In The Beginning It Was Not So, Part 2 – 1974, May

1974-05-In-The-Beginning-It-Was-not-So-Part-2

Last month, we concluded Part 1 of IN THE BEGINNING IT WAS NOT SO with the teachings of Christ being presented unto Israel a nation of believers subject to the law and discovered no new teaching or revelation on the subject had been given, instead Christ simply verified the teaching of Moses in Deut. 24:1-4 which Israel had drifted far from. We must realize all Christ’s remarks found in Matt. 5:27-32 as well as Matt. 19:1-9 applies strictly to people who are in a covenant revelation with God and never to wicked, adulterous sinners such as are the gentiles before they enter into a grace covenant with God. HOW POLYGAMY VANISHED Today’s lesson applies strictly to those unbelieving lost heathen gentiles whose moral life had sunk far below the standards given in the holy law of God which Israel observed. The gentiles had no covenant agreement of any description with God until grace came. Israel, being a covenant people, was considered believers having observed God’s law since birth, thus being in the light of the law covenant whereas gentiles were not. Before examining these lost unconverted gentiles to see how one they entered into the family of God under grace, and also observe a law which is called the law of Christ, let us complete a topic we began last month though unable to complete, called POLYGAMY. Recall, God did not institute polygamy (husband and several wives). No, God instituted marriage consisting of one man and one woman only. However, out of the lineage of Cain, Gen. 4, polygamy was introduced and transferred in Gen. 6 unto the sons of God, which resulted in a flood. Generations later we saw not only the heathen gentiles but the true seed of God, Israel, now all embracing polygamy. Abraham, Jacob and many of the children of Israel lived in polygamy as did the heathen gentile and to our amazement last issue we discovered when God instituted a law to Israel, it did in no way undo polygamy. As a matter of fact, there was even a provision made in the law to show a husband what to do concerning polygamy wives. Again I state, we’re not endorsing polygamy. We care little what the religious world thinks of it. Our only desire is to see polygamy through the eyes of God once it was here. No, God didn’t ordain it. Once it was here and began to appear in the lives of his people, I don’t find anywhere in the law he ever broke up a polygamy home. Having not lived around a society of polygamy, it’s difficult for us to see how God put up with it and eventually wherever the gospel of Christ went, in gentile territory, it found it’s own route of vanishing. Recall David, Solomon, Abraham, were all polygamists.

JACOB’S POLYGAMY WIVES

Bro. William Branham, prophet messenger to the age, a number of years ago made certain references to this very fact which undoubtedly was misunderstood by some who thought he was endorsing polygamy. However, he was merely trying to show how that through the loins of men who were polygamists came God’s divine will and purpose. Jacob, you recall, with four wives through polygamy fathers the twelve patriarchs, later to be known as the twelve tribes of Israel. We’re not trying to return you to polygamy. That’s not the point. If you think that, you have miserably missed the point. Yet, I repeat nowhere was God ever seen breaking up a polygamy home. Although he seriously chastened acts of adultery. I’ve said all of this to complete our line of thought concerning polygamy as it was among the gentiles when the gospel of Christ came unto them and it began to affect their lives. Yes, our life is not affected by it, thanks to the exampleship of the true revelated Christian church or (bride of Christ) throughout the first generation, as the gospel found itself deep in gentile territory, nevertheless polygamy was a definite way of life practiced 1900 years ago among the realm of gentiles before the christian period of grace came.

POLYGAMY CONFRONT MISSIONARIES

Even missionaries today who are sent from various protestant denominations into Africa and other countries which are still influenced by the Moslem religion find the society of polygamy among natives is still present. Because these denominational missionaries have gone there presenting their own church doctrine, we will say, suppose a Moslem man with several of his wives wanted to be coveted to Christianity. Right there, because of the missionaries church teaching, it seems to draw a line on the poor Moslem man in his situation. He, having 2 two or three wives (living in polygamy) the befuddled missionary refuses to accept him or his family into the christian faith. Now, beloved may I ask you if God in the Old Testament would never break up a polygamy home under the law, why then would any one desire to do so under the grace age? Why do modern day missionaries fail to recognize in the plan of God there is a place for this poor man and his family within the grace age?

EXAMPLESHIP DISCOURAGES POLYGAMY

Even though it is not written in New Testament scriptures, I am nevertheless convinced that wherever the Apostle Paul journeyed and gentile heathens were converted to Christ, Paul never broke up a polygamy home. No, don’t misunderstand me. Paul didn’t teach that there should be polygamy homes, yet neither did he go around breaking them up. No, that way of life found it’s own method of fading out of the christian era through the following generations. Because watch, when Paul presented those requirements and qualifications for church leaders (I Tim. 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9) that is bishops who were overseers of the local congregation of elders holding positions in the five fold ministry, deacons, etc. each office had to be filled by a gentile man who would lead the gentile church; men if you please, who exemplified through that of a moral character the correct christian way of life before they could ever be placed in any position of the gentile ministry of that New Testament church. Therefore, wherever that New Testament ministry traveled into that gentile territory preaching the gospel of Christ, those men chosen to uphold positions in church offices to lead the New Testament church could (1) not be a man who was a polygamist, nor (2) could he be a man who had been divorced and remarried, seeing the main qualification for each was that they should be the husband of one wife (a qualification most difficult for a woman to fulfill would you not agree?). You see beloved, it was through this exampleship of such a ministry that polygamy in the christian circle of the gentile church merely faded out of the picture. However, very likely seated in those gentile church congregations there could easily have been a few men here and there who were polygamists, but believe me, if the law didn’t break up a polygamy home, the neither did the gospel of Christ ever break up a polygamy home either. That way of life was corrected by the perfect pattern of exampleship set forth by that of the early gentile ministry as they lived and preached the gospel. Their exampleship was so much different than the exampleship of the present Babylonian church world, seeing the worldly people of this day have far more weight on the church in life, dress, etc. than the church does on the world seeing the church today follows the world in its dress, habits, customs, etc. but not so in that early church. That early church ministry exemplified such a way of life first through their own qualifications into the ministry that was so weighty upon those young gentile believers that it caused the following generation of gentile Christians who had been influenced through this polygamy way of life to simply follow, not after that route of polygamy in establishing their own homes, but instead to follow the ministry’s exampleship of the early church who, first of all, couldn’t even be in the ministry unless he was the husband of only one wife. Such an influence of exampleship set forth by the gentile New Testament church and its ministry in that way of character and life in living the gospel and high christian standard which they upheld did the job while leading the church on into higher heights and deeper depths of grace. The gentile world, wherever the gospel of Christ was preached, simply became more and more affected as time went on by the life of the church and its ministry (which had only one wife) causing polygamy among so many gentiles to simply be swallowed up. The new oncoming generation would rather follow the life of the christian church as it was truly God’s own way through the character of his church to exemplify before the gentile people God’s perfect moral relationship in marriage between that of one man and one woman (his wife).

POLYGAMY FADED

No, God did not have to insert a written law saying you polygamists break up your homes. That simply wasn’t his way. That’s why you won’t find it written. Nevertheless, I’m convinced that the polygamy way of life was simply dissolved, vanished, or swallowed up through that route of the christian life. The exampleship set forth by the christian ministry was simply so great as the minister upheld his own qualifications of one wife, the little christian gentile polygamy homes were never broken up. However, the oncoming generation born from polygamy christian parents, as they came on the scene immediately followed the image and exampleship set 3 forth in the New Testament ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. By the time you leave the first century coming over into the second, you have a new generation of gentile people whose lives and homes have been affected enough by the christian life in the early church that it has affected lives of gentile law makers and politicians in this respect that the gentile world affected by Christianity made laws in the courts of the land that affected such future actions of polygamy homes.

SINS GENTILES GUILTY OF CHURCH IDEAS

Down through the centuries practically every church system has carried their own idea as to who could or could not be saved when it comes to dealing with this subject referred to as marriage and divorce. They have taught there wasn’t anything a man could do but what the grace of God was not more than willing to forgive. They even declare you could have been a murderer and regardless to how many people you had killed, God would forgive such an act. You could even be a total drunkard and find forgiveness. Yes, according to their teachings you could do anything and be forgiven; however, for some reason or other, that never seemed to apply to anyone’s life who had been fouled up in a double marriage. For some reason that always appears to fall under an entirely different category, because beginning with such cases here is where church creeds take over dictating what one must do or not do in order to be saved from sin. In other words, for this particular situation of remarriages, it appears that it is no longer merely going to require repentance as it would in all of the other cases. Certain other requirements now begin to enter into the picture. Usually, in order for one to be saved whose life has been involved in a double marriage, before the salvation door can be opened and Christ allowed in, that poor lost soul, according to certain church creeds, must first divorce their present mate and return to their first spouse. But recall, to this unscriptural advice we have already seen God’s answer in Deut. 24:1-4. God says positively, I forbid such a thing to be done. Because divorce on the one scriptural grounds forever separates anyone from rejoining their previous mate. Nevertheless, in the minds of certain religious people something other than repentance is required before that poor lost, entangled soul caught up in the web of divorce and double marriage can ever be brought to repentance.

GENTILES SINS INCLUDED ADULTERY

And it is because of this very attitude which has ruled certain church feelings that something other than mere repentance must be done in order for Gentiles to be saved, let us carefully examine the lives of many of the gentiles who were saved and who made up the Corinthian church before the grace of God knocked on their heart’s door offering them salvation. Turn to I Cor. 6:9-12 where we shall discover a picture of life in the raw among gentiles before grace visited them. Gentiles, you recall, lived so extremely far below the law that nothing other than the grace of God could possibly help them.

LIFE IN THE RAW

I Cor. 6:9-11 shows a list of horrible sins (including sexual sins) which the gentile people were definitely guilty of at one time according to Paul. According to Paul, these sins committed by the gentiles labeled the gentiles as unrighteous and unfit for the kingdom of God. Verse 9 declared the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. However, the key to this lies in verse 11 where Paul declared unto the Corinthian church and such were some of you, but you are not any longer because now you are washed, sanctified and justified. And not a one of the many gentiles guilty of adultery had to return to their first mate in order to be saved. Those horrible sins mentioned by Paul filling the gentile world before grace came rescuing some included fornicators (gentiles actually living in sexual immorality), idolaters (worshiper of idols), adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind (homosexual perversion), thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers (slanderers), extortioner, none of these Paul declared shall have any share in the kingdom of God. Be not deceived (or stop being misled) declares Paul, people who commit such horrible acts shall not have any share in the kingdom of God.

JUSTIFICATION – WHAT IS IT?

Paul didn’t stop there but continued on to say, and such were some of you. Before conversion you were just that kind of character; however, now you are washed, sanctified and justified and brought into a right relationship with God. And I remind you, those who were guilty of adultery and fornication, etc., did nothing 4 more than repent and believe the true gospel as did the rest of the sinners. You are washed, sanctified and justified. How? Through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God. Those dirty, sinful, unclean dogs as they were referred to by the Jews were gentile people participating in such wickedness, both men and women, before grace knocked on their heart’s door. Paul said, you are justified. And for someone to be justified means now since they are saved from sin, God looks upon that person who had committed such sins while sinners as though they had never committed any of those sins mentioned in verse 9:10. Remember Paul declared such were some of you, some of you were adulterers, fornicators and involved in other such sexual sins, but you are not that anymore because God forgave you and cleaned up your lives from these horrible sins and now looks upon each repentant sinner as though they had never committed such deeds. That beloved is what justification is all about.

EXAMINING GENTILES THROUGH LAW

Concerning gentiles (saints) always remember this, before they were introduced to grace and discovered that Christ was God in the flesh, these sinners (people of the nations) had always been examined or looked upon through the eyes of the law that none of them were worthy of eternal life. This is correct! Through the eyes of the law all gentile sinners were hopelessly condemned and found unworthy of life. Because beloved, as God looked down through the law upon the poor sinning gentile, stooped in the depth of idolatry and every kind of perverted sexual sin imaginable, those poor gentile sinners had continually trampled or broken God’s law and thus stood condemned. Recall if anyone had broken or offended the law in any one point, as far as God was concerned he or she stood guilty for the entire thing. James 2:10. And without an animal sacrifice to offer, the poor gentile unlike the Jew had nothing by which to reestablish himself in fellowship and grace with the law once he had broken it, therefore his sins continued to heap up upon him.

LAW BROUGHT NO RIGHTEOUSNESS

For that reason God declared in Romans 3:19-28 when grace did come that even the Jew who had done everything in his ability to obey the law, actually none of the time had there ever literally been any righteousness or virtue within the law itself, because the scripture declares that grace and truth came not by the law but by the Lord Jesus Christ. The law could only show man where sin lay and that man himself possessed an inherited evil nature which was responsible for his living in the wicked manner he did. Rom. 7:7-14. Therefore, in order to keep this inherited evil nature somewhat in check, at Sinai God added to Israel (his people) the law. Through that law man learned where sin lay. Through the knowledge of the law and its penalties, the Jew’s heart or shall we say his old nature, fearful of judgment as a penalty, was kept somewhat under control or from getting out of hand, whereas in the case of the wicked gentile who had no law covenant with God to control his evil nature until grace and truth could come to him through the teaching of Jesus Christ, had absolutely nothing whatsoever to curb or help control his old evil inherited nature. Hence it tended merely to run wild as shown in I Cor. 6:9-11.

COVENANT MADE ISRAEL – BELIEVER

An interesting note concerning the law among the Jewish people was that both man and woman through their physical birth had automatically been placed under the law, its requirements and penalties as well, thus causing the Jew to automatically become a believer under that dispensation of law. In order to be under this covenant with God, God instructed Abraham that all male children were to be circumcises eight days after birth, Gen. 17:9-14. Therefore, being a male Israelite seed he grew into manhood a believer from his physical birth. Jewish man by birth was born into the covenant, thus his natural Jewish birth made him a believer. Therefore, when Christ addressed Israel in Matt. 5 and Matt. 19 on marriage and divorce, reemphasizing Moses’ teaching in the law (Deut. 24:1-4) Christ was addressing believers. The only way of ever getting out from under that commitment of this covenant would be deny that law, deny Jehovah as the only true God.

NO COVENANT FOR GENTILES

Israel, although many wicked and sinful people made up the nation, was never regarded as strictly unbelievers seeing they did worship the One true God and observed his law, etc., whereas the gentiles had nothing whatsoever to do with the law of God in Old Testament times. That lost gentile had nothing; he had no law 5 which said “Thou Shalt Not”. He was totally ignorant of the law and was nothing more than a cold, hard, calloused sinner and because of his ignorance to the law in that period God could in no way merit his salvation to ward the gentiles on any basis of the law. Nevertheless, the scripture reveals God had not forever forsaken the gentiles. No, he had only held them in reserve for centuries waiting for the hour when a perfect sinless one would come who could do something, not only for the poor unbelieving heathen who was alienated from the grace of God, Eph. 2:11-13, but for the Jew as well as who had observed this law age or who had been a believer embracing the law covenant. (Rom. 11:1-25) I repeat, concerning the immorality of the hard, cold gentile heathen sinner before grace touched their lives through this grace dispensation, we are clearly shown a list of sins recorded in I Cor. 6:9-11 for which the gentile was well known. Paul declared, such were some of you but thank God because grace came you are no longer that anymore seeing he has justified you. God doesn’t even look upon you as having ever committed any of these sins.

NOTHING TO SUPPRESS EVIL NATURE

Paul did not capitalize upon merely a few of the sins revealing the horrible condition gentiles were in before the word of God was offered unto them. Paul hit the entire catalogue of sins of which gentiles were guilty, revealing what a horrible corrupt condition this gentile world had sunk into where no law of God was present to help curb or control that evil nature of lust and sin. The gentile’s life, before Christ came offering his salvation, would fit somewhere in that category of sins shown in I Cor. 6:9-10. Therefore, if this was a general picture of the gentiles and if those who commit such unrighteous deeds according to Paul cannot inherit the kingdom of God, then what hope did the poor gentile have? Watch. Paul did not end the picture of gentile depravity here, leaving them helpless. No, he doesn’t finish the picture until he gives the remedy for all that evil, sinful gentile nature acting the way it did. Aren’t you glad Paul did not specialize or capitalize on just a few special cases here? Instead he declares, and such were some of you (who now make up the Corinthian church), although you are not that any longer. Verse 11 declares, you have been washed.

BLOOD WASHED

How were these gentiles washed? Through none other than the precious sinless blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Lamb. But you are sanctified. See, not only washed by the blood of the Lamb, these gentiles had been set apart for service into the grace of God and justified. Oh, I love that because it shows regardless to how sinful you may have been, once you turn away from sin and come to Christ, no matter how much adultery you may have committed, no matter how many times as a sinner you had married, God looks upon that gentile who turned to Christ as having been washed, sanctified and now justified or looked upon through the eyes of God as having never committed any of that category of terrible sins of which they had been guilty. Therefore, the gentile sinner coming to Christ is totally free from his past sinful life regardless to whatever he has done.

DOUBLE MARRIAGES IN SIN

Someone will say, Oh, Brother Jackson, that no doubt is true in certain cases. God does look upon certain people’s sins (provided they are justified) as though it never happened but you see according to the way I believe it and the way I have been taught, someone who has been out in the world and lives so immoral, double married, etc., not that is a different story. God doesn’t see those adulterers, etc. in the matter as he does others. Someone please read me chapter and verse where God sees it any different. I repeat, do you now see where those church creeds enter into the picture and begin dictating or start talking to people? You have heard it said, it doesn’t matter how many banks you have robbed, God’s grace can forgive a robber. However, suppose someone said to the poor repenting robber, before you can be saved you will have to pay back every cent you ever stole. That beloved would be placing a condition on salvation, would it not? Suppose someone said to the poor drunk who had drank a barrel of whiskey in his life time, sure God can forgive you but before he does you will have to vomit up all that whiskey. True, where restitution can be made in a material way it should be done. It would help clear the conscious on the part of the individual. Yet beloved, where it is impossible to make any sort of restitution then may I say when a repenting person, regardless to what he has done, has truly repented before God and is willing to take God at his word, God is ready to take that person unto himself and clean him up. You hear testimonies of people traveling across the country who have been delivered from gangsterism, 6 drugs, alcoholism and even a life of prostitution. As far as the penalty for what they committed is concerned, not one of them had to go back and undo all those dirty wicked things which the grace of God had undone for them. But oh, when it comes to that part where some poor soul has been involved in double marriages. Watch out! Everything is now thrown in reverse. The things that church theology has produced on this one subject, the precious souls desiring to find Christ who have been injured or destroyed because of unscriptural teachings is pathetic. Perhaps you better reread that terrible list of immoral sins in which the church at Corinth had once been guilty of but was now converted from. Paul said there were believers in this church who at one time were fornicators, that is married and single people who had once lived sexually immoral. There were idolaters, adulterers, effeminate. Yes and even there were people who had also been guilty of living with their own sex. What a class to make up a church. There were also extortioners, thieves, drunkards, etc., None of these as sinners could ever inherit the kingdom of God. Nevertheless, Paul said some of these evils were found in you or to make it still plainer, these were just the kind of characters you people in the Corinthian church use to be. However, because of what the grace of God has accomplished in your life in washing, sanctifying and justifying you, you are no longer that, furthermore God doesn’t any more look upon you as ever having committed any of those terrible sins. And I remind you, fornicators and adulterers were in the group, but God doesn’t look upon you as that kind of people anymore. Living in sin and unbelief is where many married people’s lives (especially) have been trapped, tormented, wrecked and ruined by Satan while out there in the world of unbelief. Somewhere in unbelief they simply failed to reach a place of actually accepting Christ and becoming born again thus allowing the grace of God to lead that life (whether married or single). Out there in a world of sin and unbelief to often married couples become victims of divorces and double marriages then once they desire to leave that life of sin and be born again to serve Christ, they will always run into someone telling them in order to be saved they must do certain things which boils down to this. Leave your present companion and return to the first companion, which God’s word in Deut. 24:1-4 explicitly forbids for a believer much less a sinner.

GRACE FORGAVE ALL SIN

As an illustration, say a young man marries and he and his spouse, both unsaved, live together for a few years. Somewhere Satan entered that marriage and planted something detrimental which later resulted in divorce with both going their separate ways. Later in life still as sinners living in darkness they remarry and after they are well adjusted in their new marriages the day comes when one of those who was divorced (or maybe both) hear the gospel preached. The Holy Spirit convicted them of sin, and for the first time in their life they feel the real need of Jesus Christ. However, once it is discovered that one or both of these repenting sinners have previously been married, immediately they fall under the eyes of the critic. A drunkard could stagger down the aisle for salvation and wouldn’t receive half the criticism this particular case will receive. Finally, being prayed for it is evident they have taken God at his word that he has done something for their hearts. They are sure their past sins are forgiven. However, it won’t be long until the religious critics have formed a council and without any true knowledge of the word of God dealing with this subject for lost sinners on marriage and divorce, and furthermore being totally ignorant of God’s true feelings as he expressed what he did in Deut. 24:1-4 affecting that believing Israelite and not a gentile sinner, critics will begin to say now the way I see it, in order for John and Mary’s salvation to be workable and in order not to be living in adultery they will have to separate and Mary or John (whichever the case may be) will have to go back and pick up their first companion from whom they are divorced, because to these religious critics Mary and John are strictly living in adultery. Beloved, had Mary and John been true believers when their separation occurred and their divorce had been based on something other than fornication as the law of Moses prescribed to a believer and as Jesus verified in Matt. 5:27-32, 19:9 and as Paul taught the gentile believers church in I Cor. 7:10-11, they truly would be living in adultery. Nevertheless, I hope you realize that Mary and John were sinners (not true believers) when this happened. Their’s was a life of spiritual darkness and ignorance, having never experienced the grace of God, they being dead in trespasses and sins were not only guilty of committing adultery, but having offended the law in this one point as James indicated they like all sinners and law breakers were also guilty of breaking the entire 7 law, making them guilty of every commandment. (James 2:10). Having naturally broken the whole law, John and Mary stand guilty of the penalty of the law which is death and judgment. However, don’t forget Christ died to pay in full the penalty (of adultery) of the law and all past sins in behalf of John and Mary and even while in sin they did remarry, that is not anymore charged against them seeing they came as repenting sinners to Christ who died to pay the penalty for all their sins and who promised to save, sanctify and justify the two whereby he will no longer look upon Mary and John as adulterous sinners who had committed adultery anymore than he would still look upon a believer in the gentile church at Corinth as an adulterer or fornicator, etc. For recall, Paul declared unto the Corinthian church, and such were some of you but you are not that anymore. Now that you have come to Christ and been born again, you are not even looked upon as ever having committed such a terrible act. In God you now have a new life before you, your slate is wiped clean. No sin, no mark of adultery is against your new life in Christ. In Christ you have a fresh beginning. Why? Because you have been justified by the grace of God and it would be wisdom on the part of the critics not to overlook this most important fact.

GRACE COULD FORGIVE

Are you still listening? Keep in mind beloved that grace had to do something for that gentile believer which the law that ruled over the life of Jewish men and women from their natural birth could not do. What could grace offer that the law could not? The law could only condemn the Israelite who sinned. When a Jew became guilty of breaking the law, he could find no salvation, or help and no forgiveness through the law itself. Oh no, the atonement for law breaking could only come about through animal sacrifices offered yearly on the day of atonement for all the Jewish believers. Only one man, and that one man was Israel’s high priest who went into the Holy of Holies with an offering of blood unto Jehovah, Heb. 9:7. After this sin offering the guilty sinning believing Israelite could now once again for another period of time be restored back into a proper relationship with the law. However, remember also those animal sacrifices could not in themselves take away or do away with sin, instead it only served to push ahead Israel’s sins for still another year (and year after year) until Christ the Messiah would finally come and pay in full the sin debt. The yearly animal sacrifice only served, shall we say, to pay the interest on the huge note or sin debt until Christ could come and pay the debt, marking it paid in full.

TOTALLY FORGIVEN – PAID IN FULL

Since the poor sinning gentile was totally ignorant of the law, but nonetheless stood guilty of committing every sin in the book, they were hopelessly guilty (in debt) with nothing to offer in payment for their wrongdoing. Therefore, the only thing God could ever do in order to start these sinful gentiles out in a way as a true believer wherein their past sins would not be held against them was to simply forgive them. In other words, mark their slate paid in full and justify them seeing their sinful lives were so dreadfully far below the moral standard of the law that everyone stood unmercifully condemned. Therefore, there was nothing that could be done but through grace offer them a free pardon and simply declare, I forgave them and saved them from adultery as well as all those other immoral sins mentioned in I Cor. 6:9-10. Seeing the gentile’s huge debt was simply too staggering to pay and with nothing to offer, there was nothing to do with these poor gentile people but simply forgive them. Therefore, through grace God freely cancelled out their high sin debt. God’s grace, through the blood of Jesus Christ paid for that sin of every man and woman born into the family of God regardless to which of the horrible sins they had been guilty of in the list of I Cor. 6:9-10. As far as salvation was concerned God forgave them and looked upon every repenting gentile sinner who was willing to walk in his word and revelation of truth as though he had never sinned, as though they had never been guilty of doing any of those sins whatsoever.

CHRISTIAN AND LAW OF CHRIST

Remember, I said as far as salvation was concerned because when it comes to holding some office within the fivefold ministry or becoming a deacon, that is different. The man is to have had only one wife. (I Tim. 3:2-12, also Titus 1:5-6). Now that these gentiles have come to Christ for salvation, the one who died and paid for the penalty of their sins in order they might be free as gentile believers they also have become subject unto a law, even as the Jewish believer was subject to his law. The believer (both Jew and gentile) under the grace age 8 becomes subject to the law of Christ. These are not merely free from part of their past sins. No, they are now free from all their past sins. Their slate which was stained with wicked sinfulness is now clean before God. God simply forgave them of every past sin of that old life and made new creatures out of them and placed each one on the status of a righteous man or woman subject to a law also. No, the true Christian believer’s law under grace is not the Levitical covenant law of commandments given to Moses at Mt. Sinai on tables of stone (Heb. 10:16-18) but is the law of Christ written on the tables of their heart. Therefore, they who once had no law to help curb their appetite to sin openly, now has one in which they also must become subject unto.

CONTINUE IN PRESENT MARRIAGE STATUS

Bearing in mind the terrible background of the gentiles when grace came to them will better help us to grasp more clearly the fuller meaning of Paul’s statement in I Cor. 7:18-27 where he declared unto them, whatsoever status (marriage wise, etc.) you were living in when grace came unto you, abide or remain therein. In other words Paul said, were you loosed from a wife when you were saved then seek not a wife. Notice, Paul never once told any gentile converts to leave their present mate and return to their first one, as a matter of fact he told the believing Christians not to leave their mates as we shall later study. No. Were you bound to a wife when you were born again, then seek not therefore to be loosed. And never forget, with such a sinful background as these gentiles came from there is no telling how many women these heathen gentiles had lived with in their lifetime. But if you had one when saved, stay with her was Paul’s instructions. I repeat, many of these gentiles have even been living in polygamy or had in their sinful lives lived with several women as wives, however Paul says seek not to be loosed. Later we shall examine why some perhaps thought since coming into Christ they should now perhaps be loosed, especially if their companion happened to now be an unbeliever. Allow me to give you another quick example to show how contrary certain people’s thinking is toward the marvelous grace of God in this matter dealing with sinners, I was asked a question while in Africa in 1973 involving a poor sinner African girl whose life had become involved with a man and the result was an illegitimate child had been born. The man had promised to marry the girl but left her to the mercy of the world, unmarried and with an illegitimate child on the way. Nevertheless, the day came this broken hearted girl, still unmarried but scarred by the stains of sin, reached the point in her life she desired to be saved and live for Christ. The answer certain church people gave her was enough to make you sick. Their answer was totally unscriptural and pathetic, to say the least. Desiring salvation, she spoke to certain preachers or some “suppose to be Christians” telling her desire to be a Christian, the advice she received was this: she could become a christian, but she would never be able to marry. I would like for someone to read me the scripture that such a ridiculous statement of ignorance could be based upon. That poor sinner, gentile African girl was not a harlot, she had been deceived into what she did thinking as she gave herself to this man she was actually giving herself to her future husband. But the point is, he didn’t marry her, he refused.

HARLOT WIFE

If we were to place the case of this girl in the Old Testament let’s see if this poor young girl had done so badly as a sinner that someone could tell her, yes you may be saved, but you can never get married. I call your attention to Hosea and Gomar which we have previously studied. In the book of Hosea, you recall Hosea was a godly prophet and hat the Lord instructed him to do. Go choose a wife of whoredom and marry her. No, this terrible harlot woman was in no class with the young African girl who had been deceived into her act of sin. The woman Hosea was to marry was of a terrible character. Nevertheless, did you know God saw something honest even in that harlot woman which in the end would truly turn alright or stand. For that reason God permitted such a marriage between Hosea and Gomar to prevail in order to show forth a shadow of his personal relationship to that of his own national wife, Israel, who was nothing herself but a harlot. Beloved, if God will permit his prophet to do this and even use such an event as a type, who then is the man, whether he be a doctor of divinity or what, has the right to tell a young girl in Africa who has merely been deceived and trapped by that smooth talking devil, she could come to Christ but would have to live the rest of her life unmarried. Why it is a natural human instinct for that young girl to desire to have companionship and rightly so. Remember this, whatever the devil ha done to that young girl will never change her desire to have a companion even though she 9 gives her life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Though it is not written, should such a person of like circumstances who has given their life to the Lord, seeing now they are subject to the law of Christ they had better find themselves a Christian companion for the devil would enjoy nothing better than wrecking that life all over again once it had a clean slate with Christ. We bring out such incidents to show only that many people without scriptural permission (no doubt well meaning) are guilty of placing certain unscriptural requirements upon people who are involved in such problems once they turn Christ, especially those who had their marital life fouled up while in the world of sin and unbelief. If the poor soul is a drunkard, they don’t care. If he is a bank robber, they don’t care. Nothing is ever said about paying back one penny. Oh sure, God can forgive all of that they say, but let it be a poor woman or man who comes to Christ with marital problems and certain people have to start making an issue out of that. What a terrible thing to tell people who have been divorced and reestablished homes in other marriages. Perhaps children have now been born to this second marriage and then for someone to say you can not accept Jesus Christ unless you leave that man or woman (whichever the case may be) and return to your first companion from whom you are divorced and who, no doubt, has remarried and established a family also, for someone to say this, is ridiculous.

CHILDREN AFFECTED BY DIVORCE

If you break up that home what will you do with all those children? There are already enough children in this world who don’t have the slightest idea who mother and daddy are. Statistics released recently showed in 1972 alone over 800,000 couples in America were divorced, whereas in 1973 and estimated 913,000 ended indeed in divorce, a figure which doubled from nine years ago. Think of the countless children roaming the streets today who are products of a broken, divided home, having no idea where mother or daddy have gone. Studies who 60 percent of all children affected by divorce range between 13-18 years of age and have the dreaded feeling that their marriage will also fail as did their parents.

PROOF GENTILE SPIRIT RETURNING

Statistics showed 3 percent of these marriages between the ages of 50-55, accomplished by 1970 had been married as many as three times. No doubt about it, ours is a gentile world rapidly returning to the same old spirit of the age which ruled the world some 1900 years ago before Christ came to the gentiles. Should God permit time to continue another 15 years only the Lord knows the kind of morals that generation of young people would produce. It is nothing today to pick up a newspaper and read, as was reported by the Indiana University Residence Life Office that by 1971 as much as 75 percent of the 315 U.S. colleges already had some form of coeducational dormitories in operation which simply means college boys and girls moving in as roommates. It was further stated of the Harvard swimming pool that those who desire to wear bathing suits should swim during scheduled hours to avoid the nude coed swimmers. McCall Magazine recently published startling statistics showing 50 percent of American teenagers between 13-19 years of age are engaging in premarital sexual activity. The Sunday Oklahomian declared America is undergoing a sexual revolution. Four years ago, 2 out of 3 Americans polled on the subject felt premarital sex was wrong; however, a recent Gallup Poll revealed less than half now believe premarital sex is wrong. Church ministers, contrary to the scripture in Rom. 1:26-32 and I Cor. 6:9 which shows sins gentiles were guilty of before grace came, continues to endorse homosexuality. Two liberal religious magazines, Christian Century and Christian Ministry, dated Jan. 1972, both defended homosexuality saying it was not a sin. A poll taken by Texas Methodist on the subject of acceptability toward homosexual behavior, 60 percent of clergymen responded by saying that a practicing homosexual could also be a Christian at the same time. Does not these shocking statistics show loose flesh in the raw, exactly as flesh was in the raw among gentiles before the gospel f Christ came to them. Ours is a gentile world rapidly returning to that same kind of loose living spirit. It only goes to show beloved, the days among the gentiles are numbered and the Holy Spirit conviction is leaving the gentile. These same old evil lustful spirits which possessed the gentiles lives 1900 years ago are moving back in to occupy the place they previously occupied. While the Holy Spirit worked mightily among the gentiles there was even enough conviction in our high schools and colleges as well as our courts of the land to keep these loose, lustful spirits suppressed, even though occasionally they had been known to rear their ugly heads, only in that hour there was 10 still enough moral conviction even among the unsaved to forbid such activities to continue.

MARITAL PROBLEMS OF BELIEVERS UNDER GRACE DISCUSSED

Remember, Paul is addressing the Corinthian people and all the gentile churches as well who had once been guilty of those terrible sins, a number of which involved adultery and other perversions of sexual immorality. However, all of you who were once guilty of any such sins had been freely forgiven and therefore should remain marriage wise as you are.

SEXUAL PROBLEMS WITH BELIEVERS

In I Cor. 7 we shall see Paul begin to answer certain marital questions that have become a serious problem to these new believers especially in this 4 year old Corinthian church, marital problems they now face since coming into Christ and becoming subject to the new law; The law of Christ. What to do about unbelieving partners in marriage who simply refuse to be saved is one of the major problems. They simply don’t have the answer to cover such problems, therefore they are writing to Paul (their first pastor) asking him how they should handle certain situations. Although you will read statements in chapter 7 which at first glance might cause a person to believe Paul actually frowned upon married life; however, this is not true seeing in Heb. 13:4 he declared marriage to be honorable (or to be looked upon as honorable) and the bed undefiled but whoremongers and adulterers God would judge. No, had Paul simply been a man opposed to marriage placing far more virtue simply on virginity as some have taught saying Paul implied anyone who would marry in order to avoid fornication was strictly because of the weakness of their flesh, however, we shall show this was not what Paul taught and furthermore, whenever Paul does simply place higher emphasis upon virginity than he did marriage it was strictly for two reasons: (1) He, as well as the early church, felt time was very near the coming of Christ and (2) because of the present distress the church was entering into, Paul thought this good advice to pass on. These two factors must be kept in mind and not that Paul felt one who married was weak in the flesh throughout the remainder of the study whenever it seems Paul is implying that the unmarried (unattached) are better off than the married there in the church. Had Paul been a man who actually frowned on family life he could not have declared openly in Heb. 13:4 marriage was honorable and the bed undefiled, meaning the marriage bed unpolluted or is pure and sacred, free from stain, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge, meaning fornicators and adulterers or those who practice vice in adultery or shall we say those who sinned sexually, whether single or married, whether single or married, God will surely punish. If a man or woman continually lives in that realm of wicked immoral living as sinners, never seeking the face of God to be saved and cleansed in order that they might be justified then God will surely judge and punish that guilty sinner with hell fire and brimstone. Paul taught in I Cor. 6:9-11 fornicators, adulterers, etc. could not inherit the kingdom of God.

TOUCHING THE WOMAN

We now approach some marital problems confronting the church, problems involving both the unattached as well as the married. Paul’s answer stems from certain disturbing questions asked him as declared in verse 1 now concerning certain things you asked about, it is good for man not to (sexually) touch a woman. (1) This is more than a mere normal touch. The word touch implies that passionate touch which leads to relationship between two parties. (2) Often in the Hebrew text, touching is at times used to represent sexual union, Gen. 3:3, Prov. 6:29, Gen. 20:6-7. Why do you suppose Paul would declare such a statement seeing in Heb. 13:4 years later he declared marriage was an honorable thing and the marriage bed unstained. Remember, his remarks in I Cor. 7 stemmed from two things: first, his feeling concerning the nearness of the Lord’s coming and secondly the present distress into which they were entering. Paul simply did not think it wisdom to become involved in the material and financial responsibility which accompanied marriage in that hour. If a person could possibly avoid this step and remain unattached, Paul felt he was better off, many mental pressures would be avoided. Paul, therefore, declared it is good for a man not to (sexually) touch a woman. Surely all would agree there. All of Paul’s statements on this subject must be placed in order and proper alignment to see Paul was perfectly consistent in his belief pertaining to the subject. No, Paul cannot place spiritual value on one 11 thing there and reverse it over in Heb. 13:4. Remember, merely being single will never produce virtue, as a matter of fact, single persons, if not extremely careful, can become selfish and self-centered. One thing a home life consists of is having to give and take. In marriage your life becomes a part of others. Therefore, you share your life with others.

MARRIAGE PREVENTS FORNICATION

Remember, you don’t complete Paul’s line of thought by merely reading verse 1, his next four verses are included in that particular line of thought which paraphrased means. It is good for a man not to sexually touch a woman; nevertheless, to avoid that dreaded sin of fornication (which is the only grounds for divorce) Paul says let every person have their own (married) companion and render unto that companion what is sexually due then and defraud not yourself from this act only when it is agreeable and permissible with both of you to do so, in order that you may give yourself to prayer and fasting and then resume relations as before in order Satan won’t tempt you in your fleshly passions to sin (commit fornication) or tempt you through your lack of self control. Paul declares to the husband and wife to come together again that Satan tempt you not to sin (that is to commit fornication). That is paraphrasing the first five verses of I Cor. 7.

WHAT FORNICATION INVOLVES

The English word fornication is taken from the Greek word porneia where also we derive another English word, pornography (illicit pictures or writings). Two translations, 20th Century and Amplified, both use the word “impurity” instead of fornication. Scripturally the Greek word “porneia” means to prostitute one’s body to the lust of another or to give oneself to unlawful sexual intercourse. Fornication, as found in I Cor. 7:2, is a word which involves far more than merely sound advice to the unmarried because scripturally it means strictly immoral sexual relations, either with someone of the opposite sex other than one’s own mate or someone of the same sex, covering sexual sins and all kinds of gross immorality, whether natural or unnatural (perverted). Jude 1:7 declares God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them who had given themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh. The Greek word “porneia” also refers to all kinds of gross immorality or lewd conduct such as one might find in a house of prostitution. The Bible covers it all in the ten commandments by saying, thou shalt not commit adultery. What is adultery? It is simply the right act perverted. I Cor. 6:18 declares one who commits fornication sins against their own body. Flee fornication, the word cries out in I Cor. 6:18. The church which ruled through the dark ages referred to as Thyatira was instructed to repent of her spiritual fornication and because she would not repent of her fornication God declared he would cast her into a bed along with (all) them who had committed adultery with her into great tribulation, Rev. 2:20-22. Here again shows the interlocking affect of the word fornication with that of adultery. Seeing we are warned to flee fornication in I Cor. 6:18 where Paul actually began discussing fornication, Paul in chapter 7 tells us how and by the way, he is the only writer who actually tells us how to avoid this immoral act of fornication. Recall, in Israel it was the only grounds for legal divorce which also freed the guilty woman, permitting her to remarry and not be guilty of adultery herself. Here in I Cor. 7:2 Paul, answering their question, declares it is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid the sin of fornication or sexual immorality, let both the man and woman have their own mate. Remember, all the people, both Jew and gentile, coming into the Corinthian church now approximately 4½ years old were not all married. Since having entered the faith, from what Paul says, some believers were no having problems with their unbelieving companions. Some in the church were widows. Every question discussed by Paul in I Cor. 7 pertains to one of these three groups. Some were even searching for Christian companionship and Paul, knowing the many temptations Satan could throw at the young adult, resulted in him making his blunt statement recorded in verse 2. Nevertheless, Paul declares, to avoid fornication or to avoid those trials and may temptations of sexual immoralities which would surely confront those young people, especially approaching adulthood, the apostle says, to avoid that trap of fornication let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband.

VENUS, GODDESS OF LOVE

What a great temptation this immoral living was in the days of old Corinth. I stood in the ruins of old Corinth 12 in 1968 where Paul had established and pastored for 1½ years this very church. High on a mountain peak above old Corinth, approximately five miles away on a rocky cliff, stands the remains of the walls of an ancient temple dating far back into the B.C. period. That magnificent religious temple was called the temple of Venus, the goddess of love. In the hour the Corinthian church was establishes, as many as 1,000 young maidens lived there who were called priestesses to Venus, the goddess of love. Corinth, a beehive of activity, was a seaport town, much like Los Angeles, Norfolk, Virginia or New York. The harbor was continually watched to know when ships would come into her port bringing merchandise from different nations. These priestesses knew Corinth would be full of young sailors. The method of maintaining the expense of upkeep of this great religious temple of Venus, along with the needs of these young priestesses (as many as 1,000) being supplied was, they would come down from the temple into the streets and approach these young men to make love or to worship the goddess, Venus. Naturally, this love making to Venus brought about a certain charge and the price paid was placed in the treasury to beautify, enlarge and the general upkeep. Corinth, in al probability was a city built most around such immorality, therefore you see why Paul would write to the church such a statement; nevertheless, to avoid fornication (this sexual immorality) this church no doubt was receiving many young people who sooner or later would definitely be brought in contact and tempted with this great evil. To prevent any temptation of this immoral act Paul suggested every man have his own wife and every woman have her own husband. For what purposes, as Paul declares, to avoid this temptation of fornication. No, it doesn’t change the thought of his subject. You can’t make one verse read, he is discussing washing clothes while in the next verse declare he is ironing them. The man was to have his own wife and the wife was to have her own husband, Paul said to avoid fornication. Bear this in mind, marriage prevents fornication.

COUPLE FACE EQUAL RESPONSIBILITY

Please observe from here on we shall be hearing some things uttered never before heard as Paul addresses the gentile church. Furthermore, Paul will be placing the man and woman both on the same equal grounds or basis concerning the matters he is ready to discuss. When Paul mentions one, he will also mention the other. Therefore, we must recognize the grace dispensation has certainly done something for mankind which the law could never do. With the ushering in of the grace age, certain shadows and types of the law dealing with the relationship between man and woman vanished. Verse 3, referring to those sexual duties each toward the other, Paul declares, let the husband in return render or shall we say give to the wife what is due her. Why should this be done? To avoid the affects of verse 2 or avoid the danger of immorality. Render unto each other what you should since there is so much immorality. And the wife too must do so for her husband. King James calls it rendering due benevolence. Note, in this manner of giving themselves in these sexual duties, one to the other, Paul has placed equal responsibility on both sexes, you will have to agree, in order to avoid fornication. Allow me to illustrate this way, Paul was making no difference between the two sexes as he openly discusses both their roles in the sex act. No, Paul is not saying in verse 3 the husband should wash the clothes and in turn the wife should fry the potatoes. I word it in this manner to keep your minds alert to that which Paul has begun to discuss in the first part of the chapter. He will continue discussing that one subject of how to avoid this loose living. This immorality, this fornication until he completely closes the 7th chapter.

VERSE 2 – KEY TO CHAPTER

Another reason I must keep this thought ever before you is because once we reach I Cor. 7:15 I don’t want anyone to become guilty of merely setting aside this one verse from the overall subject Paul has been discussing throughout the entire chapter. Beloved, the theme or thought of all these verses must be kept together and the key word must be kept as the foremost in mind. Paul is teaching, through marriage, how each of these various groups, single married and widows there in the church is to avoid fornication or sexual immorality. Therefore, as he addresses these groups separately in the church in I Cor. 7, the forefront thought, or key words whereupon all the rest of the chapter hinges is to avoid fornication. Whatever Paul says to any of these classifications of groups in this manner or taking a mate will be for the purpose to avoid fornication.

SEXUAL DUTIES AVOID IMMORALITY

As we continue in verse 4, bear in mind what it is we are trying to avoid through marriage, the effects of 13 fornication. Again I remind you, Paul has placed the woman as well as the man on the same equal footing when he declares the wife hath not power (or authority) of (over) her own body, but her husband. Likewise also, the husband hath not power (authority over) his own body but the wife. The Williams translation, which by no means changes the meaning says, the wife does not have the right to do as she pleases with her own body. The husband has his right to her. In the same way the husband does not have the right to do as he pleases with his body, the wife has her right to it. Why? To avoid this prevalent immorality. Verse 5, You husbands and wives must stop refusing (implied) each other what is due unless you agree to do so just for a while so as to have plenty of time for prayer and fasting and then to be together again so as to keep Satan from tempting you because of your lack of self control or as the Moffitt translation reads, less through your lack of self control Satan begin to tempt you to sin. Bear in mind Paul’s purpose for each group he addresses in having their own mate was to avoid fornication (verse 2).

MARITAL GUIDELINES

That marriage must not be a life of selfishness is easily analyzed from Paul ‘s statement in verse 5 when he declares to both sexes to defraud not the other in that of the marital sexual relationship. Don’t cheat yourself out of that role which keeps immorality away from the door of your marriage. No doubt because couples reach that point where there is no affectionate love in their relationship accounts for so much of the cheating on each other which leads to divorce. It is a marital guideline to avoid sexual immorality for saints only to keep them in the will of God and not become guilty by neither thought or deed of fornication, uncleanness or open prostitution, Matt. 5:27.

PROPER GIFT TO REFRAIN

Verse 7 already having stated what to do to avoid fornication because Paul is fully aware that all Christians within the body of Christ simply to not possess his (Paul’s) kind of gift to restrain in this manner as he (Paul) has graciously received from God we hear him say in verse 7, I would that all men were even as I myself. (But Paul was fully aware they were not) And because they were not was the reason he told them to get married. Still pertaining to that of the sexual realm Paul continues by saying, nevertheless every man hath his (own) proper or natural God given gift (in this manner) meaning God placed within man’s physical makeup at the beginning of creation this gift. Paul says every one has their normal proper gift, one after this manner and another after that. Therefore, we note in the discussion of verse 7 this desire is a proper, normal gift which relates to our discussion and that it was placed in the human physical makeup, nevertheless it must be closely guarded against until marriage. You see, it could lead to fornication.

ADVICE TO UNMARRIED & WIDOWS

In verse 8 we begin to witness Paul addressing the individual classification of believers within the gentile church facing this problem. First group to be addressed of the born again is the unmarried and widows within the family of God. To the unmarried and widows, Paul declares, it is good for them if they abide (unattached or unmarried), even as I but if they cannot contain (if they cannot practice self control, cannot restrain and control their passions themselves) if you can’t, then by all means get married. For it is better to marry than to burn (that is to be aflame or consumed with passion). Better still, the Phillips translation declares it is better for them (the unmarried and widows) to be married than to be tormented by unsatisfied desires. Weymouth translation, for marriage is better than the fever of passion. Every translation consulted appears to be using clearer words to that of the original Greek text than dos the 16th Century King James Version. The wording of the King James Version has led many people to believe Paul was actually saying it is better to marry than to burn in hell. This is not his meaning whatsoever. The word “burn” does no imply burn with literal hell fire, instead he discusses burning with an excitable passion which truly can be excited, be aflame and burn in lust which can lead to fornication in thought and deed. Therefore, we hear Paul’s instruction to his first group of believers, the unmarried and widows, to avoid fornication let each man have his own (lifetime) wife and let the wife have her own (lifetime) husband and let each render unto the other what is to them to avoid the effects of verse 2. You see, if they at times were overcome with burning passion or lust they might easily become guilty of fornication. Getting married was the route to avoid fornication and I repeat should be done if the individual personally felt 14 they should. Paul has not declared everyone would have to, because no doubt some would possess a God given gift or ability similar to Paul’s in this manner. However, Paul knew everyone did not possess this ability therefore to the unmarried and widows within the church who feel they cannot restrain has received Paul’s instructions to marry. Paul’s only concern in anyone remaining unattached (provided they could avoid the effects of verse 2) was simply to be free from all those extra added anxieties and worries such as grocery bills, doctor bills, bank notes, etc., which certainly accompanies marriage life. I repeat, remaining unattached was not the only way of life Paul was exhorting.

ADVICE TO THE MARRIED

Paul continues on to the next group, the married. Remember, he is sticking right to the point of the questions asked him and his purpose through marriage is to show each group how to avoid fornication or sinful immorality which was prevalent among the carefree gentiles of that day. Having spoken rather bluntly, Paul moves onto this next special case of believer, the married people. Well, what seems to be their problem? They had several.

(1) BELIEVER (HUSBAND & WIFE) NOT TO SEPARATE

Therefore, beginning in verse 10 we hear Paul giving scriptural instructions now unto the married groups is where both partners are believers. Please note, these instructions to the 2nd class is not Paul’s, it is the Lord giving the instructions, showing beloved, Paul never changed what Jesus had already stated to the believers there in Israel Matt. 5:32, 19:9 watch, Paul is about to address two married people, both believers in the church. The man is a christian and so is the woman but apparently for some reason are having marital problems and Paul says it is not I who is about to give you this advice. No sir, it is the Lord and the advice affects the two believing partners. A wife (who is a believer) Paul says, according to the Lord’s word is not to leave her believing husband. However, if she does leave her christian husband, she must remain single or better still be reconciled back to her husband. The Lord’s instructions to this believing husband is not to divorce his believing wife. How could he, seeing there is no legal grounds. I ask you, why should two believing revelated people, both in the same church or body of Christ not be able to prayerfully settle any of their differences? If both believing parties are willing to submit to Christ allowing him to be their first love in their life, there is simply no problem too great that Christ cannot work out, provided both believers have submitted to his will. But regardless whether you let Christ work out your difficulties or not, you are believers and therefore the Lord says no remarriage for you. Now note, Paul’s first advice given here is to the married husband and wife who both are believers, walking in the light of God’s word, therefore without the only ground to separate you stay together to avoid fornication. Matt. 5 & 19. It is very important you understand this special married case which Paul first addresses is not a case where an unbelieving mate is involved whatsoever, both are believers and therefore this is the word. If the wife does depart from her believing husband, she can never remarry, she must remain unattached for the rest of her life. Therefore, in order for her to avoid the effects of verse 2, she should be reconciled back to her husband. Who gave this order, the Lord. Paul next instructs the believing husband and husband don’t you divorce that wife. You are both suppose to be Christians and you certainly don’t have the grounds to do such a thing because how can fornication, the only grounds available for divorce, be involved in a true christian, Holy Ghost marriage? Recall, there has never been but one ground whereby a believing couple could possibly be divorced under the law. To simply not be able to get along is no grounds for divorce when two revelated, believing Christians are involved.

UNTO THE REST – VERSE 12

Note verse 12, but to the rest of the people (those who have not been addressed before, a different class). That advice of the Lord dealt with the believing mates in the church. Now don’t get these classifications confused. Unto the rest of the people in the church I myself would say though the Lord himself had nothing to say concerning it.

(2) BELIEVER & UNBELIEVER NOT TO SEPARATE

The following things Paul mentions concerns where a believing mate (man or woman) is involved or joined to an unbelieving companion. Here beloved we are about to see Paul who has already stated the Lord didn’t 15 mention anything in his statements concerning this next case, seeing the Lord gave advise strictly to believing men and women of Israel and thus had no cause to bring in such a case as will be implied in verse 15. Thus, Paul steps out on sheer revelation and says something that the Lord nor Moses had any cause to say seeing God dealt with Israel as a nation of believers from birth subject to the law. Nevertheless, Paul as a Jewish apostle, assigned to the gentiles by the Holy Spirit is authorized to say the following. Paul is the man who set the gentile church in order in all its belief and doctrinal practices. I remind you again, only under the grace dispensation could you ever have a married couple involved such as are involved here where one was an unbeliever. Therefore, I repeat again as it is most important that what Paul is about to say in verse 15 has absolutely nothing to do with a believing husband and believing wife, walking in the same revelation of truth as was being presented in the early church under the fivefold ministry of Eph. 4:11.

UNBELIEVERS UNDER GRACE

And now Paul’s instructions regarding a companion. This meant one partner in marriage was a believer, walking in the revelation of truth and attended the Corinthian church while no doubt the other mate was still caught up in some dark, pagan religion or philosophy. In the day the gentiles were coming into the grace age program, you must realize the church was being made up of some Jews who were departing from their old synagogues teaching of the law dispensation as well as gentile pagans who were leaving pagan temple worship coming over into Christianity. However, so often both companions did not come into the new faith and this created real problems in the home. The law of Moses controlled the marital life of both the Jewish man and woman. Therefore I repeat, being born an Israelite automatically classified one as a believer under that law. Not so in the grace age for so often even as it is today, the two (gentiles) having early entered a marriage vow while living in sin and unbelief, both partners did not enter the faith thus proving quite a burden on the believer. A divided home where Christ rules one heart and Satan rules the other so often through some false religion can become a heartbreaking burdensome problem. Many homes have even broken up over this one factor. How marvelous it is when both the husband and wife can affectionately live together without any reservations whatsoever, then that marriage should be one of real love, true happiness, peace and contentment as God intended and not in constant division, strife and turmoil as is so often the case.

UNBELIEVER MAY REMAIN

Here is where an unbeliever enters the picture who has been sharing their life with a believer. Yes, here is where God will permit Paul to give a revelation to the gentile church in this matter as he did grant Moses the permission, by revelation, to resent Israel with what he did in Deut. 24:1-4. Paul is granted by divine authority of his office to make the following statement which shall affect only the one case where a believing partner is involved with an unbelieving companion, seeing they are joined together in marriage. Here was Paul’s advice, advice that had never been stated in the history of the world (seeing Israel had no cause for such advice). If the christian man hath an unbelieving wife and she be pleased to dwell with him, in other words if the two partners are not having any special marital difficulties, she actually loves him and other than the fact she can’t understand the odd belief he is in, everything else is fine and she, the unbeliever is so pleased to dwell with him, willing to live with him fulfilling her role as a wife (that he may avoid immorality), by no means should the believing man divorce or put away his wife. Why? Because she is willing to live with him and be his partner to avoid the effects of verse 2. Or the believing wife who has the unbelieving husband, Paul says, if he be pleased to dwell with her and is willing to fulfill her needs as should be in a marriage, do not leave him. Note, allowing them to stay applies to both the man or woman who is the believer. In other words, if your unbelieving mate is pleased to remain with you, let them stay is Paul’s instructions.

FEAR GOD IS DISPLEASED

Verse 14. It appears here that the gentile believer or perhaps it may have been more so the Jewish believer in the church at Corinth, realizing his background, would have been more affected by this than a gentile’s before the Jew left Judaism for Christianity. Under law what is quoted in verse 14 would have truly been something to be concerned over. It appears in verse 14 that the believer, whether Jew or gentile (perhaps both) had the feeling that perhaps because they were united with an unbeliever that their marriage union bringing forth 16 children into the world would not be looked upon by the almighty as being holy or blessed. In other words, the believer feared God might frown upon their offspring produced through a marriage with an unbeliever. Now you will understand the reason I said perhaps this affected Jewish Christians more so than gentiles for under law and under the true Old Testament setting God would have frowned at such a marriage involving a believer with an unbeliever. We saw ane example of this when the believing Jew returned from Babylon, after 70 years of captivity, and had to put away all their strange, unbelieving gentile wives acquired in Babylon. You see, God wouldn’t bless such a relationship of a believer under law with that of an unbeliever who worshipped other gods. God looked upon such a relationship of a believer united with an unbeliever (gentile) as an open act of fornication.

UNBELIEVER SANCTIFIED

Examining this more closely, we see some had this feeling in the Corinthian church that their sexual union with an unbeliever might now result in the same, as God might not accept such a relationship in marriage with that of an unbeliever seeing they had entered the faith. But Paul said don’t fret over that, don’t give that a second thought. If that unbelieving mate is pleased to stay with you then let them remain and here is why, because under your grace dispensation the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the marriage relation by the dedicated wife or as Goodspeed translation of verse 14 says, for the husband who is not a believer is consecrated through that union with his wife. Vice versa, the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the believing husband in that of their sexual union. As I stated, had such a thing occurred under law there would be reason for great concern; however, this is not law, but grace and under grace there may be cases where believers and unbelievers are united in marriage) because to be in God’s family one must be born again. Therefore, God assures the believer not to fret concerning their union wherein children are born, for their children are not unholy or unblessed in his sight. He does not look upon their relationship as one of open fornication against him as he did a believing Israelite from birth who deliberately violated the open command of God’s word which declared they should not take an unbelieving gentile unto themselves in marriage, nor give their children unto gentiles in marriage. All Israelites were affected by this law. That is why those believing Jews during that stirring revival in the word in Nehemiah and Ezra’s day had to rid themselves of all those gentile wives they acquired while in Babylon. The Levites as well as the Jews looked upon this situation that their children from this kind of union with unbelievers would surely be unblessed. With that kind of relationship in mind the Jewish apostle assured the believer under grace this was no threat to him. God would accept their marriage and not look upon it as a relation of open fornication as perhaps some in Corinth thought. Recall, the gentile church in that hour was made up of both jew and gentile and the marriage union of the believer and unbeliever is set apart for the glory of God.

(3) WHEN UNBELIEVER DEPARTS

However, I now call your attention to Paul’s following statement found in verse 15 where we shall examine Paul’s revelation to the church concerning what the believer could do provided the unbeliever chose not to remain with the believer. And remember this advice applies to no other group. It discusses what to do provided the unbeliever decides not to stay as Paul had declared earlier they could stay if they so chose. However, the unbeliever is going to depart, leaving the true believer stranded and totally undefended against the evil effects of verse 2. Remember, it was through a revelated message that brought about this family division in the first place, as one was a true believer in the message while the other was not. Paul says in verse 15 if the unbeliever (man or woman) depart, let them depart. In other words if the unbeliever departs on their own and forsakes their marriage, let the separation stand.

NOT TIED TO MARRIAGE

A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases. Or as Moffitt translation reads, not tied to that marriage. Paul said it, are you able to accept it. See, it is strictly a revelation from the office of the Apostle Paul, given by the Holy Spirit seeing the Lord had spoken nothing in the gospels concerning this case while dealing with believing Israel under the law He had no cause to speak along this line (seeing both husband and wife in Israel were considered believers). It is what can be done only in this one particular case where the unbeliever leaves 17 the believer. I repeat, we are not dealing with two believing Christians, here as in verses 10-11 because in that case the man and woman both were considered believers, we saw what the Lord himself told them to do. Verse 15 deals strictly with a believer and as unbeliever tied in marital bonds.

UNBELIEVER NOT TO BE RUN OFF

First Paul declared in verse 13 if the unbeliever was pleased to stay, let them remain. However, here in verse 15, if the unbeliever does not choose to stay but decides to depart let them depart. Understand you are not to run them off because if they choose to stay, let them stay, but if the unbeliever departs, let them depart. It is the unbeliever and not the believer who is dissatisfied now with the marital arrangement, no longer desiring to remain with the true believer. Therefore, when the unbeliever decides to depart, Paul says to the true believer, let the unbeliever depart. Remember, Paul didn’t say for you to run the unbeliever off. No, that won’t work for God knows the heart, but rather let them on their own accord or free will depart, let the unbeliever bring about the marital separation. And if they do, Paul says, don’t you try to hold on to the unbeliever because in such a case as this only, let the unbeliever depart for a brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases, or as Moffitt translation says, in such cases the Christian brother or sister is not tied to marriage, Lamsa translation records, but if the one who is not a convert wishes to separate, let him depart. In such cases a converted man or woman is free. For God has called us to live in peace. Williams translation of verse 15 reads, but if the unbelieving actually leaves let the separation stand. In such cases the Christian husband or wife is not morally bound, God has called us to live in peace.

A QUESTION

Now may I ask you a question? What is this innocent believer who has been left stranded going to do to avoid the effects of immorality found in verse 2 when Paul has declared that the purpose of marriage was to avoid this immorality? Verse 2 bluntly declares, to avoid fornication let the Christian man have his own wife and vice versa. Why? To avoid immorality or fornication of course. Yet, I ask you if the unbeliever chooses to depart, as Paul says, and Paul informs the believer to let them depart, what on earth will the believer do to avoid or escape the effects of immorality found in verse 2? Paul told the unmarried and widows in verses 9-10 what they had better do if they saw they could not control or restrain their passion, better to marry than to burn in that passion or lust seeing it could lead to immorality. Marriage was the route given to avoid the possibility of fornication. Verses 10-11 declared how the two believers in marriage would avoid fornication and even if the wife departed she couldn’t marry again, but she could return to her husband which would be far better. That would be their way out of the effects of verse 2.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATION

Verses 12-14 showed the converted believer is not to put away the unbeliever if they desired to stay which showed how the believer would escape the effects of verse 2. However, once people reach verse 15, they simply become stumped. Suddenly, their revelation goes blank. I realize when I make this statement, I shall become an open target for attack. Nevertheless, I ask you if Paul was so interested and concerned in Christians in each case having their own companions in order to avoid the immorality or fornication, why is it when we reach verse 15, everyone wants to forsake this helpless case where an innocent believer, who I remind you has done nothing other than become a Christian, that is all they did to injure their marriage. One partner accepted Christ while the other refused. Why then do people want to take this one helpless case where an unbeliever left home, separating themselves from the true believer and merely hang this pathetic case out to blow any direction in the wind. Beloved, you can’t forsake this helpless case, leaving it with no protection against the possibility of immorality of verse 2. Remember, verse 2 was the key in every case and here Paul told the believer to let the unbeliever depart.

BELIEVER MAY REMARRY

Now what can be done to avoid the effects of verse 2 in the believer’s life? Remember, this advice is only applicable where the unbeliever does the departing, because spiritual wise the unbeliever is not under God’s control seeing God is not the God of the dead but of the spiritual living. That unbeliever is dead in trespasses and sin, although wasn’t it wonderful that God was willing to look upon that marriage provided the unbeliever 18 chose to stay as a marriage being blessed or set apart in his sight. If the unbeliever chooses to depart rather than stay married to the believer Paul says, the brother or sister (note Paul said sister also) is certainly not under bondage in such cases. The word bondage means far more than mere social bondage. Paul is speaking concerning that marital bondage between the believer and that unbeliever. The unbeliever, who is already Godless will no doubt remarry, but what about the true believer who is left helplessly stranded. Beloved, if you say the believer who may either be a brother or sister cannot remarry, how then will they possibly avoid the effects of verse 2 which Paul has been discussing. No, beloved when Paul reaches verses 15-16, he has by no means changed his line of thought, nor has he run out of revelation. He still continues even here in these verses to discuss how each group in that church was going to avoid the effects of verse 2. Once he reaches verses 15- 16, he doesn’t switch to another thought which would simply mean well, I am sorry. I just don’t know what the poor stranded believer whose mate has departed is going to do to avoid the effects of verse 2. I am truly sorry.

BELIEVER FREE

It is very simple. Paul in this one case and in this one case only says the believer is free and in order to avoid the effects of immorality the believer who was made a victim of marital circumstance is now granted through Holy Ghost inspiration, the only grounds other than immorality or fornication which, I repeat, applies only where a believer has been left stranded when the unbeliever walks away from the marriage. That stranded believer, if they deem it necessary to have another companion to avoid the effects of verse 2, may feel free to choose companionship with another although this companion cannot be an unbeliever but must be one in the revelated word of God.

STRANDED BELIEVERS ANSWER

Therefore, we see Paul’s revelation for the grace age believer, whether Jew or gentile applies to this deserted innocent believer whether brother or sister, in order to avoid the effects of verse 2, if they do deem it necessary may feel free to choose a revelated believer for Christian companionship. No beloved, God simply will not leave the innocent believer (whether brother or sister) a victim of marital circumstance. God won’t leave that honest hearted believer to the mercy of falling into immorality; therefore, the deserted believer may feel free to choose companionship, only in the Lord.

VICTIM OF MARITAL CIRCUMSTANCE

I remind you in Deut. 24:1-4 under the law God would not even permit the guilty Israelite woman guilty of committing at least one or more open acts of prostitution or fornication to be made a victim of marital circumstance when her Israelite husband, because of the hardness of his heart, divorced her. No, God would not make her a victim of circumstance seeing he permitted the guilty who man to go be another man’s wife. How then beloved, can you possibly tie the hands, spiritually speaking, of a poor innocent believing woman under grace, a woman who I remind you was not guilty of immorality, who did not commit one act of indecency and who certainly never gave her unbelieving companion any cause to divorce her. The unbeliever simply didn’t want to be tied down any longer to anything like this. Therefore, he simply leaves his believing wife stranded and helpless against the effects of verse 2 (in thought or deed). If you say this poor soul can never remarry, you have left her helpless and without a single defense against the effects of verse 2. And I repeat, God will not make any helpless, innocent believer a victim of marital circumstance.

NOT COMPELLED TO REMARRY

No, the believing woman is not at liberty to divorce her unbelieving husband seeing she is a type of the church and the church could never divorce Christ. But when he leaves her and when he divorces her for someone more his kind she has been set free. She is then set at liberty by his actions to marry again, only this time to avoid the same trouble she must marry a true believer in the Lord. If you say the woman is in adultery if she remarries then out of all these other cases Paul discusses in I Cor. 7, this is the only case Paul could not give an answer when it came to showing how this particular helpless innocent case will avoid the effects of immorality in thought or deed in days to come. But thank God Paul did have an answer, he had a revelation that would affect this case and if you say she can’t remarry under grace you would be saying that God had been far more lenient to a guilty, adulterous woman in Deut. 24, giving her far more liberty under law than he would be granting to 19 this helpless, innocent believer, stranded in a world of immorality or a believer simply caught up in this situation having become a victim of circumstance when her unbelieving mate departed leaving her stranded. I repeat, God would be far more lenient to a guilty adulterous woman in Deut. 24 than he would be to this helpless woman in I Cor. 7:15 if he would not allow her to remarry.

HARLOT WOMAN COULD REMARRY

Recall in the Garden in (Gen. 2) God joined man and woman together and said, what I have joined together let no man put asunder or tear apart. However, several thousand years later God did permit Moses to grant to Israel’s men through the law age on legal grounds for a written bill or divorcement to put away a wife, unfaithfulness, open prostitution or fornication. All these imply the same. The woman had simply no grounds for divorce. Therefore, seeing women could not divorce Jesus, speaking to believing Israel said in Matthew, chapters 5 and 19, the believing man who divorced his wife except it be on the grounds of fornication and married another committed adultery and caused that divorced wife to do the same when she remarried. That was true with Israel, they were believers from birth and knew these things were wrong. Recall, they had Moses’ teaching. Therefore, we see divorce permitted on this one scriptural grounds which you recall always freed the guilty wife.

PERMITTING HER TO REMARRY

That beloved, is why I have stressed it in this manner all the way through, for remember Moses did not declare in Duet. 24 that the husband who found some uncleanness or open prostitution in his wife had to put her away. Oh no, by no means did he have to put her away. He could do so if he so chose, seeing that he found it impossible in his heart to forgive her for what she did. It was because of the hardness of his heart he put her away, it was because of his unforgiving spirit. Therefore, God knowing there would be nothing but trouble in this home over this thing, instructed Moses to allow this believing Israelite who was subject to the law as a believer from birth to put away his wife legally by giving her a piece of paper which plainly stated this marriage is over, my wife played the harlot. It was an open, valid document to the public stating he had separated himself from this woman because of uncleanness or open prostitution. Therefore, I am no longer obligated to her physically, materially or maritally. I separate from her because of her disloyalty and unfaithfulness to me. And remember the guilty woman could remarry and not be living in adultery. Divorce on any grounds other than that one thing would certainly be open adultery.

BIBLE – GOD’S TEXTBOOK

Therefore, you mean to tell me that under grace God won’t permit an innocent woman as much privilege as he would one under law. No, he wouldn’t even permit the guilty woman to be made a victim of marital circumstance but told her she could go and become the wife of another man, although remember she could never return to her first husband who divorced her. Yet 90 percent of the people today would interpret that because of their church traditions to declare, no that guilty woman must remain single the rest of her life and if she ever did remarry she certainly would be living in adultery and if she didn’t want to be living in adultery she would have to return to her first husband that divorced her. The unscriptural things that theology has taught concerning this subject would wreck the human mind. This one subject has been taught every way imaginable. When will people wake up and recognize this Bible is God’s textbook. Do you believe, that under grace God is going to be far more severe and less understanding toward an innocent believer, especially a sister who had done nothing worthy of her situation in causing her unbelieving husband to leave her than he would a guilty woman under law.

MOST TORMENTING

What can be more tormenting for a young couple than for one partner to desire to serve God while the other refuses. Satan enjoys nothing better than ripping apart the life and home of some young believer who desires to serve the Lord. Satan can use that unbeliever who intentions are to live and lust after the things of the world and finally after a continuous period of bickering, generally the unbeliever themself will simply declare, I have had enough of this king of marriage. Therefore, I am divorcing you. I am getting out of here. Such a pathetic circumstance leaves the true believer stranded and defenseless unless they are at liberty to remarry. That is 20 exactly what they are permitted to do, but only in the Lord.

FEAR OF DISOBEDIENCE

Nevertheless, here is what often happened. Paul declares the believer is free and no longer under marital bondage to this unbeliever provided the unbeliever desires to depart. However, down through the ages the believer, not knowing just how to cope with the situation or how to stand on God’s word when their marriage to the unbeliever has collapsed will try to hold on to the unbeliever and many a young believer in Christ becomes greatly distressed as they have been forced by a physical circumstance of which they are totally innocent (Paul said if the unbeliever desires to stay, fine, let them stay. If they choose to depart, let them. Don’t worry about it, if you are not under marital bondage any longer, you are set free. However, fearful of divorce and remarriage, thinking they will be eternally condemned and rather than face that kind of life of uncertainty by remarrying they struggle through life alone. Many believers, rather than face life lone have been known to stop serving God in order to be reconciled back to their own unbelieving partner. All because they feared what might happen were they to face life alone.

CALLED TO LIVE IN PEACE

Praise God Paul was not stumped, he had an answer for the poor deserted believer there he did not have to say I can help all the rest of you, but I simply don’t have a word for this innocent believing party who is now stranded. No, Paul doesn’t say that. Instead he says, let the unbelieving depart. For in that case only the brother or sister is not under marital bondage. They are free. But God has called us unto peace or better still God intended that we live in peace. I ask you, how in this world is that innocent believer going to live in peace when they are constantly being tempted by this terrible circumstance or condition which has been forced upon them or how will they ever live in peace seeing they’re trying to hold on to that unbeliever and all he does is continually make life miserable for them. I grant you, gospel wise up to a certain point, it is a good thing to have to endure certain things; however, after a period of time, when it is definitely proved through patience and long suffering on the part of an honest, humble, dedicated, revelated believer that it all seemingly is in vain and avails nothing, instead it doesn’t seem to make the unbeliever conscientious of what they are doing, things only tend to grow worse. Eventually, it reaches the point if the believer is to have any peace of mind what so ever, they will simply have to do what Paul says here, let the unbeliever depart. A brother or sister is not under marital bondage, they are free.

HUSBAND’S SALVATION

However, note and this is beautiful, Paul goes down into verse 16 saying to the church, for what knowest thou, oh wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Meaning, if he stays, if he chooses to stay, you may be the very means of becoming your husband’s salvation and naturally that should be the first hope and concern of any true revelated believer. The gospel shows the route the believing mate should go about in order to break down the resistance of the unbeliever. This is, this believer should live a humble, Christian life in respect to patience, long suffering, etc., as much as possible. Perhaps by doing so, if the unbeliever won’t heed to the gospel preached by the ministry, who knows perhaps by watching and living with a true genuine humble, dedicated, Christian believer, it may just happen that through their testimony of life the unbeliever may become born again. However, Paul says, over a period of time if all of this sincerity has not done the job, God has not planned that this true dedicated believer should live the rest of their life in literal torment and turmoil, seeing He has called us to live in peace. After a while, there has to be a victory over this entire problem. See, beloved that is why Paul wrote to the church that in such cases the believer is no longer tied in marriage to that unbeliever. When Paul stated the believer was free, he doesn’t only mean free from all the turmoil that had been produced through this marriage, he means they are free, period. They have no marital ties to this marriage and are set at liberty in the Lord. Why? Because the unbeliever did the leaving himself. The unbeliever left. Paul said, let him leave the true believer and because it happened in this manner, this sets the believer free. Remember, the believer was not compelled to remarry. Nevertheless, were the occasion to arise, for the true believer to avoid the effects of verse 2, they are at liberty to choose new companionship, but only in the Lord. To marry another unbeliever would not only violate the word of God, but would only be asking for trouble to 21 repeat itself. No, beloved the new companionship if chosen must definitely be chosen in the Lord. The grace of God which was given or permitted to the gentile church concerning this one type of marital situation would certainly never permit a Christian believer who had previously had an unbelieving companion to leave turn right around and fall in love with still another unbeliever. Remember, Christ will not make the innocent party a victim of circumstance, such as in this particular case. I am fully aware too often people bring these situations upon themselves and when people bring such situations upon themselves, situations which produce such cases, then all I can say is somewhere their flesh will have to pay the bill for what they themselves have promoted and done in life to bring it about. Bear in mind this entire chapter 7 is dealing with marriage and the steps to be taken to avoid fornication. The purpose or key to unlock each question Paul answers are found in verse 2. Verse 2 is the focal point of this entire chapter. Remember, Paul touches each situation in respect to that of verse 2, as well as in regards to the shortness of the hour in which he felt they lived (verse 29). Paul, as well as the other apostles in the early stage of the church believed that time was running out for his day, and that the Christians did not have long in which to prepare. James even declared for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (James 4:8) John further stated in I John 2:18 Brethren, it is the latter times, etc. Yes, many scriptures reveal this was the general trend of thought of that early church and that everyone’s lives should be in proper order for the coming of the Lord (Rev. 22:20).

REMAIN IN SAME STATUS

It is from the next two verses 17-18, Satan found the ground work in order to project a certain spirit toward the church in this thing of marriage declaring virginity or being unattached was a high holy order, etc. Believe me, in this statement Paul had only one thought in mind. Satan wanted to start a long range program where later he could produce a program of celibacy. Remember, whenever Paul mentions that one should remain unattached, his thought was merely thoughts of wisdom in order to guide the church in keeping them in that hour to be a free as possible from becoming tied down to the things of the world. Satan desired to twist Paul’s statement and cause another situation to arise, which in latter years developed into a teaching in the church called celibacy. It’s such phrases as this which furnished the ground work for that unscriptural teaching.

CONTINUED LINE OF THOUGHT

In verse 17, Paul has not changed his line of thought as he deals with the social structure of life, but as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord has called everyone we now hear Paul say, so let him walk. What is Paul saying? Because of the nearness, he feels, to the coming of the Lord and the present distress into which the church is entering as he later states, whatever the status of man was, when God called him to salvation and has so ordained for him, let him walk in that status. Paul says this I have ordained (or teach) in all the local gentile churches. When you consider that gentile man in his respective walk of life while a sinner, the status of many was they were already married while still others were not. Therefore, as the gospel of Christ crosses their pathway, some were called living a married life, others of course were still single and perhaps still others were called during that period of separation as divorce had split their homes (you will see Paul’s thought more clearly in a moment). Yes, while perhaps others could have easily been living in polygamy as it definitely was a most accepted way of life among gentiles as well as the Jews in the Old Testament period and even later. Already we have observed how through the exampleship and the lives lived by that early gentile ministry polygamy slowly faded out of the picture. Yes, in verses 17-18 Paul is dealing with the social structure of life including certain marital problems. Building his thought around the marital relationship Paul said, but as God hath distributed to every man (of his physical necessity or condition) let him abide in that particular walk or calling of life. I teach this in all the churches Paul says.

WISE COUNSEL

Understand this one thing, in saying let him so abide, Paul is by no means promoting or establishing a doctrine of celibacy. Paul is not placing higher honor or more virtue on virginity above that of marriage in the sense, we shall say, he was implying marriage in order to avoid fornication or immorality was showing nothing but a weakness of the flesh. No beloved, Paul did not feel that way. Had that been his true feelings he would never have declared in Hebrews 13:4 that marriage was an honorable thing or that marriage should be looked upon as 22 an honorable thing. The reason for his following remarks is because of his own feelings as well as the early church’s concerning the shortness of time and secondly the fact they were already witnessing a distressful situation which was at hand. Moreover Paul feels stirred to give the following advice to the gentile church and mind you, that is all it was ever meant to be, merely good sound advice or wisdom for the present hour in which they live. Certainly, it was not his intention to promote celibacy as some have interpreted him to mean. Let a man be as free as possible from every unnecessary obligation. Keep yourself free from the obligation of the world. Don’t get tied to anything. Why, in order that you may better consecrate your thoughts on serving the Lord. Here was the only attitude in Paul’s mind.

BODY NOT FOR IMMORALITY

If we can visualize that, perhaps we are ready to move on into verse 18. Remember, Paul has by no means left his original thought as to how these various cases in the church are to avoid sexual immorality or fornication which he first begins to speak freely of in I Cor. 6:13-20 when he stated the human body had not been created for sexual immorality, but for the Lord. However, not until I Cor. 7:2 did he tell how they should avoid this sexual immorality. No, Paul has not left his original thought, here he is only going to bring in certain other types of illustrations which he uses to widen or better clarify his thought which he is trying to get over to the church. First, he says is there any believing man having been called while being circumcised. If he has, Paul declared, let him not (change his status by) becoming uncircumcised. Why would Paul address such a statement to a gentile church? Because, if you recall there were quite a few Jews in that gentile church and it was for certain they had been circumcised. Bear in mind, every saint in the Corinthian church Paul writes unto discussing how they may prevent sexual immorality or fornication which was so prevalent in that hour, was either a Jew converted out of his old synagogue beliefs or a gentile converted out of his old pagan religious belief. Corinth was a city of many customs given heavily to idolatry and immorality. Therefore, here Paul addresses the believer who was already circumcised when called to Christ and says let him not become uncircumcised. Watch Paul, he is leading up to something in verse 27 as he instructs the church to remain in whatsoever status they were in when called. In other words, don’t be concerned in trying to undo your particular status in life you were living in when called to salvation, were you loose from a wife when Christ called you, (verse 27) then seek not a wife. In other words, it is not necessary to change that status of your life of being unattached while as a sinner when you came to salvation. To still another group he says if any (gentile) was called in uncircumcision, let him not change his status and become circumcised. It’s unimportant. Circumcision is nothing verse 19 says and uncircumcision is nothing. But there is something that is important Paul says and that is the keeping of the commandments of God. And recall beloved, you definitely saw in verses 10-11 a very clear command of God concerning the relationship of marriage between that of two believers, didn’t we? That was if a believing wife left her believing husband he has two choices, (1) remain unattached the rest of her life (till the death of her husband) or (2) she may return unto her believing husband she departed from which Paul declares is far better. No, that believer can never remarry. Beginning in verse 17 Paul is showing all these things do have their place. However, now it’s time that every man should forget his past life, those situations, and circumstances he was in while living in sin or unbelief and draw close to the living God, as the church felt time was short for all believers. And that a present distress is moving in on the church. Man should now consider one thing only and that is setting himself aside for the glory of God. Verse 20 and again we hear Paul declaring henceforth let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Were you called being a servant? Therefore Paul declares, were you called to Christ while being a servant, care not for it. In other words, don’t be spending time trying to be loosed from your slavery, but if you can be free, Paul says, use it rather (or choose it rather only to serve) for he that is called in the Lord being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman. In other words, Paul says was your status that of slavery when you were called to Christ, if you are a slave and you find it impossible to get free from your master, simply realize that in the Lord Jesus Christ and your new found faith you are already a free man. BOUGHT WITH PRICE Continuing on, Paul says, were you called while being free, then he who is free, is Christ’s servant. The pint is 23 you are still a servant, even if in the flesh you are free you still have a mighty master above you this is certainly going to hold the line on your life verse 23. You are bought with a price, therefore irregardless to whichever the situation may have been, be ye therefore servants of Christ, be not ye the servants of men. Let’s hurry on through this part and get to this main thought Paul declares in verse 24, as he continues speaking to the church, brethren let every man wherein he is called, there in abide with God. See he continues to hammer away at this one point, abide as you were when called and remember Paul has no intentions in mind of beginning a program of celibacy.

FURTHER WORD TO VIRGINS

Coming into verse 25, Paul returned to still another illustration which definitely deals again with the marital situation. Now concerning virgins, recall as Paul has already discussed fully the marital program for the married in every situation, he now turns his attention for still another word to the virgins. It is from this statement, believe it or not along with certain other scriptures, that the Catholic church take and made themselves a celibacy doctrine for her priests and nuns. It was from this setting St. Clement, the first bishop of Rome, began to teach and uplift virginity as being far more virtuous among men and women than marrying. Reading his writings, one gets the impression his idea to be a married man revealed a kind of weakness of the flesh and only people of virginity were classified as being saintly. No, Paul had no intentions of promoting the doctrine of celibacy when he discusses what he does concerning virgins. Nevertheless, Satan used Paul’s very words by slowly twisting his statements into a doctrine. Even there within the first church age that spirit of Satan was already present.

ADVICE ON PRESENT DISTRESS

Concerning virgins, Paul says, I have no commandment of the Lord, yet I give my judgment. Bear in mind, he has already told the unmarried and widows it was better to remain as he; nevertheless, if they could not contain themselves it was better to marry than to burn (in Passion). Paul is giving his judgment concerning the virgins, as I’ve already stated a number of times in the light of his feeling that time was very short for the believer. In other words, there simply wasn’t much time left. If the Lord was returning somewhere in the near future, as all first believed, there wasn’t time to tie oneself down to the burdens of family life. This was simply a word of wisdom for such an hour. Later we see where Paul gave another kind of advice concerning virgins marrying and raising a family (I Timothy 5:14). Here he said they should. Therefore, Paul was not seeking to establish a doctrine, it was only a word of wisdom. Give my judgment, Paul says, as one that hath attained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. Verse 26, referring to the hour, they presently lived in, Paul says I suppose therefore that it is good for the present distress, for the what? The present distress. I say that is good for a man so to be, be what? Be single. Be unattached. Why? Because of the present distress. On the other hand, verse 27 declares just the opposite, are you bound to a wife, seek not to be loosed. In other words, don’t run off and leave your wife in order to spare yourself a number of worldly obligations, even if you do feel the coming of the Lord is near. Please understand, what is being taught in this verse has no connection with that which was first written covered in verses 10-15. Paul isn’t changing his thought, he only seeks to give wise counsel. Art thou loosed from a wife, seek not a wife.

TIME IS SHORT

(Because of the hour, it is better to remain single) But if thou marry, thou hast not sinned, and if a virgin (girl) marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless, such will have trouble in the flesh, but I spare you (or I would like to spare you). What he means is this, and oh, how true it is. The very minute they settle down in the family life, the old grind begins. Paul knew that somewhere in that hour just ahead there were certain hardships to be faced where if you were single or unattached, you could better face these hardships. It’s difficult for Americans to anticipate such a thing. Nevertheless, many of the Corinthians (such as people in certain countries today) lived in a constant daily struggle for survival. Verse 29. This I say brethren, (and once again we see Paul’s feelings concerning time re-enter back into the picture as he says the time is short. Proving beyond any doubt all of his statements have definitely been hinged around his feeling from verse 17 on that time is short. Therefore, this good sound advice and wisdom to the believer is in order that he may keep himself free to seek a more 24 dedicated closer walk with the Lord. Watch him bring out still another thought concerning the shortness of time. As he says it remains that both they that have wives be as though they had none. No, God forbid, Paul is not saying for a man to get rid of his wife. He is only declaring that a man and his wife should both set their sights so much higher above all the natural material things of earth not living as though life itself existed here in only what you could and could not have. Instead Paul says get your eyes set on Jesus and the soon coming of the Lord. This no doubt is what Jesus meant when he said as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the son of man. For they married, built houses, and were busy eating and drinking. See, that’s the normal social picture today. People have simply become so earthly minded that they haven’t time to lift their eyes unto the Lord and follow him. Paul continues on in verse 30 with still that feeling time is short and as he says, they that weep, as though they weep not. In other words, whatever you are doing, don’t become so involved in it that you can’t change and look once in a while unto the Lord and do something for Jesus. They that rejoice as though they rejoice not and they that buy as though they possess not. Paul recognizes there were certain necessities of life that every mortal man needs while traveling this journey of life. Nevertheless, don’t permit your eyes to become so earthly centered in whatever you are doing that you can’t once in a while look up and say, father guide my soul and help me to ever live pleasing unto you. Keep me separated, Lord, and allow me not to become so tied down or so involved with natural things that I can’t truly see thee God and know what you would have for me to do today.

ADVICE FOR ENDTIME

Verse 31, And they that use this world as not abusing it, for the fashions of this world passeth away. Notice beloved this is good, sound advice for even us today because e are actually that people living in the hour he spake of, where time is short. In actuality what Paul is saying in these scriptures are actually pointing to our day. Nevertheless, Paul and these other brethren wrote all these scriptures as though the end time would come rolling in upon them at just any time, but those scriptures apply unto us. Oh, there are so many things we are going to see, (in time) once we do really move into such a setting as was spoken in these two verses. Here we will reach in and pull our different things that the apostle Paul said in respect to the overall situation. I am so glad that Paul stated this in all these various places because by using these various situations which caused him to write and say what he did, it helps us to better diagnose what he meant in these two verses. Verse 32, but I would have you without carefulness, meaning I would have you so, in order that you would not be bound down with many of these worldly cares of life. That is it beloved, all his statements made here concerning (remaining as you are) is because he didn’t want the individual bound down with all these worldly cares of life. He wanted people to be free, not worried, in order that they might worship the Lord. What a torment it is when two young people start out in life and become so financially burdened, we’ll say they have gotten their necks staked down to something, which reminds me of a cow tied to about a five foot chain and can’t go anywhere. So worried, so bothered, so burdened down that about once in six months, they may wake up to the fact, you know it has been a long time since we prayed. Paul goes on to say, he that is unmarried cares for things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord. In other words, being unmarried Paul says, the persons mind tends to be more on the spiritual matters, as Paul is writing this to benefit the unmarried Christian men in the Corinthian church who have not as yet taken the trip to the marriage altar, and not to the man out in the world seeing he doesn’t have his mind on the Lord. But he that is married, verse 33 says, careth for the things that are in the world how that he may please his wife, why? Because he not only has taken a companion, but they will be bringing children into the world and this creates more worldly obligations. It means that he will have to now look unto the world for still a greater opportunity to meet those needs of these necessities that have now been placed upon him.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WIFE & VIRGIN

There is a difference between a wife and a virgin, verse 34 declares, and remember it is only Christians that Paul is speaking of, not worldly people. Whoever heard of an unmarried worldly woman or sinner woman caring for the things of the Lord, how that she may be holy, both in body and in spirit, ridiculous. Yes, that’s what Paul says the desire of the unmarried Christian woman is, but she that is married cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. No truer words were ever spoken. Remember this, he hasn’t said any 25 of this to establish a doctrine but merely to give wise counsel in relation to the hour in which they live. Because note in verse 35, Paul now declares why he has spoken all this in the manner he has, as we hear him say, I speak this for your own profit, not that I may case a snare upon you, but for that which is comely and that you may attain unto the Lord without distraction. Therefore, we can plainly see since verses 17-34 Paul has taught none of this to lay down any doctrine, has he? Paul had already laid down his doctrine from verses 10-15 as to what should be done in respect to those who were married. Concerning the overall situation within the church which certainly involved many individuals, Paul has said all of this, not to cause any disappointment toward the person’s feeling, concerning that which they wanted to do (referring to getting married) but rather that he might show them how they could better live for God and serve him without begin all chained down to all of those worldly obligations they would definitely become involved with once they are married. Paul is not a man who speaks out of both corners of his mouth, he can not go against his own writing. If anyone does think Paul was implying celibacy here, let us search the scriptures to see if there is any other place virginity or celibacy was taught. Observe what Paul says as he writes Timothy many years later when he lays down the doctrine and rule of discipleship, etc. Do we not hear Paul saying he would that the young christian women marry? (I Tim. 5:14) How then could Paul make two opposing, conflicting statements. To Corinth he wrote what he did in the light he felt that time was very short and he believed the church was approaching the nearness of the coming of the Lord. Whereas in Timothy, he is writing with a different line of thought altogether. Here he is showing the young women how to stop being busybodies, his answer is, get married and raise a family. Just remember concerning virginity, whatever Paul spoke in I Cor. 7, which at first glance might appear he preferred virginity to marriage, was spoken, with his conviction that time was short and the coming of Christ was at hand, else how could Paul declare later in Heb. 13:4, marriage is honorable in all or is to be looked upon as a honorable thing and then turn around and in a few scattered phrases in I Cor. 7 be teaching a doctrine of celibacy such as the Catholic church feels he did?

FINAL WORD TO CHRISTIAN WIVES

Verse 39, In closing the discussion, Paul reminds the Christian woman she is bound by the law of wedlock unto her believing husband as long as he lives but if her husband is dead, making her a widow, she is at liberty to be married unto whosoever she will, only in the Lord. But she is happier if she so abide after my judgment (found in verses 8-9) and I think also that I have the Spirit of God. In closing ay I say verse 39 in no way alters Paul’s advice to the Christian wife married to a Christian man found in verses 10-11 because were she to leave him or be put away from him on any other grounds other than fornication, uncleanness or open prostitution and were she to remarry, she would most assuredly be living in adultery as declared unto all believers subject to Deut. 24:1-4. AMEN

In The Beginning It Was Not So, Part 1 – 1974, April


Contents

PERFECT ORDER OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIP

 

When Jesus stated, “in the beginning it was not so”, it must be remembered Christ was by no means trying to establish that a man himself must return to things as they were in the beginning before sin entered into the picture. No, you will never be able to return to that setting, as things were in the beginning, until after your body has been changed from mortal to immortality. When Christ stated “in the beginning it was not so”, He was simply in the process of answering a question asked him by religious leaders (Matt. 19:1-9) concerning that of the moral issue on Marriage and Divorce. Hence, Christ takes these Pharisees back to the very beginning and shows them once God had made male and female and joined them together He said, let no man put asunder (ever separate) what I have joined together. Nevertheless, Jesus shows how much later in his program God did permit Moses to add into the law a clause or one provision whereby divorce may be granted, Deut. 24:104. A grounds which, by the way, even freed the guilty wife, allowing her to remarry, though under no circumstances could that which was once joined together and later divorced, ever be joined together again. Beloved, whenever you desire to know God’s true feelings on any subject, always go back to the beginning of that subject and follow it through to the very end and this is what we must do with our subject. Following the dreadful fall in the Garden of Eden, the scriptures show the moral structure of mankind began to crumble. Here through various stages, especially before the flood, we must pause to observe the moral issue in question as it passes through time up until the flood, then more through time all the way out to Mount Sinai, hundreds of years later, where God gave unto Israel a marital law to guide their relationships. We must observe what the law actually did for the moral question involved or shall we say, what God placed within the law which affected the moral issue at hand. Next, we shall examine some 1400 years later, at the close of the law age, what Jesus taught upon the subject, what He said concerning it, and later how He handled the same issue whenever confronted by religious people who were guilty of trying to cover up their way of living by using a private interpretation of what they wanted to believe Moses actually taught. Last of all, we shall discuss what Paul, by the authority invested in him, had to say concerning Marriage and Divorce as it applied to the gentiles, a people living far below the law. Jesus’ remark was “in the beginning it was not so”. Christ started at the very beginning and came up through Moses’ law concerning the subject of the marital relationship between man and woman. Hence, we shall do the same. In Genesis 2:23-24, we begin with the scriptures where God placed Adam to sleep and removed from his body a rib and from the rib which the Lord God took from man made He a woman and brought her unto the man. Adam looks at this beautiful creature and he seems to know exactly what is taking place. No, he doesn’t say, Lady, who are you and where did you come from? Adam knew exactly where she came from.

 

MADE MALE AND FEMALE

 

She came out of him! In other words, God removed, along with his rib, a little flesh and all the feminine attributes which sometime before had been placed within this one body (called Adam) along with those attributes of man. Because the scripture declares the two (male and female attributes) dwelt in the same flesh, attributes which the Lord God had created long before He ever placed them together in this one body of flesh, calling their name Adam. Genesis 1:27 declares at the time God created man in His own image He created He him; male and female created He them. Later, after their creation, first as spirit beings, God fashioned a male body from the dust of the earth, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and placed within this created fleshly man both the complete attributes of the masculine and feminine beings. How long Adam remained at this manner no one knows; nevertheless, after a thorough search had been made to find Adam a help mate, none was found among the animals nor any living creature. No beloved, God didn’t suddenly decide to divide the masculine attributes from those feminine attributes which both existed within the same body. Certainly not! He knew all along what He was going to do because a close study of Genesis 1:26-28 reveals within that heavenly realm when God created these attributes (male and female) created He them, yet at that time neither one possessed a fleshly body in which to live.

 

CREATED AND COMMISSIONED

 

Nevertheless, verse 28 declares at that time they (both the masculine and feminine attributes) were given a commission that some time in the future must be fulfilled. The commission was be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it and have dominion over all living things that move on the earth. Here was a commission given unto the two spirit beings in eternity long before God ever placed the masculine and feminine attributes into that fleshly body. We pick up the story where God causes a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and these feminine attributes have now been removed and placed into her own separate body of flesh. Adam awakens and sees this beautiful creature, who is a type of the bride of Christ. No, he doesn’t wonder where she came from, he knows. He knows where she has been all this time, inside of him. There hasn’t been an argument or war between the two and there certainly hasn’t been any division in their thinking or feeling while the masculine and feminine attributes dwelt together in this one fleshly male body.

 

DIVIDING ATTRIBUTES FOR A PURPOSE

 

God has now separated them in order that they may carry out the divine plan of marriage which must transpire between two fleshly people in order to fulfill His commission to be fruitful and multiply which was given the moment of their creation, Genesis 1:28. In order for that commission to be fulfilled, those two attributes (masculine and feminine) must somewhere be separated and placed into two separate bodies. Here we see that separation being accomplished and the first words we ever hear Adam utter was a prophecy concerning the purpose of the female creature as he says, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man, henceforth shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife (singular) and they shall be one flesh”. No, Adam was not prophesying, in order to be one flesh they must once again become one body as was the picture before God separated the masculine attributes or characteristics from that of the feminine. Why then did Adam declare man and his wife shall become one flesh? For the purpose of reproduction, to fulfill the commission to multiply or bring (more) life into the world. Recall, that prophecy came forth long before mankind ever fell in the Garden of Eden. Jesus made reference to this in Matthew 19:5-6 the same as did the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 5:31). Here in this beautiful perfect environment of the Garden of Eden (or Paradise) upon this earth, it all began with one man and one woman or one husband and one wife. Here in the beginning, we observe God’s perfect order concerning the subject we will investigate. In the very beginning, God ordained that the one man should have only one wife (not several) and likewise the one woman should have only one husband (not several). This would be forever and ever because in this hour not even death could separate the young couple, seeing they possessed only eternal life. They were not filled with death until after the fall in Eden. Our marital setting changes as more people become involved in the picture. God’s ordained purpose of marriage between one man and one woman is clearly seen and remains unchanged as we move on out into the line of Adam’s (Seth’s) lineage, that is, until they reach an entirely different setting found in Genesis 6:1-2. Not until this time do we see where any of Adam’s line of descendants ever took unto themselves more than one woman for a wife. However, this cannot be said for the lineage of Cain who fathered the first civilization after the death of Abel, who was truly a seed from the loins of Adam, the son of God. Cain was a man of mystery who at not time ever walked with God nor did any of his descendants. Cain was a man whom the scriptures refused to recognize as a son of Adam yet was born into Adam’s family (home). Watch, had Cain been a son from the loins of Adam (who was the son of God) or truly been in Adam’s lineage, then the scriptures could not have recognized that Enoch was the seventh from Adam, instead it would have declared Enoch the eighth (not 7th) from Adam.

 

POLYGAMY INTRODUCED

 

Genesis 4 gives the complete story of how Cain left the presence of the Lord and dwelt in a land east of Eden called Nod. Out of this lineage of marriage between Cain and his one wife (Adam’s daughter seeing Adam had sons and daughters, Genesis 5:1-5) came an entire line of wicked, ungodly people who not only were responsible for every kind of sin imaginable and introduced every kind of attribute of evil, but they also introduced into the world the plurality of wives, better known as polygamy. Cain had a son called Enoch and in Cain’s lineage some five generations later, a man named Lamech, according to Genesis 4:19 appeared on the 3 scene and took unto himself two wives thus introducing for the first time unto the world that which is known as polygamy; one man having more than one wife. We who have always lived in a western society of culture, who have never lived around any area of the world where polygamy was practiced would find it most difficult to even accept God’s own attitude toward polygamy once it did begin to be practiced. No, God did not institute polygamy. God instituted a program whereby one man and one woman would live together as Adam prophesied (Genesis 2:23-24), not one man and two or three women living together under one roof. Nevertheless, as we study polygamy as shown from the scriptures, I pray not to be misunderstood over certain statements I must make in regard to polygamy. So please understand, none of the statements I shall make dealing with the subject of polygamy means I am telling you to go out and marry two or three wives and keep them all under the same roof, raise children and provide for them. I am not saying any such thing. I am just simply trying to deal with the subject of polygamy as well as marriage and divorce, strictly as shown from a scriptural viewpoint.

 

SONS OF GOD WERE MEN

 

Therefore, scripturally Cain’s lineage introduced polygamy. That act of polygamy will not, until much later, appear in Adam’s lineage, a lineage which does not go through Cain, but instead comes down through Seth, right on down into the seventh from Adam who scripture declared was Enoch who begat Methuselah, the oldest man who ever lived on earth. Perhaps not until many hundreds of years before the flood will polygamy be introduced into his lineage. Genesis 6:1-2 declares at sometime after men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born unto them that the sons of God, who were not fallen angels as some have thought seeing angels have no sexual ability (Matthew 22:30) but instead these sons of God were men out of the lineage of Adam who himself was the son of God (Luke 3:38) as his lineage was definitely called generations before the flood.

 

PERFECT RELATIONSHIP DISRUPTED

 

Not until Genesis 6 do we begin to see Adam’s lineage (sons of God) approaching the realm of polygamy. Genesis 6:2 declares once the sons of God began noticing these women from Cain’s line, they began to take from the daughters of men wives of all whom they chose. Who got their eyes on these women? Sons of God! Up until Genesis 6, you have the complete separation of the two strains of mankind. Not only had polygamy been introduced through the Cainite line but murder and every other immoral practice or act was also introduced through this wicked ungodly group. Cain himself had only one wife; nevertheless, all these evil attributes or characteristics which were in Cain’s loins were passed on to his wicked offspring and later, after the time in Genesis 6:1-4, were passed on into the bloodstream of the sons of God through that of intermarriage. Before Genesis 6, Adam, Seth, along with Adam’s other children, produced a lineage or race who lived strictly loyal unto God even though they, like their father Adam, carried in their blood stream that death penalty because of the disobedience of their father Adam; nevertheless, they still upheld the revelation of truth before their God. An act which was continued into the period of Genesis 6 whereupon developed a genetic breakdown within the bloodstream and lineage of the sons of God who eventually lost their spiritual bearing, giving themselves over to strange flesh and the flood of judgment was on its way.

 

CROSSING TWO STRAINS OF HUMANITY

 

Not until the time period of Genesis 6:1-2 does Satan make his second successful stab at the program of God in that of marriage between one man and one woman within Adam’s line of descendants. As Satan made this second attack on God’s divine program he used much the same approach as was used in the Garden of Eden hundreds of years prior although at this time Satan had no manlike creature to inspire, called the Serpent, to work through. Instead, in Genesis 6 he chose to inspire women out of the ungodly Cainite line. Satan instructs these Cainite women how to dress, walk, talk and even look in order to attract the attention of the sons of God unto themselves. This they did and slowly they began to approach the sons of God lineage. May I state this lustful approach of flirtation or fraternization among these women toward those sons of God wasn’t a program accomplished overnight. No, it was a gradual process of acquaintance, a gradual deception and beguiling which eventually led to the breakdown of the resistance and the will of these individual sons of God to no longer 4 restrain themselves from taking from among men women as many as they chose for wives. However, as we shall see the children produced by these marriages were extraordinary. GIANTS BORN The Lamsa translation of Genesis 6:4 declares “there were giants in the earth in those days (before intermarriage) and also after that for the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men (who belonged to this giant race and they bore children to them and they (offspring) became giants, who in the olden days were men of renown”. Note, you have giants in the earth before intermarriage, you have also children from these marriages who grow up to become giants as well as outstanding figures, no doubt brilliant scientific minded as was their Cainite ancestors before them. They were outstanding in every manner except that of fellowshipping God. Renown in everything, but spiritual matters as were their fathers from Adam’s side.

 

GENETIC DISTURBANCE

 

From the crossing of these two separate genetic strains of characteristics in that of mankind there resulted a dreadful genetic disturbance which affected mankind in a way he never before had been affected. While at the same time, these two strains of mankind (one being of giant structure) began to mix bloodlines and produce offspring into the earth, children were born unto them who were giants. Why were giants born unto the sons of God? Because the genetic structure of both the male and female, each designed to carry 24 chromosomes (a total of 48) is used by the Almighty for the purpose of transferring parental characteristics into that of their offspring and with each passing generation these characteristics from the giant structured Cainite race overpowered the characteristics carried through the 24 chromosomes of the male into the fetus, thus, resulting in the offspring with each passing generation resembling more and more to that of the Cainite race which at no point in history can it be shown that one descendant of Cain ever reverenced the Lord. Thus, in the offspring of these sons of God who were to carry on their lineage there developed a total collapse in the offspring’s ability to receive spiritual, revelatory faith or their ability to hear God speak through His word. For without this revelatory faith, Hebrews 11:6 declares it is impossible to please God. And now with the bloodstream of the offsprings of the sons of God corrupt, which up till Genesis 6, the bloodstream of the sons of God was carrying only the death penalty, now slowly begins to be filled with all the evil characteristics clearly shown in the Cainite lineage as their intermarriage continues. Genesis 6 introduces that gradual breakdown of what had once been a high moral standard found in the sons of God lineage. That total breakdown and genetic disturbance destroyed especially the high standards of the sons of God as more and more their offspring tend to express Cainite characteristics, producing upon the earth still more and more wickedness until the flood came and took them all away.

 

ENOCH WITNESSES BREAKDOWN

 

Enoch (7th from Adam) began to witness this moral breakdown which was rapidly polluting the relationship of marriage between that of one man to one woman as God originally intended and Adam’s descendants had always so beautifully exemplified. Enoch was a witness to this terrible breakdown in genetic structure of both strains of mankind as the two strains slowly dissolve or vanish into that of one, their offspring. He cried out against such evil and then something happened in his life that caused him more than ever to draw closer to God; a sign was given unto him. At the age of 65, some 965 years before the flood, God gave him a little son from his own pure seed (other than the death penalty which was transferred to the lad and like many other children in the sons of God realm, this child’s name also prophetically meant something). Methuselah, which prophetically means when he is gone then it will come. Enoch, knowing the meaning of such a name but not aware at what hour Methuselah might be taken in death and God’s judgment would fall, walked even more closely to God, not aware his son would live to be 969 years old before death claimed him and the judgment would come. Knowing his son was a sign, Enoch had 300 years to continually draw closer to the Lord as this madness produced by this intermarriage continually increased. God, seeing Enoch’s heart, allowed him to have a vision of the coming of the Lord with ten thousands of His saints to execute judgment (Jude 14-15). Enoch, the 7th from Adam, warned this degenerate generation of humanity, rapidly now becoming nothing but a fleshly minded mass of humanity following only that of their own instincts. Through the polygamy intermarriages, 5 more giants were born into the earth, continually filling the earth before the flood.

 

VANISHING OF TWO STRAINS INTO ONE

 

Generations before the flood, God is heard in Genesis 6:2 to refer to one strain of mankind as the sons of God. This group, though death flowed in their bloodstream, did possess the ability to receive revelation from God whereby they could be led seeing they walked by revealed faith. While on the other hand, he referred to the gigantic structure of people in the Cainite race simply as men, meaning men with no spiritual mentality whatsoever, no relation or no fellowship with God. Yet, by the time the flood arrives, mankind is not referred to as two different strains, instead it is only one and God refers now to man as flesh or simply a purely carnally minded man who has always been at enmity with God (Romans 8:5-8). As I stated, the strain of mankind to suffer the greatest or to receive the greatest setback through that of this intermarriage was those revelated sons of God because Cain’s line already polluted with death and every evil attribute or characteristic had nothing to lose other than the disappearance of their own race eventually into that of the offspring who were eventually drowned in the flood. No, Cain’s lineage had no moral or spiritual breakdown to transpire, they never possessed any. Naturally, as the two strains continually crossed through polygamy intermarriages, as generations pass, there could not remain those two separate distinct strains of humanity. Both with all their attributes and characteristics will be absorbed into one lineage of mankind. The offspring of the sons of God generation after generation completely lost their ability to hear what the Spirit had to say to His people of the hour. Proof that no one could hear God through the preaching of His word by the time the flood came is proven in the fact Noah preached 120 years and is the only man who could hear God concerning the warning judgment. If others could hear, why did they drown when they could have gotten on the ark. God sees man before the flood after Genesis 6 now so fleshly minded that his constant thoughts deal only with satisfying that of his fleshly lower nature. That high moral standard once found within the Adamic race is now gone. Enoch seeing Methuselah almost 300 and thinking any day he might be taken draws still closer to the Lord as polygamy through intermarriage has now become the acceptable thing of society with mankind as God lifts Enoch off the earth through translation, Hebrews 11:5.

 

NOAH BUILDS ARK

 

Methuselah, a sign to the age, is still alive when God tells Noah to build his ark. Yes, God found one man, Noah, in that generation before the flood who still possessed the ability to hear God speak. Through revelated faith, Noah built an ark to the saving of his household, yet no one Noah preached to in the 120 years had the ability within their spiritual makeup to even hear the judgment warning of God in Noah’s message.

 

 PERVERSION OF SEX

 

Bypassing polygamy momentarily, something we are fully aware was transpiring in that hour. Let us discuss something else of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 24. Noah’s age was also an age of perversion of the sex life, even to that of a Sodomite condition of homosexuality. As it was in the days of Noah, declared Jesus, so would it be in the days of the coming of the son of man. Yes, Christ compared the endtime moral condition to be that condition found in Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities in the plains of Jericho destroyed by fire in Abraham’s day, which were given over to perversion of sex. Therefore, is there any wonder that clergy of various movements are now moving away from their hard core stand of scripture on homosexuality, saying it is now only a way of life that must be accepted, not only by society, but the church as well.

 

GENETIC DISTURBANCE REVEALED IN NOAH

 

However, in spite of this terrible breakdown in genetic structure which began through polygamy and resulted in the flood, watch how God still worked in that of his perfect order or original plan in marriage of one man to one woman as the flood came. Noah lived in the climax of an age of this dreadful genetic disturbance, a disturbance genetically which began generations before Noah’s time, but had now succeeded in polluting the blood stream of all mankind with Cainite attributes or characteristics. Noah was 500 years old before he begat three sons: Shem, Ham, Japeth, each who maintained enough of their father’s characteristics to grow up to marry only one wife each. However, to show you how by this hour the genetic structure of mankind had become so confused and fouled up through that of intermarriage look for a moment into Noah’s own family and see that born from 6 his own loins came a son whose name was Ham which in the Hebrew means burnt black. I’ll comment no further on this only to say that although some very strange characteristics or attributes broke through in Ham’s life after the flood when he saw his father’s nakedness (Genesis 9:20-25). Nevertheless, Ham, like Shem and Japeth, was truly a legitimate son of Noah, and Noah along with his three sons, married to only one wife each, got on board the ark, was spared from destruction and were used to repopulate the earth.

 

PERFECT IN HIS GENERATION

 

God started the race of mankind out with only one man married to one woman and even though the marriage relation between that of one man and one woman became polluted many times over. The flood washed that all away and all that was saved aboard ship was Noah and his one wife, his three sons and their one wife each. When God looked upon Noah and declared only Noah had found grace in His eyes and was a perfect and just man in his generation (Genesis 6:8-9), God was not comparing Noah’s righteousness unto that of previous generations of sons of God such as Enoch or generations before the age once it had become so horrible. No, God is comparing Noah not by Enoch and Seth’s generation, but by the standards of his own generation (Genesis 7:1). Hence, God declared Noah just and perfect man in comparison to that which was going on around him.

 

GOD CHOOSES HUMANITY NEAREST ORIGINAL

 

The fact Noah, who only had one wife, was chosen out of his generation, found grace in the eyes of the Lord shows God, as near as possible, had chosen the man whose moral character could best exemplify, under extreme present conditions as to what it had all been in the beginning with one man and one woman.

 

LOADING THE ARK

 

(ONE MALE, ONE FEMALE) Please observe for a moment in Genesis 7:2 even the arrangement of the loading of animals into this ark of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by 7’s, the male and his female and the beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. The fowls of the air, God said to Noah, thou shalt take by 7’s the male and the female to keep seed alive upon the face of the earth. Yes beloved, even in the loading of the animal kingdom we notice how it is, the male and his female, carried on board for the new age exactly as it was in the original beginning with the animal kingdom. No, it wasn’t one stallion and 4 mares put on the ark, but one male with his one female perfectly in line with the choosing of mankind, straight down the line. God chose Noah to be the pregenerator of the new race. God said, as for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation (Genesis 7:1). Noah had one wife as did his 3 sons each only have one wife. Spiritual-wise, they would truly fall short in that of their great contact and understanding as to what God’s divine will was as that will and purpose was understood by Seth and other great leaders who followed him in a much greater hour before this dreadful crossing of the two strains of humanity began in Genesis 6:1-2. Nevertheless, Noah was God’s man for that hour. The moral picture and character which they represented was as close to the original picture as God could possibly find in that degenerate hour of flesh . Please remember, that which is now in the ark is one male and his female to be used for mating, giving unto mankind another beginning upon this planet. This does, by no means, imply once everything starts out all over afresh and new, that this will bring them back to the beginning as things were in Eden before the fall. No, beloved, that would be totally impossible seeing especially what mankind did to himself after the fall. Nevertheless, it did provide mankind another new start, to undo the extremes mankind had brought into the earth.

 

POLYGAMY AFTER THE FLOOD

 

Follow our subject on marriage with one man to one woman, polygamy, etc., now on across the flood. Noah and his family with all the animals are back down safely upon the earth and mankind once again begins to multiply. Along with this multiplication, what do we see still remaining in the picture. Polygamy. Polygamy is seen once again springing forth within the righteous line which God intends to use for His glory. It is shown to be a way of life some 9-10 generations past the flood as we pick up our first major biblical character. This man lived in the land of Mesopotamia in a city called Ur. His name was Abram, who would later be called Abraham and who no doubt could remember Shem (Noah’s son) in his olden days. Recall, when Abraham was first called upon to leave his homeland and go into Canaan, Genesis 12:1-3, God promised him a son. Sarah, 7 Abraham’s only wife, was barren.

 

SARAH INTRODUCES POLYGAMY

 

Abraham reached 90 years of age and still had no child. After waiting so long for the promised son, Sarah thought it her duty to help God out somewhat by giving unto Abraham Hagar, her Egyptian handmaid to also be his wife. From this union, Ishmael was born (Genesis 16:1-16). Here, through the very man God has chosen to propagate a special race of people who would worship him, we see in our first biblical patriarch who was a prophet of God, polygamy being brought into his household. No, don’t jump the track and do something foolish, because polygamy was never God’s ordained route. As we saw in the beginning of the Garden of Eden, His ordained route was one man and one woman living together, not one man and two or three women. We saw also at the close of the age when polygamy and every other evil was raging that God chose to propagate the new world through a man who had only one wife as well as did his 3 sons in turn have only one wife each. Nevertheless, it goes to show that once polygamy had been introduced to mankind through Cain’s line as Lamech took himself two wives (Genesis 4:19) polygamy was still being practiced on the other side of the flood and Sarah was willing to be used in introducing it unto Abraham, Genesis 16:3. Years later, God gave unto Sarah the promise she would conceive and bare a son and Isaac would be his name. Had Sarah only known the will of God, she would have known polygamy was not the answer to give unto Abraham his promised son. (Genesis 10:9-10).

 

WHAT EGYPTIAN BONDAGE DID TO MARRIAGE VOWS

 

From the birth of Isaac, down into the period of Egyptian bondage, we note the spread of polygamy through Abraham’s seed once they began to multiply. Polygamy became a normal standard practice of life with many of the biblical patriarchs who followed. Jacob, for instance, who worked 14 years for 2 women, Genesis 29:11- 35, was also given by Leah and Rachel, their 2 handmaidens, Genesis 30:3-9. From these four women were born 12 sons who were destined to become the 12 tribes of Israel and it was these 12 sons with their children who were led into Egyptian captivity 430 years. Following that long 430 years of Egyptian bondage, we finally reach an hour when a law dealing with moral problems was at last given to Israel wherein God now begins to deal with the subject of adultery and fornication which is the complete extreme to that which was in the original plan in the beginning. The children of Israel having been forced to remain in Egyptian bondage over 400 years had produced children by the multitudes of thousands and no doubt under these unfortunate circumstances in which they were placed while in bondage, by the hour God delivered them the moral scene of the children of Israel was pathetic. Bound in slavery, home life of the married Israeli couples was continually disrupted and torn apart by circumstances beyond their control and secondly because Israel, 400 years in bondage, had been without the knowledge of God’s perfect will in this sacred matter. Certainly by now there was a moral situation existing in Israel of such a nature that God must do something about it. Following their deliverance out of Egypt through the Red Sea and into the wilderness, God led them to Mt. Sinai where He presented unto them a law which began dealing, among other things, with the moral sin of men and women. Beloved, a man through the ages has played with this law; nevertheless, with God’s help, let us study it in its true light pertaining to our subject. Recall how in Eden it all began. The picture started out being one man married unto one woman didn’t it? Then Cain’s lineage interrupted that picture by introducing polygamy, something that still remains and I want to call your attention to the fact that once we come to the law age of Mt. Sinai we do not see God doing one thing in Israel to undo polygamy. Why didn’t God touch polygamy? Watch close, polygamy, even though it was not the true order of the beginning, is alive and it is here and wherever that Israeli man had taken a 2nd or 3rd woman into one family to be his wife, it at least provided those children born to that polygamy union a home to live in and someone to call mama and daddy.

 

TYPES AND SHADOWS

 

Approaching the inspired law of God for Israel, we must examine it exactly as Moses taught the law to the Israelites, yet still bearing in mind that certain things placed within the law can serve only as types and shadows which project a beautiful picture into the grace age affecting only the relationship between Christ and his one bride or wife-to-be, the revelated, virgin word church. Crossing out of the law age into the grace age, we are 8 able to see those types, which under law were exemplified between that of the natural man and women in their relationship toward each other. Their relationship to each other projected that relationship of Christ in a spiritual capacity to that of the virgin word church and vice versa. Moreover, we must recognize the effects of those types (in the law) which deals with that of the moral situations and circumstances, how that once man, through the new birth, comes under the grace age covenant these things all lose their grip upon mortal man seeing he is now governed by the law of Christ. Many things in the Old Testament law which involved the relationship of the woman to that of her husband points straight to the gentile church who is pictured also as the female species, the bride and wife-to-be of this man Christ Jesus therefore hold no bounds upon mortal man and woman once borne into the grace age.

 

NEW MARRIAGE REGULATION UNDER LAW

 

In the law connected with our subject, we desire to now look into the two offices of the Levitical priesthood as well as the man in the Israelite congregation in relationship to him taking a wife or, in other words, who he may or may not choose as a wife. For that study we begin in Lev. 21:1-3, however before we deal with that ministry of the priests, may I remind you there are two orders or two bodies of Levitical priests represented in the Levitical priestly body of Leviticus 21. First, the scripture addresses its statements to that of the ministering priests of the temple and secondly, it will address its statements unto that office of the high priest. First off, in Lev. 21:1-3 Moses declares there shall none of these ministering priests (not the high priests) of the temple which are many, be defiled for the dead among his people only to that of his nearest kin. Exactly what is Moses saying? A young Levitical priest can visit only the dead corpse of his immediate family which would include his mother, father, brother, son, daughter or virgin sister, no distant kin or any other. Now God forbid that we should attempt to bring such requirements over into the grace age upon a New Testament ministry. Moreover, we must recognize this had to exemplify a certain character in Christ himself, because Jesus as a prophet in Israel never attended a funeral where He did not change death into life. However, bear in mind this requirement concerning the visitation of the dead (close kin) has no reference whatsoever toward that office of the high priest. It speaks strictly concerning that of the ministering priests who carry on many functions around the temple in behalf of the people of Israel. If you will read verses 4-6, you will find still more qualifications for the ministering priests only concerning things he couldn’t do; however, in verse 7, Moses begins to discuss who it is that this ministering body of priests could take or not take unto himself for a wife and remember again, this is not the qualifications for the high priests whose qualifications we shall examine next. Verse 7 declares the ministering priest could not take unto themselves a wife who was a harlot woman or profaned, neither shall they take a woman put away from that of her husband because remember, as we shall later study, Moses gave the one qualification for a man to put away a wife (she could be divorced only on the grounds of unfaithfulness in her relationship of her husband) she could marry another man, but she could never marry a priest for the priest is holy unto his God. Verse 8 declares he offers the bread of thy God; therefore, he is holy and sanctified unto the Lord. Verse 9 declares a daughter of any priest if she profanes herself by playing the harlot she has profaned her father and shall be burned with fire. We might also add one more qualification to that of a woman which a priest could marry. According to Ezek. 44:24 the ministering priest could marry a widow of another priest as well as a virgin woman.

 

QUALIFICATIONS OF A HIGH PRIEST

 

Bear in mind the above qualifications of the ministering priest office in marriage to a woman does not apply to that of a high priest office. Watch carefully as we see the qualifications now laid down for a high priest of Israel. Remember how in verse 1-3 the ministering priests could only go unto their nearest of kin who had died; however, according to verse 10 the office of the high priest among his brethren whose head has been anointed with one and is consecrated to wear the garment of the high priest shall not uncover his head or rent his clothes, neither shall he go into any dead body. No, not even his father or mother. See, the high priest can’t even be around the dead no matter who they are.

 

HIGH PRIEST FORESHADOWS ANOTHER OFFICE

 

Why was there such strict restrictions or qualifications laid upon the high priest of Israel in the law age? 9 Because that high priest characterized the man Christ who is the high priest of the grace age and at no time could Israel’s high priest stand in the presence of death, only that which had life. Why, because the high priest is the only man of all the ministering priests anointed to stand in the Holy of Holies within the temple where certainly there is no death present. Watch what he exemplifies. He exemplifies the man Christ Jesus who was a prophet in this world, became a sacrifice on the cross and ascended into heaven where according to Heb. 9:1-15 as well as Heb. 10:19-22 the man Christ filled the office of that high priest, standing in the Holy of Holies on the right hand of the majesty of the power on high where beloved, there is no death, ever. The man Christ Jesus, our high priest, is the perfect example of eternal life standing, ministering in the Holy of Holies in behalf of those within the grace age where nothing exists but eternal life. Therefore beloved, Israel’s high priest was a foreshadow of another high priest office which would be ministering in the heavenlies. That is why the high priest of Israel, representing the law, could never stand where death was present. He exemplified Christ our high priest.

 

A WOMAN THE HIGH PRIEST COULD MARRY

 

Now please note in verse 13 the only kind of woman Israel’s high priests could ever take for a wife, he shall take a wife in her virginity. Don’t get the two offices confused. This was not the requirement we saw for the ministering priests of the temple. I am sure you are already aware of why. The high priest of the grace age, the man Christ Jesus will one day leave his office as high priest in the Holy of Holies and return to take unto himself a wife, a church who is strictly a virgin. Christ, who is now our high priest in the grace age, will one day come and take unto himself a virgin bride, revelated Word, hallelujah! Therefore beloved, can you now see the difference in the qualifications between those two offices of those two kinds of priests among the Levitical priesthood represented under the old covenant as to who they could and could not marry. It is only the high priest who must marry a virgin because he represents the high priest of the grace age who shall take unto himself a virgin word church which is referred to in the feminine species. Nothing was said concerning the ministering priests absolutely having to marry only a virgin. They were even permitted to marry a deceased priest’s wife, Ezek. 44:22. We must see this high priest office of the Old Testament exemplifies the Christ our high priest of the grace age; therefore, he can marry no one other than a virgin to exemplify Christ will marry only his virgin church. Hence, wouldn’t it be rather foolish to try to take this virgin qualification over into the grace age and tack it onto the local ministry in the grace age today.

 

PRIESTS & POLYGAMY

 

Furthermore, we note within the law whenever Israel was not in apostasy, but walking upright before God, obeying the law to the letter, we do not find the role of polygamy stated as being a practice among that Levitical priestly line. Perhaps not until you reach the time of the Judges, during that terrible hour of apostasy in Israel’s history when every man was doing what was right in his own eyes, will you ever find polygamy being practiced among the Levitical ministering priests, although as I stated, in the true order of the priestly line polygamy was seldom ever practiced. KINGS & POLYGAMY Nevertheless, not so with the case among the period of the kings. Many kings of Israel, as well as devout men referred to as prophets, inspired and guided by the Lord, practiced polygamy. David, King of Israel, a man God considered after His own heart and one who was somewhat in the minor capacity of the prophetic line of a prophet had no less than four wives about whom we know. Yes, many kings of Israel practiced polygamy and beloved, never once in holy scripture, although it is not God’s divine plan, do we see God tear up one of these polygamy homes. Understand, I am not advocating polygamy. We are merely examining it and making our comments as it appears within the scriptures. Recall, when David looked down and saw Bathsheba and desired her, the scripture declares God angrily frowned upon their act of adultery in so much that when she brought their child, born out of wedlock, into David’s palace, God refused to allow the child to live. He refused to allow the child to live because He would not permit that child to follow in the royal line of the kingship of Israel. However, David’s second legitimate son, Solomon, by Bathsheba after he had taken her unto himself as one of his wives, was perhaps the greatest polygamist of all times with his 700 wives (I Kings 11:3). However, 10 at no time do we ever find God condemning or destroying any one of these polygamy homes. Yet, in each case He thoroughly punished every act of adultery. WHY VIRGIN? Having studied the requirements of the two offices of the Levitical priesthood concerning the women each office of men might marry, we saw the high priest was required precisely to marry a virgin only. Why? Because he represented the man Christ, the high priest of the grace age, who one day shall marry strictly a virgin church.

 

PROVISION MADE IN LAW FOR DIVORCE

 

Turn with us now to Deut. 22 where we shall begin with a number of different examples according to the law dealing with the subject of marriage and divorce among that level of the Jewish men who merely attended the congregation. (1) In Deut. 22:13-29 we are shown our first illustrations and some of these illustrations you may find most shocking, especially the last case we will thoroughly study found in Deut. 24:1-4. You who are interested in this subject should read carefully Deut. 22:13-19. Here we are shown a case wherein a man wanted to put away his wife, but had no legal grounds to do so; therefore, he was stuck with her. As would all similar cases be when Israel observed the law to the letter.

 

GUILTY WOMAN STONED, NOT DIVORCED

 

Now that you have carefully read the scripture, let us paraphrase it for clarity. Say a Jewish boy takes a Jewish girl to wife and lives with her for sometime. Then for some reason he discovers now he no longer loves her; therefore, he begins searching for the needed, acceptable excuse whereby he can rid himself of her. The idea comes to him to spread a falsehood concerning her virginity which, if proven, would free him seeing the elders would stone her to death. Therefore, he declares he came in unto her and to his amazement he found she was not a virgin; however, her parents bring before the city elders the token (blood stained cloth) proving her virginity on her wedding night. The husband’s charges are proven untrue and he is charged 100 shekels of silver which must be paid to the girl’s father. Now get this, seeing he has no acceptable grounds to put her away, this girl must remain his wife till death separates them. The scripture declares he may never put her away all the days of his life. Why? Because he could not produce grounds to show unfaithfulness to him and he is bound to her the rest of her life. There isn’t anything he can do because his charges were false and there wasn’t any other grounds in Israel for a separation when the Jewish rabbis heeded the letter of the law. However, let us say the charges brought against the wife were proved to be true. What happens to the woman then? Verse 21 declares who shall then be taken by the men of the city and shall be stoned outside her father’s house that she die because she hath wrought folly in Israel to play the harlot in her father’s house. BOTH PARTIES STONED Continuing on in Deut. 22:22 with out next example, if a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both the guilty man and woman shall die, that evil may be put away from Israel. Note, the scripture declares both man and woman shall die, not merely the woman who was taken in adultery, such as was the case in St. John 8:1-11. Why did Jesus not condemn this woman taken in the very act of adultery, John 8:4? Recall, Jesus on one occasion called those scribes and Pharisees a generation of serpents and vipers. A viper is a poisonous reptile whose nature is, in order to get at its victim it will go ahead and lie in the path waiting for the unsuspecting victim. That is exactly the spirit these scribes and pharisees showed toward Jesus. They had laid a trap for their victim. They had taken a woman in the very act of adultery and brought her unto Jesus declaring, Master, Moses’ law demands us to stone her (Deut. 22:22) but what do you say? This they did tempting him, hoping that somewhere they might have something whereby they could accuse Him of speaking out against Moses’ law. I repeat, nowhere on this subject did Christ ever speak contrary to Moses, instead he always vindicated what Moses had already stated. However, this was not a scripture of Moses. Moses declared both the man and woman taken in the act of adultery should be stoned. Where then was the man? Why wasn’t he brought for stoning also? Why was only the woman brought? See, a serpent’s spirit simply can’t obey the scripture if it had to. Moses had not commanded the woman alone be stoned, but declared both to be stoned.

 

WRITING IN SAND THAT CONDEMNED

 

11 When the Pharisees asked, but what do you say we do with her, Jesus simply stooped down and began to write in the sand. What do you suppose he wrote that so condemned every one of these religious leaders until, one by one, they left? (Strange, none of his preaching ever condemned them, but here something did.) After He remarked, let him who is without sin cast the first stone, He just kept on writing something in the sand. It may be purely speculation, but I feel it definitely merits thought. I believe whatever He was writing on the ground was condemning and shaming these men causing them to all leave. When He said he that is without sin, He could have been writing a certain sin they wanted to condemn the poor woman on. In other words, how could the pot call the kettle black? This alone should have proven to the Pharisees He was no ordinary man. Christ knew the law and furthermore, He knew they had not observed it seeing they had brought only the woman. No doubt, had they brought both the man and woman, they would have been stoned, but this was a trap to force Jesus to speak against the law, which He never did. Hence, we often hear people today saying, oh, but Christ forgave that adulterous woman. Sure, but I ask you, why? This was no ordinary case, for scripture had been broken by these Pharisees and Scribes in refusing to bring the guilty man along also. Our third case appears in Deut. 22:23-24. If a girl is engaged to a man and another (a different man other than her fiancé) lays with her, both shall be stoned. Such as was Joseph’s first impression as what would happen to Mary, his espoused wife, before the angel told him she was with child of the Holy Ghost. Matt. 1:18-20. However, Mary had done nothing worthy of being stoned nor being put away privily (secretly divorced). Yes, if a girl, engaged to a man, lays with another man, Moses said bring them both outside the city gate and stone them to death. Why? Because the girl, being in the city, did not cry out and the man is stoned because he humbled his neighbor’s wife. This was an open and shut case of adultery. However, watch verse 25. If the man find a girl who is engaged to a man and he forces her to lie with him, then the man only shall die. Why? Because this is definitely a case of rape, but we have still another case shown to us in verse 28. If a girl is not engaged to anyone and she is a virgin and a man finds her and lays with her, then the man shall give unto her father 50 shekels of silver and must take her for his wife and note, he may never put her away all the days of his life. Here beloved, we see what Moses declares God says in His law concerning the guilty as well as the innocent involved in the intimate relationship.

 

ONCE DIVORCED, FOREVER DIVORCED

 

Having discussed these cases and seeing what the law actually declares concerning each case, we turn to Deut. 24 to see where a legal divorce can enter into a Jewish marriage and I ask you to observe closely the most shocking truth concerning the woman who is actually guilty of uncleanness. See what happens to her, how it is possible, though she did commit an act with another man other than her husband, this is the only ground whereby she may be legally put away by a bill of divorcement from her first husband and note, she shall be free to go marry another. This may startle you, but we are now ready to touch and perhaps jar the gentile mind with a few scriptural statements which even our Lord Jesus Christ himself vindicated and declared to be the only possible grounds for a divorce and this divorce provides the guilty woman the right to go and be married unto another man and if this man, for some reason, hate her or her second husband dies, she may, under no circumstances, ever return to her first husband and become his wife. Why is this impossible? He divorced her and must now remain separated from her.

 

WHAT HAPPENS ONCE DIVORCE IS GRANTED

 

Deut. 24:1 declares when a man hath taken a wife and married her and it comes to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath (actually) found some uncleanness (unfaithfulness or open prostitution) in her then let him write her a bill of divorcement and give it into her hand and send her out of his house. (The rest we must examine carefully for this is the part Jesus continually verified). Yes, here is the very verse that was the base on which Christ later stood in His teaching on the subject of marriage and divorce. Verse 2 and when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her and write her a bill of divorcement and giveth it in her hand and send her out of house or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife, her former husband which sent her away (the first time) may not (ever) take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled for that is an abomination unto the Lord. See, that first husband, having 12 divorced her can never under any circumstances ever receive her back as a wife. Why? Because it is what that bill of divorcement represents. Later, we shall see what the bill represents spiritually.

 

ONLY GROUNDS WHEREBY WOMAN COULD REMARRY

 

Now much is needed to be said here to clear up several points in our puzzled minds before we actually approach the teachings of Christ on this subject, for here will be the main point throughout Christ’s ministry He is seen defending. True, Moses never heard the actual Greek word (recorded by the King James translation) found in Matt. 5:32 except it be for fornication, which is of course adultery. The King James version records Moses as having used the phrase, found some uncleanness in her. However, the Lamsa translation reads, “if a man take a wife and lie with her and if she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some evidence of open prostitution in her, then let him write her a bill of divorcement.” But what happens to the guilty woman? She is then free to go be another man’s wife. She could remarry. Did you hear what God said? She who was actually unfaithful in her marriage vows may be put away through a bill of divorcement, leaving her free to go be another man’s wife, however if the second husband puts her away or dies, under no circumstances could she ever return to her first husband to be his wife. Beloved, how often have you heard religious people declare, oh, if she is married to a second husband, in order to ever be right with God she must return to the first husband. Why beloved, that is totally contrary to what the Almighty God did say. He said just the opposite. God said she may never return to her first husband who had put her away on the only ground for obtaining a divorce, that of open prostitution or uncleanness.

 

HUSBAND COULD FORGIVE

 

Bear in mind, that first husband, although he did find open prostitution in his wife, he didn’t have to put her away. He could have forgiven her if he so desired and she would have remained his wife. Remember, when Jesus was asked that followup question by those religious leaders, why then did Moses grant us the right to put wives away (Matt. 19:7)? Remember, Moses only declared a man could, if he wanted to, put away his wife if he had found open prostitution or unfaithfulness in her. Jesus said unto those Pharisees in answer to their second question, Moses granted you this one right or one ground because of the hardness of your heart to put your wife away and if it was on that one ground she could go be another man’s wife without being an adulteress.

 

ADULTERY – SINFUL YET FORGIVABLE

 

Let it be understood, this verse is not endorsing adultery. Adultery is sinful, but adultery is not the unpardonable sin as some think. It is forgivable. No, the Jewish man didn’t have to put his Jewish wife away, it was in his own power to forgive her. Yet, because the Lord knew even though the woman had done wrong that her husband, because of the hardness of his own heart, could never find it in his heart to forgive his wife for her act of open prostitution, rather than see this man and woman living under such terrible circumstances in the home, God says, all right because of the hardness of your heart (man) you go ahead and write her a bill of divorcement thereby she may go and be another man’s wife, but I will tell you one thing, once she becomes another man’s wife, you will never get her back. She will never be able to return to you after this and ever be your wife again. Beloved, contrary as it may seem to what we have always thought, I ask you what could be more clear than what this scripture is actually teaching? The Jewish man could not divorce his wife for just any cause, as people were guilty of doing some 1400 years after the law came when Jesus arrived on the scene and rebuked them for their loose way of living for just any and every cause and telling them they could not do this for any other cause except it be for fornication (sexually unfaithful). If you do, you cause that woman to be guilty of adultery in remarrying. Jesus, like Moses, declared if she be put away for any cause other than uncleanness or open prostitution against her husband and she is married to another, she would definitely be in adultery, only the grounds of uncleanness (adultery) could keep the woman from being in adultery. Divorce, for any other cause, would mean she would be in adultery should she marry again.

 

 DIVORCE FOR “ANY CAUSE” FORBIDDEN

 

No, he couldn’t simply get angry with her and obtain a divorce like so many were doing some 1400 years later when Jesus arrived on the scene. She couldn’t refuse to cook his meals and other things and him obtain a 13 divorce. Those are simply not grounds for a divorce. However, if a divorce was granted on grounds other than unfaithfulness and the woman remarried, then she would be in adultery. Nevertheless, on any grounds was the way they were interpreting Moses’ law 1400 years later and Jesus was pulling them back to the truth of the scripture saying there never has been but one ground for a divorce. And remember this point, he may give her a bill of divorcement on that one ground of open prostitution or unfaithfulness. Yet, once that first husband divorces that woman, divorce has forever separated the two. That is thus saith the word unto the Jewish people under the law age. I am sure most of us would declare, because of what we have been taught, that the woman would surely be an adulteress having married the second time and if she ever hoped to be in fellowship with God, she would most assuredly (by religious standards) leave that second husband returning to the first one who divorced her. Religion says that God says I forbid her to ever go back to that first husband (even though she was guilty). The only chance of not being in adultery with her second husband was that her first husband had put her away on the only legal grounds, uncleanness or open prostitution or as Jesus said, the grounds of fornication. But if he does, he can never have her back. The true teaching found in the law of Deut. 24:1-4, that open prostitution by a married woman was the only grounds whereby Moses’ law granted a divorce as shown in the inspired word of God and that divorce then was only granted because of the hardness of the man’s heart in the face he simply could never forgive her for her unfaithfulness.

 

 WHY GOD COULDN’T DIVORCE ISRAEL

 

Another illustration that we should touch upon showing forth the putting away of a woman, but not divorcing her wherein at a later time she may be received back into the marital program as a wife is illustrated through the life and ministry of Hosea the prophet. In the story that Hosea and his harlot wife portrays, shows the relationship of God to Israel, who in the spiritual sense, had taken as a wife but had lived adulterously with other lovers while in His house or land. God chooses Hosea, a righteous prophet, to portray a role which tells a story of Israel’s history once God found her and spread His skirt over her, taking her unto Himself as His wife. Our setting is around the 8th century B.C. and the 10 tribes of Israel have become polluted in their adulterous ways. May I say, that among God’s prophets such men as Hosea, Isaiah, prophets of this caliber, most of them were married men. However, they never practiced polygamy. Hosea, a godly man, will prophesy through his role in this picture something that will ring through the ages and beloved, its fulfillment is even taking place today because God is calling His wife Israel back home. How can God receive her back unto himself. Simple, he never divorced her, only sent her away. However, had divorce been granted, God could never receive her back unto himself in a wife relationship.

 

WOMAN CAN’T DIVORCE HUSBAND

 

The woman, you recall in Israel’s history, women of that nationality, could be put away by their husbands; however, if they ever divorced they might never under no circumstances return unto them. This, of course, was a setting of the natural, illustrating that of the spiritual realm wherein God could put Israel away. However, if she was ever to return to Him, He couldn’t divorce her. Once that divorce was issued, that was the final separation between the first husband and his wife forever. Women under the Jewish law, under no circumstances could divorce her husband; however, only on one ground he could divorce her. This too is to show the role of Israel with God. Israel may never put the eternal Spirit God away. However, God could put her away for a period of time, which He did. Although now, since 1948, she has been returning unto Him, the process is not over dealing with the nation Israel even yet. We won’t see that beautiful reunion until the millennium when all lovers forever will be cast aside. No, God has simply cut her away for a period of time. He didn’t divorce her in order that she one day would return to Him when she is through playing the harlot. All this transpires in the relationship of Israel and God as it is exemplified and characterized by the dedicated life of Hosea the prophet, who God instructs to take unto himself a wife of whoredom. How terrible, yet if Hosea is to play the role of God in the natural that Israel may see something, he can by no means take unto himself a virtuous wife. Because to portray Israel she has to be a woman of a low moral character. God desires to show Israel, through this story, what he is prepared to do unto her, this adulterous woman who is guilty of playing the harlot with many lovers, meaning many kingdoms, gods or deities. Israel, as a nation, had committed against 14 God every kind of relationship possible with that of her lovers. And that is exactly why the nation Israel had to be dispersed for thousands of years (beginning with the dispersion of the 10 tribes). Here throughout the story of Hosea and his harlot wife is God’s way of saying to Israel, all right you go out and make love to these fellows, but while you are doing to stay out of my house (his land). So God gave them up, no, God didn’t divorce her, he merely sent her out declaring while you are running around being an unfaithful wife, don’t come back here to me. It is all God’s way in his treatment of his wife Israel. To make a long story short, Hosea took this no good woman to wife in order to illustrate God’s qualities in his own relationship with adulterous Israel, even through the birth of children, born unto Hosea and this harlot woman. The children’s names further imply God’s relationship in his dealings with Israel his wife, showing that through a long period of time she would be away from him, but finally she would return as a true wife. Keep in mind Deut. 24:1-4. Had God divorced Israel she could never have returned unto him. See, Deut. 24 etc. was God’s natural laws set up to govern the local Jewish families which, in return, illustrated Israel’s relationship toward God in that of husband and wife. Remember, God could not put Israel away by divorce as was illustrated by the family life of the people of Israel in that of wife and husband relationship. The woman could never put the man away, showing Israel could never put God, her husband, away anymore than the church could put Christ away. Yet once divorce enters the picture, that finishes it for that particular couple. On the one proper ground for divorce, the male of the Old Testament, whether it be priest, king, prophet or the man of the congregation, the man could always put away the woman; however, one thing rings loud and clear, absolutely no where in the law was a provision made whereby a wife could divorce her husband. Were she to do that, she would in turn destroy or spoil her natural type which she portrays of the spiritual. Not even the grace age would permit a woman to divorce her husband; however, the one thing God did permit Paul to say under grace in this behalf will be revealed once we touch I Cor. 7.

 

WHY WOMAN COULDN’T PUT AWAY HUSBAND

 

Although this is one thing people surely enjoy hammering on, we might ask the question why did God characterize that the woman could never put away the man? Simply because the Jewish man, though born under the law and subject to the law and all its penalties, was none other than a type of Christ and shows in this captivity that if the church goes a whoring, Christ could put her away but never divorce her seeing once she is divorced nothing in history could ever return her to him to be his wife. Therefore, we note the same with God and Israel, he merely put her out, not divorce her because of her whoredom. Therefore, one day she shall completely return unto him, never again to look at another lover.

 

CHURCH CAN’T DIVORCE CHRIST

 

Bear in mind, although the Jewish man was given permission to put away his Jewish wife because of her unfaithfulness, she could by no means ever put him away. As we said, this was done to show forth that exampleship how the church may never divorce Christ. This by no means implies that Jewish man is lifted upon the same level to that of Christ. God forbid! History proves many of those men have been as wicked as can be. That is unfair to the woman, someone will say. No, it isn’t unfair because she must play that role in her type also and remember the same law which would not permit her to put away her husband would also protect her in the fact that if she truly upheld in her heart humbly the true ordinances of God and for some reason she had a no-good husband, as shown illustrated in I Sam. 25:3-39, God will free that woman by having that nogood man killed and leave the godfearing woman free to go and choose herself another mate. God is just God. Don’t think for a moment, under the law, God was going to make an Israelite woman hew the line and allow the Sanhedrin court to crack the whip over the head while the man, as no-good as he could be, let him get by. God forbid! In that law, it meant this: A no-good man got the goods the same as did the woman. However, when there was no Sanhedrin court in the land to execute judgment or who wouldn’t treat the man as he, under the law, should be treated, why then should God allow the same law to be executed on the woman? This I state in order to show you what the courts of the rabbis were doing in the day of Jesus Christ. Why, they were doing exactly the same thing with God’s law as the modern gentile church world and her national courts of the land are doing today.

 

CHRIST TEACHING ON DIVORCE

 

Turning now to the New Testament, a period still some three years under the law age before the grace age begins, and perhaps some 13 years or more before we will begin seeing gentiles converted to Christ and coming into the grace age (Acts 10). Our story now jumps 1400 years, up to the hour of Christ’s ministry. It has been roughly 1400 years since Moses received the law and penned the inspirational passages of Lev. 21, Deut. 22 & 24, passages we have studied. Don’t forget the Spirit of Christ or the Holy Spirit here in Christ is the very same spirit called the Father, speaking out of this vessel of clay named Jesus (who is both Lord and Christ) in that sermon on the mountain is exactly the same eternal one Spirit who was with Moses at Mt. Sinai and inspired him to write the law. THE SAME SPIRIT Hence, do you think the Holy spirit of God could possibly cause Moses to say one thing and here 1400 years later in the ministry of Christ, his son made under the law (Gal. 4:4), possibly allow him to speak something contrary to what Moses said 1400 years earlier. No beloved, He is the same Spirit who gave to Moses the law, now in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself He is the same, He is a consistent God.

 

NO NEW DOCTRINE FOR ISRAEL

 

Christ will have no new law to present the people of Israel on this subject of marriage and divorce. Instead, He will vindicate Moses’ law teaching on the subject, declaring exactly as Moses did, there is only one ground whereby a man may obtain a divorce from his wife, Deut. 24:1-4. If she is put away for any other cause, Christ declares as did Moses, she would be an adulteress, however (both said) if she is put away on this one ground of uncleanliness (amplified version translates indecency) and remarries, she is not an adulteress. Beloved, there are many words which could be used (that are identical in meaning) along with this word used by the King James translators called fornication.

 

DIVORCING ON ANY GROUNDS

 

Are you aware when Christ preached that sermon on the mountain, He was not asked one question concerning marriage and divorce? No question prompted him, He simply knew what was going on in the society of His day. Furthermore, recall He who knew the thoughts of all men never needed anyone to ask him a question in order to declare something. He knew what was in people’s minds. The scripture declares Christ would often make certain statements prompted from the thoughts in people’s minds. It is the thoughts of the people here as they listen to Christ and knowing the Jewish society of His hour, how they had forsaken the true interpretation of Moses’ teachings concerning the subject of marriage and divorce that prompts Christ’s statement. The rabbis are now issuing divorces for any grounds. No longer did divorce merit the only grounds of open prostitution which is uncleanness, fornication, adultery, now it was divorce for any cause. Why? Because this is what the present Jewish society was doing and we must remember any answer Christ gives to religious leaders after He brought in adultery in His sermon on the mount was never contrary to any of Moses’ teachings on the subject, although to some it might appear so. There will always remain under Jewish law governing Jewish people that one legal ground stated throughout the law age for a man to divorce his wife which could keep the woman herself free from adultery allowing her to marry another man. Beloved, Jesus never changed that ground.

 

PREACHED ONLY ONE SERMON

 

Matt. 5 through 7 brings out that lengthy sermon. Matt. 5:1 declares, he seeing the multitude went up into a mountain and his disciples came unto him then opened he his mouth and began to teach. After giving forth what is called The Beatitudes and other statements dealing with that of social life connected with the law, he assured the people he had not come to destroy the law. Therefore, his statement will not be contrary to the law as he speaks much about what the commandments declare as he also gives a true interpretation of their meaning. Yes, it was because of what the present society was doing which prompted many statements in this sermon as to how they were observing it in their own present day living. The same is true in what he said concerning marriage and divorce and perhaps so subject he ever touched on was as provoking as this one subject, marriage and divorce in the Jewish family under the law. Our setting in Matt. 5 for Jesus’ only sermon on the subject of marriage and divorce is somewhere in the early part of the first year of his ministry and here 16 he is in the process of delivering a sermon unto the multitudes from the Galilean slopes overlooking the Sea of Galilee. I remind you again no question had been asked him concerning marriage and divorce. It’s the thoughts of the people listening to his sermon which is prompting his statements as he is well aware of the loose society that exists in his hour concerning their interpretation of the law, and there shall be statements made in his sermon that struck home so deeply into their interpretation of Moses’ writings as well as their own loose living in that hour 1400 years later that many will never recover from. Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he constantly rebuked the religious leaders for their private interpretation of the law (Matt. 23). However, perhaps nothing he ever preached was as rebuking or stinging as his one sermon which struck at their private lives and interpretation of the law on marriage and divorce.

 

BRIEF HISTORY LEADING TO CHRIST’S GENERATION

 

No, Christ had not been asked any questions pertaining to the subject. In fact, it is he who brought up the subject through his sermon. Christ well knew the society of Jews that he faced; furthermore, he knew Israel over the past 400 years had witnessed some very dark spiritual hours seeing they had no inspired prophet with holy writ to carry them on until 400 years later when John the Baptist, Christ’s forerunner appeared on the scene. No, perhaps not since those great revival days under Ezra and Nehemiah as Judah returned after 70 years of Babylonian captivity back to her homeland had she experienced such a great revival of all places at a place called Watergate. (Neh. 8:3) Ezra the scribe found the word of the Lord and for over a half day read to these spiritually starved Jews who wept and shouted at the reading of the long lost word which resulted in the Jews putting away their strange gentile wives acquired while in Babylon. The second temple was built and the priesthood was reestablished and set in motion perfectly as the law indicated; however, as always, the effect of the great revival didn’t last over one generation (40 years) seeing that Malachi the last inspired prophet Israel ever had for 400 years is seen in his hour prophesying bitterly against the priests of the temple who, less than 30 years ago, had reestablished God’s law and everything was placed back in its proper perspective as the law demanded. Malachi thoroughly rebukes the entire priesthood and ministry who guided Israel, for their carelessness, their looseness, in drifting away from the law and the true temple worship seeing in that hour they offered polluted bread upon the altar of God. Yet, he prophesied unto them (of Jesus), the messenger of the New Covenant who one day would come to this temple (Mal. 3:1). Following the days of Malachi’s prophecies, Israel for 400 years received no prophet to lead and inspire her until finally John the Baptist (who introduced Christ) clothed in the power and spirit of Elijah appeared on the scene for a brief ministry. Beloved, if you think the priests and rabbis of Malachi’s day, some 30 years after a mighty revival, had drifted off course from the truth of the Mosaic law you should see what Israel is doing 400 years later as they are presently interpreting the divine law of Moses when Christ comes on the scene.

 

 RELIGIOUS PARTIES

 

Israel’s religion of one God and temple worship had roughly, for 50 years before Christ’s coming, been divided into three religious parties known as Pharisees, Sadducees and Zealots. Although the scripture mentions nothing concerning the Zealots, Jewish history does, revealing their belief on the interpretation of the law, etc. The party of the Sadducees were known to be less orthodox than even the Pharisees seeing they didn’t believe in angels or the resurrection. However, the group to continually buffet Christ on the interpretation of the law and etc. came mainly from the order of the Pharisees who no doubt felt their party (denomination) was the closest to that of the original interpretation of Moses’ law. It was this group Jesus referred to as the generation of serpents and vipers, seeing the nature of the viper, if need be is to lay in wait for its victim, which truly was the spiritual nature of those Pharisees who continually sought to trap Jess through statements on the law in every turn of the road. By the time Jesus appears, there are three main schools of thought on the law which is well planted in that Jewish generation mind. And this idea of divorcing a woman for just any cause was truly on the rampage. Hence, Christ in his very first sermon elevated high up in the Galilean mountains above the multitudes wherein his voice might echo down across the valley unto where stood the multitudes listening to a man deliver his first sermon. This gives a brief picture of the setting of Jewish society Christ must approach with the true interpretation of the law. True, the Jewish people through their three party religious system was 17 still holding onto their one God religion as his temple worship; nevertheless, as we learn from Matt. 23 and other scriptures, they had totally lost sight of what his law actually declared on practically everything surrounding the ten commandments. Jesus in his sermon was in the process of informing the people what they must do in order to be his disciples. Recall what a disciple is, one who follows explicitly the teachings of another. To be Christ’s disciple one must follow exclusively the teachings of Christ.

 

ISRAEL’S SORE SPOT

 

Many subjects have been touched upon in his sermon concerning the social life, etc. when suddenly he touches upon what will prove to be Israel’s sore spot. What he says, as they listen to a man who has authority to speak, will now cause eyebrows and tempers to raise among many within this religious group as they hear him ripping deeply into their theology seeing they also had their own interpretation concerning the subject he was approaching. When individuals such as these reach a pathetic place scripture carries no more authority over their individual lives and they begin to interpret certain things to fit their own choosing, not only have they lost their convictions and stability they’ve reached the point they could care less who says what, how or when. Such setting as this is exactly what Jesus is facing. He knew all things concerning every life standing before him as well as how they interpreted the scripture. He even knew how many times each one had been divorced under this new theology which they declared was the true interpretation of Moses’ teaching, whoever divorces his wife let him give her a bill of divorcement. Certainly, if Christ in John 4:16-19 knew how many husbands the woman at the well already had and the man she now lived with wasn’t her husband, don’t you think he knew what all these people had been doing as well? Furthermore, he knew exactly how to word every statement wherein it would hit their theology the hardest? Israel, divided now into her 3 major religious parties, was provided with 3 slants of interpretation on the teachings of Moses and believe me, this society was a terrible society (as well as our own) to try to preach truth to, seeing their theology continually buffeted his true revelation of Moses’ law. Furthermore, Christ is aware while preaching that he stands before a divided religious people in their thinking who knows practically as much about the true revelation of the scriptures on what Moses taught as did a horn toad know about water skiing across the Mojave Desert. Up until this hour, perhaps this multitude had never realized how much impact and authority the holy scriptures did actually carry seeing they had been so busy concentrating more so in the rituals and ceremonies of the present day. Sure, no doubt on certain things they hewed to the very letter, while other things they could care less which way it went.

 

MARRIAGE IN THE FINAL GENERATION OF LAW

 

One such attitude was found concerning the moral side of the family picture. Those rabbinical courts had twisted the moral side to such an extreme (much as our own courts have done concerning the matter of divorce) for just any cause. As Jesus preached the sermon on the mount (Matt. 5:27) you could obtain a divorce in Israel for just about anything as it is in our day. Recently, an article in the paper told of one man who obtained a divorce because his wife didn’t spread the mayonnaise properly on his sandwich. How ridiculous can you get. The situation of Israel was just about anything as it is in our day. The situation of Israel was just about that pathetic. Marry a person, live a little while with them, lay so much money down for the rabbi and obtain yourself a divorce, remarry another and etc. When Moses clearly taught that open prostitution of that wife which is unfaithfulness to her marriage vow was the only grounds God would permit a Jewish man to ever divorce his wife. Although now the law was being twisted to interpret (much as it is in our day) to fit an apostate society. Yet, all religious parties of Israel referred to themselves as devout followers of Moses.

 

LIVES, AN OPEN BOOK

 

Therefore, as the Lord of Glory, robed in the flesh, stood before these people, their lives were before him an open book. He knew the immorality in the life of each person present as well as those who weren’t present but who would definitely hear about his sermon through the mouth of others. He knew how many wives various men present had as well as how many husbands various women had also.

 

REBUKED PRESENT THEOLOGY

 

Suddenly, out of his mouth comes ringing words across that crowd to this effect. “You have heard it said by them of old times thou shalt not commit adultery.” And on the basis of how the religious leaders had 18 interpreted Moses’ teaching on the subject of adultery, the majority of the people could no doubt say amen. No doubt, there stood some in that vast multitude who still remained with the deep conviction over what Moses taught concerning the subject. In heir hearts no doubt they were saying, Jehovah help me to walk with a pure heart before you like your olden saints did. Many old gentile saints today, even in those old denominational systems also once lived that way, that is until the church systems decided to amend their by laws, constitution, and etc. Those old timers who loved that word, had definitely heard it said with conviction. Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Ex. 20:14) They could no doubt recall history over 440 years prior there at Watergate under Nehemiah and Ezra, the great revival in the word which sprang forth in their ancestors’ hearts as they wept and repented, putting away their strange gentile wives acquired in Babylon. However, now some 440 years later, the descendants of those Jews stood listening to Jesus and hearing him declare “You have heard it said by them of old, thou shalt not commit adultery”. However, watch now his following statement as he is ready to expose the filthy carnality which dwelt within their lustful, filthy minds, seeing that they are a people who now live in such a loose society, and no longer hew to the mark in respect to what Moses taught. Now, they respect nothing sacred of God other than their own theology which they believe to be of God. Whenever you lose your true convictions on the teachings of the scriptures, you can’t help but have loose, contaminated mind and spirit. Shaking their minds by saying something showing them exactly where they live as well as what was in their lustful minds, as he says, “But I say unto you (this time not addressing the old timers who still remain with conviction in their hearts) that whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” With this statement he stung that crowd worse than if he had smashed them over the head with a hammer. In this great multitude stood some men who still had only one wife. There stood others also who, because of a loose society, no longer maintained with conviction on what Moses actually taught. Their society, like ours, had reached a point you could obtain a divorce for any kind of disagreement. Because of that loose society, there were religious men continually looking around at someone else’s woman, desiring her. Sure, that’s what you encounter when mora laws lose their sting and a convicting power is no longer present in the minds of people. You have loose minds and loose spirits looking around, lusting after other women, declaring in their hearts, now if I can only get rid of mine, I’ll get that one. In their heart, what have they done? They’re already guilty of committing adultery. Not necessarily in an outward sense. No fleshly act of adultery has been committed by mere lustful thoughts. Yet, because of that loose living society, God sees their lustful filthy minds what they are thinking and Jesus says, “Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery already in his heart”. (Matt. 5:28) Leaving them jarred and shaken by this statement, and giving his statement time to sink deep into their carnal minds, Christ continues on by saying in verses 29-30 whatever part of your body offends you, cut it off, etc. for it is better that member of the body perish and not the whole body be case into hell, etc. Now watch, he’s ready to rock them straight back on the revelated word of what Moses actually taught as he continues on preaching and may I remind you, these are the statements dealing with this moral issue which so stung, flabbergasted, and angered the religious leaders, they were never able to recover from his sermon until his dying day. Bear in mind it’s 31 A.D. in the first portion of the year of Christ’s ministry, and it’s the only time Jesus ever preached upon this subject of marriage and divorce. All other comments found later on are made by Jesus only because certain deceptive questions have been asked him in the latter part of his ministry concerning that one sermon he preached way back in the first part of his ministry. This one message echoed from that mount by word of mouth, from Jerusalem to Capernaum, until the effects of his statements in that one great message echoed all the way across Israel striking every phase of religious life. During those final six months of his ministry those religious leaders were so stunned and agitated, that modernistic adulterated generation of Pharisees and Sadducees, continually hounded him with questions relation to statements found in this one sermon. Yet, I remind you, nowhere at any time did Christ ever change his mind concerning what Moses had declared. Certainly not. Back to his statement in the sermon on the mount, Christ is aware His first two statements (Matt. 5:27-28) have actually stung as it ripped into their theology. Sure, they are more so shaken by that second statement, whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery already with her in his heart. They knew Moses never said that. It is 19 true Moses never said that, that is Christ’s teaching. He showed them what they had on their minds. You will never find Jesus teaching contrary to the true revelation of Moses’ teaching. Jesus made that statement simply because this modern day society stood guilty of wrongly interpreting Moses and applying the effects of Moses’ teachings to fit their own adulterous way of life. That is exactly what has happened within every apostate church system under the sun. Watch your newspapers. Whenever you hear about the various large denominational conventions being held, sooner or later they will have something on their agenda concerning the very subject we are now discussing. In every case they always feel we must update our views on this subject. Marriage and divorce in their movement must be revised and note, the revising they seek to introduce in updating their amendments, constitutions and laws of faith will be as unscriptural as can be. Why? Because our religious society has reached a point they could care less whether their amendments are made to fit the scripture or not.

 

VERIFIED MOSES’ TEACHING

 

Ready now for his third powerful statement in his sermon, a statement (Matt. 5:31-32) which lines up identically with what Moses taught in Deut. 24:1-4. “It has been said (see this had been said) whosoever puts away his wife let him give her a writing of divorcement”. Watch out now, he is going to stab their theology in the heart as he seeks to correct their line of thought and bring it back into the word on what Moses actually did teach. He never changed Moses’ teachings. He only sought to correct their ideas as to how they were now applying Moses’ teaching and rebuked the way they were living. He continues by saying, “But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving (or except it be) for the cause of fornication (exactly what Moses said) causeth her to commit adultery and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commiteth adultery.” This isn’t some new doctrine, that is exactly what Moses taught. Divorcing a wife for some cause other than fornication (unfaithfulness or open prostitution) would certainly cause that poor woman when she marries another man to be committing adultery as well as would her new husband. Let me repeat that, that we may fully understand Jesus’ total endorsement of Moses’ teaching to Israel under the law in Deut. 24:1-4. A woman divorced on any grounds other than that one ground, if she goes and marries another man she is an adulteress, Jesus said. However, if she was guilty of open fornication or prostitution and there could be no reconciliation between the man and his wife because of the hardness of the man’s heart, he could never forgive her for what she had done; there would always be trouble in the home. God said, then let her go by giving her a writing of divorcement whereby she may go be another man’s wife but she can never return to the first husband who put her away. Jesus said, you divorce your wife for any other cause than fornication and she goes out and marries another, you (the man) have caused her to commit adultery as well as the one who she marries. Why? Because you divorced her on some other grounds other than fornication. Say a young Jewish man married a young girl in the environment of Christ’s day. They lived together two or three years but can’t seem to get along, can’t get adjusted, can’t bring their spirits under control to agree with one another; therefore, they go to the rabbi and say we want to get a divorce. Sure, we’ll give you a divorce, but the inspired law of Moses didn’t say to give them a divorce for any cause. What then should have been done? That old Jewish rabbi should have taken both of them and give them one good tongue lashing and sent them back home, saying you shut your mouth and start living right or the next time we’re going to throw you both in jail. Oh, no. The rabbis of Jesus’ day were saying just the opposite. We’ll give you a divorce for anything. Therefore, not only is Jesus sternly rebuking them for their loose theology by giving them thus saith the Lord he is also declaring what Moses taught. That is, if you send that woman away through a divorce on any other grounds other than fornication, you’ll cause her to commit adultery when she marries another. Why? Because in that society it was much different from our day. Say a man divorced a woman for just any cause other than unfaithfulness, ninety-nine percent of the time, that woman would choose companionship elsewhere. It was much harder for a young woman in that day to make a living for herself than would in this hour. This is the day they want to give young women as much authority to work in the plant, etc. as that of the man. However, not so in that hour of society. It was dreadfully hard for a young woman to make a living. Therefore, most women had to choose a man to be her provider hence she who is divorced (for some other cause) is going to choose companionship. She’s going to choose a 20 home life and to do so, she must be remarried to still another man. Circumstances in that hour especially throughout that law age and most of the grace age as well, would force that young woman to choose married life with that of a second companion and I remind you, were she to have been divorced by her first husband on some other grounds than fornication, she in return will be forced by what that man did unto her to live in the physical state of adultery. Why? Because she was illegally put away because of their own private interpretation of the law. That religious society of Jesus, now broken up into at least three separate religious parties of interpretation on the scripture, was a society full of divorce, for just any cause. They were living in adultery as though God or anybody else didn’t even care. Here’s what a modern loose society faces, once they lose all fear and respect for God’s true moral law. Therefore, do we hear Jesus say, “Lest it be for fornication, you cause her to commit adultery and whosoever marries her that is divorced commits adultery.” Why? Because she wasn’t legally put away. Her divorce was unjustifiable. Moses in Deut. Permitted divorce on one ground only.

 

ROME SAYS “NO GROUNDS”

 

Here is the true teaching of Christ as he endorses what Moses taught, as well as tries to bring this loose society back to the scripture. Read it again, first in Deut. 24:1-4 then Matt. 5:27-28, 31-32, and still there will be people who say, I just don’t believe it that way. If you can’t believe the Bible, what will you believe, your own ideas and opinions of the scripture? God forbid. You know why people refuse to believe what they are reading in this Bible? It is contrary to what they have always believed or heard? It is because the Catholic Church, being the mother of all organized religions, over a process of time destroyed the true meaning by refusing to grant divorces on any grounds and it has been the Catholic church, through the ages, wherever her powers have gone, first especially throughout Europe, who greatly affected the courts of that land. Because the courts made their laws to comply to the doctrines, teachings, and approval of the Catholic Church in Europe. For absolutely no cause, would they grant a divorce.

 

ANNULMENT, IS IT SCRIPTURAL?

 

Yet, watch this. Later on, this church became the first one who is guilty of cooking up this unscriptural idea referred to as granting an annulment. You can’t show me one place in the Bible where annulment is in the program of God in dissolving the marital life of two people. There was nothing in scriptures other than that one ground of fornication, which is unfaithfulness or open prostitution found in the life of a wife that can possibly merit a divorcement or separation of two married people. Jesus said except it be for fornication you divorce her and you’ll cause her to commit adultery. Meaning, a husband putting away his wife on any other grounds once she goes and marries another, (he) causes her to commit adultery. Moses said the same thing in Deut. 24:1-4.

 

AMERICA 200 YEARS AGO

 

However, 1400 years later, they had misinterpreted it, saying it was perfectly all right to divorce for any cause. You need a divorce, can’t seem to get along, go down and get separated. That’s all it took. 200 years ago, when this country was founded and our constitution was born in a prayer meeting, even though those founding fathers didn’t have the scriptural revelated light, we today do, nevertheless, these great God fearing men possessed enough spiritual ability to know and respect the moral side of God’s book. 200 years ago, it was most difficult for anybody to obtain a divorce. Why? Because young America had so much respect for the moral laws of God’s word. However, this is a day you can live together six hours, six days, six weeks, or six years and for any cause merely go down to the courthouse, pay a lawyer so much and he will start you a procedure on a divorce. Furthermore, it seems they could care less what the word of God declares concerning the matter. Beloved, as the devil brings into our hour a modern atheistic, loose living society this causes the courts of the land to be forced to change their old established laws to comply with that of a modern backslidden society. That in turn is causing the church world, rather than to lose their congregations, to break down their own convictions also to fit a worldly loose standard. Instead, the rabbis were doing exactly what this disrespectful slack, undisciplined people wanted. They wanted what they wanted, when, where and only how they wanted it. Once you are faced with such a society as this, you are bound to produce a society full of divorces, one that will have much trouble in their home life. When life itself becomes filled with only what I 21 want, when I want it, and how I want it, mark it down, that society is headed for a lot of trouble.

 

 CHRIST’S TEACHING NEVER CHANGED

 

Recall, back in the early part of that first year of his ministry, Matt. 5 records the only time Jesus actually preached a sermon on this subject. Therefore, Matt. 19 is the period of only a few brief weeks before his crucifixion in 33 A.D. possibly as much time as 2½ years had expired since Christ preached his unforgettable sermon on the mount wherein he dug deeply into their theology and upset the apple cart. Accusing questions were continually thrown at Christ by religious leaders who failed to rejoice in his view or interpretation of scripture. Matt. 19 shows him beyond Jordan having already left the territory of Galilee making his way steadily toward Jerusalem for his trial and crucifixion. Assaulting him with question and seeking as usual to trap him, the Pharisees still with that chip on their shoulders, over the sermon delivered several years prior approaches and tempts him. Matt. 19:1 says Jesus, finishing his sayings departs from Galilee and comes into the coast of Judea beyond Jordan. A familiar spot for Jesus, seeing this is the area where John had baptized him where also the woman taken in adultery was brought to him and also where he was when word reached him concerning the sickness of Lazarus. With his mind heavy pressed with the burdens confronting him with Calvary, the Pharisees make it no easier on him with their questions, which are continually bent on trapping him into saying something against the law. Verse 2 declares he is beyond Jordan, the multitudes are following him and he heals them. The question that is about to be asked did not arise from his followers who would sincerely seek to know the truth. Instead it stems from the Pharisees who were among the crowd always trying, testing, or tempting him. The question they asked is not in order to get their theology straight, it’s only to aggravate him because that sermon preached several years ago still gnawed and ground away at them. The scripture reveals nothing he preached in this area would stir up their theology to ask such a question. No, their theology had been stirred constantly since his sermon over two years ago. They couldn’t get over it, like many of my critics will be once this message is released to the world.

 

THE QUESTION

 

Therefore, the marriage subject seemed to be the most disturbing of all his subjects because this hit more into the home area where they lived seeing over ninety percent no doubt lived in adultery, having divorced their wives for any cause. Now they sneakingly approach Jesus thinking they can outsmart him with this question. Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Why should they ask him such a question? They knew his position on the subject. They knew his position hadn’t changed from two years ago when he preached the sermon and openly declared unto them whosoever putteth away his wife save it be for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery. They knew where he stood and that was their problem. Nevertheless, they just had to come back and ask him again. Let’s paraphrase their question in our language, it would mean, can I divorce my wife for anything that I want to? Those deceptive religious crooks wouldn’t quote scripture correctly to save their lives. However, watch Christ who is now going to make these men through his conversation, acknowledge there is something written in this Bible. Some people are simply afraid to face the word as it is. Is it all right to divorce her for any cause, they asked? Watch his answer closely as he begins to answer them with a questions, saying, “Have you not read”, see how he throws the word straight at them? Jesus is going to make those brilliant, religious law students acknowledge what he is about to say is in the scripture and if he is about to show them something written in the scripture, they should be able to tell him what is written, seeing they are such students of the law. He’ll make them acknowledge, yes, I’ve read it. Then beloved, if they have read it, why in the world should they be coming to him with such a question of deception. Have you not read he said, sure, they certainly had read it, but one thing certain they had no intentions of obeying it, like many people today who’ll change this or that in order for it to read another way. The Pharisees were doing that. Have you not read he that made them in the beginning made the (one) male and (one) female, and then he proceeded to quote Gen. 2:23-24 unto these well read theologians. This you will recall, was the prophecy of Adam concerning the purpose of woman. See, in his process of answering their questions, he is making them acknowledge that something is written and they ought to acknowledge what is written rather than embrace their own private interpretation of the law. People are the same today. They’ll absolutely place a 22 church tradition above that of the scripture and swallow it hook, line and sinker. Cleverly, Christ is making these Pharisees acknowledge there is a few things written and since you’re such scholars of the word, why don’t you inform me of what it says.

 

AT THE BEGINNING

 

Therefore, instead of beginning his conversation with what Moses taught. Christ took them all the way back to the beginning to bring them up into Moses’s writing where he will answer their question. They came tempting him, not desiring to learn anything seeing they didn’t actually think he could teach them anything. Therefore, he is carrying them on a long trip through the word, the word by the way, which they’re already supposed to know, being such scholars. When he came to that part of Adam’s prophecy which declared they will be no longer twain, but one flesh, for what purpose would they be one flesh, reproduction of course that of bringing life into the world. Let me paraphrase briefly what God is saying. Since this is God’s plan and not man’s then whatsoever God had brought or joined together for this purpose, don’t let any man tear it to pieces like you’re doing every time you grant a divorce for any cause you want to. As he reached that part, what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder, this he quotes to stir up their minds because he knows now they’re going to ask him something and they are going over to Moses’s writings to get something from Moses’s teachings to throw back at him, because he is getting too close to home. They don’t want to acknowledge that this is truth. Watch him make them bow to scripture every time. Naturally, these poor deceived souls, already in error, seeing they don’t know what the scripture teaches, will quote the portion they are so adjusted to quoting, in other words, they will quote it like they are living it. That’s the working of a hypocrite in the scriptures every time, partly quoted truth.

 

JESUS HIT WITH QUESTION

 

Having said, let no man put asunder, these agitated leaders now hits him with a question. Recall their question was, can a man put away his wife for anything? A question based on how the society was treating the subject and what they wanted him to say was, sure, what you’re doing is perfectly all right. However, they could never get that answer out of him. One thing was sure, those Pharisees don’t want to stop in that scripture which read, let no man put asunder. They would be trapped there. What are they doing? They’re searching for an answer to get out of the trap he has brought them into. Each time he gets them a little closer to the scripture. In their minds they’re thinking, no man is to put asunder, therefore his remarks of this scripture opens the door for them to ask him the following question. Why then did Moses command to give a writing of divorcement and put her away. Still, they’re avoiding the issue. Moses never stated any such thing. He said unless it be on the grounds of uncleanness or unfaithfulness (fornication) in the woman’s marriage to her husband you couldn’t divorce her without facing charges of adultery in that of remarriage. What are these Pharisees seeking to do with the scripture? They’re trying to justify the manner the Jewish public is actually living the scripture in that hour. They’re living as though in God’s eyes he is just as pleased with what they’re doing as he was in what Moses actually taught. However, they failed to recognize the one who was addressing them was the same Eternal Spirit who gave Moses that law and he want’ pleased at all.

 

 HARDNESS OF HEART

 

Watch what Jesus said following their question of why did Moses grant them to write a bill of divorcement and put her away. Christ takes them straight into Deut. 24:1-4 for his answer. Oh, I don’t want you to miss this. Note carefully that Jesus never changed what Moses said, after all he had been challenged over what Moses taught. It had been in his sermon several years ago that he defended to Israel openly what Moses taught and vindicated it to be the truth. In the light of apostasy being taught in that hour, Christ is challenged by these supposedly bible theologians who are actually nothing but apostate Jews and they, of all people, asked him a question which they completely took out of context of a true teaching of Moses (not divorce for any cause, unfaithfulness or fornication only). Having carried them the long way around in order to make them bow to the authority of the scripture whether they desired to or not, Christ at last reaching the end of his goal says, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered or permitted you to put away your wives, but let me tell you from the beginning which I just quoted to you, it was not so. No, in the original intention of God, it wasn’t to 23 be that way because God says what he joined together, let no man touch.

 

ADDING ONE GROUND

 

However, in the history of Israel, God inspired Moses to add this one exception whereby a divorce could be granted and as Jesus said it was because the man, if his wife ever committed such an act of this nature, he probably would never forgive her though, he should, seeing God had forgiven him for things far worse. Nevertheless, rather than there always be trouble in the home, God permitted Moses’ authority to say except it be for open prostitution. If it be on this ground and because of the hardness of his heart he may therefore grant her a bill of divorcement whereby she may go and marry another and not be in adultery. However, under no circumstances could she ever return to him who put her away. Christ, being God in the flesh is the Spirit who granted Moses this permission, and here he tells these Bible scholars exactly why Moses was told to issue this one ground because of the hardness of your heart in the fact that you couldn’t forgive such a thing. No doubt many couples in Israel over the 1400 years had faced that similar situation and forgiven and made a go at their marriage. Whereby in their behalf, no rabbi had to touch their marriage with divorce. Jesus said, for the hardness of your hearts Moses suffered you to put away your wives but from the beginning it was not so. Now watch him with his last statement say something to correct their theology as he quotes this, but I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife except it be for the cause of fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery. And whosoever marries her which is put away, (doeth also) commit adultery. Don’t you see it. That’s exactly what he preached several years ago in his sermon that he delivered on the mount in Galilee where he stirred up the devil in these religious people and they never got over it. The Bible is a book that is consistent in the picture that it paints for mankind. Seeing Jesus was none other than God himself in the flesh, it is he then who in the first place caused Moses to write some 1400 years ago what he did in Deut. 22 and 24 and certainly now that he is standing here in flesh 1400 years later, being that same Spirit, who spoke to Moses, standing here in the flesh of his own person he can’t help but confirm what he told Moses to say. What else could he do, seeing the Pharisees had confronted him on his own law concerning his own word. He couldn’t go contrary to his own word especially seeing that the people of his hour were subject to the law and not to the grace age which is just ahead especially for the gentile who had no law of God to govern them at this hour. No, Christ never changed a word of his original sermon and I’m not changing a word of mine and I might add that the Apostle Paul in his teaching of the subject to the gentile church never changed what Jesus said although Paul through the anointing of the Holy Ghost was given further revelation which would surely touch the personal needs of the gentiles under grace because bear in mind, every one of these Jews of the law age we are now studying about from their physical birth was subject to the law of Moses. However, no gentile can be subject to the law of Christ until he has first been born into the family of God. Hence, in no way can you possibly make I Cor. 7 apply to merely some gentile man living out in the world. No, that applies strictly to the gentile church along with the added revelation Paul received for this age and the only possible way you could make I Cor. 7 apply to a worldly gentile person is, once he or she becomes a part of the family of God through the new birth, when that happens there’s something somewhere said in I Cor. 7 that shall definitely touch their life.

 

MARK EXPRESSING SAME TRUTH

 

Continuing on, let’s watch Christ in defense of his challenge from those Pharisees not recorded by Matthew but by another writer, Mark. Remember, Mark 10 is the identical setting at Matt. 19. The only difference is that Mark worded his writing slightly different, yet it lines up perfectly with the way Matthew who was present and who recorded the event of which we just mentioned. Mark’s recording of the event shows the setting to be still in 33 A.D., on Christ’s final trip to Jerusalem for crucifixion. Mark 10:1 is identical with Matt. 19:1, speaking of how he left the territory of Galilee coming over into the coast of Judea by the far side of Jordan. These Pharisees are the same ones who approached Christ asking him if it was lawful for a man to put away his wife, tempting him. No, it isn’t a sermon he preached down there which aggravated these Pharisees with this question. For a long time, they have been looking for something to hang on him and no doubt here they feel through this slick way of asking him something they may trap him. Seeing the setting is identically the same. 24 Master, Moses said such and such but what do you say? Mark 10:1-9. What did Moses command you (see this is how Mark recorded it. He isn’t interested in bringing out all the fine details as is Matt. Mark is only hitting the high spots of the conversation.) Moses suffered us to write a bill of divorcement and put her away. See, they slid right over the truth of the scripture. To themselves they are thinking, oh boy, he’s asking us what Moses said and we are going to tell him what Moses said. What a poor excuse for such law students. They no doubt knew what Moses said. However, the problem was, they were living so far below what Moses taught that they’re going to quote Moses’s statement back to Jesus exactly in the manner they’re applying the scripture or the way that they are living the scripture in that hour 1400 years later. Like the church world today, who no longer allows the word of God to be their compass, and must interpret the word in the manner they live in order that they feel it won’t condemn them. Again we see Jesus, according to Mark, declaring for the hardness of your heat Moses wrote you this precept, etc. Yet from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female, etc. Remember, Jesus quoted Gen. 2:23-24 as Matt. Declared he did. And then followed that by saying, therefore what God joined together, let no man put asunder. In the house, his disciples asked him again the same matter. Recall, they were present, they heard all of the conversation as recorded by Matthew and Mark only Matthew went into detail declaring Jesus gave the one grounds for a divorce. However, according to Mark here in the house, following that discussion, he records him as saying, (and by the way this is what so many people will read and never read anything else and form their own opinion on one passage) Mark said whosoever puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery against her and so forth. Without ever stopping to link all the scriptures together. Some will simply say that is what Jesus said and they will never look at anything else concerning what he said. That’s the reason I have pointed out to you and stressed throughout this message what Moses said, Jesus endorsed. First it was vindicated in his sermon then as that accusation was hurled at him by the Pharisees he followed it up by saying, but I say unto you whosoever puts away his wife save for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery as well as he who marries her. That beloved, is established throughout the word of God and simply because Mark didn’t record the identical setting that Matthew spoke of in exactly the same words, please don’t get all confused. This is merely Mark’s way of expressing what Christ said. There has no new revelation come to Christ concerning this subject once he was inside the house with his disciples. He was God in the flesh, how could he receive a revelation, he was the revelation. Every incident we have seen in Christ’s ministry, whether it be the one time he preached on the subject or whether it was at the end of his ministry when he was being confronted with these questions to aggravate him concerning his stand by those who did not hold his viewpoint, his answer remained the same. Matthew recorded the full quotation each time which was always identical to Deut. 24:1-4. Sure, any other grounds positively placed the woman as well as the man who would marry her in adultery. Therefore, I repeat, simply because Mark, who wrote his gospel years after Matthew, though not word for word, it is the same, it does not change Jesus’s position on the subject seeing the setting is identical with Matt. 19, and may I say, it is not Mark’s intention to try and change the meaning to be different. That is why beloved, you can not read one verse of scripture and always get the true setting. Each writer had his own method of writing and he recorded only that part the Spirit required of him. No, it doesn’t make any contradiction whatsoever.

 

TAKING SCRIPTURE OUT OF CONTEXT

 

However I repeat, some people would read that one verse, and go haywire disregarding every other statement Christ ever made and stand there saying, because this verse doesn’t say, except it be for the cause of fornication, etc. I have scripture to prove there are no grounds for divorce. You may have a scripture, but you have sure taken it out of context. You can’t make your line of thought fit in the continuity of the truth which flows through this word. May I remind you, this is not a contradiction either. Mark is simply not impressed to record in detail, as did Matthew.

 

ONE MORE STATEMENT

 

Turn to one more little statement where no setting is seen other than the fact we know it was spoken sometime on that last journey going up to Jerusalem. Whether Luke is recording the same incident or not, is not clear. That is immaterial; nevertheless, there is one brief statement which I want to examine with you before passing 25 out of Christ’s earthly life and the law age as well which governed Israel some 1400 years. Again Luke, like Mark, goes into no detail concerning this setting of statement. It is found in Luke 16:14 and it is a statement thrown out by Jesus to the religious leaders who are in this crowd deriding him. Luke shows no detail, yet here again is a verse along with Mark’s statement that some will lift completely out of continuity with what all the other scriptures on the subject is clearly declaring. Nevertheless, Jesus said it, someone will say and irregardless to all other scriptures that is exactly the way it has to be. No beloved, that is not the way it has to be either. Remember dear soul, Jesus did not teach two lines of thought. Nor did he ever speak against his own law. Keep that in mind also as you read this statement. The statement recorded by Luke is definitely make in reference to the way the religious leaders of that hour are living and applying Moses’ writings. Therefore, Christ rebukes them in the light of how they are applying Moses’ teachings. According to Luke, Jesus is going along teaching (Luke 16:14) and the Pharisees also who were covetous heard all of these things and they derided him. Note Luke’s statement, they derided him. They were agitating him. Trying to aggravate Jesus, confuse him in his thought. See, standing there in the crowd were those Pharisees deriding him, throwing silly remarks. The sermon he preached in the first part of his ministry was brewing in their hearts and with their tempers up they searched for something, any kind of statement they might use against him to get rid of him. Yes, they were angry. Their theology had been blasted to bits.

 

DERIDING HIM

 

Men have been known to be carnal enough to fight because someone attacked their theology. No, they could never shake themselves from the position which he held. Standing in this crowd deriding him or throwing silly remarks which could be to this effect. Hey, preacher, got any more good sermons on marriage and divorce? See these men were placed in that multitude of people for the sole purpose of agitating the crowd, making life miserable for Christ who was on his way to Jerusalem to be crucified, ridiculing him, fun-making and so forth. He has been preaching a parable and even this has gotten next to them. Luke 16:16, the law and the prophets were until John. Since that time, the kingdom of God is preached and every man presses into it. It’s easier for heaven and earth to pass than for one title of law to fail. Why would he say that? Because they were living so far below the law. They didn’t even know what the truth of the law was. Therefore, I repeat on the basis of the manner in which they’re living and representing the Mosaic law, the statement I am about to read is one he simply tosses out into the open at them. “Whosoever putteth away his wife and marries another, commits adultery, and whosoever marries her that is put away, from her husband commits adultery.” Why did he say it this way, when he never said it that way before? Simply because possibly over ninety percent of them were living in adultery in that hour. Their divorces hadn’t been on the grounds of fornication as they were supposed to be seeing that is the only grounds. Naturally, they were living in adultery and it was whosoever put away his wife and marries another commits adultery and so forth. That’s exactly what they had done. Hence, he stated it just on that basis. Again, I repeat, he had not received some new revelation that suddenly there is now no ground. Since they lived it that way, since they are deriding him he just threw it out that way. Believe me, he wasn’t suddenly disputing what Moses taught. He never did that. Matt. 5, as well as Matt. 19, links identically with the correct interpretation of Moses’ teaching to the law age, which I remind you these people are still under. Therefore, this is not a new revelation. It is merely the way the writers have worded their statements. Every accusation brought against Christ on this subject derived from that one sermon preached somewhere in the first year of his ministry. It’s not until the ending of his ministry that these questions are thrown at him showing they never got over his sermon. Irregardless to how it’s worded in Mark 10 as well as Luke 16, we must always remember these are mere statements, not sermons and they are by no means to be used to change his original position found in his sermon on the mount. A sermon which started all of his trouble. You can’t change one scripture around to make it mean one thing one day and turn it around six months later and make it say just the opposite. Scripture is always consistent with God, he doesn’t work that way. When Moses said something it was consistent. When Jesus says something it is consistent and when we turn into I Cor. 7, we are going to discover that Paul said was always consistent in everything which he showed forth on the subject. Remember, Jesus did not change what Moses said and if we get that established in our minds, it will then begin 26 to give us grounds for something to work toward, once we reach I Cor. 7 because remember the law that Moses wrote was for the children of Israel. It was given to govern their moral and social life in all of their spiritual and social activities. However, note the poor gentile who Paul deals with could not be saved or helped by observing the law. In fact, the bringing in of the law to a gentile would have been pathetic seeing the gentile’s structure of life was already so far down in the gutter of sin and corruption that when God looked through the law at the gentile people, they were so unclean so unworthy. Therefore, the law already had them condemned. Hence, only grace could now come and lift that gentile up, placing him in a realm before he could ever possibly have fellowship and contact with God.

1974-04-In-The-Beginning-It-Was-not-So-Part-1

The Things Of Christ – 1974, March

1977-03-The-Things-Of-Christ


INTRODUCTION

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

Contents

PART 1 – NEW HOLY GHOST OFFICE

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

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

TWO THINGS HOLY GHOST DOES

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

CHRIST IN SPIRIT FORM

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

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

FATHER, SON & HOLY GHOST IN ONE SPIRIT

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

SHOWING GODLY CHARACTERISTICS

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

PURE & GODLY LIFE MAKES HIM DIFFERENT

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

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

ATTRIBUTES OF FATHER IN CHRIST

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

PART 2

FULLNESS OF GODHEAD – WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

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

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

NOT JESUS ONLY

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

GOD NEVER SEEN

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

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD IN CHRIST

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

CHARACTER GOD DESIRES IN CHRIST

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

FURTHER ILLUSTRATION

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

CHRIST OUR OLDER BROTHER

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

CHRIST, HIGH PRIEST

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

GREATER IN WHAT CAPACITY?

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

PART 3 – WHAT ARE THE THINGS OF CHRIST?

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

SIGNS FOLLOWED COMMISSION

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

CARNAL ATMOSPHERE IN HUMAN THINKING

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

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

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

3 OUTSTANDING WORDS

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

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

DIFFERENCES IN THE NINE GIFTS

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

LORD OF EACH OPERATION

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

CLIMAX OF GIFT – GOD IS PRAISED

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

SPIRIT WON’T LEAVE YOU IGNORANT

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

EVERY BELIEVER GIVEN SOMETHING

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

EARLY CHURCH CONSISTED OF TRUE BELIEVERS

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

HAD GOSPEL NOT GOTTEN OFF COURSE

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

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

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

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

GIFTS DEMONSTRATED IN DARK AGES

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

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

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

NOT BELIEVERS AND TARES

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

HAVE I A GIFT?

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

PAUL NOT ILLUSTRATING HOW TO GET GIFTS

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

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

PART 4 – RECOGNIZING THE 9 GIFTS

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

NO. 1 – WORD OF WISDOM

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

WHAT IS IT?

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

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

A LITTLE WISDOM IMPARTED

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

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

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

NO. 2 – THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE

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

LEVELS OF OPERATION

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

IMPRESSION THE 3RD

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

EXAMPLES OF KNOWLEDGE OPERATING

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

NO. 3 – REVEALED FAITH VS. PRESUMPTUOUS FAITH

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

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

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

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

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

REVEALED FAITH IN NOAH

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

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

ABRAHAM – BY FAITH

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

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

SAVING FAITH – WHAT IS IT?

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

THE GIFT OF FAITH – WHAT IS IT?

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

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

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

NO. 4 – GIFTS OF HEALING

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

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

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

OUTWARD MANIFESTATION

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

FALSE IDEA

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

GIFT IN PROPHET

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

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

SPECIAL ANOINTING

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

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

NO. 5 – GIFT OF MIRACLES

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

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEALING & MIRACLE

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

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

GIFT OF MIRACLES MEETS NEEDS

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

PHILLIP’S MIRACLE UNUSUAL

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

NO. 6 – GIFT OF PROPHECY

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

3 REACHES OF PROPHECY

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

MISTAKEN IDEAS ABOUT PROPHECY

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

PROPHET OFFICE NOT SAME

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

NOT FAR REACHING

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

GENERALLY NOT FAR REACHING

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

JUDGING PROPHECY

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

NOT ALL SPOKEN IN FUTURE TENSE

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

PROPHECY CAN

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

NO. 7 – DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

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

PERSONALITIES IN EARLY CHURCH

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

RELIGIOUS WORLD DECEIVED

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

NO ESCAPE WITHOUT TRUTH

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

DISCERNMENT IN CHRIST

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

DISCERNMENT IN PAUL

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

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

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

NO. 8 – DIFFERENT KINDS OF TONGUES

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

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

3 OCCASIONS CHRIST SPOKE IN TONGUES

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

TONGUES A SIGN

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

TONGUES IN PRIVATE PRAYER

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

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

NO. 9 – INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES

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

VARIOUS VIEWS

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

WITH TONGUES CAME UNDERSTANDING

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

INTERPRETATION GIFT DIFFERS

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

GIFTS NOT REMOVED

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

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

Rebuilding The Temple – 1973, September

1973-09-Rebuilding-The-Temple

INTRODUCTION:

 

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

 

Contents

PART 1 – THE PALACE OF DEITY

 

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

 

WHAT IS A TEMPLE?

 

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

 

MOUNTAIN PEAK IS SACRED ROCK

 

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

 

7TH CENTURY DOME OF THE ROCK

 

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

 

WESTERN WALL DATES BACK TO 2ND TEMPLE

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

DAILY ALTAR SACRIFICE CEASES 70 A.D.

 

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

 

CYRUS ORDERS 2ND TEMPLE BUILT

 

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

 

HEROD REMODELS 2ND TEMPLE

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

HEROD’S REMODELING, NOT ANOTHER TEMPLE

 

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

 

TEMPLE PLACED ON HIGHEST TERRACE

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

WALL BLOCKS VIEW – NOT PART OF TEMPLE

 

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

 

ALTAR STANDS IN FRONT

 

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

 

ARCHED BRIDGE SPANS VALLEY

 

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

 

HISTORY OF MT. MORIAH

 

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

 

MELCHISEDEC, HIGH PRIEST AND KING OF SALEM

 

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

 

HOLY CITY JERUSALEM

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

PLAIN, SIMPLE TEMPLE

 

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

 

PROPHECIES REVEALING LATTER HOUSE

 

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

 

TEMPLE ON EXACT FOUNDATION, THOUGH NOT WALLS

 

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

 

WALLS ENCLOSE TEMPLE AREA

 

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

 

WALLS KEEP GENTILES OUT

 

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

 

PART 2 – REVELATION 11:2 PROVIDES CLUE

 

WHEN & WHERE TEMPLE IS BUILT

 

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

 

WHAT KIND OF TEMPLE IS MEASURED?

 

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

 

GRACE AGE TEMPLE BUILT FROM LIVELY STONES

 

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

 

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

 

WORSHIPERS AROUND ALTAR IN JOHN’S VISION

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

JOHN FAMILIAR WITH 2ND TEMPLE’S HISTORY

 

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

 

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

 

ANTIOCHUS IV. CALLED EPIPHANES

 

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

 

“EPIPHANES” – GOD MADE MANIFEST

 

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

 

ANTI-CHRIST FORERUNNER

 

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

 

MT. MORIAH, LOCATION FOR 3RD TEMPLE

 

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

 

ISRAEL ALWAYS REBUILDS ON OLD LANDMARKS

 

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

 

TEMPLE REBUILT SHOWN BY 42 MONTHS

 

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

 

WHAT JOHN SAW IN THE SPIRIT

 

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

 

JOHN SEES TWO ANOINTED ONES PROPHESIED BY ZECHARIAH

 

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

 

ISRAEL, THE PREGNANT WOMAN

 

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

 

TITUS NOR MOSQUE IS ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION

 

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

 

CUTTING OFF SACRIFICE HOLDS HIDDEN CLUE

 

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

 

WHY MOSLEM’S INTERESTED IN ROCK

 

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

 

GENTILES TREADING TEMPLE AREA 42 MONTHS

 

FURNISHES VALUABLE CLUE

 

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

 

TEMPLE & ALTAR MUST GO TOGETHER

 

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

 

BLOODY ALTAR NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REDEMPTION OF 144,000

 

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

 

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

 

WHAT YOU FACE IF ONLY 3½ YEARS LEFT

 

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

 

HOW BEAST SPIRIT KILLS PROPHETS

 

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

 

8TH HEAD IS PAPAL OFFICE

 

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

 

8TH HEAD RECEIVES AUTHORITY OF 7TH

 

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

 

ROMAN RULERS WORSHIPED AS GOD

 

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

 

8TH HEAD ONCE HEALED BECOMES MOUTHPIECE

 

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

 

PART 3 – VISIONS & PROPHECIES

 

CONCERNING 2 PROPHETS & 3RD TEMPLE

 

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

 

ZECHARIAH PROPHECIES OF TWO PROPHETS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

MOUNTAIN OF RUBBISH

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

THINGS HEADSTONE SIGNIFIES

 

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

 

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

 

WHY ZECHARIAH & HAGGAI SHOWN SETTING FOR 3RD TEMPLE

 

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

 

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

 

TWO GREAT ANOINTINGS ON EARTH

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

GOD IS GOLDEN OIL POURED OUT

 

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

 

MOSES CARRIED ANOINTING FOR DELIVERANCE

 

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

 

ELIJAH CARRIED ANOINTING DEALING WITH APOSTASY

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

HEAVENLY & EARTHLY SCENE

 

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

 

ELIJAH’S SPIRIT ON JOHN

 

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

 

MOSES & ELIJAH APPEAR TOGETHER

 

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

 

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

 

HAGGAI’S PROPHECY CONCERNING LATTER HOUSE

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

2ND TEMPLE NOT AS GLORIOUS AS 1ST TEMPLE

 

GRIEVES OLDER JEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

5 THINGS MISSING IN 2ND TEMPLE

 

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

 

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

 

LATTER HOUSE BUILT IN HOUR OF SHAKING OF ALL THINGS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

EZEKIEL WITNESSED GLORY ENTER LATTER HOUSE

 

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

 

FIRST HOUSE NO COMPARISON TO GLORY OF LATTER HOUSE

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

PART 4 – DESECRATION BY THE MAN OF SIN

 

5 THINGS 42 MONTHS DOES NOT IMPLY

 

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

 

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

 

FINAL 7 WEEKS

 

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

 

A MAN (OF SIN) SETS IN TEMPLE

 

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

 

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

 

GENTILES ONCE AGAIN TREAD DOWN JERUSALEM

 

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

 

TEMPLE DEFINITELY BUILT BY MIDDLE OF WEEK

 

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

 

SUMMARY

 

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

The Candle Was Lit – 1973, March

1973-03-A-Candle-Was-Lit

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


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


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


OUR GENERATION AND ITS USEFULNESS


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


ONLY 40 YEARS


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

 

 

JOHN ON PATMOS


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


LETTER FROM DISAPPOINTED GOD


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


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


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


THE NICOLAITANE SPIRIT


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


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


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


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


PART 2 – PAUL’S FIRST VISIT TO EPHESUS


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


WHY PAUL WENT TO JEW FIRST


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


BRIDGING THE LANGUAGE BARRIER


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


GENTILE LANGUAGES AND HEBREW BOTH AT PENTECOST


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


CLEARING UP TONGUE CONFUSION


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


UNLOCKING THE CHURCH AGE


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


ONE ACT OF WITNESSING


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

 

 

EPHESUS LEFT STRICTLY TO PAUL’S MINISTRY


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


PAUL’S FIRST CONVERT


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


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


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


GENTILES TO HAVE SAME HOLY GHOST POWER


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


EPHESUS AND THE 3RD OPENING


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


SOMETHING HAPPENS FOR 3RD TIME


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


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


LOCATION OF EPHESUS


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


TEMPLE OF DIANA


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


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


WORKING OF HOLY GHOST – SAME


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


EPHESUS – 2 OUTSTANDING EVENTS


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


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


CONTINUAL 2 YEAR REVIVAL (ACTS 19:10)


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


BOOK BURNING


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


SILVERSMITH TROUBLE


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


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


SHOUTING FOR 2 HOURS


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


PAUL LEAVES EPHESUS


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


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


MESSAGE TO ELDERS


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


WARNED OF 2 THINGS COMING


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


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


PAUL IN ROME


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


EPHESIAN LETTER WRITTEN FROM ROME


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


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


ROME NEVER ACCEPTS PAUL AS CHURCH AGE MESSENGER


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


ROMAN CHURCH NOT ESTABLISHED BY PAUL


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


EPHESUS, A GREAT LIGHT


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


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


A CHURCH AFTER 40 YEARS


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


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


PART 3 – LETTER OF REBUKE


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


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


EXAMINING EPHESUS’ 40 YEARS WORK


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


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


EVIL WAS HATED


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


TRYING FALSE APOSTLES


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


ANTI-CHRIST SPIRIT RIDES


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


1ST SEAL – WHAT WAS IT?


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


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


REMOVING CERTAIN CONGREGATIONAL LIBERTIES


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


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


LOST FIRST LOVE


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


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


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


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


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


NICOLAITANES DEEDS


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


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


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


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


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


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


SEARCHING FOR SHORTEST EFFECTIVE ROUTE


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


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


SATAN AND HIS SCARECROWS


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


OTHER CHURCHES FOLLOW EXAMPLESHIP


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


HOW NICOLAITANE SPIRIT DREW STRENGTH


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


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


FROM HOLY GHOST LEADERSHIP TO MANMADE LEADERSHIP


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


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


PERGAMOS MAKES DOCTRINE


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


PART 4 – AFTER 1900 YEARS HAS HISTORY REPEATED ITSELF?


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


EARLY DAYS AND OPEN FELLOWSHIP


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


AFTER 9 YEARS – LOOK!!


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


SCRIPTURAL ORDER IN CHURCH, WHAT IS IT?


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


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


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


MANY MISUSED FACTORS PROMPTED CHURCH ORDER


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


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


RESULTS OF INDIVIDUALS PUSHING CHURCH ORDER


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


PAUL NOT RAISED TO CORRECT FIRST AGE


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


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


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


BLINDED INDIVIDUALS DRIVE OUT SPIRIT


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


OVERCOMERS IN EACH AGE


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


MANY IGNORANT OF REASON FOR CHURCH ORDER


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


SATAN MUDDIES WATER IN OPEN FELLOWSHIP


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


ORDER MADE AFFECTING ALL RATHER THAN HUMILIATE GUILTY

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


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


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


MANY WEIRD IDEAS SINCE CHURCH ORDER


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


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


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


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

Purpose of the Second Adam and His Bride – 1973, March


INTRODUCTION:

HOW DID THE LORD OF GLORY BECOME THE SECOND ADAM THROUGH BIRTH OF WOMAN AND RETAIN A SINLESS BLOODSTREAM NEEDED FOR SACRIFICE? HOW DOES HIS FIRST AND SECOND ADVENT FULFILL THE GREAT COMMISSION GIVEN UNTO THE FIRST ADAM AND HIS BRIDE IN GEN. 1:27?

Contents

PART 1

 

Our last article, Vol. 5, No. 1 discussed the creation of the first Adam and his bride which prefigured in every way the second Adam and his Bride, the church. First, we observed from Ephesians 1:4-10 how this Eternal Spirit who later would be called God (once something was created to worship Him) counseled with Himself long before the beginning of the foundation of the earth as to how He would go about bringing all things into existence. Then on the sixth creative day (Gen. 1:26-27) God created a spiritual man who should later rule over the earth. God said let us make man in our image and our likeness, although recall from Gen. 1 when God did create man as a spirit being in His (God’s own) image. He made him one spiritual being consisting of both male and female qualities or attributes. By no means did the man possess, in his original creation, two separate spirits. Only one! And recall again it said Adam, when first created in that spirit form which consisted of both male and female attributes, was given a very special commission to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth, etc. Having placed this knowledge in man’s spiritual conscience along with the knowledge of what he should and should not eat (herbs, etc.) once he did take on a tangible, earthly form, there was never any more cause or reason at any time for God to refresh their memory concerning his commission after they were separated into earthly bodies (male and female). God, having looked upon earth in Gen. 2:5, saw there was no man to till the ground. Therefore, from the earth God created a man and in order for his man to become a living soul, God placed within this earthly fleshly body the spirit or attributes of both male and female which was created on the sixth creative day. And recall, since having placed His commission into the conscience of the spirit man there was never any need ever again to remind or instruct him concerning that commission of Gen. 1:27 which would be fulfilled in a certain hour. Therefore, it may be said that from the design of such a perfect spiritual being as well as the perfect earthly design of man’s body coupled with the fact of their commission to be fruitful and multiply given them while still in the spirit world. Gen. 1:26-27; all three of these things are proof that in the first Adam God had placed genetic laws which would be responsible for the production or fathering the entire human race, fathering a human race which should have been filled with eternal life instead of death and had sin never entered the human race, that is the way it would have been done. The perfect genetic law responsible for the birth or fathering of each child into this world would have passed on eternal life as the first parents had, this along with the fact Adam’s body housed all the female attributes, which in their proper hour became woman, proved all humanity lay there in the first man Adam before He ever walked the face of the earth! It is important we understand all natural creation of humanity did lay right there in the first Adam before we can fully understand all redemption lay in the second Adam long before either the first or second Adam had a wife produced from their side (Adam’s side being opened in the garden. Christ’s side being opened at the cross). The first Adam was not only created and commissioned before leaving the spirit world to multiply and replenish the earth in righteousness but was further commissioned to rule over all this earth in righteousness. However, something drastic happened to the first Adam before he could carry out that commission, Adam fell! But remember, man’s fall did not occur while the spirit man along with the female attributes were in the spirit world. His fal did not occur until after his side had been opened and from it had taken those female attributes, along with some of his flesh and bone (rib) 2 and these feminine attributes were given a specially designed body with a separate will, mind, spirit, heart and life all of her own.

 

WHAT FIRST ADAM AND BRIDE FORESHADOWED

 

Recall, all the former knowledge concerning their commission, etc., first placed in Adam’s spirit while she was present and in which she would share was also transferred into her earthly tabernacle in order that she could fulfill her role in the commission once she had become his wife. Placing Adam into a deep sleep and removing all those feminine qualities or attributes through his side now gives them both separate identities; one masculine, the other feminine. Doing this was God’s perfect type of foreshadowing how one day the second Adam, the Lord of Glory, would also fall into a deep sleep of death and from His side would be taken the very elements such as blood, water and spirit to create for the second Adam a beautiful virgin Bride. As the second Adam’s life went from his flesh, blood and water gushed from an open gash pierced in his side by a Roman soldier’s spear. What did it mean? It was God’s perfect way or route in redeeming back to Himself for His second Son, Adam (the Lord of Glory) a wife who in turn would assist Him in the age of regeneration in undoing all the damage created in disobedience by the first Adam and His bride and then together they would fulfill the commission in Gen. 1:27 by first lifting the curse in order to rule the world in righteousness which the first Adam and His bride so miserably failed to do. Beloved, it must be understood that God will never allow His commission of Gen. 1:26-27 to go unfulfilled forever. Why, you may ask, did God in the Garden give to the first Adam a wife? Through their physical union it was God’s perfect way of producing more eternal life into the earth in the flesh. It was simply God’s original, ordained route for Adam to reproduce himself another son or daughter of God. Therefore, by separating the feminine attributes from the masculine and giving to the female a separate mind and heart as well as a specially designed body all her own, the commission in Gen. 1:27 could now be carried out. Both earthly bodies were so properly designed that in God’s proper time and hour he would reproduce the entire world in righteousness. However, the first Adam failed his God in the original onset, leaving the commission of Gen. 1:27 to yet be unfulfilled in righteousness! Man could only to a certain degree fulfill the commission and the little fulfilling he could do in his fallen nature was certainly not in righteousness but only in evil continually. Whether you want to accept it or not, all the sin on this earth has been brought about from the disobedience of one man who had received a commission to replenish the earth in righteousness. Every tear which has streamed down the cheek of man, every heartache, every burden, every sorrow, every screaming siren, whether it be a fire engine or ambulance on the way to a hospital or some police car chasing a villain, all the originality of this evil and sin sprang from the disobedience of the first man. Plagues, famines, pestilences, wars around the world, whether man shots, kills or stabs another human being, the earth has been stained and soaked with the blood of mortal man. Why? Because one man disobeyed God in not fulfilling his commission in righteousness thus leaving it open for another somewhere at some time in history to have to step in and first undo all that the first Adam caused, then carry out to the fullest decree that commission in Gen. 1:27, to rule the earth in righteousness.

 

REDEEMER MUST BE MAN FROM HUMAN RACE

 

What man could possibly qualify for such a role seeing what has now happened to mankind? To some degree this man would have to be born from a new order of man. First, in every way he must be fully a man, born into the human race like all other men, only this man somehow must be born free from inbred sin. Yes, he must be born of woman, although he must be born free from the inherited sin which is transferred into every bloodstream from the bloodstream of parents. This man must possess a sinless bloodstream. Where can such a man be found seeing all mankind is trapped in death and sin from the very moment of conception by their parents? 3 God had a plan. After 4,000 long years of fallen humanity, God finally brought one life into the world which was different. He was the Lord of Glory Himself who through Paul’s revelation was declared to be a second Adam (I Cor. 15). Beloved, if somehow we can realize or visualize all that had existed on this earth through lust, sin and disobedience of one man who fell into sin yet still tried to carry out the commission only to find he had filled the world with greed, lust, pollution and disobedience. Can we not, by the same token, begin to realize what it would be like through the obedience of another man (second Adam) toward God who could take hold of the reins of everything and begin to undo or throw in reverse all the evil and then begin to fulfill the commission in righteousness? Yes, that is what I said, undo it all! However, to undo it, I do not mean to imply the second Adam will throw in reverse the reproductive cycle of bringing lost humanity into this world by the route which Adam chose in Eden.

 

PART 2

 

MYSTERY OF THE TWO TREES

 

For a moment, let us turn back in our thought to the Garden scene where stood those two mysterious trees found in the midst. Recall, in Gen. 2 after God had separated the feminine attributes giving them a body of their own (called woman) the hour of choice was rapidly approaching wherein this young couple would have to make a choice of the two routes or under which of the two sex laws or two motives for sex would they choose in Eden to perform the sex act which in turn would lead to the fulfillment of the commission given them to multiply and replenish the earth over in Gen. 1:27. Recall further, God had cautiously instructed the young couple concerning the consequences of eating from the tree of knowledge, this tree which could not, by any means, be some form of plant life, whereby if eaten or partaken of would produce death. Death was the one thing God did not want introduced into his human family’s bloodstream (which should remain full of eternal life). However, the choice was not his, but theirs. They must decide which of the two trees (or laws) they will pursue because which ever choice or motive is made, all mankind must follow that choice forever seeing the knowledge of the other route will be sealed off permanently. To speak today of two routes or two motives (one being strictly a holy motive, while the other a selfish motive) is quite confusing to most people seeing for them there is only one choice or law which governs sex and the birth of their children. However, with the young couple in Eden, this was not true. They had a choice of one or two motives as to how they would fulfill this sex act which in turn would fulfill the commission; be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth.

 

HIDDEN MEANING OF EAT

 

The word eat carries a sexual meaning hidden from the wise and prudent and has also become quite confusing to many honest hearts seeking truth as to what actually did take place in the Garden. Did Adam and Eve eat from some tree of vegetation such as an apple or some other fruit? If so, why did God curse the sexual organs of woman and place death in the bloodstream of man and why, if their eating was of some fruit taken through the mouth, did they cover their sexual organs with fig leaves after their act had been committed? Naturally, we associate the word eating with something taken into the entrance of the mouth. However, you may be shocked to learn scripturally in a number of places other than Gen. 2 & 3, eating is used also when it has nothing to do with natural food being taken in through the mouth gate. One term used is “Eating the bread of idleness”, which everyone knows is not a tangible substance nor can be placed into the mouth. However, perhaps the most pertinent, astounding use of the word eating which has no reference to eating with the carnal mouth is the statement made by Jesus the second Adam, unto his disciples when he said, “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no eternal life in you”. This statement was of such profound confusion it caused multitudes to depart from his teaching as only twelve remained with him. You know, Christ never did 4 explain what he meant about eating his flesh to that people. Therefore, we see from Jesus’ statement in order to have eternal life one would still be required to eat or partake of something. However, that something was not a fruit from a natural tree, was it? Recall, it was in Eden where that tree or law was first offered to be eaten which, if eaten, would have produced eternal life into every offspring from the eternal lie of Adam and his wife Eve even up until the present hour Christ stood there making this statement. Wherefore, when the young couple performed their first sex act, had that act been motivated strictly from a true desire to fulfill only God’s will and purpose, their motive and performance of the act would have produced eternal life instead of death. And the man Christ Jesus, the righteous branch plucked off the tree of life, would not have had to stand there in the flesh before a multitude saying, You must eat my flesh to have eternal life. Beloved, I make this statement only to show even today to partake of eternal life one must eat of something and that something, even back in the Garden, could not have been a fruit from a natural plant tree.

 

NATURAL FRUIT COULD NOT BRING DEATH NOR LIFE

 

Therefore, let it be clearly understood if eating from the fruit of some natural tree in the Garden called tree of knowledge could have produced death into the human bloodstream along with all the misery which accompanies it by the same token, one would have to eat from some form of plant life in order to have obtained eternal life. You cannot make the one tree natural and the other spiritual because they were trees of the same nature and what natural fruit tree have you ever heard could produce eternal life? There is none! Therefore, since the law of eternal life had been forsaken for the act committed strictly for pleasure, eternal life must now come from partaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, the branch off the tree of eternal life itself. We now receive the Word of Eternal Life through a grafting process, James 1:21. I am sure we all remember our history how Ponce de Leon the Spanish explorer, upon hearing old Indian stories of a fountain of youth searched vainly throughout all Florida for it. However, Ponce de Leon should have remembered still another story where some 2,000 years ago this earth received its first little baby boy ever to be born from a woman’s womb (virgin) who was not filled with death, instead was full of eternal life and henceforth said, he that is athirst let him come and drink of me (the fountain of eternal life). Since being the only child ever born of woman full of eternal life, he became our second Adam.

 

LAW OF ETERNAL LIFE ERASED FROM MEMORY

 

I think it important since discussing the two laws which motivated the sex act, that following the fall and curse in Gen. 3, God, realizing Adam might somehow return to this other law, placed a cherubim and flaming sword about it to eve guard its secret. Remember, Adam was the only man who ever knew anything about this law which could produce eternal life into the human bloodstream as he and Eve had the opportunity before the curse was placed upon their life. Man made his choice and allowed himself to be foolishly guided into the wrong law through a selfish motive (in performing the sexual act strictly on the basis for pleasure) outside the divine will and purpose of God to produce only eternal life into the earth. His choice, because of his motive of the sex act itself, had led him into disobedience, sin and death. God could not permit man who now had tasted of the enjoyment of the law in se through the tree of knowledge to ever become a partaker of this other route; therefore, he sealed it off from man’s mind forever and designed another plan or route to later bring eternal life into human life and that route would be through the second Adam.

 

FIRST FAMILY EXPERIENCES DEATH

 

Recall, even as far back as when the male and female attributes were still housed in the one body of flesh and long before the serpent ever persuaded the woman to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (using the sexual act strictly for pleasure only, outside the divine 5 will and purpose of God), they had been fully instructed tampering with this law or playing under this tree or law would bring death into their life which naturally is found in their bloodstream (Lev. 17:11). This young couple, after the transgression and having been expelled from the Garden paradise, take upon themselves the curses and leave the Garden. Even though they know death is coming, neither of them have any real knowledge of what to look for or expect once death does appear. Neither knew in what form it would visit them once it came or how they themselves would react toward it once it appeared.

 

MOST OF CURSE ALREADY EXPERIENCED

 

God had cursed the female’s sexual organs while she was still in the Garden. This curse had not come abut because Eve ate an apple, it came because of her role in gratifying her own selfish (sexual) desire through the act of experiencing sex for pleasure only and not in the divine purpose and will God had for the act. And now her desire, according to the curse, could only be to her husband who now ruled over her. Furthermore, the painful agonizing experience of childbirth had been experienced on a number of occasions as God declared they would be. She further understood the aggravation and frustration of these newly multiplied periods of life in order to conceive which now came in monthly cycles. All of these she had experienced since the fall, but what about Adam? He also had tasted what it meant to work and labor in the field since he had lost his servant, the serpent, who had now been cursed beyond recognition. He knows what it is to labor until his brow be filed with sweat as he works the earth causing it to yield its fruit. No doubt from time to time they spotted that deceiving, cursed serpent who beguiled the woman into the act for pleasure only, outside the divine will and purpose of God and who since the curse, has been placed in the reptile family.

 

WHAT WAS DEATH?

 

Neither of them know as yet what the curse of death will be once it visits them. Perhaps they had often discussed and wondered what it would be like and in what form it would be. During all these years since Eden some of their children had grown to adulthood, yet death had still not visited the first family. Years pass by until somewhere in the lifespan of Cain and Abel, Cain rose up and slew his brother (Gen. 4:8). Adam and Eve knew somewhere death was stalking its prey because the transgression had produced it. Over many years they had witnessed many parts of the curse, yet the worst was yet to visit the family. Death was the one thing they had never as yet seen nor felt the effect of yet no doubt they lived in dread and fear of the hour it would visit their hearts and lives.

 

DEATH CAME THROUGH MURDER

 

Since scripture does not bring out the full details, let us paraphrase a scene which could very well have happened. Night finally falls upon the home of Adam and Eve and neither Cain nor Abel has come home for their supper. Perhaps Adam and Eve began t wonder where the two men were. Minutes drag into hours and darkness settles over the little home, still neither boy has returned. What could be causing their delay? Was something wrong? Perhaps they waited even longer until finally the puzzled couple began a frantic search for the two men. It was impossible to ask the neighbors if they had seen the two men seeing there were none. No doubt they remembered the part of the field the two had labored in that day and journeyed to that spot. Upon arriving in the dimness of the light, they were able to see a sight too horrible to attempt to describe. Now for the first time, fresh terror and agony grips their bewildered hearts as they approach the lifeless form of a body lying so still and quiet upon the earth. It was Abel their beloved son who was refusing to respond to the frantic call of his name. Terrified, Eve may have asked her bewildered husband, why doesn’t our son move? Why is Abel lying there so lifeless? What is all that dried red substance about his body? Remember, they had never witnessed death in their entire life nor did they know what form it would take. Most likely they 6 tried to arouse the lifeless body of their son yet as they moved his blood soaked body, in their hearts they knew this horrible enemy called death had visited their home and taken the most precious and dearest thing from them. Fully aware of why death was in the earth and why death had visited their home the grief-stricken parents lift the beaten, bloody, lifeless body of their son and carries him home. Beloved, death had now claimed its first victim. Note, death did not visit the first family who was responsible for death, through the form of a heart attack or some crippling disease. No, not even by accidental death. Instead, this enemy, this villain had reached out an robbed them of their own flesh and blood son. Death had struck the first family in the form of one of the most vicious and brutal murders ever recorded in history. Cain, the seed of the serpent had, without mercy, viciously murdered his brother (half). Cain had literally stabbed or beaten the very life out of righteous Abel (Heb. 11:4) and Abel lay cold and dead as his own life giving blood covered his body and soaked the ground. The first human blood the ground ever received was that from a brutal and horrible murder which had arisen in a jealous rage. Scripture teaches because of revelation or faith Abel had offered a more excellent sacrifice unto God than had Cain. God showed kindness unto Abel’s revelated offering (offered a blood sacrifice) and rejected Cain’s (Gen. 4:4-5, Heb. 11:4). In a jealous rage and malice, Cain had risen up and slew his brother. As a result, the first murder was committed.

 

BLOODY DEATH AND INNOCENT BLOOD

 

Is it not peculiar the first death would be that of murder where innocent blood was shed? Even as it had been the shedding of innocent blood of a little animal sacrificed by Abel and used as a covering for his inherited sin (which come from the blood line of his parents). And what about God himself who killed a little lamb in Eden, shed its life blood in order to give Adam and Eve a covering for their nakedness instead of fig leaves? Just as blood life itself had been started from the original act of sex for pleasure only, whereby Adam and Eve had transferred into each one of their offspring that of their own cursed life’s blood with their sin of disobedience along with the characteristics of both mother and father which come through the seed of man and the egg of woman unto them so was it necessary that Christ Jesus would shed his own righteous, sinless, holy blood to pay for that inherited sin and death which now flowed in the bloodstream of humanity.

 

NO ONE TO BEFRIEND GRIEVING COUPLE

 

And in what form did the first death appear? That of taking another man’s life through the shedding of his blood. It was in this form death had brutally struck within the first family and they did not know what to do. Beloved, may I say this, to make things even worse this poor bereaved, grief stricken family had n one to share with them any part of the grief death had brought to their home. No, there was no coroner to hold an inquest to determine the cause of death; no sheriff to arrest the murderer; no mortician to prepare the body for burial; no place to buy a coffin; no friends to offer comfort to this grief stricken family; no florist to prepare and send flowers; no one to dig the grave; no church in which to conduct the funeral; no minister to give comforting words or conduct the services for the first person to die in the human race. It all fell heavily upon the shoulders of poor Adam and Eve to bear their own grief and try to comfort one another as they realized in their hearts their sin was responsible for this death and the disappearance of Cain. The body of righteous Abel was buried in order to return to the dust of the earth, but what happened to the spirit of Abel? Where did it go?

 

FIRST MAN IN HELL

 

The spirit of the first man to ever be conquered by death, the enemy of man’s soul, was that of a righteous man who, by revelation, knew how to worship his God. (Heb. 11:4) That man was the murdered son of Adam, righteous Abel, and Abel went to a place prepared in hell, called Paradise, for righteous souls. According to Luke 16:19-31 hell was a place divided into two 7 separate compartments, one called Paradise, the other torment and spirits of just men which death had conquered went to Paradise while the unrighteous or wicked went to torment. The patriarch David, through prophecy, declared in Psalms 16:8-10, after death his flesh would rest in hope because he knew God would not forever leave his soul in hell. Later we shall show the beginning of the redemptive work of Christ, the second Adam, who immediately after having shed his sinless blood on Calvary’s cross, went into this area where souls of righteous men were held captive by death and began to free the captive souls within the compartment of paradise in hell. Furthermore, he emptied that section which dwelt somewhere inside the earth leaving the section of torment undisturbed other than giving testimony. No disembodied spirit at death anywhere within the Old Testament could possibly ascend into the presence of the Eternal God who had cursed their forefather Adam, who in turn through a sexual desire had transferred into each offspring of the human race the inherited sin and death and not until that righteous, perfect, sinless blood for their atonement in the second Adam had been applied to their inherited sin could they leave paradise. Blood from lambs, goats and bulls, which they had used in their lifetime had simply not been sufficient to undo their inherited sin of the Adamic nature Heb. 10:3-4. Therefore, since the sinless pure blood of Christ, God’s second Adam, had not been shed for their inherited sin all captured souls of just men of Old Testament saints, beginning with righteous Abel were held in captivity by death until one stronger than death could come along from the ranks of human mankind and set all the captives free. Eventually, one finally came.

 

DISOBEDIENT GENERATION MENTIONED 3 TIMES IN SCRIPTURE

 

At this time, we should pause long enough to discuss a particular yet overlooked period of time centuries before the flood which produced such a pathetic situation God became so completely disgusted with mankind he wiped away all, save eight souls who, after the flood, was given the commission to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth (Gen. 9:1). The word replenish spoken in Gen. 1:27 implies repopulating or multiplying life upon this planet and that is exactly what happens from Adam until the flood. However, the stock of humanity (in Gen. 6:1-4) being produce 8-10 centuries before the flood coming from the cross-breading of two pure genetic strains grieved the eternal God to the point he wiped away mankind, save eight souls and the animals in the ark to be used for multiplying and replenishing the earth once again. Because f the new genetic disturbance in Gen. 6:1-4 which appears in the bloodstream, added in the death curse, etc. already present in the Adamic race, Noah’s three sons found it totally impossible to fulfill the commission in righteousness. Instead, like Adam and Eve, they too repopulated the earth in unrighteousness until its present population extends over 3.4 billion as alarmed scientists scream to reduce the flow of human life ere we overpopulate the world and starve. After the flood, once again the commission is taken up, yet because of those added evil attributes to the depraved nature already resting in the bloodstream, not one soul could fulfill this commission in righteousness. To a certain degree man has fulfilled the commission although never in righteousness. Instead, man replenished the earth in wickedness, evil continually, wars, murders, adultery, hatred, envy and malice. JUDGEMENT SOON Beloved, judgment again is what this world faces as it has repopulated itself into another dark hour of unrevelated faith in God wherein II Thess. 1:7-10 declares God destroys those who know him not (through personal revelated faith). At the close of the grace age, God comes in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God in a day called the day of the Lord (Isa. 63:1- 6). Why? Because mankind will still not know God through revelated faith.

 

NOAH’S DAY FORESHADOWS

 

Out of eight souls spared, only Noah is ever referred to as being perfect having found favor with 8 God (which means he was the only man left on earth with any spiritual revelation toward God). That day foreshadows still another dreadful event ahead for mankind called the day of the Lord. Christ himself linked those days of Noah with those days briefly before his return (Luke 17:26- 27) wherein Noah alone is referred to in Gen. 6:8-9 as being a just and perfect man in his generation. (Meaning he alone could hear what the Spirit said). Furthermore, Heb. 11:7 declares by (revelated) faith Noah being warned by God of things not seen, moved by fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his house by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is by (revelated) fath. In other words, Noah didn’t imply one day decide to build a boat, call in the animals and his family, close the door and sail away. To do such a thing had never crossed his mind. Therefore, it came to him through divine revelated faith in God during such a perverted, polluted generation before the flood. Only one man stand out being able to receive warning through revelated faith (from God).

 

REVEALED FAITH – ONLY ROUTE TO GOD

 

Revealed faith is the only route to God and was well known by all Noah’s ancestors, even back to Adam. However, revealed faith which all saints must have to please God had now run out. Scripture testifies Noah was a perfect man in his generation, however, we would probably have been horror struck could we have seen mankind’s spirituality in Noah’s generation. His route to God was destroyed. Why was Noah the only perfect man in his generation because he alone out of all that generation could receive revelation. If other’s could, why beloved did they choose to drown instead of getting on the ark? What had happened in that dark dismal hour of history which had reduced the caliber of the sons of God in Gen. 6:1-2 to such a low capacity or degree that none except Noah remained to hear the voice of God through revelated faith. Nevertheless, through all this, had God judged Noah on the standards or basis of some previous godlier generation such as the seventh from Adam wherein a man named Enoch walked so closely with God he was not, for God took him and Heb. 11:5-6 declared how it was Enoch walked, through divine revelated faith. Noah might not have measured up to be the most perfect man in that generation, however, he wasn’t judged on the standard of another generation, but on the basis of his own generation. How thankful I am God judges each generation upon present revelation of his revealed word for that particular hour. Noah, judged in the generation of his hour was the cream of the crop, a perfect man, a man who could hear what the Spirit had to say. WHO ARE THEY? Seeing Noah lived 500 years before the flood (Gen. 5:32) let us briefly examine Noah’s lengthy generation in the light of two separate passages of scripture. Genesis and Luke. Christ, in Luke 17:26-27 comparing those approaching days of vengeance of his second coming with Noah’s day wherein eight souls were spared for repopulation said, they ate and they drank and they married wives and they were given in marriage until Noah entered the ark and the flood came and destroyed them all. Recall, all those Christ referred to as they were drowned. Those marrying and given in marriage were destroyed. Their actions grieved the Spirit and mankind was destroyed. Examining verse 27 in the light of Gen. 6:2, the Spirit said the sons of God saw (noticed) the daughters of men that they were fair (beautiful). They took unto them wives, all of which they chose. They, here according to Genesis, are the descendants of Adam, called the sons of God. Jesus said they married and were given in marriage. Verse 4 declares giants were produced from these particular unions which God hated because of what it was doing to the bloodstream of his people. This cross breeding was destroying something valuable within the bloodline of those sons of God and because of it, God destroyed them all.

 

MODERN THEOLOGY’S EXPLANATION

 

How do you explain such a phenomena? Modern theology which teaches Adam and Eve ate some fruit similar to an apple in Eden, passes this most difficult passage (which brought 9 destruction) off by saying fallen angels who at that hour were not chained in darkness, mated these daughters of men and produced giants in the earth, however now are unable to do so. This doesn’t explain how even after the flood, especially through the bloodline of Ham (whose name in the original signifies burnt black) appeared a strain of gigantic people with whom the children of Israel constantly battled. Then again, are we to believe these marriages and this continual given in marriage spoken of by Christ in Luke wherein everyone participating were all drowned, were fallen angels who cohabited with women and their union produced giants. Since when could you drown spirits (angels)? Are we to accept this to be the work of sexless fallen angels of whom Christ declared to the people of his day who always erred because they did not know the scripture that angels were sexless and could neither marry nor are given in marriage (Mk. 12:25). Hogwash! Except one is willing to believe and accept the revelated truth in Gen. 3, that a serpent who, being an intelligent creature stood next to revelated Adam himself, planted a seed in the garden before being severely judged and cursed beyond recognition, being thrown from the head position of creation next to Adam unto the end of the line of creation, out into the crawling reptile family and that his offspring was none other than Cain who never once appears in the genealogy of Adam, is a perfect picture of all his daddy was before his fall and now this lineage of Cain who still had no revelated faith has reached into Gen. 6, we will continue to accept inherited lies over this true picture and continue to run into serious problems from this section of scripture in Gen. 6:1-4.

 

TWO STRAINS

 

Up until this hour God himself had looked upon mankind under two separate strains of being (Gen. 6:2). One lineage or strain referred to as the sons and daughters of men who, like their ancestor Cain, had no revelated faith in God without which Heb. 11:6 declares it is impossible to please God, while the other strain possessing revelated faith was that of the sons of God, of whom Adam was the head being the son of God (Luke 3:38) although a fallen son who at present carried only death in his bloodstream. Nevertheless, Adam was still a revelated son of God. His descendants through Seth, etc., were referred to up until Gen. 6 as the (revelated) sons of God. After all, was that not the purpose of Adam and Eve being placed on earth to produce and raise revelated sons and daughters of God, full of eternal life? This last part they failed. Children instead were produced in a fallen state; nevertheless, Adam’s children could still walk by revelated faith with God. (Heb. 11:4) Adam’s descendants were referred to by God himself as the (revelated) sons of God until Gen. 6 when something drastic happened changing the picture, grieving the Holy Spirit as mankind went completely off course. God became grieved with these sons of God who no longer refused or resisted temptation, thus refusing to keep their (bloodline) strain of humanity completely pure and separated from all those evil wicked attributes within the unrevelated seed of Cain (Heb. 11:4), who was none other than that seed of his daddy, the one in Genesis Adam named the serpent. Cain’s lineage had produced those beautiful (unrevelated) women who are referred to by the Spirit himself as the daughters of men. They, like unrevelated women today influenced by Satan, paraded themselves in such a manner they lustfully lured sons of God unto themselves thus beginning that genetic breakdown. What happened referred to both in Gen. 6:1-4 and Luke 17:27, caused God to no longer regard humanity under these two separate strains of sons of God and daughters (and sons) of men, etc.

 

TWO STRAINS BECOME ONE

 

During those final 500 years of continual genetic disturbances in the bloodstream of what was once two separate thoroughbred strains which up until that hour of temptation carried their own separate attributes, now find attributes of both sides slowly, but surely vanishing or fading into only one line of humanity. When that happened, God refers to all mankind simply as flesh, meaning mankind now had reduced himself to nothing more than mere fleshly thoughts. He has 10 become only a flesh man who thinks only of satisfying his own fleshly cravings, desires and passions and is no longer a man with any revelation in God. Much like cross-breeding two thoroughbred strains of cattle, over a lengthy period of time, both strains disappear into their offspring as the chromosomes and heredity genes of both strains through the sex act are carried into the bloodstream of the offspring thereby transferring the characteristics, traits and attributes of both strains into one, resulting in the loss of their own separate individuality.

 

SONS OF GOD SUFFERED

 

However, it was the sons of God strain who actually suffered due to the fact through the genetic breakdown they lost their ability to maintain that something required to receive revelation from God in their makeup as the serpent attributes continued to pour into their bloodstream. Through crossbreeding, that something present in the lineage of the sons of God to receive revelation was weakening until finally was lost completely. Get this, not until after the genetic heredity cross up in Gen. 6 during that flood period where all this took place does the scripture relate any people other than Cain’s descendants in Gen. 4 having within their makeup those evil attributes such as murder, adultery, polygamy, hatred, malice, envy, strife or any other attributes such as these in their bloodstream popping up through their nature. That which was transpired through sex during that long period of Gen. 6 before the flood, between those two groups began that steady breakdown within that spiritual capacity of the sons of God to retain that route of revelated faith which all true revelated saints must possess in order to exist spiritually with God. Heb. 11:6 declares without it you cannot please God.

 

REVEALED FAITH – HEB. 11

 

Notice a step farther, Heb. 11:4-7 records a period of time from Cain and Abel up until the flood where the names of four men appear; however, only three can qualify for the hall of revelated faith. One man mentioned there once went through the motions of worshipping God; nevertheless, he ailed miserably. Why? Because he possessed no revelation in his being as how to approach God. Notice, because this man’s (half) brother possessed an ability with God to hear by revelation the things of the Spirit whereas his brother couldn’t in a jealous rage this man murdered his brother. Cain having no revelation in God simply did not know the route to approach God. Abel, by divine revelated faith, knew it was the blood of an innocent animal which must be offered.

 

ENOCH TYPES REVELATED BRIDE

 

Another man of Adam’s (son of God) seed line who reached the height of revelated faith in God, walked so pleasing to God that even though death and the fallen attributes of Adam existed in his bloodstream to be passed on to his descendants, by faith Enoch the seventh from Adam was permitted to leave this world without dying. That man who was translated because of his revelated faith types beautifully the gentile revelated bride who also shall be translated. When? In the seventh gentile church age, as was Enoch, the seventh from Adam translated without seeing death (before judgment fell). Beloved, if Cain had been a son of Adam, Enoch would have been the 8th from Adam (not the 7th). Enoch, a prophet of god who prophesied against ungodly sinners, Jude 14-15, lived 65 years and begat a son whom God instructed to be named Methuselah, meaning when he is gone it (flood) will come. Enoch, realizing the dreadful terrifying meaning of his son’s name, although unaware as to when his son might be taken and having no idea Methuselah would live longer than any man on earth, 969 years, walked in revelated faith closer and closer to God for 300 years and was translated. During that 969 years in which God permitted Methuselah to live, he was extending his grace to a disobedient world who by the end had reached the point none could hear him through the revelation of his Spirit (other than Noah). 969 years passed and Methuselah died and just as God has spoken, it did come. Have you ever wondered why out of a family of many brothers and sisters, Noah, the 11 oldest child of Lamech, was able to hear God’s warning of judgment and save himself? Why did not one of his younger brothers or sisters get on the ark in order to save their lives if they could hear God speak through Noah’s preaching. Gen. 5:30. It all simply relates back to that terrible, dreadful, genetic mixup of Gen. 6:1-4 which at this time we do not have the space to go into. Nevertheless, we have a message for you new readers covering this period called From Eden to The Flood.

 

GENERATION SEEN AFTER DEATH

 

Let us take one more quick look at this same disobedient people living before the flood after they drowned. Already, we have seen how and why Jesus compared their day to the day of his wrath. Immediately after Christ’s death at Calvary according to I Peter 3:18-20, even before his body was taken from the cross Peter informs us how the Spirit of Christ visited those now disembodied spirits in the prison of death or hell wherein Christ the second Adam having left his body nailed to the cross immediately began his redemptive work which, of course, was first of all in behalf of all those disembodied spirits from righteous Abel unto the last righteous soul of the Old Testament who had patiently awaited in Paradise (section also in hell) the arrival of one stronger than death itself to come and set them free. All of these people who had offered blood sacrifices of innocent animals throughout their life journey on earth knew well the blood of bulls and goats, lambs, etc. which had been offered to God could never by any means do away with or cancel sin and the penalty of death in their behalf. Instead had only served a paying the interest shall we say on the (bank) note which one day must all be paid in full by the second Adam. Peter tells how Christ in the Spirit, while his body is still on the cross, was in hell releasing all the captive spirits of the Old Testament saints who, like David, had rejoiced in the Spirit knowing that God would not forever leave his soul in hell (Psalms 16:10) (Ephesians 4:7-10) (Matt. 27:52-53). At last He had come.

 

HELL BEFORE CALVARY

 

Yes, beloved, in hell was two groups of people, one the righteous awaiting release at the coming f Christ to be carried from Abraham’s bosom (as Paradise was called) unto a higher height referred to by the Apostle Paul as Paradise in the third heaven (II Cor. 12:4), while the other group who were the lost wicked spirits had absolutely nothing to look forward to as they would not be released until the second resurrection whereupon God would take their bodies from either the earth or sea and drag their spirits out of hell to appear before his great white throne judgment only to be sentenced to the lake of fire. And it is here while in this place releasing these righteous spirits as his first act of redemption is transpiring, he testifies personally to those lost souls who were disobedient in the days of Noah before the flood. No, he did not release these, only preached or witnessed unto them. He will release these at the second resurrection whereupon they are dragged before the great white throne judgment and sentenced to the lake of fire.

 

 NOAH’S FAMILY TYPES REMNANT FOR MILLENNIUM

 

Recall, according to Christ in Luke 17:27 this world is facing another dreadful hour shortly before his return which is likened unto the days of Noah wherein Noah and his family was singled out for seed to reproduce a new age, Gen. 9:1. As already stated, revelated Enoch was a type of the revelated bride of Christ to be called out before that judgment. Noah’s survival is that perfect type of that small remnant of humanity God preserves for his kingdom age as he too permits them in some way to ride safely through judgment of god in that dreadful day of the Lord and repopulate the new kingdom age where as a people they will again hear those immortal words, be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth. However, as this command goes forth for the third time the situation will be somewhat different on earth for all the governments of the world will have been dissolved into one world government ruled by the Lord of Glory himself, 12 from the capitol city (of the new age) Jerusalem. Saints of God, both Old and New Testament who return to earth with Christ during his second advent (Zech. 14:5) will be placed over this one world government in different positions wherein they rule and reign in righteousness.

 

PART 3 SECOND ADAM FIRST ADVENT

 

In I Cor. 15:3 the Apostle Paul had been discussing the subject of the resurrection whereupon in verses 45-50 he reaches the place in his writing where he states something concerning the two Adams and it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. Reaching back into the verses 22-24 to an earlier statement made by Paul. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 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. For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

 

FULL REDEMPTION LAY IN CHRIST

 

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” The purpose in quoting these scriptures has been to verify even long before God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the first Adam to remove from his side a rib where in he made Adam a wife. It was to foreshadow in type the bringing forth of the Bride of Christ (the second Adam); how we also were in Christ long before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) and once Christ, our second Adam, hung on the cross where his side was opened, God’s complete plan of redemption was all hanging there in him. Even though physically you had not come into existence, if you are one of those elect in him to be his Bride, potentially you were there. You were hanging there in him because your sins were there represented in Christ’s flesh on the cross. Everything redemption was to accomplish was all there in Christ, our second Adam, while hanging on the cross. Truly the first Adam was of the earth, earthy, and in a sense was even more natural after the fall. Our first Adam submitted himself to natural environment, having within him lay the ability to pass that fallen nature on down through the genes into every offspring on earth. Redemption, redemption for everything lay in Christ. Christ had come to undo all that this depraved human race had polluted upon the earth, as well as the earth itself. The first Adam through his disobedience subjected us to bondage, etc. All th evil we see is the product of the disobedience of a man, every graveyard, every battleground, every bit of vegetation destroyed through man’s conflict in his enmity toward others. It is a condition which has developed through one man’s disobedience. Irregardless to whatever type pollution or evil has arisen, all of it has stemmed from the disobedience of one man who failed God in his commission. Beloved, if one man disobeyed God causing all this, then by what means do you think God would purpose to erase it all. Naturally, it must be through another man. However, within this man we would have to realize he would have to be a man of redemption; a man who was totally innocent and guiltless having contributed in no way to the present condition at hand. Not in the slightest could he be involved in it other than the fact he would be born of the human race, born of the same substance as that of other flesh men. Through his route of birth it permitted him to be born in the flesh, but be born sinless. By coming this route, he, who would be a sinless man, would be innocent and would have contributed in no manner to the condition of the world at large, environment, man himself, etc. Therefore, as an innocent man born of woman, he might yield himself unto the penalty which the first man on earth had imputed unto the rest. And through the obedience of this one righteous, guiltless, faultless and sinless man he would take upon himself the sins, the disobedience, the reproaches, the faults, the conditions, the circumstances as well as the climax 13 of sin and through offering himself as an innocent blood sacrifice could use his own perfect life as a purchase price to redeem the fallen creation of mankind back to the great Eternal God.

 

SEASON OF CHRIST’S BIRTH

 

Gal. 4:4. In the fulness of time God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law to redeem them under the law. Prophecies for centuries had spoken of his coming, who he was that was to come, how he was coming, where he would be born, etc. However, at no time did the Lord God allow any prophet to tell what season or day of the year Christ would be born other than in the fulness of time. What we are about to say must be understood clearly that in no way is it our intention to establish any birthday for Christ who was born of the virgin. However, we do believe from the scripture taking into account the birth of John the Baptist who was conceived six months prior to Jesus the Christ, we can determine the approximate season of his birth (certainly not the day of his birth). Instead of simply choosing a day that all would want to accept in order to be in line with a traditional way of thing that is, go along with the seasonal crowd who choose the Roman Catholic idea of December 25 (Christmas). Therefore, without further hesitation let us examine the scriptures wherein we shall always find clues to bring ourself in line with the word of God. From Luke’s gospel we approach the scripture by examining certain statements, first concerning the birth of John the Baptist. Recall in Luke 1:5 while Herod was King of Judea a certain priest whose wife Elizabeth was barren and while he was administering the daily services within the temple before the altar in the Jewish month of Abia (today spelled Abah) an angel visited him. Now on our Roman calendar that period of time he ministered his course serving the temple as priest was covering the last days of July and the first part of August. It was in the period or course the angel visited Zacharias informing him his aged wife Elizabeth would conceive and bear a son whose name should be called John. Zacharias could hardly believe the good news which he had for so long prayed. In order that he might know the angel had bore him a true message from God he was to remain speechless from that hour until the birth of the child. When was this scriptural time? During the course of Abia or Abah, last of July and first of August. Now, I don’t believe it take God forever to fulfill his word, nor did I believe Zacharias, unable to speak, tarried around Jerusalem two weeks before going home. Zacharias returned to his home (unable to speak) and his barren wife Elizabeth who was far advanced in years conceived (Luke 1:23-24) and hid herself five months.

 

THE SIXTH MONTH

 

There was no point in an old woman far past the child bearing stage out telling people she was going to have a baby. Who would believe her? I believe her conception came no later than the first art of Elul (which corresponds with the later part of our August and first part of September). Furthermore, I believe the reason the scripture is written in this language is to show she immediately conceived after Zacharias went home and related the news to her by writing or some means. Now in verse 26 it says in the 6th month of her expectancy (and this doesn’t mean the 6th month had transpired, but according to the scripture it was in the very first of the 6th month with her). Meanwhile, in that 6th month in still another place called Nazareth, a young virgin woman espoused to Joseph of the house of David had a visitor also. Gabriel brought the word to Mary that she would conceive by the Holy Ghost and bear a son of God and the angel informed her that he aged cousin Elizabeth hd also conceived and was in the first part of her 6th month and would also bear a son. In verse 39 at that time (1st of the 6th month period with Elizabeth) Mary arose in haste and journeyed into the hill country of Judea. In the beginning of the sixth month which is approximately the 1st of January. Recall, Elizabeth had hid herself five months and at the beginning of the 6th month Mary received the news and hastens to Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-56).

 

JEWISH YEAR AND LUNAR MONTH

 

14 Watch closely. Since the Jewish years are based on a lunar month and the lunar year only has 355 days, therefore, it is necessary every 3 years they add an extra month. Let us take fo an instance (not to establish a year but merely for an example) using Jewish calendar of 1972 and coming into 1973, using it for nothing more than a guideline or an example, and naturally we will begin with that month of the Abia 1972 of the Jewish calendar in which was the monthly course of Zacharias’s temple ministry being administered, that month having 30 days corresponds, as we already stated, with the last part of our July and the first part of August. The following month Elul, last of August and first of September, on the Jewish calendar 1972-73 which we are using for examples which would have made Elizabeth’s expectancy period begin around Aug. 11. However, five months later would bring her up unto the Jewish month Teves which has 29 lunar days. It would so happen the lunar month would end on our Jan. 3, 1973, therefore the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy as the angel visited Mary would appear on the 4th day of January. Henceforth, if you start counting at Jan. 4, 1973, and count off 270 days which is nine complete lunar months that would bring us up to Oct. 11th, 1973. Now, if Christ was born as a perfect man through a perfect conception it should not have required over 270 days which would equal to nine lunar months, however, for the sake of argument we will extend 10 more days which brings us into the period of 280 days which would be a regular nine months Roman calendar pregnancy period for Mary. This would bring it up to October 21, 1973. (Bear in mind we are using a 1972-1973 calendar, for remember those lunar days and months did fluctuate over a three year period. That is why every three years on the Jewish calendar an extra month had to be added. The Jewish calendar year is only 355 days while the solar year (which we observe) is 365 days and season wise we can safely say we are somewhere within a 21 day period of the approximate birth of Christ. Therefore, according to scripture, we can say Christ was born in the fall season. From the scriptural account this is the best we can do; however, if you desire to accept the traditional date of some other time or season that is entire up to you. Nevertheless, I leave you with one question. The time you do accept, can it be proven by the scripture?

 

WAS CHRIST’S FLESH SINLESS?

 

When Christ came into the world all he was was placed into a sinless perfect body of human flesh. Seeing the route Christ was brought into the world some may ask, was Christ’s flesh actually sinless? Certainly it was. Although the flesh body for the Spirit of God to dwell within had been formed within a human womb and his mother belonged to the Adamic race; nevertheless, his flesh was sinless. How, you may ask? Christ was conceived by the Holy Ghost (Matt. 1:20). That is, produced from a perfect seed created by the Holy Ghost which carried a does all male seed for human birth, 23 chromosomes in the genes within the seed which transfers from the father the hereditary qualities of the father, while within the woman (Mary) who was used only to house and nourish the little fetus, was created a perfect and sinless egg, carrying an equal number of chromosomes which (normally) produced the characteristics or hereditary qualities of the mother. However, in the birth of Christ a sinless, perfect egg and seed, apart from the fallen nature of man was prepared for conception thereby providing a perfect sinless bloodstream carrying none of the fallen nature of mankind. Here was born into this world a perfect baby who neither shared nor contributed to the depraved state f man for whom he had come to rescue. In that respect, his flesh was sinless; therefore, what his spirit was clothed in had been made in the exact likeness of sinful flesh (Rom. 8:3).

 

WHAT IF CHRIST HAD BEEN BORN OF SINFUL FLESH

 

Had he been born in sinful flesh, Christ along with others of the human race would have been trapped as a wretched sinner. And being conceived as a sinner would have forfeited all his rights to hold the position of the second Adam. Therefore, Christ came in sinless flesh for the sake of 15 undoing sin in the flesh and at the proper hour would also begin the process of fulfilling in righteousness that great commission in which the first Adam had so miserably failed. And recall, it is not until after the flood wherein only eight souls survived do we hear for the second time another man receiving that same commission to multiply and replenish the earth (Gen. 9:1). That man was Noah. Although Noah’s three sons, all being of the Adamic race, began to work on this commission (multiplying and replenishing) neither could they fulfill it in righteousness. That which we see today having swollen to a staggering populated world of over 3.4 billion all came from the sons of Noah. At no time has this commission ever been fulfilled in righteousness due to the condition of fallen mankind. However, thank God there will be one man out of billions of people born on the face of this earth who one day will fulfill that commission of Gen. 1:27 completely in righteousness.

 

THINGS CHRIST DID NOT UNDO DURING FIRST ADVENT

 

The second Adam will be the third and final man from the ranks of humanity who embraces this commission. However, it must be noted during Christ’s first advent when offering himself as a spotless lamb none of the following five things were even touched in this part of his ministry (1) Adam’s choice in the sexual route which produced death, (2) man’s problem of polluting the earth, (3) to remove death in the human bloodstream as brought by the curse, (4) Did not bring peace to the animal kingdom and (5) Did not begin to rule the earth in righteousness.

 

ADAM’S ROUTE OF BIRTH UNTAMPERED, NEW BIRTH OFFERED INSTEAD

 

We do not find him in any manner, when he was born into this earth, tampering with this process route or cycle of natural life. Do we? Instead, he offered this lost human race, all of whom were helplessly born in sin and depravity, bearing the stains and identity of the Adamic nature which flowed from generation to generation through the human bloodstream transported through the route of sex, he offered to them a chance or opportunity that first their inner man, who is spirit, could experience a new birth from above or experience a second birth with the promise after this new birth of the inner man was accomplished, the body would still have to face death. Nevertheless, the day would come when this old corruptible body in which the new man lived would at death, go into the ground, yet one day come forth also as a new immortal body. No, Christ did not tamper with the inherited characteristics of death, disease and iniquity which flowed continually through the human bloodstream causing man’s evil attributes to produce more evil in generations to come. All these characteristics or attributes of evil which would one day be met by death would live on in the human body or bloodstream and continue producing more lost depraved human beings as the sex union is continued. However, one day at death all this would cease in the human body as the natural life faced death, the curse placed in the Garden upon the human race in the final step in this natural life. Remember, death is continually working in the flesh of mankind even though the spirit of man experienced a new birth through Christ Jesus our Lord. It is interesting to further note when the second Adam was here upon earth he did not take hold of this great commission to begin to rule the earth or to undo the pollution made by mankind nor to bring about peace and harmony between man and his animal kingdom. There is a day and hour for this, however that hour was not 2,000 years ago. No, it wasn’t during the God-man’s first advent these things were to be fulfilled.

 

WHY COMMISSION UNFULFILLED IN FIRST ADVENT

 

Do you realize why it wasn’t? Because he didn’t ask at that hour have a bride to assist him in the commission. Recall, the commission had been given to both the male and female attributes. Taking this commission and fulfilling it in righteousness could only come about upon the return or the second advent of the Lord of Glory our second Adam when he returns to earth with his wife, as he sets up a program to rule and reign it righteousness along with his Bride and Old 16 Testament saints as well. It will be in that hour to which Christ refers as the age of regeneration when all this commission will be fulfilled in righteousness as the fulfillment of it can only come by and through the redemption of the second Adam.

 

FIRST ADVENT DID NOT REMOVE DEATH

 

No, in his first advent he did not remove death itself, the curse which had been placed upon mankind in the Garden and transferred from generation to generation through the genetic bloodstream by the sex route along with all these other evil attributes introduced into the bloodstream after Gen. 6. Instead, if you recall, Christ invited death into his own life and death took him, although death could by no means hold him. When the second Adam, the Lord of Glory, came into the world and took upon himself the form or robe of flesh, becoming mankind’s second Adam or route of escape from all that dreadful penalty of what happened in the Garden. No, at that hour he did not begin to change or undo the nature of the animal kingdom did he? At that hour all he offered was a route through the new birth to change the inner man’s nature (not clean up his human bloodstream wherein death lived) in all mankind. Man’s spirit or inner nature, through the new birth, could be reborn; however, his flesh must suffer the penalty of the law of death and sin by dying. Christ did, however, promise through the resurrection our bodies which had face death and as a result had to go into the ground, rot, decay and return to the dust from when it came (Gen. 3:19), at an appointed hour all these bodies which died in the Lord would now be purified and come forth out of the ground immortal to stand upon the earth.

 

NEW BIRTH AND NEW BODY REMOVES TRACES OF INHERITED SIN

 

In that manner God would have completely undone or erased all traces of death (as far as the individual converted man was concerned) from the penalty of the inherited sin which had been transferred into his life through the Genetic bloodstream from the Garden. With the completion of the resurrection of the body, redeemed man would now be completely new, body soul and spirit, and the new spiritual man now in this new resurrected body, along with the second Adam will cleanse the earth of evil and through instructions of righteousness unto a mortal realm which will be present according to the scripture in that hour (Age of Regeneration) when the animal kingdom will be at peace with mankind, and when pollution in every form will not only be lifted off the human race, but off the earth as well.

 

CHRIST RECEIVES BRIDE BETWEEN FIRST AND SECOND ADVENT

 

What do we mean by all this? We are simply saying the second Adam never touched any of the commission nor fulfilled any of it in righteousness upon His first advent although He will completely fulfill it in His second advent. And notice, it is between the time of that first and second advent, through seven dispensational church ages of grace God has been busy forming Christ a beautiful bride from his own eternal life along with the blood and water which came from his side at Calvary. Once those ingredients have formed a perfect, beautiful bride for the second Adam, he comes to translate her into glory for a wedding supper and returns with her to this earth whereupon the two, with the assistance of all the Old Testament saints will begin the process of cleansing the earth of the sin and iniquity placed on it through the disobedience of the first Adam and his wife. The designated time assigned for this work and the fulfilling of all the great commission in Gen. 1:27 in righteousness will be 1,000 years.

 

REDEMPTION, A FINISHED PRODUCT

 

All this redemption we see in Jesus Christ, the second Adam. When reading our Bible we quickly discover redemption is not something God has thought up several hundred years after Adam fell. By no means do we note redemption to be something God anticipated, hoped or imagined he might be able to accomplish. Instead from each scripture we notice with God in his mind it is already a finished product. Since he was fully aware man would take the rout he did, and all turn out as it has, even before the foundation of the world God had prepared a plan or 17 route whereby he might redeem fallen man in his lust, greed and sin back unto himself (that is, all who would accept him). In other words, God had already set forth a plan before the foundation of the world for redemption to undo all this evil to be brought upon the world through the disobedience of his first Adam. We have no time at present to discuss what happens to those who do not accept his plan, our primary interest is discussing redemption for those whom God has purposed to redeem through the Lord Jesus Christ (as they accept him). Therefore, it is from a scriptural standpoint of redemption we desire to take a sincere look into his vast foreknowledge wherein he had previously counseled with himself before the foundation of the world. Eph. 1:9- 11, and therein his mind redemption became a completely finished produce including the role of the Bride of Christ. Just as the first Adam had everything placed within himself before leaving the spirit world, those female attributes to produce a wife, the knowledge to fulfill his commission, to be fruitful and multiply, etc. he knew exactly his role as well as did Eve even before they were placed in separate bodies here on earth. Recall, even after the male and female attributes had been placed in the one male body, before her separation, the word of God would fellowship Adam in the cool of the day, flooding his mind with revelatory thoughts, concerning his objective of being placed upon the earth. May I say here, Eve being present in Adam was fully aware of that great program as well.

 

BRIDE BY REVELATION SHOULD KNOW

 

Likewise, from the scriptural standpoint do we see that second Adam’s Bride also taken from his side at Calvary potentially was in him and shouldn’t she (as well as Eve) also know by revelation within this hour she too is being made up (or completed) from those very elements of spirit, water and blood taken from him while he was sleeping the sleep of death to begin to form and give eternal life to a beautiful bride which is taking God the period of seven church ages to accomplish. How is it possible in the final stage, this Bride, having a role so important to play with her husband Christ the second Adam, could remain ignorant to the role they must fulfill together in fulfilling that commission in righteousness during the millennium or 1,000 year reign of Christ? Beloved, by all means having been in him, the Bride (of this hour) should know especially from the revelatory route of the flowing of the Spirit into her mind, revealing to her that important role for which she has been chosen. It is inconceivable to think as this first Adam and his wife typed and foreshadowed God’s plan for the second Adam and his Bride, his Bride would remain in ignorance to that which has been revealed to him seeing the Spirit of Christ is eager to share with her that definite knowledge of the role she had been chosen to play in his kingdom age as his queen.

 

REVELATION BEFORE AGE 12

 

Even as a lad of 12, Christ showed remarkable knowledge that he was fully aware he was destined to do something. Christ revealed that knowledge already lay within him when he was accidently left behind at Jerusalem by Mary and Joseph who later found him in the temple confounding the doctors of divinity as well as the scribes with things normally a lad that age would not be so deeply involved in. Recall his answer when Mary and Joseph found him and informed him of the anxiety he had caused in their frantic search, his reply was know ye not that I must be about my Father’s business. Why had he said this? Because there lay within his pure undefiled mind a knowledge as to his divine purpose for being upon earth. Christ the second Adam had a mind whereby the pure revelation of truth flowed in understanding as to his redemptive earthly role. And did not Paul instruct the Bride to have the (same, like) mind of Christ. Phil. 2:5. The question is, how can a people of this hour who declare they are of the perfecting stage of the Bride of Christ be a people with no individual personal revelation or knowledge as to the role they are to play with the second Adam in the 1,000 year reign. Eve knew her role. The scriptures declare the brides of both Adams not only received life from 18 ingredients removed from their husbands, but they themselves were in their husbands, the two Adams, and were brought forth from them.

 

 PART 4 THE AGE OF REGENERATION

 

In Matt. 19:28, we see this word “re” being used for the third time only this time it points to the ministry of the second Adam in a different hour and age. Jesus had been speaking concerning how difficult it was for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven when, no doubt, Peter and the other disciples who had forsaken all wondered if they themselves had any chance of entering and it prompted Peter who was very concerned to ask Jesus the question, “Behold, we have forsaken all to follow thee, what shall we have therefore”. Listen to Jesus’ answer, verily I say unto you that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the son of man shall sit in the throne f his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones.” Matt. 19:28. For the third time we have seen the word “re”. Of what is Christ speaking? You disciples will be seated on twelve thrones in the regeneration. Notice beloved, Peter fires this question and without consulting a single book for an answer Christ simply replied to the position they would hold in the age of what he called regeneration. Note how every answer to man’s problems and questions lay within this second Adam, questions such as man’s redemption, his eternal state of being; his relation with God as well as life in the world beyond. No, Christ didn’t consult a book for the answer to Peter’s question because the revelation and understanding of all the prophets had spoken throughout the scriptures lay right there in Christ. Therefore, the answer merely flowed from Christ the second Adam, the Lord of Gory who had come to undo everything the first Adam managed to get off course through disobedience. Think of it beloved, even when Adam disobeyed he didn’t have to turn back t some book or creed to see if he had done wrong. He knew within himself because his conscience had told him so. We have left all to follow thee, Peter said, what shall be our reward? Without hesitation, Jesus picked up that word “re” and began by saying, in the age of regeneration, etc. Regeneration must be examined spiritually and although it is an age where there will be much immortality around in a glorified state, please don’t get confused thinking all mankind in the age of regeneration will be in a glorified state. This is simply not true.

 

BRIDE POSSESSES REVELATORY MIND OF CHRIST

 

We have already discussed how Adam and Eve had the same revelation on the commission as to what their role in life would be although the serpent beguiled her; nevertheless, she still knew her role. She perhaps felt she had discovered a better way of performing the role. (2 Cor. 11:2- 4). How much more should not the second Adam and his bride be walking in the same revelation as to their role in the regeneration when they begin undoing all the first Adam was responsible for doing. Therefore, I say if the same spirit that he is, is in you (If you were ordained to be a part of him) the same revelation which is in him should flow in you who are ordained to fulfill all things in redemption. (Some where that same revelation of his has to strike back in your own bosom. Yes, even concerning this age yet to come called the age of regeneration. Are you not a part of him, chosen before the foundation of the world to share with him of that glory? The same spirit of revelation that Jesus is must flow into the Bride the same as that knowledge lay in Eve before she was taken from the first Adam because they walked in the same revelation. That mind of Christ which was in the second Adam must be in his bride people of this hour. Once the Holy Ghost begins to express something, that spirit which motivates and leads you, (if it be the Holy Ghost) must somewhere begin to answer back and respond accordingly to his revelation. Why? Because the makeup of Eve coincided with the makeup of Adam concerning their role in the creation, her revelation fit his and his revelation was no different from hers. Therefore, I say whatever Holy Ghost revelation flowed through Christ the second Adam concerning the purpose and plan of God in redemption to this race 19 including also the age of regeneration, if we be in him that same true spirit of revelation in him must begin to reflect back within the bride saints whereupon the bride saints will declare as they hear true revelation. I see it, I see it! No, she won’t have to read several dozen books to know if it is correct, somewhere in her bosom will be an understanding to what is right especially concerning his redemptive work of which she is to play such an important role. True, you may discover the clue to the key in some book, nevertheless there first must be inside that bride that spark of revelation whereby what is found or discovered can become a revelation of truth in her heart, as truth fed by the Holy Ghost. I assure you as this second Adam returns to earth, takes hold of the reins of government (Isa. 9:6) and begins to fulfill this commission, as stated he will by no means immediately undo the present Adamic nature which is still present in the mortal bloodstream of those subjects in his kingdom age, although he will extend longevity of life in the flesh to his subjects who were spared as the vengeance and wrath of God passed over the earth. And with the binding of Satan in the bottomless pit at the very beginning of his reign (Rev. 20:1- 4) the instructions through his bride will begin to set in motion the program of undoing all traces of sin, pollution and iniquity which has been brought about through depraved, dying mankind. I will say, up until the second Adam comes to the earth, mankind has never experienced such a break. Mankind, since Adam and Eve, could only continue to follow a sinful route, whereas the new Adam along with his immortal realm of revelated bride people will not be following a sinful route in undoing first of all, all of that which death, wars, heartaches and corruption has produced through disobedience because the path followed will be a path of righteousness. The prophet Isaiah declared “in that hour the knowledge of the Lord will cover the lands as the water covers the sea”. Henceforth, it will be the revelation of the Word of the Lord which the second Adam and his bride, along with Old Testament saints, is responsible for using in that undoing process created through man’s pollution. Through that revelated Word during the 1,000 years reign they not only lift the curse upon mankind and the animal kingdom but upon the earth as well. Does the word “regeneration” ever occur again in scripture? Yes, once in Titus 3:5 although here it speaks concerning the new birth which is the renewing of a man’s soul, whereas in Matt. 19:28, Christ has no reference to the new birth which is a process of redemption occurring only through the grace age. Instead, regeneration in Christ’s usage of the term implied the renewing of the earth or the refilling of the earth in another age. Regeneration here in Matt. 19:28 is dealing with a social order of life and events here upon this earth at some future date; it is that one dispensational day referred to as (the millennium) or 1,000 years reign of Christ (Rev. 20:6) during which the second Adam, along with his immortal wife, shall reign on earth. But reign over who, each other? Let’s not be foolish, Christ, his immortal bride and Old Testament saints designated in different positions will reign over a mortal realm of natural human beings. Their program begins setting in motion a cycle of multiplication, not only among humanity itself, but the animal kingdom as well. Therefore, the earth will be renewed socially, strictly through a mortal realm of people over which Christ and his bride rule (Rev. 2:26-27). Back to the answer to Peter’s question when Jesus said, you will sit on twelve thrones in the age of regeneration. Throughout such a glorious order of society, the second Adam will rule and reign as King and the Apostle Peter is told the disciples shall each sit on thrones, ruling over somebody. Where? In the regeneration! PLACING “RE” BEFORE WORD CHANGES MEANING No one needs much education to realize when the phrase “re” appears before another word you have changed its original meaning by taking the word out of the singular action. The single word generation speaks of one, does it not? However, place “re” before generation, what do you have? You have made it to be more than one, haven’t you? We have already noted when “re” was placed before plenish it changed the meaning unto “do it again”. Plenish alone implies 20 something being done for the first time. Therefore remember, whenever a revelation lies within the proper usage and understanding of some word. God doesn’t permit that word to be loosely or carelessly thrown into the scriptures to take up space. In these words lay the key which unlocks the entire heart or core to the subject matter. The second Adam is telling Peter, in the age of 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. Matt. 19:28.

 

CHRIST’S THRONE OF GLORY WHERE IS IT?

 

Where, may I ask, is Christ’s throne of Glory? It certainly isn’t in the eternal realm. Christ is not now sitting upon his throne of glory because scripture declares Christ to be seated on the Father’s throne. Rev. 3:21. And it must be understood of course that the Father’s throne is not a literal chair throne by any means. Instead, it is pictorial language showing to the natural mind Christ has been taken up into glory through the age of grace and seated on the right hand of the great Eternal Spirit Majesty Power and Authority. Heb. 8:1, 9:11-15. It is into such a position as that to which Christ was exalted wherein the great Eternal Spirit might exercise through that mediatorial office work of Christ throughout the grace age certain redemptive effort which are to be accomplished. No, Christ is not seated on some literal chair in glory. It is through the door of our natural minds we are able to see these things therefore the writer in order to portray these transactions as well as these positions of authority throughout their various periods of time had to use such natural language to portray these various positions of Christ. Likewise, that is why the Lord Jesus said to the overcomers in the Laodicean Church Age (our age) to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne. Rev. 3:21. Here again in reality we must remember no one will actually be seated in the same chair with Christ.

 

ROLE OF SON OF DAVID

 

What then is his chair position in that hour (of his glory)? Recall when Christ the second Adam comes to take his rightful throne position, that position will be the long awaited ancient seat of David wherein he shall be able to fulfill his role as the son of David (Ezek. 34:23-24). As I said before, in that hour no overcomer expects to say, slide over Lord and let me sit down with you on your thorn, after all you promised. No, beloved, no overcomer will be that carnal minded. Well, if he didn’t mean exactly that, someone will say, what then did he mean wen he promised the overcomers of the Laodicean Age they could sit with him in his throne? It simply means Christ will give to that overcomer a position of authority in the realm of his authority wherein as he is King (Zech. 14:9) so will the overcomers become kings and priests to rule and reign with him in the 1,000 years (Rev. 20:6, also Rev. 1:5-8). He will sit in Jerusalem yet as far as a natural chair is concerned, there is only one throne position in Jerusalem. That is in the temple. (Ezek. 43:6-7).

 

CHRIST IN TEMPLE

 

Christ sits in the temple of the holy city Jerusalem in the age of regeneration and rules the world as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His literal chair position is none other than the ancient throne position of the seat of David for which Israel has so long waited for the prophecies of the Old Testament to be fulfilled concerning David’s son to come and be king over Israel (Ezek. 34:23-25). II Sam. 7:16, also Matt. 1:1). As far as the literal throne chair of David is concerned, no doubt it will be a new chair; however, the throne position itself is by no means new, because in that throne position of his glory rests all the promises of scripture in that son of David kingship wherein the scripture declares out of the loins of David should come a son (II Sam. 7:10-16, Mk. 12:35, Matt. 21:9-11), who in all this would be characterized and fulfilled in none other than Christ the second Adam (and certainly not in Solomon, David’s natural son).

 

CHRIST’S THRONE POSITION NOW

 

Therefore, if that be true and the scripture has verified it to be, then the throne position of his 21 glory (Matt. 19:28) is definitely not the throne position he shares in his heavenly mediatorial capacity throughout the grace age. That throne speaks of the Father’s realm or position wherein lay all spiritual authority. However, once he returns to earth, Zech. 14:4 to be made known unto all as the man who walked on the sea of Galilee and is further seen as one who bears the cruel nailprints in his hands received at Calvary, the second Adam will be visibly seen upon this earth by mortal eyes (Rev. 1:7) the same as he was seen in Acts 1:10-11 as he ascended into glory where, as an overcomer, he sat down in the Father’s throne (Rev. 3:21) coming to earth to renew and fulfill all his redemptive office work and authority. The second Adam will go into Jerusalem and take up his throne position as Ezek. 43:7, Zech. 14:9 declares, and the Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name One. At that time all authority in heaven will be invested in this second Adam as he reaches out to take the government of every nation that is left under his control, Zech. 14:16. If still alive and in office, Nixon, Golda Meir, Brandt, Heath, Pompedieu as well as all other rulers of world government would have to say, Lord, for so long we have been looking for a man like you to come and undo what we could not. Christ literally takes the throne position of his glory here in the center of the earth at Jerusalem to be king over the planet. When? In the age of regeneration or 1,000 years reign. And think of it, beloved, according to Eph. 1:4-11 all of this was invested in him (as was his bride) before the foundation of the world.

 

SATAN’S KNOWLEDGE OF KINGSHIP

 

Did Satan realize while Christ was here upon earth, he was ordained to be king of Israel and over the world? Most assuredly! Recall, when Christ fasted 40 days and nights in the wilderness and Satan came to him, why else would Satan take Christ upon a high mountain and show him all the kingdoms of the world declaring I will make you ruler or king now by giving you all this, if you will only fall down and worship me. (Matt. 4:8-10) Christ rejected Satan’s offer, defeating Satan on the basis of the written word. Christ wanted Satan to know the scriptures alone, if obeyed, could defeat him. In his earthly bosom Christ was fully conscious one day he would be king, the scriptures ha declared it. That is why the Hebrew writer could triumphantly declare in spite of the shame of the cross because of the glory set before him, he endured the cross. (Heb. 12:2).

 

THE GLORY SET BEFORE HIM, WHAT WAS IT?

 

What was this glory set before this second Adam? He saw, as a man, the position he would one day obtain on this earth in God’s great redemptive program, that in and through him, he the second Adam would be God’s very means whereby humanity could be reconciled, released, set free from the curse of sin along with this very earth itself being renewed and reconciled back to God also. That was His joy. Certainly, no one could say that things he endured from his birth in a manger to his death on Calvary could be considered joy. What untold testings and sufferings he endured. Nevertheless, it was that joy set before him that spurred him on. No one could say the cross was a joyful thing for him to look forward to and no one could say the continual laughter, jeering, mocking, humiliating remarks concerning him made by the Scribes and Pharisees who tried to influence Israel he was some bac character born out of wedlock was joyful. That certainly was no joy, but oh, praise God, he could look beyond all those dark trying day, he could look beyond the pains of Calvary, beyond the feeling of death stalking his flesh; he could look beyond all this and see once his life had been separated from his flesh, he the second Adam (the Lord of Glory) had within him a commission and authority to fulfill something. Remember, beloved, up until the very hour those spikes were driven into his hands and feet, in reality redemption was still in the making. For the past 3½ years the second Adam had only been encouraging, illustrating and informing humanity what could be accomplished if only they would look unto the correct source, look unto him the second Adam. Why look to him? Because everything about redemption lay within that second Adam. The bride was in him. Our 22 redemption, our resurrection, our revelation all lay in him. Our spiritual growth and understanding lay in him as well as whatever we will be in the future all lay in him. Just think, somewhere before that hour, through revelation, he shares all that knowledge with his wife. Why? Because she is a part of him and ordained to share the glory with him. Eph. 1:4-11, and if the wife has the mind of Christ as she should (Phil. 2:5) she should begin to understand her position in him.

 

CHRIST’S TWO GREATEST TESTS

 

The time of Christ’s journey on earth was one severe test after another although perhaps two of the greatest tests he ever faced while being tested for that role of redemption as the second Adam was (1) His wilderness experience where Satan tried to first get him to turn stones into bread to feed his hungry body; next, offer him the kingdoms of the world if only he would once worship him and each time Satan was defeated not on the basis of Christ being a miracle worker, no, no, but because certain things had been written in the scriptures. Satan seeing he could not get Christ to bow down to him thought perhaps he might trick Christ into committing suicide that he might die before the proper time. Naturally, since all redemption lay in Christ, Satan felt God’s purpose in redemption would be defeated. Therefore, once again Satan took him upon the pinnacle of the temple, telling him to jump for it was written the angels would take charge seeing no harm would come to him (Matt. 4:5-7). Again, Christ defeated Satan on the authority of the scripture. Satan knew once that hour had arrived for Christ to actually lay down his life, it would set in motion the process of redemption, first for the release of Old Testament saints, and worse of all his (Satan’s) kingdom would tumble being destroyed. (2) Perhaps the last great trial Christ endured was the Garden of Gethsemane. Recall, the first Adam was defeated in a beautiful garden; however, the second Adam won his greatest victory in the garden.

 

CHRIST’S BITTER CUP

 

Have you ever thought of what would have happened had he not gone to Calvary and drank the bitter cup? Sometimes in our attempt to exalt Christ as God in the flesh as declared in II Cor. 5:19, I Tim. 3:16, Isa. 9:6 and many other scriptures, we almost overlook that role of humanity or the agony of the flesh as Christ was man as well as God and he being all man had to face several temptations as did the first Adam, not lustful temptations as does man born with a fallen nature in his bloodstream, nevertheless, as the first Adam was thoroughly tested for his role he was to perform, likewise was the second Adam severely tested. The human man side of him tested for the role of redemption he should perform. No doubt after having defeated Satan on every occasion his most severe hour of struggle came in the Garden of Gethsemane where he asked the Father in prayer as he felt the weight of it all rushing in on him, if it be possible would he please let this bitter cup of which he was about to drink pass over him. In the Garden of Gethsemane we see his flesh in the greatest struggle it had ever faced. Redemption depends solely upon this man, and Satan has been overthrown in every incident whereby he tried to keep Christ from the cross. Recall, when Christ was discussing with his disciples the necessity of him going to the cross, Peter, without thinking said, Lord, be it far from thee, you don’t have to do that. Jesus recognized his old enemy Lucifer the archangel who had so often tried to divert him from the cross, who now sees his opportunity through Christ’s disciples to try and turn Christ from the one hour he has been ordained to fulfill. Recognizing these were not Peter’s thoughts Christ looks at Peter; however, he addresses Satan, get thee behind me Satan, the words thou speakest are not the words of God (Matt. 16:21-23). Now he is not addressing his disciples in Gethsemane where three of them lay asleep who could not remain awake to watch for him, he is lest alone to pour out his very soul unto the Eternal Spirit who through the Virgin Mary has fathered him into the world and he says, Father, if it be thy will let this cup pass from me. Luke 22:42, nevertheless, not my will but thine be done. There in his agony and grief an angel 23 appears unto him fro heaven to strengthen him and being in such agony he prayed the more earnestly and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood, falling down to the ground.

 

 BATTLE OF FLESH

 

The second Adam has now passed his final severe test before Calvary and note where he passed it; in a garden. This was a struggle within his own flesh. Now he has conquered everything and soon as death comes to him, he will be ready to step into that magnificent role of redemption, by first going straight into hell (paradise) and releasing the captives there. Yes, Satan knew once that hour of Calvary arrived, he would be defeated not only on earth, but beneath the earth as well where redemption would first begin, for the Son of Man had been manifested to destroy the works of the devil (I John 3:8). Having asked the Father if it be possible to allow the cup to pass from him, perhaps in his mind he realizes this is impossible as he says; nevertheless, for this hour came I into the world, not my will but thine be done. What if he had not yielded to the mind and will of the great Eternal Spirit whereby redemption for all mankind, the animal kingdom and the earth as well could not be accomplished in its true ordained purpose? But thank God in the most awful human agonizing experience his flesh ever endured he yielded to the will of the Father.

 

VERDICT – GUILTY

 

Therefore, being betrayed by a kiss he is now ready to be led from the Garden of Gethsemane into the courts of Jerusalem where he stood an unlawful trial in the middle of the night, tried as some common criminal who might be guilty of sin, perversion or insurrection, their verdict, guilty and as the son declares (he was not guilty as the Sanhedrin declared him to be) but He was guilty of love in the first degree. By nine o’clock the following morning he was led to his own execution, to a hill overlooking the very city which only a few days before he had wept over. Christ was born in the flesh but he was certainly not born in sinful flesh because fo the sake of undoing sin in the flesh he must condemn sin in the flesh by taking it upon himself and bearing it on the cross of Calvary. Therefore, the scripture declares emphatically that no sin or iniquity could possibly be found in the flesh of the second Adam, only that he had been made in the exact likeness of sinful flesh in order to condemn sin in the flesh of others. Christ, who knew no sin, no guilt, no condemnation, took upon himself the penalty of our sins as he bled and died at Calvary.

 

DEATH AND THE SECOND ADAM

 

What was death for him? Except for one difference, it was the same as death for him, like all mankind, was the separation of his Spirit life from that of his fleshly life (James 2:26). However, the one exception in this case was death could not hold this one although he had willingly given himself into the hands of death. Death had no right to his inner man nor just cause to hold him although he had been born from the womb f woman as had all mankind. Nevertheless, he had escaped all the fallen Adamic nature which dwelt in the bloodstream of all mankind. There was no legal claim on his life by which death could hold him; therefore death had to release its victim. Death became a mere pushover for the power of this new order of man, the second Adam, and three days after he had freely given himself into the hands of death on Calvary’s cross, that life of Christ swept back into the tomb to resurrect his own body before 72 hours had expired to fulfill Psalms 16:10 as he came forth once again in the same body of flesh mistreated on the cross, fellowshipped his disciples for approximately 40 days, then ascended to glory.

 

HIS ETERNAL LIFE

 

What happened to that Eternal life poured out on the cross of Calvary? It was taken and given to revelated believers who could hear what the Spirit had to say to the church (Rev. 2:29, 3:6) after the day of Pentecost as God through seven stages would be forming Christ a wife from all that 24 which had been taken from him at Calvary. Therefore, our sins which we had committed in our flesh were all represented there in his flesh (all those in him) in order that our flesh could be redemptive work through the sinless blood of the Father, the Holy Ghost, which came from his flesh and being shed became the atonement for the sins of the human race which had been committed in our flesh.

 

A REMNANT SPARED

 

Before looking further into the day of regeneration spoken of in Matt. 19:28, may I address a line of thought to anyone who feels there will not be a small remnant of humanity preserved for that new age in somewhat the same manner Noah and his family were preserved while God’s judgment passed over the earth and you feel this simply because the prophet Malachi stated; in that day the righteous would walk out (into the new age) onto the ashes of the wicked, therefore you feel this one passage indicates all physical mankind had literally been destroyed and been reduced to mere ashes during the day of vengeance and wrath and furthermore that Christ and his righteous saints only who came to earth with him are the only ones here upon the earth during the 1,000 years reign. Be not too hasty in forming such an opinion until first you have read what other prophets said about this period. True, if you never read another scripture other than Mal. 4:3 you could easily reach such a conclusion; however, if you read what Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Revelator and others had to say concerning that same day no doubt you would quickly change your theory. There are simply far too many scriptures speaking of what a mortal race of people will be doing on this earth under Christ’s administration, assisted not only by his Bride, but Old Testament saints as well. While no doubt in some parts of this old planet, humanity will be burned to such a crisp mankind will be reduced to ashes fulfilling Malachi’s prophecy and there would be nothing but ashes for the righteous to walk out upon. However, other scripture indicates all mankind will not be reduced to ashes. Rev. 19:17-18 also speaks of that dreadful day of vengeance where God’s wrath destroys mankind and says God invites the fowls of the air to come and eat and drink to their fill of the dead flesh of man, animals, etc. Now, I remind you had mankind as a whole been reduced to nothing other than mere ashes everywhere, the fowls of the air would have a most difficult time eating the flesh and drinking the blood until they become drunken as the scripture indicates they will. Then, what about Jeremiah, another prophet, speaking about that same day of the Lord, declared how the slain bodies would lie from one end of the earth to the other and no one would lament over them nor bury them? That scene doesn’t appear that everything was totally reduced to ashes, does it? Here is another prophet I must not fail to mention, Isaiah. Isa. 24:6 holds the key to a remnant being spared, as Isaiah too spoke of the day of the Lord whereupon Isaiah says God practically eliminates the flesh of man before the 1,000 years reign. Isaiah looks again and saw all mankind was not annihilated for he prophesied the curse devoured the earth and they that dwell therein are desolate. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned and few men left. Isaiah says out of it all, a few men will be left. You see, that makes it as in the days of Noah, Matt. 24:36-39 wherein a few that was left once the judgment of God passed over the earth before his coming is to be used for repopulation and the fulfillment of the commission of Gen. 1:27. Recall, to repopulate he only needs two of anything. Remember, in studying scripture you never take just one verse concerning a topic but every one must be brought into view as one studies to get the entire picture to what has been revealed to the prophets. Next month, our study shall cover that period of time referred to as the day of the Lord, bringing into clear focus every scripture which pertains to that hour that we may behold the overall picture which has been set before us. Don’t miss it!

 

 POSITION OF APOSTLES

 

Watch the second Adam as king coming into the age of regeneration to his throne of glory. Matt. 19:28, wherein he instructed the apostles they would each sit on thrones ruling over Israel. 25 That beloved, is flesh and blood Israel, not some spiritual Israel. And for subjects over which to reign he takes with him into the millennium according to Matt. 25:31-45 and Zech. 14:16-21 a small remnant of physical, mortal mankind who survived the day of judgment of the Lord and passed his tet to be in the kingdom age itself. These, the scripture says, had been allowed to escape the great wrath of that day which had previously swept the earth and wherein Isa. 24:6 declared a few men had been spared. Spared for what purpose, to constitute those national subjects needed for Christ and his immortal bride saints and Old Testament saints as well to rule over for 1,000 years (Zech. 24:16-21, Rev. 2:26). Remember, whenever you are brought into a true revelation of the Word, that revelation must put you into the Bible, placing every verse of scripture in its proper place in order to show you the true plan of God. No one verse can ever be isolated from the context or content of thought, it must all fit together.

 

7 TH DAY NOT PERFECT AGE

 

Therefore, Christ takes the throne of his glory, Rev. 3:21, along with all his immortal saints, Zech. 14:5, Rev. 20:6 who are enthroned with him to begin to execute authority in restoring righteous law. However, to whom is this law and authority administered? His immortal saints who come with him, never. It is his subject people of nations. Rev. 2:26-27 declares those overcomers ruled the nations with a rod of iron and that rod of iron mentioned in Rev. 19:15-16 proves this age of regeneration is not yet the perfect age although it is truly a righteous age. It is none other than the seventh dispensational day and that seventh day in itself does not take you back to the first day. No, it only ends the cycle of seven dispensational days. Then you go into the next day which is the first day (8th day) however, in this message we have no time to discuss this other than to say there are two types in scripture which prove there will be an 8th day or an eternal age which follows the seventh day, that 1,000 years reign, and will be a day without end or world without end. Once the 8th day begins, you have come through the seventh and finished cycle. By the time the Great White Throne Judgment is finished, redemption in every phase concerning mankind and earth as well, has been completely restored by the second Adam who has returned it all unto the original Edenic state of fellowship and walk with God. Thus will end the fulfillment of I Cor. 15:26-28.

 

7 TH DAY ALONE DOES NOT REMOVE ALL TRACES OF SIN

 

However, do not think by any means the seventh day alone can lift from this earth every trace and every stain of sin and death imposed by the disobedience of the first Adam, nor can the seventh day through the second Adam and his immortal saints, completely undo the total damage created through fallen mankind’s two attempts to fulfill the commission whereas both attempts to replenish the earth carried with it the death penalty and sin question which produced more crime, sin, more evil and more graveyards as man approached the end of his sixth dispensational day. Yes, beloved, to completely undo every stain will require also the work performed at the great white throne judgment which follows the age of regeneration. (Explanation later)

 

WHAT MATT. 19:28 PROVES

 

As Christ sits on his throne of glory and his Jewish disciples, according to Matt. 19:28, sit over the House of Israel, we learn one important thing, this statement alone reveals those who were Jewish disciples within the first church age of grace, before grace broke with the Jew and was given strictly to the Gentile to call out of the Gentile a people for his name (Acts 15:4) once all this Gentile bride will have been reconciled back to God and presented to Christ as a wife there will be within that body of Christ, Jews as well as Turks, Arabs, Egyptians, Africans, AngloSaxons and every national race of people within that bride body of Christ who, in that hour, shall sit in and over their own respective countries ruling and reigning over their own national dominion. Jews will not be ruling over Turks and Turks not over Jews, etc. That is why grace had been extended into all nations to take out of all nations a people for his name, who as his 26 wife would bear his name. Don’t think Christ as king is ruling over his immortal wife with a rod of iron. By no means! The rule is over these respective nations wherein the rod is used. Therefore, there has to be another people, a subject people here on this earth who, according to scripture, is ruled with the rod of iron which is the scepter of righteousness, authority and rule. And don’t forget that rod of iron is shared with that queen who sits with him. Therefore, the Jewish remnant of disciples who were promised to sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel is proof enough there will have to be a mortal realm of Israelite people who were physically preserved during the time the wrath of God went forth, Zech. 14:16.

 

PRESERVED FOR WHAT?

 

Preserved for what purpose? To complete the nation with enough people that would constitute at least a remnant out of the full twelve tribes in order for the apostles to have something to rule over. Beloved, if all the Israelite nation, as well as the world population, is to be literally exterminated in the day of the Lord’s wrath as some think, how then would it be possible after the Lord returned to take up his throne position of his glory, sitting there in the nation of Israel (the center of the world) to rule the world and the disciples supposedly to have, as Jesus promised, twelve thrones to rule Israel, if there wasn’t a true representation of the Jews alone to constitute twelve tribes which were spared; how could Matt. 19:28 ever be fulfilled.

 

BRIDE POSITION IN MILLENNIUM

 

Once Christ takes his throne position and seeing that a greater portion of the immortal saints within the bride will be gentiles. John in Rev. 20:4 saw the gentile bride position in that hour. What did he see? John said, I saw thrones and they sat on them and judgment was given unto them. See, exactly what Jesus spoke in Rev. 2:26-27, 3:21. This lets me know the righteous gentile revelated bride who returned with him was designated certain positions of authority to rule with the second Adam. When the Bride begins her rule and reign with him we begin to see the redemptive plan of the undoing process going into effect and being executed. First, we see Christ as he gathers before him a representative of all nations and note both Matt. 25:34-46 and Zech. 14:16-21 declared he did away with the wicked first and from the people left of the nations, who are still preserved physically, Christ takes them into the kingdom age as mortal human beings to be his subjects and repopulate the earth. All others died by the sword or word of judgment which proceeded out of his mouth for the scripture declares out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword that he might smite the nations. Rev. 19:15. It is God’s judgment against ungodly sinners that he took fire and vengeance II Thess. 1:7-10. Multitudes died by catastrophes and warfares, Rev. 9:20, 14:14-20, yet remember those wicked which did not die through these means died by the sword which proceeded out of his mouth as another scripture declares he slays the wicked with the breath of his mouth. By mere word of authority spoken, the wicked fall before him as nothing, Zech. 14:12. Nevertheless, according to Isa. 24:6 a few men shall be left; therefore, out of all nations there will be a small representation of all people preserved, Zech. 14:16.

 

CHRIST AND HIS SUBJECT PEOPLE

 

Those left who have been preserved physically who live under his rule of government will not be men and women who build homes, raise their children and divorce one another some years later. There will be no divorce courts or lawyers in his kingdom. BABIES BORN Little children who are born under the second Adam or son of David’s rulership while Satan is bound for the 1,000 years. Rev. 20:1-4 shall not fear from a wild beast. Ezek. 34:25 declares the son of David causes the wild beast to cease out of the land and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. Isa. 11:6-9 pictures three different sizes of children who will be in this millennium reign when he says a little child shall lead the wolf, leopard and young 27 lion. The wolf and the lamb shall lie down and play together. Lions shall eat straw like the ox and remember today the lion is a meat eater. The suckling child, who of course is not as old as a young child who could walk and lead, shall play on the hole of the asp while the weaned child (a little older) shall put his hand fearlessly into the cockatrice’s den. If this passage of scripture does not teach babies are born under this glorious rule of the second Adam’s control, don’t know what would.

 

AGE OF REGENERATION DOES NOT UNDO PRESENT BIRTH ROUTE

 

Remember, Christ’s wife has not been given unto him in that glorious age to repopulate the earth. No, his wife is given to assist him in the rule of the earth that through this mortal realm of subjects the earth would be regenerated and restored into a new social order. Their’s is strictly the work of redemption, not the part of reproduction. Just as today, reproduction comes only through a cycle of the mortal realm. Paul stated in I Cor. 15:25-26 this second Adam would rule and reign until he has put all enemies under his feet, all laws, all authorities, all powers and certainly that last enemy for him to wipe out will be death. Throughout the millennium reign death has only been used as a means of punishment for the wicked and disobedient. That is why it requires 1,000 years to get the job done. Longevity of life has been restored to the mortal realm, Isa. 65:20. Could you imagine longevity of life being restored to a saint who already was living on eternal life. Nonsense! Why would they need longevity of life restored to them seeing they are already immortal, death couldn’t touch them. Hen Rev. 3:26-27 stated to those overcomers of Thyatira I will give power over the nations and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, I hope we aren’t foolish enough to thing them spoken of in this verse is Christ ruling and reading under foot his wife, and all the overcomers.

 

FEAST OF TABERNACLES

 

What is this second Adam and his wife doing on these throne positions over the nations where in she had been taken and given authority with him (while Satan remains bound in the bottomless pit 1,000 years)? She is holding that rod of discipline over the national subjects as they restore back righteous laws and knowledge into the earth. You talk about a clean perfect social function of mankind, no wonder in that hour all nations will be required to go to Jerusalem once each year (Zech. 14:16) to worship the Lord of hosts and keep the Feast of Tabernacles. That feast, beloved, is the only feast of Israel’s seven which she had under law that is observed during the millennium. Why is it observed? Because like the Lord’s Supper (and foot washing) which was given as a memorial for the church, the feast of Tabernacles was also a memorial feast pointing to the complete plan of redemption for both the Law and Grace Age. It shall be kept throughout the entire 1,000 years because it speaks of completeness and the complete redemptive work that was now in progress pointed back to the grace and even into the law age as well (and even before). Just think, during the millennium, Christ has with him both his Old and New Testament saints who had been redeemed through his mercy.

 

TESTING TIME

 

time has moved on and I see the millennium age nearing a close. The world has now been beautified. There has been no sicknesses, no broken homes. Little children have been born during this period from these subject nations and their number would run far past the number of the sands of the sea. It would be nothing for a man to live the entire millennium day provided he walked uprightly, and depending of course when he was born within the reign would also depend on how much time he would have. All the animal kingdom will once again have remultiplied. Today, scientists tell us something must be done, we are killing off all our marine life. Although that is true, all God needs is two. Much of our animal life is vanishing, but all God needs is two. All we have in our animal kingdom today came from that few that walked off Noah’s ark, the 28 others drowned with mankind. Children have never known what it is to be sick or have a decayed tooth or an older person to have wrinkles in their face. The nations are repopulated; no broken homes, yet I remind you this is not the Eternal Age. Time for the age of regeneration to close out and what picture do we see at closing time? You have to read somewhat between the lines, yet there is enough written if you will take into consideration what is there you can certainly see the picture. Rev. 20:7-9 is the closing period of the age of regeneration. Redemption has been progressing throughout the 1,000 years; the world is repopulated and renewed, everything is beautiful and suddenly the devil is loosed from his prison.

 

WHY SATAN LOOSED

 

The question arises, why loose the devil into such a beautiful, perfect setting as this? Closing out the 1,000 years reign, no doubt billions of people are living on the face of the earth who have never personally known what it is to be tempted by the devil. Throughout the age these fortunate people have never felt this spirit of evil influencing them in any manner. They were all privileged to be born and live in a time of nothing but an environment of righteousness, neither have they known what it was to make a choice between a righteous pull and that of the adversary. Therefore, the Eternal God could not permit all these billions of people to pass from this righteous age into the 8th day or the perfect age with Eternal Life without having been tested by Satan as has all other mankind in ages past. Therefore, that old adversary who walked in the Garden, who plotted to take over, now comes stalking out of the pit seeking once again to gain control, to undo what the second Adam has accomplished and restored back to the earth in beauty. Satan and all his imps began to stalk the earth from Gog to Magog, from the four corners of the earth; into every nation they go. His motive, to gain control. Satan took it away from the First Adam and the second Adam took it away from him; therefore, Satan wants it back and scripture declares in Rev. 20:8 he goes out and deceives a number listed as the sands of the sea. A number you can’t even number was deceived. Someone may say the world can’t hold that many people. Under Christ’s reign it did and remember none went hungry. God would be unfair to allow this mass multitude to pass into eternity having never been tested; therefore, Satan goes out upon the breadth of the earth and confronts people for the first time in 1,000 years, confronts these mortal creatures who lived in this glorious reign and never knowing what it was for the old adversary to come against them. It goes to prove even though God had permitted some of them to live 500, 600 and 700 years, depending on when they were born during the millennium, as they had been allowed to enjoy such a beautiful glorious age in an environment of perfect righteousness; nevertheless, scripture declares there will be a number listed as the sands of the seas who sells out to the devil. Sad to say, but it is a fact that Satan deceives such a great number. What is his purpose? To gain control again.

 

JERUSALEM, PRIME TARGET

 

Across the seas lay the city of Jerusalem wherein is the king’s temple and throne, headquarters for the bride and capitol of the millennium world. All laws go out of Jerusalem; all nations have looked unto Jerusalem, therefore it is only natural Satan would cause this great host of misled people to agree with him in some takeover plot by coming against the city of Jerusalem, the world’s capitol. I’ll wage a warfare against the king and his camp, meaning city of the saints, declares Satan. And immortal saints will stand by, looking on while all this is building up and it won’t effect them in the least. They must stand aside and allow Satan to take his toll however, you must look beyond the present condition to see God’s reason for allowing it. As that great army of deceived host makes their final assault on Jerusalem with whatever weapons they have manufactured or whatever they use to bring into play to make this takeover. I want to say not one shot is fired. For no sooner does this happen in Rev. 20:8-9 than does divine intervention step in. He great Eternal God who has been closely observing this buildup as well as has the 29 immortal saints, steps in before this beautiful earth can ever be defiled again with another landbased war. That is why, beloved, when the Battle of Armageddon will be fought somewhere in the near future, when the last shot is fired and the smoke clears away after the tribulation and time moves on into the millennium, you will have seen the last great battle of armies ever to be fought on this earth. The millennium undoes that and there will never be another time the earth will be required to drink the blood of men as it has starting with the day it drank Abel’s (Adam’s son). Men will never be allowed to stand and face each other with kill power weapons. Although Satan deceived this great number and came almost to the verge of it, Rev. 20:9 declares God steps in and rains fire from above upon this host encamped around the beloved city. God won’t need Phantom Jets to drop some hydrogen bomb nor any kind of manmade weapons because suddenly there belches out of heaven fire which consumes the entire enemy camp.

 

WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT REMOVES ALL TRACES OF SIN

 

The scene now changes, Rev. 20:11, and the one who sat on the throne of his glory for the past 1,000 years takes up one more throne position, his lat and final position dealing with redemption as he becomes Judge of The Great White Throne. Here he calls forth all the wicked dead (whose Spirits are in hell and from the crust of the earth come forth the wicked bodies of all ages. And the sea, which for thousands of years had held bodies also, gave up their dead bodies as evil spirits are called out of hell.) Now that he has emptied hell and called all dead bodies up from the earth and the sea as well, what does this reveal to us; the second Adam has now destroyed death and Hell is not more. There has been no righteous in the Paradise section of Hell since Jesus released them after his death at Calvary when he first stepped into his redemptive office work by releasing captive spirits of Old Testament saints who had long waited the blood of Christ to come and cleanse them from sin. With Hell empty and with the dead bodies of wicked sinners now out of the ground, the earth has thoroughly been cleansed from all traces of evil for now he places everything of evil into the lake of fire. Wicked souls now clothed in a body stand present before the Great White Throne Judgment, Rev. 20:11-15. There in the presence of righteous saints of all ages, they are judged as the Saints give witness and testimony against these wicked of their respective generation. Saints won’t stand passing judgment on a generation who lived 500 years before them. You will stand at that Great Judgment as part of his body to give testimony and judgment only against the people of your generation for remember represented in that body of Christ, along with all of his family of saints, will be those of each generation since Adam which corresponds with that wicked group being judged.

 

THAT GLORIOUS AGE

 

Therefore, as he removes from the ground and sea all the wicked bodies and has emptied hell of all the wicked spirits, what has he accomplished? He has destroyed the last enemy which is death itself. I Cor. 15:25-26. Not another graveyard is left on earth, hell isn’t anymore. Where is everything now? In the Lake of fire. Rev. 20:15. The final destination of all wicked. Last but not least, all these foul unclean spirits which have run through the ages are brought before this throne judgment also to be judged and cast into the lake of fire. Now what has happened? Not only in the earth completely rid of every trace and stain of sin, he has now cleansed the atmosphere of evil presence and nothing other than his righteous spirits now fill the heavens and walk through the earth. Nothing but the righteous redeemed immortal people now stand in his presence as earth bears no more stain nor marks of sin forever. The great eternal age, that world without an end, is now ready to begin. Amen

1973-03-Purpose-Of-The-Second-Adman-And-His-Bride

From Adams’s Side He Took Eve – 1973, January


INTRODUCTION: GOD, THE AUTHOR OF ALL LIFE, DESIRED TO SHARE HIMSELF WITH OTHERS, BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD THINKS OF A PLAN WHEREBY HE MAY DO SO. THAT PLAN WHEREIN HE COUNSELED WITH HIMSELF AS TO HOW HE WOULD DO THIS AND THE RESULTS ARE FOUND IN EPHESIANS 1:3-11. TO LEARN EXACTLY WHAT THAT PLAN OF THE ALMIGHTY’S WAS IS FOUND IN THE FIRST FEW CHAPTERS OF GENESIS. HOW DID EVE BEING IN ADAM BEFORE HE WALKED ON EARTH ILLUSTRATE THE BRIDE’S POSITION IN CHRIST, THE SECOND ADAM, BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH? TEXT: GENESIS 2:18-23 Odd as it may appear, I would like to speak upon the subject FROM HIS SIDE HE TOOK EVE. What does such a subject teach us? Furthermore, what can we hope to learn from such a topic? To get our setting we should turn first into the letter to the Ephesians. Actually if Ephesians Chapter 1 is looked at correctly it could easily be the Genesis of the New Testament. I only make this remark from the viewpoint of seeing it from a redemptive standpoint. Naturally, the book of Genesis records the historical beginning of creation; however, long before that creation could ever take place becoming a reality, it first had to be

formed in the mind of God as a blueprint of operation. And it is because of this which took place in the creator’s mind before the foundation of the world we desire to begin our study, not from Genesis 1, rather from Ephesians 1 because it is from Ephesians 1 we see Paul’s revelation as to how all the thoughts of God began to form in his mind long before they ever took shape in Gen. 1 and 2.

 

Contents

BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD

 

Paul begins in Eph. 1:3 by saying, “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ; according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” Did you catch that statement which Paul by revelation makes! Paul says we (the true believers) were chosen in Christ not 30 minutes before we accepted Jesus Christ, but before the foundation of the world. That verse declares plainly that God did something which affected us long before the world ever saw a beginning. Yes, even long before the recording of the first verse in the Book of Genesis which declares in the beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned) and created the heavens and the earth, (Amp. Gen. 1). That verse tells us what God did in the beginning, however note, Eph. 1 reaches far back into a period before the beginning of anything, because it was from this period we are told of the things which God thought within himself before he ever laid the foundation of the earth; before laying out his plans for the various planets to travel in their orbits within this great universe and especially the one in particular which is to be his workshop called earth. What was this important something which the Eternal Spirit did before any of this came into being?

 

GOD THOUGHT AND COUNSELED WITH HIMSELF

 

Paul says before man was ever placed on this earth, God had already chosen certain ones of mankind to be in Christ. This should not be frightening because later we shall explain what it means to be chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, before the earth or any planetary bodies ever floated in space. Yes, before any of this ever began, we (the true believers) had already been chosen in Christ that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. How could such a thing be possible, that before anything was ever made that was made, a certain percentage of the human race through a grace dispensation had already been chosen in Christ to be a part of him?

 

ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH FOREKNOWLEDGE

 

Beloved, it was only through God’s foreknowledge in knowing what each individual would do having once been confronted with the ultimatum of accepting or rejecting Christ the second Adam, the Lord of Glory, that he made his choice. It was only through the Eternal Spirit’s foreknowledge he was able to predestinate anyone to be in Christ before the foundation of the world. As Eph. 1 so clearly defines the time when and if anyone was ever to be in Christ and a part of his bride through the grace dispensation. It all had to take place before the foundation of the world was ever laid. Certainly this doesn’t mean God was creating one person to be saved and another to be lost. That is not the meaning of predestination at all. Predestination is compiled from two words. It is not something to frighten anyone as so many become upon hearing the word. It simply shows before the beginning of time God, through his foreknowledge, looking down through time as each period and generation of mankind would present itself on the face of the earth, already knew what the decision of each individual would be one having come to the knowledge of needing a Savior and Redeemer. Predestination simply means God knew how everything would end, as well as what route every man would take long before the Eternal in reality had put any of his living thoughts into a creative motion of operation. Therefore, the Eternal Spirit by knowing what all men would do was able to govern his own plan in meeting the needs of lost mankind, only because he saw each man’s choice long before ever coming to this earth. Therefore, knowing each man’s choice, the Eternal Spirit had no problem in knowing what each man would do; therefore, it was simple for him in his foreknowledge to place every true believer in Christ long before the beginning of the foundation of the world. It is all an act of his foreknowledge in operation from beginning to end which makes this choice of placing believers in Christ before the foundation of the world. Man has only a past and present knowledge whereby he bases his decisions, but only the Eternal God possesses a foreknowledge of all that will transpire in any part of the future. This choosing was based strictly upon man choosing or rejecting God himself. Therefore, because of this great foreknowledge God does not literally wait until you do something, he knows beforehand what your choice will be and we see God from the very beginning placing certain individual’s names in his Lamb’s Book of Life. It must be recognized that as his thoughts were in operation long before the foundation of the world, he did not only see who would accept or reject his revelation of truth as it was going to be presented to each age and he did not only see mankind weeping with bitter tears in repentance. Oh no, the Eternal God in his mind saw man as a completely finished product in the far-flung ages to come as his plan of redemption and salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ (the 2nd Adam) want into operation long before various individuals were born into this world through the physical birth. God saw it all, therefore since seeing it all from beginning to end he knew how to regulate and lay out his own plan whereby he could meet man’s need. Paul, writing to the Ephesian Church, shows we were predestined according to the foreknowledge of God unto the adoption of children by and through the second Adam long before we were ever lost, helpless sinners.

 

ADOPTION WHAT IS IT?

 

Adoption means taking us who were poor, dirty, wretched hell bound sinners and placing us (who would accept him) in such a beautiful position and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ who also, according to Paul’s revelation to the church, declared Christ to have been a second Adam. Later we shall study why it was necessary for God to lay out a plan for a second Adam to come on the earth, long after he had created a first Adam in Genesis 1 and 2. According to Paul, we receive this adoption in order that we might be called sons and daughters of God and have this beautiful relationship in Christ, the second Adam, because it is according to the good pleasure of his will to do this. Note, Paul says it was something pleasing within God’s own thoughts or his own will to do this for us who were helplessly lost and undone.

 

SINGULARITY OF GOD DISPLAYED

 

It should be noted throughout the 1st chapter of Ephesians as well as throughout the entire letter how God is continually placed in the singularity position. The scripture stated in verse 5; he predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto himself according to the good pleasure of his (own) will. This pronoun, his, which takes on a masculine term is also a singular term indicating how only one will and mind was involved and that was his own will. Therefore, certainly there could be no trinitarianism involved here in Paul’s teaching as to what happened before the foundation when God counseled with his own will. Paul nowhere indicates this counseling came about from the good will of three separate persons or three separate Gods, it was all done for the good pleasure of only one Eternal God’s will. That is to say, no one compelled, persuaded, nor in any way influenced one thought of this one God as he counseled with his own will before the foundation of the world. By all means, he and he alone did all that was decided to be done because all that was done was to satisfy the good pleasure of his own will.

 

BEFORE FOUNDATION HOW MANY PERSONS PRESENT?

 

This statement plainly shows us there was only one singular mind involved in this plan or blueprint for creation. Only one mind did all the choosing; it was only one will that was involved; it was only one singular mind through which all these thoughts ran before ever a world, star, moon or anything came into being. No sir, you could never make a trinity of persons out of what took place here in Paul’s teaching before the foundation of the world. Everything spoken of here which happened before the foundation of the world according to Paul’s revelation is always spoken of using singular pronouns such as his and never in a plurality such as their own wills. If a plurality of persons were involved in what took place while these thoughts were going through the mind of God, it would have to read according to the pleasure of their wills, they did such and such; instead it says his and he, never they or theirs. Again I repeat, if God were 3 separate persons having even the slightest possibility of having 3 separate wills within each person, Paul could never use a singular term to express how we were adopted to the pleasure of his own good will. This alone lets me know that God, being one, had only one will involved in what took place before the foundation of the world and furthermore, it’s to the praise and glory of his grace (not their) because no one else was involved in it. The Eternal One was alone when he thought about all of this, wherein he made us accepted in the beloved. Imagine, as some believe, 3 separate persons seated on 3 separate thrones somewhere out there before time ever began and you try to identify the 3 separate persons by using a singular pronoun his or he when more than one will would have been involved. No sir, the scripture declares he did it all through the counsel of his own will for his own good pleasure. It might could be said they were all referred to as he in the masculine. However, he can never be referred to in the plurality. Furthermore, it says to the praise and honor of his grace wherein he hath made us (us indicates more than one, but never he) accepted in the beloved.

 

REDEMPTION AND FORGIVENESS KNOWN BEFORE FOUNDATION

 

Approaching verse 7 we come upon a new word which was firmly placed in the Creator’s mind. A word which would greatly affect much of this thinking as he counseled with himself; a word which would come only through Jesus Christ, the second Adam. THAT WORD IS REDEMPTION! Paul declares in verse 7, our redemption comes through his blood. This verse alone shows redemption had to have been much within the mind and foreknowledge of the one Eternal God while thoughts traveled through his mind before the foundation. Furthermore, it tells us a redemption for something had to already be prepared in God’s plan before the foundation of the earth was laid. God already knew he would have to redeem something long before Adam and Eve ever fell in the garden of Eden. A plan for redemption was already 4 worked out before the foundation of the world for fallen mankind. Redemption would have to come through the blood of another person within the human family. Within God’s mind, redemption was already a finished product long before any angel, any creation or ever a man was brought into a reality. Furthermore, known unto him was every name of every individual soul who would be redeemed through that precious blood of Christ, the second Adam. It is plainly revealed in Ephesians how before the foundation of the world God already knew his first Adam would fail and it would be of a necessity to bring about a second Adam into the world to redeem the fallen creation who fell under the leadership or direction of the first Adam. Paul continues in verse 7 by saying, there would also be forgiveness of sins through this redemption by blood according to the riches of his grace, which again shows unto us God knew sin would enter into the picture else how could he produce this second Adam who was none other than the Lord of Glory himself, I Cor. 15:47, for redemption! And that the forgiveness of sins would also be granted unto mankind. The granting of this forgiveness of sins would come about according to the riches of his grace; wherein, he hath abound unto us in all wisdom and prudence.

 

MYSTERY OF HIS WILL MADE KNOWN

 

I especially like this next verse, verse 9, having made known unto us the mystery of his will. This verse alone destroys the theory and idea of which many are guilty of holding. That God himself is just a great big mystery and all he has done or planned out and brought into being is still only another added mystery which we are never to understand. THIS IS UNTRUE! Paul says, for he hath made known unto us (the true revelated believer) the mystery of his will. Oh sure, it is a mystery alright until Christ (the Word) reveals it. The carnal mind will never understand it being at enmity against God (Rom. 8:7). That is to say the mystery of his will is absolutely nothing that can be figured out in itself; however, it can be made known unto us by his spirit and thank God only a few will ever see it. There are certain things he has placed within his word whereby if you’ll be a spiritual child of God, one who is willing to grow in the knowledge and grace of our God, sooner or later it will be God’s good pleasure to show unto you or make known unto you the deep and mysterious things concerning (1) his will (2) concerning his plan and purpose in all that is transpiring or for that matter has ever transpired. God is a God of majestic power, a God of all wisdom and knowledge, one who not only reigns supremely and superbly in space, he is also a God of love that can reach down to such a low degree of lost mankind to lift us up out of sin and to think that all of this was already in God’s great foreknowledge according to the apostle Paul long before the first man ever arrived on earth. Yes, long before mankind ever fell, redemption for mankind was already a finished work in God’s mind. Therefore, we may say we have certainly been dealt with by the marvelous grace of God through his plan of salvation which he thought of by himself long before the foundation of the world. Not only did God think of all of these things by himself, the beauty of it is God’s good pleasure to make this mystery of his will known unto his children. In other words, God will not always remain behind a curtain of time playing peek-a-boo- with us. Instead, it delights him through the revelation of his word to pull back that curtain of time and allow his beloved children whom he has redeemed through Christ the 2nd Adam to take a good look at what he has been doing throughout the ages of time and furthermore to give you the understanding as to how you were one of those chosen to be heir and joint heir with Christ (the 2nd Adam the Lord of Glory) before the foundation and give you a little insight into what he has been doing, or as Paul phrased it in this manner, making known unto us the mystery of his will which he has accomplished through his own good pleasure. True, without asking anyone if he may, God does what he wants too whensoever it pleases him. However, it is not his will that it would always remain a secret as to what he has thought or done causing you to guess at it. No sir, he literally enjoys showing by revelation the mystery of his own will to his chosen children, Paul shows 5 therefore the Eternal didn’t have to say to the 2nd or 3rd person of this so-called trinity which was developed through the Romanism spirit, can I do it this way or should I do it that way? Oh no, Paul teaches no other’s will was consulted because there was no other will (or person) to be consulted. It was all done his way according to his own good pleasure which he hath purposed within himself (verse 9). Regardless how you twist Paul’s statements, you could never make a Trinitarian out of the Apostle Paul. Paul could see only one spirit God, one will and one good pleasure involved in everything that happened before the foundation of the world. That is why you will never find Paul teaching God was three separate persons as they did at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. Instead, Paul always referred to this God as the one Eternal Spirit and spoke of him in the singular term: him, he, his, etc. HIS WILL, NOT THEIR WILL Verse 10: That in His Own Will the dispensation of the fullness of time 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 predestined according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the council of his own will. Note, it is all accomplished after the counsel of whose will; NOT THEIR WILL BUT HIS OWN WILL! If three separate persons had been involved in all this before the foundation you would have more than one will involved. Separate wills makes separate persons. However, these were only thoughts originating from one will going through that ONE ETERNAL MIND of God. These were only his thoughts as to what should and should not be done long before a moon, star or anything found its place. If more than one individual was in on this, there would certainly have had to be more than one will involved in this counseling; therefore, Paul could never have said it was done through the counsel of his own will. Instead, verse 11 would have to close by saying it was all done through the counsel of their own will, not his own will. His can never show a plurality, instead it is always singular.

 

COUNSELING WITH SELF SHOWS ONE MIND INVOLVED

 

These are the things we learn by the revelation of the Holy Spirit as we see the counsel of his own will in operation. Sure, it is a mystery until it is revealed; however, Paul said it was God’s good pleasure to reveal the mystery of his will. I must emphasize this because later we will touch on some passages which feed the Trinitarian mind, especially over in Genesis once God prepares to create man. Therefore, let us get certain thoughts well planted in our minds as to how things actually stood before the foundation of the world, back at the time when God was counseling with himself or his own will as to what he and he alone would do and accomplish through his own thoughts in satisfying his own will whereas all of this was done, Paul says, for his own good pleasure. Nowhere, in Paul’s writings could one believe when that counseling of God’s program actually went into effect, before the foundation of the world, there could possibly have been any second or third person involved in this great plan of his as he counseled with his own will about what to do and what steps to make. Sure, there was counseling going on, however, it was not with some other person, only his own will was involved. Never through the stretch of the wildest imagination could you make the first person say to the second and third person, just how do you think we should do all this; don’t you think it should be done this way? The second person remarks to the third person, what do you think about it; does it meet with your approval; do you have any suggestions; are you in full agreement it should be done in this fashion? Comical, isn’t it? Paul declared there was only ONE WILL AND ONE MIND involved throughout in all these transactions of thought when God counseled with his own will.

 

WHAT IS MEANT TO COUNSEL WITH ONE’S SELF?

 

What does it mean to counsel with one’s own will? God, counseling with himself, was no more than you, being one individual having only one mind, deciding to build a house; therefore, you 6 counsel with yourself as to the best procedure to follow in obtaining a loan, selecting a builder, etc. However, if you counsel with your mate in deciding the various steps to take, you could not say you as one person with one will had counseled with your own will, NO SIR! Even though you might be in perfect agreement on what should be done, you did not counsel with your own will, you counseled with another’s will. Therefore, I say counseling with another individual who has their own separate will which every person must possess in order to be a person, you are not counseling with your own will as Paul declares God did before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:11). Therefore, in this particular scriptural sense God is only one person and note, there is only one will involved, not two other wills as there would have to be before it could be another separate individual. God’s own will which was in his own mind produced these meditations and thoughts of what he would do and it was from his own foreknowledge or from what he knew about time, matter, substance and most of all, man himself, although none of this would be in existence for a considerable length of time. The Eternal, knowing how mankind would have to make certain choices which would bring redemption into the picture knew exactly what he had to do in linking all of this plan together and then by counseling with himself or with his own foreknowledge he must then choose and ordain certain things in certain ways to work out and unfold itself within his own gracious and glorious plan for all things. We can see before the foundation of the world was ever laid, through this vast foreknowledge the Eternal Spirit, who at this period was not even called Father or God because he was only an Eternal Spirit being, abiding alone finished and completed this plan in his mind long before anything in reality ever took shape or was produced from the thoughts in his mind.

 

EPHESIANS 1 REVEALS GOD’S BLUEPRINT

 

What was this eternal spiritual being doing in Eph. 1 as he counseled with himself? In his mind he was drawing up a blueprint how he would lay out all of this. Now this Holy Spirit didn’t need an indelible pencil or such objects as men use who draw up blueprints. No, because the plan he alone thought of was simply well placed there in his vast unlimited mind. Every minute detail had already been thought out and settled upon as he counseled with himself long before he began anything. Nothing could, by any means, later slip up on God which he had not expected causing him to change or alter his plan once he had decided exactly which course he was going to follow as he counseled, not with other persons involving other wills, but with his own will-in his own mind the work in every detail was already finished before anything ever began. Once he did blow a star into space or hang a planet on nothing (Job 26-7) placing it in it’s own orbit, he was merely acting out what he had already previously chosen to do from all the counseling he did with himself, out of his own predestinated will. From all of this counseling God knows what and what not to do or expect in governing the entire plan to assure that nothing will ever go amiss or astray. Nothing could possibly by some unforseen chance throw this perfect plan off course causing God to be forced into making new decisions, thus forcing him to counsel with himself again at some later time. No sir, once that period of Ephesians 1 had passed, ever how long it may have taken from that hour on, nothing would ever catch the Almighty by surprise causing him to be forced to alter any original plan that might have been intended to be used had it not been for something that had gone wrong he had not seen or counted upon once the counseling with his own will was completed. Therefore, everything dovetails into this overall plan of God whereby when it is all summed up and we see it projected from an overall picture we better understand why Paul began his Ephesian letter primarily unto the Ephesian church starting it out by revelation saying in verse 3; we are already elected and already chosen in him (Christ the 2nd Adam to serve him as his bride companion or wife in the millennium age to come) before the foundation of the world had ever been spoken into existence. And furthermore, through that great plan of redemption we might be reconciled back to the great Eternal Spirit who long before 7 the beginning of anything had already counseled with himself (and not with others) as he alone knew all things. Therefore, it is clear everything done was not done on the advice of someone else, instead was done through the counsel and pleasure of his own will.

 

THE ETERNAL DID NOT DESIRE TO BE ALONE

 

Being alone as well as being all powerful and full of all knowledge and capable of making his own decisions was not enough, he was not satisfied with just this. He was not a spiritual being who desired to always be alone, instead he was willing to share himself with something else and it is through that desire of his to share himself with something which brought about all this counseling with himself as what steps he should take in order to share himself or his life with something else which must also possess a will all of its own. Naturally, as we witness time progress, the very things later to be created which would have separate wills from his own, although they would have a part of his life, would later cause rebellion; nevertheless, it must be remembered none of this rebellion or what it would eventually lead to went unnoticed by him while counseling with his own will primarily deciding what steps to take and what advantage it would be to share himself with others who also must be given wills of their own. Although Eph. 1 does not begin to tell us even a small portion of that which went through his great eternal mind as he counseled with himself, we are able to see that which was his good pleasure to reveal unto us the mysteries of his will (especially his decisions concerning redemption and what those decisions produced). Once we have firmly established in our minds it was God’s good pleasure to share himself with something else we are ready to move on and discover what that something else was with which the Eternal first decided to share himself. Therefore, we can plainly see Eph. 1 revealed to us the overall picture of the operation of that one great Eternal Spirit’s predestinated mind and how it was his own good pleasure to reveal unto us the mystery of his own will and desire to share himself with others.

 

GOD’S THOUGHTS MANIFESTED GENESIS 1

 

Having this thought of what happened before the beginning of creation firmly planted in our minds, we are now prepared to approach Genesis, that book of the beginning, which shows all that God began to THINK and CREATE sometime after he had carefully thought it all out and knew where every step would lead. It is here in Gen. 1 we begin to observe God as he carefully carries out his magnificent plan, thought of by himself, and brought about to satisfy the pleasure of his own good will while counseling with himself as those meditations of his own thoughts were being fully expressed and exercised and his own decisions had reached as to what steps he should take in this plan. It is in that very first chapter of Genesis we begin to witness the results of God’s thoughts and decisions as they all take form through his spoken word, once he begins to speak things into existence. Therefore in Gen. 1 and 2 we are seeing that blueprint which was earlier formed in his own mind begin to unfold and take shape. The structure of those holy thoughts shown in Eph. 1 began to come together as they take on a certain tangible form once matter, atoms and such substance have been spoken into existence.

 

ILLUSTRATIVE PHRASE 1 CORINTHIANS 15

 

Now we are ready to watch this great plan of his begin to unfold. We can determine from Eph. 1 by the fact the word redemption as well as the blood of Christ is used before the foundation of the world that God’s mind had to be dwelling upon the two Adams, otherwise he would never have stated what he did concerning redemption for the human race. Therefore, it is from Paul’s statement found in Romans 5 as well as I Cor. 15:21-22 where he declared all (the human race) was in this one man Adam. We realize the word Adam, whether it be spelled a-t-o-m (referring to the minute indivisible particles of which the universe is composed), or whether it be spelled A-d-a-m (meaning the first man on earth). Adam means the beginning of something. And if our natural man Adam who was first composed of dirt which is nothing more than a combination of atoms and structural substances became a living soul (I Cor. 15:45) and is the beginning of something, this lets me know Christ who is referred to as the second Adam who was made a quickening spirit, the Lord of Glory Himself, is also the beginning of something. The scripture declares the second Adam, the Lord of Glory, I Cor. 15:45 was also the beginning of something, does it not, and strictly from the standpoint of redemption, we were all in him (I Cor. 15:20-22). However, from the creation standpoint we were all in the First Adam and we want to watch closely to see how all this will follow true to pattern once we touch on the Second Adam the Lord of Glory Himself.

 

GOD HAD ALREADY BEGUN SHARING HIMSELF WITH OTHERS GENESIS

 

1:1 It is here in Genesis we first see all of these perfect creative laws of God begin to go into operation to bring about all these things of which he had thought while counseling with himself. Gen. 1:2 speaks of a time period after THE BEGINNING wherein God had already created the heavens and earth. However, in verse 2, he looked upon what the scripture called the deep which is space itself being held together by atoms which God had before created, but something has happened! Here, in Gen. 1:1 this eternal spiritual being is called God. God means an object of worship and here in verse 1 was something to worship him. However, in that period of time before the beginning, spoken of by revelation in Eph. 1, there was nothing back there to worship him. At a much later time referred to as the beginning where God did Begin certain things (Gen. 1:1) he has already begun to share himself with others. Before Gen. 1:1 he has already created himself a great host of angelic beings (Heb. 1:6) who also are immortal spirit beings (Heb. 1:7) like unto himself, even possessing separate wills of their own, separate from the will of the Eternal One. One scripture should be sufficient to substantiate this thought. Recall when God asked Job the question, “Where were you when the sons of God shouted for joy as I laid out the foundation of the earth, Job 38:4-7. However, in Gen 1:1 in the beginning of time he, the Eternal One, as God makes heaven and earth. Before that time, God had already created his angelic host to fellowship and assist him with his creation.

 

EARTH, GOD’S TESTING GROUND

 

Earth for some reason seems to be the one planet in the universe God used for his workshop where he tests that which he purposes to use in ages to come for obedience unto his great will and purpose. We are not interested in this article about what this earth was used for before God cleared it away prior to man’s coming to be tested and tried, in Gen. 3. We have an article entitled

 

THE TESTING AND FALL OF SATAN or WHEN TIME BEGAN

 

showing how Satan became a murderer in another previous age. One thing is sure, when time came for man’s testing toward his desire to obey his Eternal Creator, Lucifer, one of the arch angels, had already become the devil having led a rebellion against Almighty God and he, along with a great host of angelic beings, had already fallen from the good grace of God. This testing and fall had to be at some previous time prior to man’s testing. Therefore, the book of Genesis is primarily interested in teaching us about that period of time which revolves strictly around the creation of man and not the creation of angelic beings who were first tested, although 14 books of the Old Testament and 17 of the New Testament mention those who undoubtedly were the first form of life God ever created with which to have fellowship. Henceforth, when we read in Genesis how God brought forth light and that light became day, it is not speaking of some hour or period of time in which God was testing his angelic family whom he had first created.

 

 

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HOW BIG IS THE EARTH?

 

Newspaper Article

 

 

The earth measures nearly 25,000 miles in circumference at the equator. It is said to weigh about 6,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 (6.6 sextillion) tons. Yet, it is dwarfed by other planets and stars. For instance, about one million earths could fit into the sun. And some suns, or stars, are so big that a trillion (a million times a million) earths could fit into them. ****************************************************************

 

VERSE 2 BEGINS RESHAPING PLANET FOR ANOTHER USE

 

Oh no, after verse 1 all this scripture deals strictly with the new area of time surrounding the preparation of bringing a new rulership upon the earth, that rulership is called man. We are told the light divided from the darkness became day while the darkness he referred to as night. This was the beginning of his first creative day. Preparing the planet earth for his new program affecting mankind is illustrated further by the fact God chose to use seven creative days to illustrate how this plan for mankind would require a period of time composed of no less than 6,000 years in which man would be dealt with and the one day in which God rested being the seventh day, represents 1,000 years of reign by God’s new creation which he called his second Adam, the Lord of Glory and his bride. The first 6,000 years, days would be composed of heartaches brought about by the disobedience of the first Adam. By no means are these creative days, (which represents God’s dealing with man as God was preparing the earth for his new rulership called man who like the angels had also been created in the image of God) to be associated with Gen. 1:1 which plainly states in the beginning God had already perfectly prepared (formed, fashioned, created) the heavens and the earth. These following verses in Chap. 1 do not give description as to how the heavens and earth were first formed in verse 1. We won’t go into that, but God had already accomplished his purpose fully by his angelic family somewhere in verse 1. That purpose we believe the earth was first used for, as we feel the scriptures bears out, was a place to test the obedience of his angelic family. However, in verse 2 etc., it then begins speaking of reshaping this old planet earth into a different atmosphere for its new ownership to begin to rule and reign. We note this new ruler called man was first created a spiritual being possessing both the attributes of male and female and their name already called Adam, Gen. 1:27, 5:1. Adam, as they are called, is commissioned to multiply and replenish the earth long before they are placed in the earth. Replenish or refill definitely shows before mankind was brought into being, this earth had already been used for something else, or else why would Adam be commissioned in the spirit world in the day they were created to multiply and REFILL AND REPLENISH the earth. The same commission was handed also unto Noah and his three sons after the flood when all mankind had drowned. God commissioned them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth (Gen. 9:1). Although every detail may not be available, this aged earth seems to serve as a testing ground for whatever headship to be in God’s program. Earth is the place used for whatever form of life God may be testing, whether it be the angelic host or mankind who was tested through the first Adam or whether it serve as the testing ground for the second Adam, Christ, who is also the beginning of a new creation (Matt. 4:1-11). 7

 

CREATIVE DAYS APPLY TO MAN

 

Therefore, in preparing things for the coming of this new ruler, man, the First Adam, God uses his first creative day to divide light from darkness; the second creative day used in this plan to divide the firmaments from the waters to allow the firmament (expansion fo sky, etc.) to separate the waters from below from the waters above (verse 6). For the third day’s work preparing everything for man we are told beginning with verse 10 that dry land called earth was commanded to appear and the accumulated waters on the earth to be called seas. Furthermore, God said let the earth put forth tender vegetation, plants yielding seed and the fruit trees yielding fruit each according to its own kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth and it was so. And as always God saw it was good and as with each day’s work he approved it. Later, in studying 10 Chapter 2, we find although God had spoken these things in the six creative days, it will be some time before these things actually begin appearing on the earth. For his fourth day’s work, God begins to bring in seasons, time, days, years, etc. For the new environment of earth, he says let there be lights within the expanse of the sky to furnish light upon the earth. Therefore, on the fourth creative day he made the two lights, the greater light he made to rule the day he called the sun and the lesser light to rule the night he called the moon. On this creative day was also made the stars and verse 17 says, and God sent them in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth. This finished the fourth day. 5

 

THE CREATIVE DAY AND LIVING CREATURES

 

The fifth day was composed of creating living creatures to be brought forth in the waters. Furthermore, the spoken word said let birds fly over the earth in the open expansion of heaven. Also he created great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, every winged bird according to its kind. And God blessed them saying be fruitful, multiply and fill the waters of the sea. Let the fowls multiply in the earth. (Note, every command to replenish through multiplying was given in the spirit world before one thing was ever placed here on earth.) And with the evening and the morning the fifth day was finished.

 

CREATED EVERYTHING YET PLACED NOTHING ON EARTH GENESIS 2:4-5

 

Now I would like to stop right here with the completion of the fifth creative day to reestablish something. It appears from all we have read in Chapter 1 (and will read) concerning plant life, living creature, man, etc., that as God was speaking all of this into existence through his Word and seeing it was good, it appears or sounds as if immediately he spoke it all into existence right here upon the earth and the earth became filled immediately with all of these things as their being commissioned to be fruitful and multiply, etc. However, THAT IS NOT TRUE! It must be noted and will clearly be seen once God creates man in his own image and likeness on the sixth creative day according to Gen. 1:26-27, that he will create him male and female and call their name Adam. Where? Not here upon this earth. ALL OF THIS INCLUDING SPIRIT MAN WAS SPOKEN INTO EXISTENCE SOMEWHERE IN THAT SPIRIT WORLD AS ANGELS STOOD BY LONG BEFORE ANYTHING WAS EVER PLACED UPON THE EARTH. To bear this out, we note in Moses’ writing, Gen. 2:4 it says, this is the generation (or history) of the heavens and the earth when they were created in the day that the Lord God made the heavens and the earth. Now get this statement! Verse 5 clarifies it by saying: And every plant of the field before it was in the earth and every herb of the field before it grew (yet in Chap. 1 he had already created all this) (see also Gen. 2:1) and the Lord God had not (yet) caused it to rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the ground. Dropping back into Chap. 1 we see in six creative days all plant and animal life and even male and female life had already been created and CREATION IS COMPLETED. God has even rested one day! However, AT THIS POINT NOTING HAD BEEN PLACED IN THE EARTH AND WILL NOT BE UNTIL SOMETIME AFTER GOD RESTS ON HIS SEVENTH DAY! Therefore, it should be noted that Gen. Chap. 1 is revealing what the Almighty’s thoughts were which now are being spoken and which he thought before time began when he was counseling with himself as recorded in Eph. 1. Here in Gen. 1 we are simply beginning to hear those thoughts begin to be spoken. All these things were first spoken into existence to be later placed upon the earth sometime after the six creative days are over. This brings us to how man has divided the recording of Gen. 2, for it is in Gen. 2 we see God acting upon that which was spoken in Chap. 1 and placing it upon this earth all his living thoughts in Gen. 1 as well as Eph. 1 had created or produced.

 

CREATION BY THE SPOKEN WORD

 

In Psalms 33:4-9 we are told the Word of the Lord is right and all of his work is done in 11 faithfulness, and the planet earth is full of the loving kindness of the Lord. By the (spoken) Word of the Lord. (Naturally before the word became spoken in Gen. 1, God’s words were merely his thoughts and attributes during that unusual period of time making up Eph. 1). By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made and all their hosts by the breath of his mouth; he gathers the waters of the sea as in a bottle and puts the deeps in storage places. Let all the earth fear the Lord, reverence and worship; let all the inhabitants of the world stand and awe at him for he spoke (in Gen. 1 what his thoughts had decided upon recorded in Eph. 1) and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast. Therefore, out of Psalms 33 no honest hearted person could see the working of three persons in creation, for it was through the thoughts of that One Eternal Spirit in Eph. 1 we see his thoughts becoming expressed into words of creative life once God spoke and created everything from the breath of his (one) mouth. Therefore, if any others assisted in the creation of anything we must take knowledge that not only did they have to work through his thoughts, but also they had to borrow his mouth to speak whatever had been thought. Continuing on in line with our thought how all this in Gen. 1 had been created including man, although none of it yet was placed in the earth to begin their functions according to their reproductive laws of God which governs the growth of flesh species (let everything bear after its own kind) until sometime after those six creative days. According to Gen. 2:4 God said, these are the generations (or period of time) of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day 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. For God had not caused it to rain on the earth. Furthermore, Gen. 2:5 declares as yet there was no man to till the ground although spirit man, male as well as female, had been created in God’s image during the sixth creative day when God decided to make mankind in his own image and after his own likeness. Verse 27 says, let them have dominion and authority over the fish, birds and the beasts (all of which were tame) as well as everything that creeps upon the earth.

 

SPIRIT MAN CREATED AND COMMISSIONED IN SPIRIT WORLD

 

Man, first of all, was created on that sixth creative day as a spirit being and there in the spirit world was placed over all creation and received his own commission to be fruitful and multiply and have dominion over all that God had spoken in verse 26, long before it was spoken in Gen. 2:5, there was not a man (on earth) to till the ground. Furthermore, according to verse 29 man also knew what he could and could not eat. Sometimes these two chapters become confusing as most people want to think that a few verses in Chap. 2 only clarifies Chap. 1, NOT SO! The confusion stems mainly because of where and how these chapter divisions are placed by men. Man himself placed those divisions for Chapters as Chap. 1 and Chap. 2, etc. Remember when Moses, as well as any writer in scripture, wrote under the inspiration. They never once wrote in chapter form. NO! Instead they wrote in a continual flow of thought. Chapter headings, divisions, breaks, etc., in the scripture was placed by man as late as the 12th and 15th Century by Cardinal Caro and Roberts Stephens.

 

MOSES WROTE IN CONTINUITY OF THOUGHT

 

Notice if you will as Moses wrote the Book of Genesis, for instance the creation story, it is all written as a continued story. The scripture as marked off by man for Chap. 2 has broken the line of thought. When you break into Chap. 2 where these men did, they cut off Chap. 1 with the completion of the sixth day, leaving out the 7th day to begin Chap. 2. Had they permitted their break to come in between what is verse 3-4, allowing verses 1, 2 and 3 to be placed with Chap. 1, you would then have had the completion of the work in the six creative days as well as the rest day of God in one chapter. After all, the seventh day makes up the completion of that one week of creation. Therefore, Chap. 2 would have begun as Moses’ thought had taken on a new angle. Had he been the one dividing the chapters, he probably would have started Chap. 2 where verse 12 4 is and Chap. 2 would have produced a somewhat different slant in our thinking. Moses’ no doubt would have started Chap. 2 by saying, these are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created and in the day the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. Generations in verse 4 does not refer to generations as we think of them today, between 28-40 years, on the contrary, generations simply means whatever period of time God used in (six) creative days. Note verse 5 places emphasis on everything being made long before it was placed in earth and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, every herb of the field before it grew. God says in verse 4, these are the generations he made these thing before they were placed in the earth. Therefore, all of the creation in Gen. 1 was first spoken into being there in the spirit world in their various generations before ever being placed on the earth. On the earth (after the seven creative days) there had been no rain nor was there any man to till the ground, a mist came up from the earth to water the whole face of the ground. That is true, the earth was being watered, but there was no human being called man as yet to till the ground, although long ago on the sixth creative day there had been a spirit man created according to Gen. 1:26-27. Furthermore, that spirit man had already received his commission when he was placed in the earth he was to multiply and replenish the earth. In that generation or period of time before anything was actually placed upon this previously created earth, God had already made spirit man in his own image and, LISTEN TO THIS, had created him male and female. Gen. 5:1 states that in the day God created man in his likeness, God made he him, male and female created he them and blessed them and called their name Adam in the day they were created. This cannot be applied to Gen. 2:7 where it had previously been stated there was no man on earth to till the earth. Now watch, after this then the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground. When? Sometime after seven creative days passed, and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life (which long ago had been created as male and female somewhere in the spirit world).

 

CREATED MAN BECAME LIVING SOUL

 

Now for the first time man becomes a living soul (I Cor. 15:45-49). Yet recall, he was still male and female in one body. However, as long as the two remain in one body, called man, they cannot fulfill their commission to multiply and replenish the earth, can they! I realize most people have been taught that Chap. 2 of Genesis is a repeat of Chap. 1, simply bringing out more in detail what actually happened in Chap. 1, yet scripture will not bear this out. These are entirely two different chapters, one following the other in thought and as Moses wrote it, he was simply writing a continuation of thought down into the second chapter. Therefore, in Gen. 1 as well as Eph. 1, we have seen him counsel with his thoughts first. Those thoughts now become positive, and in that spirit world he begins to create things, while in Gen. 2 we see God acting upon all that which he spoke into existence in the spirit world. Chap. 2 reveals how that which had been created in the spirit world, God will now act upon bringing it into the position in which he had originally created it when using six creative days. Gen. 2:7 as it is recorded since man has broken up Moses’ thought, shows sometime after those seven creative days are finished, God now formed human man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life or breathed into him that which he had previously created on the sixth day consisting of both male and female attributes, called spirit man, Gen. 1:26-27. Although man became living soul it is still going to be much later before we will see God divide man, taking out of him all the feminine attributes which had long ago been placed in him. Naturally, the commission to multiply and replenish the earth could not take place until after the separation of the feminine attribute which was placed in spirit man and would be given a separate body then we shall see why OUT OF HIS SIDE HE TOOK EVE! The day she was separated from him and given a beautiful human body in which to live was not the beginning of her existence.

 

BY NO MEANS! TO WHOM WAS GOD SPEAKING ON 6TH DAY 13

 

For a moment let us turn back to the sixth creative day when God made spirit man, male and female, because it is here people get off track thinking because God stated in Gen. 1:26, let us make man in our image after our likeness, that God was actually speaking unto two other separate persons within the Godhead, namely the Son and Holy Ghost (which are actually two offices of this one Eternal God) and that he is saying unto the two other persons of the Godhead, let us make man in our image and after our own likeness. However, we recognize in Eph. 1 long before this time could ever elapse, Paul had always spoken of God in the masculine and singular term declaring he had counseled with his own will. One thing is certain, God cannot contradict himself and Paul had clearly stated he had not counseled with anyone other than his own will, yet in Genesis we discover Moses saying, when God was ready to make man on the sixth creative day, let us make man in our image. Who is this us he refers to? Remember, it is not possible for one true prophet to contradict that which another true prophet has spoken. What Moses wrote did by no means cause him to become a Trinitarian nor did it cause anyone else until long after the birth of Christ to ever try and use this phrase to clinch the fact of God being three separate persons. By no means is the trinity of persons as recorded by the Council of Nicaea a Jewish teaching, instead it is a gentile teaching. Some even mistakenly think it is a Bible teaching, IT IS NOT! It is strictly an unscriptural gentile explanation of what he, not the Jew, believes God to be. Yet, we can’t ignore the fact God was talking to someone other than himself on that sixth creative day. Who was Moses referring to when he made the statement, let us make man in our image and after our likeness? Is Moses, who is a Jew, contradicting Paul who is also a Jew? Absolutely not! Let’s explore this further to see if we can find out who God is actually addressing, using a plurality phrase. Since no word of a true prophet of God can contradict another, we must catch the thought in which this particular thought is being used to convey a certain meaning unto the natural mind found in Gen. 1:26 which is in this plurality. You will have to agree with me on down the line from Moses, Paul the gentile apostle, writing in Eph. 1 is reaching farther back into a period than anything recorded in Gen. 1. Because in Gen. 1:1 it says, in the beginning God, however Eph. 1 reached much farther into the past than any mere beginning. It reaches back farther than even before the foundation of the world; long before God ever began to speak anything into existence in the spirit world. Eph. 1 reaches back into the era of time when he would not even rightly have been called God, because as stated, God means an object of worship and Eph. 1 is so far back before time there was not anything present to worship and adore him as God. There he was only the Eternal Spirit turning thoughts over in his mind, counseling with himself as to what he would do, how he would perform it and bring what is recorded in Gen. 1 into existence. God did everything according to his own will and his own good pleasure and never once did Paul to the Ephesian church express God in any plurality sense. And only sometime after all this counseling went on in his mind and it was settled in his mind through his own counseling what he would do, do we ever begin to see Gen. 1 even begin to come into focus as God will now begin to speak his great plan which he and he alone thought of recorded in Gen. 1, placing it into motion. Yet Moses, writing his books, chose to use the phrase US AND OUR to convey his thought in Gen. 1:26. What is this plurality phrasing all about?

 

INNUMERABLE HOST OF SPIRITS CALLED ANGELS

 

Who is God speaking unto saying they should make man in their image? He was not speaking unto two or three others. NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT, but perhaps a great innumerable host of other spirits (Heb. 12:22) called angels which he had previously created to assist him in carrying out all of his thoughts with which he had counseled. Angels are powerful (Psalms 103:20) intelligent (I Pet. 1:12) and active (Matt. 26:63). They are ministering spirits (Heb. 1:7). Their titles indicate they are different ranks, thrones, dominion and power. They wait upon God in 14 praise, worship and service both in heaven and on earth (Heb. 1:14). Some of this host were sent to announce and welcome the Redeemer (Luke 2:13, Heb. 1:6). Rev. 5:11-12 alone speaks of one hundred million of these worshipping in one place. Angels assigned to watch over mankind (Psalms 91:11) excel in strength (Psalms 103:20) and can fly swiftly (Dan. 11:21) and even wait to do the command and bidding of the Almighty God. And since they were spirit beings, it was a spirit being God was creating in Gen. 1:26-27, giving him charge over the earth. These beings are seen in scripture accompanying God in every task he performs. Why would we think it strange for him to be discussing anything with them? Whenever we see God ready to do anything that affects mankind, angels are always present. They, along with man, are created spirit beings.

 

GOD BREATHES INTO DUST THAT WHICH WAS CREATED ON 6TH DAY

 

Watch closely in Chap. 1 God has now spoken his thoughts of Eph. 1 into existence. Chap. 2 shows God is going to act further upon that which he had previously spoken into existence, placing it into its rightful position. Recall verse 5 stated there is not a man to till the earth; therefore, let us watch God as he begins to act upon what he has already created; spirit man who is still male and female. In Gen. 2:7 it says, “God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”. WHAT IS GOD DOING? Sometime after his seventh creative day, God took some plain ordinary dirt from the crust of the earth, formed and fashioned it, then breathed into it the breath of life and it began to walk around. Flesh man or human mankind began from just plain old ordinary dirt of the earth. Scripture says there wasn’t a man to till the earth; therefore, God took some dirt (tangible matter) and began to shape himself a tabernacle or a vessel of clay. God was using something from the earth over which man was to rule, for recall, God had previously spoken spirit man into existence as male and female calling their name Adam, Gen. 1:26. Now, God, taking what he had previously made into Gen. 1:26, breathed into the nostrils of that bunch of dirt, which of course is now no longer plain dirt, but human flesh. Notice, first God took nothing and made himself some dirt or earth. Later, he used that dirt and made human flesh and called him a human being or man and because man fell bringing in the death penalty, one day God will take that same corruptible flesh body and whether it be dead or alive will make something immortal out of it. FROM NOTHING TO SOMETHING AND IT WAS ALL IN HIM (GOD). My main thought here stems from the physical or natural standpoint how we (including Eve) were all in the first Adam; therefore, if we were all in the first Adam, then the Bride of Christ was also in the second Adam LONG BEFORE HE BECAME A FLESH MAN ALSO. Yes, as far as our natural existence is concerned, we were in the first Adam. However, along the way man got out of relationship with God and man had to be redeemed. However note, God was fully aware of all this long before Adam ever arrived, long before there ever appeared a blade of grass or anything. God had already foresaw the day there must come God-man who would himself be called the second Adam, who would be the Lord of Glory himself not to be a pregenerator, as was the first Adam, but instead a regenerator, a redeemer. Therefore, if you can now begin to form a picture of the two Adams and their brides (wives), you will see it balance perfectly. If we were in the first Adam for our natural existence long before man was ever placed on this earth, then we were also in Christ the Second Adam for our spiritual existence long before we were born again. (Eph. 1:3) Reproduction was in the first Adam while regeneration is in the second Adam, Christ. However, note whether you be lost or saved, reproduction had to all be in the first Adam, but the beautiful part of it all is ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE ACCEPTED CHRIST COULD POSSIBLY HAVE BEEN IN THE SECOND ADAM, therefore, through predestination the Almighty knew who would and who wouldn’t accept him. He knows who is and since he knows 15 who is, no wonder the Apostle Paul could say we were chosen in him, predestined in him (Christ the Second Adam). WHEN? BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD! AMEN! As God took this piece of clay or dirt and begin to fashion it into a vessel or tabernacle, look what he places into it. God breathes into this earthen vessel the breath of (spirit) life. GET THIS! This spirit life breathed into that dirt which he had fashioned was that spirit being man (male and female) that he had made back in Chap. 1:26-27. No longer is God saying, let there be such and such, because now we see him acting upon that which he had already spoken into existence. God looked and there was no man to till the earth. There needed to be a man to till the earth, therefore he took some dirt and began to form something and when he finished forming this object which he gave two arms, two legs, head, etc. he breathed into that which he had formed THAT SPIRIT BEING HE HAD ALREADY CREATED IN CHAP. 1:17. This creature, man, now became conscious of his earthly surroundings as his soul become active. God has acted, hasn’t he? GOD FORESHADOWS REDEMPTION Let us take a closer look at this first Adam. Recall, he is the very beginning of something, isn’t he? In Gen. 2:5-6 he is one man walking around. But where is Eve? IN HIM! This is important. WHERE IS EVE, HIS BRIDE OR WIFE TO BE? IN HIM! How many lives do we have walking around? ONLY ONE! How many hearts do we have in this one vessel of clay? ONLY ONE! Notice this, Adam doesn’t act one day like a man and the next day like a woman. In him is expressed fully all the attributes of masculinity. Always remember, God didn’t begin with one thing in mind in Gen. 1:27 as he commissioned man (them) to be fruitful and multiply only to be forced later because of certain circumstances which developed in the garden to change his mind like some believe. GOD DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY! Nothing slips upon him. Some people read the book of Genesis so childish. It would appear foolish to think God made only one person and then one day suddenly realize he couldn’t leave man there all by himself saying, I had better find someone to keep him company and console him when he feels tired and weary. OH NO! God isn’t doing any such thing. Recall where Eve has been all this time, IN ADAM! The almighty is going to do something far more than simply produce Adam a wife, God was setting something in motion, GOD WAS FORESHADOWING HIS ENTIRE PLAN OF REDEMPTION WHICH WOULD COME THROUGH THE SECOND ADAM! Oh, if people could only see this.

 

GOD ACTS UPON CREATIVE THOUGHTS GENESIS 2

 

Therefore, Chap. 2 shows God as he acted for the first time in creating this vessel of clay and breathing into that vessel life or the spirit man Adam who, as you recall, already had within his spirit the feminine qualities which would later become fleshly woman. I remind you, Adam in every respect was masculine. Although the two are in this one body, you don’t see any femininity creeping up over the masculine character. God has now acted, yet he brought only one vessel of clay into existence. THIS VESSEL HAS ONLY ONE HEART, ONE WILL AND ONE MIND. Furthermore, it can make only one decision. Man’s thought couldn’t go in a dozen different directions, acting or talking one day like man and then the next day like woman. Yet today on this earth we do see men acting like women although physically they are men. This definitely lets me know there are evil spirits getting into the picture, disrupting, distorting and perverting the entire realm of mankind. Although there lay within Adam all this time those feminine characteristics, Adam always acted and conducted himself as a man. He looked, walked and conducted himself like a man who had been made in the image of God and placed in a human vessel of clay to have earthly dominion. Keep in mind in Gen. 1:27 Almighty God had previously addressed both of those spiritual beings (male and female) long before that spiritual 16 being was ever placed in an earthly tabernacle. When God said, “Let them (not him) have dominion over the beasts of the fields and over the cattle and over all creeping things that are thereon”. Oh yes, those feminine characteristics were lying right there in that spirit being man long before he ever took on his physical tabernacle.

 

GARDEN OF EDEN OR PARADISE

 

The Lord God now has himself a man, but what will he do with this creature called man; where will he place him? “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward”. Now notice, the earth has begun to grow grass although in Gen. 2:4 there hasn’t a single blade of grass grown on earth. Nevertheless, I believe in that old earth lay every little seed and all it needed was for that spoken thought of God to become active and the earth would begin to sprout blades of grass, trees, etc. Notice this garden spot which God planted eastward certainly wasn’t some little garden spot in God’s backyard consisting of a stone fence and iron gate, etc. Oh no, this garden area, the scripture says, had a river running through it which contained four heads and those four rivers are all known to be in the middle east. Therefore, even if it was in God’s backyard, it is still referred to the middle east and that would be a considerable large garden, would it not? “And the Lord God now begins to plant a garden eastward and placed the man which he had formed.” So far the man bodily is only one singular creature. Now we notice out of the ground also made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight good for food. However, recall back in Gen. 1: God’s spoken Word had already said for the earth to bring forth every kind of herb and tree after its kind, although it didn’t appear on earth momentarily, did it? Gen. 1 reveals the role of God’s spoken Word in creation; however, it is not until Chap. 2 do we begin to see the Spirit of God act upon what was spoken in Gen. 1. God could think and speak a thing centuries ago, however that doesn’t mean it to be accomplished momentarily. True, in the mind of God it is accomplished the moment he thought it, yet God may not act upon it until perhaps a million years later. Nevertheless, once he has spoken it, he will certainly watch over that which his word has spoken to see at whatever time he decides upon, it is performed somewhere at some time he will bring it about. Remember, God is not involved with such a thing as time. The God who lived and spoke in yesterday is exactly the same God of today. HE IS NOT INVOLVED IN TIME. Therefore, whenever the Spirit decides to act upon whatever his spoken word had declared, it would seem only as moments whenever he takes it and acts upon it. Therefore, we now see it was God’s plan for the herb to bring forth more herb, for every living creature to bear after its kind, etc, (he made them male and female). Man was also created male and female yet at this time, man was still only one creature although he has received a commission to multiply. And now while these two are still one, or in the same one body, shall we say (both male and female characteristics), it is here for the first time we hear the Lord God mention unto Adam (the two of them) anything involving the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil or the Tree of Life.

 

TWO TREES NOT COMMISSIONED TO BEAR AFTER THEIR KIND

 

A word to you who still think these two trees were some fruit bearing trees. Recall, back in Gen. 1 God had mentioned nothing about the Tree of Knowledge or the Tree of Life or that they should reproduce themselves, when he said let the earth bring forth of every herb bearing seed after its kind. If they were natural fruit trees, they would also have to reproduce themselves after their kind. In other words, somewhere there would have continued to be a tree of knowledge of Good and Evil. Nevertheless, as he does begin to express, act or bring forth all this, man is already well situated to begin his habitation within that Edenic environment. Now it is here we begin to hear God say to Adam, every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, you may eat of it. His physical existence or his survival would depend upon the fruit of the trees. This didn’t mean, however, man had to eat to live or he would starve. It simply reveals God in designing man had so designed him to be able to eat or consume food. I’m glad God made man 17 to do something as well as be something. Although he did make us to eat, he never made us to become gluttons, did he? The beauty of it is God made man to be and do something, not merely to exist as a myth or to float around. In other words, it is not mind over matter (some Christian Science theory). What an unscriptural theory. It is were like that we would all be made up of mind. That theory is, I don’t actually exist, I only think I do. WHAT NONSENSE! Perhaps that is the way many of those people think, but I believe I exist and I believe part of me is also matter.

 

MAN, A CREATURE DESIGNED TO EAT

 

Yes, God has stated here that man could eat of the trees which were good and pleasant to the eyes and good for food; however, now he speaks of two trees that stood in the midst of the garden, one called the tree of life and the other the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Again I ask you, where was Eve? STILL IN ADAM. Eve is in this body which has only one mind and one heart. Recall as yet Adam had not sinned. Only one person is walking around. Adam receives the commission how he is to eat of only certain vegetation and herbs, Gen. 2:15-17. Here we note that at this point man was not to become a meat eater, he doesn’t receive that commission until after the flood. After they were placed in this vessel of clay called man, God speaks to these two about the two trees, God says to Adam (recall he called THEIR name Adam). “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Where is Eve, IN HIM!) I keep reminding you of this to show you it foreshadows something great, as the second Adam (Christ) hung on the cross we (his wife) the redeemed according to Eph. 1 were in him! Christ the second Adam was the very beginning of God’s plan for a new creation. Think of it! God’s commission to multiply and replenish the earth still lay right there in Adam’s spirit as he was being shown of what t eat or partake. That commission was already instilled in Adam although at the moment he is helpless to carry it out because, WHERE WAS EVE ALL THIS TIME? STILL IN HIM! Yet, we are only able to see one person, right? Oh beloved, there is something beautiful represented here. Watch as the second Adam, the Lord of Glory, hung on the cross, he too was the very beginning of something wasn’t he Christ was the very expressed mind (the Word) of God (now) made flesh (John 1:11-12) but for what purpose? Not to pregenerate through birth another race of human beings, oh no! That natural law cycle of human birth or life which Almighty God had made and instilled within the first Adam while he was both male and female was still going strong when the second Adam arrived, was it not? Yet on Calvary hung God’s Law of love for another purpose, for another birth.

 

THAT OF THE NEW BIRTH (JOHN 3:3) OR REGENERATION.

 

Christ the second Adam who was made a quickening Spirit was to be the beginning of a new creation which must come about also through a new birth. Through this second Adam, God was reconciling his lost creation of mankind back to himself by another birth. Get this, the second Adam’s wife to be (Rev. 19) this regenerated born again believer, was laying right there in him (Christ) through the foreknowledge of God all the time. (Eph. 1:3) Same as the first Adam’s wife to be was already in him. Continuing on we read, “And the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till and keep it and the Lord God commanded the man saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest eat freely..”. See, the Almighty reaffirms it to Adam. WHERE IS EVE WHILE ALL THIS IS GOING ON? STILL IN ADAM. After carefully informing Adam, the trees in the garden which he could freely eat, God now turns his attention to two other trees which he calls by name, one being the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, death was connected with this tree, “But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely 18 die.” RECALL, EVE IS STILL IN ADAM! How many persons are walking around in that Garden at this hour? ONLY ONE PERSON! You may eat of this and that God tells Adam, but the day that you eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall surely die! This lets me know every commission, all instructions were laying right there in this first Adam, the one man with only one mind and one heart in his bosom even though these feminine attributes are in him long before there were ever two separate persons in the garden. What was Adam after he was spoken into existence in Gen. 1:26? A SPIRIT BEING! However, when God acted in Chap. 2 upon what he had already created in Chap. 1, Adam became matter, something tangible. Therefore, we have seen God act. God placed within Adam every law concerning plant life, animal life and yes, that of his own natural existence. Think of that! All this was in the first Adam, one creature, the Son of God, the authority of God, the knowledge of God and within him was already placed the commission to be something to this earth, God placed his creation in such a beautiful place, EDEN, to till and dress it.

 

FINDING A MATE FOR ADAM

 

God is about to act again. Keep in mind, all this commission along with Eve was still in Adam. This dual nature in man does not cause him to act masculine one day and feminine the next. No sir, he had no split personality, he knows exactly how to conduct himself. God brings before Adam some pets to be named (yes pets, that is the relationship man had with the animal kingdom before the fall). At the same time, the scripture says a search is being made for Adam a companion. (Now God knows where his companion is!). Verse 18: “And the Lord God said it is not good that man should be alone, I will make him an helpmeet for him. (Being alone then cannot fulfill his commission nor could anything from the animal kingdom). And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field”. You may not approve of all their peculiar physical structure; we may even wonder why the Almighty saw fit to create such huge, ugly creatures; nevertheless, they pleased him and even though the fall of mankind came through time, man has still found certain uses for many of them and had not the fall occurred I am sure we would see man and the animal kingdom existing together in a much more friendly environment of fellowship than it is today (wait until we see the animal kingdom existing in the millennium reign age under the Second Adam and his wife). Long before the inventions of those huge automotive cranes to lift giant loads, the elephants were serving as man’s crane uprooting trees, rolling logs into rivers, etc. Elephants became man’s beast of burden. What else carried man for centuries of time other than the horse! (And really the horse never polluted the air.) Therefore, regardless how one looks at it, these creatures were placed here for man’s benefit. Time will not permit us to discuss the uses of these animals. Undoubtedly, since the fall we have lost the true knowledge and purpose for which each creature was actually created. Nevertheless, once the second Adam and his new creation (his wife) filled with Eternal life and clothed in immortality takes over the new age, called the millennium, we shall once again learn their intended position. It is before the fall we hear God saying, it is not good that man should dwell alone and so out of the ground he formed every beast, cattle, etc., the animal kingdom. Notice, he brought them all up before Adam (AND WHERE WAS EVE – IN HIM). No, Eve wasn’t sitting over on the sideline saying to Adam, why don’t you name it something other than what you did, I don’t like that name, I have another one for it. No, Sir! WHERE IS EVE WHILE ALL THIS NAMING OF THE ANIMALS AND THE SEARCH FOR ADAM A COMPANION IS BEING MADE? STILL IN ADAM!! Adam still has only one mind and one heart, doesn’t he? “And the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to name them. Why is he called Adam? Because he is the beginning of something. Did you know A-T-O-M is the beginning of all God’s natural matter and this man A-D-A-M is also the beginning of all physical flesh matter and in that flesh lay a law, a 19 commission to multiply and replenish the earth as well as having dominion to rule over it. God brought all the animals before Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that would be its name henceforth. Adam gave names to all cattle as well as to the fowl of the air and to every beast.

 

FINDING A MATE AMONG ANIMALS FOR MAN MARS REDEMPTION PICTURE

 

Notice, if you will, how God becomes more specific. We see plant life has sprung forth (male and female life is in the same stalk) however in animal life, male and female created he them, yet as far as having a physical mate, Adam is here all alone, isn’t he? Now WHERE IS EVE? STILL IN HIM. Adam named all the animals but to find a companion for Adam from the animal kingdom was fruitless for the scripture says, not one could be found that could help him carry out his commission to multiply and replenish the earth, “but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him”. This lets me know God was speaking far more intimately concerning the first Adam and his mate because it is only God’s way of wording it for notice, once God acts again he will be acting in such a manner as to foreshow the very act of redemption through the second Adam. Finding a mate or wife for Adam among the animal kingdom would mar the beautiful picture of what took place with the second Adam. Therefore, the fact of what God did unto Adam in finding him a mate (placing Eve in him) lets me know everything was in Adam; every genetic law. God’s perfect genetic law lay right there in Adam. His commission to multiply and replenish the earth and rule over it lay there in Adam. The commission of what he should and should not eat was laying there as well as the authority to name these animals; the authority to till the earth lay right there in Adam long before he was ever put to sleep in order for his wife to be taken from him. Yes, even long before he was given a male body to live in. It was all in Adam, AND WHERE WAS ADAM – IN GOD. Beloved, you can’t go any further up the line than that. THE SLEEP OF THE FIRST ADAM Time has arrived in God’s program where he must act again. “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam.” Note, God is the one who administered the first anesthesia. The Almighty himself performing the surgery on the physical piece of clay. God did it all and the cost to Adam was nothing. “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam.” God put Adam into such a gentle snooze he wasn’t aware of what was going on. The first surgical operation in all the world is now being performed. It is the very first time human flesh has ever been tampered with by a surgical instrument of any description. The laser beam which is considered the most modern technique of modern surgery and is practically bloodless could not compare with this operation. Adam is being put to sleep and what did God do? He took from him one of his ribs. How often do we hear remarks concerning women – she is nothing but a rib. They may be true, but where did woman come from? A BUNCH OF DIRT. Perhaps it is alright to refer to a woman as a rib in a joking way, however when people use such things in a derogatory manner this shows they are unbalanced in the word of God. Anytime man wants to look upon a woman sarcastically in this manner I will have to say, DON’T FORGET YOU AREN’T ANYTHING BUT A BUNCH OF DIRT! You let the life go out of that body and you will see how quick you return back to what you came from. THE DUST OF THE GROUND!

 

RIB FROM ADAM’S SIDE

 

Notice from where this rib came, OUT OF ADAM’S SIDE! This is important when you see what it foreshadowed. In the side is where you will find man’s ribs. Adam’s ribs were the very framework of his body. If you lost all your ribs, you would collapse. Ribs are your support, they protect your heart. Your entire respiratory system is protected by your ribs. That is why ribs were placed in the body as they are. They serve as would a steel framework to a building. Take 20 that steel framework out of the building and a puff of wind could come along and the whole structure would collapse. Therefore, God took from Adam’s framework a rib to signify being a helpmeet for man. She must come from his side, for it was by his side she should stand and be a spiritual support, of comfort, consolation in every phase and walk of life that the two of them walk together, because woman came from this very vital part of man’s flesh. How true that is when so often man reaches a place in life within his natural environment when it seems everything has gone against him, who is it so often who stand there and helps support and uplift his spirit to weather the storm. Yes, she becomes a bulwark to help hold him up and help carry him through. Only within this perverted age of woman’s lib and so forth it won’t run true 100 percent, but it should with any godly woman. We realize of all the plots and perversions Satan used today to break people to pieces, somewhere a woman is usually involved. Nevertheless, we say God chose this very beautiful thing and set it in a perfect beautiful type if it is allowed to run true to order that actually was what God was portraying by taking from Adam’s side a rib while Adam lay there so peacefully asleep. God removed a rib, which of course is a bone, and perhaps along with this bone he also removed a little meat which was connected thereon. Once this great Eternal Spirit began to work and fashion this bone with its little portion of meat attached, it soon began to change its form and once God finished fashioning this rib, he now has another which in many ways resembles the body lying there asleep. The main difference was this body bore an expression of all feminine qualities while the other body bore all resemblance of masculine qualities, yet one thing was sure, God had removed the feminine attributes from the male because the hour was nearing for God to set in motion his reproductive laws which he commanded to come forth in the spirit world within these two when he said be fruitful and multiply. This beautiful creature who once consisted of only feminine attributes now has a mind as well as a heart of its own. Yet God never disturbed Adam’s mind nor his heart in any manner, he only removed from him a rib, but oh my, there is a lot in a rib once God is through fashioning it. This body was also flesh, exactly the same kind of flesh from which she was taken to fulfill God’s word, let everything bear after its kind. Furthermore, it had the same number of ribs as the body from which she had been taken. The mind and heart in this body was no different from that of the other body only in the fact this body bore the image of feminine characteristics while Adam bore the masculine. God has now taken for the first time from man another life and brought this life through his side to foreshadow the work of the second Adam who brought life from himself to share with others. What has God accomplished by placing man to sleep and taking from his life, not another male life, but instead a female life? In doing this, God has accomplished step no. 2 in his program for man’s reproduction. In giving man his mate from the female specie of his own kind he is now setting his biological commission of reproduction in line for the human race. This I remind you has not come about because of the fall, this is taking place long before a fall has begun. Why else would the mate for male be required to be a female specie if his original plan to bring other life into the world and fulfill the commission of Gen. 1:26-27 was that of speaking them into existence rather than being brought forth from their bodies? This feminine life will now be a life separate from that of the male in that it will have its own mind, own thoughts, own separate heart and furthermore will have its own free will and choice from that of the flesh of the first Adam in which she had existed all this time. God had taken flesh and bones and made himself another flesh being. From what was accomplished here (before the fall) proves in order for God to fulfill his natural biological laws of reproduction, it had always been even from the original beginning God’s intended route that life would beget life after its own kind. Biologically, no animal could be found for Adam’s mate because not only must she come from Adam to prefigure the type of the bride of the second Adam which was already within him, but second, because his mate for reproduction must come, even before the 21 fall, from his own kind of flesh life in order to fulfill his commission to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth. God so designed both their bodies even before the fall whereby these biological laws were placed in the flesh of the male and female specie in order to bear flesh life after its kind. If people would only look at the scripture correctly they could not help but see how these things run so beautiful in continuity. Had it been God’s original plan to have called all human life from the crust of the earth as he had done with Adam, he would certainly have chosen this procedure to have brought Eve forth and even more so the second Adam who came by virgin birth. Already he had made one vessel of flesh for the male and female attributes to live in; now he makes another vessel of clay to place the feminine attributes into. The fact the female life came from the male life proves it was God’s ordained route, life was ordained to beget life after its own kind. Only one person came from the ground and that was Adam. However, note in the specie of other animal life God brought both the male and female separately, but at the same time from the ground, Gen. 1:24, 2:19: in other words, God did not take life from the male species to form female as he had done from Adam. The first Adam was to foreshadow the second Adam in the Christ before the foundation of the world his companion was in him. No doubt about it, it was God’s original plan to be done in this fashion to foreshadow that future event, and note the fact from life came the flesh of the first Adam it was in order to fulfill that scripture which said that all was in Adam; therefore flesh, even before the fall, was ordained to bring forth life out of its own life. It was of necessity that human flesh beget human flesh. WHY SLEEP? That is why God had to put Adam to sleep to remove the life of another because in order for Christ to give life to his bride he also had to sleep the sleep of death that out of him might come forth a new beautiful creation which will be his bride. Recall from Ephesians 1, before ever a star or moon found its place this was already settled in the mind of the Eternal One that God would put Adam to sleep in order to give life to another (foreshadowing) the sleep (of death) of the second Adam. By no means had God on the spur of the moment changed his mind and decided now to take the female life from the side of the male instead of bringing her forth from the ground as he had done with them in Gen. 2:7 when both were placed in one body. Here stands this feminine creature in all her feminine charm, beauty and virtue, designed in the manner God had always intended to fulfill his commission; be fruitful and multiply. All that God had willed this feminine creature to be, she was. However, note at this point she is neither called woman nor Eve because as yet Adam has not named her.

 

THOUGH SEPARATED FROM ADAM, EVE RETAINS KNOWLEDGE

 

Soon we shall see the very purpose in which God has so fashioned her as he has taken her from Adam’s side. No longer can we refer to Eve being in Adam because this creature, from this moment forward, is a person all her own. And don’t forget for a moment the knowledge which had been instilled into Adam’s makeup, while he was both male and female, concerning being fruitful, multiplying and replenishing the earth, along with the knowledge of the tree of life and the tree of death or what is scripturally called the Tree of Knowledge, was also instilled in her makeup as well seeing she too was a part of that commission from the beginning. The knowledge they were to rule with all authority and have dominion of everything was in her as much as in Adam, though at this time the feminine creature was neither called WOMAN nor EVE. All that preordained knowledge lay in the mind of both of them, separating her attributes from his is by no means the beginning of this feminine character. Here she is only being granted a separate body and a separate life. By no means is their commission to multiply and replenish the earth something new to this feminine creature simply because she is transferred over into a 22 separate body with a separate life. Her knowledge of this has been active since the sixth creative day. No longer will Adam have within him any of the feminine characteristics as before, all these have been placed into another vessel of clay likened unto his and yet where did the vessel come?

 

FROM HIM! WHY SHE WAS CALLED WOMAN

 

As Adam awakened, he did not have to be introduced to this feminine creature. The male Adam (seeing both their name was Adam) did not need to be introduced to her. Adam did not need to inquire from where she came for he knew she was a part of him. Adam did not say to the feminine creature, who are you, how did you get here, what is this all about, where did you come from? No, every answer is already in the mind of Adam. Adam’s first words we hear uttered in scripture is a prophecy concerning this female creature standing before him as he says, this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. Listen to him and learn something important. Outwardly, they have never met, although the moment we hear Adam speak after having awakened and the new creature taken from him and without any previous knowledge of what a father or mother was, because genetically they had never had either nor had they been either. God had been all in all to them. Adam was gazing upon a part of himself and he knew it.

 

REPLACING FEMALE ATTRIBUTES

 

Recall, God has made man in his spiritual image, however he created them male and female, Gen. 1:26-27, and later placed them together in one body of flesh. Notice, God nor Adam is ever referred to as she, instead it is always in the masculine. Certainly God is not a woman nor was he ever referred to as woman. Nevertheless, there are those feminine characteristics of God. Take for instance the lovely flowers of the field. A woman can usually be found tending flower gardens if she is not busy with housework. That is a woman’s nature and to the contrary man will be found with machinery, etc. If God did not have certain feminine characteristics, he probably would never have created the lily, rose and other beautiful flowers. Very few men are actually interested in flowers, are they? That doesn’t mean man hates them, by no means, it simply means man’s make up does not have that deep attraction for such things as does a woman. He may agree it is a beautiful flower, but it is not his nature to pamper it like a woman would. Furthermore, we should note one of God’s seven redemptive names was El-Shaddai, the breasted one. Certainly, God will feed his babies the sincere milk of his Word, won’t he? (I Per. 2:2) Most assuredly, these female attributes in Adam had come from God, for in creating man God had placed that part of himself also within Adam. However, now what do we see? God has now acted twice, his second act has been in creating woman. But why, for what purpose? To set his biological reproductive law of Gen. 1:27 in motion. On the sixth creative day God had instilled this law of life into their knowledge whereby once that law came into force, it would be God’s chosen route or law of reproduction and that law was in both of them, wherein he has now created two special bodies through two separate acts for his two children. Therefore, don’t forget, what is taking place here in Gen. 2 is only to further that which God spoke on the sixth creative day, Gen. 1:26-27. God knew all along later he must separate the two (taking her out of him) in order to fulfill that commission. Truly that makes all to have been in Adam. No, God didn’t have to introduce them neither did he need to recommission them. That is why when Adam awakened he didn’t have to wonder what was happening, HE KNEW, and furthermore, he prophesied; she is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh and for this cause or reason she shall be called woman, for out of man was she taken. Note especially the balance of his prophecy continues, and may I say Adam didn’t have to read or look up instructions in some book to bring out his following statement it simply was divine prophecy coming from the prophetic nature of the son of God. Adam was the son of God, where lay all this knowledge he had previously 23 received and continues by saying – for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother (Adam nor Eve had either) and shall cleave unto his wife and the twain shall be one flesh. That beloved is how important this act of creating woman had to God’s great commission of Gen. 1:27. This prophecy shows the results would be that the two should again become one in union as their children would be born from their joint relation.

 

A MYSTERY ABOUT CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE

 

Paul picks up this same prophecy of the first Adam in Eph. 5 as he explains how husbands should love their wives even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. Taking this same prophecy, Paul pushed it a little further by saying, I speak a mystery about Christ (the second Adam) and his church (wife to be). Therefore, we note the first Adam slept the sleep of physical sleep while the Eternal Spirit God took from his life, life which he gave unto Eve, for what purpose? That the commission God had placed in both male and female attributes, to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth, could now be carried out. Remember in the day he called their name Adam she too was a part of that great commission and through these two God would set in motion his ordained biological law to multiply and replenish the earth. Just as he had separated the feminine life by causing male human life to be put to sleep to furnish life for her, let us take a look at Christ, the second Adam who hung on the cross as he was made to sleep the sleep of death that while his body slept, his eternal life could also be given to another. Through that sleep of death, Christ gave Eternal Life unto his bride church (Eph. 5:25). Therefore, the Eternal Life which we receive from him is none other than the Holy Ghost. It is the very life of our husband to be who was willing to sleep the sleep of death for us whereby a part of his Eternal Life might be taken and given unto us through a new birth wherein we could become begotten sons and daughters of God reconciled back to the great Eternal Spirit through his regenerated plan through Christ called THE NEW BIRTH. Through that eternal Life furnished by the second Adam, the Lord of Glory, who was willing to sleep the sleep of death whereby the predestinated in the mind of God might through the new birth be given this new eternal life. Recall, this eternal life was taken from him while hanging on the cross, and this eternal life is given to his bride. HIS SIDE WAS ALSO PIERCED His side was pierced also and from it came water and blood after he had given up his eternal life for us. Does this not fall perfectly in line with Peter’s statement on the day of Pentecost once he begins to call forth a people to make up a bride relationship with Christ? Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, Acts 2:38. In that statement is found the presence of water, blood and spirit. That which came from the life of Christ as he slept the sleep of death was those ingredients that made up his life which might be transferred by faith unto his bride people to give them life. The Apostle John declares in I John 5:4-9 that Jesus the second Adam came by blood and water, not by water only but by water and blood and it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is true, for there are three that bear record in heaven, the father, the Word and the Holy Ghost and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth; the spirit, water and blood, and these three agree in one. Therefore is it not these three: the water, blood and spirit, which make up the life of both the physical as well as the spiritual? As Christ gave up the ghost or spirit did not a Roman soldier pierce his side and did not water and blood come from it? He was giving every ounce of his life for you.

 

HIS LIFE GIVEN FOR BRIDE

 

Giving his eternal life for the purpose of redemption and reconciliation as Paul declares to Timothy without controversy great is the mystery of godliness. Then to the Corinthian church (in II Cor. 5:19) he declares God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. Therefore, as 24 the second Adam hung on the cross, he was none other than God’s redemptive law of love, sleeping the sleep of death whereby his own life might be taken and given unto his little beloved bride Eph. 4. Recall, God wasn’t reprieved to wait 1,000 years later in order to know who would or would not receive his eternal life shed on that cross. No sir! He already knew who would or would not come and drink from the water of life freely and since he knew, that is why that through the revelation of his word, the Apostle Paul declares before the foundation of the world we were chosen or predestined in him (Christ) the revealed word made flesh becoming the second Adam.

 

FIRST ADAM A FIGURE OF SECOND ADAM ROMANS 5:13-14

 

Therefore, you can now see how beautiful Christ’s work at Calvary was prefigured here once God put his first Adam to sleep and from Adam’s flesh took another flesh (his bride), who also at that hour was filled with eternal life. From Adam’s life, God purchased another life, his bride. The Eternal Spirit not only put the second Adam to sleep through the sleep of death wherein he might give eternal life, to a bride but furthermore, with that flesh of the second Adam he would bear the sins and reproaches of all mankind in which you and I had suffered and received in our flesh which came through our natural or first birth. That birth which was brought about through the first parents who chose to live under the knowledge of the tree of good and evil which supplied death, physical and spiritual, to each soul born under that tree or law. Yes, within Christ’s body, he bore the sins of all reproach suffered in our flesh, whereby our flesh also as well as our spirit man, might be reconciled back to God through the change of the new body. My sins he bore in his flesh as he gave his life as a purchase price for all to have eternal life which came from him while sleeping the sleep of death thereby rescuing us from the power of Satan. Although I must await the change of the body which he also redeemed through that which he suffered, I do not need to wait for his eternal life through the Holy ghost which we can now possess while walking in this flesh. The treasured possession (of eternal life) Paul spoke of which we have in earthen vessels of clay (while awaiting the redemption of the body or our change.) Therefore, we note how once the first Adam had awakened, he was fully aware of what had transpired and why this woman was there, because he said this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, etc. Adam knew well she who had been so long with him, first as only a spiritual being, that the feminine attributes were now separated and walking in a vessel all its own to fulfill that great commission which both had received while dwelling in the spirit world. With these two separate bodies the law of God has now been set in motion to carry out his commission, be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth and furthermore have dominion over all living creatures. The two shall share equal authority while walking together through the garden.

 

SATAN ACTS GENESIS 3

 

Chapter 2, we saw God acting. Chapter 3 shows Satan acting. Finally the hour of temptation has arrived and it is here from Chapter 3 we note the two trees which stood in the midst of the garden is now brought back into the picture. One of the trees was of the knowledge of good and evil, while the other was the tree of life and both trees are used to affect the choice of these two human beings toward their obedience in obeying God’s will. For recall, Eve now has a mind and will all of her own as does Adam. Even has been given a separate heart and spirit from that of Adam. Nevertheless, they still both know what God’s original commission of multiplying and replenishing the earth in Gen. 1:27 was all about. It is here in Genesis 3 we see Satan through the serpent creature acting. The temptation begins, Eve submits and the fall came. And as the fall came, we are fully aware that every child born from that day until this was born with inherited sin and disobedience in their blood stream stemming from these first two disobedient 25 ones in the garden.

 

WHY SECOND BIRTH NECESSARY

 

How does all this link up with the purpose of the second Adam? We sum this up by using Nicodemus, who came to Jesus by night in John 3 illustrates Christ’s purpose being here and the second Adam, Jesus the second Adam having discerned why and for what reason Nicodemus had slipped out to him in the dark, said, Nicodemus except a man be borne again he can in no wise see the kingdom of God. So startled at hearing that a man must be borne again, astonishingly, Nicodemus asks Jesus; Me, an old man, how is it possible that I can be borne again? Can I enter the second time into my mother’s womb and be borne. Poor Nicodemus so fleshly minded, knew only of his natural existence as to how he came into the earth, through birth of his mother whereupon he asked; can I enter the second time into my mother’s womb and be born? Jesus trying to correct Nicodemus’ thinking said, don’t get all confused because I stated you must be born again to see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus could not understand Jesus terminology for he had never heard of the second birth ever before. Christ said, that which is born of flesh (first birth) is flesh, but that which is born of the spirit (second birth) is spirit. Then he said, except a man be born of the water and the Spirit he cannot in any wise see the kingdom of God, neither can he enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5, I Cor. 15:50) Flesh and blood can not enter the kingdom of God.

 

PLACED BEFORE TWO TREES FOR CHOICE

 

Beloved, this lets me know our natural, human birth was set in motion once Eve was separated from the first Adam and the two were placed before the two trees for their choice. They themselves chose to live and bring all the human family into the world or fulfill the commission, be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth, under the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which choice led to sin, disobedience and death, causing each human born in the human family to be born with inherited sin in the bloodstream. Therefore, the second Adam was God’s way for us to be reborn to be pleasing unto him and escape that eternal death penalty (I Cor. 15:) Henceforth, if we can see this beautiful picture whereby God places the first Adam to sleep to take from his side a wife, we should be able to see how beautifully it prefigures that which Christ, the second Adam, suffered for us as he hung on the cross and from his flesh went eternal life, water and blood, those very ingredients which by faith we accept that provision which God made for us. The Spiritual life (as well as natural life) comes in those three stages: water, blood and spirit. We can be born again or experience a new birth and be brought into the family of God through the offering of Christ who gave his life that we, his beloved, might have life, the predestinated of God. If you can see genetically and biologically how all was in the first Adam for human life, then we can see those who are to be redeemed or born again through new birth were also in the second Adam and were preordained to receive of his life at Calvary. GENESIS, STORY OF GENES Each time you read the book of Genesis and notice that word G-E-N–E-S-I-S you should remember Genesis simply means the history of the human genes. Therefore, when Adam was created long before Eve was taken from his side, placed in them was that potential biological law of God which would produce every gene. However, had the two chosen to live under the tree of life, they would have continued to carry God’s eternal life through their genes and mankind would have had nothing other than eternal life flowing through his human bloodstream which would have been the only kind of life which would be going into each offspring of the human family. However, since the two chose, in the garden environment, to live under the wrong tree of law, their choice produced death within those genes instead of eternal life. I repeat, had the right choice been made, mankind would have entered the world through his first birth full of eternal life instead of death and there would have been no need for a second Adam to come, die 26 on the cross, to sleep the sleep of death and share his eternal life with us. Now, if genetically you were all in the first Adam, spiritually according to the foreknowledge of God, his bride or true believers were also in Christ, the second Adam, Eph. 1:3, before the foundation of the world. Remember, genetically you are not in Christ. It is spiritually that you are in Christ, the second Adam. Christ is the redemptive Adam. The first Adam was the creative Adam; therefore, he was the beginning of the natural creation while Christ, the second Adam, is the beginning of the new creation, that redemptive creation full of eternal life which redeemed through a process of time will restore the lost creation back to God.

 

MYSTERY OF TWO TREES IN EDEN

 

What were these two mysterious trees found in the midst of the Garden, Gen. 2:9, where if one was eaten would bring forth death to mankind while the other would give life eternal? Without any revelation on the subject the religious world has looked upon the subject only to say, well, since it plainly says trees and since they know of no other trees than plan life, automatically in their thinking they accept Gen. 2:9 to simply be two fruit bearing trees of some kind of plant life, loaded with delicious fruit; one of which if eaten brings forth life, the other brings forth death. But what kind of fruit tree would bring forth death, then again, what kind of fruit tree do you now would bring forth life? Somehow in their mind, the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil has turned out to be an apple or one of some other fruit bearing nature. As I have stated in previous messages, we will have to face the fact whatever kind of trees these two trees are in the midst of the Garden, both will have to be of like structure, that is, if one is plant life, then both would have to be plant life. Therefore, if death and sin entered the human race, polluting the blood stream through the eating of some form of plant life, then redemption must also come by eating from plant life and beloved what natural fruit tree of plant life do you know can give you eternal life? There is none!!

 

BIRTH BROUGHT ETERNAL LIFE

 

Then again, let us ask ourselves the question, how could eating from this tree before the fall cause any one to obtain eternal life seeing that life eternal was what already flowed in the bloodstream of Adam and Eve and would have been transferred unto their offspring at birth? Naturally, the question is how this young couple who in Gen. 1:28 had already received their commission, be fruitful and multiply and seeing that Adam had already prophesied the role of woman, how man would leave father and mother, cleave unto himself a wife and they two would be one flesh, and realizing that once offspring would be brought into the world they would be full of eternal life. How would this eternal life be transferred into the bloodstream of the offspring? Some I know would want to declare it would probably come about as Adam and Eve who were commanded to be fruitful and multiply, becoming one flesh, would do all this simply to call little offspring out of the earth; however, to this I say NO! I cannot see the word of God backing up any such preposterous idea. Instead, through this union of man and woman becoming one flesh, it would produce this offspring full of the same eternal life they themselves possessed before the fall. Not only would the offspring have been filled with eternal life, but will all the blessings of God because that is what would have been transported into his blood stream from the union of his parents whereas today under the other law and under a different motive of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, life is still born yet born with a curse, lost, full of death and sin and once sine is finished in the body, it destroys the life. Therefore, the tree of life spoken of here was that law governing eternal life or how to obtain eternal life.

 

CHOOSING BETWEEN THE TWO LAWS REVEALS MOTIVE

 

Try to think of this setting as one taking place in a perfect environment before any sexual act had been committed and try to think of the first young couple, not as people are today since the fall, but before the fall when eternal life dwelt in both of them. The question that is put before this 27 young couple is in this matter: which of these two laws will you use and by what motive shall you use them in producing life through this act. The important thing God desires to determine here is their motive, for it shall be determined here that motive plays a vital part. God says, now I warn you about this one tree, using it produces death. We know had they waited on God just a little longer, he would have led them unto one of these trees himself; however, it would have been the tree or law of life which governed eternal life as their union would produce their offspring and this law would have granted their offspring not only eternal life, but all those benefits of living under the tree or law of life. Note the placing of the two trees in the midst of the Garden comes as the first major test concerning their obedience toward his perfect will before there is any mention of children being conceived whatsoever. Therefore, the tree of life held the secret of how people may obtain eternal life (through birth). While on the other hand the other tree or law of good and evil showed how people could eat from this fruit and obtain death (through birth also). And we are aware today that with each sexual act committed under that tree or law bringing conception, with it also brings forth death.

 

BOTH TREES GOVERNED SEXUAL ACTIVITY

 

Although the tree may be a mystery in your mind, dear reader, if you can but associate what that tree in the Garden represented and was trying to produce (death) and then you see the results of the sexual act itself does produce death in each child, you should then be clearly able to see how this tree with its fruit producing death could not be a tree of natural plant life but is something in someway connected with that which is bringing forth death, the sexual relation. Yes, it is identically the same relationship, only committed under an entirely different motive than God originally purposed to be produced under the tree of life. To help us understand more so the purpose of these two trees being placed in the Garden to motivate something dealing with the sexual life of this young couple let us quickly look at two things: (1) their commission to be fruitful and multiply, (2) the prophecy of Adam concerning womanhood, yet with two things already revealed God has not instructed them as yet when this is to be accomplished. The when is going to be determined from these two trees or laws which God placed in the Garden to govern their sexual relation and attitude toward his will. One tree strictly produces only for the will and purpose of God; the other tree, route or sexual act would be for an entirely different motive, pleasure basis only. It has to be their choice which route or way they will choose to accept in carrying out this great commission and fulfilling prophecy. Which of these laws will they follow? This in itself determines why there has been no purpose in God instructing the young couple as to when the commission be fulfilled seeing the choice of trees held the answer for all times and which law or tree benefit is going to govern and motivate their lives and the lives of their offspring, for it shall be impossible as God brings out within their curse, you cannot live under the law of one tree and reap the benefits of the other. You cannot live under the tree that produced the fruit of good and evil in pleasure and expect to reap the benefits of the tree of life, for it shall be from te fruit of their union that eternal life (or death as the case was ) would be transported into a bundle of flesh. Understand this clearly, either route chosen would involve sex, therefore once God had met with the young couple after it was plainly clear under which tree or law they intend to live seeing it is now evident that another motive for the act is going to be accepted by the two dealing strictly with pleasure, God must now condition their bodies to produce that which the tree or law was to produce. Recall, their bodies were not conditioned for the law of this tree for within them dwelt eternal life and God will not permit them to live under the law of pleasure at any time they choose, using his motive selfishly and then when the time arrived, whether before the fall it would have been once or perhaps twice a year that the woman’s time of life would have visited her whereby conception would have taken place and that offspring been filled with eternal life. NO! Since they have chosen the other law they must 28 be conditioned to reap the benefits and drink the bitter drugs of the cup of all this law would produce. Therefore, the tree of life which governed the perfect purpose of the relation was never allowed to be brought into existence God removed it! However, it is interesting to note the tree was permitted to produce one offspring although not as the original purpose would have been by using the normal perfect seed of man and the perfect egg of woman in producing eternal life. As God could find no perfect seed nor egg since the fall, he had to create both yet thank God he still allowed the child to be born from woman as all would have been full of eternal life before the fall had the young couple lived under the tree of life. The point I am making is whether it had been before or after the fall, eternal life which would have been produced from a perfect seed and a perfect egg still come through birth by woman. And is it not strange in order for you to come in contact with eternal life today, it is important that you also experience a new and different birth. John 3:3-4. Unto Nicodemus Christ said, ye must be born again. How? By accepting him who is referred to as the branch off the tree of life and recall he was the only one the apostles would follow because he alone had the words of eternal life. Amen.

1973-01-From-Adams-Side-He-Took-Eve

It Happened At Jericho – 1972, November


Contents

Introduction

TEXT: JOSHUA 2:1-24
A STORY OF TWO GENERATIONS AND WHAT EACH REAPED BECAUSE OF THEIR ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD. ONE A PATHETIC GENERATION OF UN-BELIEVERS WHO, AFTER WITNESSING THE MIRACULOUS POWER OF GOD, FAILED THROUGH FEAR AND UNBELIEF, THUS BEING OVERTHROWN IN THE WILDERNESS ONLY TO HAVE BECOME AN EXAMPLE UNTO ALL WHO WALK CONTRARY TO THE LEADERSHIP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (II Cor. 10:6-11, Hebrews 3:7-19). THE YOUNGER GENERATION, SEEING THE MISTAKE OF THE FIRST, PROSPERS GREATLY AND DOES THE IMPOSSIBLE. HOW DOES THE NATURAL CONQUERING OF JERICHO ON THE 7TH DAY APPLY SPIRITUALLY TO THE HOUR IN WHICH WE LIVE? WHAT DOES THE LONG BLAST OF THE RAMS HORN ON THAT 7TH DAY IMPLY?

Turn with me into Joshua 2, where today we are discussing the subject, “IT HAPPENED AT JERICHO”. Although this beautiful story is of a historical occurrence, I feel we should study and observe the pattern of it because just as certain things happened at Jericho, I feel we can expect certain things to happen in a similar manner for us. Even though these are natural occurrences which happened here at Jericho, still I believe our conditions and circumstances in later days will bring about God’s purpose, therefore, all of this study should be looked upon strictly from a spiritual significance.


For a basis of thought you should read Joshua 2:1-24. (1) And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went and came unto a harlots house, named Rahab and lodged there.” Since the fall of Jericho does not take place until chapter 6, it would be well worth the readers time to read those first six chapters.


CHARACTER STUDY – JOSHUA AND RAHAB


First off, let us take a quick run down on several characters found in verse 1, namely Joshua and RAHAB, who after this setting is also found mentioned in a number of places throughout the scriptures. Joshua was from the tribe of Ephraim, (Numbers 13:8). The Grecian form of his name was Jesus. (Acts 7:45) In that he led his people into the promised land he may have well been a prototype of his great successor the Lord Jesus who in turn will lead His own sheep into the promised land of glory.


Throughout the 40 years of wilderness wanderings Joshua had been a personal attendant to Moses having first been seen with Moses in the Mount, (Exodus 24:13). Also he was one of the twelve spies sent to spy out the land of Canaan, (Numbers 13:8-16). According to Josephus, the Jewish historian, Joshua was 85 when he succeeded Moses and died at the age of 110.


Israel, now with only a fragment of what one day will be the complete word of God, namely the first five books of Moses’ writings, had enough of an understanding as to what God wanted and expected out of them, however through unbelief the first generation after the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai was unable to fulfill their obligations to Jehovah and all were destroyed in the desert this side of the promised land. Only two out of the first generation made it to the promised land for which they had been delivered to enjoy, not even that great servant Moses who longed for the sight of this promised land as it had been he who was ordained to lead between two and three million Israelites from slavery and servitude out of Egyptian bondage.


MOSES, GOD’S SERVANT REPRESENTS OLDER GENERATION


At the age of 120, his eyes not dimmed or his natural force abated, Moses, the aged servant of God, though never allowed to enter into his dream, the promised land, was kindly permitted by the Almighty to climb along to the height of Mt. Pisgah (today called Mt. Nebo), some 8 miles from the boundary line of the promised land (the Jordan River), to view that promised land upon which he would never be allowed to set foot (Numbers 20:11-12). From the top of Mt. Pisgah on a clear day one can see as far to the north as the snow capped peak of Mt. Hermon where Jesus was transfigured and where, strange enough, in a vision he (Moses) appeared with Elijah talking with Jesus, (Matthew 17:3). Somewhere on those lofty peaks of Mt. Pisgah, 8 miles east of the mouth of the Jordan River, Moses’ earthly journey ended. Moses could no doubt see the hills of Judaea and Galilee as well as Mt. Carmel where Elijah, some 500 years later would call fire down from heaven. It was here God lifted his soul into even a better land and buried his body. Of his sepulcher no man knows; undoubtedly he was removed from the reach of idolatry by Israel. (Deuteronomy 34:1-12)


APPROACHING JORDAN FOR CROSSING


The Jordan, being the boundary line for the promised land, is now ready to be crossed by Joshua and the new generation. In our story of Joshua 2, we note Joshua with his army of Israelites are now encamped just this side of the Jordan waiting word from his two spies who were already in the land gathering certain information for him, namely, WHAT IS THE REACTION OF THE PEOPLE OF JERICHO AND THROUGHOUT THE LAND OF CANAAN CONCERNING THIS NATION OF ISRAEL WHO ARE NOW READY TO MOVE INTO THE LAND TO TAKE THEIR FATHER ABRAHAM’S INHERITANCE! (Deuteronomy 34:1-5) Notice carefully verses 9-11 declared how the people of Jericho felt in their hearts about what happened at the Red Sea 40 years prior, as well as what happened to various kings along the route of Israel’s desert journey. Furthermore, RAHAB brings them up to the present hour informing these two spies who have entered her home how she is aware the Lord has given Israel the land and how the terror of Israel has fallen upon all the inhabitants of the land of Canaan and furthermore their hearts are faint because of what God has done for Israel. And last of all she asks for protection for herself and her family when Israel did conquer Jericho. (Joshua 2:12-21)


WOMAN OF FAITH


Briefly, let us take a quick look at this woman, RAHAB, who provided shelter to the two spies of Joshua. Informed by some outside source, RAHAB, along with all the people of the land are by no means ignorant of the miracles wrought by Almighty God in behalf of Israel within the past 40 years. Somehow through this she had become convinced Israel’s God was the true God – not Baal and Estar, the Babylonian gods of that period.


CANAANITE PRIESTESS PUBLIC PROSTITUTE


And upon meeting these spies she decided to risk her life by casting her lot with the people of Israel and their God. Although the scripture calls her a harlot, she may not have been altogether as bad as the word harlot today would imply. Recall she lived among a people whose morals were extremely low. Priestess’ of the Canaanite religion were always public prostitutes, therefore no doubt, her profession was considered by her own people among whom she lived as honorable and not such a disgraceful thing as the word would imply among us today. Three other places mention RAHAB in the scripture. According to Matthew 1:5, RAHAB married an Israelite named Salmon; I Chronicles 2:51, Caleb (one of the original 12 spies) had a son named Salmon – it is possible this is the same Salmon whom RAHAB married. If that be true, she married into a leading family of Israel and that could account for how she came to be within the ancestral line of Boaz, David and Christ! Furthermore, it is learned from Hebrews 11:31, that RAHAB is listed among the heros of faith of the old covenant. God certainly honored this Canaanite harlot’s choice in siding with Israel before the city fell. Perhaps her salvation was a reward for the kindness shown toward the spies which Joshua had sent into Jericho to get an account of the feeling of the people within the land before his invasion. It had been within RAHAB’s power to turn the two spies over to the king’s soldiers when word leaked out and reached the king’s ears that RAHAB was entertaining two strangers. Instead, she hid the spies pretending they had left her establishment, sending the king’s soldiers away on a false trail.


PART 1 – TWO SPIES GATHERING INFORMATION


Therefore, from the scriptures do we learn somewhat of our present setting. It is in the spring of the year and the river Jordan is by no means shallow as we shall later learn, because it is not the time of the year for the Jordan to be shallow, instead it is well out of its banks during the month of Abib, Israel’s first religious month of the year. And it is this time of year during the pass-over season God has chosen to take the people across the Jordan into the land of Canaan where no more than six miles away stands their first target, this fortified city of Jericho. From the walls of Jericho the river Jordan is in plain view where along its banks now encamps a nation of people who just recently buried all their dead of the older generation, except for Caleb and Joshua, and now await word from the two spies who are inside Jericho gathering certain information.


MEMORIES OF YOUNGER GENERATION AND HOW IT BENEFITTED THEM

Perhaps no generation ever carried the memories as does this entire new generation of Israelites who now, under the leadership of Joshua, is ready to cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan. A few days ago God Commissioned Israel, through Joshua, to prepare for the crossing saying, Now that my servant Moses is dead it is time to prepare the pass over the Jordan River. This they will do as soon as the report is brought back by the spies now gathering secret information in Jericho.


Why had Joshua only chosen to send two spies into the land when 40 years prior Moses had sent 12 to spy out the land, Joshua and Caleb being two of those spies? And had it not been for the good report Caleb and Joshua brought back out of the land they too would be as dead as the rest who all died in unbelief (an unpardonable sin). Yes, it is only because of this good report Joshua stands alive to direst Israel.


UNBELIEF OF PEOPLE AT KADESH-BARNEA


Turning back the pages of time 40 years we see Moses, along with perhaps 2½ or 3 million people camped at Kadesh-Barnea: Moses, having received the Law at Sinai planned to go directly from Sinai to Canaan, therefore, he journeyed straight to Kadesh, 150 miles north of Sinai, 50 miles south of Beersheba, the southern gateway into Canaan, intending to enter the land at once. However, his 12 spies, one from each tribe, returned from their scouting party with such a discouraging and frightening report, the people of Israel balked and refused to go any further and would have stoned Moses had it not been for the miraculous intervention of God. There they were within sight of the promised land and had reached a most crucial point of their journey and turned back! Caleb and Joshua, being the only spies out of the 12 who even encouraged the people to go forward, assuring the people God was with them regardless if the Israelite people did look like grasshoppers compared to the giants they saw and what if their cities were well fortified, that would be nothing compared to the power of God! Nevertheless, the people turned a deaf ear to their report, instead listening intently to the 10 spies who instructed the nation they would never be able to take the land! These two men were the only two out of approximately 600,000 men over 20 years old who were permitted to enter the land 40 years later while the others died in unbelief. Throughout the New Testament we are constantly reminded of the failures of this first generation, who died in unbelief. For instance, read John 6:27-49, Christ’s words were, your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead (eternally)!! (Hebrews 3:7-12)


TRIBES SELECT REPRESENTATIVE


At Kadesh-Barnea the men were selected to spy out the land of Canaan. Each tribe had been allowed to choose one man to represent them. This was so each tribe would have a voice in the matter and none would feel neglected. However, as we shall learn this was a grave mistake to give all the people a voice. Moses, no doubt, did not want any of the tribes to feel left out saying he was showing favoritism, however, 10 tribes definitely made a poor selection to represent them. Their choice of selection caused the first generation after the giving of the Law to die in unbelief and resulted in a 40 year wandering in the wilderness until the death of the first generation. The journey from Egypt to the promised land would not have required over 90 days at the most, however, because of Israel’s listening to the report of the spies and their refusal to enter into the land, it resulted in a wondering period of 40 years waiting until the present generation died off and a new generation would become old enough to take their place and go into the promised land, under a new leadership.


JOSHUA’S CHOICE OF ONLY TWO SPIES


It had been upon the evidence of what happened at Kadesh-Barnea 40 years ago that prompted Joshua to send only two spies into the land and not 12, when the hour arose that he was faced with the same ultimatum as Moses. This time each tribe was not given a voice in the matter, and since only the report of two spies had been inspiring and pleasing to God 40 years ago, only two spies are now chosen to cross the Jordan and enter Jericho to gather information for Israel.


Looking back through 40 years from our present setting gives us a better understanding as to why this new generation is now camped on this side of the Jordan River in sight of Jericho ready to enter the promised land given to Abraham their father by Almighty God in Genesis 12. Jericho is certainly not ignorant of the presence of these millions camped at Jordan. They know all about what happened at the Red Sea along with their wilderness journeying for 40 years, and because of what they know it has produced great fear in Jericho and throughout the land of Canaan concerning these people who had the Red Sea to open before their path; who has since then never gone into any town to buy either food or raiment and how had never known what it was to plant a garden or dig a well. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO FEED AND CLOTHE A NATION OF POSSIBLE 2 OR 3 MILLION PEOPLE? These and other reports are the things which terrify the idolatrous Baal worshipers of Jericho and various cities throughout Canaan.


NEW GENERATION REPRESENTS FULL BELIEF AND TRUST IN GOD


None, however, can be less ignorant of what all has happened these 40 years, although many were small children at the time, than is this new generation of Israelites now ready to cross Jordan into Canaan. Standing in Israel’s ranks under Joshua’s leadership are men and women who, not like their parents, full of unbelief, are now ready to take the land their parents could have easily taken 40 years ago. Men, who 40 years prior were young tots; women who now hold their own babies and are now ready to cross the Jordan River, were held by their mothers or led by the guiding hand of their parents as they crossed the Red Sea! These children now all grown into adulthood can still recall those fearful nights in Egyptian bondage when they did not know whether their parents would ever return home alive at night. Yes, within the minds of this new generation standing ready for the crossing, is that full unbroken story which relates a continual picture from the horrors of Egypt through the Red Sea and 40 long years of desert wandering because of disobedience. No, there is not a single thread missing in understanding, in responsibilities and decisions from the hour they left Egypt until their present hour, 40 years later. Many standing in those ranks now ready to cross the Jordan under a new leadership can well remember the terrible tragedy Egypt suffered at the Red Sea, the following day after Israel left Egypt under God’s leadership heading straight for the promised land which as of this time, 40 years later because of unbelief they still have not entered. They can easily recall how God did not choose to lead them by the way of the usual camel caravan route from Egypt to Canaan, instead God chose to lead them in a route which seemed utterly impossible, revealing to them it will be only God himself who can take them through and not their own initiative and might. Therefore, from this I can say it will not be what you and I think (about the scriptures) or what we feel we know nor will it be our power or ability which will get us through either, it will be nothing short of the grace of God! Nevertheless, within the grace of God there always comes that responsibility or obligation upon our part to be sure we remain in His will while we are attempting to walk with and obey God. Forty years ago, that older generation, which is now all dead because of unbelief, was then the parents and carried many of these who are now standing at the Jordan River in their arms as small children. They well remember that hour approaching the Red Sea when suddenly they looked back only to see that terrifying Egyptian Army in hot pursuit (somewhere around 1300 B.C.). Egypt at that time was the only nation known who could breed such swift horses as used to pull their chariots. They were known to be the swiftest horses in the world and here that Egyptian Army was dashing across the desert in hot pursuit with the finest of these military horses of the day. With Egypt they had been a standard of military pride and might and here stood, as the world would look upon it, a handful of helpless, bedraggled people. And what could they do against such military might and power? Israel having been in bondage so long had no weapons of defense – she was totally dependent upon the grace, mercy and power of Almighty God to preserve and sustain her from whatever situation that lay in her pathway. There they stood at the banks of the Red Sea! How foolish it must have looked for a man to lead between 2-3 million people in such a route as this. Moses moved his people out of Egypt by night, silently and swiftly in so much not even a dog barked nor a cry was made after the midnight hour when the death angel passed through Egypt striking all the first born, even Pharaoh himself suffered loss; through utter despair he had ordered the people out. Moses takes them from Goshen along with all their flocks and herds which numbered into the thousands. The route Moses chose to move this mass migration out of Egypt was toward the Sea of Reeds also called the Red Sea at a northern marshy place, south of the bitter lakes which are a geographical extension to the sea and today is the site of the Suez Canal. The land there was marshy and the waterway somewhat shallow, however not as shallow as one unbeliever of whom I heard trying to explain away the miracle of the Red Sea said Moses crossed at a spot where the water was only a few feet deep. Isn’t that amazing, that is even a far greater miracle seeing the entire Egyptian Army was drowned in such a small amount of water! Every kind of excuse has been offered to explain away the miraculous, well-timed wind God created that night to part the waters. Some Russian scientists recently explained that a meteorite coming into earth’s orbit did not burn itself out thus crashing into the Red Sea and causing this gigantic opening, splitting the waters which allowed the people to cross. Wouldn’t it be more simple just to believe the Bible and accept what the scripture says – God caused a strong wind to part the waters! Israel, with not one boat and with nothing materialistic with which to build a boat, stood at the sea – God had certainly not chosen to lead these people in a way natural or convenient. May I say, neither has God chosen to lead us in a way that looks natural or pleasing as far as man’s way is of looking at the thing. So often God chooses a way which appears completely foolish for a man to walk, yet He will allow him to make a decision by following Him through some truth which appears completely foolish or unnecessary to believe or accept. Nevertheless, here stood a people at the Red sea, mighty in number which had been beaten mistreated and poor. Yet in one sense they were not poor because the scripture declares only a few days prior to their leaving Egypt God had caused this same bedraggled people to find favor with many of the Egyptians and from the scriptural term they “borrowed” from the Egyptians.


ISRAELITES “BORROW” FROM EGYPTIANS


However, since they were never going to return I am more of the opinion their “borrowing” from the Egyptians was more or less in this sense – God had caused a certain class of Egyptians to show kindness toward the Israelites, especially after all the plagues etc., had fallen upon Egypt, they no doubt knew the Israelites were involved with them which caused the Egyptian people to want to do something good for them. Moreover, when the Israelites asked to “borrow”, I believe God had given Israel such favor with the people, it was more or less like, here is my savings, take it. Furthermore, we know from scripture it was a mixed multitude which left Egypt, meaning certain Egyptians left to follow Israel to the new land. When Israel left Egypt that night she took with her a great amount of Egyptian wealth. Therefore, I say why did they simply “borrow” something, knowing they would never return?


VICTORY AND DISASTER AT RED SEA


Standing at the banks of the Red Sea all that night we realize Israel was waiting for something to happen. Their fear was the army would take them back into captivity. However, they were waiting somehow to cross over when suddenly as daylight began to appear here came that mighty, powerful Egyptian Army. As Israel saw the dust from the advancing military chariots crossing the desert, they began to cry out and complain against Moses why he had done this to them! Naturally complaining against Moses they were complaining against God who was maneuvering the entire thing. This caused Moses after hearing the complaining Israelites, to lift his eyes to God and begin to cry out. God in turn told him to instruct the people to stand still and they would see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord. What happened? First, God placed as a separation between the Israelites and Egyptian Army a pillar of cloud and fire whereby the Egyptians might not advance upon the camp of the Israelites. As night came the scripture says a strong east wind began to blow and when light came the next day God had parted the waters of the Red Sea. Never in the history of the world had such a phenomena happened! Stepping down into the sea on dry ground to walk across to the other side was all of Israel, her domestic animals etc., while on both sides of them stood a quivering wall of water! By the time the Hebrews reached this place for crossing, Pharaoh, whose heart God had once again hardened, changed his mind and decided he didn’t want to loose all these Israelite slaves, thus he sent his army out to bring them back. However, according to the scripture, the army never quite overtook them. As Pharaoh’s men attempted to pursue the Israelites across the Red Sea, the wind ceased and the water surged back like a flash flood. In the swirling waters of the sea the Egyptians and their horses were submerged and drowned.


MEMORIES OF WHAT CAUSES OLDER GENERATION

TO MISS GOD SPURS YOUNGER GENERATION


Now forty years later a new generation of Israelites are camped at the Jordan waiting instructions from their new leader, Joshua, to cross into the promised land. Many of these were mere children that unforgettable day when an entire nation stepped down into the bottom of the Red Sea and walked across on dry ground! What an impression that must have left upon their little minds as they watched that gigantic opening within the sea. Such an indelible impression was stamped upon their minds they would carry it to their graves. The psalmist described it as “the sea saw it and fled before them” (Psalms 114:3). Yes, many of these standing by the Jordan, 40 years ago well remember seeing dead Egyptians floating to the surface of the Red Sea; many no doubt recall hearing their parents murmuring and complaining against Moses as to why had he brought them out to the sea, saying it would have been better had he left them in Egypt to die. grumblingThey remembered the complaining and grumbling of their parents; they remembered the unbelief which caused them to miss the promised land; they remembered seeing thousands dying as they were being bitten by serpents and Moses erecting a brass serpent upon a pole instructing the people to look upon it and be healed. In their minds there wasn’t a single thread missing of that story of 40 years ago which caused their parents to die in unbelief, never entering the land. Being children 20 years and under had caused them not to be responsible for the attitude and decision of the adults which were made in their journeyings. Therefore, all these experiences caused this new generation to be a far wiser generation in their trusting God because of what they had seen and heard, and moreover they definitely intended to prosper from the mistakes of the older generation. This event which happened at the Red Sea, I am sure, went down in history as the greatest defeat Egypt ever suffered although perhaps never recorded in Egyptian history because they certainly would not want to face the shame of such a defeat.


INFORMERS AT JERICHO


According to Joshua 2:10, who do you suppose informed all the people of Canaan, especially Jericho, about the disaster at the Red Sea and how God worked in behalf of the Israelites? Certainly not the Egyptians who were ashamed of such a defeat, and not the Israelites who were never permitted to cross over because of unbelief: therefore, it must have been the camel caravans traveling from place to place in those days who carried those stories of such an unforgettable and frightening nature. I imagine all through the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness just waiting for the first generation to die off, Israel encountered many such caravans coming across those very same desert sands and no doubt the Red Sea had washed up many an object only to be buried in the sands, later to be discovered as signs of what happened at the Red Sea. No doubt over the years it had become quite a tourist attraction for many of the caravans to filter through the sands and dig up items revealing the great defeat in that hour. Man is much the same today, he still has that curiosity to investigate such things. Those boys and girls who then were under 20 years of age could never forget how those waters looked as they came crashing down on those frightened, screaming, terrified horsemen and horses which reared backward while chariots overturned and spilled their occupants into the swirling angry waters, nor could they forget seeing the rubbish drift to the surface and float off. I imagine many night in their tents those children talked about such things. I am relating all this to show you what was in their minds and these experiences resulted in this younger generation being a wiser, more obedient generation to God’s word than the previous one, as they stood ready to cross the Jordan 40 years later waiting for God to do exactly the same for them – to again open the waters!


That early generation slowly moved from the Red Sea up through the wilderness unto Mt. Sinai and on to Kadesh-Barnea where they were preparing to cross over into the land of Canaan. However before crossing, Israel sent 12 spies to spy out the land, the people, the industrial, military, agricultural and scientifical standpoint and anything else which affect their cultural life. I have a definite reason for brining all this in as you will later see. Note, 40 years later after God has maneuvered the children of Israel through their desert wandering and the last of the old generation has died off, He now moves the new generation up to the Jordan River in view of the greatest fortified city throughout all the land of Canaan; militarily, economically, and scientifically this gentile city was the greatest, BUT IT IS GOING TO FALL! And how will the fall of Jericho apply to our day and hour? This we must later examine!


ARCHEOLOGISTS DESCRIBE JERICHO “OLDEST CITY KNOWN”


In has been well over 500 years since Abraham walked in this same land and it is not strange not once in Genesis do we find Abraham ever dwelling around or mentioning this city, yet it was very much a city even in his day. As a matter of fact, recent archeological discoveries made while digging around the old foundations of fallen Jericho show signs of civilizations reaching much farther back than just the period of destruction of Old Jericho, around 1400 B.C. Now they determined from new evidence discovered this could well be the oldest known city in the world! Recall, when the 12 spies ventured throughout the land 40 days investigating it, they returned with the same report as they were told coming out of Egypt; that it was a land flowing with milk and honey; it was a land filled with all kind of sweet things. Moses, after leaving Egypt, the Red Sea and Mt. Sinai, progressed slowly through the southern deserts of the Sinai peninsula. Making their laborious journey to be northward through the rugged highlands east of the Dead Sea, at last they were poised, ready to infiltrate the pasture lands and wooded hills which lay invitingly open to Israel between the fortified walled cities of Canaan. However blocking their pathway into this green pasture flowing with milk and honey of the promised land was the River Jordan, and between the river and the fertile valleys of the west lay that fortified city of Jericho; that ancient city which even during that hour was undoubtedly one of the oldest occupied cities in that part of the world. Although Jericho is 825 feet below sea level, as one would have viewed the city from the Jordan, it appears to be standing on a high plateau backed by towering cliffs. From a distance it looked green carrying a fragrant smell, and because of its good water supply the fields and groves of balsam were under intensive cultivation.


JERICHO’S LOCATION AND STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE


Jericho’s location was strategically important as it domineered the Jordan crossing, on the direct East-West route which ran from Chaldea up the Euphrates through the Arabian Desert; crossed the King’s Highway at Petra and ended in the North-South coastal route along the Mediterranean from Sidon and Tyre to Egypt. Jericho, with its striving commerce was situated on a high plateau, well watered through irrigation. Its rich soil abundantly grew vegetables, grapes, grains, figs, dates and the famous balsam tree which from it was produced an aromatic resinous substance (sometime now used medically in cough syrups, etc.). Furthermore, it served to sweeten the stench laden air of the cities in that day. In short, we can say Jericho was the prize of the gentiles. Yes, the spies thrilled the hearts of Israel in describing the lands as truly a land flowing with milk and honey, nevertheless, ten of the spies had more to add to their report which produced a far different attitude within the people. Those people there said the spies, make us look like grasshoppers they are so large! They also have great walled cities, the like of which we have never seen before, you see, they had spied Jericho and the sight of Jericho frightened them. But what Israel did not know was the inhabitants of this land were terrified of them. How often God tries our faith only to see if we are willing to walk with Him or will we lean on the arm of flesh and then begin searching for an easy way out. Beloved, remember this, if God has promised He will do a certain thing, it matters not how impossible it may look according to the law of reason, God will do it! God had promised them the land, He would not have wavered in His promise, however when the 12 returned after having spied the land for 40 days only 2 came with a good report, Caleb and Joshua.


A NIGHT OF DECISION AND WHAT IT COST


WHAT A NIGHT THAT WAS IN THE CAMP OF ISRAEL AS THE REPORT OF THE TEN SPIES CIRCULATES THROUGHOUT THE VAST CAMP OF ISRAEL. Laying there in the tents that night many of them scarred from beatings received from the whips of hard taskmasters in Egypt. How often had they been knocked down and left to die in some slime pit as they were compelled to make brick! For some reason they seemed to have forgotten all those miserable days very quickly because now they are making a great decision and that decision must be reached on the basis of what someone has seen! That something is a report delivered by ten men which overnight turned the camp of Israel at Kadesh-Barnea into nothing but a frightened, confused, grumbling mess. The longer they talked the more confused and frightened they became. Finding so much fault with their present situation they finally declared in despair; WOULD TO GOD WE HAD STAYED IN EGYPT AND DIED THERE! MOSES BRINGS US OUT HERE TO FALL BY THE SWORD, etc. And like us, so often, little did they realize all their murmuring and complaining that night was being registered in heaven and by morning God declared – THIS GENERATION IS NOT GOING OVER!


OLDER GENERATION DIES IN UNBELIEF


We are only refreshing your memory on a story perhaps you already know, how God told Moses that first generation which had been out of Egypt only a few months would be required to wander aimlessly throughout the desert 40 years until the old generation perished and the only ones permitted to go over would be those 20 years and under, which naturally included the babies for it had been the older generation, not the children, who grumbled and complained. You led us out in the desert for our babies to die with no decent memorial! However, I want you to notice God was going to reverse this thing. He was going to permit the young ones to live and go over into the land but cause the old ones to die off in the desert. God did just this, and beloved, once God has spoken such a thing it cannot be changed under any circumstances. Although not permitted to enter the land, I want you to note for 40 years that old generation continued to enjoy the manna which fell from heaven and never knew what it was for 40 years to wear out shoes or clothing.


CURSED GENERATION ALSO ENJOYS BENEFITS OF GOD


Think of it friends, today with all of the modern technology we are unable to make clothing as durable as that! Many may say, that is too much to believe, that is one account I can’t accept in the scriptures. Beloved, it we can’t accept that we might as well throw the entire book in the ditch! Israel for 40 years never had a tailor shop nor shoe cobbler shop. After the experience of Kadesh-Barnea, Israel began that long period of wilderness wandering of uncertainty. God is now going to keep them out in the middle of all these desert sand dunes and hot rocks with nothing for company but scrub brush as they drift and wander from place to place, seeing nothing day after day but hot blistering sun and burning desert sand and barren bleached rock when they could have been inside the land feasting on the riches and goodness of God He had promised to them. Oh yes, there was another miracle Paul spoke which went with them for 40 years, A ROCK! From that ROCK, they, their children, their cattle and everything drank from it (Numbers 20:8) yet they continued to wander aimlessly on in the hot burning desert with seldom a shade tree in sight. Had they obeyed God they would have been sitting under shade trees in the promised land, but now their only comfortable shade would be from a sheep or goat skin. Once in a while a calf would die or a curse would fall upon Israel claiming the lives of many thousands (I Corinthians 10:8) yet wherever they wandered, they mourned and buried their dead. No, there wasn’t any certain burial place in the desert; no markers to mark the graves yet the younger generation who stands at the Jordan ready to move into the promised land can no doubt recall every location of every graveyard wherein they buried dad, mother, uncle and aunts as well as they can recall the day they stepped into the Red Sea walking on dry ground.


NEW GENERATION BELIEVERS


Beloved, this new generation standing ready for marching orders to cross the Jordan was not a generation which doubted and had to be destroyed as was that older generation which the Lord moved out of the land of Egypt only to have to destroy because of unbelief (Jude 5). No sir, this was s new generation which laid hold to the promise of God, and as they stood on the other side of Jordan they were fully aware it was the grace of God which would take them across. No doubt about it, this new generation had certainly been put through the mill. Just think, many of them had come all the way from Egypt; many had slid down the banks of the Red Sea and climbed out on the other side; many could easily recall seeing those terrified Egyptians disappearing beneath the great wall of water as their screams were silenced by the roar of tons of water. I imagine they had spent many nights with these events fresh in their minds as they drifted off to sleep, and for 40 years they had been forced to wander realizing in their hearts they were wandering because Dad and Mother had grumbled and complained and found disfavor with God. Yes, in this younger generations’ heart they knew the day would come they would see that promised land. However, it would not be until the old crowd was dead! Nevertheless, this older generation still drank from that same ROCK as did the younger generation (I Corinthians 10:1-5) and ate the same manna, but through it all it had not changed their attitude nor their mind in the least nor had it changed God’s mind concerning their destiny. God said to the older generation – YOU WILL WANDER UNTIL EVERYONE OF YOU DIE!


Many times God brings people to a point of decision and there is a place in making that decision if you grumble and complain too much, after that it isn’t going to do you one bit of good to entreat God because as these Israelites found out, it wouldn’t work! You don’t change the mind of God, once He has offered something to you and you fail in it, then you just don’t change God’s mind.


YOUNGER GENERATION PREPARES FOR CROSSING


As this new generation stood there that day watching those two spies cross the Jordan and go trudging toward that great city, Jericho, they knew why they were going and they began making the necessary preparations. Every woman was making preparations concerning her children and her tent; every man knew he was a soldier and now he has a far different attitude and outlook concerning the whole thing than did that of his dad or his uncle 40 years prior. All they had encountered had shaped their lives, the Red Sea experience, crossing the hot burning, blistering sands of the desert, etc.. (When Israel’s army went through that Sinai desert with armored tanks in her 6 day war, 1967, one report of how they handled their captured prisoners (when there would be so many) was this, not wanting to kill off part of the prisoners whereby only a few soldiers could handle them, they made the Egyptians take off their belts and shoes. They wear loose trousers. Watch the psychology of this. When you are standing on hot sand with no shoes and no belt to hold up hour loose trousers, you aren’t going to cause much trouble). Israel in that hot blistering sand of the Sinai had buried their fathers, mothers and family and though unmarked they knew where they all lay, however in times to come all traces would be destroyed.


NEW GENERATION REQUIRES NEW LEADERSHIP


Picking up our story 40 years later, the older generation is dead. A new group (new blood) has come on the scene. Moses, God’s servant, has gone off the scene as well as Miriam and Aaron. For this new generation it will require a complete new leadership although they still have the same commission; they still have the same goal and objective as when they left Egypt! Yes, they still have the same God who spoke to them, only now they have an obstacle in the way. (Jericho) However this obstacle looks somewhat different to this new generation than did it to the older crowd. Two men are out spying the land. Recall, 40 years ago they had all waited at Kadesh-Barnea quite a ways down the river, no where near that large metropolitan city of Jericho, doing exactly the same thing they were now doing, waiting for a report! However, the spies this time had been sent out from this new generation and it is not from Kadesh-Barnea but from just across the river of Jordan in sight of Jericho, the very strong-hold of the Canaanite, the city which the 10 spies looked upon 40 years ago and declared could not be taken.


Therefore, notice God has brought this new generation face to face with the very ultimate of impossibility! It is very strange, is it not, these two spies were not told to go spy out all the land as they were 40 years ago! No, they were told only to go spy out Jericho! In other words, they know we are coming so just go in and find out what they think about the whole situation. Israel is encamped by the river making preparations to cross in just a few days. God is setting this beautiful scene in motion. Two men have crossed the river late in the evening and walked in through the gates of Jericho, the very pride of the gentile Canaanites (such as would New York, Chicago, Berlin, Paris, Montreal and Rome of our day). This was the metropolitan city of the Canaanites and these two spies have just walked in the gates. WHY? To listen, to hear what is being said. Beloved, this new generation is going to take the land and note, they are going to begin with the toughest city first; they are going to the hard place first! Nevertheless, there is a great test that lies here for this new generation.


STORIES HEARD IN MARKET PLACE


What kind of stories do you suppose these spies heard in the market places and streets? For 40 years every kind of weird story imaginable had come to Jericho concerning that mysterious nation of wandering Israelites who left Egypt 40 years ago. No doubt the spies overheard such reports as; they never plant a garden, they never go to a grocery store and there are millions out there! How do they live? Oh, so many things they had heard! They are in the desert but never dig a well! How on earth do they survive? Someone said, I hear they all drink from a ROCK! A ROCK, YOU MUST BE CRAZY! Some say they live off the grace of their God! Yes sir, those people living in metropolitan Jericho no doubt had received every caravan passing through or returning from countries round about and these Camel caravans had picked up stories as they had traveled through the desert of how that little nation cou