Why They Did Not Have Oil – 1980, April

1980-04-Why-They-Did-Not-Have-Oil

MATTHEW 25:1-13

WE HAVE WHAT I BELIEVE TO BE AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR THE DAY AND HOUR WE ARE LIVING IN. I BELIEVE IT WILL HELP ANSWER MANY QUESTIONS IN THE MINDS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE AWARE OF THE GREAT ECUMENICAL AND CHARISMATIC MOVE IN THE WORLD OF RELIGION. THEREFORE WE WILL APPROACH THE MESSAGE FROM A LITTLE DIFFERENT STANDPOINT THAN WHAT WE HAVE IN THE PAST. IN OTHER MESSAGES WE HAVE DEALT WITH THE FACT THAT THESE FOOLISH VIRGINS IN MATT. 25 DID NOT HAVE OIL, BUT THIS TIME WE WANT TO FOCUS OUR EMPHASIS ON WHY THEY DID NOT HAVE OIL. WHAT WE ARE DEALING WITH IS A PARABLE THAT JESUS SPOKE JUST BEFORE HIS BETRAYAL BY JUDAS ISCARIOT. SPEAKING IN PARABLES LIKE THIS WAS HIS WAY OF PROJECTING A TYPE. HE NEVER SPOKE IN TYPES THOUGH; HE ALWAYS USED PARABLES. THE OLD TESTAMENT WAS WRITTEN IN TYPES AND SHADOWS, AND LIKE YOU HAVE HEARD ME SAY MANY TIMES, A TYPE DOES NOT NECESSARILY CARRY EVERY DETAIL STRAIGHT THROUGH, BUT IT IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROJECTING A THOUGHT. ON THE OTHER HAND, A SHADOW IS THE EXACT PROFILE OF THE OBJECT IT LEADS TO. GOD CAUSED THESE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES TO BE WRITTEN THIS WAY FOR THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, POINTING THEM TO THEIR MESSIAH, AND IF THEY HAD ONLY KNOWN WHAT THOSE TYPES AND SHADOWS WERE THERE FOR, THEY NEVER WOULD HAVE MISSED CHRIST WHEN HE CAME: BUT JUST AS PAUL SAID IN ROMANS 11, “BLINDNESS IN PART IS HAPPENED TO ISRAEL, UNTIL THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES BE COME IN.” (THAT IS YOU AND ME) JESUS, THE FULFILLMENT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT TYPES AND SHADOWS, SPOKE HIS PARABLES TO THE VERY PEOPLE WHO SHOULD HAVE RECOGNIZED HIM FROM THOSE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES, AND THE PARABLES MOSTLY PERTAINED TO GENTILES THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY BE PARTAKERS OF THE GOSPEL, BUT IT IS ONLY NOW THAT WE CAN LOOK AT THOSE PARABLES AND UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY WERE POINTING TO. THEY WERE FOR OUR DISPENSATION OF TIME. THIS PARABLE IN MATTHEW 25, DEALING WITH SOME WISE AND FOOLISH VIRGINS IS NOT AN EXACT PROFILE, BUT BY USING AN OLD TESTAMENT PATTERN, OR AN ANCIENT MARRIAGE FOR AN EXAMPLE, HE PRESENTS A PICTURE. THE PICTURE THAT HE PRESENTS DOES NOT APPLY TO JUST ANY CHURCH AGE; IT ONLY APPLIES TO PEOPLE WHO ARE LIVING AT THE END OF THE GENTILE AGE. THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN DID NOT START OUT AS WE SEE IT PORTRAYED IN THIS PARABLE. THE FIRST WORD IN CHAPTER 25, IS A KEY WORD FOR A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE TIME WHEN THESE CONDITIONS WILL BE IN EFFECT. IN THE 24TH CHAPTER YOU FIND JESUS DESCRIBING CONDITIONS OF THE END OF THIS AGE, AND PLEASE REMEMBER, WHEN HE SPOKE THESE WORDS, HE DID NOT DIVIDE THEM INTO CHAPTERS AND VERSES, THEREFORE WE UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN HE SPOKE THOSE THINGS IN CHAPTER 24, OF WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE AT THE END OF THE AGE, HE SAID, “THEN SHALL THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BE LIKENED UNTO TEN VIRGINS, WHICH TOOK THEIR LAMPS AND WENT FORTH TO MEET THE BRIDEGROOM.” AT NO OTHER TIME DURING THE GRACE AGE WOULD THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BE LIKENED UNTO THIS EXCEPT RIGHT AT THE END OF THE AGE, AND BY THE HELP OF THE LORD WE WANT TO SHOW YOU WHY.

I KNOW YOU NOT

Let us read verses 2-13, now, and get this parable fixed in our minds before we say any more about it. “And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, an took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then ALL those VIRGINS arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage; and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” John the Baptist was the first man to use the term, kingdom of heaven, speaking of a period of time, or era of time. He stood by the Jordan river calling men to repentance, saying that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. It took the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to inaugurate this dispensation of time, but John was the introductory voice for it. Then once this period of time became effective another phase of it went into effect. It is called the kingdom of God. Just before His crucifixion, knowing what was in the minds of his disciples, Jesus said unto them, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation.” He knew they were looking for a materialistic kingdom, in which their Messiah would, as king, overthrow the Roman yoke, set up His own long awaited kingdom, throw all the Romans out of the land, and they would be on their way to peace and tranquility, and a time of prosperity. Little did they know that they were interpreting their own prophecies in the wrong way. They were putting them ahead of other scriptures that had to be fulfilled first. It is true that their Messiah will one day rule over an earthly kingdom in the seat of king David of old, but that is a millennium setting. There is still seven years of Gods dealing with the nation of Israel to fulfill the last week of Daniel’s prophecy, and the battle of Armageddon to be fought before that takes place. In the meantime the kingdom of God is in the hearts of individual believers all around this old world. When you read about the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God, associate them together, but do not make them the same thing. Let me say it one more time. The kingdom of HEAVEN is an era of time, while the kingdom of GOD is His spiritual kingdom in the hearts of His true people. That is why Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you.”

THERE IS ONLY ONE GOSPEL

Let us return our thinking back to the first verse of our text now. Then (THEN) is the first word of the parable we are considering, and we all know that this is a future tense word. It cannot be present tense, and neither can it be past tense, just because it speaks of a condition that will exist after the events described in the 24th chapter have become a reality. Please notice also, that it does not say the kingdom of heaven will be exactly like ten virgins that went forth to meet the bridegroom; it only says that the kingdom of heaven will be LIKENED unto. That is why I said, He only used this setting to put a picture in our minds of a condition that will exist in the time of the end of the age. It presents a certain likeness. Let me say also, the number ten, that Jesus used in this is not to be thought of as a literal number. It is just a figurative number used to make a point. Think of it only as an illustration. Neither does the number, five, mean that half of the believers will be foolish virgins at the end of the age; He could have said seven and three and still have made the same point. The point of this parable is that after so many centuries of grace, when this grace age finally does come to an end, there is going to be some believers who have been very foolish, some who have failed to prepare themselves properly to meet the bridegroom. I have thoroughly studied the book of Acts and all the epistles where the Holy Ghost (the promise of the Father) was mentioned, and there is no scripture anywhere, that should lead anyone to believe there could have been foolish virgins in that first church age. No. They all started out, wise. Paul did not preach one message for a group of wise virgins, and another message for a group of foolish virgins. Neither has there been any age since then, when you could say that the bridegroom came for wise virgins and shut the door against some who were foolish. Brothers and sisters: I am saying these things to provoke your thinking. I want you to get a true picture in your mind of what Jesus was pointing to when He spoke this parable. I also want to be sure that you do not associate this parable with other parables that speak of tares being sown with the good seed. These foolish virgins are not tares; they are virgins. Tares are not virgins. They are people who go to church for many and various reasons, but they do not have a revelation. They will go for social reasons, Sunday school pins, door prizes, or just because of a feeling that they are obligated to do so, but they cannot worship God in Spirit and in truth because they do not have a revelation in their spirit. They only have a head knowledge of what is written in the Bible. On the other hand, the foolish virgins are people who have been justified by the blood of Christ, and set aside through sanctification, so that they are not of the world, but they do not get themselves dressed up in a full revelation in time to meet the bridegroom (Jesus Christ) when He comes to catch away those who are ready. That is why we see them over in Revelation, chapter 7, coming up out of great tribulation. They will be left here to face the Antichrist, who will have them killed because they will not renounce faith in Christ. I just went on to show you where they will finally wind up, but I do not want you to think that the shutting of the door is pertaining to the rapture; it is the door of perfecting revelation that is shut to them in verse 10, and we will get to that later, but right now we want to give our attention to the verses that lead up to verse 10, where the door is shut.

THE HOLY GHOST IS OIL

Let us try to get a vision of the conditions that will produce a setting such as Jesus described in this parable. Keep in mind the fact that all who go forth to meet the bridegroom are virgins. Remember also, that it is time itself that furnishes the setting for this condition; it will be when the kingdom of heaven has progressed to a point close to the end of the Gentile age. They all take their lamps, (in other words they all have light) but those who are called foolish, do not take any extra oil in their vessels with their lamps. (In this parable the oil can be nothing else other than the baptism of the Holy Ghost.) But those who are called wise have oil in their vessels along with their lamps. What does that mean? Let me try to answer the question like this; every truth that one receives from the word of God carries a certain measure of the Spirit of God, and that Spirit is likened unto oil, and oil produces light. Therefore when a person hears, and believes that Jesus Christ is the Savior of lost mankind, and that the just (or justified) shall live by faith, and that those who are justified should live a sanctified life, that person has received a portion of light. That is why you have heard me say that every one of these denominational churches had a measure of light when they started out. Some of them just had the light on faith. Others received more light and realized they were to live a sanctified, holy life as well. Others received the light on eternal security, predestination, baptism of the Holy Ghost, etc., etc., but the fact that they built a denominational wall around the light they had received, kept them from receiving additional light. They were satisfied with what they had, and did not look for anything more, but God does not stand still. He was restoring back to the true body of Christ, all the light that the first church age had, and that had been lost during that long period known as the Dark Ages. Every Bible truth that anyone received belonged to the universal body of Christ, and it is the purpose of God that the universal bride of Christ should have all these truths in order to be dressed properly to meet the bridegroom. The fine linen, clean and white, that we find the bride is to be arrayed in, is her pure, clean, undefiled revelation of the word of God. On the other hand, white robes which we find the tribulation saints wearing, as well as the souls under the altar in the fifth seal, are to be thought of as salvational robes, pointing to the fact that all who wear them do have eternal life, but they can never be classed in the same realm as the bride of Christ that makes herself ready to meet the bridegroom.

SLEEPY CONDITIONS

Now let us come back to verse 5, and try to get a picture of why they ALL slumbered and slept, both the wise and the foolish virgins. First we will look at what could happen at a natural wedding if something detained the bridegroom. Now no one immediately decides to take a nap just because the bridegroom fails to show up at the exact moment he is expected. You never did see anyone go to a wedding and conduct themselves like that. No. The first thing that people begin to do is look out the windows, look out the doors, call various ones who might know what had caused the delay, talk to each other about what might have happened, and ever so many other things, for at first you are filled with too much anxiety to suddenly decide to take a nap while waiting. It is only after you have completely exhausted yourself that you begin to think, “There is no telling when he will get here. I am just going to sit down and relax until he shows up.” You do not plan to go to sleep; you just sit down because all the excitement has wore off, and you have nothing in particular left to do. The first thing you know, your head begins to nod. You jump, look around the room, but others are doing the same thing. Across the room you will see a head nod a time or two, then go limp. On your right side, you see two or three more do the same thing, and just about the time you start to look to your left, your own head nods again and you are asleep. You do not all go to sleep at the same time. Some are still yaking when you go to sleep, but one by one they drop off, until every last one of them are asleep, some just dozing while others are sleeping soundly, (they all slumbered and slept) maybe even snoring. I am sure every one of you can see how a thing like this could take place at a natural wedding, if something happened to delay the groom many hours beyond the time everyone was expecting him to arrive. By the same token, I am sure you would all agree, If someone suddenly yelled, “Here he comes! Everyone get ready! You would not see everyone suddenly snap to attention. It takes some people a lot longer to wake up than others, especially those who are really sleeping soundly. It is portrayed like this in the parable because the going to sleep, as well as the awakening, has to be a universal picture. There will be wise and foolish virgins on every continent around this old world who will have to fulfill this parable, so it cannot be an instantaneous reaction. If the message, or messenger sounded the midnight cry to awaken the sleeping virgins, in America; there would have to be time enough for that cry to reach its universal setting before the bridegroom arrives. I want you to get the picture, then we will go into details on what is actually fulfilling this parable. These conditions have to affect an overall spiritual condition around the world both on the part of the going to sleep, and also on the awakening and trimming their lamps. Let me say again now, this parable is to portray a certain setting that must affect believers universally, but it does not have to match every detail of what might take place at a natural wedding. The main thing is, do not try to make an individual application; it has to be an overall condition affecting universal Christendom.

MIDNIGHT – A SLEEPING TIME

Some have tried to take verse 5, and build a revelation that Christ would come to rapture the bride at midnight. I will have to ask that person, or those person, what part of the bride are you speaking of? When it is midnight in Jeffersonville, Indiana, it is high noon somewhere in the world where bride people and foolish virgins are residing. It could be midnight somewhere in the world when the trumpet sounds, the dead in Christ arise, and the wise virgins who are alive on earth are changed to take on immortality, but please remember, The bride is not going to be gathered into one geographical location. That is why Jesus said, some would be in the field, some grinding at the mill, and others in bed; it allows for time zone differences. Midnight in this parable speaks of a time when most everyone is asleep. Of course we know that is not true in a literal sense, in our modern day society where people stay up all night, but for the sake of allowing the parable to paint a picture in our minds, let us think of midnight as a time when everyone is asleep, some sleeping more soundly than others. Then you must realize that this universal sleeping condition has to be applied to a particular span of time in the 7th church age, (by looking back, we can make the application) and from there we can see the foolish virgins, and we can see why they are foolish. They are foolish because they do not have oil in their vessels, and that brings us to the question, Why do they not have oil (Holy Ghost) in their vessels? For the answer to that, we are going to take a journey through time, starting with the first church age.

FIRST AGE – ALL WISE VIRGINS

In John 6:44, Jesus said, “No man (or person) can come to me, except the Father (the great eternal Spirit) which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” By this we understand that the Holy Ghost must woo a person to repentance before they can be justified and sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ. Then we learn from the 5th chapter of Acts that only those who were genuine believers and upright in all their dealings, dared to be identified with the church in that 1st age. Ananias and Sapphira in their attempt to practice deception, were struck dead by the power of God. After that, great fear came upon all who even heard of the incident, and believers were added to the church daily. Now when the Bible speaks of the church, (in the New Testament) you can be sure it is referring to the true body of Holy Ghost filled believers. No true believer in that first age ever failed to be filled with the Holy Ghost. That is why I said, There were no foolish virgins in that first age. It took a certain universal condition to produce what Jesus referred to as foolish virgins, and that condition did not just suddenly come into existence. It came about over a span of many centuries. Therefore to begin our search through time where we will find the condition that produces foolish virgins, let us begin with the true body of believers that had their beginning on the day of Pentecost, when 120 disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ were filled with the Holy Ghost, (Acts, chapter 2) and in a short period of time grew to the point where they were referred to as multitudes. We are all familiar with Acts 2 already, so let us turn in our Bibles to 1st Corinthians 12:13, and see how the apostle Paul said one gets into the body of Christ. “For by ONE SPIRIT are we all baptized into ONE BODY, (The body of Christ, the church) whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been made to drink into one Spirit. For the BODY is not one member, but many.” This many membered body is a universal body which had its beginning in Acts 2, and is referred to in Acts 5, as the church. It took the baptism of the Holy Ghost to put a person into that body; therefore there was no such thing as a foolish virgin (a believer without oil, which is the Holy Ghost) in those early days of Christianity. They were all taught the same thing, and they all believed the same thing. That is why we say that bride believers in this last age must be restored to the complete apostolic truth before Jesus comes back to harvest the crop that He planted in the earth beginning at Pentecost. Even nature itself teaches us that whatever is planted will produce more of its kind if it is a good seed and no one has a chance to pervert it. You might ask, How could the body of Christ be perverted to produce something other than its same kind? That is what we are going to find out as we go along. First let us read a parable from Matthew, chapter 13, where we will find Jesus giving us a clue. Go to verse 24, “Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed GOOD SEED in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed TARES among the wheat, and went his way.” He goes on to tell how the servants of that man came later to inquire about the kind of seed he sowed, and what they should do about the tares that were growing in the midst of the wheat. His instructions were, Just let them grow together until the harvest, then the reapers can gather the good grain into the barn, and bundle the tares to be burned. His disciples came unto Him later and desired that He would explain this parable to them, so Jesus begins in verse 37, explaining what it meant. “He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the GOOD SEED is the Son of man; (Jesus) The field is the world: the GOOD SEED are the CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM: (GENUINE BELIEVERS) but the TARES are THE CHILDREN OF THE WICKED ONE: (MAKE BELIEVERS) The enemy that sowed them is the DEVIL; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned int eh fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.” That is enough for you to see how true Christianity got sidetracked as we try to explain what happened as the first age began to fade out and make room for what we call, the second church age. Let me say once again though, Foolish virgins are not tares; we are just using the tares to show you what created a condition that could produce foolish virgins.

TARES ARE SATAN’S SEED

A tare is someone the devil plants within the fellowship of true believers; God does not plant them there. The original gospel was to produce wise virgins; nothing else. But here is what happened: Those of that first generation began to die off, leaving behind children that had been raised in church, but many of them had never been born of the Spirit. In process of time all the original apostles left the scene also, along with those first century saints who had received the gospel message from them. By this time Satan had been able to infiltrate the ranks of believers, and those whom he had planted among them, began to project certain ideas and opinions that raised doubts and questions in the church. The question that caused the most disturbance, and finally led to the Nicaea Council in 325 A.D., was on the divinity of Jesus Christ. A priest of Alexandria, named Arius, began teaching in the year 318 A.D. that Jesus the Son of God was not divine, but was only a creature made out of nothing, like all other created beings. The Arian teaching was to counterattack the trinity belief that had crept into the church, but like all others who attack something, or someone, without a good understanding of the issue, he went too far in the other direction, and caused such a stir in Christian ranks that the Roman Emperor, Constantine, took it upon himself to call a council meeting at Nicaea, for the purpose of settling this controversy and establishing doctrine for the church. The council was attended by at least 270 bishops of what was called, “the church” at that time. They affirmed the divinity of Christ, and condemned Arius as a heretic. Here is their formula of the Godhead from that first council. “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of the Father, that is, of the substance of the Father;

God from God, light from light, true God from true God; begotten, not created, consubstantial with the Father.” Another council held in Constantinople, in 381 A.D., reaffirmed the Nicene Creed, and, also clearly defined the divinity of the Holy Spirit, which had also been questioned. This, of course, gave them back their divine trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all three equal, and of the same substance. One thing you will have to say for Arius, he knew their “Holy Trinity,” three God belief, was wrong, but he did not have a “one God” revelation himself, so his teaching was as far off as theirs. The founding fathers of the Christian faith were no longer on the scene to hold a line on the true revelation, so little by little that white horse rider of Revelation 6:1-2, attacked and conquered in every assembly where the original apostolic gospel had been preached. This was Satan’s attack on the church. It was that spirit of Antichrist, that the first age had been warned about, working through men in the church, that did the damage.

ANTICHRIST DOCTRINE

When you read carefully, the 7 parables of Matthew 13, and compare them with the 7 churches of Asia, mentioned in Revelation, chapter 2 and 3, you can see that Jesus was showing how the kingdom of heaven would be divided, or identified in 7 major spiritual changes. It is not that God changes, but He had to allow Satan to test the church just like he did Adam and Eve, in the garden of Eden. That testing has brought about spiritual conditions through this age of grace that lines up perfectly with the conditions described in those 7 churches of Asia. As that spirit of Antichrist moved on the scene stronger and stronger, true gospel light got dimmer and dimmer until it reached a place in the Dark Ages where there was little more than a glimmer, universally speaking. John the apostle, in his first epistle, warned believers to beware of Antichrists that would come, and went on to say, Even now there are many in the world already. He called them false prophets. Anything that is contrary to revelation truth is Antichrist, and John could see that old spirit working even before he wrote this epistle in 90 A.D. How does he work? He works through men, many times right in your own assembly, to project himself as an angel of light. That was how he diverted people from the truth in the closing years of that first age. It did not happen over night, but little by little, certain characters began to change the formula of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They could not just come right out with something completely contrary to what the apostles had taught, for there were still saints alive that had been taught by Peter, Paul, John or one of the others, so what did they do? They began to present little dressed up ideas, nothing too serious at first; just something to cause a little mental sensation. Food for thought, I believe they call it. The devil is a sly old bird; he knew exactly what he was doing. At first it was just a softening up process, presenting 90 percent truth, and just enough of something else to make ears tingle a little. When a thing like that is kept up long enough, it will finally take a toll. That is what has been happening in this last day message brought to this age by Bro. William Branham. Certain characters have traveled this world over giving their version of what the prophet said, until they have created a condition where many people do not have the slightest idea of WHAT the prophet said. Over a period of years they have heard it all, but from so many different ones, and each one varying a little from what the one before him said, and just so much of this will get people to a point where they have no idea at all of what the true version is. That is what happened to the gospel message long toward the end of that first age. It was not a communistic spirit attacking the church; neither was it a Nazi spirit; it was a religious spirit. Satan will take a handsome fellow with an overwhelming personality, and cause that fellow to teach just enough truth to hold their religious attention, while he charms them to sleep and feeds them poison. That is what you have heard me say many times, Brothers and sisters, Do not follow me because you like me. If you cannot take what you hear me teach, and make it line up with the word of God, you had better get away from me. That goes for anyone who stands to preach or teach the word of God. Satan knows exactly what kind of personality is most likely to lull people to sleep, so that is the kind of men he used. Of course there always have been a few old saints who would not go along with the crowd, but popular opinion, carried on the wings of deception among the majority usually runs the show, so that about all one can do is try to keep straight himself. Through the years after the Nicaea Council, church bishops really came into the limelight. By about 500 A.D. many bishops had sat on the papal chair. That office had really become important, and those bishops really enjoyed those pats on the back. Their political influence had become more respected than the Emperor himself. Through the years this trend continued until eventually those bishops became so political minded that they began to lose their vision of the gospel of Christ. Through politics and materialism the church became disrobed of the gospel, and put on a worldly robe. It came down to man’s political, earthly level. They lost the Godhead revelation. They lost the revelation of scriptural water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, sanctification, personal faith in Christ, and finally the experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost after they received the experience; we are talking about conditions that brought the church (what was called the church) so low that they no longer had such an experience. Remember, brothers and sisters, that did not happen suddenly; it was a gradual process that took centuries of time. Satan just kept on injecting his poisonous serums until just about all the life was gone out of the church of the living God. That Thyatira age was the darkest period in all of New Testament history. There was no progress, no revelation, and no fellowship with God. All they thought about in those days was art, and it seems that we are living in a day when art is again taking the forefront in thought and conversation among people of the world. I want you to know, God thinks about as much of their art as He does your ten year old Sears & Roebuck catalogue. Art has its place, and I can appreciate it myself when it is kept in its place, but if you are a person that lives just for art, and God has no place in your life, you are a miserable, blind creature, and you are heading for shipwreck.

A LEAVENING CONDITION

When we were in old Toledo, Spain, a few years ago, we saw a place, a museum that they called, “a hospital.” At first I thought we were going to a hospital where they treat sick people, but it turned out to be a hospital for sick paintings, a place where they restore them. Naturally it belongs to the Catholic church, the system that praises Michaelangelo so much. He is the one that did all that painting in the Vatican, a famous painter; there has never been another like him. Brothers and sisters: Do not take me wrong; I am not against art, but I will have to say, I never have been able to understand why this famous painter put a little horn on every painting he ever did of Moses. Tell me where he got that revelation. Or maybe it was supposed to be a curl in his hair, rather than a horn. Nevertheless, if you want to see a lot of gold and silver, that is the place to go. It reminded me of the scripture of Revelation 3:18, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed.” That was written to the church at Laodicea, the church that portrayed the spirit which would be on this 7th church age, a carnal spirit. Paul said, “To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6) That has always been the devil’s purpose, to get the church so carnal minded that she would be stripped of all spirituality. Under a true ministry ordained of God, the church presses onward and upward, but under a carnal minded priesthood she becomes sick, diseased, (spiritually speaking) and lifeless. This is where the church had drifted to during the Dark Ages, but that did not produce foolish virgins; it only brought about a spiritual condition that would later produce foolish virgins. Nevertheless, it is easy to see why the rapture could not take place in the 16th century while the church of the living God looked like that. The condition of the church at that time is what the fourth parable of Matt. 13, was pertaining to, a time when the kingdom of heaven would be likened unto LEAVEN, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, (which is bread) till the whole was leavened. Now you know Jesus put every parable right where it needed to be, Did he not? He was talking about the woman being the Catholic church, in the Dark Ages, and the leaven was her creeds, her teaching, her ceremonies and catechisms. The meal had reference to the bread of life, which is the word of God. She just kept mixing her creeds and rituals with the word of God until she had everything the apostles taught leavened with her dogmas. It all became a monetary thing. She took out, “The just shall live by faith,” and replaced it with, “There is no salvation outside the Catholic church.” She took out sanctification, and put in indulgences, another money making scheme of that Catholic system. Indulgences could not control the fallen nature of unregenerate man; they just served to sort of legalize certain things that a person could do, and still be in fellowship with the Catholic church. This puts the person under a certain inner condemnation, because nature itself, many times, says, “That was wrong.” This brings the person to the confession booth, another monetary gimmick that has no spiritual benefit whatsoever. It serves to relieve the person of that inner feeling of condemnation, but it does nothing whatsoever in the way of changing the sinful nature of the individual. Instead of the genuine baptism of the Holy Ghost, they put in the ritual of confirmation. When a child reaches a certain age, all the family’s friends and relatives are invited to be present when the child is confirmed, (received into the church). Oh what a departure from Paul’s teaching on how one gets into the church, (1st Cor. 12:13) “For by one Spirit (the Holy Ghost) are we all baptized into one body.” You never would have seen Paul, nor Peter, going around with a wheelbarrow full of wafers confirming people into the church. No! Praise God! The first 120 disciples that received the Holy Ghost, received it without the priest and his wafers! So did the next 3000 souls, a little later! I cannot help but wonder where they ever got the idea for such a mess. You pardon my expression, but that is the most fitting word I can think of to describe that conglomeration from the Dark Ages. Can you even begin to imagine what this world would be like by now if God had never moved upon anyone to break away from that old manmade system of dogmas and creeds? There is one thing for sure; we would not be enjoying all these modern conveniences that we have grown so accustomed to. Instead, we would probably be crawling around on broken glass, half starved, doing penance. Saints: We ought to thank God without ceasing for what we have, both spiritually and materially. We are, without a doubt, most blessed by God. We have been privileged to live in an age when God is restoring to His true church, all that Satan robbed her of during that Dark Age period. Of course we still have that condition of the blind leading the blind. But, Praise God! We are not all blind! Some of us have received 20-20 spiritual vision, and we are privileged to see what Peter, James, John, Paul, and men like that, saw more than 1900 years ago. Hallelujah!

WHO GOES TO CHURCH?

We are going to show why the foolish virgins did not have oil, but I feel that it will be clearer to you if we show the conditions (spiritually) that led to such an hour when there would be both wise and foolish virgins. It is a condition that came out of the reformation. The reformation is over, and time is running out. The big gospel net has been cast into the sea of humanity, and it has gathered of every kind. The sorting process is taking place now, and it is the Holy Ghost that is doing the sorting. From that great gospel sweep of our age, there are innumerable thousands filling the church houses every Sunday, but they are not all bride people. Many of them are tares, (make believers) others are foolish virgins, and the others, wise virgins getting dressed for the marriage supper, soon to take place in glory. Many people through the years have read this parable in Matt. 25, and thought the foolish virgins were lost because it says the door was shut and they could not get in. Let me remind you again as we go along, These foolish virgins are not lost; they are virgins. It is important that you keep in mind the fact that, spiritually, they are virgins. It is only the door of bride perfecting revelation that is closed to them. For the most part the foolish virgins are caught up in this great charismatic move. Some have asked me, Bro. Jackson: Is it possible that some of the foolish virgins could even be in this message? My answer to that, is this, That is where some of these odd teachings spring from. Yes, they very well could be. I will add this, though, If there are foolish virgins sitting in assemblies where the bride is being taught, (and only God knows) they will still never get an understanding of this until after it is too late. They can hear the same things that others hear, but they will just simply not understand. I will say though, most of them are still in organized churches, and they must stay there until time reaches a certain hour. Then, within the ranks of their ecumenism, something will happen to set off a tremor and cause them to realize that there is something missing in their lives, (revelation truth) and that is when they will run to the wise virgins and try to get in, but the bridegroom, from within, shall say unto them, I know you not. Simply stated, that just means that He does not know them as His wife. Now saints, try to get a proper picture. These literal words are not actually spoken to anyone. Remember what I said in the beginning, A parable is just to bring out a point, and is not fulfilled in every detail. Besides, it says, The kingdom of heaven is LIKENED UNTO this; not literally like this. So what happens? Something happens in their ranks that causes them to realize that they need something more than just the Holy Ghost sensations in their lives, and they know where the people are that have what they need, so away they go. Now when they get there, no one slams a door in their face and refuses to let them in. The parable simply lets us know that they have waited too long. The Holy Ghost just doesn’t open up these “bride saint” mysteries to them. They can hear, but they will not understand. Brothers and sisters, just so you will not misunderstand, let me say this, Many individuals have come through the charismatic ranks right into this revelation who were never in denominations at all. God just simply spoke to them right in their state of unbelief and moved them right into the stream of His perfecting will. Is that understood? Individuals here and there do not affect the parable, nor are they affected by it. The parable covers a universal condition that will prevail at the time of the end of the age. It applies to the masses of people, instead of mere individuals. It is true that these masses are made up of individuals, but please, brothers and sisters, Do not try to pick out those who are foolish virgins among people you are acquainted with; only God can do that.

SEVENTH CHURCH AGE – LAODICEA

Let us turn our attention back to the Thyatira church age where we left off on our journey through time. Some have asked me if we do not still have Thyatira church age conditions present, even in our day. Yes. That is Romanism, but you must realize that until the Reformation started, you only had they Thyatira church. Coming out of the Dark Ages you did not have what we now call, “The Philadelphia Age,” nor Laodicea, nor Sardis church age conditions. These conditions came as God began to work through the various reformers, restoring apostolic truth back to the body of Christ. We have been in the Laodicean age since around 1906. This is the age that, “THEN,” applies to. “THEN shall the kingdom of heaven be LIKENED UNTO ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” THEN, is only effective in the 7th church age which is the Laodicean age, an age in which spiritual conditions are comparable to those in the church of the Laodiceans, (Rev. 3:15-18). The message to that church was, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Notice now) Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, (pure faith) that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.” Now this is the only age that foolish virgins come in, and every one of them will have to die for their faith during that terrible tribulation hour. Why will they have to die? Because they were foolish in the years leading up to that hour. Well what made them foolish? The reason they are called foolish is because they thought for years that they were ready to meet the bridegroom, and did not even have the Holy Ghost, when the Bible plainly teaches that He is coming after a church which is without spot or wrinkle, which is His body, and we are only in that body by the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Why did they not have the Holy Ghost? What made them think they did not need it? That is what we want to deal with right now. Actually they will all have the Holy Ghost eventually, but not in time to be dressed in a wedding garment acceptable to the bridegroom. We have already talked about how Satan stripped the church during the Dark Ages. When Martin Luther began to get a little glimmer of gospel light, it was mainly limited to the scriptural fact that the just shall live by faith instead of church creeds and dogmas. He protested against the Catholic church, and through much hardship and many trials, became the founding father of what later became known as the Lutheran church. His 95 thesis which he nailed on the church door at Wittenberg, Germany, October 1517, actually inaugurated the Protestant movement against the Catholic church, or we will say, Romanism. He denied the jurisdiction of the pope over Purgatory, and was bitterly opposed to the pope collecting money for indulgences, and for releasing souls from Purgatory, even if he had any jurisdiction there, and he certainly had come to see that man’s salvation did not depend upon his good works and proper standing in the eyes of the pope, but rather depended upon his personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He did not know anything about the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but he sure opened up the road for justification by faith. Following him with various scriptural truths that God had revealed to them, were men like Calvin, Knox, Swingley, Huss, Wesley and others. All of these men, coming out of the Dark Ages, were instrumental in rescuing Christianity from the death grip of Romanism. The reformation, or restoration, was not an instantaneous thing though. It has been a slow process restoring truth and revelation to the church, just like stripping her of these things was a slow process. Through these various reformers, and over a period of many years, God restored the revelation of eternal security, and predestination, sanctification, and finally, the baptism of the Holy Ghost. But please be aware of the fact that followers of these different reformers built a denominational wall around the truth that each of them taught and stood for. They organized into Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Nazarenes, and dozens of other names that they are called by, each group feeling that they have all that is needed to be right with God. Each group had a primary theme, but many times rejected what God had restored to some other group. Pay attention now, I am showing you why, in these last days, there are a lot of virgins that do not have oil. John Wesley cam on the scene in the 1700’s with the revelation burning in his bosom that the just were not only to live by faith, but that they should live a separated, holy life, clean from all worldly habits and involvements. Faith, eternal security, predestination, all these were apostolic truths that belonged in the body of Christ, but none of these produced the revelation that those who were justified by faith, should also stop using their bad language, cool their hot tempers, stay away from the beer joints; in other words, separate themselves from worldly entanglements, but John Wesley did receive such a revelation. Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterians, and such like, rejected John Wesley’s message. But, even though these just simply could not see it, that revelation did catch fire and sweep the land. This revelation eventually became fenced in by a denominational wall also. They called themselves Methodists, and taught sanctification as the 2nd definite work of grace in a believer’s life. Baptists did not want any part of Wesley’s sanctification, and Methodists believed that the Baptists teaching on eternal security of the believer, was right out of the pit of hell, and so on down the line of denominations. Each group was ever so busy perfecting their own revelation, but they had the door closed to everything else. Most of them believed that a person receives everything he needs the moment he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. Naturally to each group, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ for justification was seen only through their own denominational teachings. Now I grant you, in every age there was a certain amount of manifestation of the Holy Ghost. A few people spoke in tongues, and others received certain supernatural visitations, yet not in any measure to cause that to be their primary teaching. Each group had their primary theme, and they stuck just to that, because they did not know any better. It was not the hour for God to perfect the church, He was just restoring truth, making it available. I do want to say this, In the days when Methodists had the fires of sanctification burning in their hearts, they had just as much eternal security as any Baptist ever thought of having. Will you accept that? Many of those Methodists lived a life so devoted to God that they were more eternally secure than a lot of the Baptists who believed in the doctrine of it, but did not live the life. On the other hand, to turn the picture around; many of those old time Baptists loved God so much, and wanted their lives to please God, so much, they lived just as clean as any Methodist. They were just as sanctified as any of those who believed the doctrine of sanctification. They did not drink, smoke, curse, or any of those things, simply because they, personally, believe it was wrong to do such things. They did not know anything about the sanctification message, but they lived sanctified lives just the same. On the fringes of Methodism you had the Nazarene and Pilgrim Holiness people who were really bringing the sanctification message to perfection. They built Bible schools and seminaries simply around the doctrine of sanctification, and I will have to say, some of them did definitely have a genuine Holy Ghost experience. There are many evidences of that fact recorded in various historical writings of that period of time. Many of them did not know what to call the experience they had, but as we read what is written about them, we know what it was.

 MANIFESTING GOD’S PRESENCE

I want to take this time to relate some things at this point of our message. We have in our possession, my wife’s family tree. It goes back to Sweden, and naturally, carries various branches of mankind which came through in the Daniel Boone period and settled in this part of the country. We read of one old fellow who settled in this part of the country back in the 1800’s; it said he used to have spells while working out in the corn field. What he was having was Holy Ghost spells. His testimony was that he loved God so much he prayed constantly. Back in those days people did not have the mechanized equipment to plow their corn with, like we do today, so they had to use a plain old garden hoe, both to plant and to cultivate their crops. This old fellow would be out in the field working and praying when all of a sudden he would start shouting, dancing, and slinging his hoe. Many people got scared and ran away from him, because they did not know what was taking place. He said when that would happen, it felt like fire was leaping off the ends of his fingers. It was also noted that other people who did believe in God, had great faith in this man’s prayers. They would bring a certain prayer request to him, he would pray, and the particular need would be met. I believe you will have to agree; that old fellow had the Holy Ghost. Brothers and sisters, my point in telling this is to call your attention to the fact that, no matter how dark the hour might have been, (spiritually speaking) God always had a few people who walked in fellowship with Him, as individuals, while the church as a whole was in darkness. These individuals had a certain measure of the Spirit of God working in their lives, some more than others. It was just that they did not know what to tie their experience to, scripturally. Since the Reformation was an era of time within the kingdom of heaven, and God’s objective was to restore truth to the one body of believers, in order to end up the age with a church believing exactly the same as the one in the book of Acts, it was necessary that basic doctrines be restored before people’s attention was drawn to Holy Ghost sensations. You need a word foundation to land on when the sensation wears off. Whatever the first church had, the living element of the bride of Christ will have also before she leaves this old planet, in the rapture. That is why she is pictured in the 19th chapter of Revelation, as being arrayed in fine linen, clean and white. That is also why Paul said, He, (Jesus) would be able to present her to Himself, a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. It is because all man-made ideas and opinions will be washed out by the washing of the waters of the word of God. (You can read that in the 5th chapter of Ephesians.) That will make the end-time church just like the first age church. Remember what I pointed out earlier now, and do not get fine linen clean and white, mixed up with white robes; for the white robes speak only of eternal life, while the fine linen speaks of the perfected bride of Christ. The foolish virgins will already have their white robes when they go into the tribulation, but they will be spotted and wrinkled by man-made creeds and Antichrist doctrines, and only martyrdom will clean them up. When I say this, please remember that I am referring to their salvational robes being dirty, and not their physical lives. Wesley’s sanctification message cleaned up a lot of lives, but it did not rid them of anti-word doctrines. They lived clean moral lives, but still carried 80 percent of their Catholic, Dark Age creeds, instead of apostolic truth.

PROTESTERS SANCTUARY

We are coming into the 20th century now, in our journey through time, and we will see what conditions were present that began both to make wise virgins as well as foolish virgins. We have already spoke on some of this, but just to keep a proper sequence as we continue our story, let us go right through them again. People are always asking. When did the 7th church age start? How long will it last? Why does this parable in Matt. 25 have to take place in the 7th church age, and so forth. The age started when God began to move upon some folks, with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, in such a way that it produced an oil message. We do not have any scripture to tell us how long it will last; we only have scriptural signs that we must watch, so that we will know when the end is drawing nigh. Then to answer the third question, the parable could only come into effect in an age when there would be Holy Ghost filling stations in various places, or it could not be said to the foolish, “Go to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” In other words, go to your charismatic meetings until you get the oil you need; they are the ones who make merchandise out of the Spirit of God. Can you see now, that there has never been another age when this parable could be applied, before this age? Of course you can. Pentecost began making its debut around the turn of this century, about 400 years after the reformation started. Timewise we would have to look to January 1, 1900, in a place called Topeka, Kansas, where old brother Parheim (I believe that was his name) with a group of Methodists had been fasting and praying for a revival, a move of God. They were asking God to do something to get hold of the lives of sinners. Right at that time they were living in the dying hours of the Welch revival which fell in the islands off England. Many letters had been written back and forth concerning what had taken place in that revival, so these old saints were seeking God for a visitation in their midst, in like manner. Let me say this, Pentecost, as the world has come to know and understand the Pentecostal message, could not have fallen in Africa, nor Europe. As you here at Faith Assembly will probably remember, Bro. Paisley pointed out in a message, that, if the messenger to this age was to come with a message that was different, then it could not come from that Old World where the old mother system was still in power. It had to come from a nation that had been founded in an hour right at the time when the reformers started out, or when the Reformation started. When Martin Luther was just a lad growing up, there was an Italian man named Christopher Columbus who loved to sail the seas. He got the idea to try and find a new trade route to the Dutch East Indies; in other words, a short cut. While almost every other seaman believed the world was flat, and that it would be dangerous to sail too far, for fear of dropping off, old Columbus believed the world was round, and that one could go to the East by sailing west. He went to every King’s palace in Europe trying to get someone to give him some boats. Finally, he found a queen who would listen to him, and she gave him the necessary boats for his endeavor. Then he rounded up a bunch of crooks and thieves for his crews, and set sail, looking for a new trade route to the Dutch East Indies. After many days and nights on the sea, instead of reaching his intended destination he discovered the whereabouts of this North American continent, and made it known back in Europe. Naturally the news spread fast throughout all Europe, and before long Spaniards were coming from Spain to Latin America, then into Mexico, and from Mexico into Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico. The Spanish Conquistadors took gold from the Indians, and took it to Spain. I could go into much detail telling about all the gold we saw in a large Catholic church there in old Toledo, Spain, three years ago, but I will forego that, and just say this; Columbus died the year before Martin Luther was ordained a priest, but he had opened up a route into this wilderness land where Luther’s protestors came to in 1620 fleeing that old mother system. Christendom out of Europe came here to this wilderness land in order to get away from Catholicism, and be able to worship God according to the conviction of their own hearts. Little by little various parts of what is now the United States was settled, stating at Lost Angeles and moving eastward. Those who came were carrying the message of Luther, “The just shall live by faith.” To that was added “Eternal security of the believer, and sanctification,” but God did not drop the Pentecostal message until the new continent. “The United States,” had been settled from seashore to seashore. Then God began to set things in motion that would eventually produce the Holy Ghost baptism, message. On January 1, 1900, those saints out in Topeka, Kansas, began to experience something out of the ordinary as they fasted and prayed and sought God for a revival. This one woman began to speak in tongues, and that caused everyone to go to the Bible for an explanation of what was happening. In that search of the scriptures they began to recognize a message of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Several weeks later, Bro. Parheim and some of the other folks began moving out into other areas, with testimony of their new experience. Finally they worked their way into Texas where an old colored brother named Seymour heard the message of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. He did not have the experience yet, himself, but he knew that if he preached anywhere at all, he would have to tell about this experience. That caused him to want to cancel an engagement to speak in Los Angeles, for he was a Nazarene preacher, and it was Nazarene people who had invited him to come. He knew he could not preach to anyone without telling of this experience, so he called L.A. with his mind made up to cancel his meeting, but they persuaded him to come anyhow. Most of you know what happened; he slowly began to lay the foundation for this message, and as time went on, certain ones began to be filled with the Spirit of God. This brought about a split in the church, and moved old Bro. Seymour and his group into a warehouse building where the real outpouring started. By this time it was not only affecting Nazarenes, but also Methodists, Baptists, and even Catholics. These fundamental denominational churches even got to the point where they would get hold of mean, ornery characters, and send them into those meetings to break them up. I read of one such man who went to church for that purpose, and while he waited for the right moment, the Spirit of God got hold of him, and instead of breaking up the meeting, he ran trembling to the alter, crying, “God have mercy on me!” It was things like this that caused the message to be noised far and wide. That is why we say the Laodicean church age had its beginning in the period between 1903 and 1906; that is when those great revival fires burned so brightly. The message was fought tooth and toenail by the main fundamental organizations, but out of Los Angeles went the Pentecostal message. In that hour it was just a message of the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the manifestation of speaking in tongues. In that hour they had no revelation on the Godhead; it was just a message of being filled with the power of God. They did not lay aside, “The just shall live by faith,” and neither did they lay aside sanctification; their new revelation made these others more enjoyable. It was a glorious thing, just to know that Jesus Christ had taken up His abode within. Preachers and missionaries from all over the world came to this message, so that by the time WWI finally caused the world travel to be stopped, the message had already been around the earth. It had become a universal message, and please remember, The Holy Ghost message is the oil message that produces two groups, wise and foolish, and neither group had gone to sleep yet, speaking from the years of about 1908 – 1912.

GOD MOVES SOVEREIGNLY

During the years between 1908 and 1912, other developments began to take shape. God began to move upon individuals to take on the name of Jesus in water baptism. I read one account of where two brothers in the faith who had not seen each other for quite some time, met at a convention and began to talk. One said to the other, “What has the Lord been showing you?” The other brother was a little reluctant to answer for he had been awakened, startled, one night, as he heard a voice saying, Will you take my name? He heard it so vividly, and it made such an impression upon him, he knew it was the Lord that had spoken. He could not go back to sleep; therefore he just picked up his Bible to read some scripture, and it opened right up to Acts 2:38, so he began to read. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” The first man asked him again, “What has the Lord been showing you? Hasn’t He been revealing anything to you? I was reading the scriptures one night, when, all of a sudden, right before my eyes, was Acts 2:38. It seemed like that verse just jumped right out of the right out of the Bible and stood before my face. It became so large; I just simply could not get my eyes off of it. That caused me to start searching the scriptures, and everywhere I read in the book of Acts where anyone was baptized in water, they baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Upon hearing this, the other man began to relate what had awakened him from his sleep one night, and how he had made the same discovery from reading the book of Acts. That was how God began a process of restoring more of His word back to the church. “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself: but whatsoever He shall hear that shall He speak.” Now what is the Spirit of truth (the Holy Ghost) to do? Guide us into all truth; not error. It just kindly makes you wonder how folks who have supposedly had the Holy Ghost for years could take off after strange doctrines all of a sudden. Nevertheless I remain a firm believer in the fact that the Holy Ghost will guide us into all truth if we will allow Him to.

THE OIL MESSAGE

As God continued to pour out His Spirit upon hungry souls, and the oil message picked up momentum, it began to inspire people to believe that Jesus would come soon. This became their theme, and the very heartbeat of their revelation, “Jesus is coming soon.” That inspired more songs to be written in that hour, songs of the bridegroom, songs of a soon to come wedding, and so forth. When you go back through the old song books, you will not find songs of this type in them. Songwriters and singers in the days of those fundamental revivals, did not use terminology like that. It was only after the Pentecostal revivals began to sweep through the ranks of Christianity, that terms like this began to be used. In that hour Pentecost had not yet become a great denomination; it was just a fellowship of people with a message of being filled with the Holy Ghost, but no matter how much they believed Jesus would come very soon, He would not come in an hour when the bride’s faith was not yet purified. The oil message was not enough. The church must have a revelation of the oneness of God, and have time for the revelation to be perfected before Jesus would come. Up until that hour believers, in general, still believed that God was three persons. They were on the threshold of something to add to their oil message, but they would not all receive the next phases of God’s restoration truth. That brought a split in the Pentecostal ranks. The Godhead message began to be preached as God dealt with various individuals about the name of Jesus, and the oneness of God, and meanwhile the oil message still continued to spread out and enlarge its scope among the ranks of Christianity. World War I caught the Pentecostal ranks divided into two segments, one group believing that God is three persons, and the other group knowing that He is one. As this revelation began to be purified in certain ones it caused them to realize more and more that faith in God must be more than just a theological concept: it has to be a living reality. When that war period came to a close the oneness of God message really caught fire. It spread out like a forest fire, still the trinity side went right on with their oil message. God meant for that oil message to run its full course; in other words, it had to create an overall situation throughout all Christendom that would make people know there was such an experience as being filled with the Holy Ghost. It took that to divide the virgins into two that would fulfill the parable of the wise, and the foolish virgins. On the wise virgins side you had two groups, trinity and oneness; they were called wise because they all recognized their need for the Holy Ghost (oil) in their vessels. Over on that foolish virgin side you had the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and so forth, just to mention a few. They were called foolish, because they could see no need for the baptism of the Holy Ghost. They believe they received everything one needs when they believed, and especially in former years, when they looked upon the Pentecostals as a bunch of fanatics. Nevertheless this condition makes up the two groups of virgins who went forth to meet the bridegroom, for they all looked for the soon return of Jesus for his bride.

DENOMINATIONAL FENCES AROUND PENTECOST

As we come on into the 1920’s, Pentecost did what all the other reformation groups had done; they began to build themselves into a denomination. Because of conditions as a result in the split among their ranks, the trinity side, because they would not go on with God, was forced into building themselves a denominational fence around the baptism of the Holy Ghost. At first it looked like the oneness element would not even be able to survive as they were forced out on their own, but God was with them; they were carrying a truth that must be restored to the body of Christ. Eventually, though, they also built them a denominational fence around what they had, and took the attitude that they had all that there was to have. That is what a denominational spirit does, it closes your eyes to everything beyond what you have. When both elements of Pentecost were comfortably established as major denominations, that started them all going to sleep. The wise virgins who had oil in their vessels went to sleep spiritually, right along with the Baptists, and all the rest. This condition fulfilled verse 5, of our text, “While the bridegroom tarried, they all (both wise and foolish) slumbered and slept. The wise virgins, like all the rest, had reached a point where they could see no further light, so they went to sleep right along with all the foolish. This brings us well up into the 1930’s, in our following the route of the church through time, and let me remind you again, We are not just looking at the church in America. No. Anything that has to do with fulfilling this parable must reach around the whole world in its scope, and that takes time. You may see things right around you that seemingly fulfills this parable, but those conditions must be world wide before they can fulfill the parable. (Saints: I hope you are following me. It is important that you understand this, if you want to know where you are in time.) There had to be a worldwide condition where one could say, “All of Christendom is asleep.” Then, according to the parable there came a cry at midnight, (midnight signifying a time of night when everyone would be asleep; that began to awaken the sleeping virgins, and that cry must be heard throughout the whole earth in order to fulfill the parable. As a result of the midnight cry, all the sleeping virgins, both wise and foolish, began to awaken and trim their lamps, and that is when the foolish began to discover that they needed something else. What they went to sleep on was not sufficient, standing alone, to get their light shining again. We will go into that cry condition in a few minutes, but right now I want to say this, Jesus will not come for His bride until every last one who will make up that bride, has heard, and had time enough to get dressed up in every single truth that is found in His word. I will agree with anyone on the fact that we are living very close, timewise, to His coming, but I disagree with the idea some have, that He could come just any minute now. There are still some events and conditions that must affect the universal body of believers before that can take place. His first advent was timed precisely to fulfill all scripture that pertained to it, and His coming for the church will be also. Every bride person will be completely dressed and ready to go when He comes, and every world condition will have to match that which the scriptures speak of. That is, “THUS SAITH THE LORD.” That is why the apostle Peter could look those Jews in the eye one day, and say, Through ignorance you have crucified the Lord of glory, the very Messiah you have looked for stood right in your midst and you rejected Him, and allowed Him to be put to death. He went on to say, Nevertheless it had to be like this in order to fulfill all that the prophets of old had spoken concerning the crucifixion of Christ, how He would suffer all these things, be crucified, buried, then rise the 3rd day. Everything happened precisely according to what was written, as His first advent, and it will be exactly in harmony with what is written when He comes again. Praise His name! Wherever the little bride of Christ is, in her universal scope around this world, she has got to be awakened, brought out of her sleepy denominational structure, washed by the washing of the word until she has a pure revelation. Her Holy Ghost experience will lead her to that. Some of you still believe, or at least hope that when the Lord Jesus will rapture the bride, He will take a few from every denomination. I am here to tell you, That is not so. Anyone who holds to a denomination until the rapture takes place will certainly not have any place in the bride of Christ. The only hope they have left is to be a foolish virgin, and wash their robe in the blood of the Lamb through martyrdom. Now please do not try to tell me the foolish virgins are not in denominations. They are. Even the wise were in denominations before the Holy Ghost began to lead them out. When the midnight cry went forth all of Christianity was living under a denominational cloud, but it was the midnight cry that started them coming out.

MIDNIGHT CRY CONDITION

Let us look for a moment at what, universally, conditions were that constituted the midnight condition. As you all know, when the Pentecostal experience first began to sweep through the ranks of Christianity, taking one here, one there, and two or three from somewhere else, it caused a great stir among the fundamental ranks. They persecuted the Pentecostals, and fought against the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and a person had to have the real thing in order to endure. But time changes conditions, wears out resistance, and gives people a chance to settle down. That is what happened with Pentecost. As time passed on and both elements had formed their denominations, feeling that there was no further revelation to be had, they just began to settle down to wait for the bridegroom to come. They began to come out of the side street missions, and storefront meeting places, and build nice comfortable church houses just like the fundamentals had. They become recognized as major denominations, and the persecution ceased, looking at it from a worldwide viewpoint. Now Pentecost is asleep along with all the rest, not looking for anything else, but just waiting for the Lord to come. When this condition reached a universal scope it had conditions right for the midnight cry. You will notice in verse 5, that Jesus used two words to describe their sleeping conditions, “SLUMBERED and SLEPT” this lets us know that some of them were sleeping more soundly than others. Some were just in a very light sleep, while others were in a deep sleep, snoring so loudly that it was hard to awaken them. It was the fundamental people who were in the deep sleep, snoring so loudly. Pentecost went to sleep, but they were not sleeping so soundly, therefore when God sent His messenger to sound the midnight cry at the close of World War II, it was Pentecost that first began to recognize this man as a messenger from God. It was his unusual ministry of healing, and the gifts of the Spirit that God manifested through him, that caused Pentecostal people to take heed of his ministry. We all know it was necessary for God to introduce Brother Branham through the avenue of these gifts. If he had just stepped on the scene preaching doctrine without first having some kind of vindication that people could recognize, he would have been rejected by every denomination including Pentecost. No. God does not work like that. He vindicates His man, then that man speaks, THUS SAITH THE LORD. God created conditions right within the Pentecostal ranks to accomplish that. A preacher who had a sick daughter heard about Bro. William Branham and his unusual ministry, and all the way from Missouri they reached him. Come and pray for my little daughter. God gives him a vision in which he sees certain things in certain positions in the place where the little girl was. Therefore when he went to pray for her, he waited until everything in the room was exactly like he had seen it in the vision; then when he prayed he knew what to expect. (May I say, I was permitted to see that person alive and healthy, years later.) This kind of thing went on until the man’s name and ministry was well known. That gift was a drawing attraction to get the attention of Pentecostal people, and once he became identified within the ranks of that, it gave opportunity for the message that actually created the midnight cry condition. It was the message he brought to this age which began to awaken folks from their sleeping spiritual state. Contrary to what some say, his message was not a new one. He is not the one who restored the doctrinal truth that the Just shall live by faith. Martin Luther did that. He was not the one who restored the doctrine of sanctified life, John Wesley did that, and Pentecost already had the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and the oneness of God, so he did not restore that. “What was his message then?” you might say. His message to this sleeping generation was, “Wake up church of the living God! You need every truth that Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, and all the others preached, as well as the Pentecostal experience and message, to be dressed properly in this Laodicean age. If God has called you to preach, preach the whole gospel just like the apostles did.” Pentecostal folks began to take hold of his doctrinal teaching as he layed emphasis on getting our spiritual experience in line with the Bible and away from man-made creeds. You would have to agree, his message is what would have to be termed, “the midnight cry,” that began waking the virgins out of their sleeping conditions, and cause them to start dressing themselves in the revealed word of God. As Pentecostals broke the ranks of their denominations in order to follow truth, this also began to spill over into the fundamental ranks. They began to take note of the fact that this man’s ministry was different than anything they had heard of. Little by little it had its affect within their assemblies as individuals would get hold of enough truth to pull them out of their organizations. The Pentecostals, who already had the oil were ready to move right into the stream of restored truth, but those fundamentalists who were awakened by the midnight cry had to first go get oil (Holy Ghost) in their vessels before they could enter in, and according to the parable they are gone too long, and when they finally do come back with their Holy Ghost experience it is too late for them to enter into the bride’s revelation. The shut door in verse 10, just simply means that the Holy Ghost does not open up their understanding even though they come begging for it. In other words you must move when God says move, or you just may never have another chance. Let me say also, the fact that we use general terms in dealing with a subject like this, does not in any way mean that all of what was called Pentecostal entered into the revelation. It was only those hungry souls that loved truth. Many of those fundamental people received their oil and moved right into the truth also.

WHAT DO MEN SAY?

God took His messenger from the scene over 14 years ago, but the message he stood for is still having it affect to the ends of the earth. There have been many opinions expressed about this man and his ministry, what he should have done, and I say he fulfilled exactly, the portion of God’s word that he was ordained to fulfill. What others have done with what he said and taught is quite another story. One brother was telling me of a book that his son checked out of the library. It was a book written about various evangelists including Bro. William Branham, written by a worldly man, and from a denominational viewpoint. I will not use any names, but the man who was interviewed to get certain information for the article said that as long as Bro. William Branham prayed for the sick and used the gift that God placed in his life, he was greatly used to help humanity and God was with him. During those days, said he, Bro. William Branham had great crowds of people in his services, but when he started preaching doctrine, his ministry began to decline. He also said Bro. William Branham was a childish man. I have not heard of anyone saying anything about him that those 1st century people did not say about Jesus. As long as He healed their sick and crippled bodies, and fed them loaves and fishes they thought He was wonderful, but there came a day when He looked them in the face and said unto them, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” He went on to say, “There are some of you that believe not. Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.” They even called Him a devil, and accused Him of casting out devils by the power of the prince of the devils (or demons.) Some of them in their accusations called Him an illegitimate child, and a blasphemer, so tell me this, If they say and do such things to the Savior of all mankind, why would they, who have the same spirit in them not say similar things about the man in our age who gave them the exact same reasons that Jesus did? Out of all the multitudes that followed Jesus, how many of them actually obeyed His last words to them and waited in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father? You know as well as I do. It was only about 120 souls. I would have to say, His crowds declined considerably when he started preaching truth to them; do you not agree? Coming back to what this preacher (who was well acquainted with Bro. William Branham) said about Bro. William Branham’s ministry starting to fail as a result of him preaching doctrine, his ministry did not fail. His voice was an instrument used by God to sound a message in the earth that has had the whole Christian world going through an evolutionary change every since. People have been awakened to the fact that they need to get back to the word of God, all over this world, as a result of his ministry.

BIRTH OF CHARISMATICS

In the year 1962, right out on the West Coast where Pentecost got started, a little charismatic group began to function. It was not the Pentecostals that started the charismatic move of our day; it was a few Baptists, a few Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians and others that you would never expect to do such a thing, that actually got this thing started in little prayer groups in their basements. What was it all about? It was the awakened foolish virgins seeking oil. In our parable, what was the first thing the foolish virgins realized they needed when they were awakened? The Holy Ghost. What was the first thing the wise did when they began to wake up? Shut themselves in with the bridegroom, not in the rapture, but in a revelation of truth. The Charismatics which started out in basements in 1962, then moved to the living rooms, then to the school house, and eventually on to college campuses, now has Catholic priests and nuns in leadership roles around the world, and they number into the multiplied thousands. What is it all about? It is foolish virgins seeking oil. Bro. Jackson, Will they get it? Yes. If they are virgins and not tares, (make believers) they will, and we are not just speaking about foolish virgins here in the States; this covers a universal setting and that takes time. Nothing about this parable should be looked upon as something that takes place instantly, not even the cry. Bro. Jackson: How can we tell the foolish virgins from the tares? We can’t. Only God knows that, but why would we even need to know? Wise virgins have no business running to charismatic meetings. Those meetings are accomplishing a twofold purpose of God. The foolish virgins are getting oil, and tares are being tied together in bundles to be burned. The end result of all this ecumenism will fulfill another parable Jesus spoke. It binds all the tares together, getting them ready to be cast into the fire, just like Jesus said. Brothers and sisters: Please do not get the idea that I enjoy saying these things. I do not, and I take no pleasure in knowing what is going to happen to people who have to face the great tribulation at the end of this age, but I do have a responsibility before God to preach His word; and there are times when saying what God’s word says makes one sound proud. Let me tell you, I have nothing to be proud about. If it were not for the mercy and grace of God I would be just as entangled with denominations as anyone else. If we escape hell, it is by the grace of God. If we escape the great tribulation, it is by the grace of God. Brothers and sisters, we are not worthy of anything that God has ever done for us. If we would really take time to realize just what God has done for us, it should make us the most humble people on earth. Being a wise virgin is nothing to be puffed up about when you stop to realize that Jesus said, “No man can come unto me except it were given unto him of my Father.” Hallelujah! Saints, I am thankful to be one of them that God foreknew from before the foundation of the world, one of them that has entered into revealed truth. No Gentile has ever been privileged to walk with Jesus after the flesh; Gentiles have always had to walk with Him by faith, believing His word and resting upon His promises. We see Him in the spirit only, but we are privileged to have the same revelation as those who walked with Him in the flesh for 3 years. That leads me to say this, The rapture will not take place until every predestinated wise virgin is in the revelation, and spiritually revelated. By the time that last wise virgin enters into the revelation, world conditions will be such that they will cause the foolish virgins to come, crying to get in, into the revelation. But according to the parable, Jesus, from within will say to them, I never knew you, or, I know you not. You will notice, He does not say, “Ye workers of iniquity,” like He did to another group. No. These are all virgins, and He does know them, or we will say, He knows about them. This just simply means that He does not know them as His wife. He even knows every tare for that matter, but He knows no one intimately except the bride, the wise virgins, those who are following His word, by revelation. This may sound a little strange to some of you, but I assure you that before the rapture takes place, every wise virgin on the face of this old earth will have the same revelation of God’s word. They will see every scripture the same way; there will be no more private interpretations of any part of it. Every foolish virgin will try to get into the revelation, but instead will be purified in the great tribulation through martyrdom; and every tare will sell out to the Antichrist and be damned.

STEPPING OVER THE WORD

For an illustration, I layed my Bible on the floor here one night, and said, Anyone who will step over that word to satisfy the desires of their flesh now, will step over it a dozen times for a loaf of bread when the Antichrist demands it. That is your tares. Foolish virgins in that hour will have become very wise; they will refuse to step over the word of God, and they will be killed because of it. When they actually have to face that hour, that is when God will give them the grace to be loyal to their faith in Christ Jesus. Just like I said earlier, only God knows who they are, and where they are; we do not need to know. Most of us will be very busy, and will not have extra time on our hands to examine other folks, if we just keep our own lives clean before God. You who have oil still must keep the wick trimmed in order for your lamps to give a good light. When you think about your body being the vessel that holds the oil, and your revelation of God’s word being the wick that the oil (the Holy Ghost) flows out through to project your light, you should realize how important it is to have all that carnality trimmed away. If our wick (revelation) gets all crusted and carboned up with a lot of man made ideas and fleshly desires, we will not give off a good light. That is why all the virgins begin to trim their lamps. They have all been asleep and their wicks have become charred; but when the foolish virgins try to trim up their revelation, they find that there is no oil there in the vessel. While they sleep their revelation becomes hard and crusty; the spirit of God cannot flow through it. Those who organized eternal security, and went to sleep with that light, slept right on until after the spirit of God had left their denomination. It has been the same with justification by faith, predestination, sanctification, and every other truth that men have built a denomination around. There was a time when people in those denominations carried a precious truth that had life in it, but when they failed to move on with God, He left them. They continued to run their programs and go through the motions, but the Spirit of God had already moved on and left them, leaving only the skeleton to go through the form. When those reformers received revelation on those various truths, their revelation came by the Spirit of God; therefore we know that those who received those truths by revelation did have a measure of the Spirit of God, but since each truth revealed was to be added to all other revealed truth; when they refused to accept further revelation God just moved on and left them. Their organizations were then dead; they could not give life to anyone, yet we do know that through the years many sincere souls have turned to those systems when the Spirit of God would convict them of sin. A lot of make-believers also joined them and helped run their programs, but when time came for God’s messenger to sound the wake up cry, it was only those sincere ones who heard the cry. Those make-believers had no ear to hear the word of God; they fought against it instead, for those foolish virgins among them who were waking up and going for oil were disrupting their programs. Besides, they did not like all that talk about receiving the Holy Ghost. Nevertheless, the foolish virgins did begin to move out and search for oil. That is when the charismatic groups began to spring up in various places across the land of America and around the world. What really happened was, those who were serious about serving God, began to hear things that made them realize they needed to be filled with the Holy Ghost, as God’s wake up message found its way around the world. They had been told that they received everything they needed when they walked down the aisle and shook the preacher’s hand, but the midnight cry caused them to hear some things which made them realize they did not have all there is to have. The only catch to it is this, When they went out to get the oil in their vessels, they got themselves so wrapped up in buying and selling, (receiving the Holy Ghost, then helping others to receive) they have not allowed the Spirit they received to lead them to the bride’s message; a few have and we praise God for that, but multitudes have not. They are still out there buying and selling, dealing only in the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues, and divine healing. Catholics have sanctioned these charismatic meetings, added their influence, and even to the point where they have taken over many of them. You may ask, Is Catholicism being converted? Not the system itself, only a few individuals who have found that God is not in those systems. The system itself has capitalized upon all this ecumenical fellowship, as a way to get the protesting daughters (PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS) back home, back to Catholicism where they all sprung from through the years of the reformation, and the poor old foolish virgins are going right along with it all up until now. They are out there enjoying their ecumenical fellowship, believing they have finally found the true stream of God’s perfect will, while the bride has been locking herself into a revelation, where she is dressing herself to meet the bridegroom.

ECUMENICAL COUNCIL WORLD CHURCH

During the interval of time when Bro. William Branham was delivering the church age messages, and other key message like the Seventy Weeks of Daniel, and also the Seven Seals to those wise virgins who had been awakened, Pope John 23rd was calling his ecumenical council in an endeavor to work out some of their differences and give the protestant daughters a chance to come back home. We have watched this ecumenical council at work through the years since then, binding all these protestant churches together, getting them ready for the ONE WORLD CHURCH, and we know from the word of God that somewhere up ahead, something will happen in their ranks that will cause those foolish virgins to stop and take another look. They have enough of the word of God in them that they will not allow themselves to go past the point of no return with this great Antichrist movement. They will turn back before they become locked into a one world church system. Something will cause them to realize that they have left the only people who are truly following the word of God, and they will try to turn back and get in with them, but by then it will be too late for them to get into the bride’s revelation; the Spirit of God just simply will not open it up to them. “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; (not for the rapture, but to open their understanding to a revelation of truth that will enable them to dress themselves properly to sit at the marriage table of Jesus Christ) and they that were ready (ready to follow the word) went in with Him to the marriage; and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” Like I said already, that does not mean He does not know them in the sense of life itself, It just means He does not know them as His chosen bride people. There has been no intimate relationship based upon the revelated word. Therefore the knocking on the door setting is really just a situation where the foolish virgins are trying to understand the bride’s message, (and they have all the words at their disposal) but the Spirit of God will not open up their understanding. They will read the same messages you read, but they will not be able to comprehend. The door of revelation will be shut to them. Why? Because they stayed in their denominations too long. As time passed, this charismatic revival (they call it that, but it really is not) began to draw so much attention, and its effects felt so strongly around the world, and especially after the Catholics assumed so much of the leadership, it caused all the old line denominational churches to realize that this ecumenicy is something they are going to have to identify with or be left out in the cold. Now the charismatics are not longer just foolish virgins seeking oil, their ranks are filled with make-believers also. It is no longer necessary for the foolish virgins to separate from their denominations; they can stay right in there with them, and speak in tongues all they care to. Up to a certain point they will be carried right along with all the one world church plans of the ecumenical council, but there will come a day, and very soon, we believe, that something will come rumbling down from Vatican headquarters that will be so obviously antichrist, no true virgin will have anything to do with it, no matter how foolish they may have been. They will then have to take a good look at the whole ecumenical set up, and when they do, they will see just how apostate and corrupt it has become. Satan’s doctrine of, “It does not matter whether we believe alike or not, just as long as we have the Holy Ghost and love each other,” will suddenly become a great eye opening, soul searching thing for these foolish virgins. They will break ranks with that system, and it will be too late for them to get in with the bride, so they are marked for martyrdom. When the bride is gone to the wedding supper, and the beast is in full control, nothing outside of that one world church will be allowed to live. We are speaking in general terms, you understand, for we know that God will have some moral mortal people on earth that He will preserve and protect to fulfill the last verses of Matthew 25; people from every nation kept alive to repopulate the earth in the millennium. There is one thing sure about it though, no foolish virgin will be preserved alive. Every last one of them is seen in chapter 7, in the book of Revelation, coming up out of great tribulation, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.

TWO NOTABLE MARRIAGES

I do not know how many years God has purposed to have these two conditions, wise and foolish virgins, in the earth; I do not need to know that, for Jesus said, verse 13, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the son of man cometh.” I do know that the condition has already been present in the earth for 16 or 17 years though, ever since Bro. William Branham began to pound the pulpit (the Bible stand) crying, Come out of her (spiritual Babylon) my people! Get out of those denominations and get back to the word of God. During that time some who supposedly go into the revelation have been kicked back out to fulfill another parable, the one where the man was thrown out into outer darkness because he did not have on a wedding garment (Matt. 22:11-13.) That just lets us know that, not everyone who claims to be in this message of truth is really in it. You hear them say, “I believe Bro. William Branham’s message, I believe he was a prophet.” That does not prove a thing. You can say that and still miss God by a million miles. Not only must you see scripture fulfilled in the life of Bro. William Branham, you must see the truth he preached to this generation in the light of God’s word, and you must allow that truth to lead you on in the will of God to a furtherance of revelation that the bride must have before she leaves here. Regardless of what some may say, Bro. William Branham did not have the last word for the bride of Christ; there is still more to come yet. Furthermore, not one person will be translated until every predestinated bride seed upon the face of this earth has all the truth that the bride is destined to have before she leaves. That is how we know that everything which has any spiritual significance for the word dressed bride of Christ will have to have time to reach to the ends of the earth, even the seven thunders of Rev. 10:3, which some claim have sounded already. Those 7 thunders are for the bride’s final preparation, and they will not sound forth until Jesus is off of the mercy seat and grace for unsaved Gentiles has run out. The world is being shaped for two notable marriages in the very near future. One will be between the wise virgins and the Lord Jesus Christ, the lover of man’s soul. The other will be Satan’s hour of marriage when the false prince of peace is wed to the world church, introducing to the world a false era of peach. Satan knows Jesus Christ is coming back to earth with His bride, (the wise virgins and overcomers from every age) to set up a kingdom of peach and righteousness; therefore he tries to forerun the Lord with his counterfeit on every turn. The Lord Jesus Christ will come from heaven with His great army and destroy all of Satan’s vast host of wicked souls when his plan has run its prophesied course. The word of God allows him two 3 ½ year periods of time, then he and all his great host will be cut off, and Jesus will set up His righteous kingdom, called the millennium because of its one thousand year duration of time.

WOMAN IN SCARLET

We have traced the church’s route through time and seen how she was stripped and robbed, persecuted and abused, and how Catholicism ruled the world in full command from about 1000 A.D. until after 1500 A.D., when the reformation started. We know from history that the Roman church robbed the various political kingdoms of Europe, of much of their wealth. This fulfilled Revelation 17, which speaks of a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast. This woman (which was the Roman Catholic Church) was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, and had a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornications. She was seen drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When the aged apostle, John, saw this woman, he wondered with great admiration, and the angel of the Lord questioned him about it; then explained the beautiful woman to him. Those purple and scarlet colors were the ancient colors of the pagan, Roman, imperial rulership, and John sees the woman (the Roman Catholic church) dressed in them. This was no ordinary honky tonk, neighborhood beer joint type prostitute John was seeing. He was seeing a classy type that had committed fornication with kings and potentates, one that was out to make a name for herself, and that is exactly what she did. The angel of the Lord called her the mother of harlots, and that brings up another interesting question. Who are the harlots, the daughters of the Roman Catholic Church? Pope John 23rd answered that when he began to seek ways to welcome the Protestant daughters back home. Through the years since then Rome has had her hand of fellowship extended to ecumenicalism, and the charismatic movement, which is God’s strong delusion to fulfill 2nd Thessalonians 2:11-12, and the parable of Jesus about binding the tares for burning, Matthew 13:30, 41-42. The Reformation produced all of these Protestant daughters, and now, here at the end time, all of them want to get back in fellowship with mama, which is Rome, the mother church. God will allow them to get back together to fulfill Daniel 7:25, and Revelation 13:3-7, also Daniel 9:27, which covers the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy concerning 70 weeks of time allotted to God’s dealing with Jews. That 70th week of Daniel is Satan’s honeymoon, even though the last half of it is known to be a time of great tribulation. The little bride of Christ will escape it, but the foolish virgins will have to die during that time. I will have to say this though, for anyone who is left here when the bride is taken, it will be far better to be killed by the Antichrist for believing in God, then to damn your soul by joining the Antichrist, then be killed by the power of God and cast into hell. It will be one of the two; you will find no middle ground.

TWO GREAT PARALLELS

The pope of Rome has extended his hand of fellowship through the power and beauty of the Roman Catholic church to the political leaders of the whole western world. It forms a parallel with what happened in 325 A.D. at Nicaea, when a political leader, a Roman Emperor, extended his hand of fellowship to the universal church of Christianity because he saw a need in the church that he felt he could minister to. That council got church and state together then, and now we have a reverse situation at hand. This time it is the pope of Rome, who is known to the world as a great spiritual leader, extending his hand of fellowship to the politicians of the world, because he sees a need among them that he feels he can minister to. Do you see why I called it a parallel situation? Back there, the church submitted her power to the state, but in our day it will be the politicians submitting the power of the state to the pope, a man who is called, the head of the universal church. They all go to bed together to commit their fornications, as was typed by the church at Thyatira. God offered the Catholic church a space to repent of her fornication during the Dark Ages, and she repented not; and because she would not repent, God says, “Behold I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds, and I will kill her children with death.” Let me paraphrase that like this, I will cast the Roman Catholic church into a bed, and all those Protestant denominations which commit spiritual adultery with her, along with all the kings and princes, which are now called prime ministers, I will cast into great tribulation. It is written in the Bible for all to read, but the wise virgins are the only one’s that take heed to the warning. Everyone is guilty and must face that terrible hour. Pope John 23rd extended the invitation to the Protestant daughters, then he died. He was the prophet of this great unity. His successor took the name of Paul, to become the apostle, the administrator of their revelation that we may all be one, taken from the 17th chapter of the gospel of St. John, the words of Jesus. He built his great ecumenical platform, and had virtually everything done in the way of church unity when he died. The present pope took the names of both the prophet and the apostle, and pledged to carry on what they had started, but since there is little left to do in the realm of uniting religion, he has turned to politics. Standing on the platform that John and Paul built for him, he has extended his hand of fellowship to the political heads of the world. When he went to Mexico, it was not to take a revelation for the church, he had a message for the political revolutionary elements down there. It was all designed to keep the Catholic church on top of the whole situation. Next, he went to Ireland, because there was fighting between the Catholics and the Protestants over there. Did he not know how long this fighting had been going on? Of course he did, and he knew about their threats against her life, but he went and stared the whole thing right in the face. It looked like all their threats just melted away. He is making his inroads, and if he is not the one that is to fulfill that last week of Daniel, he will certainly have the stage set for the one who is to head up that great drama. Daniel 9:27, says this, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Brothers and sisters, it is almost time for that great peace covenant to be confirmed, and exactly 7 years from then Jesus Christ will be on earth with His little bride to set up the millennium. HALLELUJAH! That will be glorious.

TYING LAST TARE BUNDLES

Brothers and sisters: I realize there will always be a few people who will say, I have heard all that before, and things continue just like they have been for years, but I want to say it again anyhow, THE END IS CLOSE AT HAND. Let the scoffers say what they will; I say, Bride get your garment cleaned up; it is later than you may think. This old world is standing on the threshold of the greatest blood bath humanity has ever witnessed, and the foolish virgins will be caught right in the middle of it all, but thank God, John did see them coming up on the other side of that terrible hour with their robes washed clean and white. Presently, there are a few more tare bundles to be tied, and God will not allow anything to disrupt that, but when all of them are tied together so tightly that there is no way for them to turn back, God will create a situation that will cause the foolish virgins to break away from those ranks and take a stand for the word of God. They will realize that there is scripture they must come to, but all the rest of that ecumenical multitude that could not care less whether God is ONE, THREE, or a HALF DOZEN, will glide right on into the hour they have long looked for, a time of world peace and security. That is how it will look to all who do not have a revelation, for the first 3 ½ years of that last week of Daniel. They will all have their honeymoon in the bed with the Antichrist. Naturally this end time condition is caused from the effects of the Reformation, and it is all fulfilling the word of God, but it is not a pleasant thought when you stop to think of all the people you have known in this life, and how many of them may be numbered among those who are damned. Like we pointed out in another message, there is a difference between fornication and adultery. It is the same act in both instances, but fornication is the act committed just for pleasure, and that is what God gave Catholicism a chance to repent of through the message to the church at Thyatira, but since she did not repent, God said I will cast her into a bed, and all those who commit ADULTERY with her, I will kill them and all their children. When the world thinks they are living in the glorious age of peace and prosperity that all mankind has longed for, in reality it will be nothing more than the calm before a great storm. When the devil incarnates that old peace making pope, right in the middle of that 70th week of Daniel, he will be turned into a murdering beast instead of a peacemaker. Satan’s Antichrist will then be known to the world, but it will be too late for anyone to escape his wrath, except for those chosen of the Lord that God has made provision for. Multitudes of people will suddenly find that their great age of peace and prosperity has turned into a nightmare. This will be Satan’s hour of glory, his hour of worship. These poor souls will not know what they are doing in that hour, but they will be worshiping the devil. Let us just read a few verses from Revelation, chapter 13, for I want you to hear the word of God say what you have just heard me say. Brothers and sisters, these are not just my ideas that you have been hearing, or that many of you will read in the paper; it is “THUS SAITH THE WORD OF GOD;” I am just reminding you of what the Bible says is just ahead. Turn to verse 4 in the 13th chapter of Revelation. “And they (the world church and unregenerate mankind) worshiped the dragon (Satan is the old dragon) which gave power unto the beast: (The Antichrist is the beast in this verse) and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. (That is exactly 3 ½ prophetic years, and God Himself allows this son of perdition to have this allotted time before Jesus and His army comes from heaven to wipe it all out.) And he (the Antichrist) opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him (the Antichrist) to make war with the saints, (foolish virgins, and all who believe in God. Foolish virgins and orthodox Jews will be slaughtered by the thousands for their refusal to renounce their faith in God.) And to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. AND ALL THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH SHALL WORSHIP HIM, WHOSE NAMES ARE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE OF THE LAMB SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” Do you see where the tares will be in that hour? All those make-believers, of which many were great, well known leaders in your denominational churches, will be worshiping the Antichrist, and the devil that gave him his power. They will have taken the mark of the beast, and will have sealed their eternal destiny once and for all.

ALL SCRIPTURES DOVETAIL

Most of you know, or at least in previous messages, we have pointed out the fact that the beast in that hour is an incorporation of a spirit (the devil) a man, (the Antichrist) and a system, (all of that ungodly system that backs up the Antichrist.) Therefore when you read other scriptures such as Rev. 17:3, and others where the term, beast, seems to have a different application, keep that in mind. All the scriptures dove-tail together when we have a revelation of what they mean, but, brothers and sisters, there are multiplied thousands in so called churches around this old world who do not have such a revelation. They are heading for outer darkness (the great tribulation) where some of them will suffer martyrdom and be made pure, and other will have to face the wrath of God when He comes to cut off the wicked and cleanse the earth for the millennium. Therefore I will close the message by saying, If you are a wise virgin, you know you will escape all those things of that hour, but do not forget to be grateful to God for His merciful presence in your life. We are what we are by His loving grace and mercy. There is no way we could ever have merited the love that He has bestowed upon us. Neither could we ever lift ourselves off the ground to go in the rapture, but we are fully persuaded by the word of God, that if His Spirit that dwells in us is allowed to have His way, He will nurture us to the fullness of the stature of the Lord Jesus Christ, and when the hour arrives for us to be taken up, that same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, will raise all those that are dead in Christ, change us all into immortality, and catch us away to the wedding supper that we have all longed for. Then, we will see Jesus face to face, and we will be just like Him. Hallelujah! I love him! Amen.

Marriage and Divorce – 1980, January

1980-01-Marriage-and-Divorce

THIS IS A SUBJECT THAT ALWAYS MAKES ME A LITTLE NERVOUS AS I TRY TO GET STARTED ON IT, FOR I REALIZE THAT MANY IDEAS AND PERSONAL FEELINGS ARE HANGING IN THE BALANCE. TRADITION HAS BLINDED THE EYES OF A GREAT NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO STAND DESPERATELY IN NEED OF AN ANSWER FROM THE WORD OF GOD ON THIS SUBJECT: THEREFORE I PRAY THAT I CAN SAY EXACTLY WHAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD HAS LED ME TO SEE IN THE SCRIPTURES. THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN PREACHED HERE IN FAITH ASSEMBLY BEFORE, AND WE HAVE PUBLISHED IT, BUT GOD HAS OPENED UP A FEW THINGS TO ME SINCE THEN THAT REALLY CLINCH THE THING. THERE IS NOT ANOTHER SUBJECT IN THE WHOLE GOSPEL THAT SATAN HAS USED FOR A CLUB TO BEAT PEOPLE, AS MUCH AS THE SUBJECT OF MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE. HE KNOWS WHAT CAUSED THE TROUBLE IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, FOR HE WAS BEHIND IT ALL, AND HE KNOWS THAT THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE IS STILL SUFFERING THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT ACT IN THE GARDEN, BUT AS LONG AS HE CAN KEEP CHRISTIANS FROM UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE MIND OF GOD IS, ON THE SUBJECT OF MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE, FORNICATION AND ADULTERY, HE CAN KEEP THEM UNDER A CLOUD OF GLOOM, DOUBT AND CONFUSION. I FOUND THE SAME CONDITION IN NORWAY WHEN WE WERE THERE. I DID NOT PLAN IT, BUT THE SUBJECT WAS LAID UPON MY HEART TO DEAL WITH ON THE VERY LAST DAY WE WERE THERE. I HAD A LITTLE FEELING I WOULD BE CONFRONTED ON THIS, WHILE THERE, BUT IT WAS NEVER MENTIONED. THEN ON SATURDAY NIGHT, BEFORE WE WOULD HAVE THE LAST SERVICES ON SUNDAY, IT JUST SEEMED LIKE EVERY OTHER SUBJECT WAS CLOSED TO ME EXCEPT THIS ONE. I FOUND OUT WHY, LATER. WHEN THE MESSAGE WAS FINISHED, THEY SAID, BRO. JACKSON: THAT HAD TO BE THE LEADING OF THE LORD. THEY HAD SITUATIONS THERE THAT WOULD HAVE LED TO BROKEN FELLOWSHIP IF THEY HAD NOT BEEN CLEARED UP SCRIPTURALLY. THAT JUST SHOWS HOW GOD IS ABLE TO MEET THE NEED OF HIS PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF WHERE THEY MAY BE. ONE THING I DID DISCOVER THOUGH, IN DEALING WITH THIS MESSAGE THERE: THE NORWEGIAN LANGUAGE ONLY HAS ONE WORD FOR TWO DIFFERENT RELATIONSHIPS. IN THE ENGLISH, WE USE THE WORD, FORNICATION, TO DESCRIBE ONE RELATIONSHIP OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE, AND ADULTERY FOR ANOTHER: THEREFORE MANY STATEMENTS WE MAKE ARE A LITTLE DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO GET THE FULL MEANING OF THE THOUGHT BEHIND THEM. I FOUND OTHER SCRIPTURES SUCH AS EZEKIEL 38, REV. 17 & 18, ETC., WHERE THERE WAS A SIMILAR HANDICAP, BUT GOD ALWAYS MAKES A WAY FOR MEN TO FULFILL HIS PURPOSE. PRAISE HIS NAME!


AS WE GO INTO THIS SUBJECT WE APPROACH IT FROM THE STANDPOINT OF, IN THE BEGINNING, IT WAS NOT SO, AND I REALIZE THERE WILL BE SOME THINGS SAID THAT WILL NOT BE EASILY ACCEPTED BY EVERYONE, BUT PLEASE! LET US TAKE OUR BIBLES AND APPROACH THIS IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, WITH HUMBLE HEARTS AND OPEN MINDS. WE MUST GET A TRUE REVELATION OF WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES IF WE ARE TO BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH SITUATIONS THAT WILL ARISE, FOR GOD DOES NOT HAVE SIX DOZEN WAYS TO ANSWER THE SAME QUESTION. I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I MEAN.

 

 

TEXT: DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21, 24:1-4


A LOOK AT THE LAW


Open your Bible to the 22nd chapter of Deuteronomy and we will begin with the 13th verse. “If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, and give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: (virgin) Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; And, low, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.” Before I go on let me remind you that God gave this law to the Israelites when their moral structure was probably at its lowest ebb, having just been delivered from Egyptian bondage. In Egypt they were looked upon as a minority people, slaves, just as outcasts. Conditions like that can sometimes tend to cause a let down of moral standards, especially when they prevail for such a long time, but these people were chosen of God to receive a revelation of Himself, and to eventually reflect that revelation to the Gentiles, who were pagans, that they also might come to see the reality of spirituality, morality, and a true social society that functions with upright principles. God gave them the law through His servant, Moses, in order that they might have something to reveal the plan and purpose for mankind that He held in His great mind. Before the law was given, how was man to know what pleased or displeased God? It is true, there were certain men who walked with God down through time, but we are looking at this from a standpoint of what Paul said to the Christians at Rome. “For by the law is the knowledge of sin, (also) Where there is no law, there is no transgression.” In Romans 5:13, he said, “For until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Of course he is talking about the sins of the flesh, for Adam’s sin already had death reigning over all mankind. He clarifies that in verse 7, chapter 7, where he said, “I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Therefore by giving the Israelites a law to live by, they were able to know the will of God in every situation that arose. This is where God began His upbreeding of that nation of people. Standing there at the foot of the mountain they received instructions that eventually lifted them to a higher standard of morality and spirituality, and in process of time, caused Gentile nations to take note of the fact that, truly, there is a God of reality that lives in those people. Now many people have the idea that under the law a man was justified while the woman was made to be no better than a dog. If you will look at the scriptures honestly you will see that there is no justification for such an idea. The law served to lift both the man and the woman to a higher place of life. We will read some scriptures that will balance the picture for you if you will pay attention. Certain things were set in the Old Testament as types, and all the types ended at Calvary in the Lord Jesus Christ. Certain types in the Old Testament pointed to Christ, but when He was manifested, those types stopped right there. To set a type, a man could divorce his wife for certain immoralities. We see that right in the law, and that has caused some people to say, If a woman commits an immoral act she could be stoned to death, but please remember, It takes two to commit an immoral act. Such people as this fall into the category with those who brought the little woman to Jesus one day, claiming they caught her in the very act of adultery, and wanted to stone her, according to the law of Moses. If they really wanted to obey the law they should have brought the man also, for the law demands that they both be stoned. Naturally they were just tempting Jesus. They could not have cared less about keeping the law in that respect. You say, Bro. Jackson: How do you know that? It is very simple; In order for them to have known that it was an act of adultery, and not just an act of fornication; they would have needed to know more about the case than just the fact than at illegal sex act had been committed. They called it adultery, and adultery is more than just a one time fling for pleasure. We will explain the difference between adultery and fornication in more detail, later, but right now I just want to make the point that, in order to comply with the law of stoning adulterers, they needed to catch the guilty parties in the act, and then they had to stone them both; not just the woman. What I want you to see is that some people just use little parts of the law as a shield to hide behind while they promote their carnal ideas. They desire to project a certain image, and therefore use only the scripture that they can twist to suit their purpose. The only image I desire to promote is the image of the Lord Jesus Christ and His word of truth.


ANCIENT MARRIAGES


As we return to the scripture we were reading in Deuteronomy 22, let me explain the setting. In ancient times most marriages were arranged by the parents of the young boy and girl long before they ever reached a marriageable age of life. Therefore it was not unusual to find a situation where one or both of the newlyweds would not be altogether thrilled about the marriage, and I believe this scripture might just pertain to such a situation. In most cases the young people, when they reached a certain age, were ready to come together in a marriage relationship and fulfill the agreement made between their parents when they were yet little children, but just suppose we look at a situation where the young man has not grown to like the young woman that his parents chose to be his wife. He knows that he is bound by law, and by custom, to fulfill the marriage agreement, but he feels that he can possibly work his way out of the marriage later, because the law has a certain provision in it, and that provision is what we are reading here. We read down through verse 17, so let us see how the elders of the city handled the situation. He has accused the young woman of not being a virgin when she married him, and her parents have brought the proof of her virginity and spread it before the elders of the city, and verse 18, tells us this, “And the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him (fine him) in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.” You certainly could not say that the law takes up for the man and puts the woman down in that situation, could you? He is forbidden to ever put her away as long as he lives. He might go out and take other wives, but he has one that he will have to provide for, and protect, for the rest of his life, and he will not soon live down the name that he has in that city. Everyone knows he is a schemer and should not be trusted until he has proved himself over a period of time. On the other hand, just to show both sides of the law, let us read verses 20 & 21. “But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.” As you read the rest of this chapter, you will find other situations covered, including rape. I personally feel that such a law covering rape would fit well in our present society. I do not mean to sound hard hearted about this, but when I think of how the Supreme Court of our land has promoted the sentimental attitude that we ought not take a human life, and when I see how evil minded individuals have capitalized on their attitude, to the point where they feel they can do almost anything and get by with it, it makes me want to scream out to them, GOD’S MORAL LAW HAS NEVER CHANGED! The laws of our land may let a man commit terrible crimes and get by without having to pay with his life, but let me tell you this, If that man lives long enough, God will surely see that his flesh pays the bill for his wrong doing. I can see such a person when they reach an age of 65 or 70 years, their life will be nothing but constant torment. God has a way of making you pay the bill for your careless life, even if the Supreme Court does let you get by with it. God’s law of sowing and reaping works in either direction, for god, or bad, either way we sow. When people step across the borders of God’s law, even though they may be forgiven from a salvational standpoint, their flesh will still have to pay.

 

 

DIVORCE UNDER LAW

We are living in an age when very little thought is ever given to what the will of God might be in certain situations of life. Even a lot of professing Christians are very prone to follow their impulses first, then inquire about the will of God later, many times, after it is too late to avoid heartbreak and near despair. Then we find others who will reach into the Bible and pull out a verse or two in an effort to justify what they have already determined to do; therefore by the help of Almighty God, we will endeavor to establish exactly, where the word of God stands on the question of marriage and divorce. This is an area where the word of God seems to be walked over the most, so let us turn to Deuteronomy 24:1, and lay the groundwork for what we want to establish. Some of you may think this is just my idea or opinion, or my own version, but I will assure you right now, I am fully aware of the fact that if I teach you wrong, I will one day, have to stand in the judgement of God and answer for it. Nevertheless, God has called me to preach truth to you, and what I am going to present to you is the word of the Lord, so it will find lodging in the hearts of all who seek to know the truth about this subject. 24:1, “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass (OVER A PERIOD OF TIME) that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: (IN OTHER WORDS, WORD REACHES HIM THAT HIS WIFE HAS BEEN UNFAITHFUL AND HE CONFIRMS IT) then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.” Now this was a provision in the law of Moses, and Jesus had to deal with it more than once in His short ministry on earth. He first dealt with the subject in what we refer to as the sermon on the mount, in the 5th chapter of Matthew. By reading what the law actually says, first, we can know assuredly that the law definitely does make a provision for divorcement in certain cases, but the Catholic church never would accept that as a fact. They just absolutely would not sanction a divorce among those of their congregation, nor would they participate in a marriage where one of the parties had been divorced. That did not keep a lot of Catholics from running off somewhere else for that purpose, then keeping it a secret for a while, to keep from being excommunicated from the church, but the point we are making is that they were holding to a creed of their own making, which had no scriptural authority.


We do not intend to present to you, something from a man-made church creed, we want to show every believer where they stand with the word of God. Of course we realize, this law was given to Jewish believers, offspring of the house of Israel, but Jesus kept it alive in His teaching, and the apostle to the Gentiles (PAUL) picked it right up to show where Gentile believers fit into the picture. The fact that God opened up the gospel message and all its benefits to Gentiles, in no way cancelled out His righteous standards for believers, whether they be Jew, or Gentile, and the law of Moses reveals those righteous standards. That does not put believers under bondage, to keep the letter of the law, but a genuine believer will certainly allow his life to be guided by those righteous principles layed down in the law. So the law says, If a man find his wife to be unfaithful, he may divorce her. He does not have to, but if he is unable to forgive her, or if she refuses to change her ways, he certainly may do so. Now we must see what provision the law makes for the woman who is divorced. Verse 2, says, “And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.” There are some who will jump up and down, and say, That is not fair; she should not be allowed to do that. Let me remind you that this is the word of God you are finding fault with. I am reminded of a time when the apostle Paul, in writing to the believers at Rome, was led to say of God, “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will He hardeneth.” He was making reference to God’s dealing with Pharaoh, and he knew the truth of his statement would not set well with everyone who heard it, so he added, “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth He (GOD) yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will?” Paul comes right back, and says, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” I will ask you a similar question. Who do you think you are, that you should have the right to find fault with the word of God? The law says that this divorced woman may go and be another man’s wife. This is the will of God, and we have no right to find fault with it. But we do have the right to find out why God would make such a provision, if our motive is right, so here is why. When Adam and Eve walked out of the garden, Eve did not have an equal rights document in her hand, as women do in our day. God placed a curse upon her conception, and made her subject to Adam, because of her disobedience, and because Adam allowed her to seduce him, contrary to the revealed will of God, the ground was cursed, and Adam was sentenced to eat his bread in the sweat of his face, tilling the cursed ground, all the days of his life. We will read a few verses from Genesis 3, beginning with verse 16, God had already cursed the serpent which seduced Eve, causing her to go against the will of God. Now He turns to the woman, and says, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and THY DESIRE SHALL BE TO THY HUSBAND, and HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE. And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return.” Not only was the man to earn his own bread, but he was to feed and provide for his wife also. That was the custom for centuries of time after that. When a man took a wife he knew it was his responsibility to provide every bite of food that woman would have need of, from then on. Now that is why God allowed Moses to make provision for divorced women to marry again. He knew they would need a husband to provide for them. That same provision also carried a further stipulation. If the woman remarried and behaved herself, everything was fine; she was a legal wife, but if her new husband found occasion to divorce her, she was not allowed to go back to her first husband under any circumstances. We will read that in verse 3, then we will go to Hosea for scripture to go with this. Verse 3, “And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”


SETTING A TYPE


Now let me say once again, for this is an important part of this message, a man was not required to divorce his unfaithful wife if he felt like she would behave herself and he could forgive her. The law did not force him to divorce her, but it allowed him to if that was his choice. The only condition was, once he had divorced her, he could never take her back again. In other words, he could allow her to remain as his wife, regardless of how she conducted herself, if he wanted to, but once he divorced her and she ever became another man’s wife, he could never take her back no matter what happened. That is why God instructed Hosea, once of His prophets, to take a wife of whoredom. His marriage to such a woman was to set a type of God’s relationship with the nation of Israel which was always whoring after other gods. Israel was an unfaithful wife to God; therefore through Hosea’s marriage, God was actually saying to Israel, I could legally divorce you because of your unfaithfulness, but if I do you are without hope of ever returning to me, but, like Hosea, if I just let you run after your lovers until your heart is content with such, when you reach the end of your rope, you can return to me, and I can receive you back without breaking the law which I gave Moses for your benefit. Let us go to Hosea, chapter 1:2, for this type. We will read a few verses. “The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea, And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms (a thing like this was actually forbidden in the law: that this holy man could marry such a woman, but when people who know the will of God, begin to drift away to something else, God will allow certain things to be done in His dealing with the situation) and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord.” Hosea lived at a time when the 10 Northern tribes of the children of Israel were already given over to whoredoms in their worshiping of Baal. Jehovah, the great eternal spirit had taken unto Himself this nation of people to deal with them, and care for them as a husband does his beloved wife, and they had been unfaithful to Him, especially the 10 Northern tribes, so God speaks to Hosea on this wise, that he should marry a woman that was no more than a prostitute, and when they had children, God instructed Hosea as to what names to give them, for the names of these children were to complete the type. Each child was given a name that spoke of God’s dealing with those idolatrous tribes that were given over to whoredoms, and everything that the type pointed to was carried out to the most minute detail. The third child, a son, was given a name that pointed to a certain action involving the two Southern tribes. We will not read all the verses; you can do that later. Go to verse 8, where we pick up this third child. “Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said God, call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.” This is to the two Southern tribes. Paul picked that up, got a revelation on it, and dealt with it in the 9th chapter of Romans. Notice, as we continue reading here in Hosea, verse 10, for this is where the Gentiles came into a place with God. “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place (or at a time when) it was said unto them, (The Gentiles who believed the gospel) ye are the sons of the living God.” Brothers and sisters, we are living under the benefits of that type even until this very hour, but Gentile time is running out; the type is nearing its fulness, and verse 11, is just about to be fulfilled. “Then (when Gentile time runs out) shall the children of Judah (TWO SOUTHERN TRIBES) and the children of Israel (TEN NORTHERN TRIBES) be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head.” That head will be the Lord Jesus Christ, and when all those tribes are represented back in the land of Israel to sufficiently fulfill this scripture she will never be put away again. Jehovah put her away, cast her out and refused to be a husband unto her, but He did not write her a bill of divorcement; therefore, just as Hosea took Gomer back after she had run her course of unfaithfulness, so will God take Israel back, but He could not do it if He had divorced her. We do not have the space here, but it will help you, if you will go ahead and read through those chapters of Hosea. You will see that Hosea just put her away and refused to be a husband to her as long as she was running with her lovers, but he did not write her a bill of divorcement, therefore when her fling was over, when she had lost her beauty, became unattractive to her lovers, and wound up as an outcast, a vagabond: Hosea saw her in that latter state and bought her back for so much barley and so many pieces of silver. He could do that because he had never divorced her. By the same law, God can receive Israel back when her days of whoredoms come to an end. She has played the whore all over this Gentile world for almost two thousand years, and now they are going back to the land of their forefathers with every rotten, immoral spirit that has ever been among pagan Gentiles. On the plane, coming back from Norway, I talked with a young Jewish fellow about these things. He even told me that about 80 percent of the young people in Israel today have fell under the influence of alcohol and dope, and that they became such as a result of their exposure to the Western nations. I just thought to myself, yes, Revelation 2, speaks of the two prophets being killed, and how their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our LORD was crucified. Of course that refers to Jerusalem which, in that day will be an internationally controlled city, full of perverted young people that have come there from all over the world. They go there because of its historical significance for one thing along with many others, but by that time the city of Jerusalem will have become a cesspool of immorality, with every kind of perversion. Their immorality likens them unto the Sodomites, and the captivity of their souls is likened unto the bondage to the Antichrist. Nevertheless out of all those Jews who are in the land of Israel in those days, those two prophets who will prophesy for 3 ½ years before they are killed in the middle of that week of years, will glean enough souls to fulfill Revelation 7:1-8, where one hundred and forty four thousand Jewish men are sealed with the Holy Ghost, and a revelation of the gospel and their long awaited Messiah. Also there will be another great element of Jews, men, women, boys and girls who will receive such a revelation, and will fulfill the scripture that speaks of the woman (ISRAEL) that produced the man child (JESUS) fleeing into the wilderness to a place prepared for her, where God will protect her, and provide for her throughout the last 3 ½ years of that week of Daniel. (Rev. 12:5-6, 14) All the rest of those Jews will be at the disposal of the Antichrist and his beast system.


WHO MUST TAKE HEED?


Saints: I hope these examples are helping you to see the very delicate means God has set forth to govern his people in righteousness. I refer to it as delicate, only because of the fine line between keeping the righteousness of God’s law, and legalism. There are scores of people in this old world who could not care less about living for God when everything is going well for them, but you let them begin to have trouble in their marriage; and immediately, they start searching the Bible for a scripture to justify what they have already determined to do. It is sad to say, but I am afraid that is true even in the ranks of professing Christians. There are people in just about every denomination, religiously speaking, that live very careless lives, caring little about God’s perfecting truth. But when their carelessness leads them into one of Satan’s traps, they immediately run to the Bible and try to lay hold on a provision that is placed in there to guide the life of a believer. I have been asked the question, Does the Bible truth apply to everyone, regardless of what religious denominations they are in and what they believe otherwise? My answer is, NO! If you do not care enough about truth to separate from your denominational, man-made creeds and follow truth with your whole life, please do not feel that you can reach over in to the Bible teaching of an assembly of truth, and grab a scripture to justify the desires of your flesh when you get into a tight spot with your life. I will just be plain about it. If you have opportunity to follow truth, and you continually choose to turn your back upon it to follow church creeds, there is sure to come a day when you will lose out completely with God. I will use some illustrations to clarify my statements. Just suppose a Catholic man would divorce his Methodist wife because she refused to convert to Catholicism; Does this allow either one of the two parties to use Bible truth to justify their case? Absolutely not! If they will not accept the truth of the oneness of God, and of baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, they have no right to use any other Bible truth to justify their flesh. I am inserting these illustrations here for you to hold in your mind as you study the rest of this message, for we intend to go to the gospels to pick up the words of Jesus, and also to Corinthians, to pick up the teaching of Paul, who was the apostle to the Gentiles, and who wrote most of the New Testament letters that Christians use as a guide for their lives. Now for another illustration, just suppose a Baptist woman would divorce her husband because he saw the light of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. She thought he had gotten a demon spirit, and because he refused to deny his experience with God, she refuses to be a wife to him, and it ends in a divorce: Then, let us say a young Pentecostal couple which had been raised up to believe in the trinity doctrine of Pentecost, came to a time when the husband saw the light of truth on the oneness of God, and of baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, according to Acts 2:38. The wife rejected that truth, and divorced her husband because he accepted it, and the husband has made up his mind to follow truth, no matter what: That person who is following truth is free to choose another mate, but the mate must be a Christian. Another similar case would be, if the couple had been raised in oneness of the Godhead doctrine, and we will say (in order to show the other side of the picture) that the wife receives a revelation of this end-time truth for the bride of Christ, as a result of a deep hunger in her soul, and she is led to separate from the oneness denominational church in order to follow truth: When the husband cannot get her to return to the former church, he becomes angry, and divorces her. That believer of truth is free in Jesus to choose another mate, but only in the Lord. We will back that up with the scriptures a little later. As for the case where the Baptist woman divorced her husband because he received the light on the baptism of the Holy Ghost, let me say this, If he had a genuine experience of receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost, then that Spirit of God in him will lead him eventually, into this end-time truth, and that will bring him under a believers provision in the laws and principles of God. Otherwise he will go with all the rest who fail to walk on with God. Now some will no doubt say, Bro. Jackson: What right do you have to say such things? I say them by the word of the Lord. We will get to the 7th chapter of 1 Corinthians later, but in the meantime you can think on these things as we consider some other scriptures. We intend to cover this subject thoroughly.


 WILL YOU WALK OVER TRUTH?


Some of you will probably remember that when I preached these sermons in Faith Assembly, I said, When we print this, I will say some things that I am not going to say from the pulpit. You have just been reading some of those things that I wanted to say, but there is yet another, and I am sure some of you will not like this, but it is true just the same. IF YOU ARE A PERSON THAT WILL WALK RIGHT OVER TRUTH TO FEED THE DESIRES OF YOUR FLESH, YOU ARE ALSO THE KIND OF PERSON THAT WILL WEAR THE MARK OF THE BEAST IN THE GREAT TRIBULATION AND BE DAMNED. Also, if you divorce your mate because he, or she, has received more light from the word of God, you fall into the place of the unbeliever according to the teaching of the apostle Paul, no matter what you may profess to be. Your very actions prove that you do not have proper respect for truth. Let me say one other thing while we are on this thought. If you, as the professed believer in your marriage, deliberately provoke your unbelieving mate to divorce you, you are walking on very shaky ground yourself, for you are not following instructions from the Bible on how to set an example before your mate. God’s laws and statutes are very precise; following them will produce righteousness in our daily lives, and ignoring them will lead to ship wreck sooner or later. Do not think for one minute that because we are living under grace. God has changed His mind about how His people should conduct their lives. His standard of righteousness never changes. He is merciful though; He only holds a person accountable for what they know, unless that person chooses to remain ignorant of His word. God’s revealed word for every age has always been sufficient to keep the true believer free from bondage. That is why the law allowed a man to divorce his unfaithful wife if he felt that he just could not continue to live with her. That is also why the law allowed the divorced woman to remarry, so she would not be caught in an impossible situation herself. You may say, I can see him putting her away, but I sure cannot see her having the right to marry another man. Brother! Sister! Do not find fault with the word of God. Whatever is written in the word of God ought to be good enough for every true believer to stand for. Would you not agree?


AS MATTHEW HEARD JESUS


We are going into the gospel now, for there are some very interesting things to take note of as you study all four gospels together. Matthew was a disciple of Jesus at the time Jesus preached the sermon on the mount, recorded in Matthew chapter 5. Luke and Mark were not disciples at that time. What Matthew wrote about Jesus was from an eye witness viewpoint. Mark wrote his account from what was told to him by others, and so did Luke. Luke was a historian that felt he should write an account of the things that were believed among them concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, but he was not an eye witness himself. John was a disciple and an eye witness to the miracles and teachings of Jesus, but it seems that he was more interested in showing the deity of Christ when he wrote his gospel; therefore we must take into consideration the fact that each gospel writer wrote the events that seemed most important to him. In the 5th chapter of Matthew’s gospel, we find Jesus preaching a sermon right in the beginning of His ministry that included the subjects of adultery, fornication, and marriage and divorce. This is the only time He ever outrightly preached a sermon to include these issues. He knew all about he immoral structure of the Jewish society in that day. They had fallen to about the same level as our present society has fallen to. They had placed a modern, compromising interpretation on the law of Moses, just about the equal of what modern, so called, Christianity has done with the whole Bible in our day. Everything is interpreted to allow an undisciplined society to use the Bible to hide behind. That Jewish society in the days of Jesus had their marriage relationships all twisted up and they were stretching the law of Moses to the uttermost extremes in an effort to justify their actions, just like the modernists of our day. So as Jesus preached that day, that same bunch of Pharisees and Sadducees that followed Him around trying to trap Him, was standing in the background. Remember now; this is a sermon. Jesus is not saying these things in answer to questions that someone has asked. He talks about people who break the least of the commandments; He tells them their righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees; He speaks of those who are angry with their brother without a cause and many other things. Then in verse 27, we read these words. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, (The old timers lived strictly by the word.) Thou shalt not commit adultery.” They knew what the law of Moses taught, and the old timers did everything they could in order to discipline their lives by the law, but Jesus was standing there looking at a bunch of modernists when He uttered these words. He knew that in spite of their legalistic attitude, they were just as ornery as they could be. They would not actually commit adultery, but their eyes were full of lust, so Jesus added this to what the old timers had said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” That hit home to them just about like driving a nail through the quick of your finger. Do you know why? They had stretched the law to the place where they were granting, and obtaining divorces on almost any grounds that caused a man and his wife to disagree with each other. Then to make it even worse, some of them, no doubt, were guilty of looking the field over, ahead of time, before they even obtained a divorce. You can be sure, Jesus did not make a statement like that for no reason. He knew they were guilty. He caught them off guard with that statement, and before they could say anything, He began to say, If your right eye offends you, pluck it out, for it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that the whole body should be cast into hell. He spoke also, of one hand offending, then He came right back around and hits them again. Verse 31, “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: (That is exactly what the law said, but they were misusing the provision and granting divorces for all kinds of reasons, and Jesus was going to let them know that He was wise to them.) But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving (or except) for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commiteth adultery.” Why did He say that? Because the law allowed the woman to remarry if she was divorced legally, but it had to be because she had been unfaithful, and not just because they could not agree on how to decorate the house, discipline the children and so forth. If she was divorced for any other reason, then she was not free to marry another man, according to law, therefore if another man married such a woman they were both committing adultery, and that is the way that modern bunch was allowing it to be. They were using the law to fulfill the lustful desires of their flesh, when their careless living finally made a wreck of their marriage, just like scores of people are doing in our day. If people would just love God first, more than their home, their car, the clothes they wear, and all the other material things that so many are so busy with, they would be able to cultivate a love for each other that none of these little disagreements would ever be able to break through. If a couple has the right attitude toward God, it will make them so they would even be willing to live in a dog house if necessary; not that you would ever have to, but that is the kind of attitude that will keep you out of the divorce courts. Young people, in this age, seem to feel that they cannot start housekeeping unless they have a whole house full of the best furniture; they are not willing to sacrifice a little on material things for a while and just enjoy being together. No. They go out and obligate themselves to the point where they both have to work, and sometimes, even on two jobs, and after awhile, nerves get strung tight, and too often, a divorce seems to be their only solution. Material things have robbed them of the feelings they once had for each other, and the law that would have tried to help such a couple work out their problems and be reconciled, forty years ago, in our day, just grants a divorce. There is nothing wrong with having nice things if you can handle them, but when they separate you from each other, and keep you from giving God first place in your life, it is obvious, you cannot handle them. This was the kind of conditions that led Jesus to deal with this subject, as He did in His sermon that day. He had a mad bunch of Pharisees on His hands, but that is exactly what Deuteronomy 24 said, and He wanted them to know, if they were going to be legalistic; they had some changing to do in order to line up with the scriptures. Remember now, this is a sermon Jesus is preaching, in the early part of His ministry on earth, and remember also, He never changed His mind later; He upheld the law throughout His ministry. “Whosoever shall put away his wife, (divorce her) except for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is divorced (for any other reason) committeth adultery.”


WHAT SOMEONE TOLD MARK & LUKE


Let us go to the 10th chapter of St. Mark, where we will pick up a setting that took place more than two years after what we just read in Matthew 5, coming down toward the end of His earthly ministry. Mark is writing this from what someone else has related to him; therefore we must keep in mind that he wrote of those things that stood out in his mind of what he had heard. In this 10th chapter, he said Jesus came into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people came to Him again; therefore as His custom was, He began to teach them again. That same bunch of Pharisees that followed Him, to heckle Him, was there also, and they still remembered how He had scorched them in that sermon two years before, and they knew exactly what the law said, and that Jesus upheld the law, but they were always trying to trap Him, so they popped right up and said unto Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? They did not even qualify their question; they just left it open on both ends, hoping Jesus would get just as careless in answering, as they did in asking, but, not so; He was wise to them, and was going to make them ask the question a little more specifically. He answered, “What did Moses command you?” Notice how they still avoided being honest with Him. They said, “Moses suffered (or allowed us) to write a bill of divorcement, and put her away.” They still only quoted part of what Moses taught in the law, so Jesus just climbed upon the merry go round with them; if they wanted to play games with their questions; He would just take them the long way around with His answer. 5 “And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh; so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. (He took them all the way back to Genesis 2:24 with His answer, and then left them hanging there with His last remark.) What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” His disciples were left hanging also, but they came to Him later, in the house, and asked Him to explain it a little further. At that, He said, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, (He showed here that the man, nor the woman had any special privilege in this matter) and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” Please notice that He answered their questions strictly on the basis of the way they were applying the law in that day. Probably 90 percent of the divorces were granted for reasons other than fornication, which was the only lawful grounds Moses gave them. Therefore Mark is not making Jesus say something contrary to what He had already taught them in Matthew 5, two years before. He had every right to remind them of God’s true law, God’s perfect plan from the beginning. What you really must see from these examples, is that when Jesus taught the people; He took the law just as it was written but when mockers asked Him a loaded question, He answered them on the same basis in which they asked the question, according to their modern day application of the law. Let us go to Luke 16:18, for just a moment. Remember, Luke was not a disciple when Jesus taught the lesson we read from Matthew 5. Luke was a historian, setting in order the things he had been told that Jesus said, so let us read this one verse. “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” That was all Luke had to say on the subject, and what he said was right, but was not all that Jesus had said on this occasion. What we read from Mark, and the one verse from Luke was what they each wrote of what they had heard. Let us go back to the gospel of Matthew. This time we are going to the 19th chapter to pick up this same account, recorded in the words of a disciple who was present when it took place. Matthew was right there when it happened, so let us pay attention to what he wrote. We will begin reading with verse 3, and you will notice right there, why He answered them as He did. “The Pharisees also came to Jesus, tempting Him, and saying unto Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for EVERY CAUSE? And He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are not more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto Him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?” This was the same framework that Mark used, but Matthew put in all the details. Let us go on. “He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. AND I SAY UNTO YOU, WHOSOEVER SHALL PUT AWAY HIS WIFE, EXCEPT IT BE FOR FORNICATION, AND SHALL MARRY ANOTHER, COMMITTETH ADULTERY: AND WHOSO MARRIETH HER WHICH IS PUT AWAY DOTH COMMIT ADULTERY.”


ALL SCRIPTURE IS PROFITABLE


Some of you may be wondering why we went through all those scriptures to show what the law of Moses had to say about this subject; if you are, you failed to see where we put the emphasis. People have been guilty of taking statements from the gospel of Mark, and also from Luke, and using them as a club to beat some poor soul over the head, where, if they would have studied their subject from all the gospel accounts they would not have had a club at all. For instance, if you just use Luke 16:18 in dealing with a problem of divorce and remarriage, you fail to take into account the provision of the law that could justify the action on the part of one of the two parties. You can be sure that when the apostle Paul dealt with this subject in his first letter to the Corinthians, he had more than just the words of Mark and Luke to base his answers on. He was not a disciple of Jesus in the days of His earthly ministry, but you can believe me, he knew what Jesus taught, and he had a revelation of what He meant. That is why you can put your confidence in what Paul taught the New Testament churches. He had received, by divine revelation, the things he taught; they were not just some ideas of his own. The same God that gave Moses the law for Israel, also gave Paul what he wrote in his epistles. Well, Bro. Jackson, that may be true, but why are you using the law God gave to Israel, to teach Gentiles in the dispensation of Grace? Brothers and sisters, listen carefully. We do not throw the Old Testament away simply because God made a covenant of grace to include Gentiles. Though we are not required to keep the letter of the law of Moses; I want you to know that every New Testament teaching compliments that law. Go back to chapter 20, in the book of Exodus, and then tell us whether the New Testament cancels out those commandments or not. What did Jesus say about it in Matt. 5:17-18? “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Some of those who heard Jesus say that were in that upper room when the Holy Ghost fell, Acts. 2:4. Do you think they disregarded everything Jesus had taught them from the law when He walked with them? Absolutely not! Paul wrote to Timothy, 2 Tim. 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for DOCTRINE, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Then in Romans 15:4, we read, “For whatsoever things were written afore time were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of scriptures might have hope.” Many a poor soul has been tossed out into the world of sin at a time when they were looking for help, a hope, something to hold on to, and instead of help they were given Luke 16:18, when 1st Corinthians 7:15, (which we will get to later) was what they needed. Some people seem to have trouble remembering that unbelief is the only unpardonable sin and that God will forgive you for every other sin that you have ever been guilty of, when you genuinely repent. And, Saints! Please do not think that I am finding fault with Mark and Luke. I am not. My only purpose in these comparisons is to help you realize that one should never make an important decision, based only upon one verse of scripture, or even upon one passage of scripture apart from all the others that deal with the same subject. The Bible does not contradict itself as some claim, it is just that not every writer was impressed to write every detail of every occurrence. I will call your attention to a couple of other examples, and then we will go into 1st Corinthians.


RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF GOD


In the 20th chapter of Matthew, we find this gospel writer speaking of two blind men that were sitting by the wayside when Jesus, followed by a great multitude, departed from Jericho. They, according to Matthew, began calling to Jesus to have mercy upon them, when they heard that He was passing by. “Have mercy upon us, O Lord, thou son of David.” The multitude rebuked them for carrying on so, but they continued their cry until they got His attention. He asked what they wanted, and they said, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.” Please take note of the fact that Matthew said there were two blind men healed by the wayside as Jesus departed from Jericho, but when Mark wrote of the same occurrence, he only referred to one man, and he called him by name, and even named his father. In this instance Mark is giving more details than Matthew, but he is only speaking of the one man that stood out to him, a man he probably knew personally. It is obvious they are both writing of the same occurrence, but there was something about Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, that caught Mark’s attention, so he just concentrated on him. This does not make a contradiction. I hope you can see that. You will find that in the 10th chapter of Mark, beginning with verse 46. In Matthew 8:28-34, we read Matthew’s account of what happened when Jesus went in to the country of the Gergesenes. Matthew says He was met by two demon possessed men, coming out of the tombs, men who were so fierce no man dared to pass by that way. The men came to Jesus, and the demons in them began to cry out, “What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” He goes on to tell how they asked to be permitted to go into a herd of swine if He was going to cast them out of the men, and how the swine ran violently into the sea and drowned when the demons entered them. That is all Matthew says about them, but he does speak of two men, where Mark and Luke, in reporting the same occurrence, speak only of one man, but they give more details of what happened after the demons were cast out. You can read their accounts in Mark 5:1-19, and Luke 8:26-50. We do not have the space to print it here. I just use these examples to show you how necessary it is to harmonize the gospels, if you want to get the complete story of all that is recorded. When it comes to the great commission Jesus gave to His disciples, we find the same thing. He did not say what Matthew recorded, (28:18-20) at one time, and what Luke recorded, (24:44-49) at another time. They were both writing of the same occurrence, the time when Jesus (just before He ascended to heaven) commissioned His disciples to go into all the world preaching the gospel and baptizing disciples. Matthew says He told them to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and he did not bother to mention that the only name which could be applied to these three titles was Jesus, but Luke just simplified it and wrote, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His (JESUS’) name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Can you see why a person needs to read both accounts? Matthew just wrote the literal words that Jesus spoke, while Luke included the revelation of the name that went with those titles. Then on the day of Pentecost when those Jews had been cut to the heart by the short sermon Peter preached, they looked at him and the other apostles, and asked, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Peter did not even mention the three titles that Matthew used; he just spoke right out, Repent, and be baptized every one of you IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. He did not need to mention those titles; he was using the keys that Jesus had given to him, (Matt. 16:19) to unlock the kingdom for these repentant Jews who had taken part in condemning the Lord of Glory. Then some trinitarian people who are completely without revelation on the Godhead, have been so carnal as to say, I had rather take the words of Jesus anytime (Matt. 28:19) than those of Peter, (Acts 2:38) who cursed and denied the Lord when He was arrested. Brother! How carnal can a person be? Peter’s weakness at that moment had nothing in the world to do with the revelation he had in his bosom of who Jesus was, and of the commission Jesus had given them. That is why I say, without the Holy Ghost to guide them into all truth, people have been guilty of using just one verse of scripture to build a doctrine off of. Such a practice leads to spiritual bondage. That is why we are using many scriptures to tie this message together; people’s lives ought not be left hanging in the balances of confusion and distrust, all because someone grabbed one verse of scripture and used it as a club. No, it is just like Jesus said in John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE.” There is nothing whatsoever in the Bible that will place a true believer in an impossible situation where there is no hope. That is not God’s purpose; neither under law, nor grace.


ADULTERY OR FORNICATION


Before going into Corinthians, I want to take a little time to clarify the usage of certain words, namely ADULTERY and FORNICATION. When Jesus used the word FORNICATION, He was referring to a sex act committed for pleasure only. Some have said, “I thought fornication was applicable only when two single people have that relationship together.” But please understand, fornication is an act that is committed for pleasure only, outside of a marriage relationship. On the other hand, if those same two people decide to start living together, outside of a marriage relationship, then that same act becomes adultery. It could apply to people who were married to someone else other than the person they were committing the act with, just the same as it does to single people. Let us go back and read Matthew 5:32, and you can see the difference in the usage of the two words. “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, except for the cause of fornication, (SEX WITH SOMEONE ELSE FOR PLEASURE) causeth her to commit ADULTERY.” Why? Because that divorced woman will go be another man’s wife, and according to the law of Moses, she has been illegally divorced; therefore in the eyes of God this woman is still married to her first husband, and here she is living with another man. Remember, we are talking about a woman that has been divorced for some reason other than unfaithfulness to her husband. You have to keep the application where it belongs or you will get everything all tangled up. So, a woman that committed fornication could be divorced by her husband if she had one, but he did not have to divorce her; that was his choice. On the other hand, those who were caught in the act of adultery were to be stoned to death, both the man and the woman, with no exceptions. That is why Jesus reacted as He did, in the 8th chapter of John. They only brought the woman, claiming to have caught her in the very act of adultery. If they truly had, they were obligated by the law to bring the man, and the woman both, to be stoned, but they were tempting Jesus, trying to get Him to say something wrong. While they stood there asking Jesus, What have you got to say about this; notice what Jesus did; He just stooped down and wrote on the ground with is finger, probably the name of the man that was found with her, but when they kept insisting that He answer them He stood up and said, He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone, then He stooped and began to write in the sand again. This time He was probably writing the names of those standing there, for when He looked up again everyone was gone except the woman. Without anyone to accuse her, Jesus said, Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more. They could not stone anyone just because they heard they had committed adultery; they had to catch them in the act, and those who caught them were required to stand and bear witness against them.


EXAMPLE OF FORNICATION


For an example of fornication, let us go to 1 Corinthians 5:1, where we will begin reading. Paul says, “It is commonly reported that there is fornication among you, and such FORNICATION as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.” Paul is not saying that this man is committing fornication with his own mother; it is a case where a man is having an affair with a woman that is married to his own father. You can see here, that, even though one of the two parties is married, Paul still called it fornication. Why? Because it was an affair for pleasure; they were not actually living together. I will not read all the verses, but I do want you to notice verse 5. Even though this man is guilty of this sin, Paul did not condemn him to hell; he just instructed them to cast him out of the church, and give the devil an opportunity to destroy his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. In other words, stop covering up for him, keep him out of church, and let the devil buffet him until he repents. What about the woman in that case? Paul did not go any farther with the individuals, but that will depend a lot on her attitude toward the word of God as well as that of the father of the man. Any further questions may be answered when we go to chapter 7, where Paul deals with how to avoid fornication. If they are in the church assembly because they are true believers, they will be guided by the word of God, but if they are tares (make believers) they will eventually reject sound doctrine and go their own way. What you must keep in mind as we look into Paul’s instructions on this subject of marriage and divorce and proper conduct, is that it was written to believers. Do not try to cram it down the throats of people who do not respect the word of God.


DEALING WITH CIRCUMSTANCES


There are some who would say, Why not just stay with what Jesus said in Matthew 19:8, when he said, In the beginning it was not so? Did He not mean that God never meant for people to divorce and re-marry? Jesus was dealing with conditions as they were two thousand years ago when He was on earth, just before He went to the cross, and He reached back into Genesis to show what God’s perfect will for man would have been, but man’s sin, and world conditions has moved man away from that perfect beginning. It could not be reinstated, so God permitted Moses to deal with conditions as they were at that time. Let me explain what was involved. First we have to remember that the law of Moses was given to the Israelites who had just been delivered from hundreds of years of Egyptian captivity. It was not given for pagan Gentiles to live by, but that God’s chosen people might have something to guide their lives as He worked through them to reveal His plan and purpose for mankind. In the beginning, God made male and female and joined them together when He brought the woman to the man. Jesus reminded those critics who tempted Him, of this, and quoted what Adam said, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh.” Then Jesus said, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” That does not apply to pagans, but it applies to all who are subject to the law of God, whether under the law of Moses, or under the law of grace. Why did Moses allow for a divorce then? And how could people who are remarried be in the will of God? Let us go back in time about 3500 years, and look in upon the society of Egypt, where God’s chosen people were held captive. I can see some of those poor Jewish homes, where, maybe a man and his wife had two or three little children growing up. The Egyptians looked upon them only as a servant type of people, and treated them more like animals than human beings who were made in the image and likeness of God. These immoral pagans would come into a Jewish home, grab a little 5 year old girl and send her off someplace to grow up as a slave, a maid for some Egyptian household and so forth. The little boys would be taken, and sold to someone, to grow up as a servant, or a slave to work in the fields. Husbands and wives were ripped apart and treated the same way. What did those Egyptians care about the moral structure of the Israelites? They had no care at all about morals, nor what kind of conditions they forced upon their slaves, but their cruel treatment of those poor Jews did not change the masculine and feminine law that God had placed in their bodies. (I say this with all purity of thought and motive, to help you understand why certain things were necessitated.) God created His human family with these organs, and when He sent them out of the garden; He told the woman her desire would be to her own husband, but standing there at the foot of Mt. Sinai was a great host of people that had been abused by their captors. They had been ripped, torn and scattered so that God could not deal with them according to His perfect law. If He judged them by the fact that, IN THE BEGINNING, IT WAS NOT SO, those poor souls did not have a chance in the world. Conditions beyond their control had brought them to the place where they were, and now that God has released them from those conditions, He is giving them a law that will eventually lift them above the pagan plane of life they have been exposed to. He could not make a law that would undo what had been done, but He did give them a law that would straighten their lives out and set them on a true course. The law stated that only death was to separate a man and his wife, with one exception. Because of the hardness of their hearts that made them unable to forgive, God allowed a divorce to be granted for fornication only. Why do you suppose they were not able to forgive? It was because they had not been born again. Can you see that? Now, if we are going to use, In the beginning, it was not so, then Deuteronomy never should have been written at all. But, Deuteronomy absolutely shows it is a new beginning, just like when Adam and Eve were driven from the garden, and every Jewish boy and girl became subject to the law the very minute they were born into that Jewish family. That is why it was placed over the door of every Jewish home. When those little children went out the door they were reminded that they were subject to the law; then when they came back in it was right there for them to see. Therefore if they had walked in the light of that law, there never would have been a divorce granted for any reason other than fornication. That is what the law taught, and Jesus was not trying to change the law; He was just simply reminding them of the grace and mercy of God, how that in the beginning it was not like that, but when they were so far below that perfect beginning, God still made a way for them. When Jesus stood there talking to those people, they had drifted so far from that law, they were getting divorces for almost every reason imaginable, yet they were still hiding behind the law. Jesus was just reminding them of how far down the ladder they were from the way God’s human family started out in the beginning. Looking at those Jews through the eyes of the law was a pitiful sight, but had God looked at the Gentile society through the law, every last one of use would have been condemned. I am so thankful God saw fit to allow another beginning, so that we could be included in His mercy and grace. Before the gospel came most Gentiles were filthy and corrupt, and had no moral principles whatsoever, but God, in His mercy, allowed for Gentiles who would believe His word, to be lifted out of their corruption, into an acceptable place to be called sons of God.


GENTILES BEFORE THE GOSPEL


Let us go to 1st Corinthians 6:9, where we will begin reading. In this letter Paul tells these Corinthian Christians that they are still babes in the faith, and so carnal in their ways, that he cannot even speak to them on a spiritual plane. So he just starts right with the foundation of the Christian faith and goes through every phase of Christian living. Brothers and sisters: you would not even want to hear from this pulpit, what conditions were like in old Corinth before the gospel came to them. In 1968 I stood looking at the ruins of that city, as our guide told us some of what life was like there in ancient times. High on a mountain top, beyond the city of Corinth, stood a pagan temple, called the temple of Venus. (The Greeks worship the feminine gods and goddesses, as well as masculine gods.) This temple had hundreds of priestesses, (young women) which they called maidens, but every last one of them were religious prostitutes. From their temple atop this high mountain, they could look upon the harbor, see the ships come in, and know when the city would be full of sailors. They would to down into the streets, approach the sailors, and say, Let us go worship the god of Venus. It was all done through an act of fornication. This is just the way the Gentile society lived and conducted themselves. They were immoral, filthy, so debased that if Paul had not had a revelation in his soul that he was to be a light to them; that little Jew would have been shaking the dust of old Corinth off his feet when he saw how corrupt they actually were. But he knew that god had called him to be a channel of salvation to many Gentiles who until that time were without any such hope. Then later as he finds it necessary to write this letter to them, notice how he speaks of the things that were common to them before the gospel of Christ came. Verse 9, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, (notice that Paul is striking out against their former way of life, for they had, before their conversion, been idolators, ‘WORSHIPERS OF IDOLS’, fornicators and adulterers in their manner of life, or as they looked upon life, but Paul says, No such will inherit the kingdom of God.) nor effeminate.” Let me just say, We are living in an age when this effeminate spirit is a strong one. Men have become so sissified, and act so much like women, that it is hard to tell which is which when you see them on the streets. God made the man to look like a man, walk like a man, talk like a man, and certainly God never meant for men to allow their hair to grow until it makes them look like women. I see boys and girls, men and women walking down the streets dressed exactly alike, and if you cannot see the bulge of their breast, you cannot tell which ones are the females. Brothers! That is effeminate on the part of the males, and Paul says, No such will inherit the kingdom of God. “Neither abusers of themselves with mankind.” That is speaking of homosexuals, sodomites, and all such like. When I think of how some of these, “SUPPOSED TO BE CHURCHES” are allowing these degenerate perverts to hold places of leadership in their organizations, it lets me know that Gentiles are fast returning to the ungodly ways of their ancestors, and that it is because the Spirit of God is leaving them. Gentile time is short. Let us continue reading the list of those who shall not inherit the kingdom of God. “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Why? Because the law had already condemned them. The law condemns all who practice such, so what hope did these Gentiles have? Watch what Paul says in verse 11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of God.” What had sanctified them? They had believed the gospel that was preached to them, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9) Who had preached the gospel to them? Paul, of course. After the Jews rejected the gospel, Paul moved from the synagogue into the house of one of the citizens, and continued his ministry there for 18 months. That was the beginning of this Corinthian church which Paul wrote the two epistles to five or six years later. Please keep in mind also that Paul did not go in to the streets looking for every Corinthian that had not committed fornication, neither adultery, nor told a lie, nor stole anything, etc. No. He first went into the synagogue where he got a few Jews to believe the gospel, but when the old Rabbi, and some of the others began to blaspheme, Paul departed from them and opened up the gospel to every Gentile who would believe it. That is why Paul wrote as he did in verse 11. He was reminding them of what the grace of God had delivered them from. He was reminding them that they are now looked upon as though they had never done any of those things. But the fact that they had believed the gospel and entered into a new way of life did not automatically clear up every situation. They had problems in the church, and they had a lot of questions that needed to be answered. Therefore, Paul, being aware of this, took time during a great revival he was having at Ephesus, and wrote this letter to the Corinthian church.


ANSWERING QUESTIONS


Notice how Paul begins chapter 7, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: (He is going to answer some specific questions now.) It is good for a man not to touch a woman. (In other words, a man would avoid a lot of problems in life if he just stayed single and behaved himself.) Nevertheless TO AVOID FORNICATION, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” Brothers and sisters, as we study these next few verses, please keep in mind that the whole context of thought is, HOW TO AVOID FORNICATION. If you will keep that up front, it will clear up what is said later. He did not start out answering a question on how to avoid fornication, and end up talking about a soup supper. Let us keep it in the same channel. If you wrote me a question, wanting to know how to raise strawberries, do you think my answer to you would be instruction on how to raise corn? Of course not. I would tell you what I knew about strawberries. That is exactly what I want you to see here. These people have been converted from a pagan, undisciplined society, and they have some questions on proper conduct. They want to know how they can keep themselves clean in the sight of God, and avoid the temptations and traps of Satan, such as fornication. So Paul answers the question on how to avoid fornication. “Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.” Some people feel that a subject like this should not be preached from the pulpit, but I say, if there had been a lot more preaching on this subject, we might not have the degenerate conditions all around us that have become so common in our day. This governs the very avenue through which God ordained that the whole earth be repopulated, and the lack of proper teaching has just left more room for these X-rated movie houses and such like to operate. They take the very thing that God ordained to reproduce His human family, pervert it, and entertain vulgar talking degenerate mankind with it. They abuse a relationship that the creator ordained to be something sacred. Paul wrote to the Hebrews, “Marriage is honorable, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers, God will judge.” Therefore God intended for His true children to know the absolute truth about this relationship. Verse 4. “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, (Do not cheat, do not deprive the other mate by any form of deception) except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; (with agreement or consent you may withhold yourselves from each other for a period while you are fasting and praying) and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. (Your lack of control) But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.” This lets me know that Paul had conferred with other men in the Jerusalem church on these matters, for he goes on to say, verse 7, “For I would that all men were even as myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. (Every person has been physically endowed by the creator to be like he is, and Paul realizes that some men can be satisfied to remain single, and at the same time exercise self control, and others cannot.) I say therefore to be unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. (Unmarried) But if they cannot contain, (exercise self control) let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” (To be inflamed with passion and lust.) Paul believed time was short, and that the coming of the Lord was close at hand, therefore those who were single would stay free from a lot of problems and unnecessary obligations if they could see fit to remain so, but he was just giving advice, and not commanding them to do so. These verses have caused a lot of people to believe that the apostle Paul was never married, and I am sure that at the time of this letter, he was no longer married, and did not intend to remarry. But in 1968 I had opportunity to talk with a Jewish Rabbi, and in the course of the conversation, I asked him about the qualifications of those who sat on the Sanhedrin council. I did not want to ask him directly, about the apostle Paul, but the Bible tells us he was a member of the Sanhedrin, so I just inquired about the marital status of those who were chosen to govern the people through that court. He replied, We do not have concrete proof, but we are reasonably certain that every member of the Sanhedrin was not only required to be a married man, but they had to be family men as well. In that era of time the Sanhedrin court was the judicial body that governed and judged the whole society in moral, temporal and material matters, therefore we believe it required the experience of a family man to fulfill this obligation properly. That is the impression you get from Paul’s letters, that he writes like a man that has had experience in all phases of family life and responsibilities. One thing you need to keep in mind as you read these verses, Paul is writing to those single persons in the church, his advice was never meant for people outside the body of Christ.


IF CHRISTIANS SEPARATE


When we look at verse 10, it is no longer just advice; he is giving a command from the Lord. “And unto the married I COMMAND, yet not I, but the Lord, (where both parties are Christians) let not the wife depart from her husband: But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” These people have been converted from paganism, but now they are both born into the family of God, and they are both subject to the law of God. But suppose they are emotionally unadjusted to each other. What will the law of God allow them to do? It is very plain. They can separate if they allow their disagreements to go that far, but if they do, they are both to remain unmarried. Then we come back to the theme of what Paul is dealing with; (FORNICATION) if they find that they cannot exercise self control over the desires of their physical makeup, they only have one resort, they must be reconciled to each other. God does not allow any room for a Christian man and woman to divorce each other. But Bro. Jackson, did you say that God will not make a law that will victimize any one person? Yes, I did, and I still say it. If Christian people will submit themselves to Bible doctrine they will not be seeking divorces. If you, as a professing Christian, are seeking a divorce from your mate, it might pay you to re-examine your own life, for the Bible has instructions for you. Are you following them? You cannot step over the word of God to satisfy the desires of your flesh, and still reap all the benefits of God’s grace. If you try it, you will be a candidate for the mark of the beast, after the bride has gone to the marriage supper. The law of Moses would not justify the break up of a marriage for any reason except fornication, and neither will the New Testament law of grace. For that reason, let me say to you young people, even as Paul did to the Corinthians in his second letter, Do not be unequally yoked together with an unbeliever. Light and darkness are not compatible. But Bro. Jackson, I might be able to win him to the Lord. It is possible for such a thing to happen, but the chances are much greater that he will pull you out into worldliness, for you must step over the word of God in the first place, even to marry him. My advice and warning to everyone who may be thinking like that is, you win him to the Lord first so you will not have to turn your back to the word of God in order to marry him. None of us have any control over what unbelievers do, but if believers take heed to what Paul has written in these few verses, they will avoid much trouble in life.


ONE A CHRISTIAN THE OTHER AN UNBELIEVER


Coming to verse 12, we find Paul making this statement, “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord.” Before reading the rest of that verse let me show you why it was necessary for Paul to state it like he did. When he dealt with marriages where the husband and the wife were both Christians, he had much scripture to back him up; therefore he presented it as a command of the Lord, but when he comes to the situation where only one of the two is a Christian, he must approach it from the standpoint of the revelation that God has given to him, and by the authority of his office as an apostle of the Lord, for there is nothing written in the law of Moses that will spell it out in detail for Gentiles. However, do not question Paul’s authority in the matter, or you will need to throw away most of your New Testament. Paul wrote 14 epistles, and the last 16 chapters of the book of Acts gives us a good look at how the Holy Ghost led Paul, and allows us to see how his life stood out as the apostle and founder of the Gentile churches. If you question what he taught on this subject, you may as well question anything else he taught, also. He either had the word of the Lord, or he did not. But knowing beyond any shadow of doubt that Paul did have the word of the Lord, by revelation, and that, even though he said, I speak this, and not he Lord, it is still the law of God for believers in this dispensation of grace. Now we will read the rest of verse 12. “If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.” Brothers and sisters, that is just as plain as the nose on your face. There are many examples that each one of us could think of right now, where some man has heard the gospel preached, realized his need for God, and surrendered his life to the Lord, while his wife is still out in the world. She feels no need for God herself, but if he wants to be a Christian, it is fine with her. Then in verse 13, he says, “And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.” That is the same example just turned around to show that the same principle applies to either the man or the woman. The man does not have any advantage over the woman, nor the woman over the man. But in either case, if the unbeliever is pleased to dwell with the believer; the believer should never try to high pressure their mate to become a Christian. Just be sure you live a good example before that unbelieving mate. It will take the Spirit of God to draw them, before they can ever be born again, so whatever you do, please do not nag your mate, and do not talk church to them all the time. They are not too interested in what you have to say; they want to see what kind of effect your experience is going to have on the way you live, and on your attitude in general. In dealing with Jews, they were both subject to the law of Moses at all times, both the men, and the women. The very fact that they were born into a Jewish family made them subject to the law. But being born into a Gentile family did not make anyone subject to God’s law of grace; only the new birth does that. So it is up to the believer to hold to the word of God without trying to force it upon the unbeliever. Verse 14 tells why. “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” Now the word, SANCTIFIED, does not mean that the other mate is saved by your faith, it just means that your marriage relationship is sanctified (recognized by God) so that your children do not have to be looked upon as unclean. (born out of wedlock) Under the law of Moses the Israelites were commanded not to give their sons and daughters unto the heathen, (Gentiles) in marriage. Such a marriage relationship was looked upon as unclean, the same as living together out of wedlock. Over in the book of Ezra we find that those Israelites who had disregarded the law and taken strange wives of the heathen nations were required to put them away, along with the children of those wives. They sent them all back home where they cam from, for God would not have the land polluted with these mixed marriages. In this Corinthian letter we are seeing the difference grace makes. (There was no way for Gentiles to be justified by the law of Moses, but Jesus opened up a way at Calvary, and that way is the only way for mankind to be reconciled to God.) Paul, believing that he has the mind of Christ on these matters, gives his advice, and those who follow his advice will avoid a lot of heartache and trouble. By following Paul’s instruction, a Christian man, or woman, can avoid fornication, and have their marriage sanctioned by God, as long as the unbelieving one chooses to remain with them. But let us look at a third example and see what the believer is to do if the unbelieving mate chooses to depart.


LET THE UNBELIEVER GO


Verse 15, “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother, OR SISTER is not under bondage in such cases: but God has called us to peace.” This is a very controversial verse of scripture; therefore I urge you once again to remember what Paul is dealing with here, (HOW TO AVOID FORNICATION) and now I will ask you a question. The unbelieving mate has departed, so how will the believer avoid fornication? And why did Paul say, A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases? It simply means that the believer is free to choose another companion, but, Please! Brother! Sister! If you should happen to be in this situation; do not go to the world to choose a companion; choose one within the family of God. Bro. Jackson: Paul did not say the believer would be free to choose another companion in such a case. I beg your pardon! He did not have to come right out and say it; those Corinthians knew what he meant when he said, A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. It means they are not morally obligated to remain unmarried. The fact that the unbelieving mate chose to depart, does not change the natural law in the believer’s body that requires companionship. Therefore, if that believer is forbidden to remarry when there is no chance of being reconciled, (as in the case where both are believers) you would have to admit, that would be bondage. Furthermore, if God would not allow a person to be victimized under the law of Moses, do you think He would make a law in this dispensation of grace, that would leave one of His redeemed children a victim of circumstances? You know He would not. Some women have followed their “good for nothing” husbands around the world (so to speak) trying to hold on to them, all because they did not understand their situation, scripturally. You believe me, If that unbeliever wants to leave, you let him go, or her, which ever the case may be; (just be sure you are not deliberately doing something to run him away) you are not obligated; you are free. Paul said “But God hath called us to peace.” How could there be any peace if you were left without a husband, or without a wife as the case may be, and you were forbidden to marry again, leaving you without any possible solution to your plight? How could you abide by the instruction Paul gave in verse 2? “NEVERTHELESS, TO AVOID FORNICATION, LET EVERY MAN HAVE HIS OWN WIFE, AND LET EVERY WOMAN HAVE HER OWN HUSBAND.” Whether some of you like it or not, Paul is teaching that a believer is free to remarry, if their unbelieving mate just moves out and leaves them because of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you could have come to Paul, personally, with this problem in that first age, he would have said, Son: If you have done your best, by the grace of God, and she is still determined to go, then let her go; you are not under bondage. You are not morally obligated to hold on to her, because God has called us to peace. Paul, how am I going to have any peace when my mind is tormented with these physical feelings of my body? Besides that, Paul, I have prayed for my wife and claimed her for God; Isn’t He obligated to save her? I would never discourage anyone from praying like that, for I believe we should have that kind of concern for our loved ones, but we cannot obligate God to save every one of them, or else, How would the words of Jesus, recorded in Matt. 10:36, be fulfilled? (A MAN’S FOES SHALL BE THEY OF HIS OWN HOUSEHOLD.) Let us see how Paul might have responded to a similar question, verse 16, “For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband, or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” In other words, we just cannot know who God is going to save, so we do our utmost to set a Christian example, and above all else, try to balance the scriptures, so we will not be found blaming God when some of those loved ones are never saved. Therefore, pray for your mate, do your utmost to set a good example, and then, after having done all that you know to do as a Christian, if that unbelieving mate chooses to break the marriage vows and leave you, please do not feel that you have failed God, nor that you are snared in an impossible trap. Paul said, you are not morally obligated to that unbeliever any longer. You are not under bondage. In process of time you may choose a Christian mate and remarry. I stress the word, CHRISTIAN mate, for if you marry another unbeliever, you are willingly violating every moral principle that the word of God stands for. If every believer would get an understanding of what Paul is teaching here, and do their utmost to live by these principles, you would not find them running to Psychiatrists, nor in the psychiatric ward of the local hospital on the verge of a nervous breakdown. God has called us to peace, but there can be no peace unless we follow the word of God. Some people will say, I sure do not believe that a divorced Christian should ever remarry; they just need to pray more. That just goes to show that you are a person who would rather trust your own idea than to abide by the word of God. Your advice will be bad advice in such cases. God has put it in my heart to tell you that He will not allow any innocent person to be victimized by circumstances which they have no control over. He did not require it under the law of Moses, and He will not require it under the law of Grace.


REMAIN IN YOUR CALLING


In verses 17, and following, Paul leaves the thought he was on, to bring in some examples. It is not that he is going to teach on circumcision, nor is he going to teach on servants, but he uses these illustrations to show why some people are able to bear more, of certain conditions, than others. Notice verse 17, “But as God hath distributed to every man, (and every woman) as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.” Those Gentiles had come into the grace of God from all walks of life, and some of them were wondering what to do. Some people think as soon as they get saved they ought to drop everything they have been doing and do something else. What Paul is saying here is that God has distributed a measure of His grace to every believer. He has even given some the grace to remain unmarried, having no need, nor desire for a companion in marriage. If that be the case, then so be it; there is no argument. Others have found that they can cope with the constant abuse of their unbelieving mates, better than some of their brothers and sisters in the faith. That is because of the measure God granted to them. Others who are actually servants have found the grace to go right on being a servant. Those Jews who had been circumcised according to the law of Moses, and the Gentiles who had never been circumcised, all came under the same covenant of grace when they believed and obeyed the gospel of Christ. God made no difference between them, and He gave each one of them sufficient grace by measure to fulfill their responsibility to God, and man. In Paul’s day there were always a few characters around that wanted to add a little something to grace; they would try to add circumcision or something else from the law of Moses, to grace. Then there were some who thought that being free in Jesus Christ meant they should not be any man’s servant after that, but if a person had been bought to be a slave, the gospel did not automatically set them free from their owner. That is why Paul found it necessary to say what he did in the verses we are now going to read. Verse 18, “Is any man called being circumcised? (That means called to salvation; nothing more.) Let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. (That is what is important.) Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant? Care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. (For the glory of God) for he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. (Now he is talking about not becoming the servants of sinful men that would place you under bondage.) Brethren let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.” He keeps stressing the importance of holding steady, wherever you may be when the gospel comes to you. Of course you are to depart from your sinful ways, but if you are some farmer’s field hand when you get saved, you can keep right on plowing corn, or putting hay in the barn, and sing Amazing Grace every step of the way. This is what Paul is getting at in these verses.


TO MARRY OR NOT TO MARRY


We are down to verse 25, now, and we find Paul ready to approach another thought on this thing of avoiding fornication, and so forth. “Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord; yet I give my judgement, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.” In other words, Paul knows there is no place in the Old Testament where he can go to read up on this. He also knows that Jesus never did preach on this subject; therefore this leaves him utterly dependant upon the Holy Ghost to inspire him to say the right thing. Verse 26, “I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, (The present situation, or circumstances) I say, that it is good for a man so to be. Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed.” This takes you right back to verses 12, 13 and 14, if the unbeliever is pleased to abide, then let not the one put the other away. You will not find Paul contradicting himself. “Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife.” This is another situation. You will notice that he did not say, after you are loosed from a wife. This lets us know that he is referring to those who were already widowed or divorced at the time they became believers. He gives the same advice to these, Stay single; seek not a wife. That is his first exhortation. Then he goes on to say, “But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh; but I spare you.” Why do you suppose Paul suddenly jumped to a statement like that? What kind of question could have been asked about virgins marrying? Isn’t it the will of God for everyone to be virgins until they are married? I just asked those questions to provoke thought on your part. In ancient times, and even yet today in some parts of the world, it is a custom for the parents of a young man, and a young woman to enter into a marriage agreement on behalf of the young folks. This was especially true in Jewish families. The parents of a young man would approach the parents of the young woman and ask them to give her in marriage to their son, maybe not right then, but when they are both old enough to marry. The next thing is for either the young man or his parents to pay a dowry, they agree to raise the young woman properly, preparing her or the day of her marriage to this young man. For the sake of illustration we will say that a certain such case was brought to Paul; this young virgin who was already spoken for, and her dowry had already been paid, went to hear Paul preach, and got under conviction. After repenting and being baptized, she sits under Paul’s teaching, and hears him say, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” Paul: Does that mean that a Christian ought not marry a Jewish person, even if that Christian was born a Jew, also? Yes, young lady, if that young man is bound and determined to be a Judiastic Jew the rest of his days, he will make life miserable for you in your new found Christian experience. Someone else speaks up, Paul: Is she free to marry another man, one who is a Christian also? Yes. In such a case the word of God must have priority over a custom. She is free in the sight of God to marry, but she will have trouble in the flesh. The others will not take it lightly, that she did not remain true to their custom, and she will have trouble in the flesh as she settles down to a home life of rearing children and taking care of her obligations and responsibilities as a wife. Paul had to be talking about virgins that were pledged to someone already, or pledged to God for a life of celibacy, such as the case over in Judges, chapter 11, where Jephthah (in verse 30) made a vow unto the Lord, and said, “If thou shalt deliver without fail the children of Ammon into my hands, Then it shall be that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lords, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.” I will not read the rest of the chapter, but if you will, you will see what happened. The first to come through his doors to meet him was his little daughter, his only child, but he had made a vow unto the Lord and he must keep it. He cannot offer his daughter upon the altar for a burnt offering, as he would have a sheep or a goat or something of that sort, so as their custom was, he pledged her to a life of celibacy. This was not the girl’s choosing; it was a very common practice among ancient Jews, that the parents would pledge their daughter to a life of virginity. According to their custom that probably made them feel more holy in the eyes of God. But remember, this was a custom of man, not a commandment of the Lord; therefore if such a young lady became a Christian and learned the truth, met some young man, and decided to get married, Paul’s judgment was, “If a virgin marry, she hath not sinned.” One reason I maintain that Paul had to be referring to this type of situation, is because he said in some other letters, such as 1st Tim. 5:14, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” That was the normal, so someone must have asked him a question about virgins, such as the two examples we used. His reply was, “If a virgin marry, she hath not sinned, Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh.”


STAY FREE FROM WORLDLY CARES


Verse 29, helps us to better understand why Paul, in 59 A.D., would advise people to stay single and avoid the unnecessary responsibility, and material burdens of married life. It was because he had a feeling that the coming of the Lord was so near, that people should just give their thoughts to seeking God. He was not establishing doctrine when he said, Seek not a wife, he was merely offering advice on how to avoid entanglements in material things which would soon pass away. 29, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none: (do not think Paul is saying, run off and leave your wife to take care of herself; that would be contrary to what he told the Ephesians and the Colossians) and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away. But I would have you without carefulness, (excessive involvements) He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.” I believe those verses are almost self explanatory; Paul is admonishing those people not to get so caught up in things of this world that they have not time for God. Not even the death of loved ones should get us so caught up in weeping and mourning, that we have no time for God. Do not become so obsessed with material things that you allow yourself to constantly think about them. You will become a prisoner if you do. Many times it might take hours to do something that you could have done in just a few minutes if your life had been in harmony with the Spirit of God. Put Him first, then let everything else fall into place. The Catholics use verse 32, to justify celibacy, “He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord.” If that had been made a doctrine, then that would be man’s highest calling; it should have the preeminence, but remember, in the beginning the Creator said, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. God does not come along and say something that cancels out something He has already said. Besides that, as I search through the Bible, I find that most of the men that have been used by God as a mouthpiece, or we will say, as an instrument of God, have been married men, usually family men. When we get to verse 34, we find Paul changing the focus from the man to the woman. “There is a difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit; but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” Of course Paul is directing these remarks to Christian men and women who truly have a desire to walk with the Lord. In our day of “Women’s Liberation” you will find a lot of young women saying, I do not ever intend to get married, but their motive is a worldly one most of the time. They want to be completely free to pursue their chosen careers without the hindrances of home responsibilities. They can be vice president of this company, or supervisor of another, and not have to be concerned about pleasing a husband. Such attitudes as this are wrecking the home structure that God ordained in the very beginning, and I will say also, any young woman who makes such a declaration in our age, will usually, eventually wind up as a prostitute; not to sell her body, but she will choose to go to bed with any man that suits her liking, to satisfy her desires. She can do that, and still elevate herself in her chosen field of business. Such women do not want the responsibility of rearing children, washing dishes, cleaning floors and cooking meals; they would rather sit behind a desk somewhere, telling 100 men what to do. I say, If time goes on for another 10 years, and the present trend continues as it is going, the day will come that young Christian girls will detest their own species.

 

A FEMININE SPIRIT


I think often of how our own Nation’s image is changing in the eyes of the world. America was never known as a feminine nation, except maybe in a social way, until recent years. Through the years of World War I and World War II, and even afterwards, this nation was pictured as a masculine nation. Remember the posters that pictured a man in a striped suit with a derby hat on his head, and a finger pointing, with the words, “I WANT YOU”? It was Uncle Sam, not a woman. But now our nation is going completely to a feminine image, and because of that our whole military structure is decaying and falling to pieces. Our military men know there needs to be something done to correct that decaying image, but they cannot get a man in government to make a decision on a thing like that. Even now our president is telling us that the presence of 3000 Russian soldiers in Cuba poses no threat to our country. Saints! Do not believe that! Even grade school children ought to know better than that. I am going to tell you something: (This message was preached in September 1979) Those soldiers down there are not infantrymen, as they claim; they are skilled technicians that know how to press buttons to fire missiles. Russia has timed this thing just right. They would have us sign this arms limitation thing, stop worrying about their long range missiles, and all the while they have everything they need, right in our back door, to knock our industrial cities right out of business. Do not allow yourselves to believe that they are there as innocently as Russia would have us believe they are. If I was going to be alarmed at all: I would be alarmed at what they have down there in Cuba, than all of what they have in long range missiles, yet our leaders will tell us we have nothing to be alarmed about. It just proves that America has taken the heart of a woman, just like the ancient Babylonian Empire. Daniel saw it like a lion, in a vision, but later, a man’s heart was given to it, showing that its nature had changed. Let me urge you, saints of God, hide yourselves in Jesus Christ; He is the only refuge we have in a time such as this. We are more than 1900 years closer to the coming of the Lord Jesus, than when Paul wrote this Corinthian letter. To conclude what he had said about the unmarried being occupied with thoughts of how to please a mate, he continued, “And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, (or more pleasant) and that you may attend upon the Lord without distraction,” (or without unnecessary complications and hindrances.)


A FATHER’S CONCERN


In these next verses Paul comes back to dealing with a moral condition. Verses 36, 37 & 38, are so tied together in a thought, that you have to study the wording of all three verses very carefully, or you are likely to become confused. We are trusting the Lord to make it very clear and easy to understand. Let us read, “But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely (UNBECOMINGLY) toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.” I am going to approach this verse from two angles. The first is a very popular interpretation that has been attached to this verse, which I do not agree with, but it will allow you to look at both lines of thought when I show you what I see here, and why I see it like that. I will show you why you must keep all three verses together. Many have thought verse 36, is referring to a case where a man has spoken for a certain young virgin girl to be his wife when she is old enough to get married, or we will say, when she reaches an age where she has come into full bloom of womanhood. (In this line of thought it could involve a certain age that has been established by custom.) Then there comes a time when the man begins to realize that he is not behaving himself properly around the young lady, and the case is presented to Paul. Paul: What should we do about this? (Naturally the question could be asked, What is he doing that could be looked upon in such a way?) If this were the case in question, I would have to say that it has gotten to the place where the very presence of this girl brings a great temptation to the young man. Do you catch the thought? Just being around her creates a temptation to him. If that were the case, then Paul would say, if she has passed the flower of her age, (meaning the juvenile period) and has reached womanhood, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not; let them marry. That is one thought that some people get from this verse, but I do not believe that is the true picture here. Let us read the first part again, and pay close attention, please! “But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, (I say, the man here, is the girl’s father) if she pass the flower of her age, (the juvenile period) and need so require. (The need is on the part of the girl) let him (the father) do what he will, he (the father) sinneth not; let them (the girl and her fiancé) marry.” Now I will put it together for you as I see it. Suppose this certain man has determined that he will not allow his daughter to get married until she reaches a certain age, and he is very strict about it, and very set in his ideas about how old a girl should be before she gets married. In ancient times people were more prone to hold to certain ideas, or customs such as this, especially among the more elite society, and especially in Jewish families. Nevertheless I believe the man here is the father of the girl, and he has been withholding her from marriage, but in the meanwhile she has met a young man and fallen very much in love with him, and he with her. They desire to be married, but her father constantly refuses to give her up. He is not a cruel man; he is just very set in his ways, but at the same time he can see the affect it is having on the girl. Let me stop right here and say, This is a setting that must be kept within the church. Paul is not meddling in a situation that has arisen among the worldly population in Corinth. This no doubt, is a family in the church, people who have believed the gospel, but are not yet free of all their former traditions. So the father seeing the mental anguish of his young daughter, and beginning to question his own motive in the matter, goes to Paul, presents the case, and says, Paul: What should I do? “If she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.” The way I presented this here was just to more or less get your attention focused on the details of the case at hand. Naturally these inquiries have come to Paul from the church, and Paul is writing this epistle back to the church, to answer the different questions that have been asked. This was one of the problems the local assembly at Corinth had to deal with, so what we are seeing here is what he wrote to the church about that particular case. In other words, the father is realizing that his attitude toward his daughter is very unbecoming, but he is so bound by his traditions that he actually does not know whether it would be right to give in to her request to be married to the young man she has fallen in love with, before she has reached the set age, or not. They present the case to the local church, and the church elders contact Paul. Paul writes back, (I am going to put this in my words, you can read Paul’s exact words in the Bible.) If the girl in question has reached an adult age, and she feels the NEED TO BE MARRIED, let her father go ahead and give her in marriage, he is not bound by that old custom any longer. There is certainly no sin involved in it; let the young folks go ahead and get married.


A CERTAIN YOUNG MAN


While verse 36 deals with the young girl and her father, verse 37, goes to a young man involved in another question. Notice now, Paul goes right into this. “Nevertheless he that standeth steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.” This is where you see that there is a young man with a question also. If such a young man (any young man) has desired to be a virgin all his life, and he has power over his own will, so that his physical need does not drive him, he does well. Now verse 38, goes back to the father of a young girl, or young lady. “So then he (the father) that giveth her in marriage doeth well; (There is nothing wrong with it.) But he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.” Paul just could not get away from the idea that people would avoid a lot of unnecessary involvements if they would remain single, but at the same time he realized that most of them would eventually marry, and he made sure they knew exactly what their standing was in the eyes of the Lord. As we consider these three verses together, I will ask you a question. If verse 36, is talking about a young man all way, (according to tradition) and verse 37, is talking about a young man, then why does Paul jump to the father in verse 38? We know verse 38, is speaking of the father of a girl, for it is the father that gives his daughter in marriage, or withholds her from marriage. It has been the Christian faith that has influenced, and changed the social picture of how marriages are brought together. But there are still many areas of the world where the girl has nothing whatsoever to say about who she will marry. There are yet some areas where even the young man does not choose his wife to be. I sometimes wonder how real, true, human love could even be projected in a marriage, when it is not that love that brings them together in the first place.

 

 

LAW TO GRACE


We have one more key verse in this chapter which just serves to furnish the basis for what Paul has been saying in the prior verses. He reaches back over into the law of Moses and carries it straight over into grace. To me it is a beautiful picture to see the mind of God set forth in the law, as it is implanted in the hearts of believers under grace, who are not even required to keep the letter of the law, yet they fulfill the righteousness of that law in their daily walk with the Lord. Let us look at verse 39, for just a moment. “The wife is bound by law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; ONLY IN THE LORD. “ Do you see how Paul carried that thought from the Jewish man and woman who were subject to the law of Moses because of their natural birth, right over into grace, where we are subject to the law of grace because of our spiritual birth? It just goes right back to verses 10 & 11, to what he said about two believers who are married to each other, and for some reason or the other they just do not get along well together: He said, If such a woman should depart from her husband, then let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her own husband. Why did he make such a judgment? Because that is the mind of God on the matter, as set forth in the law. Grace did not change that. Neither could that man who is a believer divorce his wife; it is a twofold application. A believer is not to take the initiative in a divorce action. But on the other side of the picture, if there is an unbeliever involved in the marriage and that unbeliever divorces the believer, God would not have that believer victimized. He would not require a believer to remain under bondage to an unbeliever who is not even subject to the law of God. Do you see how beautifully it all ties together when you get everything in its proper place? There is nothing about a message like this, that should upset a true believer who is desiring to follow the Lord in truth. It is true we are living in a day of separation, and many homes are being broken up for one reason or the other. Some are broken up because of religious beliefs that differ, but far too many are broken up because of petty differences that could easily be reconciled. What is really pathetic, though, when you think about it, is when you see a couple that has went to church all their lives, and as long as they were both Baptists, Methodists or whatever, they were able to handle their differences of opinion and remain together, but you let one of them come in contact with this end time message of truth, and 9 times out of 10, the other one will wind up getting so mad and upset that it leads to a divorce. In such cases that person assumes the part of the unbeliever in verse 15 of Paul’s examples. As I said before, any person who will walk over this word of God to fulfill the desires of their flesh will walk right into the great tribulation wearing the mark of the beast, no matter how many years they have gone to church. When you crucify truth to justify the flesh, you will have to reap the consequences, no matter where you go to church. Many sincere hearts have heard the call to truth, and in many of their homes they have experienced the results that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 10, “A man’s foes (or a believers foes, to make it more applicable) shall be they of his own household,” but I have always felt (at least ever since I learned the truth myself) that a person who would hold on to a man made creed, and walk right over truth is no better than a pagan. A true Christian will not deliberately step over the word of God. In our weak moments the devil may get us down and pound our face in the mud, but if we are a true Christian, we will never look a truth in the face and step over it to pacify the flesh. Brother, truth will make you free. When God comes knocking on your heart’s door with truth, He wants you to take a look at the book.


SPIRITUAL ADULTERY


We are going to use one other scripture, then try to bring this message to a close. Let us go to Romans 7:1. “Know ye not brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by law to her husband as long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress, but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” Now I say to you, brothers and sisters, be sure you rightly divide the word of truth. Do not ever use a verse out of context trying to prove anything. 1st Corinthians 7:39, and Romans 7:1-2, both say almost the same thing, but they are not written for the same reason. When Paul wrote these words to the Romans, he was not dealing with the moral subject of marriage and divorce, as he was in the 7th chapter of 1st Corinthians. He is using this same thought to show how, before Christ, Israel was bound by the law. He is using it as a type. Israel was bound to God through the law, but once grace came, then they became dead to the law; (speaking to those who had believed the gospel) they were no longer bound by the letter of the law. Having accepted the grace of God, they were freed from the law of Moses, to be married to Jesus. Therefore He wants them to understand that if they should try to go back and justify themselves by the keeping of the law, it would be the same as adultery, spiritual adultery. He wrote basically the same thing to the Galatian Christians. Just to paraphrase it, he said something like this, If you go back and try to justify yourselves by keeping the law of Moses, you are fallen from grace; Christ has become of no effect to you. Let me say this to every one of you who read, or hear this message, as a believer of the gospel you are subject only to the law of grace; therefore I beg you, do not try to mix in a little something from the law of Moses. The law has served its purpose, that of conveying the mind of God, and of setting types and shadows that pointed to Christ Jesus who was the fulfillment of that law. So let us be guided by the teaching of the New Testament which is in harmony with the law, but without the keeping of the letter of it. Do not allow yourselves to be troubled by those who would seek to add something to grace. Furthermore let me say, there are some who resent my dealing with a subject like this, but I am not doing it for them; I am doing it for the many dear souls who appreciate what we stand for here at Faith assembly. This is not the kind of subject I enjoy dealing with, but I have to try to get whatever is in my heart, out to the people. One man has just wrote for extra copies of this message, and we have come to know that many souls throughout the world want to know just where the New Testament stands on marriage and divorce, so here it is, and I say, as Paul did to the Corinthians, I believe that I have the spirit, and the mind of Christ on this matter. If you disagree with what you read here, that is your privilege, but do not come to me with anything other than the scriptures. I am not interested in your opinions, for I heard a little man, who was a prophet sent to this age to turn our hearts back to the father. Ever since then, I have wanted to know what our spiritual fathers believed and taught. I am not trying to outrun anyone; I just want to preach like my father’s preached, if you know what I mean. Not to be competitive, but to preach with the same zeal and understanding, and to stand steadfast with the same assurance that I know what I am saying, and know why I am saying it. I sincerely pray that this article will help many people see that they have been under bondage to men’s creeds and traditions, and that they have been victimized by man, and not by the word of God. Remember the words of Jesus, in John 8:32, “AND YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE.” I say amen to that, God bless you. Live true to Him, for time is short. Amen

They Were Not Sons Of God – 1979, November

1979-11-They-Were-Not-All-Sons

TEXT: GENESIS 1:26-28

 

SOMEONE HANDED ME AN ARTICLE FROM A READERS DIGEST MAGAZINE LAST SUNDAY AND AS I READ THAT ARTICLE, IT JUST KINDLY SET MY MIND TO THINKING. WE LIVE IN AN INTELLECTUAL AGE WHEN SCIENTISTS AND ARCHAEOLOGISTS AND A WHOLE HOST OF OTHERS ARE TRYING TO PIECE TOGETHER A THEORY THAT WILL EXPLAIN THE FOSSIL BONES, TEETH AND SKELETONS OF PREHISTORIC ANIMALS THEY ARE FINDING IN VARIOUS PLACES ON THE FACE OF THIS OLD PLANET. OF COURSE THOSE PEOPLE WILL NEVER ACCEPT ANYTHING THAT A PERSON SUCH AS YOU AND I MIGHT SAY, AND EVEN A LOT OF CHRISTIANS WOULD MAINTAIN THAT THERE IS TOO MUCH PRESUMPTION INVOLVED IN WHAT WE SAY ON THE SUBJECT. I WONDER HOW MANY OF YOU REALIZE THAT ABOUT 90 PERCENT OF WHAT THE SCIENTISTS AND ARCHAEOLOGISTS PUT TOGETHER ON THE SUBJECT IS NOTHING MORE THAN PRESUMPTION? THEY CRAWL AROUND ON THEIR HANDS AND KNEES WITH A CAMEL HAIR BRUSH AND A FINE TOOTH COMB LOOKING FOR WHATEVER BITS AND PIECES THEY CAN FIND, THEN THEY TRY TO CONSTRUCT WHAT THEY BELIEVE THE CREATURE LOOKED LIKE WITH WHAT THEY HAVE, BUT TOO MANY OF THEIR PIECES ARE MISSING. THEY JUST HAVE TO GLUE IT ALL TOGETHER ON ASSUMPTION. IT SEEMS THEY THINK IT IS ALL RIGHT FOR THEM TO ASSUME CERTAIN THINGS, BUT ANYONE ELSE MUST HAVE UNQUESTIONABLE PROOF OR THEY WILL NOT ACCEPT IT. BROTHERS AND SISTERS, THIS MESSAGE IS NOT FOR THEM, IT IS FOR GOD’S PEOPLE WHO ARE CAPABLE OF RECEIVING REVELATION FROM WHAT GOD INSPIRED HIS PROPHETS TO WRITE. I REALIZE THIS IS NOT A SALVATION MESSAGE, BUT MAY GOD MAKE IT INTERESTING ENOUGH TO ACQUAINT OUR SPIRITUAL MINDS WITH WHAT IS WRITTEN I THE BIBLE. MANY OF YOU MAY THINK IT DOESN’T MATTER TOO MUCH ABOUT THESE THINGS, BUT I BELIEVE THE PEOPLE OF GOD OUGHT TO AT LEAST AVAIL THEMSELVES OF THE OPPORTUNITY TO FIND OUT WHAT CAN BE LEARNED FROM THE SCRIPTURES, SO THEY WILL AT LEAST HAVE SOMETHING TO THROW BACK AT THOSE WHO MAKE FUN OF THEM FOR BELIEVING IN GOD. WHEN ONE OF THEM STANDS TELLING YOU THAT WE ALL CAME FROM MONKEYS, YOU OUGHT TO AT LEAST BE SETTLED IN YOUR SOUL AS TO WHO YOUR ANCESTORS ARE. IT IS TRUE THAT THE BIBLE DOES NOT GO INTO LENGTHY EXPLANATIONS OF WHAT TOOK PLACE ON THE EARTH BEFORE ADAM CAME INTO THE PICTURE, BUT CERTAINLY THERE IS ENOUGH WRITTEN FOR THE HOLY GHOST TO TAKE IT AND REVEAL THE REST OF WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW. LET ME TELL YOU, SAINTS, YOU WILL NOT FIND ANYTHING IN THE BIBLE THAT WOULD EVER LEAD YOU TO BELIEVE WE SPRANG FROM MONKEYS. MAN HAS CONCOCTED THAT THEORY BECAUSE GOD HAS ALLOWED THEM TO FIND CERTAIN THINGS THAT DEFINITELY DO DATE BACK TO A TIME BEFORE THE WRITTEN HISTORY OF THIS WORLD BEGINS. THEY HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN THE BIBLE ACCOUNT OF MAN’S BEGINNING BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO REVELATION OF A JUDGMENT OF THIS PLANET BETWEEN VERSES 1 AND 2 IN THE FIRST CHAPTER OF GENESIS. THEREFORE, WHEN THEY FIND BONES AND SUCH LIKE OF HUMAN-LIKE CREATURES WHICH DATE BACK INTO PREHISTORIC TIMES, TO THEM THAT RULES OUT THE CREATION ACCOUNT IN THE BIBLE.

 

 

ARE YOUR ANCESTORS MONKEYS?

 

Someone handed me a little tract the other night. It showed a monkey dressed in a pair of overalls and he was supposed to be saying, Imagine them trying to make a man out of me. Then on the back was a poem supposedly written by this monkey. It was written about things that he would not do, things that a monkey would not do, but man in his unregenerate state is doing them. For a monkey to write such a poem is just about as realistic as for man to have sprang from one, would you not agree? Men everywhere are searching for answers, but the answers for saints of God are not going to come out of a cave someplace; they will come out of this blessed word of God as the Holy Ghost sees fit to reveal them to us. There is no denying the fact that life existed on this planet long before God began to create what we have recorded history on. You cannot go into a museum and look at giant tusks from a Mastodon elephant and deny that life existed on earth in the prehistoric ages. Teeth and bones from these Mastodons were found when excavations were made for the New York City subway system, but there has never been such a creature on earth since the day God created Adam, gave him a body, and put him on earth at the head of all His creation. You may as well settle it in your mind even though some animals are fast becoming extinct, there is still a representation of what God created, which we find recorded in Genesis 1 and 2, and everything that was in Noah’s Ark in a true representation, was in our Garden of Eden, and everything of the animal kingdom that is here today was in Noah’s Ark, so they really are finding bones, skeletons, and skulls and such like from an age before our Garden of Eden. Regardless of what they find though, they can never use it to prove their theory of evolution; it will always be just a theory. In this article I was reading, there was one part that really struck my attention. In certain areas of Africa, they have discovered skeletons, skulls and certain other fragments of fossilized bones that they think are that of human beings. They are trying to use that to prove their theory of evolution, trying to bridge the gap between what they know as fact and what they believe, which is based only on a theory. Every time I read something like this, it causes me to be thankful to God for what He has caused holy men of ages past to write about the resurrection of our bodies. It gives us the hope that one day we will live again, in our same bodies. Job was not thinking about evolution when he cried from the depths of his soul, “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27) Do not tell me that old fellow was looking for another body of some kind. After what he had suffered there would have been little to cause him to desire to come back in another body and start all over again, but he had a revelation in his soul that had nothing to do with what he liked, or disliked about his present life. As for his present life, he said, “My kinfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in my house, and my maids, count me as a stranger: I am an alien in their sight.” In the natural, he was in a sad shape; he said, My servant will not even answer me when I call to him, but, Praise God! He still had a revelation in his soul, that none of these circumstances affected. That is how we are to be in the face of all that is thrown before us in our daily lives. Regardless of how much scientific theory we may have shoved in our faces, we should have a revelation in our soul that could never be affected by any of that. Listen to a few more words of Job. This will help you to better understand the difference between Holy Ghost revelation and scientific theory. What old Job had was more than just a theory, and we can not find any evidence that would suggest Job got his revelation from something that was written by someone else. We will not read straight through, but just listen to some of what he said. I am reading from chapter 14. “Man that is born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble. (We know that is the truth) He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. O that thou (speaking to God) wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? (He asked that in the form of question, but he knew the answer. Listen to the rest of this verse 14, and verse 15.) All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call and I will answer thee”. That was not just a theory, nor was it an assumption; it was a revelation hid in his soul.

 

ASSUMPTION

 

Now I will show you how we must assume certain things. We cannot prove that Job was a descendant of Abraham, but I believe his revelation marks him as being from that patriarchal lineage of Abraham. After Sarah died, Abraham married again, and fathers many sons. Naturally, we can only assume that Job came through that lineage, but his fear of God, and the revelation he held in his bosom gives us every reason to believe he did. At least that is an assumption that makes more sense than the one which has us descending from monkeys. We have as much right to assume certain things that are not completely spelled out in the word of God, as the evolutionists do to try to connect up their theories. When it comes to the resurrection of the dead though, we do not have to assume; it has been made very clear to believers from what is written in the Bible. If you are one of those who believe in a resurrection, but you have always thought that we would get new bodies or maybe I should say, different bodies, you do not really believe in resurrection; it would not be resurrection, it would be reincarnation and would fit into their evolution theory. If that were true, the scriptures would need to read like this, Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and was crucified at the hands of wicked and evil men. He was buried in a new tomb and on the third day He came back to life in a different body. It doesn’t read like that at all, does it? On the 3rd day, He came back in the same body that He had suffered and died in. Otherwise, He could not have showed them the nail prints in his hands, nor the sword wound in His side. Now if Jesus rose from the dead in His same body, so will every other saint likewise, or God would not have had Paul write that, “Christ is risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.” (1 Cor. 15:20) Brothers and Sisters, we are saying these things to show you that God, inn His word, has made specific promises and provisions, from which we learn that there is coming a time when the ground will have to give up every body of every human being that has ever walked upon the face of this earth. On the other hand, there is nothing whatsoever written about a resurrection of animals and beasts that have lived and died right along with man. That is why I say that all the bones and fossils they are finding in their excavations are bones of animals, animals from a prehistoric era of time when God had His angelic family in a garden to be tested. Do not tell me angels never had to be tested, or I will just simply ask you, How come there are good angles that serve God and bad angels (demons) that serve the devil, God’s adversary? They had to make a choice somewhere. God did not create a great host of bad angels, no more than He created Lucifer (the devil) to be a bad angel.

 

LUCIFER’S FIRST ESTATE

 

Somewhere back in time, millions of years ago, this planet was inhabited by a form of life, and He who to us is God of all creation, was God of that prehistoric era also. Greek mythology might have it that there was war in heaven among the gods, and the one we serve became the ruler of this world order. Every child of God knows better than that. Furthermore, I will say this, there are very few genuine Holy Ghost Christians out there crawling around on their hands and knees looking for bones to prove some kind of anti-God theory. Holy Ghost Christians spend their time excavating in the pages of this blessed word of God. There is still much traditional rubble to be swept and shoveled out of the way in order to uncover the pure truth of God’s word, but like I have said many times before, I believe it is the will of God for the end time bride of Christ to be revelated on all these subjects that have remained a mystery through the years. In Isaiah, chapter 14, and Ezekiel, chapter 28, we read words from two different prophets, words written more than one hundred years apart, but they both give us a little glimpse of Lucifer, the devil, before he became the adversary of God, his creator. Isaiah is the only one that ever named him or called his name, a name that speaks of brightness, or morning star, according to the Hebrew word it was translated from. This was the angelic name he had before he was cast down from his place of authority. Isaiah does not mention the names nor titles that other scripture writers, as well as the Lord Jesus attributed to him. This same angel, in his fallen state, is referred to as Satan, the Devil, the deceiver of mankind, the old serpent, and in other terminology, but Isaiah just calls him Lucifer and goes on to tell about him, how he began to exalt himself to be equal with God. Turn to Isaiah 14:12-15, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning? How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, (Do you see what God looks at? The heart. It is what we have in our heart that makes the difference with God. So Lucifer has said something in his heart. In other words, thought and planned earnestly.) I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the North: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” This was a warfare between spirit beings, but not a warfare between rival gods. It was one of God’s angelic beings that became puffed up with pride and became jealous of God to the point where he planned how he would exalt himself to be equal with God. Of course, his tactics have remained the same ever since then. He was lifted up by pride, but he recruited a third of the other angels to take sides with him against God. That resulted in Lucifer, along with all the rest of them, being cast out into the earth, to be known as evil spirits. These are the demons that constantly badger the children of God. Naturally, they are all subject to their leader, Satan, the devil, but their chief aim is to defeat the plan and purpose of God. Some are delegated to promote pride, others jealousy, others selfishness, and right on through all the things that are contrary to holiness and righteousness. Just as God is full of righteous attributes, and His angels promote and work toward directing men in right ways, Satan is full of unrighteous attributes and his angels, (demons) are busy trying to lead mankind in his ways. That is what they are doing on this side of Genesis 1 & 2. We will get to what happened on the other side a little later.

 

LUCIFER’S GARDEN – ADAM’S GARDEN

 

Right now, I would like for us to turn to Ezekiel 28:13-17. I believe that will be far enough for you to get the picture. You will notice in verse 12, that this lamentation was directed upon the king of Tyrus, but as you read the verses mentioned, you will have no difficulty recognizing that it is to Lucifer, the fallen angel. “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; (An angel) and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore, I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” Here we have two Old Testament prophets writing about this character, Lucifer who became puffed up with pride and jealousy, and determined to rebel against his creator. The writing of these prophets was more than one hundred years apart, but they both had the low down on old Lucifer. What they both had to say about him helps us to begin to get some insight on this character which is called Satan, the devil, Lucifer, the anointed cherub, the father of lies, and a murderer. As we begin to look into the scriptures that deal with this old fellow, we can better understand some of the things that scientists are finding in our generation. You will notice as you read these verses, that this did not take place in our Garden of Eden, for it has never been pictured as a garden of fiery stones. Our Garden of Eden, mentioned in Genesis, is pictured as a garden of plant life, trees, herbs, grass and so forth. In other words, the Eden in Genesis is not to be connected with the Eden of Ezekiel 28 at all. One is a natural garden of vegetation on earth, while the other is a spiritual setting, yet related to the planet earth. The earth is God’s testing and proving grounds, first for His angelic family, then for His human family, and everything on it was created by God. Furthermore, anything that has ever been on it was created by Him. If there were dinosaurs, God made them. If there were giant lizards, God made them, horses the size of dogs, God made them. If there were men-like creatures on earth millions of years ago, God made them also, but they were not human beings, they were animals. The Holy Ghost can guide a person through the scriptures and settle his mind on this subject of evolution that is so widespread in our day, but the evolutionists themselves do not care what the Bible has to say. They have their theory and the only ones who will ever accept the scriptural answers are the few who get born again by the Spirit of God. We do not try to rove by the scriptures that there never was a prehistoric animal kingdom. We know there was, but we are fully persuaded by the scriptures that we did not evolve from anything back there. The Bible tells us that this old planet was in a void state, in complete darkness with no life whatsoever when God began to create that which fills the earth today. That void state was no doubt brought about by a judgment of God upon that prehistoric world.

 

GOD’S WORD HAS THE ANSWER

 

As you travel through the painted desert of Arizona, you see evidence of an ancient giant forest. There are huge logs lying there, completely petrified, and we know the deserts of Arizona are not capable of growing trees like that. Why are they there? And how did they get there? They have to date back to a time when what is a desert today, was no doubt, a tropical area of vegetation with much moisture. It would have required such, in order to have those giant trees towering toward the heavens. In every continent of the world today, you have vast areas of desert land. From China to Russia, Egypt, Australia and America, and all over this world, you have arid and semi-arid desert land, and many times these areas are where they find so much fossilized matter, just the opposite of what you would expect in these places today. Naturally, as children of God, we believe the answer is to be found in the pages of God’s holy word, so we do our digging in the scriptures while the world is out there crawling around and digging in the earth. Let them find their bones and whatever else may be out there: they will still not know the story behind whatever they find unless they get it from the word of God. I believe the creator can put the story together for us and I believe He wants us to know, even though there is not one bit of salvational value in a message such as this, This is strictly to help the people of God reconcile the things they are hearing all around them in this atheistic world of today. The devil knows his time is short; therefore, he is doing his utmost to take one last slap at God before he is bound in the bottomless pit, by trying to erase from the minds of degenerate humanity the existence of God. The devil knows that God is ONE, and that HE (the one God) created everything, even those animals that filled this earth in an era of time before Genesis, chapter one. He also knows that he can only do what God will allow him to do. Nevertheless, he keeps right on deceiving as many as will listen to his lies and give him any place. This thing about a Neanderthal man that we are supposed to have evolved from is just another in that long line of deceptions that Satan has injected into the minds of all who refuse to accept truth from God’s word. It is true they have found skeletal remains of such a creature, in Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia, but Saints, let me assure you of this, they were not sons of God. As I have said already, they were part of that animal kingdom that God uses in testing His angelic family in prehistoric ages.

 

 

TWO ANIMAL KINGDOMS

 

I am trusting God to help me put words together that will enable you to see why the Neanderthal man, as they call him, could not have been a son of God. You and I were created to be sons of God. We are sons of God by our natural creative birth, then we are spiritual sons of God because we have been born again. We are under a death sentence because of our genealogical connection with Adam until th new birth sets us free of it, and that only sets the inner man free. The outer man is still destined to die if time stands long enough. One thing we are sure of though, the Bible teaches us that every last human that has lived on this earth all the way from Adam to the very end, will eventually be resurrected. It is not the plan and purpose of God for human bones to lie in the ground for a million years for future inhabitants to be crawling around looking for. The Bible does not make any provision for animal life to be resurrected, and that ought to tell us something, but the last book in the Bible, Revelation 20:10-15, tells of how every last human will be resurrected and judged. Of course, you all understand that these verses are dealing with a time beyond the millennium reign of Christ, after Satan has been loosed for a little while and given a chance to test all those who were born during that one thousand years. No saint from this age of grace will be judged at the great white throne. That is when all the wicked dead from all ages will be raised up, judged, and cast alive into the lake of fire and every person born during the millennium will be there, either to be granted immortality or cast into the lake of fire with Satan and all the rest of those who rejected God when they hd their chance. When that judgment is finished there will not be left in the ground the bones of one single person, but animal bones will remain right where they are, undisturbed. Now if God has used this six thousand years to test and prove man and the Bible tells us clearly what man’s final disposition will be, leaving the animal kingdom out of the picture, would it not be scripturally sensible to believe that God would have done likewise with His angelic family, and the animal kingdom that was present in their time of testing? Just as man was given an animal kingdom to rule over, so was the angelic family given an animal kingdom to rule over. It was not the animals that were being proven in either setting. The animals never sinned against God; therefore, it is not necessary for God to deal with them in any way of judgment or reward. They live their life on earth and when they pass off the scene that is the end of them as far as we can tell by the scriptures. Like I said earlier: a subject like this of necessity involves some assumption, but believe we have as much right to assume as any scientist, especially when our assumption has two logical ends. Brothers and sisters, we know Lucifer was not created as a mean, murdering, lying and stealing character; the Bible tells us that he was perfect from the day he was created until iniquity was found in him. We have already read it in Isaiah 14. So there had to be a time when he gave expression to the free choice God had entrusted to him. That then, branded him as a liar and the father of lies. There had to be a time when he exercised himself in the act of murder and since he was a spirit being and all the other angels were spirit beings, what was he murdering? You do not murder a spirit. Yes there had to be a turning point somewhere along the line in order for Jesus to make the statement he made in John 8:44. Let us read it. Jesus, in speaking to a group of stiff necked and hard hearted Jews who were confronting Him, made this statement. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” Can you tell me then, when did Lucifer begin to lie and murder? He was the anointed cherub, created perfect, but like man, he was given freedom of choice or he never could have lied and murdered.

 

ONE GOD CREATING

 

Based upon what we find in the scriptures, I am going to tell you what I believe took place in an era of time which could have been millions of years before our Garden of Eden. I say millions of years because of the age that scientists place upon some of the fossils and such like that they find, even though, how long ago, is not important to us in dealing with this message. Regardless of what lived on earth in the prehistoric age, and regardless of how long ago it may have been, let us settle once and for all how they got here. God created every last one of them. Now we know from the scriptures that God has a great host of angels that serve Him and assist in working out His plan for mankind. We know also that God created those angels, for those who believe the scriptures know that God is a sovereign Spirit that dwelt all alone before He began to create. We learn from the first chapter of Ephesians that God counseled with Himself and that all things are after the counsel of His own will. He meditated and predetermined what He would do before He ever began to create anything. You must believe that first of all or you will run into many scriptures that will not dovetail. You will have loose ends that you cannot tie together. That is why the Trinitarians have so many things they are not able to explain nor tie together. They will not accept the fact of God’s creative order, nor will they accept the fact that God was speaking to His angelic helpers when he said, Let us make man in our image. They insist that He was speaking to Jesus and the Holy Ghost, believing that God is three persons and refusing to reconcile all the other scriptures in the Bible that declare He is one. When they insist that God was speaking to Jesus and the Holy Ghost in Genesis 2:26, they have to ignore verse 27, which says, “So God created man in His (singular) own image, in the image of God created He him; (Where is your trinity in that verse?) male and female created He them.” So by revelation we understand that God is one and that He was speaking to His angelic helpers who were spirit beings, just like He is a Spirit and that man was created a spirit being in the day he was created. God made him a body from the dust of the ground, later. We learn from the scriptures that there are bad angels, called demons as well as those good angels that assist God. We know that God created them also, but He did not create them as bad angels; they were created perfect just like Lucifer, but given freedom of choice and they chose to follow Lucifer when he determined to make himself equal with God. Lucifer was already a fallen angel when Adam was created and placed in the Garden of Eden, so the question is, When did he become a fallen angel and what brought it about?

 

WHAT CAUSED ADAM’S FALL?

 

I am sure you have read in Luke, chapter 10, where Jesus sent seventy other disciples (the twelve apostles not included in the seventy) before Him, with a commission to heal the sick and announce that the kingdom of God had come nigh unto them. When those seventy returned later, rejoicing because the devils (demons) were subject to them through the name of Jesus, He said to them, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (In the book of life) This is just to let you see that Jesus confirmed the fact that Satan, the devil is a fallen angel. He had not just become a fallen angel when Jesus said that, for we know that he was lurking in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were still in their state of innocence, before their disobedience. It was this fallen angel that worked through the serpent, which at that time was Adam’s servant, to lead Eve astray, away from the known will of God. He was already a liar by then, so he just inspired the serpent to lie to Eve. Eve said, God told us not to eat of the tree of knowledge lest we die, but the serpent said, Ye shall not surely die: God knows you will become like gods, to know good and evil the day you partake of this tree. Now this serpent was not the devil; the devil was using him to get Adam and Eve out of the will of God. How did he do it? He lied first of all, then began to make it appear that God was withholding something good from them to keep them from becoming like Him. Satan knew how to get these animals to do things: I will show you what I mean after I make a point about something else. Remember, Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden and given an animal kingdom to rule over. God made him a help-mate and gave them a command to replenish the earth, in other words, to fill it again. That is what the word replenish means. If the man and his wife had obeyed God’s command, they would have had sex relations only when the woman’s cycle came to the place where she would have conceived and bare another son of God. But what happened instead? Satan used the serpent to coax Eve into having sex relations strictly for pleasure instead of just for replenishing the earth. When Eve discovered this relationship could be used for pleasure, she coaxed Adam into partaking also. That broke God’s command and caused Him to activate the death penalty that He had warned them would follow such a disobedience. When he activated the death penalty, He cast them out of their Garden of Eden. Until they disobeyed God, they had been in Eden, a garden of trees and much plant life. They could have obeyed God’s command and lived forever, but they exercised their freedom of choice, disobeyed God, and God cast them out of the garden. Now what did Ezekiel say to Lucifer? “Thou has been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering.” He went on to say (prophesying to him by the Spirit of God) Thou wast perfect from the day thou wast created until iniquity was found in thee. Our beauty has caused you to be lifted up; therefore, I will cast you to the ground. He had been in his Garden of Eden, just like Adam was in his Garden of Eden before he sinned. Just as Adam was cast out of his Garden of Eden, so had Lucifer been cast out of his when he exercised his own will over the will of God. The both knew the will of God and chose to do something different, causing them to be cast out of their Eden. Lucifer’s Eden was a garden of precious stones, while Adam’s Eden was a garden of plant life, but the point is, they were both cast out of their garden when they disobeyed God. We know what Adam’s disobedience was, and what took place prior to that disobedience, but what we want to look into now is what must have took place prior to Lucifer’s disobedience.

 

LUCIFER – MURDERER & LIAR

 

Genesis 1:1 tells us that, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” but it does not tell us how many millions of years passed before verse 2 picks up the account of God brining the earth out of its chaotic, void state. The writer did not give any hint at all of what took place to cause the earth to be void, with darkness upon the face of the deep, but I am completely convinced that this void state was a result of a former judgment of God upon whatever inhabited the earth in that prehistoric era of time. For the answer as to what inhabited the earth then, we look both at the Bible and to scientific excavations. We know they are finding evidence that the earth at one time had huge animals, dinosaurs and such like that could not have possibly existed on this side of Genesis 1:2, and the Bible furnishes us with evidence that God’s angelic family had to go through a time of testing whereby their loyalty to God their creator was proven. Therefore, we believe that Lucifer was placed at the head of God’s angelic host and given an animal kingdom right here on earth to rule over. They were huge in size, but they lived in peace with each other. Since Lucifer was a spirit being without a tangible form and all the other angels were likewise, Lucifer, by his own free choice, became a spirit of murder. Since spirit beings do not kill each other, how did he actually become a murderer? He no doubt began to entertain himself by inspiring those huge animals to attack each other. All he had to do was begin to sow discord among them the very same way that he does among mankind even today. Eventually, they began to rise up against each other and lock themselves in a death struggle. God probably let it go on for some time before He called Lucifer into his presence to give an account of what was happening. Murder was a product from the heart of Lucifer; not from God. So by reading between the lines we can see why Jesus had a right to accuse him of being a murderer from the very beginning. Now we will look at what was probably his first lie to God, making him a liar, and the father of lies. You who are parents will know exactly what I am talking about. How many times have you caught your little boy in some kind of mischievousness and when you would say, Son, what are you doing? What would his answer be? Nothing. I wasn’t doing anything, Daddy. What is he doing now? He is lying. Instead of confessing his wrong doing, he is lying, saying he was not doing anything. That is, no doubt, exactly what Lucifer did. When God said, Lucifer, what have you been doing to cause all that killing? I can just hear him saying, N-O-T-H-I-N-G, when all the time God knew exactly what he had been doing. I am convinced that these deserts which stretch out for miles and miles on the various continents of this earth are not a result of the flood of Noah’s day; I believe they are marking the sits of those prehistoric battlegrounds. I believe God has allowed them to remain as infallible proof of a prehistoric past. Of course they are finding proof of such an era in other places also. A large museum in Springfield, Missouri, has a skeleton of a dinosaur that they have pieced together from what they have found. They also have a glass cage that contains a dinosaur footprint. Somewhere back in that era of time a dinosaur stepped in a swampy area and left that print. Something happened which caused that area to become petrified so that it looks like a huge rock with a large footprint pressed into it. That glass cage holds evidence that somewhere back in time there was a gigantic reptile which left a footprint to be discovered in the area of Southern Illinois. Scientists claim that at some time in the prehistoric past Southern Illinois was a swampy country, a place such as dinosaurs would have lived in. As we have already mentioned, there is a petrified forest out in Arizona which also stands as present day proof that at one time there were giant trees growing there that could not have possibly been this side of our Eden and besides that, they are located right near the edge of a desert land. We all know it takes a lot of water to grow large trees. They just do not grow in desert type areas. So all the fragments of evidence that can be put together, point to the fact that this very planet at one time was inhabited with huge beasts, reptiles, and there is some evidence that there were large birds which had teeth, and all such like, and that something happened suddenly which caused these various fragments to be preserved for a testimony that they existed. What happened so suddenly that some of these animals have even been found with a preserved cud of grass still in their throat or mouth?

 

THREE ARCHANGELS – ONE A DEVIL

 

I believe God looked out upon the animal kingdom that He had created, which had previously lived together so peacefully and saw them ripping and devouring one another, and called Lucifer, the angel which had the rule over this kingdom, and asked him what he had done to cause al this killing and devouring, and like I said a little while ago, that gave Lucifer his first opportunity to lie to his creator. He was already a murder; now he adds a lie to his offenses. By this time he had already schemed and plotted among the other angels, and had convinced one third of them to take sides with him. That put them on a side against God, so when God cast Lucifer out of Eden and stripped him of the glory and authority that had been bestowed upon him, one third of this angelic host was doomed to the same fate as he, because they were not loyal to God. I believe God judged the world that time, just by rocking it a few degrees out of relationship to the sun and it suddenly froze up. That is why they could find the frozen bison with a cud of green grass still in its throat. It was in the process of belching up that cud when it was suddenly frozen. Scientists claim that is the only way that grass could have been preserved. Now if God suddenly froze everything right where it was, it could have easily been preserved for millions of years, in what science calls, the Ice Age. You must admit, there has to be an explanation somewhere for all that has been found and pieced together, and determined to be millions of years old, when our history only goes back some six thousand years. I do not doubt what they find, nor do I necessarily doubt the age they attribute to it, what I reject is their explanation of it in evolution, leaving the creator out of the picture. Furthermore, I reject completely any idea that any form of human creature existed before Adam. What they refer to as the Neanderthal man and all the other species of so-called evolved man, can be nothing more than part of the animal kingdom which God used to prove angelic beings. Those angels that remained loyal to God when they were tested are at the right hand of God assisting in executing His plan for the ages to come. We find that some of them are guards, others serve as messengers from God to His servants, and others are referred to as ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. Only three of them are called by name in the Bible. That is Lucifer, now known as Satan, the devil, Michael and Gabriel. They are all spirit beings without any physical form, but at times they take on a theophany body in which they appear to men on earth for the purpose of conveying a message from the presence of the Lord. Such was the case with the men that appeared to Abraham when he was sitting in the door of his tent in the plains of Mamre, then the two went to Sodom to deliver Abraham’s nephew, Lot, and his family before they destroyed the city. Many times it was angels that appeared to the old prophets with the word of the Lord for them to deliver to their generation. God has always used angels in whatever He does on behalf of mankind. God Himself is the highest form of life. His angels stand next to him, and man is third. God is a Spirit, and His angels are spirit beings, and man is also a spirit being. That is the divine order of it.

 

BETWEEN VERSES ONE & TWO

 

Brothers and Sisters, I have not yet read my text completely as I had meant to do, but we will in a little bit. Right now, let me say this, I am not as interested in explaining every detail of what I believe about the prehistoric age, as I am in explaining why man did not have his beginning until after God brought the planet earth out of its chaotic state of void that we find in Genesis 1:2. This business of evolution the way educated men of the world teach it, is so foolish even little grade school children ought to be able to discover all the loose ends that they can not tie together. With only a very small percentage of assuming when compared to their theories, and how much they must assume, we can take the word of God and put together a picture that makes sense to a child of God. Any believer who reads Genesis 1:1, knows God created everything. Even though there may be millions of years of elapsed time between the first and second verses, we still know that God is the beginning of everything, even time. Notice how that verse reads “In the beginning God (That puts you all the way back to the place where there was nothing but Him) created the heaven and the earth.” God could have had many chapters written between the first and second verses of that one chapter if He had had any reason to do so. He could have told all about a great animal kingdom that filled the earth and how this angel, Lucifer, ruled them with delegated authority and what a beautiful sight it was to see all those huge animals going about their daily routine as meek ad gentle as a little lamb until the day Lucifer thought an evil thought. He might have told how Lucifer began to sow discord among them until they got to the place where they were killing and devouring each other, and how Lucifer seemed to get so much pleasure out of watching them rip each other open in a battle to the death of one or the other. Then we would have read how it was necessary to judge the planet by freezing it up for a few million years and how Lucifer and all those who sided with him were cast down from their first estate, and how all that host of fallen angels would be known as demons, instead of God’s helpers. And because of that judgment the earth was rendered void, useless; there was no life left upon it and darkness covered it all until the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God said, Let there be light and there was light. We all know what happened from there on; the Bible tells us. It does not give details on how God brought it about except we see that it was by the spoken word. It was a time when God had thawed out those ice caps and He was bringing the earth back into a livable condition. We do not know how much time was involved in those first three creative days; they could have been thousands of years as far as time is concerned, for God did not work it all out in days of twenty-four hours. It is referring to an allotted time when God will accomplish certain things, but certainly is not tied to a day of twenty-four hours. In the creation account God placed the sun and the moon to rule the day and the night on the fourth day of creation. Then in the fifth and sixth day God created the living creatures, fish, fowl, cattle and all te animals and creeping things, and in that sixth day we come to what I will use for a text. Let us read Genesis 1:26-28. “And God said, Let us make man in our image.” This is when God made the man in His own image. He was a spirit being, just a little lower than the angels; there was no flesh involved in that. God made him a body from the dust of the earth at a later time after He had finished all His creative work in the spirit realm. The only point we are making here is that it was what we call the inner man that God created in His own image; when He put him in a body of flesh in order for him to have physical contact with the earth: that had nothing to do with the image of God, for God did not have any kind of physical form. “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” I know I have already covered most of this verse, but there are always a few that fail to catch the significance of certain points the first time. That is why I like to take every opportunity to clear up this question of whether God is one or three. If it were not for this verse we have just read, I seriously doubt that Satan could have persuaded anyone to believe that there is three persons in the Godhead, but at the same time I realized God allowed certain things to be said to confuse and confound the minds of those who try to know and understand Him strictly from the standpoint of the mind. That is what most of those Bible schools and seminaries are designed for. They go in there without the Holy Ghost and take the Bible verse by verse, search out all the Hebrew and Greet that it was translated from and build them a theory that they consider to be exactly in line with the mind of God, when without revelation that only the Holy Ghost can give, they miss most of it a million miles. They read where it is speaking of God being the Father of all creation and the Father of Jesus who is the Christ. Then they read where Jesus was the Son of God, and that all the fullness of God dwelleth in him. They see where Jesus prayed to the Father and how He spoke of the Holy Ghost that the Father would send in His name, and without the Holy Ghost to give them understanding of these things, naturally when they read Genesis 1:26, where God said, Let us make man in our image, they are absolutely sure that God would have to be three persons and each of those three persons would have to be equal in authority with the other two in order for each one to do what they find being done in the scriptural record of God’s working with mankind. What other conclusions could the natural mind come to? It takes the Holy Ghost to put scripture with scripture in a way that all these loose ends are tied together to form a beautiful picture of the one true and living God who fills all these offices in the expression of His many attributes. Once the Holy Ghost allows you to see that God was talking to His angelic helpers when he said, Let us make man in our image, you will have no trouble understanding the Godhead, for it is that very verse which natural reasoning just cannot cope with.

 

LET US – GOD AND HIS ANGELS

 

Some who hear me say that God was talking to his angelic helpers in verse 26, say, Brother Jackson, you are just assuming that. Let me say emphatically, No! I am not assuming that. It becomes real as you allow the Holy Ghost to show you how the angels work with God, all the way from Genesis to Revelation. Think about this, when God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden, who did He put there to guard the way to the tree of life? Was it Jesus, the Son or was it the Holy Ghost, or do you see angels? Read Genesis 3:24, “So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden cherubims, (angels) and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life.” So we see that God put angels there, with a flaming sword, to guard the way to the tree of life. What did the apostle Paul say about angels in Hebrews 1:13-14? “But to which of the angels said He at any time, sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they (the angels) not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Of course they are. God created the angels to be His helpers. They assist Him in all His dealing with man. It was not that God had to have help; it is simply that He wanted to share Himself with life, giving expression to His Father attribute. He had to produce another in His own image and likeness in order to be called Father; He had to have something to worship Him in order to express His attribute as God, and so on. It was revealed to the apostle Paul that God meditated and counseled with himself before He ever began to create anything. During that time He perfected a plan whereby He would be able to express all His attributes in a creature that would one day glorify Him. Not only will He be glorified in His angelic family, but also in His earthly, human family as well as the animal kingdoms. By giving His creation freedom of choice so they could turn from Him if they choose to, He has been able to express His attributes as Redeemer, Intercessor, Judge, as well as God, Father, Creator and all the other abilities that lay within Him. He will move His redeemed family into an eternal age that will be without end, and every trace of sin will be completely obliterated. Then will be fulfilled the scriptures that speak of a new heaven and a new earth. They are new because there is no trace of anything that has ever been a part of sin and rebellion. Redemption will have placed God’s foreknown sons back in relation to Him as though they had never sinned. In that eternal age, every living creature will glorify God. Now some will say, could not God have created only those who would worship Him in the first place? Yes. He could have done that, but they would have been just like manmade robots which do only what they are programmed to do. Where would be God’s honor and glory in such a creation that had no other choice? This way, when it is all completed God will have a family that has every last one had a chance to reject Him and every one will (by their own free choice) have chosen to worship and honor God. You know yourselves that when someone says, I love you, by their own free choice, it means more to you than if you had to pin them down and in some way force them to say it. You inherited that feeling from God.

 

REPLENISH – A SPIRITUAL NUGGET

 

Let us get back to our text scripture and read verse 27. “So God (singular) created man in His (singular) own image in the image of God created He him; male and female He them.” This verse shows that when the act is carried out, there is no plurity of Gods for man to be created in the image of. God created a spirit being in His own image. He was created in the image of God who is Spirit, but a little lower than the angels which are also spirit beings. Man was not created to be an angel; therefore, he will never be one regardless of what some people may think. He was like the angels though, in that he was a spirit being. God created His angels to live strictly in a spirit realm, while He created man who is also a spirit being, to have an earthly habitation in a body of clay. Paul said in Hebrews, quoting what David had said in the Psalms, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor and dist set him over the works of thy hands.” He goes on then talking about Jesus who was manifested to taste death for every man and how He was made perfect through suffering and was not ashamed to call us brethren. He had to be just like us in every way, yet remain free from sin in order to be an acceptable sacrifice for the sins of lost mankind. “So God created man in His own image.” Notice the command He gave them now as we read verse 28. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” How many of you know what the word, replenish means? Every one of you, of course. There is your first nugget, hidden right there in God’s command to the man He had just created. You may say, I don’t see anything. I do! Hallelujah! Praise God forever! If the earth had never been filled with anything before, God would have just said, plenish the earth. That means fill it up. But saints, when he said replenish, that to me says it was full before and Adam has just been given a command to refill, that is, r-e-f-i-l-l; when you put r-e in front of plenish, you have a word that means to refill or fill up again. When we see the word replenish, in verse 28, then we can go back in verse 2, and read the word void, with a little more understanding. If you write a check, then for some reason you decide not to let the check go through, what do you write across if? Void. That means the check has been rendered useless. If you draw up a contract on something, then change your mind, you write void across the face of it. Right? You have rendered it useless, inactive, no one would honor a check or a contract with void written across the front of it. That word means it has been rendered useless. That is exactly what the Ice Age was to this old planet. The Ice Age to this planet was just like the word, void, across your check. It rendered the planet useless. That is why it was without form and void. It was frozen into a solid clump. Practically every one of our scientists agree that something happened suddenly, which halted all life upon the planet. It was a universal thing from the ice caps of the northern regions to the fossilized desert. Wherever they find something from that era of time, it seems as though life was suddenly brought to a halt. It has left a great gap in what they have been able to piece together, but they still try to span that gap by having present man as something that evolved from what was way back there. There is a certain amount of evolution that has taken place since our Garden of Eden, but I assure you, it does not go back beyond Genesis 1:2. True evolution is what has taken place in the family of each species that came across the flood in the ark with Noah. He brought one pair of horses, but now we have dozens of different breeds. It is the same with every other animal on the earth today. Noah brought one pair for replenishing purposes and of the clean beasts, he brought extra for the use in worshipping God, but my point is this, Noah brought one pair of everything and turned them loose to replenish the earth with their kind. From that one pair, through the process of cross breeding, and through a process of evolution brought about by different climates, different types of food, different geographical conditions and so forth, we now have a vast variety in every family, but they have not evolved from one family to another. Look at the human family around this world. Every person that has been born on this earth since the flood is a descendant of Noah. There was Noah, his three sons, and their wives, a total of eight humans with the same commission that God had given to Adam.

 

REPLENISHING COMMAND RENEWED

 

Let us read Genesis 9:1 & 9:18-19, “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth. (Fill it up again) and the sons of Noah, that went forth out of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japeth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.” How many different nationalities of people do you suppose there are on the earth today? It does not really matter whether there are one hundred or one hundred thousand, every last one of them came from the family of Noah, and through a process of evolution, the world is populated with what you see today. Evolution in its place is acceptable to all of us, but when they try to carry it to the place where they have man evolving from some other species, that is abominable. They would have man evolving from a little old hump-backed, snaggled-toothed, bow-legged creature that lived in a cave, walked around with a club in his hand, and hung from a tree limb, just scavengers. What a perverted picture from what the Bible describes to us. But did you know that is just about what man falls to in his rejection of God. Instead of evolving into a higher form of life, humanity in our day seems to be turning into what the evolutionist claim we evolved from. Isn’t that the picture you see among those who have rejected God and given themselves over to carnality? If you haven’t notice it yet, just begin to look around you when you are out in the public; you will see what I mean. You remember I said God could have filled in between verses 1 & 2, of the first chapter of Genesis. It is true, He could have, but to the believer it isn’t necessary for there is enough scattered through the rest of the Bible for us to put the picture together and there was no point in doing it for the unbeliever. Let them have their theories. They do not believe in God, so why would they believe any kind of record God would make even if He explained every detail?

 

GOD IS THE BEGINNING

 

We have St. John 1:1 for a beginning to what we believe and teach, which reads like this, “In the beginning was the word, and the word as with God, and the word was God.” Now I ask you, what is a word? It is an expressed thought. Every word is a thought before it becomes a verbal word. How beautifully this goes with what Paul said in the first chapter of Ephesians. Let us read a couple more verses here, then we will turn to Ephesians. John 1:3, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” Talking about the word, which was a thought in the mind of the great eternal Spirit, John said this. Now let us go to Ephesians for a few verses, then we will compare what we have read from the Bible with what the evolutionists teach about the same thing. We will read verses 4-11 in the first chapter, for in these few verses we find predestination before the foundation of the world, the oneness of the Godhead, and that this one God is working everything after the counsel of His own will, even though His angelic family is assisting Him. “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself. That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” Did you catch that last part? He works all thing after the counsel of His own will. Those few verses standing alone are enough to show a believer that God is one, and that He is working out plans He made when He counseled with Himself before the world was ever created. The first chapter of Genesis shows this great eternal Spirit carrying out those plans, and I believe every word of it. Now let me tell you one theory that unbelievers have of how this old world came into existence. Some of them believe this earth was once a particle which flew off the sun when molten masses of gas became so intensively hot it exploded. The piece now called earth came flying through space, and as time passed it eventually slowed down and became as it is today. My next statement is only for the sake of answering such a theory. I know how the earth got here, but for their sake let me say, what difference does it make how God did it? If that is how the earth got here, but for their sake let me say, what difference does it make how God did it? If that is how the earth got here; so be it, but that raises another question, where did all those gases in the sun come from? The sun, being a molten mass of gases is still a creation of God. Even their wildest theories, when they are run back as far as they can go with them, still leave a place that requires the work of a creator. When I say, I know how the earth got here, I simply mean that I am completely convinced God created everything. For me to try to disprove anyone’s idea of how he put His creation where it is would be very foolish. If God chose such a way as this to sling the earth into its particular orbit, that is His business, he still has to be the creator of it. We do know that the very heart of the earth is nothing but a molten mass of gases. That is what causes these geysers to shoot steam into the air ever so often. That is also the reason why certain parts of the world have volcanoes erupting, spewing lava. If the heart of this earth is a raging inferno of gases, as they claim it is and we do know that volcanoes and geysers have been spewing forth for centuries, then who are we to say that this earth is not an offshoot of the sun? If God made that pit of fire down there and I am sure He did, and he made the one they call the sun and I am sure He did, then why could it not be that? We do not need to know how He put it where it is, just as long as we believe the scriptures which teach us that God created all things. That will keep us out of trouble, even if we never know how He created. It was all by His spoken word, but there are many avenues it could have worked through.

 

A PRECISE BOOK

 

Our purpose in printing this message is mainly to show by the help of almighty God, that we did not evolve from a creature that lived on earth millions of years ago and that the creature called the Neanderthal man was not a son of God, but such a message opens up many avenues so we may as well cover whatever we have room for. Surely God has a purpose in everything His people do; therefore, I believe there are those somewhere out there that this message will help to settle and establish in the faith. If that be so, maybe some of you will take time to drop us a line and confirm it. Many times we find that some folks are 95 percent straight on what they believe and just getting a point or two settled takes care of what is left. May that be the case as some of you read this article. I realize that scientists are continually discovering bits and pieces of evidence that prove life existed on this planet before our Garden of Eden, and naturally, that points to a prehistoric age; therefore, if we just close our eyes and refuse to deal with anything that goes back farther than our actual history, we are leaving the minds of our young people open to whatever interpretation these evolutionists put on what they find. If time stands a few more years, our young people are going to need everything we can possibly teach them about God in order to cope with the degenerate, atheistic spirit of the age. Like I said earlier, the devil is trying his level best to blot the memory of God out of the minds of this present generation. Children are taught that it is old fashioned to believe in God the way the Bible presents Him. To mention the resurrection of the dead will really brand you as a fanatic, even in many so called churches of our day. I was just thinking the other day how accurate and precise the Bible actually is. Man is the only creature in this world today that has not carried the same language all the way through and the Bible tells us exactly why. Hallelujah! The dog barks the same the world over, the cats meow the same, roosters crow the same, mules, ducks or whatever else you may mention have retained their same sound expressions the world over all through the ages, while the languages of man are too many to mention. Furthermore, there is not another book on the face of this earth other than the Bible and those written with the Bible as their authority that tells why it is like that. When we turn to the 11th chapter of Genesis and start reading in the very first verse, here is what we find. “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered aborad upon the face of the whole earth.” God had given Noah and his family a commission to be, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, but here in the plains of Shinar just about one hundred years later, all their descendants were gathered together, building them a city, and determined to move no farther. This was completely opposite to God’s commission, so the Lord comes down to take a look at their city, and their tower. It is all right here in the Bible if the educated minds of modern day mankind would accept it. Notice verse 5, “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be retrained from them, which they have imagined to do. (Watch this next verse now. There are two things that stand out in it.) Go to, (the Lord is speaking here) let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all th earth; and they left off to build the city.” Where else can you find an explanation for all the various languages that are spoken by God’s human family? In that same verse we see where God used His angelic helpers, for He said, Let us go down. This is another place where the Trinitarians think they see three persons in the Godhead, but like Genesis 1:26, God is speaking to His angelic helpers. I can see one angel going to one family, another to a different family, and so on until that great mass of people were completely unable to communicate with each other. Just try to imagine what happened when they showed up for work the next morning. They had worked the day before, all speaking the same language and with the goal in mind to build that great city with its tower reaching into the heavens. But after their visitation from God’s angelic helpers, they went to work the next morning and each one wondered what had happened to the others. It was like they were cursing each other, or making fun of each other. It didn’t take much of that to get them ready to travel. Those who spoke the same language probably began to gather together, and move out away from the others, until they were scattered abroad. I do not believe the Lord had His angels pick them up bodily and scatter them over the face of the earth. That is just another place where God did not see fit to go into details on how the thing was accomplished, nor how much time elapsed in the process. One thing we do know for sure though, the earth has been replenished and there is every dialect imaginable being spoken, all because of something God did some 2200 years before the birth of Christ.

 

BEFORE THE FLOOD

 

In other messages, we have gone into much detail describing the events that led up to the flood of Noah’s day. We will not say much about the two trees in the midst of the Garden of Eden, for we have a message in print already which deals exclusively with those two trees. Nevertheless, Adam and his wife Eve disobeyed God and partook of the forbidden tree in the midst of the garden. Because of that disobedience, God drove them out of the garden, away from His presence and imputed a two-fold death sentence upon them for their disobedience. In the process of time, Eve learned that she had conceived and would bare a child into the world. However, when the fulness of her time arrived, she bare two sons instead of just one. Some have thought they were twins, but by revelation from the word of God, we know that they were the products of dual conception. Cain was conceived from a sex relationship with the serpent, which was a manlike animal, and Abel was the son of Adam. You have all read how Cain killed Abel in a jealous rage and how God cursed him and he went out from the presence of the Lord to dwell in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. Abel’s murder left Adam without a seed, but he knew his wife again and she bare him another son which they called Seth. From these two, Cain and Seth, there sprang two lines of people upon the earth. Seth’s descendants were sons of God, having come through Adam, God’s son, but Cain’s descendants were from the seed of the serpent which was animal. These two lines remained separated for many generations, but we read in Genesis, chapter 6, that the sons of God (Seth’s line) began to get their eyes upon the daughters of men (Cain’s line) and before long they were intermarrying and producing children that had no time for God. Those sons of God were pure, having no wicked attributes in them, but when they began marrying those daughters of Cain’s line, they brought children into the world that had wicked attributes in them, for their forefather on their mother’s side was a jealous, conniving murderer. In verse 5, we read, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth and it grieved Him at His heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both men and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” God was going to judge the earth and destroy man whom He had created in His own image, from it, but there was one man in all that multitude that found grace in His sight. He was the father of three sons, and the sons had wives. God told this man, Noah, to build an ark for the saving of his household, and also for the preservation of one pair of every creature He had created. We all know the story of the flood. It came just like God told Noah it would, but Noah had obeyed God, built the ark and was ready to go aboard with his family and al the animals that God instructed him to take when the tie came. Noah kept all those animals, along with his wife, their three sons and their wives, in the ark for a full year before the earth dried sufficiently for them to leave it. God spoke to Noah and told him to come out and after he was out, he built an altar and worshipped God. When the Lord smelled the sweet savor of Noah’s offering, He made a promise to Himself never to smite the earth to destroy all flesh ever again. Then God blessed Noah and his sons and commissioned them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth just like He did Adam and Eve, and all those animals back there. He sealed the covenant He had made with them by placing a rainbow in the clouds as a token and a reminder of that covenant. Never again would He destroy all flesh from off the face of the earth. We do notice here though, that God is consistent with His language. When he said, replenish, this time, everyone could understand the terminology. It meant refill and everyone understood that the earth had been filled before. But when He said it the first time to Adam and Eve, I am sure there are some who think God did not use proper terminology. His grammar is perfect every time. If He says remake something, you can be sure it has been made before. If He says to reestablish something, you can be sure that it has been established before. Therefore, when He told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, you can be absolutely certain that the earth had been filled before; God makes no mistakes. He is not like us, always having to apologize for saying something wrong or for misjudging something. His judgment and His grammar are exactly what He means for it to be, every time, without exception.

 

WHY THE DIFFERENCE?

 

Now, let me ask you a question. Have you ever wondered why man is always finding evidence of a prehistoric age, but other than just a very few fragments, he never finds any trace of the ancient civilization before the flood? To me it proves that there is a great architect working out a beautiful plan. As for the earth’s habitation before the Garden of Eden, the scriptures say very little, but God let those bones and other fossils be found and scattered enough nuggets through the scriptures for the Holy Ghost to use in revealing to His people how they happened to be there. On the other hand, the Bible tells us exactly how God destroyed that pre-flood generation of people, as well as every other living creature that was not in the ark but very little is ever unearthed that can be used as tangible evidence of such a generation. Isn’t that just like God to work it out in such a way that smart minds do not have anything that they can use, and at the same time allow His people who believe His word to have a complete record of it. Praise His name! He buried all those bodies Himself and no doubt, He let everyone of them completely decompose and return unto the dust that they came out of. Archaeologists can bore and dig until they wear themselves completely out, but they will not find the remains of that generation. If God ever permits man to go up there on Mt. Ararat and dismantle that old ark, bring it down and put it on display, that will be quite another story. Talk about a memorial of a judgment hour; they will have it. Then the people of God can look those atheist’s in the eye and say, what about this? How can you deny the accuracy of the Bible now? God may allow that and He may not. I will say this, if that old ark is still up there, God has preserved it for some reason. Just the same, I am thankful to God that we do not have to depend on scientific theories for what we know about Him. I am thankful that He has given me the privilege to send my grandchildren into those public schools with something in their understanding that will keep them from swallowing these scientific theories. We cannot give them the new birth; only God can do that, but we can give them something to hold in their minds while they are forced to sit and listen to those atheistic teachers yak. I have always felt that they should at least give the Bible equal recognition, along with all these other theories. Of course, they are not likely to do that, so let us make sure we teach them enough at home to offset the difference. Let them know that every living soul today is a descendant of Noah, a man who was righteous before God in the midst of a world of wickedness and violence.

 

ONE BLOOD

 

I was asked a question concerning something the apostle Paul said to the Athenians as he stood in the midst of Mars’ Hill, preaching to them. The question stems from verse 26, in the 17th chapter of Acts. As Paul stood there that day, the Holy Ghost moved upon him and he said, “Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, to the unknown God. Whom ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth and hath determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation.” The question is this, Was Paul referring to what God did through Adam, from Eden, or was he referring to what God did through Noah, from the time of the flood? Paul’s statement has to stop at Noah. In the ark with him were his three sons, which were the progenerators of all the earth’s inhabitants from the human standpoint. The Black people are descendants of Ham. Semitic people came from Shem, and from a geographical standpoint, their habitation is mostly in the Middle East, while Japeth fathered your Anglo-Saxon, Asiatic people. If you go before the flood with Paul’s statement, you cannot even find scripture that marked the bounds of their habitation. The whole society was a mixture, genetic wise, as a result of Cain’s descendants intermarrying with Seth’s descendants. That is why God judged them with the waters of the flood. The whole earth was overspread with wickedness and corruption. God looked upon His creation and said, every imagination of the thoughts of man’s hearts is only evil continually. It grieved Him at His heart, and He said, I will destroy the man whom I have created from the face of the earth, even the animals, beasts fowls of the air and so forth. He delegated Noah, the only righteous man to be found to preserve a pair of everything for replenishing the earth after He once again judged it. Now this was not some evolved creature from a prehistoric age that God was going to destroy; it was the descendants of His very own creation, the man He had created in His very own image, along with the serpents descendants, and all the rest of that animal kingdom. So the bounds of their habitation was never set before the flood. On the other hand, Paul’s statement lines up perfectly with the scriptures on this side of the flood.

 

NEW HEAVEN – NEW EARTH

 

Before we get completely away from the flood, maybe we should look at a statement made by the apostle Peter. We hear a lot of talk about a new heaven and a new earth in the ranks of Christianity these days. I have no objection to the use of these terms, for they come from the Bible, but for people to think that God will completely destroy this present planet and also the heavens, and make them completely new by another act of creation is absolutely contrary to the scriptures. He did not completely destroy the earth in either of the previous judgments, but you would have to agree if you heard someone say God made a new earth. Have you ever heard anyone say, I have been a new man ever since the Lord took hold of my life? Sure you have. Did you take the remark literally or did you realize that you were looking at the same piece of flesh that was burdened down with sin before the Lord did a work in him? Of course you did. I will read you one verse from the 21st chapter of Revelation, then we will turn to 2 Peter, chapter 3. Now, Revelation 21:1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” We will go to 2 Peter 3:10-13, and then we will back up to the first part of the chapter to read something that will help you understand Bible terminology. This is the apostle Peter speaking, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens hall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat and the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (Listen now) Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” That was quite a bit to read, but now you know exactly what Peter said about God’s judgment on this old planet at the end of this age. If just take those words literally without any revelation of God’s plan of redemption, well, you know what you will have. That is not the picture at all; God is working out a process of redemption that takes in every aspect of the earth and everything thereupon. We will just back up to verse 3 where Peter is giving his reasons for writing this second epistle, that their minds might be stirred up and that they might be made to remember the words of the prophets and the commandments of the Lord’s apostles and says, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. ( Notice this 5th verse.) For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: (what happened?) Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.” What did he say happened to the world that was before the flood? He said it perished. Did the planet itself perish or was it just the evil that man had brought upon it that perished? The answer is obvious. We all know Noah walked out of the ark on the same planet earth that he had lived on before the flood. The difference was, God had cleansed it and make it new through the cleansing. It will be the same way when the fire hits it; the fire is only to destroy the sin and evil that is present. The earth itself will go right on making its orbit while the fires of God’s judgment are hitting it. When God is finished cleansing it with His judgment fires, it will be new again. This is the only new earth the scriptures give us any right to look for. Just try to imagine yourself in Peter’s place. He had read Isaiah 65:17, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind,” and in his epistle, he said, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, (What promise, Isaiah 65:17) look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” He was a man prone to have visions like in Acts 10, when God was preparing him to take the gospel message to Cornelius and those of his house, so just suppose he had seen a vision of this old world on fire, a raging inferno devouring every wicked thing. Then, suppose he saw another scene where peace and righteousness were abounding in a completely renewed earth. Would he not have been likely to express it as he did? That is how God puts the picture together for believers. He has inspired others to write details of how the earth is made new again. None of them contradict the others, but it takes the Holy Ghost to show us that. The natural mind must read the Bible and see only what the natural eye picks up, while God’s children are privileged to read it through that great eagle eye of the Holy Ghost. What a glorious difference! Praise God! We will conclude the message with a further word on this baptism of fire that is yet ahead for this old world, but now, I would like for us to think upon something else for a few minutes.

 

GOD CONSCIOUSNESS

 

Since we are dealing with what is referred to as the Neanderthal man, maybe we could ask another question that would provoke some serious thought. In the ruins of every ancient civilization that falls within the history of man when they examine those ruins, what do they find? They find his temples, his altars, or some other signs that show he worshipped something. Some of them even offered human sacrifices, but nevertheless, as human beings they had a consciousness of being a sinner that stood in need of offering something in an effort to appease the deity they desired to worship. In every era of man’s history, there is evidence that he worshipped something and offered sacrifices. Now my question is this, if this Neanderthal man was a son of God, where is the evidence that he ver made any attempt to worship? They may have found certain rare marking that they attributed to that, but any such is purely an assumption, with not one speck of evidence to back it up. I say they will never build a telescope that can look far enough to find any such evidence, for animals do not build altars and worship God. Man’s consciousness of his fallen state causes him to make an attempt to worship something, yet death had continued to reign in the flesh of every man all the way back to Adam’s hour. Every year, thousands upon thousands of human bodies are layed beneath the sod to face the eminent destiny of decay and corruption and finally, to be swallowed up by the very elements of the earth that they came from. But, Praise God! Two thousand years ago there was a little baby born to a young virgin girl, who would one day change that cycle. He did not evolve from some far flung creature of the earth; He was born exactly as the prophets of the old had said He would be. Furthermore, in His short life upon earth in mortal flesh, He fulfilled every single prophecy that He was supposed to fulfill, even into the grave and out again, to remain alive for evermore. Hallelujah! Because He lives, we shall live also. He is living evidence that there is an all wise God behind every scripture that is recorded in the Bible. The very prophet that Peter got his new earth scripture from, also prophesied of the virgin birth of Christ 700 years ahead of the time of fulfillment. Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bare a son, and shall call his name Immanuel, or Emmanuel.” (A name meaning God with us) Brother! That beats evolution all to pieces. When you have the word of God to stand upon, there is no chance involved; it is right to the point every time. That is why I say, if those religious leaders had not been so wrapped up in their traditions, they could have been ready to receive their Messiah when He came to them, just by studying what the prophets had told them to watch for. It is the same in our day; those who are spiritual will recognize the Antichrist to be such before he ever makes his move, just by what the word of God has told us to watch for.

 

ANGELIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Talking about the birth of Christ brings us right back to the fact that God has always allowed His angels to take an active part in His dealing with mankind. When it came time for God to answer Zechariah’s prayer and grant him a son by his barren wife, Elizabeth, who came to make the announcement that the prayer was granted? Gabriel, one of the archangels that stands in the presence of God, appeared to Zechariah while he was going about his priestly duties in the temple. Six months after Elizabeth conceived, who appeared to the young virgin girl, Mary, and announced that she had found favor with God and would conceive in her womb and bring forth a son that would be called the Son of the Highest, and whose name would be called Jesus? Gabriel, of course. I say all this just to be sure you see that angels do fit into the picture as helpers of God, but I am completely convinced that they had to go through their age of testing and prove to be loyal to God before they were entrusted with such responsibility. The fact that a great host of them sided with Lucifer was already a fallen angel in Adam’s Garden of Eden proves that the angels time of testing was before them. Then the fact that Jesus called him a murderer and a liar from the beginning proves he had to have something to murder in an age before Adam’s age. Do you see how it all adds up when you look at the whole scope of what is involved? It becomes especially real to you as you examine the scriptures and discover how accurate and precise they are on what you are able to confirm yourself. Just to see how faithfully God honors His word in our own lives ought to be enough to give us confidence in the integrity of His word from Genesis through Revelation. When the Bible says that God created the world and all things in and around it, that should settle it. When you read something that does not seem to add up right, just remember, God had it written like that to hide it from the eyes of the great scholars, but He will reveal it to those whom He has foreknown. It is upon revelation of His word that He is building His church.

 

REGENERATION

 

We have talked about the significance of the word replenish that God used in His commission to Adam and to Noah, but there is another related word used by Jesus in Matthew 19:28 that is worthy of mentioning here, for it speaks of this God-man’s purpose and commission on earth. Let us start with verse 27 and read it. “Then answered Peter and said unto Him, behold, we have forsaken all and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” When we examine this word used by Jesus, we find that it has the same potential as the word replenish. Let us look at it without the r-e, first. The word generate carries the same basic meaning as the word create, procreate, etc. So when r-e is placed in front of it, just like plenish, it means to do it again. Adam and Noah were both commissioned to refill the earth while Jesus the God-man came with a commission to recreate something. Paul confirms that in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore it any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Yes, Jesus was the regenerating man, the recreating man, the redeeming One. His commission is to restore the earth, man, animals and everything that God created in the beginning, back to its original state of beauty and glory. Therefore, in the light of what sin has done to God’s original creation, it really does require a recreating process in order to bring everything back to what it was before Adam’s fall. Man has groped and struggled through 6,000 years of seeking to find his way back into the realms of eternal life and communion with his creator, but that can only become a reality to us when we commit our lives fully into the hands of this regenerating God-man Jesus. When time moves into the millennium, that will be the earth’s Sabbath. All the struggling will be over. Man will no longer be seeking eternal life; he will have it. The animal kingdom will no longer kill and devour each other, for Satan, the devil, the evil spirit that has caused them to do that for 6,000 years will be bound in the bottomless pit. That is when the prophecy of the old prophets that spoke of the cow and the bear feeding together and the lion eating straw like a bullox, will be fulfilled. That is when the suckling child shall play on the hole of an asp (a venomous snake) and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. That is when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Like we said earlier, Satan is a spirit; therefore, if he is a murderer, that simply means he is a spirit of murder. He feeds his murderous spirit into man and beast until he gets them killing and devouring one another, then he just lays back and enjoys it all. Brothers and sisters, when these Mexicans and Spaniards get into a bullring with cape and dagger in hand and tease those huge animals until they get them to charge at them. I want you to know, they are not doing that because some righteous angel is standing around patting them on the back. No, sir. Those matadors are men, created in the image of God. They were created to have dominion over every other living thing that moveth upon the earth. In the beginning they had spiritual authority to rule the animal kingdom, but when man disobeyed God and fell, he forfeited his spiritual authority and has had to rule them with physical force ever since. Man is still the sovereign ruler over the fowls of the air, the fishes of the sea and every animal and beast of the earth, but he has to use his God-given intellect to outsmart them and subdue them. We read also how gladiators have fought to the death entertaining fallen man and how beasts have been pitted against each other to fight to the death of one of them strictly for the entertainment of degenerate mankind. What is behind it all? It is that same old spirit that caused those great dinosaurs back there in a prehistoric age, to come tearing at each other, slashing and lunging through those forests, tons and tons of flesh battling one another to the death. Please do not try to tell me I have imagined all this; the evidence is too strong for that. It takes a perverted spirit to motivate such killing and destruction. God never created anything to kill, before nor after the Garden of Eden. That is contrary to His nature. He is the author of life. Satan is the author of death. Therefore, when Satan is bound and case into the bottomless pit for one thousand years, there will be no one around to provoke the animal kingdom to kill and devour one another, so they will lie down together in peace. By the time one thousand years have passed the earth will again be populated with millions of natural people that will be born during that time. That is why Satan must be loosed for a little season before the great white throne judgment is set. That judgment is to completely rid the earth of all traces of sin and death. That is when death and hell must deliver up the dead that is in them to be judged and cast alive into the lake of fire. Not one speck or particle of anything that has been a part of sin will be left in the ground to move into the eternal age. Every wicked person from Cain on down will be resurrected and burned alive for their rejection of God and their wicked deeds upon earth will determine the length of their punishment before they are completely obliterated. The only part of them that will not be utterly destroyed is that part that God took from Himself to cause them to have life in them; that will return to God when every trace of their individual identity has been destroyed.

 

FOSSILS UNDISTURBED

 

When God has finished His redeeming and restoring work on this old planet, those fossilized bones and whatever else there is from a prehistoric age will still be left lying right there. They were present, you know what I mean; God left those evidences of a prehistoric age, when He created Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden, his paradise, and God’s redeeming work among mankind is simply to restore the earth and its inhabitants back to what it was then, so whatever is left from the prehistoric age will remain right where it is. I am absolutely sure that God means for the bride of Christ to be a scripturally enlightened people, a people free of tradition and superstitions who will be led by His Spirit into all truth. Some folks feel that many things in the scriptures are not really important enough that we should spend time on them. I feel that whatever God had written in the Bible is there for a purpose and the bride of Christ will understand all things before she is called to meet Jesus in the air. John must have had something to base his statement on when he said, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shallseeHim as He is.” Now we all know we will not rise to meet Him in our mortal bodies; we will be changed into immortality first, but I am also convinced that the living element of the bride of Christ is going to know something about what is written in the word of God, something that reaches beyond weekly Sunday school lessons in denominational churches. There are yet many things that God will reveal to His true church before her translation into immortality, and we do not know all of what they may include, but one thing I am sure of, the revelation of those seven thunders that John spoke of in Rev. 10:3, is part of it. We will not leave here until we know what those seven thunders uttered. We hear people say, Jesus could come any minute and we know they are referring to the time when He comes to fulfill 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, which is speaking of the translation of the living element of His bride, and the resurrection of the dead in Christ, but I want to assure you that is not correct. There are certain things to be revealed to the bride and please do not forget, the bride is a universal body of believers, and whatever revelation she is yet to receive will take a certain amount of time for it to reach its universal scope. God is not going to supernaturally speak to every individual that is to make up his bride; He will perfect us through the ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, just like Ephesians 4:11-15, says He will. It is right that we should keep ourselves ready to meet Jesus at any moment with whatever revelation we have, for He could come for us as an individual, in death, at any tie, but He will not come for His church, as a body, until some more scripture has been fulfilled. You hear me say things like, we are at the end or the time is at hand, but when I make those statements I am referring to the time when God will close the door of grace to Gentiles. That absolutely could be just any time, but the rapture will not take place as soon as the Gentiles are cut off, and neither will the bride remain here past the middle of the week of Daniel to be caught in the great tribulation. She will be taken up somewhere in the first half of the week.

 

FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT

 

I am going to close the message shortly, but there is yet a thought I want to leave with you. The Ice Age caused darkness upon the face of the deep and when God said, Let there be light, He was bringing the earth out of that darkness. That is a picture of how He deals with a lost sinner who is born in sin, shapen in iniquity, and came into the world speaking lies. Before God begins to speak to us, we are in a state of darkness just like the earth which was void and useless. But just as God began to move by His Spirit upon the face of the deep, then spoke to bring light, so was it with our lost souls. One day he began to stir out souls with conviction of our need to be saved from that void condition; then He began to speak, “Listen, I want to talk to you.” The first thing you knew, light began to break forth in your heart; that old hard heart began to melt. Little by little, God thawed you out, melted you down, and set you free from your frozen, hard-hearted, void state of being and caused the sunlight of His love to shine upon your soul. The next thing for you was the water baptism that remitted your sins, then the Holy Ghost and fire to complete your rebirth. From there you walk right on, over a process of time, into perfection, complete redemption. That is exactly what God is doing with this old planet. Why did Peter refer to the flood of Noah’s day as a type, or figure, of our baptism? Simply because what God is doing with the earth and what He is doing with His people is a parallel. Here is what I mean. The earth was without form and void in total darkness and useless. The Spirit of God began to move, then He spoke to bring the earth out of darkness into light. In process of time, He put it through a water baptism, where sin was judged and buried beneath the water. Somewhere up ahead is a baptism of fire which will complete God’s work of redemption. We are fast approaching the hour when, with a baptism of fire, God will purge this old earth of all sin forever. This old planet will move off into its eternal age completely renewed, regenerated, completely free from every trace of sin. I am so thankful this morning that the captain of our salvation, the redeeming One is at the helm, guiding us right through to eternity. God bless you, everyone. Amen.

Thunderings-Lightnings-Voices, Part 2 – 1979, June

1979-06-Thunderings-Lightnings-Voices-Part-2

INTRODUCTION

IN PART ONE OF THIS MESSAGE WE GAVE PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO THE IDENTIFYING OF VOICE, VOICES, TRUMPET, TRUMPETS, THUNDER AND THUNDERS FOR THESE WORDS HOLD THE KEY AS TO WHO IS DOING THE SPEAKING. WE ALSO PLACED SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON THE FACT THAT THEIR VOICES, AS FOUND IN REVELATION 10:3, DEFINITELY POINTS TO THE VOICES OF MORE THAN ONE, AND THE FACT THAT IT IS THUNDERS, UTTERING THEIR VOICES, LETS US KNOW THAT THE VOICES ARE SPEAKING ON THE BEHALF OF GOD. THE SCRIPTURES WELL ESTABLISH THE FAT THAT WHEN GOD SPEAKS SPECIFICALLY, BYSTANDERS USUALLY ALWAYS HEAR IT AS THUNDER, THEREFORE WHATEVER IS BEING SPOKEN BY THE VOICES (PLURAL) OF THE SEVEN THUNDERS, DEFINITELY IS THE WORD OF THE LORD COMING FORTH, BUT PLEASE DO NOT MISS THE KEY HERE: GOD IS ONE AND THIS VERSE TELLS US THAT SEVEN THUNDERS UTTERED THEIR VOICES. THIS IS HOW WE KNOW THAT THE SEVEN THUNDERS (WHEN THEY DO SOUND) WILL BE SEVEN VOICES SOUNDING FORTH THE WORD OF THE LORD, SPECIFICALLY TO THE GRACE AGE BRIDE OF CHRIST, AND CERTAINLY CANNOT BE (AS CERTAIN ONES ARE CLAIMING) ONE VOICE GIVING FORTH SEVEN MESSAGES. THESE THINGS ARE WRITTEN IN SUCH A WAY AS TO HIDE THE REVELATION OF THEM FROM THE EYES OF CARNAL MINDED INDIVIDUALS, BUT THE BRIDE OF CHRIST IS NOT TO BE KEPT IN THE DARK ON THESE VITAL ISSUES WHICH WERE WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE SPECIFICALLY TO BE UNDERSTOOD BY HER IN THESE LAST DAYS. YES I AM WELL AWARE OF THE FACT THAT MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN TROUBLED BY CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE GONE ABOUT PREACHING THEIR VERSION OF THE SEVEN THUNDERS, BUT IF YOU WILL TAKE THE TIME TO THINK ABOUT WHAT WE ARE PUBLISHING IN THIS ARTICLE, YOU SHOULD NOT BE TROUBLED BY THEM IN THE FUTURE. I TAKE NO DELIGHT IN PICKING AT INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE, BUT THERE IS A TRUTH TO BE TAUGHT IN THIS HOUR OF TIME JUST BEFORE GRACE RUNS OUT FOR THE GENTILES, AND THAT TRUTH ITSELF WILL CAUSE THE BRIDE OF JESUS CHRIST TO RECOGNIZE FALSE TEACHING WHEN THEY HEAR IT. FOR THIS REASON I HOPE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU WHO RECEIVE THIS ISSUE WILL BE SURE THAT YOU OBTAIN AND READ PART ONE, WHICH WAS OUR MAY ISSUS, IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO.

 

HAS THE ANGEL CRIED?

 

Our text for this message is verses 1-6 of Revelation, chapter 10, but the main interest centers around verse 3. In this verse we find a mighty angel has cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth. Then, after the cry, seven thunders uttered their voices. Therefore, what we need to find out is, Who is this mighty angel? Has He cried already? What significance does this event hold as far as time is concerned, and what are the thunders which John heard after the mighty angel cried? It was not just because he heard a noise that caused him to write what he did. He called the noise thunders, but the interesting thing about it is, those thunders were voices, and John understood what they said, but he was forbidden to write what he heard them say. Brothers and Sisters, that is exactly why I say that it is vain for anyone to search Brother Branham’s messages trying to find the message of the seven thunders: John did not record what he heard them say, when he was carried by a vision into the hour of time where it will actually take place. Just try to realize that John was seeing and hearing things that are still out ahead of us yet. I assure you this one thing; Those thunders will not sound their voices while Jesus is still on the mercy seat, and furthermore, when Jesus comes off of the mercy seat, with the little scroll open in His hand (Rev. 10:2) it will be time for two spiritual Jews to move on the scene in Israel, the two witnesses of Rev. 11:3-12. As we said in Vol. 11 No. 4, which is part 1 of this message; while the bride of Christ is hearing the thunders of Rev. 10:3, the Jews in the land of Israel will be hearing the word of the Lord from the mouth of these two witnesses. The last week of Daniel’s 70 weeks concerning Israel will be in effect at that time. There is absolutely no scriptural reason for anyone to believe that Jesus would leave the mercy seat, cause the thunders to sound their voices to the bride, call an end to Gentile time, and then let years pass before He turned His attention back to the Jews. That is just plain foolish to think like that when the scriptures make it so clear. Now I am sure that some of you will say, Bro. Jackson, It doesn’t seem that clear to me. It will when the Holy Ghost gives you a revelation. How do we get a revelation? Just seek truth and keep an open mind; God will do the rest.

 

THE SEVENTH SEAL

 

Let us turn to Revelation 8:1, now. This is what leads into our text scriptures. “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” Now, Who is opening the seals? Jesus, the Lamb of God, chapter 5:5-6:1. Where is He when He is opening them? He is still on the mercy seat, and He will remain there until the last Gentile souls whose name is in the Book of Life has responded to the gospel. Where does that place the opening of the 7th seal? Right at the end of the Gentile grace age. Jesus has been on the mercy seat interceding for all the souls whose names were recorded in the Book of Life for almost two thousand years, but when that last soul responds to the gospel, His intercessory work will be over. That is when He will leave the mercy seat with the little book (SCROLL) open in His hand. It will be time to claim all those that He has interceded for. That brings us to our text scriptures, chapter 10:1-6. This is not to be looked upon as the rapture of the bride, where Jesus comes from heaven with a shout, calls the dead saints from their graves, and the living ones with them to meet Him in the air, as we read in 1 Thes. 4:13-17. No, what we see in chapter 10, is the Lord Jesus coming in angelic form to announce the end of grace for Gentiles, and at the same time He causes the seven thunders (SEVEN HOLY GHOST-FILLED MEN WHO HAVE HEARD FROM GOD) to begin sounding their voices with THUS SAITH THE LORD for the bride. What ever those thunders utter, will be something that will get the living element of the bride of Christ ready for that meeting in the air. While those men are speaking to the bride, fulfilling the last phase of her perfecting process, those 7 trumpet angels found in chapter 8, verse 2, just after the opening of the 7th seal, will be working with the two witnesses who are prophesying to the Jews in Israel. Do not allow yourself to think that the seven angels will be pouring out their plagues in one place, and the two witnesses will be somewhere else, smiting the earth with plagues: If you will examine chapter 8, and chapter 11, you will see that the plagues of the seven trumpet angels, and the plagues called for by the two witnesses are the same. These two witnesses will have the same anointing upon them as was on Moses and Elijah of old. They will be doing the same things that were done by those old prophets long ago. In other words the judgments of God will be striking Israel, and they will be called for by those two prophets, but only after Jesus is off the mercy seat, and the great peace covenant has been confirmed to fulfill Daniel 9:27. Some scoffers will say, Why do you jump back and forth in the scriptures like that? It is very simple to explain; there are a lot of things taking place right about the same time, and they could not all be written in one verse, therefore we must depend upon the Holy Ghost to reveal to us just where to place these events. In other words the events of chapter 7:1-8, chapter 8:1-13, chapter 10:1-6, and Daniel 9:27, will all be taking place in an intermingled period of time therefore you cannot say exactly which verses should have been recorded ahead of other verses, but we can study these scriptures and know in our own minds what will be taking place, and certainly, we can place certain specific events in their place. Take the opening of the 7th seal for instance. We know that takes place before the mighty angel of Rev. 10:1-2, can be seen standing with one foot upon the sea, and the other foot on the earth withe the little book open in His hand. Then we know that chapter 10:6-6, must come before chapter 7:1-8, for these 144,000 servants of God are sealed by the ministry of the two witnesses who will not begin their ministry until the peace covenant of Dan. 9:27, has been signed, and Jesus has ended His intercessory work.

 

SILENCE IN HEAVEN

 

Now we learned from chapter 8, verse 1, that when the 7th seal was broken, there was silence in heaven for about the space of half an hour. I will not try to tell you what all will take place down here on earth during that space of time; I do not know, but I do believe I know what causes the silence in heaven among all the heavenly beings there. Just try to imagine: Jesus has been sitting on the mercy seat for two thousand years, and none of those angels know exactly how long he will sit there; then they see Him break that last seal and begin to rise from His seated position. Don’t you think that will cause some kind of reaction when it takes place? I do. I believe it will cause a hushed silence as they watch Him change positions after being seated there for two thousand years. Then as that half hour of silence hits in heaven, I believe the Holy Ghost will be doing something down here on earth among the bride that will correspond to what is taking place in heaven. At any rate the events recorded in verses 2-13 of chapter 8, are the judgments of God upon Israel as those two prophets prophesy for 3 ½ years before they are killed by the Antichrist and his henchmen. During that 3 ½ years, chapter 7:1-8, will be fulfilled. These two witnesses will not be preaching sermons in the same sense that we are familiar with; their ministry will be prophesying. We cannot say for sure what they will be telling those Jews in that hour, but we do know that they will reveal Jesus Christ to be the true Messiah of the Jews, and we know also that during their ministry they will instruct those spiritual Jews as to where to flee to when the persecution by the beast begins in the middle of the week. You will not find those instructions written in any book: They will be prophesying to the people, and in the course of their prophesying, they will make the wilderness location known. If the church world today actually knew where God would hide those Jews during that dark tribulation hour, the Catholics would be there building churches, and Oral Roberts would no doubt be there building hospitals, dormitories, schools and cafeterias, getting everything ready for them. Let me tell you: This is something that God is going to do without the help of Oral Roberts and Billy Graham and men such as that. There is not one thing written, telling us what those two witnesses will be prophesying to Israel. Neither is there anything written that lets us know what those thunders will say, but God did let John write something that lets us know there will be such men on earth to fulfill God’s will in the appointed time. Only God knows what they will say, and He will tell them when the hour arrives for them to know. I feel sorry for these poor misguided souls who think God has already done all the speaking that He will ever do, even that He is not able to speak to men now as in days of old. How ridiculous! It is no wonder so many people refer to God as though He was an ancient God who is no long in control of His creation. I am here to tell you that God is still running His plan for the ages; He has not turned it over to the great intellects who think they know more about it than the very Creator Himself.

 

TWO WITNESSES

 

Saints: Listen to me. Through the mouth of those two witnesses of Rev. 11:3, God is going to speak specifically to Israel, by prophesy. He will speak to them prophetically concerning their nation and the coming events of that hour, and where they should go, and what they should do. Therefore if He does that for Israel: Why would He not do a similar thing for His grace age bride? I believe those thunders will speak specifically of the fact that Jesus is off the mercy seat and there is no more grace for Gentiles, and at the same time be giving the bride her traveling instructions. No they will not be telling her to go to Arizona, Jeffersonville, nor anything like that. Neither will they be instructing her on how to lift herself off the ground to defy the law of gravity, but rather, they will be God’s voice to her for the purpose of perfecting her revelation. She will hear things that the world around her will pay no attention to whatsoever. Now some of you may say, Bro. Jackson: We thought you were going to tell us something great. You will hear something great when the hour arrives for you to hear it, if you will keep your head on straight, and take this opportunity now to settle the question of what those thunders are. If we do not know what those thunders are to be, then we will not know what to listen for. Brother, to me this is where complete perfection is accomplished. I did not say that perfection would not already be taking place before then; I only said, This will be God’s way to complete the perfection process.

 

NO NEW CONVERTS

 

God sent a messenger to this age to call the bride out from denominational traditions and start her perfection process, but she will not reach her peak of perfection until after she has heard those seven thunders. No, every person will not have to hear all seven of those men; the true church is universal, and the universal body of Christ must hear those thunders, but the reason there will be seven is because it is highly impractical to believe that any one man could ever contact the universal body in such a short period of time. Whether he could or could not is not for us to say: God said there would be seven, and that is how it is going to be. When Jesus comes off of the mercy seat, Gentile time will last only long enough for the voice of those thunders to be carried around the world, and even then, there will be no new converts; it will be strictly for the bride. We only call it Gentile time because the rapture of the bride is still to be accomplished. You can be sure of one thing though, whatever those thunders do utter will not diminish one single thing from the message of the 7th church age prophet, or messenger. They will lift up the message and show it in its gospel truth. Then the dynamic climax will no doubt be when they reveal the fact that Jesus is off the mercy seat and ready to call the dead from their graves. Theirs will be a supernatural revelation of the plan of God for His universal church. What could have a greater impact on the true church than for certain brethren, strategically placed upon the face of the great planet earth, to begin to see the true light on this message, and really begin to see Bro. William Branham in his true Biblical setting? It would cause people to really start praying and asking God to help them get rid of their carnal ways, knowing that time is very short. The bride will be watching conditions in Israel that will make her aware that the Lord could come at any time. To me this would be a beautiful way to go to sleep at night, realizing that you could wake up in glory. Hallelujah! Maybe some of you might get up early and start for work on your assembly line and never get there. Praise the Lord! Bro. Allen, here, might start to the Ford plant and never arrive there. He will go to glory instead. Why am I saying these things? Simply to impress upon you the fact that the bride is universal. When the rapture takes place, some will be in the bed asleep, others will be going to work, and still others will be coming home from work. Hallelujah! Regardless of what the dial on our clocks show, We will all go up together from around the whole scope of this old world.

 

WHY SEVEN THUNDERS?

 

Let us just look for a minute at why I believe there is to be seven men used by God to wind up this old Gentile age. When we look back at the apostolic beginning of the gospel that we hold so dear to our hearts: What do we see? Sitting in the upper room with a number of other believers was 12 men, chosen by Jesus to be His apostles. They had the verbal word of Jesus in their minds, the things He had taught them for 3 ½ years, but look what happened when the Holy Ghost fell on them; It made those words spiritually digestible to their very souls. Everywhere they went, they preached the same revelation of what Jesus had taught them. Now, Why did He choose 12? Every time God did anything outstanding, He never failed to recognize all twelve tribes of Israel. When they crossed Jordan He chose 12 men to pick up stones and erect a memorial. When old Elijah when up against the prophets of Baal, after he had allowed them to have their time and failed to receive an answer from their god, Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, and built an altar unto the Lord to offer his sacrifice upon. There had to be something there that recognized every tribe of Israel, even though at the time, the nation was divided. When Jesus came on the scene: He did not choose just two apostles to represent the two Southern tribes that were in the land at that time; He chose 12 for the same reason that Elijah chose 12 stones. All Israel was to be represented in what was going to take place. God always recognized all twelve tribes in every outstanding occurrence that affected Israel. It is a matter of recognition to all of Israel, and not just a part of her. Now I believe it is this same principal that is causing God to speak to the bride of Christ by the mouth of 7 outstanding men here at the end time. The grace age church has come through 7 church ages, each age having its own messenger. That messenger spoke, in his particular age, the truth that applied to his age. Now we are coming right down to the end of the age of grace, and God is getting ready to close it out. What will He do? He will make certain that the grace age bride is dressed to be ushered into the great banquet hall of heaven. What is she to be dressed in? A pure revelation of the word of God. That is why God will anoint 7 outstanding men right at the time of the end; He will speak through them, to put the finishing touches on the bride’s revelation just before she leaves. This will not in any way annul the 5 fold ministry that God has set in the church for the perfecting of the saints: What they will say will harmonize completely with what the true five fold ministry is saying. Each man will be a thunder in himself. In other words, a voice of communication whereby God can speak to His people things that are not written in the Bible, nor anywhere else, and they will all be speaking the same things. I will illustrate it like this; Just suppose that a person wanted to broadcast a certain specific message to people who were scattered over a vast area. If he could place a speaker in 7 different locations, so strategically that it would enable him to reach all those whom he wanted to speak to; then his ONE VOICE could be heard by all. In other words, every one who heard the message would be hearing the same thing. There would be no room for confusion. Therefore just try to get a mental picture of such a situation, and it will help you to understand what we have in Revelation10:3. The mighty angel cried with a loud voice, and that angel is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ in angelic form. John had to see it like that in order to write it, but we know it holds a symbolic meaning. By all the other scriptures we have to look at, we know it could not be Jesus Christ on earth in literal form before the last week of Daniel’s prophecy would be fulfilled, yet the cry He gives forth as when a lion roareth, furnishes us with the identity of this mighty angel. Catch this now, this one angel cries with a loud voice, then 7 others were heard. John was about to write what they said, but a voice from heaven said, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. You will notice also, that it was not the angelic voice of Jesus Christ that said this to John; it was a voice from heaven. That reverts back to the Father. All authority lays in Jehovah Elohim. You say, But I thought Jesus had all authority now. Jesus Christ walking among men was God in the flesh of a man, and naturally, being God, all authority rested in Him, but you are probably thinking of Matthew 28:18, where Jesus said, ALL POWER is given unto me in heaven and in earth. That is true; all power was given unto Him and HE still has it, but we must look at this 10th chapter of Revelation which holds the climax of Gentile time, and realize that what takes place here is the announcement of something that Jesus told His disciples was known only to the Father. In verses 5 & 6, that mighty angel is heard, calling an end to time. He lifted up His hand to heaven, and swore by Him that liveth for ever and ever, (JEHOVAH ELOHIM) who created all things, that there should be time no longer. As we have already pointed out: this simply means that God is calling an end to Gentile time, and will return to the Jews with the gospel. There will be delay no longer. Gentile grace will be cut off by the authority of Him who created all things, He that liveth for ever and ever, Jehovah Elohim.

 

MYSTERY OF GOD

 

As we go to verse 7, we find Jesus saying, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, (Bro. Branham, the 7th church age messenger) when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to his servants the prophets.” Naturally that is speaking of the mystery spoken of by the apostle Paul, that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs with the Jews, in Christ. Let us turn to Ephesians 3:4-6, and read what Paul had to say about this mystery, for it has been the source of much controversy among the followers of Bro. William Branham’s ministry. Paul says, “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it IS NOW REVEALED UNTO HIS HOLY APOSTLES AND PROPHETS by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel.” In Colossians 1:27, he said, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this MYSTERY AMONG THE GENTILES: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Yes, in the days of the voice of the 7th angel, this gospel mystery that God has revealed to his servants, the apostles and prophets was finished. It was no longer a mystery. What may strike you to be strange though, is the fact that only the seventh church age angel was mentioned, or recognized. Here is why; God knew that he was the only one of the seven that would be on earth, and say something, at a time when the book of Revelation was going to start being revealed to the Gentile bride. This angel announced him as a VOICE, (singular) not voices. Let me try to say this as humbly as I know how. I was there when Bro. William Branham preached on the church ages, I was there when he preached on the Seals, and I was there every time he preached one of these outstanding messages, and knowing that I will draw much criticism by saying this, I still must say emphatically, You are not going to find the message of the seven thunders in any of the over 900 taped messages of Bro. William Branham. Those thunders are yet to sound their voices. Bro. William Branham was A VOICE, and there is no way you can apply VOICES, sensibly, to what he had to say to this age. I must keep stressing the difference, for that is why we are printing this message in the first place: so that those who have an ear to hear will have their ears tuned to listen for the thunders that are yet to sound, instead of searching through hundreds of books and tapes looking for them. Even though he preached all those messages, he was still just ONE VOICE. We will say also, within the message proclaimed to this age by that ONE VOICE, is every doctrine, and precept that makes up the complete formula of this message of grace, and it is being sounded around the world, so it is no longer a mystery. That which in other dispensations of time was a mystery known only to God, is now being proclaimed around this world to all lost mankind, giving every lost soul a chance to repent and be a partaker of this marvelous grace of God, but the message of those seven thunders will be a message specifically to the bride of Christ. She is the only one that will hear and take heed to what is said. It will not be 7 sermons. It will not be 7 seals, 7 church ages, 7 books, nor 7 statements. It will be utterances from 7 men that are yet to speak, and they will be receiving what they speak directly from God. It is not written in any book.

 

EAT THE LITTLE BOOK

 

Now we have a very important part of this chapter 10 which we have never said much about even though we have mentioned it from time to time. That is verses 8-11, where we will direct our attention for the next few minutes. In verse 8, John says, “And the voice which I heard from heaven (the voice of Elohim) spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.” This is the voice of Jehovah Elohim directing John to take the little scroll of redemption out of the hand of Jesus, who has by this time, broken the last seal on the scroll, and left the mercy seat. John says, “And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. (scroll) And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.” There are two things here that we need to catch. First notice that it was the same voice that John had heard in the beginning, the voice that he heard saying unto him, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter, over in chapter 4, and now this voice is directing him to go take the little book out of the angel’s hand. Then as he goes over to the angel and asks for the little book, the angel Himself says, Take it and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. Now we all know that there was no natural food benefit to be derived from eating the little scroll; Therefore we must give it spiritual application. I say that for the benefit of our natural thinking. Actually there was no literal book at all, but it had to be pictured like this. Remember, John was taken up in the Spirit and projected into future time so that what he was seeing and doing was actually things that pertain to our day. The eating of the little book, or we will say, the contents of it, is definitely going to have a profound spiritual effect on the bride of Christ in these last days. The eating will actually take place when that angelic form is on earth, after He (Jesus) has left the mercy seat in glory, and only the bride will eat thereof. Let us read verse 10, and see what John said about the effects of this eating. “And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.” That does not mean that he became nauseated and upchucked what he had eaten. When we translate that into natural terms it simply means that he got a sour stomach. Many times when we eat something different than what we are used to eating, regardless of how good to the taste buds it might have been, when it reaches the stomach we get a sour stomach and heart burn. That is what the reference here, pertains to. Now let us translate it back into spiritual terms for a proper application. We have all be eating from spiritual food, much of which has been handed down to us from our ancestors. We are speaking of the religious teaching that most of us older folks have been raised up on. Our spiritual digestive system has become accustomed to digesting that, so there is no upset, but when the diet changes suddenly it is a different story. When we begin to be fed the nutritional diet of revelated truth, even though it sounds wonderful, or maybe we should say, It is sweet to our spiritual taste buds, when it comes against our traditions and habits it causes upset. The effects can be very bitter as we try to digest what we have heard, but because it is so sweet to the taste buds, we keep on coming back for more, and eventually our system will harmonize with this new diet. This is just a little illustration to help you understand what is involved here before we go on to verse 11. We have said many times, This book of Revelation is a love letter to the bride of Christ, and the revelated understanding of it always includes a spiritual sour stomach as we begin to break away from our old ways.

 

WHO MUST PROPHESY AGAIN?

 

Verse 11, places our thinking in the same realm as all those people who think that Bro. William Branham is coming back to preach again, but let us see if we cannot shed some light on this statement. We will read it first. This is still the angel speaking to John. “And he said unto me, THOU MUST PROPHESY AGAIN BEFORE MANY PEOPLES, AND NATIONS, AND TONGUES, AND KINGS.” How many of you actually believe that the apostle John who wrote this part of the Bible will literally return in bodily form to prophesy to anyone? Now some will say, Oh! Brother Jackson: John came back and fulfilled that before he was martyred. No he didn’t! The book of redemption was not open in the hand of Jesus then, and it is still not open, and John had to eat the little book first, before he was told that. When we look at verse 11, from a revelated standpoint, there is only one conclusion that we can come to. The anointing that was upon John which allowed him to prophesy things that the church age messenger did not even touch on in that first age, will rest upon a ministry in these last days that will cause them to do the very same thing that John did. They will prophesy things to the bride that Bro. William Branham never did touch on, and neither could he have, for it was not time for God to speak in such a way. This will not annul the gift of prophesy among the body of Christ; It is just that the gift of prophecy in certain men’s lives is going to rise to a much higher plane when time comes for Rev. 10:3, to be fulfilled. God will be speaking through these men at a time when the people of God need something that cannot be found written in the Bible. They will need specific details to guide them and enable them to cope with world conditions in that hour. None of us are able to say exactly what the order of events will be, but if we do truly believe the word of God, we are assured of one thing: when the time is at hand, God will be on the scene with whatever is needed. In the meantime we have the Holy Ghost inside us to enable us to overcome daily trials, tests, and seemingly impossible circumstances. Remember, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer (allow) you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation (or trial, or test) also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it,” (1st Cor. 10:13). God has so ordained that every believer will be able to overcome. I will say this also, the closing chapter of the history of the bride of Christ will be great, much greater than anything you can read from that first age in the book of Acts. The church world is full of people who realize this, and many of them are doing their best to be a part of that last great move among the Gentiles. I suppose it is alright to desire such a thing, but we still have to let God run His program. We cannot write our books on how it will be, and then expect God to fulfill our ideas of it. There have been many men in the world since the turn of the century that had a genuine gift of God in their lives, but I fear that far too many of them have allowed that gift to be exploited for one reason or the other until it has reached a point where there is very little genuine concern for the true purpose of God left among them today. Of course it is a disturbing situation, but this is a sure sign that we are at the end. The scriptures tell us it will be like that as time runs out for the Gentiles. Our ancestors were pagans, and we are living to see a generation of Gentiles fast turning back to paganism. By the time the bride has gone to the marriage supper, and the Spirit of God is dealing exclusively with the Jews, the poor old foolish Gentile virgins will really have something to contend with. Martyrdom will be their own escape.

WHAT DID JOHN SEE – HEAR?

 

We are going to direct our attention for the remainder of this article, on what John saw, and heard. The message was preached and titled, What Did John See, and What Did John Hear? But it is in connection with the revelation of what the seven thunders are; therefore we are just making one printed message and including the contents of this message within. I consider this to be a very important message; therefore I encourage you to pay close attention to what is said. For you who may not be as familiar with what we believe, as others may be; if you do not understand what you read just file it away. If you are a predestinated seed of God there will come a day when the Spirit of God will deal with your heart, and cause you to remember that you have certain things filed away in your memory bank. When you re-examine it, then you will understand.

 

WORLD CHURCHES – SPIRITUAL BABYLON

 

It is not my purpose to exalt human flesh, but there comes a time when certain things must be brought to light, layed on the line, and a stand taken on behalf of those things, because they are things that affect people’s lives, and attitudes. We believe, and do know for a fact, that God sent a prophet messenger to this Laodicean age. His primary purpose was to call a people out from their traditional bondage, and put them back into the revelated word of God. To this God ordained purpose he was found to be faithful, but many who heard him and witnessed the gift of God in his life have tried to make him more than God meant for him to be. It is for this reason that we, many times, are required to say certain things that tend to offend a certain element of people. I take no pleasure in it, but feel that I must be faithful to the calling of God upon my own life. That is, to hold a line on revelated truth in this age of idolatry and apostasy. Some have taken Bro. William Branham’s teaching and used certain statements out of context to form a cult that I consider to be worse than Roman Catholicism itself. That is not why God sent us a prophet messenger to this age. His message was not to turn us back to ceremonies and creeds which were all a product of the world church, but back to the word of God as taught by the apostles of Jesus Christ. Every major religious denomination in the world of so called Christianity started out with a certain amount of truth as they began to come out of Catholicism on this side of the Dark Ages, but they have taken truth and added to it a long list of man made do’s and do not’s, which placed the followers of that truth under spiritual bondage. Now, did I say they do not have truth? Absolutely not, but they certainly are not the church of the Living God. Biblically, all of those denominations together, including Catholicism which stands at the head of the list, make up spiritual Babylon which we find referred to just as Babylon in the book of Revelation. Babylon speaks of captivity, and that is exactly the state of many hungry souls in the world, even after the message of Bro. William Branham has been around the globe as it has. Nevertheless, God is gleaning the last of these hungry souls just before He changes the world order.

 

INFALLIBLE WORD

 

Bro. Branham stood as a prophet to this age with THUS SAITH THE LORD to all those who had an ear to hear what the Spirit of God was unctioning him to say, but he was suddenly taken from the scene in an automobile collision almost 14 years ago. Does that mean that God can no longer speak to His people? Absolutely not. Does that mean that we must have another church age messenger to take his place? Absolutely not. The main purpose in our publishing this message is to show you that God has already made provision for other men to speak THUS SAITH THE LORD, when the time is right for them to do so. It will not be this bunch of Pentecostal preachers that you see running everywhere today, claiming to have Thus saith the Lord, preaching their little 15 minute sermonettes, and taking an hour to an hour and a half to receive an offering, and neither will it be those who fight that sort of thing so hard that they themselves have been captured by a spirit that is even worse. No, God is not at the mercy of any of those extremists. His spokesmen in this last hour will be men who are genuinely hungering for revelated truth to feed their souls upon. No, they will not be infallible, Jesus Christ Himself is the only man who ever lived that was infallible, but many men through the ages have been anointed to speak the infallible word of God. There is a vast difference, you know. Well, Bro. Jackson, What about the prophets? I have said it before, and I will say it again and again; when they were anointed to speak for the Lord; that word was infallible, but anything outside of that, any other statements, came strictly from the man himself, and were subject to the man’s human nature, and his surroundings. Many who have failed to realize this are bringing great reproach upon Bro. William Branham’s name, and his office in this age, as they go forth trying to persuade others that every word he spoke after such and such a date was THUS SAITH THE LORD. That is the same spirit that causes others to claim that the Pope of the Roman Catholic church is infallible. It is a Satanic spirit sent forth by Satan himself to lay a trap for all those who have a tendency to follow human flesh instead of the word of God. Such a spirit will blind peoples’ eyes to the truth, and lead them to a place where they just lay their Bible aside and depend completely upon statements made by the man they are following. (We will get to John in a minute, but first I want to get your thinking directed into a channel where you will be able to catch what is being said, and why it is being said.) Many people who are claiming to be following the message of Bro. William Branham, are looking strictly to his sermon tapes, and books, trying to find the word of the Lord for 1979, and they condemn me, and say that I am against what he taught because I will not confine my own ministry to saying only what the prophet said, but I am here to tell you that I am serving a living God who is still speaking to His people, and we will prove it by the Bible itself if you will bear with me.

 

ONLY JOHN SAW SOME THINGS

 

I ask you first of all, as we begin to look into the Bible: What did the apostle John see, and what did he hear? Do you believe that this aged old apostle was a personal witness to the ministry of Jesus, and that he was the one who leaned on the bosom of Jesus at the last supper? Do you believe and accept the fact that he was the very last writer in the chronology of all written scripture? Yes, he fits perfectly into all of this, but let me be quick to say, He was definitely not the 1st church age messenger. What did he see and hear that made him stand out so vividly in the closing hours of that first age, then? He did not write the book of Revelation as a result of hallucinations as some have dared to say. He wrote it by the direction of Jesus Christ Himself, and it was written for the bride of Christ to read and understand in our day. He saw and heard some things that Paul and the other apostles of that age were never privileged to see and hear. Do you not agree that he did?

 

FIRST AGE MESSENGER

 

In a previous message we talked about Paul being the messenger to that first church age, and how he wrote the greater portion of the New Testament teachings on doctrine and conduct of Christians. (When we say he wrote a certain letter, let it be understood to mean that it, in most cases, was dictated by Paul, even though someone else did the actual writing.) Paul wrote 14 of the New Testament letters and epistles, and his life and ministry takes up the last 16 chapters of the book of Acts, which is a history of the early church. We read in the 9th chapter how God got his attention and turned him around when he was so zealously going in the wrong direction, but chapter 13 is where we begin to see him going forth in his ministry, and the rest of the book of Acts is taken up with the accounts of the various phases of his service to the Lord. As you read the New Testament from Acts 9, right on through, it becomes very clear that Paul stood out as the apostle, or messenger to that age. We read also, in Romans 11:13 where he said, “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office.” To me, all this proves beyond a shadow of doubt, that he was the messenger to that first age. In his letters is found every doctrine and precept of New Testament Christianity. He gives more details on the Godhead, says more about sanctification and the believer’s fellowship and walk with God than all the other writers together. He also dealt with more human faults and errors than the other writers. You will find that he was compelled by circumstances to write to the various churches, either by a condition he had heard existed in that local assembly, or as a result of a question that was put to him. Nevertheless his response included rebuke, admonition, and exhortation that applied to the existing conditions. His life, from his call in Acts 9, until his martyrdom, consisted of about 30 years. The last letter he wrote was 2nd Timothy, in the year of 66 A.D., in which he said, My departure is at hand; I am now ready to be offered up. I have fought a good fight; I have kept the faith, and I have finished my course: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness with the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. This epistle was written approximately 10 years after the great revival he had there at Ephesus, the revival which lit the fire that all the other churches we are going to read about was lit from. Then we go on in our examination of the scriptures to find that the book of Revelation was written in the year of 96 A.D. which was about 30 years after the last letter written by Paul, the church age messenger.

 

WHAT IS JOHN WRITING?

 

I wonder if you are beginning to catch my thought? If Paul was the messenger to that first age: What is this man called John writing here in the book of Revelation? What did he see, and what did he hear that caused him to write such a record when there was nothing else like it in all the rest of the scriptures? Bear with me a little while, and we will take a look at this man. It seems that he had been arrested and put on a little island just off the shore of the Asiatic coast line, which today is Turkey. The little island was still in sight of the main land, much like old Alcatraz was to the coast of California. He was put there in exile by the Romans because of the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ that he stood for. They evidently thought, if they could only get this old fanatic out of the way they could have a little peace in the area. It is believed by many Biblical historians that John pastored the church that Paul started in Ephesus, some years later, after Paul had passed off the scene. That certainly is within the realm of reasonable thinking, for the Isle of Patmos puts him within the vicinity of Ephesus. Nevertheless he was arrested because of his faith in God and the stand that he had taken for the gospel. At the time of his exile he was old in years of life, but he was still young at heart. Praise God for that. They put him through all kinds of torture, but there was still something inside of him that had fellowship and contact with God. Hallelujah! I do not believe this beloved old saint had a big pile of Paul’s books of sermons with him out there. No! What he had was a genuine revelation and love for God in his heart. He had that Spirit of truth in him, and that furnished him comfort and security in spite of all the centipedes, lizards, and snakes that may have been crawling all around him. Praise God! He was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and with his eyes, he saw something, and with his ears he heard something which he was told to write. He wrote it down as instructed to do, and the church of the Living God has been carrying that letter ever since. It was God’s love letter to the grace age bride which would still be alive in our day when the events recorded therein would be revealed and fulfilled. Scholars through the years have torn this letter open, examined its contents, become more confused than enlightened, and some of them have even gone so far as to say that it never should have been written. Why would they say such a thing about part of the Bible that they claim to be called to teach and stand for? Simply because it is a letter to the end time bride of Christ and was never supposed to be understood and taught before this age we are living in. Even now the church world in general will not receive the revelation of that which is recorded therein. They consider it to be foolishness, but the little bride who has the Spirit of Jesus Christ to help her read between the lines will cherish it, and take heed to the things that are written for her enlightenment, in these last days. It is just like a letter that a young man might write to his future bride if we could use a natural comparison. Such a letter usually contains intimate language that is meaningful only to the two people. Others could read certain things in such a letter and it would sound like foolishness to them. Why? Simply because they can speak of things which are known only to the two of them without going into full details such as others would need, to understand. That is what this letter is all about, and now we will take a little look at the human instrument the Lord Jesus used to write it.

 

REVELATION OF CHRIST’S DEITY

 

We learn from Acts 3:1, that John was with Peter on that great morning when they encountered the lame man as they went to the temple to pray. Peter was the one who said, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” But John was with him. We know also that this man, called John, wrote the three little epistles, as well as the gospel of St. John. He was a personal witness of the calling of the other apostles who followed the Lord Jesus with him, for 3 ½ years. It was John who saw Jesus as the word being made flesh. He also saw Jesus Christ as the word that was with God in the beginning, by which all things were created. In other words, John is the one who stands out among others which may have received the great revelation of the incarnate God, in the person of Jesus Christ. He recorded the crucifixion, and many of the miracles that Jesus did, but there were a lot of the miracles that he did not even mention, as the other gospel writers did. To me, it seems that John was attracted by this great revelation of deity which he recorded so beautifully more than he was some of the other things he witnessed. There is not too much written about John, but from these few things we know about him: we are able to picture him as a very dedicated disciple of the Lord Jesus, and with an understanding of love that is unparalleled as far as we can see. Naturally he was present with the other apostles on that great day of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost was poured out upon them, and when Peter stood in the streets calling on those who heard him preach, to repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. We believe he was a man that did much traveling, and was very informed as to what was going on in the world. It is very evident from what we read in the three little epistles of John, that by the year A.D. 90, he had witnessed many troubling situations in the Gentile church world. If you read closely you will find him talking about the spirit of error as well as the spirit of truth. He talks about the spirit of Antichrist; and says, Even now, there are many Antichrists in the world. He was compelled by circumstances to speak against the spirit of Antichrist, which truly was the white horse rider of the 1st seal. (Rev. 6:2) You may think he was off someplace in seclusion, and lifted up in the Spirit, when he wrote these little epistles, but that was not the situation at all; he wrote them, under inspiration of the Spirit of God, because of circumstances that surrounded him. It was inspiration that was pressed upon him. He was compelled to speak against what he could see spiritually taking place among the people. This necessitated the three little epistles just like the things that Paul was compelled to write about, gave us those letters that set standards for Christian living. Paul was the messenger to the age, but some of those other men had some vital instructions for Christians also.

 

TRUMPET VOICE

 

By the year A.D. 96, John was the only one of the apostles of Jesus Christ that was left alive. He was very aged, and probably felt like he had performed his last service for the lord when the Romans exiled him to the Isle of Patmos, but, all of a sudden he heard something behind him. Let us begin reading at Revelation 1:9, and see what he heard. He starts out by saying, “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, (He was not sitting there with his head in his hands grieving, No. He was in the Spirit worshiping God.) And heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” Now most people read right over that word trumpet, giving no importance to it whatsoever, but that trumpet-like voice got his attention. Do you remember reading in Exodus how Moses was up on Mt. Sinai, and all the rest of the people down below while God communed with Moses with that trumpet-like voice? There were thunderings, lightnings, and voices, and the people were scared half to death, but God was talking to Moses with a voice that sounded like a trumpet. It was not a great musical display. It was the voice of Jehovah Elohim. In all of chronology of the scriptures, we cannot find where anyone but Moses ever heard that trumpet until John heard it here in Revelation 1:10. Paul never heard that trumpet and he was the church age messenger, but this old saint, John, whose soul had thrived on the revelation that he had of who Jesus Christ was, while he was in the Spirit, there on that little island, heard the same voice that Moses heard. John was in exile because of the revelation that he had cherished all those years. If he had ever dared to compromise, it is very doubtful that he would have had any problem with the Romans, but he could not compromise; that revelation burned in his heart so strongly that he was willing to die in the midst of all the snakes and lizards on this little island if necessary. Then he hears this great voice as of a trumpet behind him, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, (we have that book here) and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia. He names the seven churches, beginning with Ephesus and we find that it is the seven churches that were established as a result of that great revival Paul had there in Asia Minor among those Gentiles. Paul preached at Ephesus for a solid three years, during which time the revival fires which burned at Ephesus lit the fire that started the other six churches mentioned here. (Brothers and sisters, this all ties together so beautifully.) By what we read in the 1st chapter of Revelation, we know that God had already caused a particular type to be set in motion over in the book of Acts, beginning with the 19th chapter when Paul went to Ephesus, that would be used as a yardstick of comparison throughout the age of grace. It is true, each of those 7 churches was a local assembly in its particular area, and they were not tied together by some denominational charter, as you would find in our day, where one preacher organized a group of churches. Each one of these 7 churches had their own local government, but each of them also were a type of certain conditions that would exist during the dispensation of grace, the period of time allotted to the Gentiles. Within the framework of these local assemblies there began to be certain perversions of the truth that Paul had taught, arise, that built into a certain spiritual condition which would compare to one of the 7 spans of time we call the church ages, and the message that John was told to write and send to these 7 churches was also a message to the particular church age that compared, by spiritual conditions within that age, to the spiritual conditions within that local church. Paul, the church age messenger and founder of many churches in that first age, had written many such letters of rebuke and exhortation, but these seven here were to have a special meaning and application that Paul’s letters did not have, because of the type that was set by them. You must keep in mind the fact that every one of these congregations were taught the exact same thing in their beginning, and through the process of perverted teaching as the years rolled by, they had strayed from the apostolic doctrine of Christ to the point where they were. You say, How could that happen, Bro. Jackson? Exactly the very same way that it is happening among the ranks of those who are supposedly following the teaching of Bro. William Branham, the 7th church age messenger. You always have certain characters going from one assembly to another one, and so on, claiming to be teaching the apostolic truth of the scriptures, when actually they were never called by the Spirit of God to be a preacher in the first place. Such characters can never preach a true message, for they must depend upon THEIR UNDERSTANDING of what the true message of their particular hour is, not having the anointing of the Holy Ghost to direct them. Now please do not tell me that these preachers who run around with an arm load of Bro. William Branham’s sermon books, and preach from certain quotes taken from those books, are directed by the Holy Ghost. Any person in their right mind ought to know if they were led by the Spirit of God they would all preach the same revelation and we would not have all of this confusion that keeps local assemblies from being able to fellowship together. Remember, Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” But in the verse right before that (John 10:12) He said, “But he that is an hireling, (That is what many of these so called preachers are, “HIRELINGS” for they have not a genuine love for the sheep.) And not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.” The true message of this age is to pull the true sheep back together and turn their attention back to the word of God, (THE BIBLE) before the age closes out.

 

SEVEN GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS

 

As we come back to Revelation 1:11, where the voice from behind John, calls each church by name: we notice that John waited until the last one of the seven had been named, then he turned to see the voice that spake with him, the voice that, at first, sounded like a trumpet. The trumpet signifies that the authority of the voice which is doing the talking originated in Jehovah Elohim of the Old Testament, but listen to what John says about what he saw when he turned around. “And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” Let me say right here; John had walked with Jesus for 3 ½ years, but he had never heard Him speak like this before. He had heard Him speak to the storm, and he had heard him speak in many other situations with a voice of authority, but this time it was different. This man, Jesus Christ, (God incarnated in human flesh) who had walked among humanity with a dual purpose, speaking for God to the people, or on behalf of the people, stood behind John, there on the Isle of Patmos, and spake with a voice that sounded like a trumpet. He had been a prophet to the people, a sacrificial Lamb for the people, and after His resurrection, He had been our intercessor, our attorney, pleading for each of us before the throne of God, but in 96 A.D., John was privileged to view Him in a way that symbolized His full authority. The candlesticks were symbolic of the Spirit of Jesus Christ that was given to these 7 churches in the beginning, and there he stood, right in the midst of them, clothed with a garment of a high priest, but verse 14, goes beyond that of high priest, for John says, “His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; (That speaks of supreme judgeship.) And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; (speaking of our redemption) and His voice as the sound of many waters.” There is no contradiction here between the sound of the voice that John heard in verse 10, as a trumpet, and the voice as the sound of many waters in verse 15, for you must remember that each identity is symbolic of an investment of authority bestowed upon Jesus for His dealings with mankind. Just to check up a little on your memory: Why did His voice sound like the voice of many waters? It is because this voice as He speaks in this identity represents the people to God. He speaks as intercessor on behalf of multitudes of people from all nations, and tongues. We learn from Rev. 17:15, that waters, symbolically, are people, therefore this is the voice that speaks back to God on their behalf. It is the same voice that Ezekiel heard which we read of in the 43rd chapter of Ezekiel. He saw a great light coming from the Mount of Olives across the valley of Jehoshaphat, coming toward the millennial age temple in Jerusalem, and out of that light which he describes as the glory of God, came a voice which was as the sound of many waters, saying, “Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the souls of my feet, (This shows that He will dwell literally in this temple, and that could be only in the millennial age) where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile.” Now as high priest He speaks with the voice of many waters in His intercessory role; we all understand that. Likewise when He rules in the millennium He will still speak as the voice of many waters because He will be ruling on earth as a man. He will be invested with authority to rule all nations of people, and to represent them to the great Elohim, (JEHOVAH GOD – THE ETERNAL SPIRIT.) We have shown from the scriptures, in other messages, that the term, for ever, does not always apply to time without end, and that is the case with that terminology in Ezekiel 43:7.

 

THE FIRST AND THE LAST

 

Let us come back to what the apostle John saw and heard as he continued to watch the one who was speaking to him, Rev. 1:16. He says, “And He had in His right hand seven stars: (all symbolic of something) and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword.” We all know what the two-edged sword represents; it is the gospel in this age of grace. When He is seen on that white horse over in Revelation 19, with a sharp sword coming out of His mouth, it will no longer be the gospel. It will then be a sword of authority to execute wrath and judgment on wicked mankind as He comes back to earth for the millennial reign. Watch now, as we finish verse 16. “And His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw Him, I fell down at His feet as dead, and He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” In verse 17, where He said, I am the first and the last, He is speaking from the standpoint of man, in God’s plan of redemption. When we take this terminology to the epistles where the revelation of Jesus being the first and the last is laid out so clearly, it helps us to know what He was actually saying to John. Paul said, He was the firstborn from among the dead. He is the beginning of God’s new creation in the process of redemption. Regeneration had its beginning in Him, so He is definitely the first, the beginning point. Then as we look to the end of God’s process of redemption, we have no trouble seeing that He is definitely the first, the beginning point. Then as we look to the end of God’s process of redemption, we have no trouble seeing that He is also the last, for when this plan of redemption is completed, and Jesus has ruled until the last enemy (death) is conquered, and all things are put under His (Jesus’) feet, then He (Jesus) will deliver the kingdom to God, the Father (not another person, but a sovereign Spirit) that He (GOD) may be all in all, 1st Cor. 15:24-28. That is the spiritual kingdom of course, and that projects time into the eternal age where God (SPIRIT) will have His relationship with His creation restored back as it was before Adam’s transgression.

 

CYCLE TO REPEAT

 

Now, John is told to write the things which he had seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter in a book and send it unto these seven churches which are in Asia, in other words, past, present, and future. Then in chapters 2 and 3, we see Jesus in His office as high priest, speaking to John, and this is 30 years after the last epistle written by Paul, the church age messenger. What is John looking at? What is he seeing, and what is he hearing? He is receiving the last revelation that the church of the living God will receive until she comes to the end of the age of grace. Nineteen hundred years have passed since then, and we are approaching the end. We are living in the span of time when the little bride of Christ is permitted to open her love letter, (THE BOOK OF REVELATION) and understand its contents. She will see herself reflecting in it. Hallelujah! I’m in love with Jesus, and I love to talk about Him. I love to read about Him, and I love to fellowship with my brothers and sisters that He has redeemed with His own blood. Naturally you will always hear some say, I don’t believe in being a fanatic about religion. I don’t either, but God is a jealous God and He likes for His people to talk about Him, and to Him. Brothers and sisters, I pray that God will help us get a clear picture in our minds, and enable us to understand the true setting here. John was not the messenger to the age, but I tell you this: There was no one left alive that could criticize him. He was the last living witness among those who had walked with Jesus in His earthly ministry. Everyone else, alive in 96 A.D., would have to give a secondary report of the first advent of Christ, but John was an eye witness and his was a living testimony. As we said earlier, what he had wrote in the gospel, and in the three little epistles, was what he had seen and heard naturally, and in the case of the epistles, circumstances and conditions necessitated their writing, but what he is going to write now could not have been written prior to this. He is commissioned to write of spiritual, as well as natural conditions of the future that could only be seen and heard by a sovereign, supernatural act of God. There was nothing about John that merited such a privilege; he was a vessel chosen by God to fulfill God’s purpose in that hour. Likewise brothers and sisters, I say to you today, regardless of what is going on in this particular movement around the world, God is going to repeat this same cycle that we are seeing here. The church age messenger has already fulfilled his role in the plan of God and passed off the scene, but if he truly did fulfill Malachi 4:5-6, for our day, and we truly have been turned back to the faith of the apostolic fathers, back to their same revelation and so forth, then the very conditions of the hour, this hour of separation, lets us know that God will soon repeat this same cycle, and only the bride will understand. No, God will not build a Bible school, nor a seminary to teach His people, but through the same anointing that was upon John when he saw and heard these things, God will instruct His people and perfect their revelation.

 

SEVEN STARS – SEVEN CANDLESTICKS

 

In verse 20, Jesus explains the mystery of the seven golden candlesticks, and the seven stars. 20, “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” Let it be understood that angels in this particular verse is referring more to the human leader of each separate congregation, than it is to the spirit being behind that person. Naturally there is always a spirit being involved, but he works through an earthly outlet. Now, Where was Jesus standing while He was talking with John? In the midst of the seven candlesticks, and the candlesticks represent the seven churches that symbolically, also represent a certain age, or period of time that the grace age church would pass through. Now He had a message for each separate church, beginning with Ephesus and going right on through Laodicea. What He had to say was brought about by the spiritual condition of each assembly, and each one of those assemblies had a spiritual condition within its body that would represent the spiritual condition of the age of grace which it symbolized. Ephesus was the model church, and was the first one of the seven that was established by the ministry of Paul. In the epistle that Paul wrote to the Ephesians we find the great revelation of the deity of Christ, also we find him explaining the close fellowship of believers and their walk with God. He explains that we are all of one body, and he used the illustration of a man and his wife in the natural to show our place and position with the Lord Jesus. No greater comparison could have been used than this one which shows that one day we will be to the Lord Jesus Christ what a loving wife is to her husband in the natural, in obedience and subjection. Saints the point is this, the Lord Jesus was standing in the midst of these 7 candlesticks, still in His role as high priest, right on through the age of Laodicea, and all this time the church is still on earth, for the message itself lets us know that the grace age is still in force. But there is coming a time when He (the Lord Jesus) will take to himself all the overcomers from every age. You will notice that there is one thing in common through all seven letters, or I should say through all seven message to the churches. That is, to him that overcometh, thus and so. John had lived to see the condition of apostasy which had found its way into each one of these churches, and now he was being commissioned to write and send a message to each of them, giving them a chance to repent of their ways and overcome, or as Jesus said in Matthew 24:13, He that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved. The message to these churches is two fold. First to the church itself, then to the age of grace that that particular church parallels. Remember now, John was not the church age messenger, but how many of you believe he heard and saw something that is meaningful to us in our day? What he heard and saw, and wrote, did not change one thing that Paul had taught by revelation when he was alive. No, God was just vindicating what Paul had actually warned the saints against, some 40 years before that. I can see why Paul had to be dead by this time though; it would have broken his heart to see the state of apostasy that these churches had fallen into, in such a few short years. One of them even had a woman preacher by the time A.D. 96 rolled around. Now who is to say they were not taught right? No one; they were all taught the same thing, according to the perfect revelation that was given to Paul. It just goes to show how quick the spirit of Antichrist can take hold of an assembly of people when their leadership changes. It seems like there are always a few people around, who are just looking for something different to tickle their ears. That is how Satan is able to plant his seeds of doubt and unbelief in the midst of an assembly of people who have formerly been taught right. False teaching will usually be so close to the truth at first, that it is hardly detectable, but there is a spirit behind it, and when that spirit is given any place at all, it multiplies until it takes over people’s minds. John had witnessed such a change in these assemblies, and he had spoke out to warn the people against what was happening, but evidently to no avail. For instance in 2 John, verse 7, we read these words, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Antichrist. 9, Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. 10, If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed (God bless you) is partaker of his evil deeds.” In his first epistle, chapter 4, verse 1, we read, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: (Why?) Because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” John wrote these epistles in A.D. 90,but chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Revelation show us how far these churches had strayed from the truth by the time John was lifted up in the Spirit in A.D. 96, and given the last revelation that God would have written in the chronology of the scriptures.

 

OVERCOMING

 

Saints: John was still on the isle of Patmos when he received the words that he was to send to the seven churches. Are you listening to me? I said he was still on the island, and Jesus was standing in the midst of the seven candlesticks (the churches). He is still doing the work of a high priest, and that high priest intercession runs right on through the age of Laodicea which we are living in today. What were the last words said to each individual church? To him that overcometh thus and so, and, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Through every age of this dispensation of grace that STILL SMALL VOICE of the Holy Ghost has continued to speak to individuals whose hearts cry out to God. It is only when we are willing to listen to the voice of God speaking to our inner man that we can be an overcomer, and Saints, I will say this, The time left in this age of Laodicea, for overcoming, is getting shorter and shorter. Those who know anything at all about church history can trace the route and conditions that the church has passed through, and it is plain to see that what God had John write to the individual churches pertaining to a spiritual condition within them, also turned out to be a condition that existed in the age of grace that was portrayed through those local churches. It was written in 96 A.D., but it took time itself to materialize it, therefore the church of that day had no way of knowing that a type was being set that would span the complete age of grace. It is only by looking back at the ages past that we are able to understand, recognize our day, and take heed to that which applies to us. Paul and John, and those saints of the first church age expected Jesus to return in their day, and it has been like that in every age since, yet through John’s vision, Jesus actually showed that the church would remain on earth through 7 specific ages, and that He would remain as high priest, speaking with the voice of many waters through every one of them. It is the words spoken to Laodicea that thrill my soul though. We are living in an age of materialism, and though our economy is inflationary the world over, I think you will have to agree with me on this; the church world in general is living the highest in a material sense, that it has ever lived. It is a costly, superficial standard of living, and every bit of it draws heavily upon the world’s energy supply, which is what keeps the man of the world in a state of emotional turmoil all the time. Naturally from the standpoint of what the world is able to see, they say, We are going to run out of energy. What they do not know though, is that, they are going to run out of time before they run out of energy. Time is getting shorter than any of the sources of energy that they worry so much about. Praise God! Jesus is coming soon, and the energy crisis will be over, but President Carter and all the rest of those world diplomats who give all their attention to politics and world affairs at the expense of their soul’s salvation will be 6 feet under the ground while Jesus is ruling this planet from his throne in Jerusalem. You say, Bro. Jackson, How do you know that? Simply because there is only one escape. They would have to get truly born again, and get dressed up in a revelation to escape it. If they do not do that they are doomed. They just do not realize how close they are to this word of God. That is why I get so thrilled when Mr. Begin comes over here with his little chest stuck out and says, We will not give up one inch of our heritage. Praise God! To me, Israel seems to be the only nation on this earth today that has any sense left, and even that doesn’t mean that they are going to do everything right all the way. No, there will come the day when they will sell out to the Antichrist, but for now they seem to be the only nation left that has their head on straight. At least they will not sell out to Carter.

 

Now, back to what I started to say about the beautiful words spoken to Laodicea. After His rebuke for lukewarmness, and His admonishment to them, He says, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my father in His throne.” Why did He tell Laodicea that? Why did He not tell some of the others that? It is because Laodicea is the age that is closest to the millennium, the time when the bride of Christ will sit with Him and rule the nations. This is the age where many of the overcomers will never taste of death, but rather, will be translated, carried alive to be with Jesus. Paul, the church age messenger, spoke of this translation, or rapture of the church, both to the Thessalonians as well as the Corinthians, but that is as far as his revelation goes on the matter. He saw the bride going, but John, in his old age, was allowed to see what would take place after that, and he was instructed to write it and send it to the churches. Brothers and sisters: that is how God preserved this letter through the ages. He let it be kept, and handed down from generation to generation until that generation arrived that would live to see its complete fulfillment. Hallelujah!

 

 

TWO FOLD TYPE

 

John set a type of the bride that would be raptured at the close of Laodicea when he was taken up in chapter 4 to view a heavenly scene, but he also set a type of the living ministry that would be walking right in the midst of the bride receiving revelation and transmitting it to her, right up to the time of her departure. In other words, if John saw things to write and give to the church to carry for 1900 years, there will also be a ministry right in the ranks of the bride of Christ that will hear the voice of Jesus as HE speaks to them specifically of things that pertain only tot he endtime. Brothers and sisters: believe me, it will be things that cannot be found written in a book someplace. You can search books until you are blue in the face, but you will not find what the VOICES of those SEVEN THUNDERS uttered, for John was projected beyond our time when he heard them speak, and he was not allowed to write what he heard. No. Just as John heard a voice at the end of the Laodicean letter calling him to, Come up hither, so also, will the living element of the bride of Christ hear a voice that will have the same effect on her at the end of the Laodicean age. Jesus will speak to her through the voices of those 7 thunders until her revelation is honed to perfection. During that time the trump of God that raises the dead will sound, and all the overcomers from every age will ascend together to meet the Lord in the air. The twofold type set by John is precious because it shows that there must be a true leadership of the Spirit of God right to the very time of the rapture. If John had refused to go beyond the teachings of the church age messenger, we would not have the book of Revelation in our possession today, and without the book of Revelation we would be just as much in the dark about the windup of this age of grace as the church was in the days of Martin Luther. But because John stood firm and loyal to his revelation of the word of God, he was in a place where God could speak to him and let him see things that Paul never saw. Now, as a type of the ministry, where was John when He received the last instructions to the church? He was still on earth but when the last words were spoken to Laodicea: he was taken up to set a type of the rapture at the end of Laodicea. After that, the word, church, is not mentioned anymore throughout the rest of the book of Revelation. In chapter 4, 5 and 6 he saw things pertaining to Jesus on the throne with the little scroll in His hand, and a rainbow about the throne.

 

FOR OUR AGE ONLY

 

Before we proceed, let us just look back a little. It was the apostle Paul that actually laid the foundation for this grace age church to be built upon as he went forth with the apostolic gospel in that first age. It was his teaching that established the churches which John wrote to. He is the one that labored among them until Christ was formed in them. But he was the messenger to an age that was more than 1900 years away from the coming of the Lord Jesus to rapture the church, and later, to rule on earth. That generation had no need to know the revelation that God would give to our generation. They did not need to know how to recognize the antichrist and his beast system that is to materialize in our day. They only needed to be warned against the Antichrist spirit that would creep in to pervert the gospel in their age. Paul and John both warned them time and again about that, but Satan slipped in anyway. As a result of that spirit slipping in, the church was led off its apostolic course and into what we call the Dark Ages. Through those Dark Ages God still had a few loyal souls through which the gospel light was preserved, and in every age, even in the Dark Ages, there was always one individual that stood out over the others. That individual has been called the church age messenger of his particular age, but it was because of his loyalty to God in what he had revealed to him, and not because he had a ministry that paralleled Paul’s. Martin Luther has been called the church age messenger of the age that began to emerge from that darkest hour, and it was his revelation that the just shall live by faith, among other things that he found to be contrary to Catholic dogma, that began to spark the reformation. In the years between 1520 and 1900, God used many different individuals to restore nuggets together into one basket, as we know today that they must be. Instead, the world began to be filled with hundreds of different denominations, each one holding on to a little portion of the restored truth of God’s word. It was not until this Twentieth Century that God spoke to the heart of a man to gather up all these restored truths and present them to His church in one basket. That man was none other than Bro. William Marrion Branham, the messenger to this Laodicean age. We have said many times, it was not Bro. William Branham that restored truth that the just shall live by faith: Luther did that. Neither did Bro. William Branham restore the truth of predestination, eternal security, nor any of those basic doctrines found in the Bible, but he is the one that God used to collect all these truths together and present them tot he church for the purpose of turning us back to the faith of the apostolic fathers, back to the written word of God (the Bible.) Bro. William Branham never preached a message that he did not take the text for that message out of the Bible that his ministry in this age was to turn us back to. The only reason some of these people are saying that we do not need the Bible anymore; all we need is the prophet’s message, is because they themselves have no revelation as to what the prophet’s message was. They have become blind leaders of the blind, and the spirit that they have given themselves over to is worse than the spirit of Roman Catholicism. They resent my saying so, but it is true anyhow. It is true, Bro. William Branham had a gift of God in his life that was only outshined by that of the Lord Jesus himself, but that still did not make him God; he was our brother in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ that he stood so staunchly for. He was subject to human faults and failures just like all the rest of us, but my saying that, does not take anything away from his true God ordained ministry to this age. He still had, Thus Saith the Lord to those who had ears to hear what the Spirit would say to the church in these last days. Now, Did I say that he had the final Thus Saith the Lord to this age? Absolutely not! This end time bride will hear much that Bro. William Branham never did speak. He was the only one of the seven church age messengers that was referred to in the book of Revelation, but that still did not make him God. Are you hearing me, saints? Let’s keep our revelation in the scriptures. In Revelation 10:7, we read, “But in the days of the voice (SINGULAR) of the seventh angel, (That was Bro. William Branham) when he shall begin to sound, (That is, when his teaching, or revelation begins to go forth) the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” That is the grace age mystery which Paul wrote about to the Ephesians, and the Colossians, Paul said, When you read what I have wrote, you will understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, the mystery which was not made known in other ages, how that the Gentiles are to be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel. Yes the voice of that seventh angel sounded, and the mystery of Christ is truly made known, but the mystery age itself, (the time when the Spirit of God is dealing with Gentiles) stretches on past the sounding of the literal voice of the seventh angel. There are some who use this verse, trying to prove that Jesus is off the mercy seat already, but that idea does not harmonize with the scriptures. Bro. William Branham has been gone for almost 14 years and we still do not see any signs of the two witnesses that will go to the Jews when God closes the age of grace to the Gentiles, and besides that, we can still see the Spirit of God convicting Gentiles.

 

WHO IS ON THE FATHER’S THRONE?

 

Alright now, let us go to chapters 4, 5 and 6, of Revelation where John describes things he saw pertaining to Jesus on the throne. He saw Jesus on the throne with a little scroll in His hand, and around about the throne was a rainbow which is the sign of Jehovah Elohim. You see that same rainbow upon His head in Revelation 10:1 when He is seen in angelic form with one foot upon the sea and the other one upon the earth, closing grace to the Gentiles. It took a better revelation than that to recognize Jesus, to know who He was when He was on earth, for He did not walk around with a rainbow over His head. It took a revelation to know who He was then, and that revelation came through observation of what He preached and the works He did. But John is taken up into the heaven in this vision and sees Jesus sitting on the throne, speaking with a voice that sounded like a trumpet, and a rainbow over His head. In other words, He is seated in the position of the Father, as the Ancient of days judge, and the executor of all authority with power to bind and loose. That is exactly according to what Paul said about Him in Hebrews 1:3, where he was talking about Jesus, the Son of God, being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, how that when He had by Himself purged our sins He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. The right hand always speaks of authority, therefore He was not seated beside another person known as the Father; He was seated in the position of the Father, with all the authority of the Father. Why? Because this was the flesh chosen and manifested by the eternal God to exemplify Himself, and to make physical contact with man and his surroundings. This was the eternal God in the flesh of a man, the man known as Jesus of Nazareth. John had walked with Him on earth for 3 ½ years; now he sees Him seated on this great throne speaking with the trumpet voice of Elohim, that voice of authority. When that door was opened in heaven it was this voice that spoke to John, saying, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. Immediately John began to see this great heavenly scene with Jesus on the throne, the twenty-four elders seated round about, the four beasts full of eyes, and the sea of glass which was before the throne, and from out of the throne came thunderings, lightnings, and voices, and he saw seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, but before long all attention became focused on the little scroll that was in the hand of Jesus, which was sealed with seven seals. A strong angel asked, who is worthy to open the book, (SCROLL) and to loose the seals thereof? John waited for some response, but there was not a man found in heaven, nor on earth, nor under the earth that was worthy, and he began to weep. Then after much weeping one of the elders spoke to John saying, Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. Now we all know who the Lion of the tribe of Judah is; it is Jesus, and John was standing right there looking straight at Jesus seated on the throne. Notice verse 6, “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.” Brothers and sisters: There is no such creature; that would be a freak of nature. God never created anything imperfect to exist forever; this is all symbolic. Even though the elder told him that the Lion of the tribe of Judah had prevailed, and was worthy to open the seals, symbolically this showed that He did not merit this privilege as a lion, but rather, as a sacrificial lamb. It was the merits of what He did as a sacrificial lamb that made Him worthy to open the little scroll of redemption that was to remain sealed with seven seals through seven particular ages of grace. It is not until the end of the Laodicean age that the last seal can actually be broken to reveal the complete contents of the little scroll. You say, But John saw them opened 1900 years ago. It was 1900 years ago that John was carried by a spiritual vision so that he could stand in this age of Laodicea and look back down through time. It is true he could see that spirit of Antichrist rising and going forth in the day he lived, but it had not yet become the red horse rider, neither the black horse rider, not the pale horse rider, and neither were there any souls under the altar in John’s day. This all came over a process of time, and could only be seen by standing in the age of Laodicea and looking back. Even then we did not have the revelation until time in heaven had progressed to the point where God had a Laodicean prophet messenger on earth to speak through. It was time for the seals on the scroll of redemption to begin to be broken, and Jesus was the only one who was worthy to loose those seals, but He had a mouthpiece on earth that He spoke through to make the contents known to the church. That brings the progression of time into the 1960’s. A war had been fought where six million Jews had died mercilessly at the hands of Adolph Hitler and his henchmen. Thousands more had been held in detention camps on the Isle of Cyprus, and there was a cry of Zionism, Go home. England had been there in the Middle East, the nation that used to boast of the fact that the sun never set on the English flag because of her great era of colonization, but the cry had gone out for England to release her hold on Israel and go home. In process of time that release came, and we find ourselves living in that generation which is to see the fulfillment of all things pertaining to this age. That marked time to the point where the 5th seal could be revealed. That is the one where souls were seen under the altar, or we could say, at the foot of the altar, or before the altar crying with a loud voice, How long O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? Who knew before that, who those souls under the altar were? There was no way for any of the other six church ages to have that revelation for those Jews had not been killed. The fulfillment of that 5th seal came about after Hitler’s great slaughter of Jews in W.W.2. Now we can look back through time and actually see what it took to fulfill the first five seals. We also have the revelation of what will take place to fulfill the sixth seal; those events are prophetically recorded in the Bible, but Hitler’s slaughter of those poor Jews is not written there; so we had to wait until after that took place to know what, or who those souls under the altar were. I am sure we all agree that the sixth seal will have its fulfillment at the end of that last week of Daniel at the coming of the Lord Jesus, for we can read the remaining chapters of the book of Revelation and find it all written there. John was standing over here in Laodicea, (by a vision) seeing those things as if they were in existence in 96 A.D. In other words, in order for him to see those souls under the altar he had to be projected into time this side of World War II, for they were not under the altar before that war. Notice the response to those souls who were crying, How long O Lord. First, white robes were given to every one of them, and then it was said to them that they should rest yet for a little season until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. Brothers and sisters, I do not see how that little season could be more than a human generation, and we know that the next such slaughter will be when the Antichrist makes his great purge in that last week of Daniel. That is when the next bunch of Jews will be killed for the word of God, and the testimony which they hold. Can you see that? If you can, then you must realize that we are very close to the end.

 

IS YOUR MOTIVE RIGHT?

 

Brothers and sisters, I wonder if you are catching what I am trying to get across to you. Can you see that John was a type of the living ministry that will be walking in the ranks of the bride of Christ as this age closes out? Can you see that God showed him things that none of the other apostles of Christ ever saw, including Paul, the church age messenger? We are living in the hour when such a ministry is already on the scene being prepared for their last day role. Such a ministry will not be using quotes, quotes, quotes, and telling people that there is no more revelation beyond what the prophet messenger brought to this age. No, they will be doing exactly what John was doing; they will be in the Spirit, receiving things from God for the bride of Christ that the church age messenger never did see. Furthermore, just as John was alive when he was taken up to heaven, so will there be men alive to fulfill the type that was set there. They will walk with God and speak for God until such time as God has determined to rapture the bride and leave this old world in the hands of the Antichrist for awhile. Now in order for them to speak for God, they must hear from God. I am not talking now about some sermon that has been quickened to them as they studied the Bible; I am referring to things that are NOT written in the Bible. John heard the voice of a trumpet that Moses heard, the voice of Elohim. Did that make him another church age messenger? Absolutely not. John did not teach doctrine in the book of Revelation; the doctrine of Christ had already been established. What you see him doing is writing letters of rebuke and exhortation to those churches that had strayed from that doctrine. To Ephesus he wrote, you have left your first love; repent or your candlestick will be removed out of his place. I know you have tried them which say they are apostles, and you have found them to be liars, and that you have laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. They were still busy but their motive was not the same. They were living in the days when apostles were still going forth, and they knew enough about the word of God to put those false apostles to the test, but their own motives had changed; they no longer did it out of genuine love for God, and a love and concern for other souls. That is why they had to be rebuked, but the rebuke had nothing to do with their doctrine that had been established by Paul, the church age messenger. Neither did his exhortation to them. He had THUS SAITH THE LORD, and he did not find it written in Paul’s sermon books. That is why I say, When the time comes around to the point where Revelation 10:3, is to have its fulfillment, God will have some men in the ranks of the bride of Christ who will receive and speak forth, THUS SAITH THE LORD, just like John did. They will be the same to the endtime bride that John was to that first age. Paul was the messenger to the age, but John received the last message for the church in that day. Bro. William Branham was the messenger to our age, but these 7 thunders of Rev. 10:3, will have the last message for the bride before she leaves, and those thunders will be men who are hearing the voice of God just like John did. Where do you get that idea from, Bro. Jackson? I get it right from the very book that the prophet of Mal. 4, turned me back to. Where do you get those strange things you teach? Who ever told you that we do not all have to see certain things the same way? You do not have any scripture for that. Who ever told you to lay your Bible aside and take up the Spoken Word books in its place? Who told you that God would never speak to His people any more after the 7th angel messenger passed off the scene? Who told you that Bro. William Branham was infallible, and that you should believe every word he spoke was Thus saith the Lord? I know who told you those things. It could not have been anyone but the devil himself. You have been deceived! You have been captured by the spirit of idolatry! You have brought reproach upon the name of a little man that loved God with all his heart, a little man that cherished every word that is written in this Bible which some of you do not believe you need any more. You harp about Malachi 4, and you are so proud of the fact that you knew that prophet, but the only thing that some of you have been turned back to is paganism; you are in worse shape now than you were while you were still out there in denominationalism. At least, those people out there still have a chance, for Jesus is still on the mercy seat, and they have not set one of their brethren in the seat of God. Every one of them know better than that.

 

HIS POSITION IS IMPORTANT

 

Sixteen years have passed since God gave Bro. William Branham the revelation of the first six seals, and Bro. William Branham has been dead for most of those years, but God is not dead; and if you will bear with me for a few minutes, I believe you will see that. He is still able to speak to, and through earthly men. How many of you know what verses 2-12, of Revelation chapter 11, is about? It is about TWO WITNESSES who will PROPHESY for 3 ½ years, and then be killed by the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit. Right? Alright, Who are they PROPHESYING to? No one but the nation of ISRAEL. When will they prophesy? After the angel of Rev. 10, has closed time for the Gentiles. When will that be? Naturally we cannot set dates, but the time is just up ahead of us a little. They cannot go to Israel as long as Jesus is still on the mercy seat interceding for grace age believers, for in Romans 11:25, we find that Paul said, Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. They cannot receive the prophecy of their two witnesses as long as they are blinded, but once that last Gentile who is predestined to believe the gospel hears his call, Jesus will break that last seal and leave the mercy seat. That is when He is seen in chapter 10, with the little scroll open in His hand. That is when He stands with one foot upon the sea and the other foot on the earth, and cries with a loud voice as when a lion roareth. I want to say this again: His position here is important. As long as He is seen with one foot upon the sea and the other one on the earth, that shows what He has to say still has a universal application. In other words to the bride which is made up of people from every nation under heaven. Now while He is standing like that, seven thunders (it has to be seven men.) Utter their voices. Like we have said already, the fact that it is called thunders, shows that it is God speaking, and the fact that there is more than one voice, shows that it has to be men speaking the word of God to this universal bride, for God is ONE and could never be VOICES, and we know that angels do not preach nor prophesy to the universal body of Christ. Saints! Please hear me one more time; These men will not be quoting something that has already been written; they will be prophesying, giving the bride of Christ instructions, and revealing things to her that are straight from the throne of God. You say, Where do you get the authority to say such a thing, Bro. Jackson? I get it from Revelation 11:3. That verse tells us that those two witnesses are going to PROPHESY for a thousand two hundred and threescore days. They will not preach sermons, as such; they will PROPHESY. How do you suppose the woman (Israel) in Revelation 12:6 will know where to flee to when the Antichrist begins his bloody purge? She will have to be told by the two witnesses, for there is nothing written anywhere, to tell her where the place is that God has prepared for her to be fed for the last 3 ½ years of the week of Daniel, the time of the great tribulation. Why are we so sure of that? Read verse 14, “And to the woman (ISRAEL) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly (where?) Into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, (one year) and times, (two more years) and a half time (half a year) from the face of the serpent,” (the Antichrist and his beast system). Some of you may say, What does that prove? All we need to do is go to Exodus 19:3-4 to establish that eagles wings is referring to the message of those two prophets. We know that the children of Israel did not literally fly on the backs of great eagles when they came out of Egypt, and into Canaan land, but through the leadership of Moses and Joshua, God brought them out of Egypt and into Canaan. Let us read those two verses. “And Moses went up into God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I BARE YOU ON EAGLES WINGS, and brought you unto myself.” That is enough for you to catch scriptural terminology. Through the prophecy of those two witnesses that spiritual element of the nation of Israel will be told where to go when the covenant is broken in the middle of the week, and the wrath of the Antichrist is turned loose on her.

 

TWO FOR ISRAEL – SEVEN FOR THE NATIONS

 

Now I will just ask you a very simple question. If God will have two prophets in Israel getting her ready to take her flight into the wilderness, and revealing Jesus Christ to her; what would be so strange about God having seven men on earth prophesying to the bride, getting her ready to take her flight? You see, God’s promise to Abraham was not just to the Jews. In Genesis 12:3, God made him a promise that, in him, all the families of the earth would be blessed. Isaiah spoke about how God would perfect praise from the Gentiles, and in Psalms 2:8, we read, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” What do you suppose all such references as these were pertaining to? Of course, they pertained to us Gentiles, but even though the prophets spoke many times pertaining to the age of grace, they did not understand that the Gentiles would be joint heirs with Christ, and that they also (the Gentiles) would be called the children of Abraham. This of course includes only those who have the faith of Abraham. Abraham has a natural seed, but most important to us is the fact that he has a faith seed, for that is where we enter into the picture. As we said before; this is the mystery that was revealed to the apostle Paul, how that this grace age would make the Gentiles partakers of the promise of God through the preaching of the gospel. Now we who are living here at the close of this age, understand by revelation that this age will close when Jesus comes in angelic form and announces the end of grace. Bro. Jackson; will the living saints hear the literal voice of Jesus when He makes this announcement? That is revealed by the thunders. You will have to make your heart in tune with God to even know it. The world at large will not hear the message of the thunders. Only those who are spiritual will hear and benefit from the message of the thunders. Furthermore, only those who are spiritual will accept the fact that the seven thunders are seven men, chosen by God, to receive revelation of God’s last message to the bride of Christ. The bride will recognize those voices of authority, and she will receive the message of the two witnesses who will be speaking to them. Right now we know what those two witnesses will be doing for a period of 3 ½ years, (PROPHESYING TO ISRAEL) but we do not know what they will say. What they say is not even written in the scriptures, but we do know some of what will be accomplished by what they say. We know there will be one hundred and forty four thousand Jewish men sealed by the Holy Ghost as a result of their prophesying to the nation of Israel. We know also, that a certain element of Jews, referred to in chapter 12, as the woman, will be warned of the wrath of the Antichrist, and will be instructed where to go, and when to go, to avoid being killed by that beast. We know from chapter 8 and chapter 11, that they will be smiting Israel with plagues in the same manner that Moses dealt with Pharoah in the land of Egypt. That will be God’s wrath upon that nation for selling out to the Antichrist in signing the peace covenant which Daniel spoke of in Dan. 9:27. In other words, brothers and sisters, we could go on and on speaking of what those two prophets will be doing, and some of the results of their ministry to that nation, but we cannot tell you what they will say, for they will be PROPHESYING by the Spirit of God, and not preaching sermons from texts taken from the scriptures.

 

DO NOT BE FOUND NAKED

 

Saints: any way you look at it, those Jews will be hearing things from the lips of those two prophets, that the generation in that first age never had opportunity, nor need to hear in their day. Believers in that first age had no need to know how to protect themselves from the wrath of the Antichrist in that hour of great tribulation which is just ahead for this generation. By the same token, bride saints in past ages had no need to know when Jesus would leave the mercy seat, nor when the translation would take place. Neither did they need to know what the 7 thunders are, but those who are to be alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord must know, for it will take that along with what they have to say, to complete our preparation to meet the bridegroom. Do not tell me it makes no difference; only foolish people would think God does things in vain. The wise know for sure that everything God does is necessary to fulfill His predetermined plan for the ages. To the angel of Laodicea He spoke words that He did not speak to the others. We know the application was two fold, first to a particular church in 96 A.D., and then to this Laodicean age as a whole. Listen to some of what He said, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, (That is faith; not faith in the natural things round about us, but faith in the word of God, faith to believe that if God said something, that is exactly how it is going to be.) That thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Look at 3:17, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Brothers and sisters, when we look at these verses with a spiritual eye we know that we are to be clothed with the revelated word of God and we can only put on that garment one way; that is by exercising genuine faith in that word. God’s word is food for our soul, and when we have it in its proper balance we are truly rich. You who are acquainted with the ministry of Bro. William Branham will have to admit that he was constantly rebuking this age for its materialistic yardstick. The denominational churches are given to measure everything by numbers in church and Sunday school attendance, how much money comes into their treasury, and by the size of their very modern buildings, as if God cares about any of that. I assure you: a certain amount of these material things are necessary, but to have all that the world has to offer, and still be without faith in the revelated word of God is to be wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Just look around you, and then tell me: Does this scripture have an application for our day? You know it does but thank God, the little bride of Christ has come out from all that foolish nonsense, and she has her eyes anointed and her ears open. She is hearing what the Spirit of God has to say to her in these last days. Let me ask you this now: What brought her out of bondage and into a place where she can hear the word of God? It was the voice of the 7th angel messenger. But. Bro. Jackson, there are thousands of genuine Christians that never had an opportunity to hear Bro. William Branham; What brought them out? God took His messenger off the scene, but He did not take away the message that little man brought to this age. Remember this; His message is his voice; therefore that voice is still ringing around this earth. It is being sounded through the lips of men who are able to hear from God themselves, and do not have to say, Bro. William Branham said thus and so with every breath they take. Yes; that message is still just as effective as it was in the days when it first began to go forth. God sent the man according to the words of Malachi; not to argue with theologians, but to cry against sin, and to bring forth a teaching which God vindicated to be Thus saith the Lord. It was not for the purpose of converting the whole religious world, but it sounded a voice, (please notice that I am saying A VOICE, not VOICES) to this age, to be heard by all who have an ear to hear what the Spirit saith to the church, and the church is universal, not just in Jeffersonville, Indiana and Tucson, Arizona. Praise God! That thrills my soul! I am glad that God is not so small and helpless that He has to be confined to a certain little geographical area, like some of these sweet-talking, so called brethren, claim He is. Furthermore let me say this: We do not baptize in the name of Jesus Christ and believe that God is one instead of three persons just because Bro. William Branham said so. We do it because it has become a revelation to us that the Bible teaches it like that. Sure Bro. William Branham taught it like that, but if that is the only reason you do it, you have missed God completely. You have not even heard the voice of the seventh angel.

 

THE HOLY GHOST REVEALS

 

Brothers and sisters in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ; let me warn you to beware of these fellows who seem to be such experts on what Bro. William Branham said. If they cannot preach to you from the Bible they do not have the Spirit of God, and have no business trying to teach the bride of Christ anything. One person said to me recently, We are aware that there are certain things in the book of Revelation which the prophet never did explain, but the very fact that he did not touch on these things causes us to esteem them as unimportant to us, for we believe it takes the prophet to bring them out and he is no longer with us. Saints! Do not let the devil blind you with such talk as that! I am here to tell you that the book of Revelation is a letter to the bride of Christ, and before she leaves this earth she will understand everything that is written in it, regardless of whether the messenger to the age taught on it or not. If people would just stop long enough to realize that he taught on every doctrine that you can find written in the letters of Paul, they would surely realize that his purpose was to put us back in the word of God from which we had strayed. Once we are back in the Bible, and filled with the Spirit of God, we have that Spirit of revelation in us, and He can open our eyes just like He did the apostle John. He can show us things that pertain to our day, things that those who have passed on by the way of the grave had no need to know. I will never forget how I felt when that little man looked straight at me and said, It’s good for you Methodists too. He was preaching on the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and when he said that I felt like an icicle on a hot stove, but brother, it put a hunger in my heart and I began to seek God for the experience, and would not stop until I received it. When I received the Holy Ghost experience it began to open up something new to my soul; I began to understand things that had been such a mystery to me prior to that. It is that Spirit that lets me know we are not confined to what God has revealed to men who have served Him in their day, and already passed on to their reward. We serve a living God who is well able to feed us with fresh bread in our day. His plan for the ages has never depended on any one man since the days when Jesus Christ walked upon earth among men, so do not sell your soul for a carnal interpretation of what the prophet messenger came for. There is no scriptural authority for anyone to believe that Bro. William Branham was to perfect the bride of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13, tells us that the five fold ministry is for the perfecting of the saints, and if you will read those verses you will discover that every one of the 5 offices is spoke of in plural terminology. No, it will not be a one man show. God will wind it up with SEVEN THUNDERS speaking to the Gentiles, and two prophets speaking to Israel, and everyone of them will be prophesying straight from the throne of God. They will not need to quote from any books. Now some will say, I don’t believe that. To that, I will say, It is not for you; it is for believers. When Jesus leaves the mercy seat, His instructions will be to those who are in unity, those who are still striving against revealed truth will be caught by the wrath of God when it is poured out upon unbelievers. It will not do you one bit of good to stand and scream: I knew the prophet, I hunted with him; I fished with him; he prophesied to me many times. In that day, if God even speaks to you at all, He will say: Why then did you not take heed to the prophets message? Depart from me; I never knew you. Brothers and sisters, I do not enjoy talking like this, but God’s word is true even if it makes every one of us a liar. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away, saith the Lord. We must stand by the word of God, even when it hurts our old flesh to do so. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. NOW IF ANY MAN HAVE NOT THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, HE IS NONE OF HIS. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But, IF THE SPIRIT OF HIM THAT RAISED UP JESUS FROM THE DEAD DWELL IN YOU, HE THAT RAISED UP CHRIST FROM THE DEAD SHALL ALSO QUICKEN YOUR MORTAL BODIES BY HIS SPIRIT THAT DWELLETH IN YOU.” (Romans 8:6-11)

 

CLOSING WORDS

 

Saints: In closing I just want to say this, If I read this blessed old book right, the only hope for any of us, no matter how much we know, is to have the Spirit of God in us and be subject to Him. Any effort without Him is vain, and can only lead to more confusion in this late hour of time. We certainly do not need more confusion; we need to get ourselves settled on the word of God. As for what we have said about the seven thunders; I am fully persuaded that God will vindicate anything He inspires a man to speak, but He is not obligated to do it today just because some scoffers say these things cannot possibly be right. You will just have to stick around and see what God will do. For you who appreciate this message; let me say to you, There are many more things that could be said to establish scripturally what we have taught, but I believe there is enough here to put every sincere believer aware of the fact that God is yet going to speak to this generation by the mouths of some prophets. If there is something you do not understand, please feel free to write me. It is too costly to your soul if you reject something from God just because you do not understand it. May God be with you as you make every effort to follow Him in truth. Amen.

Thunderings-Lightnings-Voices, Part 1 – 1979, May

1979-05-Thunderings-Lightnings-Voices-Part-1


INTRODUCTION

DEAR READERS: PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE THIS MESSAGE AS JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF THE SEVEN THUNDERS THAT SO MANY PEOPLE ARE FUSSING ABOUT. IT IS NOT THAT AT ALL. IF YOU WILL BEAR WITH ME, I INTEND, BY THE HELP OF GOD, TO SHOW YOU THAT IT IS SCRIPTURALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE SEVEN THUNDERS OF REVELATION 10:3, TO HAVE UTTERED THEIR VOICES SIXTEEN YEARS AGO, OR ANY TIME SINCE FOR THAT MATTER. YOU READ THIS ARTICLE WITH AN OPEN MIND, AND YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO BE TROUBLED WITH THUNDERS ANYMORE. TAKE HEED NOW AND YOU WILL BE IN A BETTER POSITION TO HEAR THEM WHEN THEY DO SOUND T-H-E-I-R V-O-I-C-E-S. A WORD TO THE WISE SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT.

 

Saints, we are going into a message that will require us to be more than just casual (Sunday school) readers if we are to understand what it is all about. We must have the Holy Ghost in our lives, and a hunger in our hearts to know what this time tested old book is talking about.

 

We are all just mortal creatures, standing in need of redemption that can only be a reality through the mercy and grace of God. I cannot save you; neither can you save me, but there is salvation available for us. The formula for that salvation is recorded within the pages of God’s holy, inspired Word (the Bible). As Gentiles we never had opportunity to know Jesus Christ after the flesh like the Jewish nation did, but we have been introduced to Him by the Spirit, through the revelation of His precious word. He is either alive in us, or we only know Him as some historical person through what our mind can grasp. If you fall into the latter category this message may not be very interesting to you, but if you know Jesus Christ by revelation of His Spirit and He is stirring your heart with anticipation of His soon coming, you will want to know what to look for in the days just ahead of us. If we know Him like that, He can talk to us out of His word and it will be just as precious to us as His audible words were to his disciples who walked with Him.

 

We are on a subject that is causing much confusion among the ranks of those who have been awakened by the message of Bro. William Marrion Branham, God’s messenger to this church age. The subject I am referring to is the SEVEN THUNDERS, spoken of in the book of Revelation, chapter 10, verses 3-4. We have men in our day, running all over the world, preaching their version of the SEVEN THUNDERS, and every one of them have put the cart in front of the horse; they are saying that the thunders have sounded already, and I am here to tell you that they absolutely have NOT sounded yet. I realize that I stand to take a lot of criticism and ridicule for printing this message, but I feel that I owe it to all those who have been affected by the confusion brought about as a result of these Thunders preachers, to print something that can help them find the truth that lies within the scriptures they are using, regardless of the criticism and persecution.

 

 

FULFILL YOUR CALLING

 

One man asked me the question, “Bro. Jackson: How do you take all this criticism?” He went on to say, “I know you are talked about, a lot, in this area.” I told him that I am kind of like a horse out in a cocklebur patch; after awhile, he gets so many cockleburs in his tail, and he gets so used to that thing beating against him that he just thinks of it as a part of his everyday life. In other words, you just have to do what you feel that God has called you to do, and then, if there be criticism, leave that in His hands. You can take criticism a lot better if you are fully persuaded that you are doing what God has called you to do. That is why I pray that no one will ever follow my flesh; if you are following me: let it be because of the truth of God’s word that I stand for, and not just because you might like me as a person. I enjoy good fellowship as much as anyone else, but if that fellowship is not centered around revelated truth: it will eventually cause a stench in the nostrils of God. Fleshly attachments are affected by personalities and over-sensitive feelings, but that which is drawn together by the Spirit of God will hold together through every storm. Brothers and sisters, I hope you understand what I am saying to you; for it is well past the time when we should shake ourselves, lay aside our personal feelings, and seek to know what the word of God really holds for us as this age of grace comes to a close. If God has truly put something inside of my soul that I am to express to you, then I pray that He will open your understanding to receive it by revelation, for when truth is received by revelation: it becomes a part of the one who receives it, so much so that all the devils in hell could never shake it loose from you. The storms may come, but, Praise God! What you have locked up inside your souls cannot be blown away. Raymond Jackson could die tomorrow, but whatever truth he has stood for will live on throughout the eternal ages. Hallelujah! This Gentile church world is polluted with preachers who will preach anything they need to, to gain a following of people for one selfish reason or the other, but I am not here to convert you to my ideas, trying to get you to be my disciples. If what I teach does not make you a disciple of Jesus Christ, then forget it, for that is the only worthwhile motive that any preacher could have in what he is doing.

 

Our text for this message will be the first 6 verses of the 10th chapter of Revelation, but we will use many other scriptures, for we want to build the whole thing around scripture. I am fully aware of what the prophet to this age said, on this subject, and I am very familiar with the statements that are being used to build certain ideas, but those who are using those statements have nothing more, for they cannot make their revelation dovetail with the Bible. Brothers and sisters, listen to me; if what you are hearing will not harmonize with the scriptures on every point, it is not a revelation from God. You will not find God going contrary to His word just to make someone’s idea work out.

 

SPIRITUAL VISION

 

Let us turn to Revelation 10:1, now, and begin reading our text. May God unction every word and make this a living reality to your hearts. We call this particular portion of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, but in reality: it is a letter to the bride of Christ. It was written by the apostle John, on the Isle of Patmos, and the Lord Jesus Christ instructed him to send it to the seven churches of Asia, or to seven churches which were in Asia. By the time John wrote this letter and sent it to these churches, they had all been in existence more than 40 years. In each church of the seven, there existed a condition that typed a future condition of a certain church age. There were seven churches, and each one of them represented a condition that would exist in one of the seven church ages through the grace period while God dealt with Gentiles that would be partakers of the kingdom of God. In order for us to understand what John wrote we have to realize that he was projected (BY THE SPIRIT) into a future period of time when he was taken up, in the 4th chapter. He was actually (BY A SPIRITUAL VISION) projected into our present age of time. He saw the things he wrote about, happening right in the time he was living in, (IN THE VISION) but keep in mind the fact that he was looking past his present age by more than 1900 years. To him it was as though he was living in this Twentieth Century, seeing the things which we are seeing in our daily news. He saw these events taking place. He wrote about them, sent the letter to the seven churches, and the world has had to wait more than 1900 years for the events we are going to talk about, to take place. Now let us read our text, Rev. 10:1-6.

 

CLOUD CLOTHED ANGEL

 

“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: (That angel is none other than Jesus the Christ, in angelic form. We identify Him by the sound of His voice) and a rainbow was upon His head, (That is the same rainbow that was round about the throne, described by John in the 4th chapter where he is telling about being caught up in the Spirit and seeing a throne set in heaven. He saw one sitting on the throne that was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and he saw a rainbow round about the throne that was in sight like unto an emerald. That was Jesus the Christ setting on that throne, and the rainbow appearance around the throne is that crown of glory that the great Spirit, Elohim, has crowned Him with. He is invested with authority that has always been in Jehovah.) And His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire.” Do you remember the description given by Peter, James and John when they were privileged to view Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration with Moses and Elijah? What John is seeing here in the 4th chapter in this heavenly scene is what those disciples were allowed to have a preview of when Jesus took them with Him that day. In Matthew 17:2, we find, “And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light.” What I want you to see is that Matt. 17:2, Rev. 4:2-3, and Rev. 10:1, are all describing the appearance of Jesus the Christ. Remember though, in Chapter 10:1, He is only seen in angelic form; this is not to be looked upon as His next literal returning to the earth. Watch verse 2 now, and we will see what this might angel is to do. “And He had in His hand a little book open.” This has been translated, BOOK, when in actuality it should be SCROLL, so as we talk about it, think of it as a scroll that has been unrolled. This scroll that is now open in His hand is the same scroll that John saw in the hand of Him that sat on the throne in heaven, only when he saw it then it was rolled up and sealed with seven seals, and John was weeping because he thought there would be no one found that would be worthy to loose the seals and reveal the contents of what was written within. When John saw Jesus holding that scroll the first time, (Rev. 5:1) He was sitting on the mercy seat, still interceding for all who would be heirs of salvation. As long as there was one seal unbroken, still keeping the contents of that scroll from being revealed, Jesus could not leave that mercy seat. He must remain on the mercy seat until the last soul that will ever accept God’s grace has been interceded for; then that last seal can be broken, and when it is broken, Jesus can leave the mercy seat, and the picture in Rev. 10:1-6 can be fulfilled in its completeness.

 

IDENTIFYING VOICE

 

Alright, John sees this mighty angel with the little scroll open in His hand, set His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot on the earth. To me, this signifies that He is the supreme one, He is conqueror, He is the victorious one on land as well as on the sea. He has the authority to take possession of something. Watch this cry now, as we read verse 3, “And He cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth.” We all know that according to the Old Testament the Messiah to the Jewish nation was to come out of the tribe of Judah, which is the LION TRIBE; therefore the cry of this mighty angel being like as when a lion roareth lets us know who this mighty angel is. It can be no other than Jesus Christ, who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the coming King and the prince of the world in the millennium. He cried with a loud voice that identified Him, “And when He had cried, SEVEN THUNDERS uttered their voices.” That is the part we want to dwell on. AFTER He was seen with the little scroll open in His hand, and AFTER He was off of the mercy seat, and AFTER He had cried with aloud voice, THEN, SEVEN THUNDERS UTTERED T-H-E-I-R VOICES. John heard voices uttering something, and he was about to write it down, also, but he was told to seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered and write them not. John heard voices which he described as thunders, but those voices uttered something that John could have written if he had been allowed to. Keep that in mind as we proceed. We are going back into the Old Testament for the purpose of establishing VOICES, THUNDERS, TRUMPETS and the various things and circumstances that serve as keys to unlock the scriptures we are considering in this message. I believe a proper understanding of these things is vital to this end-time bride people. Brothers and sisters, you will see what I am getting at in just a moment. If what John heard was unimportant, God could have just wiped it from his mind so that when he wrote his record of this event it would have just ended with the words, “And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth,” but he did not stop there, and there definitely was a reason why he did not stop there. Remember, John being allowed to see the things he saw, set a type of the end-time bride who would also see these things, only she would see them as they actually transpire in her age. The voices spoke something that ONLY the end-time bride of Christ is to know and understand; therefore if God had allowed John to write those things, they would have been part of the written record that the whole apostate church world has had to play with for 1900 years. This is to show you why John was allowed to say, Seven thunders uttered their voices, after the angel which had the open scroll in His hand had cried with a loud voice.

 

THEIR VOICES

 

Saints: I only have an eighth grade education, but I do know that when the word T-H-E-I-R, is used, it has significance. It speaks of identity, of placing, personal, possessive, and so forth. Is that not right? I am explicitly pointing out to you that the word, THEIR, is not a figurative word. The actual key to this whole subject lies within two words in verse 3. T-H-E-I-R, is one, and V-O-I-C-E-S is the other. When you see, their voices, in its proper setting, you have a formula to work from. Voice and voices as used here are not figurative words either; they point to something that is actually being spoken in an audible voice. As I searched the scriptures that related to this message, I found only two places where the word, voice, was used in a figurative way. One place is in Hebrews 3:15, 4:7, where Paul is admonishing the people not to harden their hearts against the voice of the Holy Spirit. You can read the verses and you will see that the word, voice, as used there, is figurative, pointing to the still small voice of the Holy Ghost which is not an audible voice. Then you can turn to Revelation 3:20, where Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear my VOICE, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me,” and you will know that voice, in that verse, is the voice of the Holy Ghost also. Jesus never intended to speak to every candidate for truth, in salvation, by an audible voice; rather, He intends to speak to them through the office work of the Holy Ghost. He accomplishes that through conviction, and revelation of His word. In other words, if you have never heard the voice of the Holy Ghost, you will never be able to understand anything about the voice, or voices that we are going to talk about in this message. If you cannot hear His voice, you will never be able to hear the voices of Rev. 10:3. You will understand that statement better as we progress in the message.

 

BIBLE LANGUAGE

 

Let us go now, to the book of Exodus, where we will begin to establish what we are going to say about these voices. May God help me to make this as simple, plain and truth-revealing as is possible to do so. It is necessary for us to learn Bible language in order to catch a revelation from scriptures that are hidden from the eyes of the great men of the world. We know that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, but when he led the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, they did not have the written word as we have today; all they had was what their forefathers had passed on to them orally, concerning man’s origin and this whole creation of God. It was not until God called Moses to come up to the top of Mt. Sinai where He communed with him and gave him the written law, that they had anything written that could be called the word of God. Elohim (GOD) has separated this people to Himself, to make them the carriers of a revelation of truth, and their very existence was supposed to make them a light to the heathen (GENTILE NATIONS) round about them. It is no wonder this Gentile world wants to condemn Israel for her stand on the human rights controversy. Brothers and sisters, this is an Antichrist, anti God, Satanic age we are living in, and the world in general, is heading for destruction, but before it is all over, God is going to show these foolish (equal rights) Gentiles, who really has the straight line on equal rights, civil rights, and all these other things that people are fussing about. Israel is in the headlines most of the time now, but she will be even more in the spotlight as this Gentile age closes out.

 

TRUMPET-LIKE VOICE

 

Alright now, let us look at the scriptures. God has called Moses to come up upon this mountain, and He has set a boundary line at the foot of the mountain where the rest of the people are not to cross over while Moses is up there communing with God. Watch what takes place as God begins to speak. We are in Exodus 19:16, “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were THUNDERS and LIGHTNINGS, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the V-O-I-C-E of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.” Listen, saints, There was not one drop of rain falling on the top of Mt. Sinai that day. That was not a rain storm the people were witnessing; it was a manifestation of God’s presence. That thunder was not a natural thunder; it was Jehovah expressing Himself just like in John 12:28-29. Jesus had said, Father, glorify thy name. “Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. 29, The people therefore, that stood by and heard it, said that it THUNDERED: Others said, An angel spake to Him,” but Jesus called it a voice in verse 30, and we know it was the voice of God. Therefore, it was not necessary for Moses to put on a rain coat; all he needed to do was listen to the voice of God while the people down at the foot of the mountain heard the thunder claps, saw the lightning flashing, and trembled with great fear. Let us read on a little more. Verse 17, “And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the nether part (meaning, at the opposite end) of the mount. 18, And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, (meaning that it gave the appearance of being completely engulfed by smoke from a fire) because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.” Please try to catch the picture here. There was no forest fire on Mount Sinai. There was not one scorched twig of any kind. If there had been a literal fire of such a description; no man could have survived. He would have been suffocated. You say, But, Bro. Jackson, God protected the Hebrew children that was thrown into a furnace of fire, could He not have protected Moses likewise? Yes, He could have if He had purposed to burn up everything else on that old mountain, but that is not the picture we have before us here, and we will prove it by other similar scriptures. This was God’s way of getting the attention of the people. It was a display of His power and presence. 19, “And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a VOICE.” Moses said something to God, and God answered him back, by an audible voice. We confirm that by going over to Numbers 12:4-8, where God has to straighten out Aaron and Miriam for speaking against His servant, Moses. Let us read it. “And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forth. And He said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: Wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” God talked to Moses and the others were jealous, but God dealt with them accordingly. In this we see that God definitely did speak to Moses in an audible voice, but to all the rest of the people it sounded like thunder. Only Moses understood what was said. Remember this for a little later in the message. It will help you see something.

 

LITERAL OR FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE

 

Now, from here, on through the rest of the Bible please be aware of the fact that when we read of thunders, and trumpets in connection with voices, it can be one of three things, but never figurative, unless it is written in a figurative setting. It will either be the voice of God, the voice of an angel, or the voice of a man, or men. This is what clears up that great mystery of the seven thunders in Revelation 10:3; if we will look at it properly. The trouble comes from all these (arm full of Spoken Word books) preachers who run everywhere screaming that the seven thunders is the revelation of the seven seals. Go ahead and believe that if you want to, but if you will listen to this Bible talk to your soul, you will find out that when God uses a word, or when the word of the Lord is written in a singular term, VOICE, It doesn’t matter how many times that voice has preached messages, all those messages do not make VOICES, plural. Those message are all channeled through the one VOICE, singular. For an example I will refer you to Isaiah 40:3, where the prophet Isaiah is prophesying of a VOICE that is to cry in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Naturally he was speaking of John, the Baptist, or baptizer, who was to forerun the first advent of Jesus Christ. Pay attention to what I am saying now; this will help you to see something. John’s message, or ministry was for the purpose of fulfilling the first part of Malachi 4:5-6, which has a two part fulfillment. His message was to turn the heart of the fathers to the children, before the coming of the GREAT day of the Lord, which was His first advent. He was the VOICE of one crying in the wilderness; ONE VOICE. We all know that John preached for several days down by the Jordan river, and he had many things to say to various divisions of people, but he was just ONE VOICE. You cannot apply VOICES in the plural sense to the ministry of John. Can you? Of course you cannot, and neither can you apply it to Bro. William Branham like that either. He was a VOICE, singular, and there is no way that a right thinking person can apply VOICES, plural, to him, or to the message he delivered to this age. To believe he taught anything that was to fulfill 10:3, you would be forced to make him, VOICES, instead of a VOICE, for Rev. 10:3 says that SEVEN THUNDERS uttered T-H-E-I-R V-O-I-C-E-S. In other words, what I want you to see is that there is more than one voice involved in the fulfilling of this verse of scripture.

 

JOHN UNDERSTOOD THE THUNDERS

 

In the book of Revelation alone, the word, VOICE, is found 42 times, and VOICES is found 8 times, and there is no mystery involved in the use of those words anywhere except in verses 3 and 4 of chapter 10. There is a mystery here because John was not allowed to write what he heard. What am I getting at? Simply this, knowing that John had been projected into the future by means of a spiritual vision, he was allowed to stand in the age of fulfillment of this scripture we are considering, and actually see and hear what was taking place. Now, he makes it very clear that the thunders did not utter their voices until after the mighty angel had cried. Right? When that angel cried, He had the little scroll open in His hand, which lets us know that the seventh seal had been broken prior to that. The angel is identified by the rainbow upon His head, and by the cry, like a lion roaring, to be the same one that had previously been seated upon a throne, interceding for the souls of men. Here, John sees Him standing with one foot upon the sea, and the other on the earth, the book of redemption open in His hand, and verses 5 and 6 have Him proclaiming that time shall be no longer. Now that does not mean this is the end of all time; it simply means that the grace age is completed, and it is time for the gospel to return to the Jews. In other words, John is viewing events that are just ahead of us. We know that Jesus did not leave the mercy seat in 1963, for we have witnessed the Holy Ghost convicting and wooing many souls into the kingdom of God since then. Somewhere just up ahead of us, Jesus is going to descend to earth (not in bodily form, but in angelic form) to fulfill these scriptures in chapter 10, and when He does, I believe there will be 7 godly men strategically placed in this old world, who will hear the voice of the spirit of God, and sound THEIR VOICES to be heard by the little bride of Christ who is making her final preparations to meet the bridegroom in the air. Those seven thunders will be the voices of 7 men; not one man, and what they utter will be just for the living element of the bride of Christ. That is why John was not allowed to write it ahead of time as he did all the other things he heard and saw.

 

FAITH OF THE FATHERS

 

Please do not think there will be seven men selected from the seven major denominations of the world religion. No. They will be seven men who are full of the Holy Ghost, and who hear alike, believe alike, and speak the same thing. They may live thousands of miles apart, but they will all hear and speak the same. To me this is God’s way of vindicating His word in the midst of a sick, atheistic, carnal and idolatrous generation of Gentiles, and placing stability and confidence in the hearts of the living element of His bride as she prepared to take her flight. God knows we have had every kind of voice imaginable, raise up here at this end time, but time itself has proved that most of them were self inspired, and certainly not unctioned by the Holy Ghost. Many of them used to ask me, What do you think about 1977? I always said, It wouldn’t surprise me if God left every one of us here until after 1977 has come and gone, for I do not believe God will allow us to have that kind of a yardstick to measure time by. Many of those men who placed so much importance upon the year of 1977, because of something Bro. William Branham said, have traveled around this world telling how God sent a prophet to turn us back to the faith of the fathers, and their very approach to these things prove that they, themselves, have not been turned back to the faith of the fathers. The faith of the fathers is recorded in the pages of this precious old Bible. We do not have to carry around a big arm load of books to prove what the faith of the fathers was. Yes! I have read in many of those books what the messenger to this age had to say about certain Biblical doctrines and ordinances, and teachings of the New Testament which this Gentile world had departed from. God’s purpose in it all was to get His true people back into the book of all books (the Bible) where the faith of the fathers is clearly taught. Some poor miserable Gentiles have said, All we need now is a Seal Book, for it has every doctrine, and every revelation that the bride of Christ needs. Let me say this to you, You read that seal book one more time, and if it doesn’t point you back to the book where all these things come from, you are worse off than a Roman Catholic. Bro. William Branham preached, condemning Catholicism for what they did to the gospel. By the same authority, I must sound a word of condemnation for what you are doing to that man’s message, and for the reproach that you are bringing upon his name. It is no wonder the denominations are looking down their noses at anyone who is connected with the teaching of Bro. William Branham; the very way some of you speak of him automatically brands you as idolaters, and any denominational person who is not completely blind, can see through that. They say His teaching was of the devil, all because a bunch of unstable, weak minded Gentiles who do not even have the Holy Ghost, lift him up to be more than God meant for him to be. If they had the Holy Ghost they would know better than that. Jesus said the Holy Ghost would teach us all things, that He would take things of His and reveal them unto us.

 

HOLY GHOST AUTHORSHIP

 

The Holy Ghost wrote this book, and it was the Holy Ghost that caused Bro. William Branham to preach what he did, from this book, (the Bible) and I am fully persuaded that if he were still with us today, preaching, he would still take his text from the Bible like he always did before. Furthermore, he would no doubt be preaching things now that he did not even see before, and he would be preaching against this movement, that is following him so close in a carnal, verbal (without revelation) way. Oh! They spend hour upon hour searching through those books and tapes, looking for some hidden “nugget” (as they call them), that they can build another revelation from, when they ought to be searching the pages of this old Bible and let the Holy Ghost reveal to them what they need for this present hour. I heard him too, and I am thankful to God that I did, but what I am most thankful for is that he put me back in the book where I could read about the faith of the fathers, and allow the Holy Ghost to make it real in my own personal life. Hallelujah! Money cannot buy that.

 

SPEAKING SPECIFICALLY

 

Alright now, we see thunderings, lightnings and voices throughout the Bible. Naturally these are not the things that are preached to gain new converts to the gospel of Christ, but we who are on our gospel journey may gain much understanding of the plan and purpose of God by acquainting ourselves with the usage of these terms through the scriptures. Down through time, when Elohim (God) who is Spirit, and invisible to the human eye, chose to speak to a prophet about some coming event, those who were nearby heard His voice only as the sound of thunder. If you can see from the example we are using that God is able to speak specifically to certain ones, and have all the rest hear it only as thunder, it will help you to understand that these seven thunders of Revelation 10:3, are seven voices speaking on behalf of God, and only those who have spiritual ears will hear the specific instructions that will complete their word garment. All the rest of the world will just look upon it as they have the thunderings in the past when God was speaking. John was the voice of God, or voice for God, that stood between the Old, and the New Testament, between law and grace. Jesus said, The law and the prophets were until John, since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. That means you must make an effort. You cannot just drift into the kingdom of God; there is a whole mess of junk that we have to work our way through. It is almost like squeezing through a little hold in the wall where there is just enough room to barely get yourself through, and no room to drag anything along with you. The road into the kingdom of God is not a broad way; it is a straight and narrow way of ridicule and self denial, because of truth. John began to clear the right of way for that road of holiness as he stood there on the banks of the Jordan preaching repentance. He was a voice; the voice of one crying in the wilderness. When they asked him if he was the Messiah, he said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 

JOHN WAS A VOICE

 

The people were hearing the VOICE of a man, but it was the word of the Lord that was coming forth, so you cannot say the word, VOICE, is used in a figurative sense; it was a literal voice, the voice of a man who had a revelation in his soul. He was born of woman, grew up in the wilderness, was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb, and by that Spirit in him, he knew exactly what day to go down by the river and start a conversation with someone that would launch his ministry as the forerunner of Christ. Yes, he was a man, but the words he spoke did not originate with him; they originated in glory, and John served as an earthly receiver and transmitter of those words to the people. Then one day when he was baptizing some of those who had repented, Jesus stepped forth to be baptized. But John looked Him in the face and said, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? Jesus spake back to him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. At that, John baptized Him, and when He came up out of the water, the Spirit of Elohim (God) was seen descending like a dove and lighting upon Him: and a VOICE was heard from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, or whom I am pleased to dwell in.” There, we have another voice, the voice of Jehovah Elohim (Lord God) who is a Spirit and cannot be seen with the natural eye, but He spoke with an audible VOICE. Certainly, we do not have any trouble recognizing that this was not a symbolic usage of the word, VOICE, for it was the literal voice of God expressing His approval on what has been done. That makes the uses of the word we are considering, the VOICE of a man, John, and the VOICE of God. We have already read in St. John 12:28-29 where God spoke to Jesus from heaven with a literal VOICE, and the people which stood by said that it THUNDERED. They did not understand what was said for the words of the voice were spoken specifically to Jesus; they were not spoken to the others who stood by. Saints, I hope you are following my line of thought in these examples we are using, for I believe it will help you to understand our text scriptures in Revelation 10:1-6, if you can catch the pattern from these. The word of God is so beautifully laid out from the beginning to the end with keys that the Holy Ghost uses to unlock the mystery of it from God’s true children.

 

SAUL HEARD A VOICE

 

Let us continue now by looking at the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, who later had his name changed to Paul. This man was a Jew, raised up in the atheistic city of Tarsus, in south Turkey. Prior to his conversion he was one of the leading Pharisees on the Sanhedrin council in Jerusalem, a council that had supreme authority over all religious, civil, and criminal affairs at that time. He identifies himself as a Pharisee, and as being from the tribe of Benjamin, and blameless in every matter concerning the law of Moses. He felt that he had perfect knowledge of the written law of God, but as touching the church, he said, I persecuted it daily. This is why he was on the road the Damascus with letters of authority to arrest Christians, send them to Jerusalem, put them on trial and execute them. He was zealously doing what he considered to be a service to God, because those Christians seemed like nothing but a bunch of revolutionists to him, and he figured the best way to solve the problem was to get rid of the Christians. God had other plans though; He let old Saul get well on his way to Damascus, then suddenly, Saul’s attention was captured by a great light from heaven, and a VOICE, that said, “Saul, Saul, Why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 22:6-7.) Then in the 9th verse he says, “And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of Him that spake to me.” In another place he says they heard the voice. This lets me know, they heard something, but they did not understand what was said. Why? God was speaking specifically to Saul; it had nothing to do with those who were with him. Saul was the one who was foreordained to be a light unto the Gentiles, and it was time for him to start his Holy Ghost schooling in preparation for that mission. When God was finished with him, he was a changed man. He was caught up in a spiritual vision and shown things that were not written in the scriptures. That is how God prepared him to teach some things about the catching away of the saints, and the resurrection of the dead, that had not been previously taught. He was also shown some things that he did not feel the liberty to tell about. We know that from what he wrote to the Corinthian church in his 2nd letter, chapter 12, verses 1-6. In verse 2, he said, “I knew a man in Christ about 14 years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) such an one caught up to the third heaven.” He did not know if he was still in his body, or whether he was lifted out of it, but he did know that he was caught up to the third heaven and shown some things that he could not talk about. Notice verse 4, as he continues to relate this experience. 4, “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful (or convenient) for a man to utter.” In other words, he heard some things that did not pertain to the gospel message he was commissioned to deliver to the Gentiles. I hope you catch my point. That is exactly what happened with the apostle John in 96 A.D. when he was exiled to the Isle of Patmos because of the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ which he stood for. The fact that God shows a man something, and then lets that man mention that he saw, or heard it, certainly does not mean that what he saw or heard was ever recorded anywhere for others to find later. There are certain things that God does just for the benefit of the individual He is dealing with. In the case of John, he was commanded to write what he saw, in a book, and sent it to the seven churches which were in Asia, but he did not write everything he heard, for he heard some things that were not to be made known in his day. You can be sure of this one thing, when God desires to make a certain thing known, to a certain age, He will always have a vessel prepared that He can lift up in the Spirit and reveal it to. You say, Bro. Jackson, How do you know that? By the scriptural examples that we are considering, and by what God did through the messenger to this age, in our generation.

 

JOHN HEARD A VOICE

 

Let us go back to the first chapter of Revelation and read a few verses. We want to catch the setting here, and pay particular attention to the word, VOICE, in verse 10. In 96 A.D. when this was written, some 60 years have passed since the church was born in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. By this time, Christianity has been preached practically all over the old world. Even Thomas, (who is called doubting Thomas) one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, was martyred in Madras, India, in 53 A.D., so it is reasonable to assume that by 96 A.D. the gospel had been preached in the far regions of the old Roman Empire. At that time John was the only one of the twelve apostles of Jesus that was still alive, and he had been banished from society because he stood out like a sore thumb with his revelation and testimony of the things of God. They wanted to get him out of the way, and just let him die out there all alone. But he wasn’t alone! Jesus was with him! Hallelujah! He had the Holy Ghost down in his soul, and he loved Jesus with all his heart. Let us read it, verse 9. “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the Isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, (Brothers and sisters, that does not mean it was Sunday; he was projected into the future age of the millennium, for watch what he says next.) And heard behind me a great VOICE, (That is not a figurative word. He literally heard a voice.) As of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.” Where did that voice come from? That was a manifestation of the Elohim that was on Mt. Sinai with Moses. Notice the identity; the voice spoke like a trumpet. Only God Himself speaks like a trumpet in the scriptures. This opens up a beautiful picture of the oneness of the Godhead, for we know by other verses such as verses 1, and 17-18, that it is Jesus Christ doing the talking. (“I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”) Now He said, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last. (In the Hebrew it is not from A to Z, as it is in our alphabet; it is from A to O, Omega.) He is speaking as the incarnate God who was before all things, and who will always be. Up to verse 12, John had his back toward the voice that was speaking, but in verse 12, he says, And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks. The seven golden candlesticks is figurative language, but the voice has definitely been identified as that of Elohim (God). John was told to write what he saw and send it to the seven churches of Asia, and the 7 candlesticks symbolize the light of the seven churches. Verse 13, “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, (this speaks of the physical side of Jesus) clothed with a garment down to the foot, and gird about the paps with a golden girdle.” The description of how He was dressed lets us know this is the apparel of high priest. That is the office work that Jesus has been functioning in for over 1900 years now, ever since He ascended into heaven while His disciples stood watching. Notice verse 14, “His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow.” This shows that HE has been invested with authority, as a judge, and the white hair always speaks of ancient origin. White or grey hair speaks of age, doesn’t it? This lets us know that when Jesus was taken up, and seated on the right hand of the Father, He was crowned with the authority of Elohim, the sovereign Spirit who had no beginning and no end. He is the ancient of ancients. If His hair had any color mixed in it, there would be youth suggested, but the white like wool, as white as snow, suggests age. Here John sees the Son of man with His white hair and priestly garment, the garment of high priests, “And His eyes were as a flame of fire.”

 

POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY

 

Brothers and sisters, every detail of John’s description of the one who was speaking to him is figurative, speaking of certain positions of authority that has been invested in Him (Jesus) by Elohim, (Jehovah God of the Old Testament). When He truly comes back to earth to sit in the temple as the Jewish Messiah in the millennium, you will not see Him with white hair. You will see Him as the immortal man, perfect, in the prime of vigorous youth. He will be our elder brother one day, but do not try to picture Him in your mind according to John’s description here. You must catch the significance of the symbolism used here. I realize when you start talking like this, it leaves some people completely out on a limb, but that just goes to show that a person must have an ear to hear what the Holy Ghost is speaking. John was hearing the voice behind him, the voice as of a trumpet, but the minute he turns to see the one who is doing the talking, he starts describing Him. In verse 15, he said, “And His feet were like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.” Brass speaks of judgment. He stood in judgment for us, having taken our sins upon Himself. You will notice that His voice has changed as you read the last part of verse 15, “And His voice as the sound of many waters.” Even though His voice has changed its identity, there is no contradiction for this is figurative language expressing another office work of Jesus, the Christ. The voice as a trumpet identified the voice as being that of the incarnate, eternal God, speaking to mankind. Then the voice as the sound of many waters identifies Him in His mediatory office work, speaking to God on behalf of mankind. You can verify that by reading Rev. 17:15, where you will see that waters, speaks of people. A true revelation of the Godhead enables us to see both sides of the picture. In 1st Timothy 3:16, the apostle Paul said, “And without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” We see from that verse that God, the Elohim, the Jehovah Rafi of the Old Testament was manifested in the flesh of Jesus Christ. Then in 2nd Corinthians 5:19, we get a further explanation of why. “To wit, that God (SPIRIT) was in Christ, (THE MAN) reconciling the world unto (WHO?) Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” If you can see that, you will have no trouble understanding why He speaks with the authority of Elohim in one place, then turns right around and speaks, to Elohim, as a representative of mankind crying out to God for mercy. That is what an intercessor, or lawyer does; he speaks to the judge on behalf of those he is representing. As a prophet, on earth, Jesus spoke to the people in the behalf of God, but as high priest and intercessor, He speaks to God on behalf of the people. When He speaks on behalf of the people, His voice is as the sound of many waters.

 

VOICE AS MANY WATERS

 

When Ezekiel saw the glory of God coming into the millennial temple from the Mount of Olives, (Ezek. 43) he heard a voice as the noise of many waters, and the voice said, “Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile.” Now whose voice is this that Ezekiel is hearing as the sound of many waters? Who is it that will have a throne in the midst of the children of Israel for ever? No one but the Lord Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that it is the word, VOICE, that we are dealing with in these scriptures. We have already said that Revelation 3:20, is the only figurative use of the word in the whole book of Revelation. It is used figuratively, there, as the voice of the Holy Ghost, which is not an audible voice.

 

We will move to Revelation 4:1, where John heard the sound of a VOICE that sounded like a trumpet talking to him again. He has just finished hearing what he is to write, and send to the seven churches of Asia, and at the conclusion of the Laodicean letter he hears this trumpet-like voice say to him, “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” This sets a type of the rapture; just as John was taken up at the end of the Laodicean letter writing, so also will the bride of Christ be taken up, when God has the last one of His elect from this Laodicean age called in. What took John up? Verse 1, “After this (after finishing the Laodicean letter) I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven;” Alright then, John saw a door open in heaven, didn’t he? It was when he saw the door opened up, that he heard a trumpet-like voice saying, Come up hither. Now this was not a voice as many waters speaking here; this is the trumpet-like voice of Elohim, that voice of supreme authority. I believe that just as John saw a door opened up, and heard a voice speaking to him, the true bride of Christ will have a door opened up to her also, a door of revelation out of which God will speak to her. It was the voice that spoke, that took John up, and I firmly believe that we should make a spiritual application of this type that was set here. John was faithful to do what he had been instructed to do, and after he had finished the last letter (LAODICEAN) a door was opened and a voice said, “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” The next thing John knew, he was in the Spirit: viewing a heavenly scene, a throne set, and one sitting on it. There is not space to mention all the things that he saw, but did you know, what he was seeing was events and conditions pertaining to the time of the end, the closing of this age. He was projected into the future where he could watch the events of this very age as they actually took place. I am persuaded that we are on the threshold of seeing some things also. This little Gentile bride that has been faithful to wash herself in the waters of God’s word will soon see a door opened up also. It will be a door of revelation, a door of enlightenment, out of which God will be speaking to those who have ears to hear. That is when you will hear the thunders which so many are claiming have sounded already, and not before. Those thunders will be God’s way of speaking to the little bride, just before He takes her up, and furthermore let me say again, and again, Those thunders are seven voices, not a voice (singular) with seven message. I believe those voices will be seven Holy Ghost filled men who will speak on behalf of God, to the bride of Christ, as this age of grace closes out, and Jesus comes off of the mercy seat.

 

IS OUR GOD IDLE?

 

Surely those who believe that the thunders sounded in the year of 1963, must believe in an idle God. What has God been doing for the past 16 years if Jesus left the mercy seat in 1963? What about all these souls that you believe have been saved since then, even some of them being your own family members? How do you make that add up with your revelation? Then my next question is, How do you make this all add up with the infallible word of God? You say, Oh! Bro. Jackson, I did not say that Jesus left the mercy seat in 1963. Then do not say that the thunders sounded then either, for Rev. 10:3, makes it very clear that the thunders utter THEIR VOICES after the mighty angel has cried with a loud voice. Then let me remind you that verse 2, shows the angel with a little scroll open in His hand. That is the scroll of redemption and it will not be opened as long as Jesus is still interceding for lost Gentile souls, on the mercy seat. The voice that cried with authority as when a LION roareth, identifies the mighty angel as being that of Jesus Christ, in angelic form. In verse 6, we find Him swaring that there shall be time no longer. In other words, no more grace for Gentiles. Why? It is time for the gospel to go back to the Jews from where it came. We have said many times before that this book, or letter, which we call the book of Revelation, is not written in its order of fulfillment. We even published an article showing the order of fulfillment, so that you might be able to better understand some of the things, or events that seem to be so out of place when you read straight through it. That is why I say, If you will read it right, (according to its order of fulfillment) when you read verse 1, of chapter 8, you see that the seventh seal is opened, and there is about one-half hour of silence in heaven. I believe that the silence is brought about by the change of order that is taking place. No one but God knows when that seventh seal is to be broken, but when it is, Jesus will not remain on the mercy seat any longer. Therefore, just try to visualize the scene in heaven where all the heavenly beings have been used to seeing Jesus on the mercy seat interceding, and suddenly he opens that last seal on the little scroll, and begins to rise from the mercy seat. Why wouldn’t that create a hushed silence in heaven, as all those angels view this scene? Right there is where you have to place chapter 10, verses 1-6 in fulfillment, verses 7-11 go with it in John’s vision, but verse 7, applies to the seventh church age messenger who sounded while Jesus was still on the mercy seat. Verses 1-6 cover the next events that take place after the seventh seal is opened and Jesus leaves the mercy seat. Now He does not come to earth in fleshly form; He will not come like that until He comes at the end of the week of Daniel, to set up His earthly kingdom for the millennium, but He does come in angelic form, with the little scroll opened in His hand. The cloud, the rainbow, and the voice like a lion leave no doubt that this mighty angel is Jesus. Therefore, what the VOICES of the seven thunders utter, will be something for the little brides’s last minute preparation, after Jesus is off the mercy seat, and before she is taken up. When these thunders begin to sound, grace will be over for the Gentiles, for the mighty angel that cries with a loud voice, and swares that time shall be no more, turns immediately to the Jews. That is where we go back and pick up verses 2-18, of chapter 8, for those trumpet angels that begin to sound in those verses, are the angels that accompany the two witnesses of chapter 11:1-6. If you will study it closely you will discover that the events of chapter 8:2-13, are the same events as chapter 11:1-6. The angels of chapter 8, are ministering the things that the two witnesses are calling for, as they prophesy to Israel for three and one-half years, beginning when Jesus leaves the mercy seat with the little scroll opened in His hand. That three and one-half years that they prophesy in Israel will be the time when the events of chapter 7, verses 1-8, will be fulfilled. Those angels seen holding back the four winds of the earth, are actually holding back the winds of world conflict that will eventually lead to Armageddon. They are holding back the winds of the great tribulation, which will climax with the battle of Armageddon, until after the 144,000 servants of God have been sealed with the Holy Ghost under the ministry of those two witnesses. Then in the middle of the week of Daniel, after the 144,000 servants of God have been sealed, and another element of the Jews, (referred to in Rev. 12:6, as the woman) have received the Holy Ghost, and been warned about the Antichrist, and instructed as to how to escape his wrath, the two witnesses will be killed and the great tribulation will begin to take its toll on mankind. This takes you back to chapter 11, verses 7-14. I just put this in here to help get the order of events straight in your minds. That will help clear up our text scripture in Rev. 10:1-6.

 

GRACE STILL IN EFFECT

 

No one can prove to me that the angel of chapter 10:1, has cried already. Therefore I say the seventh seal is yet unbroken, and there is still grace for us Gentiles. Then (I must keep saying this) if the seventh seal is yet unbroken, we know the thunders have not yet sounded THEIR VOICES. Oh Christian friends, whoever you are, and wherever you are in this old world, Do you really think that chapter 10, is all fulfilled, and still time is continuing on without God sending His two witnesses to the nation of Israel? God does not allow time to stand still for 16 years, with no Gentiles being saved, and no one revealing Christ to the nation of Israel. It is true the application of part of chapter 10, had its beginning in 1963, when God gave Bro. William Branham the revelation of the seals, but do not forget, only 6 of those seals were revealed completely, and even then, the 6th seal does not have its fulfillment until after the 7th seal has already been fulfilled, for the 6th seal pertains to the tribulation period of time. What we see in chapter 10, is a revelation fo what God will do for us Gentiles in these last days, and the application of this chapter will be here until after the gospel has already gone back to the Jews. When the Gentile bride is hearing the 7 THUNDERS (VOICES OF 7 MEN) Israel will be hearing her two witnesses as they move on the scene. Remember, the same angel that cries with a loud voice in chapter 10, and swares by Him that liveth for ever and ever that there should be time no longer, is the one you read of in Daniel, chapter 12, which also sware by Him that liveth for ever. Daniel had been fasting and praying and seeking God on behalf of his people, Israel, when he began to have dreams and visions that troubled him greatly. He saw four great beasts come up out of the sea, and the fourth was the most terrible of all the other. God sent an angel to explain the vision to Daniel, and he learned that the four beasts represented four great world kingdoms that would rule the earth. We know from history, that these kingdoms were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and the fourth and most terrible one, Rome. This one was exceedingly strong, with great iron teeth, and it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet. It had ten horns, and from the midst of the ten came a little horn that plucked up three of the ten, by the roots. This little horn had eyes like a man, and a mouth speaking great things. Daniel watched him through a span of time and saw him make war with the saints and prevail against them, until the Ancient of days came, (that is when Jesus comes back to earth to set up His millennial kingdom) and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High: and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. You can read all this in Daniel 7:1-27. Then as you go on over to chapter 9, you will find that the angel, Gabriel, came to Daniel, and explained to him that there had been 70 weeks of years, determined by God, upon the people of Daniel, (Israel) to finish their transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Daniel also learns that there is to be a time of trouble come upon his people, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time his people would be delivered, even everyone whose name was found written in the book. 12:2, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Verse 4, But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased, 5, Then I, Daniel, looked and, behold, there stood two others (angels) the one on one side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. 6, And one said to the man clothed in LINEN, who was upon (or above) the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” This is the one of the angels standing on the bank of the river, asking of the angel that is above the water, the angel which is clothed in linen, How long will it be before all this is over with? This linen garment has significance, but notice the words of this next verse. There is only two places where you will find this angel holding up his hands and swaring by Him that liveth for ever. Here in Daniel 12:7 is one, and the other is in Revelation 10:6. Let us read this verse 7, then I want to show you something.

 

ANGEL CLOTHED IN LINEN

 

“And I heard the man CLOTHED IN LINEN, which was upon the waters of the river, when he lifted up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, (ONE YEAR) times, (TWO MORE YEARS) and a half; (SIX MONTHS) and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished,” meaning the visions of Daniel will all be fulfilled. The Antichrist, which will be the pope of the Roman Catholic church in the hour of time that this prophecy covers, is the little horn that rises up to such a place of power, as Daniel saw in the vision, but his reign will be brought to an end when the Lord Jesus Christ comes from heaven with His mighty army, Rev. 19:11-21.

 

Now I want to show you something about this mighty angel that swares by Him that liveth for ever. In Revelation 10:5-6, He is seen standing upon the sea and upon the land, lifting up His hand to heaven, and swaring by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven and earth, and all things therein, that there should be time no longer. Verse 1, shows us that He is clothed with a cloud, and crowned with a rainbow. You will remember that when Jesus ascended from the earth He was received by a cloud that took Him from the sight of His disciples, then, in 1st Thessalonians 4:17, we find that He is going to meet His little bride in the clouds when it is time for her to take her journey. In Matthew 24:30: He is described as coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and in Matt. 26:64, Jesus said, (speaking of Himself) “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Daniel saw one like the Son of man that came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days. Now I call these scriptures to your attention to point out the fact that Jesus, the Christ, has been concealed in the clouds in this bride age, or Gentile age, and He comes, clothed with a cloud, to announce the closing of time for Gentiles, in Revelation 10:1, 5-6, but I want you to notice that when He is seen in Daniel 12:7, announcing 3 ½ years of great tribulation on the nation of Israel, He is not clothed with a cloud any longer. He is seen there, in linen, the same as His wife is clothed with, in Revelation 19:8. That shows us that this same Jesus who has taken Him a bride from among the Gentiles, and is arrayed in fine linen, is now revealed to the Jews. How is He revealed? By the two witnesses that prophesy to them for 3 ½ years before this great tribulation falls upon them. No, He will not be concealed by a cloud cover when it is time for those Jews to know who He is; that is just for this Gentile age, where those who believe on Him must do so through the testimony of those who have seen Him face to face. The Jews were privileged to see Him face to face, walk and talk with Him, but Gentiles have had to walk with Him by faith while He has been concealed in the clouds of heaven.

HOW MUCH LONGER?

 

Let us go back to Daniel 12:7 now for just a minute and try to clear up some misunderstanding in the minds of those who do not yet see clearly what is being set forth there. Notice now, this angel which is above the waters of the river, (clothed in linen) is answering a question asked by one of the other angels, concerning the things that Daniel has seen in the visions. Daniel’s visions covered a great span of time, and many events, but we will concentrate for now on the things that pertain to this end time. Verse 1, of chapter 12, speaks of a time of trouble; verse 2, speaks of they that turn many souls to righteousness, and verse 4 speaks of how many people will run to and fro, and how knowledge shall increase. In that verse 4, Daniel is also instructed to shut up these words, and seal the book for its contents are not to be understood until the time of the end. Hearing all these things that had been explained to Daniel concerning his visions and the fulfillment of them, one of the other angels that stood by, asked the question, How long will it be before all these things have come to pass? Remember now, his question includes the time of peace when many souls are turned to righteousness, as well as the time of trouble. (Many souls will be turned to righteousness by the preaching and prophesying of the two witnesses of Rev. 11.) Therefore when the answer came (from the angel above the waters) it was to cover all the events that had been mentioned, but notice, it did not say how long it would be in relation to the whole scope of time, (according to the words of Jesus, no one but God Himself knows the exact time when this age will close out) it only told how much longer it would be to the end, AFTER HE (THE ANTICHRIST) has accomplished the scattering of the power of the holy people. Who is the holy people He is referring to? Jews, of course. When will this scattering take place? In the middle of the week of Daniel, when the Antichrist breaks his peace covenant, causes the Jews sacrifice and evening oblation to cease, kills the two witnesses, and sits himself up in their temple showing himself as God, (Dan. 9:27, Rev. 11:7, 2nd Thes. 2:4). That is when the WOMAN (the spiritual element of the Jews, apart from the 144,000 servants) will flee into the wilderness, into the place that God has prepared for her, a place where she will be protected and cared for throughout the whole period of 3 ½ years of great tribulation, (Rev. 12:6, Rev. 12:14) and that is when the 144,000 servants that have been sealed with the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Rev. 7:3-8) will scatter and go back to the nations that they have returned from, to preach the everlasting gospel, (Rev. 14:6) warning their fellow brethren, (according to the flesh) and the foolish Gentile virgins, not to worship the beast, nor have anything to do with the image of the beast, lest they perish in the soon to come, wrath of God that is to be poured out upon those who do so, Rev. 14:7-11. (We do not have the space to explain fully, all that we are mentioning here, but we do have other articles that explain all of these things in their particular setting. You may have them upon request if there is something mentioned here that you do not understand.)

 

FROM AROUND THE WORLD, TO ISRAEL

 

Alright now, in answer to the angel’s question, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? This chief angel raised His hands and sware by Him that liveth for ever, (This angel called to Abraham when he was about to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and swore by Himself to Abraham concerning a promise to bless him, and the apostle Paul picked it up in his letter to the Hebrews, chapter 6, verse 1, and showed that it was actually, God, swaring by Himself to Abraham), that there will still be, a time, times, and a half time (3 ½ years) left, after he (the Antichrist) has accomplished his scattering of the holy people (Jews). Daniel had heard but did not understand the answer, so he says to the angel, (verse 8) “O my Lord, What shall be the end of these things?” (Just hold your place there in Daniel 12, and let me come back to that after I show you something else, before it leaves my mind). I will go quickly, back to Rev. 10:1-3, and then come back to Daniel 12:7, to show you something that is portrayed in these two chapters. In Rev. 10, where the mighty angel is standing with His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot upon the earth, it presents a universal picture. It shows that what He is announcing there is to have a universal application. Why? Because the Gentile bride from this age of grace, has come in from every nation under heaven. She includes people from all races and creeds, people who have laid their traditions aside for a true revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, and have then followed Him in repentance, and baptism in His name. It is to the living element of this bride people (which is still universal) that the seven thunders will sound THEIR VOICES, and their sounding will take place AFTER the might angel has cried with a loud voice, and declared that time for the Gentiles has run out. Now when we come back to Daniel 12:7, we find this same angel (identified to be the same angel, by the fact that He swares by Him that liveth for ever) upon the waters of THE RIVER, a certain geographical spot, not upon the land and upon the sea, as in Rev. 10. This pinpoints the fact of who He is turning to when He closes time for the Gentiles. He is talking to Daniel, concerning his people, and Daniel’s people are Jews, so we see here, that He has left His universal position, where He was clothed with a cloud, and is now being revealed to Daniel’s people, clothed in linen. Remember, Daniel’s visions climaxed with the end of this age when Jesus would come to set up His millennial reign from the throne of David, in Jerusalem.

 

1260 DAYS – 1290 DAYS – 1335 DAYS

 

Now we will come back to what the angel said to Daniel when he asked, “What shall be the end of these things?” This angel said, “Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. (Notice verse 10, now.) Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried: (talking about those of Daniel’s people who will find their place in God’s plan of redemption) but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; (that political minded, materialistic element of Jews who sell out to the Antichrist, cannot possibly understand the message of the two witnesses, for they will be speaking spiritual things, neither will the wicked element of Gentiles understand the message of the seven thunders, for those SEVEN MEN will be speaking spiritual language that only the bride of Christ will understand.) but the wise shall understand. Verse 11, And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, (that is in the middle of the Seventieth week of Daniel’s prophetic scope) there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” Some people read this verse 11, and think there is a contradiction in the scriptures because it gives an extra 30 days more than the time allotted to the Antichrist. This definitely has to be a period of time when the wrath of God is being poured out upon wicked mankind at the conclusion of the 1260 days of great tribulation. I will back that up by taking you to the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:29-30, and then let you turn to Revelation 19:11-21, and read what happens when He comes back to earth with power and great glory. We are reading in Matthew 24, to show you when He is coming back, now notice the words of verse 29. “IMMEDIATELY A-F-T-E-R the TRIBULATION of those days (That is the thousand two hundred and threescore days, 1260 days, 3 ½ years by the prophetic calendar, that the woman in Rev. 12:6, is fleeing from the wrath of the beast.) shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:” Be sure you catch the wording of this verse or you will not be able to account for the extra days that Daniel mentioned. We know from the many other scriptures that the Antichrist has a full 1260 days of prophetic time allotted to him from the time he breaks the covenant with Israel in the middle of the week, until the wrath of God begins to be poured out upon him. This is the period of time referred to as the great tribulation, a time of trouble upon a nation of people, according to Daniel 12:1. Now this verse here in Matt. 24:29, speaking of the time when Jesus comes back to earth, lets us know that it will be IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation of those days. When He comes back it will be a time when the wrath of God will be poured out upon wicked mankind, and naturally there will be a period of time involved. When you read verse 12 of Daniel, chapter 12, you will discover that there is still another 45 days added on to the 1290 days, making a total of 1335 days altogether, from the middle of the week until those who are left alive, find themselves over in the millennium, with Christ on the throne of David. There is still no cause for alarm though, because it will be necessary to cleanse and rededicate the temple and altar and everything that has been defiled by the Antichrist and his beast system. Daniel says, verse 12, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” This is still the angel speaking to Daniel, and he says, “But go thou (Daniel) thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of these days.” Naturally that will be in the millennium, after all that Daniel has seen in His visions, has come to pass.

 

BRIDE – YOU MUST KNOW

 

Brothers and sisters: Listen to me; I am not going into all these details just to take up space in this message. No, I believe the time has come that the true bride of Christ MUST know what is going on, and in order for her to know, she must get these thunders in their proper place. You just cannot have the angel of Rev. 10, crying, time is finished for the Gentiles, 16 years before the trumpet angels of chapter 8, start working with the two witnesses who will mark the starting of the week of time yet left to the Jews. I believe most of you know what I mean. When it is time for God to start marking time for the Jews again, Jesus will open that 7th seal, Rev. 8:1, that brings about the one half hour of silence in heaven. The next thing to be fulfilled is chapter 10:1-6, closing time for the Gentiles, and when that takes place: those trumpet angels of chapter 8:2-13, are ready to start sounding, marking time for Israel. In other words, when Rev. 10:6, is fulfilled, that same angel who announces the closing of Gentile time, there, then turns to the Jews to fulfill Daniel 12. He is no longer in His universal position, with one foot on the sea, and the other on the land. He is seen here, in one geographical spot, announcing time for Israel, one nation. I hope this is making sense to you; it will get rid of a lot of cobwebs if you can see it clearly. The main things as we study these prophetic scriptures, is to watch the keys that unlock them.

 

HEAVENLY THRONE

 

Let us go back to Rev. Chapter 4, now, and pick up where we left off. In verse 3, John gives a description of the one he saw sitting upon the throne. Then in verse 4, he says, “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting.” You will see later that these elders play a part in what John sees and hears. They were clothed in white raiment; and had crowns of gold upon their heads. What a magnificent sight for this little mortal man to be viewing. That throne he was viewing, was not just some ordinary looking chair; it would have been more like, we will say, a huge, square platform with a great throne chair in the center of it. The point of it is this though, the platform, and all this, made up the whole throne of God, and round about this huge platform was twenty four seats, and in each seat he saw someone sitting, clothed in white raiment, with crowns of gold upon their heads. He saw a sea of glass before the throne, that looked like crystal, and in the midst of the throne and round about the throne, he saw four beasts full of eyes before and behind. These beasts represent the embodiment of the power of God that guards the throne and the access to what is in the midst of that throne. Keep in mind; this is a great display of the glory and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ, who once lived and walked on earth among men, but has now been taken up, and is seated in the center of all that. He is crowned with a rainbow, sitting there dressed as a high priest, with the authority to speak to Elohim. This is perfectly in line with Matthew 28:18, where Jesus spake to His disciples saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” In other words, He has all the authority of Elohim bestowed upon Him, and John is allowed to view all this in a vision. Then while John stood looking at all this majestic splendor, he began to be aware of certain manifestations. Rev. 4:6, “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices.” Where was this taking place? It was coming right out of the midst of the throne. This lets us know that whatever he heard, it had its origin within that throne. With that in mind, as we study the rest of the book of Revelation, let us be aware that whenever, and wherever a voice, and voices utter, the authority for it, comes from the midst of the throne of God, which is the throne of the Lord Jesus Christ. No man can speak a truth, unless it has its origin from the midst of the throne of God. We are dealing with things that you will not find written in the pages of your Bible, things that do not come out of Bible schools and seminaries. Do not tell me that God is confined to what is written in the pages of the Bible; He is an ever present, living God, who is able to speak to His people at any time. He is limited only by certain principles which He, Himself established, as far as time factors, and means. The thunderings and lightnings here, lets us know that God is going to speak. Whatever is spoken will originate from the throne of God.

 

WHO IS WORTHY

 

Now as we go to the 5th chapter we find John viewing something that is taking place there in the heavens. He says, “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book (SCROLL) written within and on the back side, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel (watch for the word, VOICE,) proclaiming with a loud voice.” A strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice is heard now, and his authority comes from within the throne which issues all the thunderings, lightnings and voices, and everything that is going to take place. It will all have its origin there. Now John might have heard a hundred voices right there, but this lets us know that when the thunders sound, the message they carry will originate right there and will be channeled to the respective vessels that God has chosen to do His speaking. Notice now this strong angel proclaims with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book, (or scroll) and to loose the seals thereof?” Brothers and sisters, the scene changes here; John immediately begins looking for someone who is worthy to loose those seals. How would you have felt in his place? What would have been your reaction? There he was, viewing this heavenly scene, and hearing these things, just a little old mortal man whose body was probably left lying down there on the rocks when he was lifted up in the spirit to see and hear these things. Try to imagine the setting. When John hears this strong angel proclaiming, “Who is worthy,” he looks, and in every direction, he sees a beautiful angel that surely ought to be worthy to open the seals, but not one of them make a move, so John begins to weep. He says, “And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look therein.” Notice who does the talking next; not an angel, but one of the elders said to John, “Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the SEVEN seals thereof.” We certainly know who the Lion of the tribe of Judah is. It is Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah. Right? The elder told John that He, (Jesus Christ) HATH, (past tense) prevailed to open the book and to loose the seven seals. When did he do that? He did it 2000 years ago when He, as a sacrificial Lamb, offered His life upon the altar of God for the sins of all lost mankind. Where is He now when He is seen in this vision? He is seated in the midst of the great throne with the little scroll in His hand. That has been His position for the past 2000 years as He interceded for the contents of that little scroll. In that little scroll is all the names of those who will ever accept God’s plan of redemption, and Jesus is interceding for them with the scroll still sealed up. When the seventh seal is broken His intercessory work will be over; He will leave that mercy seat, and there will be no more grace for us Gentiles. Alright now, think about this; the Lion of the tribe of Judah HATH prevailed, and when He prevailed, He did not do it as a Lion, He accomplished it as a lamb, so it is on the merits of what He did as a sacrificial Lamb that makes Him worthy so watch verse 6. “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elder, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.”

 

JESUS IS THE LAMB

 

Saints: Listen to me! Here is where we must be spiritual. This is symbolic language. There is no literal Lion, and neither is there a literal Lamb, and especially not a lamb with 7 horns and 7 eyes. That would be a freak. Remember, this is pictured like this to John to represent what Jesus was, and did in respects to the things he is witnessing, but as we read these verses, keep your eyes on Jesus, the one seated in the midst of the throne; He never moved from His position one bit. But as John watched this panoramic scene, his eyes still on Jesus, he sees this animal like creature come and take the little scroll out of the hand of Jesus, the one sitting on the throne. Do you see why this has to be looked at as a symbolic picture? It was Jesus on the throne holding the scroll, in His intercessory role and it was Jesus in His role as a sin offering (a Lamb) that prevailed, and therefore was worthy to open the scroll, but in actuality the scroll remained in the hand of the one seated on the throne, and it will continue to remain there until the end of this Gentile age. Verse 7, “And he (the Lamb) came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof? (Listen now, this definitely identifies the one who is taking the book out of the hand of the one who is sitting on the throne) for thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God by the blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” This was being sung as a song to the Lamb when he came and took the little scroll to open the seals, but Saints: We all know that Jesus did not look like a Lamb when He was hanging there on that old cross with His blood spilling from His pierced side. He was a man then, and He will always be a man, but these various descriptions of Him, call attention to the various phases of man’s redemption, and how the very God-man Himself was, and is, everything we need. Like I have said before: we sing that little chorus, He is all I need, and that is the absolute truth; we do not need any other God nor prop to lean on but Him, but I wonder if we really do have the reality of that down in our spirit to the extent that we apply it in every situation?

 

Remember now brothers and sisters, it was Jesus that broke the seals in the year 1963, Bro. William Branham was just the earthly vessel that the revelation of these seals was transmitted through. God never leaves Himself without a vessel to work through in His dealings with mankind. That is why I say that there is no doubt in my mind that there are two Jewish men somewhere right today, that God will anoint with the spirit, or anointing of Moses and Elijah to fulfill Rev. 11:1-8, when the hour arrives. By the same token: I believe there are seven Holy Ghost filled men somewhere in the world today that God is preparing to fulfill Rev. 10:3, when it is time for the bride of Christ to hear the message of the seven thunders. Now some may say, Bro. Jackson, I just do not believe it like that. I say, That is your privilege, but we are furnishing enough scriptural foundation, to build this thought on solid ground, therefore if you are just being stubborn, or you just do not have a proper attitude about it; it is very doubtful that you could hear any kind of thunder from God. We are going into great detail, pointing out the singular, and the plural uses of certain words which we believe furnish us with keys to unlock these mysteries. We further believe that those who have ears to hear, will hear, and be ready when Jesus returns for His redeemed bride.

 

THE LAMB IS WORTHY

 

Now it was the four beasts and the twenty four elders that sang the song to the Lamb of His worthiness to open the scroll, but I want you to notice this verse 11,here in the 5th chapter. “And I beheld, (This is John speaking) and I heard the VOICE (SINGULAR) of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud VOICE, (SINGULAR) Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.” Let me test you a little right here. Did you catch from what was said, why the word VOICE was used in the singular when it actually applied to so many? It was because they were all saying the same thing, in unison. It sounded like one great voice. That is enough to make anyone tremble. Who were they giving glory to? Jesus, of course. But they were giving glory to Him based on the merits of what He accomplished on earth as the perfect sacrificial Lamb, without spot or blemish. Oh, Saints! It is such a beautiful picture when God draws back the curtain and allows us to see by revelation just how he, the very God who created all things incarnated a human body, and through the office work of the one Son of God (not another person, but another office work of the one God) worked to perfection every phase of our redemption. He took upon Himself the sins of all lost mankind, suffered on the cross, went into the lowest parts of hell itself to conquer death, hell, and the grave, and then ascended back to glory to sit as the Highest of all. HALLELUJAH! What a redemption! How can we help but praise Him? He truly is worthy of all praise.

 

BREAKING OF THE SEALS

 

Let us drop down to chapter 6 now, and this brings us to the time when the Lamb is going to start breaking the seals. Now, Who is going to break the seals? Jesus Christ, while He is still high priest. Verse 1, “And I saw when the Lamb (which is Jesus Christ) opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.” The voice of this beast sounded like thunder. Now many of you here in Faith Assembly sat right in the tabernacle and heard the messenger, the prophet to this age, when he preached the seals. You heard him say with your own ears, and others can read it in the sermon books, When the first seal was opened, John, in heaven, heard it thunder, but there was only one thunder sounded. What was the significance of that? It signifies that God was speaking, and not at random, but specifically. You read it, or listen to the tape and you will see, that is exactly what the prophet messenger experienced. Now I did not hear it thunder, and neither did any of you, but that is how God dealt with Bro. William Branham. God spoke specifically to him. How? By revelation, revealing to him thins that were written, but no man understood up until then. The thunder identifies it as being God speaking, but please notice that there were no more thunders sounded in connection with the opening of the other seals that were revealed at that time. It wasn’t necessary; the one thunder was enough to identify the one speaking, and He gave Bro. William Branham the revelation of the first six seals to make known to the church. Then as he was closing that series of teaching, he said, When the seals started to open there was one thunder but when the 7th seal was opened and we see Him (the Lord Jesus Christ in angelic form) standing on earth, there was 7 distinct thunders, one right after the other. In other words, it was different than the one thunder that was heard when the seals began to be opened. Brothers and sisters: Regardless of what some of these preachers are saying, and teaching, about the 7 thunders being the revelation of the seven seals; don’t you believe that for one moment. It absolutely is not. They did not hear it right. They did not even read their Bible right, or they would know better. That is why I have purposed to take as much time as is necessary to thoroughly deal with this subject, and get the word VOICE, and also VOICES, properly identified and placed in a scriptural setting. I am not concerned very much with what some of these carnal minded, so called preachers, may say about this message, for they could never interpret it anyway except carnally, no matter what we say. This lets me know, the real revelation of these things belongs only to the bride of Christ. Praise God! I’m so glad Jesus talks to His people. It is these carnal teachers who cannot hear from God themselves, that is throwing many people off the true course. Now in verse 6, John heard A VOICE saying something. Then in verse 7, when the fourth seal is opened the word VOICE, occurs again. Verse 7, “And when He had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.” You will notice this is one of the four beasts doing the talking, but it is very clear that it is not figurative. It is a literal voice, and it is speaking specifically to John. In the spirit John is actually standing and seeing these things take place, and hearing the VOICE that speaks to him. The horses are symbolic, but the VOICE that John hears is a literal voice. As we said earlier, the word VOICE, always points to God speaking, angels speaking, or the voice of a man or beast. I did not mention beast the last time, but the emphasis is on the fact that the voices are literal, and not figurative, and the beast is symbolic. Animals do not talk.

 

SEAL OF GOD

 

Let us go to chapter 7, now. This chapter, or I should say, the first 8 verses of this chapter fulfill God’s plan for the nation of Israel right at the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel. At least that is when this angel we read of here begins to show himself. Verse 1, “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud VOICE to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads.” Brothers and sisters, we all know that if we were standing out in the open looking into the Eastern sky and suddenly we would see an angel coming over the horizon of the earth; he would definitely look like he was climbing. Would you not say so? That is why John saw him as though he was ascending. Actually what he is seeing is that angel of God which has watched over the gospel of Jesus Christ from the time it left Jerusalem there in the first century when the apostles began to go forth taking it to the Gentiles, until this present hour. That angel has been with the gospel as it spread all through Europe, stayed with it right through the Dark Ages, and stayed with it right on into the new world. The gospel came to America and Canada, and since the reformation it has been around the world through various missionaries, but that angel has been set to guard over the true revelation that is contained therein, and now John sees him after the truth has been restored back to the gospel and it is now ready to take back to Israel. It could not go back to those Jews until it has restored back to its original form just like it left there over 1900 years ago. When John sees him: he is taking the gospel home through the witness of those two prophets. He could not take it back to those Jews until it was restored to its true apostolic form. Now John hears him crying with a loud voice, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till WE have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. John said this angel had the seal of the living God. What is the seal of the living God? It is none other than the baptism of the Holy Ghost. He is going back to the Jewish nation that they may receive the genuine baptism of the Holy Ghost, and come to know exactly who Jesus Christ is, that He is their long awaited Messiah. When you connect that to the 14th chapter of Rev., you see the results, for there you find 144,000 Jews with the Lamb’s Father’s name written in their foreheads. We know that name is Jesus, for Jesus, the Lamb, said that He came in His Father’s name. He manifested the Father’s name to those whom the Father had given to Him out of the world, and He kept them in the Father’s name.

 

Now we talk about the gospel being restored to its original form and some folks still do not know what we mean. For them I want to say this, That angel would never allow the gospel to return to the Jews until it was completely free from every trace of trinity teaching. It must be a one God message, and baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost recognized as the seal of God before that angel will allow it to go home. But, when the time is right, for chapter 7 to be fulfilled that angel will be heard calling for the other four angels to hold back the winds of world conflict until WE, (plural) have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. That angel is going to work with two prophets until they have seen 144,000 Jewish men receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost. As we have said already, while those two witnesses are busy preaching and prophesying for the purpose of calling out the 144,000 there will be others who will hear, believe, and receive the Holy Ghost, but they will spend the last 3 ½ years of the 70th week of Daniel hiding from the beast; while the 144,000 men will be going to their brethren in dispersion, preaching the everlasting gospel, Rev. 14:6. That verse says the angel had the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on earth of every kindred and tongue and people, but you know, and I know, that angels do not preach, so who will do the preaching? The 144,000.

 

A GREAT MULTITUDE

 

Now let us look at verse 9, of this chapter 7. John says, “After this (the sealing of the 144,000, and the great tribulation) I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands: And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” What we have here is a great multitude crying out, but voice is used in the singular again, and the reason is the same; It is the voice of unity. They are all crying the same thing at the same time. All the angels, the twenty four elders, and the four beasts are standing around the throne and they fall on their faces and worship God, but notice who it is that talks to John. That is why I said, Keep your mind on those elders. Verse 13, “And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they.” The elder is asking John who these are, and where they came from, but John didn’t know, so he just turns the question right back to him by saying, “Sir, thou knowest.” That is the same as saying, I do not know but you do, so you tell me. This is the only place you will find the word Sir, but it certainly proves that the voice speaking to John is not the voice of God in this case; neither is it the voice of an angel. You will notice here that John did not fall down and try to worship this one, but rather, called him, Sir, and said, You tell me. Brothers and sisters: I have said it before; These elders definitely have to be the patriarchs and the apostles who were redeemed from among mankind. That is how God sets up His theocratic government. The word elder is used to designate someone set in a position of authority to represent others to a higher position. John spoke to him, (the elder) just like you would the President of the United States, calling him Sir, recognizing his authority. You will not find any place in the Bible where a prophet or any man ever referred to an angel, as Sir. This is a word that is related to fellow man. Saints I realize that some will say this is contradictory to say that John is seeing the twelve patriarchs and the twelve apostles, when He, Himself, is one of the twelve apostles, but do not let that cause you any problem. Remember, John is lifted up in the Spirit and carried to a future age. He also saw his name written in one of the twelve foundation stones of the new city, (Rev. 21:14) while he was looking into the future. He was looking all the way into the millennium where the 12 patriarchs are representing their tribes to the one seated on the throne, and the twelve apostles who took what God had done through those 12 tribes, and the words of Jesus, and represented it to mankind in that first age, there before the throne representing all who believed their witness. As far as John seeing himself as one of those elders: that is no strange thing. Just suppose God would see fit to let some of us look 2000 years into the future; we would see ourselves doing something. Is that right?

 

Saints there is a lot more I want to put in this message while we are dealing with the subject of the seven thunders, and I cannot get it in the space we have this month, so please bear with us until the July issue where we will go into chapter 8, and show you something of what those two witnesses will be doing when that 70th week of Daniel starts for the Jews. We also want to deal with what John heard, a little more yet, for I believe there is a key to the great mass of confusion that is locked up in the midst of those who try to follow the prophet’s message. Men are struggling, trying to find the message of the seven thunders in something that Bro. William Branham preached, when they ought to be devoting their time to trying to understand what the seven thunders are. If we know what the thunders are, we will have a better chance of hearing them when they finally do sound THEIR VOICES. In the meantime: may we all keep a proper attitude and let God work His perfecting process in our lives as He sees fit to do so.

Oneness Of God, Part 2 – 1979, April

1979-04-Oneness-Of-God-Part-2

AS WE CONTINUE IN THIS MESSAGE, PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT OUR SOLE PURPOSE IN DEALING WITH THIS SUBJECT IS TO HELP THOSE WHO DESIRE TO UNDERSTAND THE SCRIPTURES WHICH DEAL WITH THE GODHEAD. THERE HAS BEEN A GREAT CONTROVERSY AMONG PEOPLE OF THE CHURCH WORLD AS TO WHETHER GOD IS ONE OR WHETHER GOD IS THREE PERSONS CO-EXISTING, EQUAL IN AUTHORITY AND EACH ONE OF THE THREE PROPERLY REFERRED TO AS GOD. WE HAVE TAKEN A TEXT FROM ST. JOHN 1:1, AND ENDEAVORED TO GO THROUGH THE BIBLE SHOWING FROM THE SCRIPTURES HOW FOOLISH IT IS TO BELIEVE THAT GOD WHO IS A SPIRIT IS THREE PERSONS. READ THE MESSAGE PRAYERFULLY, THEN IF YOU STILL HAVE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS, FEEL FREE TO WRITE US AND WE WILL TRY TO FURNISH YOU WITH ADDITIONAL HELP.

 

For those of you who may receive this issue without having read part one, we ended that part still speaking about the angels and the place they have in the plan of God, endeavoring to show why we teach that God was speaking to His angelic helpers when He said, “Let us make man in our image,” in Genesis 1:26.

 

THE ANGELS TAKE PART

 

We are in Hebrews, chapter 2, and we will go back to verse 1 and pick up our thought. If we can show that angels do have a part in God’s plan of redemption and that they are ministering spirits, (HEB. 1:14) ministering to those who shall be heirs of salvation, it should not be difficult to see that they had a part in creation also. Paul, writing to the Hebrew saints, started off in chapter 2 by saying, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” That means when we hear truth, we had better take heed to it and let it start working on our behalf or the day will come when that truth shall slip away from us, but we will still be held accountable for it, as you will see when we read verses 2 & 3. “For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; (That was the word spoken by the prophets of old, which word came to them by the angel of the Lord.) How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation which at first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him. God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost according to His own will.” Paul is not including himself in this reference even though in another letter we do read where he said, Have I not wrought the signs of an apostle among you? In this particular verse, Paul is referring to the apostles who walked with Jesus, how that God confirmed the word through them with signs and wonders, different miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost. Then he goes on to say, “for unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. (This is Paul’s own revelation of the part angels have in the plan of God), But one in a certain place testified saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him (MAN) a little lower than the angels.” That was in Genesis 1:27 when God created man, a spirit being, just a little lower than the angels, which were also spirit beings. God said to those angels, “Let us make man in our image.” God is the architect; it is His thoughts that are to be carried out. The angels did not design anything that was to be made; they only helped to carry out the plan of God. You can search the scriptures through and you will find that every time God got ready to change conditions or to make something known to man, there was usually always an angel on the scene. Gabriel came to Zacharias to announce the birth of John. It was also the angel Gabriel that came to Mary to announce that she had found favor with God and that she would conceive in her womb and bring forth a son which she should call Jesus. We certainly do not have any difficulty seeing that angels speak on behalf of God, for everything that Gabriel spoke came to pass exactly as he said it would. There was not one idle word spoken.

 

DISTURBANCE IN HELL

 

When Jesus hung on that old Roman cross that day, it looked like His friends had forsaken Him. He sure did not look much like God hanging there, crying, Eloi, Eloi, lamasabachthani? (My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?) But it had to be like that, for God had purposed to manifest himself in flesh, take the sins of man upon that flesh and die like a man upon that old Roman cross to pay man’s sin debt. God wanted men to see a man die willingly, when many of those nearby knew perfectly well that He could speak the word and ten thousand angels would come to His rescue. He could have spoken the word and every one of those Roman soldiers would have been lying dead or He could have spoke that old cross out of existence, but it was necessary that He die like a man to prove once and for all that He was truly man. After all, death is only the process of life being separated from the flesh and the life of that flesh had power to raise the flesh back up from the dead. Nevertheless, moments after His head went limp and fell on His chest, there was a disturbance in the corridors of hell. What was it? The Spirit of life that had stepped out of that flesh hanging there on that cross had suddenly made an appearance in the devil’s prison place. He had come to set some captives free and the devil knew what he was there for. This was to fulfill David’s prophecy in Psalms 16:9-10, “therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: My flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; (No! He has come to take it out) neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One (Jesus Christ, the Messiah) to see corruption.” That is right, He will go back and pick up that body of flesh before it has laid in Joseph’s tomb long enough to rot. You say, How do you know that, Bro. Jackson? Matthew 27:50-53, tells us that when Jesus yielded up the ghost, the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom and that a great earthquake shook things. Rocks were flying and graves were opening up. Then after Jesus’ resurrection many bodies of dead saints came out of the graves and appeared to various people in the holy city. Then in Ephesians 4:8-10, we read, “Wherefore he saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, (That was the righteous souls which were held in paradise in the heart of the earth until their Redeemer appeared) and gave gifts unto men. Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.” Well, what does that prove? We just published an article, titled, Hell is Not Eternal, which explains all this in more detail, but we will go to 1 Peter 3:18-20, and let Peter tell us where that Spirit of life went and what it did during that interval between the crucifixion of Jesus and His resurrection. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: BY WHICH ALSO HE WENT AND PREACHED UNTO THE SPIRITS IN PRISON; Which sometimes were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” By these scriptures we learn that the Spirit of Christ went right down into the lower parts of the earth, preached the good news to righteous spirits being held captive by Satan, preached the bad news to all those wicked spirits who were in hell to be tormented, and then led those righteous spirits out of that place into a heavenly paradise. Yes, He could have called ten thousand angels, but He died there that day for you and me. God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty and base things of the world and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are. That no flesh should glory in His presence. Paul said that to the Corinthians in his first letter to them. The gospel message seems very weak and foolish to the great wise men of the world, but to those whose eyes have been opened by the word of God, it is a wonderful and marvelous story, that one should love us enough to willingly suffer such pain and agony on our behalf. That was one thing angels could not do (die for the sins of mankind). God had to take on a body of flesh and do it Himself to satisfy His own demands. That was the only provision He made for lost man to be reconciled to their God and those who reject that provision are bound for hell. The difference between heaven and hell is believing something, for if you truly believe, you will obey. By the same token, the difference between believing that God is three persons or believing that He is One, is tied up in the question of, Who was He talking to in Genesis 1:26, when He said, Let us make man in our image? If you cannot see angels in Genesis 1:26, you will never be able to understand what Jesus meant when He said to Phillip, He that hath seen me hath seen the Father (John 14:9) or I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Neither will you be able to understand why Jesus would say, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” On the other hand, if you can see that God was talking to angels in Genesis 1:26, then all these other things in the scriptures will open up to you. Things that have seemed so mysterious to you in the past, will become very clear to you.

 

LET US – WHO?

 

I said in part one of this message that Genesis 1:26 is not the only place where God said, “LET US,” therefore I would like for you to open your Bibles to Genesis 11:7, where we will find this same language. Before we look at this though, let us look at chapter 3 for just a little bit. Time has progressed since the beginning of man’s history to a point where the man and his wife have both sinned. By this time, they are in physical flesh so that they are able to have physical contact with the earth and its environment and through a choice presented to them by the serpent, they have disobeyed God. In dealing with their sin, God cursed the serpent, put enmity between the serpent and the woman and between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman, added sorrow and pain to the woman’s conception and child bearing, cursed the ground so that it would bear thorns and thistles, Johnson grass and horse weeds, and commanded the man to earn his bread by the sweat of his face, tilling that cursed ground. After He had made cots of skin and clothed them, the Lord God said, “Behold, the man is become as one of US . . ., to know good and evil.” Now, Brothers and Sisters, I ask you, Does that in any way rule out the fact that God is talking to His angelic helpers? Of course not! I assure you, those angels knew the difference between good and evil, just the same as God did. That is how Lucifer and one-third of the angels come to be called fallen angels. They failed to remain loyal to God when they were tested. (We have an article on the Testing and Fall of Satan) For more confirmation of whether angels know good and evil when they are confronted with it, let us consider the one that came to Daniel when he had been praying and seeking God for 21 days. He told Daniel that his words were heard from the very first day that he began to pray, but that he (the angel) had been delayed or withstood by the prince of the kingdom of Persia. This prince of Persia was an angel also, but he was a bad angel. In other words, the two angels had been in a fight for 21 days, not two good angels fighting, but a good angel and a bad one, and he said that when he left Daniel, he would return to fight the prince of Persia some more. Therefore, do not try to tell me that angels do not know the difference between good and bad. Those that are encamped about the people of God, which Paul refers to as minsters to those who shall be heirs of salvation, are constantly in a fight with demons (bad angels) on our behalf. You have heard people say, There has been a war going on inside of me for days. If you have experienced such a thing, it was probably because there was a bad thing trying to get hold of you and a good thing trying to keep it from happening. In other words, two angels fighting and you are caught between the blows. Your spirit is affected by it. Try to tell that to a psychiatrist and he will say you are crazy even though he may have similar wars going on inside himself. You do not get this kind of information from a scientific laboratory. Test tubes will not show up this kind of trouble, but it is real anyway.

 

CHERUBIMS – GOD’S GUARDS

 

Now God said, “the man has become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever; Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” If God was three persons, equal in authority, should not this next verse say, THEY drove the man out of the garden? It doesn’t say that; (we are reading in Genesis 3:24) “So HE drove out the man; and HE placed at the east of the garden of Eden (What?) cherubims, (cherubims are angels) and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life.” There is not much written about these cherubims, but there are definitely other references made to them and in other scriptures they are portrayed as winged creatures. (As we said in another message, there are different realms of angelic beings, just like there will be of immortal saints in the millennium. Some will invariably disagree with both statements, but the scriptures bear it out.) They are not to be thought of as the type of angels that are ministering spirits to man. The scriptures seem to place these cherubims in a much higher realm. In this particular instance they are entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the way to the tree of life. You will notice, it doesn’t say that they were guarding a gate somewhere, a gate to a certain geographical spot. That is where the church world in general make their mistake. They believe the tree of life is a literal plant life tree, so naturally they picture these winged angelic creatures guarding a literal gate to a fenced garden where the tree of life is growing. When you come to see that God Himself is the only tree of life, then you realize that these cherubims were set to keep man from the presence of God. When God instructed Moses concerning the tabernacle, he was to build a box for the tables of stone. That was called the ark of the covenant and over that ark, in the innermost part of the tabernacle was the mercy seat with one cherub on each end of it with their faces turned toward each other and their wings covering the mercy seat. These cherubims were of beaten gold and the mercy seat was of pure gold, but the point of it is this, God told Moses that He would meet with him and commune with him from above the mercy seat and from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony. This, in type, showed that God still had those cherubims between Him and man, keeping man from His presence. In other words, they are guards, guarding the tree of eternal life, which is the presence of God when Adam sinned, God separated Himself from him. He would not let the man enjoy the pleasures of sin and dwell in the presence of eternal life at the same time, so the cherubims were set between them. Remember, angels are offspring of God, but they are not gods. No angel has ever allowed any man to fall down and worship him.

 

MAN’S VAIN EFFORTS

 

We will go to the 11th chapter now, but let me remind you first that God had instructed Noah’s family to, “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish or fill the earth.” That was God’s command to them and they truly did begin to multiply, but when we come to chapter 11, we find that they are not carrying out the command to fill the earth, for they are all huddled together trying to keep from being scattered. Verse 1, “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech (this verse does not mean that they were spread out over the whole face of the earth, it only means that all the people upon the earth at that time were of one language.) And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, (get ready) let us make brick and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and lime for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, LEST WE BE SCATTERED ABROAD UPON THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH.” This was what God wanted and they were trying to keep from spreading out over all the whole earth. Their plans were completely contrary to the Lord God’s command; “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men builded.” God moved by His Spirit to investigate their plans. He had heard what they said, so let us hear what God has to say about the situation. 6, “And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, (one in their motive, and one in their language) and they all have one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing shall be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” Upon investigation, the Lord found a people so unified in their purpose and motive, that God Himself said they would be able to do anything they imagined to do. Isn’t that good, Bro. Jackson? No, they were disobeying God’s word. God had given a commandment that they should be fruitful and multiply and fill the whole earth, but they all wanted to camp right together instead of spreading out. Brother, if God says move out, move out it had better be or He will tear your nest up just like an old mother eagle. We have heard Bro. William Branham speak about how he has watched through binoculars and learned how the old mother eagle deals with her little eaglets. She will carry food to them until they are old enough to fly, then she will get in that nest, start flapping those great wings, just beating the tar out of those little fellows until they scramble out of that nest to get free from her licking. Then what does she do? She proceeds to destroy that nest. Those little fellows will have to go find their own food after that. They have nothing to come back to. Now she didn’t push them out of that nest to destroy them, it was her way of teaching them to move out by faith. They have no nest to come back to, but they still have mommy’s sharp eye watching over them. God is like that with His people. Ever now and then He has to give them a licking and break up their huddles and cliques, but He never fails to keep His great all seeing eye on them. Let us look at verse 7 and see what God does here to get these people back to fulfilling His purpose. God wants His word carried out regardless of how good your own personal plan may look to you. God said, Fill the earth and these people started building them a tower into the heavens. They never would have moved on from that place, but God said, (verse 7) “Go to, LET US GO DOWN, (not speaking to the son and the Holy Ghost, but to the angels) and there confound their language that they may not understand one another’s speech.” It would be mighty hard for a construction crew to build a high tower if they could not understand each other’s language, would it not? God had made a determination of how the situation was to be handled, then HE said, Let US go do it. He did not say, Let us go down and see what can be done about this situation. No, HE, singular, did the investigating and made the decision as to what should be done, just like in Genesis 1. We do not find God counseling with anyone else or anything else about what to do as He would have to do if He had two other partners. No, He makes the determination Himself, then He says, LET US GO DO IT, talking to is angelic helpers. Alright, let us read verse 8, before we move on in the message. “So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.” God knows what He wants done and He knows how to get it done. He does not have to counsel with two other persons of the Godhead or anyone else, but He does allow others of His creation to have a part in the actual process of getting the job done. It is not because God needs help with anything. He did not have any help in the beginning when He was all alone in the Universe and He definitely was all alone, for only He is eternal (without beginning and without an end). Everything else was created by Him. It takes a pretty narrow mind to believe in evolution the way they are teaching it in our schools throughout the land today. I am one hundred percent convinced that God is ONE instead of THREE PERSONS and that He created all things by His word making this theory of evolution just plain childish and silly. I am completely convinced by the scriptures that God is an Omnipresent Spirit without bodily form and that He created a cell of life in Mary for the purpose of bringing forth a man-child into the world free from Adam’s blood line, which blood has death in it. I am completely convinced that God incarnated that Flesh, making Jesus who was already man, both God and man. I know that God did not need a pair of human lips to speak through when He spoke audibly to the prophets of old, nor when He spoke at the Jordan river the day Jesus was baptized by John, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” But He did have lips to speak through after that and Jesus made no secret about the fact that the Father was doing the speaking when He instructed His disciples. In John 8:49, He said, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” How did the Father send Him? The Father was in Him. To you scoffers who laugh at such a statement and make fun saying, That makes Jesus His own father. Let me tell you something, you are still without revelation and the day will come when you will have to eat your own words, either through genuine repentance or through the judgment of God pronounced upon you through the lips of Jesus Christ when you stand before Him in the end. I will not judge you and neither will I be personally offended when you make fun of the word of God, for I am only speaking what I see in this precious old black book (the Bible).

 

DEITY NAMES OF GOD

 

We are going to take some time now to deal with the basic deity names that pointed to God in the Old Testament. I am not an educated man who can tell you all the Hebrew and Greek words that serve to better express various things in the Bible, but I believe that by the help of God I can point out 3 basic deity names and 7 attributable names that will help you to see that God is ONE. I am not too concerned about the scholars who may criticize my way of saying things. I am only concerned with saying something that will better help the flock of God understand the simple truth of His word. If I, by the help of God, can say something that will help you better understand the Godhead, you will not have to go through the Bible trying to figure out which one of the three persons is doing the particular thing that you are reading about. You will know that God is one and that any time you see the word GOD, you can think O-ûE instead of, Is that the Father? Or is that the Son? Or could that be the Holy Ghost? The first word we want to look at is the word, GOD, in the very first verse of the Bible. GOD is an English word. The Hebrew equivalent is EL, or ELOHIM. EL is GOD, ELOHIM, (STRONG ONE, SELF-EXISTENT ONE) speaks of God from the standpoint of the world in general as in the sense of being creator or the object of man’s worship, while the word JEHOVAH, speaks of Him specifically as Lord God of Israel or God of His chosen people. “In the beginning God (ELOHIM) created the heavens and the earth.” He did not need any help. He is the STRONG ONE, the SELF EXISTENT ONE, but after God created the angels and tested them, those that stayed loyal to Him became His helpers. You ask why? It was because God did not choose to remain alone. He desired to share Himself with something, but in order to do so, He had to create something to share Himself with. Therefore, ELOHIM, points to God as related to creation and time. There is a word used in the seminaries to describe God. That word is OMNIPOTENT. It is a theological term. You will not find it in the Bible, but it means unlimited in power. This self existent one (ELOHIM) is unlimited in power. He is without beginning and has no end. Where did He come from? How did He get there? God is not going to tell us a thing like that. There is no answer to questions like that. He is eternal. He always was and He always will be. That is a great mystery, but I do not have to know any more about that in order to believe that there is an all powerful God in control of the whole universe. Do you? I am glad that He did not have a beginning and that He will not have an end. You can put your faith and trust in a God like that. You do not have to worry about living longer than your God, nor about some other God rising up to take His place. That is why He could say to John, on the Isle of Patmos, I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, the beginning and the ending. I am He which was and is to come. I am He which was dead and am alive for ever more. Only He who is the Strong One, the self existing one, would be capable of laying His life down for a little moment of time and then take it up again to deal with sin in mortal man. We are going into these deity names that God has been identified by simply to show you that in none of them can be found any trace that these patriarchs believed God to be more than one. We want to try and cover this from the standpoint of why pagans did and believed like they did. We want to see, if we can, why mankind went so many different ways after the tower of Babel in their concept of God. It is pitiful how man forgets God so quickly. All eight souls that stepped out of Noah’s ark that day knew who God was. By the time that old ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat, you can be sure the family talked much about the god that had spoken to Noah to build that ark. Then in Genesis 9:1 we read where God blessed Noah and His three sons and gave them a commandment to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, but a few short generations later, mankind is building all sorts of idols, altars and worshipping demons instead of God. What went wrong? It all lays in the genes, the hereditary traits passed down through their ancestors that had intermarried with Cain’s descendants before the flood. That is how the serpent seed got over on this side of the flood, through the hereditary genes. That is why even in this very land of America, a generation of people that has had respect for God, respect for the Bible and respect for Christian people, can produce offspring from their own loins that are atheistic, demon possessed heathen as far as knowing God.

 

REINCARNATION

 

We hear so much talk about reincarnation these days, even to the point where people are put into a trance of some kind and they seem to re-live the life and experiences of someone that lived hundreds of years before. You never hear of anything like that happening to a person that is born again by the Spirit of God. It only happens to people who play around with such things, cultivating the presence of demonic spirits. We have already talked quite a bit about the angels of God that are sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. I want you to listen close to what I am going to say now!! It would be ridiculous for us to believe that God would send an angel to walk with us in our life time and then when we die that angel would have to go sit in a corner someplace. No! Brothers and sisters, when we die, that angel that has influenced our life and ministered to us goes to minister to someone else right on through the generations as long as time stands. The angel that walked with John Wesley is walking with someone right today. The angel that was with the apostle Paul is with someone right today and so on down the line. Angels do not die and neither do they become old and retire. They remain active and faithful to the purpose assigned to them by their creator. Now I ask you this, If good angels go from generation to generation ministering to the people of God, why would it not work the same way with the bad angels that fell with Lucifer??? Whatever angel we have with us will affect our personality and cause us to manifest certain individual characteristics. I will remind you also that every angel remembers those that he had ministered to in ages past and remembers all about them. I believe some of you are beginning to see already what I am getting at with this thought. On the good side, there is not too much to be said about this beyond this point, but when you take it to the other side where people of the world play around with witches and wizards, horoscopes, fortune tellers, seances and so forth, there is a lot more to be said. These people who supposedly go back in time and re-live the life and experiences of some ancient person, claiming that proves their theory of reincarnation, do not prove anything except that the wicked angel (demon) that lived with that person back then is now living with them. Why could not that spirit which caused someone to live and conduct themselves as they did hundreds of years ago, do the same thing with someone in our generation? The Bible shows the devil to be a schemer and a deceiver and it does not set any limits on how far he can go in his deception among worldly people. Furthermore, all these fallen angels are subject to him and must do whatever he wants done. People who are always fooling around with the devil’s devises are bound to become slaves to them. On the other hand, those who are truly born again do not play around with such things. If they need to know something, they talk to God about it. They will not go to a fortune teller nor a ouija board to find their answer. I would like to say also, I am not presenting this to you as some great revelation that should become a doctrine. I merely present it to you as an explanation of why people are conducting themselves in such demonic and heathen ways. We are living in the last days and the devil knows his time is short. Therefore, he is pouring everything he has upon this generation.

 

EL IS GOD

 

Alright, up to this point we have only talked about the Hebrew word, ELOHIM. El by itself means God, but when OHIM is added to it, you have a word that means GOD, SELF EXISTENT ONE, STRONG ONE, (ELOHIM). This is a deity name, but EL by itself which in our English language is translated GOD, can be applied to any god, true or false. It simply means just that, God. We are going to look at the three basic deity names that God is identified by in the book of Genesis. First, we will go to Genesis 14:18. This is where Abraham was coming back from the slaughter of the enemy that kidnaped Lot and the people around Sodom and Gomorrah. He has made a wreck of those kidnaping thieves and recaptured Lot, his nephew and the others and he is on his way back to the very place where he himself had been living. He is heading for Hebron, but as he came near to the city of Jebusites, called Salem in that day, not Jerusalem, but Salem, he is met by a man who brought forth bread and wine and revealed himself to Abraham as the priest of the Most High God, Melchizedek, king of Salem. As he revealed himself to Abraham in this high priestly role, he is revealed through the name EL-ELYON. Remember now, EL is God, but when ELYON is added to it, you have an attribute of deity, EL-ELYON-MOST HIGH GOD. This name is not showing God to be the strong one nor the self existent one, but through this name God is revealing Himself to Abraham as the God who sits the highest of any god. EL-ELYON is not a name that brings out His creative ability, but it brings out His deity as the highest, the loftiest or the greatest of all gods. As for the Melchizedek, he was not a natural, mortal man who was actually a high priest of Salem at that hour. Don’t you thing if there had been anything outstanding or special about this man to have attracted Abraham’s attention, that he would have returned to Salem at other times to see him? I did not say that right. If Abraham had believed that there was such an outstanding priest of the Most High God dwelling at Salem, don’t you think he would have wanted to go there from time to time to see him? In other words, Abraham saw God in theophany form and I believe Abraham knew who he was. Abraham paid tithes to him, but I do not read anywhere that Abraham ever said to Sarah, Honey, I believe I will go back up to Salem and see if I can find that same fellow that met me in the road that day. Would not human nature have caused him to want to do that if he believed such a person dwelled there? I believe so. In Hebrews, when Paul spoke of this Melchizedek, it seemed like there was a great mystery in this. Let us turn to Hebrews 7:1-3 and read what Paul wrote about Him. “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” It seems that Paul got a revelation about this man from somewhere, without father, without mother, without a genealogy. I want you to know that every mortal man that ever held the office of a high priest on the face of this earth had a mother and daddy and he had a beginning and an ending. That ought to help us understand who this man was. Though Abraham did not catch the significance of what was being prefigured here, time has allowed us to look back and see that the very God himself met Abraham in a theophany body and prefigures what was to come from his very loins. From this man’s seed would come forth many tribes of people. From them, God would choose one tribe (the tribe of Levi) to represent Him on earth to the other tribes.

 

THE TEMPLE SPOT

 

Many years passed and Abraham’s seed spent four hundred years in Egyptian bondage, but when they were back in the land of Abraham’s sojourning and David was king of Israel, he did a foolish thing causing the Lord to send pestilence upon the land of Israel. In his repentance before the Lord, he was instructed to build an altar unto the Lord in the place of Ornan’s threshing floor. Ornan was a Jebusite and his threshing floor was in the very place where Abraham was met by Melchizedek. David bought the threshing floor, built an altar unto the Lord, offered up sacrifice and the Lord stayed His hand of destruction on the land. Time passed by until Solomon, David’s Son who had succeeded him as king of Israel, was ready to build the Lord a house. He caught the revelation that he should build it on the same spot of ground where David had built the altar on Ornan’s threshing floor. The temple was built on that very spot, which today is called Jerusalem instead of Salem. To carry on through with what was prefigured to Abraham that day, Israel passed through the long period called the law age. Then the very God that had met Abraham in a theophany body, appeared to Abraham’s seed in another body. This appearing was in the flesh of Jesus Christ, who will one day at his 2nd coming, sit in a temple built on that very same spot. The King of all ages will take the throne of David and from that throne He will rule the whole world in the millennium. The King of righteousness, which is the King of peace, will be sitting in a temple built in the city of peace. Salem means peace. This was all prefigured in Abraham’s meeting with Melchizedek. In its former days, Salem was a city of pagans, full of wars and turmoil and it has not been free from such as the city of David, Jerusalem, but there is coming a day when it truly will be the city of peace as its name implies.

 

EL – SHADDAI

 

The next deity name that we wish to consider is found in Genesis 17:1. Later we will look at the 7 attributable names which are expressed in God’s plan of salvation, but right now we are looking at names that bring out His deity, His majesty, His position in the universe. When we come to Gen. 17, we find the Lord appearing to Abraham when he was 99 years old and identifying Himself to Abraham as El-SHADDAI, which in our English language is translated Almighty God or GOD ALMIGHTY. This deity name has characteristics involved that bring out the fact that God is liken unto a mother, the breasted one, the nourisher, one that satisfies. This could be the very place where this Women’s Liberation movement got their idea that we should stop referring to God in the masculine gender and make Him a woman. Let me tell you, God never did refer to Himself as a woman. Truly He is one that satisfies. He is a nourisher and sustainer, but Hallelujah! He doesn’t have to be a woman to be that. This name does not speak of His power, nor of the fact that He is the highest of all gods. It simply directs attention to the fact that He is a God that is able to give comfort to something that needs comforting. Isn’t that wonderful to know? In this old world of turmoil and unrest, we many times become nervous, frustrated, perplexed and feel all alone, even to the point where we sometimes act like a little child. You have seen how a little baby does when it gets hungry and lonesome lying in a crib all alone. It begins to fret, scream and cry. It becomes restless, tossing and turning in its bed. Why? It wants to be loved, comforted, nourished and satisfied. When the mother interprets the crying to be that, she will go in, pick it up, feed it, squeeze it to her bosom expressing her love for it and change its clothing if necessary so it will be completely comforted before she puts it back to bed. The very minute it feels mother’s hands slip under its little body, the whimpering begins to taper off. The mother’s touch gives it a secure feeling. That is exactly what is portrayed right here in the name EL-SHADDAI, (the breasted one who nourishes and satisfies). In this old sin tossed world of heartache and trouble where the devil is constantly throwing everything he has at us, we get hungry for God. We need to be nourished and strengthened. Let me tell you, when we cry unto Him, it won’t be long until we feel the tender hands of our God come under us, pick us up and draw us nigh to His comforting bosom. At a time like that, it doesn’t do the devil any good to tell us we are not even saved, for we just ignore him and lay there in the arms of God, feeling His strong hands around our soul and nurse away. At such a time as this, we do not need to know that God is highest (EL-ELYON) and we do not need to know that He is the Strong One (ELOHIM). We are interested in one thing, that He is a God who satisfies (EL-SHADDAI) because we need comfort and strength. What a wonderful God we have? We do not need gods and goddesses of love, fertility, wisdom, rain, sun, moon and medicine and the such like. We have a revelation that our ONE, true God is everything we need. Paul wrote to the Philippians, 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Those old patriarchs did not have that verse of scripture to read, but they did know that God is ONE and that He created the heavens and the earth and all things therein by His own word and they had complete confidence in their God. The third deity name used in conjunction with El which is derived from ELOHIM (God) is found in Genesis 21:33. EL (God) is revealed here to be EVERLASTING by the name ELOLAM. I am using terminology from the Scofield Bible to express the meaning of this deity name of God. The name EL-OLAM not only means that God is from EVERLASTING to EVERLASTING Himself, but it also carries the thought that He is God over EVERLASTING thing. Have you ever heard the expression, Bring back everlasting thing in there. Don’t you even leave one grain of sand. This illustration comes to my mind because I have heard such uses of the word everlasting from various ones in my lifetime. Nevertheless, we want to understand the use of it in Genesis 21:33, to mean that God is without beginning and without end and that everything that has been created was created by Him. Actually, you cannot separate one of these deity names from the others. They are all pertaining to the one and only God, but were used according to the circumstances of the one who was calling upon Him. ELOHIM (God) places Him in His position in His creation and the other three names we have mentioned are expressions of His deity. These are names that attribute to Him those virtues of deity that belong only to ELOHIM. In other words, He is the only self existent one. He is the only eternal one that is from everlasting to everlasting and He is the most High God of all gods.

 

SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD

 

Now we want to look at the 7 attributable names that are compounded with the word Jehovah to identify God with mankind in redemption. When you get over to Genesis 2:4, in the account of creation, you find LORD GOD for the first time. Up to this point the general term, GOD, has been used, but in Gen. 2:4, we find this term compounded with LORD which takes on a deeper meaning more of ownership and rulership. JEHOVAH, which in the Hebrew is YHWH and pronounced YAHWEH in our English language, is a word that Means Lord. Therefore, the translation Lord God comes from the Hebrew JEHOVAH ELOHIM, JEHOVAH, (LORD) ELOHIM, (GOD) and is used quite frequently after its first mention. We have a lot of people running around in our day with a doctrine built off of their ideas about YHWH. They will say, Pagan Gentiles (meaning anyone who does not agree with them) do not know the name of God. If they did, they would call Him YAHWEH. For the sake of clarifying such a statement, let me say this. It was God Himself that confused the languages of all people when before that, they had all been speaking the same language. I will agree with any critic that God was revealed to the Jewish race through these names or that God revealed these deity names and attributable names to the Jewish race, but you must remember this, while they spoke Hebrew, my ancestors were speaking English. God did not tell anyone that they would have to learn Hebrew before they could get to know Him. He did not tell me that I would have to learn Hebrew in order to find my way home. You call Him whatever you want to, but to me He is G-O-D and known in the Grace age by His redemption name, Jesus, J-E-S-U-S. This is the only name that Jesus ever manifested on earth and we have His own testimony that He had manifested the Father’s name to the men who walked with Him (John 17:6). The Jews believe that Hebrew is the proper language and the English speaking people, in their proudness, believe that English is the proper language. It doesn’t matter one bit to me just as long as I know who He is that is speaking to my heart. As long as I can get my spirit in tune with Him, who is Spirit, it doesn’t matter to me whether I talk to Him in Hebrew, English or whatever. My only concern is in being able to communicate with Him. Hallelujah! I believe He hears me! If you are a Jew or if you are someone who knows the Hebrew, go ahead and call Him, YHWH (YAHWEH) if you want to, but in the English it comes out JEHOVAH (LORD). The bride of Christ is made up of people from around this world and from the percentage viewpoint, I would be safe to say that only a very small percentage of them speak Hebrew. Maybe some of these people ought to go back and read Genesis 1:1 again. It does not say, In the beginning JEHOVAH ELOHIM created the heaven and the earth. It says, In the Beginning ELOHIM (GOD) created the heaven and the earth. I hope you catch the difference. God does not even have the compound word, Jehovah, attached to it in the beginning. Saints, we are just trying to place this word Jehovah, which means Lord or Master. Now the word, Lord, does not necessarily apply to deity. It is a word that can be applied to any man who rules over or is in authority over other. For instance, it is proper for any servant type person to refer to the one who rules over him as, My Lord, or the owners of the house you live in as your land-lord. Alright, I believe we have said enough for you to see that the word, Jehovah, is translated, Lord, in the English language so as we go into the 7 attributable names that deal with redemption, you will find each one of them compounded with the word Jehovah, which means Lord. This is what John referred to in Revelation a number of times as the seven Spirits of God. It does not mean that God is seven spirits. It simply refers to the 7 major attributable expressions of God on behalf of mankind in the process of redemption. There is no need for 7 spirits, 7 gods or anything like that. Everything we need is wrapped up in the ONE SPIRIT, (GOD) who is omnipresent and able to manifest anything necessary in His dealing with man. He is Lord of lords, and He is the Master of ever situation. We see Him as GOD (ELOHIM) in Genesis 1:1, but now we are going to see Him as Lord of every situation as we examine these attributable names. The very word, LORD, is a deity name in God’s relationship to man, but not in creation as in Gen. 1:1 where only the word, God, was used.

 

JEHOVAH WILL PROVIDE

 

Remember now as we look at these 7 attributable names of God, each one of them is compounded with the word, JEHOVAH, which means LORD in English. Before I mention the first one of the seven, let me say this, Seven is the number of completeness. Paul said in one of his letters, Ye are complete in Him. Therefore, these sevens are not recorded by accident, they have significance. In the 4th chapter of Revelation when John was told to come up hither, he was allowed to see things that would be hereafter. While describing what he saw, he said, “And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” Later, as he described the Lamb that came forth and stood in the midst of the throne, he referred to what he saw as a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. We know that such a creature would be a freak of nature, so this terminology has to be looked upon as having a symbolic meaning. We see the same thing back over in the book of Zechariah where Joshua the high priest brought forth the stone which had seven eyes. It was prefiguring a finished work of redemption and that is what you will see figuratively as we consider these attributable names. The first scripture we will look at is found in Genesis 22:13-14. This is where God had called upon Abraham to take his son, his only son, and offer him up for a sacrifice upon one of the mountains which He would show him later. God did not tell Abraham which mountain He had chosen the first day He spoke to him about this, but Abraham started out with Isaac just like God had told him to do. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place that God had chosen. It was right back in the same area where he had met Melchizedek. Do you see how God works circumstances to get His plans perfected? Abraham used a certain rock or mountain peak for an alter. Then later, David bought a parcel of ground from Ornan the Jebusite, because he needed a place to offer sacrifice to the Lord to stay the plague of death that was sweeping through his people. Where do you suppose he built his altar? Right in the same place where Abraham would have offered up Isaac. David later felt impressed to build a house for God, but God said, No, you are a warrior, you have shed blood. I will raise up one from your loins to build me a house. Solomon was the one to build the house for God and he built it right on the same spot that Abraham and David had used for an altar. That is the place where God chose to place His name. In 2 Chronicles 6:6, Solomon said that Jerusalem is the place where God had chosen to place His name. We just carried this on through to show you how God works circumstances to get men to do what He has purposed for them to do, but now we will return to Abraham and Isaac as they journey to the place where the sacrifice is to be offered up. In verse 7 we find Isaac speaking to his father, Abraham, saying, My father, and Abraham answered, Here am I, my son. Isaac then said, Behold the wood and the fire, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering. He said that out of necessity, walking along there with his heart all burdened down knowing only that God had told him to offer Isaac his only son. Oh how his heart must have ached as he raised the knife to cut Isaac’s throat, but he had faith in God. He knew that the very God who gave him that son by Sarah, when from the natural standpoint it would have been impossible, was able to raise him back to life if need be, so he followed God’s instructions. In verse 11, when Abraham had the knife raised to slay his son, notice who it was that stopped him from doing it, an Angel of the Lord. Isn’t it strange. It did not say, the Holy Ghost said don’t do it, nor did it say, The Father said, Don’t do it, nor did it say, the Son said don’t do it. It was an ANGEL of the Lord that said, Do him no harm, for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld they son, thine only son from me. 13, “And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” 14, And Abraham called the name of that place JEHOVAH JIREH” (THE LORD WILL PROVIDE). There is your first attributable title. He is a provider and provide He did. HALLELUJAH! No doubt, Abraham’s old heart had been pounding like a jack hammer up to that very moment. He had no way of knowing what God would do. He just believed Him and trusted Him fully, believing that He would provide. Abraham already knew Him as ELOHIM (GOD). He already knew Him as EL-OLAM (Everlasting God) also as EL-ELYON (Most High God) and EL-SHADDAI (Almighty God). Now he calls Him JEHOVAH JIREH (the Lord that provides) or the Lord will provide. What else could he say to that little boy when he asked him about the lamb fo the burnt offering? He had waited 25 years for that promised son, and now after such a short time, the one who gave him that son asked for him back and in the most heartbreaking manner. How could he tell that little boy that he was going to offer him upon that altar for a burnt offering to God? How could he have understood such a thing? No, necessity caused Abraham to call God, JEHOVAH JIREH. Many times God has to work circumstances to cause us to give Him His place in our lives. He does not force us to do things against our will, but He will work circumstances in our lives that will make us willing to walk His way.

 

GOD IS A HEALER

 

For the next attributable name attributed to God, we go to Exodus, chapter 15, where God is leading the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. After God miraculously opened up the Red Sea and allowed them to go across on dry ground, the children of Israel became frantic and bitter against Moses because they had not found any water to drink in the 3 days they had journeyed since crossing. Therefore, they murmured against Moses until he cried unto the Lord for help. God showed him a tree, which when he cast into the waters of Marah, they were made sweet. The bitterness was taken away from the waters and now they were drinkable. God chose this occasion to prove the people and set before them a statute and an ordinance whereby He said unto them, “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: FOR I AM THE LORD THAT HEALETH THEE.” This is where God reveals Himself to the people as a healer, JEHOVAH RAPHA, (THE LORD THAT HEALETH) Exodus 15:26. Jehovah Rapha is the second of the seven attributable redemptive names of God that we are going to look at and for number three, we will go to Exodus 17:8-15. Prior to these verses, the children of Israel have been chiding Moses because of a lack of water again. This time God told Moses to smite the rock and there shall come water out of it. The people, in their time of complaining, had said, is the Lord among us or not? It seemed that no matter what God did for them, as soon as things got a little rough again they would begin to complain that the Lord had let Moses bring them out into the wilderness to die. In the last half of this 17th chapter we find that after they had drank water from the rock, their journey was interrupted by an attack from the Amalekites. Moses sent Joshua with chosen men to fight against Amalek, while he stood on top of a nearby hill with the rod of God in his hand. The battle was long and as long as Moses was able to keep his hands raised, the Israelites were able to advance and press the battle, but when he got tired and lowered his hands, they began to lose. This is where Aaron and Hur sat Moses upon a rock and they raised his hands and held them up until the battle was won. In this, God revealed Himself to them as a banner, JEHOVAH NISSI (the Lord our banner). Another of His characteristics was revealed in this set of circumstances. What is that Bro. Jackson? His ability to spark overcoming enthusiasm in His people. Let me give you an illustration. In many of the great battles that have been fought, we have had occasion to notice that much emphasis was placed upon raising a flag (or banner) representing the nation or the movement which was pressing the battle. World War II gives us a good example of that where 5 marines fought their way to the top of Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, to raise the American flag there. Why did they do it? It was a morale builder. It gave those other marines down on the beach a new enthusiasm. There on top of that mountain stood their banner and they had pledged to fight for it. Seeing those Stars and Stripes stretched out by that mountain breeze caused them to be encouraged to fight on with a greater determination to conquer their enemies. This is what was taking place when Aaron and Hur raised up Moses’ hands that held the rod. It was like lifting up a banner. Verse 15 tells us that Moses built an altar and called he name of it JEHOVAH NISSI (the Lord our banner). He is my flag! AMEN! HALLELUJAH! That is exactly what it means, the Lord is my flag. How many of you have determined to follow that banner? Tell me, are you ready to go into battle with Him? You had better be. Time is short and Satan is battling with every evil force at his disposal. There is one thing sure, you will be on one side or the other. There is no neutral territory. I guarantee you one thing, if you will get behind this banner, you will never have to worry about the enemy getting control and taking your banner down. “HE THAT DWELLETH IN THE SECRET PLACE OF THE MOST HIGH SHALL ABIDE UNDER THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY” (Psalms 91:1) He is our banner, our refuge, our fortress, our deliverer and everything else that we have need of in this evil age. Praise God, Saints, I hope this little message will help some of you who have never really stopped to think about it, to realize you do not have to be on the losing side in this constant battle between the spiritual forces of good and evil. All you need do is make sure you are on Gods side. Then He will be your banner also.

 

SHALOM – PEACE

 

We are going into Judges for our next attributable name. You will find it in chapter 6, verse 24. This brings us into another period of time where the Israelites have done evil in the sight of the Lord and He has turned them over to their enemies, the Midianites. When they finally begin to realize the shape they are in, they cry unto the Lord for help and He sends them a prophet. As the prophet begins to cry against them for their failure to recognize and serve God as they should, an angel of the Lord appears to Gideon saying, “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.” Gideon questions the angel as to whether the Lord is really with them, seeing that their enemies have gained the upper hand, and the Lord looked upon Gideon saying, “Go in this thy might and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites.” Gideon asks for a sign that would assure him that the Lord is really with them and when he received it and realized that he had been talking to an angel of the Lord, he began building an altar to worship God. They had been in a constant state of unrest, turmoil, confusion and oppression, so what they needed most at that time was peace. That is when the Lord spoke and said, “Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.” Because of that, Gideon called the place of his altar, JEHOVAH SHALOM, (The Lord our peace). SHALOM is a Hebrew word that means peace. It is used as a Jewish greeting and farewell. Many of you have been to Israel and heard them use the word as such. They speak freely of peace, but it is something they have never known much about. They have always been a hated, persecuted and oppressed people, constantly kicked about and standing in need of peace. Peace will settle you, regardless of whether it be in the natural or whether it is just an inner peace that we have because of the presence of the Lord. What did Jesus say to His disciples? “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” The peace that He gives is peace of mind, something that the world cannot give. Paul referred to it as the peace that passeth all understanding, (Phil. 4:7) saying that it will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. When you have that peace of God down in your soul, there is no reason to have a worry in the world and certainly no room for fear. But Bro. Jackson, they are always talking about me and persecuting me something terrible. Nevertheless, if you have the peace of God in your soul, and you re not doing anything deliberately to aggravate the situation. Have no fear, for God will eventually send that spirit of peace to put someone in their place. God Himself is that spirit of peace, JEHOVAH SHALOM. Therefore, if He is in you, just surrender up to Him and let Him flood your soul with that inner peace which passeth all understanding. When you learn the secret of how to draw upon that peace, your daily load will be much lighter. The Psalmist (David) knew how to surrender up to this Lord of peace. He was chased by Saul, hated by many of his brethren and he did wrong himself at times, but the Bible says that he was a man after God’s own heart. We will see an example of that in 2 Samuel 24:12-14. This was a time when David had ordered Joab, the captain of the host, to number Israel. In other words, he wanted him to take a census so he would know exactly how many fighting men he had behind him. This displeased the Lord, for He wanted his chosen people to trust in His strength and ability rather than in the arm of the flesh through great numbers. Therefore, He sent the prophet (Gad) to David with a message; “Go and say to David, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things; (as punishment) choose thee one of them that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? Or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? Or that there be three days pestilence in they land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to Him that sent me.” You believe me, David knew that either one he would choose would be rough, so notice what he did. By the way, this episode is what occasioned the purchase of Ornan’s threshing floor for the purpose of erecting an altar unto the Lord to stay the plague or pestilence brought on by David’s decision. Here is David’s answer to the prophet, verse 14, “And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; FOR HIS MERCIES ARE GREAT: and let me not fall into the hand of man.” David knew he could trust the Lord, but he had no confidence in wicked men. That peace of God in his soul caused him to know that the best way out of any situation was to lean upon the mercy of God.

 

THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD

 

Let us go to Psalm 23, for number 5 of the attributable names of God. Here we will see how David expressed his confidence in the Lord when inspiration struck him. When his enemies tried to assassinate him or through insurrection, tried to overthrow his throne, he would go off and hide in an old cave. He did not want to fight his own countrymen. It was in his heart more to seek God than to fight against his own people. I can just see him as the Holy Ghost moved upon him one day while he was hiding out in an old lonesome cave; “THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD; I SHALL NOT WANT. (Hallelujah, he found the secret) HE MAKETH ME TO LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES: HE LEADETH ME BESIDE THE STILL WATERS.” Praise God! He is really on the right track here, but I am going to stop before I get too far away from the first line, “THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD,” (JEHOVAH RAAH). R-A-A-H is a Hebrew word pertaining to a shepherd or one who watches over a flock. David could think of himself as a sheep in the fold or flock of God. By that he was able to say, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; they rod and they staff they comfort me.” He knew there was a great shepherd watching over his soul. Therefore, regardless of the grim circumstances that he was confronted by, he knew that he could rest secure in Him. Did not Jesus say, “My sheep know my voice and another they will not follow?” He went on to say, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” Why did Jesus talk like that? The Lord (Jehovah) is the shepherd of His sheep and that was the Spirit of Jehovah in Jesus doing the talking. That is why He could talk like that. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth His life for His sheep.” I have heard Bro. William Branham speak of how the shepherd would put his bedroll right in the doorway to the sheep-fold. Therefore, any old coyote or sheep killing dog would have to come right across his body to get to the sheep. That would awaken him and allow him to protect the flock. That is what Jesus was having reference to in St. John, chapter 10, where He said, “I am the good shepherd,” and so forth. The Lord is JEHOVAH RAAH, (The Lord is my Shepherd).

 

HE IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

 

Alright, we have two more redemptive names to look at. The next one is found in Jeremiah 23:6, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (JEHOVAH TSIDKENU). Jeremiah, picking up in the spirit, saw what God would do in the last days. Brothers and sisters, we are living in the days that Jeremiah wrote about in this chapter. The Jews have been scattered to the four winds for centuries because of their worshipping idols and for their failure to repent and turn to God when He would send a prophet to warn them. Therefore, that which Jeremiah is writing about here in this chapter pertains to the Jews of our day. Let us read the first 6 verses of chapter 23, down through the verse that calls God by this Hebrew name, JEHOVAH TSIDKENU, meaning THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! Saith the Lord. Therefore, thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people: Ye have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not visited them: behold I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord. And I will gather the remnant of my flock OUT OF ALL COUNTRIES whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; (that is what we have been seeing take place right in our day) and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth, (THAT IS JESUS CHRIST IN THE MILLENNIUM). In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” This is a picture of the Jews of our day, after the Lord has sent the two prophets of Revelation 11:3, and their eyes have been opened as to who Jesus really is. The mercy and grace that God extends to them will cause them to recognize Him by this name, JEHOVAH TSIDKENU, (The Lord our Righteousness). They will no longer say, We have done this, we have done that, and we have not done thus and so. They will recognize that all our righteousness are as filthy rags in the sight of God, and that His imputed righteousness is the only hope for lost mankind. I can just hear those redeemed Jews saying, OH! He is my Righteousness. HALLELUJAH! When those Jews are saying that, the little Gentile bride will be at the marriage supper with her race of life behind her. Not everyone that says Lord, Lord, shall be there. It will be only those who have run well and finished the course, recognizing that it is not by our goodness nor our good works, but by His righteousness. He was made sin for us so that we could be made righteousness in Him. The grace of God has been extended to us, His Spirit in us. Therefore, He is our Righteousness. That is why we sing that little chorus (He is all I need). We recognize that it is all in Him. In Romans, Chapter 3, the apostle Paul had something to say about righteousness. Picking up something that David had said in the Psalms, Paul wrote, in verse 10, “There is none righteous, no not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” He went on to speak of the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe. We learn from the Word of God that the only righteousness we have is an imputed righteousness, purchased at Calvary with the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is why we must say, He is my righteousness.

 

THE LORD IS PRESENT

 

We have one more name to talk about now and it comes from Ezekiel 48:35. This is a prophecy dealing with Israel, not only back in the land, but also living under the Messianic rule of Jesus Christ in the millennium. The nation has been restored to her place in the perfect plan of God and they are in the kingdom age that their forefathers looked so earnestly for. When that day finally dawns and they see that their Messiah is Jesus Christ whom their fathers crucified, then they will refer to Him as JEHOVAH SHAMMAH, (The Lord is present). What does that mean? It means that God is on earth in the form of man, ruling mankind. ELOHIM is restoring that relationship He had with the first man and woman before they sinned. Mankind has lived out almost 6000 years of what is history to our present age, since Adam and his wife Eve conducted themselves in such a way that God withdrew His eternal life giving presence from them and placed cherubims (angelic beings) between them and Himself to keep them away from His presence. You say, Why did He do that? Simply because they had chosen to exercise their will beyond what the perfect plan of God allowed them to do. God had said to them, Do not partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, (to eat of the tree is to partake of its fruit) for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Now let me say it like this, GOD IS eternal life. Therefore, to remain in His presence IS TO HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, but to remain in the presence of God one must do the will of God. That is where Adam and Eve went wrong. In effect, they chose the pleasures of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil over the presence of God and mankind has had to suffer the penalty of their choice ever since, but there is coming a day and we believe very soon, that God will again place His eternal presence among men. When we say very soon,, naturally we are speaking of the millennium when God will be on earth again in the flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ, ruling over all the people of the whole earth, but even then it will be another one thousand years before the earth is restored back to the place it had with God in the beginning. As we said in Part One of this message, 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, does not have its fulfillment until the end of the one thousand years of Christ’s rule on earth. We will read it again. 24, “Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” We covered this thoroughly in the January 1979 issue, titled, Hell is Not Eternal, but for you who may not have read it let me say, This 24th verse is pertaining to the time when God’s process of redemption will be completed. In other words, at the end of the millennium. That is when Christ Jesus will cease to rule on earth as the King and He will deliver the redeemed Kingdom back to ELOHIM, the ETERNAL SPIRIT from which all things had their beginning. God is one and in the beginning, He only dwell in Spirit form, for He is Spirit. It was only for the purpose of redemption that He created Himself a human body to dwell in among mankind. He created that cell of life in the womb of the virgin girl, Mary, and allowed her to bring it into life through the natural process of child birth, giving him (the baby) a genealogy that placed Him in line to inherit the throne of David. Joseph and Mary took the young child and fled into Egypt to protect his life from the wrath of King Herod who sought to kill him to protect his throne. They later brought the child back into the land of Israel and raised him up to manhood in a little town called Nazareth. Then there came a day when he was beginning to be about 30 years of age that he came to the Jordan to be baptized by John the Baptist (the baptizer). That is when John saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him and heard a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” Time moved on to a day when he rode a little donkey into Jerusalem, went into the temple and overthrew the tables of the money changers and the seats of all them that sold doves saying unto them, “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” With doves flying all around the place, money scattered all over the floor and amid the howling protests of His enemies; He began to preach. The lame and the blind came to Him there in the temple and He healed them, while the children cried, “Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Whose name did He come in? The name of the Lord. Who was the Lord to them? Jehovah. What name did He come in? Jesus. Do you see how plain it is that the redemption name of Jehovah Elohim is J-E-S-U-S? As we said earlier, J-E-S-U-S is the only name He ever manifested to His disciples, yet He said to the Father, (the eternal Spirit) in John 17:6, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept THY WORD.” The words that they had kept were the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, yet He could say to the Father in prayer, “They have kept thy word.”

 

SEVEN REDEMPTIVE NAMES

 

Brothers and sisters, I am not an educated man, but God has graciously allowed me to have my understanding opened to receive revelation of His word. Now I am asking Him to deal with each one of you who are seeking such revelation, the same way, for we know that the natural mind receiveth not the things of God. These things must be revealed to every individual by the Spirit of God. Otherwise, they are just words. Once your understanding is opened to receive revelation, you will begin to see that every scripture carries a beautiful key to the furtherance of the revelation of the oneness of God. We have brought out these 7 redemptive names in an effort to help you see that this ONE GOD, (who is Spirit) has revealed Himself to men as the answer to every need they have. He is not limited to any particular geographical area for He is omnipresent, (present everywhere) and there is nothing too hard for Him, for He is omnipotent, (unlimited in power and ability) and He has infinite understanding, awareness, insight and knowledge. He is omniscient. Now notice, I did say that these are redemptive names. None of them reveal God’s deity. That has already been revealed in EL-SHADDAI, (GOD ALMIGHTY). These 7 names are attributable expressions of the one God who is Spirit toward mankind. When Abraham needed a lamb to replace his only son, Isaac, on the sacrificial altar, God provided one. He was revealed in that situation as JEHOVAH JIREH (the Lord will provide) and so on through all the other attributable names. He is our PROVIDER, our HEALER, our BANNER, our PEACE, our SHEPHERD, our RIGHTEOUSNESS and there is coming a day when we can say, in the full sense of its meaning, The Lord is PRESENT. He is already present in the sense of being omnipresent, but when redemption is completed, that presence will be in a much more glorious realm. When fallen mankind needed a Savior, God became that Savior (provider). Sin had entered the human race through the disobedience of one man. Therefore, it was necessary that there be an innocent man somewhere that could take the blame for man’s sin and bear the shame and reproach of the sin penalty on behalf of us all. Where could such a man be found? There was not a man on earth who did not have imputed death dwelling in him, so where would man’s redeemer come from? There was no such scene in heaven as the trinity people portray in their illustrations of what took place. It was not a situation where God, the Father looked over to God, the Son and said, Son, Will you go down and die for the people? We do not have anyone else to send. No, that was not the way it was at all. God Himself became one of us. Son, in this respect, is pointing strictly to flesh. We have already explained how God created the flesh that He would walk on earth in and that flesh being was called the Son of God or the Son of the Highest. The flesh was the Son, but the life of that flesh was the God-life that created all things. In other words, God came to earth in human flesh to save His own. He did not send anyone. He came Himself. To the natural mind this sounds confusing, but scriptural revelation makes this Godhead question clear as a bell. Some have said, The way you explain the Godhead makes Jesus His own father. That is the natural mind speaking. Regardless of how many times you read Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in the scriptures, you can never make three persons out of God.

 

THE FATHER OF JESUS

 

In the beginning there was no Son of God in the picture and God, being alone, was not even a father. How could He be? Anyone knows that you cannot be called a father until after you have begat life and by the same token, everyone knows that once you have produced or begotten an offspring, you have become a father. When God began to create, He became a father then when He created the cell of life that brought Jesus into the world, coming forth from the womb of a virgin girl that had never had sex relationship with any man. How could this baby be called anything but the Son of God? You must realize also that the Holy Ghost is not another Spirit, different from, nor separate from the sovereign Spirit that dwelt alone in the beginning before He began to create. God is a Spirit and He is holy, not unholy. Therefore, He is the Holy Spirit. Satan is the unholy spirit. We will all agree that God the Father is the father of the child born to the virgin Mary and called Jesus, but have we all noticed that the scriptures reveal He was begotten by the Holy Ghost? Common sense teaches us that whoever begat is the father of the offspring. Therefore, let us look into the first chapter of St. Matthew and read verses 18-23 where we will see what the angel of the Lord told Joseph about this miraculous conception. 18, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: when as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, BEFORE THEY CAME TOGETHER, she was found with child OF THE HOLY GHOST. (Did you catch that?) 19, Then Joseph her husband (or husband to be) being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.” In other words, Joseph and Mary were engaged to be married, which in those days was just as binding as a marriage contract in our day, but before they began to live together in a husband and wife relationship, Joseph discovered that this young lady was pregnant already. If you will try to picture in your mind how social and moral standards were in those days, maybe you can understand how Joseph must have felt. He was an honorable man and wanted to do the right thing, but regardless of how much he loved Mary, he could not put up with her being untrue to her betrothal vows. Therefore, he began to meditate on how to handle this delicate situation. He had no desire to have Mary put up for public ridicule, but on the other hand he did not feel that he could accept this already pregnant woman as his wife. His decision was that he would privately break the engagement without making any fuss about the reason why. This is when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, 20, “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary they wife: for that which is conceived in her IS OF THE HOLY GHOST. (There! You see! It was the Holy Ghost that planted the seed of life in Mary’s womb) 21, And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for HE shall save HIS PEOPLE from their sins, 22, Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, (notice now) and they shall call his name EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, GOD WITH US.” For the benefit of you who may still have a problem with this question of whether God is one or three persons, we desire to cover every aspect of the question in the hope that revelation will strike your soul as you read this article. Once you see that God is not three persons, but that these are titles attributed to the ONE true God who is Spirit, and once you see that He does not need to cease being Father of His creation in order to fulfill the office work of the Son of God, you will wonder how in the world you ever believed such a perverted mess for as long as you did. God is one, but He is able to fulfill the office work of Father, Son and Holy Ghost without dividing Himself up into three persons. He is Father in the sense of being omnipresent, self existent Spirit, capable of begetting life, not just because of His ability to begat life, but because He exercised that ability in creation. He became Father when he created something else with life, He became God when there was something that could look up to Him in worship. He became incarnated in flesh only about two thousand years ago, and He paid man’s sin debt when He voluntarily submitted to the agonizing crucifixion on that old Roman cross through Jesus the Christ. The flesh of Jesus was not the Father and I say this only because of the interpretation that some people place on Isa. 9:6, and other related scriptures which we will get to a little later. The God-life in that flesh was the Father and He had no beginning. He is from everlasting to everlasting and He is God over everlasting thing.

THE BIBLE PRESENTS . . .

 

This Bible presents us with a beautiful story of how a self existent Spirit spoke in the beginning and said, Let there be light, and there was light, and from there went on to speak creative words right on down to include everything that we are familiar with round about us. It tells of how He created the first man and placed him at the head of all His earthly creation and how that man exercised his own free will to disobey his creator and how God, bound by His own word, was forced to separate the man from His eternal life giving presence. Then we have the written record of how God dealt with that man and his wife and their descendants through the various ages in His process of reconciliation, until such a time when the full payment for man’s sin debt was due and payment was required. Then the most wonderful thing of all that we could read from its pages is how God Himself, knowing that man was bankrupt and could not pay his debt, became a man and made sufficient payment to cover all of man’s sin debt throughout every age. He is God. It was His decision and His alone as to what He would do to satisfy man’s sin debt. What could have prevented Him from just saying, Adam, I forgive you for what you have done, just be sure you do not let it happen again? No, He could not do that, for there were attributes in Him (God) that could only be expressed through the process of redemption that He has been working out ever since the day Adam sinned. God knows everything, but how could man ever have known just how great a God he served if there had never been any occasion for God to express that greatness toward mankind? He is revealed to man as the provider in every situation that man finds himself entangled in. That is what we find in those 7 attributable, redemptive names of God.

 

I AM THAT I AM

 

Alright then, God became one of us so that He might be in a legal position to pay our sin debt for us. The wages of sin is death. It was man that sinned. Therefore, it had to be man that would die for that sin. God required a perfect sacrifice and there was none to be found. The whole human race was under the curse of sin with death flowing in their bloodstream. That is why God became a man so He could lay His life on the sacrificial atar for helpless mankind. He laid His life down, but He had power to take it back up again, HALLELUJAH! What a God! You may say, Alright, that pretty well covers the Father and the Son part of the question, but how about the Holy Ghost? What does He do? Since we did not all live in the days of Christ and the apostles, there had to be a way for this wonderful redemption story to be expressed in every age. That is the office work of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Christ, which is the same Spirit as the great omnipresent, self existent one, ELOHIM, who in the beginning dwelt all alone. By His Spirit, this glorious gospel is revealed to every generation. Each generation comes on the scene, lives their allotted days and years, and then they die and leave the scene, but the Spirit of God lives on. Some people say Holy Ghost, and others refer to Him as the Holy Spirit, but regardless of which word you use, you are not talking about another person in a trinity. You are talking about the only true God there has ever been. He is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, Paul, Peter, James and every other Christian in this old world. Those Old Testament saints such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, looked forward to the day when their God would fulfill His promise and Jesus, speaking to a gathering of Jews one day said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad, (John 8:56-58) The Jews then said unto Him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? (They were striving with Him.) Jesus said unto them, (notice this) Verily, verily I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.” That statement was not made from the standpoint of the flesh. The man, Jesus, was not before Abraham, but the God-life in that flesh was doing the speaking and He spoke just like He did to Moses at the burning bush. Moses said to God, “Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you: and they shall say unto me, What is His name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you (Exodus 3:13-14)” Since we are dealing with the fact that God is one and not three persons, what I want you to see from these two passages of scripture is that Jesus Christ, who is called by trinity people, the second person of the holy trinity, spoke exactly the same words in identifying Himself to the Jews that God (who is called by them, the Father) did to Moses. If God the Father was one person and Jesus, the Son, was another separate person, they could not both be identified by the same name. Are you following me? If that had been the case when Moses said, I AM hath sent me, the children of Israel would have needed to ask, Which one? Was it the Father or the Son? No, those Israelites knew their God was one. They had been taught right. They knew their Messiah would be God. They just failed to recognize Him when He came, because of the meek and lowly way that He came unto them.

 

EMMANUEL

 

Let us now go to Isaiah 7:14 where we will pick up Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus and what they would call Him. “Therefore the Lord Himself (meaning Jehovah) shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name IMMANUEL.” This name translated, means God with us, but when the angel of the Lord appeared to Mary, he did not even mention the name EMMANUEL. He told her to call His name, Jesus. Many of the Spanish speaking people name their little male babies Emmanuel, but in those instances it sure does not mean, God with us. The name itself in the case of Jesus was appropriately applied and the angel of the Lord reconfirmed Isaiah’s prophecy when he appeared to Joseph in Matthew 1:23, but when Gabriel appeared to Mary he said, “call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest.” Yes, He was called the Son of God and we have explained why. The Son terminology applies only to the flesh, or human side of Jesus. By revelation we understand that He was none other than God with us. Now, let us go back to Isaiah 9:6 where we will see more details of what this Son, Emmanuel, is to be to the children of Israel. “For unto us (the people of Israel) a child is born, (He was not to be born into a Gentile family) unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and is name shall be called WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, THE MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, THE PRINCE OF PEACE.” There is a verse of scripture that you might wonder how any trinity person could read it and still believe in the trinity. That is why Jesus used such terminology as He did at times when He was teaching. Out by the seaside one day He spoke the parable of the seed sower, then He said, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Then there was another time when the Pharisees were complaining about the disciples of Jesus eating with unwashed hands and Jesus responded to them by pointing out some of the hypocritical ways that they supposedly keep the law of Moses and concluded by saying, “There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.” Then He said, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” It just goes to show that a person does not hear spiritual things only with those natural ears that stick out on each side of his head. If he doesn’t have spiritual ears, truth will pass right through his hearing and he will never catch it. Praise God! I’m glad, and thankful to have hears to hear. Aren’t you? Hallelujah! Isaiah said, His name shall be called Wonderful. Did that mean that people who met Him on the street would say, Hello Wonderful? Do you think they greeted Him by saying, Good morning Counselor? No, that is not what these names imply. We know from the scriptures that He was called Jesus, but knowing who he was (God in flesh) gave those who came in contact with Him the kind of feeling that caused them to go about saying to each other, Oh, He’s Wonderful. Those who received Him and believed on Him had that kind of feeling about Him. Furthermore, when you can truly see that He came in the name of the Father, His name embraces all that Isaiah said He would be called. “His name shall be called wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” How could three persons be called, THE MIGHTY GOD or THE EVERLASTING FATHER? Now let me present the question another way to you who believe in the trinity. How could a prophet of God apply such titles to the second person of the trinity you believe in? Would you not want to know just exactly which one of the three was to be called THE MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, or even THE PRINCE OF PEACE? If you have ears to hear and eyes to see, then this verse alone should open up your understanding. You should be able to see that in this man called Jesus Christ was every attribute and virtue that the Bible applies to ELOHIM, EL-ELYON, EL-SHADDAI and EL-OLAM.

 

YE ARE COMPLETE IN HIM

 

Saints, it ought to make your hearts leap for joy to think that your souls are resting in the hands of a God who loved us enough to veil Himself in human flesh and walk along with man in order to set us free from the bondage of Satan. He lived with men, he walked with men, and when the time was right, He suffered and died as a man. The glorious part of it is that He had power to take His life up again and by that same power, He will take ours up again if we go by the way of the grave before the translation. All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth, said Jesus to His disciples just before He ascended into heaven that day. Please tell me how He could have all power in heaven and in earth if He was not The mighty God Himself? That is why the apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 2:9-10, “For in Him (Jesus Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.” We are complete in Him because He is The mighty God and being The mighty God, He is the very God of peace or The God who is Peace.

 

PRINCE OF PEACE

 

Let us look at this Prince of Peace terminology for just a moment. Prince always speaks of royalty, a son of royalty. I realize the word is used in a more general way, but we are only interested in the sense in which it is used in these scriptures. The prince, the son of a king, is the king’s ambassador. He is the king’s ambassador of peace. Brothers and sisters, this is a beautiful picture of how God, the great Kingly Spirit, sent His Son (The Prince) into the world as an ambassador of peace. No, this does not make Him another person. We have already made that clear enough for any right thinking person, but we have to say certain things in order to bring out the symbolism part of the scriptures that make it sound like God is more than one, but the evidence of His oneness is overwhelmingly stacked against all of man’s traditions which declare Him to be three persons. This Son of God, called The Prince of Peace, was the Father’s mouthpiece to the world, but like every other prince, He had a name that He was called by and that name was JESUS. When he was growing up playing in the streets of Nazareth with the other little boys and girls, they did not call Him Wonderful, nor Counselor, nor Prince of Peace, they called him Jesus. We will come back to this name, but before going on, let me say this, Do not become disturbed about this Prince of Peace terminology just because you may have read in Matthew 10:34 where Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword.” From the standpoint of the world in general, He did not come for the purpose of peace at His first coming. There truly is coming a time when He will reign for 1000 years on earth and that will be a time of peace for sure.

 

GABRIEL SPEAKS TO MARY

 

Now let us go to the first chapter of Luke and read the scripture where the angel of the Lord spoke to Mary about her unusual conception. The verse we read from Isaiah 9:6 had been hanging for over seven hundred years and many generations had come and gone before the angel of the Lord appeared to Mary to begin the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Beginning with the 26th verse we read, “And in the sixth month (the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy with John) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.” We have said a lot about angels already, but please note the fact that God sent an angel to speak to Mary about this very important event. It was not that God had to have angels do His talking, but as we said earlier, God created His angelic family to be helpers with Him in His great plan for the ages. Therefore, Gabriel came to her and said, “Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” I wonder if you noticed that in verse 26 it said, God (ELOHIM) sent Gabriel, then in verse 28 Gabriel says, “The Lord (JEHOVAH) is with thee.” This word, LORD, identifies God with man, while the word GOD simply speaks of The Self Existent One or The Strong One. As we read these verses we are made aware of the fact that God, the creator of heaven and earth, has purposed to be identified with man and He has sent an angel to make it known to Mary the instrument through which He would work His plan. Now when Mary saw him, (verse 29) “She was troubled at his sayings, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.” She was no doubt frightened as well as very troubled at hearing such words, and the angel said to her, Fear not Mary: for thou hast found favor with God (ELOHIM). Did you notice how he puts God right back in His highest position in that verse? In his conversation with Mary, this angel had identified God with man in His role as MASTER (LORD) over us and then turned the conversation to place God right back in His identity as God of all creation. I can only try to imagine how Mary felt as the angel continued to speak. What human has ever been prepared to see an angel without being just a little frightened or at least surprised? You just do not go around expecting an angel to appear and talk with you. Everywhere we read in the scriptures that an angel appeared to someone, it always took them completely by surprise. How would you feel if an angel suddenly walked through your door? You would be just like Mary, you would be very troubled in your mind. The angel continued on (verse 31) “And behold, thou shalt conceive in they womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” This is the son that Isaiah was prophesying about, but this angel did not even mention the name, EMMANUEL, nor counselor, nor wonderful, nor anything like that, did he? “AND SHALT CALL HIS NAME JESUS.” Jesus is our English translation of the word. In the Hebrew, it was Joshua, which actually implies He will save His people. A shorter term is JEHOVAH SAVIOR. All of this is implied by His name. Verse 32, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: (Son of the Most High God) and the LORD GOD (Notice the compound name, JEHOVAH ELOHIM) shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” Now I want every one of you who may not be completely settled on whether God is ONE or THREE, to pay particular attention to verse 32. In this one verse Gabriel speaks of Jesus whom you call the second person of the trinity, first as the Son of God, then as the son of David. My question to you is this, If He was with God as the second person of a trinity when God said, Let us make man in our image, (Gen.1:26) how could He be called the son of David and be in line to inherit the literal throne of Israel’s King David? Here is the wonderful thought that this message is all about. The life in Him was not the son. Son, pertained only to the flesh which was called the son of Joseph and Mary. This made Him a descendent, or a son of David, when in actuality the life in him was not the son of David. It was the Father of David. Do you see it? It is such a beautiful picture when you do see it by revelation of the spirit. In other words, the very creator of David (from the standpoint of the spirit) was going to be robed in a body of flesh that would be looked upon as the son of David according to the natural genealogy. HALLELUJAH! No wonder David said in Psalms 110:1, “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool;” He was speaking by the Spirit. He didn’t know all that we know about Jesus, so that he could speak from the standpoint of the natural, but the Spirit of prophecy that came upon him knew all about the whole plan. From the physical side, Jesus was the seed of woman, the seed of Abraham, the seed of David, and the seed of God. The flesh side of Jesus fulfilled all of this. Then when we look at Him from the standpoint of the Spirit, he is the Most High, the Almighty, the Everlasting God, the God of peace, the God of the attributes we spoke of earlier, and he God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and even David. Now do you begin to see why the scripture says that the natural mind receiveth not the things of God? It is because they must be spiritually discerned. To the natural man of the world, this sounds like just so much babbling, but to the spiritual man who is capable of receiving revelation, it is like music to his ears. He loves to sing, “Down from His glory, ever living story, My Lord and Savior came and Jesus is His name.” He came from so high and willingly went so low, (right into the depths of hell itself) in order to lift us up out of the muck and mire of sin and restore us to a right standing with our Creator, then take us to glory. Praise God! Yes! He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever and of His kingdom there shall be no end. That verse takes us right back to the 9th chapter of Isaiah again. “And the government shall be upon His shoulder.” He will rule the world from a literal throne in Jerusalem for one thousand years, during which time God’s complete process of restoration will be climaxed and sin will be remembered no more. That is when 1 Cor. 15:24, will have its fulfillment. The last enemy to be destroyed is death itself. After that, Jesus will lay down all rule and authority, and return the kingdom to God the Father (the self-existent, Omnipresent Spirit) which created all things in the beginning. Now the angel told Mary that He (Jesus) would reign over the house of Jacob forever and that there would be no end to His kingdom, but you must understand that this only applies to time as long as time is measured. When the millennium comes to an end and the earth enters into the eternal age, then time will be measured no more. This is when Jesus assumes the role of our elder brother. He will no longer be King. He only reigns as King until the earth is completely restored to its original, sin free status.

 

HOW SHALL THIS BE?

 

You will notice in verse 34 that Mary reacted as any human would when the angel told her that she was going to bring forth a son. She said, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” In other words, she said, I am not even married, how is that going to come to pass? Then the angel said, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.” Brothers and sisters, I know you of Faith Assembly know this, but we are sending this message around the world. Therefore, I want to challenge any trinitarian (three persons in the Godhead) believing individual to explain what the angel said to Mary when she said, How can this be? If there are three persons in the Godhead, and God the Father is the Father of Jesus, why would Gabriel tell Mary that she was going to conceive by the Holy Ghost? As I said earlier, anyone knows that he who begat is the father of the child. Surely, you must be able to see by now that the Holy Ghost, which you call the third person of the trinity, is none other than God, the omnipresent spirit, who, in the beginning dwelt all alone. Therefore, also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. If you make Jesus the 2nd person of a trinity, then according to the scriptures, He would have two daddies. Do you see how ridiculous that is? He cannot be the Son of the Highest, and the offspring of the Holy Ghost, both unless they are both the same spirit. I don’t know why the Pope still keeps on preaching that junk and at the same time claiming to be the successor of the apostle Peter. That is the biggest lie that the devil ever told. You would never have heard Peter preaching such junk as that. Furthermore, I say this, If the Pope wants to be the successor of Peter, then why does he no get married like Peter did? In other words, why does he teach a way of living that is contrary to the way Peter lived? I hope you understand what I am getting at. If he is Peter’s successor, then he ought to believe like Peter. It was what Peter believed that caused him to have the keys to the kingdom committed to him in the first place. This reminds me of a little story I heard. A Catholic priest thought he would belittle the Jewish Rabbi, so he called him on the telephone and said, How about coming over and have a ham sandwich with me? He thought he was really pulling one on the Rabbi, for the Jews do not eat pork, but the Rabbi was just as witty as the priest. He said, I will, when you get married. They both had qualifications to step up to, didn’t they?

 

TRUTH OR TRADITION

 

In trying to bring this message to a close, I would like to return to the gospel of St. John where we began the message. We are just going in a great big circle, but not because we are lost. This is one of those eternal revelations that take you all the way through the Bible and then comes right back to where it started to tie it all together. We are not going back to St. John 1:1-5 though. We are going to St. John 5:39-43. Verse 43 is the one we are after, but these others build the thought up to what we want to show. Those Jews that Jesus had been preaching to thought they new everything. They were standing there so full of tradition that they were blind as a bat a far as being able to see truth. They were ready to slay Jesus just because He had healed a man on the Sabbath day. Their traditions were more important to them than seeing miserable human lives straightened out and their bodies made whole. It is the same way in our day. If you cross over people’s traditions for any reason whatever, they are ready to fight. Some of them, while professing to be Christians (Christlike) will get so mad and red in the face that you could almost strike a match by touching it to them. Jesus, while talking to such a know-it-all, hard hearted crowd of people began to say to them (verse 39) “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: And they are they with testify of me. 40, And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” What He is really saying to them is this, You think you have eternal life because you practice a set of traditions you think came from the scriptures, but if you will search those scriptures closely, you will see that every one of them with promise is pointing to ME. They would not come to Him because they had been too blind to see Him in the scriptures. That is why we have been reading many of these scriptures. We want to see Jesus fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy, David’s prophecy, Ezekial’s and all the others which proclaim Jesus to be the anointed one, The Christ that should come, Emmanuel, (God with us) Counselor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God and Everlasting Father. That is the reason we can sing the little chorus, He is all I need. When you see by revelation just exactly who He is. Then you do know assuredly that He truly is all you need for all of life is wrapped up in Him. From the scriptures we have read, if those Jews had not been blinded by traditions, they could not have helped but see who Jesus was. They felt so much above Him that they were not about to defile themselves by paying attention to such a common looking person who had no educational degrees attached to His name. He knew their thoughts though and said, “I receive not honor from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.” He was really laying it on them because of the name, neither is Father a name, and by the same token, Son is not a name; all these are titles that belong to the ONE, OMNIPRESENT, SELF EXISTENT GOD who is spirit. God (Spirit) was in His Son (Flesh) manifesting His redemption name (JESUS) to lost mankind, but there came the day when the Son laid down His life for the sins of lost mankind. The life of the Son, which was the Father (Spirit) that was in Him, raised that body back to life and allowed Him to be seen of above 500 brethren after His resurrection. Then He was caught up to heaven and a few days later His Spirit returned to enter into the loyal disciples who followed Him. When the spirit of Jesus Christ (THE HOLY GHOST) returned to the disciples on the day of Pentecost, they had the Comforter with them, even in them, which Jesus had promised before going away. These disciples had grown very attached to Jesus during the 3+ years they had walked together. Therefore, he knew they would need a Comforter when He was suddenly taken from their midst. This very concern for them carried a revelation of His deity as revealed in EL-SHADDAI (the breasted one that satisfies).

 

TEACHER

 

Notice as we read this next verse of scripture what the Holy Ghost is to do in the life of a believer. John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, HE SHALL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS AND BRING ALL THINGS TO YOUR REMEMBRANCE, WHATSOEVER I HAVE SAID UNTO YOU.” Is He teaching you all things? That is what Jesus said he would do when he is in your life and without Him you cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). Now, whose name was He to come in? Jesus said, He will come in my name. Right? Alright now, Whose name did Jesus come in? He said that He came in the Father’s name, (John 5:43, John 17:6). Well, what does this all add up to you may say. Simply this, after his resurrection, Jesus gathered His disciples together (Luke 24:46-49) and said unto them after He had opened their understanding so that they could understand the scriptures, “thus it is written and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47, And that repentance and remission of since should be preached IN HIS NAME among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48, And ye are witnesses of these things. 49, And, Behold – I – send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be ended with power from on high.” This was said to the disciples just before he ascended up into the heavens and it was said in the very same period of time that Matthew wrote about. He was only with them forty days afer His resurrection, so He did not change His mind about what they were to do after He departed from them. In Matthew 28:18-20 we read, “and Jesus spake unto them saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them (that is for remission of sins, same as Luke 24:47) in the NAME of the Father, (what is the name of the Father?) and of the Son, (the name of the Son is Jesus) and of the Holy Ghost: (What is the name of the Holy Ghost?) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” If you are going to do what Jesus commanded His disciples to do, then you are going to have to baptize believers in the NAME that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost is represented by in this age of Grace and that name is JESUS. On the day of Pentecost when about 120 disciples received the Holy Ghost while waiting in the upper room, they caused quite a stir when they came down into the streets speaking in other tongues and glorifying God. This caused some of the skeptics to remark, These men are full of new wine. That is when the apostle Peter stood up and preached them a short sermon that pierced their hears. He ended it by saying Acts 2:36, “therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37, Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, What shall we do?” In other words, what can we do now to be saved? Peter answered, verse 38, “Repent and be baptized every one of you IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST (No he was not confused, he had a revelation of the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost) for the REMISSION OF SINS, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Brothers and sisters, right there is where it all lays. Right there is the first opportunity Peter had to use the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Please do not be so vain as to think Peter made a mistake in his instructions to those repentant souls. He made no mistake. He unlocked the revelation of how to enter into the kingdom and a perfect God had no need to make an alternate way. There is only one way to enter into the kingdom of God and that way is through repentance and baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Upon your obedience from a repentant heart, you have a promise awaiting you. That promise is the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the spirit of Jesus Christ, which is the Spirit of eternal life and that is the Spirit of the eternal God (ELOHIM) which was before all things. Oh what a glorious book we have here. It is the word of a Great and glorious God, who is worthy of all praise and all glory. Let us be glad and rejoice in these days ahead while we await our change. Brothers and sisters, it can’t be too much longer. This old Gentile clock is running out of time and Israel’s clock is just about ready to start ticking in that last week of Daniel. I pray that this message has helped to clear up some questions, but if you still have unanswered question, write us. May God keep each of you in His perfect love. Amen

Oneness Of God, Part 1 – 1979, March

1979-03-Oneness-Of-God-Part-1

WE ARE APPROACHING THIS SUBJECT DEALING WITH THE ONENESS OF GOD IN AN EFFORT TO TRY AND HELP THE LARGE NUMBER OF SINCERE BELIEVERS WHO DESIRE TO KNOW THE TRUTH, BUT IF GOD SHOULD SO DESIRE TO USE THIS ARTICLE TO PUT TO SILENCE THOSE WHO WILLINGLY TEACH THE DEVIL’S PERVERTED VERSION OF THE GOSPEL, THAT IS ALRIGHT WITH ME. I HAVE FOUND (ESPECIALLY IN OTHER COUNTRIES) A SCARCITY OF LITERATURE DEALING WITH THIS MOST ESSENTIAL TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD (THE FACT THAT HE IS ONE, AND NOT THREE PERSONS.) THEREFORE, IF GOD WILL HELP ME, I WANT TO USE EVERY SCRIPTURE THAT IT REQUIRES TO MAKE THIS SO CLEAR THAT EVEN A CHILD CAN UNDERSTAND IT. THERE IS NO LACK OF SCRIPTURE TO ESTABLISH WHAT WE ARE GOING TO BRING OUT IN THIS MESSAGE. IT JUST REQUIRES A PERSON TO STUDY THEM WITH AN OPEN MIND. WE KNOW THAT THE ANTICHRIST SPIRIT IS IN HIS MAJOR ROLE OF DECEPTION AS THIS AGE IS FAST CLOSING OUT. THE GODHEAD DISPUTE WAS ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THAT BEGAN TO CAUSE TROUBLE IN THE CHURCH AND EVENTUALLY LED TO THE NICAEA COUNCIL WHERE THE TRINITY VERSION WAS ADOPTED AND DECLARED TO BE THE CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF THE GODHEAD. THROUGH THE YEARS SINCE THEN AND ESPECIALLY COMING OUT OF THE DARK AGES, MANY A POOR SOUL HAS CALLED UPON THEIR PASTOR TO EXPLAIN THE GODHEAD ONLY TO BE TOLD THAT THEY MUST JUST ACCEPT IT BY FAITH FOR NO ONE IS ABLE TO EXPLAIN GOD. THE REASON THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO EXPLAIN THEIR VERSION OF IT WAS BECAUSE THEY DID NOT HAVE ANY SCRIPTURE FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVED. WE HAVE ALL THE SCRIPTURE THAT IS NEEDED TO EXPLAIN THE ONENESS OF GOD AND TO UNDERSTAND THE OFFICE WORK OF HIS ATTRIBUTABLE EXPRESSIONS. HE DOES NOT REQUIRE US TO BELIEVE ANYTHING THAT WE DO NOT HAVE SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY. THEREFORE, WE ARE GOING TO BEGIN OUR MESSAGE IN ST. JOHN 1:1, AND BUILD FROM THERE.

 

THE WORD

 

John was one of the apostles that Jesus called to be with Him as He walked by the sea of Galilee in the beginning of His ministry. John is presumed to have been about the same age as Jesus and seemed to have a closeness with Him that most of the other apostles did not have. He wrote from a personal understanding of the deity and ministry of Christ for he was an eye witness of the events of the 3╜ years of Jesus’ ministry. That is why we want to begin our message in St. John 1:1 where we will see just exactly how revelation struck him. Let us read it now. “In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with God and the WORD was God.” Let me say first of all that a statement like this is only made by the revelation that only the Holy Ghost can give. A little later we will see what the apostle Paul had to say. A man who never walked with Jesus on earth, but a man who took his scrolls and went into the Arabian Desert and stayed there until he came out with a genuine revelation. When we hear him expressing the revelation given to him by the Holy Ghost as he tarried there, it matches John’s revelation perfectly. That is what makes the scriptures so beautiful. When the Holy Ghost reveals them, every person believes them the same way. That is why I say that in these last days we are going to see just how many of these people who profess to be filled with the Holy Ghost will come up with an empty sack. I say they will come up with an empty sack. If the spirit you received does not reveal truth to you, truth that separates you from your old traditional ideas, then you had better get down on your knees and seek God for the Holy Ghost, you do not have Him in you yet. Yes, every professing believer is carrying around something and in time the Holy Ghost will reveal whether it is truth or error. The men who wrote the Bible were all unctioned by the same Spirit and we have that same Spirit present today to reveal the truth to us if we hunger for truth. These men were all human beings, subject to the same human feelings and emotions as we and I am persuaded that there must have been times when they were temporarily disillusioned especially when they saw Jesus hanging there on that old cross. Some said, We had hoped that he was the one who would deliver Israel, but now he is dead. Nevertheless, those who picked up the pen to write what they had witnessed, gave a revelated account of what they had seen and heard.

IN THE BEGINNING Let us direct our thinking back to the verse we read from John 1:1, “In the beginning was the WORD.” First we want to consider the word, “BEGINNING.” This is not referring to the beginning of a man, nor is it referring to the beginning of creation. It is speaking of a time before creation when ELOHIM (God) was thinking and planning. Why do I say that? Simply because it is attached to another word, which is “W-O-R-D”, and that was before the WORD was made flesh as we find in the 14th verse that it was. (To you Hebrew and Greek scholars I will just say I know nothing about either one, but I do know that when you begin to express a thought, it is becoming a word. Anything that I am saying right now had to be a thought first. Our thoughts are arranged in our mind and then they can be spoken as words. Otherwise, we would just stand here and let our mouth rattle.) Remember now, God Himself had no beginning, but there was a time when He began to counsel with Himself, (THINK AND PLAN) as you find in the first chapter of Ephesians. At that time, His thoughts, which later became creative words, were with Him. God is a master designer. Before He ever set His plan of creation in motion, He planned every detail of all His creative work throughout the ages to come. That is why we read in the Bible that Jesus Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. As God planned that which He would do naturally, His foreknowledge allowed Him to know that if He created man giving him a will to make choices, he would sin and need to be redeemed. That is where the slain lamb came into His thoughts even before He began to create. On the other hand, if He created man and gave him no choice, he would be like a robot. There would be no honor, respect, glory or worship attributed to God by man if that man could only do what he was programmed to do. You must keep in mind the fact that until He created something that could worship Him, He was not God. He was sovereign spirit, omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, meaning He was present everywhere, all powerful and his intellectual abilities were unlimited, but as long as He was not God, there was nothing to bow down and worship Him. The very word G-O-D means object of worship, so in order to be God, He had to create something that could worship Him, but He did not start a haphazard creation. He planned every detail and left no loose ends and he made no secret of the fact that He did. The bible declares it from Genesis through Revelation. That is how we know that in the eternal age, only those who have worshipped God from a free choice will be present. All who have rejected Him will have been cast into the lake of fire. Now you may say, That doesn’t seem fair. Yes it is, for you must remember that every one of those who will have been destroyed had their chance to worship and serve God and rejected it. To further clarify your thinking on this subject, let us turn to the book of Colossians and read what the apostle Paul wrote to them. In chapter one, we find the apostle expressing his feelings toward the saints at Colosse and his desire for their spiritual growth. Then, as we read on down to the 13th verse, we find him starting to speak of their inheritance in Christ Jesus. Verses 14-15, speak of our redemption through His blood and declare Him to be the very image of the invisible God. Then verse 16 reads like this, “for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: ALL THINGS WERE CREATED BY HIM, AND FOR HIM.” Did you see what I wanted you to see in that last verse? All things were created by Him and for Him. Try to get the picture now, God was all alone. There was nothing for Him to express His many attributes through. Therefore, His creation was for Himself. It had to be. There was no other life that it could be for. Now in order for his attributable qualities to be fully expressed, there had to be not only that which He had created, but also that which had fallen from its first estate. In Him lay the attributes of redeemer, intercessor, judge and all the other abilities that never could have been expressed if man had never sinned. You should never accuse God of being unfair, because everything that had ever been created was for Him and he who creates is the one who decides what his creation is to be like and also what it is to be for. Furthermore, like I said already, every person upon the face of this earth since the day Adam was created, has had to make a choice concerning right and wrong. God did not force any of them. He even told Cain if he would do well, he would be accepted. Therefore, when we say that God planned everything from the beginning unto the end, we are saying that He did not leave any loose ends. He did not force Adam to sin, but He knew that he would. He did not force the serpent to seduce Eve, but He knew that he would. It had to be like that in order for God to be able to express all of His many attributes and then in the end have a multitude of sons and daughters that will walk with Him throughout eternity having made Him their choice after being tempted and tested with all of Satan’s evil devices. Yes, in the eternal age, God will have a great family of people who truly love, worship and adore Him, a people who will never sin nor turn from Him and every one of them will be where they are by their own free will. That is the beauty of it all. There will not be one single one of them there against their will.

 

WHEN GOD BEGAN TO SPEAK

 

Now, in the beginning when God began to think of His great plan for the ages, His thoughts were His words. Then, after the whole plan was fixed in His great mind, He began to express those words and they were creative words. “The Word was with God and the Word WAS God.” God and His Word are one. We are not yet talking about the Word that became flesh for the flesh (Jesus) that was the Word expressed and made manifest two thousand years ago, came into time and we are still dealing with the Word that was the thoughts of God before time began. The word, B-E-G-I-N-N-I-N-G, in John 1:1 is not related to time. However, when we go to Genesis 1:1 and look at the same word, it definitely does mark the beginning of a time, a time when God began to express His thoughts (WORDS) in creation. Yet time, as we measure it, still had not started. We measure time by the earth’s rotation to the sun and the sun was not made until the fourth creative day. That is when God placed the two great lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. One to rule the day (the sun) and the lesser light (the moon) to rule the night and said that they should be for signs and for seasons and for days and years. Let me say before moving on, God’s creative works in the first chapter of Genesis did not literally manifest these things upon the earth, that is, there was still nothing visible. All of his creative works were in the spirit. You will notice that in the sequence of creation, man was the last thing that God created. After that, God rested from all of His works sanctifying the seventh day, because in it, He rested from all His creative work.

 

MANIFESTING HIS CREATION

 

Now, verses 4 and 5 of chapter 2 give us enlightment on God’s creative acts, actually explaining that up to this point nothing has been visibly manifested upon the earth. Then in verse 7, we see that man was actually the first thing of God’s creation that was manifested upon the earth. Let us read those verses with this in mind. 4 “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth WHEN they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens and every plant of the field BEFORE IT WAS IN THE EARTH, and every herb of the field BEFORE IT GREW. The Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth and there was not a man to till the ground. You may read the rest of the chapter to see the order in which all of God’s creation was actually visibly manifested upon the earth. In verses 18-20, you will see that the animals and fowls, etc. were formed because God said it was not good that the man should be ALONE. I will not read any more here, for this is not our message. I only used this much in an effort to help you see the word BEGINNING in its true relationship with the verses it is used in. In the beginning was John’s way of expressing his revelation of the Godhead and I think it was a good way to say it. Look at it like this; In the beginning when God began to think, His thoughts became fixed in His mind. When His thoughts became fixed in His mind, they became His Word. They were unalterable. God’s Word never changes.

 

LOOKING AHEAD

 

I want to use a little illustration that I believe will help you better understand what we mean when we say God counseled with Himself (He meditated and planned). Take a young man and his wife for instance. Let us say they have just gotten married, started housekeeping and they desire to build a house. They talk among themselves and plan until they have a fixed plan in their mind of what the house is to look like. They try to work out a plan that will not only be sufficient for the two of them when the place is new and everything is working well, but they also take into consideration room for guests and also for an increase in the size of their family. They will also want to build the place with excess space to repair plumbing and other things that may need to be serviced as time goes on. In other words, they must work out the details and get a picture in their mind of what they want before they can ever start drawing up blue prints for the construction crew to go by. The point we are making is that they have a picture in their mind of what the place is to be like. They have said, this is it, this is what it will be like. Creation is completed in their mind, but the creation must yet be manifested. After those thoughts have formed a complete picture and it is time for the blueprint, those thoughts become their words. They say, Let there be a living room here and let there be three bedrooms at such and such a location and so on until the whole structure has been laid out. They see it clearly, but it is yet to be materialized. This is just a little illustration to call your attention to the fact that in the beginning, before there was anything, a great architect, a mastermind chose to have things a certain way. Therefore, the natural, material world that we are so accustomed to was at one time, somewhere in the billions of ages back, nothing more than a fixed thought in the mind of God. Those thoughts became His word and His word manifested them. John recognized that because a man’s thoughts cannot be separated from him and still remain to be his thoughts so is it with God. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and Word was God.” The trinity oriented person reads that verse and thinks it is speaking of the Son, (Jesus) for they have read the 14th verse that declares, “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Brothers and Sisters, that would be reincarnation if Jesus (the Son) had been with the Father in creation and left whatever form he was in then to take upon himself the body that came forth from the womb of the Virgin Mary. The Bible does not teach any such thing as that. The Bible teaches resurrection. Resurrection is the act or process f being reunited with the same. I repeat, the S-A-M-E body that you walked on earth in. Reincarnation would be where the same spirit being would come back in another body or form. You certainly cannot get the Bible to teach anything like that. But, Bro. Jackson, what does it mean the where it says, The same was in the beginning with God?” Let me say first of all, you should not even think of a flesh and blood being when you read that verse. There is no such thing as eternal Sonship even though some are teaching such thing. The reason they teach a thing like that is because they are without revelation concerning the Godhead. The flesh of Jesus Christ had a beginning some two thousand years ago. Therefore, we know that the flesh is not eternal. What do we say then to these questions? Simply this, the life that was in that flesh is what was with the Father in the beginning for it was eternal life. Please do not become confused here. Remember what we have said already. God, who in the beginning dwelt all alone, is a spirit. He had no physical form nor anything of matter yet He (THIS SOVEREIGN SPIRIT) could think and speak. That is why John said the Word was with Him in the beginning and that all things were made by the Word that was with God in the beginning. We have already explained how that God (who is Spirit) and His thoughts and His Word are all one and the same. Could you say that your thoughts are not you? Could you say that your word is not you? Of course not. You, your thoughts and your word are one. That is why John said (concerning the Word of God) that it was with God in the beginning, because it was just as much God as the sovereign Spirit from which it originated.

 

HOW WORD BECAME FLESH

 

None of the other gospel writers ever expressed their revelation as did John. He saw the oneness of God and had perfect understanding of the deity of Christ and wrote it in his account in very plain words. He understood how God, who had no physical form, created all things by His Word and how, in the fullness of time, He created a cell of life and placed it in the womb of a virgin girl who brought forth a son and called his name Jesus. John understood that in the veins of Jesus, flowed the only blood of all humanity that was not contaminated by sin from Adam’s disobedience. Why? Because it was a created blood. In other words God spoke and created Himself a human body that He could incarnate for the purpose of walking among man as one of them and afterward, offer that sinless body upon the altar of sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, but He allowed that body to come forth into the world in the same manner as any other little baby that is born of woman. This gave him an identity in the natural genealogy of mankind, but he did not have imputed death in his blood because he was not begotten by any man. He was begotten by the creative Word of God and that is why John said that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus was in the mind of God from before the foundation of the world just like everything else that God created by His spoken Word and that is the point we are endeavoring to make. Though the flesh had a beginning two thousand years ago, the eternal life which dwelt in that flesh was the very life of God which made Him God, incarnated in flesh. That did not empty the universe of the presence of God, for God is omnipresent (present everywhere) but Jesus Christ was every bit God. That is why the apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 2:9 (speaking of Christ) “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Also, we find in 1 Timothy 3:16, these words, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; GOD was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” When Jesus uttered the words recorded in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life;” He was not speaking of His flesh. He was speaking of the life of that flesh which was the eternal God. In his mind, before the foundation of the world, God saw the sun, the moon, the stars and the Milky Way, all the trees and animals of every species. He knew exactly what man would look like and what his span of days and years upon earth would be. Right here is where predestination and eternal security come into the picture. God knew exactly what He was going to create before He ever spoke. He knew exactly what man would do when he was tempted and He knew exactly what provision He would make for man to be reunited with Him after the fall. He knew which men would accept His provision for restoration and He knew the ones who would harden their heart against Him. Therefore, by foreknowledge (His ability to know the end from the beginning) he knew the destination of every person who would ever live upon the fact of this earth. By knowing the end from before the beginning, He was able to record the name of every person who would surrender their life to Him in this earthly journey. All their names were recorded in the Book of Life before Adam was ever created. Every detail was worked out in His mind and those thoughts later became His Word, but in the beginning, his Word was with Him, for He had not spoken any of those words. In the third verse we find John saying, “All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made.” What does that verse say to us? If you read verses 1 and 2 correctly, this verse will tell you that God created everything upon the earth and even all the other planets by his Word. He simply spoke saying, Let there be thus and so, speaking that Word that was with Him in the beginning and it was so. Hallelujah! Saints, I am thankful to be serving a God who is able to carry through with His thoughts with perfect accuracy. There have been many who desired to be called God and there have been many gods through the span of the ages, but there is only one true God and He earned the right to be called God by making something out of nothing. True, He made man from the dust of the ground, but remember this, He is the one who made the dust. Often when we say that God made this or that, when there was nothing to make anything out of, someone will say, Tell me, Where did God come from? Brothers and sisters, that is a question we do not need to ask. If you are a believer, you know that God (Spirit) had no beginning. He always was. If you are not a believer, there is no answer that will satisfy you, but unless you are completely blind, you certainly must realize that there is a Higher power somewhere. All the celestial bodies being so precise that men are able to calculate, years in advance, certain conditions and positions, is not mere chance. They were designed by a Master Creator. Yes, all things were made by Him. Not by the flesh man Jesus, but by the Word of the eternal Spirit (God) that walked on earth in that flesh. In Jesus was a full expression of all the attributes of the eternal God. He was God, walking among men so that men could touch God. The flesh was not God, but it was a medium by which men could come to God. Prior to the days of Jesus, God could not be touched nor observed with the human senses. There were times when God would manifest Himself in some particular form in order to commune with men as He did with Abraham in Genesis, chapter 18, but these were all temporary manifestations for the purpose of getting man’s attention. When he veiled Himself in the flesh of Jesus, it was to be a permanent habitation. Jesus would be the Godman throughout eternity. As we said earlier, the flesh was strictly man, but it did not have inherited sin attached to it. There was no death dwelling in its physical structure, yet it was voluntarily subjected to death to pay man’s sin debt. Then it was raised from the dead to become the first fruits of them that slept. God is still in that body of flesh, but now it is immortal flesh having conquered death. It can never be touched by death again.

 

GOD IS LIGHT

 

Let us look at verse 4, in the 1st chapter of John. “In Him was life (in this God who is Spirit and Word) and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” This is the same light that you read of in Genesis 1:2-3, “and the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and God said, Let there be light; and there was light.” God is not only Spirit and Word, but He is light also. If you do not believe that God is light, then you will never get past Revelation 21:23 and 22:5, for John said, (speaking of that holy city, the new Jerusalem, which he saw coming down out of heaven in a vision,) “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the GLORY OF GOD DID LIGHTEN IT, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord god giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” God is light; He is all light; there is no darkness in Him. He is the light that spoken in Genesis 1:3 and said, Let there be light. Do not think it strange when we say that God is Spirit and then that God is Word and now that God is light. He is all of this and much more. John recognized that light. That is what caused him to say, “The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” Brothers and sisters, we were all born in sin, shapen in iniquity and until we were redeemed, we were in darkness, but now we are children of light. I am sure that most of you will confess along with me that when God shined His light upon our soul, it made us feel so condemned. I couldn’t stop until I had bowed down at an altar and said, God, come into my life and give me a know-so salvation. Now, what does that light do? It reproves men of sin and calls them into that marvelous light.

 

SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS

 

Some people do not want to get out of darkness. They are just like bugs, they love the darkness. I am not calling anyone a bug, I merely said that some of them are like bugs the way they enjoy the darkness. Did you ever go down into an old damp, dark basement with a flashlight? If you have, you know what I am referring to. When that light pierces the darkness, you can see bugs of every sort scurrying for a hiding place. That is exactly how sinful mankind reacts when the gospel is preached in its true revelation. When it begins to shine on their sinful hearts and reprove them or their sinful and wicked ways, they begin to say, I have got to get out of here. I cannot stay in the presence of this; I feel miserable. Saints, I am glad that Jesus Christ is a full expression of that glorious eternal light. He is the light, He is the door, He is the life, He is the way, He is everything. No wonder He could say, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

 

DOORWAY TO LIGHT

 

God is everything we need, but He has purposed that men this side of Calvary must come to Him through Jesus Christ. He is the doorway into the presence of the eternal God who is light. The apostle Peter expressed it very clearly in 1 Peter 1:18-21, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your VAIN CONVERSATION or BEHAVIOR received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. Who do believe in God that raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” Just to sum that up in few words, Peter was saying, you are REDEEMED from your VAIN TRADITIONS, (which was darkness) handed down to you from your fathers, but the price of your redemption was the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ who was foreordained to shed His blood for all our sins from before the foundation of the world, (while it was all still in the mind of Elohim) but was manifest in these last days. Looking back, we can see that Jesus had his manifested beginning just about two thousand years ago, but as we said already, he was in the mind of God before creation ever began. Furthermore, all of God’s plan for creation and redemption was perfect, nothing was overlooked. Therefore, He only made one doorway for sinful man to come through to be reconciled to his Creator. That doorway is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which makes every other way that men are trying to reach God, vain and hopeless. “No man can come to the Father, but by me.”

 

IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD

 

Let us go now to the 14th verse of this 1st chapter of John. We have already talked some about it, but let us go back, now that we have fully established the fact that God created all things by His Word which were His thoughts before He started to speak. When you read in various scriptures that God created all things by Jesus Christ, you must realize that the writer is speaking from the standpoint of the eternal Spirit which dwelt in that body of flesh and think not, that the flesh of Jesus had anything to do with creation. 14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” How was the Word made flesh? God sovereignly created a cell of life by speaking the word and placed it in the womb of the young virgin Mary. That is how the word was made flesh causing Him to be the very image of the invisible God. Yet we find Jesus saying, “the Son in himself can do nothing,” speaking from the standpoint of the flesh of course. There was nothing impossible to the eternal Spirit that dwelt in that flesh. Let me read that verse of scripture from John 5:19 and when we read it, please keep in mind that the Son reference is to the flesh, the human side of Jesus the Christ and the Father reference is to the eternal Spirit, (God) that indwelt that flesh and blood man. We read, “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth these also doeth the Son likewise.”

 

TRUTH WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

 

Brothers and sisters, I just have to say this right here for the sake of the message. People who have been raised up to believe that God is three persons will read a verse like John 5:19 and almost be willing to fight anyone who mentions the fact that God is ONE and not THREE persons. Listen to me now, if you are one of those person’s who believe like that. Please! This whole message is being published just for the sake of giving you a chance to gain by revelation of the scriptures, the understanding of the Godhead. If you are willing to be honest with yourself in the presence of the God we are speaking of, I beg you, lay aside your traditional teaching and sincerely study this message. It can change your whole life. To further clarify the fact that GOD IS A SPIRIT, we will read John 4:22-24, with special emphasis on verse 24. Jesus spoke these words to a Samaritan woman who approached Him as he sat on the side of Jacob’s well one day. Verse 6 tells us that He was wearied with His journey. In other words, He was tired. This very scripture by itself proves the humanity of Jesus. God, who is a Spirit, does not get tired. (This is for you who try to place Jesus as the 2nd person of a trinity, which in the beginning said, “Let us make man in our image.” If he had been back there, He would not be sitting here on the side of a well, tired from walking.) No! God (who is Spirit) said to his angelic helpers, (which are spirit beings) “Let us make man in our image.” (In other words, a spirit being) But here sat Jesus (a young man in His early thirties) on the side of well, tired and thirsty. Along comes a woman of Samaria to draw water and He asked her for a drink. The woman thought it was very strange to have a Jewish man (as she commented) ask her for a drink since the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans, but Jesus told her that if she only knew who she was talking to, she would ask of Him and He would give her living water. The conversation went on, then Jesus said to her, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (Speaking of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of eternal life.) As they continued to talk, the conversation came around to how and where man should worship God. That brings us to verse 22. “Ye worship ye know not what: we (the Jews) know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. (He came to the Jews first and they rejected Him) But the hour cometh and now is when the TRUE WORSHIPERS shall worship the Father in SPIRIT and in TRUTH: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. (If you are still trying to worship God believing that He, (singular) is three persons, you are not worshipping Him in truth.) 24 GOD IS A SPIRIT: (now a Father and a Son and a Spirit co-existing as three distinct persons of a trinity, like Babylonian tradition teaches) and they that worship Him MUST worship Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH.”

 

IDENTIFYING THE UNKNOWN GOD

 

When you attach the word Father to man, you have a person who can be seen, heard, touched and fellowshipped with through the physical senses, but when the same word is attached to God, it pertains to an omnipresent Spirit which can not be fellowshipped and worshipped through the five senses. Furthermore, as we said in the beginning, He is Father in that all things had their beginning in Him. He wasn’t even God until after He had created something that could worship Him. When He is called Father, it is because all life came from Him. It is no wonder the apostle Paul spoke as he did, standing in the midst of Mars Hill in Athens, Greece, that day. He had observed an altar dedicated TO THE UNKNOWN GOD as he passed a certain place. Therefore, when the philosophers prevailed upon him to declare unto them the strange or new doctrine he had been speaking of around the market place and in the synagogue, he said, I am going to tell you about this unknown God that you have been ignorantly worshipping, the God who is the creator of heaven and earth and all things therein. We are all His offspring by creation for He has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth and has determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation. This is not an exact quote, but this is the thought that Paul was conveying to them as he spoke (Acts 17). Now when you begin to talk about offspring, you are talking about something that has descended from a source that could give life. Therefore, referring to God as Father, does not make Him a visible person that can be seen with the natural eye. It simply identifies Him as the source from which life originated. God who is Spirit began to express Himself in the earth by begetting offspring which carried a resemblance or likeness of Himself. He gave His offspring earthly bodies to have physical contact with the earth. Before Adam disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, he could move just as freely in the spirit world or realm of the spirit as he could in the natural surroundings where he was placed. He willingly forfeited that privilege and passed his penalty on down to the whole human race.

 

REVELATION IS THE KEY

 

Saints, we are trying to lay this message down clear and plain by the scriptures, but I realize there are a lot of people who will still try to interpret these scriptures carnally or I should say by the natural mind, strictly from a human level. I am here to tell you, they cannot be understood except by spiritual revelation. That is why Jesus said to the apostle Peter (Matt. 16:17) “Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father (not a physical person, but a Spirit) which is in heaven.” What was he talking about? He (Jesus) had asked His disciples, Who do men say that I the Son of man am?” Naturally they answered that question according to what they had been hearing from the multitudes, but then He asked them another question and this time they were required to give their own answer. “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?” Peter was always the impulsive one among them and before the others could answer, he burst forth with, “thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” How did he know that? Here was the very Life-giver Himself, incarnated in flesh, standing, talking to His disciples, but how did they know who He was? No man had ever seen the Father, but here He was, in flesh, communicating with them on their human level and Peter recognized Him to be the Christ, the anointed one that their forefathers had longed to see. How did he know? There was only ne way he could have known and that is the only way that you and I can know. That is by revelation of the spirit. Men can point you to a revelation, but unless God Himself opens up your spiritual understanding, all you will ever have is head knowledge, which will never be a real part of you like a revelation is.

 

HUMAN SIDE OF JESUS

 

Not very long ago, I received a letter with a certain question which I did not try to answer in personal correspondence. I thought at the time that it would be better to wait and preach a message that would answer the question and print it, for others have the same question. The question was; Bro. Jackson, I believe in the oneness of God and I believe that Jesus Christ was none other than God manifested in the flesh, but I have a question. Did Jesus have a human nature like other men? Yes! He absolutely did have a human nature. Listen carefully. Once life becomes expressed in human, earthly, physical form, it takes on a human side as well as a divine side. The human side is that which is intended by the Creator to have intimate contact with tangible things while the divine side is to have intimate contact and fellowship in the realm of the spirit. As we said earlier, when it comes to the flesh side of man, there are no two humans exactly alike. Even if you find two people who look exactly alike, close observation will reveal that their likes and dislikes are not the same. For instance, one may like cherry pie and not care a thing about apple pie, while the other one might be crazy about apple pie. Apple pie would cause the taste buds of that person to get full of saliva, just like mine do when cherry pie is mentioned. In other words, you can be sure that Jesus had some taste buds. He had affection and desires just like any other man or it could not be said of Him (Heb. 4:15) that He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He did not yield to any of the temptations, but the point we are making is that if He had been completely divine, without any human nature, He could not have been tempted. That is where many people have their greatest difficulty in understanding the Godhead. They just cannot see how Jesus could be as human as anyone else and still be a full expression of the eternal God manifesting the works of God among men. You have two extreme factions in the religious world concerning this. No group holds that He is completely divine with no human feelings or emotions, while the other extreme denies His deity, claiming that He is just another creature made out of nothing, like all other created beings. True revelation causes us to see that both of these views are wrong. All one needs to do to settle that question is read the four gospels, carefully noting all the times that His human makeup is revealed as well as all the times that His divinity is displayed. When He wept over the city of Jerusalem and at the report of Lazarus’ death, that was human emotions. When He stopped in at the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus on His travels, that was human choice, but when He stood before the tomb where Lazarus had been lying dead for four days and cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth,” that was deity speaking. That did not come from the human side of Him. From the human standpoint, Jesus was very fond of this young man, Lazarus, but to further show the divine side of Jesus, let me point out to you that He never did call this young man to be one of His apostles. He walked along the sea shore and called men who were fishermen, smelling with the odor of their occupation, saying to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Why? This was the predestined plan of God, foreordained from before the foundation of the world. These were the men chosen by God when His words were still just unexpressed thoughts, before He began to create by speaking. If Jesus had chosen His apostles from the human standpoint, He would have just sort of sat around with these men until He had made friends with them, then he would have chosen the ones that impressed Him the most, but He did not choose these men like that. He chose them by revelation of the Spirit, never having tried any of them. We will say it like this, God spoke to them through the lips of Jesus saying, Follow me.

 

SUBMITTING TO DIVINE PURPOSE

 

We have used some illustrations in an effort to show you that Jesus Christ was both God and man, so please do not take what we have said and try to separate the human side of Him from the divine side. You cannot do that. By the spirit we see that God and Christ are one. Take for instance when the sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus about Lazarus being sick (John 11:3). They said, “Behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” Notice verse 4 now. “When Jesus heard that He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God that the Son of god might be glorified thereby.” The next verse tells us that Jesus loved Lazarus and his two sisters. We know that if Jesus had given in to human feelings when He received that report, He would have went running, but He submitted His human feelings to the divine purpose that was being worked out through this occasion. Two days later when He and His disciples were talking, He told them plainly that Lazarus was dead already and said to them, “I am glad for your sakes that I was not there to the intent that ye may believe.” He waited until the man died, then He went and raised him from the dead. That was God in action. Human responses are not like that at all. He loved these people humanly as well as divinely, but the divine purpose of God always had the pre-eminence in every situation in the life of Jesus as He walked on earth among men. On the other hand, it is very foolish for people to think that every little conversation Jesus had with people was the Word of God. I believe He was just as apt to comment about a beautiful flower or a cool refreshing breeze as anyone else, even though the life of that flower and the source of that breeze was the very Spirit that was in Him. The flesh did not have anything to do with either one in creation or in effect, but now that God is manifesting Himself to mankind in this human flesh, he is also using this flesh to fellowship man on a human level. The Bible does not go into detail about these things, but it does not have to. Surely we would have no trouble realizing that Jesus, as a little boy, played in the streets just like all the other little children did and played with the other children. If he had stayed secluded all his boyhood days as some are prone to believe he did, when he grew up, he never would have wanted to go among the multitudes. I do believe that he was a child that knew all along, every day of his life, that he was destined to be something for the Father, the eternal spirit. You will recall when he was 12 years old, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover, according to their custom, but when they left, Jesus stayed behind and upon returning back to look for him, they found him in the temple sitting in the midst of the doctors (teachers and instructors in the law of Moses) both listening to them and also asking them questions insomuch that they were all astonished at his understanding and answers. When his mother questioned Him about his actions, he replied, “Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” He was not talking about Joseph when he answered Mary like that. He was talking about the eternal Spirit (God) that had created a cell of life in the womb of Mary when she was still a virgin and sent His angel to tell her that this child would be called the Son of the Highest and that his name should be called JESUS. By this, we know that Jesus grew up knowing that he had a purpose to fulfill which would be beyond the ordinary man, but that did not keep him from being just as human as anyone else. The scripture states that after the occasion in the temple when he was 12 years old, he went down with Joseph and Mary to Nazareth, their home town and was subject unto them (Luke 2:51). In other words, he obeyed them and respected their decisions. He grew up physically to an age of mental maturity. This set a pattern and a perfect example fr life on this earth. We have no record of his life between the age of 12, when he was in the temple at Jerusalem and 30, when he came to John the Baptist (or baptizer) to be baptized, but you can be sure of one thing, he was not a rebellious teenager who acted like he knew it all and Joseph and Mary were a couple of old fogies who didn’t know how things ought to be done. No! He was subject unto them as every teenager ought to be to their parents.

 

I AM THE RESURRECTION

 

I want to come back to Lazarus now, for this story which is recorded in the 11th chapter of John enables us to see so clearly both sides of Jesus, His divine nature on one hand and His human nature on the other. Jesus was beyond Jordan preaching, when the word reached Him that Lazarus or he whom thou lovest is sick. He sent a message back to Martha and Mary and stayed there two more days after that preaching to those who came out to hear Him. His reply to the messengers was not from His human nature, but strictly from the deity standpoint. He knew perfectly well as He spoke those words that Lazarus would be dead very shortly and it probably sounded to those messengers like He didn’t even care. This is probably what made His disciples sort of wonder two days later when He said, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth, but I go that I may awake him out of sleep.” His disciples thought Lazarus was just taking a nap and that he should be left alone. This was done to get their attention. Therefore, Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.” When He finished speaking to His apostles on the matter, then He started for Bethany. By the time they arrived there, Lazarus had been dead four days. It was already in the 4th day since he died, we will say. Upon His arrival, one of the sisters came rushing out to meet Him saying, Lord, if you had only been here, my brother would never have died. They had seen what he did with the widow’s son in Galilee and all these others, but here is Martha saying, Lord, if only you had been here, he would not be dead. It just goes to show that they were looking at Him strictly from a human standpoint. Martha did go on to say, But I know that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. That is when Jesus said to her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha replied, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said, I am the resurrection. (The conversation really begins to get deep along about here. It looked like Jesus was just waiting to see what kind of revelation she would actually get.) This led Jesus to say, He that liveth and believeth in me shall never die. This is a spiritual statement. More than 1900 years have passed and all of those who believed in Him are physically dead, but they are spiritually still alive. When you carry that statement over to the end of the age, it will apply to a group of people who will not die physically nor spiritually.

 

LAZARUS RAISED FROM DEATH

 

Martha called her sister, Mary, saying to her, The Master is come and calleth for thee. Upon hearing this, Mary runs to Jesus saying much the same that Martha had said, but by this time most of them were weeping and Jesus just asked, Where have you laid him? They answered, Lord, come and see. Right here is where it is recorded that Jesus wept. Some said, Just look how much He loved him, while others said, It seems like a man that could open blind eyes could have prevented this man from dying. Their lack of understanding caused Jesus to groan within Himself as they came near the grave, but upon arriving at the cave where they had laid Lazarus, Jesus said to some of the men who were with them, Take away the stone. Martha said, Lord, by this time he will be stinking, for he has been dead four days already. (It seems like some of these critics who believe Jesus had to lay in the grave a full 3 days and 3 nights, “72 hours” ought to learn a little something from this account of Lazarus’ death and resurrection.) By this we see that when Lazarus passed that third day, he was stinking already, yet many of these fault finders insist that Jesus had to be buried a full 72 hours in order to fulfill scripture, when they have to walk right over another scripture to do so. That is the prophecy of David in Psalms 16:10, where he said, Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption (speaking of Jesus). When you pass that point, you are already entering the fourth day and these people knew that such a body would be stinking already. Jesus had deliberately waited until this dead man’s body had reached such a point of decay, knowing that eternal life, which is the fountain of all life, is not limited by circumstances such as these, for out of this occasion many should receive a revelation. Quite a crowd of people had gathered by the time the men had taken the stone from the opening of the cave where Lazarus lay and many of them were weeping, but all attention was focused upon Jesus. What will He do now? This was a question in the minds of all who stood there that day. Jesus lifted His head and prayed a short prayer of thanksgiving; then cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” Immediately, that man who had been dead four days stood before them, still bound hand and foot with graveclothes, just like he was when they laid him in that cave. He probably looked like a mummy and was helpless to loose himself, but, Praise God! He was alive. The words that called Lazarus forth and gave him his life again, came through the same lips that had fellowshipped this man and his sisters on a very human level in former days, but this time deity was speaking. This God man could weep one minute on a completely human level and speak life into a man the next, something that mere human could not do.

 

CAN GOD WEEP?

 

Christian Science, along with some others, deny the deity of Christ because of the very fact that He wept. They say, If He was God, He wouldn’t have wept. It is true that the omnipresent Spirit that fills all space cannot weep for the simple reason that a spirit has no tear ducts, but when that omnipresent Spirit incarnates a human body, even though that man is every bit human, he also is every bit God. Brothers and sisters, it may seem that we are dwelling on this point longer than you think we should, but please be patient for the sake of all those who have so much trouble trying to understand the Godhead. This is the most important revelation a person can get for every other genuine revelation is hinged upon knowing the God who is behind that revelation. If we dwell on a point for a little while, it gives everyone a chance to think and consider the things we are speaking of. Our only reason for printing a message such as this is to help those who desire to know the truth. We are not doing it to pick at anyone else. God is the source of all life and the God man, Jesus Christ, is none other than a full expression of that ONE GOD. He could carry on a natural conversation with His friends, but you can be sure of this, He never participated in an off color conversation, nor took part in foolish jesting. He was without sin in every aspect of life. When He spoke of spiritual things, He could say, These words that I speak unto you are not my words, they are the words of my Father, therefore, that which I speak unto you is not of me, but of my Father. The words that I speak unto you are Spirit and they are life. Why? Because He was the literal expression of God’s thoughts. The scriptures declare that He was full of grace and truth and in Him was no lie. He was the channel through which grace and truth was passed to man from the fountain of all truth, God, the sovereign Spirit. God is the fountain of all truth and He channeled that truth through the personal flesh body of Jesus Christ who was an outlet, chosen by God, before the world was created.

 

NOW I SEE

 

The reason I chose to approach this message from a New Testament setting was to show the readers of our paper just how men in that first century reacted to a revelation when they saw God come down on their level. If you can truly see that God did definitely come down and walk with man on his own level, it will help you to better understand later as we go back into the Old Testament to bring the revelation through the Bible. Later in the message we are going all the way back to Genesis 1:26-27, where God said, let us make man in our image and try to cover this Godhead subject from every angle of the scriptures. We are fully persuaded that there can not possibly be two separate revelations on any subject taken from this Bible. Therefore, by the help of God, we will try to make the one revelation on the Godhead so plain that it will automatically show up every other version to be of human origin and not by the revelation of the Spirit of God. Anything that is a genuine revelation must line up with everything else in the book and ultimately climax by forming one great big beautiful picture. In this message we want to deal with the 7 attributable names that God was called by and also prove by the scriptures that God never did speak of Himself in plural terminology. Trinitarians read certain verses in the Bible and without revelation, they do just exactly what Nicodemus did when Jesus told him that a man must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus looked at what Jesus said strictly from a natural view-point saying, How can a man enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born? Any man who looks into this book and sees God as three persons coexisting in complete unity is just as carnal in his thinking as Nicodemus was. Brothers and sisters, I do not say this to ridicule you. I say it as a fact, for there was a time when I was just as carnal in that area as anyone else and except for the grace of God, I might still be blind, but praise His wonderful name, He opened my eyes and now I see and now that I see, I desire for everyone of you to see also. Once you see exactly who Jesus is, you will understand better the depth of what He said to the Samaritan woman at the well that day. Jesus said to her, If you only knew who it is asking you for a drink, you would ask Him and He would give you living water (John 4:10). A little later He said to her, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst again; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” These words were coming from the lips of the man Jesus, called the Son of God, but that which was said proceeded forth from the Father that was in Him.

 

JOHN SAW ONLY ONE

 

Every time a trinitarian hears the word Father, they think of a person. They know the Son is a person, therefore, when the Holy Ghost is mentioned, they automatically think of another person. You can show them scriptures like 1 Timothy 3:16, “and without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: GOD was manifest in the FLESH, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, PREACHED UNTO THE GENTILES, believed on in the world, RECEIVED UP INTO GLORY,” and regardless of how many scriptures you show them, stating that God is one and that God and Christ are one, they will still argue with you until they are blue in the face if you will let them. They will say, I know there is three, Grandma had a vision where she was caught up into heaven and she saw all three of them. Let me tell you something, if Grandma saw three, she sure wasn’t in heaven. I am not saying that she went anywhere else, but there is one thing for sure. She did not go to heaven and see three. John went to heaven in a vision and he only saw one. There hasn’t been anyone else up there since then that saw more than one either. He saw one and that one was Jesus Christ and He was sitting on a throne, but one day in the near future He will leave that throne and come back to get a group of people that have known who He is and have been conformed to His very image. I do not mean that their physical appearance will look like Him, but spiritually, in every aspect, they will be like Him.

 

PAUL’S REVELATION

 

This far we have based most of our comments on the writings of the apostle John, one of the fishermen who walked in the footsteps of Jesus during the 3╜ years of His ministry on earth, but now I would like for us to go to Ephesians 1:1 to pick up the writing of another apostle, one who never walked with Jesus, the one who wrote most of the New Testament letters and whose revelation lined up perfectly with John’s, the apostle Paul. Notice how he starts his Ephesian letter, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, (he did not hold back on declaring his apostleship even though he was not one of the Twelve,) to the saints which are at Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.” The Gentile churches were founded upon this man’s revelation and teaching, but the apostle John closed HIS personal ministry by writing the last revelation given to the church, the book of Revelation, which we call God’s love letter to the Gentile bride even though most of it is written about the Jews. Paul was a man who could stand up and defend his revelation as well as his apostleship. Listen to how he did just that in the Galation letter 1:10-12. “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (Listen) But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” He goes on to remind them of his former life as a Pharisee and how he profited in the Jews religion above many until such time as it pleased God, who separated him from his mother’s womb and called him by His grace to reveal His Son in him in order that he might preach Him among the heathen; (Gentiles). He says, I did not immediately go up to Jerusalem to confer with them who were apostles before me, but rather, I went into Arabia and returned again to Damascus. In other words, he took his scrolls and went out into the Arabian Desert alone and the Lord Jesus Christ taught him by revelation of the Spirit. Now, we are going to pick up with verse 2 in Ephesians 1 and read Paul’s revelation. “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Now that may sound to some of you like Paul was speaking of two persons when he greeted the people like that, but you will see as we read on in this chapter that Paul expressed his revelation of God very clearly. Nevertheless, this is one of the verses that trinity people use trying to prove their three god doctrine. It seems that some people spend so much time just picking at the scriptures that it is almost impossible for them to get hold of a revelation. Saints, I am so thankful to God that He opened my blind eyes so that I do not spend my time just picking at the scriptures trying to find something to prove a particular doctrine or something that will not cross the feelings of prominent men in my congregation. When God opens our eyes to truth, we give up that pickiness and just begin to feast. It reminds me of bygone days when a nickel for an ice cream cone was hard to come by. On the occasions when I had the nickel and was able to get to town where I could spend it, I did not stand around picking and fussing about what flavor of ice cream I wanted. If it was ice cream, just let me at it regardless of the flavor. I am the same way about truth from the word of God. If it is truth, just let me have it even if it hurts this old flesh or separates me from something I have been holding on to. The only time I am picky is to be sure that I am receiving truth.

 

GOD’S CHANNEL OF BLESSINGS

 

When Paul said, Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, do not think he was speaking of two persons. He approached this in the same manner that John did. Just as John went all the way back before time had a beginning, so also did Paul and this is his way of approaching it. First, by referring to the Father in the sense of creation and secondly, by referring to Jesus, the avenue by which this sovereign, creating Spirit had personal contact with His creation. You will notice in verse 4 that Paul takes his revelation all the way back before the foundation of the world just like John, but first let us read verse 3. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Pay attention to how Paul says this. Blessed be the God (who is the object of worship) and Father (who had begotten us all through His creative process) of our Lord Jesus Christ (the channel through which grace and peace was extended to the human race). Paul knows and desires to have others know that it is through the Lord Jesus Christ that we have access to this sovereign, omnipresent, creating Spirit. The spiritual blessings are what God does for us by the Holy Ghost. In other words, these blessings are in the realm of the spirit, but Paul is exalting the channel through which these blessings are extended to us (the Lord Jesus Christ). Yes, we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, but it is through Jesus Christ. When Jesus was on earth, he could only touch a limited number of people, but when He ascended from the earth, He left a promise. You will find it in Acts 1:5,8. Just before He ascended, He said, “For John truly baptized with water but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” I want you to know, when Jesus spoke of baptism, He was not talking about sprinkling of a few drops of water upon them, nor was He using the term in relation to pouring a little water upon them. When He said baptize, He was talking in terms of being immersed, completely covered as in the case of one being buried and then resurrected, which is what Romans, chapter 6, explains more fully. Therefore, to be baptized is to be completely covered, immersed, saturated with the agent by which we are baptized. In Acts 1:5, Jesus left a definite promise or stated fact that they would be BAPTIZED with th Holy Ghost very shortly. Then in verse 8, He spoke further upon the subject. “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: (remember, He called it baptism in verse 5) and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Now some will say, But that was just for the people of that first age. No, it is for as many as the Lord our God shall ever call. We will read that from Acts 2:38-39 where Peter was preaching on the day of Pentecost when three thousand souls believed were baptized, in water and received the Holy Ghost. Let us read, “Then Peter said unto them. Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children and to all that are afar off, EVEN AS MANY AS THE LORD OUR GOD SHALL CALL.” Praise God, Brothers and Sisters, that is where we were included in the promise. Do you see where that places us when we believe and obey the gospel? It means that we become partakers of all the heavenly blessings that Christ Jesus purchased for the family o God with His own blood at Calvary.

 

PATTERN OF HOLINESS

 

We will look at verse 4, Ephesians 1, now and see if Paul does not have the same revelation as John about when God began to set the wheels of His great plan in motion. We will go back and read verse 3 again to get them both together in our thoughts. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. (Notice now) According as He (God) hath chosen us in Him (when?) Before the foundation of the world, (when you choose, it requires you to think, meditate and plan, which is what God did before He ever spoke those creative words) that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. We make our plans for the future, but because we do not know what the future holds, all our plans are subject to circumstances. Therefore, we can only make tentative plans, but with God, since all circumstances are in Him, He could lay out the plans for all time and eternity in His great mind before the foundation of the world and there is nothing that can prevent every one of his thoughts from coming to pass. All eternity is in Him. Every one of us were a part of His fixed thoughts before He began to create. As we said earlier, the flesh of Jesus was not even in the picture, except in the mind of God as He thought and planned. That is where every one of us were. When we became fixed in the thoughts of God, His objective for us was that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Now I ask every one of you this question, What did man know about being holy? Down through time, men knew that God was holy, but what did mere humans know about how to be holy? I am asking this question because I want you to think about it for just a moment. We see here that God purposed in Himself that we should be holy and we see in the Old Testament scriptures that men have tried to write about the holiness of God, but until He manifested Himself in the human form of Jesus, no more than two thousand years ago, men did not have a pattern of holiness, an example that they could look to and pattern themselves after. Now we see Jesus, a full expression of the holiness of God, and we learn from the scripture that God has purposed to work His great plan of redemption and holiness in us until we are conformed to the very image of Jesus Christ. In other words, God Himself had to come down and walk among men in human flesh in order for man to know what kind of sons God desired to have when his redemption process is finished. In other words, the only way we can be holy is to be like Jesus. Man made versions of holiness are just the devil’s way to get man’s eyes off of Jesus and get them looking at themselves. I have always said that God requires a life of holiness, but that holiness must be according to the Bible. There are no acceptable substitutes. Some people get so wrapped up in their man made ideas of holiness, that they get completely away from God. They become so crankified that God has no place in their lives. Brothers and sisters, I must say this right here for the sake of the message. I am not saying it just to run someone else down. The Amish and Mennonites are good examples of man made holiness or should I say of man’s ideas of what holiness is? They refuse to partake of any form of what they call luxury even to the point of not having an automobile and some of them will not even have buttons on their clothes. Their mode of dress has been the same for nearly four centuries now. Why? It is because they believe that our form of dress is completely of the world. There is nothing wrong with people riding horses if that is what they want to do. I like to ride a horse now and then myself, but there is no virtue as far as holiness goes in using horses instead of automobiles. I will just say this and then we will move on to verse 5. Saints, there is a very fine line or narrow margin between godliness and worldliness when we begin looking at the word of God. That is why we must have the Holy Ghost. God wants us to be holy, but it must be His holiness and there is no chart that we can tack up on the wall to go by. We must be led by the Spirit of God.

 

PREDESTINATION

 

We learned from verses 3 and 4 that we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ and that is according to God’s own choosing from before the foundation of the world, but look what verse 5 says about that operation of God. “Having PREDESTINATED us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of HIS WILL.” Did you notice that we were predestinated according to God’s own will? You know there are a lot of Evangelical people running around these days, harping that anyone can be saved. What about that? They get that idea from the verse of scripture in 2 Peter 3:9, where Peter is talking about the longsuffering grace of God toward us, for God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Let us interpret the scriptures correctly now. Does that verse say that anyone can be saved? Isaiah and John both wrote, Whosoever will, let him come and partake of the water of life freely. Let him that hath no money come and buy without money, but does that say that anyone can be saved? This is God’s universal call to mankind, but we cannot put those scriptures ahead of all the other scripture that we have to consider. In John 6:44, Jesus said, “No man can come to me except the Father (Spirit) which hath sent me draw him.” Then in verse 65 of that same chapter, He said, “No man can come to me except it were given unto him of my Father.” Jesus also said, “many are called, but few are chosen.” So you see, when we begin to level this thing up by putting all these scriptures in the scales of time, we have no scriptural authority to declare that just anyone can be saved. We will also see that man is not running God’s program, God is still in control. Men may have their text books and their carnal plans, but God is building His kingdom on spiritual revelation in the hearts of those who believe. As I see it, the main reason so many people fight against predestination is because they do not understand it. They obviously think that it means God created some men to be saved and others to be lost. That is not the fact of it at all. Pre, speaks of before, and destination, speaks of the end. Therefore, the great omnipresent, omnipotent God who is also omniscient, meaning that He knows everything, knew before He ever created man upon the face of the earth, who would accept His plan of redemption and also, who would reject it. Therefore, our destination was pre-determined by the foreknowledge of God and that allowed Jesus to say, Of all that the Father has given me, none of them are lost. Because of that foreknowledge, Jesus Christ could look into the faces of men and know their destination before they ever said a word. That is why He did not hesitate to tell a certain group, You are of your father, the devil, one day when they were contending with Him. He knew who they were. God did not create them to go to hell, but God knew what they would do with their choice in their hour of visitation. Some will say, If God already knows every man or person who will be saved, then why preach the gospel? And why worry about people being saved? God did not tell us to worry about anything, but He has purposed to have His children called to their inheritance by the preaching of the gospel and those who do the preaching do not know who will believe nor who will not. That is why the gospel is preached to all men everywhere. Brothers and sisters, I rejoice in the fact that God knows everything. He wouldn’t be much of a God if He didn’t. The only reason we can have complete confidence in Him is because we know in our heart that He has every area of His plan for the ages under complete control. Nothing is run haphazardly. We may go bankrupt down here and we may build air castles and have a lot of day dreams that never become reality or responsibilities that we fail to fulfill, but God is not like that. Hallelujah! Everything with Him is right on schedule. All He asks of us is that we get caught up in His spirit, in His love and fellowship. The world may look upon us as a bunch of fanatics, doing a lot of crazy things, but I say this, they have had 6000 years to produce something that God would put His approval on and all they have been able to do is just speed poor lost sinners along their road to hell. David wrote in Psalms 9:16-17, “the lord is known by the judgment which He executeth, the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God.” Brothers and sisters, America is fast forgetting God and on her road to hell. It is almost unbelievable that a nation whose founding fathers believed in God and based their lives on Godly principles could stoop so low as this nation has. By this we can see why God chose a race of people to upbreed for the purpose of conveying a revelation of Himself to this sinful world. For that reason, the Bible is a Jewish book, handed over to Gentiles until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. Then the Jews will get it back.

 

ADOPTION

 

Let us look at Ephesians 1:5 for a few more remarks. God predestinated us unto the adoption of children. We all know what the word adoption means in our present society. By law, the adopted child stands in line to inherit from the adoptive parents just the same as a child born to the parents. Here we see that we are adopted into the family of God and some will say, But I thought we were born into the family of God by the new birth? Remember, Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. All the rest of us were born in sin, wandering through this world like a bunch of homeless paupers until God’s grace touched our lives. He picked us up from a life of hopelessness, imputed His righteousness to us through a divine act, placed His Spirit within us and declared us to be joint heirs with Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. If that isn’t adoption, then please tell me what it is. To be born is to be projected into life. A baby is not given life when it is born. It already has life. Birth is the process or act whereby that living being is projected into an environment. A man and his wife might take a child into their home, feed and clothe it and treat it exactly like their natural born children, but if they never did legally adopt that child, it could never be a legal heir with the other children. That is how it is with this family of God. Jesus said in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth, (makes alive) the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” All who believed those words were actually receiving life, but until they were filled or baptized with the Holy Ghost, they were not legal heirs with the only begotten Son of God. It is the Holy Ghost that actually places that seal of adoption on us so that we can never be disinherited. God does not make any mistakes. We do not receive the seal (Eph. 4:30) unless we are of those who God knows will endure until the end. In Romans 8:15, the apostle Paul referred to the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of adoption. Now we are talking about the fact that God is one in this message, so please notice here in verse 5, that this adoption was according to the good pleasure of His (singular) will. Then, drop down to verse 9 and we will read it. Paul is talking about how God has dealt with us in so many wonderful ways. “Having made known unto us the mystery of HIS will according to HIS good pleasure which HE hath purposed in HIMSELF.” That verse leaves no doubt about Paul’s revelation of the ONENESS of God.

 

THE FAMILY NAME

 

Alright, we are adopted into the family of God. First, we take on a name and that name is Jesus, the redemptive name of the Father. You say, How do you get that? Look at John 17:6, where Jesus is praying to the Father, He says, “I have manifested thy NAME unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world.” Did He manifest any name other than His own name among those who followed Him? Of course not. That is why we read in Acts 4:12, where Peter was speaking to the rulers and elders of the Jews concerning the lame man that was instantly healed showing them that it was by the name of Jesus Christ and said to them, “Neither is their salvation in any other name: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” Then we read in Ephesians 3:14-15, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (not another person, but a life giving omnipresent Spirit) of whom the WHOLE FAMILY in heaven and earth is NAMED.” After we take on the family name, then we are placed or positioned in the family. After this placing, we begin to execute and carry out the will of our Father in this adopted role. Just think about it. Before time began, our adoption was in the thoughts of God, our Father. Now that wasn’t three persons making those plans or it would have been written that it was done according to their will and according to their good pleasure instead of using the singular, masculine term. If there had been three persons, as trinity people teach, then neither one of them could have acted in an individual way. They teach that God is three persons, coexisting in perfect unity. That leaves no room for anyone to refer to God as HIM or HIS WILL. Do you understand what I am saying? We must keep this thing in the scriptures. Recently, when my wife and I were in India, we saw a painting on a wall there which was supposed to be Buddha’s concept of God. It showed one manlike body with three heads. That supposedly was Buddha’s concept of God, but such a creature would be a freak and God is not a freak. Even as far-fetched as that may seem, it is no more ridiculous than trying to explain Him (God) as three persons, co-equal in authority and in complete unity in the face of all the scriptures that declare He is one and that prior to His incarnation, He did not even have a physical form.

 

GOD STILL SPEAKS

 

It may be that I should take time right here to clarify what we said about the Word being made flesh. We explained the miraculous conception in the womb of the virgin, Mary, but I feel that I should clarify the fact that all of God’s Word was not made flesh. It was only the part of His Word that pertained to redemption that was made flesh. The sun, the moon, the stars, the trees and everything else that was made was also part of the Word of God, but none of these things sinned as did man. All that God ever created was first a thought and His thoughts became His Words in creation, but when John said that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, he did not mean that every bit of God who is omnipresent became flesh. If that had been the case, he no longer would have been omnipresent. He would have been present only in the flesh of Jesus. No, it was only that portion of God’s thoughts which pertained to redemption, that became flesh. The omnipresent Spirit still had the ability to speak and function in all the rest of the universe even after He incarnated the flesh. Take for instance, when Jesus came to John to be baptized. As soon as John raised Him up out of the water, the Spirit of God descended like a dove and lighting upon Him, a voice from heaven declared, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” That showed that God could still speak and that He did not have to speak through lips of flesh. Another instance was when Jesus took Peter, James and John up to a high mountain where He was transfigured before them. When Peter got all enthused about it and wanted to build three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Elias and one for Moses, a bright cloud overshadowed them while Peter was still speaking and a void out of the could said “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” That was God speaking and what He was really saying was this, From now on, when you want to hear from God, you listen to Him. Now they could walk right up and ask God a question just like they would anyone else, but do not forget this, God did not vacuum all of Himself into that body of flesh. If you will remember this, it will keep you from becoming lop-sided with your revelation of the Godhead. The fact that Isaiah, in his prophecy concerning a child that would be born unto them upon whose shoulders would rest the government, and whose name would be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, said all these things, does not make the human flesh God, nor the Father, but The Mighty God, which is The Everlasting Father was manifesting Himself to the world through that flesh. In other words, God’s thoughts pertaining to redemption, became flesh. Then let me say this, as we study the gospels, we see that this God-man concerned Himself with every aspect of man’s redemption.

 

THROUGH THE BOOK

 

We are going into the book of Genesis now, for I want to illustrate something for you. Up until now we have been dealing with scriptures that focused our attention on God as He was in the beginning before time had its beginning. What I want to do now as we enter into the scriptures that actually deal with, or in time, is to take the trinitarian side of the Godhead question and try to show you where such an idea will lead you when you try to take it through the scriptures. Remember what we have said before, any idea that will not line up with the whole Bible is not of God for the whole Bible was written by various men who wrote under the inspiration of the Spirit of God.

 

ILLUSTRATION

 

Now, let us just suppose that I wanted to accept this idea that God is three persons, each one with a distinct personality of his own and that they worked together in creation. Will I be able to line that up with the scriptures or will I have to go to man’s book of creeds to find something that will agree with this idea? Turn with me to Genesis 1:26, and we will begin. Remember now for the sake of this examination of the scriptures, we are assuming that God is three persons and when we come to this verse of scripture, we are believing that one of the three said, “Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Naturally, for the sake of this illustration, we will say that the other two agreed to the suggestion. Remember, a suggestion is all it could be if two other equal in authority, persons, was to be in on this endeavor. Now we come to verse 27, where the agreed to plan was set in motion. “So God created man (up to this point it could still be three persons) in HIS own image.” Oops! There is something wrong here. Which one’s image was man created in? Oh well! I will read some more. Maybe it will explain it. “In the image of GOD created HE HIM.” You know, that sure sounds like only one of them was doing the creating and He created the man in His own image. Nevertheless, I am not going to let just one verse of scripture change my whole idea about God. After all, I have been taught ever since I was a little boy in Sunday school, that God is three persons, so I must be missing something here. I think I will read further on down and skip this part for now. Verse 29 “And GOD said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of the earth.” I just do not understand that. Could that have been written wrong? Why doesn’t it say, WE have given you? It just keeps on saying I, instead of WE, everywhere I read. There must be some mistake. I have always believed God is three persons, co-equal in authority, and anyone knows that neither one of the three would have any right to keep saying, I all the time without recognizing the other two. I think I will just quit reading here, close the Bible, and then open it, trusting the Lord to show me what to read. OH! Right to the book of Joshua, this must be what I am supposed to read. Chapter 1, “Now after the death of Moses, the servant of the LORD (Let’s see now, Moses must have been a servant of the SON) it came to pass that the LORD spoke unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses minister, saying, Moses MY servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which-I-do give them.” Joshua is doing the same thing. He is talking about God as though there was only one person in the Godhead and I am sure there are three. I think I will read somewhere else. Surely the Lord will lead me to something that is written, right. I think I will just close my eyes and stick my finger in the pages, then I will read whatever the tip of my finger is closest to. Oh! Yes! David was a man that knew all about God. This should be good. Psalms 68:20, “HE that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the LORD belong the issues from death. But God shall wound the head of HIS enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses. The LORD said, I -will bring again from Bashan, I – will bring MY people again from the depths of the sea.” That’s enough of that. It seems like every where I read in the Old Testament, they are all talking about God as though they didn’t even know that there are three of them. I think I will read something from the New Testament. After all, they do say that all of the Old Testament has been fulfilled already anyhow.

 

CHECKING PAUL’S REVELATION

 

I have heard that the apostle Paul knew all abut God. I will read something that he wrote. I will just kinda skip around and read whatever my eyes fall on. 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Oh yes, this is better. I have always been told that we ought to study. Let’s see now. What do we have here? 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” That says all scripture. That must include the Old Testament as well as the new. I will just turn the page. Titus, chapter 1, “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, (Paul mentioned two of them in the first verse) according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began But hath in due times manifested His Word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of GOD our SAVIOR.” I have always thought that Jesus is our Savior, but surely the apostle Paul could not be worn, for it seems like most of the New Testament epistles were written by him. What is this here? Ephesians 4:4, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling: ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL, who is ABOVE ALL and THROUGH ALL, and IN YOU ALL.” That says that God the Father is in us and I just read in Colossians 1:27 last week where it said that CHRIST, in us, is the hope of glory. Seems like I remember that Brother – read me a verse from Acts 2:4 and it said, They were all filled with the HOLY GHOST. Could it be that all three persons of the trinity are in us? That sure is confusing. There must be something that I don’t know about all this.

 

MALE CHAUVINIST

 

Brothers and sisters, I am sure that my critics will find fault with this little hypothetical illustration that I have used, but I believe it will help honest hearted souls who desire to examine what they have been feeding into their spirits from man’s traditions. All who believe God is three persons need to have occasion to ask themselves which one of the three we are created in the image of. They also need to face the questions of why God is spoken of in masculine, singular terminology throughout the rest of the scriptures, whether He is doing the talking Himself or someone else. The real truth of the whole matter in this, in order for a person to believe the trinity version of God, they have to shut themselves up in a dark closet of tradition and flatly refuse to let any light whatsoever shine in. If they allowed any light at all to shine in their little closet, they would soon see that what they think they believe, is a scriptural impossibility. Also, these blind leaders of the blind, who read Genesis 1:27, where it says that, “God created man in HIS own image, in the image of God created HE Him: male and female created HE them, and think that means that God is a woman are just about as far off of the revelated word as anyone can get. They use the terms, Male chauvinist, something I never even heard of until a few years ago. I never was taught that word when I was growing up. There was no need for it. I will say this though, if they want to vote for women’s liberation, that is their business. I will not physically try to stop them, but regardless of what they do, they will never change God one bit. God has always been identified in the masculine gender and He always will be. Females do not begat offspring. Let us look at this 27th verse like this. Since God, as Father, is not a man in the sense of being a man or a woman, this makes it very simple for any right-thinking person to understand that He who is now becoming a Father is one who has the authority, the ability, and the choice of taking of Himself to make another like Himself. Since He is a Spirit, then that which He is begetting is another Spirit being and since it was in His mind to have the man reproduce himself upon the earth after he received his flesh body and since He had determined for it to be done through a male-female relationship, it was necessary for there to be a female. They were in the image of God because they were spirit beings. Now some will say, But Bro. Jackson, the Bible says that Eve was made from one of Adam’s ribs, so how does that add up? That is very simple to answer. You are now talking about flesh bodies, and verse 27 does not have any flesh in it at all. Therefore, when God said Let us make man in our image, He was speaking of a spirit being, but if God is only one instead of three, who was He talking to? That is very simple to answer also. He was talking to His angelic helpers which are spirits also. God had an angelic family long before He ever created man. How do you know that, Bro. Jackson? The Bible is full of evidence to establish that, but I will only call your attention to one thing right now, that should be sufficient. You will all agree that it was the devil which inspired the serpent to seduce Eve in the garden that day and you will have no trouble establishing the fact that the devil was formerly known as Lucifer, the chief among the angelic family until he tried to exalt himself above God and God had to cast him out of heaven, never to be reinstated. We do not have the space to go into all that, but you can read it in Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekial 28:11-19, as well as other places. Nevertheless, you will find that this Lucifer was cast out of heaven before God ever created man. Therefore, when I say that God was talking to his angelic helpers when he said, “Let us make man in our image,” I feel that I have the whole Bible to back up that statement, but you who say that He was talking to the other two person’s of the trinity have no other scripture that you can use as the authority for making such a statement. I say that here, because some have said, Bro. Jackson, that is just your idea about all this.

 

WHOSE WORD IS IT?

 

Brothers and sisters, I am just a human being, but I feel that I am doing what God has called me to do. Therefore, whether these be my words in this message or whether they be God’s words, will be proved out in eternity. In the meantime, by the help of God, I intend to furnish enough scripture to satisfy every person who is willing to let God speak to them by His written word. I have searched the Bible through, knowing that the word, US, had to pertain to something other than God Himself. Gen. 1:26, is not the only time you find God saying, Let us, but right now, I would like to go to Hebrews and show you what kind of revelation the apostle Paul had about angels, then we will go from there. Turn with me to Hebrews 1:1. To me, this is where angels are clearly recognized as having a part in what God does. We have already read Ephesians 1 to find out what Paul said to them about the great plan of God and the process by which we have attained the place in Christ that we have, so now we want to see what this same little Jew has to say about angels. I realize there are a lot of critics who will rise up and say, He doesn’t know for sure that the apostle Paul wrote Hebrews, but brothers and sisters, there are keys to those things and to me, the key to who wrote the Hebrew letter is in chapter 13, verse 23. It was Paul who was always talking about Timothy. You do not find the other New Testament writers associated with Timothy, but Paul constantly referred to him.

 

LOOKING BEYOND THE FLESH

 

Alright now, Heb. 1:1, “God, who at sundry time (that means at various times) and in divers manners (different ways) spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, (the fathers here are the patriarchs) hath in these last days (it has been the last days ever since the advent of Christ) spoken unto us by His Son, (Jesus Christ) whom He hath appointed heir of all things by whom also He made the worlds.” Let me say once again that it was not the flesh of Jesus that made the worlds, but rather that which was in that flesh, the eternal God. Just as it was in His thoughts to become a man one day for the purpose of redeeming His creation, it was also in His thoughts to have that creation in the first place. It was all manifested by His word and now His word is being manifested through Jesus or has been, and now Paul is writing about it and bringing it out this way. Verse 3, still talking about Jesus, “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person and upholding all things by the word of His power.” To put this in my own words, this is Paul’s way of saying, God, who is light, who is power and unto whom belongs all glory, is manifesting all His attributes and virtue through Jesus, making Jesus a full expression of what man had never been privileged to see prior to that and Paul desires to give Him this exalted place, making sure that He is distinguished apart from every other man. It was not that a person would see a halo of light nor a ball of fire if they met Jesus in the road. That is what men had been seeing in the Old Testament period and it scared some of them half to death. No, God wanted men to see Him on the level where he lived, yet He wanted them to be able to see the beauty of a life lived above sin, a life of perfect morality and perfect character, so that when they caught a revelation of who He was, they could say, as did John, We beheld His glory. In the 14th chapter of John, we find that Phillip had not discovered yet who he had been walking with, for he said to Jesus one day, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Phillip? He that hath seen ME hath seen the FATHER; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I – am in the FATHER, and the FATHER in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the FATHER THAT DWELLETH IN ME, He doeth the works,” (8-10). After all those months of walking with Jesus, seeing the 5,000 people fed from five barley loaves and two fishes, the raging storm stilled, the dead raised to life again, the lepers cleansed, and all the other works that He did, Phillip had never looked beyond the flesh. That was God in action and they should have recognized it. God’s thoughts were flowing out through the mouth of Jesus just like electricity flows out through a light bulb. The bulb itself cannot give light unless it is hooked up to the source of power. The bulb is jut the transmitter of the power that makes the light. By the same token, the flesh of Jesus could do nothing by itself. It was just as limited as any other normal flesh being; it was subject to the law of gravity, and every other law of this old earth, but brother, there was something inside the flesh of that man that was not subject to any of those laws and that is what Paul was writing abut. He had never seen Him like that, in person, but he could talk like he did because he had seen Him in a vision on the road to Damascus and because he had come to know Him by revelation of the Spirit. Therefore he says, (talking about Jesus) “Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person and upholding all things by the word of his power, (power, here, means authority) when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Brothers and sisters, when Paul speaks of Jesus sitting on the right hand of the Majesty on high, he is not talking about another person. Majesty on high, implies supreme authority, supreme royalty, or supreme position. On earth, the term your Majesty, is used in reference to people, especially in the days when kings and rulers of nations was the supreme authority over that people. The term was never applied to janitors, gate keepers, nor servant type people though. It is reserved for those of supreme authority. It speaks of one recognizing the supreme authority of another. Therefore, we see Jesus taken into the heavens and seated on the right hand of glory, power and authority. It was all invested in Him, by Jehovah, the eternal God, who, being spirit, had no physical form that Jesus could sit down beside of. In Matthew 28:18, when He was giving the great commission to His disciples, Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (You who insist that God is three persons, co-equal in authority, ought to meditate on that verse 18 for awhile, then perhaps you would be better able to understand verse 19.) The eternal God, (who is one Spirit and not three persons) has invested in Jesus, all power and authority. Therefore, it was right that Thomas, after his eyes were open, said to jesus, MY LORD AND MY GOD. He had finally seen that this was God, walking with them in human flesh, but by this time it was immortal flesh.

 

MINISTERING SPIRITS

 

As we come to verse 4 in this 1st chapter of Hebrews, Paul begins referring to the angels and this is the main reason we are reading these verses. We want to establish the angels place in the plan of God and this is a good place to start. Paul has been talking about Jesus and now he says, “Being made so much better than the angels as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Paul knows that angels play a big part in what God does) 5, For unto which of the angels said He (God) at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to Him a Father and He shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him and of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.” You will notice that while Paul is exalting Jesus Christ, he goes on to say that they (the angels) are spirits and since God is a Spirit, that very verse of scripture ought to begin to let us see who God was talking to in Gen. 1:26, when He said, “Let US make man in our image.” Paul knew that God did not create angels just to be idly present while God Himself did everything that was to be done. We ourselves talk about all the things that God has done, but upon careful investigation one can learn that angels have always been instruments through which God dealt with mankind. Paul said a little later in the Hebrew letter that angels are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. This shows that they have a place in God’s plan of redemption. In Psalm 34:7, David said, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, (GOD) and delivereth them.” In the 63rd chapter, we find Isaiah speaking about the loving kindness of the Lord toward Israel and in verse 9, he says, “In all their affliction He was afflicted and the ANGEL of His presence saved them.” I am thinking also of the account in Matthew 4, where Jesus was tempted of the devil after His baptism. We find the devil even quoting scripture about angles. He said something like this to Jesus, If you are really the Son of God, you ought not be afraid to jump off of this high place, for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Then we find that after the temptation was finished and the devil had left Him, ANGELS came and ministered to Jesus. Then in Luke 16:22, we find that the beggar, Lazarus, died and was carried by the ANGELS into Abraham’s bosom. If you have a concordance you might find it very interesting just to search out and read all the scriptures where angels are doing something in the plan of God.

 

LET US TAKE HEED

 

For our next reference on angels, let us go back to Hebrews and read the first three verses of chapter 2. Paul says, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word SPOKEN BY ANGELS was steadfast and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him.” We were after the part about the word being spoken by angels, but read all three verses to keep from breaking the thought. Paul is admonishing these people to give earnest heed to the things which they have heard, calling to their attention the act that every transgression of the word of God will be dealt with and that it was even so when that word was delivered by angels. Now some of you may say, But I thought angels were not supposed to preach. That is right. God has called men to do that, but angels went to Sodom to deliver Lot and his family. They had something to say when they got there and everything was carried out according to their word. Well, Bro. Jackson, that brings up another question. I thought angels were spirits, but that was two men that went to Sodom. Yes, angels are definitely spirit beings, but they are able to present themselves in a manifested body for specific purposes. That is why we find in Hebrews 13:2, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Now, back to our thought. If angels worked in the plan of salvation and if they work in all the other areas that the Bible tells us they do, then I know beyond a shadow of doubt that they worked in creation also. When Paul speaks of the word spoken by angels being steadfast and every transgression and disobedience receiving a just recompense of reward, he is mainly referring to the word spoken by the Old Testament prophets. The word that God sent by angels was the word spoken through the lips of those prophets. Practically every time you find in the scriptures that the word of the Lord came unto this prophet and that prophet. God sent that word by His angelic helpers. It wasn’t just the ideas of those prophets that we find recorded in the Bible, it is the word of angels. Did not Daniel see angles or an angel? Did not Ezekial, Isaiah, Zechariah and others see angels? What was the purpose of those angels? Take the case of Daniel. It was the angel that explained the meaning of Daniel’s dreams and visions. That was the word of the Lord and we are seeing it come to pass right in our generation. It just goes to show that when those prophets spoke, it was not their idea, it was from the anointing carried by that angelic being.

 

ANGEL MESSENGER

 

I want to say something here for the sake of the message. There are always those who will find fault with what you teach if you are trying to follow God in truth and many of them will pick this part of the message to pieces and yet they are among the ranks of those who run all over the world preaching that God sent a prophet to this age. They will not hesitate to call him the messenger to this church age. They call him, and rightly so, the earthly angel messenger sent forth to call this age back to the faith of the fathers. I believe that also and I have been privileged to be in many of his services. Of course I am speaking of Bro. William Marrion Branham, a man who screamed to the top of his lungs, GET BACK TO THE WORD!!! Get out of those denominational prisons and return unto the faith of Peter, James, John and all the rest of those apostolic fathers or you will miss God completely. Was that just his own idea? Absolutely not! I have seen him stand many times waiting for the anointing to come on him. When he was ready to start praying for the sick and that anointing would come, I have heard him say, That ANGEL of the Lord is not three feet away. He could see the light. He could see the expression of the Lord’s presence there. That was a sign to him that the angel had come to anoint him for what he was ready to do. Without the presence of that anointing, he was like other men. He liked to fish, hunt, talk about nature and world events, but the real point of what I am saying is that his ministry was not without the presence of angels. By the same token, I believe that every one of us are affected by spirit beings. For, as we said before in Hebrews 1:14, it says, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Brothers and sisters, we are going into quite a bit of detail establishing the place of angels in the whole plan of God, but we feel that this is necessary in a message such as this. It is not sufficient just to say, God was talking to His angelic helpers when He said, Let us make man in our image. People who have been taught that God is three persons want scriptural proof when you begin telling them that He is one. We feel that every believer ought to have a revelation of the word of God and not depend completely on the word of someone else for what they believe. This has nothing to do with what the ministry is for. After you hear it or read it, you should desire to understand by revelation whatever subject you are being taught on. That is why you need scriptural proof for what you hear. We are going to end part 1 right here for we cannot put everything that should be said on this subject in one eight page paper, but look for part 2 where we will go into the deity names of God and also into the seven attributable names of God. We will also give some illustrations that will enable you to explain the Godhead to others. Then by the time we finish this message, some of you should have a better understanding of the scripture which says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.

 

Hell Is Not Eternal – 1979, January

1979-01-Hell-Is-Not-Eternal

WE ARE NOT GOING TO USE ANY PARTICULAR TEXT FOR THIS MESSAGE, BUT RATHER USE MANY OF THE SCRIPTURES THAT PEOPLE HAVE A TENDENCY TO USE BY THEMSELVES IN ORDER TO BUILD THEIR CERTAIN DOCTRINE. WE WILL ENDEAVOR, BY BRINGING TOGETHER ENOUGH SCRIPTURES TO ESTABLISH OUR POINT, TO SHOW YOU THAT MOST OF THE TRADITIONAL IDEAS ABOUT HELL ARE JUST NOT SCRIPTURAL. THEY ARE TAUGHT WITHOUT TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION, ALL THAT JESUS AND HIS APOSTLES TAUGHT ON THE SUBJECT. I REALIZE THAT MANY PEOPLE GET UPSET WHEN THEY HEAR YOU SAY THAT HELL IS NOT ETERNAL, BUT IT IS TIME THAT THE BRIDE OF CHRIST CAST OFF HER OLD TRADITIONAL OPINIONS ABOUT THESE CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES, AND BEGIN TO ALLOW REVELATION TO HAVE A PLACE IN WHAT THEY BELIEVE. READ THE ARTICLE PRAYERFULLY, AND I AM SURE YOU WILL HAVE NO TROUBLE RECONCILING THE VARIOUS STATEMENTS MADE BY THE SCRIPTURE WRITERS.


HELL IS NOT ETERNAL


We are going to deal with a subject that has generated quite a bit of controversy, especially in the Pentecostal circles, ever since Bro. William Branham made the statement that he did not believe that hell is eternal. He never did take it as a subject and deal with it by the scriptures that show why it cannot be an eternal place; he just made the statement. That is why we are going to take it as a subject. We want to bring in the scriptures that will enable every sincere believer to understand completely, just what hell is, and also, just exactly when there will be no more use for the place called hell.


EVERLASTING – ETERNAL – FOREVER


I want to say, right in the beginning of the message, that we are living in the closing hours of the grace age, and much of what we believe is a result of ideas that have come out of the years of reformation as the church began to emerge from the dark ages. There are three words in particular, commonly used in the Bible, that do not mean, every time they are used, what our English language has attributed to them: therefore they can only be properly understood by comparing scripture with scripture until we get everything in its proper place. The three words are EVERLASTING, ETERNAL, and FOREVER. Our English language causes us to look at each of them from the standpoint of being without an end. That is why people read the scriptures that speak of everlasting punishment, and think it means that people will be punished forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, without an end. Without consecrated study, we just assume the Bible teaches that, but I will have to say, if we will just examine the whole scope of those verses, we will not miss the true interpretation. Just remember this, the apostles, Paul and John, had the last two revelations concerning the state of the lake of fire. You cannot use Isaiah nor Jeremiah, nor even the words of Jesus for the final analysis on the subject; you must look to Paul and John. Naturally, some will say, I would rather take the words of Jesus than anyone else, but let me show you where an attitude like that will lead you; that is what causes so many people to hold on to Matthew 28:19, and reject Acts 2:38. In this particular instance it takes the words of Jesus, as well as the words of Peter, for us to have proper instruction on water baptism. Jesus said that believers should be baptized in the NAME of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, (Matt. 28:19) but it was the apostle Peter who made that NAME known to those who inquired of them, on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:38. Therefore it is very foolish for people to hold to one verse of scripture, while trying to reject another one. Take for instance St. John 5:28-29, where Jesus said, “The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” He put it all together, as though it would all take place at the same time, but Paul and John separated the two events, to let us see that the resurrection of the wicked dead does not take place until after the millennial reign of Christ on earth. The two resurrections are not even associated, even though Jesus referred to both of them in the same statement as though they were.


WHERE IS HELL?


I believe that as children of God, if we will sit with an open mind, we will be able to see just exactly what the scriptures teach on these various subjects that cause disputes and divisions. Let us establish first of all, just where the Bible teaches that hell is located. Some will argue about it saying, No one knows where hell is located, but that is not true; the Bible tells us, if we will just get the scriptures lined up properly. We will get our first glimpse from the 12th chapter of Matthew as we begin reading with the 38th verse. “Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.” In other words, they were wanting Him to do something extraordinary, to fit their ideas of what He should be doing if He was who He claimed to be. He had already done outstanding things, but they did not pay attention to that; they were wanting Him to do something strictly on their terms. They approached Him the same way the devil did when He had fasted forty days following His baptism by John. In other words, they wanted Him to do something special in an effort to convince them of who He was. Do a sign that we may believe; that was the same old story that He had heard before, Matt. 4:3, “And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Jesus did not submit to that temptation, and neither did He submit to theirs. Verse 39, “But he answered and said unto them, an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: (Verse 40 tells us where hell is, notice now) For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the HEART OF THE EARTH.” Now if you are one of those who would say, Bro. Jackson, that doesn’t say that hell is in the heart of the earth, just bear with me. We only use that verse to establish the fact that the Son of man (who is Jesus Christ) was going into the heart of the earth. We will show you what He was going there to do, by another scripture. Turn in your Bibles to 1 Peter 3:18-19, and we will see what He did while He was in the heart of the earth. 18, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened (made alive) by the Spirit: 19, By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” When did He do that? It took place in the time between the crucifixion and the resurrection, while His body was lying in the tomb. He was not preaching in some earthly jail house or natural place of confinement where men are placed for a time. While His body lay in that tomb, His spirit went right down into the regions of hell itself; that is the prison that Peter was referring to. Peter said He went and preached to the spirits in prison, and Jesus had already said that HE would go into the heart of the earth during that time. Do we have a contradiction? Of course not; the simple truth is that He went right into hell, which is in the heart of the earth, and preached to those who had been confined there from every age since mankind had his first taste of death. It would be very foolish for us to think that hell was one place, and the heart of the earth is someplace else, and that Jesus was going from place to place while His body was lying in a tomb on the surface of the earth. I realize this paper may be picked up by some of the Jehovah Witness people who believe in soul sleeping, and such like, but there is no such thing as soul sleeping. The body sleeps in death, but the soul does not sleep. The soul and the spirit are inseparable; therefore, for the benefit of you who may think that is unimportant, let me say, the very life of every person is the spirit of that person, and within that spirit, God has placed wisdom, knowledge, emotions, the five senses of see, hear, taste, smell and feel, causing him to have a personality and an intellect. In other words for the sake of clarifying our understanding, we can say, the soul is the intellect and emotions of the spirit, but since the life is in the spirit, when the spirit goes out of a person, so goes the intellect and emotions. Keep in mind that God is the source of all life, whether it be human life, animal life or whatever; therefore when the spirit of life goes out of the body, that body returns to dust. God is a spirit and in the case of man, (who is created in the very image of God) it was a matter of God separating from Himself the very life that dwells in every one of His offspring. That is the sense in which God became Father: He produced offspring that were in His own image. It is not the flesh of man that is in the image of God. Man’s flesh is just a shell, or dwelling place for the purpose of identifying Him with matter, but the man himself is that spirit being, within that shell. Let me say also, that, even though we are begotten of God in the essence of life, there is within that spirit, something that gives us an identity apart from God, otherwise we would be identified in the same greatness of God, who is life everywhere. That is the something that gives each of us our individuality, and keeps us from being like molded copies of each other. That is why some of us like one thing, and others, something else. For instance, if a person is an inventor: that person was born to be an inventor; there is no amount of studying that could make an inventor of an individual. A person might study certain techniques of other inventors, and incorporate that knowledge in his own invention, but that is not what makes him an inventor. He is an inventor because of an endowment from the Creator. That is why every prophet could speak of future things, record them, and later generations watch them come to pass. They were born to be prophets by that special endowment of the Creator. God puts these things within the spirit that man is, and that is what makes up his soul. That is why we have to say that they are part of his spirit; not his body, and that is why we say that the soul and spirit of man are inseparable. Now you may say, Bro. Jackson, I differ with you. That is your privilege, but it will not get you any place, for when the spirit of life goes out of this old body, it no longer hears, sees, or has any feelings. That is why you can cremate it, and it does not howl and scream, and make a big fuss. Is that clear? Can you see why there cannot be any such thing as soul sleeping? I believe that is why we read in the book of Ecclesiastes that there is no wisdom nor device, or anything in the grave. What that really means is that the body lying in the grave has no more life in it, and therefore it is apart from all of the things that speak of life. The question then, is, Where would that life be? That is what this message is being published for: to answer that question, along with some others.


SIN SEPARATES MAN FROM GOD


Before there was an atonement, before God came in the form and likeness of man, and took the sins of man upon Himself bearing them on that old cross at Calvary, every man, regardless of whether he was good or bad, had to be confined to this planet. Death could not put his spirit back in the presence of God, for sin had separated man from God. Therefore, until the sin debt was paid, all men, both good and bad, had to be confined to a prison place somewhere in the heart of the earth. It was on this planet that sin originated, and this planet is God’s workshop, so He kept man here until the redemptive work was completed. We are still establishing the fact that hell is in the heart of the earth, before going on to show that it is not eternal. Remember now, Jesus said, as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so would He be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, and Peter said that when Christ had suffered for the sins of man, He went and preached to the SPIRITS IN PRISON. With that in mind, open your Bibles to the 16th Psalm, and let us hear what David had to say about this place called hell, this prison place in the heart of the earth. Apart from Job, David was one of the first that began to speak of this place in the heart of the earth called hell.


Let us begin reading in verse 7. “I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” In other words, he put the Lord first and sought His will in everything. That is why he could say, “He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9, Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10, For thou wilt not leave my soul in HELL: neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” David was anointed to speak this prophetic Psalm which carried a revelation of the hope for man, beyond the grave. As we look back to verse 9, notice that he said, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: My flesh also shall rest in hope.” He is speaking of his body; it will rest in the grave with a certain hope. What is that hope? Notice verse 10, “For thou wilt not leave MY soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One (that is Christ) to see corruption.” This was a prophetic utterance, pointing to the first advent of Christ in His sacrificial role, and when David saw that, it caused him to say, My flesh also shall rest in hope. Why? He could see the resurrection. He could see that, if his soul was not going to be left in hell, then to take it out of hell, was to reunite it with his fleshly body. That is what gave him hope for the flesh, and it has nothing to do with soul sleeping. I just do not see how these people get such an idea from scriptures such as these. David saw that the Redeeming One, the Holy One, would not see corruption. That meant that His body would not be left in that tomb beyond the point where it would begin to rot. According to Peter’s revelation, it just laid in the tomb while the life from it, went and preached to the spirits which were in hell.


THE RICH MAN & LAZARUS


Brothers and sisters: I believe we see that hell, in the sense that we think of hell, is a place in the heart of the planet earth. Now we want to see from the scriptures, just when this place had its beginning. We know that, according to the scientists, the heart of this earth is nothing but just a great big mass of hot molten gases. That is what THEY say. I am not telling you that the Bible teaches that; I only mention the fact that scientists teach that. We are not going to dwell on the various Greek and Hebrew words that deal with hell, for in the sense that we are dealing with it, we know that it is a place for imprisonment. Jesus spoke of it in Luke 16: 19-31, when He gave the illustration using Lazarus and the rich man. Those who believe in soul sleeping, call this a parable, but if you will check closely, you will find that Jesus did not use names in His parables. He would say, a certain man, a certain place, and so forth, but in this illustration, even though He did say, a certain rich man, there was also a man by the name of Lazarus in the story. This was a living illustration, given before His crucifixion, and he knew the characters in the story. We will just read two verses of the account, strictly for the purposes of establishing the point we are making; that will be verses 22 & 23. “And it came to pass, that the beggar (Lazarus) died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom; the rich man also died, and was buried; And in HELL he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” From those two verses we establish where both men were after their death; the rich man was in hell and tormented, (do not jump to conclusions; it does not say he was in the lake of fire, burning; he was in hell, tormented.) And Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom, and that was hell too, but you must realize that the righteous and the wicked were not both imprisoned together; they were separated according to the words of Jesus. Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom, and that was hell too, but you must realize that the righteous and the wicked were not both imprisoned together; they were separated according to the words of Jesus. Lazarus was in the portion of hell called paradise. Certainly I realize that when you begin to preach on a subject such as this, you have to expect the doctors of divinity, those who know all the Hebrew and Greek words, to find fault with your terminology. They think it is all wrapped up in their education, but I assure you it is not. It is wrapped up in the way the Holy Ghost led the various scripture writers to lay it out; one takes it so far, then another one adds a little more and so on, until the picture is complete, but you still must get it together properly or your picture will be distorted. That is why we want to add Paul and John’s revelation to the words of Jesus; it takes all of it together to open our understanding properly. When we just read of hell, in one, of the many places it is spoken of in the scriptures, without searching the scriptures to see what the word actually pertains to, it is possible to come up with all sorts of ideas about the place. I am afraid that is what most Christians are guilty of.


DAVID WAS IN HELL BEFORE CALVARY


In the story Jesus told concerning the rich man and Lazarus; the rich man was in hell, suffering, for he said, I am tormented in this flame, but he was able to look over in to the place where Lazarus was, the place called paradise, referred to as Abraham’s bosom, and remember former days. These souls were not sleeping; the one was comforted, and the other was tormented. Some have even said, I thought that meant that Lazarus was in hell also, and the reason a statement like this bothers you, is because you have not yet seen what the place called hell, actually is: A place where the souls of those who departed from this life were held. David was in hell before Calvary, but when you say that, people say, Do you mean to tell me that David was in hell? Yes, David was in hell. When David spoke the 16th Psalm into existence while he was still very much alive, he knew that his soul would go to hell when he died, the place of imprisonment where the souls of departed persons was kept, but he also had a revelation, or at least an insight of the fact that the Redeeming One was coming, and that He would not leave his soul in hell. He knew he would go to hell when he died, but he said his flesh would rest in hope, and that hope was the resurrection of the dead, and the fact that his soul would not be left in hell. When Cain slew Abel, his soul went to hell: not to be tormented, but to be kept there in the paradise part of it, waiting for the day when someone would conquer the very thing that caused him to be there, (death). When Cain died, his soul went to hell also, but he went into the tormenting section of it, where Jesus said the rich man was, in His illustration. From the time of Cain and Abel, right on down through the centuries to the cross of Calvary; every righteous person, as well as every wicked person who passed from this life was kept in a place of confinement in the heart of the earth, called hell. The flesh of those persons went into the CRUST of the earth, but the spirit, which is the life, the soul of those persons, went in the HEART of the earth. The righteous were comforted, but the wicked had to go through all kinds of torment and anguish, weeping and wailing, with no hope, nothing to look forward to. David knew his soul would not be left in hell, but the wicked have no such hope.


JESUS PAID MAN’S SIN DEBT


Brothers and sisters, as we establish the fact that hell is in the heart of the earth, we want to keep in mind, the fact, that it is the purpose of God to deal with sin, the thing that caused man to be in hell in the first place. Now, sin took place on the CRUST of the earth. The garden of Eden was on the crust of the earth, the outer surface of it. I am sure you all realize that, therefore, let us continue on. The body is laid in the crust of the earth to return back unto the elements from which it is made up, but the spirit which is not subject to tangible things was kept locked up in the heart of the earth where Jesus went to preach to them while His body was lying in the tomb. The very process of redemption began at Calvary, where Jesus willingly offered up His sinless life to pay the price for fallen mankind’s redemption. Once that price was paid He went right straight to the prison place to make the announcement. His preaching to the spirits in prison was not for the purpose of redeeming the wicked and giving them eternal life. We are not teaching anything like that. Brother, if you do not find your place in Jesus Christ in this life, and you go on in your sin and rebellion against God until the cold, clammy hand of death settles upon you: the lake of fire where you will suffer for awhile, and then be destroyed completely, is your promised reward. You may say, I just cannot see that. I say, God’s word is true and it declares that to be your end. I do not rejoice in your destiny; I only rejoice in the accuracy of the word of God. I have learned that if God said a thing: I can stake my life on it without fear.

 

 

GOD’S PROCESS OF REDEMPTION


When the time came for God’s process of redemption to be set in motion, and Jesus Christ (who was God in the flesh of man) walked on earth, being tempted and tested in every are of life that any other man was ever tempted: He actually set an example before all mankind showing us how to face the tempter without being overcome by the temptation. The Bible says that He, being made perfect, became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him, and that, though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered, (Heb. 5:8-9) The last thing that He suffered was death itself. As we look at this man, Jesus, He was every bit man, in the essence of flesh, yet He was not a sinner; He did not have the attributes of death, dwelling in His flesh; His flesh was perfect. His blood was perfect also, for He did not have the blood of Adam’s race in Him. Yet He was foreordained to die, that is, to taste of death for the sins of every man; therefore we will say that death was the final affliction that was heaped upon Him. He was crucified, and He submitted to it willingly. It was not cancer, nor tuberculosis, nor heart trouble, nor any of the other diseases that mankind is plagued with, that took His life; He was nailed to an old cross, and pierced with a spear, and those who stood by, watched until His head went limp and fell upon His chest. What was it all about? Simply this, mankind was hopelessly separated from God, and helpless to do anything about it, requiring God Himself, to take the initiative, if man was ever to be reconciled to His Creator. Now for the benefit of you who still do not have the trinity question straight in your minds, let me say this, it was not a question of God being three persons, (as some believe Him to be) and one of them having to go down to earth to take man’s place in the penalty for sin. Absolutely not! God is one. There never has been three persons in the godhead, and there never will be. This was purely a situation where God Himself, (being Spirit, and having no tangible form) spoke the creative word, to plant the seed of life in the virgin Mary’s womb, actually creating Himself a flesh body, for the purpose of walking among men on earth, but allowing it to be manifested through the natural process of human birth, so that He, coming to be man’s redeemer, and the Messiah that the Jews looked for, would have the prophesied identity with those whom He came to first. When I said His flesh was perfect; you must understand, there was no sickness, nor disease, nor any attribute of sin in His makeup. There was no hereditary death sentence hanging over Him. He was a perfect man from the standpoint of the flesh, and He was the very God of all creation from the standpoint of the Spirit. Hanging there on that old cross, He had all the sin of the whole human race piled upon Him, past, present, and future. He paid the sin debt for every man, woman, boy and girl of the entire human race. We read in Romans 5:19, “For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Christ) shall many be made righteous,” (those who believe and obey the gospel). Through the disobedience of one, the death sentence was passed upon the whole human race, but, Praise God, through the obedience of one, all shall be made alive. Bro. Jackson, did you really mean to say, All shall be made alive. Yes, that is what I meant to say; not that all who are made alive will receive eternal life, for the wicked dead will be resurrected for only one purpose, that is to stand before the great white throne judgement where their final sentence will be pronounced upon them, Rev. 20:10-15, but that is another part of the message. What I am trying to show you now; is what took place at Calvary. In other words, His death on the cross was the beginning of a process of redemption. That body that hung there on that old cross that day; though it had walked on the water, and done many other things that went beyond natural man’s limitations, when the life went out of it, there was nothing else for it to do until He, who is life, came back to it. In the meantime they hurriedly wrapped it, and stuck it in a tomb. It was just as dead as any other man’s body that the spirit of life had gone out of, but, Thank God, the life that went out of that body, was life that had no beginning, and shall have no end. That is the life that Peter said, went and preached to the spirits in prison, 1st Pet. 3:19. No, He did not preach a salvation message, to give the wicked another chance; He rather, reminded them that when they walked on earth, there was a chance given to every one of them to do right and they rejected it. He reminded them of all the times that when they were planning to do certain wrong things, there was a feeling, or an urging, not to do it, and they ignored that urgency. He is awakening their conscience to the fact that God gave them their chance to do right, and they chose to do wrong; therefore they must be judged, and they will be judged upon the basis of what they are hearing, especially those who lived in the days of Noah. I am sure that every one of you can remember times when you were planning to do a certain thing, and just about the time you would have done it, something go hold of you, and stopped you from doing it. You were just not able to go through with it. Is that not right? That is exactly what we are talking about. That was the spirit of God. That is what Christ is testifying to the imprisoned spirits about. Now once more, Why did He do it? It was to put their conscience alive to what God had offered them, and they rejected it. This was to give them a feeling of guilt. Now let us go to the next chapter, 1st Peter 4, and read a few verses which will clarify what we are saying. We will begin with the 3rd verse, but it is verses 5 & 6 that we are getting to. “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5, Who shall give account to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6, For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” Keep in mind that He (Jesus) preached to the righteous as well as the wicked spirits, who were in hell. In the days before the flood there was no law written; therefore men lived under the law of the conscience. That is why something had to be said to them to activate their conscience. You cannot hold a person guilty for doing something wrong, if he knows nothing about any wrong, but once Christ came and preached to them, reminding them of the times in their lives on earth when the spirit of God dealt with them, and they refused to take heed: that put them under guilt. Now when they stand, in the flesh, to be judged; they will be judged according to men in the flesh, for it was those things that they did in the flesh, that will determine the degree of their punishment. God keeps a perfect record.


PREACHING TO IMPRISONED RIGHTEOUS SPIRITS


Now, when Christ steps over into the realms of hell where the righteous have been kept, and begins to preach to them: it will have an opposite effect. Many of these also lived in the days when there was no written law to abide by, but they were sensitive to the spirit of God as He moved upon their conscience. They were righteous in their day because they were sensitive to something that gave them convictions, and standards, not knowing exactly that it was God dealing with them. That is why they are in the place of hell, called paradise. I can just hear David, as he saw Christ walking down the corridors of hell, saying, There is the One I sang about. He is the One I have been looking for. Think also how old Job must have felt. He is the one who said, (at a time when all outward appearances seemed that God had forsaken him) “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another,” (Job 19:25-27) In other words, his very own eyes, in an immortal body, of course, would see his redeemer stand upon earth in the latter day. Job spoke those words more than 1500 years before the advent of Christ, when he was in the darkest hours of his sufferings at the hands of the devil. Now, here he is in hell with David and all the rest of the righteous ones who had died before that hour. Suddenly that Redeeming One appeared, having come to conquer death, hell, and the grave, He is ready to lead these captive souls out of hell, and the grave, He is ready to lead these captive souls out of hell, and restore them back to their bodies. He had paid the penalty for the death sentence that hung over mankind, and now He was ready to take those righteous souls out of hell with Him when He went out. There will be no further need for the part of hell that held those righteous souls captive, for every one of them was going out. Why do I say that? Brothers and sisters, we are not to preach redemption, just from the standpoint of keeping people from going to hell; we are to preach it to cover the whole scope and objective of God. Now the objective of God is that, eventually He will erase from this planet, all traces of the original sin. It was on this planet that death had its beginning, and death has separated the life from the bodies; therefore, on this planet, God is working His plan of redemption to abolish death.


CHRIST TOOK CAPTIVES


In Ephesians 4:8-10, Paul wrote, “Wherefore he saith, When He ascended upon high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9, Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens that He might fill all things.” (check what David wrote in Psalms 68:18-19) We find that when Jesus went down into the lower parts of the earth, (hell, in the heart of the earth) He led captivity captive. Those who had been held captive by the devil in the paradise section of hell, were now taken captive by Christ, who had earned the right to do so. Praise God! I would rather be a captive to Christ than the devil anytime, wouldn’t you? That was Paul’s terminology, but we are grateful to God because He has led us to know what it means. There are no righteous souls in hell today; only the wicked were left in hell, to be tormented for their evil ways when they were alive upon the crust of the earth. Abel went up with Christ, but Cain stayed, and he will remain there until after the millennial reign of Christ on earth. Many times, people have asked, Was there really a resurrection of all the righteous dead when Jesus came up? They ask that question, mainly, because the account of it in Matthew 27:50-53, states that MANY of those saints which slept, arose from their graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, (Jerusalem) and appeared unto many. Think of it like this, What would have been the purpose of any Gentile going into Jerusalem after he was resurrected? Who would have recognized any of them? What purpose would have been accomplished, by anyone other than Jews (who could be recognized by some who would be in the streets of Jerusalem) going into the streets of the holy city after their resurrection? Do you see what I mean? That does not mean that only part of those righteous souls were resurrected. If that had been the case; which one’s would He have taken out, and how could it be said that hell was conquered, if it still held righteous dead, after the price of their redemption was paid? Now, as to how many arose, (number-wise) that is intruding into God’s business. We have no need to know that. Paul said, Foolish questions, and genealogies gender (that is, lead to) strife, or arguments. It does not matter whether there were 10 thousand, or 10 million, or what; that has nothing to do with what we need to see and understand, namely, that hell is in the heart of the earth, that Christ went to hell, that He took out all the righteous souls, and that the souls of the wicked are still tormented there.


WHAT ABOUT OFFENDING MEMBERS?


While we are thinking of questions that people ask, let us turn to St. Mark 9:43-48, where Jesus used certain terminology to make a point, and carnal minds have taken that scripture literally, and done exactly what the words in these verses say to do. Brothers and sisters, that has been a trick of the devil, to blind their eyes to the true meaning of that passage of scripture. I am going to read the whole thing; then I am going to explain something to you. 43, “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands, to go into hell, into the fire that shall never been quenched; 44, Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45, And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46, Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Let me say first of all: this is figurative language. Jesus is not teaching that we should actually cut off our physical members, hands, feet, and so forth, and He is not talking about entering into eternal life, maimed. Brothers and sisters, we will not enter into eternal life with our immortal bodies maimed. Now I want to say this so it will be perfectly clear to you when I am finished. In figurative language, Jesus is saying, If it were a case where we would place more value upon having two hands, two feet, and two eyes, than we would upon having eternal life, or in serving God with all our heart, then we would be better off, entering into this present life maimed, than to value these members to the point where it would cause us to miss God, and wind up in hell. “IT IS BETTER FOR THEE TO ENTER INTO LIFE (this present life) MAIMED, THAN HAVING TWO HANDS TO GO INTO HELL.” In other words, put God first, instead of giving in to the lust of the flesh. You can live for God in this life with only one hand, eye, and so forth, or even without either one, but if we have all our members, and neglect God in this life we will go to hell when we die. It is not having two hands that will put you in hell, but if you have a healthy, whole body, and use it in the fulfilling of the lusts of the flesh, leaving God out of the picture, you will go to hell when you die. The actual physical body will not go to hell. It will lie in a grave or tomb of some kind until the maggots destroy it. Now, in hell, the worm that dieth not, is not these maggots that destroy the physical body, for remember, the physical body will not be in the heart of the earth, (hell) it will be left in the crust of the earth. Only the spirit goes to hell in this present realm of death; therefore if the body is not in hell, then there is no worm. Let that soak in real good, then listen to me. Jesus said, where the worm dieth not. Now what kind of a worm was He speaking of? When you have done something that is really wrong, and you can look back to see where you could have made a change, (in other words, to see where you had opportunity to do right, and you rejected it) your conscience begins to gnaw at you. You realize that it is too late to change circumstances, and you are carrying that guilt, with no relief to look forward to: it is just like a worm gnawing away at something. That is how it will be in hell, when a person suddenly realizes that his eternal destiny has already been sealed by what he did while he was still alive. That is what the rich man was experiencing in the illustration Jesus gave. Lazarus was comforted in Abraham’s bosom, while the rich man’s conscience gnawed at him, just like a worm gnawing. It just keeps gnawing, you are guilty, you are guilty, you are guilty, until it seems unbearable, but there is no let up, no way out, and the worst thing about it is realizing that you could have done differently, but now there is no way to change it. WHERE THE WORM NEVER DIES, does that give you an understanding of what Jesus was trying to get across to those who heard Him? This is what happens, many times, to prisoners who are facing capital punishment. They may not have had much to say in the courtroom, when they were being tried, but as the weeks, and months roll by, and they begin to move them from cell to cell, moving them into death row: it has been observed that when their final week arrives, they become very nervous and lose their appetite. What is it? In their mind there is something gnawing, I had a chance to do right; I did not have to be here, but I missed my chance. Many times they are drugged, while screaming, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die. The gas chamber, or electric chair, or firing squad, etc., will separate life from the body, but in hell that same conscience just keeps gnawing at them. The worm dieth not, and the fire of their torment, in their conscience, is not quenched. This same condition will be present for a period of time, in the lake of fire, after their final judgement at the great white throne, but for now, we are dealing with scriptures that pertain to hell, the prison in the heart of the earth. There is no one in the lake of fire yet, and please do not ask me where the lake of fire is located; I do not know, but I do know this: it will not be on this planet. It will have to be somewhere, apart from this planet. Some will say, Now Bro. Jackson, you are speculating when you say a thing like that. No, I am not speculating. It is very clear in the scriptures, that the final resurrection, which takes place in Revelation, chapter 20, will take out of the ground, and out of the sea, even out of hell itself, all traces of sin. Every wicked spirit, and everything that in any way identifies with sin, will be cast into the lake of fire. That is God’s final act in His plan of restoration for this old planet that has suffered the penalty of Adam’s sin every since the day he disobeyed God in the garden of Eden. When that final judgement is finished, and everything that defiles has been cast into the lake of fire, this old planet will be clean again. That is why we know that the lake of fire is not on this planet: if it was, there would still be those traces of sin, so that redemption and restoration would not be complete.


WHAT DO THEY SEE?


Within the past few years scientists have discovered something far out in space that they cannot distinguish for sure. It is so far away that no earthly instrument can measure its distance. They do not know whether it is another galaxy, or whether it is just an ocean of, or masses of gas, but I will never forget, when I read that article, it came to me that it very well could be the lake of fire, that God is moving into place for that day of final cleansing of this old planet. I will just leave this for you to think about. There is really no more to be said about it at this time, but we do know that there will be a lake of fire, and we are sure that it will have to be apart from the planet earth.


THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOW


We must drop back now and finish our remarks on this scripture in St. Mark 9, for there is yet one verse that troubles people, which we have not covered. Verse 47, “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the KINGDOM OF GOD with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.” Listen to me, and be sure you catch this. Entering into the kingdom of God is now. That is our opportunity to receive eternal life. Remember Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21). How can we believe in the resurrection and the glorification of immortality, and still believe that we will come up in the resurrection with only one eye, one foot, and so on? We enter into the kingdom of God, in this life, regardless of our physical handicaps, by believing and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, then if we die before the Lord comes again, we will enter into that heavenly paradise, to await our change. On the other hand, if we have all our physical members, and find ourselves in good health, so that we can do anything we please, and we fail to surrender our lives to God; when we die, hell is waiting, and there, is that worm of our conscience activated, which gives us no rest, day nor night. While we are on the subject of the loss of physical organs, I will relate to you a little story, told to my by another pastor. It seems that he was in a camp meeting somewhere, and a certain man walked up to him and said, You know, the Lord has just given me a revelation concerning those who suffer the loss of a part of their body for the gospel’s sake. In the new life, when they receive their immortal bodies, they will be without that arm, leg, eye, or whatever member they lost for the sake of the gospel. (I suppose for a testimony, or a reminder of what they had sacrificed.) What do you think of that, he asked. This other brother, (being a very witty man) thought for just a minute, then said, Poor old John, He is going to look mighty odd, running around without his head. Some, like John, were beheaded for the gospel’s sake, but the kingdom of God is within you, now, and when we walk in the millennium, in our resurrected bodies, we will have a perfect body. It is ridiculous to think otherwise. When you consider the fact that those bodies that were buried years ago, have already decomposed, and the immortal bodies of all those dead saints will have to be called from the elements anyhow; it just doesn’t matter if parts of your body were buried in another place, or even burned. It is a very small thing for God who created all elements, to call them together from wherever they may be scattered to. Yes, we will all have perfect bodies when we walk in the millennium.


WHO WILL COME WITH JESUS?


Let us just carry our thought, concerning our resurrection bodies, right on over to 1st Thessalonians 4:13-17, where we will try to clear up another question in the minds of some. The question is this, What does it mean, where it says that God will bring those which sleep in Jesus, with Him when He comes to call the dead from their graves? We will read the scripture first, then I will explain it. 13, “Bur I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14, For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus (SAINTS FROM THE AGE OF GRACE) will God bring with Him. 15, For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16, 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: 17, Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Now to the question? Who will come with Jesus when He comes for the resurrection of the bride saints? Remember, we have already showed you that Christ went down into the paradise section of hell, and took all of those righteous spirits with Him when He left. Furthermore, He took them to glory with Him when He ascended. That left only the wicked spirits in hell, in the heart of the earth. Ever since that day, when a righteous person dies, (one that has found their place in God’s plan of redemption) his spirit goes right into the presence of God, into the heavenly paradise, to await the day of resurrection, which Paul was speaking of in this scripture we just read. Try to get the picture now, the spirits of those righteous ones are in heaven, and their bodies have been buried in the crust of the earth, or buried in the sea, or cremated. At any rate, they are all earthbound. But it was revealed to the apostle Paul that, when Jesus comes for the resurrection, He will bring those righteous spirits with Him, and that brings us to verse 16, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, (all the grace age righteous spirits will be with Him) with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” That will be the bodies of those spirits that are coming with Jesus. That is when their bodies, and spirits are joined back together. When that is accomplished, 17, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, (actually, it is a simultaneous occurrence) to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Those bodies will come out of the ground in immortality, and those who are alive on earth at that time will be changed, taking on immortality, and together, all will ascend, to meet the Lord in the air. Then we see the words, “And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” There is where some others miss it; they think Jesus will take His bride to heaven, and there, spend the rest of eternity. That is the farthest thing from the truth. They go to the marriage supper with Jesus, but at the end of the week of Daniel, when the great tribulation has run its course, We find all those saints coming back to earth with Jesus, to rule and reign with Him (on earth) for a thousand years. You will find all the scripture you need for that, in Revelation, chapters 19-20, especially 19:7-14 & 20:1-6. Before we move on in the message, let us turn in our Bibles, over to 1 Corinthians 15:51-55, and read what Paul had to say to the Corinthian saints about he resurrection of the dead. 51, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, (die) but we shall all be changed.” That word, WE, applies to the believers who are still alive when the grace age runs out. These will be changed; let us read verse 52. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: (that is what we read in Thessalonians) for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (living saints, believers) shall be changed.” Now, notice the process. 53, “For this corruptible (that is the dead bodies that have rotted) must put on incorruption, (that is, to be free from physical decay) and this mortal (those who are still alive) must put on immortality. 54, So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then (after the resurrection) shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Of course, we understand that the bodies of the wicked dead will lie in the ground until after the millennium, and their spirits will remain in hell until then, but there surely is coming a day when every person that has ever died, will be resurrected. After that, there will never be any need for another grave.


FOR EVER – UNTIL THE END


Having just made mention of the millennium; this seems like a good time to bring in some scriptures that use the term, for ever, and call your attention to its actual application. Like we said in the beginning of the message: our English language understands the term for ever, to be time without an end, but in the scriptures, that is not necessarily so. Turn to Isaiah 9:7 for the first example we will use. Actually we will read the 6th verse first, to establish the thought. This is speaking of Jesus. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: (in the millennium) and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth EVEN FOR EVER.” Right here, we find the term, FOR EVER, used in a setting that we know, applies to the millennium, which is a period of one thousand years of time, not time without end. When we go right over to the 43rd chapter of Ezekiel, and read verse 7, which pertains to the same period of time as that which we have just read, we find the term, FOR EVER, used again. 7, “And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel FOR EVER, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, not their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcasses of their kings in their high places.” Now to show you that this period of time, is exactly that: a period of time, let us go to 1st Corinthians, chapter 15, where Paul is speaking to them of the resurrection of the dead, and when we get down to the 24th verse, we find these words. “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.” That will be for a period of one thousand years. Then at the end of that period of time, verse 26 has its fulfillment, the verse which reads, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Let us go over to Revelation, chapter 20, and pick up the apostle John’s revelation of that. We will just go ahead and read these verses in connection with the others. This is pertaining to the great white throne judgment which takes place at the end of the millennial reign of Christ. Verse 11, “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, (Christ, as the judge of all ages) from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12, And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, (the books of the deeds of men) according to their works. 13, And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14, And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” This is where death will be destroyed. There will never be another body put back in the crust of the earth. Now, that should help you to catch Paul’s revelation, which we have read from 1 Corinthians 15:24-26, and enable you to see that, for ever, does not always mean what most of us take it to mean. Keep in mind also, that even though the millennium is a time of peace and restoration, it still is not the perfect age; that comes later. In the millennium, Jesus will be ruling the nations with a rod of iron. That is because of the mortal realm of people that is repopulating the earth, and even though the devil is bound, all those mortal people still have that inherited nature, that just naturally rebels against God. That is why the devil must be loosed for a little season at the end of the one thousand years; all those who are born while he is bound up, will have to be tested before the final judgment. Those who do not submit to Christ will follow the devil, and will have to be destroyed, along with all the rest of the wicked people, from every age of time. Jesus Christ will grant life to all who submit to Him for He has the authority to do so. You will remember that He said in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” That means He can grant life to whomsoever He will. It also means that He can, and will, raise from the crust of the earth, both the righteous and the wicked; He is the resurrection. He is redemption, and resurrection is a part of redemption. Saints: I realize that maybe this message just sounds like so much going around and around, but we are just endeavoring to follow the process of events that are to transpire, and in so doing, cause you to see that hell is not an eternal place. As we said before: these are not salvation truths that you would expect to hear in an evangelistic message, but the bride of Christ will be straight on all these controversial issues before she leaves the ground in immortality. Furthermore, let it be clearly understood that Faith Assembly is not a church that only teaches the salvation side of the word of God. We believe Christians ought to know what is in the Bible, and who it applies to. If you disagree with what we teach, I ask, only, that you study the scriptures we call to your attention, and keep an open mind, so that God may have opportunity to reveal His word to you. We could never list all of the scriptures that could be used to establish what we are teaching, and we are trusting God to bear witness of this fact to every believer who reads our paper.


RESURRECTION


Before we bring in the scriptures that deal with the word, EVERLASTING, let us go to Revelation, chapter 20, and establish the 3rd phase of the first resurrection. Matthew tells of the 1st phase. That was when the Old Testament righteous one’s were raised at the time of Jesus’ resurrection. Then Paul tells of the 2nd phase in Thessalonians. That is when the bride of Christ is raised, but now we want to see what the apostle John had to say about the 3rd phase of the first resurrection. Verse 1, “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (Notice what he does, and remember, this is symbolic language.) 2, And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (or for a thousand years.) 3, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: (This verse tells us where the Devil is, during the millennium) and after that he must be loosed a little season.” Pay attention to verse 4, for it holds the key to our understanding the 3rd phase of the resurrection of believers. 4, “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.” This is the bride saints that came back with Jesus after the marriage supper is finished. Rev. 19:14. John is seeing all this in a vision, and the remainder of verse 4, identifies a group of people who were martyred for their faith, and lets us see that they are resurrected before the millennium starts, for they LIVE and REIGN with Christ for a thousand years. Let us read it. “And I saw the souls of them that were BEHEADED for the WITNESS OF JESUS, (FOOLISH VIRGINS) and for the WORD OF GOD, (JEWS THAT DO NOT KNOW WHO JESUS IS) and which had NOT WORSHIPED THE BEAST, neither HIS IMAGE, neither had received his MARK UPON THEIR FOREHEADS, or in their HANDS.” This lets us know that they were beheaded during the great tribulation period, for that is the only time in history when mankind will be required to receive a mark for identity, and also, to worship the image of the beast. “And they (those who had been beheaded) LIVED (that is resurrection) and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” There is only one place for the resurrection of this group, if they are going to live and reign with Christ for a thousand years: That is between the great tribulation and the beginning of the one thousand year reign. John says these people were beheaded, and it was because of their faith in God, but when he sees them, they have already been resurrected, and I assure you, every one of them had their head when John saw them. This very scripture should settle the question about whether those who have lost members of their body in this life will be without those members in the life to come. If these had their heads back on, then those who have lost hands, arms, legs, eyes, and so forth, will have all their members back when they come up in the resurrection. Some may say, Why did you bring that up again? We are printing this message in an effort to help those who want to be set free from their traditional teaching by knowing the truth, and there are still a lot of people who disagree with the idea of a resurrection between the tribulation, and the millennium. This gives us a chance to emphasize the fact that there is going to be, literally, thousands, killed during that tribulation hour which is just ahead. They will refuse to worship the beast and his image, and they will refuse to take his damning mark in their hands and upon their foreheads. This will cause them to be beheaded, but it will seal their testimony of their faith in God. When John first saw this great multitude, (recorded in chapter 7:9-17) the angel which spoke with him, identified them saying, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple.” Verse 9 speaks of them as being a great multitude which no man could number, yet, in the churches of our day, people are being taught that all who believe in God will be raptured when Jesus comes to take his bride. Can you now begin to see why we need to present the word of God (in its revealed form) to people who have been taught in such ways? We may as well face up to it: there is a great multitude of people (living on earth right today) who believe in God, but will not go in the rapture when Jesus comes, for the simple reason, that they will not settle down to be taught the revelated word of God. They will not be dressed properly when the rapture takes place, so they will have to stay here to be killed by the beast. Where will their soul’s go? Their souls go to glory, but their bodies must go into the ground until the time for their resurrection, just before the millennium begins. We can see that they are not bride people, but they do live and reign in eternal life, with Christ. Therefore, when their bodies are raised from the ground, that will leave only the bodies of the wicked dead to remain in the ground until after the millennium reign of Christ. This is what verse 5, in the 20th chapter of Revelation shows us. “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” This also lets us see that the first resurrection is in phases, for according to this, all who will be resurrected before the millennium, are in the first resurrection: “on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”


EVERLASTING – How Long?


We will have more to say on some of what we have talked about already, but now I want to dwell for a little while on the word, or term, EVERLASTING. We find this word used throughout the Bible, and in most instances where it is used it is speaking of time without an end, or of God who is eternal, without beginning, or end, but there are a few instances where it is used, and cannot possibly be taken to mean time without an end. These are the ones we want to concentrate on for just a little while hoping to clear up some other areas where tradition has had the preeminence over the scriptures. Just for a few examples, Matt. 18:8 speaks of everlasting fire, and Matt. 25:46, of everlasting punishment, while 2 Thessalonians 1:9, speaks of everlasting destruction, all in connection with the wicked and ungodly who do not obey the word of God. Just looking at these scriptures we have mentioned ought to open your eyes somewhat, for how can you have everlasting punishment, and everlasting destruction, at the same time, still holding to our English understand of the word? In other words, take Matt. 25:46: If everlasting, in that verse is to be thought of as time without end, then those who were sentenced to everlasting punishment, could never be destroyed. But we know that the scriptures teach that the wicked will be destroyed in the lake of fire. Their destruction will be in the same sense that a stick of wood is destroyed when you cast it into the fire. It is not annihilated immediately, therefore if it had feelings like we do, Would it not be expressing itself as it burned? Of course it would, but there would come a time when it would be completely consumed; then there would be no more expression. The difference between burning a stick of wood in your stove, and God burning these souls in the lake of fire is this, The atoms that make up the piece of wood will not be destroyed, but it is the purpose of God to rid the earth of every trace of sin and wickedness, so, after a period of time, in which they will suffer, they will be completely annihilated. Every trace of them will cease to be. In Revelation 20:14, John called this the second death. Why? Not only will life be separated from the body, but the individuality of that life itself will be completely destroyed in the lake of fire. Do not ask me how long those souls will be left to suffer before they are finally disintegrated; I do not know. That is God’s business, and His alone. In verse 12, John says, “And I saw the dead, small (that is servant type people) and great, (these would be the kingly type, or upper class) stand before God; and the books were opened.” This is a time when mankind will be judged according to their deeds in life, and that judgment will reach all the way back to the first family on earth. In other words, it will cover the whole scope of time between Adam and the end of the millennium. Only those who have already been resurrected, and dwell in immortality, will be exempted form the last resurrection, and God’s final judgment. Remember, this judgment takes place after the one thousand year reign of Christ with his resurrected saints from all former ages, after Satan has been loose for a little season, and after he has had opportunity to gather up a great host of people from all nations through his deception. Verse 8 allows us to see that the number of those he deceives, is as the sand of the sea, but their lives are cut short when they join forces with Satan, for the first thing he does is gather his great army against the people of God, and God causes fire to come down from out of heaven and devour every one of them.


CREMATION


From the standpoint of the resurrection, people have asked many questions, and one of them is, What about the people that are cremated? Are they not approximately 87 percent water? Where does the water go? The water does not go down into the fire. In the process of cremation, the extreme heat causes all the liquid of the body to vaporize and go off in a gaseous form. Every element that was used in the makeup of that body returns to its original form. Every atom remains, and only the carbon itself is left to make up the ashes, but when it comes time for that body to be resurrected, God will not have any trouble reforming that body. For Him, it will be just as easy to resurrect a body that has been burned, as it will be to resurrect one that has completely decomposed over a period of time. Let me say this, When the wicked are cast into the lake of fire, it will be for the purpose of destroying every trace of body, soul, and spirit. Every atom used in the makeup of those individuals will be completely destroyed.


SPIRIT OF ETERNAL LIFE


Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about being born again, and Nicodemus did not understand how that could be possible, thinking only from the standpoint of the natural, for he did not understand that Jesus spoke of a spiritual condition. That still remains to be a great mystery to the man of the world, for it is only understood properly, by those who have experienced it. God gives every person a chance to do right, just like He did with Cain in the beginning, but if we, as individuals, do not surrender our lives to God, and allow Him to place that seal of eternal life (His Spirit) within us, we are destined to be utterly and completely destroyed in the lake of fire. When we are born again, we receive the Spirit of God, (the Holy Ghost) which places us in a state of eternal, or everlasting existence. Keep in mind the fact that the word eternal, means, without beginning, and without end. Only God is eternal; therefore when we read in the scriptures, (John 3:15-16) “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” That means, He will place His spirit (which is eternal) within us, and that gives us, as individuals, everlasting life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In this particular use of the word, EVERLASTING, it truly does mean time without end, for when we receive the Spirit of God, it makes us so that we will never die. Now what did we say? When one receives eternal life, that means he has received the life of God, (God is spirit) and even though that man had a beginning, with the life of the eternal God in him, he will have no end. I hope this is clear to you, for we are dealing with the various uses of certain words, in an attempt to show you that hell is not eternal, as some refer to it, and neither is it everlasting, in the sense of having no end, for I believe we have sufficient scripture to establish the fact that hell will have an end. You say, Bro. Jackson, why is mankind so long in finding this out? It is because of the way this Gentile society has treated the Gospel. They have built their seminaries and great institutions of learning, (please understand that I am not speaking against education, nor intellectualism) but there is not one of those places upon the face of this earth, that has been instrumental in bringing forth a true revelation to mankind. They are institutions that have been built around the teaching of some man that had an inspiration from God. Somewhere in his dedicated life with God, he received an understanding that stood apart from tradition. Naturally, he acquired some followers as he began to teach from his new understanding, and eventually, that lead to a denomination, an organizing of those who believe that teaching, and today we have hundreds of different religious denominations in the world, and most of them have their schools, but not one of those schools has produced a genuine revelation. They are built around theory and supposition, and their very approach to God, (intellectualism) limits them to just that.


LUCIFER – THE DEVIL


Now we have some more scriptures we want to get cleared up in this message, so turn with me to Isaiah 14:12-15. What we are looking at here, is the word hell, but let us read the whole thing. 12, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to HELL to the sides of the pit.” Somewhere in the ages past Lucifer was a righteous angel, but his attempt to make himself equal with God, caused God to cast him down to the earth. His domain became the heart of the earth, Hell became his place of confinement, his headquarters. Then later, God made the man, Adam, then Eve, to be with Adam, and placed them in the garden to have dominion over this planet. If they had obeyed God, they would have remained in complete control of the earth, and everything on earth would have been under their rulership, but when they sinned, they forfeited their right to have supreme authority over spiritual forces, as well as natural forces. In other words they sold their right of authority, and who do you suppose fell heir to that authority when they had to give it up? Old Lucifer of course, and he has continued to exercise his evil will on this old earth ever since. Since he was the one that introduced sin, and the penalty of that sin is death, we will have to say that he is the author of death itself. Now, as we said earlier, before Calvary, every soul went to hell when death came, regardless of whether they were righteous, or wicked. I know how some people will look at you when you say that, but it is true anyway. That is why David said, Thou will not leave my soul in hell. He was looking forward to Calvary, knowing that God would do something to deliver him from imprisonment in hell. David’s soul was truly delivered from hell by that which was accomplished at Calvary, but Lucifer, that old devil, is still the great prince of all evil in the world, and he is exercising his will on natural mankind in our day at a very much escalated pace. He knows his time is short. God is a spiritual power for good, and Satan is a spiritual power for evil. armor of godThat is why the apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, chapter 6, verses 11-12, “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, 12, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Our greatest battles in this life as we try to live for God are not with flesh and blood people; they are with the spiritual forces of darkness. It is true, Satan does use people to come against us, but the real battle is with spiritual forces that cannot be seen.


JUDGMENT OF MATTHEW 25


Let us go now, to the gospel of Matthew for another of the scriptures that trouble many people. This will be in connection with the judgment that takes place in the last part of chapter 25. Many have asked, Where is this judgment going to take place? Others ask, When will it take place? Then others want to know who will be judged. To answer the first question, (WHERE) let it be clearly understood that it is to take place right here on earth. Then the second question (WHEN) is one that many have trouble keeping straight on. It will take place after Christ and His bride saints have returned to the earth, after the marriage supper, and after the great tribulation has run its course. Christ and His bride will be back on earth in their immortal bodies, and the answer to (WHO) will be judged, is this, All the nations of the world will be judged, that is, all the living, (mortal people) who are still on earth after the tribulation, will be gathered together and judged to see who is worthy to live in the millennium age. I know you will not find the word, millennium, mentioned in the Bible, but, as we have said, it is a word that means one thousand, and the scriptures do mention one thousand years, as the number of years that Christ and His immortal saints will rule and reign on earth. Therefore, we are to see this judgment in Matthew 25:31-46, as taking place between the great tribulation, and the start of the millennium. This is not the great white throne judgment; there are no books opened here in this chapter. It is strictly limited to selecting a number of mortal people from each nation who will be left alive to repopulate the earth in the millennium. Let us read some of it now. Verse 31, “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.” Now, to sit on the throne of His glory, is to sit on the throne of King David, fulfilling the promise God gave to David concerning David and his seed. The exact location where Christ will sit, is in Jerusalem, naturally. 32, “And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.” They will be judged, exclusively on their social and moral principles. After separating them into two groups, (verse 34) “Then shall the King (Jesus) say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37, Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?” Notice now, everyone of these things that were mentioned are just basic things that a good moral person, or persons, would do in their natural every day life. These are traits of good social and moral character, and have nothing at all to do with the people being Christians. Christianity does not even enter into this judgment; it is based solely upon the character and actions of these people, especially at a time when certain people were really being persecuted. I am talking about all those people that the Antichrist and his beast system will have tried to kill and abuse, during the great tribulation hour that they will have just come through. Notice how Jesus answers them. 40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” All of man’s words, and deeds, are open before the Lord. There is nothing hid from Him. He sees the good and the bad, and He does not have to write it down in a book to remember it. The books that are opened at the great white throne judgment, will not be books as you and I think of books. This is figurative language to enable us to realize that God keeps a perfectly accurate record. Before moving on to the fate of the wicked, let us notice how perfectly the words of Paul to the saints at Thessalonica match verse 31, here in Matthew 25. What Paul describes in 2nd Thessalonians 1:7-9, are the events that take place just prior to the judgment we are talking about. 7, “And to you who are trouble rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, (That is what Matt. 25:31 states) In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.” The first thing He does is lay hold on the spirit of Antichrist, who is the false prophet, and the spirit of the beast system, and cast those two spirits into the lake of fire. You will find that in Rev. 19:20, if you care to read it. When those two spirits (fallen angels) are cast into the lake of fire, the darkest hour of man’s history will be brought to a close. Jesus will take His throne and begin setting up His righteous kingdom. As the nations of mortal people pass before Him, He will be selecting a number of people from among them, who are fit to be His subject people in the millennium. Please do not misunderstand this judgment, for there are those who believe it will include people from the complete grace age. That is not true; there will be no resurrected people judged in this judgment. I want to state emphatically, that only mortal people will be judged here, and it is based upon how they reacted to the desperate need of the brethren of the Lord Jesus during that dark tribulation hour. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” After that He turns to those on His left hand and says, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into EVERLASTING FIRE, prepared for the devil and his angels.” It sounds like they are immediately cast into the lake of fire, but that is not the case at all. That will not happen until the thousand years are completed. The only thing that is cast into the lake of fire before the millennium, is the two spirits we just mentioned. This is their potential, (those on the left hand) for if they are not found fit to live through the millennium, they will not be fit to live after the millennium, so we may as well look at it as though they have been judged already. Can you see that? Even though they will be raised to stand before the great white throne judgment one thousand years later, they will already know what their fate is to be. Now, even though verse 41, declares that the lake of fire was prepared for the devil and his angels, remember, they are not in the lake of fire when this judgment is taking place. You can see why one must bring in other related scriptures on a study like this, or they might get something done a thousand years too soon. The two spirits that are immediately cast into the lake of fire when Jesus returns to earth are two of the chiefest fallen angels, of the great host that was cast down from heaven with Lucifer, but even though they were powerful, Satan still remains to be the ruler over all of them. We will just say that they are two spirits of the devil, one of them allowed to be characterized in the form of so called Christianity. The other one in that combined world system, called the beast. Brothers and sisters, the unifying of Europe, (the rapid rate in which they are coming together) lets me know that the beast of Revelation 13 is rising fast.


CATHOLICISM WILL RIDE COMMUNISM


One sister in the congregation spoke recently of something written to her in a letter from a sister down in Florida. It seems that during the time when the whole world was speculating on who was likely to be the next pope, she heard a statement made by one of the great leaders within the Catholic church. The statement went something like this, The church (meaning Catholicism) will ride communism to gain world attention. That is exactly what we read in Revelation, chapter 17, and remember, that did not come from the lips of a Protestant. That came from a Catholic dignitary. Saints, I do not know what your religious background has been, nor what your political affiliation may be. That is of no interest to me, but I want you to know that this old world is fast moving toward the end of this Gentile era. There is a little nation across the water that is just like a time bomb, and they have a leader, named Menachem Begin, that is very determined to do everything the Bible way. The rest of the world exerts pressure in an effort to gain a compromise, but to this date, Israel is still holding her ground. Not only is she continuing to build settlements on the West Bank, but she has also determined not to allow any more foreign troops to be used as a buffer between them and their enemy. We do not have the space to go into that, but, saints, I beg you: shake yourselves, and realize that this book (the Bible) is being fulfilled in current events right before our eyes. We have preached, and published messages, trying to show you that, even though communism and Christianity have always been bitter enemies of each other, in the end, Catholicism, (which is the great whore of Revelation, chapter 17) will ride Communism until she (Catholicism, the whore) shall be made desolate, stripped and burned, by the horns of the very beast that she is riding upon. The world beast system, as it runs its course, will become so politically, communist oriented, that Catholicism will be swallowed up by it. That is why we see the 10 major countries of Europe having such upheaval, and such drastic changes in their form of government. Communist power, and influence, is rising in those governments, and stands a threat to the now existing power of Catholicism within those governments. That is why the Christian Democratic party in those countries has been taking such a beating: we are getting close to the end.


I have said, many times, When the hour arrives for that false prophet (religious prince, Antichrist) to move on the scene, he will update Catholicism to make it more acceptable to the world at large, but in doing so, he will become so politically oriented that he will be the very cause of Catholicism meeting her doom, when that beast system has run its course. When we speak of the beast system, please understand that we are referring to the world order, the ruling power as Gentile time runs out, made up of Catholicism and united Protestantism, which is combined to rule the world, and the Pope of Roman Catholicism will be in command. That is the time when he will fulfill his identified role as the Antichrist, but the sad part of it all is, that his teachings have been Antichrist all down through the ages, and in these last days organized Protestantism is too blind to recognize it, therefore they join forces with him. It will be a dark hour for mankind, but after it has run its prophesied course, Jesus will return with His great army and destroy all of man’s works, casting those two spirits, immediately, into the lake of fire. This brings us (in time) back to the judgment we are speaking on, in Matthew 25. We are just trying to pull into this message, related events that will help to establish the chain of events that are just ahead, as well as a time factor for them to take place.


PACIFICATION AND DECEPTION


Saints, do you realize that if Jesus was to come back to earth in the same way He did 2000 years ago, preach the same as He did then, teach and live the same, this Gentile religious system would be the ones to say, Crucify him? Do you know why? It is because their teaching is Antichrist. They will hold their creeds and dogmas, above the revelation of God’s word every time. Religion is a cruel thing; there is no life in it. Gentile organized religion is nothing more than the devil’s pacification program, designed to deceive people into believing they have eternal life. That is what we read in Revelation: that the devil which deceiveth the whole world, was cast out into the earth. Ever since God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, the devil has carried on a program of deception among mankind. Let us read three verses from the 19th chapter of Revelation that will help clarify the chain of events of Christ’s return to earth. Verse 19, “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. 20, And the BEAST (the spirit of the beast) was taken, and with him the FALSE PROPHET that wrought miracles before him, with which he DECEIVED them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 and the remnant were SLAIN with the SWORD of Him (JESUS) that sat upon the horse, which SWORD proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Now, we have been talking about a judgment where Jesus will select an element of living people to rule over in the millennium, as they repopulate the earth. The verses we have just read, enable us to see what happens to all those who are not fit to live during that time. The King (Jesus Christ) will smite them to death with the sword of His mouth. All the wicked are physically slain, before the millennium starts, but they are not cast into the lake of fire until after the millennium, when the great white throne is set. How does He kill them? With the sword of His mouth. Does that make Him a sword swallower? Absolutely not! This is symbolic language. Think of how Paul spoke to the Hebrew Christians, (Heb. 4:12) “FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS QUICK, AND POWERFUL, AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The sharp two-edged sword that Jesus slays the wicked with, is the word of judgment that proceeds out of His mouth. He speaks them to death. You can get a little preview of that kind of judgment, from the account of the deception of Ananias and his wife Sapphira, recorded in Acts 5:1-11. No one laid a hand on either one of them until after they were already dead. That is how it will be when Jesus speaks to the wicked at His return to earth. To slay the remnant, as it says in 19:21, is to slay the wicked, those that are left after the righteous selection has been made. I realize that it is very difficult to get these events laid out in a way that makes it easy to see, but we are depending upon the Holy Ghost to clarify these things for you. Some of the scriptures we read would lead a person to believe that Jesus comes riding out of the sky on a literal, white horse, and slays every wicked person with one great sweep of His great sword. John saw these things in the spirit, but he did not record them detail for detail in chronological order. That is why we must depend upon the Holy Ghost to lead us, as we collect the various verses together to complete the picture. John just saw all the wicked slain, but let me remind you that it does not all happen at once.


COMMUNIST FIGHTING COMMUNISTS


During the last half of that week of Daniel, when that beastly world order is in full swing, persecuting and killing those who refuse to take the mark of the beast, the kings of the East (Oriental Communists) will begin to make their way to the Middle East, their armies numbering about two million. As they gather there (their purpose being to take a spoil and conquer) the stage will be set for the battle of Armageddon. When that battle gets under way, you will have the Oriental Communist forces fighting against the communist armies of Western Europe. Russia will no longer be a great world power as she is now. She will already have had her whipping from the Almighty, when she came against Israel before the week of Daniel, to fulfill Ezekiel, chapters 38 & 39, and God kills all but one-sixth part of her invading armies. Now as that week of Daniel runs out, and the battle of Armageddon is raging: This is when Jesus and His great army from heaven, returns to earth. At that time, the scripture we read from 2 Thes. 1:7-9, speaking of Jesus being revealed from heaven, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, will be fulfilled. Those wicked armies will be destroyed, and the means of their destruction will give occasion for the fulfillment of the scriptures in Isaiah and Malachi, which scriptures caused Brother Branham to make the statement about the righteous walking out into the Millennium upon the ashes of the wicked. That is because they will be burned to death. But please do not think all of the unrighteous will be killed at that time. They will not. There has to be people left alive to fulfill this scripture we are dealing with in Matthew 25, and then, in Rev. 19:21. If Jesus kills all but the ones who will live in the millennium, when He is climaxing the battle of Armageddon; there would be no one left to fulfill this scripture. By this very scripture, we establish the setting on earth just prior to the millennial reign of Christ, on earth. We read down through verse 41, where the King said to those on His left hand, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into EVERLASTING FIRE, prepared for the devil and his angels,” and you will notice from the verses following that, the very reason they were placed on His left hand in the first place, was because they had failed to do the humanly moral deeds that the group on His right hand were rewarded for doing. This group is heard asking a similar question to the one the righteous group asked: Lord, When was it like you say it was? He answers them (verse 45) saying, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” This lets me know that these people are separated and judged strictly by the deeds they did or failed to do. Those on His right hand are not to be thought of as though they believed and accepted Christ, and that was the reason they were rewarded for He plainly tells them that it is because of the way they had showed compassion and ministered to His brethren in their desperate needs, that they, themselves, received mercy. He also makes it clear to the other group that it is because of their lack of compassion, and their failure to do what seems like very humanly deeds that sealed their doom. 46, “And these shall go away into EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT: but the righteous into life eternal.” As I said earlier, their fate, (the lake of fire) is actually pronounced upon them right there but they are not going into the lake of fire until after the one thousand years has run its course. At this particular time, He speaks death to them, (by the sword of His mouth) their soul goes into HELL, (the prison place in the heart of the earth) where they will be punished, until they are resurrected one thousand years later, and cast into the lake of fire to be destroyed completely. During that time their bodies will be confined to the crust of the earth where all the other bodies of the wicked are held. By the time the millennium starts, all three phases of the first resurrection will be completed. Only the bodies of the wicked will be left in the ground, and the souls of all the wicked will remain in hell.


DEGREES OF PUNISHMENT


Most of you have heard me teach that, just as there are degrees, or different levels of reward for those who live in eternal life, so also will there be different degrees of punishment for the wicked before they are finally destroyed completely. When final destruction comes, punishment and suffering will be over with. For this group in Matthew 25:41, I have looked at it like this, These are people that, even though you could not consider them to be mean people, they somehow just never did have any time for God. We have all known people like that. They would not cheat you for anything in the world. They believe in paying their bills, and they are just as honest as the day is long, but when you start talking to them about God, they are no more interested than a jack rabbit. In fact, they will become offended if you talk too much about God in their presence. Some of these intellectual, business dignitaries, which you could never class as being mean people, are exactly like the ones we are talking about. They do not go around trying to make life miserable for other people, but they are quick to say, I have never done anything wrong; Why would I need to repent? The fact of the matter is, God’s word says, All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23). We are born with an inherited nature to sin. The attributes of sin are passed on to us in birth, so that we are born a sinner. The very fact that a person does not want to repent, does not want to live for God, or even to talk about Him, proves that they are a sinner. The Bible says that God created man in His own image and likeness, and our own natural lives prove that we like to talk about our daddy once in a while. Is that not right? You show me a boy that does not like to talk about his daddy, and I will show you a rascal. To go a step further, you show me a man who feels that he has no need to repent, and regardless of how honest he may be, or how high he may be on the social ladder, and regardless of how many degrees he may have listed on his achievement record, I will still show you a rascal, for that is a man who feels that he is so good already, that he has no need for God. You may say, Bro. Jackson: That is a little strong, isn’t it? No! I repeat: I will show you a rascal. The Bible clearly teaches that all our righteousness are as filthy rags before God. As you read the first three chapters of Romans: you find the apostle Paul speaking explicitly about such people who have no time for God. I realize Paul covers the whole scope of man’s unrighteous ways in those chapters, and we are not calling such people as these in Matthew 25, murderers, gamblers, nor anything like that, but the self righteous man who trusts in his own goodness, is just as far from God as any murderer will ever be. Consider for instance, Sodom and Gomorrah: The people in those cities were not all abominable perverts, but because they had no time for God, they were all in the same boat; they all perished together. Therefore when we consider the lake of fire, and maybe feel that we know some who ought not be judged so severely even though they will not serve God: let us remember: there is no middle ground. A person will either be blessed with the righteous, or that person will be condemned with the wicked. You may say, Where is the justice of God then? I will try to show you. First, let me say this, God grants mercy to every soul that genuinely repents, regardless of how bad that person may have been, but where there is no repentance, that person must be judged with the wicked. Now I will try to show you something. We will use for an example, the man who went into the Chicago apartments some years ago, with a gun and a knife, and killed those nurses. I am sure many of you remember the case. He went in there, killed them, and then he cut them to pieces. I can see a man like that, as he goes into the lake of fire, lie there just like an old wet blanket. If you can catch what I am getting at: you will see that there are degrees of punishment, even in the lake of fire. This man’s spirit being so evil, if he never found any place of repentance before God, when he is cast into the lake of fire he would be just like a wet blanket, or a soggy piece of wood. He will lie there in the flames and smolder, and all the time he is lying there: that worm of remorse will be gnawing at his conscience. He may lie there smoldering in torment for a thousand years, or even a million years, I have no idea how long God will see fit to punish such a person. I am sure of this, though, He will hear the screams of those nurses over and over again as that worm of remorse gnaws at his conscience day and night. On the other hand, these people who were never so evil in their ways, those who morally, were real decent people: I believe God will allow them to burn up rapidly when they are cast into the fire, not having much to be punished for. That is little consolation, and a very thin thread for a person without God in his life, to hang on to, when you stop to think that such people are eternally separated from God, or for the sake of proper terminology, we will say they are everlastingly separated from God. In this instance the word, everlasting, truly means for ever, and for ever without an end. Their separation from God is without an end, for when their punishment is completed, every trace of them will be completely obliterated. That is why we say, HELL IS NOT ETERNAL, and that is why we say also, that even the lake of fire will serve its purpose and be needed no more. As for the degrees of punishment: God would be very unjust as a judge, if he gave every person the same degree of punishment. He is just, in destroying every one of them, but he would be very unjust, if He punished everyone the same.


REWARDS FOR THE RIGHTEOUS


Let me back up my statement about degrees of punishment, by showing you that God rewards the righteous by degrees, according to their works and faithfulness in life, and you should realize that God’s principles remain the same. He is not affected by emotions in His rewards, and His judgment. Let us first read 2nd Cor. 5:9-10, “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him. 10, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” This is strictly a judgment of the righteous, to determine the degree of their rewards in the life beyond this life, and it is determined by the measure of obedience and submission to the will of God in this present life. There are some who work hard trying to do something for God, but much of their labor is through fleshly zeal, and not a result of the leading of the Lord; therefore their reward will not necessarily be the greatest. Let us look at a few verses in 1st Corinthians, chapter 15, now. In this chapter Paul is presenting revelated facts about the resurrection of the dead, and of the different resurrection glories. We will pick up the reading in verse 40, and read through verse 42. “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the GLORY of the celestial is one, and the Glory of the terrestrial is another. 41, There is one GLORY of the Sun, and another GLORY of the moon, and another GLORY of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in GLORY, 42, So also is the resurrection of the dead, It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.” Now, if you can see it there; the apostle is saying that, just as the sun, moon, and stars all have a different degree of glory, so will it be also, with those who are resurrected from the dead to dwell with Christ in the realm of eternal life. The bride will have the highest level of reward, for she will have become one with Him, (Christ) and will reign with Him as His queen. Certainly there are other scriptures that we could read from the standpoint of various levels of reward for the righteous, but I believe this is sufficient to get our thinking pointed in the right direction. Revelation 20:12 shows books being opened at the great white throne judgment after the millennium, and the dead are judged out of those things which are written in the books, according to their works; therefore if there were no degrees of punishment; the books would be unnecessary, since they are all to be cast into the lake of fire after their sentence is pronounced upon them. Then the 13th verse which we used earlier to show you that hell is to be emptied of all its captives at this judgment, also states that every one of them were judged according to their works, and the 14th verse shows that everything that comes up from the graves, the sea, and hell itself, is cast into the lake of fire. Matthew 25:41 calls this EVERLASTING FIRE, and 25:46 refers to this punishment as EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT, and the apostle Paul in 2nd Thess. 1:9, refers to this last state of wicked mankind as EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, and from the glory of His power. Since God is life, and that life is omnipresent, these people who are cast into the lake of fire will have to be completely annihilated, after their allotted time of punishment, in order to be EVERLASTINGLY DESTROYED from the presence of the Lord. Therefore there will eventually come a time when the lake of fire has no further use. We must reconcile these various uses of certain words and terms, for we are fully persuaded that there is no contradiction in the revelatory teaching in the word of God.


EVERLASTING GOSPEL


For another use of the word, EVERLASTING, let us go to the 14th chapter of Revelation, verse 6, where we read, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the EVERLASTING GOSPEL to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” We have recently published an article showing what the everlasting gospel is, who preaches it, and what affect it will have on the inhabitants of the earth at that time, but right now, I am only referring to it in order to pull out the terminology that pertains to our present subject. Understanding the setting here lets us know what this everlasting gospel pertains to, and how much time to allot to it. I suppose there are some who read that verse and say, When that angel flies in the heavens, he will preach a gospel that will last for ever. That is a wrong understanding of this verse. If you will read the next four verses, and find out what the message of that gospel is, you will know that it is for a certain period of time. If it was to be preached continuously, throughout the endless ages, then there would never be a millennium. This is the last gospel that will ever be preached to the inhabitants of the earth, and its message is for a short period of time: giving mankind one last chance to recognize the source of eternal life. It is because of this gospel that Jesus is fully justified when He comes from heaven in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God. There will not be one individual engaged in the battle of Armageddon that can say he had no chance to obey God, for, listen, as I reread a part of verse 6, that tells who this last gospel was preached to. “Having the EVERLASTING GOSPEL to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, AND TO EVERY NATION, AND KINDRED, AND TONGUE, AND PEOPLE,” (that includes them all). Let us read on down through here now, and hear the message of these angels, and you will know why I said men had one last chance before judgment fell. This is no longer a gospel of grace for the purpose of sealing a Gentile bride for the Lord Jesus Christ, she will already be at the marriage supper when this everlasting gospel begins to be proclaimed in the middle of the week of Daniel. Here is what is being declared with a loud voice, verse 7, “Fear God, and give Glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 8, And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen (they are pronouncing judgment upon spiritual Babylon) that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 9, And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man WORSHIP THE BEAST and his IMAGE, and RECEIVE HIS MARK IN HIS FOREHEAD, OR IN HIS HAND, 10, The same (those who are guilty) shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone (notice this now) in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” We know this message will not be proclaimed after the millennium starts, for it will no longer be needed. The beast and the false prophet will already be in the lake of fire, and the devil himself will already be chained up, for he is chained before the millennium starts. Therefore the term, EVERLASTING GOSPEL, only applies in the sense that it is the last message of good news that will ever give man a chance to turn to God. You will notice also, that the massage contained a warning against being identified with the beast in any way. That message would be of no benefit after the tribulation is over.


COMMON MARKET CURRENCY


In connection with the beast, let me say to you, That beast system is rapidly forming for its end time role in the history of mankind. We have read in the newspaper that the nations of Europe already have printed up, and ready to use, a Common Market currency. The article stated that, because of the decline in the value of the American dollar, it is believed that the hour is approaching when it will be necessary for the Common Market nations to begin using a common currency, one that would replace the German marc, the French franc, the Italian lira, the British pound, and all other individual currencies, so that one common currency would be acceptable to all. Saints: the world is getting close to the hour of that beast system. The ten horns are taking their place, and with Israel where she is, along with what we see in the realm of religion, and especially in the Catholic church, we know that the living element of the people of God are on the verge of being shook hard enough to get all their old Babylonian ideas shook loose from them, and allow them to get hold of the word of God. In Canada, many of the stores have already converted to a cashless system, and many more will soon follow. This is not the mark of the beast, just because it required those to participate to have an identifying number, but it is a forerunner, preparing the world for the mark, when it is time for it to be introduced. We will not dwell on this, for we are dealing with another message, and there are a few more things that I would like to point out to you from the scriptures we have read. In verse 10 of chapter 14, we read something that seems contradictory to a verse we read from 2nd Thessalonians 1:9, and I want to be sure that there is no misunderstanding about it. Paul said the wicked would be punished with EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD. Then John says they will be tormented with fire and brimstone IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY ANGELS, AND IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB. Do we have a contradiction between two verses? No, there is no contradiction. Here is the beauty of it. God is Spirit; He is invisible, but He is the source of all life, and He is the supreme ruler of the whole universe. Everything rests in Him. If He ever rejects you; you do not have life; therefore when He rejects you from His presence, figuratively, it means that you are destined to perish, for you are without the source of life. On the other hand, to look at what John said about the wicked being tormented in the presence of the angels, and in the presence of the Lamb, we have to realize that God has always dealt with man through the ministry of angels, and the shed blood of the Lamb was the price of our redemption. The redemption that God offers to mankind, was purchased by the shedding of the blood of the Lamb which is Jesus Christ. In order for us to be reconciled to God, there is a process which we must pass through, and that process is brought about by the ministration of angels. When we carry that thought to Hebrews 1:7, where it is speaking of these angelic spirits, we read, “And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” Then in verse 14, we read, “Are they not all ministering spirits, (still speaking of the angels) sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” You do not see those angels, but they are ever present with us. Our lives are constantly affected by these angelic beings. You may say, Bro. Jackson: I thought it was the Lord that is ever present with us. It is; but please do not overlook the fact that God has delegated the responsibility of ministering to His children, to His angels. Now I will tell you how all this fits in with what we are considering. If a person constantly turns his back on the wooing feelings that would lead him to God: there will come a day when it is everlastingly too late for him to find a place of repentance. He will die in his sins, be tormented in hell, and then when he is finally resurrected and cast into the lake of fire; he will suffer day and night in that fire of destruction, with gnawing consciousness that he had a chance to be reconciled to God and he spurned it. He will be constantly reminded; there are those angels, there is the Lamb; in other words, he will be constantly conscious of the fact that he rejected, one time too many, the very avenue back into the presence of the Lord. That is how the angels and the Lamb are present while the wicked soul is being tormented. It is in his conscience, that gnawing worm that dieth not. Some will say, But if he was not foreknown of God; he could not have been saved anyway. Well, that is right, if you keep foreknowledge in its proper place. A person is not condemned because of God’s foreknowledge. He is condemned because he was offered a chance to receive eternal life, and he rejected it, and the foreknowledge of God is what let Him (God) know that the man would reject his chance, even before the world was created. In other words, foreknowledge does not deny the man his chance, but foreknowledge does let God know ahead of time what that man will do with his chance.


MINISTRY OF THE ANGELS


I want to make it perfectly clear that we don not make a practice of preaching on angels, but if we are to have a proper revelation of the scriptures; we must recognize the place that God has given to his angelic creation. As I said in another message; anywhere you find God doing anything, you can be assured that angels are present. We need to recognize what place they have in God’s dealing with man, and by so doing, we will rid ourselves of a lot of our old traditional ideas. The church seems to have forgotten what they read in the Bible. Even the Lord Jesus Himself, who was God incarnate, with power to lay His life down and take it back up again, when He came forth from the tomb, who rolled the stone away from the door? Matthew 28:2, says the angel of the Lord rolled it back. We are not saying that Jesus could not have gotten out of the tomb without the help of an angel; He could come out with the door closed just like He did later, in the room where His disciples were waiting, but the fact remains that God’s word says an angel came and rolled back the stone. How did he do it? By causing an earthquake to shake the mortar loose, and roll that old stone back down the track. Why did he do it, if Jesus could have gotten out without it? That empty tomb had to be revealed. That empty tomb, and the presence of the Lord among His disciples later, produced some eye witnesses who could testify to His resurrection. But the point we are making is, that, God works through His angels, in His process of redeeming His creation back to Himself, and fallen man, as he burns in the lake of fire, will be tormented day and night with the thoughts of how he had a chance, but rejected the wooing presence of the angels, and the blood of the Lamb.


We have already talked about the millennium, how that Jesus will reign as King for one thousand years over the whole earth, with His literal throne being in Jerusalem, the throne of David. When that thousand year reign of righteousness and restoration is completed: Jesus will never be King any more. After Satan has been loosed for a little season to deceive as many as he can; he collects those whom he has deceived together, and surrounds the camp of the saints, and the beloved city: and fire comes down out of heaven to devour them. From there, the great white throne judgment is set, and Jesus then becomes the Supreme Judge. He grants eternal life to those whose names are in the book of life, and all the rest are cast into the lake of fire. They are everlastingly destroyed from the presence of the Lord, but during the time of their punishment in the fire, the memory of the holy angels that would have wooed them to accept the provision of the Lamb, is ever present with them, gnawing at their conscience. Since the lake of fire is not on this planet, when all the wicked are finally cast into it: this old planet will be clean again, completely redeemed back to God in every aspect. We will go back to 1st Corinthians 15 now, and read verses 24-28, for this is where these scriptures are fulfilled. 24, “Then cometh the end, (the end of God’s complete process of redemption) when He (Christ Jesus) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, (ELOHIM, ETERNAL SPIRIT) even the Father; when He (Christ) shall have put down all rule and authority and power. 25, For He (Christ) must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. 26, The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27, For He (ELOHIM) hath put all things under His (CHRIST JESUS’) feet. But when he (DAVID Psa. 8:6) saith all things are put under Him, (CHRIST JESUS) it is manifest that He (ELOHIM) is excepted, which did put all things under Him, (CHRIST JESUS). 28, And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, (CHRIST JESUS) then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him (ELOHIM) that put all things under Him, that God (WHICH IS SPIRIT) may be all in all.” This puts all of God’s redeemed family into the eternal age, and Jesus Christ, who has been, on our behalf, PROPHET, PRIEST, LAMB, (SIN OFFERING) INTERCESSOR, BRIDEGROOM, KING and then SUPREME JUDGE OF THE WICKED, now becomes our elder brother, and the scriptures declare that we are joint heirs with Him. Can you fully appreciate that? Let me explain what I mean by that question. In ancient times the eldest son was the sole heir of all his Father’s wealth. All that the other children in the family could expect to receive, was some lesser gift which the father would specify, but the bulk of the inheritance always went to the first born son. It was his to do with as he pleased. Now Romans 8:29, tells us that Jesus was the firstborn among many brethren. In other words He is the legal heir of the whole family of God. To Him is given glory, honor, power and authority by the great eternal Spirit, (God) but He did not want it just for Himself, therefore, we who were paupers, condemned, and doomed to destruction by the eternal God, with no hope for eternal life, have become joint heirs with Him by a voluntary act on His part. Did not He say that He had power to give life to whomsoever He would? Did not He say also, while speaking to the Father in prayer, “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one?” This is one elder brother that divides His inheritance among all of His brethren, making us joint heirs with Him, of all that the Father hath bestowed upon Him. In that great eternal age we will sit with Him, and share with Him, in immortality, and the glory that is with Him will be with us also. Brothers and sisters, this is a rich inheritance we have come into; let us be grateful in our hearts, and live for God with all our strength as these last days of this present age fulfill themselves.


A LOOK AT MAN


Before closing I would like to share with you a little illustration I used in talking to some of the brethren on this subject. Maybe this will help some of you to better understand the makeup of man, and enable you to understand the final estate of mankind without God. Alright now, God is Spirit, and that Spirit is life. In Him is love, wisdom, compassion, longsuffering, and all the attributes that we have ever heard attributed to God. He knows all things, and He is unlimited in ability. When God made man: the very spirit life that we are, came from Him. He did not go out somewhere with a bucket and stir up a bunch of chemicals to make the spirit of man. No! He took of Himself, for He is life, and made man, but the process by which you and I came into the world causes us, in our physical makeup, to be a sinner. Therefore because we bear the trait of sin in our makeup, unless we find our place in God’s redemptive process, and allow Him to place His seal of eternal life upon us, we are destined to partake of the lake of fire burning with brimstone, in our last state of being. Our rejection of God’s way is what brings about the necessity for our destruction. Anyone who refuses to be joined to God, must be everlastingly separated from God for His redemption process to be complete. Now I will illustrate something for you. Suppose I take a glass and fill it full of water: I can hold it up and say, Here is water, but in that state, that is all I have in that glass. If it is pure water; it is aroma-less, practically tasteless, and without color; it’s clear. I am using this as a comparison to spirit, for I want to show you something. Water is the very essence of life to all vegetative life. If you cut off its source of water, you know what happens; it dies; it ceases to exist. Now, let us suppose that I decide to take that water and make some kind of drink out of it. I put a spoonful of cherry Kool-Aid in and stir it up, and I have not only added color; I have also added flavor. The color can be seen, the flavor can be tasted. Now I will add some sugar, and that sugar contains carbohydrates. That means I have added nutrients. In this I have added certain chemicals that have a certain amount of carbon of the earth in it; water itself has no carbon. Now I have taken water, added certain substances to it, and made a tasty drink, but basically, it is water. On the other side of this illustration is man. The life of that man is spirit, and basically, that spirit life, is life that came from God. That is why, from the standpoint of creation, we can call God, our heavenly Father. God took of Himself, (SPIRIT) and to that life He added the five senses, SEE, HEAR, TASTE, SMELL AND TOUCH. This is not in your flesh; it is in your spirit. Next He added INTELLECT, WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE, the ability to think, make decisions, and determinations. This is the sense in which we are like Him, for God is all of that. Then He added affections. Our likes, dislikes, and so forth, come from that, and this furnishes our motivation. All of this makes up the soul, the intellect of that spirit that we are. That is why from time to time we hear people say, What you see is not the real me, for the real me, is inside of this shell of flesh. The real me is what was made in the image of God, and in His likeness.

 

Alright now, when the body dies: what has actually happened? The spirit has left it, and the soul has left it also, for the spirit and soul are inseparable. When the spirit leaves; the soul is in it. That is why, before Calvary, every soul that departed from the body had to go to hell; there had not been a way made before then to blot out the taint of sin, so that the spirit could go back to God from whence it came. Therefore it was held in a place of confinement until the sin debt was paid, and from that time until the end, when a righteous person dies; his spirit returns to God, and his body goes into the grave. David somehow knew this, and it caused him to say, Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.


We come back to the glass of cherry Kool-Aid now. I am using this just for an illustration. If that cherry drink is ever going to have an eternal existence, somehow, I am going to have to come up with a chemical that I can add to it to seal what I have. Once that is done it will remain the same throughout time and eternity, regardless of where it is. But let us see what will happen if I purpose to destroy it, since it does not have the seal to preserve and keep it. Suppose I just pour it out on the ground. You know what will happen; the earth will absorb the water, but there will be a colored spot left on the ground. The water that was the main carrier of all the added substance, will separate from all the molecules, and fiber, and substance, and will eventually be filtering through the earth, and be completely free from all the added chemicals, and it will return to the main stream from whence it came. After a period of time that water will be free from every trace of anything that was added to it, and also, those additives will eventually break up, and go right back into creation; like I have said before; an atom is never destroyed; it just changes its cycle and function in creation. When God destroys those bodies, and the souls of all the unredeemed that have ever lived by casting them into the lake of fire, even all those wicked spirits of demons, it will be for the purpose of destroying every trace of individuality that has ever been attributed to them. Conscience, intellect, the five senses, and everything that God added to make up the individuals, will be eventually destroyed in the process of their punishment. When each one has finally suffered the punishment that was allotted to them, and they reach the end of their destruction, then the spirit that was the life of that individual, that spirit that came from God, being indestructible and being completely free from all traces of what it was the life of, will return to God. That spirit came from God, for God is the only source of life that there is; therefore, in the end, it will return to God.


I will close this message by saying this: The lake of fire is God’s incinerator where He burns up everything that is not redeemed back to Him. Therefore, in the eternal age there will be no more graveyards, no more dead carcasses, and nothing that is impure; all will be dwelling in eternal life. This old planet will be completely redeemed, and Satan, with all of his evil, will be remembered no more. AMEN

The New Jerusalem – 1978, November

The New Jerusalem - 1978, November

REVELATION 21:1 – 22:5


HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO VISUALIZE A CITY FOURSQUARE, MEASURING TWELVE THOUSAND FURLONGS, AND DESCENDING TO EARTH FROM OUT OF HEAVEN? IF YOU HAVE, I BELIEVE YOU WILL FIND THIS MESSAGE TO BE VERY ENLIGHTENING. WE HAVE TAKEN IT VERSE BY VERSE, AND TRIED TO SHOW THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CITY DESCRIBED BY THE APOSTLE JOHN IN REVELATION, CHAPTERS 21 & 22. PLEASE READ IT PRAYERFULLY, AND STUDY THE SCRIPTURE VERSES USED, FROM YOUR OWN BIBLE, AND THEN IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, OR COMMENTS, WE WILL BE GLAD TO HEAR FROM YOU.


I have had a number of people ask me questions lately, about he New Jerusalem which John wrote about in Revelation, chapter 21. It is interesting to note the various ideas and opinions which people have about this city, some believing one thing, and others, something else. It is for this reason that I feel led to publish this message, with all the details and explanations the Holy Ghost will call to our remembrance. Years ago, when I was still in the Methodist church, I too, looked upon that city as a literal city, with all its gold, precious stones, pearls, and so forth, but now we have the Holy Ghost which wrote the book, in us, to reveal its true spiritual significance; therefore we want to take this 21st chapter, and consider the things that are recorded therein. Time-wise this chapter picks up after the great White Throne judgment has been completed, and all fallen mankind, and every evil spirit has been judged. Whatever, and whoever is left alive after that judgment, will live in the 8th day, which is the eternal day. Everything will be restored back to what it was in the 1st day, before Adam sinned. This 8th day will not be broken up into dispensations as the other 7 days, or 7000 years have been. Though it is hard for our finite minds to grasp the reality of such a thing: It will be an endless eternity of bliss, in the presence of the Great God of all ages. The apostle Paul wrote, in 1 Cor. 13:12, “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.” I only use this verse, here, to call attention to the fact that we do not yet see all things as clearly as we will later. To see through a glass, darkly, does not mean that we do not see anything. It simply means that we do not see clearly, the profile, or image that we are looking at. However, I do believe we are living in a day when it is scripturally reasonable to expect the Holy Ghost to clear up the picture for us, as we are endeavoring to take on the mind of Christ.


RESTORATION


In 1 Corinthians 15:24-26, we find the apostle Paul referring to the beginning of the 8th day like this, “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered (speaking of Jesus Christ) up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He (Christ) must reign, until He hath put all enemies (sin and death) under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” In other words He will rule and reign for 1000 years, on earth: then when His millennial reign is concluded, and the last judgment is all over with, it will be time for the New Jerusalem to descent from heaven. Before going into our subject of the New City though, I want to clear up some of the misunderstanding about the millennial age. I have had many people come to me and say, “Bro. Jackson: If Jesus is going to be ruling with a rod of iron, and the devil is going to be bound: how come there still seems to be death present through the millennium?” It is very simple. These very questions prove that people have not been taught what is written in the word of God. It is not that sin is raging during that time, as we know it now, but that inherited nature to sin is still present in those mortal beings that pass from this age into the millennium. That is why Jesus Christ will rule with a rod of iron: it is to be a disciplinary age. The Millennium age is not the perfect age, but His rod of iron rule over the national subjects will produce a people that can be passed into the perfect age. At the same time He will be releasing the animal kingdom, so that the enmity between man and beast will cease to be. It will be just like the old song, “Peace in the Valley,” the animal kingdom will lie in peace, and be at peace with man. Then the earth will yield her full increase. All of this is written in the Old Testament. In Isaiah 11:6-9, we read, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like an ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, (venomous viper) and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den, (another of the reptile family). They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” When? After the Millennial rule has had time to have its effect. That is when the whole earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord, as the Psalmist wrote.


DEATH, IN THE MILLENNIUM


When we speak of the eighth day, please remember, the eighth day is the first day, just like our calendar. It is a new beginning, with everything restored back as it was before the fall of man in the garden. In Isaiah 65, we find that the prophet was actually looking through the Millennium, to the eternal age. Look at verse 20, “There shall be no more thence, an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.” Now in our present day, with our life span being an expected 70 years, more or less, we look upon an person who is a hundred years old, as an old person, but in the Millennium when longevity of life is restored, looking at it from a percentage standpoint: a hundred year old person, then, would be as a seven year old child is, to us. Death, then, will not be from tuberculosis, heart trouble, cancer, nor any of those physical diseases; it will be strictly a disciplinary tool in the hands of God, and it shall be administered to those who have had ample time to be corrected. In other words, a child born in the Millennium; being born of mortal parents who have passed from this age into that age, still having the nature to sin and rebel, would be warned and worked with for 100 years, giving him, or her, that much time to submit to the righteous rule of Christ, before death would be administered. In that same verse where Isaiah says, “There shall be no more THENCE (from the beginning of the eternal age and onward) an infant of days,” he also says, “Nor an old man that hath not filled his days,” meaning of course, that if he has been allowed to pass into the eternal age, he has already been tried, tested, judged and found to be worthy, or he would not be there. Saints: Do you realize that if we are living as close to the end as we believe we are: there is a people living, right today, that will live forever. This is not speculation. Either we believe the Bible or we do not. If we believe the Bible, it will bear these things out. Like we said before: the Millennium is not the perfect age. It is a period of time in which God is repopulating the earth, a period when divine government is restored, as well as divine knowledge. The earth will be beautified, and the animal kingdom will again be at peace with man. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.” This mortal realm of people will still have the same inherited nature, which will pass on down to, and through all of their offspring. That is why Zechariah 14:16-17, states, “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Verse 17, shows what the result will be for those who refuse to do so. “And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.” In verse 18, he goes on to give an illustration, using Egypt as an example. “And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19, This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.” This is the effect of that rod of iron. Every individual will have to submit to discipline and come under the law of that age, or death will be the means of getting rid of them. I have my serious doubts that there will be any need for a lot of undertakers, and I do not believe there will be a need for a large casket manufacturer, for I believe those things will be few and far between. Nevertheless, when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be loosed from his prison, and shall go out to deceive all whom he can of those millions born in the Millennium. If you can get the picture here; you will see that a just God could not let those millions of people pass into the eternal age without first being tempted by the old adversary, the Devil. He will not be allowed to corrupt the earth again, as before, but he will have his opportunity to gain a following of people who will think to gather for battle, as they compass the camp of the saints, and the city of Jerusalem, but fire comes down out of heaven to devour them. That is when the devil that deceived them will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are. There is one thing sure though, he will never touch one of the immortal saints of God that have been ruling with Christ during this time. He can only tempt those who were born in the peaceful atmosphere of the Millennium while he was bound. Carnal minded people will say, “Bro. Jackson, do you mean to say we will be here, and we will see all of what is going on. Well, I just would not want to be here at a time like that. You are not there yet. When that time comes, if you are there, you will think differently than you do now. Immortality will make a great difference in the way we see things.


NEW HEAVEN, NEW EARTH – WHERE?


Just think, the bride of Christ will rule with Christ in the Millennium, executing the affairs of the kingdom, with the same authority that Jesus rules with. Then when it comes to a close, and Satan has been loosed for a little season, until his efforts are stopped by the fire of God, the 2nd resurrection will bring up the spirits of all degenerate men, from Cain all the way down to the end of the Millennium. There will be no more hell in the heart of the earth. This is the time for verse 13, of Revelation 20 to have its fulfillment. “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14, And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” There will be no more graves, no more dead bodies to mar the beauty of the replenished earth. This will be the last phase of redemption for the earth itself. The planet will be clean again, for the first time since sin was introduced. This climaxes what Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 15:25-26, “For He must reign, until He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Jesus said, I AM the resurrection and the life. This means that at the sound of His voice the wicked dead will rise, just as simple as the righteous do before the Millennium. I am so thankful that those apostles could write, or speak, as the Holy Ghost moved them, for if they had been confined as some men are today, that is, if they had only been allowed to say what Jesus said, we would not have 1 Thes. 4:16-17, nor 1 Cor. 15:12-58, which help us to know what is ahead for us in the plan of God. Then we have the apostle Peter’s words which declare, (3:13) “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” It is the same planet earth, but it is made new through redemption. We are not looking for new galaxies in the heavens, but a new atmosphere within the same realm of space that you and I are already familiar with. In other words, everything that man has been associated with, will be made anew through redemption. Do not ever think that we are going to be carried off somewhere, to some other planet or something. That is a completely wrong viewpoint. You say, “But, Bro. Jackson, doesn’t the Bible say that the heavens and earth shall melt with fervent heat? Let us read that verse in 1 Peter 3:10, and I am sure you will understand that it is the works of man that are going to be burned up. Verse 10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” If that verse stood alone in the Bible, it might leave room for some question, but it does not stand alone. Look in verses 5-7, of the same chapter, to see how the same man referred to the destruction by the flood, in the days of Noah. “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world THAT THEN WAS, being overflowed with water, PERISHED: But the heavens and the earth, WHICH ARE NOW, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” You need only ask yourself the question, “Is this the same planet earth that Noah and his generation lived on? The Bible makes it very clear that it is, but the writer, here, says that the old world PERISHED in the flood. When we reconcile scripture with scripture, we realize that these judgments are only a cleansing process, by which the Lord cleanses the earth of the works of man. You could ask the question like this, “If the heavens, and the earth, perished in the flood, how can they still be here to be burned?” Man’s works will be burned up, but the rocks, the dirt, the mountains and the water will still be here, when the burning is finished. As in the days of Noah, when the flood was abated, they stepped out of the ark and found that the earth was made new. There was not a hut, nor any trace of the works of man, to be found anywhere. It was a new, fresh beginning. Everything had to be started all over again. Therefore, if we connect these pictures together, it will help us to better approach our subject, on the new city.


WHY HOUSES?


When the great white throne judgment is completed, and the earth is completely free from all traces of sin and corruption, then Jesus will turn the kingdom, the government, the rulership of the planet back over to God, that God may be all in all. In other words, it will be God, Elohim, Eternal Spirit, placing himself back within his creation, as in the beginning. He will be able to fellowship His redeemed family in the full expression of His glory and presence, as when He walked in the garden in the cool of the day, talking to Adam. God does not need a house to dwell in, for He is omnipresent, (present in all places at all times) and He never gets cold, wet, hungry nor uncomfortable. Every drop of rain that falls, falls in Him. He doesn’t need man, nor anyone to advise Him, for He is omniscient, (with infinite awareness, understanding, and insight, and has complete knowledge of all things, at all times). Such a God as He, has need of nothing that we could do for Him, personally, but He does desire to have fellowship with His creation. I will say, also, if sin had never entered into the garden, this whole planet would be a beautiful, garden-like place, with perfect climate, beautiful towering trees, shrubs, flowers, rivers, brooks and streams with trout and other fish leaping in them. The animal kingdom would have continued to be at peace with man, and there never would have been any need for man to build his 40, 50, and 60 thousand dollar houses. He would not have needed them. Houses were only necessitated by the fact that nature began to work against man, and the animal kingdom began to express itself against him, causing him to begin to devise ways of secluding himself. The farther he went, the fancier he got, until we come to the day we are living in. All this has been man’s efforts of trying to gain a measure of security, when all the time, his only security was in the Lord. Brothers and sisters: we are secure in Him. Our comfort lays in Him, and without Him, we can do nothing.


WHY NEW?


As we try to bring our attention back to the announced subject, let us be aware that what we are going to talk about cannot be understood with our natural, everyday kind of thinking and reasoning. We will be dealing with something that carries our thinking into the eternal age, when all of these familiar things will have passed away. Paul spoke of it in Ephesians 3:21, as world without end. Let us begin now, by reading the 1st verse of Rev. 21, where John wrote, “And I saw a new heaven, and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Remember now, John was given the privilege of viewing THIS planet in its redeemed state. Why would Christ rule and reign on this planet for one thousand years, redeeming and restoring it back as it was before, only to wipe it all out and start with another one, when He had accomplished His purpose? We just do not interpret the scriptures like that. John was looking at this old world as it will appear in the eternal age. Naturally it looked new to him. It will look new to us when we get there. Well, what about the heavens, or the new heaven? We must think of heaven in this particular instance, as the atmosphere around the earth. According to the scriptures, the atmosphere around the earth (or the heavens, as it is commonly called) is the environment, or habitation of devils, or demons, or evil spirits, which ever term best helps to get the thought across. They all pertain to the same thing. Paul referred to our former days, as following the course of this world, walking according to the prince of the power of the air. Those evil spirits are out there battling against righteous angels who seek to minister to mankind for his earthly benefit. The devil and his angels are constantly trying to get man to defile the earth. The filthier it gets, the better they like it. Why? Because it is completely contrary to God’s final plan for this old world, and Satan will go to any extremes in an effort to hinder or prevent the plan of God. Well, what about the part that says there was no more sea? There again, we must settle the fact that it does not mean, there will be no water. There has always been water, and there will be plenty of water then, but I do not believe that two-thirds of this planet will be covered by it then. I might add also, there is no more water today than there ever was. It is just that somehow this planet is not in its proper relationship to the sun. Some of you have heard me say before, why I believe we have 365 1/4 days in our solar year, when it is scripturally clear that a perfect year was to have 360 days, twelve months of 30 days each.


PERFECT YEAR


I am not a scientist, but I believe with all my heart that when God let the fountains of the deep open up, and it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, collecting all that water together, it changed the relationship between the earth and the sun. That would account for the extra 5 1/4 days per year that it takes to complete the cycle of orbits. A perfect year, with 12 perfect months of 30 days each, would have one new moon for each month. Since the earth revolves around the sun, it would mean that the earth would need to be a little closer to the sun in order to complete its year of orbits in 360 days. If the earth were to be moved back a little closer to the sun, much of the earth’s waters would be out here in space like a barrier around the earth, which would produce a perfect climate. You would never have a cloud in the sky, and at night the air would cool off and cause the earth to sweat. That is exactly in line with what the scriptures say about how it was in the beginning. With such a condition you would have a perfect climate all the time, never too cold, and never too hot. With so much of the earth’s water moved out into space to form a protective belt around the earth, it would leave a lot more room for people, or I should say, for the earth’s inhabitants. If you had been viewing the world with all its oceans, rivers, seas and so forth, then suddenly you were shown a picture of that earth with all of that extra land showing, you would probably proclaim, as John did, that there is no more sea. Remember what period of time John’s vision was of. As this chapter 21 opens up John is seeing a vision of the cleansed and replenished earth as it is entering into a new age, or into the eternal day which is without time limitations. Now notice in verse 2, John did not say, I saw us going to the new Jerusalem in the heavens, but what did he say? 2, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, (out of space, out of the atmosphere) prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Notice his description of the new Jerusalem, and remember, Jesus only has one bride. As we assemble ourselves together, believing that we are in the true church of the Living God, that shall one day be presented to the Lord Jesus Christ as His bride, we wait with great expectancy, and the things that the apostle John wrote about are of special interest to us. That great marriage supper of the Lord is just ahead of us, then we believe, according to the Bible, that we will come right back here to rule with Christ for 1000 years, over a mortal realm of people who will pass into that age from this one, and also, over the offspring that they bear. We will be the wife of the Lord Jesus Christ, dwelling in immortality, having bodies just like the body Jesus appeared to his disciples in, after his resurrection.


HOLY CITY – BRIDE – TABERNACLE


In verse 3, John speaks further of this holy city, which is prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Read it carefully for it holds part of the key to a proper understanding of this terminology. “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, (remember this word, TABERNACLE, and what the word means) and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” This absolutely links up with what Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 15:24-28, which we have read already. Christ will rule until the last enemy is destroyed, and redemption is completed. Then He will turn all rule and authority back to the great omnipresent, Eternal Spirit, the Father of all creation, that He may be all in all. Listen carefully now. As John saw this city coming down, he heard a great voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, the TABERNACLE of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Tell me, did John actually see a literal tabernacle coming down? All he said was, that, he heard a great voice declaring it. I want to show you a scripture further on in the chapter that will prove John did not see a tabernacle descending out of heaven, along with the new city. This is where many people become confused, and get tangled up in their carnal interpretations of these chapters. We want to consider all the details that are given concerning this city, and get it settled once and for all. Was the city that John saw coming down out of heaven, actually a literal city of literal gold, and so forth, or is this a language of the Spirit, describing something else? As we move on down through the chapter, we find John describing the city in it’s dimensional makeup, as well as of what sort it is; then in verse 22 he says, “And I saw no temple therein: (NO TEMPLE) for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” We all know that mortal men have always associated the two words, TABERNACLE, and TEMPLE, with a materialistic building or structure where the presence of God could be found. First it was a tabernacle in the wilderness, made of skins, and mobile. When the people moved on toward the promised land, the tabernacle was moved to be where the people were. The tabernacle was later superseded by the temple Solomon built on Mount Zion. Nevertheless, the tabernacle, and the temple have always been associated with the presence of God. Now I want us to look at 2nd Cor. 6:16, and see what Paul said about this temple of God. “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For YE are the TEMPLE of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell IN THEM, and walk IN THEM: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Is that not what John heard the great voice utter, as he watched the holy city descend toward earth? Before going back to Revelation 21, I want us to read Ephesians 2:19-22, and catch some more of the apostle Paul’s revelation of what John saw and heard in A.D. 96, when he was caught up in the spirit while on the Isle of Patmos. Verse 19, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; In whom all the BUILDING fitly framed together groweth unto an holy TEMPLE in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an HABITATION of God through the Spirit.” Did you catch the language Paul used here, BUILDING, TEMPLE, HABITATION OF GOD, all these references referring to believers? If we can accept the fact that the true church is a building of God, a temple where the Lord dwells, then we ought not think it strange to be referred to as a city also. With these scriptures and explanations before us, I hope every one of you are able to see that there is no contradiction between verse 3, which declares that there was no temple in the holy city, the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb being the temple of it. Certainly there is no contradiction; it is just the way some people are prone to look at it.


NEW THROUGH REDEMPTION – NOT CREATION


Brothers and sisters: do not be expecting to view this scene from an earthly standpoint. Those who make up the true church of the living God will be a part of that city which John saw coming down out of heaven. Verse 4, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” This verse well establishes the fact that this scene is after the Millennium reign, for it states that there will be no more death, and we have already proved by the scriptures that death will be used in a disciplinary way throughout the Millennium. 5, “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Remember now, John is in a vision, and he is seeing, and hearing things that are to come to pass many years beyond his time. As we have stated already, all things are made new through a redemptive act, rather than a creative act. God is a creator. That is how this planet got here in the first place, by a creative act of God. But there is the redemptive side, or attribute of God that must be expressed, and we should be able to tell the difference between the two. 6, “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7, He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Praise God, when the reality of that age dawns, it will be exactly as it was in the original beginning, back in the garden of Eden. It was, and is, His desire to be God to every son and daughter of His. He wants to be in His people, and He wants to have a Father and son relationship with them. That does not exclude the feminine side (woman) from the picture. You will find the human race spoken of, as man, all through the Bible. Now verse 8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Now, just to test your memory, when will this take place? When will all these wicked spirits, along with all degenerate mankind, be cast into the lake of fire? At the close of the Millennium, before entering into the eternal age. John saw all this in a vision, and I have heard of people on their deathbed having similar visions. The have actually been privileged to see some of these heavenly scenes before passing from this life. Abraham, the scripture says, sojourned in a strange land, but he looked for a city which had foundations, whose builder and maker is God, knowing that the city he was looking for, was eternally in the heavens. Therefore, in actuality, what was Abraham looking for? He was looking for a place of refuge, for that is what a city was to those ancient people. When their enemies invaded their land, they would head for the city.


A PLACE OF REFUGE


Many of you have been with me on a tour to Israel; you have seen the city that is built on top of Mount Zion (Jerusalem). About 4 square miles around that city, is a wall. Its geographical outer circumference has been changed from time to time, through wars and earthquakes, but all through the history of Israel, since they have been in that land, when the land was invaded by their enemies, Jerusalem was the stronghold for the people. As the alarm was sounded, that the enemy was approaching, all the people living in those little villages around about, would gather up their personal belongings, put them on an old cart, get their donkeys and oxen, and head for Jerusalem, their city of defense. You may have wondered why they built such huge walls and why they were so deep in the ground. That is why; they were built to give the inhabitants of the land a place of refuge, a place of security and comfort. For thousands of years men built their cities with the main emphasis being placed on the fact that the walls furnished them a certain measure of protection from their enemies. Besides being a stronghold, the major cities were capitol cities, and the people came to those walled cities to worship their gods, whatever deity they worshiped, and the cities were crossroads of communication, and social activity. With those things in mind, Abraham looked for an eternal city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God, and he was not necessarily looking for a city built with eternal rocks, stones, and such like, for I will show you why. Turn with me to the 12th chapter of Hebrews, where we will begin reading in the 18th verse. Paul is talking to those precious Hebrew saints, encouraging them to lay aside anything, and everything, that would hinder them in running the race for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. He tells them to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. He says, consider what he endured at the hands of sinners, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds, for ye have not yet resisted unto the shedding of blood, striving against sin. He goes on to speak of the chastening hand of God, for their own good, reminding them of Esau’s great sin, where he sold his birthright for one meal when he was hungry. Then we come to verse 18, where he says, “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, (He is reminding them, for they, in former days, had lived so devotedly to the law, received by their ancestors at Mt. Sinai. He is reminding them of how it was before the gospel of grace was purchased at Calvary), nor unto blackness, and darkness, (that is how the top of the mount looked to their forefathers who stood there) and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and voice of words; which they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: for they could not endure that which was commanded, and if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart; And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake.” In other words, as the children of Israel stood there at the foot of Mt. Sinai, while Moses was on top of the mountain talking with God, the mountain became black, and shook, as the voice of God echoed down to them. The people because fearful and turned away to stand afar off. Later they came to Moses saying,  “You speak to us; we will hear you; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” Just the sound of the voice of God scared them half to death. Paul is using these things to remind them that they have not come to that kind of a mountain in their new found relationship to God. It just shows how helpless mortal man really is, in the presence of Almighty God. He then, goes on to say to them in verse 22, “But ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn.” That is exactly what the church is: the city of the living God. You have heard me say before, in regards to this verse of scripture, I have never made a trip to Mount Zion, the literal city, in order to obtain salvation. You haven’t either. But we have come to Mount Zion spiritually, to the city of the living God. We have reached our place of safety, and refuge. We can say as the Psalmist did, 91:2, “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God; in him will I trust.” Hallelujah! Though the church of the living God is scattered over the whole face of this earth, it is still (in its spiritual makeup) the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven.


PILLARS IN THE TEMPLE


If you can begin to get a picture in your mind, of the terminology used in connection with the body of Christ, the church, it will help you better understand what God showed John in connection with the false church, Roman Catholicism, which He referred to as Mystery Babylon. Men have fled into that city, seeking a refuge for their souls, only to learn,