What is the mystery of God that should be finished spoken of in Revelation 10:7? Who does this mystery involve, who does this mystery affect, and what is the key that unlocks the mystery? These and other questions we will attempt to answer while studying together Revelation 10:7. Because of the confusion stemming from the misunderstanding of this verse, pertaining to the mystery of God declared to be finished as the voice of the seventh angel is in progress of sounding, we desire to study this verse in its true biblical setting to learn just what this mystery is all about! Perhaps no other verse of scripture in all Revelations has caused as much misunderstanding as this one verse. The church world simply reads over it, treating it as though it is unrelated to the book it is found in.
- 1 TIME NO LONGER DELAYED
- 2 SPLITTING UP THE VERSE
- 3 IN THE DAYS
- 4 THE VOICE, WHAT IS IT
- 5 HUMAN EXPRESSIONS BY THE VOICE
- 6 MORTAL SINFUL FLESH, NEITHER GOD NOR WORD
- 7 WHAT DO YOU MEAN, VOICE BEGAN TO SOUND?
- 8 THINGS PROPHESIED YEARS AGO
- 9 HAD THE MESSAGE NOT COME
- 10 SOUNDING DID NOT MEAN REVELATION FINISHED
- 11 MESSAGE STILL UTTERED
- 12 COMPLETING THE MYSTERY OF GOD
- 13 THE MYSTERY INVOLVES MYSTERIES
- 14 MYSTERY – A LENGTHY TIME PERIOD
- 15 MYSTERY UNTO ONE PEOPLE ONLY
- 16 MYSTERIES REVEALED WITHIN MYSTERY PERIOD
- 17 WHAT MISUNDERSTANDING STATEMENT LED TO
- 18 MYSTERY OF GOD COMPLETED AT END OF GRACE AGE
- 19 HIDDEN MYSTERY REVEALED
- 20 PAUL’S KNOWLEDGE OF THE MYSTERY
- 21 PAUL OPENS UNDERSTANDING OF OLD TESTAMENT
- 22 ISRAEL BLINDED TO GRACE AGE
- 23 JEWS IGNORANT OF GENTILES ACCEPTING CHRIST
- 24 GENTILES BLINDED TO SCRIPTURE ALSO
- 25 MYSTERY MANIFESTED TO SAINTS
- 26 WHAT GOD DWELLING IN GENTILES ACCOMPLISHED
- 27 VEIL SOON TO BE LIFTED
- 28 EXPLAINING MYSTERY TO EPHESIANS
- 29 REVEALED TO NEW TESTAMENT PROPHETS AND APOSTLES
- 30 ABRAHAM’S COVENANT (FIRST MENTION OF MYSTERY)
- 31 UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST INVOLVES MYSTERIES
- 32 MYSTERY MADE KNOWN
- 33 JEW CHOSEN TO REVEAL MYSTERY
- 34 MIDDLE WALL BROKEN DOWN
- 35 BUILT UPON FOUNDATION OF APOSTLES & PROPHETS
- 36 WHY NEW TESTAMENT APOSTLES PLACED BEFORE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS
- 37 APOSTLE’S OFFICE REVEALS HIDDEN MYSTERY
- 38 MYSTERY GOING ON WHILE ISRAEL OUT OF LAND
- 39 APOSTLE’S FROM JEWISH RACE
- 40 OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS
- 41 MYSTERY AGE RUNNING OUT
- 42 BLINDED EYES
- 43 CHRIST, THAT PROMISED SEED
- 44 FIRST PROPHECY MENTIONED PERTAINING TO THE MYSTERY OF GOD PERIOD PROPHECY
- 45 EXPLAINS MYSTERY TO GENTILE BELIEVER
- 46 MYSTERY OF GOD EARLIER DECLARED BY PROPHETS
- 47 KEY THAT UNLOCKS
- 48 ALREADY DECLARED
- 49 FULFILLING SCRIPTURE FOR JEWS
- 50 TIME OF REFRESHING – ISRAEL’S REVIVAL
- 51 TIME OF RESTORATION – “RESTORING BACK” PERIOD
- 52 REFRESHING AND RESTORATION BOTH FUTURE
- 53 GENTILES QUESTION SCRIPTURES INFALLIBILITY
- 54 ISRAEL’S BLINDNESS BENEFITS GENTILES
- 55 SCRIPTURE SPEAK OF ISRAEL AS NO OTHER BOOK DOES
- 56 CUTTING OFF ONE GROUP WHILE RESTORING ANOTHER
- 57 SCRIPTURES DECLARED WHAT EARLY CHURCH ACCEPTED
- 58 OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURE AGREED
TIME NO LONGER DELAYED
To get a clearer picture, begin reading with Revelation 10:5 which says, “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven. (6) And swear by him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that therein are and the earth and the things that therein are, and the sea and the things which are therein, THAT THERE SHOULD BE TIME NO LONGER.” That is the translation of the King James Version, however, in its actual setting it means, let time no longer be delayed, showing the end doesn’t appear abruptly as the snap of the finger. Instead, it means something is going to happen which will no longer prolong time and will definitely set in motion things that will bring about the completeness of the very purpose of these words. Verses 6-7 are two verses which must go together because it is verse 6 that sets verse 7 in motion as it says, “BUT IN THE DAYS of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath (already) declared to his servants the (Old Testament) prophets.”
SPLITTING UP THE VERSE
Let’s take this verse by sections, and by breaking it up we will examine certain words found here, and last of all we will show the key which unlocks the entire verse! Beloved, without a true understanding of these individual words found in the verse, the entire verse of Revelation 10:7 could be interpreted several different ways as it is definitely being done today!
IN THE DAYS
The first portion of the verse reads like this, but in the days. What days? But in the days means in that time period which is related to the previous verse wherein the angel declared, let time be no longer (delayed), which means in that certain time period God is going to step up something, or going to fulfill something, or would set something in motion. Yes, God is going to set something in motion that will definitely bring to a climax this mystery of God.
THE VOICE, WHAT IS IT
The second part of the verse read – of the voice. The word voice here does not necessarily imply the articulation or vocal sound of a man. Yet, neither can you separate the vocal sounds of the man from the voice referred to in the verse because it does require a vocal expression to say something, doesn’t it? The word voice in its true application would have to refer to a message, not merely to someone’s natural voice. Remember, this same voice that would bring a message would also say a number of other things which would be entirely unrelated to the time which this scripture is discussing. In the first place, if this angel or messenger is not that of a supernatural being (which it is not) then it would certainly have to be an earthly messenger, and that is exactly what the seventh angel is spoken of in the verse.
HUMAN EXPRESSIONS BY THE VOICE
Moreover, we must realize this angel or messenger is merely a mortal man subject to human likes and dislikes as would anyone else and whether people will accept it or not, there will be those times when human expressions would be made by this messenger, which people of our generation have refused to allow to be that of mere human expressions or statements. People are always saying, I say the prophet makes mistakes. They say that because that is the way they interpret what I have said. What I said was, God in sending a prophet to the age that knew the minds of the generation which he was sent to. And knowing that, their minds would be so carnal they would be unable to see the God who used this mortal vessel, therefore would be unable by spiritual revelation to understand what was said in order to know what part is God in that of the fulfillment of his scripture. Instead, with a carnal mind they would misinterpret this entire setting as to what God was doing. And doing so would lead to their own carnal ruin because God knew these carnal minds of this generation would never see or recognize him who is God. Instead they would only see flesh and become misled and deceived. Therefore, God is simply going to leave that carnal mind. So, I take these very words they criticize me with, throw them right back at them and say they are carnal to ever think in that manner! They interpret the entire message to their own destruction as their spiritual blindness causes them to desire to defy the flesh of a mortal man, who like anyone else was subject to death and was born through the same manner of conception as other mortals are. Jesus Christ alone is the only one you can contribute deity of the flesh unto! It matters not how much anyone desires to quote Luke 17 or whatever, no other man was deity other than Christ Jesus!
MORTAL SINFUL FLESH, NEITHER GOD NOR WORD
God can use mortal flesh through which to reveal Himself, yet that mortal flesh is not God by any stretch of the imagination! Only one person ever walked the face of this earth who was God in the flesh. No, not even the Apostle Paul, who declared that Christ was God in flesh, reconciling the world unto himself (II Corinthians 5:19) who furthermore declared how God had chosen him from his mother’s womb to reveal his son in him, even after that Paul was not immortal, he was a mortal man like anyone else! Paul knew the flesh in which he walked and the head which one day would roll off Nero’s chopblock was by no means deity! Remember, it is one thing to walk in mortal flesh and have the Spirit of God to live in that mortal flesh and even reveal himself through that mortal flesh, yet in it all, that will never make that mortal flesh God! Neither is mortal flesh the Word, yet the Holy Spirit, in whatever measure the Spirit is in that individual, is definitely that God Spirit of truth who can reveal His will, His word and His purpose to and through that mortal flesh. Yet in all that, that mortal individual is not God.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN, VOICE BEGAN TO SOUND?
Continuing on with Revelation 10:7, But in the days (or in the times) of the voice (or the message) of the seventh angel, who we have already established was not some supernatural being, but instead was an earthly messenger only referred to in the scripture as an angel messenger to the seventh church age. When he, (this earthly messenger), shall begin to sound – and remember, that phrase does not necessarily imply when he once begins his earthly ministry or start out preaching, certainly not! Begins to sound has reference to that message which God brought him into the earth at this time to fulfill and declare. When that messenger shall begin to sound, remember also, to begin to sound does not necessarily imply the man at the time of the sounding when it stands out in its true dimension has to be alive! No, he does not have to be alive at the time this scripture stands out in its true dimension! It simply means that the message when it reaches its true dimension, actually begins to echo to the corners of the earth and begin bouncing back exactly like an echo would in a canyon, just like it is doing today! Then you can say a message has been declared, a message has been sent, it has been sounded and uttered to definitely awaken a people and set certain things in motion which will definitely bring about God’s last fulfillment of His word. No, when the message begins to sound or begins to stand out in its true dimension as it is ordained to do, we certainly do not have to believe that the individual man himself would have to on earth in literal flesh, although it did require his vocal cords to utter it or set it in motion. The evidence that we see today as this message goes forth to the ends of the earth proves the literal man himself is not required to be on the earth at the time of its sounding!
THINGS PROPHESIED YEARS AGO
Many times the man himself, when alive, 15 years ago, told us about what religion would do and would become. 15 years ago it was difficult for people to conceive, how these religious organizations would sell out to a spirit of the devil or what the world itself would allow to creep into their realm of mortal flesh. Yet no sooner does the flesh of the man leave the scene and that message (voice) begins to go into the regions of this earth where many people never heard of any such thing, we notice things beginning to enter into the mortal realm of this world, as well as into the religious realm, that 10-15 years ago was completely unbelievable to grasp or imagine would happen, yet under the anointing the messenger told us exactly how it would be! It caused you to realize just how wicked and filthy this gentile world will become before the coming of Jesus.
HAD THE MESSAGE NOT COME
Had not God sent a man with such a wonderful jewel of revelation of truth, the question could well be asked, where would we be today? Even within my own denomination in my earlier days I saw many things which were discouraging, because while reading the Bible in those days I could see certain things the religious movement I belonged to upheld and propagated as though it was God’s plan, which even back in those days was sickening. I am sure had I remained in that system with all the rotten filth going on today and knowing my attitude against it all back then, no doubt I would have simply quit or pulled out! Personally, I had rather be identified with the world than to be identified in such a religious system which is supposedly to represent Christianity, but is nothing but a religious cloak! Therefore, had God not done something every one of us would by now be in the world or shut up as some religious prisoner in some old religious institution going about in all the forms and rituals, propagating things which God absolutely was frowning and spitting upon! But thanks be to God He sent a man, though small in stature yet he was big in the spiritual image, large enough that when he uttered certain words Satan trembled, because Satan knew all too well what the God who was behind all this was destined to do in this generation which we were living.
SOUNDING DID NOT MEAN REVELATION FINISHED
But in the days, or in the time of the voice or the message of the seventh angel, who we must also recognize as being the messenger to the Laodicean Church Age itself, when he shall begin to sound, began to utter or spread, therefore I say, God help this movement! Ten years ago when God was ready to shake the movement with an event which would soon take place, many at that time thought when God had fulfilled His purpose with the messenger himself, it was all over and all wrapped up! How selfish can people become. When many areas and regions of the earth had never as much as heard one word of what had been uttered. Shame on people, who when God has done something for them, always want to take it and shut it up declaring we have it and no one else can have it! Why beloved, if it is truth the entire world needs to hear about it. No, I didn’t say the whole world would be saved simply because they had heard. The Bible does not teach the whole world will be saved, yet there is one thing for sure, after Christ’s resurrection He told His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel (as a witness) unto every creature. No, He never said all was going to be saved, but He did say preach it as a witness unto every creature. And in fulfilling that, we realize God knows exactly where all of His elected seed are. Thus, we should be mindful enough to listen to God and ask, Father, when and where do you want me to go? Because if we are concerned about living obedient to the truth God has given us and He is the God of truth who said go into all the world with it, you may rest assured He is the same God who knows exactly when you should go and just where you should go into the world with the truth.
MESSAGE STILL UTTERED
So, in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, that is when His message begins to be uttered and proclaimed, and I have to say after ten years since God removed His mortal vessel from the scene, that message is still being uttered and today bounces back and forth from continent to continent as well as in places you never though it would be. People have heard in some of the most unbelievable ways within the last ten years showing it was God’s way of getting the job done. When that message will begin to sound and as far as God is concerned it becomes the very outstanding thing in the earth although you will hear of unnumbered things on TV, etc., that is supposed to be the outstanding thing in the earth, yet scripturally it is not! Continue to watch it and you will see what will happen to it! Eventually it will become nothing but a filthy polluted thing, because were you on TV propagating truth the FCC would quickly step in and bring it to a halt.
COMPLETING THE MYSTERY OF GOD
Note, something else is scheduled to happen within those days of the sounding of that message (or voice). What is it? During that period of time the mystery of God should be finished as had been declared unto the Old Testament prophets. Did you notice the word mystery is in the singular and not the plural? What is this (singular) MYSTERY OF GOD that is to be finished when the voice is being sounded? Scripture teaches this MYSTERY OF GOD should be finished. Well, if it is a mystery of God to be finished or completed in the days of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel, exactly what is this MYSTERY and where did this MYSTERY that is to be completed, begin? The word FINISHED is also translated, “shall be completed.” Thus, we see the MYSTERY OF GOD is to be completed during the days of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel messenger.
THE MYSTERY INVOLVES MYSTERIES
How often Bro. Branham referred to this verse, speaking of it in this manner – in the days of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound ALL THE MYSTERIES OF GOD SHOULD BE FINISHED. Why would the prophet to the age refer to mysteries being finished instead of THE (singular) MYSTERY OF GOD being finished! Listen carefully, because I want you to see the correct picture as to how within the hour THE MYSTERY OF GOD is being completely finished (or wrapped up) it will also involve the finishing up or wrapping up of many mysteries which have hung there as mysteries through the ages! We are going to take this one word MYSTERY and carry it into the scripture because it is only the scriptures that will be able to show you exactly what the mystery of God is in its completeness. Bear in mind the word THE MYSTERY OF GOD is not written in the plural, it is spoken of strictly in the singular as if it is one singular MYSTERY John refers unto.
MYSTERY – A LENGTHY TIME PERIOD
In its literal setting, the MYSTERY OF GOD that is to be completed during those days of the sounding of that message (voice) involves a lengthy period of time required for fulfillment! Yes, scripture will prove this MYSTERY is a lengthy period of time in which God will have done something which was a total misunderstood subject or hidden thing unto one element of people, and since being a misunderstood subject unto this one element of people makes it truly a MYSTERY unto them! A mystery is something you don’t understand although you do recognize its presence. Let’s find out scripturally just what this MYSTERY is and where did it begin.
MYSTERY UNTO ONE PEOPLE ONLY
I want to show you from the scriptures that this time period called a MYSTERY is a MYSTERY only unto one element of people, but is by no means a MYSTERY unto another element of people, and that this period of time referred to as MYSTERY OF GOD is none other than THE GRACE AGE PERIOD! Yet within this lengthy grace age period of time, referred to as the MYSTERY OF GOD unto this one element, during that same time period God will have been fulfilling certain scriptures within the Old Testament, and doing so will involve certain revelations being brought forth within the total realm, or period known as the MYSTERY OF GOD, which will be understood by one element of people yet definitely misunderstood by another element! You see, to one group of people it is definitely a time of complete mystery, yet within this same time period, according to Matthew 13:10-11, there would be another element of people who will definitely understand all these mysteries. Therefore, speaking of it in that term it would be declared MYSTERIES (be finished) as the prophet often declared.
MYSTERIES REVEALED WITHIN MYSTERY PERIOD
Make the Bible declare that, someone says! Gladly, however before we do may I impress upon you we are living in the day or period of time when this great age of grace is rapidly closing out, and in closing out of this mystery period will definitely involve a particular generation. Moreover, as these unfulfilled verses of scripture (verses yet to be fulfilled) shown throughout the Bible dealing with that particular period begin to stack up, and by that I mean as the period of time has now arrived for these particular unfulfilled scriptures pertaining to this particular subject to now be fulfilled and once that happens God will then have completed this mystery. That is, completed something that has remained a total MYSTERY over 1900 years to one element of people and within that same scope of time to another people, who were to be benefitted by this MYSTERY God, has revealed and make known still other MYSTERIES.
WHAT MISUNDERSTANDING STATEMENT LED TO
Although this MYSTERY in Revelation 10:7 is declared in the singular form, the prophet to the age when referring to the verse often worded it, all the mysteries should be unraveled, meaning all the loose ends would be tied together and beloved, it is that very statement so often used by the prophet, worded in that manner, which caused many (once the prophet left the scene) to feel there was no more revelation because as they declare, you heard him say so yourself. Beloved, that is the way the carnal ear heard it and the God of heaven who wrote this book willed it to be uttered in just that manner! Knowing these people would conceive it through a carnal interpretation, God allowed His prophet to word it in exactly that fashion, purposely to close up their spiritual ears and blind their spiritual eyes! God knew this message was never to form another organization whereby they could write their book of bylaws, nevertheless knowing there was a carnal element of people of the hour who would have come out of organized religion, who came out simply because of the impact of the magnitude of the drawing power of this message, God permitted certain words to be uttered which not only pleased and fed the carnal mind, but at the same time fed also the true spiritual mind! I realize all this created a struggle and a battle in the minds of the people, yet the greatest battle ever fought, declared by the prophet, would be the battle fought in the mind (weighing word against word). Those who heard him quote the verbal word in that way, jumps up and down with glee declaring, see, there is no more revelation! Therefore, they close their Bible, placing it upon a shelf, allowing dust to collect on it. They pick up the books and take them to the world just exactly verbally the way the prophet spoke it and they wind up with every carnal interpretation under the sun! Yes, they will go to the ends of the earth to tell the world God sent a prophet (messenger) to the age with a message, and everything they say is as carnal as carnal can be.
MYSTERY OF GOD COMPLETED AT END OF GRACE AGE
Therefore, if this word MYSTERY is dealing with something that is misunderstood by one element of people, yet understood by another, and within this great MYSTERY OF GOD are many MYSTERIES to be revealed and unraveled at the end of the age, let us take the scripture and verify what this MYSTERY is all about. John was the last apostolic writer on the scene closing out the first church age. Although he was not the apostle to the gentiles (seeing Paul was), John definitely was the last Jewish apostle to bring a great revelation unto the gentile church straight from the throne of God. This occurred sometime around (96 A.D.). The Jews had already been cut off and Jerusalem after 70 A.D. lay in ruins, and the Jews were scattered to the four corners of the earth, sold into slavery. Recall, it was John (a Jew) who, looking down through the scope of the gentile church age, saw and declared that this MYSTERY OF GOD would be finished as the voice of the seventh angel would be sounding (his message). Yes, the MYSTERY OF GOD should be finished or completed at the end of this MYSTERY age called the age of grace. In order to clearly see that is exactly what this MYSTERY is (the age of grace) hidden to the eyes of the Jew, turn first in Colossians 1:24, where Paul discusses the MYSTERY OF GOD. Remember, here in his discussions of the MYSTERY, Paul is standing at the beginning of the MYSTERY, not at the end! Watch carefully in our study how the apostle to the gentiles used the word MYSTERY. The word MYSTERY found in Revelation 10:7 is identically the same word MYSTERY seen in Colossians 1:26, and other places as well.
The Colossians were a Greek people who had been missionarized by the Apostle Paul. The occasion has arisen that Paul, in a Roman prison, is inspired to write his letter to the Colossian church. Beginning in Colossians 1:24, Paul says, (24) “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s (gentile) sake. (25) Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation (of grace, and remember the word dispensation means an allotted, designated period of time. Continuing on he says.) according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you (gentiles) to fulfill the Word of God.” Remember, fulfilling the word of God means fulfilling those Old Testament scriptures making them applicable and accessible or understandable unto the gentile church through the apostolic office of his ministry.
HIDDEN MYSTERY REVEALED
Verse 26 is the verse I especially want you to pay close attention to because it says, “Even the MYSTERY (singular) which hath been hid from ages.” (or other dispensations and generations)! What is Paul saying? He is speaking of this MYSTERY which began in his hour and is destined to be finished at the time of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel, a MYSTERY which had been hidden for ages and generations throughout the Jewish dispensations of the law, yes, hidden even to the prophets of old who wrote it! Because beloved, had they understood what the MYSTERY was, in which the Apostle Paul by revelation is breaking into, taken strictly from the Old Testament scriptures, these prophets would have proclaimed it throughout the various generations of Israel and therefore, it would have been no MYSTERY as to how one day Christ (God) would be in the gentiles (their hope of glory).
PAUL’S KNOWLEDGE OF THE MYSTERY
Since Paul is speaking of this hidden MYSTERY, a MYSTERY which was hidden to past ages, surely he knows what MYSTERY OF GOD he is referring to. Paul is overjoyed writing to the gentiles! And why should he not be? He too is a Jew, yet God, through his ministry is opening to the gentile church a MYSTERY no other Jew had ever understood, and he is fully aware God has placed within him a revelation of this hidden MYSTERY written and concealed in the pages of the Old Testament scriptures. Prophecies prophesied by prophets of old yet they were unable to grasp that which they were speaking which applied only to an hour when God would deal strictly with the gentiles. Prophecies which told what God would one day do with and for those fallen, depraved gentiles who were sinners far above that of the Jew who was controlled by his Old Testament law, Galatians 2:15.
PAUL OPENS UNDERSTANDING OF OLD TESTAMENT
Each time Paul picked up a pen to write, his heart would go out to those gentiles who now make up the gentile church, who only a few years before were so plagued and engrossed with paganism, idolatry, heathen worship, men and women who had fallen into the vilest sex sins imaginable, I Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 1:24-32, but were now cleaned from all their pollution of filth and though they dearly loved the Lord Jesus Christ, yet still they knew nothing concerning the Old Testament scriptures which spoke of the hour when God’s love would come to them! Paul rejoiced because he knew it was through his ministry God would fulfill their joy and spiritual salvation, and especially give them understanding of the Old Testament scriptures showing their position in God as God would reveal scriptures unto the gentiles through his apostolic office, revelations of the MYSTERY which had been hidden for ages from the Jews and patriarchs and even the prophets of old who were used to pen these scriptures concerning gentiles’ position in God! For instance, imagine Isaiah prophesying all those prophecies (concerning gentiles) when he spoke of how from the isles or regions of the gentile’s God would perfect praise. And how there would come from the gentiles that continual sacrifice of praise sent up unto God, sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving coming from gentile lips, who at that hour of Isaiah’s writing were far more vile and polluted than the Jew and falling every day deeper and deeper in sin! How could such a thing be that these people would one day praise the living God?
ISRAEL BLINDED TO GRACE AGE
Centuries pass and Paul is seen writing about all this in his many epistles. Peter, another Jew, writes also concerning these things in his epistles, how we gentiles (and Jews as well) during this mysterious age called grace are to offer up spiritual sacrifices and praises which is our thanksgiving unto Him. Yes, everyone of these Old Testament scriptures referring to the gentiles, Paul knew by revelation was God’s fulfillment strictly unto the gentiles during the mysterious grace period. Moreover, as that group of Jewish apostles began to leave the realm of those blinded Jews, who, although these things were written in their scriptures simply could not see into these things. Therefore, to them definitely this age of grace was nothing other than a MYSTERY. And as those Jews saw these apostles going in among the gentiles to spread this new doctrine, this new faith, this new revelation, how a Jewish Messiah had come and as declared by the apostles was cut off by His own people in order to fulfill scripture, naturally the Jewish race as a whole, blinded to all this, (MYSTERY) gnashed their teeth and criticized the entire program of God, which to them was a MYSTERY because to them in crucifying this Christ they only crucified an imposter and false prophet who pretended to be God. Legally, they thought they were justified in doing what they had done. When this bunch of Jews called apostles, etc., a group which was nothing more than an outcast in Jewish society, was seen going out among these wicked, sinful, heathen gentiles who the Jews looked upon as dogs because of their sinful nature, yet these apostles are converting these terrible sinners to believe in this man who the Jews themselves certainly did not believe in or accept to be their Messiah. Naturally to them it was a MYSTERY, yet they recognized it was definitely happening. Strange, isn’t it, the Jews would not accept Christ as their Messiah although He fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament scriptures exactly to the jot and title.
JEWS IGNORANT OF GENTILES ACCEPTING CHRIST
Therefore, beloved, on this basis of Israel’s blindness, can you not begin to see how that as the gentiles in vast numbers began to turn to this one who declared himself to be the Jewish Messiah, Jesus the Christ, that it definitely was a MYSTERY unto these Jews who were completely blinded unto this period of time in God’s program how the gentiles would be accepting Christ. To them it was definitely a mystery yet they recognized it was happening. Can you now begin to see how God had hid all these truths, hid all these revelations and their fulfillment which pertained to the gentiles in the grace age, hiding the revelation and fulfillment from the Jews and oncoming generations long before the event actually occurred, although it had been their own Jewish prophets who had spoken of this so often! Yes, it was certainly a mystery unto the Jew because it simply had not been revealed unto them. It was not for them to receive, see or understand, nevertheless God had reserved it all to be fulfilled among the gentiles.
To those Jewish people who had always served the law it was a total mystery unto them how such a trashy class of people, people with the nature of a dog could possibly come to God. Sure, they could recognize something was going on, but could not explain it. To those Jews they absolutely had no Old Testament scripture to explain such an event taking place. And to this day no orthodox Jew, living in his orthodox frame of thinking can possibly give you any legal justifiable explanation as to why the gentiles would believe in this Jesus who to them (at best) was only a Jewish prophet. Either the orthodox Jew would declare you are plainly deceived or else you only think you believe in this man who pretended to be their Messiah. To the Jews their Messiah has not as yet come.
Therefore, to the Jew the grace age, although written and concealed there in the Old Testament, the revelation of it totally hidden unto the prophets to the Old Testament thus making it a total time or period of mystery, unexplainable by any orthodox Jew. Yes, the revelation of it was hidden to the dispensation of the Jews by almighty God. Hence, it could neither be explained nor understood in scripture by the Jewish race when it happened.
GENTILES BLINDED TO SCRIPTURE ALSO
Likewise it is also true concerning the gentile church world (not the bride of Christ) but the gentile church world, concerning the millennium or our thousand year reign. We are only a few short years away from the millennium and the gentile church world is in the same frame of thinking, in respect to that fulfillment of scripture and prophecies concerning that period, as the Jews were who lived during the period of time God was preparing to do something for the gentiles. They simply shut their eyes and ears unto it! Nevertheless, God went straight ahead and did it anyway. Do you think for a moment God is going to annul His word today simply because this poor gentile religious world is blinded to what He is preparing to do? Absolutely not! God will not stop! He will go right on anyway.
MYSTERY MANIFESTED TO SAINTS
I trust you are able to see up to this point what the word MYSTERY in Revelation 10:7 stands out to mean. Recall, a mystery to one element of people is something unexplainable and misunderstood, while unto the people who are to be the recipients or receivers of it, to them it is no mystery at all. Paul continues writing unto the recipients of the mystery in verse 26 as he says, “Even the MYSTERY which has been hid from ages and from generations BUT NOW IS MADE MANIFEST TO THE SAINTS.” Therefore beloved, can you not see where the age of mystery is not a mystery whatsoever to the gentile Christians who has the Apostle Paul to explain to them what it was all about! Whenever you find a gentile declaring they don’t understand what is going on, you may rest assured that poor soul has been shut up in a religious prison for so long, never being fed anything other than church suppers and socials, because Paul plainly declares the MYSTERY is no MYSTERY to the saints of God! Yet it would still remain a mystery to that old element of people, the Jewish people, while at the same time the mystery would be understood by the gentile believers and would during this period of time also bring forth certain mysteries (plural) to be made known, certain hidden revelations which would be coming forth to the gentile saints. Because beloved, that has been the entire purpose of it all, to bring forth these mysteries.
No gentile up until the hour of the beginning of the grace age or MYSTERY age had any revelation as to who God was or what He planned to do in the earth, although it was true many of the gentiles had been proselyted or converted to Judaism. That proselyting took place only because the gentiles recognized a truth there within the Judaistic frame of religion which affected their social and moral outlook. Thus, Paul declares that God has manifested something to the gentile church, that is, how God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this MYSTERY among gentiles which boils down to this, CHRIST IN YOU, YOUR HOPE OF GLORY.
WHAT GOD DWELLING IN GENTILES ACCOMPLISHED
Once the Holy Ghost entered into the life of that gentile saint, giving them the experience of the new birth and began leading that soul down life’s pathway, the gentiles began to receive a different outlook on life as well as a different outlook about God, an outlook in which they had never in all their previous years ever experienced. Life had now become a joy because the gentiles were living not only for a God who actually lived inside them (us), He also was a God who walked and talked with them! Not only that, from time to time He would definitely seek to impart to the gentile believer certain understanding unto His mystery which was already in progress. We might say He was removing the veil from off certain things and imparting to the believer knowledge which would increase within us understanding of His will, His plan as well as what He intended to do in the future. All this He was doing for the gentiles because He had willed for a certain period of time that He would bypass the old Judaistic order and would instead come down and dwell inside the gentile. Therefore, it is unexplainable to a Jew today to hear a gentile testify how he has received the Holy Ghost because that Jew knows the Holy Ghost is the spirit of God which you say is in you. To him that Spirit of God is no second or third person, to the Jew the Spirit is simply God in you.
The Jew is completely aware there is the Spirit of God in the earth, yet it is a total mystery unto him (how the Spirit is among the gentiles)! However, are you aware we are also approaching an hour when two Jewish prophets will step upon the scene in Israel and remove that veil of MYSTERY from their eyes! God will cause these two Jewish prophets to utter words which will definitely open the Jews understanding and once their understanding is opened they will be able to look back over these 1900 years that the gospel has been among the gentiles and by the revelation presented unto them by these two men, the picture which for so long has been such a mystery, will at that hour suddenly come together and for the first time they will see scripture after scripture after scripture, strictly from the Old Testament which for centuries and centuries has been closed unto them. Furthermore, it will show them where they have been, why they have been blinded and so forth.
VEIL SOON TO BE LIFTED
Thus, as we draw closer to the time God will lift the veil from their eyes, whereas in the past they have looked upon gentiles through eyes of not being able to understand, comprehend or conceive; not being able to accept us (gentiles) in the experience of our belief seeing it was an age of God’s MYSTERY unto them while the age is in progress. Yet, Paul declared to the gentile believers it wasn’t a mystery to them! It should be a MYSTERY to the Jew but not to you. I pray to God it hasn’t been a MYSTERY unto you!
Why did Jesus in Matthew 13, after having already spoken his seven parables, entered the house and had His disciples to ask Him for an explanation of the second parable declare, it is given to you (the disciples, the chosen or elect of God) to know the MYSTERIES of the things pertaining to the kingdom of heaven, but to them that are without (the unbeliever, make believer of Israel) it is not for them to know. Therefore note, Jesus declared in Matthew 13 how there would be mysteries to be made known during that (MYSTERY) period of time, that period of time which certainly is a mystery time to the Jewish race, a time they would never be able to understand or conceive, the MYSTERY age itself, yet on the other hand the gentile believer would be a people who would be able to receive it, and therefore MYSTERIES during that period would unfold, revelations would come forth because God has promised to build His church upon revelation.
EXPLAINING MYSTERY TO EPHESIANS
Listen to Paul writing to still another church concerning this very same MYSTERY which John had spoken of in Revelation10:7. Writing to the Ephesian church during the same year he had written the Colossian church, we find Paul still filled with that great enthusiasm, fervency, joy and assurance of heart. Paul, in Ephesians 3, approaches these gentile Christians at Ephesus where several years earlier he had experienced a three year revival affecting all Asia. The Ephesian revival occurred as the gentile dispensation was set in motion and the great Ephesian age of Revelation 2:1-7 had actually begun. Ephesians 3, (1) “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you gentiles,” (meaning for you gentiles I am a prisoner for had I remained in my Judaistic social status of life I certainly wouldn’t be a prisoner today.) (2) “If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: (3) How that by revelation he made known unto me THE MYSTERY as I wrote afore in few words,” Again we noticed Paul using the word MYSTERY in exactly the same manner as writing unto the Colossians.
REVEALED TO NEW TESTAMENT PROPHETS AND APOSTLES
Verse 4, “Whereby, when you read, ye may understand my knowledge in the MYSTERY of Christ (5) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, (Old Testament prophets) as it is now revealed unto his (present tense) holy apostles and (New Testament) prophet.” Recall, the last Old Testament prophet, John the Baptist, is dead and Jesus has already ascended. Therefore, as Paul speaks of prophet it is now in the present tense. It is New Testament prophets he mentions here. Something we note, according to Paul has now been revealed by the Holy Spirit unto both the New Testament apostles and New Testament prophets and this something revealed was hidden in the Old Testament scriptures from the Old Testament prophets and Old Testament saints. All this revealing was pertaining to that mystery which according to John was to be completed in Revelation 10:7. Therefore, I trust you can see this MYSTERY is none other than the grace age and definitely covers a lengthy period of time, and Paul is ready now to show the effects of this MYSTERY which, remember, was definitely a mystery unto only one element, yet totally understood by another, how the gentiles should be fellow heirs and of the same body and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel.
ABRAHAM’S COVENANT (FIRST MENTION OF MYSTERY)
Wasn’t it strange how from the Old Testament scriptures the Jews, scribes, Pharisees, etc., had for so long preached concerning the coming of the Messiah yet not one of them could possibly understand any of those scriptures written of the prophets pertaining to what God intended to do for the gentiles! Why do you suppose they had forgotten the covenant God made unto Abraham long before they became a nation? Recall back in Genesis God telling Abraham how unto thee and thy see will I give all this land? At the time Sarah was barren and could not produce Abraham a son. Years later God assured Abraham his promise was still true when he told Abraham “your seed will become as the stars of heaven and in thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” This definitely included gentiles, however no doubt Jews reading this scripture interpreted it to mean that in Abraham and his seed would all the Jewish families of the earth be blessed. Yet beloved, that is not what God said, God said in thee and thy see shall all the families of the nations or languages of the earth be blessed. To them if any gentile ever got in this blessing they certainly would have to be proselyted to Judaism in order to consummate, fulfill or have any part in the covenant God gave Abraham. Yet we know the Apostle Paul picked up that same Old Testament scripture in Genesis and in Galatians told the Galatian church that seed of Abraham was not as the seed of many but as the seed of one (being Christ that promised seed.) Christ was the seed of Abraham (Matthew 1:1). Thus through that one seed of Abraham God would bless all the families or gentile nations of the earth. In this covenant promise of God through Abraham shows where that MYSTERY in Revelation 10:7 would begin! It would begin once Christ entered the picture. It simply goes to show God’s promise given to Abraham had always been a misunderstood prophecy to the Jew. Their interpretation of the passage was entirely different.
Yes, in that very covenant promise of Abraham is where it all began! By divine revelation Abraham uttered it while other patriarchs and prophets later picked it up and through divine inspiration added words to the thought, nevertheless, its meaning remained a hidden MYSTERY unto the Jew. That is why Paul declared in Ephesians 3:6, the very words he did, that the gentiles would be fellow heirs and of the same body and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.
UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST INVOLVES MYSTERIES
Verse 7 states, “Whereof I was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.” Speaking concerning himself in verse 8 Paul says, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Remember beloved, the unsearchable riches of Christ would definitely involve those MYSTERIES that were to be revealed during the period of the MYSTERY of God or MYSTERY period of time called the grace age. Yes, the unsearchable riches of Christ would involve MYSTERIES unlocking revelations for gentiles hidden within the Old Testament scripture, scriptures which God had allowed the Old Testament prophets to speak and write concerning, yet never gave them understanding of what they were writing about. These very scriptures pertain strictly to the gentiles and never to the Jews. Therefore, Paul could say that, “I should preach among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ!”
MYSTERY MADE KNOWN
Verse 9, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the MYSTERY, which from the beginning of the world HATH BEEN HIDDEN IN GOD, who created all by Jesus Christ.” Listen carefully to verse 10, which says “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places MIGHT BE MADE KNOWN BY THE CHURCH.” (Church here meaning strictly the church of the firstborn, not those denominational worldly church systems. The church is the called out people of God which Paul never refers to by any earthly title, yet always by its heavenly title.) “the manifold wisdom of God.” Verse 11, “According to the eternal purpose which he proposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Paul now speaks concerning a MYSTERY that would be going on yet it would be misunderstood by the Jew. Did you note he told where it all began and how God had hid certain things Himself although He had allowed prophets to speak it down through time, yet with no understanding of it! Therefore, it would still remain misunderstood or never looked at it in its proper setting.
JEW CHOSEN TO REVEAL MYSTERY
However, when time did arrive for God to fulfill or give the understanding of this MYSTERY to the gentile church, notice it was a Jew he chose to hold that office and what was revealed unto him was absolutely contrary to his religious upbringing! Imagine the mental battle and struggle that must have gone in Paul’s mind after Paul’s conversion on the Damascus Road. Years later we hear Paul speaking concerning his Jewish religious background as he declared he was from the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee of pharisees as touching the law of Moses. Paul says, I was blameless. Yet as far as touching the church he was not so blameless because, said Paul, I persecuted the church daily. And in this persecution many were killed, imprisoned and so forth. However, summing it all up he said concerning those things in the past I count as nothing but dung that I might obtain Christ. To Paul obtaining Christ was far more of spiritual value and after having finally fought that battle out in his mind he was so thankful to God.
Imagine what must have gone on in that devout Jewish mind as God would allow Saul to turn into those Old Testament scriptures! That is why Paul could tell the church how by revelation he had received this GREAT MYSTERY which had been hidden to men in other ages. Writing to this Ephesian church, speaking in that overjoyed tone, he declares in Ephesians 2:18, “Through him (Christ) we (please note, “we” places the Jew and gentile in the same setting because we do know that early church started out with both Jew and gentile seated in the same assembly. Thus we hear him declare, ) through him we both have access by one spirit unto the father!” (19) Now therefore you are no more strangers or foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints and household of God.” What does Paul mean by using the phrase “no more strangers and foreigners”? Bear in mind Paul, using these two words, is showing that he is definitely writing unto both the converted Jew and gentile. Ephesus, you recall, is a metropolitan city being in a gentile area in Asia Minor. Furthermore, we know the Ephesian church established back in 54 A.D., had within its congregation Jewish as well as gentile believers. Speaking of the two separate classes he says, “You are no longer strangers and foreigners”, because that is exactly how each group looked upon the other before their conversion! The old orthodox Jew had a synagogue in Ephesus, according to Acts 19, and out of that Jewish synagogue Paul received his first converts of the Ephesian church. Had you been a gentile, even though you had been proselyted to Judaism, when you were in the Jewish synagogue you still would have been looked upon as a stranger. And no matter where the gentiles saw the Jew he automatically looked upon him as a foreigner. That is why Paul used these two words, “strangers and foreigners” writing to the church body. Realizing both Jew and gentile was present Paul said, in Christ you are no more strangers and foreigners for God by one spirit hath broken down that middle wall of partition.
MIDDLE WALL BROKEN DOWN
Remember that middle wall of partition was the commandments which separated the two groups but was now broken down. Both groups are now placed on an even common ground, religiously. In the grace of God or in the church of God or in Jesus Christ, both groups are no more strangers or foreigners as they sit in the same service, but instead they are saints, fellow-citizens of the household of God. How beautiful it must have been in Ephesus to have seen those Jews and gentiles worshiping God in the revelation of Christ together, one background having been Judaistic while only a short time ago the other background was pagan or heathen, though now both groups have found the right thing and doing so has erased everything.
BUILT UPON FOUNDATION OF APOSTLES & PROPHETS
In this newfound faith, both Jew and gentile are declared fellow-citizens and verse 20 declares both groups have been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. However, please understand, here prophets have no reference to New Testament prophets as seen or shown in Ephesians 3:4-6, which shows there something has been revealed unto them which was hidden in ages past. Yet when Paul referred to the foundation upon which the two groups were built in verse 20, it is not New Testament prophets at all that the church is built upon! Are you aware until the Apostle Paul wrote his epistle there was no New Testament written for gentiles! Thus the only scripture for the gentiles was that hidden in the Old Testament, a book which gentiles were totally unfamiliar with and knew nothing about. Paul, writing unto the gentile Corinthian church declared that he was the wise master builder who laid the foundation for the gentile church.
Here is the true revelation on which the gentile church was to be built, Paul’s teaching or revelation of the Old Testament. Moreover we must examine this phrase, “of apostles and prophets”, in verse 20 in this light. Both groups, Jews and gentiles, are built upon the same foundation and that foundation is the teaching and revelation of the apostles as they have brought forth the hidden meaning of what the Old Testament prophets prophesied concerning the gentiles’ relation to God in the scripture. Therefore, the word prophet recorded in verse 20 definitely carries an Old Testament setting because it was those Old Testament prophecies those prophets prophesied unbeknownst to them the meaning of what was prophesied as they prophesied concerning the gentiles’ position in God’s program. If that be true, why then would Paul place New Testament apostles before Old Testament prophets when everyone knows the Old Testament prophets prophesied or came first.
WHY NEW TESTAMENT APOSTLES PLACED BEFORE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS
Before answering that, note again Ephesians 3 where Paul uses prophets strictly in the New Testament sense saying, as God hath now revealed unto His holy apostles and (New Testament) prophets by the Spirit (certain hidden things). Here in Ephesians 3:5, Paul is definitely speaking of the New Testament prophets who also had something revealed unto them along with the New Testament apostles! However note, when Paul is referring, particularly to the foundation upon which the church is built or upon which both groups, Jew and gentile, were built, his words are entirely different! Here Paul says the church is built upon the teachings and revelation of the apostles and Old Testament prophets because beloved, it definitely would require the office of the New Testament prophets to explain unto a gentile church, a people who only a few years ago had nothing but a heathen background and was strictly pagan in belief, explain exactly what the Old Testament prophets by the Spirit had declared concerning the gentiles’ position in this newfound faith! What gentile I ask you, could possibly open an Old Testament Jewish scroll and declare he clearly understood what the spirit had hidden there concerning the gentile’s place in Christ (when the old prophets could not.)
If is for certain the eunuch in Acts 8 didn’t know what the scroll in Isaiah was talking about. He had reached the place in the scroll when Phillip joined him where it said, like the sheep they led him to slaughter and he opened not his mouth. The eunuch didn’t know what that meant, nevertheless, God had a man standing alongside the road filled with the Holy Ghost who did know. Phillip, a Jew, had left the old system but had inside him a revelation as to what the Old Testament prophet Isaiah was actually speaking about. The eunuch showing Phillip the scripture in Isaiah, as lamb to the shearer and the sheep to the slaughter and he opened not his mouth. Who is the writer referring to, asked the eunuch, to himself or someone else? Here was Phillip’s signal and by revelation he began to tell the eunuch what the prophet Isaiah had been discussing.
APOSTLE’S OFFICE REVEALS HIDDEN MYSTERY
Such a setting as this should show why Paul declared both Jew and gentile are built upon the same foundation of the teaching of the apostles and Old Testament prophets, because the revelation concerning the gentile’s position in Christ was hidden in the Old Testament prophet’s writings, yet it took the revelation of the New Testament apostles to explain to the gentile church what the Old Testament prophets had written concerning them, showing how they definitely had a place in God and it was in the word! Though it lay there in the Old Testament prophets, it nevertheless was a mystery until suddenly through the ministry of the New Testament apostle, God began to take the wrapping off unto the gentiles. Thus Paul says, both groups are built upon the foundation of the New Testament apostles and the Old Testament prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.
MYSTERY GOING ON WHILE ISRAEL OUT OF LAND
According to Paul’s revelation, it was this great MYSTERY (the MYSTERY OF GOD) unto the gentiles that began to unfold within his ministry of apostleship. This MYSTERY OF GOD has been continuing right on through a space of time, covering over 1900 years but it is to be finished in Revelation 10:7! Note, it was going on throughout the entire period of time the Jewish people have been out of the land scattered among gentiles. Remember, during this period of time the Jews that have been out of the land have also, during this period, been out of the will of God and have drifted further and further away from what their prophets had taught, drifting more and more into external religious ideas and traditions. Spiritually speaking as an overall picture of the Jew, they are at their lowest ebb of spiritual apostasy. True, many have returned to Israel but they have only returned to be identified with the race, yet as a whole they have thrown away their ancestral convictions of belief in Jehovah and the prophets. No, we can’t say all have. We know there is an element of orthodox Jews very strict and perhaps do have a little influence upon the total nation of Jews who number between 15-16 million throughout the world.
APOSTLE’S FROM JEWISH RACE
Nevertheless, it is in a period of time such as this when whatever God was doing for the gentiles was a total MYSTERY to that nation of Jews, even though their Jewish prophets of old had declared it in writing. Morever, it was apostles in the New Testament hour who came from the Jewish rank who were sent among the gentiles to open up these Old Testament scriptures for their spiritual benefit. Out of those scriptures came that revelation of the MYSTERY. Up until the age of grace no gentile knew one day there was going to come a dispensation whereby the God of heaven would rule and reign here on earth, yet that very revelation was given to John the Jewish apostle in its great setting of a thousand year period.
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS
Prophets of old throughout the Old Testament prophesied and recorded inspiring prophecies pertaining to the gentile’s future position and relationship with God in Christ. Prophecies, the meaning of which had to be kept entirely hidden even from the Old Testament prophets as they would have declared the meaning unto Israel. And what was a mystery unto Israel concerning gentiles would have no longer remained a mystery!
MYSTERY AGE RUNNING OUT
Therefore, we are living in the day that John saw and when that messenger to the Laodicean church age would come and sound a message, and in a scriptural sense you could say that message is the voice of God, it is the word. And because the voice has sounded it also caused many other scriptures to come forth and to stand in this end time for God to fulfill to the benefit of gentile people. Thus, we see during this period of time the voice is sounding, that age of MYSTERY (to the Jew) is now running out! Time no longer being delayed, God will definitely step up this MYSTERY and hasten it unto its final fulfillment. Yes, as this MYSTERY age, misunderstood by the Jew, closes out, God by His spirit will now be taking all scriptures, especially the Old Testament scriptures pertaining strictly to the gentile’s benefit and will reveal the MYSTERY to their edification, their perfection, their enlightment, as well as their understanding. However, remember all the scriptures which pertain to Israel’s benefit, which is strictly their inheritance belongs strictly to them and those two prophets coming very shortly to Israel, will take those scriptures and actually set them in their proper setting. Doing so will remove the veil from the eyes of Israel and they too will be able to look upon this which has been a MYSTERY unto them, the grace age of the gentiles, and say praise God! Why? Because God will have also opened their eyes causing this period to no longer be a mystery unto them, how Christ can be in you, your hope of glory. This is the hour God will close this MYSTERY age and as He closes it, it will also wind up all the MYSTERIES which pertain to this MYSTERY age. Every revelation pertaining to this mysterious period of time will come forth right here at the close of the age.
Some people declare there is no more revelation, but I maintain that every revelation which is hidden within those scriptures the prophet to the age somewhere dropped a seed pertaining to it. God knew the Holy Ghost who was designated to lead the believer into all truth would take that seed thought and cause it to grow until it was formed into a complete picture. Yes, as time lingers on as this message would continue sounding, that little seed nugget would be the very thing which would grow and grow until it became a complete understanding to the bride people. However, because certain people desire to take only what the voice has said verbally, that is take it only in the verbal expression as was spoken, doing this has caused them to close the Bible, because to them everything has been fulfilled. As far as I am concerned, through those words which were misunderstood because of the lack of spiritual understanding, God has taken these words and blinded the eyes and closed their ears from any further possible leadership or enlightment by His Holy Spirit.
Beloved, God does not stop and place a period to everything. No, not as long as time is lingering on and as long as there is a people left here on earth to benefit from God’s working in their hour and their life. Therefore I repeat, somewhere out of this Bible on up until the very hour Jesus comes there will never be a time when there is not a little something coming forth. It is God’s way of taking the wrapper off it, giving your spiritual mind a little deeper insight into this overall setting, which unto the Jew has been a total MYSTERY OF GOD, nevertheless God simply continues enlarging the overall picture to benefit your spiritual growth.
CHRIST, THAT PROMISED SEED
Therefore, I hope you see what this MYSTERY OF GOD to be finished is in Revelation 10:7, it is none other than a period of time when something would be going on in respect to the fulfillment of many Old Testament scriptures (for gentiles). The period of time would remain a total mystery unto one element of people (the Jew) while understood by another element (the gentile). Concerning this period of time, Paul declared in both his Ephesian and Colossian letters it had been given unto the saints in the grace age to know these mysteries recorded by Old Testament prophets. Believe it or not, it was God’s fulfillment of His long awaited promise given to faithful Abraham, in thee and thy seed (Christ) Galatians 3:14-16, 29, shall all the families (gentiles) of the earth be blessed. Furthermore note, while this (mystery) period of time was in progress (this MYSTERY OF GOD) the Jewish nation would remain in dispersion. This fulfills also the time of blindness in part which has happened unto Israel until the fulness of the gentiles be brought in, Romans 11:25.
FIRST PROPHECY MENTIONED PERTAINING TO THE MYSTERY OF GOD PERIOD PROPHECY
God informed Abraham that his seed would become as the stars of the heavens and that in him and his seed (Christ), Galatians 3:14-29 would all the nations be blessed. Galatians 3:8, was the first mentioning of that event which would become a great mystery unto the Jew.
EXPLAINS MYSTERY TO GENTILE BELIEVER
Paul, desiring the gentile world to know that through the apostolic office, that which was a complete mystery unto the Jew is no longer a mystery to the gentile believer. Writing now unto the believers at Rome, Paul says in Romans 16:25-26, “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began. (26) But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.”
MYSTERY OF GOD EARLIER DECLARED BY PROPHETS
Strange isn’t it, that all we gentiles sing, preach, and talk about is already recorded in the Old Testament Jewish scripture by their prophets. Remember it was they, not us, who penned the scriptures, gentiles only became receivers of the benefits. Jews alone had the Old Testament scriptures yet no Jew was able to see the gentile’s position hidden there in the Old Testament. It was unto their genetic father, Abraham, the first promise of gentiles being brought into a rightful relationship with God was ever mentioned as God declared, in thee and thy seed (Christ), Galatians 3:14-16, 29, shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Yet when God, some 1900 years ago, began to fulfill the covenant promise the Jews could not understand it.
KEY THAT UNLOCKS
Back to Revelation 10:7 and into that very final portion of the verse where we find the key which unlocks the entire verse. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound the MYSTERY OF GOD SHOULD BE FINISHED, AS HE HATH DECLARED TO OR BY HIS SERVANTS THE (Old Testament) PROPHETS!” There it is, this MYSTERY OF GOD John saw to be completed in those days had (already) been declared by the Old Testament prophets, yet no Jew could understand it!
In its true English setting the latter portion of the verse reads, as he hath declared by his servants the prophets. Whenever God deals with me in respect to a point of truth, it isn’t ever the entire verse He shows me to be the key which unlocks the mystery. No, somewhere within the verse can be one small word which allows you to know exactly where to place that verse in respect to its fulfillment. Don’t miss this! As He (God) hath (note, hath is past tense) and furthermore hath is the key which unlocks the mystery in the verse. John declared God had already declared this in the writings of the prophets of old. Hath or has already declared it unto the Old Testament prophets! See, it was brought unto the gentiles by those prophets. The word to and the word by carries one and the selfsame meaning. Note, God brought it TO THEM, yet unto us gentiles God brought it BY THEM. Originally it came from the Old Testament prophets.
Examining words such as this helps divide and place the thing in its proper setting. Did not Paul tell Timothy to study to show himself approved of God (and by God), a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth! Therefore, God hath (past tense) already declared it to (or by) his servants the prophets. Those who wrote it in the Old Testament were servants. Thus, when we understand what this MYSTERY OF GOD really is, it isn’t a mystery to us gentiles at all, yet it is a total mystery unto the Jews, and strange enough the Jew was the first to read it! It was written to the Jewish people through their prophet. God brought it and placed it (hid it) in their writings and it is the great MYSTERY God hid within Himself. God caused it to be written yet He also caused it to be veiled in order that the patriarchs or prophets who wrote it, when looking upon their own writings, were made to wonder what God was talking about. Paul declared it as not for them to know the MYSTERY, nevertheless God caused it all to be placed in its chronological order and once time had arrived for the Eternal to begin to set the mystery in motion God took many of those Old Testament scriptures and began to bring them into fulfillment, first through the birth and ministry of John Baptist, and second through the birth and so forth of Christ’s life (Acts 1:22).
Hundreds of Old Testament scriptures were fulfilled in a very few short years during the first advent of Christ, therefore, just as all that happened (fulfilling scripture) we, too, live in a generation when God once again is doing the very same thing! Thus, if this MYSTERY spoken of in Revelation 10:7 is to absolutely be brought to a close, then in its consummation every scripture relating to it in any manner which has already been written somewhere in the Old Testament pertaining to the gentiles in our inheritance, our being blessed in inheritance, our being blessed in any manner, you may rest assured all these scriptures will be fulfilled as God closes out this age of grace to us gentiles.
Another very important thing, please note, in relation to a certain time period which will also accompany Revelation 10:7 and second was also declared by the month of Old Testament prophets, is a statement found in Acts 3:21. Moreover Revelation 10:7 and Acts 3:21 are the only two scriptures in the entire Bible which speak in the language term these two do! Both these scriptures deal with a precise period of time and both were declared by the mouth of prophets of old! John, under the inspiration, wrote unto the churches and that letter was heralded down through the ages brining out its spiritual application. And out here on the very end of the grace age Revelation 10:7 was to bring to completeness all God had declared long ago by the mouth of his servants, the Old Testament prophets for whom – – the gentile saints. Unto whom and for whom was it to benefit? The gentiles of course!
FULFILLING SCRIPTURE FOR JEWS
With that in mind, let us now examine Acts 3:21 and here see something also spoken by the mouth of Old Testament prophets which would benefit strictly Israel, not gentiles! Peter, preaching his second sermon to Jews says in Acts 3:19, “Repent ye therefore and be converted.” Note carefully, these words are not spoken unto gentiles but unto Jews, that element who had recently crucified the Messiah. Their minds were still fresh on the recent impact, turmoil and upheaval which transpired in Jerusalem. The very depths of the foundation of Judaism had been shaken. The veil of the temple had been rent and here after Pentecost stands Peter on the very temple compound preaching his second sermon to Jews declaring, “Repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
TIME OF REFRESHING – ISRAEL’S REVIVAL
Note, times of refreshing is God’s fulfillment of His spiritual awakening to be fulfilled in Israel strictly among Jews! Ezekiel prophesied how God would sprinkle clean water upon them (Israel) and take away their stony heart, placing within them a new heart of flesh, that speaks of a converted heart. Tie that statement of Ezekiel and Peter into Revelation 11, where under the ministry of two Jewish prophets 144,000 are to be sealed away by a great spiritual revelation. See beloved, that is their refreshing! No, the refreshing or the receiving of spiritual revelation was never fulfilled in Peter’s hour when he preached this! Their refreshing was still future!
Verse 20, “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:” However, note Israel must first be spiritually refreshed or given that revelation of who Jesus is, before they can see that glorious appearing of their Messiah!
TIME OF RESTORATION – “RESTORING BACK” PERIOD
Verse 21, “Whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution.” Recall, it was in Peter’s hour the ascension had just transpired and Peter speaks of times of refreshing and also the times of restitution. Keep in mind, refreshing is one thing for the Jew, and restitution is still another! The refreshing brings out the spiritual impact or the spiritual revival which awakens the people of Israel, while restitution means giving back unto them something which has been taken away from them. It was God who had allowed Satan, through certain world gentile systems or empires, as prophesied by Joel, to take away something from Israel and Joel’s prophecy (Joel 1:1-14) declared four creatures that resembled insects had gnawed and gnawed away at Israel until there wasn’t anything left only that which resembled a stump. Yet through Joel God prophesied, I will restore (to Israel), Joel 2:25.
REFRESHING AND RESTORATION BOTH FUTURE
The word restitution means an act to restore or replace something which has been taken away. Peter is declaring, until the times or until the seasons or until the period of giving back, the returning or restitution of all things to Israel. I repeat, the statement or promise here belongs strictly to Israel, not to the gentiles! Watch carefully how this verse in Acts 3:21 also closes out with prophets of old having a part in this! Whom the heavens must receive until the times or periods of giving back. That is, replacing or restoring all these things which God hath (past tense) declared by the mouth of ALL HIS HOLY PROPHETS SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN! Hath declared by the mouth of his holy prophets, yes beloved, Revelation 10:7 and Acts 3:21 are the only two scriptures in the entire Bible dealing with a people in relation to periods of time as has been declared by prophets of old! All that Peter spoke here belongs strictly to the Jewish people and is still future but note, it had already been declared by the Old Testament prophets! Time wise you can see this event getting ready to happen because we are living in a day where slowly we are witnessing God’s hand through world conditions and world systems creating upheavals and causing certain things to be maneuvered into place to fulfill His scriptures. God is slowly restoring back geographically, government wise, racially those Jews into their true Biblical setting.
GENTILES QUESTION SCRIPTURES INFALLIBILITY
Recently one of the large metropolitan gentile newspapers published three articles all discussing the infallibility of the Bible, asking the question: Is this a book we can place confidence in seeing it has been written by some forty writers and required over a thousand years to write? Is it a book we (gentiles) can place unlimited faith in? Can we completely place confidence in such a book? Oh, that is terrible that gentiles, who never had a right to this book, would stand up and make such a statement concerning its authenticity! As a gentile you may not appreciate this book today, yet as our dispensation closes I am sure the hour will arrive when you will gladly cherish to your bosom the revelation this book contains. While blinded carnal gentile theologians hack away at it, stumbling over certain words placed there and furthermore being void and destitute of the revelation it contains for us gentiles, seeing God closed its meaning to their eyes and ears, yet the born again Christian with true revelation in their bosom never stumble over these words which theologians do! Instead, to them they serve only as stepping stones to the entire depth of God’s beautiful picture in an hour when atheism is so prevalent and man so scientific minded yet so debased in his morals, he has become not much better than an educated animal. Oh, how we gentiles should truly thank God He did permit us by divine revelation through the office of the apostle to see our place in His book!
As we gentiles begin drifting backward into the old framework of living, drifting back into that old framework of thinking, social, moral and religious wise, we can see how today many are leaning toward such atheistic trends in their intellectual concept while other gentiles are turning to witchcraft, to demonistic cults which deals with blood and the sacrifice of humans. Can’t you see what is happening, beloved? That was exactly our gentile background of thinking before grace ever came to us in the beginning of this age of grace! People today strain at a gnat and swallow a camel worrying over whether someone is going to become too religious over this book, you don’t become too spiritual! Many people today certainly don’t want their youth to turn out bad yet the pathetic thing is, they don’t want them to become very spiritual either! It just so happens you are living in a day when you will do one of two things, either you will sell out to God completely or He personally will allow the devil to come and take you over completely. Do you think as a gentile society we can possibly escape the curse and judgment God is about to bring upon this gentile world over the way we have treated His book? If you do, face it, you are wrong! Over 1900 years God has been so gracious to the gentiles, seeing He lifted us up out of our ancient filth of the past (Romans 1:24-32, I Corinthians 6:9-11). Find that eternal rock of ages and flee unto Him for safety if you don’t want him to blind your eyes and therefore be forever shut out of His presence!
ISRAEL’S BLINDNESS BENEFITS GENTILES
Recall how the Apostle Paul in Romans 11 strictly warned the gentiles to beware of their relationship to God (not take it lightly) seeing that blindness in part had already happened to Israel until the fullness of the gentiles had been brought in! Remember, we were the wild olive tree Paul spoke of that was grafted into the very root, the promise of God’s word in order to be made partakers of the goodness of God. However, through our unbelief while our brain goes upward and our spirituality and morals drift more and more downward into the filth and into the pit, we absolutely have no other promise of escape other than find our refuge in Jesus Christ.
Through Peter’s mouth in Acts 3:21, God promised those Jews that the times of refreshing and restitution would come from the presence of the Lord. Times of refreshing is that spiritual revival to come for Israel, under the two prophets (Revelation 11) while the restitution deals with the restoring back to Israel of that which has been taken from her and both the refreshing and restitution are still out in front of us and comes about for Israel in Revelation 11:3-8 through the ministry of those two Jewish prophets, one with the spirit of Moses and the other with the spirit of Elijah for that hour! Lay Acts 3:21 beside Revelation 11:3-7!
Those promises prophesied by the mouth of God’s Old Testament Jewish prophets, men who were His servants who prophesied those things pertaining to us gentiles, all those prophecies we will see as God closes out that great MYSTERY hour of His dealing for us gentiles, bringing us into our completeness, bringing us into all fulfillment pertaining to the gentile people such as all things pertaining to their salvation, their perfection, yes, and things pertaining unto them even up until the very hour of the great change of their bodies in the catching away! While all these Old Testament scriptures dealing with this period begin to converge on that hour and point of climax for the gentiles, you must rest assured the hand of God will have already reached over and begun dealing with another element of people.
SCRIPTURE SPEAK OF ISRAEL AS NO OTHER BOOK DOES
And while all that would be going on may I remind you that within the gentile realm of theologians, in their seminary unbelief they will stumble and stagger at the very hand of God doing the things He will be doing in Israel! How dare gentile theologians and gentile Bible translators fuss and stew over the infallibility of God’s book! Why, if they would open their eyes they could see its fulfillment in reality by simply watching the Jewish people! No book ever spoke concerning a race of people in the manner this book has spoken concerning Israel. True revelation causes the saints to understand this book because revelation makes all those promises that much more real! Yes, here at the end while others fuss over its truthfulness, another group stands in their earthly illiteracy, seeing that is the way people of the world look upon true Christians, and they look into the book and say, Amen, I see it! Carnal theologians look in the book and declare, I don’t know about that, I don’t see it that way and therefore they continue to fuss over the translation of one word!
CUTTING OFF ONE GROUP WHILE RESTORING ANOTHER
It brings us to this point, we are living in the days God is causing all these verses pertaining to us gentiles to be fulfilled. Time is zeroing in on everyone of these verses pertaining to the gentiles of this hour. As they are being fulfilled, on this earth is a gentile people receiving God’s last dealings. The total gentile society is slowly being cut off, while at the same time another element of people, the Jew, is slowly being reinstated into His plan and purpose. While God is in a process of reinstating one group, certain things among the gentiles are being taken away. Yes, as He slowly takes from one element, He is slowly giving back to another. As He deals with one element for their last hour, and this last generation will surely see the wind up of it, to another element He is just beginning to open up the depths of His mercy and grace. However, note, once again that which God is opening up has already been prophesied and promised to that group by the mouth of His holy prophets! Are you able to now see how both these verses of scripture concerning what is to be done to and for these two separate groups had already been prophesied by the mouth of the Old Testament prophets and recorded there in the Old Testament! Because beloved, had it not been recorded, understand this one thing, somewhere in scripture these two groups during their respective hour could not have accepted what was going on!
SCRIPTURES DECLARED WHAT EARLY CHURCH ACCEPTED
In order to bring out the beauty of this fact and show how, had it not been somewhere recorded in the Old Testament, not even the Jewish apostles could have accepted it! To see this most important example of how whatever was to be accepted had to first be written somewhere in the scriptures, let us examine Acts 15 in closing. Paul and Barnabas have gone up to the Jerusalem church to discuss with the elders this subject of gentiles observing circumcision, Peter having reminded the group how that by his mouth the gentiles had first received the gospel, Acts 10. After everyone had held their peace and now speaking in defense of Peter’s ministry we hear the Apostle James beginning Acts 15:14, using Old Testament scripture as a basis as he says, “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name.”
OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURE AGREED
Where, may I ask you, did James ever get such authority to make such a statement as that? Read carefully verse 15 and you will see. “AND TO THIS AGREE THE WORDS OF THE PROPHETS AS IT IS WRITTEN.” There you are! Oh, how important the words of the Old Testament prophets were in relation to whatever move that early church made! No revelation has any authority whatsoever unless somewhere it is anchored in scripture. Peter could have returned from Cornelius’ house and declared as he did in Acts 11:1-18 about what a great revival he had among the gentiles, yet did you know, had there not been some scripture somewhere in that Old Testament which would have shown God’s dealings among the gentiles, that early church would never have accepted what Peter had done! It could simply be summed up by saying, had there not been any scripture to back up this move of Peter’s, as far as the early church was concerned, Peter was merely led off on a wild goose chase! But he wasn’t led off on a wild goose chase and even though Peter himself that day did not understand what God was doing at Cornelius’ house, yet somewhere after they had returned to Jerusalem and sat down to discuss and study this thing out and examine it from the scriptural standpoint there he saw it was scriptural, there would be a time God would go unto the gentile. Somewhere they saw a revelation within those Old Testament scriptures which verified what had been done! Therefore, we hear James declaring what he did in Acts 15:15, and to this agree the words of the prophets as it is written! Here it was in the Prophet Amos’ writing, Amos 9:11-12, however, it took a spiritual revelation from the ministry of the apostle to see this hidden truth and place it in its proper setting! Acts 15 , (16) “After this I will return and build again the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up; (17) That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.”
By studying the Old Testament scrolls of prophecy James, Peter and the elders of Jerusalem came to the realization what had been accomplished at Cornelius’ house (Acts 10) was actually the fulfillment of Amos 9, as the prophet Amos showed God would visit the gentiles to take out of them a gentile bride, a people for His name! For His name means a people who would bear the name of the Lord, who would carry it in water baptism, be identified and willing to be called by the name of Jesus. James was quoting that prophetic verse!
For 1900 years God has been among us gentiles taking out a people for His name in order to fulfill Amos 9, and one of these days that calling out among the gentiles will come to a close, and when it does it will all happen in a generation of time when God will take all the prophet Isaiah, all the prophet Jeremiah as well as the Psalms, etc., yes, all God has prophesied to Abraham in Genesis and there God will consummate this MYSTERY, fulfilling it to us gentiles – – AS HE HATH ALREADY THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO, DECLARED TO OR BY HIS SERVANTS THE PROPHETS! Thus, God will bring to a close all that has been a MYSTERY to the Jew as He completes His work among us gentiles. When is it to be brought to a close? In the days of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel messenger, when his message begins to be proclaimed and herald, God will take all those Old Testament scriptures which He spoke by His prophets, scriptures which held this MYSTERY OF GOD for the grace age and wrap them all up or fulfill them. Just as the gentile world is slowly being cut off and the Jewish race being reinstated, as God consummates this for the gentiles He will be in the process of refreshing (or spiritual revival) and the restitution for Israel. And, Oh, the refreshing there will be for those Jews! How glorious the climax will be as the gentile bride is being perfected and made ready and called home to glory, the Jewish nation is spiritually awakened, restored and revived.
The world, because of the tension in which we live today, could overnight be thrown into a nuclear war simply because they do not know what to do with Israel! Month after month, year after year, pressures in gentile governments continually mount over this ever growing perplexing problem: WHAT WILL WE DO WITH THE LITTLE NATION CALLED ISRAEL? IT ALL LETS ME KNOW WE ARE LIVING IN THAT GENERATION WHO WILL SEE ALL THESE THINGS BROUGHT TO A CLIMAX!
Oftimes when people are approached and questioned concerning their lukewarm condition dealing with their relationship toward God and asked if they don’t realize they should not grow cold and indifferent, immediately one of these many excuses begin to be given: Oh, but preacher, if you only knew this or you only knew that, you just don’t realize what I have been through! You just don’t’ realize what so-and-so said about me (or did to me)! I have searched the Bible and nowhere can I find one chapter or verse where justification can be given for any such statement, attitude or excuse. Such answers may well be our excuse, however, there is nothing in the word of God whereby you can base or substantiate such an excuse upon.
- 1 PAUL OVERCOMES TRIALS
- 2 WHEN DO THINGS WORK FOR GOOD?
- 3 TWO IMPORTANT THINGS
- 4 CHRIST OVERCAME EACH OBSTACLE
PAUL OVERCOMES TRIALS
Today let’s examine the words of truly a spiritual man who knew firsthand all about being persecuted; who knew what it was to be talked about and unjustly mistreated and see what he has to say concerning such things. Yes, this man knew what it was to be flogged, stoned, run out of town, thrown in jail, placed in stocks and brought before courts simply because people thought he had done certain things. Through all this unjust persecution which he endured, never once do you find him making excuses to grow cold, indifferent or even turn back from his walk with God!
The text of our thought is taken from Romans 8:28. How often have we read this beautiful passage of scripture which has brought comfort to the hearts of saints through the ages and yet never ONCE do we notice the condition that verse hinges upon!! Many sermons have been preached on predestination and usually it is this particular verse of Rom 8:28 used to launch the predestination study. However, the condition built into this verse seemingly is hardly ever mentioned! Therefore, let’s begin reading Rom. 8:28, the Apostle Paul’s statement made to the Roman church and as we do let us pay close attention especially to the condition hinging on the verse.
LOVE OF GOD PRIMARY FACTOR
And we know, Paul says, “that all things work together for good to them that love God”. Now that is what the Bible says, however, this is how most people read it: all things work together for good to them who are predestinated. That is not what the Bible said! The Bible said all things work together for good to them WHO LOVE GOD or as one translation declares, THAT KEEPS ON LOVING GOD. To them (who love God) who are the called according to his (God’s) purpose (or in accordance to God’s great plan).
WHEN DO THINGS WORK FOR GOOD?
Therefore, please note, the primary objective or emphasis is placed heavily upon them who love God or keep on loving God. Christ remarks to the first church age (Ephesus) Rev. 2:4 “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left or departed from thy first love.” Continuing to speak to the first church age Christ says, “Remember therefore from where thou art fallen and repent and do the first works or else I will come unto thee quickly and will remove thy candlestick (lampstand or lightholder) out of its place except thou repent.” We note as early as 96 A.D. the first gentile church age, because of certain obstacles in their pathway they had not been able to overcome, had already left or forsaken their first true, devout love for the word of God. Bear in mind, all things can only work together for good to them who love God as Paul declared in Rom. 8:28, certainly not unto those who have turned aside or rejected God’s love! It is definitely this one condition of loving God which is built into this scripture that is the deciding factor whether or not all things are going to work together for good or whether all these things will be used for the elimination purpose of an individual!
TWO IMPORTANT THINGS
We are going to examine two very important things from the word of God (1) What does it scripturally require for an individual to love God and (2) have we met that requirement whereby we know we REALLY and TRULY do love God? Jesus once declared in Matt. 22:37-40, the two greatest of the ten commandments of the law hinged on love when he said, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and body and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The Word of God instructs us, above everything else, that we should love the Lord God with our entire being!
Remember, whatever a man loves is what you see him placing his whole heart into. Whatever a man loves, that is what you find his mind continually dwelling upon, it is what he is talking about and discussing every opportunity possible. It may be his wife, his home, family, children, automobile, church or it could even be his job. If a man loves his job more than he does God, you will find him more loyal to that job while being very disloyal in his attending the house of God to worship. Thus, when it falls the lot for the poor preacher to preach the man’s funeral the preacher is placed between a rock and a hard place. No, no one is asking you to quit your job or become disloyal to your employer; nevertheless, we desire to examine this passage of Rom. 8:28-29 in the light of eternal light because truly, we do not want to be lost. While on the other hand, there is more in this Christian life and serving God, growing in his grace, etc., than merely escaping hell. I am in this walk with God because according to Rom. 8:28 there is a definite plan of God for our daily Christian living. Living for God in this life is most joyful and filled with such peace, contentment, and happiness that it is worth every ounce of our strength to be dedicated in our service unto him.
GOD’S PLAN IN DAILY LIVING
It matters not what is laid in our pathway. If we will only examine those things that are placed there in the light of the word, we should know if we are spiritual at all and truly love God, sooner or later that very thing is going to work to our good. No, I certainly may not enjoy it. Whatever is laying there in my pathway may be very disgusting to me; nevertheless, if I will be faithful to the Almighty and stand true and I am really dedicated to God, that thing will work to my good and not to my ruination. However, were this thing laying there in my pathway to work unto my ruination, it is simply because I refuse to examine the situation or thing in the correct light. Because had I examined the situation, problem or thing correctly, I would have seen that it was working in God’s plan for my life. Nevertheless, if I fail to examine it correctly and it causes me to miss the will of God and I am cast aside (I Cor. 9:27) then I cannot overlook the predestinated side of the picture; because, the fact remains that God knew before the foundation of the world that I wouldn’t examine this thing placed in my pathway in the proper light. Therefore, that is exactly why he allowed or permitted it to be there in the first place, to wash me out of the program and get rid of me.
LAW OF ELIMINATION
Whether you want to accept it or not, God does have a law of elimination. Within his program or plan which he originated before the foundation of the world affecting all mankind, the Almighty God will permit me to only play around just so long. It is possible he may even permit me to play around half of my lifetime; however, one of these days he is going to grow tired of my unconcernedness and when he does, I am going to have to arise, shake myself and realize God is through with me playing around. Therefore, something is definitely going to be placed in my pathway to now get rid of me. If I look at that thing with a mopey attitude, that may well be my last hour because that thing is no longer working for my good, it is now working to eliminate me! And from that day on I will continually grow worse, madder, more stubborn, more aggravated, deader, until I finally reach the point I simply can’t even be talked to or be dealt with and that will go on ’til my dying day and I am placed in the graveyard.
DIGGING SPIRITUAL GRAVE
See beloved, since I wasn’t going on with God, he had to use some means or other whereby to eliminate me. Though he may tolerate me, allowing me to go on the rest of my natural life grumbling, complaining and bellyaching about everything, never once would I realize I was simply digging my own spiritual grave. How many times Satan will get us into a trap and there through our own grumbling, complaining, etc., make us dig our own spiritual graves and there die in it. Satan stands there gouging and probing us along saying, dig a little faster; therefore, we simply complain and grumble that much more and all the time we are getting further and further away from God. A perfect example of such a setting is shown or seen within that generation of Israelites who grumbled and constantly complained about everything that happened to them in the wilderness of sin (unbelief) while trying to make it to the Promised Land. Yes, because they failed to overcome the obstacles God Almighty placed in their pathway, obstacles which, had they loved God would have all worked for their good, instead it worked just the opposite. It worked for the elimination of every man and woman 20 years and older amongst that great following. Rom. 15:4 declares whatsoever things were written for our learning that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. I Cor. 10:5 declared that God was not pleased with many; therefore, he overthrew them in the wilderness. HOW? Through those very obstacles he placed in their pathway. Obstacles, which had they truly loved God, would have served as a molding and making of their character, instead the very thing which could have worked for the good in molding and making them there in the wilderness became the very process or means of elimination. Now these things, verse 6 declares, were for our example to the intent we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted, neither be ye idolaters as was some of them, as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
WHAT FAILURE TO OVERCOME LED TO
Examining Psalms 78 shows how quickly the children of Israel had forgotten his mighty works and mighty wonders which he had declared unto them, beginning with such marvelous things he accomplished in the land of Egypt then dividing the Red Sea causing them to pass through; leading them in the daytime by a cloud and by a pillar of fire at night; splitting the rocks in the wilderness to furnish millions a drink, causing water to run down like rivers, only to have them sin against the Almighty because they desired food of their choosing. Psalms 78:19 declares, they spoke against God by saying, can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Knowing he had already smitten the rock and water gushed out; nevertheless they said, can he give bread also, can he provide flesh for his people? The Lord heard this grumbling and complaining and became angry, kindling a fire against Israel because she believed not in God and trusted not in his salvation after he had rained bread (manna) down from heaven for them to eat daily! Psalms 78:25 testified man in the wilderness did eat angel food until they were full. God caused an east wind to blow into the heavens and by his power brought in the south wind and rained flesh upon them like dust and feathered fowls like the sands of the sea. He let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their inhabitant so that they did eat and were filled for he gave them their desire. Verse 30 declares, they were not estranged from their desire, but while their food was yet in their mouths the wrath of God came upon them and slew the fattest of them down to the chosen men of Israel. For all this they had sinned still and believed not his wondrous works. That is all we will mention from Psalms 78 concerning the disobedient nation of Israel who died in the wilderness simply because they could not overcome these obstacles God placed in their pathway. However, I encourage you to read prayerfully Psalms 78 and as you do, think of Rom. 8:28 and realize all this could have worked for Israel’s good had they only loved God. Instead the very thing that could have worked for their good now turned and worked for their elimination.
WARNING TO CHURCH
Back to I Cor. 10:8. Neither let us commit fornication as some of them did and fell 23,000 in one day. Neither let us put Christ to the test as some of them also tested him and were destroyed by serpents. Neither murmur ye as some of them also murmured and were destroyed by the destroyer. I Cor. 10:11 shows these wilderness experiences were for our example. Now all these things happened unto them for examples and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come. After having given this declaration concerning Israel Paul declared to the church, wherefore let him that thinketh he stands take heed lest he fall. You see, Rom. 8:28 could never have been applied to these people for their good seeing they did not love God! Therefore, all these obstacles placed in the pathway of the children of Israel there in the wilderness after having left Egypt were used for a process of elimination! Moreover, had they not murmured and complained about these obstacles but only allowed them to become the necessary stepping stones needed to develop their character as God’s chosen people, it could have easily been said that all these things laid in their pathway would have definitely worked for their good, instead of becoming their elimination in the program God.
OBSTACLES SERVE TWO PURPOSES
Therefore, I must remember in my Christian journey that all the things placed in my pathway can serve for one or two purposes: either they will work for my good or for my elimination. Within his program or plan, he allows me also to play around just so long (as he did Israel). He places objects in my pathway which if I look upon with a mopey, grumbling attitude, it may well be in my last hour of his program, because these very things which could have been used for my good will turn to eliminate me. And as I said before, like the children of Israel, I will from then on continually become worse, madder, more stubborn, more aggravated, deader, etc., unto my dying day! This is the means whereby God chooses to get rid of me. Why? Because in reality I never TRULY LOVED GOD!
CONFUSION OVER LOVE OF GOD
Many people are confused over this thing called the LOVE OF GOD. Certain people love their denomination thinking that is the love of God. Many love their pastor thinking that is the love of God. Some love a certain church doctrine believing that is the love of God. These things might be alright provided they are always kept in their proper place; however, none of these things are scripturally the love of God spoken of in Rom. 8:28. So often, beloved, these are the very things which usually stand between the individual and a true dedicated love of God.
GOD LOVERS KEEP COMMANDMENTS
What does it mean to truly love God? This is far more serious than most people realize. To love the Lord thy God according to Matt. 22:37-40 means WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. John 14:21 declares, he that hath my commandments and keepeth them he it is that (truly) loveth me. He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father and I will love him and will manifest myself to him. The word commandments here does not refer to the Old Testament Ten Commandments, instead it refers strictly to the teachings and sayings of Jesus wherein he declares, if you love me you will keep my word. John 14:23-24, Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love me he will keep my words and my father will love him and we will come unto him and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings and the word which ye heard is not mine but the father’s which sent me. John 15:10 declares, if ye keep my commandments (words) ye shall abide in my love even as I kept my father’s commandments (the great Eternal Spirit) and (therefore) abide in his love. Verse 14; Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.
CHRIST OVERCAME EACH OBSTACLE
Keep in mind our thought of Rom. 8:28 which declares all things work together for good to them who love God as we hear John declare in I John 2:3-7, howbeit, we do know that we know him if we keep his commandments. He that saith I know him and keepeth not his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whosoever keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected. Hereby know that we are in him. Verse 6, he that saith that he abideth in him ought himself also to walk even as he walked (and remember Jesus overcame every obstacle placed before him in his earthly walk). Not one obstacle turned him aside from the route marked off that he should walk, thus no obstacle eliminated him from the program of God as it had the first Adam who, through his fall, led all mankind into sin and disobedience, calling for (Christ) the second Adam to come on the scene and rescue mankind from Satan’s trap of death.
GOD LOVER CALLED INTO PLAN
What did the Apostle Paul mean when he stated, and we know all things work together for good to them who love God, called according to the Almighty’s plan? Yes, whether it be money, job, church or whatever, Paul said all things work together for good to them who love God. Christ said, if you love me keep my commandments. Remember, according to 2 Cor. 5:19, Isa. 9:6, I Tim. 3:16, Christ was none other than the Old Testament God dwelling in flesh who declared, he that loveth me will keep my word or sayings. DO YOU LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART? If you do, you will keep his sayings and ALL THINGS CAN WORK FOR YOUR GOOD. And secondly, never forget, it is those individuals who do love God who are the people (in the first place) God has called into his divine purpose of plan.
CALLED TO BE RE-SHAPED
Now we must ask ourselves another question. What is God’s purpose or plan in having called us? His purpose is, and please don’t miss this, if I can correctly hear his call, obeying his word and receive true salvation, the new birth, etc., and if I can react in a proper manner whenever I am faced with these many things which will surely befall me in my Christian walk; if I am able to examine these things in the correct light and will always be able to say, yes father, have thy own way, while he is leading me through these obstacles then I know God’s purpose has been, through it all, that one day I might be conformed, molded and shaped into the very likeness of Jesus Christ according to Rom. 8:29. Beloved, there is no such thing as God calling you and then simply giving you an easy chair, telling you to sit down. No, instead he says, I have called you because I desire to shape and remold you. And don’t ever think while he is doing all this shaping and remolding he is going to inject you with a hypodermic needle and put you to sleep whereby you will never know what he is doing. ABSOLUTELY NOT! You are definitely going to know what is taking place, especially if you have any spiritual life in you whatsoever. There just isn’t any such thing as you not knowing what the grace of God is doing or accomplishing in your life. No, it won’t be long until you will know, especially if you actually intend to travel God’s provided route that he has chosen for you whereby one day you, through his grace, might be molded and shaped into the image of his dear son who was born of woman according to Gal. 4:4.
DISSATISFIED WITH FIRST BIRTH
God’s purpose is that you and I of this fallen, depraved, human race, all of whom were born according to Gen. 3 from the knowledge that the sex act could also be used for pleasure as well as being used strictly for the divine desired purpose of God in his plan, by which act he purposed to bring into the world sons and daughters who should all be born with eternal life (as was Christ) instead of being born as they are, full of deaths and disobedience. Therefore, because we were all born into the world full of death and disobedience in our bloodstream, contrary to God’s will, it is God’s divine purpose in his calling you who were born in such a pathetic condition to rebirth you according to John 3:3-5, remold and reshape you into the character and obedience of the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ himself who is the perfect anointed one, yet born also of woman, Gal. 4:4. Christ, you recall, was the only child born of woman, born of flesh that was born in perfection. Yes, Christ was the only child ever conceived, produced according to the law or tree of eternal life, born completely and totally obedient to God’s will. Therefore, God’s desire is now to rebirth and remold you into the very image of the character and the principle as well as the nature that God is, who you recall was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. Thus, we see that although the first Adam was not born of woman, the second Adam, the Lord of Glory definitely was and was born in perfection.
ENGRAFTING NEW NATURE INTO OLD
Thus God has willed in a certain capacity that those same attributes which were seen in Christ, attributes which made him submissive to the will of the father, might also be engrafted (James 1:21) and molded into us through rebirth by his Spirit wherein someday we, too, might also be Godlike in our character and in our nature as well as outlook. Beloved may I say, the kind of person Christ was is exactly the same kind of person each one of us would have been, provided our first parents (Adam and Eve) had only waited a little longer upon God allowing him to lead them unto the law or the tree of life whereby it, instead of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, could have influenced their first intimate relation, a relationship wherein all their children born from the sex act would have been filled with eternal life, obedience, goodness, etc. But no, instead the first couple chose, themselves, not to wait upon God to lead them unto the proper law which would have governed their relationship, a relationship which would have been in perfect obedience to God’s will, instead they allowed their first intimate relationship to be influenced or governed strictly by the law or tree of knowledge of good and evil, using their first act strictly for pleasure outside the divine will and purpose of Almighty God’s plan for the producing of his human family. That one act of disobedience produced death into the bloodstream of the first couple, thus through the sex act strictly for pleasure outside the divine purpose of God passed on to each oncoming generation that which they had inherited through disobedience in the garden and fulfills the scripture wherein David declared that all of us came into the world speaking lies, etc., and again David declared his knowledge of what had actually happened in the Garden as he said in sin did my mother conceive me. Therefore, I was shapen in iniquity (Psalms 51:5).
NOT IGNORANT OF EVENTS IN GARDEN
David, as well as all Jews, were not in ignorance to what had happened in the Garden between the serpent and Eve as well as Adam, the son of God, and knew also that these two trees shown in the midst of the Garden certainly were not trees of vegetation life. Because, had sin and disobedience been obtained by partaking fruit from plant life, redemption would have also had to come the same route from eating plant life. The nature of the two trees had to be exactly the same. One could not have been spiritual and the other natural.
CHRIST IN US OVERCOMES
Being born again through accepting Christ as our eternal life, we can begin to see how God intends to make us to become Godlike in our character, in our nature, in our outlook, etc., by placing all of his attributes in us. Furthermore, we will be able to see these things which are being placed in the pathway of our Christian walk, things which always seem to come against us in this life, have been the very route which God has chosen for us and through that Godlikeness (engrafted into us) that Christ will provide for us in our lives we can begin to say, it is not us actually doing the overcoming. Oh no, but as Paul declared when he said, it is not I, but Christ which liveth in me is gaining the victory daily. We are able, by these things and through the grace of God in us to overcome these obstacles and continue to grow and progress daily more in the likeness and stature of our saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, that perfect man born of woman, our example, who personally overcame every obstacle placed in our pathway which leads to the fulfillment of Rom. 8:28-29 causing all things to work for good to them who do (truly) love God who are the called according to his plan and purpose.
SEEING GREATER THINGS AHEAD
Beloved, don’t ever think for a moment that Jesus our example, who is both Lord and Christ, and was born sinless into this world, lived a life free from all reproaches, free from all trials and free from opposition. No sir, he did not! In every wise that flesh man born of woman, the perfect Christ was tested and tempted in every manner as you and I (Heb. 4:15). Nevertheless, in order that he might become the perfect example for fallen mankind who had been born under the effects of the wrong tree in the Garden, he never once yielded to the effects of any of these temptations placed before him. No, instead Christ was able to see something that was far greater beyond this life which was to be gained through his obedience to the father’s will which to him was far greater than having to endure the opposition and humiliation of all these obstacles placed in his pathway while here upon earth. Hebrews says Christ learned obedience through the things which he, in his flesh, suffered. What could Christ see that was so much greater? Christ, as perfect man, could see that exalted position which he, as man, would be lifted into.
SEEING FUTURE MAKES OBSTACLES LIGHTER
Beloved, that should also be the main objective, the main goal, as well as the main source of our vision, that through all trials, temptations, persecutions and troubles, we too, should look upon them and realize as Christ did, that Praise God this is not to our destruction, this is not to our ruination, but instead all these things are for the advantage of our spiritual growth to work for our good, leading us to perfection in Christ. Therefore, it is no more I that liveth, as the apostle declared, it is Christ Jesus in Spirit form living in me who is doing the overcoming. Yes, it is no longer me through my physical efforts who is overcoming all these things, but it is the grace of God within me that gives me the victory over every trial, temptation, persecution and such which befalls my life. Hence, I can begin to recognize God’s divine purpose or plan, how he (the great Eternal Spirit) desires and intends someday that I grow up into the full measure of the likeness of his Son, Christ, that perfect man, our example.
NATURE DEMANDS IDOL
Surely, if we are aware, placed within the carnal nature of every child growing up, is that instinct and desire to be like someone, why beloved, when we are rebirthed and come to Christ it is only natural that having been born from above the desire is to be like Christ. It is a desire placed within us by the Holy Spirit. There is no one greater anyone could ever pattern their lives after. When the Lord, the Eternal Holy Spirit sent his Son into the world (Gal. 4:4) he sent him (the second Adam) into the world in order that he might stand victoriously between the living and the dead, between Satan and death as well as stand against everything else which should ever arise that you would need to gain victory over throughout your entire Christian walk.
MORE THAN A CONQUEROR
Yes, he was more than a man. Christ was more than a means of refuge and escape for us to barely miss hell. I repeat, he wasn’t something offered to this world whereby we would barely escape. Christ was more than an escape route; he was more than something whereby each time you faced a trial as an obstacle which was laid in your path, that with a sigh of relief you might wipe your brow and say, thank God, I barely escaped. But the question remains, will I be able to escape the next trial which may be even more severe? No, thank God he is our victory over sin, over Satan, seeing the work on Calvary crushed the very power of Satan because John triumphantly declared the Son was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Then again, we hear John declare rejoicingly, greater is he that is within you (Christ in Spirit form) than he that is in the world (I John 4:4). Beloved, that is why you don’t barely escape the trap of Satan when you lean on the Lord Jesus. No, he is able to bring us victoriously and triumphantly over every trial, ever persecution, etc. Some people look upon eternal life so pathetically. Don’t ever look at eternal life in that light. True, when you stand on the other side, you will be able to stand there only because it was made possible through the grace of God, seeing it was the merits of grace that allowed you the privilege to stand there. Yes, in that relationship you could say we did barely escape by a hair’s breadth; because, it was Peter who declared, if the righteous scarcely be saved where will the sinner and ungodly appear (I Peter 4:18). But that is dealing with the picture at the end of your life’s journey showing how that grace and grace alone brought you through. That involves more than simply escaping hell, etc., that is lining you up for the job he has for you in the glorious hour of that thousand years reign to come. You have escaped something in order to be placed in a relationship with God and Christ in order that you might become an heir of all things.
DO YOU LOVE GOD?
When we begin to recognize or realize that all things in this Christian life do work together for good to them who love God and are called for a definite purpose and I remind you that purpose only benefits those who do love God seeing those same obstacles you are to overcome can either someday make you like the Lord Jesus or can be used as an elimination process to get rid of you. Therefore, it behooves us to begin searching to find our whether or not we actually do love God. Because when we find out we do love God, then and only then will we be able to absolutely recognize and understand that all the rest Paul declared here will also tie into us because this scripture is speaking strictly unto those who love God. Therefore, each of us has to ask the question, DO WE REALLY LOVE GOD? Because if we really do love God, then we know all things will work together for good or to the advantage of them who love God. Many people as I said, are in love with their church, but not God; many love their pastor but not God. The Sunday school superintendent, the Sunday school teacher or a dozen other things which they have connected with religion yet, sad to say it is not God at all that they love because Jesus said, if you love me you will keep my commandments and John declared his commandments, or words or sayings are not grievous. No, not to them who love God, the word is not grievous.
REMAINDER OF VERSES APPLY TO GOD LOVERS
Notice also how the remainder of these verses will apply strictly unto those who definitely love God. It is these who love God that we shall see have definitely been called according to His divine plan. His plan or purpose according to (Verses 29-30) is that for those whom He did foreknow He did also predestinate to be conformed in the image and likeness of his Son. Therefore, since God foreknew us (who love him) he knew before the foundation of the world to what end or what route he would choose to set before us whereby these things that we would definitely be brought face to face within his plan and purpose were the very things he himself had provided or chose to use in order to mold and shape us into the image of his dear son. While at the same time, these very same things would keep the sinner and man of the world strictly on the outside of the grace of God.
GOD’S PLAN BENEFITS GOD LOVERS
Therefore, having examined it in this light of understanding, we see according to verse 30 how he laid his plan out to benefit only those who would truly love him. Moreover, whom he did predestinate those are the ones through his spirit that he called, because unless the Spirit calls you or draws you in conviction power you cannot come unto him (John 6:44). Therefore, if the Almighty already knew you in his foreknowledge back there before the foundation of the world where Paul in Ephesians 1 declared he had counseled with himself concerning this great plan and program which would involve redemption for the human race and it was there as he saw our lifespan pass before him in his foreknowledge that he appointed you and I unto eternal life seeing all names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world and not the night you received his salvation (Eph. 1:4, Rev. 13:8). It was also back there in that foreknowledge of his that he designed certain things which were to confront you as you travel down through this lifespan of time. Yes, that one Eternal God who laid out all this through his foreknowledge and lined it out just for me and you is certainly one day in our lifespan going to reach out in the convicting power of the spirit and say to us who have been chosen (because he saw we would choose him). Come on and let’s start your journey. Yes, sooner or later his grace is going to pull me into that pathway whereby I may begin to start walking with him. I will never forget the night I knelt at an altar in the Methodist Church and said Lord, if you will take away these cigarettes and give me a know-so salvation whereby I can know I am saved from my sins, I will do my best to teach your word. Not realizing at that hour that is exactly what he had already ordained for me to do. I knew the next day he had taken me at my word because I found myself with my Bible in hand and I read and read and read. From that day until the day God led me into this endtime message and gave me the baptism of the Holy Ghost, I did not know what a trial or test actually was, that is, those trials and tests applicable to Rom. 8:28, which benefit those who love God.
DAY BATTLE BEGUN
In the early months of my salvation experience I lived with the feeling that the sin load had been lifted from my shoulders. I wasn’t ridiculed and besides, I cared little what sinners thought about me anyway; therefore, I actually faced no real persecution. Yet, the day I received the Holy Ghost and my spiritual life began, that was the day the battles started. That was the day the devil got mad, yet that is the day I also realized I had something in my life that intended to take me through and that by no means should I turn back.
PREDESTINATED, CALLED AND JUSTIFIED
Verse 30 declares, moreover whom he did predestinate, those are the ones he also called. And whom he called, them he also justified (or looked upon as never having sinned). Where, beloved, was he doing all this? Before the foundation of the world of course! This is what all was going on through the foreknowledge of his great mind. Whom he called, them he also justified. Right there from then on it didn’t make one bit of difference unto him what these had done in their lifespan of unbelief before his call should take place in reality, because in the foreknowledge of his mind, he had already justified everyone of them which simply means he looked upon these as though they had never sinned. God foreknew them; therefore, in time to come, when that day would arise that God would actually lay his hand on that life, he called that soul to come and begin their walk with him. However, before the foundation of the world he had already seen them forgiven and justified. And because these are now called and justified, it is going to begin for them another battle, a new kind of battle with Satan. Sure, no one denies that even while you were living in the natural for the devil that you did not have battles. Of course you did. However, now that he has called you, new and different battles will arise with Satan, the accuser of the brethren.
SEEING OVERCOMERS, GOD JUSTIFIED THEM
For whom he called he also justified and, get this, back there before the foundation of the world in his mind, through his great foreknowledge he even saw those who loved God, those who overcame the persecution, hindrances, stumbling blocks, etc., and was eventually even made into the image of his dear Son. He saw you in a glorified state of being because the scripture says whom he justified, them he also glorified, meaning in his mind God saw the end or the finish of your route of life that he had already chosen for you, an note, he saw you glorified. This shows he saw you finish the end of your race as you ran it with patience, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of your faith, Heb. 12:1-2. He sees you already glorified, already immortal. And at that moment when he saw all this, naturally speaking, you were not even born. No, there was not even a planet created for you to live on. There was not even dust on that planet to furnish you your body. There was not even an angel created at that moment.
SHORT LIFE – MAKE IT COUNT
Seeing that is the way God looks upon us who love him, Paul says we already know that all things work together for good to them who do love God. There isn’t one thing that can befall your Christian life but what sooner or later it will work to the good; however, if you don’t love God then that same thing is going to absolutely work in the other direction to eliminate you and get you out of the way. Believe me, I don’t say that because I want to see God eliminate anyone; nevertheless, it is merely a fact that we can’t always play with God. Your life is too important. You today who have been destined with only 70 years should make each one of those years count by asking yourself, just where do I fit in the plan of God, where do I fit in his will? Were he to come tonight for me, am I ready to face him?
NO ONE CAN CONDEMN GOD’S ELECT
Thus, as we begin to see God’s plan unfold for those who love him, (we hear Paul continue this line of thought in verse 31 by asking a question, what shall we say to these things, if God be for us (who love him) who then can be against us). And I ask you that question. Is there a person in this world who can keep you from living for God? No, there isn’t one soul. If you don’t live for God it is your own fault. Scripturally, you can’t blame anyone else yet someone will say, oh, but you don’t know how bad I was tempted. And to that individual Paul would say, there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful who will not permit you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation, also make (the) way of escape that ye may be able to bear it (I Cor. 10:13). Thus we see God leaves us completely without an excuse. If you don’t want to live for God, IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT! No one else can be blamed. Therefore, don’t ever say so-and-so said such-and-such and that caused me to fall by the wayside. No, the Bible won’t back that up. You are the one who said it that way, not God. It is a fact whether you want to admit it or not. You are only looking for a reason or excuse and the Bible won’t provide you with one. You are simply looking for a way out without admitting the fact you simply DON’T LOVE GOD! If you loved God more than anything else, there isn’t one thing according to Paul’s following statements that is in this whole wide world that could keep you from him. If you love God, you are not going to allow anything to interfere, that is what the scripture just finished declaring. That is why Paul said to the church, the born again, those who love God, what shall we say to these things, if God be for me who in the world can stand in my way? In John 10:26-33 we hear Jesus declaring from the temple in Solomon’s porch unto the Jews who had no spiritual ears to hear what the spirit was saying in that hour, you believe not simply because you are not of my sheep. As I said unto you, my sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me and I give unto them eternal life and they (MY SHEEP) shall never perish. Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand, my father who gave them to me is greater than all and no man is able to pluck them out of my father’s hand. I and my Father are one. They knew what he meant because the same group who was not his sheep and could not hear his voice picked up stones to stone him because they said, you being a (mere) man hath made yourself God.
TRIALS PROVE LOVE FOR GOD
Who can actually stand in your way? Nobody! Though I grant you, in a sense, people can get in your way; nevertheless, if you truly love God you will find a way through all that mess. God will help you through it. Now the only way God is going to be for me (according to Rom. 8:31) is if I am for him. It is every bit possible he may let us wait a little while, yet that is only to allow us to see our own determination in our stand for him because God already knows whether or not if we will stand. WE DON’T! Nevertheless, if we will only stand and by our stand show we are really for God, then he is going to hear our prayer and assist us. On the other hand, I could allow the same thing to stop me. I could be saying, well I would like to be serving God but you see what it is that is in the way; therefore, I would sit down and not serve God. Really, that is the thing proving I didn’t love God to begin with! Then maybe six weeks or six months later I might undertake a task which would seem to be impossible; however, if that task is something that fits the flesh person or carnal, I might spend a fortune to get it done, but God wouldn’t be in it.
IS GOD FOR YOU?
If God be for us, Paul said, who can stand against us? Let us ask ourselves the question, is God actually for us? You can only answer that by examining your own heart. If you really love God with all your heart then he loves you and is going to take your side. Verse 32, He that spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all (the church Eph. 5:25). Christ was an example for me personally. How shall he not with him also freely give us all things. Look what God is doing to his Son, three days after death raised him from the dead and 40 days later lifted him into glory where he seated this perfect, tried man (the Christ) on the right hand of majesty, where glory, power and honor was bestowed upon him that he should be a king, worshipped and adored by angels.
REWARDED FOR CROSSING EACH BARRIER
Therefore, seeing Christ was our example, look at what he received for his obedience in crossing over every barrier and obstacle laid in his pathway. As the scripture says, learned he obedience through the things he suffered as he was an example for us personally, how much more through him who is now in us coming along that very same route (the route of humility, scorned, ridicule, etc.,) following in the very same footsteps of him who was God’s example for us all, that in the end we, likewise, can also be lifted up in his likeness and image and also be positioned with him in eternity sharing in that same realm of glory in an age of authority whereby we should rule and reign with him as kings and priests. But like Jesus, you also will have to see all this in the spirit or it wouldn’t be worth two cents to you. You see it was the glory beyond this life, beyond this veil of flesh, Christ was looking at. Thus we are told in Heb. 12:2 to look unto this Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Phillips Trans. “Let us strip off everything that hinders us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet and let us run the race that we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus the source and the goal of our faith. For he himself endured a cross and thought nothing of its shame because of the joy he knew would follow his sufferings; and he is now seated at the right hand of God’s throne. Think constantly on him enduring all that sinful man could say against him and you will not lose your purpose or your courage.”) Therefore, you can see what Jesus was looking at and that was the joy set before him. That was what could make him endure the cross and despise the shame. He endured that to go to the cross and in a few hours fulfill death and all it was to accomplish, then be raised by the power of God to be exalted into glory and seated at the right hand of the eternal spirit and majesty, authority and glory.
SEEING RICHES OF INHERITANCE HELPS OVERCOME
That is what he was looking at. Can you see that? If I look at it correctly, I can see it through the eye of faith (spiritual revelation), through spiritual revelation I too can see the riches of my inheritance or the things I am to inherit. To inherit it, I too must walk that same road. Yet walking that same road won’t always be days of gloominess. There will be days the sun will shine and there will be days when clouds will cover the sun. Storms may rage; nevertheless, I know behind that cloud the sun still shines as brightly as ever.
NO ONE CONDEMNS GOD’S ELECT
Verse 33: “who then shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? Shall God who justified?” (Certainly not!) Because he is the one in verse 30 who already justified you, meaning, saw you as though you had never sinned. Seeing he had already justified you, who is the man or woman who can really bring an accusation before God? Who is that person who can bring a just accusation against you who love God that would stop you from living for God? Satan is the accuser of the brethren, however, those who love God have already been justified. According to God’s own word there isn’t one charge or accusation against those who love God that can keep the elect of God out of his domain. I am what I am by the grace of God and it isn’t because anyone did or didn’t say or do such and such. God will neither accept me nor condemn me on the basis of what I have been because even before he justified me he knew what I had been and none of that hindered him back there from justifying me. No, he doesn’t need your testimony about it, it is God who does the justifying. He is not interested in hearing all that other junk that any accuser would have to say against those whom he has already justified. He knows more of the truth than anyone else does. Verse 34: Who is he that condemneth, it is Christ that died (for us). Think of it beloved, there isn’t one charge or one report that can be brought before the majesty of God’s court that could change the situation of your walk with him. If someone condemns you and you know scripturally there is no truth behind it, why should you worry? While they are condemning you just remember, it is Christ who died for you, not the person doing the condemning. Don’t look at people, look at the proper source. It is Christ who is at the right hand of God ever making intercession for us, so just remember when someone down here is absolutely giving you fits, there is one up there interceding (praying) and pleading your case. While someone down here may be persecuting you who have already been justified, you have a lawyer defending your cause whereby one day you may walk down the streets of glory clothed in his righteousness. Beloved, you must look at it in the proper light of the scripture. However, most people spend their time on earth looking down, taking everything in such a defeated manner. When we reach a place where we feel defeated, it is there we have to depend on the grace of God. Some poor people merely live to hear what others have said about them. We are going to have to learn to stick our fingers in our ears and tell the devil to get away and leave us alone. Imagine Jesus with his spirit of discernment speaking to the multitudes knowing every skeptic present, but did that bother him, NOT IN THE LEAST! If he had lived his life in that hour like some people live their life today, his lower lip would have been dropped down all the time and he would have said, I simply can’t go on any further, I am finished. But no, he didn’t do that.
DEFEATED ATTITUDE NO GOOD
We must look at ourselves and ask a simple question, am I really a child of God or am I simply trying to fake my way through this life confessing to be something I am not? Don’t live all your life in a defeated attitude because that will never take you to glory. There are millions of souls in hell today who would be glad to tell you to change your attitude and go back and do certain things and it will come out alright. Yet God won’t allow them to come up and bear such a witness. You have to look at the future through the plan of God as well as the word of God and by faith look at Jesus, then look at yourself and say, God give me grace and help me to walk this way. Therefore, seeing there isn’t a soul here who can condemn you and change God’s mind seeing he has already justified you, looking upon you as though you had never sinned, always remember, while someone is trying to chop you down, don’t forget there is one up there making intercession for you.
NOTHING SEPARATES ELECT FROM GOD’S LOVE
Verse 35: “who shall separate us from the love of Christ” (or God)? Praise God, NO ONE CAN! If I am a true child of God no one can keep me from the love of God. They may kill the flesh, cut me up and throw one piece here and another piece there, yet in my soul they can’t separate me from the love of God. It is inseparable!! Because now I am a part of God and he is a part of me. Like the Christians of old thrown to the lions, torn to bits, yet because their souls were united with Christ they could not be separated from the love of God, they were in him and he was in them. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation (remember, tribulation is trials and tests) this is only Paul’s way of explaining that through trials and tests (tribulations) which you encounter in your Christian life, things that are to try you and prove whether you are a child of God or not, then all these things are definitely going to work for your good.
TRIBULATION NOR DISTRESS CAN SEPARATE
Shall tribulation or distress separate us? Distress used here means you have gotten into a terrible situation which seems hopeless and there is absolutely no way out, but you yell for help and God comes to your rescue. Sometimes we have to get stranded in these situations to really make us yell. It is not that we have to yell at God, it us just that once in a while he likes for us to realize we are fully dependent upon him and that without him we can do nothing. The third thing Paul mentions that cannot separate us is persecution, then famine, nakedness, peril or the sword. NO, the sword didn’t separate them of old. Their remark was simply this, if I die while walking down the road of life looking for a crumb (in a famine), I will be with him. That is the way they felt about it because Paul says absolutely nothing shall be able to separate me from the love of God. Moreover, because of that fact we know that all things will work together for the good to them who love God, (his elect) called according to his plan.
MORE THAN CONQUERORS
Reaching the end of Paul’s statement we hear him saying in verse 37, nay, and in all things we are more than conquerors. Conquerors mean we have gained the victory over the very thing that has defeated and discouraged us. How? Through him who loved us! I don’t gain my victories through you, I may gain comfort and encouragement from others. Nevertheless, the final victory is going to be made when in my mind and spirit I have exercised that action which determined the balance of decision when I placed it in the plan of God. Yes, Paul said we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. When I take that beautiful thought over into I John 5:4 and hear John saying, for whosoever is born of God (positively) overcomes the world. And we could bring John’s statement right into this setting. Furthermore we can say, whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. Isn’t it beautiful to see the pathway of God’s elect! Those he foreknew, he calls. Them he calls, he justifies. Them he justifies, he glorifies. Everyone of these born again believers will fall right in line, Paul says here.
OVERCOMING TRIALS PROMOTES VICTORY
To be a child of God is not to find oneself constantly walking with God, having no trials or tests. The victory comes over the trials; therefore, if there was never a trial, who would be able to boast of victory. Whosoever is born of God overcometh the world. And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (I John 5:4). That faith or revelation, that determination which so aligns us with God also enables us to see God’s wonderful plan, his beautiful promises as well as his outstretched hand, and lets us know all these things confronting us are merely stepping stones in our life. With this knowledge, though we face the devil and he knocks us down, we are able to get right back up and go on. Therefore, this is the way to look at life: if you are going to follow God, you must follow him all the way. To do so, you are going to have to love him. Not because someone told you to, but it has to be a personal love and walk with him. If you really love God, he will not withhold one good thing from those who walk uprightly. He knows all our needs even before we ask, so why do we have to put the natural first? Put the spiritual first and let the natural fall in line because the Bible says, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Beloved, put his righteousness first so that if you die tonight you would know everything was alright. Put God and his righteousness first and the scripture says all these (natural) things shall be added unto you. However, to make all that effective and applicable in my life I must first prove to myself that I do have a love for God above everyone else. If we are loyal to God first, he promised not to let us go through this life living from hand to mouth. Though in order to prove and mold us he might at times use these material ends to try our faith, to see if I am living just for that thing, or am I really living for him. That is why many times those material things in our earthly life will be the means whereby God tries and tests us that we may know whether we truly love him or just tagging along. Remember, if we are just tagging along, something will come along one day and knock us completely off our feet and eliminate us. Paul completes his thought concerning those who love God, the elected ones, by saying, I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, principalities, powers, nor things present nor things to come nor height, depth or any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
NO EXCUSE ACCEPTED
See, there is absolutely no excuse for anyone not to serve God. Don’t you want to live for him? It is the only life worth living. I am sure we can all look back through the years and see many things we could have used as excuses to pull out and call it quits, but if we ever do entertain any such thoughts in our mind over some little excuse I pray God will permit us to see the pit of hell as its burning hot waiting for you, were you to decide to allow one of these little obstacles to turn you back. Remember, if I go there I can blame no one. I sent my own soul there! Sure, there are disappointments and heartaches in this life, but to live a victorious life in Christ, you have to get up out of all these pitfalls and these pitiful feelings and shake yourself and say, Lord by your grace there is nothing going to keep me from you. And never forget, NO ONE CAN SHAKE YOU, YOU MUST SHAKE YOURSELF TO THIS REALITY!
Reading in II Thessalonians 2:1-12, let us realize that Paul’s words to this disturbed church are true. Therefore, we need to plant these words deep into our spiritual minds and digest them properly. Since Paul absolutely knew what he was talking about, it behooves us also to understand what he was actually saying to these believers. There are many varieties of ideas people hold in regard to what they think Paul was actually saying, therefore, let us prayerfully examine his words in their true setting, and we too may greatly be surprised to learn that we also have been influenced by some of these preconceived notions.
CORRECTING THOUGHTS CONCERNING RAPTURE
Earlier Paul had written unto the Thessalonian believers declaring that we shall not all sleep (I Thessalonians 4:13-18). And recall, he clearly stated in making such a statement it was strictly inspired by the word of the Lord. Where from the Old Testament could Paul possibly have arrived at such a statement? The Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout and the voice of the arch angel and the trump of God and the dead in Christ would rise first. And we which remain alive would be changed and caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Being caught up here is the climax of our faith as well as our hope.
Theologically, we call this event the rapture-meaning the catching away, translation, or being changed. However, to Paul it simply was a gathering together of all the true believers, both dead and alive, those to be resurrected, and those to be changed and caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
- 1 RAPTURE NOT DIMENSION
- 2 JONAH’S EXPERIENCE WAS REALITY
- 3 DISCUSSING TRANSLATION TO GLORY
- 4 BELIEVERS CONFUSED
- 5 FRUITLESS TO ASSUME COMING ANY TIME
- 6 LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU
- 7 EXCEPT – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
- 8 TWO WORLD SHAKING EVENTS BEFORE RAPTURE
- 9 CHURCH HAD FORGOTTEN
- 10 HOLY GHOST HINDERING POWER
- 11 TWO SEPARATE MYSTERIES RUNNING PARALLEL IN KINGDOM
- 12 TRUE CHURCH NEVER CONQUERED
- 13 MOTHER & DAUGHTERS (ALL HARLOTS)
- 14 MANY MIRACLE WORKERS FULFILL MATTHEW 7
- 15 NEED OF A STABILIZER
- 16 HOLY GHOST – NEW COMFORTER
- 17 LINING UP BEHIND (BIBLE) STANDARD
- 18 TRUTH ALONE WITHSTANDS
RAPTURE NOT DIMENSION
No, the rapture is certainly not merely a certain dimension a believer enters into, it is actually a literal catching up in the air.
Since the scriptures refer to us as being translated (spiritually) into the kingdom of his dear son (Colossians 1:13), many today have formed the conclusion that we have already been caught up (as much as we’ll ever be). Then why are you still here? Why do you continually get more wrinkles in your face than what you had ten years ago! Why are you losing your teeth and why is more of the top of your head showing than ten years ago? It certainly doesn’t appear to me as if you have been bodily or fleshly caught up as yet! I grant you, you can be caught up out of all this religious confusion. You can be caught up into a new realm of thinking and so forth – Caught up into something glorious. However, as far as your flesh is concerned, it’s still here. Even Paul declared, (Ephesians 1:3), spiritual speaking, as believers we are sitting together in heavenly places in Christ. Please don’t ever confuse that with the rapture of the fleshly body, because physically your flesh hasn’t gone anywhere, you’re still here on earth! But concerning spiritual things, yes, in the spirit of Jesus Christ, in the spiritual atmosphere of God absolutely your inner man can be caught up in glorious things. Things that make the earthly surrounding seem dim and unimportant. But always remember, fleshly, you’re still here! And if Jesus tarries His coming you’re going to die. That flesh is going into the ground and back to dust from whence it came, and then and only then will your spirit being literally depart this planet and go somewhere into the presence of the Lord. I’m not saying that somewhere in 500 miles away, nor ten million light years away, No that’s not the point! Within the spirit world I grant you there are dimensions, yet bear in mind there are too many people who are simply jumping to conclusions and assumptions who absolutely have no scriptural connections whatsoever!
JONAH’S EXPERIENCE WAS REALITY
Remember when Jesus declared, as Jonah was three days and nights in the belly of a whale (great fish), Jonah was not in some kind of a dimension! Instead, he was absolutely inside the stomach of a large fish where literal seedweeds and slick gastric juices were present. When Jonah’s body sank into the water where God had ordained that huge fish to be swimming and swallow him, that was no dimension. It was a reality! Thinking no doubt as he swallowed Jonah, what a delicious meal I’m about to have. Nevertheless, as Jonah hit his digestive tract something went wrong. The whale no doubt thought as he became nauseated, surely I’ve swallowed the wrong thing! God didn’t allow him to vomit Jonah up in the sea, instead he swam with him to a distant shore where he vomited him up. No, that was no dimension. It was very much a realty! And being gathered together in II Thessalonians 2:1 unto the Lord is also far more than a mere dimension. It too is a reality!
Let’s carefully examine Paul’s statement here because schools of theology have been guilty of making the Bible say things it had no intentions of saying. When people desire a certain thing to be a certain way all they have to do is think of it in that light long enough and whenever they read their Bible they can almost read it making it sound the way they are thinking. But you can’t do the Bible that way!
DISCUSSING TRANSLATION TO GLORY
Paul says in II Thessalonians 2:1, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.” Now settle it once and for all, Paul is definitely not discussing your individual death, which will also take you out of this world wherein your soul is carried to glory to rest and wait unto the day of the resurrection of the body. No beloved, that’s not the kind of gathering together unto the Lord Paul has in mind here. Instead, he is discussing that glorious appearing of Christ for His saints. He’s discussing a revelation of Jesus from heaven wherein He will appear in the clouds and gather first the dead saints and secondly the living saints unto Himself.
(2) “That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us as that the day of Christ is at hand.”, (because it is not, and I will tell you why). 1900 years ago, a group of believers was becoming frustrated, enthused and all anxious, getting ready to leave here. Paul knew by the revelation God had given him that when that hour would actually arrive, it would first be preceded by certain world conditions and events that would definitely acquaint the believer with the so-called world conditions, and through that and that alone would the believer in that hour recognize the appearing of Christ was at hand. And that in turn would cause them to shake themselves and prepare for departure.
FRUITLESS TO ASSUME COMING ANY TIME
Saying this should not destroy any man’s enthusiasm to believe Christ could come in his life span, because Paul turns around and declared to the Corinthian church (I Corinthians 7:29), that because of the shortness of time and so forth, they should not do a certain thing. And even James stated the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (James 5:8). Therefore, did not these very men themselves believe that it was possible the Lord’s coming could be in their life span? However, when Paul stated here what he did in II Thessalonians 2, he knew it was fruitless to assume that Jesus is coming for our gathering together unto Him at just any old time. Evangelists through the years, using all kinds of psychology to shake up people to their need of God, (and I realize to a certain extent people do need to be shook to reality), have shouted Jesus may come tonight! Paul is setting these Thessalonian Christians straight concerning the coming of Jesus for them at just any ole time of day or night. Because he is fully aware of their enthusiasm and zeal in believing that the coming of the Lord was very soon, Paul knew unless their thoughts were checked, sooner or later these thoughts were going to lead them into fanaticism!
LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU
Continuing on in his thought Paul says, let no man deceive you by any means. Doesn’t matter whether that person lived in Paul’s hour, a 100 years later, 500, or even after 1900 years. Church, don’t let any man deceive you concerning this! For that day spoken of in verse 1 of Jesus gathering His saints unto Himself will positively not come except…..See how positive Paul is on that, no hope so, no maybe so, no perhaps so. No matter what anyone says or how much they would try to make it happen, or how enthusiastic someone might feel about the subject, there is definitely certain conditions God says that must first be.
EXCEPT – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Did you know the word except is a provisional word? The word except appears in insurance policies, and around that word except you better be careful and read the entire contents. Be sure to read and understand what the exceptions of the provisions are in the policies following the word except. Because, here Paul says that day won’t come except there first come a “falling away”. The first thing any believer is to look for before that day appears is a “falling away”. Later we will examine what they are to fall away from.
TWO WORLD SHAKING EVENTS BEFORE RAPTURE
However, first let us establish what is on the agenda before that day comes. First, we see a great “falling away”, and second that man of sin, the son of perdition, is to be revealed. There is your climax to what it’s all about. That’s the objective of Satan to allow the man of sin to be revealed. Verse 4 describes him as one who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped.
Here we see the man of sin, not only in his physical and psychological makeup, but we also see his philosophy. Showing his motive and objective is to be so demon possessed that his very outlook on life, his purpose of functions and so forth will be strictly so satanic that he is diabolically inspired. Careful now, that does not mean you’ll be looking for such a demon possessed creature that he should be in an insane mental institution. Oh no, quiet the contrary! It’s his philosophy of religion of life that is so satanic and deceptive. Having the personality to persuade, mislead, and deceive. It takes one like this to mislead and deceive the prophetic world. Nobody would follow a person ready for a mental institution, but someone with an opposite nature they surely would follow. Continuing on Paul says that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God shewing himself that he is God. That’s the final end or objective! It’s the devil’s business to see that it happens.
JOHN’S REVELATION LINKED WITH PAUL’S
Does not Revelation 13 declare the whole prophetic world will worship the beast and also worship the devil who gave power unto the beast. Again it says all those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will worship the devil when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. These statements shown in Revelation coincide perfectly with Paul’s revelation in II Thessalonians 2, concerning this man of sin. However, in Revelation 13 we see the day has already arrived when this man of sin, who is the son of perdition or destruction, is already fully manifested on the scene. The world in that hour, as it will be then, will definitely worship the devil because that’s the devil’s objective. Satan desires to be adored and worshiped, and through a certain world system in Europe, through certain world politics and world unity, all this admiration will be achieved. Through satanic miracles, through the political, scientific, and economic field, yes, all of that, Satan through that world beast system and man of sin who heads that government of the beast system will have deceived the entire prophetic world! And because the world is deceived they in turn worship and adore the devil. Not in the sense that they fall upon their knees thanking Lucifer for bringing about such a glorious hour, no, that’s not Satan’s way of projecting it. It’s simply the fact he will have so seduced them that they will literally give praise to this world system. The spirit of false peace is the spirit of that hour. Satan is behind it all and has allowed it to be brought in.
CHURCH HAD FORGOTTEN
Apparently the church had forgotten all about Paul having told them this earlier, because continuing on in verse 5, he reminds them that somewhere earlier he had previously informed them concerning this thing. In verse 6 he reminds them he also told them how this “falling away” must first come about, and secondly the “falling away” would definitely lead to the manifestation of the man of sin. As he reminds them again, it should be a reminder to us the “falling away” did not occur a thousand or 500 years ago, but instead it is going on today! Furthermore, we believe as we look upon the world in general, it shows us we are definitely living in that time, shortly before the coming of Christ. Is what we are seeing today not the very thing that should be sharpening our minds and opening our spiritual eyes! By what we are seeing today should it not behoove us to put on the whole armour of God and prepare ourselves through every means possible through the grace of God that we might be able to withstand the powers of the adversary within the evil day as we see this evil now coming upon the scene.
WITHHELD OR HINDERED – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
And now, Paul says (II Thessalonians 2:6), “Ye know what withholdeth, that he (the antichrist) should be revealed in his time.” Two words particularly stand out here. First, withholdeth and you know what withholdeth; meaning to hinder, or hold back something. Paul reminds the Thessalonian believers that there was something definitely hindering or holding back this man of sin from actually coming on the scene.
HOLY GHOST HINDERING POWER
Are you aware what is doing the hindering? It’s none other than the Holy Ghost sent to the gentiles through the preaching of the gospel of truth in the dispensation of grace. Once God turned the gospel over to the gentiles, the Holy Ghost was working and is working among the gentiles to take out of them a gentile people (bride) to bear the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And while that Holy Ghost is working among the gentiles, He is also hindering or holding back this man of sin from coming on the scene. Doesn’t matter who preaches he could come, he simply could not! Sure, all of this has been preceded by many minor antichrists. According to Apostle John (I John 2:18) there were even (minor) antichrist appearing in the apostle days. However, it certainly wasn’t the one who appears at the end of the age called the man of sin, the son of perdition, not him! That man positively can not come on the scene as long as the Holy Ghost is working to take out a people for his name among the gentiles. That was His hindering force or power keeping him back. While the Holy Ghost was withholding or hindering, Daniel and Revelation both verifies there was to be a definite appointed time for this man, and it would be God’s will to permit it to be so, that the Antichrist should have his hour. Therefore, if it would be true that as long as the Holy Ghost is present working and convicting the gentile world of sin then that man of sin can by no means come to the forefront, take over, and rule because it is not yet his appointed hour.
SPIRIT OF INIQUITY ALREADY WORKING
Paul, writing around 54 A.D., called something here (the spirit of) the mystery of iniquity. The mystery of iniquity is only a contemporary name given to something already in existence in Paul’s hour. Remember, Paul, who stated this declared also in Ephesians 3:2-6, how God had made known unto him the mystery of his will concerning things which had been hidden from prophets in other ages! Isn’t it strange when Paul wrote the Colossian letter he stated the mystery of God is none other than Christ in you the hope of glory.
TWO SEPARATE MYSTERIES RUNNING PARALLEL IN KINGDOM
Therefore, the word mystery in the scriptures occurs on the basis of two separate identities. (1) The Mystery of God while (2) the second mystery is referred to as the mystery of iniquity. And don’t forget that both mysteries were running parallel. They were contemporaries (mysteries) onto the other. Wasn’t it strange in the opening of the first seal of Revelation 6 as God opened up the dispensation of grace giving it to the gentiles around 53 A.D., the spirit of Antichrist (represented by the white horse rider), also came out and began to ride parallel with the truth presented by the Holy Ghost! Why had Satan done this? His hope was to eventually gain an entrance or foothold into the mystery of God, that in doing so he would, up to a point, be able to succeed in destroying or confusing the mystery of God in its true scriptural identity from the world – by implanting something else erroneous within the structure of the kingdom of heaven. His mystery of iniquity which, in a sense, is still religious, would also still use the name of Jesus and continue to hold to certain things in the scriptures. Yet, through it all it would be a trick of Satan to establish a mystery of all his own in order to eventually deceive the world.
Thus, in the day of early Christianity around the beginning of the second church age, these two spirits finally became mixed. Such an event fits perfectly the second parable that Jesus presented in Matthew 13:24-30, where He spoke concerning the mystery of the kingdom of heaven being as tares planted in the field and so forth. The tares were sown by the devil among the good seed, which was the born again children of God; and was from then on allowed to grow together in the same field. Therefore, we can say that coming down through the other five church ages among the gentiles the mystery of God, as well as Satan’s mystery of iniquity, has continually run parallel through the ages until we reach the end of the age where at that time the Spirit of the Lord will no longer be working in deep Holy Ghost conviction among the gentiles – that conviction shall be lifted and the Antichrist come in like a flood!
TWO SPIRITS ENTWINED
Both spirits throughout the church ages have been so entwined that it has been difficult to determine or distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. Satan’s approach was through deception that someday he would be able to succeed, as God permitted him to bring to the forefront his mystery of iniquity and set in motion or introduce to the world a Christ who, of course, would be none other than a false Christ, a prince who was supposed to be a peace maker or ambassador of peace who will deceive the entire prophetic world.
IN GRACE AGE SPIRIT OF INIQUITY RESTRAINED
According to Paul’s statement we realize the mystery of iniquity, to a certain degree, was already at work in his hour within the body of believers. The reason it could not gain a foothold to become the predominant thing as it will do in the end of the age was because the Holy Ghost, who is the predominant figure throughout the grace age, was withholding or restraining that spirit of the mystery of iniquity, never permitting it to triumph over the mystery of God. Because if you remember, Jesus declared earlier (Matthew 16:18) no matter what this mystery of iniquity would ever be permitted to do, it will never prevail over His church! True, it might be permitted to gain far more in number than the true church, but Jesus declared it would never be permitted to triumph over the mystery of God – the true church, and that is final!
TRUE CHURCH NEVER CONQUERED
The true church would never fall before its final onslaught (at the end of the age). Moreover, since there was to be a mystery of iniquity, and it is already seen working back in Paul’s hour trying to establish a foothold in the kingdom of heaven, this very same mystery of iniquity would eventually lead to the introduction of a “falling away” period, and that “falling away” would bring about such a wholesale sellout to Satan, it in turn would set the stage for the man of sin to come on the scene, at which time Christ comes for His own. Thus, before there can be an Antichrist, before there can be an actual catching away of the true church to meet Christ in the air, the world must first go through a “falling away” period. Now to get a clearer understanding of what that period of “falling away” will be like, we need to first re-examine briefly what the immoral and corrupt nature of the gentiles were like before the gospel came to them in the first century, because what they were before the gospel came, will give us some idea of what to expect they will be like once the Holy Ghost begins lifting His convicting power from them.
GENTILES’ NATURE AT 1ST CENTURY
As the gentiles in the first century began to hear the gospel, may I ask, what shape, religiously, were they in? Religious wise, our gentile ancestors worshiped deities of every description. For instance, had your ancestors been Greek, no doubt they were philosophers who, according to the scriptures, enjoyed the study of all manmade philosophies and theories. Had you walked through Athens in Paul’s day, you would have found the marketplaces and public gathering areas filled with Greek philosophers. It was their nature, according to the scripture, to ever be listening to some new philosophy. All this came under the heading of wisdom. Greeks enjoyed boasting about how much they knew. That is why Paul declared the Greeks seek after wisdom, but the Jews require a sign.
GENTILES DEPRAVED, IMMORAL
None of our gentile ancestral background can be bragged upon. Morally, the scripture declares the gentiles to a low, degenerate element of people. That is why for centuries the Jews looked upon gentiles as dogs or unclean creatures. God knew it would require far more than a ceremonial law to straighten us out, therefore, what would it require – it would require nothing short of a sovereign act of God’s grace to deal with our immoral ancestral background. Had God dealt with the gentiles on the basis of what we actually were in that hour, He would have destroyed us! By no means; according to I Corinthians 6:9-11, could He have accepted us into His kingdom, who were so guilty of such things. Those who did such-and-such could not inherit the kingdom of God, declared Paul. However, he continues by saying, but such were some of your (verse 11). But you are washed, you are sanctified, you are justified – HOW? In the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. How were we cleansed – through the keeping of the law? Absolutely not!! Immoral gentiles were absolutely ignorant of the law of God which had been given to Israel. Gentiles were alienated from the grace of God. Then what would be the means whereby God would deal with the gentiles? Seeing they were so degenerate the law could not help them, it would be of necessity He would deal with them strictly through grace and grace alone. And on that basis of the unmerited favor of God, He sent the Holy Ghost unto the gentiles which began convicting them of the sin of unbelief.
BLOOD AND WATER – JOHN 3:5
The Spirit convicted them and they truly repented, and act which by-passed all the outward observances of the moral or ritual law the Jew had observed. The gentiles were able to step out of their filth and immoral way of life into the grace of God through true repentance of sin and accepting Jesus Christ and His shed blood. The blood of Christ, God’s son, cleansed our hearts or nature from the sin of unbelief, while the sins (plural) which were the sins committed in our flesh, or those evil deeds done in the flesh, were remitted or washed away through water baptism in His lovely name and gentiles received the same gift of the Holy Ghost that God had given to the Jewish nation.
MIDDLE WALL OF PARTITION BROKEN DOWN
According to Paul, Jews who now believed in Christ, were able to sit in the same assembly with the gentile believers. No longer looking upon the gentiles as dogs or something of a filthy unclean nature as the had in days gone by, for Paul declared in Ephesians 2, you gentile believers who were sometime afar off, have now been made nigh through the blood of Christ. The Spirit God, through the flesh body of Christ, has now broken down or tore away that middle wall of partition separating the two groups. The wall itself had made such a difference between Jew and Gentile, although in actuality both groups had been degenerate but now God has made out of the two groups, one new man, making peace through Christ. The Holy Ghost eventually completely left the Jewish nation, and in 70 A.D., scattered them to the four winds of the earth among the Gentiles.
CONVERTED DIGNITARIES CHANGE LAWS AFFECTING MORALS
For 1900 years we Gentiles have heard the gospel preached, and as the Holy Ghost has moved among the Gentiles, He has been watching over that gospel. As the gospel began moving among the nations like a growing forest fire, the Christian faith rapidly spread. Gentile nations, filthy and polluted as they were, began to be converted. Kings and dignitaries were also converted, though I grant you some kings were converted to a philosophy of Christianity, yet through the true conversion of dignitaries God used this as a means whereby He began to stem the onslaught of Satan among the Gentiles as He unloosed the cords of Satan which were holding the Gentiles in darkness, ignorance and superstition. God moved back those satanic powers of darkness whereby He could deal with the Gentiles on the basis of the gospel. And never forget, for 1900 years wherever this gospel of Christ had gone among the nations it had greatly changed and affected the morals of that nation. Beloved, it was not until after God had taken His toll of the predestinated and elected seed from among the Gentiles as it was in the day before the gospel came unto them. Like a sweeping tidal wave around this world, wherever the gospel has gone and was accepted into those nations, I repeat, it began to greatly affect their morals as well as their social and judicial laws of that country.
MOVING BACK IN
Now, all this immorality that once ruled the Gentile’s life is slowly moving back in once again to take over Gentiles’ lives as it did before! Why? How is this possible? Because it had been God’s way of holding back the tide of satanic powers which had imprisoned and ensnared the lives of the Gentile people, and as long as the Holy Ghost was working, or was present in convicting power, the Spirit was present for one purpose, and that was to see that the gospel message was declared to the ends of the earth. During this time the Holy Ghost would delay, hinder or hold back this one thing Paul referred to already working in his day which is called the spirit of the mystery of iniquity. While the spirit of God was holding back Satan’s power, He was busy gathering in the predestinated, elected seed of God chosen before the foundation of the world who were to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. However, one of these days, Paul declares, when God has gathered out the bulk of His seed making up the bride of Christ, this hindering presence of the Holy Spirit is going to cease, and when it does, God have mercy! The demon power which has been suppressed among Gentiles for centuries will then be unleashed to come back in among the Gentiles as they were before the First Century. This simply means the day is coming the Holy Ghost will no longer be hindering that spirit, however, He will hinder until time has arrived to withdraw His convicting power among the Gentiles.
RESTRAINING POWER LIFTED BEFORE RAPTURE
Yet we still hear people say, what Paul was actually saying here is, the Holy Ghost power which has been withholding this spirit will be lifted only after the church has left the scene and then the enemy comes in like a tidal wave. Just you remember, the enemy comes in like a tidal wave whenever the spirit of conviction is lifted off the gentiles, and don’t forget that lifting could well be before the church leaves the scene! Paul said the “falling away” and the manifestation of the man of sin would be revealed before God came for his church! Therefore, if you have been by one of those holding that opinion also that the Holy Ghost power restraining this spirit is not lifted until after the church is gone, I encourage you to reread Paul’s statement. Beloved, had the Bible meant it in that way Paul would have recorded it that way – this is exactly the way it would have read! Instead, it reads just the opposite, showing as concerning the coming of the Lord and our gathering together unto Him, that day will not arrive until or except the “falling away” come first, and that “falling away” sets the stage for the man of sin to be revealed. AFTER THE CHURCH IS GONE, THAT IS BEFORE THE CHURCH IS GONE!
TRUE BELIEVER DOES NOT ENTER TRIBULATION
Are you telling me I am going through the tribulation, someone may ask? No, I am not, although I might add, if people don’t forsake these outlandish revelations they have dreamed up, somewhere some of these things are going to lead you off into the tribulation if you aren’t careful! Many have listened to every kind of interpretation concerning the seventy weeks of Daniel, and are still just as confused as ever. There can only be one true interpretation to Daniel’s 70 weeks. It can’t be just anyone’s idea or interpretation. What Paul wrote here is just as essential for the church as what Daniel wrote in Daniel 9:27, because somewhere through it all both sections of scripture deal with the Antichrist, that false prince, etc. It is basically important that we get these scriptures set in their proper setting whereby we may understand what each word means. If you believe there is only 3½ years left, sooner or later all this will lead you into such drastic confusion, just like people who want to say by 1977 the Lord will come. Are you aware if you believe the Lord will come in 1977, and that Jesus’ coming is to fulfill what Paul is discussing here, then face it, you have already lived through the majority of the tribulation! See, such ideas as this teaching concerning 1977, is what has led certain people to go off on these other wild revelations – such as the one I recently heard, that the rapture had already passed, therefore, in order for the living to make it now they must go to Jerusalem to get in the Hebrew bride as some have already done for that purpose! HOGWASH! The end of this age is going to produce some of the wildest and weirdest teachings Satan ever brought out of the pit. Why? Because he is after YOU!
MUST SEE PROFILE
Some will say, I don’t think it’s necessary to understand all these things. Well, it is strange to me, if I laid down a one dollar bill, you would know exactly what it was worth or what it could buy. You know it could buy so much bread or drink or help pay your light bill. But suppose I told you it didn’t really matter if you understand the buying power of a dollar! You would say, wait a minute Bro. Jackson, you might lay down your whole wallet of money for a certain item, wouldn’t you? That is right, so I am saying there are some things which are absolutely, basically important about this Bible that we do get digested in our soul. That is why they are placed in the Bible. Am I to understand every little detail? Beloved, you may never understand every little detail, yet at least for your soul’s sake, try to understand the profile of it. The profile alone will tell you what the object looks like. If you can understand a profile of something as you walk closer toward the profile of the object, you will be able to see the dimensional setting, etc. Such things as small details can be added as time goes on.
FALLING AWAY LEADS TO MAN OF SIN
WHY FALLING AWAY COULDN’T OCCUR 50 YEARS AGO
If there is to be a falling away before the church is caught away, how is this “falling away” going to occur? Remember one important thing, 50 years ago the “falling away” could not occur and here is why. The very constitution and judicial laws of the U.S., as well as the governing judicial laws of many other countries of the world, simply would not have permitted. Many judicial laws, for centuries, have been derived at upon the basis of what effects universal Christian religion had played in its influence in these centuries. The church’s influence affected lawmaker’s decisions. The church, years ago, because of its prominent role in society, had set such a high standard in living, morals, etc., this caused the judicial laws to be obeyed which affected the lives of the church people. Such a high standard caused a man who was born, reared and educated in such a society to respect the laws of the land. Furthermore, the laws were definitely kept in force in those days. Fifty years ago you never saw teenagers in droves traveling the globe doing nothing but riding airplanes and peddling dope as you do today! Fifty years ago teenagers didn’t run around, they had nothing to run around for!
LIFE 50 YEARS AGO PREVENTED FALLING AWAY
Most teenagers after school had chores to do. Living in the country they fed hogs, milked cows, chopped wood, carried water, built fires, filled lanterns and helped Mom make bread. In other words, they were occupied in doing something beneficial. We are discussing this to show how mankind in that hour’s frame of thinking was molded into a certain pattern which made him more law abiding. Such a life pattern caused men in general to be easier, to be preached to than he is today. Fifty years ago teenagers weren’t carrying switchblades knives and snub-nosed pistols to school. Had they done so and were caught, 95 percent of the schools would have immediately expelled them and later the juvenile authorities would have locked them behind bars, not caring if they ever came out! No, by no means did that philosophy of law stop the criminal, but it sure did slow down crime from breeding so fast! Capital punishment never stopped crime either, but when they had it in force it made a person think twice before shooting someone. Whereas today in five years, since the death penalty has been declared unconstitutional, homicide alone has risen 50 percent. Why should the criminal care how many he shoots, what does he have to be afraid of? In a sense he is the only one protected! Shoot as many as he wants, with a good lawyer he might get only 20 years and then be released a little while later. Fifty years ago it was not so! If you got out you broke out!
FALLING AWAY NOT STRICTLY RELIGIOUS
Many people want to associate this “falling away” strictly with religion only, however, this is not true! The “falling away” first takes place in the society of the world, then pressure is placed upon the church world and made to submit and accept the standards set by the world. Let’s break this down by asking ourselves a question – How do we know we are living in the hour of that falling away? Secondly, where at first does this “falling away” take place? As I said, the “falling away” first takes place in the society of the world. Something always has to happen first in the world society and later the world applies pressure on the church world to accept the same. I grant you, in the nominal church world you have certain cold denominational religions which have spiritually died, seeing they have refused to feed or refuel the fire of their previous revelations of truth (with more truth) and have died out, leaving them strictly dormant and helpless to resist the power of Satan which eventually comes against them, compelling them to take the route they are forced by the world to take today! 25-40 years ago you would never have seen a Pentecostal church allowing their people to dress and look the way they do today! Pentecostal churches in those days were proud of their code of strictness in dress and appearance. Therefore, the “falling away” must be understood that first of all Satan begins to work on the society of the world in general, and later it is the world societies which applies the pressure against the so-called nominal church, making them accept what they have already accepted.
WHOLESALE SELLOUT – LONG HAIR
The “falling away” is manifested as such. It is a total wholesale sellout to the devil in general (first by the world, then by the church) of everything Satan has to throw at the people. For instance, when the Beatles from England appeared with their long unruly hair, that long unruly hair which is now in the church, did not begin in the church, no! It started in the world (England) down at an old swimming hole where these boys, being too poor to get decent haircuts, noticed one day when their long hair became soaking wet they resembled something which had crawled out of a cave somewhere and this inspired them! Their hair, long and flopping like cavemen’s hair, flopping in every direction took hold of the youth of this day, who in turn applied pressure upon the church to allow them to wear their hair this way to the services of the church also! Young men, if that is the way you like to wear your hair remember, your nature is a half brother to a caveman! But some will say, what does it mean in Psalms where it declared, anoint thy head? Remember, when Christ made reference to the Pharisees who enjoyed fasting and putting on such a public display of piety, Christ told His followers to do just the opposite. Don’t go around looking like you are in the dumps, instead wash your face and anoint your head! No, He didn’t mean to perfume it up either. Anointing means put something on it! Comb your hair and appear in public as though you haven’t been fasting. It didn’t mean you couldn’t use a little hair tonic. If you do it was alright, but for goodness sakes, look like a human being, not like something dropped out of the prehistoric world! That long unruly hair which speaks of rebellion and disobedience to authority (associated with dope traffic and hippies) started in the early 60’s with a bunch of worldly kids, and I look what a hair style they started! Shame on 60 year old men who cater after that. Fifty years ago a 60 year old man would never follow after hairstyles of teenage kids. Fifty years ago it would have been the opposite. The five teenage boys would have wanted to follow after the man, saying, I want to be like him. Not so today!
ROCK AND ROLL
Rock and roll music didn’t begin in the church either (although that is where it wound up), instead it began with Elvis Presley doing his vulgar wiggle which took hold in the 50’s and drove the youth of this world screaming mad. Newspapers portrayed girls becoming hysterical, ripping away their clothes…It is a spirit, the hour had come! Satan, knowing the hour had come, threw this spirit at the world. Yet remember, it takes time for the Bible to be fulfilled and for an entire generation to measure up to all God said they would become! But when you have a people going after such things, all because time is right, God simply says to them, help yourself!
They started their demon possessed beat called music, they started their long, unruly hair fads. Later on a woman declared, am I the only woman who feels she would like to go to bed with any man any time of the day as well as night. By this symbol (of this miniskirt) will people know all those who have that same desire I do! They will wear the sign which will be this dress I create. Therefore, she cut if off just below her thighs and became the princess of the miniskirt! Although some innocent to what they were wearing wore it simply because it was the style, nevertheless, it wasn’t long until almost every teenage girl in public schools was wearing one! Why? Because it was the style!
WORLD APPLIES PRESSURE
The hour had arrived in this modern age and the public schools embraced instantly all these fads now springing up in the world. Pressure is soon applied to the so-called fundamental Christian churches who, having refused to move on with God in truth, must now submit under pressure and move with the world! Living only for certain enrollments each year, though many still held to their previous conviction of dress code, soon they were crushed under the pressure and therefore yielded. If you don’t move on in truth with God sooner or later the fire of the truth you do have will simply die out, not being refueled by other truths to keep the fire going and the testimony hot. This fulfills exactly the words of Christ who said, take away that which they have and give it to another. God will give everyone something whereby they may begin to walk and fellowship with Him and know Him as a merciful God. However, if in that little measure of faith or revelation He gives you, you fail to yield it to Him, allowing Him to take you on into still more truth, more light and more fellowship of His word, sooner or later you will reach a stalemate and you will feel I have had enough, I am not going any further. Right there is where you die out and the pressure from without (in the world) will begin to squeeze that which you have within until there is nothing left!
DRINKING LAW CHANGED
No, it wasn’t long until the unruly, long hair fad and miniskirt were in the schools and then in the church. Next Satan began pushing through the legislature, because they declared our 18 year old boys had been old enough to fight in Vietnam, surely they wee old enough to drink beer and liquor also. Therefore, let them go into the saloons. Pressure from without caused state legislatures all over the U.S. to change judicial drinking laws permitting 18 year old to step into nightclubs and bar rooms along with the 21 year old to buy their booze. Personally, I have never seen an 18 year old who had will enough to know that if the stuff was harmful to him, he wouldn’t turn around and pass it on to a 12 year old. Usually a man past 21 has enough common sense to know if that stuff gets hold and bites him, he certainly wouldn’t want it to bite the younger kids, because for alcohol to take hold of the young, it seems to mold something into their spirit.
NO FALLING AWAY BEGINS WITH CHURCH
It wasn’t any time before the devil throws dope at the generation. Remember, the dope, booze, miniskirt, the rock and roll and the long hair, none of these which contributes to the “falling away” started in the church house, it started out in the society of the world. The devil, throwing all this stuff especially at the younger generation so rapidly, created what is known as the generation gap. Why had it all spread so rapidly? God, already knowing this, “falling away” would be the curse (Malachi 4:6) therefore, allowed it to rapidly blanket the earth shortly before His coming. This “falling away” would be responsible for bringing in the man of sin. No wonder Malachi declared God would send that spirit of Elijah (to the Gentiles) before that great and dreadful day of the Lord should come, and He would turn the heart of the end time children back to the (apostolic teachings of the) fathers lest he (God) would smite the earth with a curse.
What kind of curse? Remember, when God curses anything He always curses that particular generation which is involved, because somewhere previously He would have tried in a special way to show His mercifulness, longsuffering and gentleness to that generation receiving the curse. Showing them His kindness and goodness in a special way, giving them a special opportunity to know Him and miss the curse that is soon to follow. Therefore, if they don’t want to move on in truth, if the generation doesn’t want to accept His mercy through what He has to offer them, He will in turn, turn that generation over to a reprobate mind to simply believe a lie and be damned, to be lost! THAT IS THE CURSE! You can’t say He cursed the scientific world! They continually get smarter every day.
CHURCH CHILDREN OUTNUMBERED
Now watch what happened in your local schools where your church children attended, but were far outnumbered by the children of the world. Pressures from without now begin to pressure the church youth to line up with these fads and go along with the crowd of the day. It isn’t long before mommy and daddy begins to hear these words, can I dad, can I mom? However, because we have a generation today who mostly were forced because of one situation or another to be reared by babysitters, these poor children hardly knowing the love of a mother or father and practically disciplined by neither, naturally have no respect for the wishes or desires of Mom or Dad, seeing that loyalty and respect of the children for parents is not what it should be. The poor children have been made through all these years to look at a babysitter who wasn’t paid to discipline the child, only to see they didn’t run out the door, get lost in the dark and was fed on time, etc. With over half the school age children’s mothers working, it has been babysitters who practically built the character of the society of our youth! Remember, all this came about in ONE GENERATION! From without came the pressures which have forced and changed the church lifestyle, as well as the morals of our day! Social patterns of church going youth has absolutely been stripped and brainwashed in these public schools!
ALLOWING DEVIL TO ENTER FULL FORCE
About this time one atheistic woman whose hatred for God and prayer caused a bill to be passed removing the Bible and prayer from all state run schools. Removing the Bible and prayer from the schoolroom now allows Satan to enter into the school in full force. Since that hour you have heard nothing but dope, guns, knives, booze and all kind of moral breakdowns! Why? Because the church world each year continually backs up, giving an inch here, a foot there. Why? Because seeing they did not want to move on in the truth of God’s word they are given no choice but to be forced by world pressures to move with the world or lose their crowd! This is an hour in your generation that in yourself you can’t live different, you can’t buck this sweeping tide unless you are doing it for truth’s sake. The pressure of the world will simply sweep you under. If you live different, live it because God’s word says so. If it is not for truth sake and you try, sooner or later it will swamp, choke and isolate you from everything until you are forced to yield to the pressures of the day. Living different because it is truth, because it is Jesus Christ in spirit from in you, will be honored by the Lord!
Yes, the “falling away” first came from without, yet it brought such a pressure on the entire church world that the church world in general was forced to back up, back off, let down the gap and stop saying this or that until today the church world, from the outward appearance, looks no different from those outside the church circle. The only difference is, in certain respects, it may not have as yet reached the depth of extreme!
Then from California, the state which discovered gold, has now discovered the devil in full force. Churches 50 years ago would never have stooped as low as this one church of the Methodist faith in California which permitted hundreds of prostitutes forming a union of their profession to hold their meetings in their church! Here was the one religious system which more than the others 50 years ago was teaching holy living! Why would a church even in California stoop so low to do such a thing. It is because the hour is here for the “falling away”! The pastor of this church has often bragged how his Methodist church set the pattern in San Francisco for the night clubs to follow. Could John Wesley return to the scene, and he was a man who resorted to physical force, no doubt he would do what Jesus did at the temple, or either take gasoline and a match and burn the building down. On and on such things, because truth has left, are still creeping into the religious world. See, that Holy Ghost conviction is lifting or leaving the Gentiles. People are losing their anchor and their stabilizing force because that is exactly what the Holy Ghost is!
Today we see the Holy Ghost lifting that convicting power, yet some will say, I believe the Holy Ghost will be here in convicting power until the church is gone. Beloved, I believe the Holy Ghost will be in YOU until the church is gone, but you can’t make the Bible say the Holy Ghost is going to be here in that hour convicting people of sin and still continually holding back all this evil force from sweeping in, NOT AT ALL!
NO GREAT CONVICTING POWER FOR GENTILES
No, understand this does not mean the Holy Ghost will leave the planet, of corse not. The Holy Ghost will always be here. It was here before the gospel ever came to the Gentiles, yet the Holy Ghost was not working in convicting power among the Gentiles. However, when the dispensation of grace came in respect to gospel truth, the Holy Ghost immediately went to work on Gentiles’ hearts and lives convicting them and changing their life pattern. As time closes out, this grace period for us Gentiles, this will no longer be the case where people fall under deep conviction or is even dealt with in such a manner as we have read about in years past, such as the great Welsh revival, etc.
I read how a certain man became so hungry to see God work, that because of the way people were living he decided to pray under a certain bridge for a certain length of time for God to move. The bridge where he hid and prayed stood at the entrance to town and there he asked the Lord to convict every person who passed over that bride. Sure enough, in the great Welsh revival every person who walked or rode over that bridge fell under such deep Holy Ghost conviction that hearing about the revival in the little town, they simply could not stop until they made their way to the meeting house and gave their hearts to God. But face it, you won’t see that anymore, that was the day the average man of the world, though not a Christian, (as we understand Christianity today) had respect for this book. It is not so anymore! Open infidelity against this book, boastful, hardhearted, stubborn, stiff-necked is the order of the day and it is all because the Holy Ghost is letting up in that convicting power. As the Holy Ghost, who has been withholding or resisting that spirit of iniquity lets up, Satan will now move in in full force bringing back in among the Gentiles all those evil things they had before! And recall, the devil has done it through the medium of the world because the time was right.
SELLOUT TO MATERIALISM
Satan brought the pressures against the carnal church world which, if you recall, is his own church system which he placed into the kingdom of heaven to buffet the true church. Satan now brings all this into his own church system, the system he has had all along. It was he who held these back from going on in the truth, now brings them down to a completely worldly level! This is done through none other than a great deception. That is why in this period of great deception we are seeing ministers, as never before, preaching about world affairs instead of about the conditions of the time pointing to the soon coming of Christ, or the conditions that man’s soul is in. With all these pressures pushing from without, all you need was the right time and the right people. An hour when people would live more for materialism than anything else, and isn’t that the modern philosophy today. Schools now having no respect for the Bible nor religion is teaching and training strictly for the materialistic realm of life! When one lives strictly for the materialistic things in life, what do you think that does to the human soul? The spiritual side has to go! The philosophy of our modern institutions of learning is, educate the youth for a materialistic world. Sad to say, modern youth today is trained only for a material way of life, embracing no concept of God consciousness whatsoever!
Naturally, in a concept such as this, morals will absolutely be very low in fact, the modern way of life, morals as we have known them, have been kicked out – they simply can’t survive in this generation! This brings about a complete brainwashing of our younger generation as they are slowly introduced to all these four letter words and such things. Isn’t it strange, they used this philosophy, that as long as the Bible remained in the schools the child was subject to religion. They say the child should be allowed to choose what they want to accept, therefore through special legislation the Bible is kicked out and now in turn these same philosophers forcibly subject your child to just the opposite and justify it all by saying, it is the child who should have the opportunity to choose what they want. Yes, but you may rest assured by the time these modern philosophers have finished teaching the child sex education, their four letter words, atheism, evolution, no God, etc., your child will be so brainwashed and subjected to their corrupt Godless, immoral way of thinking the child actually has no choice but to follow the Godless way they have been taught!
LAW TO PROHIBIT PARENTS DISCIPLINE
A bill now in Congress, if it is ever passed in this day of the “falling away” would prohibit you from bringing your child up as the Bible teaches in the ways of the Lord, because if your child under the influence of modern education is brainwashed and if your child should choose the image of modern youth and want to go that way, however they want to dress or live, and you say one word against it or you tell your child to do something and they don’t want to obey you, this law will prohibit you from correcting them! Then you tell me we haven’t been brought to a generation being cut off – we most certainly have! And this falling away has brought that particular way of life right down into the church circle! No, I didn’t say it had brought it into the church circle to the degree that it is in the world, but it has brought it into the church circle and now all these lifestyles, fads, new morals for a new society are all being accepted by the church circle. That group of so-called Christianity which is propagating under the name of religion using the name of Jesus and supposing to be the medium whereby man finds eternal life is swallowing all this hook, line and sinker!
Today they have become nothing more than an institution of religion, full of perverted ways of living insomuch they can no longer set a standard which is any different than the standard already going on on the outside of the church! Since now it is all within the church circle, the world recognized the church to be no better than they. Therefore, this weakness of conviction, this lowering of standards has even led the clergy, seeing they refused to go on with truth, to now recognize the fruitlessness of it all, and have turned to a life style strictly of material advantage! Such as a radio preacher from California like so many others today who have taken the very thing they once preached, this gospel of salvation, and now openly converted it into strictly a materialistic gospel preaching how all these worldly, material things should now all be yours, as if these things are the blessings of God saying God wants you rich, God wants you to have plenty, etc. Why, they teach indulgence worse than the Catholic Church did in the Dark Ages! This kind of promotion leads to all kind of religious gimmicks. Fifty years ago, had a man used such religious promotion of the gospel in such materialistic gimmicks people would have run from him! But not today because it is a spirit falling upon those who refuse to walk on with God! One by one they are picking up this materialistic angle. If you don’t go on with truth, sooner or later a spirit will take hold of you, because this is the day of the “falling away”! It invaded the society of the world and has now invaded the church circles!
This “falling away” is now on because God set a truth before them and they refused to walk in it, this has absolutely become a delusion. God will permit you to see this delusion and you will walk straight for it thinking it is the real thing!
A delusion is a mirage which, from a distance, looks real. However, the sad part is, once you start toward it, it never in reality gets any closer, always remaining the same distance from you and that mirage or delusion that you grope after is always something that is going to be! It is always just before you, but it never materializes because it will always remain the same distance and will bring death! This is causing the church world to become so apostate!
NEW POLITICAL ROLE
Recently the 76 year old pope, I heard, made the remark it was possible he might resign. If he does resign the man next in line for that office, because of the role that office is destined to play in European unity and world peace, may possibly be a younger man, more vigorous in health, yet I say he will be a man who will have a modern philosophy of unity which will have more of a political overtone than ecclesiastical. He will dress that Catholic Church up in such a political role every businessman will want to join it. And because they have already taken to this charismatic move, rest assured this world is headed for an hour of climax like it has never seen before. If that next man is the man, then we are close. But remember, you can’t have the man of sin revealed until you first have the “falling away”. Today the world is in shape, it knows more than ever, it is desperately in need of a mastermind. It needs a man who has the brains and personality to be able to step on the scene and say to the world, brothers, this is what we need to do! Once you hear that type introduction being introduce to the world, WATCH OUT! It should cause every Holy Ghost believer to begin looking up knowing that at any moment Jesus could come. No, the bride will not go through the tribulation period, but according to Paul teaching, the true church is definitely going to see an introduction of that man of sin and his hour of false deception, being introduced to the world before it leaves.
REVEALING MAN OF SIN BEFORE RAPTURE
4 TITLES TO SAME PERSON
Yes, it is this falling away that eventually brings to the forefront that man of sin also called the son of perdition, the antichrist, and the one referred to in Daniel 9:27 as that (false) prince of peace. Bear in mind, the man of sin, the son of perdition, the antichrist and false prince are simply four separate titles pertaining to this one and selfsame person – – Satan’s false, counterfeit agent. This man in turn introduces to the world that dreadful hour spoken of by Christ in Matthew 24:15-22.
WITHDRAWING DOES NOT MEAN LEAVING
The Holy Ghost withdrawing does not mean the Spirit leaves the planet, but merely lifts its convicting and retraining powers whereby these evil spirits, which once ruled the lives of the gentiles before the First Century but were restrained throughout the gospel dispensation of grace, now return in full force with as much evil influence as ever among the gentiles, because time has arrived for the word of God to be fulfilled, because this is the generation today whose hearts and minds will eventually be turned over to a reprobate mind believing every lying device Satan throws in their path!
Mankind today, though he has climbed higher up the tree of knowledge scientifically and culturally, yet morally and spiritually, he has crawled lower than practically any generation which has existed before him! This is the generation where crime, terrorism, vice, dope, immorality and the degenerate nature of mankind has stooped to its lowest ebb.
FOUR-LETTER WORDS ACCEPTED
Never was there such an hour when educated mankind looks upon and justifies four letter words as proper English to be used in the presence of women. Education today has taught these four-letter words to be a part of our language culture. 50 years ago were a man to use such words in public he would be looked upon more or less as a demon possessed person, though today they are accepted as an everyday language culture. Mentally, man has not become much more than an educated animal.
LAW CHANGED TO PERMIT IMMORALITY
This “falling away” may be identified by many phases of activities presently affecting mankind’s social, moral and spiritual welfare. Already we see the pressure satan has placed on the world, changing certain lifestyles and morals and now changing certain judicial laws to allow these various changes to be legal. Looking back over previous years and meditating on all these cultural changes made today which satan has introduced, we are aware he couldn’t have done this unless the generation it was all to be fulfilled in had been born. When these changes were turned loose we began noticing strict judicial laws slacking down. During the 15-20 years the Supreme Court has been constantly changing, revising and adding amendments to one law after another until today the Constitution has been amended so many times it no longer means what it was originally written to mean. Such changes made it impossible today for you to live and receive the intended benefits of protection as well as freedom to express your religious convictions, etc. This is a day when all these convictions and liberties are being rapidly snatched away, as satanic influences are slowly being introduced to replace those older convictions, as pressure is placed upon the people. The reason usually given for these changes are “but these things have failed to accomplish their purpose.” No doubt they may have failed to accomplish their purpose – of all they intended – yet I assure you jails were never as full as they are today! Fifty years ago when law was stricter, they were not running over!
DOPE WRECKS BRAIN
Youth today says, Dad drank his booze, why can’t I use dope? This statement doesn’t justify drinking, but I never heard of men who became liquor addicts who ever had their brains eaten up. But did you know drugs will make a mentally deranged person out of you and it takes nothing flat to do so in comparison to what liquor will do! There was a day it was considered a crime for youth to smoke marijuana, however today, because of the political legislative circles which cater to pressure, we now see our legislators begging our law officials to endorse the use of marijuana, saying it is not harmful to health when scientifically, doctors have already proved it is! We are living in an age of paradox, one voice screams there is no harm, while others cries out there is. These are some of the things we are noticing as pressure from without is coming against the church world. The religious institutions, which mostly already belong to satan seeing he has caused the world to look toward them and be deceived, and because it is the hour they should now begin to lose ground, we see things going on in the church world, practiced even in the pulpits that were not present before. Such things are rapidly causing the world and the church circles to become identified together in the same boat, proving still further we are definitely in that hour of the “falling away”!
WOMEN PREACHERS – IS IT SCRIPTURAL?
Granted, even though it has always been unscriptural, certain religious circle has always endorsed women preachers, yet most fundamental church circles who, because of what the scripture taught against it, knew it was unscriptural for women to usurp authority over the man or stand in any position of leadership (I Timothy 2:12-14). Everyone knows in this respect through the ages they have stood firm. In that one respect they remained true to scripture, however when we reached the hour there was to be a generation hit by all these satanic influences, because the church world had already refused to accept the message of truth, what did God’s word say He would do to them, He would send them strong delusions that would be so persuasive, so convincing that the church world would go after it. Remember, a strong delusion is a mirage, something that looks so real. Fifty pears ago you could never have witnessed any women make headlines coming down the aisle, especially in the Episcopal churches, contesting their denominational clergy saying, we also have a right to preach! Understand, that doesn’t mean women can’t be as spiritual as men, they certainly can , but if they are spiritual they will be obedient to the scripture. However, some live by this standard today, I don’t care what the Bible says, I know what I want! Yes, God says there will be a generation who would say they didn’t care what the Bible said. He said they would have a form of godliness, denying the power of the authority of the scriptures to change your life, your belief, to change your way of thinking. They would deny all that! What did the Bible say to do to such people? Accept them and let them have their way? Absolutely not!! The Bible says, from such turn away! Why? Because they will lead your soul to hell!
NEW ROLE OF WOMEN
No, you can’t say because some women decided they wanted to preach in one movement that this is what is going on throughout the entire religious world, yet because of what was going on out in the social world as certain predominant feminine personalities who allowed that spirit to get on them, looked around the world in general and seeing prevailing conditions, their feelings became, “if I were in his place I would do it differently.” Therefore, beginning to converse with each other, women formed themselves into groups and began expressing themselves in one common voice and began pulling strings. No doubt back of the scene many a woman sits behind a politician dominating the entire setting. We are in that hour when women of the world in general have begun to say, we have been pushed down, suppressed and belittled long enough! Yet the Bible, which has never changed, says because of what Mother Eve did in the garden, womanhood could no longer have an equal role with man. Instead, as part of the punishment God laid upon womanhood, the secondary role is what she must live until the Lord Himself comes and personally lifts the curse.
CHURCH’S NEW ROLE – FREEING WOMEN
However, because of what all is going on in this equality field, women’s rights, etc., and since Jesus has not as yet personally come, the modern church world feels what they are doing for women, giving them an equal role with men, is the spirit of Christ now moving through religious circles to change the woman’s role – but it is not! It is a trick of the devil and the spirit of Antichrist. Because the same spirit that is in the world preaching woman’s liberation is also the same spirit that is in the church world, in religious circles doing identically the same things! When you see women demonstrating for equal rights, equal opportunities to be able to run for public, political offices, to hold governmental positions, standing and exercising in the same rank of identity, competing for jobs and such things, you can rest assured this has become the hour when the entire social human race is falling away from previous Biblical principles which once governed and stabilized the course of human history.
WANTS TO BE PASTOR
Why do you think in 1975 women from practically every free country met in Mexico City chanting to be identified for equal rights, equal opportunity, etc., because it showed womanhood has no more intentions of fulfilling her God appointed secondary role! And as worldly women began pushing for this, look what it released inside religious church circles. Naturally many women in the church never had a desire to be president, congressman, senator or even mayor, but what they would like to be is PASTOR OF THAT CHURCH! Why is it in certain church circles the older clergy have literally been challenged in the courts as certain young women who studied theology in certain colleges, and because of their little degrees in theology, marched down the aisles demonstrating to the congregation challenging the very authority of the pulpit, demanding equal rights and equal voice! Such actions set off a tremor down through the ranks of religion reaching into Rome and the pope’s office! Because of that pressure now being brought against the church, certain groups who never thought of opening their pulpits to a female preacher and mainly because they have lost their power with God in refusing to go on with God in truth, have no power, spiritually, to withstand such extreme pressure. Furthermore, because their congregations now so worldly, seeing the world and every perversion, every lifestyle, immorality, etc., is creeping in, they are no longer able to resist the pressure. The old clergy therefore throws open the doors, saying I give up, I am tired! This throws the door wide open for the female role to come right on into the church exactly as they did in the political role on the outside. On and on like dominos toppling one another, standards and conditions continue to fall until, were it not for the fact there has been a truth declared to this generation, absolutely everything within the religious realm would have continued to topple! This church world will now fling open her front doors to the devil and every perverted spirit which knocks on it, while truth is kicked out the back door. Modern Christianity will reach an hour when it will become worse than paganism 2000 years ago. The morals of the people will be no better than those of the gentile people 2000 years ago. People in church circles will be doing practically the same thing their ancestors did, only they will be doing it in the name of Christ and Christianity, whereas their ancestors did it 2000 years ago under the name of some false deity and their only excuse will be, times have changed. Yet, if you will allow Him in your life He will absolutely change your way of living and thinking. If God allowed us to get by with anything short of this word, we wouldn’t be fit to judge the world when He returns to earth for the millennium. If we aren’t able to handle the world this side of the millennium, how could we ever handle the world once Christ had definitely placed His bride in charge of it after she returns to earth with Him to rule and reign.
We know the “falling away” is here and will never become any better, according to scripture it is designated to grow worse. In this generation wherein judicial laws are continually being changed which affects morals, etc., how could the Holy Ghost possibly honor such laws? And if time continues another year or so gentiles will be living worse than ever. Time will come when what you hear being done in high schools and colleges will make you scream! This is an age when the devil’s philosophy is to educate the world for all the materialistic advantages of life and brainwash the reality of even the existence of God, let alone that there is a saviour and we as poor helpless lost creatures need Him. The devil doesn’t want you to believe that, thus we see these conditions now moving in.
DISHONESTY IN GOVERNMENT – WHERE IS IT LEADING?
Seeing we are in the “falling away”, sooner or later all of these things are going to bring such pressure, such unrest and such instability! This is a day the world over dishonesty rules in leadership. Dishonesty has made every government like a dead carcass. No government today seems to be a stable thing. Every leader is at one another’s throat. It reminds you so much of the old Roman Empire after the death of Nero. Emperor after emperor took the throne only to be assassinated or placed under such pressure they soon resigned, some lasting less than a year. From the U.S., Asia, Europe, the world over pressures in government, dishonesty, no stability – what an hour that is here, and everything must go down! Naturally, because there is no stability, no true character or image in the government, this has set off an image and a way of life that has all been passed down to the last stop, the church circles. Out of this attitude a new style of evangelism has arisen on the scene and also must play its role in the “falling away” which will eventually bring in the man of sin.
DAY OF PLAYING IS OVER
God help us all! If a man is sold out to God and truth is his only objective for preaching, God will help that man to stay out of the pitfalls of the devil. However, if truth is not his main objective for preaching then somewhere social prestige, fame, fortune, money, women, or something will get him. Rest assured, this is the hour Satan has his trap set. The papers and magazines are publishing sad testimonies of one minister after another who has fallen over money, women, social prestige, wine or something. Either you walk with God and uphold truth, preacher, or you are destined to play your role in the “falling away”! Either you will move on with God or you are facing an hour you won’t get by merely playing with the gospel. You won’t get by playing like you are a Christian. Sooner or later the pressure from without will come against you and it will break every fiber that is not fortified in Christ, it has to be that way!
MUST TAKE STAND
As we see all this coming and we recognize how the little nation of Israel is being pressured from every standpoint, this lets me know the Spirit of God is slowly withdrawing its convicting powers and restraining forces from all these satanic influences as all these satanic spirits are sweeping back into the gentile world as they were before Christianity come to the gentiles in the First Century. Scriptural-wise, Israel is being placed back into a time relationship, prophetic-wise, with God as He pleads for those dispersed Israelites to return home, back to the land He gave their father, Abraham. Does she yet know the Messiah? NO! Has she received the revelation of the time it actually is? NOT NECESSARILY! But from all over the world there is a call, Jew, come home! And as they are going home the whole gentile world looks on that one nation. Satan, through gentile nations, through world conditions, would like to pick that nation up and squeeze the very life from her. Sad to say, concerning diplomatic channels, our own statesmen from one point seems to have done everything possible to promise her protection. While on the other hand, seemingly undercover, our nation is doing everything possible to sell her down the drain! This definitely creates dishonesty and tension in world governments. People reach the point they don’t know what to accept or who to trust. When you begin to feel you don’t know who to trust and you don’t know who to turn to for help, you begin to feel like a lone figure walking through a world of demons. There is only one who can help you and that is the Lord. Therefore, somewhere soon the hour is coming when Israel will have looked to Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger for their last time. God is placing such deception in front of them to create a condition whereby Israel will have to withdraw from everything she has said or even promised to sign, saying from here on we stand alone.
The hour is also coming when every Holy Ghost filled born again Christian who knows what truth is will have to say in his heart before God, if need by for truth’s sake I will stand alone! That doesn’t mean you are saying only you and God are the only two in the universe, NO, but in order for you to make a stand you are going to have to take that attitude. It can no longer be as it has been in days gone by when people have taken this attitude, well if so-and-so does it, I will, or if so-and-so doesn’t do it, I won’t! Beloved, it will only take you three minutes in hell before you decide you would give anything if you hadn’t taken that attitude toward God’s word! The pressure will be far better here, that what it would be in the pit. The reward on the other side will be far more glorious. Therefore, I encourage you to take your stand for God and right today! What you go through down here will be nothing compared to the torture you will face in hell if you miss God in the end!
POWER LIFTS BEFORE RAPTURE
Keep in mind for the Spirit of God to stop suppressing or withholding these evil powers from rushing in among the gentiles, does not mean that the rapture must first take place before the Spirit will stop withholding or is taken out of the way of these spirits whereby the spirit of iniquity would then be allowed to go full blast. When He stops hindering these spirits, you are going to see it! Can you see it even now? The world is living, acting and doing such things today, had they done fifty years ago you would have needed far more jails to hold the people than what we have today because you would have gone there in nothing flat! And you would have remained there until you thought you could come out and act like a decent human being.
SATAN BEHIND IT ALL
When this falling away has reached a certain peak or depth of iniquity as it continues to take hold of the human race, that man of sin is going to be introduced. Thus, if you can see it has been Satan all along doing all this, first through the instrumentality of man in certain circles, using the judicial courts and educational circles, law administrative branches, etc., and second you can see hour he brought that over into the Ecclesiastical church branches I ask you, if Satan has been successful in using all this to mold the world for the hour of the falling away, don’t you think he can just as easily use the instrumentality of men through certain pressures and world conditions which he will also create, to eventually bring his man of sin in the front! Satan will create such world conditions that it will demand a new world order of politics, the re-writing of governmental platforms, etc., and that, beloved, whether you believe it or not is exactly what this world is on the verge of today! Then says Paul, shall that wicked (one) be revealed (II Thessalonians 2:3) whom the Lord shall (later) consume (at the end of the tribulation period) with the brightness of his coming. Naturally this speaks of the end of that man of sin. Recall, in I Thessalonians, Paul stated that the Lord shall be revealed from heaven in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and them who have pleasure in unrighteousness.
MOTHER & DAUGHTERS (ALL HARLOTS)
Back in II Thessalonians 2:9, Paul says that this man of sin whose coming will be introduced to this world is after the working of Satan. Therefore, when you see certain things going on in the church world today, those things which are producing strictly a denominational unity, just know that is not the spirit of God. But someone says, after all these religions have been preaching the same thing and how often have I heard them say, we are all going to the same place. No, beloved, we are not all going to the same place, that is another lie of Satan! Where in the Bible do we read such a thing! The Bible is filled with scriptures plainly informing us that the woman in Revelations 17:5 is a mother of harlots. Scriptures say she seduced the world by committing spiritual fornication with kings, dictators, etc., but one day that woman (the Roman Catholic Church) gave birth to some daughters who scripture declares were harlots also, and scripturally, their reputation as daughters wasn’t any better than the reputation of the mother! Then you say everybody is going to the same pace, OH NO!
“Whose coming (man of sin) is after the working of Satan.” See, it has been a satanic trick. Some of that trick he works through political power, some of it will work through ecclesiastical power, and some of it he will work through signs of every description, lying wonders and through all deceivableness of unrighteousness (especially) in them who perish, because they receive not the love of the (gospel) truth. Therefore, somewhere prior to this introduction of this man was the “falling away” from the truth which God has offered to the human race. And even back as far as 54 A.D., God says that (last generation) who is destined for destruction would not accept the truth, therefore, God sent this falling away unto those who receive not the love of the truth in order they might be saved or that they might escape the curse, the judgment, the condemnation that was destined to fall on them. And because they rejected the truth, it was for this cause, Paul says, God shall send them (that generation) strong delusions that they should believe a lie and be damned, who do not believe the truth and have pleasure in unrighteousness.
MANY MIRACLE WORKERS FULFILL MATTHEW 7
Many people the world over are grieved over the fact the world has lost one of the greatest female evangelists they feel the world ever had. I have often said I do not touch a person for all the good they feel has been accomplished, but many times we get questions asked, what about Kathryn Kuhlman? What about these things? Beloved, don’t ever say people weren’t healed, they were! Don’t every say people weren’t blessed by the Spirit, they were! Nevertheless, sad to say there are many people on the road to hell because they never saw the Christ in His real true purpose or objective. The Bible plainly says, and I know for such a statement my name will be mud to many people, nevertheless, when I stand before God I certainly don’t want to be responsible for having taught anybody something false such as those in Matthew 7:21-23 were guilty of. Yet according to Matthew 7, somebody in a generation must fulfill the words of Jesus spoken there! Those words left must be fulfilled because he says, many will come to Him in that day (of judgment) and say, did we not cast our devils in your name? There is going to be a generation who lived on this earth who saw just such characters doing those very things and what they saw accomplished is exactly what set off the fulfillment of Christ’s own words. When they said to Jesus, have we not cast our devils in your name, Christ never said you did no such thing! Why they even told Christ they had prophesied in His name, and undoubtedly they had because Christ never denied it. He never judged them but what they had done in the sense of casting out devils or prophesying in His name or doing many wonderful miracles in His name. No, but what He did was point a finger and say to this group, depart from me you that work iniquity, I NEVER KNEW YOU!
NEED OF A STABILIZER
Seemingly there will be many iniquity workers who did miracles, cast out devils and prophesy! People seemingly cannot differentiate what truth is nor how to digest it in the light of the word. Yes, there must be those individual characters who lived on earth who fulfilled these very scriptures! If you interpret all that goes on in the great evangelistic field as being God’s perfect plan for His bride, you might as well take this Bible and throw it to the wind, God simply didn’t mean what He said! But thank God He left you enough of a clue in this book to know what is truth and what is error in relation to the teaching of His word.
Therefore, is you happen to be in any or all these meetings and if someone’s eyes are opened remember, God did it! If someone received the Holy Ghost in one of these meetings, God did it. But beloved, when it comes to the point of what do you believe, this revelation of the word of God is what you are to believe! And if you fail to get that in your soul, rest assured somewhere down the road you are going to come up short. Never forget this, if God ever had a people He lived in, He built it on His word! Around this world there are people who have seen all kind of manifestations, yet because they have no truth to stabilize them, no truth of the word to line up behind, those poor souls will reach an hour of confusion and they won’t even know what to believe. And because of that discouragement and confusion they will turn their lives back to living after the world.
Many tonight, because of the death of this woman evangelist, will not know who to follow. They are discouraged and won’t know what to believe. As far as they are concerned their only crutch just died. It is almost as pathetic as the people in this message when Bro. Branham passed away, when they lost their crutch or support.
HOLY GHOST – NEW COMFORTER
It goes back to the words of Jesus when He said it is necessary that I go away for if I go not away the Comforter can not come. If I go away I will send you another Comforter. Do you know what that Comforter was suppose to do, He was to get inside you and whatever the things was you had been leaning on for a crutch or support you don’t lean on it anymore! You lean on the new Comforter, the Holy Spirit! Beloved, you better have some truth to lean upon because if you haven’t truth to lean upon it won’t be long until discouragement, disillusionment, despondency, frustration, fear and doubt will begin slowly to engulf your mind in thinking. Either you will go after some far fetched unscriptural revelation or else the pull of the world will slowly take you back, back! But I know there is a truth in the earth and it is a standard therefore line up behind it! It is like a company of soldiers when the commanding officer blows his whistle and word goes forth certain companies are to fall in line, you begin to look and see where you are to line up. Unless it is in the field of combat when you are told to line up you will begin looking for a standard. The standard you look for is the flag for your particular company and when you see this flag, there is where you know to rally yourself. I will never forget years ago of having a dream and I heard voices singing.
LINING UP BEHIND (BIBLE) STANDARD
In my mind I knew when that song reached the last stanza I would be compelled to sing the last line of the song. As those voices sang that song down to the last word I heard myself saying, and what is a flag without a staff! Remember a staff is what you fasten the flag onto, then place it in the ground and line up by it. In other words, the flag is the gospel but without something to lift it up you might as well fold it up and put it in a box. Before you leave this world you are going to see the sellout, the “falling away” we have been discussing, and it is going to take its toll greatly out of the religious world! Considering those various instruments which have been used to play their role as they cast their image and leave their influence, it would not surprise me in the least if you saw the hand of God reach over and begin to remove them one by one. Such action would leave people disillusioned and confused and many not knowing which way to turn.
TRUTH ALONE WITHSTANDS
But I thank God for truth that is here in this Bible. It is going to cost you an awful lot to stand for truth in this hour. It will cost you your name; it will cost all the personal fame you have achieved in the social world. But beloved, I had rather know I had pleased God by standing for truth than to have a million dollars and ten thousand followers, and in the end wind up not knowing God nor His perfect will and have Him to say to me, as He will say to many who have cast out devils in His name, who have prophesied in His name and who have done many wonderful works in His name, “DEPART YE WHO WORK INIQUITY, I NEVER KNEW YOU! No, you can take this whole world but give me Jesus, the Truth, the Way and Life for in the end the truth will be all we will be able to stand on!
There are all kind of teachings in the world today concerning salvation. And certain scriptures always seem to be more appealing than others to certain people. Some believe it is possible to be born again without the Holy Ghost, while others believe you must have the Holy Spirit in order to be born again. Still, others believe you must have the Holy Ghost plus the baptism of fire while others say, if you will only believe, then you are saved. And on and on the endless record of beliefs go. In the windup you are about as confused as when you started. The Bible has the answer but the important thing is, we must examine the word in its correct setting.
- 1 LEARNING TWO THINGS
- 2 PART 1 – CHRIST, HOLY GHOST BAPTIZER; JOHN, THE SPIRIT OF ELIJAH
- 3 CHRIST’S CONVERSATION WITH NICODEMUS
- 4 KNOWING ALL MEN
- 5 FIRST MAN TO HEAR OF NEW BIRTH
- 6 FORMULA FOR NEW BIRTH
- 7 EXPLAINING END RESULTS OF NEW BIRTH
- 8 WORD REMOVES DOUBT
- 9 BABYLONIAN TEACHINGS RESPONSIBLE FOR CONFUSION
- 10 CHEAP AND EASY WAY
- 11 LEARNING GLOSSOLALIA PHRASES
- 12 HOLY GHOST COMPLETES NEW BIRTH
- 13 LEANING ON FLESHLY COMFORTER
- 14 COMFORTER NEEDED TODAY
- 15 SPIRIT TO BE COMFORTER
- 16 GLOSSOLALIA SLANT
- 17 PROMISE OF FATHER TEACHES ALL THINGS
- 18 PROMISE OF THE FATHER
- 19 HOLY GHOST STILL MAIN CONCERN
- 20 MEETING PLACE – GALILEE
- 21 SCRIPTURE BROUGHT JOY
- 22 CONFUSION OVER VERSE 22
- 23 DISCIPLES TO RECEIVE HOLY GHOST IN JERUSALEM
- 24 NO EXPERIENCE RECEIVED
- 25 CHAPTER 21 PROVES COMFORTER NOT COME
- 26 CHRIST’S FLESH, CENTER OF ATTRACTION
- 27 CLIMAXING STATEMENTS
- 28 FINAL REFERENCE TO HOLY GHOST
- 30 HOLY GHOST IS POWER
- 31 HOLY GHOST IS COMPLETENESS OF NEW BIRTH
- 32 PART 2 – NEW BIRTH IN ACTION NOT MANY DAYS HENCE
- 33 PENTECOST NOT HOLY GHOST
- 35 FIRST FRUIT OF CROP & WHAT IT REPRESENTS
- 36 WHAT PENTECOST FORESHADOWED
- 37 BURNING BREAD AT PENTECOST
- 38 FIFTY DAYS
- 39 DISCIPLES FILLED
- 40 SPEAKING IN TONGUES
- 41 JOEL PROPHESIED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN
- 42 ORIGINATED 20TH CENTURY
- 43 FULFILLING JOEL AND ISAIAH’S PROPHECY
- 44 TESTIFYING IN LANGUAGES
- 45 USING NEW BIRTH FORMULA
- 46 3000 BORN AGAIN
- 47 SAMARIA RECEIVES NEW BIRTH
- 48 HOLY GHOST GIVEN TO GENTILES
- 49 WORD OF SALVATION
- 50 PREPARING PETER FOR GENTILE VISIT
- 51 PREACHING JESUS
- 52 PETER REMITS SIN
- 53 WATER IN NATURAL BIRTH
- 54 WHY THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST
- 55 SINGULAR REDEMPTIVE NAME
- 56 SON AND HOLY GHOST CAME IN ONE NAME
- 57 JESUS – REDEMPTIVE NAME
- 58 SAVED IS BORN AGAIN
- 59 12 MEN RECEIVE NEW BIRTH
- 60 QUESTIONING THEIR BAPTISM
- 61 LINING UP EXPERIENCE WITH SCRIPTURE
- 62 SPIRIT GIVES GIFT WHICH PLEASES HIM
- 63 SPIRIT RESURRECTS BODY
- 64 PART 3 – HOLY GHOST OPERATING IN MYSTICAL BODY
- 65 HOLY GHOST OPERATION IN BODY
- 66 GIVING GIFT THAT PLEASES HIM
- 67 SPIRIT DIVIDING HIMSELF IN BODY
- 68 MANY MEMBERED BODY
- 69 TWO EXTREMES
- 70 HOW S-I-N–S ARE REMITTED
- 71 BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY BY SPIRIT
- 72 LEARNING TO WALK
- 73 PSYCHOLOGICAL COMPLEX
- 74 BESTOWING MORE HONOR
- 75 WORSHIP IN THE BODY
LEARNING TWO THINGS
In this study we desire to learn two things: (1) What the Holy Ghost is in relation to the new birth, (2) What it is in relation to placing you in the body of Christ, and for what purpose. Seeing the Bible does not confuse these things as every scripture must have its proper place in God’s great plan of salvation, we will also see what it is to be born again, converted or saved. We will see whether being born again, converted and saved is one and the self same work or is it separate operations in God’s plan.
Practically from the very beginning of Christ’s ministry it has only been the apostle John who gives us a clear recording of these things of which Christ spoke concerning the new birth. Having spent approximately the first six months of his ministry around the Sea of Galilee, in the upper Galilee area teaching in their synagogues, Chapter 2:13 records Christ goes to Jerusalem for the spring passover season where he meets Nicodemus, a Jewish ruler. (John 3:1-2)
PART 1 – CHRIST, HOLY GHOST BAPTIZER; JOHN, THE SPIRIT OF ELIJAH
Timewise it has been approximately six months since Christ turned 30 and was baptized by John the Baptist in the fall of the year. John never spoke in great detail of this baptismal experience other than to mention when Israel first began going out to John at the Jordan, certain individuals inquired of him if he was Elias, to which he answered, NO! Art thou the Christ! Again his reply was NO! They further questioned, Art thou that prophet? And for the third time his answer was emphatically NO! Yet some may inquire, did not John lie when he denied being Elias seeing Luke 1:17 declared he came in the spirit and power of Elias? NO, John did not lie because they were questioning him concerning himself. Are you Elias? In the personal sense, NO, although the spirit of Elias did rest upon him. Hence he never lied. Because when asked, who are you, his answer was, I AM THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, ETC. That remark pertained to his person because John definitely was the individual prophet to fulfill Isaiah 40:3-4, concerning that voice crying in the wilderness. No one suspected in that hour, any more than they do today, that the spirit of Elijah could possibly rest upon an individual person without that person being the actual Old Testament Elijah himself. There is one coming after me, John says, whose shoe laces I am not worthy to loose. When he comes (referring to Christ) he will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire, Matthew 3:11. No, this is not two separate baptisms because the Holy Ghost is also the fire of God and Jesus is the baptizer of this baptism!
That is all the Apostle John commented on concerning John’s baptism, but in chapter 2, John shows how Christ came up to Jerusalem for His first spring passover during His ministry wherein He cleansed the temple and performed certain unnamed miracles. His fame as a miracle worker over the past six months had rapidly spread throughout Israel creating great interest, and many Jews were attracted to Christ as is clearly apparent from the night visit by a Sanhedrin court member named Nicodemus, one of Israel’s great elders in Jerusalem.
CHRIST’S CONVERSATION WITH NICODEMUS
Nicodemus, the Jewish ruler in John 3, came to Jesus by night mainly because he did not want to be identified. His visit was by night in order not to endanger nor smear his reputation. Nicodemus was much like a certain element of religious people today who knows there has been something definitely gong on and now they are out investigating what is going on. As you allow that statement to soak in, may we say Nicodemus was all disturbed while the others were not. He had a question while the others did not. He was interested and felt that somewhere deep inside him there could possibly be a need in his life and he wanted to find out what the need could be met with. Therefore, in order not to injure nor damage his reputation, he came to Jesus by night.
Think of it, the very one who was mutilated and suffered shame on Calvary was unashamed to die such a death for us, yet how often do we find ourselves, although we have no name worth mentioning or any position worth discussing, often ashamed to be identified with him! If our name isn’t written in the Lamb’s Book of Life; if our image or reputation isn’t recognized by the grace of God, then it is only here today and gone tomorrow and soon passed into forgetfulness. On the other hand, if you are in the plan of God you are one destined for eternity.
KNOWING ALL MEN
Nicodemus’ visit by night was because there was a serious question in his heart. However, since Jesus knew everything concerning all men (John 2:24-25) knowing their thoughts, their questions, their background as well as their needs before they even spoke, scripture declared He never committed Himself unto anyone. He needed no one to inform Him concerning others because John 2:25 declares He already knew what was in man. And remember, only God alone can look upon a man and know everything concerning him. Nicodemus stood before a man (God in the flesh) who knew all things! Deep inside his heart lays a question and Nicodemus comes investigating what’s going on.
FIRST MAN TO HEAR OF NEW BIRTH
Nicodemus began his conversation by attempting to bestow great honor and flattery upon Jesus declaring, Rabbi, we know thou art a teacher come from God for no man (the Greek says) can keep on doing these miracles (never once missing) that thou doest except God be with him. Wouldn’t such language delight most preachers! Yet it never impressed Christ in the least! Listen in verse 3 how Christ answers Nicodemus, “Verily, Verily say unto thee except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” What a strange answer to such flattery! What a contrast! And believe me Nicodemus was not prepared to hear it. Perhaps had Jesus just briefly commented upon his flattery remarks Nicodemus may have been set more at ease, instead to suddenly hear such words blurted out completely threw him off balance! Nicodemus answered, can a man be born when he is old? Born again is merely a term Jesus threw at him. He could have easily said except ye be saved or as he once said to Peter, when you are converted strengthen the brethren (Luke 22:32). Why didn’t Christ use any of these terms on Nicodemus, seeing they all mean one and the selfsame thing! Instead, to him Christ says, ye must be born again!
FORMULA FOR NEW BIRTH
Using the word BORN carries with it a natural thought to birth. We see Nicodemus trying to grasp the meaning of the word BORN, attempting to give it a natural application. How can an old man be born again? Is it possible he could, the second time, enter his mother’s womb and be born! Listen to Jesus as he presents the formula to this special birth He calls the new birth. Except a man be born of water and spirit, Jesus says, he can’t have that new birth nor can he enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:4-5)! That which is born (from the mother’s womb or) of the flesh is flesh (verse 6). In other words, Nicodemus, I am not discussing anything concerning your flesh being born again because your flesh person can only be born once, I am giving you the formula whereby your inner man may be born again! Because as this natural life, which man is, has come from God through the sexual reproduction route of the mother’s womb, that life took upon itself the form of flesh as well as all the inherited, sinful, fallen nature and the punishment of death that was imputed upon Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Since the fall, imputed sin and the death penalty has reigned in the flesh of man because Adam passed this death penalty and imputed sin through the blood stream down to every offspring born by natural birth. Thus, being born again for a second time carries no reference whatsoever to the flesh person being born again! But through this new birth mentioned by Christ is God’s way of getting to the fallen, depraved spirit of man which needs to be regenerated. Therefore, speaking of the two different births, natural as well as spiritual, Jesus continues by saying (verse 6) “That which is born of the flesh; is flesh (one birth) and that which is born of spirit is spirit (second birth). (7) Marvel not (don’t be confused, don’t allow your mind to become overwhelmed trying to carnally understand what I am saying) that I say unto you, Ye must be born again.”
EXPLAINING END RESULTS OF NEW BIRTH
This statement in John 3 is only the beginning of many statements spoken by Christ which definitely will later lead up to this new birth, which could not be consummated or actually happen until some three years later in Acts 2. Nevertheless, in John 3 Christ goes ahead and informs Nicodemus what the end results to this new birth would be like once it had happened. Verse 8 declares, “The wind bloweth where it listeth (wants to) and thou heareth the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh or whether it goeth; so is everyone born of the Spirit.” The birth of the Spirit is like that, you can’t see the wind but you can feel it. You can’t say the wind started blowing over here at this old house because you don’t know where the wind started blowing, you only hear it! In exactly the same manner Christ refers to the Spirit of God as it too shows its effect upon man’s life. As you see the effects of what wind does, likewise you are able to see the effects of what the Spirit of God can do in the life of an individual. You can see its end results. Take for instance a drunkard, up until the Spirit of God takes hold of that person, drunkenness has continually, day in and day out, been his way of life. However, one day God took hold of him and began working in his life. People looked upon him and began saying, something has certainly happened to that fellow to change him. Yet, like the wind no one can tell where that something that took hold of him came from, you can only see the effects of it. See why Christ referred to the spirit in that manner? The spirit you cannot see, though you are able to feel it, and furthermore you may see its effect but you are unable to tell where it came from.
Here in John’s gospel is recorded the first word ever uttered by Christ concerning being born again (by the spirit). Bear in mind these personal statements of his are only word terms as he is slowly beginning to build up this great thought that a man must absolutely be born again! From the time Christ began speaking those words in John 3 until his final closing remark concluding his earthly ministry (Acts 1:8), he never once deviated from that one continuous thought. Instead he continually added still more word terms of all which pointed to one and the self-same experience for the benefit of man’s soul, the new birth.
WORD REMOVES DOUBT
The world is filled with voices informing people how to be saved and what they must do in order to receive the Holy Ghost, yet through it all it has left a multitude of unanswered questions. I am thankful God’s word is so Holy Ghost inspiredly written that if God’s children could only see God’s will through His inspired revelated truth, it would show that the revelated word had been God’s way of leaving His child something to remove all this doubt and confusion from his mind. Nothing is sadder than confused souls not knowing what to believe or do.
BABYLONIAN TEACHINGS RESPONSIBLE FOR CONFUSION
Most of this confusion stems from our Babylonian background of various denominational teachings. That is why, beloved, in these last days shortly before his coming, God could not reach down and take a people out of all this Babylonian confusion calling that His bride church without first having done something in their behalf in order to call them out of all that confusion, not into another denomination, but into a spiritual fellowship with Himself whereby His word might now have full pre-eminence in their lives as the Holy Ghost takes that revealed word and seeks to teach them every word of truth in order to wash out all confusion, doubt and unbelief fulfilling Paul’s statement in Ephesians 5:26-27, showing how Christ presents Himself a glorious church, having neither spot, wrinkle nor blemish having once washed her by the washing of water by the word.
CHEAP AND EASY WAY
We are living in an hour when the religious world hates the very thing Christ will use to wash His church, the word, and you are instructed today how to receive the Holy Ghost in the cheapest and easiest terms! Strange, isn’t it, and certainly noteworthy that when the Holy Ghost moved in the opening of the 20th Century upon honest hearted denominational people who were earnestly seeking Him, there was no easy method of instruction whereby you could receive the Holy Ghost! Every person seeking the baptism of the Holy Ghost was told to forsake all and surrender your will to God, be willing to die out to self and pray and from that moment on it was strictly between you and God.
LEARNING GLOSSOLALIA PHRASES
However, note today you are told it doesn’t matter how you look or dress because it now all lays in the ability to be able to recite certain words or phrases. HOGWASH! They even have it worked down so simple today that they write the necessary words on a blackboard in order to teach you how to talk in tongues! Or if that isn’t perverted enough, they will send you a record with instructions to repeat these words! Strange, isn’t it, how one generation had to cry and travail before God, enduring great sacrifices in seeking God for an experience with Him, an experience which brought them only persecution and ridicule and now for it to be reversed! Suddenly the next generation can go around looking and acting like the world and talk in tongues also! Something somewhere is drastically wrong and it certainly isn’t with God, it is strictly something man has hatched up to deceive and blind hearts! Beloved, God hasn’t changed His word nor His methods. True, He has always had a variety of method as we will see, but He does not make it easy for one and difficult for another although it may at times seem that way.
HOLY GHOST COMPLETES NEW BIRTH
Leaving Nicodemus, who was told he had to be born of the water and spirit, we continue to examine still more words of Jesus concerning this experience called the new birth of the spirit. May we say that Nicodemus was not at this time born again, although he did become a sympathetic believer behind the scene. Concerning the Holy Ghost one must have in order to complete the new birth, we hear Jesus in John 7:37 still speaking of the spirit saying in the last day of the feast, if any man thirst let him come unto me and drink! Here Christ is still speaking of the spirit of God, only this time in another term. He is not speaking of the spirit in relation to the new birth itself as he did to Nicodemus. Instead, here in verse 38 he speaks of the spirit in relation to thirst, He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said… In other words, if you are going to be born again you must first of all believe something which is more than just a mere mental head knowledge belief. Christ is showing here it must be a scriptural belief that actually motivates you, something that can become a part of your inner makeup because it is vital to your spiritual inner man.
Verse 38, “He that believeth on me, AS THE SCRIPTURE HATH SAID, out of his innermost being (belly) shall (continually) flow rivers (and springs) of living water. (39) But this spake he of the spirit (John said around 90 A.D.) which they who had believed scripturally on Him would receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; (Spirit given at Pentecost 33 A.D.) because Jesus was not yet glorified.” But they were believing, someone says. True, they were believing potentially unto eternal life. The Bible can’t contradict itself, it doesn’t give one formula for one person and another formula for one person and another formula for another person. We must understand what the Bible is speaking of when it uses all these various terms to see what they all add up to. It is man who is guilty of taking these word terms out of the scriptures and applying them to his own doctrines leading men astray. Although six months before Calvary no one had received the Holy Ghost when this statement was made, John 7:38-39, nevertheless, it was the plan of God that these disciples who were predestinated, elected and chosen to be the body of disciples, not only would believe on him but remain loyal unto him until the Holy Ghost was given.
LEANING ON FLESHLY COMFORTER
Therefore, seeing Jesus had not been glorified in John 7, the way had not yet been opened up for the Holy Ghost to come into the hearts of people. Moreover, from here on out we are going to see something else, that is exactly how the disciples will begin more and more to lean upon the flesh of Jesus for a comforter or crutch. And Jesus being fully aware of this in John 14, an event only hours away from Calvary, now begins to take the Spirit of God and once again apply it still in another term, this time calling it, another Comforter. We shall see why he did!
We are all human and humans become attracted to one special person as a friend. Ofttimes this human can become a crutch or something to lean upon. By the hour of John 14, this is exactly what his flesh had become, a crutch unto his disciples. And he being fully aware of this knows that when his flesh is taken from the scene his disciples are truly going to up against it (will become discouraged) unless something else comes (say another comforter) to take his place or take the place of what he had, in the flesh, become to all of them.
COMFORTER NEEDED TODAY
Many are that way today. As long as the prophet to the age was alive and they were able to sit at his feet, hearing the word of God and seeing all the miracles – everything was fine. However, God knowing in the last days this same group of people must have something within themselves to lean upon and make them stand on their own two feet whereby they could actually say it is only Christ inside me, my hope of glory. It is no longer the flesh they lean upon but strictly the revelation of truth that has been brought which will stimulate their souls and encourage their hearts, placing something inside causing them to press onward, realizing no matter what happens there is something inside them leading them on into higher heights and deeper depths.
SPIRIT TO BE COMFORTER
Knowing all this (how they are leaning upon him for everything), Jesus now begins to speak concerning this same Spirit He referred to earlier as the new birth in John 3. Now in John 14:16, using still another term Jesus calls it the Comforter. John 14:16 is that part of his speech delivered while on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane, only hours before the crucifixion. Knowing that in a few short hours His disciples would be looking upon the flesh of their Comforter (the one they have come to lean on as a crutch) hanging on that cross with blood dripping from his side, fulfilling the scripture, smite the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. Speaking to His disciples concerning that same spirit called the Holy Ghost, the new birth and the water of life, He now speaks of the spirit in a new term in John 14:16, “I will pray the Father, and he will give you another comforter.”
Why did Christ refer to the Spirit as another Comforter? Because up until that hour HE had been their comforter. And seeing the hour rapidly approaching when He would be taken from them as they witnessed the most horrible scene of their life, told them this other Comforter would abide with them forever. I realize speaking of what the Father will send in verse 16 always stimulates the Trinitarians but please notice in verse 26, Christ said the Father will send the spirit in my name (Jesus) who shall teach you all things! Isn’t it peculiar in this great charismatic revival which claims the Holy Ghost is moving in such a mighty outpouring of the Spirit that it doesn’t teach them one thing about holy living, only teaches them how to talk in another language.
I do not deny in the overall structure of this movement, which is destined to lead the Pentecostals to Rome, there are those lone individuals whom God has placed His hand upon and because of where they have been religiously God will bring them right down through that avenue of teaching, straight into the truth of His revelated word! And because of that God will truly give that individual the Holy Ghost but remember He will keep right on leading them to the truth of the word! When that Holy Ghost comes into anyone’s heart it always opens up something inside the individual placing a deep hunger inside them for spiritual truth! Remember a person born of the flesh, as they grow they always have a hunger to consume food. Not only do they have an appetite for food they also have a thirst for water because it is the water that quenches the thirst. No wonder Jesus said, if any man thirst let him come to me and drink. The Spirit is what Christ gives to satisfy that spiritual thirst for spiritual things you must be alive or born again. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, Jesus says, they shall be filled!
PROMISE OF FATHER TEACHES ALL THINGS
Here are some of the closing remarks in Christ’s earthly ministry. The Comforter which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name (Jesus) shall teach you all things! No, not just a few things, but ALL THINGS! But I don’t understand all things, someone says. Wait a little while and you will because it is the Holy Ghost’s business to teach and instruct you into all things. If you open your heart, allowing God to work His will in you, in His own time He will teach you all things.
PROMISE OF THE FATHER
Moreover we note this Comforter called the Holy Ghost is also referred to as being “the promise of the Father.” Where and why would it be referred to as “the promise of the Father.” In the Old Testament (Jeremiah 31:33-34) Jehovah speaks through the prophet declaring, a new covenant will I make with the House of Israel after these days. In that time they will know the Lord’s way. I will come down and write my laws in their minds and plant them in their hearts. See, it is the Holy Ghost coming into the individual’s life with a revelation of what the law was pointing to. The law definitely pointed to the new birth. When the Holy Ghost came this was the fulfillment of what the law spoke thus fulfilling the promise of the Father.
HOLY GHOST STILL MAIN CONCERN
John 20:19 shows Christ after His resurrection, appearing unto those troubled, doubting, confused disciples somewhere over in the territory of Galilee. And note once again how the Holy Ghost is still His main point of conversation once He convinced them He is alive in the flesh. Verse 19, “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled (in Galilee) for fear of the Jews.” Had not Christ shortly before His crucifixion warned His disciples they would soon be scattered, filled with doubt and fear, falling into disillusionment?
MEETING PLACE – GALILEE
Having left Jerusalem doubtful and confused, where, I ask you, had the two disciples on the road to Emmaus headed? They had headed home to Emmaus! But remember Jesus had not instructed His disciples He would meet them in Emmaus of Judaea or even Jerusalem after His resurrection. No, He informed them earlier He would meet them in Galilee and these two confused, dejected ones were traveling in the wrong direction from Galilee! The wife of Cleophas was none other than the sister of Mary. Pertaining to the flesh, this man was part of Christ’s relation and he was going after them!
SCRIPTURE BROUGHT JOY
By the time we reach the setting in John 20:19 somewhere in Galilee, not in Judaea or somewhere else, Christ enters this room through closed doors and appears unto very skeptical followers. Finally getting them over into the right meeting place in Galilee, Matthew, Mark and Luke records how much in doubt they all were following the resurrection. Throughout the day they had constantly heard all kind of reports. Earlier Peter and John had found the tomb empty. Mary and other women testified of having seen Him. The two men on the road to Emmaus give their exciting report of His appearance. Nevertheless, on a whole the disciples were still most skeptical. Entering the room Jesus sees His disciples still need more convincing that it is truly He in the flesh. Standing in their midst, saying peace be unto you, verse 20 declares, He showed them his hands and feet and even asked for something to eat (Luke 24:41). When that didn’t completely convince them, Luke says he had something that would! Taking the scriptures he opened their understanding. When your world has become topsy-turvy there is nothing like an understanding of the scriptures to stabilize you. Why? Because the scriptures are ordained to stabilize you in the midst of all kind of scorn! Expounding the scriptures and opening their understanding caused the real joy to come. John, not like Matthew, Mark and Luke who went into elaborate details concerning this event, cuts his portion short by saying, then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.
CONFUSION OVER VERSE 22
Having said, Peace be unto you, As my Father hath sent me so send I you. Note carefully in verse 21 how not only in His last message before going to Calvary He discussed with them this Comforter, the Holy Ghost. We see also in his first words unto this same group of disciples in Galilee after His resurrection He is still on the same subject! Verse 22, John says and when he said this he breathed on them and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost! Certain people taking that one statement alone, separating it from all the other writer’s statements concerning what they had to say about this one event, declares, see here is where the disciples finally receive the Holy Ghost. And over on the day of Pentecost they were all baptized with the Holy Ghost, and on and on the argument goes.
DISCIPLES TO RECEIVE HOLY GHOST IN JERUSALEM
However, if we will only bring all our denominational beliefs to the Bible and make them fit the Bible instead of trying to make the Bible fit into all our scrawny denominational beliefs, we can remove all this confusion because note which district of Israel they were all in sitting in this room, they were not in Jerusalem but somewhere over in Galilee receiving a commission to go into all the world to preach the gospel among all nations, Luke 24:47 said, beginning in Jerusalem! Now keep in mind they are in Galilee and according to Luke 24:49 something else was suppose to happen before they leave Jerusalem before they can even begin preaching, and that is receive (future tense) the promise of the Father. Luke 24:49, which is the Holy Ghost! The point is, how can they receive the Holy Ghost in Galilee when they are suppose to receive it in Jerusalem?
NO EXPERIENCE RECEIVED
Jesus speaking in Galilee, according to John, said receive ye the Holy Ghost! Luke speaking of the same incident declared they would receive the promise of the Father (not in Galilee but) when they reached Jerusalem! According to Luke, who wrote both the Book of Acts and Luke, Jerusalem would be the designated spot the disciples would receive the Holy Ghost and Acts 2 shows they were at Jerusalem when they receive the Holy Ghost! Therefore, based on what Luke 24 records concerning this one incident, what actually, experience wise, did the disciples receive at that time? Experience-wise they received nothing! The experience of the Holy Ghost and new birth would come in Jerusalem! What then did they receive? First they had their understanding opened to the scriptural teaching of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Next they received a commission or commandment but with that commandment they were instructed not to do anything such as preach, not even to leave Jerusalem until they first received the Holy Ghost. And remember at this moment they are not in Jerusalem and won’t be for some time! They are somewhere in Galilee. It is the commission or an order to receive it!
From this point of conversation in Galilee it is still approximately 40 days until Christ will ascend to glory just outside Jerusalem on Mt. Olive, and remember, Christ never once changed His statement concerning the Holy Ghost to the disciples as to where they were suppose to be when they receive it! Had they received the Holy Ghost in John 20, are you aware Apostle Thomas was not even present! We will show in the next few verses that as far as an experience was concerned they had received nothing because they are still leaning heavily upon their Comforter and fleshly crutch! Many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples (John 20:30-31) which aren’t written in this book, declaring many things which Jesus did during that 40 day interval before His ascension are not written but in a moment we will look at one that was written. Verse 31 says “these (certain ones) are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name.” John 21 shows one such miracle he did by the Sea of Galilee or Tiberias.
CHAPTER 21 PROVES COMFORTER NOT COME
In order to furnish you with proof that the disciples had not as yet received the Holy Ghost this other Comforter, we see the disciples are still leaning heavily upon the flesh of Christ for a comfort and crutch! John 21 declares how Peter, Thomas, Andrew, James and John and two unidentified disciples having nothing to do, and certainly couldn’t preach anywhere until they had received the Holy Ghost, being restless as Christ had been out of their midst for several days, decided they would go fishing! It is during that forty day interval when Christ was openly showing Himself to His disciples while they are still in Galilee that we hear Peter say, I am going fishing. Remember, now they have already received their commission to preach, however they can’t preach anywhere because as yet they do not have the Holy Ghost! Note, in Acts 2 how the Holy Ghost preached through them once they were filled, 3000 were born again!
All these men going fishing remind you of someone returning to their same old trade. Peter and these men had not fished professionally in three years, nevertheless being restless, with nothing to do and as yet had not gone up to Jerusalem to receive the Holy Ghost and be born, again they now decided to go fishing. Christ had been out of their midst a few days, in other words, their comforter wasn’t around to be leaned on as a crutch. Seeing the other comforter had not arrived they surely needed someone to lean upon! Seven men fished all night and caught nothing! Good enough for them, they were not suppose to be back in the old fishing profession! Jesus took them out of that profession three years ago when He called them saying follow me, I will make you fishers of men. He never intended they return to the old trade. Already they had forsaken all to follow Jesus. In Matthew 19:27-30, Peter asked the Lord what would they receive as a reward seeing they had forsaken all to follow Him. Christ told them in the regeneration when He sat on the throne of his glory each one of them would sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel.
CHRIST’S FLESH, CENTER OF ATTRACTION
What a contrast! Already they have received their commission and gospel call yet not having Jesus around to lean upon and as yet not being able to go forth to preach the gospel, they decided to return to the old occupation of fishing! Next morning a stranger stood on the shore asking, children have you any meat? Not recognizing it was the Lord they shouted back, No! Cast your net on the right side of the ship was the reply and you will find. They did and such a multitude of fish was in the net they were unable to lift the net out of the sea! Peter knew that wasn’t a normal circumstance because normally fish at night come up out of the deep into the shallow water to catch their own food. And when the sun rises normally the fish go back to deep water. Remembering a similar instance a few years before when they couldn’t catch anything and was told by the Lord to cast their net on the right side and a similar thing happened, John says to Peter, it is the Lord! Old naked Peter forgetting all about the multitude of fish as well as the boat, quickly girded his fishing coat about him and jumped into the sea. Why? Because he couldn’t wait to get to his crutch! Remember, he was the one responsible for all of them being out there in the first place! Now he cared less what happened to the boat or fish because all he wanted to do was get to the feet of Jesus comforter and crutch. The other six disciples (John 21:8) brought the little ship and the net of fish to shore where Jesus had a fire prepared with fish laid thereon and bread. Again we see Jesus feeding with miracle bread and fish. Bring the fish you have caught, said Jesus. Simon drew the net to shore filled with 153 great fish. All that weight, and the net still did not break! Notice their comforter and crutch, the flesh of the Lord Jesus, is still the center attraction of their lives to lean upon! And when his presence wasn’t around they were most discouraged and their activity without Him was usually a flop!
Turn into Acts 1:1-12 to see what Christ has, continually through the years, been building up to using the statement (John 3:3), “Ye must be born again.” Luke, who recorded both the gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Holy Ghost through the life of the early church, picks up in chapter one where Christ concludes his 40 day interval following the resurrection. Note, here, briefly before the ascension, are recorded Christ’s final words concerning the Holy Ghost. Note, the first and the final day of this 40 day interval Christ refers to the Holy Ghost! Luke 24 tells while they were still in Galilee on that first evening following the resurrection how Christ informed them the Old Testament promise of the father would be given them while tarrying in Jerusalem before going forth to preach. Jeremiah testified how in the new dispensation the spirit of God would write His laws in people’s hearts and minds because the Spirit of God would be on the inside of them teaching them all things. Here Luke, (24:49) writing about that very promise of the Father, carries that same thought over into the Book of Acts to show how this great story consistently keeps building up as it goes off into the area of the church once the church is set in motion at Pentecost.
FINAL REFERENCE TO HOLY GHOST
Having mentioned it once again in Acts 1:4 Jesus commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem but wait there for the Old Testament promise of the Father which Christ said, you have heard of me. Going back and picking up a statement of his forerunner, John the Baptist, to show how John’s ministry was the introductory voice or originator of the idea that Christ would be the one who would baptize with the Holy Ghost, Christ says in verse 5, John truly baptized with water but you (all shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence!) (Luke 3:16-17, John 1:33). Note Christ added the phrase, not many days hence! Verse 6-7 plainly shows the disciples have not received any Holy Ghost as yet because they are still a bit confused concerning their soon baptism of the Holy Ghost, thinking perhaps this special event will perhaps be the long awaited hour when God would restore the kingdom to Israel! Therefore, seeing them in this frame of thinking, how could anyone think they had ever received the Holy Ghost before this point!
HOLY GHOST IS POWER
Christ answers their question saying, it is not for you to know the times and seasons which the father has placed in His own power but ye shall receive power (to witness for me everywhere) after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you. And to think some people would go so far as to declare you may have the Holy Ghost without the power, when the Holy Ghost is the power of God! The first thing the Holy Ghost does in your life is give you power to live the victorious and overcoming life for Jesus Christ! That is why this same John who recorded this great subject concerning the Holy Ghost and the new birth later says in I John 4:4, greater is he (Holy Spirit) that is in you than he that is in the world. For some reason this particular term of being born again always stuck with John, because again he remarks in I John 5:4, whosoever is born of God overcometh the world. Why? Because Christ gives him the power to do just that. Again we hear his phrase saying, whosoever is born of God doeth not (as the Greek says practice) sin. Neither can he (practice) sin for His (word) seed remaineth in him, etc. (I John 3:9).
HOLY GHOST IS COMPLETENESS OF NEW BIRTH
Here we see Christ’s final words before His ascension to glory in Acts 1:8 telling the disciples ye shall receive power. Power is the working term of the Holy Ghost in the believer’s life. First off, as a person, the spirit which you are is the life of your flesh. Secondly, the spirit which you are is also the spirit which teaches you as it learns taking in what it does through the five senses; sight, hearing, taste, feel, smell. Likewise, is the Holy Ghost or spirit of God also a teaching spirit once that Holy Spirit has given the new birth unto your inner man. Here Christ says you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost (or Comforter) has come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, all Judaea, Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Having finished this He was taken up in a cloud out of their sight and now more than ever they will need a comforter. Because as they stand gazing upon this fleshly body which they have seen do so many things, the one they have constantly leaned upon as a crutch, thinking they would always be with Him, is now ascending into glory, but not before instructing them not to leave Jerusalem until they first be endued with power from on high. Note, nowhere did Christ ever say, now you who want the Holy Ghost you be sure to remain at Jerusalem, and you who don’t want the Holy Ghost just go on your way! No, the Holy Ghost is the completeness of that new birth for every disciple! It is satan’s business to confuse people as to what the new birth is and what it is not, but the Bible puts it all together showing without the spirit of Christ in you (your hope of glory) you are none of his! (Romans 8:9, Colossians 1:27) Remember the new birth is not one thing while the baptism of the Holy Ghost is something else and then the baptism of fire still something separate.
If we can only comprehend how Jesus has instructed his disciples (on the first and 40th day) to wait at Jerusalem until they be endued with power from on high, which is the Old Testament promise of the Father, before going out to preach the gospel, we can sum it all up by saying, Christ knew since they had not yet received the Holy Ghost they had not as yet been born again! Recall, only hours before Calvary (Luke 22:32), Jesus reminded Peter, after you are converted strengthen the brethren! Beloved, if the new birth or being converted or being saved was anywhere applicable unto any disciples before the day of Pentecost, then all Christ ever said prior to Acts 1:4-8 had no real value! Remember, all Christ was saying prior to Pentecost was merely a buildup that as they continue to hear His words they should believe on Him through these things because it is definitely going to be through these things that these disciples would find their way into that new birth Holy Ghost experience!
PART 2 – NEW BIRTH IN ACTION NOT MANY DAYS HENCE
Knowing now that it will not be many days off until they are to receive the Holy Ghost before leaving Jerusalem, they depart the Mt. Of Olives to wait out the next ten days with all these many statements concerning the Holy Ghost still ringing in their ears. Some ten days they waited until that day on the Jewish calendar arrived which marked the day of festivity called Feast of Pentecost, whereupon this day the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the power for service, the Holy Ghost fire which is absolutely the completeness of the new birth finally did come into their lives to fulfill the scripture where Christ said, I will not leave you comfortless, I will come unto you (John 14:16-18). Obedient to the word of God the disciples, no doubt feeling lonely and at times discouraged, waited in the upper room. However, when they departed that upper room, full of the Holy Ghost and fire, they were no longer discouraged, in doubt, or confused and certainly were not in need of a fleshly comforter seeing they now had the comforter on the inside! With the birth of life now dwelling inside them from that day on they knew exactly by the power of God what to do in order to please God, because now with the Holy Ghost inside them they were born again!
PENTECOST NOT HOLY GHOST
On the yearly Jewish feast day called Pentecost, 33 A.D., the disciples are seen having already tarried nine days in the upper room where the last supper was held before Calvary. Remember, the word Pentecost itself does not mean the receiving of the baptism of the Holy Ghost as some think. No, the event of Pentecost itself was a happy, joyous day full of festivity observed yearly by the Jews, rejoicing and celebrating the fact that God had again blessed Israel with a wonderful harvested barley crop. Pentecost, which had been observed yearly since Israel, under Joshua’s leadership, conquered the Promise land, was always observed 50 days counting from the day after the first Sabbath within the Jewish Passover.
FIRST FRUIT OF CROP & WHAT IT REPRESENTS
Each Jewish farmer, in accordance to Leviticus 23:9-11, would always go into his field before the Jewish passover began and gather out the first fruit or the first bundle of grain of his natural barley harvest, carry it to the temple where he always presented the first fruit of his crop to the high priest who would in turn on the days following the weekly Jewish Sabbath always wave that sheaf or bundle of grain before the Lord. We realize the waving of that bundle the day following the Sabbath represented the resurrection of Christ and the revelation which Paul received concerning Christ being the first fruits of them which sleep, awaiting, the resurrection stems from Leviticus 23:10-11, a yearly performance of bringing the first fruits of the crop to foreshadow and points to what God intended to do for his New Testament believers on that particular day called Pentecost in 33 A.D., 50 days after the resurrection of Christ!
WHAT PENTECOST FORESHADOWED
To commemorate this yearly feast day called Pentecost, according to Leviticus 23:15-17, held always on the 50th day following the waving of the sheaf offering, each Jewish family was required to bring two loaves of leavened bread made of meal taken from the recent harvested barley crop. The requirement was, the barley grain which make the two loaves of bread had to be taken from the same crop in which the Jewish farmer before the Passover cut out of his field his first fruits of the crop and carried it to the high priest for the wave offering held the morning following the Jewish Sabbath after the Passover.
BURNING BREAD AT PENTECOST
This yearly Jewish event of the sheaf offering or first fruits foreshadowed the exact day of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ who was the first fruits of God’s spiritual grain crop! Yes, 50 days after the wave offering each Jewish family always presented their two leavened loaves of bread (to the priest at Jerusalem) made from meal taken from the same grain crop wherein the first fruits had been earlier taken. Taking the two leavened loaves of bread to the priest, who in turn burned them on the day of Pentecost, also served as an offering unto the Lord. The day itself climaxed with a celebration of festivity, worship and singing praise unto God.
Christ’s disciples, having been told the first and 40th day before His ascension into glory they shall receive the Holy Ghost, are still waiting in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father when the day of Pentecost in 33 A.D. had arrived (Acts 2). Scripture doesn’t say ten days after the ascension they received the Holy Ghost but we realize if Pentecost in 33 A.D. came 50 days after Christ’s resurrection, foreshadowed by the wave offering of the first fruits on the day following the Sabbath in the Jewish Passover (Lev. 23:10-11), and Christ remained here 40 days before ascending and ten days later according to Acts 2 the day of Pentecost had fully come, made 50 days. As Pentecost arrived for the natural Jew to present his two leavened loaves of bread to the high priest, being a type of sin still in the believer or in mortal man, and the high priest as usual was preparing to burn and consume with fire this leavened bread, 120 disciples sat in the upper room still waiting for the promise of the father, the Comforter, the spirit of truth, waiting for the power to live right the power for service and the power to witness, to yet come. The Jerusalem streets filled to capacity as thousands of Jews everywhere in Canaan land and surrounding Mediterranean countries are shown flocking into Jerusalem and the temple bringing their two leavened loaves to the high priest to be burned and as always, expecting to climax the day with great festivity, celebration, dancing, etc., commemorating God’s blessing upon the natural harvest grain crop that year. All this was a yearly foreshadowing of what God intended to do very shortly in that small room only a little farther upon Mt. Zion from the temple itself.
God was using such a natural yearly event to set forth a beautiful picture or a shadow of His spiritual plan of redemption He intends to present to Israel. On the temple grounds that early morning a huge bonfire blazes away ready to consume its first loaves of barley bread mixed with leaven which is to be offered unto the Lord, while in the upper room for some ten days 120 have patiently waited for God’s promise, therefore as the leavened bread began to hit the flames on the temple grounds suddenly the wound of a rushing mighty wind of the Holy Ghost came into that upper room! Moreover, according to Acts 2:1-4, the 120 sitting around were totally unaware of what to expect other than they knew the promised comforter would come and in obedience to Christ’s word there they waited. Like the wind, referred to in John 3, they had no idea from which direction it would come. Christ never told them you will hear a wind and then see licks of fire appearing over your heads, No.! Their only instruction was to wait in Jerusalem, yet while waiting much time was spent in prayer and meditation, conditioning their minds and spirits. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing whirlwind. Not knowing what to expect, they now hear it as it first fills the entire room before it begins seeking out each one of them to fill them. Over each head to their surprise they now begin to see appearing little licks of burning fire (called tongues of fire). Here was your Holy Ghost fire John said Jesus would baptize with! Keep in mind what’s going on down on the temple ground! A fire is also consuming bread, but the licks of fire in the upper room over their heads was God’s signification that He was accepting them the same as the fire on the temple ground was receiving the leavened loaves of bread! They were the product from the very bread of life, the very word Christ who had ascended to glory!
SPEAKING IN TONGUES
While below, natural Jews were ready to feast, rejoice and dance once their bread offering was given to the flames, and these in the upper room now being born again of the spirit were so taken up, excited, enthused they were simply lost in this glorious born again experience! Whether they danced the scripture does not say, but when they saw those licks of fire settling over each head the scripture declares they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and (after being filled) began now to speak with other tongues or dialects of languages as the spirit gave them ability to speak.
JOEL PROPHESIED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN
Why today does modern Pentecost declare when the Bible no where declares that TONGUES IS THE INITIAL EVIDENCE OF THE HOLY GHOST! Beloved, when the Holy Ghost was first mentioned in the Old Testament by the prophet Joel concerning this day of grace when God would pour out of His spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28-32) Joel saw exactly what God would do in the pouring out of the Holy Ghost for he said, “Your sons and daughters shall prophesy; your young men shall see visions; your old men shall dream dreams, and upon my servants and handmaidens will I pour out of my spirit.” Why, I ask, could not modern day Pentecost have just as easily chosen one of these signs of which Joel mentioned here as being an evidence of the Holy Ghost instead of choosing tongues as their initial evidence for the Holy Ghost! The evidence doctrine of tongues, as taught by modern day Pentecost, never came from Jesus nor any apostle. Where then did it originate?
ORIGINATED 20TH CENTURY
Beginning at the turn of the 20th Century, in answer to prayer, God suddenly began to take hungry hearted Methodist, Baptist, etc., who diligently sought Him and inspired them with the ability to speak in other languages and they in turn are the guilty ones who said, this is the same Holy Ghost tongue speaking episode which took place at Pentecost. And that idea of theirs spread throughout the modern world, becoming a doctrine and is still popular today! Now up to a certain point, yes, you can say it is what took place on the day of Pentecost, however beyond a certain point, absolutely not! Because watch carefully, in Acts 2:4-7 we see they absolutely did speak in languages, however as these disciples, leaving that upper room, going into the streets, filled with the Holy Ghost, were definitely empowered to speak other dialects who, without interpreters clearly testify (in other languages) the gospel of Christ before a Jewish people of better than 16 different nationalities throughout the Mediterranean world! By no means was it anything like what is seen among gentiles in these last days! These devout Jews, born in dispersion understood perfectly the gentile national language of their own countries, yet coming to Jerusalem for these special feast occasions, they all spoke the mother tongue Hebrew.
FULFILLING JOEL AND ISAIAH’S PROPHECY
Standing in the crowded streets and understanding these gentile languages of the 16 nationalities represented, and knowing also the Hebrew language which all Jews spoke were also this 120 Galilean Jews from the province of Galilee who were never in the dispersion and could therefore speak only the mother tongue, Hebrew. This particular day will fulfill scripture such as the prophecy of Joel as well as Isaiah 28:8-9, where Isaiah also saw when the Holy Ghost would be poured out. Not only that, Isaiah also saw Israel’s religious polluted condition concerning all her rituals, even down into the first advent of Christ! For instance, what did Isaiah mean in Isaiah 28:8 when he said, all of Israel’s religious tables are full of vomit and filthiness so that there is no place clean? As far as any of the ritual ceremony themselves doing any service to God, they could not! It had reached a point Israel had absolutely polluted all her Old Testament rituals. Not only were they seen by Malachi as offering polluted bread on the altar and such, they also polluted the temple with moneychangers, etc. Thus, we see all their ceremonial tables described by the Holy Ghost as tables filled with vomit and filthiness. Tables that were suppose to have been consecrated and sanctified unto the Lord in order to render a holy divine service to God, now all polluted! Israel had so materialized or polluted it by offering crippled animals, polluted bread, etc., that God now looked upon the entire ritual itself as a mere program of man’s political corruption and likened the entire thing as tables being full of vomit. Whom shall we teach knowledge, verse 9 says, and whom shall he make to understand doctrine – a statement which can well apply to our day seeing religious leaders declare it is no longer doctrine we need, all we need is the love of God! Again there is two ways to look at this. Naturally, much knowledge puffeth up, Paul says, especially if it isn’t examined correctly. Yet on the other hand, how can you be filled with God’s love without somewhere being willing to open your heart and say Lord teach me your doctrine. If we love God we must love His word, else as the scripture says, how dwelleth the love of God in him.
Who are we to teach knowledge and understand doctrine! Isaiah 28:9 says, those who are weaned from all these primary rituals if they are ever to go on into deeper things. For precept must be upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little. Now note especially verse 11 which pertains to what is happening at Pentecost in 33 A.D.! Isaiah 28:11, “For with stammering lips and other tongues will he speak to this (Jewish) people. And in all this, they will still not hear.”
TESTIFYING IN LANGUAGES
No, verse 11 wouldn’t happen in Isaiah’s day, but on the day of Pentecost, because here God is going to speak and will demand a Jewish race to listen. Speak, How? Through stammering lips (lips like a drunk man) and in other languages, etc. Now back to Acts 2:6-7, because that is exactly how 120 Galilean Jews are talking and acting. As these devout orthodox Jews from those other nations listen to the Galilean Jews from the upper room. They are actually to their astonishment hearing God speak unto them through 120 Galilean Jews speaking in different languages, languages by no means could the 120 who spoke strictly Hebrew possibly know anything about! God was personally speaking to their hearts. For instance, here stood a few dozen Jews from Rome listening to certain Galilean Jews who know no other tongue than the Hebrew tongue, speaking fluently to them in their own native Italian language! Not all the Galilean Jews were speaking Latin because all these visiting Jews outside Israel were hearing certain of these Galilean Jews speaking in their own national tongue also! Naturally such a phenomena causes questions to be asked in this most excited atmosphere. In the midst of this excited atmosphere as it began to build to a peak, the home Jews of Israel, understanding Hebrew only, had to try and pass this off. To them it sounded exactly like drunk people trying to talk. When Peter heard disciples being accused of being drunk on some new wine it ignited his soul. Addressing everyone now in the Hebrew tongue, which all Jews can understand, he shouts out, Men of Judaea and you that dwell at Jerusalem, we are not drunk as you think. It is only nine o’clock in the morning, but this is that which Joel prophesied about. And Peter proceeded to quote from Joel 2:28-32 telling how in the last days God would pour out his spirit and your sons and daughters would prophesy, etc.
USING NEW BIRTH FORMULA
Remember the multitude was only hearing one of the many manifestations of the Holy Ghost and the reason they were hearing this one manifestation of foreign languages was in order to fulfill Isaiah 28:8-9. God was using Isaiah 28:11 to launch Joel 2! Finishing his brief sermon, 3000 more orthodox Jews are now ready for the new birth. As Peter and the other brethren are asked by the 3000 what must they do, note Peter uses the formula for the new birth exactly as Jesus declared in John 3. “Except a man be bon of the water and the spirit he can’t enter the kingdom of God!”
3000 BORN AGAIN
Speaking strictly to that disturbed orthodox Jewish element from various nationals, Peter says, repent everyone of you (Acknowledge that from your natural birth you are a sinner). And already having softened this 3000 up by a tongue’s manifestation of the Holy Ghost in their own language wherein they were all born (2:8) it didn’t take this 3000 long to accept Christ as their Messiah and Lord. Finishing his sermon, he had already sowed enough word seed that 3000 Jews were ready for the new birth. Repent everyone of you and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (or the gift of life) for the promise (of the father) is to you, to your children and as many as ye are afar off, even as many as the Lord God shall call. Peter at this point had no idea nor ever dreamed the full impact in later years the gospel reach would have once he had taken this same gospel unto the gentiles! Peter thought it was strictly for Jews only!
SAMARIA RECEIVES NEW BIRTH
Bear in mind we are now building up our thought around the new birth to see it in action. No, we aren’t teaching it from an evangelistic standpoint, but merely from a scriptural study to see it in action. Acts 2:38 is the new birth formula which links perfectly with what Christ said in John 3:5. Thus 3000 souls were taken out and baptized in water, it doesn’t say how many spoke in tongues, how many prophesied or how many later had visions, it simply said 3000 were added to them (Acts 2:41). And a few days later with the help of the first miracle in Acts 3, Peter preaches his second sermon and 5000 more are born again and added to the church. In Acts 8:12-17, several years later again see this same new birth formula used in Samaria as the Samaritans believed on Christ and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ under Phillip’s preaching, and received the Holy Ghost through the prayer and laying on of hands of Peter and John.
HOLY GHOST GIVEN TO GENTILES
Years now move on until Acts 10:44-48 enters the gospel picture. Here the Holy Ghost is ready to send Peter to Caesarea with the gospel whereby the gentiles may enter into the grace of God. As I said earlier, when Peter preached at Pentecost he had no idea gentiles would ever be brought into salvation. He never dreamed years later he would go the gentiles carrying this same gospel message of the new birth and that gentiles also would receive the Holy Ghost or the gift of life in exactly the same manner the Jews did years before on the day of Pentecost! No, the gentiles did not receive the Holy Ghost in the same manner the 120 did on the day of Pentecost in order to establish or confirm an evidence doctrine as some might think, but Peter, being a Jew and having the kind of feelings toward the gentiles that he had, would certainly require the same manifestation given to the Jews to ever convince his stubborn old Jewish nature that a gentile could actually receive anything!
Therefore, to clarify this let us examine more closely the setting to see how the gentiles in Acts 10 did receive the gift of life and were baptized in water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, it required exactly the same operation of the Holy Ghost manifestation upon the gentiles as it had upon the Jew on the day of Pentecost because the scripture shows (in Acts 10:10-16) how dubious Peter was concerning gentiles before he went to Caesarea.
WORD OF SALVATION
Peter has been brought down to Joppa where we see him on a housetop in prayer and the Holy Ghost having already, several days before, given Cornelius at Caesarea, some 40 miles away, a visitation by an angel to send for Peter who would give him words whereby he might be saved (Acts 10:5-6, 11:13-18). Therefore, in order to prepare Peter’s stubborn Jewish nature for his unexpected gentile visitation God visits him in a peculiar vision. At the moment Peter was very hungry and God showed him a gigantic sheet filled with all kind of unclean animals, crawling reptiles, etc. God was using Peter’s own Jewish feeling and disposition toward gentiles to launch something. This sheet was lowered three times before Peter as the voice of God said, Rise up Peter, kill and eat. No sir Lord, nothing common or unclean has ever touched my lips, I am Jew, I have kept the law concerning unclean pork, etc.
PREPARING PETER FOR GENTILE VISIT
Amazing as it may sound, all these creatures, lowered three times in the sheet before Peter were all unclean creatures which the law plainly forbids Jews to touch. Peter says, I have never touched anything unclean. What I have cleansed, God says, call thou not common or unclean! Failing to understand that God had signified such a vision to represent the gentiles upon whom the Jews looked as unclean, Peter had no idea the vision was representing what the Holy Ghost was about to lead him off into. Coming out of his vision Acts 10:17-22 says, Peter hears voices below inquiring if a man named Simon Peter was there. Recall, a few days earlier the Holy Ghost had spoken Peter’s name to an unsaved Gentile 40 miles away in prayer. Cornelius will be the first gentile to hear and receive the gospel of Christ. Knowing Peter’s Jewish disposition, the Holy Ghost tells him to go with them doubting nothing.
As Peter walking into Cornelius’ home where he had already gathered a listening audience awaiting Peter’s arrival, Cornelius knells before Peter. Quickly jerking him up Peter says we are men like you, why have you sent for me? Relating his experience, Cornelius puts Peter on the spot and Peter knows nothing to do but preach Jesus, even to gentiles. Tell me dear soul, what could Peter do to make these people speak in tongues? In the first place his own disposition concerning all this is completely negative! He is skeptical of getting too close to unclean gentiles. Completely unaware that God had already spoken in the Old Testament of just such an event (the gospel going to the gentiles) up to this hour Peter had always felt this wonderful gospel was for Jews only, never once aware he was the man God chose to carry the gospel to the gentiles.
Suppose after Cornelius related his personal testimony of how Peter was to give him words whereby he might be saved he would have said, Peter, I want the Holy Ghost, give it to me! What else could Peter do but preach Jesus once he saw Cornelius had already gathered his family and relatives in to hear him. No, he didn’t bring any special charts or books, nor did he write certain words (glossolalia phrases) on the wall for them to repeat in order to receive something, because I want you to know Peter himself had no idea what was going to happen! The scripture plainly shows Peter and the six other Jews were dumbfounded and taken by surprise over what happened. I am glad Peter didn’t know because this makes it so much easier for God to do something himself.
PETER REMITS SIN
Becoming anointed, the words began rolling from Peter’s mouth concerning Jesus. Everyone sat there drinking in every word, which to them was definitely words of eternal life. God watched the attitude of the gentiles toward the message, seeing their enthusiasm and thankfulness that God had seen fit to include an unclean gentile into this wonderful thing, no they were not doubting, picking to pieces what Peter said, they were eating every word, when suddenly the gentiles became so drunk on the Holy Ghost they began talking in another language as they did at Pentecost (Acts 11:15-18). Seeing the gentiles speaking in other languages greatly surprised Peter and the six other Jews as we hear Peter remark to the other dumbfounded Jews with him, “who, (of you) can forbid water for these to be baptized also seeing they too have received the gift of life in exactly the same manner we did at the beginning.” Peter is a man very much sold on converts being baptized for the remission of sins in order to fulfill Christ’s commission in John 20:23 where he said, whosoever sins ye remit they are remitted. No, sins are not remitted by someone confessing their sins to a priest, they are remitted in water baptism only as clearly shown in Acts 2:38.
WATER IN NATURAL BIRTH
Imagine one of these Jews being like gentiles today saying to Peter, you don’t have to baptize these people, after all it is not essential. Don’t say water baptism is not essential, it is the plan of God. Does not the natural birth illustrate the spiritual birth? Then I ask you how essential is water to the unborn baby in natural birth who is laying in a sack of water, being protected against germs, injury, etc. during a nine months period before birth! That, beloved, is how important water baptism is in the formula of God for the new birth. It wasn’t enough for the devil to pervert water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ into a trinity teaching (325 A.D.), he now wants to remove water baptism completely out of the plan (formula). You might as well remove the Holy Ghost also! Some declare it doesn’t matter how you are baptized but teach the importance of the Holy Ghost. Why teach the importance of one aspect of the gospel if you can’t put it all together! Paul taught in Ephesians 5:27 that in the last day God would have a church with neither spot, wrinkle or blemish concerning His word, but would instead wash out every carnal idea and carnal revelation and place within her these spiritual truths!
WHY THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST
These Jews, Acts 10:48, baptized everyone of these gentiles without apology, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for remember Jesus is both Lord and Christ, not baptizing them as people are today who merely have the phrase of Matthew 28:19 repeated over them! Matthew 28:19 says, baptize in the (singular) name, not names as it would have read had Father, Son and Holy Ghost been three separate names of three separate persons. No, instead it says baptize into the singular name of the father, son and Holy Ghost.
SINGULAR REDEMPTIVE NAME
If you know the singular name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, you will understand why every convert in the New Testament was baptized into the singular name or in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ which is the redemptive name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost on earth. Yet people without the revelation of what the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is, are quick to defend their position by saying, but that is exactly what Jesus said! True, and the disciples who were given that commission to remit sin in John 20:23 through water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Luke 24:24, were the first ones to ever carry out what Christ said (carried out in Acts 2:38). Because these men knew the meaning of what Jesus said when He said use the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost for baptism. It had already been revealed to them that the very one standing before them in flesh was none other than the Old Testament Spirit God who fulfilled Isaiah 9:6 saying a child would be born to Israel of a virgin. Get this, whose singular name is Jesus (Matthew 1:21) who could be called THE MIGHTY GOD AND EVERLASTING FATHER as well as Counselor, Wonderful and the Prince of Peace!
Jews never chopped God up in three separate pieces as did gentiles! Moreover in order to fulfill Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:14-18, Luke 24:46-49, John 20:19-23, all scriptures which pertain to one and the selfsame event when Christ presented His disciples the great commission, telling them that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His singular name the name of the Lord Jesus Christ into all the world beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47).
SON AND HOLY GHOST CAME IN ONE NAME
Irregardless of what the gentile religious world has done to God’s truth in butchering the singular name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, we must realize that name is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ who, as a flesh man, was not only the Son of God but also both Lord and Christ! Bowing before him Thomas worshiped Jesus as Lord God Almighty, John 20:28. What is the name of the Son? JESUS! And always remember, the Spirit of Truth, which is the Holy Ghost, was emphatically twice proven in Matthew 1:18-21 to be none other than the father of the Christ child because that which was conceived in Mary was of the Holy Ghost! Moreover, Jesus told his disciples, the Spirit of Truth, who is the Father, the Comforter and the Holy Ghost, would come unto them (at Pentecost) in my name (Jesus). Earlier Jesus had informed the people that He as the Son had come in his Father’s name (John 5-43). Who is this mysterious Father of the Christ child? Matthew 1:18-21 emphatically declares, by an angel from heaven, the father to be is none other than the Holy Spirit who hundreds of years later was taught to be the third person of the Godhead!
JESUS – REDEMPTIVE NAME
But scripturally, what is the Father’s redemptive name on earth? It is none other than Jesus! You have only one name involved in the commission. Scripture declares Jesus came in the Father’s name and the Father, in order to take up His new office work at Pentecost as the Spirit of Truth in dwelling the believer, would come in the name of Jesus, the Son (John 14:26). Therefore, the redemptive name of the Lord God in flesh while on this earth was Jesus the Christ or anointed one!
The new birth came for the first time in Acts 10 to the gentiles. Turn now to Acts 19 wherein we will see even more of Joel’s prophecy in operation. Many years have passed and another man who also has received the Holy Ghost and carries the new birth within him is now on the scene, his name is Paul. He, too, had been baptized in water (Acts 22:16) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to wash away his sins committed in his flesh. You can’t show one convert out of thousands in the Book of Acts who baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus who is the Christ for any other purpose. Shame on men who, in order to draw large crowds from a Trinitarian religious world, will stand on the borderline of truth saying, God never called me to preach doctrine, he called me to preach unity! Therefore, I will be happy to baptize you any way you want to. What nonsense! Where did Peter, Paul or any apostle ever produce such HOGWASH! Why don’t men junk all this foolishness and return to the true formula used in the Book of Acts which absolutely matches the formula Jesus laid down to Nicodemus in John 3:5! After all they claim to have the same Holy Ghost the disciples received in the Book of Acts! Then why not accept the same formula for water baptism used also in the Book of Acts. It is simple, that baptism brings persecution and they do not want to lose their crowd. But Paul never had a program, he only had a call of God to be fulfilled among the gentiles.
SAVED IS BORN AGAIN
Do you know to believe properly and correctly, as the scripture has said, on the Lord Jesus Christ is to have the new birth? How can you truly believe except you have been born again? Your belief in Jesus Christ is going to produce the new birth, therefore the same man who told the Philippian jailor in Acts 16 to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and he and his house should be saved, taking them to the water immediately, baptizing them, also said to the Ephesian church we are saved by grace through faith. Therefore, to be scripturally saved is to be born again. All of these terms mentioned earlier, are mere scriptural terms of the new birth. To be saved means to saved from sin. Saved from S-I-N (not sins) always refers to the SIN (or unbelief) of the old fallen nature which once controlled us (more on this later). In order to have eternal life we must have that new birth or Holy Spirit in our lives.
12 MEN RECEIVE NEW BIRTH
In Acts 19:1-5 Paul, having returned from Jerusalem back into Ephesus where before he had spoken once in the Jewish synagogue, finds 12 disciples who were converts of Apollos, a Jew who had come into Ephesus from Egypt knowing only the baptism of John or the baptism of repentance saying unto the people they were to believe on Christ who was to come. Aquila and Priscilla, whom Paul had left at Ephesus while he went to the Jewish Feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem, heard Apollos speak in Ephesus and realizing he did not have the full revelation took him aside and explained unto him the way of the Lord more perfectly (Acts 18:25-26). Now it is time for Apollos’ 12 converts to also understand the way of the Lord more perfectly. Paul, finding these 12 disciples still waiting for the benefits of the Messiah, the Christ, asked them had they received the Holy Ghost since they believed or as the Greek said, when you believed? Now isn’t it strange if the new birth is one thing and the Holy Ghost is entirely something else why didn’t Paul ask them had they been born again instead of asking them had they received the Holy Ghost when they believed? They answered in amazement, why we have not heard if there be any Holy Ghost. That is quite evident because until Aquila and Priscilla got hold of Apollos and explained to him the way of the Lord more perfectly, he didn’t know the Holy Ghost had come either. No, Apollos didn’t even know what the fulness was.
QUESTIONING THEIR BAPTISM
Paul says unto these 12, well, seeing you don’t know anything about the Holy Ghost (who has been filling people, about 20 years, since the day of Pentecost) tell me how were you baptized? What an odd expression to ask someone in order to discover why they did not know anything about the Holy Ghost! O, we were baptized unto John’s baptism, said the twelve.
Note if you will please, Paul knows all about the baptism of John as did every Christian know completely the role and ministry of John the Baptist who had come in the spirit and power of Elijah. Wouldn’t it have been something had Paul asked, WHO IS JOHN? But Paul knew John was the forerunner to the first advent, the interlinking prophet, the one who was the spirit of Elijah. The early church knew John’s important position in God’s program, but they didn’t preach John, they preached Christ. Paul says in verse 4, John verily baptized unto the baptism of repentance saying unto the people that they should believe on him which should come after him, that was, on Jesus Christ. Furthermore, remember how John, speaking of Christ, had referred to Him as the one who would baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire! In other words, John’s message was getting people’s hearts in the right condition and setting them up for the Holy Ghost, causing them to acknowledge they were sinners, telling them to wait for the benefits that is to come, waiting for the new birth! When will their new birth take place? When will anyone’s new birth take place? When they receive the Holy Ghost of course!
Recall, the Holy Ghost could not be given according to John 7:39 until first Christ had been glorified in dying on the cross as the ransomed price for sin, as His blood was freely shed for the sins of mankind, past, present, and future whereby the Holy Ghost, who was the life of Christ Jesus, had returned on the day of Pentecost to begin taking up His abode in the hearts of those disciples to be their comforter whereby they should no longer need to rely upon the physical man Christ to be the comforter, crutch or the one to lean upon.
Now they had him as the Holy Spirit inside them, guiding, leading, teaching, instructing and helping them all through every trial and test. Yes, the Holy Ghost, their new comforter who was spirit is now the one they lean upon.
Verse 5, when they heard this the twelve men were re-baptized. This time into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins (plural). Often people coming out of denominational churches will remark, God saved me from my sins when I was in denominational religion. I know what God has done for me, He blessed my life. I was sprinkled or I was baptized in the trinity of titles as our church taught. Now please try to understand something, we are standing at the end shortly before the coming of Christ, and God has revealed truth that we may return back and line up our experiences according to scripture, therefore understand this message is not trying to un-christianize you, nor un-birth you nor, un-scripturalize you, however if you do have the new birth it is all because God is merciful to you. He still requires somewhere to bring your experience in line with scripture! You don’t have the experience that you have because you know anything or even because everything you know is correct. You have it simply because God loved you and He saw you were one of those predestinated children of His out there in Babylon wandering around. Therefore, God saved you in your ignorance as to what the real truth of the word is. No, He didn’t save you because you were right, but because He loved you. Therefore, somewhere along the line your testimony as well as your Christian experience may easily lack a lot of things, then again it may not! But to every honest hearted person may I say, if you want to get your birth scripturally oriented, that is, get all the saints out of it and bing it in line with the scriptures, you must do so because, beloved, we are living in days when certain things can easily spoil.
LINING UP EXPERIENCE WITH SCRIPTURE
Religion today is practically like everything else in the commercial world, it is so commercialized they can sell you about anything to make you believe you have eternal life, but I want you to know there is still only one true formula and though man changed, God never did and the formula remains as always, repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you will receive the gift of life (the Holy Ghost). So no matter what your experience has been or how long in this last day you have lived for God, we are now living in the day when God isn’t trying to straighten up Babylon and bring it in line with the scriptures. No, He is trying to straighten up you and I to bring your experience in line with the word of God, because soon the antichrist will take hold of the reins of every church, every political system, every union as well as the entire monetary system of the nations as this gentile world closes out. According to scripture He will put the clamps on everything. In that hour, beloved, you will have to have more in your souls than the mere fact I belong to this movement or that movement. You are going to have to be able to look into the face of Jesus Christ straight through His book and be able to say, I belong to Jesus, He is in my heart and I know He is there because I have obeyed His word!
To obey only a portion of scripture instead to later on let the cap off your experience and there you may see a great spoil as we are already seeing in your denominational world! That is why church people who at one time had such a strict code of what they thought Christian conduct and their personal appearance out in the world should be like, now more and more because everything is spoiling and their experience did not match up to the book (Bible) when the Holy Ghost brought them face to face with truth, you see them now looking more and more like the world teaching that all you should do is love each other, but how are you going to love God without loving His word! I remind you, loving the word is not loving three scriptures and blasting the other scriptures because they do not line up with your theory of Christianity – – – IT IS LOVING EVERY SCRIPTURE, because one scripture is only a stepping stone to the next one! On and on like that until truth has formed an entire picture. It is the entire revelation that lives within your soul and Christ lives in that because that is exactly what truth was brought forth for in the first place. Therefore, Paul says in Acts 19, alright there isn’t any need in trying to patch up what the denominations or any group is doing, let’s just go right back to the scriptural formula Christ left for us in John 3:5, except a man be born of water and of the spirit . . . God hasn’t changed one bit, that is the original formula! Paul takes all of these twelve men and rebaptizes them, only this time into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. And some today will say what a waste of time, but to Paul it wasn’t a waste to rebaptize these 12 men. To him it was very simple, it was simply part of the formula and he wasn’t going to step over one portion of it! After baptizing them he laid his hands upon them and they received the Holy Ghost and after receiving the Holy Ghost two gifts operated from the believer: tongues and prophecy.
God sent Phillip out into the desert in Acts 8:26-40 for one lone man to receive the new birth. After Phillip was invited into the chariot and they began riding along the road, he explained to the man all the scriptures pertaining to how to be born again. By the time he had finished his message they had reached a water hole and the man looked up and said, See, there is water what hinders me from being baptized? Phillip said, nothing if you believe. I do believe, he says, and down in the water hole went the man to be baptized for the remission of his sins done in the flesh. God was so pleased with Phillip’s obedience, instead of making him walk all the way back through the desert, He simply picked Phillip up and set him over in the place he wanted him to be.
SPIRIT GIVES GIFT WHICH PLEASES HIM
Paul took the twelve converts who had believed but were waiting for something good to happen, explained the formula unto them, rebaptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost came upon them and we see more of Joel’s prophecy in action. Nowhere in the Book of Acts wherever the Holy Ghost was preached and the new birth was explained, was any disciple ever told, now look if you fail to speak in tongues you just didn’t receive it! Whether you spoke in tongues or not was left entirely in the hand of God when he visited his disciples. God simply gave the Holy Ghost to those who obeyed him! According to I Corinthians 12, Jesus always gave the experience and Holy Ghost manifestation in the way and manner that it pleased Him not how it pleased the individual receiving it! The main purpose was for them to know that God had filled them with the holy Ghost and beyond any shadow of doubt that they had something they never had before! If they were a praying and seeking person, whatever manifestation or gift of the spirit that lay there in the structure of the Holy Ghost when the spirit entered their life, sooner or later that Holy Ghost is going to work and operate that very manifestation of gift He placed into their life when He entered. For as we shall see later in this study the spirit places the spiritual gift in the believer’s life which pleases only him! (I Corinthians 12:11). And as Paul says (I Corinthians 12:13) by this one spirit (Holy Ghost) have we all been baptized into one mystical body. Remember according to I Corinthians 12, the same Holy Spirit who came upon you to give you the new birth or eternal life is also the same spirit who at the moment of your new birth also placed you in the mystical body of Christ and whatever spiritual gift He desired you to have He placed that spiritual gift in your life at the moment of your new birth.
SPIRIT RESURRECTS BODY
Those who obey the formula, God is obligated to give the Holy Ghost, the spirit of life, the gift of God, the Comforter, the power for service, the Spirit of Truth which guides the born again into all truth showing them things to come! The Spirit is placed into your life as your teacher and comforter to lead you from the beginning of your experience in the new birth, down through your life and even into death. And according to Romans 8:11, will quicken your dead bodies and bring you out of the grave! According to Romans 8:11, the Holy Ghost seal will lay in that dead body though it be decayed, and one day that dead body will be quickened and brought out of the ground! The Holy Ghost is God’s seal, it is His way of showing He has accepted and placed His approval on the soul who has obeyed His formula of the new birth. Many will say, we are born by the blood of Jesus Christ. Yes, it is true we are redeemed unto God through the blood of Jesus Christ because the blood was the purchase price, however never forget, the formula of the new birth was plainly laid out by Jesus Himself who said, except a man be born of water and of spirit he can not enter into the kingdom of God! Others will declare, the new birth is merely accepting Jesus. In our age of the reformation as God has slowly, since the 16th Century, gone step by step into bringing the church back into still more light of the word, one could say it is all in accepting Jesus. But if we will be completely honest with ourselves, and being honest with oneself we must first be completely honest with God’s word. Always remember, any truth of God’s word expressed on this side of the reformation has absolutely been a working of the Holy Ghost to lead people into still greater light of truth whereby they may experience more and more of the fullness of Christ in their life.
PART 3 – HOLY GHOST OPERATING IN MYSTICAL BODY
Before closing let’s briefly examine I Corinthians 12, not from the standpoint of studying the nine gifts of the spirit, although we did see certain spiritual gifts in operation in Acts 19 when the new converts received their born again experience, but here we need to see the new birth in operation within the mystical body of Christ on earth. Paul, writing to the Corinthian church, a church he had earlier founded, seeks to correct certain situation which had developed in the local church primarily over the gifts of the spirit. Note the continuous spiritual phrase Paul uses for the church calling it a functional body, using as an illustration the human body with its many members.
HOLY GHOST OPERATION IN BODY
Paul declares three interesting things concerning the nine gifts of the spirit and their operation in the believer in I Corinthians 12:4-7. (1) There are diversities or different kind of gifts and all nine, which truly are different, are placed in the mystical body of Christ on earth by the one and selfsame spirit who divided them out among believers as He sees fit. Just as there are (2) differences of administrations of these gifts yet are all controlled by the same Holy Spirit or the same Lord, (3) there are diversities of operation of these gifts, but it is the same God who works in all in all – not three Gods, ONE GOD! God alone receives all honor out of this which is done and said by the manifestations, meaning the public display or outward showing of the spirit, is given to every born again person by the Holy Spirit and the particular gift the Holy Spirit sees fit to place into that individual’s life is the one he gets and it is given to profit withal (or the rest of the body).
Verses 8-10 names the nine different gifts or the things of Christ which are placed into the mystical body by this one spirit, and note how Paul continually declares one gift is given to one person, while another is given to something else!
GIVING GIFT THAT PLEASES HIM
Note verses 11-13 shows every born again person is placed into the mystical body of Christ as conversion by the same spirit who saw fit to give unto each believer the spiritual gift which pleases Him when He entered their life! That is the spiritual gift He intends for you to manifest in the body of Christ. Verse 7 and 11 both declare the manifestation or display of the particular spiritual gift you received when you received the Holy Ghost or the new birth is the particular gift out of the nine which pleases Him for you to receive, and the one He gives you is given to profit the rest of the body.
Based on that clear fact of scripture, verses 7 and 11, how can anyone say you are going to make the gift of tongues operate in every believer seeing every believer may not have the gift of tongues! Note, between verses 8-11 where Paul lists individually the nine gifts of the spirit how often he says, unto one person is given by the spirit the word of wisdom, unto another person also placed in the mystical body of Christ is given the word of knowledge by the same spirit who just presented someone else with the word of wisdom, to another person is given the gift of tongues and so forth. Eight times between verses 8 and 11 it is recorded “and to another” is given a certain thing, “and to another” is given something else by the same spirit! It is the Holy Ghost who divides the nine gifts to every person as He sees fit as He places them in the mystical body of Christ! And note, all these nine gifts in their fulness is what Christ was in the flesh! Now the Holy Ghost, as He fills every believer, takes what Christ was or the things of Christ or the nine gifts of the spirit and divides them up as He sees fit among the mystical body of Christ on earth!
SPIRIT DIVIDING HIMSELF IN BODY
Beloved, it is not enough to assume you have the Holy Ghost or assume that you are born again, you either are or you are not! Speaking concerning those who had followed the apostles’ doctrine we hear the Apostle John say (I John 3:2) “Now we are the sons of God and it doeth not yet appear what we shall be but we know when he appears we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.” If you are one of these called, chosen and seen by Almighty God before you were ever born to be complete in Jesus Christ, then He knows through His foreknowledge exactly what you are as well as what you have the ability to accept and to walk in once the Holy Spirit has placed you into the mystical body of Christ. Therefore I repeat, it is the Holy Ghost who divides the 9 gifts of the spirit or the things of Christ in verses 8-11 to every individual allowing them to have only what He sees fit to give them and whatever gift they are to receive, they will receive it with that measure of the Holy Ghost when He enters into their life, causing them to be a part of the mystical body of Christ on earth.
MANY MEMBERED BODY
People often ask, what part of the mystical body are we? Recognizing the fact the human body is composed of many members, some members seen and some hidden, Paul uses that expression to show the function of the entire mystical body of Christ on earth. In verse 12, referring first to that natural human body Paul says, for as the body is one and hath many members so also is the (mystical) body of Christ. Remember we are now dealing with the relationship of the new birth once we have been placed in the mystical body of Christ to become a part of the (called out) church. Paul always referred to the church of God or church of Christ as a mystical body. The same spirit which gave us our new birth also in the same operation makes us to become a part of the mystical body of Christ on earth. See, the entire operation is accomplished by the same spirit who lives in the entire mystical body. Even my spirit lives in my entire fleshly body. Were I to cut off my finger I would still live. Although the life of the finger is no longer present, that life merely backs up. However, try to remove some vital organs relating to the spirit of life in the human body such as the heart, lungs, liver or even blood and see how quick the life of the body will cease to be! Such things can be easily likened to certain fundamental basic truths in the scripture. You disassociate or remove them from the plan of God and see how long it will take the Holy Ghost, the life of God to be gone! Whatever then is accomplished in the realm of religion is strictly going to be a substitute because no life will be present at all!
Dealing with the fact that by one spirit we are all baptized into this one mystical body of Christ on earth, we need to examine two Pentecostal extremes. One extreme says the moment you accept Christ you are born again and the baptism of the Holy Ghost is only for power of service, referring to it as though the Holy Ghost is an added optional to the believer. No scripture indicates the Holy Ghost is an optional thing! No, beloved, it is the very life factor of your soul’s salvation! The other extremes says water baptism is for redemption. But water baptism does not constitute redemption!
HOW S-I-N–S ARE REMITTED
Redemption in its entire completeness is not until the Holy Ghost is present in your life! Water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is strictly for the remission of sins, sins which you as a sinner committed in your flesh. Recall in John 20:23, after Jesus appeared unto His disciples giving the great commission unto them, breathed on them and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost He then said, whosoever sins (not SIN) ye remit they are remitted! What did He mean – REMIT SINS? How can anyone remit sins unless they have the authority to do so? Now understand Jesus was not giving the disciples authority to remit original sin because no man can ever remit original sin of the human nature, that can only be accomplished strictly through the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus alone remits the original sin of unbelief passed down into our human nature by Adam in the garden. Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is for the remission of S-I-N–S (plural) which are only the sins which have been committed in the individual flesh of that person: drinking, smoking, adultery, lying, gambling, etc. It was only for the Remission of these S-I-N–S of the flesh that Jesus was giving His disciples permission or authority to remit in John 20:23 saying, whosoever S-I-N–S you remit they are remitted! Remember the only kind of sins an individual can ever remit, as spoken of in John 20:23, can only be accomplished or remitted through water baptism exactly as was accomplished in Acts 2:38.
Hebrews says, without the shedding of blood there is no remission of S-I-N. Note, here sin is singular and here the word remission carries no reference whatsoever to the S-I-N–S committed in the flesh which is taken care of through proper water baptism, but instead relates strictly to the S-I-N of unbelief produced by man’s fallen nature and can only be atoned for by the blood! That is why the animal blood sacrifice was ordained in the law because that sacrifice spoke in types and shadows of the atonement to be made for the sins of all mankind, that is, the sin of unbelief produced by man’s fallen human nature or soul.
So many people are looking for the most from God they can possibly receive for the very least they can give in return. That is why many people are spiritually starved to death, always looking for something easy, wanting it placed right in their hand never willing to pay the cost through prayer and sacrifice or giving any part of themselves. Every walk of faith is going to cost you something. No, that does not annul the fact God’s gift of life is a free gift. It simply means that when He reconciles us unto Himself, giving us the Holy Ghost, we can’t take that gift and spend it carelessly, worthlessly upon things to benefit our flesh or natural life, because sooner or later we will realize he that soweth to the flesh shall reap corruption, but he that soweth to the spirit or that seeketh after the spirit soweth unto everlasting life.
BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY BY SPIRIT
We must accept the fact the Holy Ghost is an experience which is the completeness of our spiritual birth. It is also the spirit’s plan at the time of our new birth to then place us in His mystical body on earth. Therefore, I Corinthians 12:13 declares, for by this one spirit (irregardless to our nationality) we are all baptized into the one mystical body. When God saved the Jew He gave them the formula in which to walk, and when He turned to the gentiles He required out of them the same formula! When Peter left Joppa carrying this gospel to Cornelius’ house he never went there with charts and diagrams to explain how they could receive this wonderful gift! But thank God he did have a revelation whereby he could put this thing all together, and while he was preaching about it, once the beautiful picture was formed, he had no trouble getting people to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ or either receiving the gift of life. The same spirit who gives us the new birth also places us in the body of Christ and everyone in the body of Christ, irregardless to nationality, is made to drink into this one spirit! And today we hear Pentecostal movements saying, you must speak in tongues before you have the Holy Ghost. If that was true then everyone would have to speak in tongues before they could be born again and that would lead into quite a bit once we look into what is known as the charismatic or glossolalia move who teach you must speak in tongues I order to have this added blessing. Sure they tell you the Holy Ghost is for power to do miracles and the things of Jesus, however, for some reason they fail to recognize that the same Jesus who said these signs shall follow them that believe also said something just as important! I have yet many things to show you howbeit you are not able to understand them, but when the Holy Ghost, the Comforter is come into your life He will teach you all things! He will take all things whatsoever I have told you and bring them to your remembrance! You don’t understand what I am saying now, but later when the spirit is on the inside of you, you will! That is the purpose of His coming to show you things to come and teach you all things!
LEARNING TO WALK
Looking at the Holy Ghost in that light, we will begin to act like we have been born again, not simply waiting around to be born! No one cay say an unborn child is not life, it is life potential. But even after it is born and breathes on its own it can not live or exist without the help of someone! It grows daily in stature, knowledge and understanding and if we are born again into God’s family and in the body of Christ then the same Holy Spirit which gave us eternal life also placed us into the fellowship of His kingdom, for a while we too will walk like a baby. A baby, when learning, will often fall down but it doesn’t continually lay there and cry, it gets up and goes at it again! We as children of God must be much like that.
For the body is not one member only but many members. The foot cannot say, because it is not a hand I am not part of the body (verse 15). Such a statement as this Paul is showing certain psychological complexes which are often motivated from people’s flesh causing them to feel that they are nothing when irregardless where Christ has placed you in the body! Once you are born again, though we are motivated often by the psychological complexes, yet if you will permit the spirit to lead and teach you, somewhere along your Christian journey you will overcome that kind of complex. The Holy Ghost in your life, if allowed to lead you, will help you step over these great barriers, whereas you thought you were nothing and could do nothing, He helps you overcome. No you are not to make a public spectacle of yourself nor are you to hide yourself either. God wants us to be something wherein He may be glorified and the Holy Spirit will enable us to something that Christ can be glorified through.
BESTOWING MORE HONOR
Furthermore, Paul says within the human body, which he has likened to the mystical body of Christ, are certain members referred to as comely (lowly) parts and upon these comely parts we bestow more abundant honor. If we could only see what we are in Christ the Spirit could cause us to feel the strength of Christ within our lives. Because we fail to recognize the grace of God in our lives, Christians often live in fear. God hasn’t given us the new birth to make nothing out of us but instead to make SOMETHING out of us! Take that natural foot as a comely part for instance – – Nahum the prophet declared, how beautiful are the feet not beautiful from the standpoint of looking at an old boney foot, but instead God sees the beauty of obedience in those feet which carry the individual. Thus God attributes beauty to the obedience of the foot seeing it carries someone to preach the gospel. And if we place beautiful shoes upon our boney feet because they are so comely (lowly), I am certain that God having placed us in His mystical body, although we too may be in a lowly position, God will give us something to operate in the way of a gift of the Spirit. Potentially the gift was placed there in the believer’s life when the Spirit entered, however only as you dedicate yourself to prayer can this gift be brought out. Thus, no prayer life and no fellowship with God through His word you may rest assured whatever He gave you will never shine very brightly. We must be given completely into His hands that He may make something beautiful out of us.
WORSHIP IN THE BODY
Paul, in Ephesians 5:19-23, speaks of the body and the church being collectively the same thing showing that in the body or church is worship as we speak to ourselves in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, making melody in our hearts to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submitting ourselves one to another in the fear of God, which doesn’t mean we are continually afraid He will beat us with a big club, but instead we recognize He is our father and knows how to correct us. Verse 22-23 “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church and is the saviour of the body.” I repeat, Paul never chops the church and the body up into being two separate things. When Paul refers to it as a church he speaks about it as a collective called out element of people who have been born again by God’s divine formula and placed into the mystical body. The church or called out ones are called out of sin and unbelief into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ. However, when Paul refers to it as a mystical body he refers to the born again as many people, once sinners now reconciled from a sinful way, purchased unto God as a people that he, in the form of the Holy Ghost, dwells within. Thus these many individuals make up one mystical body for the purpose of the indwelling of this one Holy Ghost. As He distributes Himself, divided Himself separately as He sees fit, to each individual giving that individual the potential working of Himself whereby the individual through the life and fellowship of God, seek His will and grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ allowing the grace of God to perfect that life and fulfill in that life His purpose and will for them.
No, God isn’t skimpy in what He gave them because whatever measure of His Spirit, along with the gift of the Spirit, will be strength and life to that soul as it journeys through this life into the next!
For ages, Christianity as well as the Old Testament Jewish saints have all believed that someday there would be a resurrection of the dead, but not until Paul’s revelation unto the church was it known the order of the resurrection and that God intended to have a translation (or catching away) of the living saints who were pleasing unto him. However, since Paul’s great revelation, the church now knows that the blessed hope (Titus 2:13) according to the revelation of scripture assures us, though our physical body be dead and decayed beneath the sod, when that hour arrives we have the blessed assurance our corruptible bodies according to Rom. 8, especially verses 11-23, as well as our spirits were included in the redeemed purchased price of Calvary and therefore also awaits the change from mortal to immortality! Somewhere before us, Paul’s revelation declares, there will be a “catching away” of a living realm of people. Just when, how or what all the glorious circumstances surrounding this event will consist of, I do not know! We only know what the scripture teaches and it teaches in many places since Paul’s revelation to the church, there is a resurrection for the dead saints and a translation for the living saints and both events are to transpire within the same time period.
PART 1 – PAUL’S NEW REVELATION RAPTURE-THEOLOGICAL TERM
Each generation since the founding of the church at Pentecost has hoped they were that living generation who would see the dead in Christ rise first and the TRANSLATION or changing of living saints then occur. Though the word RAPTURE does not appear in scripture, being a mere theological term which actually means “the catching away,” we hear the word RAPTURE used far more today than the word TRANSLATION, although both words mean the same! As certain as the scripture in the Psalms, as well as the prophets, declared the Holy One would be the Messiah, be crucified and raise again the third day and ascend into glory, likewise does the scripture also declare that one day a people will leave this world and meet the Lord in the air, I Thes. 4:17. Paul, being the first apostle to the church to receive fresh revelation on the subject of the resurrection in I Thes. 4:13-18 as well as I Cor. 15:51-57 which has caused Christian people through the ages to base their faith in such a hopeful event which one day will become a reality.
REVELATION COMFORTS CHURCH
In order to console and comfort the church who was now (54 A.D.) losing their Christian loved ones to the graveyard and the living saints no doubt being depressed, not fully understanding what will now happen to the body of their dead loved ones, seeing the first generation as well as all other generations since, felt they would be the generation to see the return of the Lord to set up his kingdom (his millennium reign of which he often spoke of), Paul is particularly impressed to begin this wonderful, fresh line of revelatory thought he has recently received from the Lord which should comfort them concerning their dead loved ones (I Thes. 4:13-18)!
A DARK SUBJECT
Before the year 54 A.D., the early church, which Paul writes at Thessolanica, no doubt felt because of certain statements made by Christ himself of which they did not have the full revelation, caused them to strongly believe Christ would return in their generation. Since their loved ones were now dying off, what would become of them since their death? Recall up until Paul’s fresh revelation came on the subject of the resurrection, which now is known to also include the TRANSLATION of the living saints, little was ever known concerning this mysterious subject of the dead! Throughout the Old Testament, God had only briefly dealt with such men as Job, David, Daniel and finally Christ himself, who gave very little light on this great dark subject which contained much hidden truth! For instance, until Paul and John’s revelation unto the church, very little was actually known concerning the resurrection other than the fact that in the last day God would raise the dead. Some Old Testament scriptures even seem to imply there would be only one resurrection in which both the saved and the wicked dead would be raised at the same time. However, since Paul and John’s revelation to the church, we know that is not the true teaching of the scripture seeing there will be one thousand years of time between the two resurrections! For more information on this, feel free to ask for our article THE MYSTERY OF THE RESURRECTION.
DEAD RAISED FIRST
Beginning with Paul’s revelation which he records in I Thes. 4:13-18, in order to console the church we hear him saying in verse 13 “. . . now concerning them which are asleep, I would not have you ignorant that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” Bear in mind the church up until this hour did not know Paul’s revelation on the subject nor did they know the revelation in its completed form which was later given to John on the Isle of Patmos in 96 A.D. better than 40 years from this time! In verse 14 Paul, reaching into the past to bring up a historical event, says if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, according to scripture (I Cor. 15:4) even so them also which sleep in Jesus — WILL GOD BRING WITH HIM! Verse 15 “. . . for this we say unto you (strictly by the revelation) by the word of the Lord” (remember what Paul is about to say, there is not one Old Testament scripture to back him up–it is fresh revelation straight from the Lord and comes to Paul strictly by a supernatural means of revealed faith). Continuing on, Paul addresses the living by saying, “we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not (in the least) prevent (nor hinder) them which are asleep” (in Jesus). Thus, we see Paul’s new revelation is–the living saints will in no way hinder, postpone or stall the coming forth of those who are asleep in Christ, because when that event goes into effect, note who it is raised first — it is the dead in Christ!
LIVING GENERATION AWAKENED FIRST
We are not here in this message discussing why the prophet to the age said, if people could only understand it even the rapture is already begun. I grant you scriptural wise, in order for there to be a catching away, those who are to be caught away will have to first be awakened with a message to the intimate fact that the event is just ahead. Why would God work so feverishly with one generation as he has in this one, causing a people to believe the event is so near when knowing all the time the generation would pass off the scene and the event would not be constituted until several generations later! No, God would not have any cause to awaken that generation to such a reality knowing they would all die off before it happened. God has dealt with this generation on the subject in a way he has never dealt with any previous generation concerning the “catching away.” Satan has taken the advantage in using certain statements not made clear by certain ones to confuse as much as possible the mind of the believer. Beloved, I may not be alive when it happens, but there is a generation of saints who will live to see it who will never die. Furthermore, I am aware, should I die tomorrow and you remain alive until that hour, you will not run off and leave me! Otherwise, we would have to destroy a lot of scripture, because Paul teaches in I Thes. 4:15 that those who are alive and remain unto that hour shall not prevent nor hinder them which are asleep in Christ seeing they will rise first and after that the living saints will be changed and together they will go to meet the Lord in the air.
TIME IS NO MORE FALSE TEACHINGS CAUSES ERROR OF SOME
There are certain characters today associated with this end time message who are openly declaring the rapture has already passed, yet these same characters are still here! Such a statement cannot help but remind us of what Paul declared concerning how Hymeneus and Philetus had erred concerning the truth by saying the resurrection had already passed and overthrew the faith of some (though not the elect). God does not permit the elect to ever be deceived because the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal — the Lord knoweth them that are his! 2 Tim. 2:17-19.
REQUIRING NO HELP
Now back to I Thes. 4:16 as we hear Paul say (by fresh revelation) “… 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!” Bear in mind, God will not need any mortal man to stand out there and call the dead from the earth when he personally brings them forth, such as a man in India who claims to be the incarnated Son of Man ordained to bring the dead out of the ground! Just remember, scripture plainly shows God won’t need any mortal or immortal man to help in this procedure. When our Lord Jesus arose from the dead early in the morning on that third day, he did not need any mortal human to stand over him calling him forth from the tomb! NO, an angel came down whose feet touched the earth and caused an earthquake which rolled the stone away from Christ’s tomb. Why was the stone rolled away, someone once asked me seeing that the glorified body of Christ could easily pass through the rock. Christ appeared to his puzzled disciples through a closed door that night after he arose from the dead. Why then should the stone need to be rolled away? Who, beloved I ask you, would have believed that Christ had risen from the dead if his tomb had remained sealed with some huge stone placed over the entrance and sealed with mortar–An act of sealing which had been done to make it virtually impossible for his disciples to steal away his body to make it appear he had risen from the dead in order to fulfill his own prophecy that he would raise again. The stone was rolled away to expose the empty tomb to all critics who would dare investigate the report that Christ was not there, but had risen!
RESURRECTION POWER IN CHRIST
Therefore, Christ having conquered death, hell and the grave, has the power of resurrection within him and one day not only will call forth from the dust of the earth all those who have died in him, but will also change those living who, by the baptism of the Holy Ghost according to Romans 8:11 are also in him! Paul declared, if that same Spirit which raised Christ from the dead dwell in you, that Spirit will also quicken your mortal body, even if you are a dead saint. That Spirit, according to Paul, will quicken their dead bodies in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye! Together with the living they shall be caught up in clouds to meet the Lord in the air. So shall we ever be with the Lord, Paul says. He completes his fresh revelation on the subject by saying, therefore comfort thee one another with these words.
TWO PHASES OF COMING
Recall, the second coming of Christ according to Paul’s revelation, is in two phases. Phase One, he appears in the clouds and calls forth his bride from the earth. Later, Christ returns to this earth with not only his bride saints, but saints of all ages. For too long people have believed when the hour arrives for the Lord God himself to descend into the clouds to call forth his awaiting bride church, that at this time his natural glorified feet touches he earth. Scripturally this is not true! His feet in the first phase of his second coming do not touch the earth or why would it be necessary for the saints to be caught up to meet him in the air! They could easily meet him right here on the earth. Thus, in the first phase of his second coming where he appears in the air only for the church, he does not descend to earth because it is not yet time for him to take up the kingdoms of the world into his own power. In the first phase of his second coming, Christ appears strictly to the bride, portrayed as a bridegroom.
CHURCH WORLD CAUGHT UNAWARE
This misunderstood phase of his second coming is also referred to as Christ appearing as a thief in the night. A statement which has confused many, causing them to think Christ will slip up on the bride church! NOT SO! Remember, Christ comes only as a thief to the unsuspecting church world who knows nothing by revelation about what is going on! The bride is anxiously awaiting his appearing. She is not caught unaware! It is only the church world who is spiritually asleep to this event and does not nor will they ever understand it! It is this group who he appears unto as a thief in the night. I say and intend to prove by the scripture that when that blessed hour arrives for the translation of the living saints as well as the change of the dead in Christ—this event will not catch the living revelated disciples asleep nor will it catch them spiritually ignorant as to his coming and the fulfillment of this great event in their lives! Yes beloved, by the use of two separate events in scripture, we intend to prove those to be translated, such as the bride, will not be caught asleep, but will know what is transpiring in that hour!
PART 2 – BIBLICAL CHARACTERS THROW LIGHT ON TRANSLATION
The Bible declares there are two other biblical characters who were taken from this earth (other than the Lord Jesus Christ) who never saw death. Enoch, before the flood and Elijah, during the period of the Law. Both men left this earth without dying. Believe it or not, both men also new what was going on! Most people are aware of the events, although ignorant as to what all transpired surrounding their strange disappearance from earth! Yet, if you will examine both of these separate events, you will see God never slipped up on either one of these two men and carried them out!
NOAH BUILDS BY FAITH
Hebrews 11:7, that great chapter of inspirational faith declares by faith Noah built an ark for the saving of his household. Beloved, the same kind of faith that got Enoch translated, led Noah to build a boat! Remember, Noah wasn’t sitting around one day when suddenly he came up with this fantastic notion to build a boat, feeling it was going to do something it had never done before. THAT IT WAS GOING TO RAIN! Does faith cause you to look out into the future and paint a picture of which you have no understanding? Not this kind of faith spoken of throughout Hebrews scripture is a supernatural, inspired act of revelation that causes men such as Noah to obey God!11! Heb. 11:7 plainly declares it was by faith (revelational, inspirational faith from God) which caused Noah to move with fear, obey God and build his boat. An act which proves it wasn’t Noah’s idea at all. God not only told Noah to build the ark but, did not even leave the specifications up to him how large the boat should be. God told him how many windows and how many doors to place in the ark, ONLY ONE! God even told him the kind of wood of which to build the boat and what to put in the cracks to keep water out. This kind of faith seen in the scripture is a supernatural, inspired act of revelation that causes men such as Noah to obey God!
ABRAHAM WALKS BY FAITH
When the Bible declares that by faith Abraham journeyed into a strange land, did that mean one day he suddenly grew tired of living around Ur of the Chaldees and suddenly he jumped up and moved out on faith? Is that the kind of faith which moved him? Is that the kind of faith picture you see in Hebrews 11 portrayed by all these Old Testament characters? It is important we know, because scripture declares Abraham is the father of the faithful and we, by revelatory faith, are children or seed of Abraham, meaning Abraham’s children have this same kind of faith dwelling in their bosom! It is important we understand what kind of faith which got Enoch translated. What kind of faith moved Abraham into Canaan, even showing him the direction in which to go? God told Abraham to get out of his country and away from his kin and come to a land which he would be shown. Hebrews declared he did all this by faith. It was inspirational, revelatory faith that moved Abraham. The same kind which moved Enoch and Noah to act. Had it been Abraham’s idea, he might have left but journeyed toward the north or east. However, since it was God’s idea, God told him which direction to go. See, it was revelatory or inspirational faith which moved or inspired everyone of those patriarchs. Thus, by it being revelatory faith, we know it had to be something which God spoke placing the revelation in the bosom of each patriarch.
NOT PRESUMPTUOUS FAITH
Realize this special kind of faith is never to be classified with presumptuous faith which we so often see among the gentile religious world. If Noah, by faith, built a boat and Abraham, by faith, left Mesopotamia and by inspirational faith all these Old Testament characters did their great acts. What do you suppose it was that one day took Enoch off this globe? Do you think Enoch was out walking one day and suddenly said to the Lord, I am so tired of living around here. I believe if you would just inspire my faith enough, I would not have to die. I could just up and leave this world. Isn’t that about the way modern evangelists have painted the picture! Another modern idea of Enoch being translated is this; He was living the best he knew how when he was out walking one day and God slipped up behind him and took him off the earth. Mystified Enoch never even knew what was going on! What are you doing Lord, where is the ground? Why, I must be going up! Is that the kind of faith you see taking place here?
ENOCH TRANSLATED BY FAITH
What does it mean Enoch was translated by faith and without faith it is impossible to please God? Furthermore, we are told all the just lives by this kind of faith and if any man draws back from walking or living in this kind of faith, God declares, my soul has no pleasure in him! Let us examine Enoch’s life in its true setting. Remember, we said God did not slip up on Enoch and take him away without him knowing what was happening nor will God slip up on the bride saints and translate them out either!
SEVENTH FROM ADAM
Enoch was 65 years old when he fathered a child who by inspiration he named Methuselah (Gen. 5:21-24). The Apostle Jude was inspired to record a prophecy carried down through the centuries of time in which Enoch, the seventh from Adam, had prophesied concerning the Lord’s coming. Note the beautiful type of the rapture shown in the life and faith of Enoch who prophesied concerning the Lord coming with all his saints and was later translated. Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, not the 8th as he should have been had Cain been counted in the lineage of Adam, but because he cannot be counted, this makes Enoch live in the 7th generation from Adam. In the 7th generation, Enoch witnessed mankind stooping into his lowest social and moral perverted state of living. Such a decrease in morality greatly agitated Enoch causing him to begin questioning God as to the outcome and end of this terrible situation. Seeing this godly attitude portrayed by Enoch, God uses him as a true type of the bride saint who is to be translated at the end of the 7th gentile church age. Just as Enoch was the 7th generation from the first man Adam and was translated, likewise, this would represent the Lord God who would come for his own at the close of the 7th church age of grace, a period which began as the Lord himself, being the second Adam from glory, became the beginning of a new creation. A new creation means the plan of redemption to redeem or renew back to God something which had been lost through the fall of the first Adam. All these things run in true type. I am fully aware you can project a type just so far, therefore never stretch it beyond its purpose or until it won’t stretch any further.
GOD’S CHOICE IN ENOCH
God, seeing Enoch’s heart, his attitude and motive as well as him being one who lived in the 7th generation and witnessed all this social evil now present, no doubt said, I will use that man. Remember, we are studying the kind of faith that translated Enoch in order to know the faith which will also translate the saints at the end of the 7th church age and what they too may expect around this setting. In order that God may leave on this earth a type of the raptured saints taken out at the end of the 7th church age, a prophecy was given by Enoch which was carried down through the ages, but could not be fulfilled until the very end of the 7th gentile church age when as the prophecy said, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon all, etc. . .(Jude 14-15).
At the age of 65, Enoch fathered a child who through inspiration was named Methuselah, a name which meant “when he is gone (meaning Methuselah) then it will come.” It what will come? God’s judgment would come. At first, God did not permit Enoch to know the full significance or impact of all that baby’s name carried. He only inspired him to name the child Methuselah, but knowing the meaning of the name and having no idea when the child might be taken, the knowledge of it at 65 began to fire Enoch up. Day by day, no doubt Enoch believed at any moment the child could be taken and that which the name represented could happen tomorrow. On and on, the baby grew until he reached manhood and still it hadn’t come, but it by no means discouraged Enoch. Aware of the reality of that name and constantly seeing the evil of the world growing steadily worse instead of better, it inspired his walk with God to become more dedicated. We are reminded of what Jesus said, as in the days of Noah so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man. Enoch is unaware that Methuselah will live to be the oldest man on earth, living almost one thousand years. Watching the years drift by until Methuselah is as large as his dad has by no means watered down the inspiration or revelation which caused Enoch to name the boy what he did. He still believes someday when he would come home and that boy was not around, it would mean God’s judgment would now come.
ENOCH PLEASED GOD
Enoch reaches 165 then 265 and Methuselah is still here, but each year and each century he lives he watches the evil grow continually worse. Yet, daily the revelation burned even brighter in his bosom. When my boy is gone then God’s judgment will come. such truth caused Enoch’s walk to become more dedicated until now he has the testimony that he pleases God. Heading somewhere toward his 365th year of walking with God, Enoch’s sincerity, loyalty and faithfulness is well pleasing to God. Did not Heb. 11:5 declare before his translation by faith that Enoch had the testimony he pleased God. How else could he please God other than by remaining loyal to the revelation in his bosom and standing steadfast, faithful and unmovable against the pressures and criticism as well as the opposition of his hour. At least God had someone down there he could put some confidence in. Here we need to read between the lines because scripture declares Enoch was translated by faith and inspirational revelation. Somewhere around 340 years of age perhaps the Lord said, I am going to give Enoch more revelation. No, Enoch wasn’t sitting out on a rock one day saying, I believe I could leave here if I could believe hard enough like some people supposedly in this message who say If I could believe strong enough some of the things the prophet said I believe I could leave here. You might as well stand in a wash tub and try to lift yourself.
MAKING IT DIFFICULT
It is most peculiar to me that the living are the ones who always want to make it so terribly difficult to be translated when your Bible declares it is so very simple for the dead to arise. If I had to do all the things certain people in this message feel you must do in order to be changed, I don’t know that I would rather not be dead when that moment arrived than to be among the living because scripture shows how very simple it will be for God to raise the dead. Believe me, He will have no more problem translating the living either. Watch the simple Bible picture. Enoch is not out somewhere straining his brain, imagining some sensational something that was unbelievable and impossible. No, instead he was simply enjoying living for God day by day. Now scripturalwise we are going to prove certain things to help remove much of the nonsense, the doubt and confusion collected in people’s minds concerning the translation because it was by faith Enoch was translated. By faith Noah knew the correct specifications to build the boat, what kind of wood to use and what substance to be used to fill the cracks to keep the water out. Yes, and what is more important, he even knew by inspired faith when time arrived for him to enter the ark. Now if you can see all those things were accomplished by inspirational faith, let us take a close look at Enoch who by inspired faith received a free air ride off the earth. Walking with God, cherishing the revelation in his bosom, being so loyal and steadfast and unmovable is the action that gave him the testimony that he pleased God BEFORE HIS TRANSLATION.
ENOCH INFORMS LOVED ONES
The day came and God gave him still further revelation. Enoch my son, as thou hast walked these many years faithful unto me and has greatly cherished the revelation I placed in the bosom concerning they son, I wish to inform thee the hour will come when thou shalt no longer be here. I have allowed thee to walk this way, unmovable, unchangeable, unfaltering, to leave thee as a testimony while the rest of humanity goes on its evil way. Seeing you have obediently lived this testimony before me and mankind, I will shortly come unto thee and thou shalt not die. Thou shalt tell thy family … Aren’t you stretching it somewhat, someone may say. Just follow me through the story and then form your conclusion. Thou shalt inform thy family, thou shalt inform thy son that when that day comes when I shall come for thee and thou art no longer here, they need not go looking for thee for thou shalt not be found. Isn’t it strange Heb. 11:5 declares Enoch, after the translation, was not found for God took him, showing somebody had to search for him in order to leave the report that they could not find him. Who went looking for him if he was not found? I don’t believe Methuselah or Enoch’s wife went looking. It was those critics or unbelievers who looked. Later we will prove by scripture it is always the critics who look and search. I see the day Enoch is now over 350 years old, sitting down with his wife and son saying, Wife you gave birth to Methuselah, you remember how the presence of the Lord inspired me to name the child. You know these 300 years since his birth we have lived faithful to that revelation. Now God has revealed even more to me about this thing. As far as myself is concerned, I will not be here when Methuselah goes, for God has informed me one of these days when I am walking in fellowship with him he will take me off this earth. I know now I will never die. When the day arrives and I don’t come home, don’t bother looking for me. You know I have always been faithful. I have never stayed away from home days at a time. I have always been home on time, therefore, when that hour arrives DO NOT come looking for me. Just let it be said the Lord took me!
CRITICS SEARCH FOR ENOCH
Finally the day arrives that God took him. I don’t know where he was or what he was doing, but when he didn’t come home for dinner or supper, no doubt Methuselah looked at his mother and said, he is gone. Enoch’s absence on the streets days later caused people to ask Methuselah where is your daddy? The Lord took him, was his reply. What do you mean the Lord took him? The Lord simply took him, therefore he never died. Nonsense, replied the astonished unbelieving critics. Days went by and still Enoch wasn’t seen around. I can hear those unbelieving critics–we will go and investigate, men don’t just disappear, your dad has to be around here somewhere! Remember, something happened to leave the testimony Enoch was not found. Roaming over mountains, examining every cave, the critics could not find him. They had to search for him because they did not believe the testimony that God had translated him. Heb. 11:5 declares he was not found. I can’t see Methuselah or Enoch’s wife wringing their hands over the criticism when they knew he had gone to be with the Lord without dying.
METHUSELAH LIVES ON
What about Methuselah, remember what his name signified! Methuselah was 300 years old when his father was translated. Methuselah was well over 800 years old when his grandson Noah received a revelation to build a boat. The hour was fast approaching when destruction of the world was on the horizon. Noah received his revelation and, moved by fear, began hacking and chopping away. The 120 years Noah and his son worked on the boat, Methuselah was still alive on the scene. The very year Methuselah reached 969 years of age, the ark was completed. That year Methuselah died and Noah and his family moved into the ark. No, Methuselah did not die in the flood, he died to fulfill the revelation of his name. When death finally did overtake the oldest man in the world and he had left the scene, judgment came. The year he died to fulfill the meaning of his name, that is the year God’s judgment fell. Noah, his family and all the animal kingdom of that hour entered into the ark, the skies suddenly turned black with black clouds rolling in from the west bringing God’s judgment. Beloved, dark clouds, though they are spiritual clouds, not atmospheric clouds, are on our horizon today also! With Methuselah now dead, God sends his judgment and for 40 days and 40 nights God’s judgment hit this world in the form of a flood of water. Everything in God’s program always runs true to continuity!
SECOND BIBLE CHARACTER
Let’s cross the flood and travel hundreds of years into the law age where we pick up our second man named Elijah, who is to be translated. Did Elijah know what was going on before his catching away or did God simply sneak up on him like people think God will do to the bride saints? Our story picks up with the showdown on Mt. Carmel near the close of Elijah’s ministry. I want to begin here in order to bring in Elisha and show you a beautiful type whereby we may see how everything is running in true continuity.
In the Mt. Carmel showdown, (I Kings 18:38) God answered by fire and consumed Elijah’s sacrifice which resulted in Elijah having the heads of 450 Baal prophets cut off and thrown in the river. Word of this event reached Jezreel, the town where Jezebel, Israel’s queen lived. Hearing what happened to her prophets, she sent Elijah word saying, tell that old man by tomorrow at this time I will have his head. Elijah received the news, but not having any more “thus saith the Lord” at the moment to guide him, he did not know what to do, therefore he ran for his life! Such an event does not mar Elijah’s image in the least. He is still God’s prophet. It merely shows Elijah, without his anointing of thus saith the Lord, is like any other human being and would act like anyone else under a similar circumstance. God had not informed his servant what was going to happen after the 450 Baal prophets’ heads had been cut off. Here is where his revelation had ended and brother, Elijah is strictly on his own. Therefore, he took off south and arrived in Beersheba tired and exhausted where an angel provided him with bread. With that meal in his stomach and strength to go on, he traveled still a little farther and again fell asleep exhausted only to have the angel again awaken him with still another meal. This style of eating carried Elijah 40 days into the wilderness. Traveling only five miles per day, after 40 days would have placed him quite a distance into the wilderness. Hiding in a cave in the back side of the desert, Elijah was asked by the Lord, what are you doing here? Had God told Elijah to come here? NO! Elijah, fearing for his life like any man would, has come to this spot strictly on his own. A woman is after him. He has had 450 men killed, could he not handle one woman? It wasn’t the woman Elijah was worried about, he could have easily handled her, but there were quite a few military men who wouldn’t risk their lives to save 450 Baal prophets whereas they would gladly risk their lives for their queen. This is what disturbed Elijah, not merely the woman herself.
RETURN AND ANOINT 3 MEN
Therefore, after traveling 40 days to reach this cave, he hears the Lord say, Elijah I want you to return. On your way back you will anoint Elisha to serve in they house, to minister to thee (keep the house clean and such). Further, I want you to anoint Hazael to be King over Syria and anoint Jehu to be King over Israel. Although God commissioned Elijah to anoint all three men, scriptures show he only anointed Elisha and it was Elisha who in turn later anointed Hazael, King over Syria, and Jehu, King over Israel. God has told Elijah to anoint Elisha. Can you imagine Elijah leaving the cave pondering in his mind, who on earth is Elisha I am suppose to anoint? He did not have to ponder such a question for he knew who Elisha was. Somewhere their paths had crossed. Moreover, Elisha knew Elijah. Just like when the Lord Jesus, walking the shores of Galilee, called the sons of Zebedee saying, Come and I will make you fishers of men. Also, when he reached the seat of customs, there sat a tax collector named Matthew and Jesus is again heard to say Come and follow me. Don’t you think Christ knew who these characters were as well as they knew who he was, for already he had testified enough in those Jewish synagogues around the Sea of Galilee that his fame had gone forth. On that basis, these men, one by one, followed him.
ELISHA CALLED TO MINISTRY
With that in mind, watch Elijah leaving the cave and heading back. He knows exactly where Elisha is plowing his field with 12 yoke of oxen. What did Elijah do? Without speaking a word, Elijah walked up behind Elisha and merely struck him on the shoulder and kept walking. Looking at it from a carnal standpoint, you might see Elisha saying, Friend, what do you mean by that? No beloved, here is a beautiful type of how the Lord Jesus in later years would call forth his own disciples. Elijah has struck Elisha on the shoulder and we hear Elisha saying, wait until I go and bid mom and dad goodbye and I will follow thee. Elijah’s answer was, what is that to me and kept walking.
TESTING FOR REVELATION
Elijah approaches Elisha in this fashion to see if Elisha has within him a revelation of what is transpiring. Is he aware God has been dealing with him or to just what God has called him into? Watching Elijah move out of sight, Elisha dashes home, says goodbye to his parents, rushes back into the field, tears up his plow for wood to burn and sacrifices his oxen unto the Lord. Undoubtedly, somewhere before this event, Elisha has received a dream or vision because he certainly knows what is going on. He certainly is aware Elijah is God’s prophet of the hour and no doubt has in the past desired to work with him and here is his chance. No doubt, through some route God has shown the young man that when Elijah approaches him, it is his signal to drop everything and follow him.
ACTIVITY ON TRANSLATION DAY
Days swiftly pass as Elijah’s ministry is rapidly closing. Therefore, turn into 2 Kings 2 where we see time for God’s prophet has arrived when he too is to be caught away. Such an event as we are about to study, also sets forth in type the later catching away of the Lord Jesus Christ. Watch the setting unfold. The day arrives for the Lord to take Elijah away and may I again say just as with Enoch, God did not slip up on Elijah unaware. Having read this story, no one could say Elijah did not know what was going on. Elijah and Elisha together approached Gilead where Elijah said to his servant Elisha, you stay here for the Lord has called me to Bethel. Now, watch that operation of revelation in Elisha’s bosom as he says, as surely as the Lord liveth I shall not leave you. In other words, there is no way you will get away from me today!
ELISHA REVELATED ALSO
Approaching Bethel, a very important town in Israel’s history, we note a school of prophets or some Hebrew seminary students are shown approaching the two men and note what they begin to say. Their remarks directed to Elisha are, knoweth thou not this day the Lord will take away thy head from thee. What was Elisha’s answer? I know it, hold your peace! Now you tell me how Elisha knew that. God had been talking to him. I know that, Elisha said, don’t tell me anymore. Again at Bethel, Elijah urges Elisha to remain behind saying, the Lord has called me to Jericho. NO SIR, says Elisha, I am not about to leave you. We note he stays close to his side. Arriving at Jericho, I want you to again note what happened. Another Bible school has been erected at Jericho and a group of 50 seminary students from the school of prophets there in Jericho approached the two saying to Elisha identically the same thing he heard at Bethel. Isn’t it strange, Bethel was the spot where Jacob lay down one night to sleep and receive a great revelation from God. Therefore, Bethel later becomes an excellent place to build a Bible school where God’s presence once was. Do you catch the point? They are building on the virtue of the past. Reaching Jericho, they see another Bible school. Jericho also has a great sentimental spot seeing this is where the nation of Israel under Joshua crossed into the land of Canaan centuries earlier and the walls of Jericho fell down. Again we see them building a Bible school on the spot where virtue in the past has been. At Jericho we again see the seminary students coming out and what are they saying? Beloved, what they are saying lets me know in a general type as to what all the denominations are preaching today concerning the second coming of the Lord and the rapture of the church. In a sense, everyone of them are being inspired and enthused by it. Because we are living in that generation when it is going to happen, yet I am sure of one thing, everyone isn’t going in the rapture, only those who by faith please the Lord.
These seminary students at Jericho walked straight up to Elisha on the edge of town and repeat what he has already heard at Bethel. Elisha’s answer is the same, I know it, hold your peace. Again we see Elijah saying to Elisha, son you stay here, the Lord has called me beyond the Jordan River. Now we see not only Elijah and Elisha, but also two different schools of theological students are aware this is the day Elijah is to be taken.
WHY JORDAN CROSSED
Why did Elijah need to cross the Jordan River to ascend to glory? Remember, he is leaving the land of the living by the way of the east side, the same as the Lord Jesus who walked out of Jerusalem through the Eastern Gate and over to the Mt. of Olives, east of Jerusalem to ascend to glory. Elijah had to cross the Jordan whereas the Jordan is a type of death and his crossing the Jordan River was a type of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, it goes to show, as Elisha followed Elijah across to receive that power that Elijah had, he types the disciples who followed Christ remaining with him before and after his crucifixion and even followed him over to the Mt. of Olives as he ascended up and they too were to receive his power. After that, the Holy Ghost had come upon them. Later, we will see where these Bible students at Jericho dub their own revelation. The scripture shows these students followed them afar off because they desired to see what would actually happen. Elijah and Elisha finally reach the bank of the Jordan and Elijah struck the water with his mantle and it parted. No doubt those students said, did you see that, it happened again. Having reference to the time the Jordan River parted for the crossing of Joshua and the Israelites in the sight of Jericho centuries earlier. Stepping out onto the other side of the Jordan River as the waters close back, Elijah is that perfect type crossing the Jordan, of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Reaching the other side, Elijah says to Elisha, what would you have me to do for you? Master, says Elisha, grant that I may receive a double portion of that same spirit that rests on thee. You have asked a hard thing son, nevertheless, if it comes to pass that you see me when I go (showing Elijah knew all about his going, he had seen it by revealed faith exactly as had Enoch centuries earlier) if you see me go you know your request is granted. Here is that beautiful type of where the Lord Jesus took his disciples over on the Mt. of Olives and just before his feet began to lift off the earth he told his disciples, be sure you stay in Jerusalem until you be endued with power from on high for not many days hence shall ye be endued with power and ye shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem etc. Elijah crossing the Jordan had to set a true type of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as he now ascends from the east side of Jordan out of the land of the living onto the other side of death. Recall as the children of Israel centuries earlier had crossed the Jordan, they too had to die to the old ways of their life and to all old influences of Egypt. They had to die to its memory, to its influence and to its power.
ELIJAH CAUGHT UP
Elisha walking alongside Elijah, not permitting him for a second to be out of his sight, suddenly looked up into the sky and saw a fiery chariot descending like a streak of lightning and it parted the two. As those fiery horses whirled and Elijah was caught up, that chariot began ascending back into the air. Can’t you just see broken hearted Elisha standing there with tears in his eyes just like the 120 who watched Jesus go up. Elijah, ascending in the air, looks down and sees the little fellow standing there, his mantle fell from him upon the ground at Elisha’s feet. Watching him until he was out of sight like the disciples had watched Christ, Elisha, being a perfect type of those disciples who had gone to the upper room and received their power at Pentecost, reaches down and picks up that mantle of power which had been on his master. Ten days after Jesus ascended to glory from the east of the city of Jerusalem, the disciples also pick up the mantle of power.
ELISHA TYPES DISCIPLES
Reaching down on the ground, Elisha picks up the mantle, a type of the Holy Ghost power falling on the 120 at Pentecost after Christ’s ascension, for recall Jesus had said, for the things I do shall ye do also and greater! Coming back to the Jordan River, Elisha who has received a double portion of power said, where is the Lord God of Elijah and with that he smote the waters and once again they parted. On this other side of Jordan, that seminary group of Jericho still watching, saw Elisha strike the water and it parted for him. No doubt again bug eyed they probably said, did you see that, he did the same thing Elijah did! Was that not the scene of the church shortly after Christ’s ascension? Were they not doing the same things Christ did? Crossing back over the Jordan, Elisha now alone heads for Jericho and comes upon these same seminary students, only now they are doubting their own revelation as we hear them say, we are 50 in number who volunteer, being in excellent shape, as a searching party to hunt for Elijah! We will comb the mountains in search for him. Perhaps the Lord took him up and accidentally dropped him on some mountaintop! Looking at them as to the pitiful way they are treating their revelation, no doubt Elisha says, men you are wasting your time, you will not find him out there anywhere, the Lord took him.
STUDENTS DOUBT REVELATION
Isn’t that just like a denominational spirit, doubting the word of God! Only a short time ago they are the very men who ran to inform Elisha the Lord was going to take his head away that very day and now they doubt their own revelation. They actually wanted to look for Elijah to see if it really had happened. Insisting, pleading and begging to go to find out if it did really happen. I can see Elisha hanging his head, telling the unbelievers to go on. Fifty men in search for Elijah crossed the Jordan, only this time the waters didn’t part and for three days and three nights they combed those mountains, but Elijah was not to be found. Therefore, just as in the case of Enoch, somebody had to go looking for Elijah in order to leave the testimony to critics and unbelievers that he was not found. What good would it do for Elisha to simply declare Elijah was not there and that God had taken him. Meanwhile back in Jericho, the elders of the city approach Elisha, a type of the early church in action, telling him Jericho was a nice place, a summer resort with good vegetation, but had bad water. Other than smiting the Jordan to cross back over, here is one of Elisha’s first miracles performed. Bring me a new cruze of salt. It was bought to Elisha and it was cast into the water thus healing the water at Jericho. (A type of the church in action after the ascension of Christ once they had received power at Pentecost)
TRANSLATION TYPICAL CONVERSATION
Elisha remains in Jericho a few days until the searching party returns and the word goes throughout Jericho and surrounding areas that Elijah was not to be found. In order to show this discussion had been on everyone’s lips, watch the following scene. Elisha now leaves Jericho traveling north, no doubt headed for home. as he walked out of town, an insulting, disrespectful jeering group of kids began to say, go on up old bald head, go on up. What the kids were actually saying, if you think you are a prophet, why don’t you do the same thing, go on up old bald head, let’s see you go up too. Not only does this show Elijah’s translation had become a conversation piece in every home and school around, it also showed the disobedience and disrespect among the children of the hour. Some people have thought Elisha cursed these children and stood there until two she bears came out of the woods and devoured them. I don’t believe any human being could have been so cruel, especially a prophet of God. Undoubtedly, this gifted prophet is heading north out of Jericho when these kids began trailing him, poking fun, agitating and aggravating him with these jeering, slurry remarks, if you think you are a prophet, why do you not go on up too, old bald head. No doubt they trailed him northward still jeering and laughing when he finally turned and said, may the Lord God of Israel curse you kids. Now get away and leave me alone. By this time, no doubt, he had gone over the next hill out of sight when the two she bears came out of the woods and tore 42 of these kids to pieces. Surely that now lets the youth especially around Jericho know not to insult the man of God. Forty-two children had died, but Elisha wasn’t standing there enjoying such a cruel scene. No human prophet could have stood that.
CHRIST AND DISCIPLES PORTRAYED
God has put forth some beautiful types of the translation which will transpire at the end of the seventh church age. Question, did Elisha know Elijah was going? Did Elisha know when he was to be taken? Beloved, Elijah even knew by inspired faith where to go in order to be taken up, did he not. Jesus even knew the day he was going to leave this earth, did he not? That is why he took those disciples over on the Mt. of Olives on this certain day at this very exact hour and was giving them their last exhortation, telling them not to leave Jerusalem until they had been endued with power from on high when his feet began to leave the ground. Yes, God has set a beautiful type of the church in action of power as Elisha who had followed Elijah eastward across Jordan, picked up the mantle and a double portion of power fell on him. Likewise, did not the church after the day of Pentecost begin to do the same things Christ did? All this we say to prove a point. These two men, Enoch and Elijah, were to individuals translated to set a type of God’s plan which would be in the consummation of the ages when not only one person would be taken from earth without dying, but there would be many taken from this earth. Whenever that hour does occur, you may rest assured there will be some mortal living saints on this earth who also will have some spiritual revelation in their bosom as the word of revealed faith at that moment is going to be for further instructions concerning their translation.
PART 3 – BENEFITS OF BODIES OF TWO ADAMS – HOW BODIES BROUGHT FORTH
Looking still farther into this revelation of Paul’s concerning the condition of the fleshly bodies of the dead saints who will be raised up in the resurrection, we hear Paul telling the Corinthian church beginning with I Cor. 15:42 that the dead body sown into the ground was sown in corruption, but would be raised in incorruption. Sown in dishonor, but would be raised in glory; sown in weakness, but raised in power; sown a natural body, but raised a spiritual body (though never forget, that spiritual body will still remain flesh). There is a natural fleshly corruptible body and there is a spiritual (fleshly, glorified) body.
Beginning with I. Cor. 15:45 let’s explore from a biblical standpoint Paul’s line of thought concerning these two individual bodies, first a look at the human fleshly body which we all received after the similitude of Adam once he had fallen, however, in the resurrection or translation that body will take on the nature of the spiritual fleshly body after the second Adam. For, bear in mind, when redemption was purchased at Calvary it was twofold, not only did it include the spirit of man it also included the mortal corrupt body of man and though man’s spirit would immediately be changed at the new birth, an act of being born again, that fleshly body which was also purchased would have to await its redemption and be changed either in the resurrection or the translation. Thus, the complete redemptive program of God, being twofold, cannot be complete until after the resurrection as Paul so clearly brings out telling the Roman church in Rom. 8:23-26 how the whole creation is groaning and travailing for deliverance. Yes, and even we ourselves who (already) have received the first fruits of the spirit as our down payment are now waiting the completion of the transaction, the adoption or the redemption of our body. For we were saved by (or in this) hope, implying our human body was also included in that purchased price. Now in I Cor. 15, Paul discussed the corrupt body which went into the earth that must be redeemed and changed which Paul declares will be raised in power and in the likeness of Christ’s own glorified fleshly body. Now we hear him declare in verse 49, as we have already borne the image of the earthy, through the power of the resurrection (or translation) we will also bear the image of the heavenly. Remember, according to verse 47 the image of the heavenly is (perfection) after the order of the second man who was the Lord of heaven.
BEARING IMAGE OF EARTHLY
What Paul is saying concerning the image of the earthly that we have already borne is, since the horrible fall which involved both Adam and Eve, mankind in his physical makeup has taken on a total earthy identity, an identity that could never have been applied unto mankind had Adam and Eve only remained in their true original state of being and in fellowship with God. Recall, in every respect their bodies were created perfect. Death did not dwell in them. In such a perfect state of being as Adam and Eve originally were before the fall, there was absolutely nothing in or about their makeup which would ever indicate anywhere in the future they would ever need to be changed. Why? Because they were already perfect and would have forever remained so had they only remained in that true beautiful fellowship with God and not fallen. Thus, always remember in the final analysis the purpose of God’s redemption (including both spirit and body) is always God’s method of restoring something to its original state of being. That is where the resurrection and translation fits into God’s program. Remember it is only the body that is changed in either the resurrection or translation, because the spirit man was already changed at the new birth, the body has to await its redemption.
MAN CREATED EARTHY
While it is true the scripture does teach the first man Adam was of the earth, earthy while the second man Adam was the Lord himself from glory (verse 47). Yet, we must never forget when God originally created that first man Adam, he created him not only perfect, but he also made him to be earthy, because God intended for man to rule this planet. Before sin entered the picture and Adam fell, it was not the original intention that Adam would live on the earth some hundreds of years and then take his flight on to some distant planet to become some superman! NO! Adam’s fleshly body in the beginning was made perfect in every aspect from the dust of the earth. The earthman was in complete unbroken fellowship with God, having no death or sickness dwelling in his bloodstream. He would have had the assurance of forever remaining in that eternal existence with God had sin never entered the picture. As time progressed forward Adam would have lived on eternally in that very perfect state of being. Not only that, every offspring that God would have presented to Adam and Eve would likewise have bore the same identical image and likeness of Adam in perfection, also living in that state of being, eternally, never ever having any necessity of some physical change in their body or given a better position because Adam had been made the very creature to rule this planet.
WOMAN SHARED EQUALITY
In actuality he was “God” not unto his own kind, but unto the animal world. Remember, we speak God in the minor capacity and not the major. In that hour before the fall, it must be remembered that woman also shared in equality with man. However, since the fall, for her role in the transgression as punishment for the act of sin, Gen. 3:16 shows woman lost or forfeited her equality and can never in her fleshly human lifetime ever be equal with man again. I know we are living in the last hour when Satan is trying desperately to push womanhood back into that role of equality and woman may succeed in forcing the courts, the law and the nations to yield and accept her in an equal capacity with man, but the problem is God will never accept her in that role because he is the one who cursed her! It was her fleshly life he cursed, therefore, in that sense she will remain cursed until she is changed from mortal or changed from this fleshly life into immortality. This is not stated to degrade Christian womanhood whatsoever. Nevertheless, such things as Equal Rights in all walks of life lets us know we are living at the end of human history when the devil is coming forth with his great surge of antichrist spirit. It is working feverishly in the political, ecclesiastical and every walk of society today. It has to be that way in order to lead humanity to deception and destruction.
SPIRIT MAN BORE GOD’S IMAGE
Yet I repeat, before the fall both Adam and the woman were not only created perfect, they also shared equality as well. Though man was of the earth earthy, his body was never formed with the intention of ever having to be redeemed. The spirit man Adam was originally created to have mutual contact with this earth, thus he was later given an earthly body in which to dwell. The spiritual being that Adam first existed as (Gen. 1:26-28) was placed into this perfect fleshly, earthly body formed in Gen. 2:7 to have contact with his earthly surroundings. Note, it was not Adam’s flesh which bore God’s image and likeness, it was only the spirit man (created in Gen. 1:26-28) who lived inside that perfect, earthly body who was the offspring of God. The earthly, fleshly body was formed by God only to give a home the spiritual man who at first when created in Gen. 1:26-28 was created with both male and female attributes within him and until the separation of those female attributes from the male attributes into another body, they lived together in perfect harmony in that one fleshly male body until the hour arrived when in order for them to fulfill their commission (Gen. 1:28) to multiply, replenish and subdue the earth together, God removed the feminine attributes from the male and placed them in a separate fleshly body, only designed differently to serve her role in motherhood (Gen. 2:21-25). The spiritual being, Adam, was commissioned to multiply, subdue and rule the planet, bringing everything under subjection to God’s divine plan long before he (they) was even placed in a fleshly body. Yet, we know that plan was disrupted by Satan and was never permitted to be carried out. However, one day after the resurrection it shall be.
FLESH TOOK DEATH PENALTY
When Adam fell, it was only his earthly flesh which after the fall could no longer bear anything but strictly an earthly image that took on the penalty of death. Human flesh now able to only bear that earthly image took into the human bloodstream the attributes of imputed sin which was also passed on into all their human offsprings, making it now totally impossible for any fleshly human being to ever be born in perfection or bear any of that heavenly image man first had. Therefore, God says there is no good in fleshly man, none is righteous (perfect) no not one. Everyone born of woman took on that total image of the earthy.
ANOTHER ADAM NEEDED
Linking up all these scriptures together and examining them in their proper perspective we can now begin to see why it was of necessity that there should come a redeemer (a fleshly man) into the world. However, in order for him to bear the image of the heavenly, he would have to enter into the human race through a different route other than sex because if he came the sex route he too would have introduced into his bloodstream the attributes of the fallen Adam: death, sin, sickness, etc.
BEARING SEPARATE IMAGE
Paul now refers to that second Adam (the perfect man Redeemer) as being the Lord of Glory who bore (for us) the image of the heavenly. Watch carefully as Paul differentiates between these two men, the first and second Adam who bore separate images. The second fleshly man Adam, bearing the image of the heavenly called Jesus the Christ was produced from a perfect created seed of man and a perfect created egg of woman by the Holy Ghost (the Father) and was born of virgin birth from the womb of woman; born without the usual act of sex not to accomplish on this earth what the first Adam in his original state was placed here to do. No, Jesus was not virgin born from woman as a perfect man-child, growing up into perfect manhood to milk cows, ride horses or any of these other things the first Adam was required to do. ABSOLUTELY NOT! As a matter of fact, the second Adam, Jesus the Lord of glory who bore the image of the heavenly (which the first Adam lost) was born on this earth to do just the opposite. HIS MISSION WAS TO UNDO EVERYTHING THE FIRST ADAM HAD BROUGHT UPON THE HUMAN RACE AS WELL AS THE ENTIRE PLANET ITSELF THROUGH THE FALL AND TO UNDO ALL THAT REQUIRED THE LORD OF GLORY HIMSELF TO BECOME THE SECOND ADAM. The first Adam was made flesh to rule the planet while the second Adam was made flesh through the virgin birth without a sex act to redeem the earth. Here we see the two different Adams in their role of bearing the image of both earthly and heavenly.
PERFECTION DWELT IN FIRST ADAM
Thus reading between the lines Paul says, because of that fall of mankind, through our natural birth we were able to bear nothing but the image of the earthly, the only image Adam could present to his offspring because of the fall and note it is cursed. Praise God, because of that second Adam we shall also one day bear the image of the heavenly, meaning we will bear that perfection shown forth by Christ the second Adam the lord of glory, perfection which once dwelt in that first Adam.
RETURN LOST IMAGE
Therefore Paul, through the resurrection or translation, is showing the purpose of God with that second man Adam was to give back to us the lost image of the heavenly. We get it back through the second Adam. Although we look forward to that day when we can proudly bear that perfection or image of the heavenly through either the resurrection or translation, we must never forget what man’s heavenly purpose was in being first created and that was man in his original perfect state of being (back with his heavenly image) was made to contact with the earth and rule over it. Therefore man was made for earth, not heaven although through his heavenly (perfect) image he could on earth fellowship heaven freely. Know this, man after his total perfection will then fulfill his original ordained role. Where? On earth not in heaven.
PRESENT FLESH CAN’T INHERIT KINGDOM
Verse 50 should show us how God feels about the way mankind misused his sex act for his own pleasure once becoming a fallen creature bearing only the earthly image. “Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood (born of woman) cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither does corruption inherit incorruption.” What did Paul mean by this statement that no flesh and blood could inherit the kingdom of God? He simply means flesh in its present sinful state of corruption as it was born of woman cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Although it is true man’s flesh was redeemed also at Calvary, it must first undergo a change either in the resurrection or translation. It is totally impossible for anyone to inherit eternal life depending strictly upon the works of the flesh (which God hates) as being a basis to merit salvation. Many evangelical circles in the religious field have interpreted this passage thus, since flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God and seeing it is only the inner man who (they think) will inherit the kingdom of God, they take the position that in the world to come that man will more or less exist much like a spirit being such as angels do and his earthly body will be completely out of the picture. That is not the picture Paul is presenting because that would be completely contrary to what he had taught in other places. In Romans, he shows where your body will be in the picture, though it has nothing to do with your salvation, seeing it too must be redeemed. Flesh and blood in its present state cannot inherit the kingdom of God until God changes it. We cannot get into the Kingdom of God depending solely on the merits of the flesh to place us there. Nevertheless, if we have experienced the new birth, we must never forget our earthly body is destined also to be there as is so clearly taught in Romans 8, seeing it was also in the purchased price and also awaits redemption. We must depend entirely upon the merits of the new birth constituted through the redemptive work of Christ at Calvary. Nevertheless, that does not annul the fact that our earthly bodies are promised to be there also.
PART 4 – ORDER OF RESURRECTION
(1) The Shout (Message)
(2) The Trump
(3) Dead Raised
(4) Living Changed
Paul apparently has a different purpose in mind when writing to the Thessalonians than when writing to the Corinthians concerning the resurrection. We note in his writing to the Thessalonians who were apparently a little discouraged concerning their dead loved ones, Paul begins in I Thes. 4:16 giving the full sequence of the order of the resurrection, first it began with a shout and second the trump of God which raises the dead, etc. Whereas, with the Corinthians who need only a little reassurance, he did not begin with the shout, but instead with the trump of God (I Cor. 15:51) which the dead hears and come forth.
RESURRECTION AROUND FINAL WEEK
It is vital we note also in Daniel 12:2 that somewhere around the time Daniel’s final 70th prophetic week is set in motion, the archangel stands up for the people of Israel (Rev. 12:7-17) because Israel (under the antichrist) will enter into a time of trouble (Matt. 24:15-22) such as they (as a nation) never have before seen. According to Dan. 12:2, there is to be a resurrection of gentile people who have called on the name of the Lord. When the angel informed Daniel all that he did in Chapter 12, a Chapter which incorporates Revelation, Chapters 7, 12 and 14. Daniel nor any other Jew had any idea a gentile would ever call on the name of the Lord. Although Hosea, Amos, and Isaiah had prophesied concerning it, it wasn’t until Paul’s hour that the true revelation on these Old Testament prophecies concerning the gentile church which had remained a hidden mystery was now revealed (Eph. 3:2-6).
Thus, around the time Daniel’s 70th week begins, there is to be a resurrection of the dead. Paul in I Thess. 4 presents that order. First the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout. Don’t look upon the Lord as descending in some visible, corporeal form, because it is not portrayed that way at all. The Bible shows many pictures of Christ when the Lord Jesus finally leaves the mercy seat where he now sits interceding, as shown in Rev. 5, with a sealed scroll in his right hand, a scroll which incorporates the redemptive names of the bride church of all ages. Christ in this scene is depicted in a twofold manner. (1) Not only did he remain seated on the mercy seat throne, but (2) he is also shown as a Lamb opening the seals on the merits that he had been a slain lamb on earth. When finally he does leave that throne after having interceded for every name that makes up the bride church, once they have all come in and have completely fulfilled their role as God intended, the next pictorial picture seen of Christ, he is shown on earth in Rev. 10:1-2 as a gigantic angelic spirit form being, holding his scroll now completely opened, shouting TIME SHALL BE NO MORE! His coming was to release the seven mysterious thunders to the bride church only, shortly before he takes her off the earth.
SHOUT WAS A MESSAGE
Thus, in Paul’s order of the resurrection, the shout comes first. The shout is not to benefit the dead saints, but the living saints. The trump, blasted by the archangel Gabriel, got the attention of the dead. The shout explained by Bro. Branham is a message sent forth to these living people to awaken and shake them out of their Babylonian traditions, placing their faith back into the revealed truth, sometime before the trump is sounded to raise the dead in Christ. For too long, denominational religion has looked upon this setting as a shout, the sound of a trump, the dead in Christ raising, and the living being changed, all in a period of less than a minute. I grant you, when the dead in Christ are raised and the living are changed, each group in their order will be changed immediately, but the sequence of this order itself requires far more time than that. The shout is a message to the living which precedes the sound of the trump of God which raises the dead. God had to first send that shout or message into the earth to do something to awaken that living element of people out of their religious sleep and slumbering attitude and get them straightened up and aware of the event that is just ahead. The living element needed their eyes opened and their spiritual ears tuned to this event in order that shortly before the translation when those thunders are definitely to be sounded they will be in spiritual shape to hear them. Remember the last trump of I Cor. 15:52 is the identical trump recorded in I Thes. 4:16 which raises the dead first. In the Corinthian letter, Paul simply didn’t mention the shout which comes first. Imagine had there not been a shout at the end of the age to awaken the sleeping virgins, nothing to disturb them from slumber or awaken them to world conditions or refresh their thinking and understanding of the scriptures and they had continued to drift on in time totally unaware of anything about to happen, when suddenly the dead came forth. God would have absolutely caught the living element by surprise! At best, our reaction may still be one of surprise, nevertheless, when that hour arrives God will be doing something in the spiritual bosom of the living, whereby they won’t walk into that hour totally unaware of what is taking place. Like Enoch and Elijah, who both knew the moment to take that walk and where to meet the Lord, likewise will this end time element of people.
HOLY GHOST COURTS CHURCH
Why? Because God somewhere would have said something that had spiritually awakened them and they are now in a progressive revelation and under spiritual leadership of the Holy Ghost. It is Christ’s way of courting the living element. Christ in spirit form has courted the church down through the ages. He, in spirit form (the Holy Ghost), has made love, wooed and talked to the church, yet in these last days before the total windup, he is going to court her in a fashion she has never been courted before. There is nothing the living can do to assist or hinder the resurrection of the dead, because once that archangel, Gabriel, blows that trump, instantaneously everyone ordained to come forth will come forth from the dust of the earth (Dan. 12:2). May I remind you, the spirits of those dead Christians who are now with the Lord knows far more about when Christ shall return to resurrect their dead bodies than we living do. The trump sounds and the dead come forth THEN, Paul says, we which are alive and remain shall be changed. No, the living will not be caught by surprise or be ignorant to the progress as to what God is doing. Many will say, but the prophet to the age declared God will have to do something. Sure, God has to do something and the beauty of it is, HE WILL, but if our spiritual understanding has not been awakened to the reality of what God in His scriptures is doing this very hour, WE WILL NEVER HEAR THOSE MYSTERIOUS THUNDERS OR ANYTHING ELSE. That is why Satan is brainwashing and wooing the people to sleep to get them away from the scriptures which teach us how to conduct and prepare our self. It is the Bible which says he will perfect the living bride church (not those dead in Christ) by the washing of the water by the word.
PERFECTION FOR LIVING
Perfection is not for the dead remnant, it is for the living remnant who is ordained to be living at the moment when the change takes place. By divine revelation, those people will stand in every verse of scripture of the New Testament, therefore the shout or message is saying to the living, WAKE UP! GET YOUR EARS IN TUNE WITH THE WORD BECAUSE YOU ARE MOVING TOWARD THE CLIMAX! The living hear the shout, but the dead hear the arch angel with the trump and come forth. Certainly, if you had no idea what was taking place and suddenly deceased loved ones began appearing, you would be greatly surprised. Yet, when that hour transpires and all scriptures have been consummated, whatever God does in those thunders once he has left the mercy seat and is pictured in Rev. 10 as that gigantic spirit being with the scroll opened in his hand, those thunders shall prepare the hearts of the living not only to expect it, but to accept the raising of the dead. Thus, when the deceased come forth and the living are changed, they won’t have to stand there with their mouth gaped open. Seeing the dead come forth first only when the trump is sounded, we living can’t devise some wild revelation and run off and leave them.
FLESH ONLY IS CHANGED
Behold I shew you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but WE (believers) shall be changed. Please understand the word change here has no relationship to the inner man whatsoever being changed because the inner man experienced his change through the new birth (2 Cor. 5:17). I Cor. 15:51 is definitely relating to the return of Christ (in the air) when fleshly believers who are alive will undergo this change. Bear in mind, when we are changed, our flesh will not be changed into something or resemble something that bears no likeness of flesh. Your body will still remain flesh as perfectly illustrated by Christ when he arose from the dead and appeared through a closed door unto his disciples saying, be not afraid, it is I. A spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have (Christ’s resurrected body was flesh). That flesh which lay in the tomb now resurrected had appeared in their midst. Remember, the translation nor resurrection is never discussing the inner man being changed, it is always the change of the outer fleshly man. For here we see where the redemption of the body is being performed. Paul continues discussing the fleshly body saying, we shall all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. The last trump shall sound and the fleshly dead bodies shall first be raised incorruptible. For this corruption shall put on incorruption (referring to the dead) and this mortal (referring to living who is still subject to death) must put on immortality. Because, if Jesus doesn’t come and stop this cycle of death for those people also, they too would die.
POSSIBILITY – NOT DOCTRINE
Note Paul is discussing the change of the dead flesh as to when it will occur, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. At the sound of the last trump, the dead shall raise first incorruptible and afterward, we which are alive and remain shall be changed. Just how soon afterwards is not clear. In relation to this verse of the dead rising sometime before the living, I am fully aware of what Bro. Branham said could be a POSSIBILITY and I am also aware of how so many make reference to this POSSIBILITY AS IF IT WERE AN ABSOLUTE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE. Therefore, try to understand what I am about to say. When the dead come forth from the ground, we know it won’t take Almighty God a week to get them out. NO, it is done in the twinkling of an eye. Furthermore note, the dead had absolutely nothing to do with their coming forth. They all came forth at HIS command (provided they can qualify for Rom. 8:11). Not one of them even needed resurrection faith to be changed or to be raised up. It will be done so quickly. How could a dead man believe. God signals and the dead come forth first. That instant they respond to his call. They are not even in the grave struggling or wrestling, trying to get up after he calls. Remember, no mortal man will be standing over the graves calling them forth either.
DEAD HEAR TRUMP
How could any mortal man call forth all the dead from the crust of the earth? He can only be in one place, but God is everywhere. Therefore, our main thought here is the time element required for the change in the resurrection, seeing the dead come forth first. Time required for the change is a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Remember also, when that last trump sounds no living man’s ears on earth will even hear it sound. Only the dead in Christ will hear that sound. Remember, there will absolutely be no struggling or wrestling on their part trying to get up. When that trumpet sounds, it will be so simple and easy for that human corruptible body which has laid there perhaps for decades or centuries, now completely decayed and returned unto the various elements of creation itself to reassemble and come forth from its resting place glorified and incorruptible bearing the image of the heavenly sown in weakness, but raised in power; sown in corruption, but raised in incorruption; sown a natural body, but raised a spiritual body and bearing the image of the heavenly, the perfection of the resurrected Christ. However, once again I must remind you. Bearing all this image of the heavenly does not mean we are now designed to live in the heavenlies. No, the eternal, incorruptible, glorified body as always is designed to live on this earth. Remember originally that is why God gave the spirit man an earthly body. It is to live here and inhabit the planet earth. Don’t misunderstand my thought. I am not bypassing the fact that for a brief period, we shall first be caught up into the heavenlies, nevertheless that is not our eternal destiny. That stay is only temporary. The fact that God, during that hour, will have resurrected those corruptible bodies from the earth, shows he is already in progress of preparing the earth, getting everything ready for the return to earth of those glorified saints. They return bearing the image of the heavenly, the perfection of the resurrected Christ himself seeing the Bible declares we do not know what we will be like, but John disclosed when he appears (in the clouds of glory) we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. Our bodies will then be like his, glorified and perfect. From that hour on, our fleshly glorified bodies will by no means be limited to merely earthly things because if you recall, following Christ’s resurrection, he could appear and disappear at will, which goes to show that great supernatural power incorporated into the resurrected or translated glorified fleshly man.
Before the fall, no doubt, Adam and Eve, while maintaining that perfect state of fellowship with God when no sin, sickness nor death incorporated their flesh, could just as easily have had fellowship visibly with an angel who is a spirit being and a part of God’s great spiritual family as they could have fellowshipped each other. However, after the fall when man became totally earthly, bearing only the image of the earthly, God’s presence somehow or other left him. Death became a fact, sin was imputed into the bloodstream and flesh now becomes nothing more than a great veil to the inner man that shut him out from fellowshipping the other world. Therefore, he could no longer see at will the spirit world. The inner man Adam now becomes more and more engrossed in only the sight of his own earthly surroundings. Without the image of the heavenly, what a horrible prison house his earthly flesh has not become to him. Yet once again, praise God, when that day dawns that the old corruptible, fleshly body (of man) will be changed into his glorious likeness and being changed into that man’s glorious likeness we shall be able to contact the heavenly realm as well as the earthly realm. What glory there will be on earth as the glory and knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth in the same capacity that the water covers the sea.
NO STRAIN IF WALK RIGHT
This may sound shocking to some, especially to certain followers of this end time message who have become guilty of devising practically every kind of idea as to what they must do or believe or what they must wait upon from the grave in order to have rapturing faith to be changed. Though I submit to you, if we have the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11), if we live right, talk and walk right and that is about all I know to do anyway. Then I am confident when the hour arrives for the translation if we are among the living we won’t have to strain our self in the least to be ready to be changed. I am confident if the Lord, only by his word, without any help from anyone, can take care of that dead man, he can take care of me also. Tell me beloved, what will the dead do to change their situation. Nothing! the Bible in Rom. 8:11 has already settled it for them because Paul said, speaking of those who are to be changed whether living or dead, that if that same spirit which raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit which dwells in you. The thing you want to be sure of is to have that Spirit of Christ in your life and you be obedient to that spirit and everything else will take care of itself.
WHAT DEAD MAN INSPIRED ENOCH & ELIJAH
Many will declare, O but when the dead begin to appear on this earth to the living, that will give us rapturing faith. It is true the dead will raise sometime before the living are changed. The time interval I do know. The prophet to the age declared, not as a doctrine, but as a possibility though many choose to make it a doctrine, that it was possible the dead could raise as much as 40 days ahead of the living and appear unto them. Now that is only a possibility. That is not a doctrine and as a possibility I can accept it, because I have nothing against the fact the resurrected dead might come forth and appear to the living saints as they were seen doing at the resurrection of Christ (Matt. 27:52-53) if God for some purpose wants to do that. But tell me beloved, what got Enoch all enthused? Did someone from the dead come along and inspire him to get going to make the translation? Well, if the dead didn’t come by, what did stimulate him? It was the Spirit of God himself! Did someone from the dead come along and inspire Elijah to get ready to go? You know better! Well then, why on earth should I have to believe it just has to be somebody who returns from the dead to get me ready. I grant you, since the dead are changed sometime before, how much sooner I do not know. If a dead saint were to appear in their resurrected body to believers such as they did in Matt. 27 after Christ’s resurrection, it might do a lot of things!
BUILDING IMAGINARY DREAM
Nevertheless, I am also reminded of an illustration used by Christ concerning the rich man and Lazarus when the rich man pleaded for somebody to be sent from the dead to make believers out of his brothers on earth. Abraham told him, if they won’t hear Moses and the prophets who are preaching the word, they wouldn’t believe if one rose from the dead (Luke 16:27-31). I have nothing against this thing of seeing grandmother coming back in a resurrected body talking to me, but I tell you what I am terribly opposed to, as I am sure God is, and it is this thing of people wanting to reach out and build such an imaginary picture on this one possibility (of the dead having to show up to give you rapturing faith) when beloved, they continually walk all over what has taken place in the Bible. In respect to Enoch and Elijah, God’s two perfect types, no dead came by to inspire them to get ready to go nor did the dead inform the that the hour was near for their translation. Enoch, by revelated faith, knew when he would go. Elijah, by revelated faith, knew when he would go. Noah by revelated faith, knew when to enter the ark. Jesus knew when he would go and praise God, somebody here on earth will know one of these days when it is time for them to go also. No Beloved, God never slipped up on Enoch or Elijah and he won’t slip up on the saints to be translated. They are going to know where to be as well as what to be doing at the right time when Jesus is ready to fulfill what Paul’s revelation declares, not only in I Thes. 4:14-17, but I Cor. 15:51-57 as well. I believe God has already sent a shout into this religious world which especially awoke the wise virgins, Matt. 25:5 who will be composed of the living saints ready for that hour. That particular shout of Matthew 25 which awakened the sleeping virgins did not wake the dead saints because they are still sleeping in the ground, but it did wake a people to the intimate fact that this thing is going to take place out in front of us very soon. Therefore, we have to get awake to that fact and get the scriptures oriented and established in our soul which is shown in Matthew 25 as the wise virgins trimming their lamps. The revelated word of faith is like a compass to get our faith looking in the right direction for the event of the coming of the Lord. No, it is not me straining myself, it is merely us getting our mind in the right frame of thinking. Those biblical characters, Enoch and Elijah, who were translated were not straining themselves trying to believe this and that saying, Oh, if I could just believe hard enough or strong enough what has been said, I can make it. No beloved, they were simply walking in revealed faith with God. People make it sound so hard when actually it is going to be very simple. I am confident if God can take care of a dead man, he will have no problem taking care of the living.
COULD MATT. 27 CONNECT WITH LEV. 23?
Just remember, it is possible there can be a number of days involved between the resurrection of the dead and the translation of the living, but if you try to lay that down as a doctrine, that it simply must be that way, I remind you that you have no scripture to support such a doctrine. We are only presuming it could be that way based on the fact it did appear in that manner when Christ arose from the dead and there was an interval of days which followed and the dead saints appeared unto many. We presume based on that, it could repeat itself in like manner, but to make it a doctrine, you have no scripture to prove it. Furthermore, we come back to this fact concerning Matthew 27. Matthew 27 had been only a type in order to fulfill a shadow which is portrayed in Leviticus 23:9-14 which shadow was fulfilled in reality with the resurrection of Christ raising on the first day of the week. Therefore, since the shadow was fulfilled during the first advent of Christ and if all of that in Matt. 27 went along to constitute the fulfillment of the shadow, then as far as saints resurrecting and appearing again unto the living as they did in Matthew 27, we really wouldn’t have a shadow now to be fulfilled in the second advent, would we? Nevertheless, bear in mind when we say the dead in Christ raises in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we are not necessarily declaring at that very instant when the trumpet sounds, out of the grave pops the dead and like a streak of lightening we which are alive and remain, are changed and immediately we are off for heaven. Nevertheless, when time does arrive for the living to be changed, you may be sure of one thing, they will all be changed together (instantly) and whenever they do leave this earth, they all leave together, both the resurrected and translated saints go up to meet the Lord in the air. This phrase, twinkling of an eye, spoken of in scripture applied strictly to bringing forth the dead from the grave, nevertheless in changing the living, God will certainly not be in any prolonged period of time.
SPIRIT OF GOD RAISES DEAD
Before that hour is culminated, every type of a wild fanatical doctrine will run to and fro on this subject and these teachings will absolutely have a tendency to confuse minds. Therefore, we must keep our minds spiritually stable and remember when something is a true doctrine you will always have scripture to back it up. When the dead come forth, they will not come forth in intervals, they will all come forth and be changed at the same time (likewise with the living) and there won’t be a message anyone can preach over their grave to bring them out. You can’t affect nor hinder in any manner God bringing forth the dead in the proper hour. Their coming forth depends entirely on whether or not they had that spirit within them which raised Christ from the dead. If in every age that true believer had the spirit of God in his life and he walked in the light of his hour and that spirit quickened to that individual believer that they were walking in all the light of truth as presented to them in their hour, though their bodies be in the ground the spirit of the Lord will bring them forth. That is the only assurance the dead can have of their bodies being resurrected when the last trump of God shall sound.
SAINTS TRANSLATED TOGETHER
It is you and I of the living who await the translation that Satan will try to tear apart and destroy with every doctrine he can send against us. It is the living who must keep their minds clear and open to the revelation of the scripture. Remember when the translation of saints takes place, they neither are translated a few here and later on a few more, etc. No, they too are all translated at once. I remind you the world will not be standing by watching. No, they won’t see you go although like with Enoch and Elijah, somebody will come searching for you to leave that testimony that you could not be found.
RAPTURE WON’T TAKE PLACE UNTIL
May I say, no need to look for that hour to be translated until first of all everything which has been declared in the scriptures which is to affect the true bride church in that hour has all been applied to her. Whoever that living realm may be will not only need to be perfected in the word, but furthermore, God will also have separated, purified and perfected each one of them to every extent of that revealed word of faith given unto them and has further removed from the bride ranks every soul who absolutely will not measure up to the true revelation and the scriptural values that the word of God declares the bride church must have before that hour. God will have separated from her ranks all this carnal riffraff which attached itself. Before the translation, those individuals will be found, either back in the world among the world tares or else somewhere out in the realm of the foolish virgins, but certainly not among the bride saints. That is the spiritual picture the world is left in once the living element of true revelated bride saints reaches that hour. Remember this, in October, 1975, there is none of the living who even knows when Christ is coming for his church. At this moment they have nothing to determine that event by. For the past ten years, people have assumed, presumed, set dates, etc., yet they are still here. Nevertheless, I am sure of this one thing, when that time is getting close for the change and translation, you may rest assured God won’t be slipping up on anybody. He never slipped up on Enoch nor Elijah, those two perfect types.
RAPTURE PAST SAYS NEW REVELATION
As if we did not have enough fanaticism to contend with, I recently heard a new revelation floating through this area. No, it did not come from the Bible, it came from various individuals’ private interpretation of something the prophet to the age had said. Beloved, this lets me know it is going to take nothing short of a revelation and not mere verbal statements to make it. You had better know by revelation of the spirit of God what that prophet said while here, or else you can find yourselves like multitudes are finding themselves, headed straight for quicksand! The new revelation was that the rapture has already taken place and now no one can be in the gentile bride church except they die. HOW FOOLISH! When the Bible said the dead in Christ raise first, then we (bride) which are alive and remain shall be changed. If the bride has already been raptured, then the resurrection of the dead has also taken place, because that happens first. Here is one thing which helped launch or promote such a false revelation. It is something they found stated in two different books. In the Church Age book it was recorded the seven thunders have already been revealed. Well, naturally if the seven thunders have already been sounded, they have also already been revealed. Based on that fact, certain individuals say, if the seven thunders have already been sounded and revealed, and Bro. Branham stated Christ would return for his bride church somewhere around the time the seven thunders of Rev. 10:4 are revealed, then naturally in their minds of thinking if the seven thunders have already been sounded and revealed, the rapture also would now (by 1975) have already taken place. Such an idea would only be carnal logical thinking. The thing they don’t realize is this; that as yet (1975) the thunders have not sounded (not been revealed). By the same token, because the prophet also stated in the Seal Book there was only 3 ½ years left for the Jew and because the year 1977 is being used by so many for the termination of all things, certain individuals naturally began calculating back from the figure 1977 and they plainly see since we are already almost into the year of 1976, we have quite some time ago entered into and passed through the marginal line of 3 ½ years. Therefore, there is nothing left for them to say but that the rapture is already passed. No, they never received such a carnal interpretation from the Bible, their carnal theory like all the rest is taken from their own personal understanding of certain statements from these books. I go to the other book which shows THE THUNDERS HAVE NOT SOUNDED! If they have sounded, please tell me when Jesus is coming. The prophet said when the seven mysterious thunders sound (Rev. 10:4) they will bring us knowledge of when Christ is coming. When will that be? I do not know. God will reveal that in his own good time. People should stop probing at those unknown thunders.
THIEF APPEARING NOT TO THE BRIDE
Bear in mind our schools of theology have only looked at the scriptures presumptuously, yet when the time comes that there is to be a living people on earth to be the very recipient of this change which takes place in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, it is these people and these people alone who will be privileged to hear the sounding of the seven mysterious thunders of which John heard, but was not permitted to write. Now let me show you why that moment of the twinkling of an eye will not slip upon the living saints. Oh, but does not the scripture declare someone says, he will come as a thief in the night? True, he does come in that fashion to many who only know by doctrine that one day he will appear for his church. However spiritually, those people are sound asleep. Potentially, they have the same scriptures the elect does, but it is only the elected who will have the awakening and revelation, the others will absolutely be as Jesus said; lest he come as thief and catch them asleep and naked.
CHRIST IN SPIRIT FORM
Bro. Branham, the prophet to the age, declared the sounding of the seven mysterious thunders would bring knowledge to the bride concerning the soon coming of Christ. With that thought in mind, turn with me to Rev. 10:2-3 for a few closing remarks. Here we see a picture where in the scripture is portraying Christ, not in his physical corporeal, bodily form, oh no, but in spirit form or angelic form, because what corporeal bodied man could possibly stand with one foot on the land and the other on the sea. This figure is none other than Christ in spirit form on the earth. But, what is he doing here on the earth at this point in spirit angelic form? The scene had to be portrayed unto John the Apostle in the spirit in this manner in order to show in reality that when Christ does appear to take away his waiting bride, when she shall see him as he is and be like him, where according to I Thes. 4, he will meet her in the air. Then if the bride is to meet Christ in the air and not here on the earth, it is there we will see him in that glorified body as the disciples saw him leave from the Mt. of Olives almost 1900 years ago.
Therefore, keep in mind Rev. 10:2-3 portrays Jesus in spirit or angelic form. Know this, it is the spirit of Christ of earth to reveal to his awaiting bride the seven mysterious thunders which John heard, but could not write concerning them. What those thunders say will be heard by no one but the bride of Christ only, for it will awaken the living element to rapturing (revelatory) faith. There is nothing in this Bible which tells you what those seven mysterious thunders hidden in that seventh seal are, we only know when they sound according to the prophet to the age, they reveal to the awaiting bride knowledge which pertains to her departure, translation, etc. There isn’t a preacher this side of glory who can possibly tell you or even presume (in 1975) what they are. No one knows, but I know this, John in the spirit heard exactly what those thunders were or uttered but was not permitted to write what he heard because what he heard pertains to the little bride of Christ only and those thunders will not sound until Christ comes to this earth in this form shown in Rev. 10:1-3.
THUNDERS BRING RAPTURING KNOWLEDGE FOR BRIDE
Now picture Jesus if you will in his glorified, visible corporeal body standing with one foot on the land and one on the sea. There is no way you could possibly do that. You would have to see a gigantic super being, wouldn’t you? Yet, when Jesus appears in his glorified body and the bride sees him, it will be there in the clouds of glory as he will appear unto her only there portrayed as a bridegroom. That glorified body of Christ never touches this earth until sometime after it has appeared first in the air and taken off this earth the living bride saints who heard the sounding of the seven thunders which no doubt gave her her final instructions of revealed faith for the translation. Appearing to her in the air, he carries her to the wedding supper where she is united with him and then it is in Rev. 19 where you see him portrayed as returning to earth with all his saints. That is when his glorified foot of flesh touched the earth. There you see it all in its bodily makeup, however here in Rev. 10:1-3 you are not looking at Jesus in that manner, you are seeing him portrayed strictly in a gigantic spirit form with one foot on the sea and another on the earth. John had to portray it as that huge angelic being. Why? Because he is the master and verse 3 declares standing here in such a massive figure seen in the spirit cries with a loud voice as a lion roareth. Is not Christ the lion of the tribe of Judah. Who else would have the authority to roar in such manner? Now watch carefully- and when he cried with a loud voice seven thunders uttered their voices and John said he was about to write what the thunders uttered, but a voice told him to seal up those things the seven thunders uttered and write them not. Is it not strange God would actually allow something to be spoken, yet refuse to permit John to write down what was said when John had been commissioned to write everything which was, which is and is to come. Yet, there is something seen right here in Rev. 10:4 that John could not write although he heard it and knew what it was.
OPENED SCROLL INDICATES MEDIATORIAL WORK OVER
I ask you a simple question, did God make a mistake in allowing that thing to happen? Certainly not! If you read between the lines, here is what it is. Since John was looking at Jesus in gigantic spirit form here on the earth at the end of the age for the declaration of those thunders and the fact Christ had in his right hand an open scroll lets us know in that hour Christ will have completed his mediatorial work for the bride and has already left the throne as he is portrayed in his mediatorial work in Rev. 5. There the seventh seal in Rev. 10 is already completely broken off and the scroll which he holds in his right hand bears the names of the redeemed for whom he has been interceding. That scroll is here officially opened and he has not come for the very people who this scroll constitutes or is made up of. Therefore, because he has come for that people and cried with a loud voice as when a lion roareth. The seven mysterious thunders can and will be announced at that time. Up until that hour, every doctrine will crisscross this earth, probing at these mysterious things saying pro and con about them until it has weeded away confused and wrecked people’s spiritual thinking, until eventually the only people left standing before God pleasing unto him will be that living element of people who have truly received the leadership of he spirit of Christ in their hearts. That hour has arrived and Christ has come forth to call, first the dead and change the living. In that hour those seven thunders will be announced and we will see then what this world will be like. That will be when, like Enoch and Elijah, knew where to go, in that hour we also shall know what to do to get ready for the change soon to take place in this old flesh. Therefore, as the dead in Christ alone hear the trump and is gloriously changed into his image in that moment in the twinkling of an eye, coming forth, how is it going to affect the living realm who are also awaiting that change. Recall when their change does come it too will come in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. Now concerning the living saints, we know God will not be in the process of days changing their mortal flesh either, yet carnally speaking would it not seem to be more difficult or impractical for God to change that which as dead, decayed and returned to dust than it would be for him to merely change the living element. Consider a burned body now dead, its component elements already fused back into the gaseous forms of creation leaving only a carbon trace here on this planet. Wouldn’t it seem much harder for God to find and reassemble all these component parts of that human flesh, resurrect the dead into a glorious image of the second Adam, than it would be for him to merely change the living. Yet it seems it is this living realm that man always wants to try and make to be a far more difficult thing to be changed than the dead in Christ.
NOT CAUGHT UP IN INTERVALS
Some say it is all over and the bride of Christ is gone, yet because the dead are not up yet, I KNOW THE RAPTURE HAS NOT TAKEN PLACE! No, the dead won’t raise first and take off to glory while the living, caught by surprise, must run quickly and prepare themselves and then later take off. NO! Paul says after the change comes, the living and the dead, TOGETHER (not in broken intervals) SHALL BE CAUGHT UP IN THE CLOUDS TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR. Perfection won’t be reached by the living and they have to wait around for months and years for the dead to finally come forth. I am convinced when the hour of perfection in that word has reached its climax and the last soul has already been brought into God’s complete program, there will no longer be any need for him to remain on the mercy seat. Stepping forth as portrayed in Rev. 10, with his open scroll, shouting as a lion roareth, TIME IS NO MORE, and the seven thunders ushered forth their message. What is said will be so simple that the bride, by revelatory faith, can move right into it. Every revelation preached and received out of this book has been preached to the man of the world, however, because the time factor is so short, what these thunders declare will never be televised, programmed over radio nor even printed. THE BRIDE ALONE WILL HEAR HER FINAL INSTRUCTIONS SHORTLY BEFORE THE DEAD COME FORTH AND WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN ARE CHANGED.
CHRIST PICTURED IN SYMBOLIC FORM
In Rev. 5 John sees Christ as a visible form, seated on the throne. People often ask, how could that be Christ seated on the mercy seat throne when the revelation of the seals has already been delivered by the prophet of God (1963)? Very simple, you believe in only one God, don’t you? James 2:19 and that God is Spirit being covering all space, not in human form as Christ is.
WHO IS SEATED
Who did John see seated on the mercy seat throne holding in his right hand a closed and sealed scroll, sealed with seven seals? He saw none other than Jesus portrayed in a High Priest role seated on the throne, serving in his mediatorial intercessory work for the believers of the grace age. About the throne is seen a great halo because remember the great eternal spirit who fills all space has taken Christ up and seated him on the right hand of majesty, power and glory (Matt. 26:64) Therefore, as your eyes behold him seated there in the position of the Father (that is on the right hand of power and glory) in his hand is a scroll rolled up and sealed with seven seals and the written contents on the inside. It is the scroll of redemption which constitutes all the names of God’s elect bride throughout all the ages of his intercessory work. Remember, because Christ is still in the process of interceding for the names on that scroll, there is no cause for the scroll to be opened. Recall, when he ascended into glory, to be at the right hand of power, millions whose names were already written on that scroll had never yet been born. Here we see the foreknowledge of God before the foundation of the world in operation.
LAMB BREAKS SEALS
However, when time arrived for the revelation of the seven seals binding the scroll to be brought forth here on earth unto a mortal, living realm, the question was asked in glory; who is worthy to take the scroll and loose the seals thereof? John was about to weep because no one anywhere could be found worthy and the angel said, weep not, for behold THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH hath (past tense) prevailed to take the book and loose the seals thereof. Who is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah? Jesus the Christ, the very one seated on the mercy seat throne. John’s eyes glued to that figure seated on the throne, holding the scroll, is anxiously waiting for the Lion of the tribe of Judah to step forth and break the seven seals holding the scroll when suddenly it isn’t the Lion of the tribe of Judah he sees, but coming out of the midst of the throne, not from underneath, not from behind nor from the side, but where? RIGHT OUT OF THE MIDST OF THE THRONE John sees a Lamb as though it has been wounded, having seven horns and seven eyes step forth! But why was he announced as a lion and then appear as a lamb to take the scroll from him seated on the mercy seat throne? No such natural beast actually exists, it is a figurative or symbolical beast shown to John. In actuality, Christ is not even a lion, therefore, the lion is also figurative. That face the figurative lamb (who symbolized Christ’s office work on earth) had seven horns and seven eyes, these are none other than the seven spirits of God which were incarnated in Jesus Christ and prefigured in the Old Testament in the seven redemptive names of God revealed in the dispensations of time.
SYMBOLIC PICTURE – CHRIST NEVER LEFT THRONE
Seeing the figurative wounded lamb coming out of the midst of the throne signified to John as he looked upon Jesus seated on the throne as a high priest (yet never once leaving the throne throughout the symbolical picture) that Christ, as a lamb, broke the seals based on the merits that he was slain and crucified as God’s redemptive Lamb on earth. (John 1:29, 36) But recall Christ was introduced by the angel as the Lion of the tribe of Judah which was to be his next office work, for when he comes again, he will not be portrayed as a Lamb, but as a Lion. Where is Christ all this time? In reality, he hasn’t moved one inch from the mercy seat. It simply shows time had arrived that the great Eternal Spirit God is going to allow Christ to break the seals binding the scroll. The only question is, will the seals be opened on the basis that one day he would be a king or on the basis he had been a Lamb. Thus, we see it was on the basis he had been a Lamb on earth. Therefore Christ, our second Adam, serving in capacity of high priest received the invested authority from the Eternal Spirit based on his Lambship to begin breaking the seals. When Christ finally does leave the mercy seat he is seen portrayed as that mighty angelic figure in Rev. 10:1-2 shouting TIME WILL BE NO MORE and the sound of the seven mysterious thunders utter their voice to the bride shortly before the resurrection of the dead.