It was not God crying. It was not God begging to be saved from that terrible fate; it was the Son of God begging, If it be thy will, let this cup pass from me. He knew in His heart that He was going to face what He did, but the human side of Him did what anyone else would do, try to get released from the fate, which supports the fact that He was as human as anyone else. His life was destined to fulfill many prophecies, beginning at His birth, and going all the way to the eternal age, and though He cried, If it be possible, let this cup pass from me, He already knew that it would not pass from Him, for He knew that every prophecy of the scriptures must be fulfilled.

JESUS’ INHERITANCE

As we come to verse 4, remember, Paul is getting this from the Psalms. Paul did not know Jesus after the flesh, as the other disciples had known Him. He became acquainted with Him, completely by the Spirit, but let us pay attention to the revelation he had. Still speaking of Jesus, he says this, “Being made so much better than the angels, (In what way was He made better than the angels which were also offspring of God? Listen) as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?” When David, in the Spirit, was inspired to write those words and express them in song, it was none other than the anointing of the Spirit of God, speaking in the future tense, concerning this Son of God that was destined to come upon the scene. This is the promise pointing to that Son. “And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son.” In other words, Paul is saying, To which of the angels did God ever say a thing like that to? That gives you the whole thing in a nutshell. But let us go on, in verse 6. “And again, when He bringeth in the first begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him.” God made sure that all those prophecies concerning His only begotten Son would be fulfilled. So let us go to Bethlehem, the night He was born. Not on December 25, but in the fall of the year. Mary went with Joseph to Bethlehem, strictly for the purpose of paying their taxes; not even knowing when she would give birth to the little baby. If she had even suspected that it could happen while they were gone from home, she would have taken her baby clothes with her, on the trip. But the great eternal Spirit always watches over His word, and the prophecy was lying there, waiting to be fulfilled, in Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel,” so Mary had to be in Bethlehem when He was born. In the 2nd chapter of Luke, it says, “And when the days were accomplished, that she should be delivered, she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger.” Just imagine what Mary must have felt like, giving birth to her first little baby, and not having any of those cute little things she had been knitting, to put on it. But no sooner was this Son of God born, and laid in a manger, than the angels appeared to the sheep herders who were bedded down for the night, singing and praising God. The angel of the Lord said to them, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Meaning, The Lord’s anointed one.) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” That is why those sheep herders knew better than to go knocking on the doors of houses, looking for Him. They went right to the barns; God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 19 of 26 for that is where they were told He would be, and that is exactly where they found Him.

THE CAPTAIN OF OUR SALVATION

Let us go back to the 5th chapter of St. John, where we will again look at the name given to the only begotten Son of God. As I have said, If the oneness people would just allow themselves to study the whole gospel of St. John instead of just a few isolated verses, they would see the whole thing portrayed so beautifully, just like those Jewish disciples and apostles did, for God gave them the revelation, and they presented it in its true form. I have said repeatedly, the name JESUS, given to the Son of God, was a compound name; that carried a dual meaning. There were many Jews name Jesus; but none of them were the Christ. Their name only had a singular identity attributed to it. But as God Himself, chose this name, it lets us know that the Elohim of the Old Testament, who had already manifested Himself through the centuries, in many ways, when it came time for Him to bring His only begotten Son into the world, He had to have a name through which He would reveal Himself, so JESUS is the name He chose. But as I have pointed out, When the child was born, He was not yet God with us; He was merely the Son of God. For the first thirty years of His life, His name only carried a singular identity. He grew into manhood, waked as a man, breathed as a man, got dirty like other men, combed His hair, and dressed Himself like other men did. Why? Because He was a man, a perfect man. He never sought to be outstanding, nor to put on a show, even though He was born with that great intelligence. That is why I said, He knew more at age 12, than most of us do in a lifetime. He also knew exactly when to go get baptized, and He knew the scriptures that His life were to fulfill. But none of the rest of them could be fulfilled until after He was incarnated by the Father. When that incarnation took place, the Father descended from heaven to Him; not in the form of a crow, nor a buzzard, but a dove. Something symbolizing peace. When that dove descended, and sat upon Him, Isaiah 40:5 was fulfilled; the glory of the Lord was revealed. The people saw it. They saw a man receiving a baptism of the eternal Sprit in complete fullness. John the Baptist is the one who said Jesus had the Spirit without measure. He knew who He was, and he knew that he would speak the true words of life, and all who refused to hear Him would be doomed for destruction. But even though He was perfect, and had the Spirit without measure, He could not enter into fulfilling His predetermined purpose until after He was put on trial, like Adam and Even. He was not going to be the progenitor of life; He was going to be the Redeemer of life. Adam and Even brought life into the world, but that life had a fallen nature, with death imputed, and sin reigned throughout all mankind. So this perfect Son of God had a mission to accomplish. His mission was to redeem God’s fallen children back from the bondage of Satan. But first He had to be tempted. No, God was not tempting Him, but He allowed Satan the privilege of doing it, and He, the Father, was in Him during every bit of it. Brother I want you to know, When you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, your battles and warfare are just starting. That is what puts you right on the front lines. There are times when God allows the devil to hit you, knock you down, wallow you around, and scare the daylights out of you, just to see if you will get up whimpering and crying, or take your stand, and hold your ground. We have an example set before us. That perfect Son of God did not threaten the devil, saying, Listen devil, I have the Father in me, so you had better flee. No. He defeated the devil on every temptation, with a bold confession of what is written in the scriptures, and that is exactly what you and I have to do. It just goes to show: He who was the Word made flesh, still had to live according to the written word. He had to do that, in order to set a perfect example as a Son of God. The scriptures tell us that He is the captain of our salvation, and that He was made perfect by the things which He suffered. As a man, He was already sinless and perfect, but His purpose was perfected through the things He was forced to suffer. As the captain of our salvation, He established a perfect image of what God wants us to be in the likeness of. If He had never faced temptation, He never would have known what you and I have to face in this life. He was tempted in all three areas of what He was destined to fulfill, and during all that temptation, He never moved one inch from where He was, there in the desert. Satan was allowed to pick Him up, in the Spirit, and God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 20 of 26 illuminate all of that to Him, and talk to Him audibly, showing Him all the kingdoms of the world, and offer them to Him, if He would just bow down and worship him. Brothers and Sisters: When the devil does that to you, I hope you are grounded in the word, so that you will know that it is the devil doing it, and not God. He knew it was the devil talking to Him, and He knew exactly how to overcome, and how to demonstrate the power of God, in His written word. That is why it could be written of Him, that He came forth out of the wilderness, in the power of the Spirit. He came forth in the power of the Spirit, and the very first miracle He performed was turning the water into wine. It was more or less forced upon Him, but the Father was right there to back Him up. That is how we express it; though we know it was not the Son doing the miracles, but the Father in Him. Jesus the man, was just like a light bulb. A light bulb does not give light, it is only a channel through which the invisible energy shows itself.

THE FATHER’S REDEMPTION NAME

Alright now, the time has come that Jesus is before a lot of religious Pharisees and such like, so let us look at John 5:43, and see what He said to them. “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye received me not.” Those Pharisees knew that the name of the man doing the speaking was Jesus, but they did not understand what He meant, by saying that He came in His Father’s name, for to them, His Father’s name was Joseph. Yet we know that He was speaking from the stand point of the fact that the Father was in Him, leading Him, and speaking through His very vocal organs, the wonderful words of eternal life. The Father was being revealed through His Son, and the name Jesus, was the Father’s redemption name. That is what makes it a compound name. As you go through the gospel of John, here is the first time Jesus mentions the fact that He has come in His Father’s name. But from here on, in practically every speech, He lifts up the Father. He turns attention from Himself to the Father. It is not I that doeth the works, but the Father that dwelleth in me. Whatever the Father doeth, that doeth the son likewise. Why? That the Father may be glorified. Where? In the Son. The Son was the means by how the Father was demonstrated to the world. But it took a divine revelation for anyone to see who that man was. That is why we can say, Theology will never get anyone out of this world, in the rapture. It takes the Holy Ghost in us, to guide us, change us, and take us to glory. Notice verse 28 in the 7th chapter now. I am not trying to isolate these scripture verses from their context, but merely calling attention to them because they establish the thought we are dealing with. “Then cried Jesus in the temple as He taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am.” In other words, you know where I came from, Nazareth, and you know who I am. To you, I am the son of Joseph. “ I am not come of myself, but He that sent me is true, whom ye know not, (The eternal Spirit) But I know Him: for I am from Him, and He hath sent me.” Praise God! If you do not get a revelation out of that, something is wrong. Yet I realize that there are multitudes of people in this world, who will read verses like these, and not see a thing in any revelatory way. These verses we are using are just like stepping stones, through the gospel of St. John. That is why I have said, If people would really study this gospel record, and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to them, they would see something precious. John’s gospel, starting right from the very first chapter, is all pointing to the man called Jesus, after His baptism. He does not even touch His birth; he picks up the subject, after the incarnation, and takes it straight on through. So let us go to the 8th chapter, verse 42, where Jesus has just preached a sermon and He is discerning the hearts of those Pharisees. Deep down within their hearts, they were saying. We be Abraham’s children, and they even expressed it. Oh saints, this is just too good to pass up, so let us go back to verse 37, and notice, this is Jesus talking. “I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.(the devil) They answered and said unto Him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. (Listen to this.) Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to Him, We be not born of God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 21 of 26 fornication; (That is how they looked upon Him) we have one Father, even God. (Now we come to verse 42) Jesus saith unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but He sent me.” Now to you extreme oneness people, let me ask this, Does that sound like this flesh is only a tabernacle for Jehovah to dwell in, or would you be honest enough to admit, that there is another mind present, other than the mind of the Father? I like to keep stressing the point that if this flesh had only been manifested for the Father to dwell in, and there was no Son in the picture, then there would have been only one mind involved, and many of the things that Jesus said, would have made no sense at all. On the other hand, if you can see it as it really is, this man is talking like the sane sensible man that He is. Not only is He giving honor to the Father, but He is acknowledging before sinners, that He knew where He came from. He knew that His existence did not come from Joseph and Mary, as they supposed. His life originated from God Himself, and He understood every bit of it. That is why He could say, The Father sent me.

ONE SPIRT–BUT TWO MINDS

Let us go to chapter 10 and start with verse 29. “My Father, which gave them me is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” Brother: If you actually catch any revelation at all, of what is going on in the person called Jesus, you should know why He is talking like this. He did not want people hanging on to His flesh. “I and my Father are one.” The Father which is Spirit, always was, and always will be, merged with the Spirit of His Son, in such a way that there was only one Spirit involved, but there were two minds. That is why you can hear both the Father and the Son, speaking from the same mouth. It is a unity of the life of the Son, and the life of the Father, exemplifying what God wants to do in and through you and me. The end result is, one God, manifesting His word in His creation. As I said, God did not become a rock; but every rock is a result of His thought expressed. For by His word, He created all things, but His word was not His Son. His word was His thought expressed. He did not become a tree, but every tree is a result of the thought of God being expressed. By the same process, He gave life and existence to everything you see, yet He became none of that. By the word of God, all things exist, but God is not any of those things; therefore He never became flesh; He was only in that flesh. I hope you are following my train of thought, for John 1:1 can put your head in a spin if you do not allow the spirit of God to put a revelation in your heart, and realize that what is translated Word, is really the expressed thought of God. That is what 1:14 says, was made flesh, and dwelt among us. God created Adam from the dust of the earth, and breathed into him, the breath of life, and indwelled him. But when this son of God was tested, he failed the test; therefore God had to separate Himself from him. He drove Adam and Even from His presence, fulfilling His own word. For when He placed them at the head of his creation, He said, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” They did not die a physical death that day, but when God removed His life giving presence from them, they became spiritually dead, and every child born into the world, had that death imputed to them. In other words, Adam forfeited everything; just turned it over to the devil. That caused every individual born into the world, to be born with a nature not to seek after God, and you see what it finally led to. By the time the devil had worked with those minds through generation after generation, humanity in general became so corrupt, God had to bring a flood to destroy all but eight souls, and take a fresh start at repopulating the earth. Well you would have thought that flood would have left such a profound impression upon Noah and his descendants; that just the thoughts of it should have kept them from straying from the knowledge of God, for I am sure Noah and his sons kept that story alive to oncoming generations. But before too many years had passed, mankind was again doing anything and everything but the right thing. It just goes to show that man without God, is worse than someone lost in a jungle in the darkest of night. He just simply cannot find his way. It seems that about 40 years is as long as a divine revelation can be kept alive, before people start straying from it. That makes me ever so thankful God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 22 of 26 to God that in this end time, He will deal with an element of people to clear up everything, so that when He takes them out of here, they will not be a mixed up, divided in their thinking, self-satisfying bunch of people. They are going to know the truth, and they are going to live by that truth, and not be always seeking attention for themselves. Jesus never sought opportunity to put on a show to exalt Himself. No. That perfect Son of God, our pattern, always kept His thoughts yielded to the father, that the Father, which is Spirit, was always in control. What did Paul say, I believe it was in Philippians? “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” That means, the same attitude, and manner of thinking, which always caused Him to yield to the mind of the Father. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being the form of God, (or of the same substance) thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” In other words, After God has visited us, and lifted us up out of sin and degradation, then we may say to Him, Oh God, and express ourselves through this life, in the same manner. Not that we would think of ourselves as being equal with God, but we are able to commune with Him, and submit ourselves to His will and purpose, just like Jesus did. God has purposed in this period of time called the grace age, to be in His Church, not in any one particular person, but in the Church as a whole, in the fullness of His attributes that was in His Son Jesus. It is God, in His people, redeeming and reconciling, and expressing the same life that was in His only begotten Son. God has continued, through the church, to bring to completion, all that was set in motion through the life and ministry of Jesus. It is God, in creation, as Father. Then, God in His Son, in redemption, and finally, God, the Holy Ghost, in His people, for the work of regeneration. It is not three God’s. It is not three persons known as one God, but truly, one God, which is Spirit, manifesting Himself in three office works. Oh what a beautiful picture it is, when you see it through your spiritual eyes. Well that is what we are hoping these select verses of scripture will enable each of you to do, see Him through eyes of the Spirit, that is given to all who obey Him.

TRUTH SPOKEN THE RIGHT WAY

Coming back now, to John 10:30, when Jesus said, “I and my Father are one,” notice what verse 31 says. “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. (Those Pharisees were mad.) Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?” He knew they were mad, and He asked them a question that should have put them to thinking, but notice how they answered Him, in verse 33. “The Jews answered Him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” All they could see, was the man standing before them. They accepted the works, but they were sure not accepting the man through which those works were manifested. Out of everything they saw and heard, their conclusion was that Jesus was making Himself God. Well, for all practical purposes, He was God, but He sure did not make Himself what He was. It was the Father, which said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Whatever He was, it was the Father, that made Him that. Well Jesus answered the, “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” We know when Bro. William Branham would use this scripture, what a lot of the people sitting there would say, yet it has its true application. Jesus knew from what scripture He was getting it, and notice also, that gods is spelled with a little g. The Holy Ghost in Bro. William Branham, demonstrated the same works that were demonstrated in the life of Christ, and that same Spirit is still working through the Church in the same way, but in no way is the flesh of any individual to be looked upon as God, with a capital G. No manifestation of the Spirit of God could ever do one thing to ascribe any deity to human flesh. Jesus continues saying to them, “If He called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” Brothers and Sisters: There is a right and a wrong way to speak the truth, and there are times when we need to depend upon the Holy Ghost to show us that right way. The truth, spoken with wisdom, can settle an uncomfortable situation many times. Then on the other hand, that God Reveals Himself, Part 2, May 1986 Page 23 of 26 same truth, spoken with the wrong motive, many times will just start an argument. But in this particular situation, God is establishing something to those who have ears to hear, and the rest are still going to try to kill this Son of God. Therefore He said, verse 37, “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe me not, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in Him.” That is not what they wanted to hear. They did not want to hear anything that went contrary to their traditions. But let us think about those last words, “The Father is in me, and I in Him.” The Spirit of the son, was the Spirit that came out of God, to give life to this body of flesh, and now the Spirit of the Son was immersed, or merged back into the eternal Spirit through the baptism of that Spirit, never to be separated again. It is an eternal picture, and one that God wants to eventually accomplish in all of His foreknown children. We will never be Jesus, in the sense of the man He is. But we are to be Jesus in likeness, quality of life, character, and spiritual reaction. That is why we say, He was our pattern. Those Jews were not looking for a pattern though; for they were not even looking to the pattern they had. They claimed to be following Moses, but their lives were far from what Moses taught. “Therefore they sought again to take Him: but He escaped out of their hand.” They would eventually be allowed to kill Him, but they could not take Him, before the proper time, for everything was guided by the great eternal spirit, to fulfill the scriptures. Nothing in His life was ever out of season.

SEEING THE FATHER

Now for another very familiar verse, and also a very important verse to our subject, let us go to chapter 14, verse 7. The oneness Pentecostal people, like to use this verse. But like you have hard me say, They are just as afraid to use certain other scriptures, as the trinitarians are Acts 2:38. You will not get a trinitarian to quote Acts 2:38, for it is contrary to what they teach. If you ask one of them what it means, they will cough, and grunt, and get as nervous as can be; for they have no revelation on it. But let us come back to the verse we were about to read. Jesus is not talking to the multitude here, He is saying this to His disciples. Verse 7, “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth (meaning, From now on,) ye know Him, and have seen Him.” Jesus knew those words would put a big question mark in the disciples’ minds. But remember, He said many thing